Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Elemental Landscapes Part 2: Fiery, Part 1 of 2

I groaned.

My vision blurred. Was I crying? I sat up, my head throbbing, moaning again.

I saw two objects in front of me, and I knew I should know them, but I couldn't identify them. I saw ink on my skin, and read about the entire journey, my memory slowly returning.

The ground was black, like coals. I realized I was not crying, but sweating from the heat.

ME: Bear?

The stuffed animal beside me sat up, startling me. I had not expected it to actually wake up, hoping it had all been a dream. But he, and Shredded Cloth, stirred.

There were tears in my dress, my hair was singed off to a pixie cut, and Bear and Shredded Cloth both had bruised seams.

We reacquainted ourselves and assessed the situation. The frozen wastelands were gone, and we had woken up in a soot-covered world of red and black. I could see flames flickering all over, and it was filthy. I was covered in soot and dirt and grime by the end of the first hour.

We found our possessions alongside the glass that had been formed by the beacon scattered around, and spent the remainder of the day gathering them up. There was no sun, the sky was lit by itself with bloodied fire clouds that morphed together as one, solid background.

I rubbed my sore feet, almost bloody with the strain of the rough ground. I decided it was made of charcoal or coal, which kept the small fires burning forever.

Yes I did draw this.

There was no food or water, and quickly I became hungry and thirsty.

I knew this wouldn't be as easy as the frozen landscapes, but now at least I knew what was going on.

Bear, Shredded Cloth and I sat down to discuss strategy.

ME: It appears we were to collect a note, decipher it, and deposit it into the beacon.

BEAR: We must receive the next note and locate the beacon.

ME: Let us go and slay some beasts, then.

SHREDDED CLOTH: Let us not be hasty. We may not survive long in this wasteland without proper food, shelter, and water.

ME: Which, by slaying beasts, we can obtain.

SHREDDED CLOTH: I do not see any beasts in sight.

ME: But the last ones we faced rose up so suddenly, we didn't see them coming, either. I suggest we just do as we did last time; pick a direction and start off in it.

That proved difficult. As soon as we entered the fourth mile, I collapsed from exhaustion, and no matter how thin I was Bear and Shredded Cloth could not drag me any farther.

BEAR: I suppose we will camp here for a while.

ME: I miss the sun! Where are the days?!

SHREDDED CLOTH: One might go a bit insane in a place such as this, I suppose.

I licked my dry, cracked lips.

ME: Do you hear that?

We paused. A small, horse-like whinny rang out not far in the distance.

SHREDDED CLOTH: Is that a pony?

BEAR: It can carry us on our journey!

ME: I'd rather we eat it. We have fires to cook it on.

BEAR: We would benefit longer from riding it.

ME: I... suppose.

We hobbled away, following the sound. Eventually we saw a white speck in the distance, and broke into a weak jog.

As we closed in around the pony, I discovered it was not a horse at all but a giant, floating creature.

The beast opened its mouth, and spewed a fiery blaze at us.

I dove for shelter behind a coal boulder, coughing from the dust kicked up by the commotion. The creature was sweeping its flame back and forth, trying to locate us. I observed, that despite its three eyes it could not see well.

Bear and Shredded Cloth hid behind a smaller rock a few feet away, and we whispered harshly.

ME: Dragon!!

BEAR: What do we do?! This is unlike any other foe we've faced!

SHREDDED CLOTH:  We should flank it from all sides!

ME: No, you two are too flammable. It is best if I defeat it on my own.

BEAR: You are just as flammable as us.

ME: How about if.. *whisper*

We formed a sloppy, uncoordinated plan. As soon as the beast came near enough, Bear leaped out from behind the rock and started running. The beast whirled around and began to pursue him, and, not wasting a moment, I lunged for Shredded Cloth, grabbed him, and twirled him in the air.

He flew like a bird over the beast, and landed undetected on its back. As soon as the creature sucked in a breath, his flames stopping, Shredded Cloth threw his ripped part over its neck and squeezed tight, trapping him.

BEAR: Tire him out, SC! Break him in! Then we can ride him!

The beast let out a sputtering burst of fire again.

ME: He cannot be tamed! He will burn you, Shredded Cloth, just kill it!

I reached into my bag and hurled the knife at the beast. It stuck cleanly in its kidney and the beast wobbled on its legs and collapsed.

ME: Kill it! Don't let it suffer!

With a clean slice, Bear chopped its head off, and the carcass burst into flames. We let it die down for a while, breathing heavily on the side, until we found six bottles of water, a slightly scorched empty notebook, a miniature pickaxe and some packages of crackers in its place.

We shared one full bottle and split a packet of four crackers. I was happy that now I had a book to write our story down rather than my skin, but I secretly relished the ink on my skin since it was like a significant tattoo.

Instead, I wrote about the new sorts of plants and animals we had discovered, and I named them.

After writing and resting for a while, I urged my friends onward and we continued along, chatting happily.

BEAR: What do you suppose the pickaxe is for?

I swung the pickaxe with one hand, grinning as I almost dropped it.

ME: To mine the coal?

BEAR: Why would we need to?

ME: I don't know.


ME: Maybe we can trade it as currency when we find civilization.

BEAR: We could make a coal business! There's enough of it.


ME: The thing about people is that if they have a lot of something useful it still is in high demand because everyone's too lazy to collect it.

BEAR: Wow. You should take that to the bank.



SHREDDED CLOTH: There's a herd of Flying Dragon Squids approaching.

I laughed, not quite registering what he was saying.

ME: Excellent name for them! I'll write that down.

I took out my book, and then realized.

ME: Oh. Yeah. Should we run?

BEAR: They haven't seen us yet. Let's go around them.

SHREDDED CLOTH: We could farm them and collect the rewards.

BEAR: There are too many, we'd be overrun.

ME: Yes, best to avoid trouble.

After walking another sixteen miles, we took a break and decided we were getting no where. By now we would be where the ice landscape was, but it wasn't happening.

ME: Are we going in the wrong direction?

BEAR: We shouldn't be.

I hopped onto a large boulder and spread myself out wide, feeling my already-tan skin sizzling from the heat.

SHREDDED CLOTH: What was that noise?

We fell silent, listening. There was nothing but the crackling of a few nearby fires.

SHREDDED CLOTH: Bang on that boulder.

I knocked on the boulder once.

BEAR: It sounds hollow.

ME: Precisely! Get the pickaxe, please.

Bear handed me the pickaxe.

ME: Thank you.

With a mighty swing, I smashed through the rock and fell right through.

I tumbled down in darkness for a solid minute before crashing down into a murky liquid.

Seconds after, I heard two other splashes. I struggled against a strong current as my eyes adjusted to the darkness. I latched onto a rock and looked around frantically for Shredded Cloth and Bear. I saw them clinging to each other on a rock just nearby. I realized they still had the bag with our things in it.

ME: Bear! SC!

BEAR: We are here, Girl!

ME: Is the bag wet?!

BEAR: It's dry enough!

ME: Light a match!

He did so, and a few moments later the cavern we were in was filled with dim light.

ME: Hurry SC! Reach over so I can climb to you before the match dies out!

Shredded Cloth flung himself over the side of the boulder he and Bear clung to and latched onto my own. I leaped off my rock, nearly getting swept away in the violent current, and climbed my way over to Bear. The match touched Bear's finger just as we finished reeling Shredded Cloth back in, and Bear dropped it down into the murky river, instantly leaving us in blackness.

The darkness came so abruptly I cried out and nearly let go of the slippery rock.

BEAR: Hold on!

His voice echoed scarily along the cave walls. I looked up, trying to get a glimpse of the light of the surface, but we were too far down.

ME: At least I'm not sweltering hot now.

SHREDDED CLOTH: How do we get off this blasted rock??

ME: Why don't we just let go?

BEAR: We could tumble down a waterfall. 

ME: Do we have any other choice?

We thought for a moment.

BEAR: Not really. And what do we have to lose?

ME: Our lives.

BEAR: But we don't know who we are, and why this all is happening, so it makes it all valueless, eh?

ME: Life is always more valuable than anything.

SHREDDED CLOTH:  We could set a match afloat in the bowl to see if anything is ahead before our next resting point.

ME: That risks losing our bowl and a precious match, and what if the stream goes on forever?

SHREDDED CLOTH: Let's try it. We can make another bowl with our new found pickaxe.

I shrugged, and rigged up the said contraption.

All together, we pushed the bowl off, watching it bob down the tunnel for a few minutes before...

Immediately, we hopped off our boulder and struggled to the other one, and finally latched onto the second boulder just as the light went out.

As I washed out the bowl, Bear and Shredded Cloth discussed strategy.

SHREDDED CLOTH: As it appears beneath such a fiery desert is humid wetness the best strategy would be to remain beneath the ground so we don't fizzle up.

BEAR: At one point there will be no more stones protruding from the flow and we may drown.

SHREDDED CLOTH: But, this allows us to submerge and cool off whenever we want to, as hot strain exhausts us far more quickly but while remaining cool we will have more energy to last longer in between boulders...

I tuned out their boring chatter until I heard a slight crinkling noise as Shredded Cloth adjusted himself on the rock to illustrate a point by gesturing around, and then I heaved myself up next to them.

ME: Lift your tail, please, SC.

Shredded Cloth obediently raised his corner and we all gasped simultaneously.

ME: 'Lose Trust'... sounds a bit sad.

BEAR: This is definitely not going to be as fun as the iceland note.

As we pondered on the ominous meaning to this note, we heard a noise.


All of us jumped out of our skin.

To be continued...........


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Fourth Of July In Massachusetts (Happy 237th, America!)

So, I'm depressed.

I haven't seen fireworks in 4 years on the fourth of July for some reason, maybe the people decided to not set them off after all, or we were out of town (as we are this year), so I decided to put the Elemental Landscapes on hold to make this fourth of July special about what I did INSTEAD.


This morning, I woke up to my sister playing her ukulele.

There are a few things that have happened in the neglect of my poor blog (PLEASE FORGIVE ME) that I was trying to ease into in a funny, creative way told in stories, but, I'll just spell it out for you now:
1. Ana changed her name to her middle name 'Katherine'
2. Ana  Katherine dyed her hair blue and it faded to pink
3. Katherine is feverishly pursuing a music career
4. I cut my hair into a pixie cut

So yeah.

Katherine had kept me up the night before by staying up late, and she had gotten up before me and begun to play her ukulele which woke me up, and I kind of snapped.


Luckily, Dad came up and saved Katherine from a good mauling, with one word:

DAD: Donuts!

When I arrived downstairs, I was faced with an epic dilemma.

But then I remembered that the day before I had prepared for such an emergency.

After that, Dad debriefed me on all that I had missed, but all I could think of was the eight cute little bulldogs waiting for me outside. Our landlords, Gary and Harry, are animal lovers and own a lot of animals, including eight large bulldogs.

As soon as Dad was done, I changed into my bathing suit and flew out the door. To my gratification, the dogs leaped out at me.

I pet them all a bunch of times, and then my eyes came into contact with something so awe-inspiring, so amazing, something so wonderful...

It was Sam.

Sam the turtle.

I was FASCINATED by Sam. He was so cute! When Gary dropped a tomato on the ground Sam gobbled it up, his head thrusting in and out from his shell.

Gary talked about how Sam could detect color, and I reached forward and ran my hands along his bumpy shell. In return, he came up and studied my bathing suit, and then swaggered off and parked himself under a chair. I took that chair so I could watch him.

Eventually, I jumped into the pool. The dogs were very concerned, and hurried up to have me rub reassuring pats into their floppy skin. When I went underwater one almost jumped in, but they had already swum with dad and the others before I got up so just hurried around the sides of the pool.

When I hopped out, I sat on my chair with Sam and watched him fall asleep as the dogs pranced around.

At one time I got bored and headed back up to the house to play on the computer. I wrote some on a book I am writing and that's what I spent the remainder of the afternoon doing.

I began to blog halfway through, and I sought guidance from Katherine;

When I consulted dad, he brought up the subject of the chickens.

ME: There are chickens here?

DAD: Absolutely. They're behind the shed in the clearing near the pool. They bought ten hens for eggs but a rooster came with them. But, he was mean. He picks at the chickens and they have to be kept in a coop or he'll bite their feathers. He does anyway, but less severely.

ME: That's horrible! Why don't they get rid of him?

DAD: They love animals. Besides, if it weren't for him, the coyotes would probably eat them.

Sheepishly, I followed Dad out to the chicken coop. There was a hostile crow as we neared it, and I knew a genuine rooster was inside.

I was looking at the beat-up little chickens when Dad opened a small drawer-sized door and told me to look inside. When I peeked in, I saw two little eggs.

DAD: Grab 'em. We can bring them back.

I protectively held one egg in each of my very small hands and Dad opened a second drawer. To my delight, a third egg was nestled in the straw.

I carried the eggs all the way to the shed where I placed them in a basket with five others the men had gathered before I got up.

DAD: Let's carry the basket back up to them at the house.

I frowned pityingly at the dogs, now locked up in their kennel, also where the egg basket were stored. I grabbed the basket and followed Dad back up to the house.

After another few hours blogging and such, I told my friend Fiona over Skype that I wasn't able to see fireworks again.

Fiona responded, saying that she could Skype me and take me with her to see fireworks so I wouldn't miss out.

A bit teary by this wonderful gesture, this was the result:

I couldn't thank her enough. I got to see fireworks after all.

Sometime later Dad brought me outside for more cupcakes and sparklers, and I have to admit, even without seeing fireworks in person, this fourth of July was a pretty darn good one.


Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Elemental Landscapes Part 1: Frozen

NOTE: I'm starting a new thing where I revive old, unpublished posts and fix them up. This was from May 2012.

I awoke one afternoon in a strange land.

At first, the dazzling white snow blinded me. And then it all came into focus.

I awoke next to two strange creatures.

They didn't appear to be hostile.

We had no idea who we were, where we were, so we just adressed ourselves on what we appeared to be: such as Girl, Bear, and Shredded Cloth.

There was snow everywhere, and not a soul in the world except for us.

ME: What should we do?

BEAR: Let us pick a direction and just go that way, what could we lose?

I took their hands and we started off across the snowy tundra.

Soon, instead of a light snowfall, the wind began to blow and the snow came down harder.

It got so cold I had to wrap Bear in Shredded Cloth and carry them. Then the wind got so bad I couldn't take a step further.

We sat down to decide what to do.

ME: If we do not freeze, we will surely starve!

BEAR: Let's eat Shredded Cloth.

ME: Let's dig into the snow and cover ourselves up. Maybe underground is warm.

We dug a shallow hole and Shredded Cloth covered the top.

BEAR: So...

ME: We cannot stay here forever! We must form a plan.

SHREDDED CLOTH: We need wood to make tools, and a fire.

ME: What trees for wood? What axe to chop down the trees with?

We sat in silence for a little while. I fumbled with my pockets to keep my hands warm, and found that I had items inside of my pockets.

ME: Look here! Look here!

I divided the treasures among ourselves.

Bear dipped his paw into his ears, which is a pocket for bears for those of you who didn't know.

He also discovered treasures; a purse, a bowl, a spoon, and a knife.

SHREDDED CLOTH: It has stopped snowing.

We popped up out of our hole. Sure enough, the snow had stopped.

It was now up to my knees in depth, but nevertheless we trudged on.

Soon, it was sunset.

ME: Oh no! The creatures of the dark will be out!

SHREDDED CLOTH: And I am afraid of the dark!

We watched in horror as the sun set on the snowy horizon.

But then, suddenly, as quick as a wink, the sun came back up again.

We had no time to query about the situation, because suddenly we heard a loud growl rise from behind us.

We ran as fast as we could.

BEAR: To the hole!!

But it was no use. The monster was made of snow, so imagine if you were connected to the floor; you'd be a lot faster.

So soon the monster caught up.

I brought the knife up, and chopped the monster's head off. Warm water spurted out, drenching us. We sighed in happiness. Now we wouldn't freeze.

The food was still steaming hot. We sat down to enjoy our meal.

ME: This cannot possibly be monster guts. It appears we were meant to slay this beast and collect the reward to stay alive.

BEAR: There's a note inside of the turkey.

He pulled the slip of paper out.

SHREDDED CLOTH: It must be a clue.

BEAR: What ice?

ME: Let us keep on going, in search for some ice.

 We wrapped Shredded Cloth around the food and hurried off.

The landscape change was so gradual we didn't even notice it until Bear slipped and fell on the blue ice beneath us.

SHREDDED CLOTH: Everything is suddenly blue.

ME: No duh.

BEAR: My head hurts.

SHREDDED CLOTH: I guess we'd better keep going. Look over there!

Even in the distance, I could tell what it was.

ME: A maze.

BEAR: Oh dear.

Bear scooped up a chunk of ice and held it to the growing bump on his head.

ME: We shall unravel Shredded Cloth and use him to navigate the maze, like a trail of bread crumbs.

SHREDDED CLOTH: No way! I'd rather be fat and lumpy than a pile of thread.

ME: Come here!

 I chased him across the ice.

When I opened my eyes, Shredded Cloth was nothing but a pile of thread at my feet. I had unraveled him.


Ignoring him, I tied him to a stalagmite and Bear and I entered the maze. Every step we took echoed horribly off of the great stalagmites.

Scuff, scuff, scuff, scuff.

ME: What is that?!

BEAR: It's just me. My footsteps sound like that, I guess.

ME: Do you have any bones?

BEAR: I guess not. Perhaps I am stuffed, like the scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz.

ME: I know not of such a wizard, but even stuffed people have great hearts.

 We continued our trek through the icy fortress.

We came to our first dead end, and wound our way back to try another route. Soon, we both began to panic. Everything looked exactly the same. We twisted and turned and bounced and sprinted, and finally...

I plunged down into the freezing depths of the lake beneath me. The cold wrapped me in a cocoon, leaving me numb in a matter of seconds. I could see Bear through the ice.

With one last burst of energy, I launched myself from the water and attacked the foe that had assailed Bear and Shredded Cloth.


It was another human!!

2ND GIRL: Um, hi.


2ND GIRL: Who are you?

ME: I'm Girl! Who are you?

2ND GIRL: I don't know.

ME: Well, if you had to give yourself a name, what would it be?

2ND GIRL: I'm lost.

ME: Nice to meet you, Lost!

I extended a hand.

LOST: No, no, I mean... oh, what the hey, it's a nice name!

We shook.

Bear made a strange noise that I took to meant: 'My stuffing insides are scattered all over and I am dying please help' and I scooped him into my arms.

ME: He needs treatment! I must have a needle, thread, and it is imperative we gather up the stuffing you scattered.

LOST: Really? But I was going to eat him.

ME: Eat him?? He is my companion!

LOST: But he's a stuffed bear.

BEAR: That's Mr. Bear to you, you hussy!

LOST: *GASP* He speaks!

ME: Of course he does!

LOST: I see now. I am sorry I attacked you. And, if I may ask, what is this pile of threads that twists away beyond eyes' sight?

ME: That is Shredded Cloth, another companion.


ME: See, there he is. He leads to the beginning of this cascading maze.

LOST: Then there is a way out?!

ME: Yes, but it leads to no where. Where did you come from?

LOST: A land of water. I was swimming for days. I am so desperate for food, I tried to eat your friends here.

ME: Oh, poor you. We would give you food, but it is with Shredded Cloth at the beginning of the maze.

BEAR: Why did we leave it there in the first place? Owww!! My stomach!

ME: He needs help immediately.

I had Bear sip a few gulps of icy water from beneath the ice beneath us, but I could tell his wounds were serious.

LOST: Ahh! I am so hungry! I will take you the way I came if you will allow me to return to your food and keep it for myself.

ME: Deal.

BEAR: Are you kidding, Girl? We need that!

ME: It is for your own good.

Lost promised she would lead us out of the maze her way using marks she had etched in the ice with her fingernails along the way, and then head back along Shredded Cloth. Once there, she would take the food and try the snowy landscape for her own, and we would gather Shredded Cloth up, knit him back together, and brave the ocean.

Lost and I carried Bear along, as he became more and more frail from the the gaping wound in his stomach. We pressed his stuffing back in but he was unfixable, it was clear, without a real needle.

Along the way I wrote on my skin with the pen about our journey, describing Bear, Lost, Shredded Cloth, and myself. I described our crazy, amnesiac adventures, hoping that one day we would find a civilization to tell these tales to.

Right as the sun set, and rose again, we saw the first glimmer of the ocean peeking around the corner. I tied Shredded Cloth to the last stalactite and we bid Lost farewell and thanked her for her help. Although Bear was bitter at her for doing this to him, it looked as though he had forgiven her and was sad to see her go. She had been a good conversationalist.

We gazed at the never ending stretch of water.

I had never remembered, in my memory-loss state, anything like this. The incredible voluminous ocean was unlike anything I had seen. As if in a trance, I spent many hours dipping my feet in the smooth, ripple-free surface and writing things about it on my arm. Oddly enough, the water was salt water, unlike the stream water that flowed beneath the ice.

On the border of the blue ice landscape the ice appeared to be indestructible, as stabbing it with a knife absentmindedly didn't even put a dent in it. Both landscapes extended forever in both directions, and I suddenly felt small, insignificant, and confused.

By the time the third sunrise and sunset without food rolled around, I was getting ready to dive in and search for fish when Shredded Cloth announced that Lost had made it safely to the other side and was gone. We reeled him in, and I used the pen and the knife to sew him painstakingly back together. Those few hours cost us dearly, and we were all close to starvation by the time I dove into the ocean and pitifully splashed around.

BEAR: If only a water monster would rise up so we should slay it and collect the tasty rewards!

I sank beneath the surface.

I wanted so bad to give up. My stomachs gnawed at my ribs and forbid me from swimming up, so I sank, and didn't protest. Best to end it all, even if it was by the slow, painful way of drowning. Anything was better than the even slower and even more painful doom of starving.

Suddenly, as my eyes drifted close, a silhouette emerged through the hazy water.

She approached, and I could see it was a woman. She was very beautiful, and I remained still, trying not to startle her, infatuated in a way.

Yes I did draw this.

She began to sing in a voice like silk, the tune haunting my ears for years to come:

My heart is pierced by cupid
I disdain all glittering gold
There is nothing that can console me
But my jolly sailer bold

I had no idea what it means. I was too enchanted by the woman's hypnotic eyes.

It was just... beautiful.

She extended a hand for me. My mind cleared, I reached for it.


I snapped back to reality, and found my lungs screaming for air. I shot up, leaving the woman behind, and gasped for air as I broke through the water. I flopped up onto the ice beach and saw Shredded Cloth half in the water, and Bear holding onto Shredded Cloth with all of his might. He began to reel Shredded Cloth back in, and I scrambled to help him, feeling the last of my strength fading.

We pulled Shredded Cloth out of the water, sopping wet, and found him holding onto the knife, which was embedded deep into the woman's flesh. Shredded Cloth and Bear had harpooned her.

BEAR: I am sorry. We were starving.

ME: I suppose it is for the best. That looks like a Siren.

BEAR: Ah, indeed.

We hauled her onto land, and Shredded Cloth wrapped himself around me to keep me warm from the chilly water I had just come out of.

We cut the Siren's head off and she disintegrated into nothing but a few snowflakes. In her place were three hamburgers, a candy bar, and an apple.

We feasted for hours, gorging our empty stomachs on our newfound treasures. We almost ate it all, but I reminded us we must save a little for dire emergencies, and I placed the apple gently in my bag.

SHREDDED CLOTH: Well, now that we are nourished, do you suppose we should venture across the ocean?

ME: I shudder to think of the task ahead, but, yes, I suppose.

BEAR: We need a raft. I fear we are not as strong as Lost was and cannot even hope to swim as far as she did.

SHREDDED CLOTH: Should I flatten myself to make this boat?

ME: I'm afraid not, SC. You will not hold us. We will sink. I fear we are not as light as you.

SHREDDED CLOTH: Then what do you suppose we do?

ME: Bear has not yet healed, and, as is proven, will not without medical assistance. I could see the food run through his digestive system today in this afternoon's meal. He is getting worse. We must attend to him before we conquer the sea.

SHREDDED CLOTH: I seem to recall the sea floor being made of sand. Sand does turn into glass, doesn't it?

ME: At too high of a temperature for us to manage, I am afraid. Why?

SHREDDED CLOTH: It sounds silly aloud, but I was just hoping we might make a glass boat.

ME: Well, now you know that it is out of our hands, I'm sorry to say.

SHREDDED CLOTH: Well, why don't we chip the ice in order to make a needle? It doesn't seem to melt and it is strong enough. If it does melt, it is abundant enough that we could sew up a hundred Bears and not even put a dent into this landscape.

There was a pause.

ME: That's brilliant!!!

We all high-fived Shredded Cloth for his genious plan and I set to work chipping at the ice. It was hard work, since almost every time I came out with a needle that was uneven or too thick or too thin. Eventually, though, my hands red with splinters from the knife's wooden handle, I broke off a perfect needle. Gratefully accepting a strand of Shredded Cloth's thread for the surgery, I sewed Bear up in no time.

ME: Thank goodness that is over. I am hungry.

BEAR: Thank you heaps, Girl!

SHREDDED CLOTH: We should save the apple for the journey across the ocean. Now we must figure out how to cross the sea.

ME: It seems as though we have been avoiding the simplest methods to the hardest problems. We are trying too hard. We merely tear a sheet of ice and set it afloat for us to ride on. This ice is thick and sturdy, and does not melt.

BEAR: Astounding!


I grinned.

ME: You sound like critics now.

We giggled, and then set to work carving out the sheet of ice to carry us away.

Once finished, we said goodbye to the ice landscape and climbed aboard our new raft, each of us taking a bite of the apple to keep us going.

Thinking back to the note we had found in the snow monster, I reached out and held a match to the edge of the border of the ice. To my delight, a piece melted away, and I snatched it up. It went brittle in my hand as soon as it was away from the flame, and I stuffed it into my bag.

SHREDDED CLOTH: Curious. It can be melted but not broken by force.

ME: This is a strange place.

Bear pushed us off, and soon we were watching the blue ice landscape recede in the distance.

There was hardly anything to do, and by the next day we were so bored we were reduced to unraveling Shredded Cloth, tying him into knots, untying the knots, and sewing him back together again.

BEAR: We are NEVER going to get off of this blasted ice chunk. It's too cold to go swimming, we're bored out of our minds, and Shredded Cloth's just about done with us unraveling him.


SHREDDED CLOTH, piecing himself together again: What?

ME: Land!!

We started freaking out. I hugged them both and we paddled all the way to the small sandbar, fueled by adrenaline and excitement.

I flopped out onto the sand, safe and warm at last.

SHREDDED CLOTH: I see a box!

We scrambled over to where Shredded Cloth had been pointing and crowded around the metal box he had gestured at.

ME: Let's open it.

BEAR: But what if there are demons inside?

Shredded Cloth and I stared at him. Bear shrugged.

BEAR: I dunno. It could be a trap. You know.

ME: Not really. We will not know what is inside until we open it, though.

SHREDDED CLOTH: Enough dallying! Open it already!

I lifted the lid of the box, feeling as though I was a pirate finally claiming its booty.

ME: It's... empty.

I sat back on my heels, not sure what to say.

BEAR: Get out of the way!!!!

Bear dove and tackled Shredded Cloth and I to the ground just as a blinding beacon of light shot up out of the box and into the air.

The beacon continued to shoot fiery white light up into the air so high I couldn't see the top for a solid minute before abruptly stopping. The silence was nerve-wracking after the deafening blast. There was a quiet whirr to the box now, and we hesitated in approaching it again.

I peered inside, ready to spring back at a moment's notice. We waited another ten minutes, and sat back, satisfied it wasn't going to go off again.

BEAR: Well, if it doesn't do anything else, it can fit all of our items in it for carrying.

I nodded.

ME: Let's wait for a while and eat the rest of the apple to make sure it won't go off and fry our stuff once they're inside.

We finished the apple, and afterwards I tossed the core into the box. Nothing happened, so I began to move our things.

I started with the ominous note that read BREAK THE ICE. Then I put in the ice shard from the ice lands, and then Bear spoke up.

BEAR: Do you suppose we are supposed to find a way to break the indestructible ice that was on the border of the ice land?

ME: You cannot do so, you can only melt it.

BEAR: But did you see that light... it could break anything!

ME: It will not come again. We missed our chance.

Bear laid down, closing his eyes. I found myself exhausted too, and flopped down next to him. Before I knew it I was asleep.

When I awoke I discovered Shredded Cloth had taken a watch for the night, and so I took over and let him rest.

I continued etching the story of our adventure into my arm, and began to count the days. I marked each day with a tally on my neck. I had estimated we were up to day 8.

When Bear rose, he and Shredded Cloth teamed up to make their harpoon with the knife again, and set off to fish on the other side of the half-mile long sandbar. I sewed up my battered dress with another strand of Shredded Cloth's thread for a while before I heard something.

A low rumble shook the ground, and I could feel it originating from the box.

Acting so fast I tripped and fell and had to lunge ungracefully I dumped out the box's contents and the beacon that shot out only moments later missed our treasures just barely and bored into the ground. I screamed for Shredded Cloth and Bear and they were over in a moment, helping me tip the box up so it stopped digging into the sand. I could see glistening shards of glass in the ground afterwards.

BEAR: Quick Girl! Put the ice in the beacon! NOW!

I threw the shard.

An earsplitting roar rang out, and all three of us disappeared.


I hope you liked it! Sorry for not posting for a while. The return of this saga will be back soon! As school ends I will be less busy and more posting! Thanks for reading!