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Friday, April 27, 2012

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Short Story: The Legend of Antarcticus

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This is an epic made of mythology, which was inspired by a dream I had about a warrior woman named Antarcticus, a tower, and a king. Jadefireeyes

Once a king constructed a tower to the stars, and he decided to resurrect Antarcticus. No one knows what she is, or how she was born, but the force of her birth caused Pangaea to arise out of ocean water. Millions of years later, she slew the dinosaurs and other monsters unknown to the human imagination. But her greatest fiend was Erescedence, the mother of all beasts. Erescedence was enraged that Antarcticus was killing all her immortal children, so she trapped her in Polaris, the North Star for all eternity.

Antarcticus was a legend to all beings. When she fought monsters, she was a terrible monster herself, and killed them with tooth and claw. She was an earthly child, and that made her strong. Erescedence, however had the essence of something else. She had star dust in her spine and the night in her jaw, and scaly skin too radiant for mortals to look at. Her name became the basis of a word we use: iridescent. When humans became numerous on this world, they sheltered inside caves for fear of venturing outside where they would disappear into her gaping maw. At this time Antarcticus had taken the form of an intelligent woman with spears and other weapons, and this gave them inspiration to make tools of their own. They called her “Warrior-woman”.

As monsters slowly disappeared from the planet and people became more populous, Antarcticus ceased warfare for the first time in eons and focused on civilization. She dwelled into the useful battle tactics of stationary forts and other such architecture. The humans mimicked her, and settled down in their now secure communities and started to farm. They revered her as a goddess. She represented revolution, progression. Victory in war.

Erescedence was the first and the last of the pure race of monsters, and so as all her kin reproduced, the fierce blood of the beast lessened its intensity. Soon enough even the most primitive humans could fend them off. But Erescedence remained as invincible as she was millions of years ago, back when the universe met the masculine spirit of Chaos and thus Erescedence was created. She did not originate on Earth. Her roots traced back to the very substance of Unknown, which made her unmovable, unbreakable and therefore undefeatable. Her heart was a tsunami. Her life was violence, unhonorable murder.

She always detested Antarcticus, the Child of Earth. The mother of monsters could not to this point seek out a way to destroy her, for she was more resourceful and adaptable than ever in her human form. So she froze her in a star, her pulsing blood in the sky.

When Antarcticus in all her prowess left the world, a great desolation fell upon the humans. Instead of fighting as one against the monsters and raging outside hardships, they fought amongst themselves. They turned away from the great and beautiful Antarcticus to other gods and idols. The female warrior could only watch the only race she ever loved with a cold gaze, only guide lost travelers by Polaris because of the laws of the zenith and celestial dome. Their creations became imperfect, their knowledge diminished. But the loss had implanted them a sense of emptiness in descending generations, a desire to discover something hidden. The people created science. But without the guidance of Antarcticus it was impractical.

The king knew the tower was possible. Science had covered the world a need to doubt everything and believe nothing. To reach the stars he only needed a right way of looking. The construction took many years and workers.

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Antarcticus emerged in the form of a small child, grasping a knife with diamonds on its hilt. She knew the old king wanted to use her for his own benefit so she plunged the weapon into his throat and left him dead on the floor of the tower. She raced down the stairs and entered into the world.

She at first crushed ants with her foot who were acting uncivil as practice to make fairness. The girl had no memories of being Antarcticus. Instead, she “lived each day like for the first time, and learned how to do this thing called justice”.

The day she turned thirty she ceased aging, because the only way to fight well was to stay immortally young. She kept her body in well shape but now had senior experience. At this time Erescedence did not yet know that her enemy had evaded her, and caused no more harm than usual. She bordered the world by lying in a loop and every time she breathed, she created the tides. Each time she stirred she woke up a tsunami.

On learning Antarcticus had escaped she vowed to drown every last of the woman’s beloved race, so she stormed in Oceana and created storms like never witnessed before. The woman knew it was time. Time to kill the great monster.

So she sought the giant snake, and she lead her to a great expanse of snow where the native semi-monsters ate ice and birds swam like fish. They fought for many days and nights. The sky thundered endlessly, the lightning vowed never to stop flickering. The shorelines were engulfed by the sea, and it rained, rained, rained, until deserts became fertile enough for forests and forests were flooded past revival. Months passed and Erescedence still lived, while Antarcticus quickly tired. It was now or never.

“Tell me, O Snake, mother of all monsters and evil things, what will it take to slaughter you?”

The she-demon gave a hiss that rattled the monsters. “Nothing can kill me. I am inviccccible. You may have sssslewn my children, but not me. You can try for the resssst of Time! Antarcticussss, you will never desssstroy me.” She opened up her jaws in a grin.

The sword of Antarcticus flashed like the lightning overhead as it sought a weak spot. “Then maybe invincibility also makes you wise. Who are you, and what am I?” She wanted desperately some information. The legends about her birth were inaccurate. She needed to fully know herself, and know her rival if she was to succeed.

The snake paused for the first time in weeks, as though thinking this request over. “I am Eresssscedencccce, the offsssspring of Chaossss and the Universssse. Assss for you, Antarcticussss, you are the daughter of Earth, which makessss you weak.” Her mighty tail flicked mockingly. “I am the sssspawn of sssstars.”

She gestured with her gruesome head at the night sky. “You ssssee them? Eyessss, watching, protecting me. Loving me, if you wissssh to usssse that foolissssh human emottttion.”

Thursday, April 26, 2012

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Short Story: Flight {Part 1}

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The night is dark and crazy. “Edison!” I call through the stupid maze of trees and the scent of wilderness. The battery in my flashlight gradually dies. “Edison, get over here!” The fading light in my hand hardly cuts through into the black bushes.

Okay, calm thoughts, thoughts, I think to myself. After all, the only thing that could possible happen is to be devoured by some man-eating bear. Or get so utterly lost that not only can I not find Edison, but I also can’t find any berries and thus I starve. Happy thoughts.

The sound of a big blundering animal resounds through the woods. I jump, pretty certain that a carnivore of a bear is coming to kill me. I mean, anything is possible when it’s dark and you’re afraid. Plenty of twigs crack and there’s this weird, panting/grunting noise. I relax when Edison’s enthusiastic face appears between two trees. Of course, he’s not very happy now. His big blob of black hair is tangled up like a hobo’s and there are cuts on his cheeks, vaguely visible in the faint flashlight beam.

“Where were you!” I scream. “Don’t leave me like that! What the hell were you doing anyway?” I had enough of Edison’s antics (not his real name, but a nickname he calls himself). He was the reason we were in the dead of night, blundering through the rural part of state while being chased by vigilant troopers this moment.

An idiotic grin splits his face. I noticed he had a small leaf plastered to the corner of his lips. “I was just getting us some transportation. “ He made that stupid smile again. I wanted to slap it right off him. How could he be smiling when the only things we had were a few packages of crackers to eat, couple of water bottles filled with stream water (I recoil here) and a hundred bucks, which we can’t even use when all the police are trying to get our behinds in jail?

“Yeah, transportation in the middle of some damned forest. I really see how that’s going to work out,” I respond sarcastically.

“Aw, come on kiddo. You all gotta have some faith. And a bit of me.” He winks. You see what I mean? He completely crazy.

“I’ve had enough of your faith. And it’s your complete fault we’re in this mess in the first place.” He winks. I literally snarl.

I first met him at the Annual Convention for Innovative Ideas, which I don’t recommend, it’s a total fiasco every year. This year’s theme was wind mills. Edison came up with this brilliant idea  - now, you should know me by now that I don’t actually mean that – to make a wind mill big enough to power the entire town. Made out of dimes. I don’t even understand how that is supposed to even function. I mean, aren’t all windmills constructed out of some light-weight material?

Well, Edison didn’t have enough dimes. So he nicked all the coins he could find out of all the ponds and fountains in the area. You know how they usually have pennies and nickels at the bottom, because people threw them in to make a wish or something of the sort? Yeah. And he didn’t stop there.

Monday, April 23, 2012

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Poem: Great Stirring and Rhyming

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Inspired By Emily Dickinson
If there are mistakes the computer was being evil.

A rose reddens in a bog.
And jostling spiders shimmer.
Here comes the emerald fog,
Electric eclipses glimmer.
Panting trees pass the green chill,
Giving seamless company.
There are solitary hills
That encase infinity.
Spangled orchids, dejected flutes,
Pine amulets, pungent green.
Chubby crocus, cradles mute,
Ethereal hems never seen.
Violet traffic, opal bales,
Tropic hint, the amber flag.
Red caravans, fairy sails,
Ribbons of topaz and rags.
Orchestras of summer boughs
Are fleshless chants, wordless tunes.
The zenith will unbraid now
From the phraseless notes of noon.
Pathetic pendulums chime
Startling the zealous butterfly.
Split pods of flame claim time,
Beating drums and insulted skies.
Ropes of sand: terse and militant.
Silence has stilled potent wood.
Snow and warrior have sent,
For dishonored daisies, his hood.
The velvet people's gown
(Independent as the sun)
Compute the formula of sound,
Yet elemental brown won.
The placid lily and crystal veil
Send sapphire fellows away.
Brother of universe eats his meal
And his pigeon nearby plays.
The route of cochineal
Has foreign fashion it seems.
Here an iris, here a bell,
Blooming with civic gleams.
Mind's tonic, Future's dispute,
Grass divided by a comb.
Print of vermilion foot.
Daffodil's sleeve races home.
A face rounder than the moon,
And dress ruddier than sod.
The timid cricket will sing now
Within dreaming pools and rods.
Pianos of the wood mangle me.
Prophetic pastures have grace.
The private breeze is that queen's knee
Engaging in heaven's race.
Deeper twilight, wider dawn,
Auroras, blazes of bronze.
Docile rows of a lawn
Shelter the exclusive fawns.
The lower meter of the year
Entertain centuries past;
And livid claws inflict fear
Beneath the lustrous ship mast.
Climb on Horizon’s piers!
Take a step onto Rainbow’s stairs!
There are furtive lilac lairs
Which unworthy flowers mar.
Leaves heard the Tale of Dew
And transcending ecstasy.
I am me and you are you
Sailing on a purple sea.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

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Follow Your Heart

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Don’t follow what your mind’s saying and not your heart, because then your heart will make sure you’ll be never happy.

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Poem: Beautiful But Terrible

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Nature’s pretty.
It’s full of flowers and birds and trees and animals in harmony.
It’s pretty but not substantial,
You say as you return to your world full of more beings of your kind and vermin.
Nature has received a special name ever since humans left the wild.
Humans, the creatures that now rule the planet.
Ground, in reality, has no lines or borders, or countries or names.
But on maps, they do, and are considered the Just Way.
Nature used to be everything, but people have somehow banished this reality. And because of this they do not understand what the Outside truly is.
Yes, nature is elegant.
But with each blooming blossom, something dies.
Something is eaten by mushrooms.
Even the flowers are not really beautiful, or caring,
Because they only produce such vibrancy to lure insects into pollinating them.
To make their species survive.
The soil is composed of humus, or dead matter.

~

Yes, nature is beautiful but terrible.
The gentle deer runs from a pack of wolves,
Fangs flashing at each turn
And breath reeking with carrion.
Their glaring eyes promise death.
And then the doe falls, falls, and its body
(Which lived but an hour ago)
Is devoured.
The thick skin is pulled back and the fat and meat diminished.
Its death pose is beautiful.
The deer decomposes.
Beautiful but terrible.

Monday, April 16, 2012

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Poem: The Nightingales

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When the dark of night
Pours
Into the silent bedroom, something whirls and
Soars
Outside as well.
Songs.
Not the bright chirps of the small brown birds. Sad and
Long.
Not the harsh piercings of the warblers. Assonance
Flows.
Not the screeching calls of the seagulls. Melody
Blows.
The songs of the nightingales bleed into the
Air.
The sleeping world even seems to
Flair.
The notes are beautiful, the chords are
Dreams.
The birds are a mystery, unknown are their
Seams.
Are they sparkling black, with iridescent
Green?
Or do they have shimmering feathers from mottled
Steam?
Long tails, swift wings, wise minds and
Hearts?
Or a mirage of darkness, ghosts making up their
Parts?
The nightingales make their home in the
Night.
If you should awake like I did, in the absence of
Light,
Don’t be afraid of the nocturnal music
Calls.
Shivering will make you
Fall.

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Poem: The Gift

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I’d snatch the moon from the sky,
And give it to you, its identical eye.
Sure, there’d be no more moon poetry,
No more rushing tides,
Nothing to light the night.
Nothing for Wolf to howl to,
With enemy Lynx sauntering behind in the snow.
Nothing to make Raccoon’s fur silver.
Would you wear the object of a million human wonders
Upon your neck
As a gift from me?

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Photography: Forest

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Friday, April 13, 2012

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Poem: Sign Language

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You see, there was a couple in the next seats in the subway.
They occasionally flapped her hands.
Normal, right?
But then they began to do a full flurry of it.
I was, to this time, looking out of the corner of my eye.
To stare is rude.
This time, however, I looked straight on.
Their hand waves had complex movements, finger this way, arm that.
I realized they were doing sign language.
They were having a conversation.
I looked, fascinated, at the fluid, coordinated movements, the hands dancing,
The limbs skating upon ice.
The underground train shuddered to a halt,
And admitted a band of rowdy kids from the station.
They talked in loud, uncontrolled voices,
And later noticed the two.
And they laughed.
Just because you’ve never been deaf,
Doesn’t mean you can’t be understanding.
Be the feeling part of this generation,
No matter how small.

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Poem: Midnight

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I sat on the stairway
Reading “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”,
When a queer sound rustled at my feet.
She sniffed my right green slipper,
Then tickled the other with her dark muzzle.
I stared down at her, surprised,
And she stared back at me with vivid yellow orbs.
The creature climbed up the steps and danced around me.
So mysterious is she, this black sphinx,
And beautiful.
Every inch of her nimble body is perfect to the eye.
Her mouth is silver.
Her teeth are stars.
The dainty paws resemble ancient fossilized leaves.
She is silent, silent as the night stealing the evening.
She knows the way of the world.
But here, in the shelter of humans,
The cruel talons of Earth will never touch her,
So she is too smart to abide by it.
To her, I am not stranger, but a curiosity that may give her food.
Her legs tense and she leaps magnificently high for her size,
And then she is gone.
The creature was a mirage, a dream.
Her ebony fur was more magical than the Hair of a drowned Myriad.
Her sleek flanks were the stuff of legends.
Her tail is the tail of a black leopard.
Her nose was a pebble lying in the deepest lake in the world.
I call, “Midnight!” but the cat was gone.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

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Night Wanderings {5::2}

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Maun whipped through the quiet streets, taking hardly any notice of the rubble around it. Crow did; he stared at it with disapproval. He took into account every dark corner, any place large enough for something to hide in.

“Are we there yet?” she asked, though the answer was obvious.

 “No.”

A little further, then “How about now?”

“No, I say, stop acting like a four-year-old. Must I put up with you again?”

“Yes.”

Crow heaved, and flew into the night sky to see how far they had come. “A few more miles, I’d say.”

Miles?

“Yes, miles! I forgot what a nuisance you were.”

Maun sighed.

***

Finally, finally she was at their journey’s end, hobbling on her broken limb as quickly as she could manage. The moor merged into trees, and here they were, in the forest again. Maun had simply followed Crow, attempting to get close enough to ask what they were to do, and she was lured in. In the woods once more, alone once more, helpless once more.

Maun realized this was but a dirty little trick. Crow had simply wanted to get rid of her, while at the same time baiting Titalukia back into the forest. And what a cruel trap this was.

She was never seen again.

***

It was a hot day in summer, the air thick with flies, and the tavern was full with merry laughter. An especially keen group surrounded an aged bird.

“Owl, tell us a tale.”

The request went around the huddle, pleading with him to do so. He ruffled his features in agreement, thinking what story to possibly tell this band of humans he met while gliding around the outskirts of the village.

“Well, it begins like this: Long ago, when the earth was still young, there lived a rich girl who was the daughter of the Emperor’s favorite advisor. Whatever she wanted, she received, and whatever her little greedy heart wished for, was made true.”

They held onto every word. “Do go on.”

He continued. “Now, this girl was named Maun, and grew quite spoiled. She had to have the prettiest gowns only money and class could buy, and strutted around in her swollen pride. Every small thing needed to be granted, or she would throw a right little tantrum. Maun was always bored, since no one wanted to play with her…”

A while after hearing this, one of them asks, “What happens to the girl?”

“Oh, no one really knows. Most likely she was eaten by the monster. Or less likely, she escaped, and lives every day of her life running from it.”

They thought about this, then broke into lively discussion again.

THE END.

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Night Wanderings {5::1}

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Two gleaming eyes appeared within the trees. They carefully acknowledged the newcomer, and stepped sideways to let it pass. The clearing behind it was crowded with many animals: some nodded a greeting, some stared back coldly.

“Finally. You have come.” A small mouse scuttled underneath a pile of leaves, and all the creatures snapped into attention. “Let this meeting begin. First Crow, you will tell your report,” he nodded to the latecomer.

Crow quickly ran through everything he knew to Field Mouse, the leader of the Wild Council. In turn he gestured to Owl, White-Tailed Deer and Eagle, who were all at the meeting.

After they were finished, Fox barked out, “Why can we not finally leave the human to Titalukia? Already one life had been lost.” Mourning swept through the animals for Ground Squirrel.

Badger hastily added, “Plus a dozen humans perished. This girl is going to die anyway – why can it not be sooner than later, so more lives are spared?”

In response, Skunk cried out rather reproachfully, “Because it is but a child. I would not want to sacrifice any of mine young.”

A great muttering broke out; Otter and Robin got into a nasty quarrel over what to do with the human. Field Mouse shouted for order, but his squeak was barely heard. Raccoon, who was always calm, called for him. The clearing fell silent.

He decided to take a vote. “All in favor of killing the girl raise a paw, hoof or tail.” Field Mouse quickly counted. “All in favor of saving her…” Raccoon helped him establish the results.

“You know what to do,” Field Mouse said to Crow.

***

Awakening from the rough bed of wood splints, she tried again. “Mother! Father! Where are you?” No reply. There probably never would. Running desperately from door to door, pounding on the neighbors’ homes, she discovered everyone was missing.

Why is the village in such a wreck? Where is everyone? And where are Mother and Father!

A shadow stalked in the corners… She vanished within minutes, just like all the other.

***
Maun once again was awakened by a rapping - this time on her window. “What do you want?” she grumbled.

It was Crow.

“Get dressed,” he urged. “I know what we need to do. But I can’t do it when you’re inside.”

“Alright, alright.”

In ten minutes they were discussing possible approaches to Titalukia. “It seems to be going in a straight line,” he stressed. “You know two sides are surrounded by forest. Titalukia must have passed into the village on the north side. You live on the south tip of the west side. It is traveling toward you.”

Maun attempted not to worry. “But you have a plan, right?”

“Right. Well, Weasel decided it would be best -”

“Weasel?”

“Yes, Weasel. I had a meeting with all the forest animals last night. We decided what we should do with you,” Crow explained. “Well, he said I should take you to the northeast corner of your village.” Hastily he added, “It’s the farthest we can get away from Titalukia.”

“But is it not that the very same place it came from?”

“Yes. There’s no one left along the way to devour,” he stated flatly. “Overall it’s the best plan so far. I’ll thank Weasel when I get back.”

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Night Wanderings {4::4}

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Maun sullenly asked her nurse if she could play outside. It was not pleasant; she still felt oppression towards her after remembering her horrifying neglect. Without looking up, she agreed. “Just do not get yourself lost like last time. All that time I spent worrying over your silly self,” she gripped. “Where were you anyway? The servants never said.”

“None of your business,” she spat. “And give me the warmest petticoat you have. I do not want to freeze my bones again,” Maun hissed.

Grumbling, the nurse rummaged through her dresses and retrieved the thickest one, scowling as she added, “It is out of fashion. You seemed to have always minded before.”

As hard feelings passed between them, Maun set outside, keeping far, far away from that forest. The girl sat near the frozen banks of the river. It was frosted over, and dazzled like cut quartz. The ultimate magnitude of the winter beauty struck her. Out here, the sparse trees were blanketed with some remaining patches of snow. The sky was a vivid lilac blue, without even a wisp of cloud, and only contained a soaring bird.

Maun watched attentively as the shape flew closer, revealing it to be a crow. Still it sped towards her, and she did not recognize who it was too late. “You again!” it groaned. “Have you been inside the entire time? Well, that makes my life easier, thanks a lot,” Crow rambled. “Do you know I’ve been searching for you for two days now?”

Maun rolled her eyes, even though she was secretly delighted. She had missed the sour crow…there was something about him that reminded her of herself. She just couldn’t tell what. “Well, I am glad to see you too. Why did you come searching for me?”

“Because I must warn you…Titalukia is no longer in the forest.”

Maun wanted to rejoice with glee. She’d never have to be afraid of going outside again!

Crow observed her, and said, “But it is not gone. It is ravaging your own village.”

***
She ran through street after street, leaping over the rubble. They were nowhere to be found. “Mother! Father! I am here!” she screamed. And still she was utterly alone. The child whimpered, and collapsed on the wood splints. It was going to be a long night.

The moon set on a desolate alley.

***
“What do you mean?” Maun demanded. “How can Titalukia leave the forest?”

Crow hesitated, then answered, “It has not happened in two thousand years, but it is possible.”

She stared at him, uncomprehending. “Then I have to get away from here!” she shrieked.
“Oh no you don’t,” he replied. “Wherever you go, it follows. Until it finally kills you. I did not fully understand the consequences of taking you to safety out of the forest. We should have left you and been rid of a problem."

“Excuse me?” Maun retorted, all greetings forgotten. “You must help me – and you will!”

“Fine, fine, but just one more time. If this doesn’t work out, you’re a lost cause.”

“Wait – what are we doing?”

“Yes, that’s the problem,” Crow mused. “We need a plan. And a brilliant one to get you out of this mess.”

Maun sighed, then asked, “Then what am I doing?”

“Nothing for now,” Crow replied. “I’ll come when I think of something. Assuming you’re still here.” On that happy note, he flew away.

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Night Wanderings {4::3}

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A splitting, earthshaking rumble woke up the air. The night guard investigated the whole of the village, finding nothing suspicious. Again came the groan, and he snapped his eyes back to the noise. What was that? Thunder?

He gazed up at the sky, which was hosting a honey colored warmth. Morning was approaching, and his shift was over. For now, it was of no concern of his.

The night guard stalked away, not knowing of the horror he was leaving his daylight counterpart behind.

***
A loud rapping sounded at her door, and Maun screamed at it to stay silent. Will you not let me sleep? Just for a little while? The knocking persisted and the aggravated girl slapped her pillow to her ears. She finally decided to unlock it.

A wild man burst through, and yelled at her for something. Maun trembled with rage, and didn’t even bother to listen. No one will treat her like that… She screamed at him again, and their shouts combined into an outstanding ruckus.

“Where is the master of this house? Tell me!”

Maun glowered, then snapped, “How am I supposed to know? And in case you did not know, I am his daughter.”

The stranger fell silent, then started up again. “Well, then you should know where he is! I if you excuse me, I have greater matters to attend to than raging with children. Servants would give me better service!” She screeched one more time, then slammed the door on him gratefully.

***

The stewardess hosted a splendid meal. The master began to eat, but halted into a grimace as some ingredient of the feast was found to be missing. “What is the meaning of this unsatisfactory cookery? Question the kitchen immediately.”

“Master, the daily produce has not come to the kitchen. Do you not remember all of the gardeners have vanished?”

He paused at this, and was interrupted by a flailing messenger. “Master,” he heaved breathlessly, “the daylight guards are nowhere to be seen.”

“You deliver this in the middle of noon?” he roared.

“My forgiveness, but I sought for you earlier, yet without result. The mansion was near vacant.”

“My house servants are missing as well?” he exploded. “I will not tolerate all of this tardiness!”

The messenger rushed yet again, this time not from a furious girl, but a furious master.

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