[Story] Fairsong Academy – Menissa’s Journal

For our first time, I think we did a pretty good job of making party food. Of course Tik was a lot of help, he gave us an idea of how much of everything to make, and how to make the recipes bigger, also how to put them on the tray so people can pick them up and eat them easily. No one wants to have to use a lot of silverware for food at a party and they don’t want it all over their fancy robes. Really it’s common sense, but you don’t really think about it. Tik made loads of rolls, both salmon and spinach, along with the things he usually does like little cubes of cheese and meat skewers. We both agreed that we should do some Pandarian food, because it’s something people wouldn’t have had a lot before and they seem to like it when we make it for dinner. Ara wrote a bunch of recipes down and then Tik helped us make them bigger for lots of people. We did some meat and vegetable skewers, some little buns with meat inside, a noodle soup and a spicy vegetable salad.

It was definitely a lot of work! I chopped so many vegetables I think my hands were about to fall off. Thankfully I already got my tests finished so I could just work and not worry too much about it. I mean, I don’t know how I did on them yet, but there’s no point in worrying about them now. I’ll find out once we get back from break. I don’t really have any plans for break. I could go back to the city, but there’s nothing in particular I want to do there — if I’m going to do nothing I might as well do it here in my own room. Plus I guess I’m still kind of annoyed with my parents for sending me out here, even if I do like it better than I thought I would. I know it doesn’t make sense, but if I stay here it’s like I’m proving it doesn’t bother me. Besides, out here there are a lot of flowers blooming and the trees are starting to get their little buds and green fresh leaves. It’s actually really pretty, and the air in the garden smells really nice.

Ara didn’t ask to dance at the party. She did want to show me some ruins out on the grounds, though. I guess that’s good? Ruins are more Lora’s thing, she’s always wanting to go into old buildings to look at ghosts or whatever. I can’t tell if it’s supposed to be like a date or not. I mean, she is a lot older, and she’s the headmaster’s sister. Not to mention that we work together. If things get weird, it could be really weird and uncomfortable. She could also go back to Pandaria at any time. She said she wants to go back and continue studying. I admit, from the way she describes it, I don’t blame her. She said it’s up on top of a really high mountain and you can see way down into the valleys, but a lot of time there’s mist and clouds all around, it must feel like you’re a bird flying above the whole world. And there are hot springs, and obviously a lot of Pandarian food. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be any good at punching and kicking things, but maybe they allow people to visit. I’m thinking way too far ahead though. It might not be anything, or it might just be a walk to see old ruins.

[Story] Story a Week 16 – Leporine

[[ Prompt: Write a story about a word you pick out of the dictionary at random.

I used one of the words of the day from dictionary.com — “leporine”. ]]

 

I love the day after Easter. Who doesn’t? All through March and April I’d resisted the siren song of jellybeans, chocolate-covered marshmallow, those little sugary chickens and, of course, the chocolate bunnies. But now I stood before the candy aisle, gripping my shopping basket tightly as I surveyed the options before me. All of it was on sale. Yeah, I know, it’s bad for me. Did I care? Not one bit. It’s only once a year, after all. I wasn’t too picky about what I put into my basket. I knew it was all good. Peanut butter filled eggs, the little crispy chocolate coins, orange jellybeans in a carrot-shaped container. There were some bedraggled plush bunnies and ducks too, bright ribbons tied around their necks. I wasn’t interested in those, but they had other decorations too. Little decorations for your table or your mantel or wherever you’d put a little ceramic rabbit holding an egg. It wasn’t like I had any particular desire for that kind of thing, but I dug around on the shelf anyway.

There was one that drew my eye, for some reason. It could generously be described as “homely”, made of some rough, coarse brown material like burlap. The eyes were black buttons, and it felt like it was stuffed with straw. No bright friendly ribbon around this one’s neck; rather it had a sort of primitive and slightly menacing look to it. In other words, I loved it. The weird little rabbit was tossed into my basket atop all the bags of candy. Why not? It was only a couple of bucks.

At home, I unloaded my stash into the cupboard. I live alone, so I didn’t have to worry about anyone stealing it. Really, it was more an effort to pace myself so I didn’t eat all of it a once. I managed to eat only the jelly beans and a few of those chocolate eggs with the gooey white stuff in the middle. I know, some people hate them. I can’t get enough of them. I needed a place for the strange little rabbit. I don’t have a fireplace, so no mantel. I set him up next to my collection of movie discs, his rough texture and appearance a sharp contrast to the sleek lines of my entertainment center. He didn’t seem to belong there at all, but he didn’t seem to belong anywhere, really. Hey buddy, I can relate.

When I woke up from my sugar coma, the little rabbit wasn’t there. I found him on the kitchen counter. I tried to assure myself that I’d just forgotten to put him up, and maybe he’d somehow fallen from the entertainment center… and rolled all the way into the kitchen and righted himself. Or more likely, I’d just forgotten. It wouldn’t be the first time, and not the last either. It was also oddly warm to the touch, as if someone had been holding it for a long time, or it had been in the sunlight on a windowsill. It was unsettling. I set it on top of my nightstand, and set to cooking some actual food that wasn’t shaped like an egg or bunny.

I guess my stomach wasn’t happy about all the candy I’d eaten, because the thought of eating anything at all was decidedly unappealing. I pulled some vegetables out from the drawer of the fridge. That was healthy, right? Surely it would counter my indiscretion from earlier. And more importantly, I wouldn’t have to cook them. Before I realized it, I’d finished the whole bag of carrots, several stalks of celery, and a bundle of spinach. I’m not normally what you would call a health food nut, so the fact that I even had that much in my refrigerator is kind of amazing, to say nothing of devouring it in one sitting.

Out of the corner of my eye, I thought I saw something dart across the room. As I don’t have any pets, my first and most alarming thought was — rat. I armed myself with a broom and went looking around, flipping lights on. The strange little rabbit was on the kitchen counter again. Had  I just seen it dash across the living room on its own? Of course not. That would be absurd.

But it kept happening. No matter where I would set it, the odd little rabbit would always return to its perch on the counter. I thought about just throwing it away, and I tried it once, but it was out of the trash bin and back on the counter within an hour. Also, other things are starting to happen. Things that I don’t know how to explain. My feet ache all the time and I could swear they’re getting longer. So are my teeth, the front two anyway. They were always just normal teeth, not perfect but okay. The middle two are definitely longer now. It’s not just my imagination. And I can hear things no one should be able to hear. Like people talking several floors above. They’re not just being that loud. I’m afraid something is happening to me, and it has to do with that little rabbit somehow. I’m more afraid of what will happen if I try to get rid of it.

 

[Story] Thorns – Harrier’s Journal

I went with Nash to look for eggs for the holiday. It’s really more for kids, I think, as there weren’t a whole lot of adults actually looking for eggs. But Nash never got to go as a kid, not to mention I am not going to pass up any free chocolate. I could have just bought some in a shop, but it’s more fun getting it for free off the ground, right? This holiday is a bit weird when you think about it. I’m not sure who hides all of the eggs, either. The kids kept finding more, so someone must have been placing them, but we never saw anyone doing it. Nash said he wanted to just wait for the guy and take all of them before he hides them. That would work, but it’s not really in the spirit of the whole thing. He also said we should just take some out of the kids’ baskets while they weren’t paying attention. Look, I’ve done some not so great things, but I’m not going to steal chocolate from kids. Besides, if we got caught they’d make us leave and draw a lot of attention, which is the last thing Nash needs. I finally talked him out of it. We didn’t get a whole lot, but we found a few that the kids had missed. There are always some hidden up higher and I got those ones, that the kids didn’t see or couldn’t reach.

There’s a booth where they sell things, baskets, toy rabbits, and things like that. They also sell real rabbits, I guess if you don’t feel like trying to catch your own. I got a black one and I pretended like I found it in the bushes. Nash had been all excited about one before, but then he kind of got cold feet. Like what if it dies? It shouldn’t die, I think rabbits are pretty easy to take care of. You just need to feed it grass and vegetables, maybe hay. We will need a little pen so it doesn’t get loose or anything. And I think it would be a good idea to keep the rabbit away from the furry people during the full moon. A rabbit would just look like a tasty snack to them if they’re in wolf form. Nash wanted to name it Mister McHoppers, which I think is a pretty silly name but hey, it’s his rabbit. He’s never had a pet. I haven’t either, I never really had any desire for one. I can understand where he’s coming from, because if it dies there’s really no one else to blame except yourself. That is a lot of responsibility. A lot of the sentinels have animals, but they’re not really pets so much as partners. But I remember Risarra showing me her saber cub right after it was born. I bet a nightsaber would be a pretty useful pet in the city, because it could guard your house.

Nash said it wasn’t exactly like he imagined it, but it might have been a little unrealistic. Like I think he thought chocolate was going to rain from the sky or something. It’s not quite like that. But he did say it was okay, which is something. I’m just happy I got some chocolate.

[Story] Fairsong Academy – Terellion’s Journal

Orledin is still bringing bread every day or so. I hate to say it, but I think it might almost be too much bread. Some days, we can hardly finish it all. There’s a big basket in the kitchen of bread that’s stale. Normally we’d use it for crumbs, but it’s overflowing and there’s no way we can eat that many crumbs unless we put it on everything. And then maybe not even then. Orledin suggested we could feed it to the birds. That might be a good idea, but we don’t really have that many birds here, most of the ones that come to the garden eat bugs and seeds, I think. I’ve tried putting some crumbs out on a plate and they pick at it a little, but not that much. I think maybe he should feed it to Julan’s seagull. I don’t want to tell him not to make it anymore, because everyone does like it. But maybe just slightly less.

I think part of the reason he likes to bake so much is because of the other ranger there who helps him. The more time he bakes, the more time he gets to spend with the other ranger. Orledin was asking me for advice about that. I don’t know why, because I’m probably the worst person to ask about anything like that. Hethurin would be a lot better. For the longest time, I thought he hated me, and it was all just really awkward all around. I don’t suggest it at all. Things are good now, but I sure wish I could have done things differently way back then. So I just tried to tell him things that I thought would work, like talking to him about things he likes and doing things together besides baking. That way he could show that he wants to get to know him better, because I think that’s the most important thing. The problem is that the other ranger is alive. No matter how nice Orledin is, there’s a pretty big chance that will stop anything from happening. I didn’t want to say that of course, because I don’t want to hurt his feelings, but it is true. Then again, if Hethurin was a death knight I don’t think I would mind. As long as he was still the same person as he is now, not trying to kill anyone or anything. So maybe it would be possible. I just think it would be kind of weird to get used to, especially being cold all the time.

Tik and I are finishing the preparations for the spring ball. Malwen helped me decorate, there are ribbons and little bouquets of flowers everywhere, she helped me put those up. Tik spends some time out of the kitchen to visit his baby, but it still seems like he’s able to make the same amount of food. I don’t know how he does it. We did have some help from Ara and Menissa, too, so we should have plenty of food for this party. My spring cake has a tree covered with icing flowers and sugar birds perched on it. Then I also made little cakes with nests and candy eggs inside. They look pretty good if I may say so.

[Story] Story a Week 15

[[ Prompt: You are a kid’s imaginary friend. He’s growing up. You are fading away. ]]

It’s almost 3:30 pm. Zoey will be home any minute now. I check the table to make sure everything is perfect; every tea cup centered neatly on its saucer, the napkins folded into triangles. The teapot sits in the center, I can picture the white ribbon of steam. I seat myself in my usual place, and wait. It seems to be taking way longer than usual. I go to the window and pull back the curtain. There, in the driveway! I see Zoey, swinging her pink backpack as she walks. There’s another girl with her, a friend from school I guess. I check the table to make sure there’s a cup for her. We don’t often have visitors to our tea parties, but I always like to be prepared.

The front door clatters, and the girls race up the stairs into the room. They throw their backpacks onto the bed, and open the top drawer on Zoey’s dresser. I’ve seen her open that one before, it has lipstick and other weird things to put on your face. Once or twice Zoey has put them on me, but I can’t say I liked it very much. They don’t taste very good, either. But today Zoey doesn’t even glance in my direction. She and her friend are taking turns, putting the makeup on each other. It’s like I don’t even exist. I wait there at the table for a while, the tea getting cold, before I retreat to the closet. I don’t like the closet. Closets are for monsters, and I’m not a monster. Not the bad kind, anyway. I’ve never seen myself, because only Zoey can see me. But she’s drawn pictures of me, plenty of times, and she always draws me the same. I have shaggy purple fur with blue splotches, little horns on my head and down my back. My paws are big and friendly.

“You’re too old for an imaginary friend”, Zoey’s mother tells her. Zoey used to just laugh at that, but now I worry a little. Maybe she is too old. I set up the tea party every day, but when was the last time Zoey actually joined me? When is the last time we went walking in the woods behind the house, or reading stories late at night? Zoey still does those things, but she doesn’t ask me along anymore. She goes with her brother, or with her friends from school, kids in the neighborhood. I know some of them have imaginary friends, too. I’ve talked to some. They tried to tell me this would happen. Come to think of it, I haven’t seen some of them recently, either. I don’t know what happens to imaginary friends when their children forget them. Do we move somewhere else? Or is it more serious than that? Do we simply cease to exist altogether?

It’s true I’ve felt strange, but I have nothing to compare it to. I figured it was only sadness, or jealousy that made me feel this way. Had I only imagined feeling more tired, less ferocious, weaker than before — or was it some consequence of being forgotten? All my life, I have been defined by Zoey — she is the one who can see me, who named me. What will happen to me if she forgets? It’s a frightening thought. I would ask the monsters in the closet, if any were here. I get the feeling they, too, have long ago left this place.

 

[Story] Fairsong Academy – Loralinde’s Journal

Keyalenn and I are back at school, which is good because I have end of term exams coming up this week, and he has to help grade them for Magister Raleth’s class. This week will also be the spring ball, I’d hoped it might help get his mind off things for a while, but I’m not sure if it will. He seems better at times, but then it’s like it all comes back at once. I’ve never been through something like that, but I can imagine there are little reminders everywhere. I’m trying to avoid them, like I wasn’t sure if he’d want to go to the draenei tomb so soon. I would think being around a lot of ghosts would be very difficult right now, but he says he does. I hope he isn’t just saying that to make me happy, because I’d be fine waiting. There are lots of other things to do in Shattrath, though — like the restaurant. Their food is so nice and it’s different from what we get here because they use local vegetables and meat in their dishes. Keyalenn said he’d also like to visit the magical domes in Netherstorm, we might even see some dragons! That would be so exciting. He also mentioned the ghost village there. I’ve read about it, apparently they were all mages. I bet it’s fascinating! It’s really kind of him to offer to go with me, even if he doesn’t really feel like going.

I worry a little about his father, too. He’s all alone in that big house with no one to talk to aside from servants. I worry that he’ll fall into bad habits, or drinking or something like that. I suggested maybe he should get a pet, but Keyalenn didn’t think it was a good idea. He says he visits after lunch, hopefully that is enough. I still worry though.

I’m looking forward to the ball as well, it’s much more fun when you have someone to look forward to dancing with. The spring ball is always so bright and cheerful with the flowers and ribbons, the weather is starting to get warmer so it’s mostly outside unless it rains. Keyalenn said they hadn’t asked him for help with the music yet, but they could have just forgotten. Magister Fairsong and Terellion are busy with the new baby, and Tik’s break. I just hope he’s feeling up to it, he said he couldn’t play any cheerful music just yet. But slow songs are good too. I would like to get a new dress, I noticed that the undead girl always has new dresses and I asked her about them. She said she makes them herself, usually at night because she has all that spare time. And they’re quite nice, too — I mean, they aren’t as fancy as the really expensive shops, but they’re still very well done. I found her after class this morning and asked if she would have time to make one before the dance. You should have seen how excited she got! She took out her notebook and started sketching a design right there. I need to go and get measured this evening, and I need to buy the fabric from the city. Sorelle also said she could do little cloth flowers to wear in my hair to go with it. I can’t wait to see how it turns out! I bet a lot of girls would like to have their own dresses made here, especially the ones who can’t afford to buy them. I do plan to give her some money though, but maybe Magister Fairsong could pay for people who don’t have enough.

[Story] Story a Week 14

[[ Prompt: Based on a real news article

Here’s the (rather unsettling) article that I chose: If Spiders Ate Humans. Depending on your view of spiders, I guess this could be considered a horror story 🙂 ]]

Ordinarily, she had no reason to seek out others of her kind. She was sleek and shiny, her legs thin and strong, her body marked with intricate patterns of brown and black. But more importantly, she was a dreamer. She would often perch, at the apex of her web, her foremost legs touched together in thought. She watched everything, and wished to learn all there was. The idea had come to her rather suddenly, a few evenings ago. One of the big creatures had blundered through her web, shrieking. Hours of work — and any potential for supper that evening — destroyed in just an instant. After the big creatures had gone, she set to work making the extensive repairs necessary, grumbling all the while. How thoughtless of them! She’d heard the stories, too, of others who lived inside the big creatures’ dwellings. Though it was warm and dry, prey was a bit more scarce and there was a constant danger of being killed by the giants. She had always felt this to be exaggerated — they clearly had no hunting prowess. Their food was brought in from somewhere else, already packaged. She supposed that there must be some giant-sized hive that they all went to. At least ants and bees could bite and sting! These big creatures had no such defenses. It was offensive, frankly, that she and her sisters should have to live in fear of them.

That was how the idea began, and she turned it over in her mind as she spun, arranging the silken threads into their design. Why did it have to be that way? Yes, the giants were big, but that was all they had in their favor. She was quick, and clever, and agile. She was a skilled huntress and spinner, and — more importantly — there were many more of them. At first she mentioned the idea in passing to her nearest neighbor, a lady with a stocky build and attractive black and white stripes on her legs. But she scoffed, saying it was impossible and foolish. Undeterred, she reached out to others. There had to be some who could see the truth of it, were tired of living in fear. Eventually, there were. A long-legged spindly fellow from the garden, and several youngsters were the first to join her cause, perhaps reluctantly at first, but as time went on she was able to sway more and more to her message. The more she told about it, those new devotees would go and tell others, ones further away that she could not ordinarily reach. But they needed a signal, a catalyst to put their plan into action. That was what she sought now. A sign, perhaps, that they could all heed, to rise up and defy the giants. Her forelegs twitched excitedly at the idea of it. What would they do first? The giants could easily break ordinary web, so they had to find other solutions. She had learned from the indoor scouts that the giants were afraid of one individual moving quickly. No doubt the sight of hundreds at once would have the desired effect, to herd the giants into the desired place, like blind prey. Venom would be a powerful tool here. One injection would not be enough to bring a giant down, but she theorized that a thousand might be. At the very least, it should distract the giant enough that they could strike. Her jaws clicked excitedly. What did they taste like? It would be a feast of legend, all of her followers dining together in glorious victory. Risky, no doubt, but she could already taste the hot, delicious juices.

Loosing a line of silk, she descended from her perch. It was time to find the others and spread the word.