Day 12 of 30: Write 15 Minutes of Absurdity

Ah, yes.  After riding this Donkey Kong vibe for what seems like FOREVER, we finally have a monkey in the story.  So what on earth should I do with it?  Let’s try this:  (NOTE:  I need a running start, so the portion in italics is from the previous post.)

“Charlie, we have to get out of here.  That’s an Asura,” Aryana stepped out of the cave to grab my arm.  She tugged me in the direction of the tunnel.  “Run, Charlie,” she screamed, pulling on me.

I’m no Asura.  

The stranger stood outside of the cave and pulled back his hood.  Aryana and I just stared at the stranger in shock.

It was a monkey.  A very tall, dark-haired monkey draped in a long, black cloak.  He tilted his head to one side and studied me with surprisingly human eyes.    

Hello, Charlie.  I’ve been expecting you.

“Wh-Who are you?” I stammered.  My heart beat wildly at the sound of the deep baritone voice.  I could feel a rivulet of sweat drip down the back of my neck.  The monkey had to be at least six and a half feet tall.

Don’t you remember who I am?  

The monkey took a few steps towards us.  He bared his teeth.  I had the strange feeling that he was grinning at us, but since I couldn’t tell with certainty, I placed a hand on the hilt of my sword.  “Stay away from us,” I warned him, and stood in front of Aryana.  “I’m a Warrior.  I’ll fight you if I have to.”  It wasn’t a complete lie.  I wasn’t technically a Warrior, but I had watched Shivani and Ryan in enough fights with Asuras to get the gist of things.  I’m a strong guy.  How hard could it be to handle a sword?  Just swing and slice.

A strange sound came out of the monkey’s mouth.  He clutched his stomach and bent over at the waist, convulsing.  I thought he was having a fit, until it hit me.  “Are you laughing?” I demanded, while carefully rearranging my features to look stern.  My scowl did nothing to intimidate the monkey, since he continued to laugh.

“Who are you talking to?” Aryana asked, obviously perplexed.

“The monkey,” I replied automatically.

“You think you’re talking with this creature?  Charlie, it’s a monkey.  He can’t talk,” Aryana glanced at the shaking monkey and back at me.  She shook her head.  “I think we need someone to talk a look at you.  You’re hallucinating.  Let’s leave before you get worse.”

Of course I’m laughing.  You’re no Warrior.  The idea of you fighting me is absurd.  I could knock you down with just a flick of my tail.  

Something moved under the rear of his cloak.  I assumed that it was his tail.  Water streamed out of the the monkey’s eyes.  If he had been human, I would have said that he was laughing so hard that he was crying.

“Come on, Charlie,” Aryana said, as she wiped beads of sweat from her forehead.  The heat from the forest fire was getting stronger.  Tugging on my sleeve, she said hoarsely, “Get in the tunnel.  The fire is too close.  We can’t leave the cave now.”

The girl is right.  You have taken too long.  The fire is all around us.  Climb on my back.  I’ll have to carry both of you to safety.  

The monkey squatted down on his haunches.  He squared his shoulder and leaned over.

“I’m not going anywhere with you until I know who you are,” I replied sternly.

“Oh, for goodness sakes,” Aryana rolled her eyes, reached out and grabbed my shoulders.  She shook me gently.  “Charlie.  I am Aryana.  You aren’t thinking clearly.  Please listen to me.”  She said each sentence very slowly, as if speaking to a small child.  “The forest is on fire.  We have to get out of here.”

If a monkey could roll his eyes, then that’s what this monkey did.

Enough of this foolish banter.  

He raised a paw and stared at us.  His eyes changed color.  Brown to gold.

The dizziness hit me like a wall.  I gasped and tried to grab the side of the cave to support myself.  My limbs felt heavy.  I could feel my knees buckle under my weight.  I tried to crawl towards Aryana, but it took me a few moments to figure out where she was.  Turning my head in her direction took a lot of effort.

Aryana was still standing.  Before I could call out her name, her eyes rolled backwards.  I watched her hit the ground a few moments before I collapsed on the ground next to her.  The last thing I remember was the monkey standing over both of us.  And then there was nothing.

Day 11 of 30: Write 15 Minutes of Absurdity

Day 11.  Time to ratchet up the level of absurdity in this story.  In the first chapter, Charlie Weaver “spoke” with telepathic “Yoda” cows.  I think Charlie needs to tap into this ability again.  Here goes:

Aryana and I stood at the cave entrance.  The ground beneath our feet rumbled, but neither of us moved.  We both just stared in wonder.  Even though I grew up on a farm, I had never seen so many animals panicked at the same time.  Bears, monkeys, lions, tigers, water buffalo, deer, and other wild animals rushed by the mouth of the cave.  My body tensed because they were uncaged, but none of them glanced in our direction.  After a few moments, I relaxed.

My eyes started to water.  The big clouds of dust caused by the rush of animals reached the cave.  I coughed and waved a hand in front of me, trying to clear the air.  A herd of water buffalo raced by us.  Their stampeding hooves echoed through the valley.  “Where are they going?” I asked loudly.

“They must be heading for the river,” Aryana replied.  She sniffed the air again and shook her head.  “I don’t want to leave without Paw Paw, but the fire is getting closer.  We have to get someplace safe.”

We finally agreed on something.  I nodded.  “Yeah, but where do we go?”

Follow the animals, Charlie Weaver.   

“What?  Did you just say something?” I turned to Aryana.  Despite the gravity of our situation, I couldn’t help thinking how pretty she looked.  All of those long dark waves and golden brown freckles made me forget my question for a moment.  I could have just stood there staring into her big blue eyes for hours.

“No,” Aryana shook her head, loosening a few dark curls.  I fought the urge to brush back the tiny tendrils around her forehead.  “Nothing other than we need to leave.  Why?”

Follow the animals, Charlie Weaver.  There it was again.  I pulled my gaze away from Aryana and looked outside of the cave.  That voice.  It sounded familiar.

I picked up my backpack and slipped the straps over my shoulders.  I squared them and hoped Aryana noticed how broad they were.  “We need to get out of here,” I said, deepening my voice.  I liked how authoritative I sounded.  It was time to start using this voice.

“I just said that,” Aryana said, picking up her backpack.  “Honestly, do you ever listen to anything I say?”  She rolled her eyes.  It was a perfect imitation of Shivani Roy.  Obviously, Aryana had been spending way too much time with my sarcastic sidekick.

Stop gawking at the girl, Charlie Weaver.

I started and looked around me.  There it was again.  The voice.  And it obviously wasn’t Aryana.  After a moment, I swear I heard the voice mutter something about always getting the slow ones.  It continued.

For the last time, Charlie Weaver, follow the animals.  They will lead you to safety.

“Who are you?”  I asked out loud, craning my neck to search around us.  There was no one else in the cave with us.

“Who?”  Aryana stared at me, confused.  She watched me look around the cave.  “Who are you talking to?”

Take the girl and follow the animals.  Do it now or be engulfed by the flames.  

“Let’s follow the animals,” I repeated, grabbing Aryana’s hand.  She pulled it away from me.  I shrugged and stepped just outside of the cave.  After spending so much time inside the dark cave, my eyes weren’t used to the light.  I squinted in the bright sunlight.

“Are you insane?” she asked, backing away from me.  “Those animals will trample us to death if we leave the cave.”  She pointed behind her. “There’s a tunnel.  Let’s follow it and see where it leads.”

No harm will befall you from the animals.  But Asura flames are almost here.  

The hairs on the back of my neck stood up.  I turned away from Aryana.  My gaze fell on a dark figure approaching us.  My first instinct told me that this was the creature I had seen on the cliff, but I dismissed the thought.  It was someone wearing a dark hooded cloak.

I don’t know why I didn’t immediately run into the tunnel with Aryana.  I just stood there, staring at the hooded stranger.  Whoever it was seemed to glide towards us.  I watched in amazement as it walked right into the stampede without losing pace.  The animals didn’t trample the stranger.  They continued to run, but left a wide berth around it.

“Charlie, we have to get out of here.  That’s an Asura,” Aryana stepped out of the cave to grab my arm.  She tugged me in the direction of the tunnel.  “Run, Charlie,” she screamed, pulling on me.

I’m no Asura.  The stranger stood outside of the cave and pulled back his hood.  Aryana and I just stared at the stranger in shock.

It was a monkey.

Day 9 of 30: Write 15 Minutes of Absurdity

Well, this is starting to get interesting.  I’m kind of digging this Donkey Kong vibe.  On Day 8, I ended with the group of heroes getting attacked by something flying through the air. Were they fireballs?  Were they flaming barrels?  And how does a monkey fit into this?  Let’s move to the scene after the Asura attack and see how this goes:

“The Asuras are getting stronger,” Serenity said softly.  “It’s a good thing that Shivani was with us.”  The worry on her face was obvious.

“I agree,” Paw Paw nodded.  “We wouldn’t have defeated them without her.”

“Hey, what about me?” Ryan exclaimed, putting a hand on his hip.  I didn’t know him very well, but I already recognized mock outrage on his face when I saw it.  He lifted up his sword and slashed at the air.  “I was amazing in battle.  I knocked off at least ten Asuras all by myself.”

“Yes, yes, you’re very amazing.  We’ll give you a cookie later,” Shivani muttered.  When Ryan raised an eyebrow at her, Shivani raised her hands defensively.  “Okay, I admit it.  You’re a much better warrior than I expected you to be.”

“Such glowing praise,” Ryan replied, putting his sword on the ground.  He placed his hand over his heart.  “I’m overwhelmed.  Thank you, sunshine.  You’re not a bad warrior yourself.  For a girl.”

Shivani scowled.  Before she could say anything, Director Fussybottom said, “I have to return to the castle.  The Asuras will be back.”  He and Paw Paw exchanged glances.  “And now that they know about Shivani, they’ll use more force.”

Paw Paw exhaled in frustration.  “We need help.  But who?” His dark eyes surveyed the land before us and suddenly gleamed.  “The Vanaras.”

“Who?”  I asked, glancing at Shivani.  She shrugged.  Neither one of us knew who Paw Paw was talking about.

Aryana’s blue eyes widened in surprise.  She shook her head as her dark brows knit together.  “Surely you jest,” she said.  “They won’t help us.”

Director Fussybottom nodded.  “The girl is right.  They keep to themselves.”

“What are Vanaras?” Shivani asked.

“Forest dwellers.  They aren’t a part of civilization,” Professor Pedantic sniffed.  There was contempt in his voice.  “They prefer to live in the woods like animals.”

“The Vanaras are far more than that,” Paw Paw sighed, shaking his head.  He squared his shoulders and looked right at Aryana.  “Do you want to save your princess?”

“Of course,” Aryana said indignantly.

“Then we’ll need their help,” Paw Paw replied simply.  Aryana opened her mouth to protest, but then remained silent when he held up his hand. “The Devas are no match for the Asuras right now.  We’re outmanned and outnumbered.  If we can convince the Vanaras to fight with us, then we may have a chance.”

“If you can trust them,” Director Fussybottom muttered.

“There is no reason to distrust them,” Professor Serenity said mildly.  “I’ve only met a few, but the ones I knew were honorable.”

Paw Paw smiled slightly.  His eyes met hers.  “Perhaps you should be the one to lead a group to ask for their help.”

“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” Director Fussybottom frowned.  He looked at Serenity.  “You should come back to the castle with me.”

Serenity ignored him and nodded at Paw Paw.  “I’ll go, but I’ll need help finding them.”  She looked at the rest of the group.    “Who will come with me?”

“You’ll need at least one Warrior, so I’ll go,” Ryan said, smiling at his mother.

Serenity returned his smile, before raising an eyebrow at the rest of us. “Anyone else?  Shivani?  Charlie?  I could use another Warrior.”

“I’ll go,” Shivani nodded slowly, before shooting a wary glance at Ryan.  “But your son has to stop trying to make me mad.”

Serenity’s face broke out into a smile.  Her mischievous grin startled me.  She looked so much like Ryan.  “If he so much as breathes on you inappropriately, he’ll have to deal with me.”

Both women looked at Ryan.  He held up his right hand and placed it over his heart.  “I promise.  I will be on my best behavior.”

“What about the rest of you?” Serenity asked.

Paw Paw shook his head.  “I need the others to help me.  The Elders will need protection on their journey home.  But after we see them safely to the castle, we’ll catch up to you.  Are you headed for Dandaka Forest?”

Serenity nodded.  “Yes.  That’s the last place they were spotted.  We can start there.”

Day 8 of 30: Write 15 Minutes of Absurdity

For those of you who are new to this blog, I’ve been trying to write 15-minutes of absurdity a day.  For a while, I was doing really well.  During that wave of snark momentum, I began a story called “Charlie Weaver and the Prophecy of Doom.”  It’s a satire that mocks the entire young adult fantasy genre.  The two main characters are Charlie Weaver and Shivani Roy.  Charlie Weaver is a likable, incompetent hero who stumbles ass-backwards into good things.  Shivani Roy is intense, sarcastic, and saves Charlie on several occasions.

I know that I’m going to age myself with this one, but for some reason, I’m feeling a Donkey Kong vibe.  I need a quest.  And a princess.  Maybe some fireballs and a barrel or two?  I’m not sure.  Let’s start this and see where it goes:

Ryan tossed the apple in the air, caught it, and grinned at us.  “Well, there’s nothing like a good quest to start the summer.”  He took large bite and started chomping on it loudly.  “So, what’s all of this about?”

Shivani rolled her eyes, before turning her attention to Aryana.  “What do you need us to do?”

“We need your help,” Aryana said, pushing a long strand of dark, wavy brown hair over her shoulder.  “The princess is missing.”

“What princess?” I asked gently, looking down into her large blue eyes.  They were framed by the longest eyelashes I had ever seen in my life.  She looked so sad that I wanted to pick her up and hug her.

“Is she hot?”  Ryan asked at the same time.

Aryana shifted her eyes towards him.  She looked confused.  “Hot?”

“Really?  Hot?”  Shivani shook her head in disgust.  “What does that have to do with anything?”  She placed her hands on her hips and stared at him.

“Now, Vani, don’t get upset,” Ryan replied.  I could almost picture the steam coming out of Shivani’s ears at the name ‘Vani.’  He grinned at her and continued.  “You know that I think you’re hot too.  In an angry sort of way.  But I need the information for this quest.”  He leaned against the side of the cave and looked at Aryana.  “So, you were about to tell us what she looks like?”

“She is a lovely person,” Aryana said, her voice wistful.

“Oh, for the love of,” Shivani muttered.  “You don’t have to answer his questions, Aryana.”

Ryan ignored Shivani.  His brow furrowed.  “Does that mean she has a good personality?”

“Oh, yes,” Aryana replied, nodding her head.  One dark curl escaped from her hair band.  “The princess has been wonderful to my family and me.”

“Well, that’s great that she’s a nice person,” Ryan said, before taking another bite of his apple.  “But how does she look?”

“She has an alabaster brow,” Aryan began.

I interrupted.  “What’s an alabaster brow?”

Aryana frowned at me.  “I’m not sure, but she has one”

“Enough,” Shivani shot Ryan and me a look of disgust.  “Will both of you please be quiet and let her finish? ” she snapped and turned towards Aryana.  Her face softened.  “Aryana, please continue.”

“Princess Poppycock is the most beautiful Bharatian in the land,” Aryana replied in surprise.  “I thought everyone knew that.”

“Princess Poopcup?” I repeated, confused.  I had never heard of her before.  Was she the leader of the dwarves?  Or Aryana’s people?

Shivani choked, covered her mouth with her hand, and turned away from Aryana.  Ryan saw her and grinned, but he quickly changed his expression to look serious.  He nodded at Aryana to continue.

“Princess Poppycock,” Aryana repeated.  She didn’t notice Shivani’s shoulders shaking.  “Her hair is the color of a raven’s wing, her lips are as red as cherries.  Her skin is as soft as a lotus petal and her eyes sparkle like jewels.  She is so beautiful that birds sing on her approach and small, woodland creatures offer her flowers when she crosses their paths,” Aryana turned her serious gaze on us.  “Men have died for her.”

“She’s that good-looking, eh?” Ryan’s eyebrows raised.  He tossed the apple core away and slapped his hand on his thigh.  “Well, then by all means, count me in.  I’ll find your hot, I mean, your princess.”  He picked up his bag, threw it over his shoulder and took a few steps before stopping.  “Oh, by the way, does this princess have money?”

Shivani’s dark brows knit together.  Before she could retort, the fireball landed just a few feet away from Ryan.  “Asuras,” he shouted at us, and pulled out a sword.  “Run for cover!”

Shivani dove into Aryana just as another fireball landed a few feet away from the cave entrance.  She scrambled to her feet as I ran over to them.  “Charlie, get her into the cave,” Shivani shouted at me, and pulled Aryana to her feet.  She pushed the two of us towards the cave, before pulling something out of her pocket.  It was the necklace from Big Bucks.  She slipped it over her head and looked at us.  Her eyes changed color.  They were topaz.  The color of the Asuras.




Day 2 of 30: Write 15 Minutes of Absurdity

Day 2 of 30.  I’m having fun with this absurdity theme.  It’s very freeing as a writer when you allow yourself to be as ridiculous as possible.  If someone doesn’t like what you wrote, who cares?  It’s supposed to be stupid!  I’m feeling a “Star Wars” vibe today, so I think this story needs a “Rebel Alliance.”  Here goes:

I’ve never met a dwarf before, but I had no idea that one could be so pretty.  The female dwarf had dark brown hair and big blue eyes.  She was about a head taller than everyone else.  I guess she was their leader, because she was the first one to speak.  “My name is Aryana.  We are looking for a Yogi Master called the Great Ghost Warrior,” the dwarf said.

“The Great Ghost Warrior?” Shivani repeated, raising her dark eyebrows.  “Who comes up with these names?”

“This is serious,” I said, frowning at Shivani.  I turned to the Elders at the Council table.  “Do any of you know someone called the Great Ghost Warrior?”

“I haven’t heard that name in a long time,” Professor Serenity glanced at Director Fussybottom and hesitated before speaking again.  “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”

“Every Warrior in Bharat has been trained at this school,” Director Fussybottom nodded.  “I don’t know who else it could be.”

“So you do know of the Great Ghost Warrior?” the dwarf’s blue eyes lit up.  She smiled, revealing small, even white teeth.

“You’re kind of tall for a dwarf,” I said.  The words came out of my mouth before I could stop them.  “But still small enough for me to pick up pretty easily.”

The Elders stared at me in shock.  I flushed when Shivani gasped.  “Charlie!”

The dwarf turned towards me and scowled.  The next thing I knew, she took two steps in my direction and kicked me in the shins.

“Son of a,” I muttered, bending over to rub my shins.  For a little person, the dwarf could kick really hard.

“I’m not a dwarf, you big imbecile.”  She stomped back to the rest of her group, who started snickering.  “And I don’t need anyone to pick me up.”

Shivani doubled over with laughter.  She picked up a napkin from the side table and dabbed at the tears streaming down her face.  “I don’t know who you are, but I already love you.”

The dwarf looked surprised, but she gave Shivani a small smile before speaking again.  “May I speak with your leader?  This is a matter of much urgency.”  She tilted her head in my direction.  “Please tell me that he isn’t your leader.”

Shivaji choked on her drink.  She slammed her water bottle back on the table, gasping.  “Oh, God, no.  Charlie is definitely NOT our leader.”  She frowned.  “Although your other option isn’t much better.”

“Shivani,” I gasped, glancing at the Elders Council.  She was talking about Director Fussybottom while he was in the room with us.

Shivani shrugged.

“Okay, that’s enough you two,” Professor Serenity said sternly.  Shivani and I immediately walked back to the table and took our seats before she continued.  “This is serious.”  She stood up  and pulled out a chair from the table.  “Please have a seat and refresh yourselves.”  She waved to the empty chairs in the room.  “Who are you?”

Aryana turned to her group and nodded.  Once they sat down at the table, members of Miss Prissy’s staff brought each guest a bottle of water.  They placed plates of bread, cheese and fruits on the table.  The dwarves dove into the food as if they hadn’t eaten anything for days.  Aryana took a few sips of water before she spoke.

“We’re RAD,” Aryana said.

“RAD?” I repeated, confused.  I swear that I heard Shivani choke on her water again, but when Professor Serenity looked at her, Shivani remained silent.

“We are the Rebel Alliance of Dwarves,” Aryana explained.  “Our mission is to defend the kingdom of Dwarves.”

“Well, that makes sense,” Miss Prissy nodded and helped herself to a plate of cheese and bread.

Shivani frowned.  “No, it doesn’t.  Why are you rebels?  Who are you defending your kingdom from?”

“Yeah,” I said, still thinking about the kick in the shins.  “And you’re not even a dwarf.  Why are you a member?”

Aryana scowled at me.  “The dwarves are my allies.  The people of my kingdom have sworn to protect them.”

“Protect them from who?” Shivani asked.  She actually looked serious.

“The Evil Emperor.”  All of us turned to stare.  The dwarf sitting next to Aryana actually stopped eating long enough to whisper.  His eyes were wide with fear.

Aryana wrapped an arm around his shoulder and continued to speak. “This is why it is urgent that we find the Great Ghost Warrior.”  Aryana looked around the room.  “Is he here?”

“There was a warrior,” Professor Serenity started slowly.

Miss Prissy nodded.  “Oh, I remember him.  He used to live in a cave.”

“But he isn’t here anymore,” Director Fussybottom interjected.  He frowned at Aryana.  “Why don’t you tell us what you want from him?  We can help you.”

“No, you can’t.” Aryana shook her head.  “He’s the only one who can help us.  We’ve been traveling for weeks, searching for the Great Ghost Warrior.  I have an important message for him.”

“Well, what is it?” Director Fussybottom said, leaning forward.  He extended one hand out towards Aryana.  “Let’s see.”

Aryana frowned at him.  “No.  This message is for his eyes only.”

Day 1 of 30: Write 15 Minutes of Absurdity

I need another 30-day challenge.  It appears that unless I make this type of public commitment, life has a way of squashing the work ethic out of me.  So here it is – I commit to writing 15 minutes of absurdity for 30 days.  Let’s go:

CRASH!  All of us heard it at the same time.  The drawbridge fell to the ground with a loud boom.  There were loud shrieks coming from outside.

“The dwarves have made it over the drawbridge,” Director Fussybottom exclaimed, pointing wildly out of the window.  “They’re heading into the castle.”

“Oh, my God, we’re under attack!”  Professor Pedantic shouted, as he jumped up from his chair and ran towards the door.  He collided with Miss Prissy, who was re-entering the room.  The contents of her purse went flying as the two of them landed in a heap on the floor.

My heart started to pound.  Visions of dwarves running up and down the halls of our school filled me with fear.  War is dangerous for heroes like myself.  I gulped and asked, “What do we do?”

“Run for your lives,” Professor Pedantic shrieked, as he scrambled to his feet.  He ran out of the room without a glance in Miss Prissy’s direction.

Shivani walked over to Miss Prissy and extended her hand.   “Can everyone stop acting like a bunch of little girls?”  She rolled her eyes as she pulled Miss Prissy to her feet.  “Calm down.  Let’s think about how to handle this.”  She bent over and started collecting the strewn items on the floor.

“Calm down,” Director Fussybottom sputtered.  His bushy gray brows knit together in a scowl.  “We’re under attack and you’re telling me to calm down?”

“But the dwarves have always been peaceful,” Shivani sighed deeply, as she handed Miss Prissy her purse and walked towards the window.  She gestured to the group of dwarves who were still gathered outside of the castle.  “I don’t think that they’re attacking us.  Look at them.  Only a few of them entered the castle.  The rest of them are just standing there.”

“Exactly,” Director Fussybottom nodded, shaking his jowls.  There was a gleam of triumph in his dark eyes.  “They’re just standing there, waiting for the signal to attack us.”  He turned to the Chief Warrior at the table.  “Samuel, are your men ready?”

“Yes, sir,” Samuel nodded.

“Excellent,” Director Fussybottom sat down at the head of the table.  He leaned forward and clasped his hands together.  “You have my authority to remove the dwarves from the castle by any means necessary.”

Samuel nodded and stood up from the table.  He paused at the door and turned around.  “Sir,” he said hesitantly.  “May I have permission to speak freely?”

Fussybottom nodded.  “Permission granted.”

It was obvious that Samuel felt uncomfortable.  He stood erect, but lowered his gaze.  “With all due respect, sir, I believe that we should approach the dwarves with caution.”

Fussybottom looked startled.  “Well, of course, Samuel.  You’re the Warrior.  Use whatever strategy you feel is necessary.  Just toss those dwarves out of the castle.”

“No,” Samuel shook his head.  “That’s not what I meant.”  He stopped.

Fussybottom drummed his fingers on the table.  “Well, out with it, Samuel.  Speak your mind quickly.  I have a castle to protect.”

Samuel lifted his head to meet Fussybottom’s gaze.  “I meant that I agree with Shivani.  We shouldn’t attack the dwarves yet.”

Shivani smirked.  I groaned.  If Samuel wanted Fussybottom to listen to him, then mentioning Shivani wasn’t a good idea.

Fussybottom raised one eyebrow.  “Are you questioning an order?”

Samuel looked down at his feet.  He muttered, “No sir.”

“Good,” Fussybottom waved him off.  “Then go.  Defend the castle.”  Once Samuel left the room, Fussybottom turned to Professor Serenity and Miss Prissy.  “What about the school?”

“Heavens,” Miss Prissy exclaimed, as she started to fan herself with her pudgy hands.  “What will we do about the children?”

“Prissy, why don’t you take the younger children into the catacombs?  There are plenty of supplies.  You and the children could live down there for days if you needed to,” Professor Serenity replied.  Her red hair glistened in the sunlight.  “The older children can help me to set up blockades around the school, just in case the dwarves breach Samuel’s castle defenses.”

“Excellent idea, Margaret,” Director Fussybottom nodded.  He smiled at Professor Serenity.  It was an odd sight on his weathered face.  “I can always count on you in times of stress.”

Shivani snorted.  I shot her a warning glance before she mentioned Fussybottom’s obvious crush on Professor Serenity.


DAY #31: A Modified “NaNoWriMo” Challenge (Write 15 Minutes of Garbage Every Day)

So, I’ve crossed the 30 day mark of my challenge, but I want to keep on writing my young adult fantasy satire.  What scenes am I missing?  Well, I think I need a scene where Charlie Weaver stumbles into “The magical” world.  But how?

I’m torn on this one.  There are so many options.  Should it be accidental?  Like Alice in Wonderland falling down the rabbit hole or Gregor the Overlander falling down a hole in the laundry room.  Or should it be intentional?  Like Harry Potter running into a wall on Platform 9 and 3/4.  Decisions, decisions….  I may try a few different things, so fortunately (or unfortunately) for you readers, you’ll get to see me throwing Charlie Weaver into a variety of “Gateway To Another World” situations.

I’ll start with the most absurd one first:  THE GATEWAY IS AT THE MALL!!!

As I watched one mother drag her wailing toddler from the play area, the lights flickered in warning.  Aunt Bertha slapped herself on the forehead head.  “Damn it.  Mall’s about to close.  I still gotta get me some of those pads for my shoes.  My corns are killin’ me,” she frowned at me as if I had caused her foot problems, before turning to my oldest cousin.  “Mary Jane, keep an eye on the kids.  I’ll be right back.”

“But Mama,” Mary Jane pouted, and tossed her head.  Her blond curls bounced, which was amazing considering how much stuff she sprayed on her head each day.  “I wanted to go with you to look at shoes.  Get Charlie to watch them.”

Aunt Bertha looked at me doubtfully.  Mary Jane pounced on her opportunity to saddle me with Susie and Tobey.  “They’ll be fine.  All he has to do is keep them in the play area,” she flashed a saccharine smile in my direction.  “Even Charlie can’t mess that up.”

“I don’t know,” I said nervously, as I watched Tobey shove Susie off of the large, plastic banana.  She landed head first on the carpet and started wailing.  When Tobey approached her, she slapped him across the face.  “I could mess that up.”

Mary Jane’s blue eyes narrowed.  “No, you won’t.  You’ll do a great job, won’t you?”  It was a threat.  She and her friends would beat the snot out of me at school if I messed this one up.

“Sure,” I swallowed.  “I’ll watch them Aunt Bertha.  You two go and get your stuff.  The kids will be fine.”

“Well, okay,” Aunt Bertha nodded and grabbed me by the shirt.  I could feel her long fingernails digging into my shoulder.  “Boy, you better watch ’em good or I’ll beat your ass when we git home.”

I nodded.  “Yes, ma’am.”  The moment Aunt Bertha and Mary Jane disappeared from our view, Tobey and Susie sprinted off of the playground.  In opposite directions.

“Crap,” I muttered, instinctively running after Susie.  For a toddler, she moved quickly.  She kicked me in the face as I dragged her out from under the display truck by the food court.  By the time I threw her over my shoulder, Tobey was no where in sight.

“Son of a,” I said, as Susie pulled my hair.  Her mouth clamped down on my shoulder.  I bit back an expletive when I felt her small, but very sharp teeth through my thin shirt.  “No, Susie,” I said sternly, swinging her down from my shoulder and holding her at arm’s length.  “Stop it.”

“Fuck, fuck,” Susie shrieked, pointing at the truck.  Tears streamed down her rosy cheeks.  She looked like an angel in distress.  An older woman walked by me and scowled.

I flushed.  “She’s trying to say the word truck,” I explained, before quickly walking away.  I shook off my embarrassment and racked my brain trying to remember Tobey’s favorite places in the mall.  I had to find him before Aunt Bertha did.

It suddenly occurred to me that he may have returned to the carousel at the opposite end of the mall.  He loved that thing.  I strapped Susie into the stroller, quickly gave her some Cheerios, and sprinted to the other end of the mall.  The carousel ticket booth was still open.  I ran up to the counter.

“Excuse me, have you seen a little boy who looks like this?”  I quickly pulled up a picture of Tobey on my phone.

The lady in the booth studied it for a moment and nodded.  “Oh, yeah.  He was just here.  Some lady took him to that store over there,” she replied, pointing to a store behind me.

My heart sank.  What lady?  “Thanks,” I muttered quickly and pushed the stroller towards the store.  The first thing that hit me was the smell.  It reeked of candles or some other flowery thing.  My eyes watered, but I pushed the stroller towards the back of the store, frantically looking for Tobey or the lady who had him.  “Tobey, where are you?”  I called out.  “It’s me.  Charlie.”

“Oh, there you are, Mr. Weaver,” a voice said behind me.  I whirled around and stared in shock.  “We’ve been expecting you.”

DAY #30: A Modified “NaNoWriMo” Challenge (Write 15 Minutes of Garbage Every Day)

Day 30.  OMG.  I’ve had so much fun that I don’t want this to stop…..  As I’ve said in other posts, I’m going to continue to write this story about Charlie Weaver and blatantly follow the stereotypical young adult fantasy story patterns.  I think the story needs a “Luke Skywalker” moment, so here goes:

After the last monster disappeared, Paw Paw Joe and I stumbled into the empty museum cafe.  I pulled out a seat at the first table we saw.  He gratefully sank into it.  I ran to the counter and grabbed a pile of napkins.  Paw Paw Joe lifted his jacket.  I could see the blood from where the demon’s sword pierced him.

“We need to get you to the hospital,” I said, pressing the napkins to the gaping wound.  The injury was worse than I thought.

He winced slightly, before shaking his head.  “No.  There’s no time.  I’ll be okay.  I just need a few moments.”

“A few moments,” I said, frowning at him.  He was acting like this was a paper cut.  “This is serious.  You need a doctor.”

Paw Paw actually laughed, before gasping in pain.  “Charlie, no doctor in this realm can save me from this,” he said, chuckling.  His breathing was getting raspy.  I wasn’t sure if the blood loss was affecting his mind.

“Okay, Paw Paw.  No arguing.  Let’s get you to the hospital,” I muttered, placing one of Paw Paw’s arms around my neck.  When I lifted him to his feet, Paw Paw cried out.

“Boy, let me be,” Paw Paw said softly, pushing me away.  He sank back down onto the seat  “If you just leave me alone for a few moments, I’ll be fine.”  I started to protest, he help up his hand.  “Enough,” he said more resolutely.  The severity of his tone startled me.  When I stared into his face, I swear I watched his blue eyes turn brown.

He closed his eyes and started breathing deeply.  Like he was doing yoga or something.  I’m not sure why, but I remained silent.  There was something about his rhythmic breathing that captivated my attention.  My skin tingled as the air hummed with an energy that I didn’t understand.  After what seemed like an eternity, Paw Paw opened his eyes and smiled at me.  “There.  That should hold me until we get you out of here.”

“What are you talking about?” I managed to ask, struggling to keep my eyelids open.  My words were slurred.  It felt as if I had been rudely woken up from deep slumber.  I just wanted to crawl under the table and go back to sleep.

Paw Paw grinned at me, and held his coat open.  He pushed the tatters of his shirt to one side so that I could get a better look.  His wound had closed off completely.  The only thing remaining was a large, jagged scab.

“Yeah, I know it isn’t pretty.  But that’s the best I could do under the circumstances,” Paw Paw said as he stood up and stretched.  I watched him twist his torso from one side to the other, without any evidence of pain.  “We need to get out of here.”

I just stared at him, speechless.  Paw Paw looked at least two or three decades younger than he did a few minutes earlier.  His gray hair was dark, his pale, leathery skin was tawny and supple, and his blue eyes were definitely brown.  I did a double-take and gaped when I realized that I was facing a completely different man.

“Who are you?”  I whispered in horror.  Had the demon’s sword infected him?  Had the attack changed him into something else?  “You’re not Paw Paw Joe.”

“No, I’m not.  I mean, I was, but not really,” the man who was called Paw Paw Joe smiled at me.  “I’ve never really been Paw Paw Joe.  It was just a ruse.  My real name is Vyasa.”  He knelt before me.  “You are my ward.  I vowed to protect you with my life, Sire.”

“Sire?” I repeated, feeling lightheaded.  Now it was my turn to plop down on the chair.  “Why did you just call me that?  And protect me from what?”

“Those creatures that attacked us,” Paw Paw started.  He waited for me to nod before he continued.  “They’re called Asuras.”  At my confused look, he elaborated.  “I guess you might call them demons in this realm.”

“But I don’t understand,” I said, shaking my head in confusion.  “What do they want with me?”

“Well,” Paw Paw Joe, or Vyasa, or whatever his name, was said slowly.  “You’re a Deva, Charlie.”

“A Deva?”  I repeated, as I racked my brains, trying to determine if I had ever heard of that word before.  It sounded familiar, but I just couldn’t place it.  “Like, a god?”

“Humans,” Paw Paw Joe sighed, shaking his head.  “They always have to make things so black and white.”  He placed a hand on my shoulder and tilted his head in the direction of the Asian art display.  “Sire, I would tell you everything if I could, but we have to get moving.  More of them are coming.”

“But,” I protested.  I didn’t want to go anywhere without knowing what was going on.  “Why do you keep calling me Sire?”

“I’m sorry, Sire, but the Asuras know of your existence now,” he said.  The concern on his face was obvious.  “They’ll send more warriors.  I’ll need help to protect you.”

My mind was in turmoil.  I only know part of what was going on, and I could barely understand it.  Who would believe us enough to help?  “Where are we going?”

“To find your father,” he replied quietly.

DAY #28: A Modified “NaNoWriMo” Challenge (Write 15 Minutes of Garbage Every Day)

It’s Day 28 of this self-imposed 30-day writing challenge.  I may be the only one who finds this entertaining, but since I’m laughing my ass off as I write this, I’m going to continue the story of “Charlie Weaver and the Magical Object of Doom” from yesterday….  (a.k.a. A satire of Harry Potter/Percy Jackson/Gregor The Overlander)  I’ll start off with a few sentences from yesterday and continue to take this story to a whole new level of absurdity/stupidity:

The walk to the pasture was at least one mile.  I kept staring at the hole in the bucket as I munched on the biscuits.  There was no way I could carry all of that milk without losing it to the hole.  Aunt Bertha would beat the living daylights out of me if I came back with less than a pail of milk.  But what could I use to patch up the bucket?

I was so worried about the hole that I didn’t notice that I was being watched.

As I walked through our grazing pasture, I looked around for our milking cow, Clarabelle.  She was nowhere to be seen.  I had a sinking feeling that she may have wandered off again.  My fears were confirmed when I saw the broken boards in the fence surrounding my family’s small property.

“Clarabelle,” I called out, as I hopped over the fence.  This wasn’t good.  Our neighbor, Mr. O’Toole, had already threatened to shoot Clarabelle the next time he caught her eating any of his prize-winning squash.  I had to find her before he did.

“Here, girl,” I shouted, as I landed in a large, ankle-deep puddle.  Although I was wearing Paw Paw’s knee-high rubber boots, which offered some protection, my pants were already splattered with mud.  I made a mental note to hose myself off before going to school.  “Clarabelle, where are you, girl?”

Suddenly, I heard a voice in my head.  I’m over here, Charlie Weaver.  By the golden apple tree on the hill.

I don’t know why, but something mysterious prompted me to run towards the tree.  The voice was right.  Lo and behold, there was Clarabelle, calmly munching on some apples.  The large brown cow looked at me reproachfully.  What took you so long?  My udder is full.

I stopped and stared at her.  Did her lips just move?  As I scratched my head, thoroughly confused, I wondered what was wrong with me.  Was I hallucinating?  Why could I understand what Clarabelle was thinking?

Clarabelle made a sound like a moan.  Well, Charlie, don’t just stand there like a gawking at me like a ninny.  Milk me.  She swung her head towards the tree.  There’s a stool over there.  Hurry up.

Something propelled me to grab the stool from under the tree, set the pail down, and start milking her.  Clarabelle emitted a loud sigh of relief.  In the middle of milking, I heard a noise behind me.  It sounded like mooing.

Who be your friend, Clarabelle?

Your friend, who he be?

Two beautiful Jersey cows walked around me and stood on either side of Clarabelle.  The larger one was all black, while the other one had a shiny black coat with large white spots.  They both watched me with eyes that were surprisingly human in expression.

Clarabelle mooed her response.  That’s Charlie Weaver.  He’s my caretaker.

The cow with the spots watched me as I finished milking Clarabelle.  She turned to Clarabelle and tilted her head in my direction.  Milk me, can he?  Full udder I have.

And I also, Clarabelle.  Full udder I also have.

I wiped the sweat from my forehead before pulling the pail out from under Clarabelle.  The milk immediately started to leak from the hole in the bucket.  I quickly placed my thumb over it and wondered how I would make it all the way back to the house without losing any milk.

Thank you, Charlie Weaver.  Can you milk my friends as well?

A loud guttural sound emitted crossed my lips without effort.  It took me a few moments to realize that I was conversing with the cows in their native tongue.  In short, I was mooing my responses.

“I’m sorry, Clarabelle, but I can’t.  My bucket is full,” I held up the pail and tapped it with the side of my head.  “Although it won’t be full for long, because of this stupid hole.”

Clarabelle looked at me thoughtfully for a moment before speaking again.  If I can fix your bucket, will you milk my friends?

I looked at the sun rising in the East.  Based on its position in the sky, I estimated that I had a few hours before school started.  So I shrugged.  “Sure, I can milk your friends too.  But how will I carry their milk in this bucket?  Should I dump yours out?”

No, no, Clarabelle shook her head and spat out an apple core.  You must keep all of the milk that you collect in your bucket.  You will need it later.

I had no idea what she was talking about.  “Well, whatever,” I shrugged again, swiping my sweaty forehead with my sleeve.  “I’ve got school, so let’s just get this done.  Which of you wants to go first?”

The cow with the white spots approached me after Clarabelle moved away from the stool.  First I will go.

The other cow nodded and stepped behind her.  Go you shall first.

I began milking the cow with the white spots.  I could feel a surge of adrenaline as I reached for her teat.  When the first drops of milk hit the pail, an eerie calm settled over me.  I just lowered my head and focused on the milk.

Even though I was consumed by the milk, a part of me could still feel the tremors of the earth as a herd of cattle descended on our group.  Voices echoed in my head.  Milk you he will.

And I did.  It felt as if time stood still.  I just kept on milking one cow after another until no more cows stood in front of the stool.  After the last cow walked off into the meadow, I collapsed onto the ground.  I felt utterly exhausted after milking what must have been over 100 cows.

Clarabelle nudged my foot with her nose.  You have our gratitude, Charlie Weaver.

Both of the Jersey cows nodded their agreement.  Our gratitude you have, Charlie Weaver.

A boon we will give you.

Give you a boon, we will.

As I lay in the cool, comforting mud, I stared up at the sky and whispered,  “What’s a boon?”

Clarabelle, to her credit, did not roll her large brown eyes at me.  “A gift for your services.”

Shivani Roy And The Demon King Of Lanka (A Plot Twist?)

Shivani stood in the empty hall, staring at Patrick.  What he was saying was impossible.

“If you want to help them, then you have to choose,” Patrick said, as pulled out a key from his pocket.  Shivani heard the click and he unlocked the door.  He held it open for her once it swung open.  “And it has to be your choice alone.”

“But, I’m not ready,” Shivani protested.  It was too soon.  Her mind still whirled from his revelation.  She needed more time to prepare.  Her stomach tightened as she followed him into the large dark room.  It looked like a library, with its shelves that spanned the walls from the floor to the ceiling.  “I didn’t even finish the school year.”

“I know.  I wish that we had more time,” Patrick said, frowning at her.  He flicked on the light switch.  His concern was obvious, as he placed his hands on her shoulders.  “I wouldn’t normally ask you to choose yet, but we need your help.”  He dropped his hands from her shoulders and walked over to a panel on the wall behind the desk.  “And we need it now.”

“Why can’t you come with me?” Shivani pleaded.  There was no way she could do this by herself.

“I wish I could go with you,” Patrick said.  A part of him was tempted to accompany her.  “I really do.  But I can’t.”

“Why not?” she demanded.

Patrick sighed.  There were two reasons, but he would only tell her what she needed to know.  “They know me.  As soon as I enter that realm, the energy will shift.  They have Seers who will recognize the change the minute I arrive.  But you have a chance to get in there undetected.”

“But you can disguise yourself,” Shivani protested.  There was a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach that she would lose this argument.  But she persisted.  “You can make them see what you want them to.”

“It’s not that simple,” Patrick replied, shaking his head.  “Humans in this realm are unaware.  It’s much easier for me to manipulate energy here.  But the Devas and Asuras aren’t so easily deceived.  It takes more energy to hide from them.”

Shivani couldn’t admit defeat so easily.  She needed Patrick by her side for her first trip to Bharat.  “What difference does it make if they do discover you?  They can’t hurt you.”

“No, they can’t hurt me,” Patrick replied, and looked her straight in the eye.  It was time to tell her the truth.  “But they can hurt your parents.”

Shivani started at his words.  “My parents?” she repeated, frowning.  “What does this have to do with my parents?  They’re dead.”

Patrick studied the emotions that flitted across her face.  He had to tell her.  It was the only way she would be ready to face the situation in Bharat.  “What do you know about your parents?”

“Well,” Shivani hesitated.  “Not a lot.  I mean, the people at the agency told me that I was left at an orphanage in India when I was a baby.”

“And?” Patrick tilted his head.  He leaned against the desk and crossed his arms.  “What else did they tell you?”

As Patrick’s gaze narrowed, it occurred to Shivani that she had never questioned the story.  “Not much more than that,” Shivani shrugged.  “Just that an American couple adopted me and brought me to this country.  But they were killed in a car accident when I was little.  No one else wanted to adopt me.  So I went back into the foster care system.”  Shivani studied the floor.  It sounded so much more pathetic when she said it out loud.  She didn’t like that at all.  “I’ve been there ever since then.”

“So, no one knew who left you at the orphanage?” Patrick persisted.  He suspected what her answer would be, but wanted to make sure.

“No,” Shivani whispered.  Was it possible that her parents were still alive?  That they were the ones who left her at the orphanage?  Her heart started beating wildly.

Patrick knew what she was thinking.  He hated to crush her hopes, but she had to know.  “They weren’t the ones who dropped you off at the orphanage,” he said softly.  He winced when he saw the light go out of her eyes.

Shivani’s shoulders slumped.  He was probably right, but that small sliver of hope prompted her to question him.  “How do you know that?  Did you see it?”

Patrick hesitated.  It didn’t take his Seer’s abilities to see that Shivani wasn’t going to respond well to the truth.  What was the best way to approach this revelation?  “I guess you could say that.”

“Oh,” Shivani muttered, disappointed.  Patrick’s visions were always accurate.  “Did you see what happened in a vision?”

“No,” Patrick replied.  “It wasn’t a vision.”  When Shivani looked at him with confusion, he gave up his feeble attempts at tactful disclosure.  “It was me, Shivani,” he stood up and looked into the golden eyes that reminded him so much of someone else he had once loved.  “I’m the one who left you at the orphanage in India.”