Friday, 11 August 2017

Stolen Hearts (Chapter 2)

Chapter 2



My whole body jolted up from the floor, like I got zapped by some phantom defibrillator. I was going to get up but I had no energy plus my head spun like an out of control broken wheel and I hold it as if it’s going to help how heavy the fuck it felt.
Why was I in the bathroom again?
I noticed my cat at the other end of the room, watching me with careful alert eyes. My predicament slowly dawned back to me and my hand automatically went to feel my chest.
Yep, still hollow.
Am I still breathing?
I didn’t pass out this time, not yet anyway - I felt completely disgusted. I want to puke what tasted like bile in my mouth and I crawled ever so slowly towards the toilet seat, holding on to it like my life depended on it. Nothing came out - I was puking nothing. In my ears, my gagging sounded different - or I was being paranoid. I wanted to say something but I was scared I was not going to sound myself or maybe this was some sort of glitch in the Matrix. C’mon it can’t be me, I plead to the gods old and new,  as I held on the toilet seat tighter, feeling a little comfort that I cleaned the day before. I have concluded that, by now,  I should’ve bled to death, that’s for sure. I have to check it again. I slowly averted my gaze down at the my chest and then slowly made myself look to the gaping hole in my chest where my heart was supposed to be. I felt weaker than ever and felt my hold on the toilet seat loosen. I started crawling back to the pool of blood on the floor, lying back down on it. I made a mess of my newly cleaned bathroom and started to cry. Petty, I know. I do not know how to tell you in details on how long I was lying there on the floor, mourning for myself. How can I not be dead? Or am I just slowly dying? Oh my God, please don’t let it be voodoo. Or maybe I’m already in hell and I just don’t know it. Am I cursed? Did I piss off some fairies when I went jogging that one time and managed to kick some mushrooms on the way.  My cat knows I’m dead but not actually dead - he is looking at my cautiously like he doesn’t recognize me at all. And I cry some more at the thought of people finding out I am able to walk around like a normal person sans a human heart. I’m going to be a science experiment. They are going to cut me up in little pieces and evaluate me. Or they will send my innards to the hospitals. I have no idea what I was going to do next or where I was going to go.
‘Oh-my-god’ I heard someone whisper. I didn’t actually stop crying as quickly as I thought I heard it. I thought it was me but when realize that someone is in the same room as me, the instant feeling I had was dread that man was back. If he was back to kill me, I’d rather take death than this. I try really hard to sit up from where I was. I wipe my face with my arm, which I think is clean and look at the direction of the bathroom door. At first, I wasn’t sure who I was seeing and then I recognize the face. It was Jost, my co-worker. He walked in on me as I was on the floor, surrounded by a pool of my own blood, bawling my eyes out for god knows how long. He can’t be my killer coz he didn’t have any colour on him. Before I could say anything, he passed out.

C’mon man, I have bigger problems than you, I thought as I pointed at my chest and then to an unconscious mess that he is and then back to my chest, feeling rather ridiculed at this point.

I sigh and so does the hole in my chest. All I can do is to wait for him to regain consciousness. I wanted to get up or maybe crawl towards him to see if he’s okay but I was feeling so damn sorry for myself that I lay back down on the bathroom floor, on the pool of my blood.
About  fifteen minutes or so, or longer, I can't tell the time difference anymore, he stumbles awake.
‘Hey,’ I managed to finally say, my voice cracked, and I try to turn to look at him. He turned to look at me, looked at the pool of blood  and passed out again.

‘I’ll be here all day. Not going anywhere.’

Monday, 17 July 2017

Stolen Hearts (Chapter 1)

Chapter 1 


Tala

So this is how it feels like when you are at the end of your journey.


I didn’t think that there would be time for a self-reflection like this but here I am, doing what people in movies and TV shows do – self-reflecting, inside a cheap motel cabinet as I wait for the right time to stab that son of a bitch in the heart and get mine back – literally.
As this thought processes in my head, the man that I have been looking for, for as long as I can remember, is now in front of the closed cabinet, smiling at me, as if he can see from the other side. I push open the cabinet door and quickly stab him in the liver.
‘GIVE IT BACK! GIVE IT BACK! GIVE IT BACK!’
Life wasn’t always this complicated, I reflect some more as I watch him still mocking and laughing at me while I stab him repeatedly.


One thousand and seventy-four days ago


Here’s the routine: I get home from work; I feed my cat, have a light dinner, work out for an hour, shower and go to bed. When I wake up in the morning; I feed my cat, have breakfast, get ready for work and go to work.
There’s the occasional bar hopping, which I feel too old for despite being only thirty - there are just too many nineteen year olds in the pubs - I also have a lot to say about but that’s for another time. There are the dates that never went anywhere - it’s not me, it’s you deal or was it the other way around, I can’t be bothered to remember hazy flashes.
I got plenty on my plate.


One thousand and seventy-three nights ago, I woke up to the sound of my cat, Pushkin, meowing like he lost his senses. I didn’t open my eyes but I listened to him go at it, hoping he would stop eventually. I realized I couldn’t feel my arms and something was weighing down on my chest.
It can’t be the cat.
As I groggily opened my eyes, I see a stranger sitting on top of me, smiling, and waving around pen knife in front of my face.
It wasn’t an ex or my crush at the gym who I wished so hard would stalk me and break into my house in the middle of the night.
The knife gleamed, reflecting the little light that is coming from the bathroom.
I was frozen in place, conscious that this man will kill me eventually. I started shaking in fear and he was so amused by my reaction, the complete dread on my face. He was hushing, hushing and smiling and smiling. He slid down and lay on top of me, whispering that he could stay like this on me forever and nuzzled my neck. I don’t know how long that went and suddenly, he whispered, ‘Don’t worry, I’ll keep it safe’ and he plunged the knife down.
There was no feeling, I’m not sure if I even had time to scream. I do not recall pain or any words said after, just the sound you make when you go under water for the first time.


I sat up from my bed, breathing in as if I was coming up for air. The last time I felt like this was when I had the worst nightmare of my life which came true eventually - it’s a sad, sob story but that’s another story for another day. I was already crying. Times like these makes me wish I had someone to comfort me. I look at where my phone is and decided to just shrug it off.
We all have nightmares.
I get off the bed slowly and make my way to the bathroom in the darkness, feeling the wall and my surroundings for support. I could’ve sworn I left the light on. I am feeling rather disoriented and a little lighter in some way.
It was just a nightmare, I assured myself again.
Just a nightmare, I tell myself again as I find and flipped the switch on. The first thing I see when I looked on the mirror was blood. My entire reflection on the mirror is covered in blood. My entire chest, my shorts were covered in blood and there was a hole where my heart is supposed to be.


All I remember were flashes, like visual cue cards were being shown to me in random but I refuse to read it or follow it.
Reaching out to the hole in my chest, shaking, convulsing even, I don’t know how long til I was going to die, who’s going to take care of Pushkin, my family, who will mourn for me, did I regret not eating that carrot cake - yes, fucking hell, who’s going to find me on the floor dead, everything went spinning and blackness.

So, if you are having a really bad day, think of me.
 

Thursday, 20 April 2017

The Family Stone 2: Chapter 1

Marcie and her sister Mills, sat in the spacious mini library their aunt Lulu has in her 3 storey house. Their aunt sent for them out of the blue and their father, Henri, their aunt’s younger brother and their mother, Libby, was more than grateful to send them off away from home on the weekend. They were picked up from their home by Vicenzi, their aunt’s butler, and arrived at the house by their aunt’s car.  
‘I shall call you as soon as we arrive at the house to check in,’ Vicenzi tells their parents.
‘That would be great, Vice thank you.’
‘Now girls, don’t give your aunt too much of a hard time. You know she hardly sees you because of work but don’t give her such a hard time about it, alright?’ their mother reminds them as she adjusts their clothes and check their bags.
Their aunt works in an office, according to their father, Henri. She works late, sometimes stays for days or goes somewhere to get a paper signed.
As they arrive at the house, Vice opens the door wide for them to get in.
‘Now children. Your aunt specifically asked me to ask you to read about dragons. The books we have on them are compiled on the main table in the library. She will be back tomorrow morning, if I am correct. Tea will be served at 3 in the afternoon which I will bring up the library, as usual. Supper will be served at 6 in the evening and you have to be in bed by 9, latest 10. Now off you go! I shall bring your bags up myself and I need to check in with your parents.’
‘Thanks Vice!’ they girls say in unison.
‘Race you!’ says Mills who is 7 to her sister Marcie who is 9.
Marcie lets Mills win like she always does and finds her picking a book on top of the pile and getting settled on the corner of the room. Marcie picks up a thin black book which she opens carefully. It looked like a diary and the diarist had careful handwriting. She brings it over to the sitting area and sat next to her little sister.
‘What do you think Aunt Lulu wants us to find this time?’ asks Mills without looking up at her book.
‘I’m not sure yet. She never tells us but only asks us to read.’
‘Dragons are a secretive lot.’
‘They are, aren’t they?’ Marcie says agreeing as she scans the diary for anything unusual or useful that they don’t know about dragons.
‘I like finding the Kelpie best,’ Mills says slowly as she turns the book around.
‘The Kelpie was pretty cool,’ Marcie admits. ‘We haven’t been here since the missing Hobgoblin, right?’ she says crunching her face.
‘It’s already past Easter….I miss Aunt Lulu.’ Marcie nodded in silent agreement.

‘Children….’ says a faint whisper. Both children look up from their books slowly and scans the room.
‘Over here, by the fire,’ another whisper.
‘There is no chimney…what fire?’ Mills whispers to her sister.
‘Behind you!’ The children turns towards their backs and sees a fading silhouette of Aunt Lulu’s face. ‘Children, there is no time. Please tell Vice to look for Alexandria. She will be looking for me and she will know what to do. I love you bo-
The fire disappears just as it appeared.
Mills is holding on to her sister’s sleeve and Marcie is holding on to the window sill. They stared at the empty area where the fire once was and remained speechless until there was a knock on the door.
Vice came in with a large tray, ‘Children…what’s wrong??’ The girls burst into tears and ran towards Vice who quickly set down the large tray on the table.
‘What is the matter?’ Vice asks the two inconsolable girls.
‘Aunt Lulu is – in trouble…she says to find Alexandria…’ Marcie says as she tries to control her sobbing.
‘Who in the world - ?’
‘Um…hi there. I’m Alexandria or you can call me Alex,’ All three turn in surprise to find a rainbow coloured haired lady standing behind them, grinning. ‘Do you guys know where Lulu is?’ 

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Tapastic prompt from Kallehmono

Good day!
I asked for a writing prompt over Tapastic and one of our readers, Kallehmono, gave me one to do.
Honestly, it took me a month to get around writing it! I really appreciate the wait and support!
I hope you all like it! :)


Prompt: 
You have a mirror in your bathroom that allows you to see alternate universes, but it annoys you so you put a towel over it.
At one point you ordered a pizza and delivery guy asks to use your restroom
You let him...
He takes the towel off...




Stella has three thoughts that pop in her head at approximately 4 pm, every day.

The first one will be about her bathroom mirror.

She needs to get rid of it. It looks like an ordinary mirror on the outside but if you stare at your reflection long enough and you utter the words, 'What's up?', you start seeing versions of your life that can be lived in other times or dimensions or as many would like to say nowadays, 'alternate universes'. The thought presses into her membrane, she absolutely must get rid of it.

Determination wells up inside her, growing in size until the second thought whispers in a little voice, what if it falls in the wrong hands?
What if, indeed. Is it potentially life threatening?

She shakes her head and with a resounding sigh, she gets rid of the thoughts, the determination, and the worry.
She will keep it.
For now.


Jeremiah has three thoughts that pop in his head at approximately 4 pm, every day.

The first one will be about whether he can make it on time to deliver the deliveries that night. He always has the night shift since he has a day job.

The second thought will be about when he can take a vacation. How long has it been, he asks himself again. Four years? Where would he want to go? Tahiti? Asia? Somewhere cheap?

A 'ding' sound went off behind him and with a resounding sigh, he takes the receipt and gets ready for a delivery.
Travel abroad has to wait. Delivery is the only travelling guaranteed to him.


When Stella got home, she went straight for the bathroom and checked her mirror. The towel is still over it.
Good.
Her pizza delivery should arrive by the time she finishes her shower.

Jeremiah couldn't find the building he was supposed to deliver to. He doesn't normally call customers for help finding their location, but tonight seems like an exception. He checked with the shop first. They told him it was the correct address.

He insists there is no house on the address given.

There must be a house, the operator tells him, whom he fancied for quite some time but not any more because she was rude to everyone.
The operator hangs up on him and he looks around. He is at the correct address.

He has no choice but to call the customer.

Stella's mobile rang as she got out of the shower. Odd, she thought. Did she already put up the gate?
The pizza delivery man sounds confused. Oh bad banana cakes, she thought. She asked him to meet her at the corner street, apologizing for the confusing labyrinth of houses - always a good excuse.

Jeremiah hangs up the phone and looks around the houses around him. He walks to the corner street the customer suggested. He hopes he will not get mugged but as soon as he gets to the street, he saw it was brightly lit, with residents walking home or walking their dogs. He checks his watch and it was 8:55pm.

Stella arrived at the corner street which is coincidentally called Corner Street and spotted the pizza delivery man who introduced himself as Jeremiah. He looked relieved as he saw her. She paid him, took her pizza and thanked him.
Jeremiah thanked her back, making sure to tell her that the pizza is still warm and not late.

As Jeremiah buckled up, he realized he forgot to ask her to sign his electronic pad.
It's a new procedure and if he doesn't do it, he will get into trouble. Tonight's manager on shift is Elgin. Elgin is an ass. Elgin will fire his ass. Jeremiah feels like he was about to pee uncontrollably. It's what happens when he panics and it's not a good trait to share. He has to get that signature. He needs to find that house. The same thoughts are on repeat on his head as if it was some prayer chant.

Stella walked slowly back to her house. She counted her steps in the dark and once in a while, an automatic light turns on when she passed by a house. It looks like an idea bulb. Stella arrives at her modest 'house', closed the door behind her and put the pizza down the coffee table. What should it be tonight? Netflix and chill? She snorts at her own comment and goes to the bathroom to wash her hands. The towel is on the floor of the bathroom. She picks it up and looks at her reflection. What's up? she asks her reflection. She stares at a man's face she knows well. It's Kron Konaut, the man of her dreams who also happens to be an actor and starred in a remake of the popular movie, Ghost Septiks. Kron fixes his hair and smiles at his reflection. Stella smiles back as if he was looking at her. The scene zooms out, as if an invisible camera is following him. As he exits the bathroom, Stella sees a straight haired version of herself waiting at the couch with a pizza at the coffee table.
No fair, I got sass and I got Kron trying to get cute on me, c'mon what is that, she comments.

As Kron stands over sassy Stella, she tells him, Netflix and chill? Kron didn't have to think twice. Normal Stella felt odd watching the make out session.
Suddenly her doorbell rang. Who could it be? Didn't she lock the gate? Stella put the towel over the mirror and as she walked towards her front door, she could have sworn sassy Stella was looking at her.

A sweating, panicky and apologetic Jeremiah stood outside Stella's door. He is pointing to his electronic pad, trying to talk and breathe at the same time. Stella understood perfectly and took the pad and signed.
Jeremiah let out a gasping thank you and managed to ask Stella if he could use her bathroom. Please. His bladder is going to burst.
She opens the door a little bit wider to let him in. Jeremiah thanked her as he ran towards the toilet. He slams the door by accident and Stella can hear a muffled sorry and an almost immediate loud sound of water sprinkling. Stella waited by her front door. She's not worried whether he turns out to be some psycho killer, she can handle herself perfectly. Better wait at least ten minutes before she closes the gate this time.

Jeremiah is relieved emotionally, spiritually and physically. He should look into what is wrong with his bladder. He goes to the sink and washes his hands. He looks around for something to wipe his hands and suddenly a towel dropped on the side. He picked it up without thinking and saw the circular mirror on the wall. He checked his reflection and said, what's up? As he was about to put the towel back over it, he saw something move. He checked the mirror and was surprised to see himself. It was like watching a video shot in Go Pro. He's always wanted one of those. He looks around the bathroom, quickly scanning it. What in the world is going on? No cameras, he thought as he lifted a bar of soap from the shower. He watches himself cliff dive and he looks like he screaming in excitement. He lands on the water and all he sees is water bubbles. He sees himself kicking up towards the surface and screaming woooooo yeaaa as he stays afloat, showing a shot of the blue ocean. Jeremiah, pizza delivery man, is extremely jealous. He looks at the door and made sure it's locked. He goes back to the mirror and it looked like any normal mirror. What in the world just happened, he wondered. He took the mirror from the wall and checked the back side. It had some nice odd engravings, but that was about it. What's up with that, he asked his reflection and suddenly he sees another image forming. He almost let go of the mirror, but he managed to set it down on the very towel it was covered with. This time watched himself  recording people strapping him for a bungee jump.
As the mirror turn back into normal, he remembered he read something in the forums about some dude giving a large amount of money for some weird mirror. Yea, some guy named Ome. If he gives this mirror, does that mean whatever he sees on it will happen? Coincidence? Is the mirror telling him his fortune?

Stella stood by the door, watching the stray dogs and cats pass by. She doesn't think the cats know that she has a nice roof to sleep on and the dogs can't tell what they can't see. Normally they would be good at those things but she's better. The thought of this made her chuckle.

Jeremiah wondered if he can pull this off. He's never stolen anything before except candies and cookies from the jar. Why do I want to take this? What good would that do me? I will get fired.
No, he will quit. He will leave. He has enough to leave. He will have a better life. He can do something with this. She won't know. It would be quick. He just has to pass through and he is home free.

I hope that pizza delivery guy is okay, Stella thought. It would be a disaster if the loud noise was actually his bladder bursting. That would be unfortunate, yes. Ah yes, the bats are out and are a little confused.

Before Jeremiah could change his mind, he put the mirror inside his backpack. He placed the towel properly as if it was covering something. Just act normally. You can do this, he tells himself over and over again as he sweats and shakes nervously. He can't pass this out. This is the answer to his problems. He just has to find that Ome guy and he can do whatever he wants with no worry. That's right. He is convinced. Determined.

Stella watches Jeremiah come out of the bathroom, he is apologizing profusely for taking up her time and that he won't bother again and thanked her. She told him not to worry and let him through the door. She thought he must have really needed to pee coz he was sweating like he just took a shower from her bathroom. Poor guy, she thought as she closed her door shut and locked it. Now, ten minutes from now she noted.

Jeremiah didn't buckle himself. He just drove away, as fast as he could. He dropped off the payment at the shop and told them he wasn't feeling well. He didn't wait for them to reply and left the shop. He went home and packed everything he has since he barely owns anything. He checked that ad and emailed them before he left his apartment for good.

Ten minutes later, shadowy shapes filled his apartment, searching and sniffing for something. They know it was here, but it was gone. The Alpha screams and the shadows were gone.

Stella finished her pizza. She loves human food. She's going to bed.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Updates from the Ringmaster - Writing Prompts

People of the world!
I am back! 
Sort of. *tips hat*
I have been thinking about writing prompts recently and I've asked Tapastic and Tumblr readers for ideas.Hopefully someone does read it.
Let us see!

Much love,
GrimM


Friday, 6 March 2015

The Ark (Chapter 18)


Chapter 18

‘Bad chutah! Bad chutah!’ Alder shoos So out of the workshop, and at the same time, trying to catch the chutah to open its mouth to get the map out of its mouth.
‘Brod, wait! Don’t!’ Oak tells his older brother, trying to stop him from driving the chutah away. It manages to get out of the house and it runs faster. 
‘We’ll catch him!’ someone yelled and a man with a bowl cut came out of nowhere from the bushes but he misses and another man appeared out of nowhere, this time a bald one and he completely missed the chutah. A man with a bald top and hair on the sides of his head stood in front of the running chutah, looking terrified but standing his ground. So jumps over him and using his back as a leverage to jump higher. Alder and Oak doesn’t waste time and runs after the chutah as this was happening. Then suddenly, So stopped in his tracks. There was a faint sound of a bell. The twins heard it coming from the shade. 
‘There’s a good chutah, So. C’mere, here’s a toy and a treat,’ a man’s voice says. He appeared under the Sigur and So was more than happy to see him. The Chutah started to wag its tail.  ‘Who’s a good Chutah, c’mere, give that back and I’ll give you a treat,’ the man says, holding up a carrot the size of his arms. And his arms were quite large. So spit out the map and sat down obediently. The man threw the carrot towards the shade where they stay. ‘Go fetch!’
Alder and Oak stood there, bewildered at what is happening.
Alder: Who is that guy?
Oak: He looks familiar.
Alder: He does?
Oak: He does.
Alder: How does he know So? 
Oak: He knows about the carrot.
Alder: Where did he get that carrot?
Oak: You noticed those three guys, right?
Alder: Where the derp did they come from?
Oak: I don’t even know if we’re in trouble.
Alder: Oh, not again, brod. 
‘Boys? Is that you?’ Alder and Oak looked at each other in dread. It’s their father.
Oak: What do we do what do we do what do we do???
Alder: Calm down, you’re making me feel panicky too!
‘Mr. Wilnoix! Good to see you!’ the man tells their father. He is apparently not alone. Another man walks alongside him, with a stern look and a white Mohawk.
Their father adjusts his glasses and squinted his eyes. ‘Nay? Brick?’
‘Mr. Wilnoix!!!!’ the bunch of men from earlier shouted in happiness.
‘Moe, Larry, Curly! What in the two seas are you all doing here?’
Alder: Nay? Brick? (shaking his head at Oak)
Oak: Moe, Larry and Curly? (shrugging at Alder)
Captain Nay picked up the worn slimed up map. ‘This,’ he lifts it up for Orange to see it a little more clearly. ‘We need to talk.’
Alder and Oak look at each other in disbelief. What is going on and where is Piscine?
‘You’re that man!’ Piscine says as she struggled to stay balance. 
‘Ah, it’s the Freedom clan girl,’ Captain Nay tells Brick, pointing at her.
‘How do you…?’ Piscine says, her face as confused as the twins and at the same time, she’s trying to balance herself. 
‘Please. Everyone – get in the house. Now,’ a voice boomed from behind them to which Alder and Oak obediently obeyed. They went straight to Piscine, helping her to walk and enter their house.
They settle in a large handmade carpet that Mango made by herself and small throw pillows were scattered about. The walls are lined with statues that the family salvaged for the last hundred years or so. The twins would not have expected Piscine to be amazed by the design or the collection but her face tells a different story. Piscine has never seen such a clean collection of things. She has so many questions. And she remembers that the twins mentioned that their parents were well versed with mythology and the world as they know it. She couldn’t take her eyes off the figurines. They were preserved and cleaned with so much love that the Freedom clans would even be amazed to see this spectacle in front of her. She had no words and she could not keep her mouth closed from all the feelings that she is feeling right now.
Mango coughed and Piscine looked around embarrassed at the people around her. She should kick herself for being so na├»ve.   
‘First, I would like to introduce to you boys, Captain Nay, First Mate Brick, and the infamous trio of the Jupiter crewmen, Moe, Curly and Larry,’ as their father introduce them, they give a little nod which they both return. They have to show respect to their parents’ friends. They hardly have any friends so this is quite new to the twins. ‘They live in Krakatoa and they are responsible for keeping the island safe from other smugglers that get a little greedy,’ their father explains. ‘You don’t usually see them here but they do come home. Oh, and we got our chutahs from these men and they helped us train Do, Re, Mi and So.’ Alder and Oak nod in understanding. No wonder So was responsive towards Captain Nay. ‘Nay, Brick, Moe, Curly, Larry, you all know my boys.’ The crew nod and smile in agreement. 
‘It’s been a while, seeing them now makes me feel much older,’ Brick says as he absent-mindedly fiddled with his white hair Mohawk to which Captain Nay laughed at good naturedly, patting him on the back.
‘And this girl is?’ their mother asks Alder and Oak.
‘This is Piscine,’ Alder introduces Piscine to his family for the first time; he might as well tell them how they met. ‘She was the one who saved us from drowning when we were just four years old.’ Oak smiles at his parents and Mango covers her mouth in disbelief. 
‘Is it true?’ Mango asked, taking Piscine’s hand with hers.
‘Yes. I did. I…’ 
‘You have our eternal gratitude, child,’ Mango tells her, squeezing her hand gently. ‘I can finally say thank you to the person who saved their lives,’ she tells her. 
‘She’s from the Freedom clan, Mamu,’ Oak tells her, hoping that there isn’t anything wrong with it.
‘Yes, Oak. Captain Nay here was very helpful for pointing that out,’ 
Piscine is blushing. The twins’ mother has not let go of her hand. She remembered her mother’s tenderness and she wondered if will ever find her again. ‘You are welcome but I just did what is right,’ she tells her honestly.
‘Thank you again,’ Mango tells her, full of gratitude. ‘Now, you say that you know these men?’ Mango asks Piscine, waving a hand to the Jupiter’s crew’s direction. 
‘Yes. I see them every fortnight, killing unknown marine creatures with such efficiency that I can’t even believe my eyes when I watch them,’ The Captain and Brick high five as if on cue. Moe, Curly and Larry nudge each other, mouthing ‘good job’ at one another. 
‘Why would you be outside the lines of Krakatoa, Nay?’ the twins father asked. 
‘Will it be too crazy if I told you that we’re killing the marine creatures that could potentially destroy Krakatoa and turn it into a nesting area instead?’ Captain Nay asks sarcastically.
‘Everything is extravagant with you. All glory and guns blazing,’ Mango tells Captain Nay, shaking her head at him disapprovingly. 
‘Just sometimes,’ Captain Nay replied defensively. ‘The reason that I know there are larger creatures outside the lines is because of Sebleng,’ he said, shrugging.
Alder and Oak look at each other, they know the name sounds familiar. Piscine looks very confused. ‘You know who Sebleng is?’ she asked him
‘Yea, we’re bros. He asked me for help,’ Captain Nay replied casually.
Piscine’s eyes grew wide in surprise. ‘Since…how…when did the clan leader as you to help?’ 
‘Three years ago?’ Captain Nay answered Piscine, as he counted his fingers, trying to remember how many years has it been since Sebleng approached them about the Ark’s unconventional marine lifeforms. 
‘I thought that was against the law? Being in contact with city dwellers?’ Piscine tells them, looking at anyone who would actually know the Freedom clans’ law. In all honesty, Piscine did not know how to feel about what just happened. She wasn’t sure if she was living a lie or if the whole clan were just taken for a ride. 
‘Maybe the ordinary folks were not allowed but the leaders were?’ Oak said, trying to helpful.
‘It is not easy being a leader, little lady. Sometimes you have to make decisions based on what you think is right at that time even if it means doing it against what you believed in. You know the whole greater good scenario and such. It’s no big deal,’ Captain Nay tells her as he looks around his crew for instant approval. 
‘Yea boss! Listen to her little lady!’ Moe said to Piscine.
‘The boss is right! It’s no big deal!’ Curly said to Piscine, pointing at her, his mouth upturned and he’s nodding his head.
‘Yeah….woooo…’ Larry says, waving his hand over his head, ‘I can’t think of anything else to say coz they already said it…’ he told Piscine sheepishly.
Piscine looked at them strangely and nodded her head slowly. 
‘Tales is at Pelee!’ Captain Nay tells Orange, looking like he almost forgot to tell him about Tales. 
‘I haven’t heard that name in a while.’ Orange’s eyes are squinted but there’s a determined look on his face. ‘The last time I saw him…’ and a flashback can be seen with Orange in front of a table with piles of thick dry seaweed. Orange is probably in his teens, smiling and waving shyly at the crowd of people gathered in front of them. 

(Written for 2013 NaNoWriMo.)

The Ark (Chapter 17)


Chapter 16


‘What was that?’ Oak asked Piscine as soon as they regrouped. Coupe resurfaced as well but Piscine made a signal which to the twins surprise, the creature understood. Piscine made Coupe only resurface with only his head floating out. 
‘Iron birds but I have not seen one before, ever,’ Piscine confessed. ‘My mother told me to be aware of them and the only ones I know who has them is Sebleng,’ she looked worried as she was thinking of what to do next. Too many things happening at the same time, what is going on?
‘Do you think they saw your ship?’ Alder asked, concerned.
‘I can’t be certain. Perhaps they have,’ Piscine said. ‘I wonder where they are going and most importantly, why are they flying over here. But we have a grave task to deal with,’ Piscine said becoming quite serious.
‘What is it?’ Alder asked while Oak looked on, unsure what is happening.
‘Coupe is evolving.’ Piscine tells them.
‘Pardon? Evolving?’ Oak said, unsure whether he just heard Piscine correctly.
‘He’s got four webbed feet right now. Earlier, he had two,’ Piscine holding up the two symbol with her hand. Coupe beeps. 
‘Didn’t he meep before?’ Alder asked this time. 
‘Yes he did.’
Alder and Oak dives down to check the coconut duck’s feet and lo and behold, it had not two but four webbed feet and it beeps instead of meeping. The twins resurface and nodded at Piscine.
‘He’s got four webbed feet, alright,’ Oak said, ‘Is it…’ he trails off because he realized the coconut duck is watching him and it seemed to be listening intently to what he is about to say. ‘Is it a bad change?’ he whispered to Piscine. 
‘I don’t know,’ Piscine confessed. ‘I know what these creatures are called but I do not know about how they evolve. He came from the Ark. That is all I can tell you.’
‘Coupe came from the…? Why do I feel like this isn’t a good thing?’ Alder says as he looks at the coconut duck that also turned blue and purple instead of orange and yellow that it was previously. ‘Can he still swim?’
‘Yes, of course! I am just worried that his temperament might be a little off and I don’t want anything bad to happen since we are using him to go back to Krakatoa,’ Piscine explains.
‘Use him to go back? I don’t get it,’ Oak said, confused.
‘Just do what you did before. Hang on to his back and I’ll instruct him to swim back to Krakatoa. He’ll be tall enough to reach your house without having to step onto the land. We have to hurry. I am feeling restless seeing those iron birds,’
The twins agree and swim onto the evolving coconut duck’s back. This time when it beeped, its voice seems a little deeper and stronger. When Piscine held on to its neck, she signalled to the twins to hold on tighter and once they held on tighter, the evolved coconut duck shot through the waters like a bullet. Alder held on to the coconut duck as tightly as his hands can grip, the same goes for Oak whose face looks flattened by the intensity of the coconut duck’s speed. 

Not too far from them, the Jupiter floated on its own, remaining incognito. 
‘Any news from Moe, Larry and Curly?’ Captain Nay asked Brick as he continued looking into the periscope.
‘They’re at the Wilnoix house, Captain.’
‘The kids are going back home it seems,’ he turned to go to the wheelhouse, Brick quickly follows him. ‘Tell them to stay there as a precaution. The iron birds are a rare sight but it is quite disturbing to see them out in the open. Let’s go home, men. To Krakatoa!’ the crew burst in shouts and the stern trawler called Jupiter came back to life, engine roaring to the direction of Krakatoa.

Suddenly the coconut duck came to a halt and it started to resurface from the calm waters. They look up and they see Krakatoa just a few miles from them. 
‘Which way is your house?’ Piscine asked the twins.
‘Over the hill, we can go around easily,’ Oak answered.
Piscine managed to instruct the coconut duck on where to go next. Alder and Oak thought it was an impressive skill because she’s just met the creature. Soon, they were facing the hill with their house on. The twins climb up on its neck and onto its head to get them to the back kitchen area where they caught Re eating part of the kowfish. Re notices them but only saw the coconut duck. Its eyes widen in fear and start to back away slowly from the kowfish. It runs away as quickly as its legs can take it. 
‘Oh no. I hope it doesn’t wake up the rest of them,’ Alder says as he watched the Chutah run like the wind.
‘Ate our fish…now we know who does,’ Oak says, shaking his head. Oak looks around and realized he couldn’t see Piscine. He looked back and she was still standing on top of Coupe’s head. ‘Er…what are you still doing there?’ 
‘Nothing, just standing here, please do not mind me, really,’ she tells Oak.
The truth is, she is scared. Many people from her clans have said that when you step on land, there is no turning back. The feeling of coming back to solid earth is a different feeling. You will feel the earth move around you, the waves of the water will be sensed in a different way, the way your feet will feel when it finally touches the earth, proper land, will be intoxicating that whatever you do, you will keep wanting to feel the stability the land gives you. And she doesn’t want that or maybe she does. She’s quite conflicted. 
‘Don’t be silly, Piscine. No one is here. The Sigurs at the workshops have all been tapped off, that means our parents are asleep or are in the upper quarters so it’s fine. C’mon here so we can show you the map,’ Oak tells her, trying to reassure her.
‘No, I’m good here, seriously. I will just wait right here so I can look after Coupe, you know, just in case,’ she explains. She hopes that Oak won’t ask any other questions. 
‘Okay, we’ll bring it out here. C’mon, Oak.’ Alder tells his younger brother, signalling him to follow.
They both go in the dark workshop and even if it was dark, they remember where everything is so it was quite easy for both of them to go through. The Sigurs are still swimming around their large bottles which would probably look like an aquarium from the old days but now, it’s just a plain bottle where you keep the Sigurs. 
‘Do we leave a note if we ever do decide to go with Piscine?’
‘No. We won’t. We’ll come back, hopefully with something good to sell, who knows.’ 
‘Oh no…’ Alder looks at the direction his younger brother is looking at and there was So, munching on something old and something beautiful. 
‘The map…’

(Written for 2013 NaNoWriMo.)