A Word to Readers

Dear Readers,
I am going away for some time and I will come back sometime in the middle of JANUARY. When I do, I will notify you.

I posted again on The Light.

Hi, I will post every Saturday from now on, but there might be a few exceptions. If so, I will notify you. The new post I have posted today will be continued every week on the same post. Notice that I have put the date on the top left hand corner. I will do so every week so that you know where you have left off.

At the same time, I would like to thank all of you faithful readers for encouraging me. Your encouragement has motivated me to publish a book. In fact, Dawn is going to be my first book. The prologue I posted on this blog is a rough draft of the book's prologue. I'll keep you posted on my progress, but I cannot reveal the details --Book Progress: Chapter 14

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Biscuit, My Balto

            Bright sunlight filtered through the sapphire colored curtains of Molly’s bedroom, and outside her dog, Biscuit, barked. Molly yawned and opened her bright hazel eyes. Her straight, shoulder-length, hair without bangs was tangled. She got out of bed and walked toward her green closet. Everything in her room was neat and clean. There was a straight pile of books on her desk and a tidy bookshelf in the corner. Molly pulled open the closet door and picked out an orange plaid shirt and a pair of jeans. She went over to the tiled bathroom to change. Then, she put on a lime green headband. Outside her door, Biscuit barked again, waiting for Molly to take her on their morning walk. As quickly as she could, Molly brushed her hair and hurriedly opened the door. The white and tan Pomeranian jumped up into her arms, licking her face.
            “Okay, okay,” Molly smiled and clicked on a leash. She went out into the kitchen to eat her usual breakfast of a peanut butter sandwich. 
            “Good morning,” Molly’s mom greeted her.
“Good morning Mom,” Molly replied while climbing onto the chair.
 She picked up a sandwich and took a bite. Biscuit was wagging her tail impatiently, so Molly gulped down the rest of her sandwich.
“I’m going to take Biscuit on a walk through the woods", she called.
“Sure, just be back in an hour.” Mom answered.
Molly grabbed hold of the yellow leash with paw prints on it and Biscuit quickly got up and followed her. Molly opened the door and stepped out. It was a bright, sunny day with a slight breeze that carried the scent of sweet flowers. Biscuit rushed out, running around the recently mowed lawn. She closed the front door and set out on the path that led to the woods. It was very convenient to have a park so close to her home. The dense trees and undergrowth shielded her from the burning rays of the sun. The woods had been there for thousands of years and ivy climbed on the oak and fir trees that dotted the parks. The leaves were golden and shimmered as Molly and Biscuit walked past. The leaves that littered the forest floor crunched under her feet. A bush with bright red berries and spiky leaves rustled. A moment later, a mottled white and gray head poked out. The sharp ears with black tips were pushed out and it locked eyes with Biscuit. As suddenly as it appeared, the cat’s head was out of sight. With a bark, Biscuit gave chase to the mottled cat, and the leash was wrenched out of Molly’s hands.
“No”, Molly yelled desperately, “Come back!” But it was already too late. Biscuit was tearing after the cat in full speed. Molly ran after her, except Biscuit was already out of sight. “Biscuit!” Molly called, “Biscuit!” A thorn tore into her pants, but she didn’t care. Branches whipped in her face and thorn bushes blocked her path. Still, Molly didn’t give up. She spotted a clump of fur on a thorn bush. It was Biscuit’s. Molly rushed over to the bush and examined it. Good. No blood. There were no traces of a fight at least. She slipped past the bush to search for more signs, but she did not notice the sign that read “Danger! Bear Territory.” And she did not see the claw marks of a bear on the oak tree. “Biscuit!” Molly called and called, “Biscuit!” Out of the corner of her eye, she spotted a lumbering shape and heard the thump of huge paws. She whipped around and gasped. A few feet away, a massive bear loomed above her, its beady eyes focused on her. A low growl issued from the bear’s muzzle and Molly screamed, eyes wide with terror.
A mile away from Molly, Biscuit was chasing after the cat. Then, she heard a scream. It was Molly! Biscuit dashed toward the sound. When she got close enough, Biscuit ducked under a yew bush. In the clearing a few steps away, a huge grizzly had cornered Molly. Quickly thinking, she dashed off to find the foxes that lived there. Her nose had picked up a whiff of fox when they set off into the woods. She circled the place, trying to figure out where they came from. She stopped by a bush and sniffed again. It definitely had the scent of Molly and herself. She had found the scent trail! With her nose in the air, Biscuit went all the way back. There was a whiff of fox again, and she followed the scent to a den.
“Hello?” she barked. There was a growl coming from the den. “Please help me!” Biscuit begged. After a while, the fox agreed and found a few of his friends, Misha, a dark red fox with white feet and a bushy tail, Stone, a thin fox with all of his ribs showing, and Silver, a light orange fox with dark brown eyes and a tail that was tipped silver. Biscuit whispered the plan to them and they split up and formed a circle around the clearing where the bear was. Stone howled first, his wild song cutting through the forest. Then Misha’s turn, her howl echoing through the trees. Third was Silver with her passionate, untamed song. Next was the fox that Biscuit found, and last of all was Biscuit. She howled her love of Molly into the bright sky. The bear’s ears lifted up and it started back toward where it came. Growls were coming from all around.
“What’s happening?” Molly thought, “Were they wolves or foxes? Oh no!” More sharp barks came from all around and the bear spun around and fled, clambering through the woods on clumsy paws. Out of the bushes rushed out a white and tan shape, so familiar to Molly that she recognized it immediately. “Biscuit!” Molly cried out joyfully. She had never been so happy and surprised in her life. “You’re the greatest dog ever. You’re my Balto!” (Balto was the bravest dog ever in Alaska, who went through 700 miles of deep snow without stopping to deliver medicine for sick children.) Molly reached her arms out and hugged Biscuit. Together, they went home, paw in hand.
“Molly, it’s already 10:59, what in the world happened? I was so worried, and you’re such a mess!” Molly’s mother exclaimed.
“Oh, we just confronted a bear,” Molly said with a gleam in her eyes.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Feline and Canine Rivalry

     Long, long ago, when the universe was first created, Catna, the goddess of the sky, and Doggia, the god of the earth, ruled. Catna, of course, governed the sky and Doggia the earth. The world was empty and desolate, without anything to inhabit it. Stretches of vast wasteland covered the earth and dusty winds blew across the barren land. Layers of dust  were disturbed as the winds rushed across them. A tear fell from Catna, for she felt despondent because nothing at all lived in the world. Moon, feeling bad for Catna, granted her wish.
     As the tear fell onto the ground, magically, a little white creature appeared, opening her mouth to let out a little mewl. Then the creature blinked open her eyes for the first time to the world around her. Two little tufts of fur tapered into gentle points that were her ears. Her head narrowed into a muzzle with a triangular nose that was pale pink. Whiskers sprouted on her muzzle and a tail, long and delicate, curled up at the end of her slender body. She stood up on her four paws and fuzzy white fur covered her from head to toe. Razor-sharp claws grew from every toe on each of her paws, perfect for tearing prey. The creature stretched open her jaws again in a yawn. Little rows of sharp teeth glinted in the light.  Catna smiled, her eyes brimming with happiness, and joy coursed through her, making the stars shine ever brighter. Catna named the little creature "cat" for herself. Feeling lonely, the white cat created plants to share the world with her. Soon, the white cat's plants covered the once-barren land. Flowers stretched their heads to the Sun and leaves glistened with dew in the early morning sunlight. Palm trees grew in oases and daisies popped up amidst the blades of grass,  thin strands of fuzzy green fur that grew in huge numbers.
     Doggia, wanting someone to accompany the lone she-cat, went to Moon. He trotted up the rainbow trail to Moon's house. As he arrived, Doggia requested for another creature to be made, one that was named after him. Moon consented and a little sculpture sculpted out of clay was animated. The creature had two drooping ears the hue of the dusty ground and a longer, narrower muzzle than that of the cat's. Longer and larger legs were attached to a more muscular body. A swishing tail wagged at the end of the creature. It was named "dog". The dusky brown dog and the white cat were good friends. And their offspring were too, until one day...
     A dog with a black-and-white coat, sat on the smooth and comfortable grass. She and another, a pomeranian dog with gray fur and eyes the color of the midnight sky, were eating their meal. The gray pomeranian was ravenously gulping down a squirrel. The black and white one was quietly munching a plump rabbit. A bush rustled in the peaceful clearing, and the black and white dog turned around, curious. Nothing moved. Not a leaf or a blade of grass. The lush glade was unusually silent. The wind was still and everything was just quiet. She stopped eating and glanced around. Dogs were all biting into their food and chatting. No one seemed to see anything wrong. It's probably just my imagination. The dog concluded.
     Just then, a cream-colored tom burst through the foliage surrounding the clearing and screeched out a challenge.
     "You have stolen our new-born kits! We want them back, you thieves. To think that you would turn on you friends so quickly when we had been allies from the time before time. You aided the foxes in stealing our kits! You will pay. Attack!" a tom with eyes smoldering with rage yowled.
     Cats crashed into the clearing in all sides, launching themselves into the hectic fray. It was chaos as dog fought cat and cat fought dog. What has happened? We were friends a moment ago! The white and black dog, confused, thought in horror. Then a cat leaped at her and clawed her with its sharp claws. With a bark of anger, she thrust out all four paws and pushed the cat off her. Baring her teeth, she bit into the cat's leg and let go as it begged for mercy.
     " Doggia, save us!" A dog wailed as another fresh row of cats stormed into the glade. Fur flew everywhere and the hot rank of blood hit her nose.
     Up above, Doggia and Catna looked down at the battle raging below. Sadness spread in Catna's face and Doggia's tail swished back and forth. Furious, Doggia shook with anger, The whole world shook as Doggia yelled out his rage.
     Back below, the feuding cats and dogs stopped abruptly and broke apart as the earth shook. A crack in the earth appeared between the two animals. Trees were uprooted and fell with crashes. Flowers swayed and raindrops pelted them from above as Catna expressed her sorrow. Both animals fled from the spot.
     To end all the bloodshed, Doggia enhanced the dogs' sense of smell. With a keen sense of smell, the dogs  would be able to smell the cats when they came the next time. Catna made sure cats could leap high to evade the dogs. They could do nothing to the gap between the two, but could at least ensure that there was as little bloodshed as possible.
     From then on, dogs had a keen sense of smell and cats could jump very high.

Friday, November 18, 2011

My Life as a Rock 2

     Terror coursed through me and it took all of my self control to not scream and flail around. My heart beat rapidly against my chest. Faster and faster until I felt like it would burst from my chest. My eyes, wide with fear, darted to behind me to see my other friends being taken from their prison too. I closed my eyes, the air slick with fear, and prayed that we would be all right.
     Then it happened. A bat dropped a twig alight on fire on the bat carrying me in its iron, vise-like clutch. For a few moments, the little twig seemed suspended in the air. Then it was on us. The tip of the twig hit the bat's back and flames rose up, licking hungrily. Soon the bat's wings were aflame. Whirling crazily in a tilt, the bat careened into another and plummeted. I screamed as wind rushed past us and tears came to my eyes as the violent, whooshing air stung me. I closed my eyes. Screeching in pain, the bat, its entire body on fire, let go of me. I dropped and squeezing my eyes tighter, landed on something soft and furry. The back of a bat. I snapped open my eyes as we tilted dizzily earthward. The impact had unbalanced the bat, and  it struggled to regain control of its flight. The port wing of the bat dipped and I felt myself slipping. I was in the open air again. The ground came up fast. Too fast for me. I would be crushed on impact. I would never see my mother again. Nor my friends. Fat tears rolled down my cheeks as I closed my eyes in despair and waited, bracing myself, for the impact. Falling, falling. The wind buffeting me. Plummeting to my death.
     Excruciating pain. Agonizing pain. Searing through me. The heat. Burning, hot red flames. Surrounded by hot red flames, lapping hungrily at me. Roasting me alive. I forced my eyes to open, but they refused to budge. Tears welled up in my eyes, but they vaporized the very moment they first saw the world. A world of fire. Fire everywhere. All around me. And the pain. The horrible pain. Flashes of my memories came back. A little by a little. Falling though the air. Wings of flame reaching up. Up to a sky of stone. Of dark black stone. Then the impact. Landing in a wreath of flame. It was as if all the pain in the world had decided to barrage me. My entire body ached with it. Opening my eyes to a slit, they screamed with pain. And then they widened in surprise. I was on fire. Waves of flame danced across me. I opened my mouth to let out a scream, but nothing came out. My mouth was dry. Terribly dry, and I yearned for water. Oh, how I longed for water. The taste of it. The feel of it. That cool liquid that gushes down your throat. But I forced myself to get up. I had to for my friends. My mind flashed back to the plan we had devised in the skull prison.
 “We’re next.”Sapphire had said in a timid voice.
      “What will we do?”Amber had wailed, “A guard will come in any moment.”
     "When a guard picks us up, we can bite their claws or something. Just find a way for them to release us. Then what we could do is hide in all the brush and bones. They're too large to fit in the bones. Then one of us can go free the other stones and rocks held in the prisons. Coal, can you do that?" I had rapidly explained the plan that was currently forming in my mind.       
     "Sure." Coal had agreed readily.
     "Then the rest of us can go free the rocks in the pyramid. One of us will make a distraction. A big one. So that they will not be looking at you when it happens. I could set fire on this place. The cannibals have covered the floor with a layer of dried leaves. That could be the distraction we will need. Then when Coal and I are done, we will go to the pyramid to help you. What do you think?" I had finished, gasping for breath.
     "I think it's a good idea. Well, at least it's the best we have." Amber had spoke up first. 
     "Okay. Let's do it." Sapphire had said determinedly.  
     Painfully, I got up, my every limb creaking. I rolled out of the sea of quickly spreading flames, dodging towers of them. Well, I didn't need to set the cavern on fire anymore. I thought with a smile. Some clumsy bat had already done it for me. I had to dodge plenty of frightened bats that were winging their way to the tunnel’s entrance. The flames had spread more rapidly than I had thought. It was already eating its way to a nearby pile of bones.  I rolled faster. I didn’t have much time left. I could already feel the heat on my back. I was getting closer to the pyramid. I could see the scared faces of the rocks clearly now. The structure was tall with stone terraces and beautifully carved walls. I could make out the silhouettes of Sapphire and Ember trying to free the rocks. Dried mud was holding the rocks together. What could break the mud? Water of course, but the water would extinguish the fire and where would I get water? I had arrived at the pyramid already and I exchanged a few words with Ember.
“How are we going to free the rocks? We don’t have time to break each one out.”Ember asked desperately.  
“Water is the answer.”I said.
“But where do we get water?”Ember sighed resignedly, about to give up.
“Water sometimes fills up in a different room of a cave. All we need to do is to blast a hole in the wall.”Sapphire suggested hopefully.
“And how do we do that?”Ember questioned.
“Um…we could find a crack in the wall and dig in deeper?”I didn’t know what to say.
“I don’t know if it’ll work, but we could try.”Sapphire said.
I went to the wall of the cave to search for one. Cracks or thin parts of the limestone would work. I felt along the wall in search of one, but I didn’t find anything.
“Dusk!”Sapphire called from the other side of the cave, “I think I found a crack.”
I made my way over to her and examined the crack. It was deep and ran along the wall for a foot or two. I grabbed a sharp bone with a serrated edge and chiseled at the crack. The crack widened and it got deeper. Ember had rushed to us with a spear she had found on the ground. I stepped aside and let her work on the crack. After a few minutes, I felt a steady spray of water on me.
“It’s working!”I yelled to Sapphire.
Meanwhile, Coal was freeing the rocks in the skulls. The fire was much closer now. He could feel the flames scorching his back. He worked faster. He didn’t want to disappoint Dusk by not doing his part of the plan. Dusk and the others had probably finished their part and were waiting at the entrance of the tunnel for him. Just a few more skulls and he would be done. He was surprised that nobody interrupted him or tried to stop him from freeing the rocks that were supposed to be part of the pyramid. A bat had flown right past him without noticing anything. He had been so scared that they had been found out, but it was just another bat on his or her way out. The rocks he had saved had muttered a word of thanks and had fled right after that. Now he was on his last skull. Coal slashed with his bone one last time and the skull fell open. The rocks inside said their thanks and fled through the cave. He rolled over to the tunnel and waited for the others. What was taking them so long, he wondered. The fire was already blazing toward the tunnel entrance and it blocked his view of the pyramid. Bats were fleeing around him, pushing and shoving their way inside. For a moment, he was tempted to follow the growing crowd of bats and save himself. All his instincts told him to flee for his life, but he knew he couldn’t. Dusk and the others would wait for him, so he should too. The thought kept on repeating in his mind. Finally, he decided to go see what happened at the pyramid. Slowly and carefully, Coal rolled over to the pyramid of stones. He was cautious to not step on the flames on the ground. The heat was roasting him. The cave was heating up like an oven. Pretty soon, they would all be burned alive. Unexpectedly, water started to gush out of the wall of the cave, extinguishing part of the sea of flame. It poured over the pyramid, making the mud become runny. There was sucking sound and all at once; the rocks in the pyramid were released. The water started spread around the room, extinguishing the fire. Wave after wave of roaring water streamed out of the crack in the wall and flooded the cave. The water was already up to his mouth and Coal almost choked as he cried out, “Dusk, Sapphire, Ember, are you guys okay?”
As soon as the first streams of water gushed out of the crack, I had rolled over to the pyramid to warn the rocks stuck in it. By back was warm. Very warm. Curious, I turned around and gasped. The fire had already reached the base of the pyramid! I just hoped that the water would put it out fast enough.
“We’re trapped.”Sapphire panted.”I went around the whole pyramid, except it’s surrounded by fire!”
“We’ll have to wait for the water to help us.”I shouted above the din.
Just then, a huge bat with a four-foot wingspan swooped down on us. His face had an angry appearance and he shouted at us for breaking his plan and destroying his colony’s home.
“I am Murk, the leader of the Bone Bats. This is our place, and you little rocks refuse our rule. I had consulted Vampryma, my god, and she had said that if one million rocks can be made into a pyramid dedicated to her before the summer, she would give us the power to annihilate you all.We were perfectly fine until you meddling rocks. And now it is ruined!”the bat roared.”You puny underlings will have to pay for it!”
I backed off just as he lunged for me and missed. Sapphire rolled over to help, but Murk just swatted her aside with his enormous wings. Then, he turned back to me again. He opened his jaws and the sharpened fangs glistened.  My heart thumped hard against my chest as he reared up and crashed down on me. I tried to dodge, but one of his fangs gouged into me. Pain seared through me. The crash and roar of the water in the background gave me an idea. I would lure him to the mini waterfall the water had created. He wouldn’t stand a chance. It was dangerous maneuver to do because he could easily trap me against the wall and finish me off or if he didn’t get me, the water would. As he slashed at me with his jaws, I stepped back and slowly moved toward the water. My plan was working. I saw a gleam in his eyes as he thought he was cornering me. I moved backward again, my back almost pressed against the wall. Murk smiled as he reared up. I took a step to the right just as he launched himself at me. He didn’t have enough time to move, and he plunged head-first into the waterfall. He was crushed instantly.
Just then, a voice cut through the pounding of the waterfall, “Dusk, Sapphire, Ember, are you guys okay?” It was Coal.
    The water was filling up the room quickly, quenching the fire that had raged a moment before. Sapphire had gotten up again and had recovered from the blow Murk had given her. Ember splashed over from the place where the pyramid had once been. Now it was just a heap of watery mud. The rocks had been freed and were already on their way to the tunnel. It was time for us to leave.
“Let’s go to the exit as soon as possible. The cave is already filled up to the belly of a bat.”Ember said hurriedly.”We need to get out of here fast.”
“Are you okay?”Coal asked again.
“Yes, we’re fine.”I replied.
I started to splash toward the tunnel and the others followed.
The cave was filling up fast. I could barely breathe already. The tunnel loomed up in the distance. We were almost there. It was a few splashes away. I could feel the fresh air blow against my face. I burst out of the tunnel with Ember, Coal, Sapphire, and Amber. There were bats all around, trying to get airborne, but there were too many of them and they kept on bumping into each other. It was easy for us to slip out. No one noticed us. It was still pouring outside and the tree branches danced in the rough wind. I was so glad to feel the wind in my face and the cold raindrops the size of acorns pelted me, but I didn’t care. We were outside at last. All around us bats were soaring, getting as far as they could from the cave.
“Come on, let’s get out of here.”I said.
We headed toward the outline of the rising sun. It was still raining, so we went to shelter in a cave nearby.
“Let’s stay here. It’s pretty nice here.”Sapphire suggested.
“Sure,” Coal, Ember, Amber, and I replied in unison.
The cave had a high ceiling and no bats inhabited it. It was wide and had a spring of cool water off to the side. There were plenty of space and nicks in the walls to sleep in. My friends and I stayed here for so many years that we lost count. The group of hominids had gone.
Sunlight filtered through the cave’s entrance in the morning. I stirred. There were sounds of footsteps outside. That was unusual. The hominids had left. Who else walked on two feet? I yawned and stumbled to the entrance. I stopped suddenly. Ten pairs of long legs stood before me. I raised my head to look at these creatures. They were about five feet tall and were quite stocky. I turned my attention to the shallow hole they had dug in the ground. They were lowering one of them in it, but I didn’t see why. Were those their sleeping places? No, I decided. They were pouring soil on their fellow creature. That would certainly suffocate him or her. They plucked some wild flowers and laid them on the mound they had created. Then, the thought struck me. They were burying their dead!
“Ember, Coal, Amber, Sapphire!”I yelled as I went back in the cave.”The hominid creatures are back!”
“What?”Ember said, in the middle of a yawn.
“Those horrible creatures are back.”Coal answered for me.
“What shall we do?”Amber was wide awake now.
“I think we should leave immediately.”I replied.
“Buy what if they’re just passing? We don’t want to leave such a good home.”Sapphire queried.
“I don’t think I want to take a chance.”Coal said.
“No, we should stay. They are probably just passing by.”Ember yawned again.
“But…”I tried to talk them into leaving.
“It should be fine.”Amber interrupted.
I didn’t want to leave by myself, so I decided to stay, too. The next day, the creatures were still there. They were spreading some kind of poultice or ointment on a wounded hominid. A group of people came back carrying rabbits and birds to eat. They must’ve gone out to hunt together.
Months passed and the hominids had not left. I decided to try to convince my friends again.
“We should really leave.”I said.”They have stayed here for months already.”
“Yes, I think we should leave too.”Sapphire agreed.
“Me, too.”Coal said.
“I’m too old to leave.”Ember said.”Who cares if the hominids live here? Have they hurt us? No. I’m staying.”
There was a brief silence and Amber spoke up.”I want to leave.”
Ember was outvoted, so we left the cave at dawn. We headed for a lush forest in the distance, where I had been born. I wondered if my mother would be still there. After many days, we finally arrived. I rushed to the ancient tree my mother and I used to live beside. She was still there! Warmth flooded through me as I recognized the familiar shape.
“Mother!”I called.
“Dusk? Is that you?”my mother was so happy, tears coursed down her face.
I lived with my mother at the tree from then on. My friends lived in a nearby tree stump and every day I would visit them. Now, many young rocks go to me to listen to my adventures. The hominids had evolved into humans. They used mush more advanced tools then the past ones, and now I enjoy watching their machines in the fields at sunset, when the dying sun disappears in the horizon and the last rays of sunlight reach the earth. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

My Life as a Rock 1

            In a deep, lush forest in now-a-day Africa, my life began. I was born on a day of frosted trees and icy winds. I opened my eyes to a new world when the seconds slowed between this year and the next. My mother beamed and named me Dusk for the glossy grey color I had. We lived by an ancient tree that my mother said was there when her mother’s mother was alive. The forest floor was soft with lush ferns and decaying leaves. A couple seasons went by, spring, summer, and fall, from the day I was born. Spring brought new saplings and warm breezes. Summer was hot with tall trees and fall had leaves strewn over the forest floor. Then, I was snatched from my home on the forest floor by a family of ape-like creatures. One of them had picked me up with a hairy hand and used me to skin animals they hunted. They even used me to crack animal bones to eat the marrow inside. Soon, they moved somewhere else and left me alone, worn out, but alive.
Many years passed and another group of hominids picked me up. They were a little bit different from the other group, taller and thinner. Plus, their foreheads were round and smooth. They used me to make fire to keep them warm. I was so surprised when they had first scrapped me against another rock, called Amber, to create fire. It had shocked me. I never knew that we could create fire. Fire is made when lightning strikes a tree and when dry brush is ignited, but never by rocks. One day, by the fireplace, I talked to Amber, my new friend.
“Hello, Amber.” I greeted her.
“Hi, Dusk. It hurt so much when they scraped me against another rock to create fire. There are even scratches on me now! They’re hurting us. I heard that an unlucky rock named Embia was thrown in the fire to fuel it.”Amber said, distressed,” What if we’re next?”
 “I don’t know. Maybe we should escape and free the other rocks too. Then, we could go somewhere far away. We could roll away when they’re sleeping. They might not notice. They're not very bright.”I replied.
“Sure, what time should we leave?”Amber asked, her eyes sparking with hope for the first time in months.
“Tonight, I think. The moon was full yesterday, so today it will be dark. It’s the perfect cover to escape. Plus, the sky is dark with heavy clouds. It might even rain. There’s a boulder a couple rolls away. If we get that far, then they’ll never notice us.”I answered her, looking up at the sky.
The sky darkened and the heavy clouds up above began to release their load. A light drizzle began and I talked to the other rocks, Ember, Coal, and Sapphire. They all agreed to the plan. It was the best we had. At midnight, Ember and Sapphire, who were closest to the boulder, would creep there to see if the coast was clear and signal to Coal, who would go next. Last, Amber and I would roll to them. Ember and Sapphire were already on their way. Coal received the signal a second later and made his way to the others. Then, it was our turn. The steady drizzle had become a downpour and the ground was slightly muddy. Amber slipped in the middle of the clearing, slipping on the gooey ground, and a hominid stirred. Quickly, I grabbed her and we rushed to the others, my heart thudding.
“Are you okay?”Sapphire asked, her blue eyes anxious.
“Yes.”Amber replied shakily.
We all entered the forest and walked together through the woods. The trees danced in the fierce wind and shadows lurked everywhere. The undergrowth were swathed in shadows and a lone owl hooted nearby. The absence of the moon made me uneasy. Without it, what would light up the forest? Then a cave suddenly loomed up in front of us and we walked in slowly and warily. I had a bad feeling about it, but it could provide shelter. I pushed my doubts to the back of my mind. I was probably being overcautious. It was cold and dark inside and icy water dripped from the ceiling. We went deeper and deeper until we could not even see each other. The dripping water formed a puddle in the middle of the cave and we heard a flutter of wings.
“What’s that?”I asked fearfully, glancing around me.
“I don’t know, but I had heard of dark creatures that live in caves. They are cannibals.”Ember answered.
There was another flutter of wings. It sounded as if there were hundreds of creatures in the cave. Swoosh! Something had alighted down near us. Then, an upside–down furry face with sharp fangs, pointy ears, and a sharp muzzle swooped in front of us.
We were snatched by thorn-sharp claws, and I yelped in surprise. Many red eyes watched us from above as we were pushed past two towers of gleaming bones. There seemed to be bones of bats, foxes, and lions. I fought against the wiry claws that grabbed me, but failed to free myself. I exchanged a hopeless glance with Sapphire, who was closest to me. We were dead meat. Then we entered a murky tunnel that seemed to have no end. We were pushed past guards with sharpened fangs and spears of bone. As the end of the tunnel came into view, I saw that there was a bright light at the end and shadows flickered around the tunnel. Fire. As we burst into the clearing, I heard a deafening chant and saw hundreds upon hundreds of bats hanging from the ceiling, each screeching in high pitch voices. It was gigantic inside and there were towering piles of glistening bones surrounding the fire that was in the center. To my horror, I spotted hominid bones in it. If these bats could kill hominids... I shuddered. I did not want to finish the thought. Some of the bones were still decaying and a simply repellent smell wafted up to me. At the very back of the cavern was a half-built step pyramid with bats flying around, placing stone over stone on the construction. We were then shoved into a skull of a hominid in one of the piles of bone and I could see no more.
In the distance, I could hear the cries of help and looks of horror on the faces of those who were next in line. A guard’s head poked in a skull a few feet away and grabbed all the stones in it. I heard the cries of despair and saw the hopeless faces of the rocks as if everything they had lived for had vanished. I couldn’t bear it anymore and looked away, those cries of the rocks ringing in my ears.
And then a bat appeared, its fangs flashing in the harsh light and its red eyes gleaming in anticipation, as if it were enjoying this, and headed toward us. My back crawled with apprehension. We were next.
To be continued...

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Tale of the Yeast Bridge

For my cousins, Kimberly, my loyal reader,  and Alastair, who just recently sent me delicious cookies.

      One cool, windy winter day, Pebble walked up to the grassy hill to graze. Pebble was a giraffe the color of the setting sun. Her fur was as smooth as the rocks in the mountains that were eroded for countless seasons. Her spots were as white as the puffy clouds floating above her in the blue sky. As she reached for a leaf in a tree nearby, she noticed a gap in the hill. Oh no! she thought. She trotted over to the hole and looked down. Piles of earth had collected on the bottom and rocks the size of boulders sat atop the piles. This part of the hill must have collapsed, she decided, I must help fix it, or sooner or later there will be an accident. So Pebble went on to gather the ingredients needed to fill in the gap.
     After an hour or two, Pebble had collected cool, glistening mud from the pond, moss from the branches of trees, and soil from the bottom of the hill. She carefully mixed them in a large, dull yellow pot  the Potter had provided for her. The Potter was a neighbor of hers and was very kind to let her use one of his lovely pots that he made for a living. She stirred for a long time and soon, she had created a sticky, mushy mixture of the color green. She added some flour and water, stirring more. The mixture was becoming thick and sticky. Afterward she poured in a cup of yeast. Mixing more, she waited for a little longer. Then she was finished.
     Pebble gingerly carried part of the mixture to the top of the hill where it had collapsed. She then poured in the portion of the mixture she had carried up the hill. With a plop, it landed on the bottom, covering the dirt. It oozed a bit and then stopped. After many trips, the hole was filled up to the middle. Pebble needed more. She collected lichens and mud and more grass and soil. She put them all in the pot and added more yeast. Pebble blended the concoction. Finally, it was done.
     Pebble hauled the mixture to the gap and dumped it in. It fit perfectly, right up to the top. She then waited. The blazing sun high above began to tire and slowly set, the world one shade darker as it dropped one bit. Soon the moon appeared and the nocturnal creature that was the night awoke. Pebble tentatively stepped on the hardened mixture. It held her weight! She smiled, content of her work, and returned home, her eyes drooping with exhaustion.
      The following day, a huge crowd gathered on the hill to stare in wonder at the mixture that clogged up the hole in the hill. They called it the Yeast Bridge. Pebble became famous, and soon the Yeast Bridge became one of the wonders of the world and one of the most popular vacation sites there were.