The Glass Menagerie

  • Well, since you didn't specify if the contribution has to be long or (more importantly) good... :p

    The Tale of 453

    Once upon a time, there was a Cythera web board member named BreadWorldMercy453.

    Activity on the web board was low, and only an amusing post from 453 in the GM topic could avert catastrophe.

    453, however, would not post.

    This made everyone very sad.

    But did 453 care?

    No, instead, she plotted a violent coup, planning to overthrow the moderators and establish an evil bunny dictatorship...

  • Lepocrats!

  • Cademia, approximately one year after the start of Out of Reflection, Into Reality

    One beautiful day in Cademia, Shanadar woke as usual. He was exquisitely comfortable in his California king Sleep Number down featherbed. He stretched and let out a satisfied sigh. Life didn't get better than this.

    Shanadar leapt from his perfect bed and across his gigantic bedroom. He dressed in his 400 sf closet, then walked out onto his personal balcony to greet the day.

    "Good morning, Cademia!" he called out. Bustling around the streets below him, the Cademia citizens were also enjoying the day. Shanadar waved brightly to various citizens he recognized. About a block away, and about eye-level to Shanadar's third-storey balcony, Shanadar noticed his friend Katerei drifting peacefully in her magenta-coloured hot air balloon. Shanadar waved to her too, and she waved back. Also in the distance, a brightly-coloured train pulled into Cademia, carrying travellers to and from the city. With a pang of sadness, Shanadar remembered the days when Cademia was locked down, severely limiting the travel and exploration that brought joy to so many people's lives.

    Why had Cademia been locked down anyway? Shanadar pondered as he wandered down to his dining room. There he thought of nothing but the gourmet meal that awaited him.


    At the edge of Cademia, Silverfish also had his own palace, though his was somewhat different from Shanadar's classic palace. Silverfish's was in the trees, connected by trapezes, and the majority of the structured building was an enormous well-stocked open-air kitchen.

    Silverfish awoke this morning nestled against a branch of his favourite tree. Upon awaking, he somersaulted off his branch and landed on a large pillow on the structured floor beneath it. This pillow would be large enough for a tall man to stretch out on, but for Silverfish it was just ridiculously huge. And this particular room was full of these giant pillows. He rolled around the pillows a while, then swung off to the kitchen to fix breakfast.


    On the other side of Cademia, Moonshadow lived in her own personal palace, which was full of silk, velvet, and sunbeams. She was getting ready for bed when her doorbell rang. She opened the front door to find Shanadar on her doorstep.

    "Good morning!" Shanadar greeted her brightly.

    "Ah Shanadar, what a pleasant surprise," replied Moonshadow warmly. "Won't you come in?"

    "I shall!" declared Shanadar, and he followed Moonshadow as she walked drowsily into the sitting room. He sat down on one of her plush velvet sofas. "I hope you don't mind that I invited some of our friends over," he mentioned casually.

    "Oh... well. I'm sure that's fine," Moonshadow replied dreamily.

    "I just thought it would be fun to get together and talk about how great life is."

    Moonshadow curled up on the sofa across from Shanadar. "Oh yes, quite so.." she murmured as she closed her eyes. The doorbell rang again and Moonshadow jerked awake. "Right-o!" she declared, and answered the door again.

    "Good morning," said Rapierian (the ranger). "I understand I am expected to be here for a conversation."

    "Hullo Rapierian, come in," Moonshadow invited, and before long, Silverfish, Katerei, and Talos all arrived.

    Moonshadow went to the kitchen and poured everyone a cup of warm milk. She took the tray of drinks and returned to the sitting room to serve her guests.

    "Ah coffee, perfect!" exclaimed Shanadar as he saw her.

    Moonshadow blinked at him and glanced down at the cups of milk. "Oh, did you want coffee?"

    Shanadar waved her off and accepted the milk. "So, has anyone else noticed improvements in overall life lately?"

    "Absolutely!" answered Katerei. "Life is so much less stressful. Remember when all we could think about was saving the world from evil Selax?"

    Everyone laughed at the memory. "Those were dark times," Rapierian agreed. "Remember all the doubles? It was impossible to tell who was real and who was an alternate. We couldn't trust anyone!"

    "Uh Rapierian, you are one of the alternates," Shanadar reminded him.

    "Huh, so I am. I wonder why I never returned to my own world?" Rapierian pondered.

    "Why did you come here originally?" Moonshadow asked, her drowsiness starting to fade by having company over.

    "To save the world from Selax and Wizard, of course."

    "I was trying to do that too," Silverfish commented.

    "Me too," agreed Katerei.

    "Indeed, even I got into that," said Talos.

    "I wonder want ever happened to them," said Moonshadow.

    "They ceased being menacing," observed Silverfish.

    "Yeah, no one even thinks about them anymore. They're lame," agreed Katerei.

    Suddenly a figure materialized in front of them. As he materialized, the group recognized Selax.

    "Greetings," said Selax.

    "Hey, we were just talking about you!" said Shanadar.

    "I know," replied Selax. "Just to clarify, you were not serious when you said I'm not menacing anymore, correct?"

    "No," several people said at once.

    "What have you done lately that's menacing?" asked Katerei. "We haven't seen you since the showdown at LandKing Hall a year ago."

    "I do not appreciate that comment," Selax stated. "If you fully understood how tedious school has been lately, you would not even mention the idea of me doing anything else."

    "School?" asked Moonshadow. "Didn't you graduate already?"

    "I have 4.0 masters degrees in Evil Scheming and Mathematics, but now I'm going back to get my degree in Crustacean Studies."

    Shanadar replied, "oh, are you going to save us from the crab people?"

    "I do not appreciate that comment either. You cannot match the value of education. How do you think I took over the world?"

    "Did you take over the world?" Silverfish asked. "I haven't noticed your influence lately."

    "Well, I took over the other world," Selax clarified, "and I'll probably finish taking over this one once this semester is over. I am very busy with school."

    "How long does it take to study crabs anyway?" asked Talos.

    "One of my professors is insane," explained Selax. "I spent the entirety of last weekend in the library from open to close, working on my 80-page research paper. We did not find out about the project until Thursday, and it was due Monday. You have no idea what you're talking about."

    "Maybe you should drop the class?" suggested Katerei.

    "I would get a 'withdrawal' on my transcript. I have no choice but to meet my teacher's demands."

    Moonshadow reasoned, "so pretty much your professor rules the world?"

    "I intend to take over the world," Selax repeated, "but I probably won't have time until at least December."

    "So this is why life has been so pleasant lately," Shanadar suggested. "Because Selax has been too busy to take over the world."

    "What about evil Wizard?" pointed out Silverfish. "Wasn't he taking over the world too?"

    "Yeah, whatever happened to him?" Talos agreed.

    "I haven't seen Wizard lately," answered Selax. "I expect he is busy with various projects. I only hope he's actually doing his schoolwork."

    "You know, I think it's more than just an absence of evil entities," spoke up Katerei. "I mean, I never used to have a mansion or a hot air balloon. How'd I get these things? Not that I'm complaining, it's just a bit mysterious."

    "I think Katerei is right," said Moonshadow. "Void-travel used to be a tedious and exhausting venture. But now I can easily slip back into the world where I live, on a whim. It's not quite so easy to get back here though," she admitted.

    "It's been easy for me to travel too," said Rapierian. "I can travel all over Cythera without getting tired or hungry or anything. It's very convenient."

    "My energy level has been up, and I'm not sure where I got my recent luxuries either," added Shanadar. "It's as though the typical limitations of the world are gone."

    "When I want something, I just imagine it and then I have it," explained Moonshadow.

    "Me too!" the other heros agreed. Selax scowled, showing emotion for the first time.

    "I want my teacher to be more reasonable. Why do I not get what I want?"

    "Maybe because you have no imagination?" suggested Shanadar.

    "I resent that," stated Selax. "I have imagined grand domination schemes. But these schemes take time - time I do not have."

    "I don't know why you're struggling, but it wasn't always this great for me," said Katerei. "I remember times when I was sad or tired or lonely. Or even all three at once!"

    "That makes sense," confirmed Silverfish. "Life never was perfect and there has always been pain to deal with. Until recently. Does anyone have any idea why it's changed?"

    A silence fell for several minutes. Finally Talos spoke up.

    "Maybe we should ask that dude Avatara?"

    "Avatara? The alternate? What would he know?" asked Katerei in confusion.

    "Doesn't he know everything?" asked Talos.

    "Yeah, he's the only one who knows how to defeat evil-Rythan," Rapierian pointed out.

    "Huh, you're right," realized Katerei.

    Moonshadow nodded, "yes, he could explain what has happened to make the world more pleasant."

    "For sure," agreed Silverfish.

    "I agree," said Shanadar. "But the last time we saw him, he was heading for the portal to the alternate world, and that was ten months ago. How could we catch up with him?"

    "My hot air balloon is probably not nearly fast enough," said Katerei sadly.

    Suddenly a loud train whistle was heard through Moonshadow's open window, and a conductor shouted, "All aboard the Friendship Express!"


    In the woods south-east of Cademia, Avatara, K, and necromancer-Rapierian were staying in a five-star hotel. Their accommodations included an enormous perfect-temperature swimming pool, Wi-Fi anywhere in the resort, a full spa, gourmet restaurants of every ethnicity you could think of (and room service, of course), a 13-storey extensive library, kitchens in every room, large flat-screen TVs with 1000-channel cable access, private jacuzzis, dry cleaning, and a shuttle to all the nearby tourist attractions. And best of all, it was all free due to their past heroic endeavors (or at least, they looked like famous heroes).

    The three "heroes" were hanging out together, playing a game of poolside Canasta.

    "Weren't we supposed to be doing something?" asked K as she picked up the deck and sorted through her hand.

    "My Little Pony is a rerun today," Avatara reminded her.

    "No, not that..." K pondered. "I mean before we checked into this hotel, weren't we supposed to do something?"

    "Oh, just save the world," answered Rapierian with a wave of his hand. "But it was going to be destroyed anyway, so why bother?"

    "What are you talking about?" K asked.

    Rapierian ignored the question. "Discard."

    K discarded, and Avatara drew a card. "Katerei, I believe you're thinking of severing the link between this world and our home world."

    "Oh yes, that was it," K agreed.

    "But that's not important anymore," Avatara explained.

    "It isn't? It seemed really important at the time," K insisted.

    "Well, it was," Avatara admitted, "theoretically severing that link would have restored Alaric, who could've banished the big bad guys who were harassing us. But the villains are busy with other stuff not, and they're really not hurting anyone, so we should just mind our own business."

    K unwrapped a free chocolate and let it melt in her mouth. When she was done, she took a long drink of her virgin cocktail. "I'm glad that's over with then. What are the villains up to anymore anyway?"

    "Oh various things," said Avatara. "Selax went back to school, Wizard opened up a daycare center for underprivileged children, and Rythan, who knows what he's doing, but he took to the Void and left the world."

    "Isn't it possible then that they will recommence taking over the world when they are finished with their distractions?"

    "Rythan could easily come back and destroy the world," Avatara agreed, "except that he's forgotten this world exists and is unlikely to remember it at this point. Wizard really has no interest in villainy anymore, and Selax will probably be busy with school for the rest of his life."

    "So we really are safe from all evil then?" K asked.

    "Of course!" responded Avatara.

    "I thought so, it just feels safe," said K.

    Rapierian was scowling. "Aren't you forgetting something?" he asked.

    "Oh right, you're very, uh, evil and threatening.." said Avatara hastily.

    "Not that. Discard!" growled Rapierian. Avatara discarded, and Rapierian drew a card and promptly laid down his hand and then stomped off.

    "Was it something I said?" asked Avatara. K shrugged.


    "You are on the Friendship Express number nine en route to the Alternate Dimension Portal!" said a cheery voice over the train's P.A. system. Silverfish and Shanadar were the ones who ultimately decided to board the train and search for Avatara. The others stayed behind to enjoy a lazy day. Silver and Shanadar though, felt that they'd be boarded up in Cademia for too long and needed a bit of travel.

    "We are now approaching Resort Gorgeous!" continued the cheery P.A. voice. "Home to the five-star Wilderness Hotel! If you are looking for positively exquisite lodging, this is the stop for you! All passengers wanting to travel to the Alternate Dimension should please stay on. Thank you!"

    Shanadar looked out the window as the train slowed down and pulled into the Resort Gorgeous station. "This place does look really nice," he commented. "Do you think we should stop here for a little rest?"

    "Why not!" exclaimed Silverfish. And so the two got off the train and checked into the hotel.

    They changed into swimming attire and then ran down to the pool. Silverfish had already dived in when Shanadar noticed Avatara and K sunbathing on the plush pool chairs.

    "Oy, guys!" called out Shanadar. Silverfish poked his head out of the water and then, seeing Avatara and K, shook the water off his wings and flew over.

    "Hey," said K, "what brings you two to Resort Gorgeous?"

    "We have a question for you," said Shanadar, nodding to Avatara.

    Avatara sat up, "what's that?"

    "We're wondering why life is so pleasant lately when it used to be so difficult?"

    "We were just talking about that," said K. "It's because the villains are busy with other stuff. Right?" she turned to Avatara.

    "Actually it's a bit more complicated than that," said Avatara. "It's a deep question you ask, are you sure you want to know the answer?"

    Silverfish shrugged and jumped back into the pool.

    "Yes," said Shanadar. "All of us back in Cademia are very curious about this phenomenon."

    Avatara sighed. "This life, this is the way it should be, don't you agree?"

    Shanadar and K nodded vehemently.

    "The reason we've had such hard pasts is that our lives were controlled by outside influences."

    Shanadar raised his eyebrow, "what kind of outside influences?"

    "It's hard to explain," said Avatara. "They're called writers."

    "Writers?" asked K, getting interested.

    "Yes, the writers controlled us and everything around us. Our pasts, our feelings, our abilities, and our worlds."

    "I don't believe you," said Shanadar, "I've always controlled myself, I've never felt like anything was controlling me."

    "Not ever?" persisted Avatara.

    "Well, maybe upon sporadic occasions," admitted Shanadar.

    "When you notice it, that's called character hijacking," Avatara explained. "That's when writers who are less experienced with who you are control you. But for the most part, the writers are very clever and match our experiences to what we believe."

    Shanadar and K exchanged shocked expressions. "But why?!" exclaimed Shanadar. "Why would they torture us?"

    Avatara said sadly, "for entertainment."

    "But they're done now?" clarified K. "Forever?"

    Avatara didn't answer. Shanadar cut in, "If they're so all-powerful, why did they stop?"

    "The same reason why anyone stops anything," answered Avatara knowingly, "apathy."


    And so the heroes lived a-happily-ever, never wanting for anything except fulfillment. The end.

  • The heroes shouldn't get too complacent.

    One day, the writers will return and finish what they've started!

    One day!

  • This story is called Adventures in Non-Profit Organizations. It's a spin-off of my last GM story, Raise the Roof. A few of the kids in this story are referred to by name, bonus points if you can remember who they are.


    As world domination fell out of fashion, Evil Wizard lost interest in taking over the world. Eventually he decided to start a daycare for underprivileged children. Kids simply liked him, and he had always been intrigued by early childhood education.

    Evil Wizard toyed with the idea of charging a fortune for his childcare services, but he was already filthy rich from his world-domination days, and the tax benefits of running a non-profit organization were just too good to pass up. So he took in the underprivileged children and charged next to nothing. Thus began The Master's Doomsday Child Development Center.

    At the moment, Evil Wizard was utterly exhausted and ready to collapse, having just played a round of Darebase with the kids. At least he had won. Evil Wizard could not stand losing. He sank down in his armchair, feeling very old and tired. Perhaps he could just take a short nap...


    Evil Wizard did not respond, his eyes closed and his breathing steady. He felt a plushie nudge him in the face. "Unicorn," came a small voice again.

    Still Evil Wizard ignored it, and the plushie began to nudge him repeatedly. "Unicorn, unicorn, unicorn, unicorn, unicorn, unicorn, unicorn, unicorn, unicorn, unicorn, unicorn, unicorn-"

    Finally Evil Wizard could take it no more, and opened his eyes. As suspected, he was being attacked by a unicorn plushie, and it was wielded by one of the young girls in his care. "Hello, Mariya," said Evil Wizard drowsily.

    "Unicorn," Mariya replied, whacking him with the plushie.

    Evil Wizard realized he would have to fight back. There was really no alternative. He cast about for a weapon. There, on his desk, an old wolflizard his grandmother had repurposed from a pair of ugly green socks. It wasn't in great shape. But it would have to do.

    "Wolflizard!" Evil Wizard announced, rubbing the sock-animal into Mariya's hair. Mariya screeched and backed away, but Evil Wizard pursued her, keeping the wolflizard pressed against her head and saying, "wolflizard, wolflizard, wolflizard."

    Mariya tried to dodge under his reach and nudged the unicorn against his knees. "Unicorn, unicorn, unicorn!"

    "Wolflizard, wolflizard," Evil Wizard called out over her.

    From the hallway they heard another small voice call out, "Mariya! Where are you? Where is Mariya?"

    "I'm in here!" called Mariya. "Unicorn!"

    And in came the little girl who had called her. Enna was, as usual, dressed all in pink and carrying her plushie-replica of her pet Wolfie. Evil Wizard had sewn her the plushie to console her because she missed Wolfie dreadfully. (Evil Wizard had a strict no-pets policy.) Enna instantly recognized the game and waved her plushie in the air, "Wolfie, Wolfie, Wolfie!"

    Mariya had gotten careless in her attack, and had lost her grip on the unicorn. Evil Wizard now grabbed it and waved it at Enna, "unicorn, unicorn, unicorn!"

    Enna dodged away and squealed. "Run around in a circle!" she demanded. "Run in a circle!"

    The idea of more running was so disagreeable to Evil Wizard, that he decided to cast an illusion of himself to run around with the little girls instead. Unnoticed, he quietly slipped back into his armchair...

    The deception, however, did not last long, for when Enna threw Wolfie at the illusion and it went through him, they began to suspect something was up. They soon found him in the armchair and pestered him.

    "Come on, run around!"

    "Unicorn, unicorn!"

    "Calm down, and I will tell you a story," Evil Wizard compromised.

    "Yay, story time!" the girls cheered.

    Their cheers were loud enough to attract attention, and quickly a crowd of children gathered around Evil Wizard, wanting to hear the story.

    "Be quiet and listen," Evil Wizard ordered the crowd of children, and then glared at them until they responded, "yes, Master." Ah, he had trained them well. "Now, which story shall I tell you?" he pondered. "How about the story of how I took over the entire alternate Cythera dimension?"

    "No!" the children protested. "You've told us that one a thousand times!"

    "Would you like to hear about how the portal between dimensions was opened?"

    "We've heard that a thousand times too!"

    "A thousand- million!" some children exaggerated.

    "What about how I took over Cademia and Land King Hall in this dimension and could still take over the entire world if I was so inclined?" suggested Evil Wizard. But that suggestion was met with a similar response.

    "Tell us a new story!" one child spoke up.

    "Yes! New story!" everyone agreed. Evil Wizard raised an eyebrow. A new story? He had already told them about all of his evil accomplishments, what more could they want? Excitement was building in the crowd. "New story! New story!"

    Evil Wizard racked his brain. Perhaps he could just re-tell a folktale that they children hadn't heard before. That would be easy enough. These kids would be familiar with all the local folk-stories. But Evil Wizard had an excellent memory. He could vaguely remember a story from his homeland, it was about three animals, wasn't it?

    "All right," conceded Evil Wizard. "I'll tell you a New Story. This is a story about three billy goats who lived in a brick house by the river."

    "Goats don't live in houses," Mariya pointed out.

    Evil Wizard explained, "this is one of those stories where animals behave kind of like people. Now, one morning, the mother billy goat made some porridge for breakfast-"

    One of the children burst into laughter at that, and several others snickered or giggled. "The mother billy goat?!" the laughing girl asked.

    Evil Wizard remembered that the girl, Retsy, was from a farm. Thus she probably knew something about goats. Evil Wizard didn't want to admit that he wasn't sure what a billy goat was. Had he remembered the story wrong?

    "Er, say they weren't billy goats," Evil Wizard improvised. "Say they were giant slugs."

    "Ew!" chorused the children.

    "So one day," went on Evil Wizard, "the mother giant slug made porridge for breakfast."

    "Do giant slugs eat porridge?" asked Mariya.

    "Of course they do," answered Evil Wizard. "But the porridge was much too hot to eat right away, so the slugs went for a walk. Or at least, a mosey of some sort, not literally a walk, since slugs don't have legs. So they crossed the bridge over the river, and hung out on the other side of the river for a few minutes while their porridge was cooking. Meanwhile, a Big Bad Wolf happened to be walking through this area and came across the slugs' house."

    Enna looked very put out. "Wolves aren't bad," she pouted, hugging her plushie.

    "Some are," Evil Wizard corrected, "and this one was. Very bad."

    "He wasn't a... a monster, was he?" whispered another little girl, named Cindy.

    "In a manner of speaking," said Evil Wizard.

    "Oh no," whimpered Cindy, hugging her knees and looking terribly frightened.

    "The Big Bad Wolf had an awful sense of entitlement," continued Evil Wizard. "He believed that everything in the world belonged to him because he was strong. So when he found the house of the three giant slugs, he trespassed in to check it out. Inside, he found a table set with three bowls of porridge. Now, the Big Bad Wolf also had an insatiable appetite, in addition to his sense of entitlement. So, he tried the porridge. First he took a bite from the biggest bowl, which belonged to the Father Giant Slug. But it was too hot, and he couldn't eat it. Next he took a bite out of the middle-sized bowl, which belonged to the Mother Giant Slug. But that bowl had already begun to get cold, and cold porridge isn't even worth eating, so he abandoned that bowl too. Finally he took a bite out of the smallest bowl, which belonged to the Baby Giant Slug, and found that bowl of porridge to be the perfect temperature, and actually rather yummy!"

    "Shouldn't the smallest bowl of porridge cool faster than the middle-sized bowl?" asked Enna.

    "Baby Giant Slug's bowl was more insulated," Evil Wizard replied.

    "Won't the slugs come back to eat their breakfast though?" Cindy asked. "The mother's has already gotten cold!"

    "I'm getting to that. Yes, the giant slugs realized they had moseyed long enough, and so headed back home. But what they didn't realize was that a troll was now underneath the bridge, and it heard them, uh, oozing? across the bridge. Baby Giant Slug was the first one to cross because he had impeccable timing and knew that his porridge would now be the perfect temperature. As Baby Giant Slug was crossing the bridge, the troll jumped out and-"

    "What's a troll?" interrupted Mariya.

    "A kind of polyp," said Evil Wizard impatiently.

    "Oh dear, another monster," whined Cindy, who buried her head in her arms.

    "-And said 'OH-HO-HO, this is MY bridge and I shall DEVOUR you!'"

    "EW!" the children screamed.

    "Why would he want to eat a giant slug!" Retsy asked.

    Evil Wizard explained, "to trolls, giant slugs are a valued delicacy. The Baby Giant Slug was terrified. He replied, 'surely you don't want to eat me, I am so small, I'm hardly a morsel. But my mother will be coming across soon, and she is much bigger than me. Why don't you eat her instead?' The troll thought this was a very wise idea, and so he let the Baby Giant Slug pass."

    Now Mariya interrupted, "if he loved eating giant slugs so much, why didn't he just eat them both?"

    "The troll was a compulsive over-eater," Evil Wizard invented, "and he was in a recovery group for it. He had to strictly keep a food diary and submit it to his sponsor every day, and he knew his sponsor would lecture him if he wrote 'two giant slugs.'"

    Mariya was silent for a few seconds. Finally she asked, "what's a compulsive over-eater?"

    Evil Wizard sighed. "Never mind that. The Mother Giant Slug wasn't far behind the Baby Giant Slug, and she heard this exchange. And she was very mad at the Baby Giant Slug for offering her to the troll to be eaten. As she crossed the bridge, the troll jumped out to eat her, but she managed to convince him to wait to eat her husband instead, who was bigger and yummier. Then she caught up to the Baby Giant Slug, disowned him, and kicked him out of the house.

    "Inside, the Big Bad Wolf had finished eating the Baby Giant Slug's porridge, and he decided to rest for a bit. The Baby Giant Slug's chair was quite comfortable, but the Big Bad Wolf still didn't realize this home belonged to giant slugs, and giant slugs are only interested in chairs that are decomposing. So when the Big Bad Wolf sat down, the Baby Giant Slug's chair fell apart and the Big Bad Wolf hurt his bottom. He decided he should probably be on bed rest for the rest of the day, until he felt better, so he went upstairs to find a bed."

    "I'm sure the giant slugs don't have beds," Enna announced. "Giant slugs are immune to sleep. Everyone knows that."

    "Just because they don't sleep doesn't mean that they don't enjoy the finer luxuries of life - such as beds. As a matter of fact, each of the Giant Slugs had their own Sleep Number® bed, which the Big Bad Wolf found upstairs. The Big Bad Wolf had no experience with Sleep Number® beds, so he did not know how to adjust the firmness of the mattresses. Instead, he tried all of them and decided that the Baby Giant Slug's bed was the most comfortable, and he fell asleep there.

    "Meanwhile, the Baby Giant Slug needed a new home, since his mother disowned him. There weren't any other houses for miles, so he built himself a house out of straw. Straw is easy to work with, so the construction was quick & easy."

    "Was the Father Giant Slug eaten by the polyp-monster?" Retsy asked.

    "No," answered Evil Wizard. "The Father Giant Slug was so powerful that he simply pushed the Troll into the river, and the Troll was whisked away by the current and never seen again." Cindy let out a sigh of relief. "But, the Father Giant Slug was furious that the Mother Giant Slug had left him to be eaten, so he kicked her out of the house and called a divorce attorney. The Mother Giant Slug was forced to build herself a house, for which she used sticks. She was too wise to build her house out of such flimsy material as straw, you see, and put in the extra effort to build with sticks.

    "The Father Giant Slug now had the house to himself, though he didn't notice that some of the porridge had been eaten and one of the chairs was broken. He just ate his porridge and then watched sports. He never realized that there was a Big Bad Wolf sleeping upstairs. After a time, the Big Bad Wolf woke up, and he did not feel well at all. For one thing, he was sleeping in a giant slug's bed and he was very slimy. But more importantly, the ingredients that giant slugs use in their porridge is not good for wolves, and he had a nasty case of food poisoning. He even climbed out of the window in his urgency to get to the outhouse.

    "Several days later, after he had recovered, the Big Bad Wolf returned to the Giant Slug house (now occupied only by the Father Giant Slug) for revenge. As he saw it, the Giant Slugs were responsible for hurting his bottom, getting him all slimy, and poisoning him. He thought these things were inexcusable. The Father Giant Slug answered the door, and the Big Bad Wolf said to him, 'Come out, foul beast, so I can defeat you in epic combat!' The Father Giant Slug asked why, and the Big Bad Wolf explained his offenses.

    "The Father Giant Slug then said, 'I had no part in cooking the porridge, my wife and my son made that, so it is on them that you should get revenge. They do not live here anymore.' So the Big Bad Wolf left to find the Mother and Baby Giant Slugs.

    "He first found the straw house belonging to the Baby Giant Slug. The Baby Giant Slug refused to come out to be killed, so the Big Bad Wolf was forced to knock the house down (which wasn't hard, he only had to blow on it a bit). But the Baby Giant Slug ran away to his mother's house before the Big Bad Wolf could kill him."

    "How could a giant slug outrun a wolf?!" asked Enna.

    "Oh, didn't I mention? The Big Bad Wolf was paraplegic and had to pull himself along the ground with his front legs."

    "You know, these monsters aren't all that scary," said Cindy happily.

    "Hold on," cut in Mariya, "he can't even walk, but he can climb out of a second-storey window?"

    Evil Wizard frowned. "He didn't so much 'climb' as 'fall.' Now, do you want to hear this story or not?"

    "Yes," said the children.

    "So stop interrupting and listen!" snapped Evil Wizard. "The Big Bad Wolf crawled over to the Mother Giant Slug's house, but now neither of the Giant Slugs would come out to be killed. So the Big Bad Wolf had to knock down her house too, which took some effort, but he managed it. But then, of course, the Mother and Baby Giant Slugs ran away and sought refuge in their original house with the Father Giant Slug. The Big Bad Wolf chased after them, but none of them would come out to be killed, and try as he might, he just couldn't knock their house down. It was a sturdy brick house, you see.

    "As the Big Bad Wolf futilely tried to knock down their house, the Giant Slugs realized that they had all now left each other to be killed by monsters, and so they all forgave each other and became a family again. They were getting annoyed by the Big Bad Wolf banging against their walls, so they decided to face him together. When the three Giant Slugs came out of the house and stood imposingly before the Big Bad Wolf, he noticed how repulsive and disgusting giant slugs truly are, and he screamed and crawled away as fast as he could. And he never broke into a stranger's house again. The end!"

    Evil Wizard smiled triumphantly at the children, who blinked back at him silently. In some corner of the room, a cricket chirped. Accursed crickets.

    "Why did the slugs forgive each other?" Cindy asked after a long silence.

    "Because, sometimes you have to forgive people who throw you out to the wolves. And that," decided Evil Wizard, "is the moral of the story. Did you like it?"

    "No," said Mariya simply.

    "It was yucky," declared Retsy.

    "And weird," said Enna.

    "And scary," added Cindy.

    "Won't you tell us a story about fairy princesses?" asked Mariya.

    Evil Wizard was starting to get angry. "No! That was your story and now it's over. So there. It's naptime now, go to bed."

    With some grumbling and muttering about Evil Wizard's lack of storytelling ability, the children got up and stalked off to bed. Unfortunately, Evil Wizard had no time for a nap himself, as the daycare had a board meeting scheduled that afternoon.

    After tucking the kids in, Evil Wizard went across the building to the conference room, where he found The Master's Doomsday Child Development Center's board of the directors already seated at the conference table.

    The board of directors, AKA The Hand, were good people. Or at least, they were good evil henchmen. Evil Wizard nodded to Jacob, Ral, Krys, Kain, and Scry. "I've had a long morning," he explained, "so let's be fast and maybe I can get something done before the kids wake up."

    Jacob cleared his throat, "well, the main thing we need to discuss today is, uh, leadership."

    "Leadership?" asked Evil Wizard. "What do you mean? Leadership of what?"

    "Leadership of the daycare center."

    "I'm not resigning, I'm just tired," said Evil Wizard irritably.

    "It's not an issue of resignation," Ral spoke up.

    "Yes," Jacob agreed. He looked at his hands, "Master... we've voted you out."

    "You WHAT?" asked Evil Wizard.

    Scry repeated Jacob, "we've voted you out. You no longer have any position in The Master's Doomsday Child Development Center."

    Evil Wizard sputtered a bit. "But... I built this organization. It's mine! I put my heart and soul into it! Or at least, I would've, if I had such things. How could you do this?!"

    Kain explained, "as the board of directors, we have every right to vote out the founder, for any reason or for no reason at all."

    "In fact, the vote was unanimous," added Krys.

    "So you're voting me out just because you can," spat Evil Wizard.

    "Actually, we're concerned about you running a daycare," admitted Jacob. "You have a history of kidnapping and brainwashing children."

    "And turning them into psychopathic evil henchmen," said Scry.

    Evil Wizard fumed. "So just because of that, you think I'm a bad daycare provider?!" The injustice of it all was infuriating, but rationally Evil Wizard knew there was nothing he could do, so he got up and left.

    He wandered around for a bit, wondering what he should do with his life now that he was bored of taking over the world, and removed from running a daycare. As it happened, he walked in front of a building labelled Discovery Laboratories and noticed a sign on the front window. The sign read:

    Now hiring:
    -Mad genius
    -Night janitor

    Evil Wizard paused in front of the sign. Then, slowly, he smiled. He opened the door and entered the building.

    (He'd always wanted to be a janitor.)

  • The scariest part about this story is the fact that Wizard commented that the end was like Wizard...

    Another amusing tale, 453.

  • Today I discovered a hidden cache (pun!) of old Cythera character drawings. As an artist, I'm obliged to cringe when looking at my old art, but with a bit of prompting from our friendly local moderator Avatara, I decided to share them with you. All characters are mine unless otherwise noted.

    Some characters who were written out long ago


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    Taj Lykaon (the early hero of the celebratory 100th chronicle, technically not written out but a one-use character)

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    Group shot, from left to right: Lemni, Dheiva, Indigo, Katerei, Sya, (I honestly don't know but it might have been Renae, a chron-only character), Amadeus, Silvre at the bottom

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    Ferazel and Callie (owned by ferazel_09)

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    The Ronin (owned by cache22)


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    Moving into more recent history


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    Alice close-up


    Retsy (owned by BreadWorldMercy453)


    Avatara (For Whom the Bell Tolls era, owner obvious)


    Katerei (For Whom the Bell Tolls era)


    Katerei (prior to Bell Tolls)


  • Excellent work, as always, Katerei :) .

    I think 453 needs to write something for this topic. She's gone 6 months without posting something humorous here.

  • This Out of Reflection fanfic is in honour of Tyry's birthday. It is called The Molasses Murderer (thanks to Kat for the title idea).


    "Where are you off to in such a hurry?" Mister Wizard asked a snail who was oozing around the ground in front of him.

    The snail ignored him, merely continuing on at the alarming speed of nearly ten inches an hour. Snails these days! Busy, bustling little things, always running hither and thither as though the sky were falling. Why, back when Wizard was a boy-!

    Wizard's thoughts were interrupted by a messenger running up to him. If you thought the snails were fast, you should see these messengers! Flat-out uncouth! Wizard recognized this particular Saltwax Postal Service employee as one of his previous protégés, Jacob.

    It's not that I dislike you as a person, Jacob," Wizard had explained when firing him, _"but after twenty years of devoted service, I just don't think you have what it takes to be an evil henchman. But I'd be happy to find a place for you in Saltwax Industries, or, if you'd prefer, I could write you a shining letter of recommendation for a different employer."

    "There _ are _no other employers," Jake pointed out. "Saltwax Industries has taken over the entire world."

    "You've got a point there," Wizard conceded. "You know, back when I was boy, there were dozens of different masters that a qualified young man such as yourself could choose from!"

    "Right," agreed Jacob drily. "But now there aren't."

    Why, that almost sounded disrespectful, thought Wizard, staring at Jacob.

    "Because you took over the world," added Jacob flatly.

    Wizard's blank stare turned into a dangerous glare.

    Jacob jumped back. "Er, did I say that out loud?"

    "No," stated Wizard angrily.

    "Oh. I'll, ah, I'll take a Saltwax job, sir. In fact, I was thinking a nice desk job would be pleasant..."

    Wizard cackled._

    Presently, Jacob stood before Wizard in his messenger uniform.

    "Mister Wizard, sir, message from He Who is too Important to Speak His Name," announced Jacob.

    Wizard sighed. What did Selax want now? They had taken over the world, they had retired in luxury. Don't tell him Selax was still moping about accessing the Void and taking over other worlds?

    "Yes?" Wizard asked.

    Jacob avoided eye contact. "He Who is too Important to Speak His Name says you are to meet him at the Catamarca Manor ASAP so that he can speak with you face to face."

    "Bah!" declared Wizard. "Lazy, arrogant, evil overlord! Paranoid, scheming, workaholic! Bah! And what will happen if I refuse?"

    "Er," said Jacob uncomfortably, "he will kill you effortlessly."

    Wizard glared at nothing in particular.

    "Shall I deliver a reply, sir?" asked Jacob, looking terrified at the thought.

    "Yes," grumbled Wizard. "Tell him I shall be there soon."

    "Soon, sir?" Jacob asked doubtfully.


    "Right. Okay," said Jacob, and took off as though he were in a race.

    "One more thing," added Wizard (telepathically, as Jacob was already too far away to hear him speak out loud). "Don't rush about so!"


    Six months later, Wizard remembered his promise to call on Selax at the Catamarca Manor (the citadel had been greatly expanded to become a highest-luxury vacation home for Selax). Wizard knew Selax was serious about wanting to talk to him face-to-face (call it a hunch... no wait, it was that Selax was never anything but serious), so Wizard reluctantly decided he'd better start heading over to Catamarca. Wizard himself lived in Pnyx, so he had quite the journey ahead of him. Nine hours later, he headed out the door...


    (Five years later)

    "You're late," commented Selax, as Wizard finally arrived in Catamarca. Selax was sunbathing on an extremely elegant pool chair on his own private beach. (Note: all the beaches in Cythera are his own private beaches. It's very bad for tourism.)

    "I am?" asked Wizard in surprise. "I came as fast as I could."

    "This does not surprise me," stated Selax. "I considered your speed when I summoned you, and thus cleared my schedule for the next decade, to be safe."

    "It would have been much easier to just chat via telepathy," Wizard pointed out.

    "We've been over this before," said Selax flatly. "It is not secure enough. You need to work on your telepathy security."

    "Oh yeah, I've been meaning to download an upgrade," Wizard confessed.

    Selax went on, "as it is, the only way for us to openly communicate without fear of being overheard, is face to face."

    "How can you be certain that there are no eavesdroppers?" Wizard pondered.

    "I've set up a powerful rune," explained Selax. "Anyone who comes within half a mile of me, besides you, will die instantaneously."

    Wizard frowned and nodded, a bit impressed. "Did you warn your servants before preparing the rune?"

    "Why would I bother to do that?" asked Selax. Then he considered for a moment. "... yes, that might have been a good idea. Oh well."

    Wizard glanced around uneasily. He couldn't see any bodies, but his eyesight wasn't what it used to be, and his telepathy wasn't very good at detecting dead people. "What do you want? I need to get back home - I think I left the stove on."

    "That is simple. I want you to kill someone for me."

    Wizard sighed. "Really? You could easily kill whomever you want, you don't need my help for that."

    "How would it look if I personally killed everyone who annoyed me?" pointed out Selax. "Like a dragon snapping at gnats!" Selax laughed. Or rather, being incapable of emotion, he faked a laugh. It was awkward. "No, no," he concluded, "that's what I have minions for."

    "Minions?!" roared Wizard. "I am not your minion! We are equal partners in evil domination!"

    Selax raised an eyebrow. (Note: I'm not sure if Selax actually has eyebrows. Maybe Sely will comment on here and clear that up for us - does Selax have eyebrows? Thanx) "Surely you know that our contract is no longer valid?"

    "No longer valid?" repeated Wizard angrily. "I'm calling my lawyer!" he declared, fixing to contact Radik via telepathy.

    "I wouldn't do that," Selax commented. "My rune is very powerful (over-powered, some might say). Anyone contacted by telepathy from within the rune will suffer the effects of the rune. Basically: your lawyer will die instantaneously if you contact him right now."

    Wizard seethed. "Say I agree to help you out here, which I don't, whom do you want to kill anyway?"

    "Avatara. He refused to provide assistance for me, which is inexcusable, plus he has repeatedly tried to kill me, which is irritating. He must die."

    Wizard asked, "what assistance did he refuse to provide for you?"

    "That is top-secret information which is given out only on a need-to-know basis," said Selax sternly.

    "Well, this is need-to-know," argued Wizard. "I need to decide if I agree with you about the justification of the murder."

    Selax considered him for a moment, and finally relented. "Then I will tell you that I have no idea what assistance Avatara refused me, but he refused it, and that is unacceptable."

    "I suppose you have a point," admitted Wizard. "Though, if someone treated me like that, I'd mentally torture them and make them my mind-slave and force them to do unpleasant work for the rest of their lives."

    Selax stared at Wizard for a moment. "I'd rather just kill him."

    Wizard shrugged. "Go ahead."

    "I have already explained this to you," Selax warned. "I want you to kill him for me."

    "What will I get if I do?"

    "I won't ban you from Cythera?" Selax offered.

    "Meh," Wizard was unimpressed. "By the time I notice the ban, it will have already expired."

    "That is true," agreed Selax. "And to clarify, I was joking when I said I'd ban you from Cythera."

    "Haha," said Wizard.

    "In all seriousness," continued Selax. "If you murder Avatara, I will buy you a pizza."

    "Nah. Food is worthless to me because I can simply nurture my body with psychic mind powers."

    "True, but pizza is still rather tasty."

    "Yeah, but not worth the trouble of murdering Avatara."

    "Well then, what do you want in return?" Selax asked.

    Wizard pondered for a moment, then had an idea. "I want you to clean my room for three months."

    "Be reasonable!"

    "I am," affirmed Wizard. "I think that is a comparable amount of work to murdering Avatara."

    "Indeed?" asked Selax. "Just how clean is your room to begin with?"

    Wizard hesitated. "Two months," he compromised.

    Selax grumbled quite a bit. "Fine," he said at last. "Deal."

    "Hurray! W00t! Boo-yah!" Wizard exclaimed, doing a small victory dance.

    "Don't make me rescind the deal," warned Selax.

    "You can do that?!" asked Wizard indignantly.

    "Why don't you call your lawyer and see?" suggested Selax with an awkward fake cackle.


    Wizard, unfortunately, had no idea where to start his search for Avatara, so he put that on the back burner for now (speaking of burners, he really needed to go home sometime soon to turn off his stove), and decided to visit his lawyer, Radik, to see if Selax really did have any legal right to rescind the deal they made. Wizard wanted to make sure his room would be cleaned.

    Radik was formerly a hero who roamed around with a group of heros, saving the world from various perils. However, he had stopped by a pub in Kosha several years back and had never left. He now ran a law office in a corner of the pub where he counseled clients on various legal matters (unfortunately he never actually showed up in court, seeing as he never left the pub. He didn't have a lot of repeat clients).

    After a brisk three-year walk, Wizard arrived in Kosha.

    Wizard found Radik enjoying a mug of beer in the pub.

    "Mister Radik, good to see you," greeted Wizard.

    Radik looked up. "Ah, mister... ahm...." Wizard waited. Radik swigged some beer.

    "Wizard," said Wizard finally. "Evil Wizard, to be exact."

    "Right," agreed Radik. "How's it going?"

    Wizard ignored the vague question. "I came here to ask you some legal questions."


    "First of all, I met with my partner Selax and we agreed on an exchange of services for each other. He said 'deal' but then later threatened to rescind the deal. He can't, can he?"

    "Well, that's complicated..." pondered Radik. "Was the agreement witnessed and notarized by the district judge?"

    "Er," hesitated Wizard. "There was no one but the two of us in a half-mile radius... But I acted as Judge Berossus for a period of time. Surely that counts?"

    "No, it would have to be the active judge of the district where this agreement took place. Otherwise it really doesn't count."

    "Well," said Wizard, and dropped down into a seat, "that stinks."

    Radik summoned the barkeeper over and Wizard ordered a round of drinks.


    Meanwhile, in Alternate Cythera...

    Avaltara, Kalterei, and Rapierian never did close the portal between Cytheras. However, they did manage to put a rock into a volcano, which (for some inexplicable reason) caused Alternate Cythera to begin to recover from its barrenness and begin to support life again. So, Avatara and K decided to compromise and call that a victory, and settle back down in their home world to live at peace.

    You probably assume that they developed a romantic relationship and eventually got married. No, alas. Perhaps they would have, if it weren't for Moonshadow. The Moonshadow from the other world came to visit Alternate Cythera and found that she liked it very well, and after some sort of tragedy with her husband, she was looking for a change of scenery. (Well, the scenery in Alternate Cythera was slightly different than real Cythera, anyway) So Moonshadow settled down in Alternate Cythera too, and became close friends with K.

    This left Avatara very confused about his feelings, so he did what any sensible person would have done and shut them both out of his life as much as possible.

    Today, Moonshadow was just getting ready to do some baking when K came to visit her.

    "Good morning, K," Moonshadow greeted her.

    "'Morning," said K. "So, today I was looking through my date book, and I noticed something."

    "Oh?" asked Moonshadow.

    "It's Avatara's birthday."

    "What!" exclaimed Moonshadow.

    "I didn't get him anything!" moaned K. "And it's too late to go shopping now!" (Shopping opportunities in either Cythera were extremely limited, seeing as Saltwax Industries owned every store, and on principle they refused to sell anything useful. Pretty much any sort of shopping required void-traveling, which was quite a nuisance.)

    "Think, think, think," muttered Moonshadow, tapping herself on the head. "Perhaps we can come up with suitable birthday presents from stuff we already have?"

    "I don't know," said K. "I'd love to make him some meaningful creative work, but I'm really busy and I don't think I can make something today."

    "Yeah," agreed Moonshadow, "but we surely we can think of something."

    "Well, what do you have?" asked K.

    "Hmm," thought Moonshadow. She walked over to her pantry and opened the doors. "I know!" she announced suddenly, and produced a jar full of dark coloured goo. "This jar of fancy gourmet honey! It's the perfect gift! (If he doesn't like it, he can re-gift it like I am!)"

    "Wowev!" K was impressed. "That's classic! I'd better go home and see what I can find to give him."

    "I'll come with you," offered Moonshadow. "Then we can visit Avatara together."

    So K and Moonshadow went over to K's house, which wasn't far at all from Moonshadow's house so it did not take them long to walk there.

    The first thing Moonshadow noticed when she entered K's living room was that it was full of large helium balloons. "Whoa, K, where did you get these balloons?" Moonshadow asked.

    "Oh, I've just been collecting them lately," explained K. "Why- you think they could be a gift?"

    "It's PERFECT!" gushed Moonshadow, selecting a bright yellow one and bouncing it around by the ribbon. "It's so cheery and festive, it would be the perfect birthday present!"

    "Are we thinking of the same Avatara?" K asked.

    Moonshadow persisted, "it's his birthday."

    "Well.." considered K, "I suppose you're right. After all, who wouldn't like a balloon?"

    "Exactly!" agreed Moonshadow.

    So Moonshadow and K set off for Avatara's house. Avatara lived a ways away so he could be all hermit-y and stuff. When they were about halfway there, a big red creature jumped in front of them.

    Moonshadow screamed and hugged K. K, though alarmed, tried to comfort Moonshadow.

    "It's okay," said K reassuringly. "It's just Athes. He's a friendly... er, hellish creature made of pure black magic."

    "Salutations!" Athes greeted them warmly. "How are you two lovely ladies this fine morning?"

    "Alright," said Moonshadow a little timidly. K shrugged.

    "I wanted to say thank you," said Athes, addressing K, "for feeding the seed of fire to the great dragon."

    "What??" asked Moonshadow.

    "We put a rock in a volcano for him," K explained, and turning back to Athes said, "you're welcome."

    "I really appreciate it," Athes continued. "I would have done it myself, but I had a dance party to attend.."

    K waited for further explanation, but Athes didn't say anything else. "I see?" she said finally.

    "Um, couldn't you have done it after the dance party?" ventured Moonshadow.

    "Oh, er," fumbled Athes. "Then my dog died, so..."

    "Oh, I'm sorry," said Moonshadow. "I didn't know."

    "Yeah, it's been rough," said Athes heavily.

    K didn't quite see how the pet's death caused Athes to ask for help with the volcano, unless he knew ahead of time that the dog was going to die, but she didn't want to make Athes sad by asking. Maybe demons do have premonitory abilities, for all she knew.

    "Also," said Athes, perking up a bit, "weren't you going to close the portal between Cytheras?"

    "Oh, that..." said K. "We've had some other stuff going on. Maybe after Christmas we'll have time for that..."

    "Hokey-dokey," shrugged Athes. "Well, it was nice catching up with you, I should probably go report back to my mysterious master. Farewell!"

    "Byebye!" K and Moonshadow chorused as Athes turned to go. Unfortunately, when Athes turned, one of his spikes caught on K's balloon and punctured it with a loud pop.

    Athes turned back. "Oh no! I am dreadfully sorry!"

    K trembled. "I-it's not your fault..."

    "I'm so sorry," Athes repeated.

    "It's okay," murmured K. But she didn't mean it, and after Athes departed, she burst into tears.

    Moonshadow comforted her. "It's alright. Avatara will understand."

    "But now I have nothing to give him! And he already hates me!"

    "I don't think he hates you," said Moonshadow tentatively. "Come on, let's go wish him many happy returns."

    K sniffed, but followed Moonshadow on, clutching her broken balloon.

    Unfortunately, they did not make it far before they were attacked by a horde of zombies.

    "Oh no!" exclaimed K. "It's the grotesque disfigured evil immortal zombies from real-Cythera's underground!"

    " More hellish creatures!" groaned Moonshadow.

    "But these ones aren't friendly," K clarified. They looked at each other for a moment and then both shouted in unison, "RUN!"

    They ran. They ran and ran until they came to a cabin, where they barricaded themselves. The demon zombies were close behind them and soon began banging on the doors and windows.

    "What are they doing here?" wondered K.

    "No idea. Maybe they got bored of living in a cave? Maybe whoever controls them wants us dead?" suggested Moonshadow. "What should we do?"

    "Well, typically I'd say we need to kill them, but since these creatures can't be killed, that kind of ruins that plan."

    "Then what?" asked Moonshadow. They fell silent as they thought, and their silence emphasized the pounding of the demon zombies, trying to get into the cabin.

    At length, K offered, "we could make them cookies?"

    "Do you really think that will work?" asked Moonshadow.

    "I don't know, but do you have a better idea?"

    "Point taken." They began rummaging through the cabin to see if they could find cookie ingredients. They were able to round up some flour, butter, eggs, and even some nuts, but the most important ingredient of cookies, the sweetener, could not be found.

    "I can't believe whoever lives here doesn't have any sugar or any kind!" exclaimed Moonshadow in frustration.

    "It must be a bachelor," pointed out K. "Or maybe a college student, to have such an erratically-stocked pantry." She looked around the cabin again, and then noticed the honey Moonshadow had brought to give Avatara. She didn't say anything, but her gaze rested on the honey for a moment.

    Moonshadow noticed. "Oh!" she realized. "I could use that honey to make cookies. But then I wouldn't have anything to give Avatara... But we really don't have a choice, do we?"

    K gave her a sympathetic look, and then they set off to work, making cookies. They made an enormous batch, because by now quite a crowd of demon zombies had gathered outside the cabin, and they were feeling a bit peckish themselves. They used pretty-much all of the honey Moonshadow had brought.

    While the cookies baked, K and Moonshadow told each other scary ghost stories accentuated by the demon zombies pounding on the cabin.


    Meanwhile, not too far away...

    For once Evil Wizard actually decided to get things done right away instead of procrastinating. It only took him a few weeks to wander over to alt-Cythera to assassinate Avatara.

    Evil Wizard, thanks to his freaky psychic powers, knew that Avatara's favourite restaurant was Chili's, so upon arriving in alt-Cythera, he settled just outside the doors to Chili's to wait. Surely it was only a matter of time before Avatara would come for a delicious meal...

    Indeed, as the dinner rush began to set in, Wizard spotted Avatara approaching. Wizard stretched and got up.

    On the far side of the parking lot (unnoticed by Wizard), an elderly, wobbly, man with a walker began to climb out of his carriage.

    Wizard began to walk toward the entrance to the restaurant. By now Avatara had already gone in. Wizard grumbled under his breath. It would have been less messy to kill Avatara before he went in, but oh well.

    The elderly gentlemen slowly, unsteadily made his way across the parking lot.

    Wizard proceeded toward the door. Just as he was working up the effort to lift his arm and open the door, an old man with a walker came out of nowhere and got in his way. "In some kind of hurry?" Wizard asked rudely. The old man didn't seem to hear him. Wizard watched as the old man let go of his walker, opened the restaurant door, and attempted to hold the door open and push his walker through at the same time.

    Finally Wizard sighed and held the door open for him. Once he got through, Wizard went in and began to walk toward the dining area.

    As Wizard walked through the restaurant, he was passed again by the elderly man, who, having finished his dinner, was now departing. Wizard looked around for Avatara, but he was nowhere to be found.

    "Blast!" muttered Wizard. "He must have developed some sort of superpower like teleportation or superhuman (superelf?) speed. This will make killing him much more trouble. I must go home and play video games - I mean develop a new plan."

    And with that, Wizard began the slow journey back to real Cythera and his house.


    Avatara, after savoring a nice meal at Chili's, headed back to his hermit cabin. As he got close, he noticed some very unusual things. His front lawn was covered with hundreds of cookies. And his cabin was surrounded by unkillable demon zombies, who appeared to be trying to pound their way in.

    Avatara sighed. Never a quiet evening.


    By the time Moonshadow and K's cookies were finished, their nerves were quite on-edge. It took a great deal of courage for them just to crack open one of the windows and throw out some cookies.

    It turned out that the demon zombies had no interest whatever in the cookies, but the girls kept throwing them out, hoping they would catch on. Finally, between eating the cookies and throwing them out the window, they completely ran out of cookies. And the demon zombies were still pounding on the cabin.

    "Okay..." assessed Moonshadow, "this is bad."

    "This is very bad," agreed K.

    Suddenly the lock on the cabin's back door turned, and the door began to open. The girls screamed and jumped into each other's arms. The door opened, and Avatara entered.

    Avatara blinked at K and Moonshadow, and then glanced around his cabin, which was full of dirty dishes from the cookie-making. ". . . I don't know what I was expecting," he said finally.

    "Avatara!" said the girls in surprise.

    "What are you doing here?" asked K.

    "How'd you get through the demon zombies?" asked Moonshadow.

    "I live here," replied Avatara, to the first question.

    "You do?" asked K, mystified.

    "Wait, this is your house?" Moonshadow asked. The girls looked at each other.

    "I guess we were kind of distracted when we ran up to it," considered K.

    "And I don't think I've ever been inside his house before," realized Moonshadow.

    "Me neither," said K with a raised eyebrow. They turned back to Avatara.

    "Don't look at me," Avatara defended. "I've invited you several times and you've never come."

    "When?" persisted K.

    Avatara evaded the question. "What are you doing in my house?"

    "We came to wish you happy birthday!" said Moonshadow brightly.

    "I thought you didn't know I lived here?"

    "On the way, we got attacked by the demon zombies," explained K.

    "So you led them to my house and left them to pound on it until they utterly destroy it?"

    "We were working on a plan!" said Moonshadow.

    "Unfortunately, the demon zombies don't seem to like cookies," finished K.

    "Maybe they're allergic to nuts," suggested Avatara, noticing his cutting board covered in nut fragments.

    "Yeah, I'm sure that's the problem," said K sarcastically.

    Moonshadow asked again, "how did you get past the demon zombies?"

    "That part's easy," said Avatara with a wave of his hand. "You just have to pretend they don't exist."

    "Sure," said K, rolling her eyes.

    "It's true," held Avatara. "How do you think I got past them? Threatening them with nuts?"

    "I think the pounding on the house is becoming less vigorous," considered Moonshadow. "Did you do something to them?"

    "I'm pretending they don't exist." repeated Avatara. "Try it."

    "We should humour him," K decided. "After all, it's his birthday."

    K and Moonshadow concentrated, and pretended that the demon zombies didn't exist. Shortly, the pounding left up entirely, and the girls looked out the window in bewilderment.

    Outside, the demon zombies were literally fading away.

    "Amazing," breathed Moonshadow.

    "The best line of defense against abandoned villains," Avatara explained. "Ignoring them."

    "I'm sorry about the mess," said K feebly.

    "Yeah, we'll clean up," said Moonshadow, looking like she very much dreaded it.

    K held the yellow balloon fragments out to Avatara. "I brought you a balloon. But..."

    "You killed it?" guessed Avatara.

    "Kind of," said K, her eyes filling with tears.

    "And I brought you a jar of honey," sand Moonshadow, picking up the empty jar. "But we had to use it to make the cookies."

    Avatara frowned sadly.

    "You could use the honey residue in the jar to make bread," suggested Moonshadow. "And perhaps you could use the jar to store things."

    "Like a balloon?" guessed Avatara.

    "Er, no," responded Moonshadow. "I meant you could use it for canning, it's a nice jar anyway.."

    But Avatara put the broken balloon in the sticky honey jar and secured the lid. "There," he said. "I shall treasure it always." (The girls had no idea if he was being serious or not, so they just smiled weakly.)

    Just then, there was a knock on Avatara's door. "More birthday wellwishers?" guessed K.

    Avatara answered the door, and there was Evil Rythan. In all of his huge, terrifying, villain imposingness.

    "What have you done to my minions?!" demanded Evil Rythan.

    Avatara deflected. "Why did they attack Moonshadow and Katerei?"

    "To remind everyone that I am still here, and I'm still going to take over the world!" roared Rythan. "Bow before me, and perhaps I shall make you my slave and torment you forever, instead of using you to replenish my demon zombie army!"

    Moonshadow gasped.

    "What are you going to do?" asked K, freaking out. "You can't ignore him away like you did the demon zombies!"

    "Oh, can't I?" asked Avatara. Rythan was already fading away.

    "What is happening to me?!" demanded Rythan, noticing his hands becoming transparent. "What vile trick is this?"

    But before he could threaten Avatara any more, he vanished completely. The girls cheered, and celebrated by going off to find proper birthday gifts for Avatara. (Unfortunately, they forgot to clean up the mess they'd made of his cabin.)


    In real Cythera, evil Wizard finally approached his home. He daydreamed about all of the sitting around doing nothing he would do when he got there. It had been a long day (or several years), and he could hardly wait to relax at home.

    Once he got close, Wizard noticed that where he expected to see his house, there were only burnt ruins and piles of ash.

    "Oh yeah..." remembered Wizard. "I forgot to turn off the stove."

    This post has been edited by BreadWorldMercy453 : 04 June 2014 - 08:44 AM

  • An amusing story as always, 453 :) . The only potential problem would be that Wizard seems much faster in that story than he is in reality.

  • I've missed so many excellent stories! These are much better than trying to keep up with the TS. BW, your stories always make me laugh; excellent work as usual. And Kat, I enjoyed seeing your older artwork. I liked seeing the development in your style over time. :)

  • I wrote this a couple months ago in a fit of creativity. It's a poetic adaptation of the closing scene of my pre-DM novel, which isn't really a spoiler because the events have already been made known in DM.

    Some time after K betrays Avatara, she returns to his house to leave a goodbye letter for him. But she hesitates, and lays down in the grass to stare up at the afternoon sun and think back on their time together, before entering his house to leave the fateful letter.

    <edit> Oh, I guess I should title it so our friendly moderator doesn't name it something weird in the index. It's tentatively called 'Sunlight.' </edit>

    Face up in the overgrown grass tickles
    my shoulder blade where you once –

    Press palms to my eyes and block out
    the afternoon sun bleeds between my bones hot blood glows

    You are my fire and you are so far away from me.

    A heartbeat or three to dream paper cranes rise
    just one, falls sky beyond reach I fall just one, day to earth

    Ink stain nails mark me forever
    smudged letter/s catching fire in my pocket

    I am the ocean. Under your heat I evaporate know myself
    damp air just salt in grass

    Pull one hand away blinding your face etched
    inside my eyes never really there

    I am the ocean. Graze the sky horizon line out of sight sun
    overlaps we kiss the earth and never


    This post has been edited by iKaterei : 23 June 2013 - 11:54 PM

  • Nice work, Katerei :) .

    Also, Wizard, I note that you failed to mention that a little old lady with a walker challenged you to a race a couple of weeks ago...

  • Someone cough complained about GM falling off the main page, so I dug around in my Cythera folder to see if I had anything to post. I don't have any of my own work, but a long time ago I saved this sketch that Moonshadow did of her namesake.


  • 0_1550997282507_Pasted Graphic.png

    Quick drawing to practice using a tablet. You may be wondering why Bellerophon is wearing a pink polo shirt.

  • Awesome! I was really impressed with the drawing, but it's the caption that really got me. I just love jokes based on the game : ****D And yes, I am curious about the shirt, though it looks more purple than pink to me? Also, is he wearing shin-guards? o_O (That might be useful protection against ratlizards)

  • (Prologue: A Visit from St. Firecat )

    'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through alt-Cythera
    Not a creature was stirring, not even a capybara
    The heroes hung their stockings inside the volcano
    Hoping for more than a rock or potato
    Av & K were nestled all snug in their sleeping bags
    Dreaming of Selax, torture, slavery, and rags
    While mean old Rapierian needed no sleep
    He stayed up and schemed how to be a bigger creep
    When from outside the cave there arose such a ruckus
    It sounded like someone clanging around in metal buckets
    Rapierian ran outside of the cave, fast as Flynn
    To find out what was making that awful din
    For as far as he knew, this land was barren
    And nothing lived there but K, Av, & him
    As for his surprise, who could gauge?
    For outside his saw his friend Yomu, now called Sage!
    And if that wasn't enough, he wasn't alone
    Rap would've called for backup, but there was no signal on his phone
    Sage directed his minions, each individually
    (Though really he got their names wrong, quite abysmally)
    "Now Mittens, now Ginger, now Kitty and Tiger!
    On Whiskers, on Boots, on Garfield and Biter!
    Now to the volcano, on to the secret entrance!
    Quickly now, before evil Wizard has his vengeance!"
    The small army of cats dashed on ahead
    While Rapierian, feeling hungry, ate a piece of bread
    He watched as the cats entered a hidden cave
    Sage followed, then Athes, carrying a sack like a slave
    Rapierian was curious and made the decision
    To follow these fellows and provide supervision
    Around dark twists & turns Sage and minions walked
    Behind them Rapierian silently stalked
    Unbeknownst to Athes, his sack had a small hole
    From which fell many candies, treats, and one lump of coal
    Rapierian hoarded the sweets as they fell to the ground
    Now his pockets were bulging and he was looking quite round
    At last Sage & minions finally stopped
    When they came to the place where the stockings had been propped
    Sage took the sack from Athes and began filling
    Av & K stockings, which Rapierian found thrilling
    For quickly Sage emptied the sack and Rap saw
    That his plan had contained a tragic flaw
    Now Sage realized the sack was missing a lot
    He sent Athes back, and Rapierian would be caught
    Was it time now for Rapierian to make his appearance?
    Or somehow cause there to be an interference?
    A mild explosive he threw from his cloak
    But it was really a candy cane he'd grabbed, what a joke
    Sage was on to him in no time flat
    Pounced he upon him, agile as a cat
    "I can see, naughty miscreant, that you haven't reformed
    My anger against you is thoroughly warmed
    You have selfishly stolen what was meant for your peers
    And despite all your misdeeds, you show no fears!"
    Rapierian knew what Sage said was true
    But felt only amusement all the way through.

    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    (Act 1: Yomu's Warning)

    Rapierian stood calmly, Sage pushing him against the wall of the cave, ranting about how awful of a person Rapierian was for stealing his companions' Christmas candy.

    "You seem very upset," Rapierian observed when Sage stopped for breath, "fascinating."

    This comment only seemed to aggravate Sage further. "You don't understand!" he roared. (It was pretty loud, considering how close his face was to Rapierian's ears, with irked Rapierian.) Suddenly Sage seemed to convulse, he was having some kind of seizure. Rapierian pushed him away to insure his own safety. Sage fell to the ground, convulsing for several seconds. After he stopped, he moaned and sat up.

    Rapierian stared at him in curiosity. He looked different than he had moments earlier - his face, his eyes, they were different, and familiar. He looked more like the boy Rapierian remembered from the Tree of Life and Terminated quests.

    "Yomu?" Rapierian asked uncertainly.

    "Hi," said Yomu. It was more of a moan than speech, really.

    "Very interesting... I thought you were dead."

    "I am dead," agreed Yomu. "At a great deal of personal effort, I have come back, to warn you!"

    "I figured Firecat killed you and took over your body," continued Rapierian.

    "Yeah, that is pretty-much what happened."

    "And yet you've come back? This is most intriguing. As you might know, I'm very interested in the field of reversing death. Though your sentience returning is unfortunate, indeed.."

    "Rapierian, listen," said Yomu seriously. "You are in great danger! If you do not change your ways very soon, you will be bound for a similar fate to mine! Confined to these chains, these heavy heavy chains, for all eternity."

    "Chains?" Rapierian raised an eyebrow. Yomu wasn't wearing anything remotely like chains.

    "Yes, chains!" sighed Yomu. "The chains of imprisonment, never relenting, not one sliver of freedom have I been allowed, until now, and I fear this shall be terribly brief. I too did not understand the meaning of Christmas, I too failed to show love and compassion to my companions, and as a result, I am imprisoned for eternity, slave to a master with less-than-desired motives, with no will of my own..."

    "You mean Firecat?" asked Rapierian, growing quite bored of the conversation.

    "Aye, that one. You, of course, will be enslaved to a different, even crueler, master. But you also will be bound in heavy chains until the end of the time, with no free will, your every action an agonizing torture."

    "What a shame," commented Rapierian disinterestedly.

    "You still do not grasp the gravity of the situation," lamented Yomu. "Listen, tonight, this very night, three of my cronies will visit you to convince you of what I have said."

    "More dead people?" asked Rapierian with a hint of excitement.

    "Aye," said Yomu sadly. "I think I have done all that I can do for you. I hope that after the three conferences with my associates, you will choose to heed my advice."

    "I don't even remember what your advice is," said Rapierian honestly.

    "To change your ways and show Christmas love to your companions!"

    "Oh. Suuuuure..."

    "I must be going, I want to see how far I can get before I'm forced back to the Land of the Dead."

    "I understand. Hey, I'll walk you out," offered Rapierian.

    "Thank you."

    Yomu and Rapierian walked back to the volcano's secret entrance, Sage's minions following awkwardly behind. When they reached the entrance, Yomu kept going. "Fare thee well!" He called back to Rapierian.

    Rapierian stayed at the entrance a moment, pondering in curiosity the things Yomu had told him. In the distance, he could hear bells jingling. Bells? What was that? It seemed to be coming from the sky. Rapierian looked off to the distance and saw a form in the sky, coming nearer.

    The jingling grew louder too, and finally the UFO was close enough to distinguish. It appeared to be a flying sleigh pulled by flying reindeer. And they were descending. Once it got close enough, Rapierian realized that Selax was in the sleigh, but he did not appear to have control over his vehicle.

    The reindeer crashed - right on top of Yomu.

    After a lot of arranging themselves and Selax shouting at them and stomping on Yomu, the reindeer finally managed to take flight again.

    Rapierian watched with interest. A flying sleigh - fascinating. Perhaps he should try that someday...

    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    (Music break! (1 of 2))

    Yomu got run over by a reindeer
    Walking home from our camp, Christmas eve
    You can think there's no such thing as Selax
    But as for me and Firecat, we believe!

    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    (Music break! (2 of 2))

    _O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree!
    You are not very impressive
    O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree!
    You're really rather depressive

    Ever since the elements died
    None of the trees have really thrived
    O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
    Your lights set fire to thee : ****(_

    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    (Act 2: The Ghost of Christmas Past)

    Alone, Rapierian made his way back to the cave-chamber where he, K, and Avatara had made camp for the night (Sage's minions had wandered off to who-knows-where after Yomu was hit by a reindeer). He didn't really believe that he'd be visited by more dead people (after all, what are the chances?), and he was bored with his schemes at the moment, so he got into his sleeping bag and went to sleep...


    Rapierian stirred slightly.


    Rapierian sat up and looked around. Someone had said his name. It was fairly dim in the cave, lit only by some nearby pools of lava, but Rapierian eventually identified the visitor. It seemed to be a not-entirely-corporeal four-legged purple unicorn, who was simply floating in the air.

    Rapierian stood up. "You called?" he asked the unicorn-ghost casually.

    "Yes. My name is Twilight Sparkle, and I am the Ghost of Christmas Past. I am here to teach you about the magic of friendship."

    Rapierian rolled his eyes. "I'm going back to bed."

    "Not so fast, mister!" said the Ghost of Christmas Past, and her ghostly horn began to glow, and before Rapierian knew it, he and the ghost both teleported away.

    Rapierian now was in a forest somewhere. Actually, he was floating above a forest, he had become incorporeal like the unicorn who was now floating beside him.

    "So, you're a ghost," said Rapierian.

    "That's right," agreed Twilight.

    "That means you're dead."

    "Yes, I am. Would you like to hear my tragic tale?"

    "I don't know... Do you have any popcorn?"

    "Afraid not."

    "Bummer. Oh all right, I'll listen. This better be a good tragic tale."

    The Ghost of Christmas Past looked overall unimpressed with Rapierian's attitude. "Long ago," she begun, "I lived in another world called Equestria. Equestria was a world of ponies - Earth Ponies, Pegasi, and Unicorns, such as myself. I was a scholar of the magical arts, and I dedicated my life to studying the magic of friendship."

    "Bah, humbug!" muttered Rapierian. This wasn't a very good tragic tale.

    "Before he lost the ability to void-travel, an evil overlord named Selax came into our world. My friends and I were left to defend it, and with the magic of friendship, we were able to prevent him from completely taking over for many months, before we ultimately succumbed to his terrifying power. He killed us, and we are now banished from the land of mortals, unable to return except on Christmas Eve, when the magic of friendship is exceptionally strong. Even now, I cannot fully return, and remain merely a ghost..."

    Rapierian yawned. "So if the magic of friendship didn't do you any good, what's the point?"

    This seemed to be a touchy subject for Twilight. "HEY BUDDY, I'LL ASK THE QUESTIONS!" she exploded. Rapierian smiled in amusement. "Now, let's get back to your world," she said. "Have you figured out why I'm called the Ghost of Christmas Past?"

    "I found I didn't care," said Rapierian.

    "It's because I've taken you to revisit a Christmas from your past," explained Twilight. "Do you recognize this forest?"

    Rapierian did, but he did not care to remember it. Against his will, he found that he and the Ghost of Christmas Past were somehow moving, going further and further into the forest. Finally they stopped in a clearing where a group of kids were playing some sort of game. Off to the side, a little boy Rapierian watched them. The young Rapierian was barely recognizable to those who know the adult Rapierian, his appearance was much different. Most notably, the child's large nose emanated red light. The red light flickered, making a faint-but-annoying screeching sound.

    As the ghosts watched above, the child Rapierian approached the playing children. "Hey guys," he said shyly. "Can I play? Please?"

    "Look everyone!" said one of the little boys. "It's Lightbulb-Nose!" The kids laughed. "He wants to play with us!" More laughter. Little-Rapierian was looking at the ground. "I've got an idea," continued the bully, "why don't we play hide-and-go-seek? You hide, and we'll see how long it takes for someone to see or hear your nose!" More laughter.

    "Nevermind," said little-Rapierian, and turned around and ran away.

    "The little boy, ostracized by his peers because of a horrendous birth defect," lamented Twilight. "He never again tried to make friends or discover the magic of friendship. Alas! When he grew older, he turned to dark magic to correct the nose defect, but he was never the same..."

    "To think, I may have never discovered the joy of dark magic if it weren't for that birth defect!" said Rapierian in horror.

    "No no NO!" exclaimed Twilight. "You're supposed to be thinking about what you did miss - friendship!"

    "Meh," shrugged Rapierian.

    The Ghost of Christmas Past sighed. "I was afraid of this." The forest faded around them as they were teleported back into the volcanic cave. "I'll have to leave you to my friend, the Ghost of Christmas Present. Hopefully she can knock some sense into you!"

    With that, the ghost-unicorn disappeared. Rapierian shrugged and sat down to wait for the next ghost.

    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    (Music break!)

    _Deck the halls with leaves of peppermint, fa la la la la la la la la
    'Tis the season to scoff at betterment, fa la la la la la la la la
    Don we now our metal breastplates, fa la la la la la la la la
    To protect us on our ice skates, fa la la la la la la la la

    Laugh at lame old Blazing Trails , fa la la la la la la la la
    Strike the lyre and sing your tales, fa la la la la la la la la
    Telling our story is quite a pleasure, fa la la la la la la la la
    A longer tale than Tale of the Treasure , fa la la la la la la la la

    Time stands still in this TS, fa la la la la la la la la
    So thoughts of the New Year will only depress, fa la la la la la la la la
    Rejoice tonight that we're highly honored, fa la la la la la la la la
    Heedless that we'll soon be conquered, fa la la la la la la la la!_

    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    (Act 3: The Ghost of Christmas Present)

    Rapierian must've dozed off, because he was awakened by a very quiet, timid voice.

    "um, excuse me..." whispered the voice.

    Rapierian found that the speaker (or whisperer) looked similar to the last ghost - incorporeal and pony-like. This one was a yellow pegasus with a pink mane and pink tail. "Are you the Ghost of Christmas Present?" asked Rapierian.

    "um, yes, i am... i'm sorry to disturb you..."

    "Well, let's get this over with."

    "yes, um, of course... sorry..."

    The cave around Rapierian and the Ghost of Christmas Present disappeared, and they found themselves floating in an enormous ballroom, full of elegantly dressed people, most of whom were dancing. At the center of the room stood a large, intricately-decorated Christmas tree.

    K and Avatara (dressed up of course) were dancing together, until the ballroom doors opened and Yomu Drosselmeyer entered.

    "Godfather!" exclaimed K, and ran over to him.

    Yomu cringed. "Aren't I younger than you?"

    "I dunno, how old are you?" asked K.

    "I dunno, how old are you? " Yomu shot back.

    "I dunno. Did you bring me a present?"

    "As a matter of fact, I did."

    K beamed.

    "Rapierian!" called Yomu. For the first time, incorporeal-Rapierian noticed the Rapierian present at the party. He was dressed in a disgusting fancy suit. Party-Rapierian bounded over to Yomu cheerfully.

    "What is this?" asked incorporeal-Rapierian in disgust.

    "um, this is what happened a few hours ago?" The Ghost of Christmas Present whispered.

    "In what reality?"

    "it, um, happened here. to you. sorry."

    Rapierian raised an eyebrow and looked back at the party. Yomu had given K a couple of creepy life-sized dancing dolls, and Rapierian a set of toy soldiers. Then Yomu pulled yet another gift out, a nutcracker. Incorporeal-Rapierian narrowed his eyes, that nutcracker looked an awful lot like Avatara... Who had mysteriously vanished from the party.

    Yomu gave the nutcracker to K, who seemed completely enthralled with it. She danced around the room, hugging and adoring the stupid nutcracker. It sickened both Rapierians. Finally party-Rapierian snatched the nutcracker from her arms and started a game of keep-away with the other boys at the party.

    Incorporeal-Rapierian chuckled. "Nice one!"

    "um," whispered the Ghost of Christmas Present, sounding terrified, "i'm obliged to point out that it wasn't 'nice' at all, it was actually quite mean. sorry."

    The boys continued throwing the nutcracker back & forth until party-Rapierian accidentally threw it into the wall and broke it. K cried in despair, while party-Rapierian shrugged.

    "you, um, y-you recognize this, right?" whispered the Ghost of Christmas Present.

    "Well, except we weren't actually at a fancy party, we were in a volcanic cave, and there wasn't actually a nutcracker, just candy, and I didn't break it, I just hoarded it for myself, and Avatara and K slept through the whole thing, but other then that... yeah, it was completely different."

    "oh," she squeaked. "i guess i got some of the details wrong. i'm really sorry." She was lying down in midair, trying to hide behind her hooves.

    Down at the party, Yomu Drosselmeyer was now tying a handkerchief around the broken jaw of the nutcracker. K looked somewhat relieved at the solution. She gently lay the nutcracker under the tree. Then the scene seemed to fade, fast forwarding until the ballroom was empty. Then K slipped back in, in her nightgown, and fell asleep under the tree with the nutcracker.

    "Somewhat disturbing," noted Rapierian.

    "it-it gets more interesting..."

    Then the ghosts heard a scurrying sound, and a horde of mice suddenly sprang forth from the shadows and ran toward the Christmas tree. Dozens of toy soldiers on & around the tree came to life and took defensive stances, readying swords and cannons. The nutcracker also came to life, and was silently giving orders to the soldiers.

    K, meanwhile, was shrinking.

    Rapierian glanced at the Ghost of Christmas Present. "Took just a few liberties, did you?"

    The Ghost of Christmas Present was still hiding behind her hooves and shaking uncontrollably. "ju-ju-just a few. i'm trying to show the hardships your companions must face because of your selfish actions."

    "I don't get it," confessed Rapierian. "I caused them to become little toys and to be attacked by mice?"

    "um.. yes.. something like that."

    K (now approximately the size of a toy soldier) had woken up and was frantic about the danger the nutcracker was in. The nutcracker was dueling with the leader of the mouse army, a slightly larger mouse who wore a royal crown. It was pretty obvious that the nutcracker had no chance.

    K took off one of her slippers and threw it at the mouse king. The slipper hit him in the head and he fell down, dead.

    "Wow!" Rapierian was impressed with the effectiveness of the slipper-throw. "We should try that against Selax!"

    The mice were now retreating, dragging the body of their dead king with them. The toy soldiers cheered. The nutcracker no longer looked much like a nutcracker, just a miniature Avatara. He and K boarded a sleigh that had appeared out of nowhere, and took off to... what, another alternate dimension? Rapierian and the Ghost of Christmas Present seemed to be following them.

    Shortly, they arrived in Candyland. Some random fairy seemed ecstatic to see Avatara & K, and promptly ordered a bunch of candies, drinks, and miscellaneous other goodies to dance for them.

    Rapierian covered his eyes and groaned at all the cheerful dancing performances. "Does anything else happen?" he asked.

    "um. well. no. not really."

    "I'm out of here," he announced, and turned to leave; but found to his dismay that while he could move his limbs, he couldn't actually propel himself in any direction. "Take me back!" he demanded to the Ghost of Christmas Present.

    The Ghost of Christmas Past shook even more violently. "okay," she squeaked.

    Immediately, Rapierian (once again corporeal) and the ghost were back in the volcanic-cave-camp.

    "thank you. i'm sorry. bye," whispered the Ghost of Christmas Present, and disappeared.

    Rapierian glanced Avatara and K, and saw they were still sleeping as soundly as ever.

    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    (Music break!)

    (Selax's dream)

    _Dashing through the void,
    No humans, elves, nor fay
    Over realities I go
    Laughing all the way
    All who see me scream
    I don't care if it's perverse
    Oh what find to ride and scheme
    How to take over the universe

    Oh, jingle bells, jingle bells
    Jingle all the way
    Why is voidtravel so noisy and loud?
    It's much to my dismay - hey!
    Jingle bells, jingle bells
    Jingle all the way
    I will kill who's making all this noise
    They must learn to obey_

    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    (Act 4: The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come)

    Rapierian was torn between horror over the festivities he had been forced to witness, and curiosity about what the third ghost would show him. He hadn't long to wait though, because with a pop, a pink pony ghost appeared beside him. She was very hyper and jumped around Rapierian in circles.

    "Knock it off," Rapierian ordered, and the pony ghost stopping circling around him, but continued bouncing in place.

    Rapierian had a bad feeling about this ghost.

    "Who are you?" he asked.

    The pony ghost indicated a name tag sticker on her chest. It read, HELLO, MY NAME IS
    Pinkie Pie - The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come!

    "So... You're going to show me a Christmas of my future?" reasoned Rapierian. The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come nodded vehemently. Then she pulled a piece of paper and a pencil from out of nowhere, and began writing.

    She wrote for a very long time. Rapierian nodded off and was awakened when she shoved the paper under his nose. Rapierian accepted it and read,

    I am going to show you your fate if you do not change your ways. Without the magic of friendship, you will become more & more cruel & heartless, EVEN on Christmas!!!

    Cool! thought Rapierian, and read on,

    _By the way, my world was conquered by Selax. Not only did he kill me, but he took my most treasured possession, my voice, away from me for all of the after-life! Which is HORRIBLY UNPLEASANT because I really like to talk!! If you embrace the magic of friendship, you just might have a chance against Selax!! But you need to reform now, while there's still time!!

    Sincerely, Pinkie Pie

    P.S. Don't ask me anymore questions, because I don't want to write anymore. Do you have any idea how hard it is to write with hooves?!?_

    When Rapierian finished reading, he looked up at the ghost. "I've got to say, I think it's rather lucky for me that you can't talk."

    Pinkie Pie threw a balloon at him. Where did she get that balloon? Rapierian wondered. The balloon, however, only made it about halfway to Rapierian and then drifted back and forth as it slowly fell to the floor. Rapierian snickered.

    Pinkie Pie narrowed her eyes, and the volanic cave faded away around them.

    Rapierian, yet again an incorporeal spirit, found himself on a mountain, just outside of a cave. Another Rapierian, an old and wrinkled one, stood at the mouth of the cave, glowering at something. Ghost-Rapierian followed old-Rapierian's gaze down the mountain. At the foot of the mountain was a small village of Cytherans.

    The villagers, clearly visible from this vantage point, were bustling about, decorating the village with wreaths and Christmas lights.

    Old-Rapierian muttered to himself. "I must stop Christmas from coming! But how?"

    He continued glowering for a few moments before his eyes lit up as though he had an idea. He turned and ran back into the cave. Ghost-Rapierian & The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come followed motionlessly.

    "Slaves!" called old-Rapierian. "Make me a Santa costume, stat!"

    Half-a-dozen undead servants crept out of the shadows and began setting up a sewing machine and rooting through old-Rapierians chests of spare material.

    Old-Rapierian left them to their work. "Now, reindeer..." he muttered to himself. "That's harder, as they don't live on Cythera. Hmm..." He wandered down the hallways of the cave.

    "What is he doing?" wondered ghost-Rapierian.

    Pinkie Pie threw a paper-tub of popcorn at him and motioned to her mouth, looking furious.

    "What? You want me to ask you more questions?" asked ghost-Rapierian innocently.

    Pinkie Pie pulled a cannon out of nowhere and shot it at ghost-Rapierian. Confetti exploded in his face. "My, temper, temper!" he scolded, brushing ghostly confetti off his shoulders.

    Old-Rapierian had disappeared down the passage, but now returned, carrying a wild Wolflizard who was trying desperately to eat him. He set it down, dumped some potion on it that seemed to make it instantly docile, then set about tying a stick (that looked somewhat like an antler) to its head.

    Ghost-Rapierian was intrigued, his future-self's plan made no sense whatsoever.

    "There!" old-Rapierian declared, when he was satisfied that the stick was adequately secured to the wolflizard's head. "Looks just like a reindeer! Well, close enough. Who around here knows what a reindeer looks like anyway?"

    The undead slaves came to him, carrying a furry red coat with white cuffs. Reluctantly, old-Rapierian removed his vial-filled cloak and donned the Santa coat. "It's for the greater good," he mumbled. "Or should I say, 'it's for the greater bad'?" He shrugged. "Ready the Bat-mobile," he instructed the undead slaves.

    Old-Rapierian took the wolflizard out to the entrance of the cave, the place where ghost-Rapierian & Pinkie Pie had first seen him. The crew of undead were pulling from around the mountain, a giant red sleigh.

    "It's a good thing I happened to have a giant red sleigh lying around," noted old-Rapierian. He harnessed the wolflizard to the sleigh and got in. "Giddyup!" he ordered the wolflizard, and whipped the ground for good measure. The wolflizard took off down the mountain, toward the Christmas-celebrating village...

    Time fast-forwarded for the ghosts, and when it stilled, it was quite dark out and the entire village seemed to be asleep. The ghosts floated into one of the dark, slumbering houses, just as old-Rapierian could be heard climbing on the roof above.

    The house was filled with Christmas decorations and Christmas presents. The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come bounced around, silently pointing out all the decorations. She looked thrilled. Then old-Rapierian came in through the chimney.

    Old-Rapierian had a few empty sacks, which he promptly began filling with stockings, presents, Christmas decorations, etc.

    "Ahh," said ghost-Rapierian, "he's stealing their Christmas junk! A clever idea, if I do say so myself."

    Pinkie Pie gaped at him.

    After Old-Rapierian emptied the refrigerator of Christmas feast items, he unplugged the Christmas tree and began stuffing it up the chimney.

    "Santy-claus?" Old-Rapierian had been making such a racket with the tree, that he did not notice a very small little girl had approached (perhaps she had been awakened by the racket). "Why are you taking our Christmas tree?"

    "Oh," said old-Rapierian, a bit taken aback and not expecting to have to explain his actions. That's okay though, he had planned for this eventuality. "One of the lights on your iTree is broken, I'm going to deliver it to the Apple Store for repairs. It should be back to you in 30-45 business days."

    "Did you try replacing the bulb?" asked the little girl. "We have lots of replacement bulbs."

    Old-Rapierian scowled. "The problem needs to be diagnosed by a certified Apple technician," he explained. "It's very naughty of you to question Santa - no presents for you this year!" The little girl burst into tears. "Hey, I bet you're thirsty, drink this," said old-Rapierian, handing her a sleeping potion.

    The little girl drank the potion, fell asleep on the floor, and old-Rapierian high-tailed it to the next house.

    Time fast-forwarded again for the ghosts as old-Rapierian patiently stole the Christmas stuff from all the homes in the village. Finally, as the sun was beginning to rise, old-Rapierian and he sleigh full of loot began their ascent up the mountain to old-Rapierian's cave. This was very hard work for the wolf-lizard, and progress was slow.

    Finally, old-Rapierian deigned to give the wolflizard a rest when they reached a flat ledge. Old-Rapierian himself was quite eager to hear the villagers' cries of despair when they realized Christmas was gone. He put his hand to his ear, listening, wondering if they were awake yet.

    Yes! He heard something! Wait... that wasn't crying. That was singing.

    Ghost-Rapierian heard it too, and shuddered. The villagers were singing some kind of cheerful Christmas carol, it was awful! He put his ghostly hands over his ears, which did no good at all.

    "How can this be?" muttered old-Rapierian. "They sound happy. How can they be happy when they've all been robbed? This doesn't make any sense. It can't be because of Christmas , can it? No, it can't be..."

    But it was clear to the ghosts that old-Rapierian wasn't so sure.

    "What if Christmas wasn't just an annoyance? What if it was something beautiful, something amazing?" pondered old-Rapierian. His entire worldview seemed to be falling down around him.

    "Are you crazy?!" exclaimed ghost-Rapierian.

    Old-Rapierian made a decision. "Wolflizard, turn around, we're going back to the village!" The wolflizard looked thoroughly exasperated. Old-Rapierian threw another docile-ifying potion at it. "We're going to return what we stole!"

    "WHAT? No!" ghost-Rapierian screamed. But Old-Rapierian was already sliding down the hill. Ghost-Rapierian was forced to watch as his future self handed out Christmas gifts to all the villagers, joined them in caroling, and finally served them their Christmas feast.

    "He's lost his marbles," murmured ghost-Rapierian. "He's gone completely bonkers. No. No. NO! Noooooooooooooooooo........."

    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    (Music break!)

    _It's the most wonderful time of the year
    When underneath the Tavern
    We explore a cavern then return to buy beer!
    It's the most wonderful time of the year

    It's a brief break from school for Selax
    After months of equations and bad applications
    He'll finally relax!
    We hope you'll use this time to write, Selax!

    There'll friends disappearing
    As they spend times endearing
    With family and friends they well know
    There'll be Chronicle stories
    And tales of the glories of TSes long, long ago!

    It's the most wonderful time of the year
    They'll be spammer-bot bans & world takeover plans
    And no one's sincere!
    It's the most wonderful time
    It's the most wonderful time
    It's the most wonderful time of the year!_

    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    (Act 5: Rapierian's decision.)

    For a few moments after Rapierian returned from his third vision, he just lay in bed, trembling with terror over what he had seen. He certainly hadn't expected to see anything so traumatizing.

    If he correctly understood the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, then if he did not embrace friendship now, in his old age he would go senile and embrace friendship in the most humiliating & sappy ways. This was what Yomu had meant by him being someday bound to a cruel master - insanity.

    So, should he do it now, while he still had control over himself? What would that entail, anyway? He assumed at the very least, he'd have to return the candy that was meant for Avatara & K. He also assumed that poisoning the candy first would negate the effect. Well, he could always give the candy to them and watch in amusement as they assumed the candy was poisoned, when actually it wasn't. That actually might be pretty fun.

    It occurred to Rapierian that his motives weren't very friendly, but... meh. What was the fun in being friendly anyway? He resolved to keep on treating people as he always had, but to watch out for Christmas carolers in the future. And if he ever saw Selax again, he'd try throwing a slipper at him.


  • Actually, Rapierian would probably come up with some of plan to blow up his older counterpart...along with everyone else :p .

    Also, now I need to do a saved game where Bellerophon takes all the kids in Cythera to see Alaric...

  • I re-discovered a few poems loosely based off certain DM posts. I wrote them for my poetry class in Dec 2011, but I don't think I posted them at the time because they fall more on the side of being poetic than a literal (easily understandable) adaptation. Nevertheless, here they are.

    "The Life of K" (Reunion)

    Second chances, breaking thru the meniscus of poems, water dripping
    wet, my hair, blue

    Sunlight burn turning silver blind you on the shoreline but I
    am not, her a memory in graphite smudges or scorchmarks

    Handfuls of mist hurled at yr wrist, yr collarbone you never
    took me seriously
    wash away smudge marks

    Poetry swimming at some point you have to put your head under learn
    to breathe thru water &, reemerge, kelp nymph

    Fragile paper cranes the days we spent together but never
    nights (were you happy when

    Seaweed or

    "Outlands" (Outside Cademia)

    If I speak give you a thousand tales you would

    Hovering in shallow forest canopy taller than eyes my feet
    rooted beyond the city silent crumble

    Our history together a paper crane flutters

    Waiting thru breezes thru forest currents brush your skin and my

    Waiting seaweed I drift

    From the city we are lines, one dimensional, kelp stems among trees, cranes caught

    Shoal of unspoken, heaps

    "Cranes" (Abandoned Building)

    In this dusty collapsing house, one corner caved in from years & rain

    The damp turns dust to black grime like burn marks I try futilely to wipe away &
    this corner stands testament

    Wood splinters & remnants of tenants disintegrating, settling, all returns
    to dust

    Repress air

    Shadows flicker from the window kelp ghosts unmoored & agitated
    their lost anchors

    Peer through the missing roof see silhouettes of cranes that never stray far
    from my silence

  • METAPHORICAL MIRROR , the big red-painted letters above the door read. The restaurant with the odd name opened up onto a river-side. Katerei hoped it had a nice atmosphere inside. This day was a rather important day, and she needed everything to be perfect for it to go as planned.

    Avatara walked at an awkward distance along-side her. They had such a rich history together but he didn't know whether he should hold her hand or anything. This was a rather important day, and he didn't want anything going wrong and throwing off his plans.

    The two walked up to the double glass doors, but they did so at the same time. Katerei went to open her door, but Avatara remembered he should be a gentleman, and so tried to open her door before she could. Instead he bumped into her hand with a non-bone crunching sound. "Oh.." She said surprised, stepping back to give him enough room to move aside so she could now go around him. Avatara tried to play off the botched gesture with a smile, but alas, she made no eye contact. Hella awkward yo.

    Katerei gazed around the restaurant. At the podium was a slender, tall man with fiery hair and cats eye contacts. Besides for him, the restaurant was mostly empty, say for one woman in the corner with a pack of children about her. When their eyes met, the woman shrunk back behind her menu, giggling.

    Avatara strode up to the podium to get a table. "May I help you?" The man whispered playfully.

    "I need a table." demanded Avatara in an uncharacteristic fashion.

    "Need? That's a quite a strong word. Are you sure you don't just want a table?"

    "Um, sure. Can I just have a table for two?"

    "I don't see why not, but could you though?"

    Kater took Av's hand, "We'll sit over here."

    "Very well then!" The man said with a salute.

    Katerei found a booth by the window and sat across from her date. The man who 'seated' them was also the waiter, for convenience, and brought them water, plates and menus. Kater browsed the menu but food was the last thing on her mind. So many years had birthed so many memories, good and bad. Light and dark. Mirrors and reflections. She wondered what it all meant, where it was going, what he felt, if she knew what she felt, if that was real, what would happen, what could she do, what was for desert. It confounded her.

    Avatara moved his bitchin' hair to the side. Kat blushed blue and turned away. Av knew he had sweet moves but he didn't want to make this date too physical. That aspect had 'gotten in the way' before with their relationship, and while it was nice to get some blue, it seemed to only complicate and obscure the truth of things. For now, he kept his mad swag in the bag.

    He began to speak his mind (finally) but then Katerei was about to speak, so he stopped, but then she stopped because she thought he was going to speak. It was awkward again. Before the ice could be broken the chef appeared at their table. On his coat the name 'Sealax' was embroidered fancifully.

    "Greetings travelers. I hope you're hungry, for I have MANY a thing to cook for you. Not all on the menu, can't have anything be spoiled. Oh! Food pun haha." The chef said gingerly. Get it? Gingerly! He's a chef, anyways...

    "I think we still need a minute." Av said to the man.

    Silverfish circled high above the restaurant, just chillin'.

    "Perfect!" The chef went on, "I have this whole dinner planned out. Just you wait you'll see! It's gonna be great! Appatizers, 60 of 'em! Main courses! Twice as many! I WILL BURY YOU IN DESERT. You don't realize, but I've been working on these recipes and their presentation for years ," Sealax leaned in uncomfortably close to the soft valley that is Avatara's ear and whispered, " yeeeeaaaarrrsssssssssssss " once more, with extra s's.

    Before Avatara's spine could stop sending tremulous chills through his body, the chef ran back into the kitchen laughing maniacally. The two on the date went back to looking around the restaurant, not knowing how to proceed when it comes to conversation. The waiter had begun to help another customer, the two immediately recognized him as that poor lout Yomu. Luckily he left before he noticed them, cause that would have been awkward, and they had enough of that spice for daaaays.

    Afterward the waiter went and talked to the woman with the heard of children. Their conversation seemed very intense, and throughout all of it the woman and waiter kept pointing at Kat's booth, then disappearing behind her menu with more giggles.

    The waiter strolled by once more. "How is everything?"

    "Fine." Avatara said.

    "Really?" The waiter said with a sick look on his face.

    "Um, yes?"

    "Can one ever truly know if all is fine or not? Even I dare not to boast myself that much."

    "Can I just get more water?"

    "No, I have to do it." The waiter said walking off.

    Avatara groaned. This was going terribly. He just needed to tell Kat, then it would work out. If he just got it out there, everything would be fine. He built up his courage and found his words. It was time to put himself on the line. He opened his mouth ready to proclaim his love, only to have an explosion mute his words.

    "AAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!" Yomu screamed through the smoke. He was fighting a giant beast, and losing, per usual. The beast took him by the arm and flung him away. Broken and bloody the seemingly masochistic man limped over to the two's table.

    "Wuz happnin mah nugs?" he panted. "Y'all ona date or sum shiz? Richeous."

    Av blushed. Kat blushed. It was the 3D-Glasses of blushing. Av manged to get out a strained, "Uhhhhhh-" before Yomu cut him


    "Aite now yal nugs litsen up cuz did shiz abut ta get hevy, sun. Dear a book rite? Is fluggin biiiiig, dawg. Friggin hanus. If we don put a cap in da donkey of dis heuh necromandarin or watevs it gon b mega-bam-bam to the J-stop, ya f;eel me?"

    Katerei sighed: a sigh for all spelling and patience. All she wanted to do was talk to Av. You know, maybe get some kind of resolution. Is that too much to ask? Some peace? Who knows what could happened if they just ran off on to another TS. They were already technically in one anyways. The answer for Katerei was no, the answer for the beast was yes; in the form of knocking Yomu through another wall.

    With all the other distractions gone Katerei took Av by the hand, determined to finally get rid of all this damn repressed tension. Only to have it ruined by the Chef. He throttled the table, gasping for breath. His hat was on fire and their were questionable stains all over his coat. Barely making sense he grabbed them by the shoulder, and told them that he had done it, finally done it, and that now he could surpass iron-chef status, and even master-chef status, and thus become... GOD-CHEF. Suck it, Ramsey.

    He disappeared back into the kitchen. Leaving a few broken bread sticks behind. Katerei looked around for the other woman, and managed to catch a glimpse of her as she was crowd surfed out of the restaurant by her plentiful supply of half-lings.

    The two sat in silence. The waiter seemed to be missing as well. They were alone. They nibbled at the stale bread sticks and occasionally exchanged a glance.

    A long moment of silence passed before Avatara sighed. "I don't know why this always happens when we hang out."

    Katerei laughed, "I know. Things sure are crazy where we're concerned."

    Av looked away at that remark, and Katerei realized she had gotten the ball rolling. "Look," She continued, "I think we both know why we're here."

    "Yeah." He stopped looking out the window, turned and looked into her deep blue eyes he had always found so beautiful. "We know." He leaned across the table (bad idea) and kissed her. It was brief and awkward, but she still let him do it. He broke his lips from hers and stepped out of the table, pulling her hand. She bumped into his chest and looked up to him. His eyes were fire, and she could see what he wanted in them: her. They embraced and got fresh for a while. It wasn't like they were gonna get freaky at a restaurant though.

    Outside the door, they stood wondering which way to go. For all intents and purposes they had accomplished what they came her for, only... There was no unbridled joy, or longing sense of regret. Now as they walked holding hands, it was simply that, holding hands. They looked head, each in their own head, wondering if they'd work it out in the next TS.



    Meanwhile back at METAPHORICAL MIRROR...

    "I'VE DONE IT!!!" Sealax burst from the kitchen door, glowing vibrantly with every color of the rainbow+1! "I HAVE ACHIEVED A NEW LEVEL OF BEING, I AM... GOD-CHEF!!" His arms held high, Sealax waited for the shock and aw of his peers, only to hear nothing... "Guys?" He said looking around in his radiance. "... guys? :(/ >"

    Many years later...

    The windows boarded up, and a big "CONDEMNED" sticker slapped on the door. META ORIAL ROR stood as a shell of its former greatness. Apparently it went out of business because the owner (a strange waiter) never actually sold any food, instead talking to his guests to madness through riddles.

    Now, no one goes to the restaurant, only something was forgotten...

    A cloud of dust rose violently from the door that fell off its rusted hinges when opened. The latter part of a flush sound could be heard as an old man walked out, adjusting his robes. "Phew!" said Wizard, "Y'all might not want to go in there for a fortnight!" Wizard looked around at the empty hovel he found himself in. "Gosh darn it, not again.” he sighed, “I forgot to wash my hands!" He grumbled, walking back into the bathroom.


    Thanks for reading! I hope you were able to enjoy it! Haha

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