Fantasy Writers

Character Castle 2.0

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      Red is a crisp, burning color. One of the only colors that can be bright and showy while being dark and somewhat forbidding. Right now it’s the only thing he can see in this room, pooling under Rosario.
      This isn’t real.
      Just a second ago she was… You can’t die that fast can you? It only took a second and he can’t rewind the clock. He can’t make it right he can’t–this isn’t really happening, they were arguing, any time now she’ll come back, they’ll talk even if she doesn’t listen there’ll still be next day and the day after that. He couldn’t have done this she can’t be dead, he didn’t mean to pull the trigger, he was startled he didn’t know what he was doing.
      “Rosy?” Ehud can’t hear his own voice the buzzing in his ears from the shot is too loud. “Rosy…please wake up…I…I’ll stay here…I promise I’ll do it even if they kill me…”
      The only thing that stirs is the cat that hops down from the cracked window. Ehud can’t move, the only thing he can see is red, it really does look red, everything looks a little tinged with red. This isn’t the real world. This isn’t…
      ‘When reality doesn’t have to affect you truth changes’
      “Please wake up, Rosy, you’re scaring me…Rosy?”
      She’d to pull him by the hood of his jacket out of the way of whatever was he about to knock into, she used to irritate his brother by propping her guns on every available and unavailable surface while she cleaned them all at once every time. Sometimes it took days for her to clean every gun and she only put them up when they were cleaned so Ehud used to trip over them constantly. She used to have a secret little smile for people who were in her inner circle. Her whole life flashes through his brain.
      She is never going to do those things again…
      And he’s stilling holding the gun in his hands. That’s when everything hits him in a blinding red. He doesn’t feel anything except something he’s never ever felt before. Everything’s numb but it’s all red every inch of it. If there’s no reality there’s no good or bad. No compass. Almost audibly he hears something snap inside.
      There’s a noise outside that sounds like the men that were supposed to abduct him. So he takes the gun, he stares at the security cameras in the wall before he darts into the other room, there’s a back door, he rams the butt of the gun into the cameras there before he scrambles up the passage from the attic to the roof to another house that was abandoned long ago. He steals a voice-only phone from a passing pedestrian and disconnects the hidden tracker set on all phones under the wires inside. There’s no one left and he has nothing but his life left to lose.
      Blistering rain makes a blinding light, but he can’t hear anything not even the banging down of the door to the alley hideout he left. A runny outline of numbers is still on his wrist so he calls the number and ducks into a dark hollow of a long-dead glasscutter’s store with a broken stained glass window.
      The tiny wrist phone gives a short vibrating heat and blinks it’s light once. Twice. Waiting for her to pick up. Everything he can hear echoes like noises underwater. Red. Cold. It’s not right for nothing to exist. He digs his palm into a shard of glass but he doesn’t feel it. Thrice. He can’t hear his own thoughts but he can see them like kaleidoscope crimson lightning bugs.
      Broken compasses can’t point north if north is just a mental concept. Finally a lazy voice crackles on the phone.
      “Hello?” She has a lilting voice with a note of surprise.
      “Hi, it’s me.” Ehud begins in a very low voice. He sounds eerily calm, even to his own ears. Slowly scraping the glass shard into his hand he logically tries to return to a sense of realness by feeling some sort of discomfort but it’s not working. “There’s a medical saleswoman who lives here, Lucy, please give me her address.”
      “Who is this?” She falters a little. So he plays on her uncertainty.
      “You don’t need to know my name. You’re Marsha, aren’t you?” Ehud can almost feel her discomfort through the phone. Usually her fear would rub off on him but right now it’s a tool to get what he wants so he’s going to nurse it. “You like excitement because you’re constantly bored because you don’t have any purpose and you need something to distract you from reality-”
      “Ok..I think I need to hang up n-”
      “Your friend lives in the back alley of the north sector on level 5.” He waits ten beats for the statement to sink. Maybe he went to far and she’ll hang up now and call the authorities.
      “Ros…How do you-? Is she ok? You won’t hurt her?” The panic in her voice should be under his skin except he’s not really sure he’s Ehud anymore. He’s not really doing this, he’s not sure he’s connected to his body anymore. Logically, though, she deserves to know about her friend. Logically he knows he’ll regret everything he’s doing eventually. He could give her just enough hope to make her go along easier and she’ll find out soon enough but he’s still trying to hold back. It would be very easy, as easy as stealing.
      “She’s dead,” Looking down, Ehud notices his hand is bleeding now and he hasn’t stopped digging the shard into it. “Right now there are a buncha guys there. Do you remember ever–?”
      “She’s…she’s dead? What-how?” There are static spikes through the phone that Ehud assumes is her hyperventilating choking sobs. She won’t be useful to him if she’s that state. He doesn’t have time for this, she needs to be calm enough to do something.
      “Listen,” He consciously inserts a little sympathy in his voice “listen, do you remember ever losing anybody?”
      “I-no…my life’s been perfectly, like…it’s been perfec-” They wipe peoples’ memories.
      “Ok, that means they’ll come for you in a couple minutes.” Ehud’s voice sinks back into a toneless mumble “If you wanna remember anything right you’re going to meet me at the Bridge and you’re going to take me to Lucy’s apartment or home or whatever. Tell anyone and you’re probably dead.”
      “Wait-what do I–”
      Ehud drops the phone and mechanically smashes into the wall.

      Six-ten a.m.
      Cameras reflect red of a penlight. Rain blurs the view and melts the world.
      Buried under a stolen cap and over-sized trench coat, Ehud balances on his heels, crouching at the bottom of the bridge across the island. It’s a pretty big gamble getting Marsha here. It’s easy enough to force someone to give you information in the heat of the moment but once she’s off the phone she has time to think at least a little. What sense would it make to meet a dangerous stranger?
      But Ehud gets the sense she desperately wants some level of excitement. Most people aren’t taught what they should do in these scenarios and the first instinct is to comply. Curiosity and a distraught mood might overcome reason. He can’t wait very long but he doesn’t have a backup plan. The thing about the Bridge is that it’s very visible, meaning he’ll know the moment she arrives but also he’ll only have a couple minutes before whatever government system is left notices.
      ‘This town is meant to be happy. There’s a system for happiness in society.’
      Exactly what system is that?
      A grinding whoosh lands at the top of the Bridge. She actually came…that was really dumb. Clap clop, her flats have a vibrating echo of the boards. He watches her glance around, clutching a designers’ bag in front of her, floppy wet hair sticking to her elbow. Ehud doesn’t want to give himself away to the street security by spider-monkey-ing to the top in less than five seconds but he doesn’t want to lose the element of surprise either. Since he has already stolen a new phone to make it harder to track, Ehud uses that to call her.
      She jumps and twists her arms to dig into the purse on her shoulder. Ehud drops deeper into the bottom boards of the bridge, pretty much unnoticeable although still in plain sight. Two buzzes, she jerks it out as fast as she can.
      “H-hello? I’m wher-”
      “I know you’re here. Keep walking down. Don’t talk or look at anyone.” If it’s a trap she’ll be more on her heels now, he’ll sense it easier that way. She shifts her elbows down and curls into her bag. It isn’t right to do this to her but it isn’t wrong either if this isn’t real. It takes a couple minutes to reach the bottom of the bridge. The wind keeps whisking pink cherry petals at him. Ehud chews at his fist, which he had to wrap a rag around to stop the bleeding. It itches.
      Marsha looks around her as if expecting to be able to identify someone not quite right as she reaches the end of the bridge.
      “I…what do I do now…you’re not gonna hurt me?” For some reason the last exclamation makes him smile dryly.
      “Turn around and you can…turn off the phone now.” Ehud’s not used to any amount of control of anyone, he’s always tried to make himself as non-threatening and easy-going as possible. It’s an odd sort of uncomfortable thrill being able to effortlessly manipulate peoples’ emotions.
      She whirls around at his voice so he smiles back and holds up the phone.
      “Well,” he murmurs, getting up “let’s get outta here.”

      Six-fifteen and Lucy’s heels will click out of a tram to her front door as she’ll listen to the shell in her ear and give directions to men at Rosario’s apartment.
      “I understand, sir. This needs to be contained quickly as you can see the newcomer is not fit for our community…yes, thank you for keeping me informed…that’s very good, I know you have this under control, thank you.” She’ll turn it off and type in a code to disable her home security but it will already be disabled. Her house will be right beside the Grind for job-convenience. At the moment, the rain will have dropped to a thin drizzle outside, perhaps Mr Garner will dare to fly his sea-junk around his favorite place in the island now.
      Opening the door she will step in carefully like entering a foreign world.
      No one will be there but the house will be haunted. A few more steps and she’ll reach the room near the glass doors to a balcony. That will be when she’ll hear the click of a gun.
      “We’re gonna play a game.” His voice will be so manically calm she’ll hear her own breathing.

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


        He’s not sure whether he wants to hurt her or not. She seems to be the only one who knows what’s going on. So on some level she must be responsible for this lack of reality. There has to be his real home somewhere. She has to be the one who’s trapped him here. At the very least she has to know how to get him out.
        “This isn’t real, is it? This is just a sorta game, isn’t it?” To his own ears the words sound husky and sort’ve lilting. He doesn’t want to hurt her, he just wants to scare her a little. Everything looks a little red. He clicks the cylinder of the gun out enough to show her.
        “There’s just one bullet in the gun.” Ehud shows her the bullet snapping into the cartridge and adjusts the cuff of his jacket. He’s already discarded the trench coat onto the couch. “You said this was just a zero-sum game, if this is just a game I can show you how it’s played.”
        He whips his hand across the cylinder and it spins before he snaps it back in place. “Have you ever played Russian roulette? This gun has six shots that’s a seventeen percent chance rounded to the nearest whole number that I die when I do this–” He points the barrel at his head-
        “You…you can’t-!” Bang! “You’re crazy-you’re…you’re crazy!”
        “That’s right, I’m crazy and I’m not thinking about the consequences of my actions and you can’t reason with me. And you better not forget it because now it’s your turn-” Click! The gun cocks again.
        “You won’t do that! You want something from me don’t you?!”
        “That’s right, I want Rosy back,” Ehud leaves the barrel of the gun pointing directly at Lucy. “I don’t care how, I don’t care if she hates me or doesn’t remember me, I don’t care if you kill me afterward, I just want her back…”
        “You can’t bring anyone back from the dead, you killed her yourself!”
        “I want answers, you said when reality doesn’t have to affect you truth changes-”
        “You’re a monster..” She retreats a step, staring at the gun. He smiles.
        “Monsters are subjective, aren’t they? In a world where there isn’t any compass. You seem like a monster to me…selling happiness.” He glances down at the suitcase in her hand for a second and back at her “I want to know what’s going on, how do I get home, please…please get me out of here.”
        “We are all just prisoners here…of our own devise.” Lucy keeps her eyes on the gun but maintains a composed, motherly voice now “like I told you earlier there’s a system for happiness. Equality is the opposite of freedom, since every person’s gain is another person’s loss we can’t have people who are different.”
        “I don’t care right now. Five shots; a twenty percent chance–”
        “Sacrifices have to made! I don’t control the system.” She sounds like a school-teacher trying to be kind to a cruel young boy, but he can still hear the panic “People instinctually hate differences, you see, they have their own little world to defend. Give them equality, give them sameness and there’s no room for jealousy; no one’s better than the other no one’s worse than the other as long as everyone’s the sam-”
        “As long as everyone’s the same what’s a life here and there?” Ehud whispers, and pulls the trigger. She screams, jumping back. “If everyone’s the same no one can have a purpose because that makes their purpose different and people are drawn to following someone with a purpose, so you give people jobs instead? They feel like they’ve accomplished something without dedicated themselves to anything.”
        He cocks the gun again. “I was thinking to myself ‘you found me on the Bridge pretty quick for someone who shouldn’t have known where I was headed’ and it made me wonder…What kind of person can predict my actions so well she always knows how to catch me?” Ehud toys with the gun in his hand, letting out a low shaky breath. In a couple seconds he realizes she’s watching him and beams up at her. “Then I saw the cameras across town and I realized I was asking the wrong question because…you don’t know where I’m headed, do you?”
        He paces backwards as unsteadily as a jointless doll and slowly raises the gun to his head again. It’s all a performance really, he just wants to scare her enough to get her talking. But he’s gotten a little caught up in the thrill of it all.
        “It took moments for you to convince Rosy I was crazy. Just moments, not weeks, not days. It made me wonder what kinda web of intelligence do you have that can feed that much that quick?” He can’t feel any pain right now but he can sense the tension enough that adrenaline makes everything sharp and lucid. Ehud is a little theatrical and playing the villain was kinda fun. And it’s kind’ve nice to feel something, anything after all this.
        “Listen! None of this is going to bring your friend back?! Is this what she would’ve wanted?!” Lucy stares at the gun, breathing hard. Ehud freezes, suddenly his stomach churns at her words. Rosario would’ve…
        He bursts out laughing so hard he can’t say anything for several minutes. Retreating a step, he swallows, still shaking a little.
        “That’s literally the worst thing you coulda said cos she’d be totally cool with this!” Ehud shoves his free hand in his pocket and gives a half-shrug. It occurs to him that he can’t stop himself anymore and he wants to get out. “I was saying you were pretty quick to catch every move I made so it got me thinking…You’re just taking orders and-and nobody can keep up that fast no…person can.” His eyes dart to the shell in her ear.
        “So you’re gonna tell me how to destroy the machine.”
        What? You’re cra-”
        “Crazy? That’s right and if I wasn’t this would never work. Is it telling you what to say what’ll be the best words to hurt me enough I won’t fire?” He was using his grief to act but now he can’t stop and the numbness is wearing off. “Four shots left; twenty-five percent!”
        Lucy blanches and blinks her eyes closed for a second. But he’s still alive when she looks up. His voice is starting to fluctuate between fanatical shouts and dead calm. The next thing he says the words drop as quietly as ghosts.
        “Three shots; thirty-three percent.” He levels the gun at arm’s length away from him and stares her dead in the eye. No wait, something wrong, she’s not actually scared anymore. She’s…oh no.
        “I don’t know how to kill the machine. She’s designed to think for herself within the parameters of her purpose to bring happiness to mankind-”
        “That’s not-”
        “You wouldn’t know! Sacrifices must be made for the greater good. She knows how to process every person and how to fit them into every possible plac-” This isn’t going right, he didn’t think of that but it’s so stupidly obvious-
        Bang! Bang!
        “That’s one shot left, Lucy, this one will hit.” Ehud backs up, pointing the gun at her. “You’re stalling because they’re already on their way here but I’ve only got one shot left now you need to do exactly what I-”
        “Don’t be stupid, you might fool people with that bullet trick but you can’t fool her.” She taps her fingers on the suitcase and slowly walks toward him “There aren’t any bullets in the gun, stupid, it’s in the cuff of your jacket.”
        He gulps. He forgot about the cameras and the shell in her ear. Oh no. Oh nono no.
        “I was thinking about a couple things too, Ehud,” she coos “you weren’t thinking straight, see you’ve gotten a little psychotic and after this little episode I don’t think anyone has any reason to doubt it. The authorities are already surrounding this place but you were so busy shooting things you didn’t hear that, did you?”
        “I…What makes you so sure the machine isn’t just telling you that so you keep stalling?” He’s trying to regain control but it’s not working. Instead she just laughs. This was so stupid, what was he thinking? There’s a way out? This isn’t real this can’t be.
        “Just stop, you and I both know it’s over. You do know what happens after this?”
        He winces and half-way racks a hand through his hair, glancing around for some escape route. She smiles and her kaleidoscope eyes and dizzily sharp. No point in still waving a useless gun around…He has no Plan B.
        “You remember what I told you about Miss Marsha. Do you know sometimes it’s necessary for people to never remember the existence of some person, to keep a happy equilibrium.” She’s perfectly at-ease now and this is probably revenge for scaring her. All she has to do is wait because he can’t rightly escape and she seems quite ready to enjoy it. “We’re not murderers, though, none of us. We want to fix these things with science, understand? We contribute a lot to the brain studies we need for a better society.”
        Ehud pales. He’s trying very hard not to panic. He needs a plan, something unexpected, something that can get him out of here-
        “Is there anything else you want to talk about while we wait, sweetie?” Lucy smiles condescendingly
        “What time is it?”
        “What?” she laughs bewilderedly “I fail to see how that’s relevant-”
        “Please tell me what time it is.” He pleads, shrinking an inch in an effort not to back up any more. Her painted eyebrows quirk and she chuckles oddly before glancing at her watch.
        “It’s six-thirty, but do you honestly want…” She scoffs and twists a hair back awkwardly. “ what are you going to do?”
        Ehud stares at the floor and lets the gun rattle to the ground.
        “I’m going to take the only thing you care about,” he says “and use it as a bargaining chip.”
        Abruptly, he rams into Lucy and she swings the suitcase at him which he grabs and yanks, nearly jerking her off her high heels. She glares at him with so much fury he nearly falters when she digs her nails into his arm, but instead he grins pertly.
        “Thanksbye! See ya in my nightmares!” Tumbling backwards, Ehud hurls the suitcase into the glass doors of the balcony and bolts through before skidding to a stop. “Whoa! It’s high up here!”
        “You little…!” She whips onto the balcony, her face hideously deformed with venom. Then she recovers a cracked mask of motherly irritation. “Oh don’t be childish, are you going to threaten to throw my lovely little case off the edge? You really are stupid, aren’t you? Why don’t you just go back inside and be good boy now?”
        Ehud peeks back at her and bites his lip staring down at the edge of the island. “Ya’know something…” he says uneasily “you’re a bully.”
        “And now if you’re done with this puerile display-”
        “Ha yeah, don’t worry. You’ve been a lovely audience, thank you.” he chirps with a mock bow “thank you, I shall remember you in therapy!”
        With that he leaps off the balcony.

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


          Mr. Garner will be prepping his net for another school of glassy flying fish around the skyland. At six-thirty-one he will hear a very distinctive scream and will not be surprised to see a scrawny teen catapult headlong into his ship with a loud Thwank!
          “Ah, Ehud, nice of you to drop by.” At his remark, one hand will shoot up limply as if to prove that the new body on his ship is not dead.
          “Haha, that’s…so funny…funny that like the first said times you billion that seriously but please get a new pun…” He will unconsciously mis-organize his words while he’ll clutch his head and try to sit up, instead collapsing on the stern as if he has a concussion which he very well might. “Could you…possible fly a little higher cos like…jumping that far. Huuuuuuuurts.”
          “Get off my ship.”
          Ehud will flop up unsteadily and rub the side of his head blinking. It’ll only take him a couple seconds to perk up and grin impishly. Although he’ll rock back jerkily for a couple precarious seconds.
          “Do you hear that sound?” he will announce
          “That is the sound of pure awesome!” He will exuberantly throw his hands in the air. And by consequence topple backwards into the ship.
          “Are you-?”
          “I’m fine I’m fine…I’m gonna pass out for a couple seconds…” Ehud will bury his head in his arm and not move. So Mr. Garner will maneuver the ship to the nearest available end of the island even though it will be only six-thirty-five and he leaves his patch of sky at seven.
          There will be a suitcase wrapped tightly under his arm and Mr Garner will frown at it warily.

          The thud that knocks his head into the end of the ship also wakes him up. Ehud grabs the suitcase like his only lifeline and peeks over his arm before popping up in an all-too-bright atmosphere. Mr Garner is frowning as only Mr Garner can frown with a completely blank expression. His translucent bubblish net is only half-full of multicolored fish today and it is still dripping just enough rain to make sunlight look a little ethereal.
          “Huh?” Ehud glances around and realizes they’re by land. He reddens and rubs the back of his head. “Oh, right. Ok.”
          Ehud is not entirely sure they stopped moving, everything definitely looks shaky, he hates when he hits his head. It takes a very delicate balancing act to stand up without falling over because the world won’t sit still and in stepping off the ship he ends up tripping and then walks into a pole.
          “Hey,” Mr Garner says, furrowing his brows “what’s in the suitcase?”
          “…definitely something I totally didn’t steal?” With a nervous sorta smile, Ehud tries to make eye contact and slip away before Mr Garner has second thoughts about him. If the old man is brainwashed into thinking Ehud is psychotic it probably won’t work because they would be severely underestimating Mr Garner’s apathy. But right now the sailor is staring greedily at the suitcase.
          “Leave it here, that’s my fee for taking you to shore.” The real Mr Garner is a little more friendly than that but not by all that much. Ehud instinctively grabs the suitcase tighter.
          “I…thanks for dropping me off, I gotta…-” He whips around forward and then gaps. They landed right in front of the Grind, which is right beside Lucy’s house. It’s shaped like a mill and he has to tilt his head way back to see the top. Men are all around the area and in the chaos of shouts and preparations they haven’t noticed Ehud yet. He turns back to Mr Garner.
          “Can you give me a ride? I’ll help with your nets.”
          “The suitcase.” Mr Garner knows what’s in it, Ehud can see it in his eyes. This was another stupid plan. Sandwiched right between to horrible scenarios.
          “Right…ok, well I guess I’ll be off then.”
          “You know you can’t just walk through there.”
          “Yeah…I guess I’ll have to run through there.” He darts up the walls of the Grind. Hopefully he’ll get high enough to make it to a higher level and run from there. But the last thing he hears is a shout before a spray of shots nearly hit him. With a cry of alarm, he tumbles through a window inside and rolls several feet across the floor, kicking up clouds of dust.
          “Uh-oh.” He bounds to the window just in time to hear a door crash open behind him only a couple rooms away. “Well…it’s gonna be hard to get out the same way I got in…”
          Skating out the door, Ehud dashes through the hall. Clap clop! Clap clop! The walls reverberate every little noise. Bare gears and wires are hard to avoid tripping on. He can’t tell where the sound of the other men is coming from. This isn’t good, this isn’t good. With a panicked guess, Ehud slams open one of the doors into a factory hall with a broken conveyor belt. At a glance there don’t seem to be any cameras but that doesn’t mean…

          Lucy will listen several minutes to the beeps in her shell before pacing through the rooms of the Grind while the machine gives instructions, partly blind-sided though because there won’t be cameras in the broken building. A squad of armed men will split up through the area. They’ll all wear the same type of shoes that make the same sort of noise against the floor. The machine will tell the difference and she’ll be its ears for now.

          “Lotta pointies, a lotta pointies…” Ehud scrambles past several cutting machines that could work well for guillotines with a little imagination. They were probably used to cut the plastic packages before. It only takes him a couple seconds to cross the spacious room and up a staircase leading to who-knows-where. His hand bumps into a power switch at the foot of the stairs. Suddenly he freezes with a new idea.
          Clap clop! Clap clop!

          Lucy will be behind the men and will notice a door ajar. She’ll call out and let them enter first. It will be dim and weirdly equipped with outdated items. They will want to capture him alive but they won’t mind having to kill him. There won’t be a trace of him though until there’ll be a clatter that several guns follow. It will be very quiet and all the little noises will echo until there’ll be a screech of an old record somewhere in the room that streaks to an ear-shattering pitch. She’ll cover her ears just as she’ll see Ehud by a switch. He’ll smile back and wave right as he yanks down on it.
          Then every bright light across the roof will snap on and the chaos will unfold.

          “The Phantom welcomes you to his opera house!” He announces, turning the switch. Every single device in the room clicks on (that was still functional). He gives a small sigh surveying the disaster. “Unfortunately the chandelier was taken…”
          The conveyor belt is on full speed, the sharp equipment has been so unused for so long most of the blades dwanked off the tools ricocheting into the air and Ehud takes the opportunity to run. Bashing closed the door to the staircase, Ehud hastily twists the lock shut with a wire in his pocket before bolting up the stairs. There’s not telling how long it will take for a power surge to knock out all electricity. Clamping up the stairs he can already hear a jiggling against the lock.
          Two levels. Through a glass he can peer into the workings of the Grind in the center of the tower with whirring gears big enough to powder anybody unfortunate enough to fall in. The first door he see he staggers through. Another hall filled with doors. Everything is flooded with noise, the whole tower groans with activity like its grinding its teeth furiously. The thing’s patched with uneven floorboards. Behind him Ehud can hear shouts, haphazard gears whip off their place and one jabs him in the arm so hard he jerks back bleeding.
          This was a great plan to escape but this might not be a great plan. No time to think about it now. Ehud has to keep moving, if he’s lucky he’ll make it high enough to get to the next layer of the island and make a dash on the streets. A dead wire snaps off like a snake and kicks into his foot. That’s when the floorboards crack under him.
          Clank! His whole body jolts against thin air and there’s a screaming whirl underneath him. With a cry he feels another jerk on his leg from the wire which is now the only thing holding him back from the center gears of the Grind. It’s stretching as if ready to break.
          “Um…” Trying to stay calm is not easy when you’re upside-down over a jagged mass of gears. “Ok…ok…”
          Instead of taking a deep breath Ehud nearly hyperventilates. It takes two awkward tries to twist himself up enough to grab the wire in one hand while it swings around his leg a little back and forth. In the other hand he still clutches the suitcase uselessly. Creak! He yelps when the wire sinks two feet. The whirling of the gears is so loud he can’t hear anything. Right-side-up now, Ehud tries to get a kick start off the side of the wall which is some form of sturdy glass. A little above him is the floor he fell from. There’s a pole running from the top to the bottom of the Grind to steady the gears. There are also thick wires running back and forth across the area but you can’t tell which are active and which aren’t. Half of them will probably kill him with a couple thousand volts of electricity while the other half would be great climbing material.
          Propelling himself back and forth off the dead wire, Ehud finally grabs the pole in the center which he uses to stabilize his climb, which is very unsteady with the suitcase but he’s made it up twelve stories with a jar of spiders before so it isn’t too bad. Getting through the wires is the worst. It’s almost black with ash peeling off the old equipment. He tries to squeeze through without touching any of them. Black sooty ash itches his eyes and the net of wires is way too thick. He has to try one of them to climb up.
          Hooking his arm around the pole he stretches his hand until he can reach a wire thick enough to support him. But that also means a lot of electricity is coursing through it if it’s not dead yet. Swallowing Ehud barely touches it with the tip of his finger-Crack!
          He leaps back, almost losing his grip and sliding down the pole into the grinding gears whirring below. White-hot electricity crackles off a snapped wire several feet up and hisses through the web. Clutching the pole and the wire his foot is caught on, Ehud stares at the tangle, half-paralyzed. That…he has to get through that?
          “I can’t…I’m gonna die!” Chewing his lip he freezes, trying to muster all his courage before another wire snaps. Finally he grabs the thick bottom wire he was trying to reach earlier, barely breathing after it doesn’t explode in his hand. “Oh…what a tangled…web we weave…”
          Balancing precariously off the wire Ehud dangles under the mesh of wire and scrambles up. The hissing electrical current shoots over two or three wires which Ehud delicately maneuvers around. Every inch of him is painfully numb from the electrical charges through the air around the wires. But the next level is only a couple feet away. Almost in the reach. Wriggling through a last web of wires he grabs at the splintered floor boards but they’re just out of reach.
          Slowly inhaling sick kerosene clouds of ash, Ehud carefully lifts up just enough to crouch on the wire and prepares to spring. Just then there’s a crackle below loud enough to snap off the wires underneath him. With a yell he leaps up just as a heap of the wires crack off following a deafening shriek as the hot electric tangle is melts into power at the gears of the Grind. He only just managed to grip the edge of the floor in time. Blood sinks out of his hand and arm grappling the boards and it feels like all the molecules inside him are being stretched down by gravity.
          Twisting dangerously up, Ehud just elongates enough to drop the arm with the suitcase on the floorboard. And suddenly finds himself eye-level with a pair of Barbie-thin heels inches away from his face.
          “H-hi.” He tries to give a sheepish grin. A big knot twists through his insides.
          She smiles and bends over him.
          “We’re going to play a game.” She says softly, pulling the suitcase out of his hand. He frantically jerks back, feeling his grip slip at every pull.
          “Nono n-Ack!” When the case yanks out of his grasp he loses his balance and kicks against thin air. His only bargaining chip is now in her hands and he’s on the edge of the precipice. Literally and figuratively. “Ok ok, you win! We’re…even?”
          Any energy he has left is draining quickly. This can’t be real. Struggling to get a grip he cranes his head past her but there isn’t anyone behind her and she seems perfectly happy with that. She just want to get back at him for scaring her. She’s not really going to kill him? Slippery sweat is inching him back from his already deadly unstable hold.
          “Did you know creating a perfect society is something like Russian roulette?”
          “There weren’t any bullets in the gun, you were right, I’m sor-I’m sorry!” The floorboards creak loudly and all his breath hurls out of him with a jerky swing from the board.
          “It’s anyone’s gamble who lives and who dies. After all, some people just never fit into the big picture.” Her kaleidoscope eyes are iridescent slits through the gas-filled haze. She can’t really want to kill him she just wants to hurt him a little no one’s that cruel no one would actually want to kill someone in cold blood. If she just scares him enough she won’t actually kill him-
          “I’m sorry I’m sorry! I’ll be so good, please don’t…” Just a couple steps away from escaping, Ehud can’t fail now, not after all that. Lucy turns over her suitcase, ensuing it isn’t scratched and taps it idly.
          “You said something earlier about monsters being subjective.” she says with a quiet smile “I agree. It all depends on perspective, doesn’t it? And, in the end, ideas can kill…”
          Ehud can’t feel his fingers, he only barely has a grip now, every inch of him is trembling with the effort to stay up. There’s absolutely nothing to hold onto.
          “Please…just please let me go…”
          “…that’s why people like you can’t exist in a happy society. You only half live in the real world, your head’s always swimming with high ideals. Always trying to get people to theorize.” The boards moan when she leans down toward him. “People have to be content with the world as it is and all you can see is how it should be, but people can’t hold ideas they can only hold distractions. A little morals, a little bland religion, that’s good enough, that’s good for society because people need a little something to make them feel more important than a mindless stain on a constantly shifting world.”
          Her eyes shudder with changing colors. “Tolerance is the most society-religion can aspire to. Until one day the sermon is how Jesus Christ pats everyone on the back with a wink and a smile and a blindfold to all that isn’t ‘holy’ and ‘pious’.
          “Happiness is more important than freedom, tolerance more important than diversity, and distraction is more important than that silly little voice in your head telling you everything that should happen in a magical world that could never be.” Lucy stands and slides the suitcase under her shoulder. “Idealists, holier-than-thou people are the monsters against the people. Sacrifices must be made because this is a happy society and there’s a system for happiness. And you seem too unmanageable to keep here”
          The board snaps and jerks down, yanking Ehud out of his skin. Screaming echoes of the Grind crunching wires bounces off the tower walls. She’s really going to kill him no one’s that cruel people are essentially good she’ll deliberately murder him. He’s so close to making it he has to get out, he’s got to find his brother and Rosy he’s got to get things back to reality. Lucy turns to the door holding her euphoria pills safely in the suitcase.
          “You can’t…I thought you said you didn’t…didn’t kill people” Only by a couple thread is the board dangling through the air. She looks back at him with a polite smile.
          “I’m not killing anyone. I’m just letting things take their course.”

          Thank you guys sooo much for being patient with me. This is the last post on his worst fearXD. I’m so sorry that took so long ya’ll have been so patient with me, I am so sorry, thanks a bunch!

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


            Isn’t colorless white or pitch black.
            It doesn’t exist so you’re out and back again and there’s nothing in between.

            The first thing he was aware of was something firm underneath him. The second thing was that the sky was a little cloudy and the sun was in his eyes. The third was that he was supposed to be dead and this did not look like either heaven or hell. At least not as he imagined them.
            Ehud sat up dizzily, wrapped his arms around himself and squeezed his eyes shut. That wasn’t helpful because all he could see were kaleidoscope eyes and a gut-jerking satisfied sort of smile. Someone would actually kill him in cold blood. He always thought people were essentially good. Sure he’d had run-ins with people who wanted to maim and/or kill him but he’d never really thought of it that way, it really wasn’t a game, he could actually be violently murdered.
            He blinked back a watery film in his eyes and glanced around. There were people around him! Flinching, Ehud stared about, trying to regain his balance. He ended up brushing against the plastic bag beside him that he poured all the contents of his jacket pockets into, what seemed like centuries earlier. Wrapped up like a little bag his jacket still had a couple over-sized eggs in it. He wasn’t safe anymore there were people here and people hurt you and he didn’t know anybody enough to know if he could get away if anything happened. So he opted for not showing any weakness and pretending everything was normal. It’s crazy how much a smile can hide.
            “Ok, I officially unlike, unfriend Lord Castle!” He bounded to his feet, nearly fell over, and stifled a yawn. “Good news/bad news. Bad news; I died. Good news; I lived!”
            No one was paying attention and that was perfect. He just really didn’t want to stop and think any time soon. The fairy was talking to two people fell out of the sky…what? Sure, why not?
            “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.” That was Erin who was around the edge of the roof. What happened to the dinosaurs that was the only perk of this Lord Castle?! State of disrepair, did that mean he’d get to work on it?
            “I’m not asking for help from anyone since you all hate me,”
            “I don’t hate you.” Ehud interjected, rubbing his eyes sleepily.
            “But if you come with me, I will do all I can to return you to your homes.” With finality, Erin turned to look around. There was a little red blob at her heels–
            “Oh it’s so cute! I wanna dozen!” Ehud skidded to the fox and crouched over it, reaching to pet it. Above him, Erin watched as if she knew something he didn’t but she said nothing. Too tired to care Ehud scooped the fox up and scratched it’s ears.
            “Excuse m-” He yelped and dropped the fox when he tumbled backwards.
            “It talks!” Ehud propped up, reddening. “Sorry! I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to drop you…”
            So now the animals talk. He probably should’ve expected that. But it–no she–looked soo adorable. He really really really wanted to cuddle something that wouldn’t kill him.
            Erin was leaving, and she still had his father’s compass!

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


              “It talks!” Ehud propped up, reddening. “Sorry! I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to drop you…” said the blonde-haired boy who just appeared out of nowhere, declared that “the bad news was that he had died and the good news was that he had lived, ” grabbed Brin, and dropped her. Brin  landed on her bad leg with a yelp, then  stood up and shook herself. She glared at Mr. Crazy for a moment, “don’t call me cute. ” she growled. Then turned to the girl.
              she said she would help me get home! Home! I’m going with her.

              Brin limped up to the girl. The one who didn’t fall from the sky. Brin didn’t know what was going on, but she knew once she got home she would be safe and be able to think. “I’ll come.” She said, and started to step over a small ledge when she froze. She thought the small ledge led to solid ground, but what stretched before her was a vast drop. Brin trembled. She couldn’t think, she couldn’t breathe. This was to much. Her whole body was tense and trembling. She squeezed her eyes shut and forced herself to breath, her ears lay flat back and her tail went between her legs. She dimly felt embarrassed but was to scared to act brave. Everyone else seemed comfortable and relaxed, but not Brin. She had never been ok with high places. And  doubted she would ever get over it.

              Slowly, Brin opened her eyes and took a step backwards,

              just breathe, 

              She took another step backwards then turned and ran madly away from the edge, but she tripped over her bad leg and crouched about three yards away from the edge. “It…I…I can’t .” She said, her voice shaking.

              • This reply was modified 6 days, 8 hours ago by Jasmine.

                “Don’t call me cute.” The talking fox glared at him and he hadn’t even known that was possible. It took him five seconds to make the fox hate him…that might be a new record. There were so many people around here watching him with their own good or bad intentions. She limped after Erin after announcing her intention to join with her. The poor thing was hurt and he just dropped her! Ehud shoved his hands in his pockets and tried not to cry.
                Foxy Fox wavered by the ledge, flatting her eyes and wobbled jerkily back before tripping to the floor. “It…I…I can’t.”
                Without thinking Ehud dropped to the ground beside her and tenitively made a move to scratch her ears but stopped himself in time. Uneasily he glanced around, trying to be a little more inconspicuous. After his worst fear Ehud was very aware of how helpless he was around most people. It really wasn’t a game, people really could be cruel. He caught himself petting the Not-To-Be-Called-Cute fox and she bristled but was too scared to bite him or anything. Humans didn’t like physical contact either (especially random hugs). Poor thing, she didn’t like heights and she was lost and alone too!
                “If…you’re a talking fox do you eat like normal people food or normal fox food?” Ehud asked, trying to distract both her and himself. But he was also really curious. “Do you have super good hearing and eyesight like foxes or do you have normal people senses? Where do you come from?”
                Pressing his hands into his knees, Ehud tried very hard to not pet her, and set about re-organizing his accruements back into his jacket pocket and putting the eggs into the bag. Two were cracked but he went ahead to kept them all the same; it’d still be better than some stuff he’s had to try. But he gave a cry of dismay when he found patched of dried egg crusted on his jacket. With a sigh, he scraped at the stains before putting the jacket on (Ehud was completely inured to bad smells since his time in the factories).
                “What’s your home like?” he peppered the fox “Do you have any friends? Are all your friends foxes or do you have other animal friends?”
                Ehud glanced up and remembered Erin was going to leave them and nearly jumped up. Conflicted, he stared between Foxy Fox and Miss Murder and blinked hard. The fox was too scared to follow Erin but neither of them wanted to stay here and he couldn’t leave her behind. Nearly stroking the cute fuzzy animal again, Ehud ducked his head and fumbled with his pockets.
                “Can I please pick you up…?” He asked, staring up at her with big puppy eyes.

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

                Mischievous Thwapling


                  Wow, that was really really cool.  I love how you started that one post with, “Red is a crisp, burning color. One of the only colors that can be bright and showy while being dark and somewhat forbidding. Right now it’s the only thing he can see in this room, pooling under Rosario.”  I thought that was so awesome and sad at the same time! It’s such a cool analogy.

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

                  Haha, why, thank you! I actually just go to google or whatever and search for what I feel like.  Since it’s fall, I just googled, “beautiful fall landscape pictures,” or something like that, and it’s fun to see what pops up!

                  You’re welcome! Ehud’s fear really is so cool.  And thank you so much!!! That really means a lot.  And wow, I think you worded Colma’s fear better than I could:

                  Colma’s guilt/fear is so loved-oriented the desire to do better for others verses the fear of not being enough.

                  Wow, you hit the nail on the head (0r whatever that expression is).  Somehow, Cathy, you manage to describe my characters better than I can!  The way you really understand what I’m poorly trying to portray with my inadequate words is so amazing.  You, like Ehud, really have a way of seeing through people and their motives, something that I’m really bad at XD. (I hope you know I mean that as a compliment!) 😀

                  And no! I didn’t have t be “be patient” with you because your posts were so awesome I was too busy enjoying them! You really are a fantastic writer!

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



                    I liked your post, I thought it was funny the way he was asking all those questions.  And it was really funny the way he used puppy eyes😂



                    Brin jumped. Someone was stroking her silky auburn coat. In her mind she wanted to snap at whoever was touching her, but she stood still. Not daring to move.

                    “If…you’re a talking fox do you eat like normal people food or normal fox food?”

                    Brin looked up at Mr. crazy who was the one who she now saw, was the one who had spoken. He was sitting on the ground beside her.

                    He was trying to comfort her, he pitied her. She wanted to start shouting that she was fine, she didn’t need anyone’s help, she wasn’t weak, she wasn’t a pup. She was strong and could fend for herself.

                    But she didn’t. She didn’t start shouting or bite him like the little voice at the back of her head told her to.


                    “Do you have super good hearing and eyesight like foxes or do you have normal people senses? Where do you come from?”


                    Brin stared at him. Her anger was starting to fade.

                    No! Stay angry. It feels good to be angry.

                    But why? Why would she stay angry at the one who was trying to help her?

                    because you can help yourself.

                    “What’s your home like?” He asked.
                    Brin blinked. No, she had to except the fact that she needed help.


                    No. Stay angry.


                    Inwardly she told the little voice to shut up and turned her attention to Mr. Crazy.

                    Brin smiled when she realized what had just happened. He had distracted her from her fear. Though not the way he intended. But it had worked. She sat up.


                    “Do you have any friends? Are all your friends foxes or do you have other animal friends?”

                    Brin shook her head. She didn’t have friends. In the forest, Foxes where loners. She wasn’t sad about it though. Foxes weren’t lonely either.


                    “Can I please pick you up…?” He begged, giving her the puppy eyes.

                    Brinn laughed, forgetting her fear and anger completely. She was about to answer “no way” but Mr. Crazy took the laugh as  a yes and scooped her up.

                    Brin’s lips curled up in a snarl. No one would cuddle her. Ever. She started to wiggle away but she stoped short.

                    That feels goo…what am I thinking?! Ok. Fine. It feels great, but enough is enough. 

                    “Let me go” she said, trying not to sound to mean. She wiggled away and shook herself of.

                    • This reply was modified 4 days, 5 hours ago by Jasmine.
                    • This reply was modified 4 days, 5 hours ago by Jasmine.

                      I love how you started that one post with, “Red is a crisp, burning color. One of the only colors that can be bright and showy while being dark and somewhat forbidding. Right now it’s the only thing he can see in this room, pooling under Rosario.” I thought that was so awesome and sad at the same time! It’s such a cool analogy.

                      It’s my favorite color! Thanks! I tend to get very poetically dramatic when I’m setting a tone and I’m glad it’s not too melodramatic this time.
                      What’s your favorite color?

                      Haha, why, thank you! I actually just go to google or whatever and search for what I feel like. Since it’s fall, I just googled, “beautiful fall landscape pictures,” or something like that, and it’s fun to see what pops up!

                      Ah google is soo good! Thanks a bunch!

                      You, like Ehud, really have a way of seeing through people and their motives, something that I’m really bad at XD. (I hope you know I mean that as a compliment!)

                      Thank you, it’s one of my only real-life talents. I’m also an expert at accidentally walking into walls and misplacing the pencil(s) on my desk.
                      I like how everybody has really diverse talents so we need each other to fully appreciate the life God gave us. Like my brother’s super good at remembering facts and real-world information I can’t keep up with and you’re authentic and bubbly personality helps me be more comfortable with writing around a buncha people I’ve never met who are reading and analyzing what I write. Everybody on this group’s been so kind and unique and I love seeing everyone’s style and soul and potential.

                      I liked your post, I thought it was funny the way he was asking all those questions. And it was really funny the way he used puppy eyes

                      Ha yeah, he uses puppy eyes a lot and he’s intensely curious about everything about everything 🙂

                      The fox shook her head when he asked if she had any friends and his heart promptly shattered. It only took half a second to scoop her up the moment she laughed. Foxy Fox tensed in his arms and started to try to jerk out. Because she was an adorable fuzzy animal and Ehud had picked up tons of fuzzy animals before, he instinctively relaxed his grip and stroked behind her perked-tight ears until she sank a little into his arms. He used to only be able to catch bullfrogs and lizards but Rosario liked stray cats. The fox’s shinny crimson fur was so soft and crisp…
                      “Let me go” She wriggled out of his grasp and shook herself, somewhat indignant but also somewhat amused. Her fur really was red, kinda like blood. Ehud suddenly freezes up and for a second can’t see anything but Rosario’s face while she held the gun. She was his only friend he’s not sure if that was real or not if he ever gets back home…
                      Shaking himself, Ehud nearly tried to catch her again but she scampered just out of his reach with an irritated huff and something of an entertained glimmer in her eyes. He ducked his head and made an effort to look penitent. The air felt a little piercing cold for a couple seconds and he had to reorient himself. He stuffed his hands in his pockets and fiddled with the inside of his jacket.
                      “But I’ll be so careful with you, I swear. I promise I won’t drop…you…again…” That wasn’t exactly reassuring, even to Ehud. He fidgeted and wasn’t sure where to look. In the end he stared up at the sky, which was beginning to darken a little. Oh he hadn’t thought of that. Ehud raised his hand a little.
                      “Uhhh…are we gonna look for a shelter or something or are we gonna sleep under the stars?” He called, leaning his head so far back he almost fell over. “What if it rains?…I’m starving.”

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

                      Mischievous Thwapling


                        I tend to get very poetically dramatic when I’m setting a tone and I’m glad it’s not too melodramatic this time.

                        I really like that about you! And yeah, it wasn’t melodramatic. 😀 And my favorite color? Hmmm, maybe green?

                        Yeah, no problem! Yes, google can be very useful 😛

                        Haha, I’m an expert in those too! I’m also one in walking into too-clean glass sliding doors, forgetting where my other shoe is, and forgetting to do homework until the day it’s due 😛

                        Yes, you are so right!  God gave us each such unique and different gifts that can compliment each other so well.  (Or, I suppose, grate on each other, but that’s part of life, isn’t it? :P) I love seeing those talents too!

                        you’re authentic and bubbly personality helps me be more comfortable with writing around a buncha people I’ve never met who are reading and analyzing what I write.

                        Aw, thanks! That’s really, really kind of you.  I love how you respond to a compliment with another compliment; it makes you such a fun person to interact with.  And I’m glad I could help you feel more comfortable!  I totally know what you mean; when I was new to stuff like this, I always posted the shortest posts and was constantly adding at the end: “Sorry if I did it wrong!” and stuff like that.  I get what you mean, it feels weird to broadcast your writing to a group of people you only know through the internet.  For me, my writing is a very personal thing.


                        Okey dokey, sorry for taking so long (and sorry that it really IS long), but here it is! Um, sorry that it doesn’t really make sense, I was just trying to figure out a way to portray her fear.. If it makes even less sense, you could read the Part One thing on page 21 (:


                        As Orson’s laugh echoed through the chamber, Colma whirled around in a circle, searching for the source.  Surely it was an illusion the castle was creating.  There was no way his laughter was actually real.  After all, Colma had seen Orson dying on the hay in his barn… But she couldn’t help wondering if ghosts were authentic as she gazed around, bewildered.

                        She peered at a figure in the gloom, who was standing just beyond the rim of light.  Colma stepped into the natural spotlight herself and stared at the person.  “Orson…?” she whispered hesitantly.

                        The person entered the wide circle of sunshine.  Colma’s mouth went dry when the figure did.  It was the last thing Colma had expected to see: herself.  From the long dark hair to the scowl on her face, it was a mirror image of Colma.  For a moment, she hoped it was simply a reflection in a mirror, but when the doppleganger stepped closer while Colma stood rooted to the spot, she knew it wasn’t.

                        Abruptly, several people fell out of the hole in the cavern’s ceiling.  Colma rushed forwards and discovered that they were the same group from the castle and the dinosaurs and the blood-thirsty library.

                        Her clone–Colma was going to refer to her as it from now on– drew its axe with a ring of steel and started towards the unconscious jumble of people lying on the floor.  Colma realized with horror that it was going to attack them–the people who had helped her, tried to kill her, and had been basically harrassed by the castle as well, all at the same time.

                        She fumbled with her own axe strapped to her leg, yanked it off, and rushed forwards to stop the double from killing them.  Colma deflected the duplicate’s vicious swipe that was aimed for her neck and swung her weapon at its side.  The copy dodged it, then kicked out Colma’s legs out from underneath her.  She rolled to the side as her double slammed its axe into the ground where Colma’s head had been.  The blade sent cracks spider webbing across the stone floor, which made Colma goggle at the copy’s strength.

                        Colma, jumping to her feet, retaliated by lurching forwards to bring her axe down on the clone-person.  The replica met her blow so that they were locked in a battle of strength, Colma’s blade pushing against the clone’s, while its axe was thrusting up against her’s.

                        Sweat trickled down Colma’s temple as she gritted her teeth.  She could feel herself losing the battle, and her opponent’s axe was ever edging towards her face.  Colma’s arms started to tremble with the effort.

                        If she died, the others still unconscious would too.  And it would be her fault.

                        With a cry, Colma flipped the wooden handle of her axe up and smashed the duplicate’s face with it.  The clone stumbled away, blood trickling from her nose.  Colma felt hot liquid streaming down her face as well, which confused her entirely.  She hadn’t been hit.  She had hit it, the clone.  Why was she bleeding?

                        Brushing the thought off for the time being, she lunged at the replica, who had dashed towards the others and who was raising its weapon above its head to end the other castle victims.  Colma knocked her away and put an end to the fight with a final strike of her axe.  But as she dealt the killing blow, her own vision darkened and her legs turned to jelly.  She toppled to the floor beside the clone.  She was dying, like the replica.  Somehow, the clone was connected to her.  Maybe it was her.

                        But, Colma thought, I wouldn’t kill them.  They’ve helped me… But why—her thoughts were cut off as her ragged breathing halted, like her heart.  She struggled for breath, before everything stopped.  Blackness. Nothing. But just for a moment.

                        Suddenly, she was hovering above a snow-blanketed cottage.  Her home.  Light gushed from an open door.  Colma subconsciously lowered so that her feet were inches from the ground and watched with horror as she saw another version of herself being literally thrown out into the snow.  The people from the castle were standing in the doorway, disgust on their faces.  Even Ehud’s expression was one of loathing and hatred.

                        They shoved the other Colma away and shouted, “Murderer!”  Then they slammed the door, and Colma delved into darkness once more.

                        They knew.  They knew what she had done, and they, like everybody else, hated her and shoved her away.  She was alone now.  Forever.  Maybe she actually had tried to kill them.  Maybe the clone was really her, and the castle was predicting that Colma would end up hurting or killing the other people from the castle.

                        But suddenly, she was lying on her back.  Hard stone or something like it was underneath her, and wind whipped her hair into her eyes.  Colma sat up instantly.  Several new people were there with her on a roof, along with most of the people from the castle, but Ahab was missing.

                        Ehud was saying something about taking shelter.  And a fox was there, looking very much like it was intelligent and capable of a conversation.

                        Colma’s heart leapt with joy.  She hadn’t tried to kill them, she hadn’t died, and they hadn’t thrown her out!  Before saying anything, Colma jumped to her feet, ripped her axe, which had been acting as a splint, off her leg, then turned it over in her hands, staring at it.  It had been a faithful weapon, but too many had perished at its evil hands.  No one would ever again.  Without a second thought, she reared her arm back and chucked the axe off the roof.  She watched it plummet through the air, then turned resolutely away.

                        Colma had never felt so freed.  It was like a huge burden, previously crushing her, had been shoved off her back.  She smiled tentatively at all the people, knowing she was acting strange.

                        But she didn’t care then.  She was alive, they were alive, and they hadn’t tossed her away.  “So..” she began, “you new people are also victims of this cursed castle’s shenanigans?  I don’t suppose you know what or where we are?”  Then, without waiting for an answer, she turned to Ehud, beaming.  “We’re not dead!” she exclaimed merrily, as if this was a new ground-breaking revelation.  “You’re not dead!  And what were you saying?  Something about rain?”  She almost wanted to hug him and sort of moved to.


                        Hehe, Colma’s happy for the first time in a long time.  And it’s the first time in a long time that she would actually let someone hug her if they tried XD



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

                        Mischievous Thwapling

                          Sorry, that was really long!

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


                            *Poof!* Another person appeared out of thin air. Be in jumped a little, but somehow she wasn’t surprised.

                            another one? was all she could think, How crowded will this roof get? Already there’s Mr. Crazy, Eltar and Wen, AKA; the two who fell from the sky, the girl who was going to help her get home, and Axe lady.    I need to learn there names.


                            “So.. you new people are also victims of this cursed castle’s shenanigans?” Axe lady said “I don’t suppose you know what or where we are?  We’re not dead!” she exclaimed merrily, as if this was a new ground-breaking revelation.  “You’re not dead!  And what were you saying?  Something about rain?”


                            Brin blinked. Humans made no sense.

                            She sighed and  lay down.


                            No one seems to know where we are. Did Axe lady say something about a castle? Ok, so let’s assume we’re on a castle. How do we get down? No,  first I need to know who these people are.

                            Be in stood up and trotted over to the lady who said she would help her get home. But not to close. She was still standing on the edge and even though Brin’s terror had faded, she was still nervous. She feared that if she looked over the edge, her fear would return and She would be helpless again. For now though, she sensed the others calm and drank from it deeply.

                            ” I will come with you, but I don’t know who you are.” Brin paused. this was a total stranger, and a human. In the forest herself and all the other animals had feared the humans. But she had a feeling that this place worked differently than the forest. “My name is Brin,”

                            • This reply was modified 1 day, 8 hours ago by Jasmine.
                            • This reply was modified 1 day, 8 hours ago by Jasmine.

                              The was a crash as an axe clattered off the roof. Half-cringing, Ehud peeked back, wondering who was about to murder who now. Oh Ax Girl! She was almost laughing with an air of freedom, then caught everyone’s looks and smiled a little. Ehud’s jaw dropped and he didn’t even try to pretend he wasn’t staring.
                              “So, you new people are also victims of this cursed castle’s shenanigans? I don’t suppose you know what or where we are?” She turned to Ehud who promptly tried to pretend he hadn’t been staring while she radiated with pleasure. “We’re not dead! You’re not dead!”
                              Ehud threw his hands in the air triumphantly, absorbing her enthusiasm. “Yeah! I hate dying!”
                              “And what were you saying? Something about rain?” She smiled happily and almost made a move to hug him. That was all the invitation he needed to bowl her over with a hug.
                              “You’re alive!” He said and she laughed, hugging him back which surprised him. It also made him feel safe so he didn’t have to fake he was ok. Ehud blinked a bleary film out of his eyes. Wait, nono I don’t wanna cry! He’d never felt so scared before, he’ll never get Rosy’s face out of his head. At school they called him a crybaby, guys weren’t supposed to cry. He didn’t want to cry, he didn’t want to be a burden. She was so happy and now he was ruining it.
                              “S-sorry…I’m sorry…” He couldn’t get enough air he was trying so hard to not make a noise but he couldn’t get himself to stop sobbing in little gasps. Everything had been so scary, he was so tired of acting happy. He wasn’t supposed to cry at every little thing, he’d been told he was too sensitive before.

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


                                I totally cracked up when he said . “Yeah! I hate dying!😂😂😅


                                Sorry, that was really long!

                                Don’t apologize! I like reading your posts and I really don’t think it was to long. I can’t make mine long (even though I wish I could) because, first of all; I have limited time on screens, and second of all; I’m posting on a kindle.😒

                                Anyway, I think your posts are good and I like the way you word things.

                                Mischievous Thwapling


                                  Aw, thank you! And I totally get that.  Posting from a kindle would be so hard, and the limited screen time would definitely hinder anyone too!  Thank you, you’re so nice.  I like the way you word things too.  I love how Brin keeps thinking “Humans are so weird.”  She’s right, isn’t she? XD

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

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