Monday, December 2, 2013

I am a winner!

So I did it. ^_^ I wrote 50,000 words in one month. Less than a month, actually! And as you can see, it was quite the roller-coaster! The last week of November was my proudest, since I consistently managed to stay above my word requirement when for most of the month I'd just fallen short.

So now what do I do? How am I going to move forward? What becomes of this blog, now that NaNoWriMo is officially over?

Well, now that I have some completed short stories (as well as some incomplete ones), I can start editing them and expanding upon them, so they read even better and make more logical sense. Just because I completed this challenge does NOT mean I'm going to just brag about my achievement and sit on my laurels. I still intend to work at my craft. It's pretty obvious that all the stories I've posted here are rough first drafts, with all the spelling/grammar errors and unnecessary filler words. When I'm through with them, I hope to have some polished little diamonds. ^_^

I've also been thinking of submitting the best ones to magazines or contests. Maybe I'll put most of my stories into a real, physical book. I'm not sure yet. But I feel this month has given me a lot of confidence when it comes to being an actual writer. This year it was a collection of randomly prompted short stories. But maybe the next time I attempt NaNoWriMo, I'll have an actual idea for a novel and follow through with it. ^_^

As for the blog, for those few of you who are reading and keeping up, I might keep it on to post about my publishing progress. Maybe I'll even use the Story War cards again once in a while and make a short story based on them, only this time I'll have the freedom to use as many words as I feel, and not be under a strict time crunch. Haha.

Anyway, I appreciate all the people who have supported me throughout this month-long challenge, most especially my family. I appreciate all the comments that have been left on my stories, and I'm so glad to know that my stories were read and well liked. ^_^

Hope to post again soon!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Mortimer's Undead Life

The visual prompt:
Our main characters are:
A Cerberus ~ It fetches lost souls and makes them play dead.
A Zombie ~ He's just looking for a little piece of mind.
The special object in this story is:
A Pumpkin Chariot ~ This wicked ride runs on midnight oil.
Our story takes place in:
High School ~ The enemies you make here will last you the rest of your life.
Mortimer Gorey pulled up to the graveyard in his orange car just as the clock on the dashboard hit midnight. He put it in park, got out, slammed the door, and with a loud POOF! of purple smoke, the whole vehicle became a pumpkin in the blink of an eye. He'd have to remember to return the Pumpkin Chariot to the car rental place tomorrow.
The slam of the car door and the purple smoke it sent up woke up Mortimer's three headed dog, Cerberus, or Cerby as Mortimer liked to call him. He was a mixed breed, two thirds Doberman and one third Corgi. All of Cerby's heads shot up at once at the sounds, his two Doberman heads with their ears perked and sniffing the air, his Corgi head panting happily and causing their collective tail to wag enthusiastically at the sight of his master. He bounded up to Mortimer and barked in greeting, welcoming him home.
With a green, decomposing hand, Mortimer patted Cerby on each of his heads absentmindedly, limping and dragging his tired body over to his grave bed. When he arrived in front of his humble little hole in the ground, the zombie groaned from exhaustion and collapsed right into it, falling headfirst and landing in what would be a very uncomfortable position for a human, but one that he didn't particularly mind.
Being a chaperon at the Plebeian High School Prom had been a much more demanding job than the substitute science teacher had expected it to be. Good thing he had the excuse of having to be home before midnight, before it turned into a pumpkin. He figured the students would be alright with Mr. Stein, the football coach, to watch them. Just as long as the band didn't play any popular ballads and they didn't start waving lighters around.
Senior Prom. It sure brought back memories. As he drifted off to sleep, snoring and drooling a little out of his dislocated jaw, Mortimer thought about what it had been like, back when he was their age.

"Mmm, braaaaains," Mortimer groaned as he enjoyed his Raisin Brains cereal, which was what he ate every day for breakfast. His puppy Cerby munched away at the 3 big bowls of dog food close by. He was sure a growing dog."Morty, sweety, you'd better hurry up or you'll be late for the bus," said his Mummy in a raspy, muffled voice from under all the bandages on her face.
"'Kayyyyy," he said, and he slowly got up from the table, bent down to pick up his backpack full of books, and staggered to the door.
"Wait! Don't forget your lunch. I made wraps," she said, handing him a brown paper bag.
He grunted, taking the bag from her and saying "Thaaaaanks."
"Do you need dad to drive you to school? He can drop you off on his way to work."
Teenaged Mortimer made an unintelligible sound as he walked out, waving his arm behind him to signal that she didn't have to bother herself doing that. So she stuck around and watched the last few minutes of her soap opera, hoping that Cleopatra would end up with Mark Antony and not that awful Caesar.
Meanwhile, Morty was doing his best to catch up with the school bus that was waiting at the corner. He hobbled along as fast as he could, but it was still much too slow.
The old werewolf bus driver didn't see anyone else coming on the bus, so he shut the doors and started driving to the next corner. He heard a strange sounding BUMP! outside, and some of his passengers shouted in surprise at the sudden bump in the road, but the old guy just scratched his hairy, pointy ears. He was sure it was nothing.
Poor Mortimer lay flat in the middle of the road, black tire track stains all over his clean white shirt and red tie, his leg broken with one of the bones sticking out of his jeans. He groaned in discomfort and carefully pulled himself off of the street to stand up again, snapping his leg back to normal with a sickening crack. All better.
He looked up and saw how far away the bus and reached his hands out to it. "Waaaaait!" the zombie called out, but the wolf man driver couldn't hear him.
It looked like it was another long walk to school. The principle would probably kill him for being tardy once again. Well, he would if Mortimer wasn't already dead, that is.

By the time he finally made it all the way to school, it was lunch time. So he slipped into the building and tried to blend in with the other students standing in line and ordering food, even if his mummy had already made him lunch. When he got to the end of the line, all he had to do was say "Braaaaains," and the lunch lady knew to give him spaghetti and meatballs. He moaned in thanks, and went to look for a table to sit at.
"Hey, Morty, over here!" Mortimer turned and saw one of his best friends, a giant jock named Frank, waving him over and inviting him to sit with him. He was eating a monster sub.
Staggering over and doing his best not to drop his lunch, Mortimer was eventually able to set his blue plastic tray down and hold up his hand for a fist bump. "Fraaaaank," he said.
"How's it going, pal?" said Frank, pounding it. "Where were you this morning?"
The zombie shrugged, picking up a messy handful of spaghetti with one hand and gesturing to his dirty shirt with the other.
His friend nodded in understanding. "I gotcha. Just having one of those days, huh?"
Mortimer grunted in the affirmative and stuffed the pasta he was holding into his mouth, staining his shirt even worse with chunky, blood red tomato sauce.
"You better watch your back, Morty," warned Frank, "I hear Mr. Wells isn't too happy with all your tardy days. If you're not careful, he might even suspend you from school!"
"Mr. Stein, Mr. Gorey," said a loud, disembodied voice.
The two friends jumped in their seats. Morty accidentally flung the spaghetti he'd just picked up in the air in his surprise, and it fell right on top of the head of the Invisible Principle, Mr. Wells. Unbeknownst to them, he had been standing right next to Frank the entire time.
"Would you two please see me in my office?" asked Mr. Wells, doing his best to remain calm as the sauce dripped down his face and showed the outline of his head.
Morty sank in his seat guiltily. He knew he was in big trouble now.

"This is most dreadfully unacceptable, Mr. Gorey. Plebeian High School's tardy policy clearly states that students may be tardy only a minimum of once every two weeks. But you, my friend, have been tardy ten times in the last two weeks alone. Ten days, Mortimer!"
The zombie winced as the principle shouted at him. It was so embarrassing, especially with Frank sitting right next to him and watching him helplessly.
The floating pair of eyeglasses paced around the room and stopped right in front of Mortimer's face. "I ought to suspend you right now for all the days you've been late. You're not giving this school any good credit at all either. Are you aware that you are failing all your classes, Mr. Gorey?"
"Aaaaas!" Mortimer protested.
"Yes, Mortimer, you're a surprisingly very smart student, and maybe you've been getting straight A's on your tests, but you don't attend enough classes. I'm sorry, but this is something I simply can not tolerate." Mr. Wells' glasses floated over to his desk, where he put them down and made the sound of his hands settling on top of his papers. "I'm afraid you leave me with no choice, but..."
Mortimer gave a rattling sigh and put his head in his hands in despair. He was going to be suspended, he knew it. How was he going to say to his parents?
"... To make you a proposition."
Removing his hands from his face, Mortimer looked up. Had he heard the principle right, or were his ears all stuffed up with dry congealed blood and pus again?
Mr. Wells' desk drawer opened and a cigarette and a little purple lighter floated out of it. The zombie watched Frank turn a pale green as the principal clicked on the lighter and made a tiny flame appear. As soon as he saw the fire, Frank screamed like a ghost and fell out of his chair, huddling in a corner.
As if he hadn't noticed the outburst, Mr. Wells lit up the cigarette and took a long puff. "As you know, Mr. Gorey, we have the big football game next week against the Angry Mob. As we discovered last year, the Mob fights dirty, and chances are pretty good that the visiting cheerleaders and spectators will bring their torches and pitchforks to the stadium. Your good friend Mr. Stein is unfortunately a big liability to the team, because while he is a fine athlete, he has a fear of fire."
Frank trembled next to the potted plant for a while before realizing that the fire from the lighter was gone, and he hesitantly returned back to his seat.
"Therefore, if you would like to help your friend and support your school, I propose that you replace Mr. Stein as part of the Plebeian Headless Knights. You join the football team, and I will look the other way regarding your tardiness and your grades."
Mortimer gulped. He knew that if he joined the team, he'd get even more beat up than usual. If not by the other jocks on his team, then most certainly by the Angry Mob players. But he couldn't let his friend embarrass the team on game day and freak out as soon as he saw a little fire, and he didn't want his parents to know about him failing classes.
"Do we have a deal?"
Mortimer sighed in defeat. "'Kaaaaay."

With a snort and a grunt, Mortimer suddenly woke up. It was morning, and Cerby was howling and whimpering at the same time, begging to be fed.
Goodness, what an awful dream that had been. The zombie untangled his arms and legs and sat up in his grave bed, giving a growly, raspy yawn. He climbed out of the hole and slowly trudged through the yard, finding the bag of dog food in a big closet with all the rakes and shovels. He poured the kibble into the three bowls and Cerberus' attacked his food hungrily with all his heads.
Mortimer went back to the closet and grabbed a box of cereal for his breakfast. He poured the flakes into his own bowl and sat cross-legged on the ground. Thank goodness he didn't have to go to work today. He could just take it nice and easy this morning.
"Braaaaains," he said, feeling perfectly content.

Thursday, November 28, 2013


The visual prompt:
Our main characters are:
The Frog Prince~ This heroic frog became royalty after being kissed by a princess with low self-esteem.
The Spider Queen ~ This giant spider became intelligent after she was bitten by a radioactive duchess.
The special object in this story is:
The Philosopher's Stone ~ Centuries of alchemical research led to this shiny rock that can transform stuff into other stuff.
Our story takes place in:
The Frozen Keep ~ This frozen fortress protects a place that nobody wants to go anyway.
"Dad, can you tell me a story?"
"Sure I can, son. What would you like me to tell you a story about?"
"Hmm. I don't know, a cool story."
"Ah, I see. Well, I think i can tell you a pretty cool fairy tale. Have I ever told you the one about The Frog Prince?"
"No. What happens in that story?"
"A wicked witch turns a handsome prince into a frog, and only true love's kiss will break the spell."
"Ew, he has to kiss a princess? That's no fun."
"Oh. Well, how would you make the story more fun? How is he supposed to turn back into a human prince again?"
"You should make him go on a big adventure, and fight a bad guy!"
"Hmm, I suppose I can do that... Okay son, I know how to tell make this story cooler."

The Frog formerly known as The Prince trudged through the harsh blizzard winds, snow pelting him and swirling around him non-stop. Just another step, he kept telling himself. Just one more, you can do it. Just keep putting one webbed foot in front of the other.

"But Dad, what's the Frog Prince doing in the snow? I learned in school that frogs are supposed to hibernate when they get cold."
"Oh, I'm sorry. I wasn't aware of that. I was just trying to make the story cooler, like I promised you."
"Haha, I get it, Dad."

Oh, but he was so very cold, even all bundled up in furs as he was. He was also very exhausted. All his animal instincts were telling him to just bury himself in the snow and sleep until spring. But he couldn't do that. The still human part of his brain told him that he had to keep going.
The Frog formerly known as the Prince...

"You shouldn't have to keep calling him that. The name is too long!"
"Fine. What would you call him, son?"
"Uhhh... Froggy?"
"Hehe, sounds good enough to me. As I was saying..."

Froggy had tried everything to become The Prince again after that old witch had turned him into an amphibian. He'd taken medicines from doctors, potions from the best wizards, and even tried getting all the princesses in the land to kiss him, but nothing seemed to work.
He started traveling the world, hunting for the cure to his frogginess. One day in a bar, he overheard rumors saying that up in the Icy Mountains there was a frozen fortress that guarded the Philosopher's Stone, which had the power to transform anything into anything else you wanted. It could turn lead into gold. It could return the aged to their youth.
Froggy believed that it could turn him back into a human.
People warned him that it was a dangerous and foolish mission. Every brave soul who tried going to the Frost Keep never returned. But that little frog didn't care. He would heroically retrieve the Philosopher's Stone, return to his princely human form, and take up his rightful place on his father's throne. Plus after he got the Stone, he'd easily have all the riches he desired.

"But Dad, I thought the Philosopher's stone was hidden in the Mirror of Erised."
"Do you want to hear this story, or are you going to keep interrupting me?"
"Sorry... But one more thing. Froggy shouldn't be a greedy prince. Then people won't like him. He should use the Stone to help other people."
"That's smart thinking, son. May I continue?"
"Yes please."

It was much easier said than done to reach that fortress in the mountains though, as the Frog quickly found out. It took all the energy in his little green body just to keep moving and not stop until he reached his destination.
Finally he found an icy path as smooth as glass, which he knew would lead him to the Keep. Feeling some of his strength returning with this encouragement, he tried going on the path, but it was very difficult as it was slippery and smooth as glass. He made the most of it, but as the frog went farther along the path began to incline, and he couldn't walk or hop very far without sliding back down.
Well, it's a good thing he had his trusty sword and shield with him. He used his weapons like pickaxes, sticking them in the ice one at a time and pulling them out again to advance, so he didn't slip anymore.

"Where'd he get the sword and shield, Dad?"
"Behind his back, of course. The same place Bugs Bunny gets all his carrots."
"Oh. I guess that makes sense."

It was incredibly exhausting work. Froggy was constantly pulling the sword out of the ice and sticking it in farther ahead, tugging the sharp point of the shield out and shoving it back in again (the shield was always tougher to use than the sword.) Still, he climbed and climbed that mountain with his makeshift pickaxes, and the icy road got steeper and steeper, until finally the cold, weakening little green frog turned his little crowned head up, and there it was.
The Frost Keep.
He saw the great white fortress sitting at the top of a craggy mountain, built like a giant igloo and all surrounded by sharp and threatening icicle spears. That little frog wasn't afraid of anything though, and he didn't stop, even though he was so tired from all his climbing.
He was so excited that he didn't look up to notice that the icy path had a large gap in it up ahead. Instead of going all the way up to the Frost Keep, the path simply lead to the edge of a cliff.
With a strong tug, Froggy pulled out his sword and meant to stab it once again into the ice and pull himself forward, but all he stabbed at was the air in front of him. He slipped off the cliff and accidentally left his yellow shield behind, tumbling helplessly down.

"No! You can't let Froggy die! He's the hero! You're not supposed to kill of the main character in a fairy tale!"
"It's alright, son, relax. Froggy isn't going to croak in this story."
"But I thought 'croak' is what frogs say."
"No, no, I meant 'croak' as another word for die."
"Ohhh... So Froggy's really alright?"
"That's right, son."
"Alright. So what happened next?"

Well, Froggy fell down, down, down, screaming and croaking in his panic. But he didn't end up dying, because all of a sudden, something stopped his deadly plummet right before he hit the sharp rocks at the very bottom.
He landed right on his back in a giant, white lacy net, which was spread out below him like a large trampoline. He landed right on the net and it wobbled up and down for a while before finally settling.
Froggy croaked a big sigh of relief, thankful that he was still alive. Until he tried getting off of his back and realized that his sucker-fingered hands and his webbed feet were stuck in place. No matter how much he moved and tried to pull himself out, his arms and legs wouldn't budge. That's when it hit Froggy. He wasn't caught in a net. He was caught in the web of a giant spider.
He heard a gleeful clicking noise behind him, and he was able to turn his head enough to see something that made his big, round Froggy eyes widen with fear.
He hadn't landed in the web of just any giant spider. Oh no, this was the web of the Spider Queen herself.
She was the biggest, blackest, scariest spider you could possibly imagine, but she was also very elegant and regal. She had golden jewel-encrusted bracelets on each of her eight legs and wore a crown on her head just like the Frog formerly known as The Prince did.
She had just been taking a long royal nap, because all queens need and deserve lots of beauty rest, when Froggy came and shook the whole place up, waking her up from her slumber. When she saw that she had a guest in her web, the Spider Queen became delighted
"Well, well, well. What do we have here?" she asked Froggy

"Does the Spider Queen have a real name?"
"The Frog Prince's name is Froggy. What's her name?"
"I don't know. What do you think I should call her?"
"How about... Ariana."
"Ah, that's a lovely name, fit for a Spider Queen. It sounds so close to Aranea, which is latin for spider, you know."
"Yeah, and it's like the name of the girl who was mean to me today in class."
"Oh really? What did this Ariana do that was so mean?"
"I'll tell you later. Finish the story!"

"Well, well, well. What do we have here?" Ariana asked Froggy.
Froggy tried to play it cool, and he replied, "Oh, hello there! I sure hope I didn't bother you. Just thought I'd drop in. Clearly I've made a mistake. I'll be right on my way if you don't mind."
"Oh no, please, do stay for a while, won't you? It's been ages since I've had any visitors." Ariana walked all around the frog, watching him struggle helplessly in an attempt to escape her web. "Hardly anyone ever sticks around very long."
He noticed all the bones and skulls of men who had tried and failed to get to the Philosopher's Stone and got caught in the same trap he was in. Froggy gulped. "I can only imagine why."
The queen finally stood over him and clapped her satin gloved front pincers happily. "Oh yes, I think I would very much enjoy having you for dinner."
"Oh, come now, your Spider Highness, we've only just met. Well, then again, I suppose we do have a lot in common. You like to eat bugs, I like to eat bugs. You're royalty, I'm royalty."
"Don't be a fool, little Froggy. When I say I want you for dinner, I mean I want to eat you! Mwah ha ha ha ha ha!"

"No! Queen Ariana can't eat Prince Froggy!"
"Well son, how do you suggest he get out of this little mess?"
"He still has his sword, remember?"

Right you are. Just when he had the queen distracted, Froggy remembered his sword and twisted his hand in such a way that he was quickly able to cut his way through the web and get himself all untangled and unstuck.
The prince struck a heroic pose and pointed his sword at the giant black spider. "Sorry Ariana, I'd love to stay and chat, but like I said before, I must be on my way. Maybe we'll have dinner together some other time." With that, he used his powerful green legs to bounce from sharp rock to sharp rock, back upwards towards the Frost Keep at the top of the mountain to complete his quest.
"Noooo!" Ariana cried. The Spider Queen was furious. No one had ever escaped from her before, and she wasn't about to let a little frog get away with it now. She chased him up the side of the mountain as fast as her huge spider legs could carry her.
She caught up to Froggy just as he had entered the Frozen Fortress and found the shiny, scarlet Philosopher's Stone sitting on a pedestal in the middle of the room. He picked it up and Ariana ran at him, gnashing her pincers wildly in a rage.
Just in time, Froggy threw the Stone right at the Ariana and...
The next thing you know, the mighty and proud Spider Queen was nothing more than a little buzzing house fly wearing a teeny tiny crown on her head. The transformed Ariana tried to fly away, but something long, sticky and pink shot out and grabbed her.
Instead of eating our hero Froggy as she expected, Froggy ate her.

"Yay! Froggy beat the bad guy!"
"That's right, son. Then The Frog formerly known as The Prince used the Philosopher's Stone to become just The Prince again, and he lived happily ever after. The end."
"But wait. How did he get down from the mountain? And how did he get home?"
"Oh, I don't know. How about you say how Froggy's story ends?"
"Hmm... Well, he turns the big icy path that led to the fortress into a giant slide with edges on the side, like the one I like at the playground. Then Froggy just slides all the way down, and when he gets to the bottom, he turns a horse and carriage into a pilot and an airplane, and he flies first class all the way back to his kingdom. Now it's the end."
"Very nice. Good job, son."
"Thanks Dad. That was a really cool story."

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Magic of Libraries, part 3

I'm sorry, it seems I was again wrong in my estimating that this story would take 3 parts to tell. Anyway, it feels to me like I'm cheating, but I don't think I'm that motivated to finish this particular short story. So I won't. You can skip reading this post if you want, to save yourself from the dullness. Just keep in mind that I plan on editing most all the stories on this blog so that they're even better.
Perdu soon found that it was futile to keep on his feet in the giant's hand as she stomped her way across the forest, because he kept getting knocked down. So he gave up standing altogether and simply sat cross-legged, which was a much easier position to hold, though he still got shaken about.
He kept his hornbeam wand pointed to his mouth, continuing the spell that allowed him to speak as loud as the Great and Just Gigi could hear, and he told her of the imminent attack on the Great Library and why it was so important that they protect it.
"Many years ago, long before my time, the Great Library was started by the first wizard, Senex the Old. He wrote many books, but not just ordinary books, because every one contained the story of another world. He had constant, vivid visions of places that don't exist in this world, filled with strange inhabitants, usually in the form of man, though some places were populated by other classes of creatures. Every world's laws and customs and histories is contained in their own book, which constantly updates itself magically with more pages as the story of that world develops. Senex built the Great Library to contain all these books, and he cared for and protected them from any harm. He feared that if anything were to happen to the books, the worlds contained in them would be destroyed.
"Senex kept this library secret from the general population, only revealing it to his most trusted of wizard apprentices. They read the books he kept and, while they all believed him to be a most wonderful wizard, they were never sure what to make of the books, because they didn't know how the stories inside them could be true, that the worlds within them really existed. When he finally died, however, the wizards that succeeded him began having incredibly detailed visions of the worlds Senex had seen, in addition to some new ones. They decided these worlds must be as real as our own, and they started keeping even more books.
"For a long time, many wizards discovered more and more new worlds in this way, dozens of wizards working at the same time, and the Great Library kept growing and filling up with books. Eventually the wizards began having fewer visions of new worlds until they stopped altogether. An army of wizards was no longer needed to keep the library growing, so they only came to read of these magnificent other worlds whose stories were never ending
"Fewer and fewer wizards visited the library as the years passed, but there was always at least the Keeper of the Great Library, a wizard entrusted with the safety of these important books. It's their job to make sure that the books aren't stolen or fall into the wrong hands, as well as to make sure they are always handled with care when being read from.
"Now about a century ago, a rash and young wizard named Malum visited the Great Library and requested permission to read and learn about the different worlds. He was granted permission, but he had to be overseen by the Keeper at the time, Duros the Stern, for Malum showed no respect for books, handling them roughly and tossing them about. Duros kept the books from being harmed as best he could, and it soon became clear to him that Malum didn't want to pick out just any book and sit peacefully in a corner to read it. He was searching for a very particular book...
"Malum came back again the next day, and again, always under the stern eye of Duros, searching and searching for something. Finally the young wizard asked the Keeper why, in the whole of the Great Library, did there appear to be no book that contained our world, and our history? Duros didn't have an answer for him, and Malum concluded that if our world wasn't represented, then the whole library must be built on a lie. He didn't believe that other worlds could exist beyond our own, and wanted the Great Library destroyed. Duros wouldn't let that happen, and there was a great wizard's duel between the two, which Malum lost. Duros put a spell on him that prevented the young wizard from ever setting foot in the Great Library again, but Malum swore that even if it wasn't by his hand, the library would eventually fall.
"From then on, Duros let hardly anyone into the library, save for his apprentice, Verus the True, a good wizard he was confident would keep the library safe from harm. After Verus, that responsibility fell to Trux the Wild, my predecessor. Trux wasn't that interested in studying old books or very fond of keeping indoors, but Verus had little other choice in naming a Keeper to follow him. To keep himself from getting cabin fever, Trux made friends with the birds and forest animals and had them keep watch over the library for him whenever he went away on his frequent excursions.
"This is where I, Perdu, come into the story. I was a young and struggling wizard, not particularly skilled in magic and with no great title to my name, but Trux found me and took me under his wing and made me his apprentice. He helped me understand magic better and I swore to help him protect the Great Library. It's not been a particularly exciting or rewarding job, but I took it more seriously than Trux did, which he appreciated. Not long ago Trux disappeared, and he hasn't come back to the Great Library, which leaves me to assume that I am the sole Keeper of the library.
"Now this morning I got word from one of Trux's animal friends that a large group of men were approaching the library, calling themselves the army of Malum. I'm unfortunately still not the most talented wizard. I can hardly do any spell without having the Grimoire in front of me to read from. But for a long time I've been piecing together a spell of my own, putting together words from the ancient language that would bring me the help I need to defeat Malum's army, or at least keep them at bay.
"That, Great and Just Gigi, is how you came to be in this world, and now... Gigi? Gigi!"

Gigi couldn't help it. The wizard's story was so dull and boring that it just about put her to sleep. He didn't seem to have noticed, but she'd reached the Great Library ages ago, about halfway through Perdu's monologue, and had been sitting down next to the little model-sized building that just came up to her ankle. It didn't seem that great to her, but she supposed at the wizard's size it must be quite impressive.
It was like she was stuck back in class listening to a history lecture. Gigi held on for as long as she could, but all of a sudden her eyes just shut and her whole body fell backwards in a dead faint.

Perdu realized that her hand had gone all lax, that she'd suddenly fallen asleep. Quickly he took his wand away from his throat and waved it around himself, teleporting down to the ground safely near the Great Library (oh, they had arrived already?) just as her head hit the ground and caused the earth to tremble beneath him.
When the vibrations in the ground had finally stopped, Perdu teleported so that he was on the tip of the giant's nose. "Gigi?! Great and Just Gigi, are you alright?!" he asked, using his magically loud voice.
She didn't respond.
Disappointed and frustrated, the wizard looked all around to see if there was any large army approaching in the distance, like Trux the Wild's little bird had told him.
At first he didn't see anything, and he breathed a sigh of relief. But then, he saw something suddenly shoot up into the air and fall in a wide arc, flying straight towards the library and the giant.
It was an arrow tipped with fire.

Probably not to be continued...

But just so you know the rest of the story I had in my head, I'll spoil it for you. Malum's army shoots fire arrows at the Great Library, trying to burn it down, but Perdu manages to wake Gigi in time to scare them all off.
I'm not very clear on how she manages to get back home to her world, if I'm being honest, but I was aiming for this to be like an origin story for the Plot Holes, kind of explaining how that came to be...
If anyone wants to comment and give me ideas on how you think that would happen, I'd appreciate it. Or you can just tell me what kind of story you would have told using a giant, a wizard, a flame-bow and a library.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Magic of Libraries, part 2

So it took me a little while to get a handle in what this story was really about, but I think I have a good idea where I'm going now. This one might be a 3-parter.
Perdu the wizard gazed up in horror as a colossal sized woman, perhaps as tall as a castle, stepped through the giant portal he'd created with his magic. As soon as she was entirely through the portal, it disappeared behind her and winked out of existence. So now she was stuck in this world with no way of returning where she came from.
She was unusually dressed for a woman, at least in his world. Her yellow shirt was tight-fitting and revealed the skin of her arms and navel (how indecent!) and she wore pants of a strange blue material. Her hair was short and messy, her eyes brown and bleary, like she'd only woken up a few minutes ago. Most important of all, she was incredibly huge compared to him. So huge that he barely came up to half the size of her little toe. She could easily squash him just like a bug if she felt like it!
The wizard eventually decided that even though she looked very strange, she HAD answered his plea to the fates for assistance. Beggars couldn't be choosers.
Old Perdu cleared his throat. "Ahem, excuse me, fair giant lady?" he asked her, speaking as loud as he possibly could.
But the giant didn't hear him. She was too busy looking all around the forest in wide-eyed amazement and stomping about everywhere, causing a terrible earthquake that made his bones rattle.
Oh dear. How was he supposed to get her attention?

Gigi could barely believe it. She had walked straight through the weird portal thing, and was now in another large field in clear, sunny daylight, the ground feeling prickly beneath her bare feet.
Hold on a minute, why was she barefoot all of a sudden? She distinctly remembered wearing flip-flops before... Oh right, the tornado. Her shoes must have flown right off her feet, and she hadn't even noticed it until she'd started walking on this sharp grass.
But wait. When she looked closely at the ground, it didn't look like grass at all. It seemed as if she were walking on top of tiny model pine trees.
Gigi crouched down and plucked one of the minuscule trees under her foot that she had just squashed to the ground. She examined it carefully, frowning. It wasn't just a model tree. It felt like a real plant, and smelled fresh and alive like one too. How could this be?
"Hello?! Hello now, can you hear me?!"
Gigi dropped the tree in her surprise, looking about wildly for the source of the sudden voice.
"Ah, very good, very good, yes! Now we are getting somewhere, now that I'm speaking loud enough for you!"
"Uh, I'm sorry, but..." Gigi started to ask who was speaking, but the voice interrupted her.
"No, no! Too loud! You speak much too loud, giant!"
Oh, so whoever was talking to her was very small? What was this, Horton Hears a Who? "Sorry," she whispered compliantly. "Who are you? And more importantly, *where* are you?"
"That's much better, m'lady! Er, if you would please take a few steps forward towards my voice?! And do take care to watch where you step, else you'll destroy the Fantazian Forest!"
For some reason, whomever was speaking to Gigi sounded pretty familiar. It almost sounded like the voice she'd heard just before that white portal had appeared, only this voice wasn't nearly as impressive.
She stood straight up and did as the voice asked her to, walking forward slowly and carefully. She tried her best to step in such a way that she didn't crush too many trees, though there was always one or two that just got unlucky.
"Alright, that's far enough! Halt!" the voice shouted just as she was about to put one of her feet down. "Don't come any closer! You'll flatten me!"
Gigi froze and kept good balance on her left leg as her right foot hovered over the ground. After a moment, she cautiously brought her foot backward and stood with her legs together, awaiting more instructions.
"Very good! Now I'm right down here, if you'll just bring your eyes down to my level and know me properly!"
Slowly Gigi backed up and went into a crouch, coming down on her hands and knees to peer into the miniature forest for the voice's owner. For a while she couldn't find anyone. It was like hunting for an ant in a green shag rug.
"Alright, now I'm right over here! No, no, look this way! Getting warmer... Come now, you just missed me!"
She searched and searched for the source of the voice, until finally her eyes caught sight of a tiny little man dressed entirely in blue robes. In fact, even his skin and hair had a slight blue tinge to it as well. Was he a Smurf? No, he was much too small, and he didn't have the white pants or funny hat for it.
"Yes! Very good! Greetings, and well done, Great Giant!"
It was difficult to see very well, but Gigi saw that the man was touching a little stick to his throat, which perhaps was what made him sound louder than he ever possibly could have been without it.
"My name isn't..." She saw the tiny blue man quickly cover his ears, and remembered to speak softer than normal. "My name isn't giant. It's just Gigi."
"Ah, forgive me, oh Great and Just Gigi the Giant!" said the wizard, making a low, polite bow to her. "Welcome, and thank you so much for coming to my aid! I am the wizard known as Perdu!"
Gigi blinked in surprise. So he was a little wizard? Like the one in Oz? No, that stick thing he was holding must be his wand. So he was a real, legitimate wizard, like in Harry Potter! How interesting... And how weird that she was so much bigger than him. She was sure the giants in the books couldn't have been this big... could they?
"You're a wizard? So... You're the one who brought me here?" whispered Gigi as quietly as possible.
The tiny blue Perdu nodded.
"But how come this world is so small? Uh... I mean, how come I'm so big?"
The wizard shook his head and lifted one of his arms in a confused shrug, keeping the other hand pointing the wand to his throat. "I'm not sure of the answer myself! I did not exactly expect someone of your size!"
"Huh." Gigi frowned. "Well, do you think you can maybe wave your wand and make me small, like you?"
"Ahh, I'm afraid I don't know any spell for that! I could try making a shrinking potion, but it would take too long to get the necessary ingredients together, and for a creature of your stature you'd need to drink an entire lake of potion before you became a proper size, and unfortunately we don't have very much time for that!"
Gigi rolled her eyes. "Alright, I get it. So what's the problem? Why am I even here?"
"Like I said, very little time! If you would, Great and Just Gigi, lower your hand so I may walk onto your palm, and you can take me back to The Great Library?!"
The library? But that's just where Gigi had come from. "Uh, sure, I guess. Hop on." If going to the library meant she could go back to where she came from and everything could go back to normal, she'd do as he asked. She lowered her hand carefully and slowly in between the trees to rest on the ground at the wizard Perdu's feet.
It turned out, however, that her fingers were too steep for him to climb up, so he stepped onto one of her nails (which were thankfully long) and she carefully lifted him up, putting her other hand beneath him so he could step down onto her wide open palm. He must have been only a millimeter or two. Carefully she stood up with him in her hand and was able to straighten up to her full height.
"Thank you, m'lady! Now go forth that way!" The wizard pointed out the direction she had to go in. "I shall explain everything as well as I can as we go! And please, take care of the forest as you go!"
"Well, I'll try," whispered Gigi, and she carefully started marching in the direction he'd gestured, hoping that everything would soon become clear.

To be continued...

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Magic of Libraries

The visual prompt:
Our main characters are:
A Giant ~ She thinks she's a normal-sized girl living in a tiny world. She is wrong.
A Wizard ~ He can cast every trick in the book as long as there's time for a spell check.
The special object in this story is:
A Flame Bow ~ For hot shots who want to fire fire.
Our story takes place in:
The Library ~ Shhh! The books are sleeping and waking them up would be a literal nightmare.
A library can be a very magical place. Anyone who is fond of reading knows this to be true. Large or small, scholarly or literary, thoroughly organized or eclectically random, every library offers the same magic, through its books.
Where does this magic stem from? Is it from the seeds in the imaginations of the authors? Those great minds who always strive to dig deep down the truth that is buried inside them and plant them in their writing?
Or does the magic stem from the readers? Those who pick up these fruits of knowledge and harvest the truths inside, to sow the magic seeds into their own minds?
Which comes first? The chicken, or the egg?
Let me clarify something, if you are questioning the claim that all writers speak the truth. Whether an author produces fiction or non-fiction, both types are still writing about the truth. Naturally, not everything you read should be taken as *literally* true, especially all the stories that are obviously completely made up! But at the heart of every well-written piece of work, there is a seed of truth, whether it be fact or history or moral or lesson. The reader only has to look for it.
Some people may believe that a library is a place that would be farthest from being described as anything like "magical." All they see are boring buildings that are stuffed with shelves upon shelves of books upon books. Most of these books will contain subjects or tales that you don't consider your interest or taste, books which you will never read or even touch in your entire life.
Only a *teeny* tiny fraction of these books will pique your curiosity and offer you the magical truth you were looking for. Sometimes the truth won't be what you expected it to be, but the magic is always there.
Do you believe that a library is full of magic? Because it's only true if you believe in it.
Let me tell you a story. You don't have to believe that it's a true story, as many events are exagerated, or even completely invented.
But... if you can suspend your disbelief for a little while...
If you can open yourself up to the possibility that some part of this story *might* be true...
If you believe in it, you may find a bit of magic.

All alone in the middle of the Fantazian forest, the wizard Perdu got ready to perform a very important spell. He wasn't sure that it would work at all, as the spell had never been attempted before, but times were desperate.
The Great Library was about to come under attack.
A little bird had told the wizard that the army of Malum was less than a day's march away from the library, with the intention of destroying it. The bird didn't say how many soldiers there were, or what weapons they had, but it was definitely scared. The wizard couldn't let anything or anyone harm the Great Library, as it was his sworn duty to protect its wealth of knowledge at all costs, like Trux the Wild and Verus the True before him.
But Perdu didn't feel powerful enough to stop an entire army all on his own. He needed outside help. So he had decided to teleport far away from the library and perform his spell in the privacy of the forest, so if there were any adverse effects to this never before tried magic, the library would come to no harm.
He laid the Wizard's Grimoire on a rock and opened it to the page where he'd written his carefully worded incantation. He rolled back his sleeves and held his hornbeam wand in the air like a conductor about to lead a full orchestra in the most important symphony of his career. Then he began waving his arms back and forth in a smooth, flowing motion, and started to chant in the ancient language:
Ignis, aqua, terra, aer,
Et elementariis quaeso
Ad borras et orientum, austri et occidens
Auxilia mittere.
Herba, bestia, homo,
Et non refert
Quod si potens solis
Aut luna ut suavis,
Et non refert.
In tempore necessitatis illius, et hoc vocat magus.

As Perdu spoke, the book began to levitate in front of him, and the surrounding area soon became charged with powerful magic. The air around him swirled in a fierce wind that threatened to knock him over, but he stood his ground, his long white beard whipping in different directions.
His wand began crackling with energy, spewing forth scarlet sparks, and his normally blue eyes glowed the same red color like he was being posessed. His arms began moving faster and faster, almost of their own accord, the spell nearly taking him over.
As he reached the end of his incantation, his wand arm shot up at an angle and pointed towards the bright, sunny sky. The wand shot out a beam of red light and, unable to control his own body, the wizard began to slowly and steadily draw a gigantic red circle in the air.
When the circle became complete, Perdu at last regained the use of his limbs and collapsed to the ground, exhausted from the great effort the magic had needed. The great circle started to glow and swirl and shine white, even brighter than the sun currently above him, forcing him to quickly cover his eyes with his arm.
Was his spell actually working? What was happening? What was this enormous thing that he had created?
Just then, squinting at the powerful light, Perdu thought he saw something step through the white circle. He gasped. He must have unknowingly created a portal between worlds! Someone was coming through it now. Someone really, really big.

Gigi Jones had fallen asleep in the library again.
She lifted her head off the table, stretched her arms out wide and yawned loudly. Gigi looked around blearily and scratched her head, slightly messing up her short black hair, and soon realized that the study room was almost completely dark. The only light she got was from the moonlight shining through window. But she remembered it being daylight just a minute ago.
"Oh no, not again," Gigi groaned. She must have been out of it for hours. The library workers mustn't have known she was in this study section and closed down the building with her inside.
She was at the library because she was struggling in her English Literature college class, but her school work often exhausted her, and she never knew when her narcolepsy would hit her. Normally she would have been in a study group with friends, who would be able to shake her awake after a while, or carry her and drive her home if she was particularly comatose. But this time all her friends had other plans, and she'd been forced to study on her own.
Well, this wasn't the first time this had happened. Of all the places to be locked up in for the night, she figured the library wasn't that bad of a place to be. She stood up and left the little study corner, wandering through the aisles of bookshelves in search of the children and young adult section. Their couches and beanbag chairs would much more comfortable places to sleep in than sitting at a hard mahogany desk.
It was really dark in the library, so it was pretty hard to see where she was going. She held out her hands and felt around for shelves so she didn't bump into them. After a minute she realized she was being dumb and pulled out her cellphone from her back jeans pocket so she could use the screen's light to see by. She noticed that she'd gotten a few texts and missed calls from her roommate Jeanie, asking if she was alright.
Gigi was about to respond to her texts when she heard something heavy THUMP! behind her, and she jumped in surprise.
It was a large book that had fallen off one of the shelves. She went back and picked it up.
"Once Upon a Time," she said, reading the title out loud by the cellphone's light. Taking a look at the back of the book, it seemed to be a large collection of short, updated fairy tales, including "The Banished Little Mermaid".
She looked up, saw the empty space where the book had slipped off its shelf, and placed it back. That was really weird, thought Gigi.
Then she heard another BUMP! and a FLOP! as a couple more books tumbled down and fell less than gracefully to the floor.
Something really strange was going on. Was someone in the library with her, or was she going crazy? "Hello? Is anyone there?"
Then something fantastic began to happen. Something so impossible that she wondered whether she wasn't still asleep and only dreaming.
She watched, amazed as books all around her started pulling themselves off the shelves, floating in mid-air and glowing a strange yellow light. Pages began flipping and turning of their own accord, and the books opened up to random pages. They floated forth and presented themselves to Gigi, one by one.
A slim book on American history for young readers flew in her face and opened up to an illustration of fireworks. She jumped back as little sparks flew out of the book and burst into miniature explosions right in front of her. "Whoa!" she said, eyes wide in awe.
Then another book took its place, this one probably about flowers, and she gasped as thorny vines sprouted out from the pages and bloomed into gorgeous roses.
An old floppy paperback that was next in line opened up and a golden ball with hummingbird wings flitted out of it, buzzed around Gigi's head and then hovered in place.
A Golden Snitch? Like from Harry Potter's Quidditch game?
She laughed in amazement and tried to grab the ball, but it dodged away from her hand. She lunged for it again, but it was just out of her reach.
Then she saw a very large green book float in front of her, distracting her from the Snitch. From its magical glow, she caught a glimpse of the title. "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz".
Uh-oh. For some reason, Gigi had a bad feeling about what might come out of that story.
Sure enough, when the pages stopped flapping, it landed on the chapter where Dorothy's house gets caught in the twister. The deafening noise of wailing winds cried out from the book, and Gigi's short hair started whipping and flying in all directions. She saw a spinning tornado starting to rise out of the book. For the first time since these books began magically spewing out miracles, she was scared.
Gigi turned tail and tried to run away from it, but she was too late. The force was too strong, and she felt herself getting sucked into the vacuum of the twister. She screamed, but of course there was no one around to hear her.
"No!" Gigi cried. She hadn't been holding onto her phone tight enough and it had flown right out of her hand. She didn't know where it had gone, but there was no way she could stop and look for it. The force of the wind was so strong that it lifted her up off the ground, and she was helplessly pulled into the vortex, spinning and tumbling, not knowing which way was up or down.
The tornado sucked Gigi Jones right into the book and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz slammed itself shut. All the books that had been glowing and dancing in the air just a moment ago closed and fell to the ground in a great big mess, which would leave many librarians mystified in the morning.

Gigi finally landed on her back on soft, grassy, sweet smelling ground. She quickly sat up and found that she was outdoors in a wide open field, shining in bright sunny daylight. She blinked as her eyes tried to get used to all the sudden light.
Standing and looking around, Gigi had many questions flooding her mind. What the heck had happened in the library? Where was she now? Was she in Oz, or maybe Kansas? She had no idea.
Just then, Gigi heard a booming, ominous voice start speaking, and she couldn't tell what direction it was coming from. Frightened and confused, she spun around in search of the voice's source and heard it say:
By the power of fire, water, earth and air,
Elements, I command you.
To the north, east, south and west
Search for help.
Be it plant, animal or man,
it matters not.
Whether powerful as the sun,
Or gentle as the moon,
It matters not.
This humble wizard calls upon thee in our time of need

Whether the voice was speaking to her or someone else, Gigi couldn't tell, but the next moment she saw a big rip in the space right in front of her, a red laser beam of light burning a circle in the air.
When it finished, a milky white portal glowed and spun before her, almost seeming like it was inviting her to walk through.
Gigi was curious. That voice. It sounded like it was asking for help, and it didn't care who answered the call. Had some higher power greater than herself somehow summoned her to help someone in need?
There was only one way to find out.

To be continued...

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Dagger in my Heart

The visual prompt:
Our main characters are:
A Doppelganger ~ A shape shifter with identity issues. It can be anything but itself.
A Vampire ~ This ageless teenager is popular with the ladies.
The special object in this story is:
Poison Dagger ~ This dagger is so poisonous that it makes you sick.
Our story takes place in:
The Sky Palace ~ The path to the heavens must be walked with a leap of faith, not a flight of fancy.
October 20, 2038 - Saturday
Dear Diary,
My name is Polly Diosk. I'm 16 years old today. I guess I should be happy that it's my birthday today, because birthdays are supposed to be happy. Only I'm not happy. I can't ever be happy on my birthday again.
I know my mother probably meant well when she got me this notebook as a present. I guess she thought it would do me good to talk to you, since I won't talk to anybody else. She says keeping diaries helped her deal with the sucky stuff as well as celebrate the happy stuff when she was my age.
I'll admit, it feels really weird using a pencil to write instead of a touchscreen. Sorry that my handwriting is so terrible... But wait, who am I apologizing to anyway? I'm not really talking to anyone except myself... Am I?
I guess if I were going to apologize to anyone, it would be to Cassie, my twin sister, as well as our father. Cas, I'm really sorry that you and Dad couldn't be here with me today, to celebrate our birthday together. I miss you both so much, more than I've ever missed anything, or anyone. I know you'll never be able to forgive me, but I hope you know how deeply sorry I am.
You see, Diary, it's my fault that they're gone. I don't care if Mom says I shouldn't keep blaming myself, because I know it's true.
I was the one who suggested we go to the Sky Palace.

This really isn't easy for me to talk about, but Mom says I've been quiet and internalizing my feelings for too long. I need to open up, even if it's only to myself. So let me start at the beginning.
It was summer break, and Mom and Dad asked us what we wanted to do or where we wanted to go for vacation. Cas wanted us to go and visit Mars, but I thought that was boring. I wanted us to go to the only collection of theme parks ever to be launched in Earth's atmosphere, Disney's Ludicrum Space Station. Ever since Cas and I were 10, we'd been asking our parents to take us there, and they always promised they'd take us next year, next year.
Cas gave them some slack and stopped asking so much, because she was the mature one (she was older than me by 5 minutes), but I never stopped begging for it, every chance I could. Well, at last our dad caved, since our sweet 16 was only a few months away, and it might be the last time we enjoyed something together as a family, before we turned into typical teenagers in high school and considered our parents embarrassing dorks. I doubt that ever would have happened anyway. Both Cas and I loved our parents.
So we went and rented a flying car for the week, a beautiful silver Ford Pegasus, put on OxySuits and we drove up to the L.S.S. Just being there was the coolest thing ever! They had a whole map of the different parks we could go to. There was Final Frontier Land, Sky Palace, Alien Kingdom, and Tomorrowland. I wanted to visit to the Sky Palace first, so that's what we bought passes for.
We went on as many rides as we could, though the lines for the really cool ones took forever. It was still fun, though. We ate Astronaut Ice Cream while we waited, and Dad even went on a couple roller coasters with us. Mom wasn't the type to go on scary rides, so she had to be super patient while she waited for us to be done.
You can't really tell what time it is in space, since it always looks like night, so when our parents said it was time to go back to our Space Hotel so we could go to sleep, Cas and I were genuinely surprised. We begged them to let us go on just one more really cool ride, and we wouldn't stop until they relented.
We wanted to go on The Dagger of Doom, which was basically this big silver and purple tower where you got strapped on and went all the way to the top really slowly, and then you were plunged down really fast, then up really fast and down again, repeatedly, like you were the handle of a dagger that was stabbing the planet. It. Looked. So. Freaking. Awesome!
Would you believe that, after all that waiting, when we got to the end of the line we found out I wasn't tall enough to go on the ride, but Cassie was? Geez, I never felt so angry at the fact that she was that one inch taller than me in my life. I was forced to stay down below with Mom while she went with Dad on the Dagger.
I can still remember Cas putting a comforting hand on my shoulder before they went on the ride.
"It's okay, Pol. We can come here again tomorrow, and we'll stuff your space boots with socks or something so you'll be taller. Then we can ride together."
I felt a little better at that idea, and didn't mind having to wait with Mom as much as I did before.
What happened next was... just terribly tragic. This is where it gets really tough for me, Diary.
I don't think anyone was ever sure what happened that day, whether it was the fault of the L.S.S employee controlling the ride or some part that came loose, or what. Mom and I watched as the Dagger of Doom came down once, twice, three times, both of us able to enjoy hearing my dad and sister's screams of delight, courtesy of the radio headsets inside our OxyHelmets.
On the fourth time the Dagger shot up, the "handle" part (where everyone was strapped in) somehow flew off the rail and was rocketed out into space at about a hundred miles an hour. I then heard my twin screaming in terror for a few seconds, before the ride with all those helpless people shot too far out of range for the headsets to pick up.
A rescue party was immediately sent out to rescue those people riding the Dagger, but they just weren't quick enough. The "handle" was too far gone for them to know exactly which direction it had flown in.
When mom heard all their sorry excuses, she pretty much flew off the handle herself. But I was too in shock to be angry.
Cas was gone.

That all happened back in July. For the last 3 months, I've had to get used to being an only child, and Mom had to get used to being a single parent. We've had to get used to it just being the two of us.
I love my mom, and I miss Dad every day. But let me tell you something, Diary.
It never gets easier. Knowing that I have lost my sister, my twin, my best friend in the world, forever. Knowing that I'm now forced to have to go through life without her living it with me. Knowing that she and Dad still might be here, if only we hadn't decided to go on the Dagger of Doom, or to the Sky Palace, or even to the Ludicrum Space Station in the first place.
That's why I can never be happy again on my own freaking birthday. Because all I hear is her screaming like she's been stabbed, and I’ll always feel like I’ve been stabbed too, and I'm holding the dagger that did the deed.

October 23, 2038 - Tuesday
Dear Diary,
Haven't had that much to write about during the weekend. I hardly ever go out or do anything fun anymore. I'll just stay in my room all day and play dumb HoloApp games, entertaining myself for hours. Sometimes I'll even pull out my mom's ancient iPad and play Angry Birds. Still a classic.
Monday at school was just that. A boring Monday. Nothing in particular to report.
This afternoon, however, gives me something to talk about, I guess. It's about this guy...
His name is Drake Ossum, and both Cas and I always used to admire him from afar. We both considered him to be a hot jock, with his red varsity jacket and grey hoodie, and his dreamy eyes. We would dare each other to call him, or go to his locker to talk to him, or ask him on a date, but then never go through with it.
We never said it, but I guess we'd mutually decided that if we both liked him, then neither of us had a right to him. If one of us had really dated him, it might've made the other one jealous. So we'd giggle and squeal like fangirls together if we thought we'd seen him wink at us from across the hall.
"Omg, Awesome Ossum just winked at you, Pol!"
"Nuh-uh, Cas, he totally winked at you!"
"No, you!"
I really miss doing that with her. Naturally, there were other guys we thought were attractive that the other twin didn't, and we went on dates with them, but Drake was that guy we'd silently agreed to look at, but not touch.
Well, today Drake came up to me during lunch break. I was sitting all on my own, poking a fork at my limp salad listlessly, when I heard someone approaching. I looked up, and there was Awesome Ossum, holding a tray of food and grinning at me.
"Hey there. Polly, right?"
I nodded at him, not sure what to say.
"You mind if I sit here with you?"
Slowly I shook my head, and so Drake sat himself down right across from me. He took a big bite out of his slice of pizza, and got a little sauce on the corner of his mouth.
Cas and I always used to laugh at what a messy eater he was, at how he never licked his lips until he was all done eating. Still, he managed to look cute doing it, because he was Drake Ossum.
I allowed myself a little smile at that fond memory.
Drake smiled back at me. "So how was your weekend? Do anything cool?" he asked.
I shrugged. "No, not really. How about you?" I wonder now, Diary, why he asked me about my weekend if Monday had already passed.
"Yeah, not much myself, I guess. Did a lot of grinding on Monster Quest, hunting for rare items."
"Oh yeah? That's cool, I guess. I don't play that game. Not a big RPG fan."
"Oh, sorry."
“It’s okay.”
We sat in silence for about a minute. He took another bite of pizza, I finally took a bite of my salad. Finally I asked him, “So why do you want to sit here and not hang out with your friends?”
Drake shrugged. “I don’t know. You just looked really lonely.”
Well, I guess that was sweet of him. “Thanks.”
He smiled. “Sure.”
We enjoyed each other’s company in silence, and then after a while he spoke again. “So Polly, I was um, just wondering. You have any plans for next weekend?”
I looked up at him. “Why?”
“Because there’s this big Halloween party at Alf Shooter’s house on Saturday, and I’m going to it.” He took a sip of soda and finally licked that pesky sauce off his lips. “I’m gonna dress as a vampire. Count Drake-ula.”
I chuckled at him. “That’s nice.”
“Yeah, and I was just wondering if uh… if you were planning on being there.”
I blinked at him in surprise. Drake Ossum was asking me out? “Um, I don’t know… I didn’t get any invitation from Shooter.”
“That’s okay. I’m inviting you,” said Drake, giving me a wink.
“Well, I haven’t thought of any costume.”
“You don’t? Well, in that case...” Drake picked up his tray and made as if he was going to get up and leave, but then he sat back down and grinned at me. “Just kidding! Don’t worry, you don’t have to get all dressed up if you don’t want to. It’s just supposed to be a pre-Halloween get together, that’s all. So, are you in?”
I looked down at my tray, deep in thought.
“What? Do you have another excuse?”
I bit my lip. “I just… I don’t know...”
He hesitated. And then, Dear Diary... then he actually reached his hand out across the table and gently touched mine. “Look, Polly? I know about what happened with your sister.”
Of course he did. Everyone in school knows about it. That’s why everybody leaves me alone, why I don’t talk to anyone, why I always eat lunch by myself now. I prefer being on my own. I’m still mourning Cassie.
“I’m really sorry that you have to go through this. I know I’ll probably never experience a loss quite like yours, since she was your twin and all… But Pol, you can still allow yourself to have a little fun. At least once in a while, right?”
I didn’t know what I could say. I was confused. I took my hand out from under his and put it in my lap, turning away from him.
He looked at me for a few seconds, then he stood up for real this time, carrying his tray. “I’ll let you think about it. Hit me up anytime, if you change your mind.” Then he was gone.
The bell rang soon after that, and so I had to get to my next class.

So Diary, I’m really not sure what I should do now. Obviously, I can barely believe that Drake Ossum, the guy Cas and I had the same crush on for forever, had straight up asked me out to a party. He could have had his pick of any of the girls at school, many of them a lot prettier than me. But he came and sat with me.
I think it would be fun to go to Alf’s party with him. I really do. I just feel conflicted for some reason, like I have this nagging feeling in the back of my mind. I guess I still don’t feel like it’s right for me to be with Drake, knowing that Cas can’t be with him. I feel like our unspoken rule should still apply, even though she’s gone.
But then again, it’s not like not being with Drake was going to bring her back. I know nothing can do that.
Diary, what should I do?