NOODLE FRIEND NEEDS TO LOSE WEIGHT

ONCE UPON A TIME

NOODLE FRIEND WAS HAVING LOTS OF FUN OVER THE HOLIDAY SEASON. UNFORTUNATELY, THE HOLIDAYS ALWAYS SEEM TO LEAVE BEHIND A FEW EXTRA POUNDS, USUALLY ON OUR TUMMY’S.

NOODLE, HOWEVER, GAINED MORE THAN JUST A FEW.

NOODLEFRIENDNEEDSTOLOSEWEIGHT

WHOOPS.

WELL, LET’S SEE HOW DEAR NOODLE HANDLES THIS ONE!

*at the table the Noodle stares, the oranges and sandwiches tempting him greatly*

“I MUST DIET! I MUST EAT LESS!” Noodle stresses, fists clenched and tummy rumbling.

NOODLEFRIENDISTEMPTED

To distract himself, Noodle Friend calls his sister. She talks to him soothingly, reminding him that starving is not the answer.

If he wants to lose weight, he has to eat, just the right things.

He has to exercise a little bit every day.

It will take him a lot of time.

But he can make it.

Exercise is the hardest part for Noodle, but he does love the rush of adrenaline that makes him feel really strong.

“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGHH YEEESSSSS” He screams with triumph as he lifts two fifty-lumps above his head.

NOODLEFRIENDWORKSOUT

Noodle friend has now gotten quite the sexy summer body.

His abs are especially nice.

After he grew his hair back out (it had been cut off in his pre-workout rage) he was ready for his favorite place – the beach!

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NOODLE FRIEND

ONCE UPON A TIME,

THERE WAS A LITTLE FRIEND. HE WAS NOT VERY SMART OR FUNNY, HE WAS NOT TALL OR THIN, HE WAS NOT HANDSOME OR HANDY. HE WAS JUST A BLOB. BUT HE WAS KIND,NOODLEFRIEND.png AND THAT IS WHAT MATTERS.

NOODLE FRIEND HAD MANY ADVENTURES, AND NOW I WOULD LIKE TO INTRODUCE YOU TO ONE OF THEM. HERE I PRESENT UNTO YOU, NOODLE FRIEND’S BAD HAIR DAY:

*down the street the Noodle doth go, a hair appointment to make*

“HELLO FRIENDS, TIS ME, THE NOODLE!” Many waved back in reply, even if they did not know him. His cheery personality was contagious.

Noodle Friend had an appointment at “Luxurious Manes and Skins Boutique of Greatness” and he was very excited. He had been looking forwards to dyeing his hair a new, bold, rich autumn red for the summer. He loved his current purple, but red looked better with his swimming trunks and he had a pool that he usually spent most of the season in.

Noodle Friend skipped into the door of the boutique, humming his own theme song loudly.

“HELLO MR. SCISSORS! I AM HERE FOR MY APPOINTED SCHEDULING FOR A DYEING OF MY LUSCIOUS LOCKS OF HAIR.”

A surprised Friend looked up from his work behind the counter, but smiled and responded kindly.

“Hello, you must be Noodle Friend. Unfortunately, Mr. Scissors had a family issue come up and had to step away. I am the Apprentice, and will be cutting your hair today.”

Noodle was unsure, this twist of events had obviously not been foreseen by the simple Noodle Friend. But he allowed himself to be led to the barber’s chair, and braced himself for whatever would come next.

SNIP!!! CUT!!! TWIST!!! YANK!!! SPLOOSH!!! TRIM!!!

After a long long long long long long long long long long long long long long long long long long long long long long long long long long LONG time, the Apprentice had finally finished and spun Noodle’s chair so he could see in the mirror.

Noodle Friend still had his eyes clenched tightly shut, rather afraid of what there would be in front of him when they opened. And rightly so.

The simple red dyeing of hair, the BOLD AND SASSY AUTUMN that Mr. Scissors had promised, was definitely NOT what the Apprentice had been told to do. He had yanked and trimmed and layered and dyed Noodle’s hair, but he had also colored his arms and legs, making him look quite a bit different than his usual cheery self.NOODLEFRIENDSBADHAIRDAY.png

“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA” Noodle screamed and ran from the “Luxurious Manes and Skins Boutique of Greatness”, “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA” He ran down the street, scaring children and pregnant mothers, making grown men scream in fear. NOODLEFRIENDSCREAMING“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA” Into his house, up the stairs, “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA” Into his bed, and sobbing under his covers, his shouting slowly ceased. “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaAaaaaaaaAAAAaAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa….aaaaaaaaaa……a.aaaa…..aaaa………..aaa…aa..a.”

He cried into his pillow for hours. What would he do? This was not the style he had wanted.

Finally, he sat up and decided that he would go and find Mr. Scissors – NOT HIS APPRENTICE – and have him change it back to something better.

And so, he FaceBook stalked Mr. Scissors, looked up his wife’s profile, found her name in the phonebook, and called her. No answer. Next, he tried Scissor’s brother, who picked up and explained that Scissor’s Uncle had passed away and they were all gathering for his graveside service.

Noodle found out where it would be held and then took the bus to the cemetery. When he got there he waited a respectful five minutes until the service ended, and then moved to confront Mr. Scissors.

He could not keep his emotions under control for any longer, and so the confrontation was a little louder than planned.

NOODLEFRIENDCONFRONTSMRSCISSORS

Mr. Scissors agreed to help the kind and rational Friend before him, and took him back to the Luxurious Boutique and soon after, Noodle was back to normal.NOODLEFRIENDISPLEASED.png

Blissful, peaceful joy. Noodle Friend went home satisfied with his new look.

AND THUS ENDS OUR STORY.

COME BACK NEXT TIME FOR MORE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES WITH NOODLE FRIEND!!!!!

EXCLUSIVE PHOTO OF NOODLE FRIEND COOKING BELOW!!!!!!

NOODLEFRIENDTRIESTOCOOK

Rapunzel’s Other Story

Rue looked out the window, wishing once again to be on the other side of the cool stained glass rather than trapped in this prison of a house. 

“Rapunzel? Let down your hair.” A voice, almost as cold as the frosted window had been, rang out shrill and upset. As usual, Gothel chose to make Rue work rather than just hike up the side of the building herself. 

“Coming Masteress.” Rue scurried to the opposite wall and opened the large, heavy door, letting in a gust of frigid winter air. ‘I thought it was supposed to be spring’, she thought to herself. She threw down her obnoxiously huge amount of golden-red hair for Gothel to use as a halter for climbing the tower where the two lived. 

Grunting, pulling with all her strength, which was actually rather impressive compared to her size, Rue stabilized Gothel as she slowly climbed the rough stone. Then, grabbing the woman’s oversized arms, she hauled her in past their threshold and onto the soft red carpet.

“Rapunzel honestly, this gets worse each time. You need to excercise more.” Gothel straightened up, but her squinting, beady eyes barely reached Rue’s large, green ones. 

“Rue.”

“Excuse you?” Gothel more stated than questioned. 

“Name. My name, it’s Rue.” The petite girl stretched her back and felt it pop as she arched backwards into a back bend before standing straight again before the suddenly furious Gothel.

“No,” She spat in Rue’s face, “It was your name, but the moment I graciously took you under my roof, it changed.”

Rue glared, breathing heavily as she wiped the spittle from her cheek. But she said nothing. Getting into another fight so soon after Gothel had gotten home seemed like too much trouble. 

As the large woman began putting away her cloak and other assorted possessions she’d been carrying she glanced over her shoulder with disgust, “And brush your hair, street urchin.” 

Rue took that as an invitation to leave and rushed upstairs before Gothel could call her back to do some other mundane task. 

But she had only gotten maybe a quarter of the way through her hair before she got distracted by a butterfly outside her bedroom window. She moved the two steps it took to cross the floor and opened the small, round piece of wood that covered a gap in the sloped wall. She reached out a hand, slender fingers waving in the breeze. 

Whistling below startled her, and her head took the place where her hand had been. 

“Arthur!” 

The tall boy grinned up at her, his dark curls tousled as if he’d just crawled through the nearby bushes. Which, when she thought about it, he probably had. 

Trying to whisper and shout at the same time, she pushed her hair out of her face and responded, “What are you doing here?” 

“I brought m’lady her flowers.” He lifted up a bouquet of lilies, roses, lilacs and other wildflowers harder to recognize from a distance. Many were tilting to the side or had broken stems, and one fell out of his grasp completely as he offered the simple gift to his friend. 

Rue couldn’t help but smile. “Hang on,” she called down. 

He retreated back to the shadows of the tall trees around the edges of the clearing and Rue rushed back down the stairs inside, anxiously searching for her old swing. ‘I know it’s here somewhere….’ 

“EEEEEPP” she squealed and spun to see Gothel frowning. She had tapped on her back with a feather duster but it had felt like a spider to the nervous Rue. 

“What are you doing? Actually, I don’t care, just stop. I have company coming over and I need you to dust the bookshelves.” She thrust the duster into Rue’s arms and walked away without waiting for a response. 

Rue opened and closed her mouth. ‘Fine. I’ll clean your bookshelves. And trust me, your guests won’t even know I’m here…’ Quickly, she swept the tiny dust mites from the shelves and bunnies from the floor, pulling books off the shelves and then replacing them neatly. 

Gothel had just entered to check on her progress when Rue tossed the feathery thing back at her, a hurried “I’m finished Masteress”, and she raced back up the stairs. 

Arthur was waiting patiently, as always. Rue leaned out the window, gasped and went back inside, pounding feet moving once again downstairs to get the swing she had left at the base of the steps.  

Back in her room she hooked the swing to the old trapdoor hooks on the floor, the punched out the rotting wood around the window to make it larger. ‘Sorry, I’ll fix you later.’ She squeezed out, careful to avoid splinters, and after a moment of stumbling panic, found herself standing proudly on the wooden plank that made up her childhood swing and escape route. 

But then that second ended, and she plummeted towards the ground, biting her lip to the bleeding point to keep from shrieking. A jerk so bad it whiplashed her neck and she fell over into the dirt at Arthur’s feet.

“Rue! Are you okay?” He helped her stand and caught her when she almost face planted again. 

“Yep, just dizzy.” She stretched, cracking her neck back into place. 

Arthur shivered. “It’s still kind of gross when you do that, you know.” 

“Sorry.”

They looked at each other for a moment, happy just to be able to be near each other for the first time in almost a year. 

Voices could be heard around the corner of the house. They glanced over their shoulders and then ran back into the woods Arthur had come from. After a couple of minutes they paused and Rue whispered for him to be quiet so that Gothel’s guests wouldn’t notice them. 

Sighing, Arthur leaned back on a tree. Rue joined him, and looking up at her best friend, asked, “So, how were the ogre wars?” 

Hades’ Little Helper

“Souls of the damned, go that way, please…to the right, souls of the damned…” A dreary voice could be traced back to a tired looking Thanatos. Turning to a cloaked and hooded figure towering over him, he muttered, “I don’t really appreciate getting stuck on traffic duty, you know.”

A rumbling voice growled softly back so as not to disturb the spirits drifting around them. “I understand, but this one is special, and the normal guidance ghosts wouldn’t notice.”

“Did you say she was living?” Thanatos questioned skeptically.

“Indeed.” The taller figure shuffled his robes around him as he began to move away. “Alert me when she arrives.”

“Wait!” The shorter of the two shouted before the other had made it more than a couple of feet. Peering through the shimmering crowds, he continued in a hushed tone, “She’s here.”

“Aahh…” Vibrant color, an almost unknown thing in the Underworld, had appeared around the corner, illuminated by hundreds of thousands of slow-moving spirits.

A short, nervous looking figure slipped carefully in between those around her. She had long, limp reddish-blonde hair hanging halfway down her back. Her dark skin looked similar to the charcoal walls about them.

Hades pulled back his hood, revealing strong features in a surprisingly tan face, rough jaw lined with short, black stubble, carefully styled. His tousled black hair and smooth skin made him look more like an average man rather than a god, billions of years into life.

Thanatos gasped slightly when he glanced up and saw his master’s cloak down. It had been hundreds of years since he had revealed himself, and even still he hadn’t changed a bit.

The girl had seen them too, which wasn’t hard since, apart from them, everyone in the cavern was translucent.

She waved shyly.

Hades glided over to her, stooping and reaching out a hand to shake. Unlike her, he went straight through the dead, their spirits splitting like smoke and then drifting back together. “My dear, it is so good to finally be able to make your acquaintance, in the flesh especially!” He chuckled, but she barely cracked a smile.

“Nice to meet you too, then.” Looking around, she could see as far as the ghosts illuminated in the darkness, and knew that the halls must go on much farther than that. She couldn’t even begin to make out a ceiling of any kind. “Um, I thought you were god of riches, why don’t you have more, um, gems? You know? Like, in the walls…” She trailed off looking embarrassed.

He laughed again, deep and loud. “Why, those are to come, darling. Walk with me.” He turned, his cloak tearing apart a dozen more ghosts that let out strange squeals like air being let out of a balloon.

“Now, you sold your soul…for a friend?” He looked back, wondering showing on his face. “That’s a new one, I must say.”

She had to jog to keep up, and her answer was choppy as she tried to breath normally. “Not just…any friend. You…You have to be..my friend now…”

Hades stopped to let her catch up. “You really aren’t the athletic type are you?” He asked with a grin that faded when he saw her expression. He sobered slightly, “Now, personal friends with the god of the underworld is a big request, little one.”

“Selling your soul is a big price.” She retorted, a determined glint in her eye.

Chuckling, Hades conceded, “Yes, I suppose you are right. Well, we can work something out later-”

“What? No! I sold my soul for this relationship! We’re friends now! That was the deal, and you can’t change it.” She had her hands on her hips, whether from aching sides or in her sudden rage Hades wasn’t sure.

“I’m the god of the largest place ever known to man! I don’t have time to watch over some little midget with big ideas of grandeur..” He knew immediately he has said the wrong thing.

Tears were welling up in her eyes. “You promised.” She looked away, tugging locks of hair in front of her face so he couldn’t see her cry.

“I…” He sighed in defeat. It was true, honesty was one of the values he prized above most. And it was also true that they had made a deal. Hades looked down at the pitiful girl, sobbing quietly into her blue hoodie. “Fine. I guess we are friends now.”

The crying stopped, and after a minute she looked up with a crooked smile. “Thanks.”

Hades frowned. “Ya, whatever kid.”

How could he get her to leave him alone now? As they continued on their way, she trotted close by like a lost dog in search of scraps. Dog! He would take her to see Cerberus. Surely, that would show that this was not a matter to be trifled with, living in the Underworld was a big deal! It could get rough sometimes.

Grinning to himself, he pointed to the left, past Thanatos and on towards a dark tunnel. “I’m going to take you to see my guard dog, he’s off duty right now, but he will want to know your scent so that he knows not to eat you.” Hades snapped his teeth for emphasis, but the girl just giggled.

“Speaking of Cerberus, why would you name him that?” She asked curiously.

“Well, why not?” Was the defensive reply.

“It literally means Spot. You made it sound all cool, but you, the Great God of The Underworld, Eldest of the Three Brothers, King of Riches…you named your puppy Spot.”

Hades glowered. “It’s a perfectly acceptable name. Very regal, in my opinion.” He straightened up, trying to appear ‘regal’ himself.

“I bet he’s cute, though.” She said to herself happily. “I do love dogs.”

Maybe this wasn’t going to work, he thought to himself. Perhaps he should show her Tartarus instead?

“Are we close?” She asked after a few minutes of silent travel.

Hades sighed, “Yep.” Sure enough, they turned around a pillar and there was Cerberus, growling softly, slobber dripping from his jowls as he snored.

The god whistled, grabbing a massive rope from a huge basket of over-sized dog toys. “Up up, boy. You have a visitor.”

The dogs’ ears perked up right away upon hearing his person’s voice, and his groggy eyes soon peeled apart too. He barked, and it seemed to almost crack the cave walls around them all.

“Bonum puer, bonum puer, magnus canis …” Hades patted him on the nose, then wiping his sopping hand down on a towel he kept nearby for that very reason.

“Quam bellus paulo canis!” She stepped forwards, stroking his velvety snout with her tiny hand. He sniffed her, decided she was okay, and allowed her to continue rubbing down onto his belly.

“You speak Latin?” Hades was upset, now how would he keep things a secret from her? “That’s supposed to be a dead language.”

“I taught myself. Along with French, Spanish, Japanese, Hebrew and German.” She smiled, a full smile this time, looking very proud of her accomplishments.

Hades sniffed.

After a while of cuddling the ‘fearsome Spot’, as she now called Cerberus, Hades had seen enough. “Let’s go, you must be tired from your trip. Let’s get back to the palace.”

“Sweet!” She jumped up, wiped her hands and arms and pretty much everything, clean of slobber and then started briskly down the path once more.

“You’re going the wrong direction.” Hades spun on his heel without waiting for her to fix her mistake.

As they were walking, Hades remembered something else he’d been meaning to ask her. “So… is your name really, er, TerraDactylQueen626, is it?”

She threw back her head and laughed, her first real laugh since they’d met. She had a warm, clear, happy laugh that seemed to fill the tunnel with light. “No, it’s just Terra.” She suddenly turned to him, staring suspiciously. “You are Hades, right?”

“Um, yes?” He awkwardly looked away. “Who else would I be?”

“Well, I just thought maybe you’d be older, chubbier, you know…”

“And I thought you might be part dinosaur.” He confessed sadly.

They both laughed, and then continued on their way.

After nearly a half an hour by Earth times, they finally reached a great, black, gate.

Hades turned, excited in spite of himself to show off his home. It’s not everyday you get visitors in the Underworld, after all.

“You wanted to see jewels, right? Gems in the walls, diamonds for stairs, emeralds for flowers?” He had one finger outstretched, almost to the gate but not quite.

“Um, maybe not that specifically, but yeah, yeah sure.”

“Then look…no…further…” He brushed his finger across the giant lock, and there they stood, holding their breaths in anticipation. “H- hang on, it’ll be just a moment…” He reassured her.

At long last, the gates opened, with a swoosh and a gust of cool air that smelled much more pleasant then the emptiness that was the scent of everywhere they’d been so far.

Both of them released their breath with a gasp. Hades smiled down at the girl as she stepped in, gazing with eyes as big as the moon at what lay about them.

The stepping stones really were diamond encrusted, through a garden of emerald and ruby and sapphire flowers, carved carefully. Gold and silver stems swayed gently, as though the sweet air really was blowing in the wind like on Earth above. This side of the gate was not black, but silver, with Dragons intertwined, creating bars.

Where grass would normally have been in a front lawn there was…actually, still grass. But it was deep and rich and hick and beautiful, really lovely grass, nicer than anything Terra had ever seen on Earth.

A crystal-like pond glistened, pink and purple lilies floating in the rippling water, and strange, mechanical looking ducks and frogs moved slowly and rhythmically.

“Wow…” Terra whispered.

“Wait till you see inside,” was Hades reply.

To Be Continued. Thanks for Reading!

 

 

Aging With You

There are, I believe, many different dimensions to the universe. Each one is unique and ever changing. I like to imagine some to be ruled by dolphins, some completely filled with starlight. Some have the typical aliens, some are just like ours but with a twist, or maybe set in a different time period/setting.

Ours is definitely interesting. It’s a lot like yours, but we have something you don’t. A power that each person is born with.

Actually maybe I shouldn’t call it a power, more like a curse. Or a gift, depends on how you look at it.

Basically, we age normally like you humans do, but at your 216th cycle (18 years by human calculations) you stop. Aging, that is. Your skin stays smooth, your eyes don’t dull, you don’t have arthritis or anything, not until you’ve met your soulmate.

When you meet the person you are destined to be with forever the two of you will grow ancient together.

Wrinkles begin to appear, bones protrude a bit more sharply, limbs ache a little more easily. But if something is to happen to one of you, their partners biological clock seems to freeze again until another soul is ready to move on with you.

At 144 cycles I was sitting with my four Heart Sisters, Awanata, Serilda, Akila, And Svana, as we drew Henna across each other’s skulls. That day was when we vowed to one another our pledges regarding the Soulmate curse.

Awanata decided to wait until love found her and to enjoy the simple pleasures of life in the meantime.  She happily lived up to her name, which means Turtle, and she ended up adopting a few tortoises which can often be seen wandering our front porch.

Akila also followed her names definition, and went on to study and then teach at the Anthropological University downtown. She doesn’t really think much of love.

Svana was, as ever, as hopeless romantic, but although she’s had countless suitors and marriage proposals she’s never found The One.

I still remember as we were sitting there, Svana patiently painting the top of my head with a cold brush, Akila waiting for hers to dry, when Awanata asked me what my pledge would be. She already had the others written down on a piece of paper she insisted we sign after.

“Come on, Nova, we’ve all decided, you have to too.” Akila begged with a smile.

I sighed. “Fine. I think that Fate will find a way to bring me where I need to be to meet my soulmate. Until then, I’m working on being happy. Whatever makes me smile and feel good about myself I will work for. Swimming, learning, reading…”

Awanata nodded, finished her marks on the page and handed it to Svana to start signing.

Around 72 cycles later we had our coming of age celebration, and the whole town partied the night away in honor of us four. We had already managed to accomplish many of our goals and our family and friends were encouraging us in more of them.

Somewhere around 48 cycles after that wonderful weekend of fun, I am laying on the floor of our small flat, a ridiculously large hand of cards in my grasp, and a very determined Akila sitting across from me.

“You’ve never beat me before and you never will.” She grinned smugly.

Svana turned from the cake batter Awanata had her stirring to chirp “I think she has a pretty good chance of doing whatever she puts her mind to.”

Akila frowned up at her. “I beg to differ. Statistically, she has an extremely small chance at beating me an-”

Awanata cut across her to call for help with a large bubbling pot of stew. Giving up on the game I was obviously losing, I stood and seized a couple hot pads to help her.

“When will they be here?” Svana asked, trying to keep Awanata from noticing Akila sneaking away some of the frosting.

“Akila, stop that. In about an hour, so get that cake in the pan!” Awanata tossed a ladle to me before grabbing a bag of rolls to toss in a bowl.

A moan came from underneath my feet and I carefully stepped over Nata’s tortoise.

He cried again, yawning lazily and nudging his bowl, begging for lettuce or other scraps.

“Just a moment, Bingley.”

Since Nata was busy Akila helped grab him some snacks.

A loud beeping from our kitchen timer shocks everyone. Awanata goes to turn it off and then screams.

“I miscalculated!!! They’re going to be here in ten minutes, run! Nova, get dressed for heavens sakes! Akila, take the wrap off your henna, run guys, run!”

We run.

In the next ten minutes we prepare everything from outfits to the dining room to the tortoise.  The doorbell rings almost exactly on time.

We take a collective breath, and Svana opens the door.

“Welcome!” Her airy voice is soon joined by a dozen others of varying tones. In come many of our closest friends and classmates, hugs and smiles all around.

Once everyone is seated in various cushions around the living room, steaming bowls of stew in hand, I dim the lights and pull out my lighter, setting aflame a few candles on the mantle place.

“Thank you all for coming.” I said after a few minutes of pleasant silence.

“Happy Birthday, girls!” My cousin Eleanor gave me a side squeeze.

Beside me Awanata gasped quietly. Svana turned to her.

“What’s wrong, love?” She asked gently. “Is the soup too hot?”

Nata said nothing, just shook her head slightly. A moment later she stood up, moving almost robotically, and walked down the hall into the bathroom.

“Excuse us for just a moment…” Svana whispered apologetically and hurried after her.

The rest of us sat in slightly awkward silence, waiting in anticipation.

It wasn’t long before they returned, arms linked, both smiling widely.

“Tell them.” Svana nudged.

Awanata smiled shyly. “I’m aging.”

Silence, and then squeals of excitement.

“Ooh, do you know who?” Marlene giggled, her arm wrapped around her boyfriends waist.

“Um, I’m not sure…” Nata glanced around at everyone. That was when I noticed the small black tally mark on her wrist.

“Look at your mark!” I seized her arm, admiring the small line. “How exciting…when did it appear?”

“Just now.”

Everyone froze, Andy then immediately began checking their own wrists. If hers hadn’t only just appeared that meant that someone in this room would have one too.

After a moment of scuffling, one guy raised his hand high, a small black line visible in the candlelight.

It was one of Akila’s classmates, a tall, strong looking man with a thin build. His curly brown hair across his brow, wide black eyes meeting Nata’s.

“Hi, I’m Phoenix. Pleased to meet you.” He reached out and shook her hand.

Svana started shooing people out of the room. “Go, let them get to know each other.” Out we went, leaving the two to meet properly.”

It was so exciting, knowing that just on the other side of the door, soulmates were becoming friends.

Winter Homeschool Conference

This years conference was, in my opinion, the best yet.

Everywhere I turned I had friends or someone I knew. The speakers were incredible, booths were super fun, and the performance by the Silhouette Ballroom Dance Team was just amazing.

The dance after was split into four parts. First, a twenty minute performance by Silhouette, then a brief dance class so we would all know the two step, then another performance, Andy then the dance itself. It was supposed to end at ten but everyone was having so much fun it ended up going almost a half hour over.

Seeing the flowing skirts twisting around lightly stepping feet, people leaping through the air to show off their swing moves, dancing across the gym in couples or groups.

The dances at the conference are the best because everyone knows at least a little cha cha, waltz, swing, and probably other things too. So every partner you have has a slightly different style, tempo or step to go with the music.

I love all of the incredible actors and actresses I know from Shine Performing Arts Camp and how sweet and inclusive we all are.

Its like having a big family of crazy nerds.

Tis I, la frite française.

Il était une fois, il y avait une alevins. Il n’a pas eu beaucoup d’amis, et c’était probablement partiellement dû au fait que sa chose préférée à faire était de marcher dans les rues de Burgerville et d’appeler les passants “Tis I, la frenchy fret.” Il était plutôt snob et proclamait souvent sa grandeur. Il regardait les autres et les traitait mal. Jusqu’à ce que, après un certain temps, personne d’autre ne l’écoute. «Nous en avons marre, disaient-ils, avec cette alevée narcissique. Et ainsi, pour lui enseigner une leçon qu’il n’oublierait jamais, toutes les autres frites de Burgerville l’ignorèrent. Pendant des semaines ils ont agi comme s’il était un fantôme. Invisible, inouï, et seul, son orgueil était grandement diminúe. Au bout d’un certain temps, alors que l’ailier français était assis seul dans l’ombre de sa porte, il entendit des pas étranges descendre la route de pavés cassée. Les autres frites étaient partis il y a quelques semaines, et le petit lutry a regardé intrigué, se demandant, qui pourrait-il être? Et puis de l’horizon, à cheval à chapeau à la main, vint un étranger tout rouge. Un paquet de ketchup. De son cheval elle lept, et sa main elle frissonna avec empressement. «Monsieur, est-ce vous qui m’avez parlé? Est-ce que vous êtes les alevins qui courraient en criant que vous étiez la plus fameuse des frites? Le frangin a hoché la tête tristement, regrettant la façon dont il avait agi quand ses voisins lui avaient parlé avant. Le ketchup sourit large, et lui demanda de lui dire tout sur lui-même et pourquoi il pensait qu’il était le frenchy fret. Mais avec des larmes salées coulant sur son visage, il a blubered tranquillement tandis que le ketchup a attendu. Finalement, étouffant, il haleta une seule phrase. «Tis I, les frenchy fry. Après un certain temps de lutter confusément, essayant de communiquer, le ketchup a finalement utilisé le bon sens. Avec un crayon et un papier qu’elle lui offrit, il essaya de lui raconter une histoire, une histoire très triste. Une malédiction était sur lui, que tout ce qu’il pouvait dire, à moins qu’il ait été enseigné d’une autre manière, était cette phrase terrible. «Tis I, les frenchy fry. Personne n’avait jamais pris le temps de communiquer réellement, et tous se demandaient pourquoi il ne disait rien de plus, mais ne se donnait jamais la peine de lui apprendre le reste de leur langue BurgerVille. Le ketchup hocha la tête consciemment et elle l’aida pendant des semaines à apprendre de nouvelles choses, de nouveaux mots et de nouvelles phrases, des noms et des adjectifs. Écrire et lire avec beaucoup de facilité et de compétence. Et puis enfin, lui aussi, pouvait parler et chanter et expliquer ses sentiments. Et pour la première fois de sa vie, il avait quelqu’un à qui parler qui s’intéressait vraiment à ce qu’il avait à dire. Lentement, le conte de la frite qui a appris a fait son chemin vers les autres frites, qui avaient quitté dans leur détermination à lui enseigner une leçon. Un à un ils erraient à la maison, se demandant si ce qu’ils avaient entendu était vrai. Et en entrant dans ce village désolé, ils virent à la porte un paquet de ketchup. Elle se mit à rire et se pencha sur le bras de son amie, la frite française, qui avait appris non seulement à parler, mais à pardonner. Et pourtant après tout, avec BurgerVille animée de gens qui ont ri et a aidé les autres à apprendre et à grandir, les alevins étaient souvent encore connus pour errer et aider à rappeler aux gens de se rappeler de se dire: «Tis I, la frenchy fret. ”

 

THIS STORY WAS WRITTEN IN ENGLISH AND THEN PUT THROUGH GOOGLE TRANSLATE AS AN EXAMPLE OF HOW MANY THINGS ARE LOST DURING TRANSLATION. I APOLOGIZE FOR THE INCOHERENCE OF THIS POST, BUT I PROMISE THAT ORIGINALLY IT REALLY WAS MEANINGFUL. THANKS FOR READING (if you did in fact read it)

Death Wants His Paycheck

– I’ll kill you.

– Darling, I’m already dead.

– Ya well, I’ll hurt you.

Death sighed. Reaching out a skeletal hand and beckoning, it mentally prepared itself for the angry screams sure to come. And sure enough…

– NOOOOOOOooOoOooOoooooooOooOoOOoOOoOoOOoO you can’t, stop, stop, go away…

The man collapsed, cowering away as Death advanced, rather boredly.

– I…I have a family! A wife, kids.

– No you don’t.

– I have a good job!

– You were literally just fired, do you not remember?

– Um…

The  man sighed.

– Fine. I guess my life is just meaningless. I may as well be dead, who will miss me?

– That’s the spirit!

Death grabbed his wrist and pulled him away into the swirling abyss.

– Now, you’re atheist aren’t you?

The man stammered, gasping for breath a son the storming wind around them stung at his lungs.

– Y-yes, I am…

– Well that doesn’t narrow it down much. What do you believe awaits you after death?

– N-nothing, but I don’t want to be alone…

– Okay, so you can get off here. There are a few others like you already waiting through that light. Enjoy!

Death shoved the man away from it and he fell screaming, seeming to shrink away almost completely before disappearing through the star-like light below.

Brushing its hands off on its long robes, Death turned and zoomed away. It’a shift had ended, it was don-

A loud DING sounded from its tablet. After a moment of struggling to extract it from its many layered robe, it saw a yellow light blinking and a small note scrawled from Hermes about a suicide coming up.

– You know, a little overtime cash wouldn’t be bad…

It twisted the air around it until it was at the coordinates that’s Hermes had included in his text. Death dropped out of the sky, landing gently atop the roof of a car.

Standing maybe 20 feet in front of it was a young girl, shaking nervously at the edge of a drop down to crashing waves below.

It would only be a few seconds and it could collect his 13th spirit of the day. Oh hey, 13th! Lucky number bonus.

But as it watched, she waited. She couldn’t quite seem to bring herself to do it.

Meanwhile, Death was battling with its own internal struggles. Should it help her? It’d been warned countless times not to interfere until the person was actually deceased, but she was young, and alone, and suicides were never pleasant. It could prevent a lot of misery… oh but its lucky number bonus! No, it would follow the code.

– Stop!

– What are you doing?!? It screamed internally.

The girl spun around, away from the cliffs edge. She clutched her own arms as though they were the only thing keeping her on earth.

– Who are you? What do you want- woah.

The wind had blown off Death’s hood and she could see its sunken face.

Death stuck out its arm, allowing its sleeve to fall back, revealing bones bleached white.

– Hi, I’m Death. Care for a cup of tea?

She stared for a moment before nodding mutely and stepping closer to it.

– Are you… are you actually, you know, dead?

– Duh.

– Ah. Right, well…

They stood awkwardly, looking each other over.

– So um, is this your car?

She twitched as if a fly had touched her shoulder.

– Its my stepdads. But he won’t be needing it anymore.

– Oh no? Why not?

– He’s dead. Died just about an hour ago. I got the call when my mom found his note…

Her voice broke some. A chill went down Death’s unprotected spine, and it wasn’t from the wind and ocean spray.

– Er, what was his name? It wasn’t-

– Tim. Tim Allred.

– Dang it.

The girl moved closer.

– Did you know him?

Death pulled its robes closer around him, its tall frame shrinking away in shame. Now it remembered this cliff, but it’d seen it from the other side of the ravine. That’s where it’d picked up Tim, just a short while earlier.

– Didn’t you?

The girl was much closer now, and it could see tear streaks on her cheeks, from the cold or crying it wasn’t sure.

– Well only for a short while. He seemed…nice…

Death trailed off, the girls eyes were dark and angry, and her voice was terrible, cracked and broken.

– You took him didn’t you.

– Its my job! I mean, I didn’t kill him, that other guy did, but-

– OTHER guy?! What other guy? Are you part of a cult or something?

– NO! No, I mean the guy with the gun, the human. He shot your step dad I just cleaned up his spirit…

With every word she seemed to be getting more and more confused and upset.

In an attempt to calm her and ensure its old bones safety, it backed up and continued with its request from earlier.

– Come on now, how about we discuss it over a nice cuppa’?

She straightened up, and a cold determination set into her eyes.

– No.

And with that she turned and ran back towards the cliff. At the same moment, two more cars pulled up, one a police, one a beat-up chevy.

Officers jumped out, trying desperately to get to the girl. Two more women had gotten out of the chevy, Death guessed probably the girl’s mom and grandmother.

They ran toward her too, but it was too late. Death felt nothing as the older woman hobbled through him, falling at its feet.

Death shook its head at the scene and floated up and over the drop off, past the officers staring sadly at the waves below.

They couldn’t see it, only those close to dying could, so they caused it no trouble and showed no interest in a cloaked skeleton soaring down the rock wall.

Up came another spirit, the girls, blown up out of the water below. The spirit still had tear streaks and wind blown hair, but this time she took Deaths arm without hesitation, and it flew her up into space, and then on to her afterlife.

Well, it had gotten its lucky bonus! Thirteen spirits in twelve hours, nice.

Back at the office it logged in its hours, filed the paperwork on its spirits and said bye to Mary at the receptionist counter.

– See you tomorrow!

It waved over its shoulder and continued into the parking lot. Death could see spirits walking around it, but once again, they couldn’t see it. The Afterlife and Co. Headquarters were in the middle of London but no one except its employees knew.

And so, they alone got to experience the surreal feeling of two overlapping dimensions, watching the world around them without being disturbed by it or disrupting it at all.

Death saluted a veteran wearing an Air Force cap, then wandered through him towards his car.

Being collecter of the deceased payed surprisingly well, and as a result Death had a rather nice vehicle. Feeling cool as it drove home after a long day of work was important to it.

And tomorrow it would get to do it again, except after gathering many more souls. Competition Week at the office was starting tomorrow and whoever logged the most souls by the time it ended would get a huge cash bonus and a gift card for dinner and a movie. Death had won four times in a row and wasn’t about to break its record.

 

~ To Be Continued ~ 

 

 

 

 

Melting for You

Once Upon a Time…

There was a Little Marshmallow. She lived in Brenda’s cupboard with the rest of her marshmallow family. Just down the shelf from them, past the Hershey’s bars, Graham Crackers, and Starbursts, lived a small tin full of another family.

This tin was full cocoa packets, neatly lined up waiting for their turn in the hot water. One of the packets was about the same age as the Little Marshmallow, and although it was forbidden by their families, they soon developed a close kinship.

All Autumn long they would have long conversations that lasted long after the kitchen light had been shut off and no more shining slivers could be seen under the cupboards hinges.

But as Winter drew near, their lives became threatened. Winter was the season when cocoa with marshmallows was eaten the most, and one day when Brenda came to the cupboard to get herself a cup, the packet she grabbed was Little Cocoa, Marshmallows best friend.

Panicking, Little Marshmallow squirmed to the top of her bag, refusing to lose her best friend.

It worked, and Brenda was soon dropping Little Marshmallow and her siblings into the cup of Little Cocoa.

Cocoa pleaded with Marshmallow, begging her to hop out while she could. He couldn’t bear it, he said, if she was gone. But her arguement was similar, and she refused to leave.

Soon the boiling water was taking a toll on Marshmallows sugary outsides, and they began slipping away, swirling white and cream in Cocoa’s chocolatey depths.

Cocoa cried, but his tears only made the water hotter and stronger. The last thing he heard was his best friends voice, calling to him as her tiny face dripped away.

“Some people are worth melting for.”