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  1. IT WAS THE DAY AFTER HIS THIRTIETH BIRTHDAY, AND JOHN HAD TO LEAVE FOR THE WEST COAST. He had lived in New York for twelve years now. That was twelve years worth of friendships he had to say goodbye to. It was only the afternoon, but the sun was already down. He put on nice clothes and ran all the way to Diana's house. All my bags are packed I'm ready to goI'm standin' here outside your doorI hate to wake you up to say goodbyeBut the dawn is breakin' it's early mornThe taxi's waitin' he's blowin' his hornAlready I'm so lonesome I could die He knocked on the door to her apartment. The sound of feet coming down the stairs. She opened the door and he leaned against the railing on the front steps. Her short, golden hair framed her face perfectly. “Does it hurt to say goodbye one last time?” he asked. The coldness of the air turned his breathe into light clouds. “I was worried you wouldn’t say goodbye enough. It’s hard not having you around as a friend anymore,” she said. “It happens,” said John. “It’s an inevitable thing in life you have to get over.” “I’ve never actually…” she said. “Never?” inquired John. “Never ever?” “No,” said Diana. “I guess I’d consider myself lucky. But you get over it, I imagine.” “Maybe,” said John. “It depends on the person. I had friends for my first two years of college who then went their separate ways. I still wish we could keep in contact, although there’s nothing we can do for each other when we’re on separate coasts. I still really miss them. I can live still, but that doesn’t mean I’ll ever forget them and be nostalgic from time to time.” “You look cold out,” said Diana. “Come in!” Inside they prepared hot chocolate and sipped at it under the warm orange lights of the kitchen. It was an exceedingly nice apartment. It only lacked a fireplace. He wondered of Diana was expecting him. She was wearing sleek pinstripe pants and a beautiful violet blouse. Even though she was just his best friend, he felt oddly attracted to her. It brought back memories of when he so insecurely wondered if she was the one. He had to mentally slap himself, then and now. It wasn't right to think that. So kiss me and smile for me Tell me that you’ll wait for me Hold me like you’ll never let me go ‘Cause I’m leavin’ on a jet plane Don’t know when I’ll be back again Oh baby, I hate to go “Nothing heals the soul like a good cup of hot chocolate,” said Diana. She smiled and leaned her elbows against the table, closer to him. She really seemed to be waiting for him and didn’t have much to say. John sipped at the hot chocolate, and winced at how hot it was. He winked and smiled with one corner of his mouth while lifting the cup up to his face again. No, it couldn't be done. He had to put it down. Maybe it would get colder after a long while of conversation. “I really wish I could see you again,” he said. “I do, too,” said Diana. “What if I do come back?” “I’d still be here,” said Diana. “As nice as this place is, it’s still just an apartment. Sooner or later, with your upward mobility, even you will move on. This isn’t the house of someone who’s settled down.” “I’ll send you a letter if that has happened,” said Diana. “That’s very thoughtful…” said John. He tapped his foot. As inevitably happens in all such conversations, there was an awkward silence. “I think I’ll get working on that hot chocolate, then,” he said, and he continued to sip at it one bit at a time. “In case you’re labeling this as an awkward silence, John, don’t worry. I choose to think of it as savoring the moment.” John put down the cup. She leaned in and kissed him. John was conflicted, but he kissed back. “I just wanted to do that once before having to say goodbye,” said Diana. John felt ashamed. He kissed her back and he hadn’t even the slightest reason to. He was moving away, never to see her again. It was a shallow jab at pleasure. Yet it felt so good. It felt so sincere. It felt right. He looked into her eyes. “Maybe we’ll see each other again,” he said. “Would this be motivation for you to come back?” she said. Then the bombshell: “I think I’m in love with you.” John thought about how far away he would be. He would be on the West coast, thousands of miles away. He couldn’t come back regularly. He would have to prioritize her over so many other things in life. Yet, he could afford it. “Yes, I think I will,” he replied. He scooted his chair next to hers and embraced her. “I’ll never let you go.” “Tell me that you love me,” she said. “I love you, Diana.” There's so many times I've let you downSo many times I've played aroundI tell you now, they don't mean a thingEvery place I go, I'll think of youEvery song I sing, I'll sing for youWhen I come back, I'll bring your wedding ring The cups rested empty on the table now. In the next room, they they were both on the couch with John’s arm around Diana’s shoulder, both looking through old pictures that they and their friends had taken together. “Hey look, here’s that one time we met that girl named Aristotle,” said Diana. “I don’t mind that name,” said John. “I actually like it.” “So if we had a girl, you would consider it?” “Would you?” “I guess I would.” John could feel himself sinking ever more deeply into the couch as he grew more relaxed. Somehow, the ideas that were coming to his mind weren’t intimidating him anymore. They were so easy to articulate, so easy to share. “Diana, when I come back, will you marry me?” “I’ll have to remember that this is how you proposed,” she said. “Do I get a ring?” “No, it was just a spur of the moment idea,” he confessed. “But I’ve thought about it. We’re both established. We’re both ready to settle down. We’re best friends. We’re stable people. And we love each other. In our adult capacity to know what love is, it’s making sense to me.” Diana leaned her head into his shoulder. “Yes, John. I will marry you.” John rested his head on hers. So kiss me and smile for me Tell me that you’ll wait for me Hold me like you’ll never let me go ‘Cause I’m leavin’ on a jet plane Don’t know when I’ll be back again Oh babe, I hate to go The next day John was at the airport. He had called all of his guy friends to let than know and Diana had called all of her gal friends to do the same. It was now officially confirmed. Everyone knew. The held each other’s hands as they walked through the airport, an engaged couple. They both wore their business clothes. He had on his black tie and trimmed suit and she was wearing a woman’s business suit. While it was true that they both had work that day, they also wanted to make these last few moments count for each other. This was dressier than their usual business attire. He turned to Diana before he got on. “I don’t know what to say without being overly romantic.” Diana hugged him. “I’m fine with ‘I love you.’” “I will love you. Always.” They pulled apart. John looked at his watch. The plane left at five in the morning, and four o'clock right now. Passengers were expected to get on the plan a half hour before it took off. He picked up his roller. They were right next to the flight terminal. With half an hour left, he didn't have to hurry, so he wasn't picking it up to get going. He pulled out from one pocket a cube-shaped, fuzzy case. “I bought this at the last moment,” he said. “It’s beautiful,” said Diana, before she even opened it up. Then she did open it up, and it was, of course, an engagement ring. The only thing that could perhaps be an unexpected touch was that it was aquamarine instead of diamond. Diana had been born one month too early for diamond. “Can you say it again, now that you’ve actually seen it?” “It’s beautiful,” she said. She kissed him in the cheek. “When will we see each other again?” “I’ll be back on the holidays,” said John. “I’ll send you letters every weekend. Whatever you do, though, don’t send me letters back starting with ‘Dear John…’’ He looked into her eyes. They matched the aquamarine gem around her finger. He rested his forehead against hers. For just a moment, he could sleep before getting on the flight, let his mind escape to those far off places that it desperately wanted to go, and just rejoice in the comfort she gave him. Now the time has come to leave you One more time, let me kiss you Close your eyes and I’ll be on my way Dream about the days to come When I won’t have to leave alone About the times I won’t have to say… John was leaving on a jet plan. He didn’t know when he would be back again. Looking at his schedule, he just knew he would miss the first few holidays. As the ground grew smaller, he rolled his head to face the window, and just let the ever-changing scenery to lull him asleep. Then he dreamed of Diana. After all this craziness, he could finally settle down. So kiss me and smile for me Tell me that you’ll wait for me Hold me like you’ll never let me go ‘Cause I’m leavin’ on a jet plane Don’t know when I’ll be back again Oh babe, I hate to go ‘Cause I’m leavin’ on a jet plane Don’t know when I’ll be back again Oh baby, I hate to go
  2. Someone’s Waiting For YouWith Sam faithfully by her side as always, Camille placed her hand as carefully as possible on the cool wooden banister that ran up the stairwell, away from her. For an instant that seemed like an eon, her wild seven year old imagination ran away from her. It told her that this was a steep, winding path lined with thorns and thistles. It wound its way through a shadow-laden wood that was devoid of any sound. To reach safety, she had to make it through.She knew it wasn’t true, but the chilling thought remained, regardless. With her free arm, Camille hugged Sam close to her. He was scared too. He might not know that the frightening exaggerations of one's imagination in the dead of night were not real.“Don’t be afraid, Sam,” she whispered to him. He didn’t respond, and she wasn’t sure that he’d heard her. Giving him one quick squeeze with her elbow, Camille began tiptoeing up the lightless staircase.Be brave, little oneMake a wish for each sad little tearHold your head up when no one is nearSomeone’s waiting for you“Shhh, Sam! We can’t wake anyone,” She reminded him in the same ghost-of-a-voice whisper. Sam said nothing.They reached the silent landing at the top of the stairwell. The long hallway was only inhabited by blue shadows chasing blue shadows by the slivers of moonlight peeking beneath doors. The shadows had never harmed her before, but still, she couldn’t help but be wary.Glued together as best friends should be, they crept past the boys’ rooms, and then the first girl’s room in turn. The last door was their room that they shared with three other girls. These were the nice girls who had given Camille the bed in the corner, the warmest spot in the room.Don’t cry, little oneThere’ll be a smile where a frown used to beYou’ll be part of the love that you seeSomeone’s waiting for youGuiding the painted wooden door shut behind her, Camille had to take extra care that it shut, clicking into place as silently as she could manage.“It’s okay, Sam. Nobody heard us,” she assured him. He was worried, but he said nothing. His reflective, sad eyes spoke all the words he did not.Sam did not like living in the children’s home, she knew. Sure, there were friends here, friends to laugh with and make believe with. Those were happy days, they were numerous, and he loved them. But still, some of the children, they liked to tease and make fun of him. She knew this, and it made her angry. It was only some of the other children who said these things. But they were enough to turn a happy day horrible. They liked to give nasty little reminders, like how they were not found in a dumpster. How they had been dropped off at the home in swaddling clothes with flowers and a lovingly sealed envelope. How they had not been abandoned, naked and still slimy from birth in the middle of the night. “Abandoned for dead,” they liked to say. “It’s not true, Sam,” she promised him. Don’t listen to them. I’m here to be your friend. I won’t let them get to you. Her thoughts reached out to him.It was impossible to say what brought those atrocities to mind. Camille had stolen out of bed and down the stairs to quench the scratching thirst that had woken her. It was against the rules to leave bed at night without a grown up to watch you. Perhaps these nightmares that flew in her thoughts while she was awake, the jeering faces and cutting words, was some ethereal punishment?Always keep a little prayer in your pocketAnd you’re sure to see the lightSoon there’ll be joy and happinessAnd your little world will be brightCamille climbed into bed, and tucked Sam in next to her. His floppy ears tickled her nose, and so she tucked him into the crook of her arm. Settling in, she began stroking his ear that used to be soft, but had worn think and ratty over the years. Her fingers found the tear in the seam where his cotton insides were poking out. The anxiety from the short sojourn down to the kitchen had taken its toll. Camille had begun to drift off to sleep before she even knew it.Someday, she wouldn’t have to carry Sam with her. The loyal dog full of cotton and heart was a true friend to her. He took all the trouble she couldn’t comprehend and made it his own. And then he let her take care of him and his foreign troubles. It was what she needed to survive and grow, and he was happy to take it as his burden.One day, maybe not so far in the future, Camille could look back and see the lesson of love that silent Sam had taught her without speaking a word. It is the same lesson that all childhood friends, the ones with cotton and heart on the inside, teach. A lesson of friendship and sacrifice and family, taught in a way that should not be teachable. And yet, it is. Just one of the quietly amazing things in life.Have faith, little one‘Til your hopes and your wishes come trueYou must try to be brave, little oneSomeone’s waiting to love you---If any of you have seen Disney's The Rescuers, that's where inspiration for this story and the lyrics came from. This is the first piece I've written in months, apologies if it seems a bit rusty. Nonetheless, written for you. And the flash fiction contest =P I hope you enjoyed.
  3. DISCLAIMER: The song in this story which the dancer also dances to, "Alice", belongs to Avril Lavigne.DEDICATION: I hereby dedicate this story to a friend of mine - she is a very dedicated dancer, and I think of her as a rolemodel, as I am a dancer myself. I wish her good luck in her dancing, and would like to say that she is one of the nicest, most talented dancers I have ever had the fortune to know. Dancer She wore a baby doll –esque dress, falling down to her knees. The colors of it were bright orange, white, and a bright pink. It was held up with one, white-colored strap – she wore fuchsia-pink tights, with white dancing shoes. The outfit had a ripped-look to it, but that was the design of it. A small piece of the outfit was around her arm, tied around it and dangling – her hair was slicked back into a bun, dark brown in color. She threw herself into the movement, her feet spread wide, bending herself downward to sweep the floor with her hands. She ran her hands up her left leg, viewing behind her, a somber yet placid expression being her umbrella. She stepped one foot back, throwing herself backwards but maintaining her position. Her arms were extended slightly outward but still downward, not in any particular position.She sauntered with pointed toes to her right, slowly extending her arms out in front of her, crossing them at her wrists and bending her head down into the open diamond-like positioning. As a guitar string was struck in the music, she began to bend backwards until she was completely straight again, but her hands gestured in a defensive mannerism, as if pushing away the world around her. Sweeping her foot back behind her, she lowered her arms once more.She swept them backwards once again until they were over her head, and once they were in this position, she raised her left leg until her foot, pointed, touched her knee. She lowered her arms once again, her left foot motioning towards the floor with the movement. Extending her arms wide until they were both facing one direction, she brushed them once again in the opposite direction this time.In this exact movement, she stood up on pointed feet and spun around at a rapid pace, raising her left leg again to her knee with her arms up above her. She lowered her heels to the ground, arms almost dangling beside her. Her knees bent down as she reached to brush her right hand to the black, slightly scuffed flooring. Standing up once again, she rolled her back and her head to her right and all the way to her left in a head-roll movement.Raising her right arm, she extended it out in front of her, bent slightly with her hand looking as if she was pushing something away, invisible to the eye. She watched it carefully, and then lowered it as she lengthened her left leg in a way, letting it point until it touched the floor. She let her right foot push the left foot out until it looked like a skip, but the right foot stayed tucked underneath the left foot in the miniature jump. Trapped and out Spinning around I’m underground I fell down I fell down… She spun around after this ‘skip’, a second time again, her dressing flowing with the movement. This time her left leg brushed the floor and was tucked away behind her right leg. Spreading her feet out, she performed a movement with her arms: The right arm was pointed up but was bent, while the left arm tucked the hand underneath the right elbow. Her hands were clenched in fists in this movement, lowering the arms as if driving the elbow and hand into an invisible platform in front of her.She drew her right arm back, and then pushed a level of air down with her hands, swishing her right arm in front of her eyes. She raised her right knee, pushing it down with both hands and then spun around to her left, where she then looked like she was bending her knees to touch the ground but didn’t. She spun around once again, crouching for a moment and spinning once again. After this third spin, she crouched down, facing front, and then stood and walked two steps backwards. I’m freaking out As to where I am now Upside down And I can’t stop me now I can’t stop me now Raising her right knee, she ‘pushed’ it down again, repeating this move again but repeating it with the left knee this time. She pressed her right knee again, this time it bent down and touched the scuffed black, mat-like flooring. After this she spread her legs wide, turning them out and bending both knees until the legs were pointing in opposite directions. Turning the left leg towards the right knee’s direction, she stood up performed a ‘fan kick’, or raising her right leg as far up as she could to the right and then the left, lowering it in front of the left leg, but it was still pointing straight as the foot touched the ground.Skipping once again, she reached another part of the stage, spreading her legs wide again and sweeping downward with her hands to touch the flooring, but bending her right leg back and letting the right hand touched the flexed right foot. Quickly strolling to her left, she put her right foot forward, bending her torso backwards with her left arm hanging behind her and her right arm extended in front of her. She stayed frozen when the music stopped for a brief second.Waltzing across all the way to the left with arms sweeping together simultaneously in perfect rhythm with her legs, she did this until she went all the way back around to a back right part of the stage. She spun in mid-run and raised her right arm and right leg in a small jump, and continued the previous movement across the stage. I’ll get by I’ll survive When the world’s crashing down When I fall and hit the ground I will turn myself around Don’t you try and stop me I won’t cry… She leaped across the stage, arms extended in front of her with one leg raised high behind her – the next leap involved her heads together but elbows pointed outward, her right knee bent in the leap and the left leg pointing backwards. She slowed herself down to let her foot sweep around her as if drawing an invisible circle with her pointed toe. She stopped it once completing this circle, and bowed her head downward from right to left.When coming up from this bow, she performed another fan kick with her right leg, stepping her left forward then back after this. She performed a leap backwards, with her right foot supporting her while the left leg kicked back. Skipping once again until she faced forward again, she kicked the right leg forward, her arms extended behind her. Stopping herself, she waited for a moment, and then performed a pirouette, her hands clasped together above her head while the left leg was bent behind her.After this, she flexed her right foot, letting it hover above the floor to her side while she spun with just the heel of her left foot. Stepping backwards to steps, she jerked herself forward slightly, extending the left leg to her left side. Spinning once again, she performed another ‘skip’, and let her left leg kick high in front of her while she viewed the ground behind her, head bowed. When the left foot touched the ground, she bent down, kicking both legs back and supporting herself with her hands.Her body swiveled around until she was looking up at the spotlights above her, standing up as she pushed herself upward with her hands. Sauntering to a center point on the stage, she slowed her pace down until she reached a satisfactory point where she could stop and prepare herself for the next move. I found myself In Wonderland I get back on my feet Is this real? Is this pretend? I’ll take a stand Until the end She dropped herself immediately into a right split, one arm up and the other one touching the floor as she retracted her legs until they were together, underneath the weight of her torso as she bowed her head down until her nose touched the flooring. She lifted her head up, wiping her nose as if trying to wipe away invisible tears. Her head bowed slightly and she lifted it with her hand, putting it under her chin to raise it higher.She extended her left leg to face her side, bending the knee until the top part of her foot was curled up flat while the other leg was supported by the knee and bottom part of her leg. She lowered it and swept the legs around until they pointed outward, straight as she let one leg cross over the other. The dancer then raised them high – still sitting on the floor – and let them cross over until they faced her side instead. She bent her right leg until the foot was pointing behind her, while the left leg she kicked upward. She crossed them once again, bending down to touch her head to her knees and then leaning backwards until she rolled. Halfway into the roll she extending both legs outward, keeping from losing balance by pushing her hands against the floor. She flattened herself against the black dance floor, although not letting herself touch it. She still balanced herself with her hands – eventually she pulled her legs in until they were underneath her body once again.Maintaining balance, she touched her hands to the floor, and curled her toes up until they were flat against the floor. Slowly she began to stand, her feet still curled while supporting her weight. She stood tall, doing the move with such precision that it looked effortless, not difficult. Her left arm was extended above her, the right arm looking as if it were trying to reach towards an object in the air. I’ll get by I’ll survive When the world’s crashing down When I fall and hit the ground I will turn myself around Don’t you try to stop me I won’t cry Performing the ‘skips’ across the stage once again, she raised her right leg after the first skip, and then the left after the second. She performed a pirouette, quickly raising her arms to her left after it, only to lower them to the floor, bending down to reach for the ground. She let her right arm push forward and retract back, and the dancer repeated this move another time while keeping the left arm stationary. She stood on pointed feet, jumping in midair while her feet were still pointed, and landed on them flat. The right foot immediately went up to her knee, and she took a step or two backwards after lowering it to prepare herself for the next move.She performed a small spin after the previous move, lowering herself to the ground until her back was against the black mat flooring, her knees bent in front of her. She raised both feet and turned herself around about 90 degrees until both legs were pointing straight up in the air – crossing them twice until each leg had crossed over the other, she stood up quickly, turning herself around 180 degrees to face front. She stepped forward and then backwards and forward again, ready for the next set of fast dance moves.Spinning, she raised the right leg until it was slightly bent, swiveling herself around until it was facing in front of her instead of behind her. She spun around another 180 degrees, her left leg this time bent behind her. She stood in one place for a moment, hopping and extending her right leg out behind her with her hands clasped together in front of her. She prepared herself for the final part of the dance, ‘skipping’ to the left back corner of the stage. I’ll get by I’ll survive When the world’s crashing down When I fall and hit the ground I will turn myself around Don’t you try to stop me I won’t cry… She repeated two leaps that she had performed earlier in the dance, until she controlled her momentum and stopped herself at a point on stage. Sweeping her left leg around, foot pointed, she performed a full 360 degree spin with the left leg extended. She did a basic head roll, except leaning forward with it to make a fuller effect. As her head came up, she presented a fan kick – stepping backwards, she repeated two backwards leaps that were presented before. Performing yet another pirouette with the back leg slightly bent behind her and arms raised, she stopped after the full spin, right foot flexed as she spun with the heel of her left foot. After this, she curved her right arm above her into an ovular shape, while her left arm was twisted with the palm facing upward. Sweeping her right arm into a full circle, she extended it in a diagonal direction while her left leg kicked upward, straight with her foot pointed, her head bent to her right and almost touching the shoulder. She repeated this same set of movements but this time in the opposite direction. At the end of this, she bent her left knee slightly, and then lowered it to the ground.She jerked herself forward, head tilted to her right as she extended her arms out in front of her. Raising herself, she curved her left arm above her, right leg bent behind her. She repeated this but without the arm gesture, and instead simply bent each leg in front of her. Her face became somber and expressing sadness, as she stepped to face to her right. She then faced outward, mouth slightly opened as if begging, about to cry. Sad, she spread her arms wide, brows furrowed as she slowly began to lower herself to the ground.Left leg sideways in front and right leg sideways behind her, she sat herself down in this position, her hands touching the floor right in front of her as she looked as if she was sulking, pushing her head almost to the ground while in the act of looking like she was crying. Her nose touched the ground, bowing her head as the music began to die away. She then let her arms become straight as she raised herself, looking upward slightly, and began to stand. Slowly, pointing her feet and letting the toe touch and then the heel with each step, she gracefully exited the stage, her head bowed as she left. The answer to the dance was a loud round of applause from her audience, a round of applause that echoed throughout the auditorium, dying and fading slowly a minute or two after the performance. She had deserved every second of applause. ~:~ Not a big fan of the song myself, but I thought the sound of it fit with the dance I had planned to describe in the story. I realize this probably has several errors in it, including the repetition of words, but I was mainly focusing on the actual image of the dance I wished to create in the imagination of the reader. Call it overly-descriptive, but that is the whole point: I tried to give as much detail to the reader as possible, to imagine it so clearly in their minds they imagined they were there, watching it performed on stage.I would appreciate any comments on this story. Thank you for reading.
  4. River, Oh River, Flow Gently For Me ₪҉₪ Aderia ₪҉₪ My life is not perfect. My life is not easy. My life is not good. But then again, since when has life been any of those things? If my life was perfect, if it was easy, if it was good, I would not be me. And, despite my flaws, I love being me. I love being myself, because it’s what I am best at. More than that, it is what I must do. I must love being me and I must be me because nobody can love my little sister the way I do. She is only four years old, and she needs love. She needs taken care of. I may only be ten years older than her, but I’m the one who takes care of her. Mother has been gone for almost two years now. Father is working, working, always working. I’ve come to accept that, though. We need the money, for the rent and food and to pay taxes, Father says. I’m not old enough to get a job yet, and even if I were, my little sister still needs me. My little Christina needs me. I doubt Christina even remembers Mother. Her parents, my grandparents, came over from Somalia when Mother was in her late teens. The town they moved in to, Drovensburg, had a large immigrant population, so they fit right in. But Mother never liked where we lived. There were packs of large, dangerous boys that roamed the streets from dusk ‘til dawn. And she was right to fear them, because they ended her one drunken night. “Nali?” Christina’s tiny voice rouses me from my trance. We are sitting on our old couch, watching our small television. “Nali, can we go outside? I don’t want to watch telly anymore.” I glance at the battered clock on the wall as I point the remote at the TV to switch it off. It’s lunch time, but there isn’t food to spare for lunch. We usually save it for a big dinner with Papa. “It’s too hot out, ‘Tina,” I tell her distractedly. Usually, the children’s pastor from the local church came around with food handouts in the summer. A lot of us in the low income neighborhood didn’t have enough food for three meals a day, and the church went to grocery stores and collected their extra foodstuffs and tried to make the world a better place by sharing. “Are you hungry? I can boil some rice for you,” I say, gazing at her thin frame. Too thin. If anyone needs the food, it’s her. Not me, not Papa. “Yes please,” Her adorable face with huge eyes lights up at the mention of lunch. “Thank you, Nali!” I unfold myself from the couch and pad into the kitchen with my bare feet. I hear Christina fiddling with the volume on the TV as I automatically start setting up the stove to make rice. And I catch myself singing softly, and out of habit. My mother never knew much English. But she did have one lullaby that she always sang to us. “Hush now, my baby Be still love, don't cry Sleep like you're rocked by the stream” The white, fuzzy noise of the TV from the other room clicks off. I expect Christina to come and join me in the kitchen soon, like she usually does. “Sleep and remember My lullaby And I’ll be with you when you dream” I turn away from the sink with a pot full of cold water and yelp as I almost slam into Christina. She’d been standing right behind me. “Christina!” I’m about to scold her gently, but I stop when I see her face is wet. “Did I spill water on you?” I ask, reaching for the hand-towel that needs washing.She shook her head, and I peered closer. “What’s wrong, ‘Tina? Why are you crying?” “I…I know that song, Nali,” She whispered. “I sing it to you all the time, you should know it.” I smooth her hair that’s woven into tight corn-rows that end in pig tails as I walk towards the stove. “No, Mommy sang it to us. I remember,” She told me with surety beyond her four years, following me to the stove. Drift on a river That flows through my arms Drift as I'm singing to you Christina was barely two and a half when Mother last sang that for us. “You can remember that? ”She nodded. “She was singing in my dream last night, Nali.” I see you smiling So peaceful and calm And holding you, I'm smiling, too I pour a small helping of rice from the old plastic bag into the water and fiddle with the dials on the stovetop. “Nali, does mommy still love us?” How can I answer something like that? I stand with my back to Christina, watching the rice cloud up the water, which is only just beginning to bubble. My inability to form words, to explain things like this to her, weighs heavily upon me. The silence is even heavier. I don’t know how much she remembers of our mother. I don’t know how much she understands about the forces that turn the world, like life and love and death. Here in my arms Safe from all harm Holding you, I'm smiling, too “Nali?” I can still hear the tears in her voice. I take a deep breath, and turn to face her again, my pent up frustration welling up in my eyes. I want to give my little Christina the world, I have always wanted to. But how can I, if I can’t even explain a thing as universal as love to her? I let out the breath in a ragged exhale, and sink down to the dirt-stained off-white tiled floor with my back against the cool oven door below the stove. I pat the floor next to me, taking another deep breath. My voice is too hoarse to sing the beautiful lullaby justifiably, but I sing anyways. “Hush now, my baby Be still, love, don't cry Sleep like you're rocked by the stream” Christina scoots from the floor next to me and wriggles her way onto my lap. She blinks at me, her eyes still asking the question. Does Mommy still love us? “Christina, you know what a river is?” She nods at me. “Mother loved rivers. She could compare anything to a river. And that’s why she loved the lullaby so much, the River Lullaby.” Sleep and remember this river lullaby And I'll be with you when you dream I'll be with you when you dream “She liked to think of existence as a life-long love song. Like a river, she told me once,” I said. Mother had also told me that she saw death as a waterfall. It’s inevitable, but you just continue on existing afterwards, but on a different plane. But Christina wouldn’t understand that. I fall into silence again, trying to simplify things for her again, then speak, “Christina, can you pretend we’re on a raft? A raft floating on a river that doesn’t end? You have yours, I have mine, can you see it?” “I can see it, Nali. In my head,” She smiled. “We’re right next to each other.” I return her smile, and continue, “Okay, now I want you to picture a trail of rose petals on the river ahead of us.” Rose was Mother’s name. “You can pick them up out of the water, if you want. It’s a calm river.” “What are the flower petals for?” “You see, mother got swept up in a current and was whisked ahead of us. Very far ahead of us on the river. But as she was carried along, she left a trail of promises, the petals. And her trail of petals is her promise to wait for us, wherever she is.” “So she does love us?” “What do you think?” “Yes,” Here in my arms Safe from all harm Holding you, I’m smiling too I gently heave Christina off of my lap and stood to check the rice. “Your lunch is almost ready, ‘Tina. Go sit at the table,” I tell her. The sound of the chair scraping on the floor mingles with the clinking of dishes as I fish one out for her and then grab a spoon as well. “Nali, are you eating?” “No, I’m not hungry,” I tell her, and the lie tastes sour in my mouth and churns my stomach. Sleep and remember This river lullaby And I’ll be with you when you dream I place the shallow dish of rice in front of Christina and sit down next to her at the table. But she doesn’t move to pick up her spoon yet. The expression her face is one of a perplexed four year old. “Do you need your booster seat?” I ask her. Her booster seat is last year’s telephone book, naturally. “Nali, what about for real?” She wants to know. “I’m sorry?” I do not understand what she is asking. “The river is ‘magination,” she explains. “So the petals and promises are too.” “Oh, no! No, no, that’s not how I meant it,” I insist. “The river and petals represent something very real. The river is being alive.” Mother and her endless metaphors in her beautiful and exotic native language had made that clear to me. I’m not sure how much of this Christina understands. But, she wants to know. “What do the promise petals mean for real?” “Well, they’re still promises. But instead of flower petals on a river, they’re dreams, like the one you had last night, where Mother was singing to you.” Sleep and remember this river lullaby I’ll be with you when you dream “She loves us very much, Christina. You need to understand that.” “I know,” she says to me. And then something that wrenches my heart. “I love you too, Mommy.” I’ll be with you when you dream ₪҉₪ A/N-Disclaimer: Lyrics are from the movie 'Prince of Egypt', they are not original. The story was inspired by two little girls I met IRL and had a chance to talk to.
  5. The Lonely 2am wheRe do i bEgin? crYing oFf my faCe aGain The silenT soUnd of loneLiness waNts to fOllow me To beD We were family, doubtless. We fought side by side like ten legions together.We laughed in the face of danger. We patrolled the city in sheeting rain, but we didn’t mind, because we had each other. We were there for one another no matter what. We were family. i'm a Ghost oF a giRl tHat i waNt tO bE mOst i'M the shEll oF a girL thAt i uSed to knoW well And our family was perfect. Of course there were spatterings of disagreement here and there to keep us on our toes, debates that got a bit too heated once in a while, et cetera. But that’s how relationships work. You have to make them work. We were the ideal team. When personal shortcomings caused one of us to falter, another one of us was always there to lend aid. We could practically communicate without speaking. We could recognize each other by the pattern of our footfalls. daNcing sloWly in aN emPty roOm Can the loneLy taKe the plaCe of yOu I siNg mySelf a qUieT lulLaby leT yoU go aNd leT the lOnely iN to tAke my hearT again As time wore on, our family grew more and more flawless. At least that’s what anyone else would say. There was one thing wrong with us. And that one thing was so perfectly wrong that nobody saw it until it was too late. That one thing that went unchecked and strengthened in secret went on to tear the team apart from the inside out. Nobody was the same again. too aFraid to gO insiDe foR tHe paiN of onE moRe loveLess nigHt fOr the lonEliness will sTay with mE anD hold Me till i fAll asleep That one thing was me. I'm the ghOst of A girL thAt i wanT to be moSt i'm the shEll of a giRL thaT i uSed to kNow well In short, when I fell, they tore me away from my broken family, locked me away and tortured me. Not the physically painful kind of torture, I believe that was below my captors, but solitary confinement; solitary confinement, long arduous interrogations, and quality time alone with me, myself and I. However much the ache in my heart told me otherwise, I did not miss my team or civilization. I did not miss it. Did not. DancinG sLowly in an eMpty roOm caN the loneLy taKe the plAce of yoU i siNg mysElf a QuiEt lUllaby leT you gO and let the loNely in tO takE my heArt again During my time with myself, I liked to laugh. I laughed aloud, in my head, in my heart, and it echoed long for all to hear. What did I care if they heard? They weren't even there. Besides, laughing is good. But when you look back on your past and realize how horribly weak and flippantly silly you were, you can’t help but chuckle a bit. I remember myself. I was young and foolish, with visions of becoming a hero. At some point, some would even say that I had been one. When I was introduced to my team, my family, I was swept away with all their ‘unity, duty, destiny’ jabber. I was taken by their delusional vision of protecting the prosperity. broKen pieCes oF a baRely breAthiNg stOry whEre theRe once waS loVe noW therE's onLy me aNd the loNeLy But most of all, I was enchanted by the team’s leader, a brave, dashing and charming character. I hung on his every word. He commanded my total admiration. I was infatuated and we both knew it. But year after year dragged on and neither of us acted on this. I couldn’t do anything about this, but he played the part of deliberate dismissal of this matter. When I came to terms with this, I sobered up. Looking back, when I realized this, I also realized I wasn’t captivated by him as much as I was by the power and authority he radiated. It became clear, then, that I sought supremacy and control, and I had been seeking it in all the wrong places. Why aspire to be and work at becoming a hero when have the means to become a queen overnight? danCing sloWly in an emPty rooM cAn the lonely tAke the pLace of yOu i siNg myselF a quiEt lullaBy leT you go anD let thE loneLy in to taKe mY heaRt aGain The only problem is that 'overnight' turned out to be longer than I expected. Painstakingly careful plans turned to eager and hasty actions which led to sloppy results and ended in imprisonment. But nothing can stand in the way of true inspirations and genius. Setbacks are a part of life. That which doesn’t kill can only strengthen. When I return, which I will, my name will be go down next to those of the Great Spirit, Arthaka, and Karzahni, Tren Krom and other legends of our time. Toa Tuyet. --- Disclaimer: Lyrics to the song 'The Lonely' belong to Christina Perri.
  6. Vezon awoke. He momentarily did not know who he was, or where he was, but it all came to him in a few moments. He was laying on his back. This was different, but pleasant. He looked around at the cavern that had been his home for the past few weeks. It seemed normal. The walls were a dark red color, and there was a faint scent of smoldering lava in the air. But something felt off. What could it be? Then it hit him. He realized that he was not fused to Fenrakk--no, it was Kardas now. He remembered that Fenrakk had become Kardas when he had battled with the Toa. He slowly began to remember the fight. Remember when you ran away and I got on my knees and begged you not toLeave because I’d go berserk?! WELL…You left me anyhow and then the days got worse and worse,And now you see I’ve gone completely out of my mind. AND… The battle had been intense. Vezon could not really recall ever fighting so hard. Those dratted Toa had been trying very hard to take something away from him. But what was it? It had been something terribly important. Not only had the Toa been after it, but those pesky Piraka had been after it as well. They had been incredibly easy to dispose of. But what were they after? What were they all after? Had it been Vezon himself? Had they all really just wanted to kill him? No, that was impossible. How could anyone want to kill someone with such charm and handsome looks? Why, the very idea! No, they had been after something that was small and metallic, something that was… Vezon suddenly remembered what they had been after. They’re coming to take me away, Ha-Haaa!They’re coming to take me away, Ho-ho, hee-hee, ha-haa!To the funny farm, where life is beautiful all the time,And I’ll be happy to see those nice young men in their clean white coats,And they’re coming to take me away, Ha-Haaa! They had been after the Mask of Life. The mask Vezon had spent the majority of his young life guarding. The mask, that mask, that wonderful mask. It had chosen Vezon to guard it, taking pity on him when others had spurned him because they had been jealous of him. That small act of kindness had made Vezon devote his every waking moment protecting it. He and Fenrakk--Now known as Kardas--had spent hours talking of all the ways they would protect it. And then the day had finally come. The day when someone tried to steal the mask. Well, Vezon wouldn’t have it. When the Piraka had come he had dealt with them in an expert fashion. The mask had been proud of him. You thought it was a joke and so you laughed, you laughed when I had saidThat loosing you would make me flip my lid… RIGHT?You know you laughed, I heard you laugh,You laughed, you laughed and laughed,And then you left, but now you see I’m utterly mad… AND… Shortly after the Piraka, those terrible Toa had shown up. They were persistent in their effort to take the mask, but Vezon had shown them. He and Fenrakk both showed them. They were no match for the power of the mask. They never even knew what they were up against. Vezon had nearly made mincemeat out of them, but then they did something terrible. They stopped hitting him. Vezon needed them to hit him. Otherwise he couldn’t beat them. They almost defeated him, they did. Those dratted Toa. They thought wrong. They couldn’t beat the mask. Just moments before he had fallen, Vezon had urged Fenrakk into the lava. They’re coming to take me away, Ha-Haaa!They’re coming to take me away, Ho-ho, hee-hee, ha-haaa!To the happy home, with trees and flowers and chirping birds,And basket weavers who sit and smile and twiddle their thumbs and toes,And they’re coming to take me away, Ha-Haaa! Vezon remembered dying. It had been quite an experience, but not as glorified as it was made up to be. He had been alive, then he wasn’t. It was simple as that. He had seen an afterlife, or at least he thought he had. It had looked very strange, but that may have been because he was not yet used to being dead. He had only been dead for a moment, but then felt himself pulled back through to the realm of the living. Resurrection was also rather disappointing. It was like dying, but backwards. He was dead, then he was alive. Simple. Rising up from the lava, he realized that he had come back even stronger. Fenrakk had become Kardas, and now they were ready to defend the mask like never before. The Toa were shocked as anything to see Vezon riding a dragon. It was wonderful. Kardas was so delightfully destructive, even more so than he had been as Fenrakk. The fight had continued, but now the tables had turned. Vezon and Kardas were beating the Toa back. Vezon and Kardas no longer shared the ability to become more powerful when they were hit, but Vezon didn’t mind. Kardas’s wonderful ability to incinerate things with his breath made up for it. Yes, they were just about to kill the Toa. But then something awful had happened. Something that was so incredibly horrible that it made Vezon cringe with anger just thinking about it. I cooked your food, I cleaned your house,And this is how you pay me back for all my kind, unselfish loving deeds? HUH?Well you just wait, they’ll find you yet,And when they do they’ll put you in the A.S. P. C. A., you mangy mutt! AND… He heard the mask’s thoughts. It no longer cared for him. It wanted to cast him aside like an old worn-out shoe. It despised him. It wanted the white Toa. This had driven Vezon into a powerful rage, only moments before the battle was over. He had been so distracted that he never felt the Zamor that struck him, putting him and Kardas in suspended animation. And now here he was. Kardas was gone, Vezon had no idea where he was. And so was the mask. The Toa had stolen it. Vezon suddenly leapt to his feet, screeching with utter rage. He was right back where he had started. Alone. Friendless. And it was all because of that stupid mask, and that Toa who had stolen it. Vezon suddenly noticed the spear that lay next to his foot. The spear of fusion, the wonderful spear. It was broken, but was buzzing with energy. Vezon realized that it was repairing itself. The familiar grin returned to his face. He realized what he could do. He could track the Toa down, and reclaim the mask. And then they could never have it again. Because Vezon would kill them. As the weapon finished fusing itself together, Vezon noticed the blade was dull from the battle. He found a suitable stone and began to sharpen it. Soon the blade was honed and razor-sharp, ready to cut through the toughest armor. Vezon was just about to throw the stone away when he stopped. He put it in a compartment on his armor. He would need it again to sharpen the blade after he had killed the Toa. They’re coming to take me away, Ha-Haaa!They’re coming to take me away, Ho-ho, hee-hee, ha-haaa!To the funny farm where life is beautiful all the time,And I’ll be happy to see those nice young men in their clean white coats,And they’re coming to take me away, Ha-Haaa!To the happy home with trees and flowers and chirping birds,And basket weavers who sit and smile and twiddle their thumbs and toes,And they’re coming to take me away, Ha-Haaa!
  7. Peach 00

    Angel

    Angel The day had gone. He was left alone, the mutant waters beneath Voya-Nui’s core trapping him under the rippling waves above. The waters were clear as he soared gracefully through the waters with unsurpassed swiftness and speed, bubbles creating behind him as he sped through the water current with ease. The lime-green and silver blur left behind him was too fast to even look at, the water sled his only friend he had left with him. The propellers on either side of it made it speed like a rocket through the slightly murky waters. But he did not care for petty time wasted on thoughts and stupid descriptions and words he had with him. He was washed up, no emotion left to use. He only wanted revenge.No one could stare the Toa in the eyes. The anger he held with him was one no one could imagine, the pain unbearable, the anguish and throbbing beyond horrific. And to feel no emotion was the worst of all, to not feel love, to not feel sorrow. But the only thing he could feel was pain, the scarred memories burned upon his mind. Those screams of terror and horror, the groaning and high-pitched shrieks of the Zyglak that had burned and terrorized his home with an ease unimaginable—all of it, scarred, the battle wounds he received gleaming red as it came to his mind. The petty blood and sinew spread, the tissue shredded with claws sharper than the most razor-sharp knife conceivable.All of it....bitter, acerbic, astringent memories blemished upon him...all of it an inconsequential disfigurement on his soul.‘Why, Mata-Nui, why?’ would be the continuous question asked over the years, constantly burning in his mind. It had been repeated over millions of times, too much to ask of the sacred Great Spirit. Again, no one could stare into the eyes of the Toa of Air: When you gaze into his eyes, you can only see burning hatred for the Zyglak, his own soul and maybe even Mata-Nui. It was burned upon him, undeniably exceeding any possibilities of living a happy life for him. He was comfortably numb in his own body, revealing no personal information to anyone and none at all of his emotions stuffed inside him, concealed by a mortifying attitude of hatred for anybody. Lesovikk was an empty soul.And he did not care to feel anything with him, not for years until the day he died by Karzhani’s hand. He had already stepped upon a path he did not want, messing with the being Karzhani already. Stepping onto that path once more would be foolish, but not as foolish as the past mistake shrouding his darkened path. And, though he protested against his mind, the horrific moments of that day were coming back to him slowly, as the deepening scar seemed to gleam alive to a terrifying moment of saddened life and death and the one soul he nearly killed himself over that died in his arms. Spend all your time waiting, For that second chance— For a break that would make it okay, There’s always some reason— As the squadron of Zyglak advanced up the beaches, concealed within the shadows of the wavering palms above their head—the continuous shared ­click-click-clickety-click noise of orders between the creatures, while one shrieked a high-pitched howl to signify their advance, to give a choice of sweet surrender or death for their victims. They advanced up from the shores with no further hesitation, and as they did, the Toa of Air watched from behind the palm’s top, as the group of fifteen rushed forward in a quick, scavenging way, on all fours they ran without any wait for answer. Essential that he would report and say they were coming, he decided to play it safe and not advance. But, perhaps, it would not matter.Lesovikk looked over, for he could see the other side of the island—he was shocked. Clouded with smoke, he could see the burning fires, the screaming in the city and in the villages all around. His eyes held anger, tears of pure hatred. As he grasped with great the light-as-a-feather katana off his back, he held it tighter, and one would think it might unwillingly shatter into a million pieces due to his strength of pure and utter force that was compulsory inside him.Thud! A loud, ringing, steel-against-wood sound echoed, as a million pieces of bark would be lifted from the tree, and the palm tree shook, sending Lesovikk into a wild ride as his body was flung into the air, a bad, ear-hurting crack sounding in his body that resembled one’s spine breaking. As he was left barely awake, he watched as he nearly hit the ground, while he still had the energy to release a gush of wind to send him upward like a cyclone. With this, Lesovikk leaped gracefully upward, lithe and as light as a feather as he prepared himself for the thudding when his feet touched the ground. Expecting his abrupt attacker to be below, he swung himself into a gut-wrenching spin.The spin was blurring, dizzying, and slightly nauseating, but Lesovikk could tolerate the sheer force and effect that was placed upon his body, while for others their stomach would have flipped several times from the force. While he continued to spin, his katana blade was outstretched in expectancy for his opponent to appear. As he stopped, he looked around. Nothing. But as he waited, his body was flung sideways, his back reaching the outer skin of a palm tree, uncomfortably sliding downward and laying on the ground with some pain enforced.As his eyes opened, he realized he had several deep, painful cuts across his right leg, a slice too deep on his back that seeped out blood with anguish. But Lesovikk withstood the pain, as he saw his opponent slowly walking forward. It was a Zyglak, as it shrieked the echoing, painful call that was a trademark to their tribe. Its claws were covered in blood and tissue from his leg, as he realized his leg was worse than he thought. Unsteadily and barely any balance to keep him standing, Lesovikk still leaped to his feet.Blood poured down his leg, while he quickly tried to run away from the Zyglak, while he continuously felt shameful with cowardice as he had realized what he had done. As he ran with sheer anguish unimaginable, he stopped and looked back. The Zyglak was not moving, but realized the Toa’s surrender and to only run.As it did this, it again let out a scream, echoing like a wolf’s howl but more like a bird would cry squawk. This is how the Zyglak’s call sounded, and finally Lesovikk looked forward in front of him and just ran limping as he did as he held his leg to try and hold the blood from dripping on the ground, to avoid from any unnecessary followers and unwanted guests. To feel not good enough, And it’s hard at the end of the day— I need some distraction, Oh, beautiful release... His destination was near. He realized that he was nearly there, towards his village where his friends and the villagers would hide in the caves. As he was there, lingering in the bushes, he saw an unwanted Zyglak patrol strolling by. Lesovikk thought twice of going into a complete banzai mode with his katana, but he abandoned it immediately. As the gleaming red eyes of the Zyglak traced over the area, the squadron of six moved onward without any precaution, running on all fours.As he leaned his body forward the slightest, he glanced left to right to see if anymore were coming, and finally rushed forward, hesitation seeming appealing in his mind every now and then. Lesovikk looked around as he stood in the middle of the dirt path—everything was set aflame, nothing but burning flames of agony and screams seeming reminisce to him.And, the saddest and most haunting sight was the one lying in front of him—the Toa of Fire comrade of his, his body sprawled upon the ground with dirt and mud covering him and dirty blood emitting from his insides as he saw the terrifying sight of a wooden, broken but sharp spear stabbed into the Toa’s armor.And Lesovikk clenched his fist, as his whole body seemed to shake violently, like a tremor in the ground. As he gawked his eyes towards the group of Zyglak that continued down the path in wild, beastly gallops, he set off in rage, his katana sword at the ready while he took his secondary one from the second scabbard on his back. Lesovikk sprinted forward with outrageous haste, as within minutes he reached the squad of Zyglak, and he screamed, his dignity and soul shattering. His eyes were blazing with anger in that moment of unexpected haste that broke loose inside him like wildfire, as he slashed his katanas this way and that with the Zyglak deflecting and some scattering in fear at the worthy attacker.Lesovikk threw his left-hand katana in a jagged spin, as it flew hard to the left in an ugly slashing manner as it tore through the Zyglak’s armor, while with a gush of air he blew the bodies straight into the hard, tangling amount of bushes that they were flung hard into. As he retrieved the katana again, the Zyglak were beginning to corner him, while again he only let himself become a vortex of wild movements, spinning dizzily once more as the katanas ripped through the Zyglak creatures like razor-sharp blades.Within five more minutes of wicked moves that destroyed the Zyglak squadron and several deep cuts slashing through Lesovikk’s armor once more, he rushed forward to the city, where the rest of comrades would possibly be, defending themselves against the wretch of the Zyglak tribe. Memory seeps from veins, Let me be empty, A little weightless and maybe— I’ll find some peace tonight. Too much was happening, overgrowing on the group of four Toa. The Toa of Electricity rushed forward, leaping upward gracefully and spinning herself as she landed lightly on her feet behind the Zyglak. As it turned around, a mound of electricity made it stop, its arms and legs buckling as the lightning stopped its workings. Nikila sprinted once more to retrieve her sword, a powerful blade with lightning intertwined around the shining silver metal of the blade’s core. Sticking the blade right through another Zyglak’s armor, the lightning zapped the insides of the Zyglak, the wiring of it weakening as the smell of electrical wires burning seeped into the air, black smoke revealing from the wiring of its arms and legs that connected to its torso.The shining amethyst armor of Nikila was a blur as she swiftly dashed forward, a rolling jump as she swept over another Zyglak. But this time, she was too hasty as a burning feeling of pain and agony reached her insides—she gaped at her waist to see blood and a cut seeming to seep slowly, the blood trickling down her leg. She held it with her right hand, as her body fell to the ground in a wrench of pain, her body limp and useless.As the lime-green clad Toa of Air reached the city square, he saw in a slow-motion fashion Nikila falling like an angel that had broken its wings. And this was the final straw that broke his spirit, raising him from a deadly climax of anger and lethalness that oozed from his soul, leaking as he dove forward in anger, watching as his comrades fell one by one nearby. As he sprinted forward, he slashed this way and that at the surrounding Zyglak, but then he didn’t care.He ignored the Zyglak beginning to surround the Toa of Air, as he picked up his comrade, beginning to rush away from them with Nikila lying in his arms, her body just barely on the verge of consciousness as her body was surfacing towards death. Her body was nearly lifeless.“Le-leso-vikk...” she stammered, her voice faint as she stuttered the Toa’s name to him. Lesovikk continued, hesitating every second, as the word came to his mind—hesitation. In the arms of the angel, Fly away from here, From this dark, cold hotel room— And the endlessness that you fear... Hesitation.Hesitation?Hesitation...It repeated, as innocence turned to pure agony and blame. Lesovikk ran, breathing reluctantly as he ran farther away, through the hills of stone as flashbacks of the Toa of Fire with a spear shoved through him came back. It appeared all around him as he climbed higher, flames burning nearby as the charging Zyglak were coming behind him, cordak blasters in hand and ready to fire the destructive missiles while their eyes were shimmering red in a blood color. Their claws were shining with dripping, scarlet blood as they galloped.Nikila’s yellow eyes grew fainter and less life-filled as he sprinted, thinking there was no end. The pure anguish he felt, the guilt, the blame...oh, the ravaging blame and guilt he felt as all Karzhani was breaking loose and unraveling before his eyes, as he looked over the several stains of blood on his hands from that moment and before when he held the blood of his leg, while wounds were building as recent memories for him. All of the blood was dried and fresh intertwined as all he could here was the distant beating of his heartlight on and off, rapidly increasing in pace.He could not tell if he was living a very horrible nightmare or reality. You are pulled from the wreckage, Of your silent reverie... You’re in the arms of the angel, May you find some comfort here... Behind him he looked, black and white images racing in his mind as it conjured recent flashbacks of those past horrifying minutes that flashed before his eyes, and all of it seemed like seconds. Behind him were the dead bodies of his friends, and in his arms was a being he loved, one that had become more than a friend in the times before this.“Lesovikk...” the voice came again, and Lesovikk looked down at her waist, which he had quickly had the time to put a single wrap of bandage over from his own wounds, which had easily been covered in blood in those past minutes. Lesovikk looked at her face and expression, which had had an eerie smile crossed there. So tired of the straight line, And everywhere you turn— There’s vultures and thieves at your back, The storm keeps on twisting... Lesovikk continued, as finally he reached his objective and destination, the final moments—the cliff face. As he reached the very top, below he saw the large, running waterfall, that lead to the ocean surrounding the island. As he looked behind him, he realized that he was cornered, and the only thing that he had left was to freefall downwards towards the endless ocean bottom.He turned around, seeing the endless, numerous amounts of Zyglak here and there, and finally the leader shrieked a call of defeat to the others behind him. And Lesovikk just fell backward without any reason. His body fell, with his hands gripping Nikila as he continued to fall. Creating an easy air cushion as he clenched his hand in a fist, letting one hold Nikila, he outstretched it, falling slowly on the invisible cloud of air, as it was an illusion to the Zyglak hundreds of feet above, looking like they were just relentlessly falling to their dooms.As they reached the very bottom, the water traced their bodies from head to feet, and the two were engulfed with fresh water, while Lesovikk reached the water’s surface, revealing himself behind the waterfall and finding the secretive cave that he briefly went inside to lay the weak body of Nikila against the cavern wall.That had been where he wished to reach. You keep on building the lies, That you make up for all that you lack, Don’t make no difference, Escaping one last time— “Lesovikk,” another weak, but sweet-sounding voice came, Nikila’s. Lesovikk glanced over at her as he himself laid next to her against the cold, stone wall, the water soaking on Lesovikk staining the walls quickly. He smiled as he looked at her face, eyes beginning to fill with water and trickling down his mask were tears.“Yes?” he gently replied in slightly sorrow-filled voice.“I...I love you...” she slowly whispered, as she weakly tried to turn her head towards him, to lean forward and to lie against him. Her head fell on his shoulder, as she tried to wrap her arms around him, but she did not have the energy, or strength. And Lesovikk clasped his hand in hers, her own tears falling upon his hand. It’s easier to believe In this sweet madness— Oh, this glorious sadness, That brings me to my knees... The cave still remained damp, cold and dark to the two, as the small sound of dripping water leaked through the silence that the two kept. And Lesovikk slowly replied, “I love you, too, Nikila,” And both their eyes closed to remain in the cold silence of the cavern, as finally Lesovikk took her body and held it in his hands, his head laying against hers and eyes closed for both as Nikila’s life slowly faded away, and Lesovikk was left lonely, silence once again deadly to his soul.And it came again to him:I love you, too, Nikila...And that one word that made him feel the agony, the pain, the anguish, the bitterness, the loss of friendship—the lives and friends lost, the guilt, the very reason he would avenge their souls—the only thing that made him to blame for in his mind for everything that had happened all in that day, when nightfall began to rise on the outside and still the cool whoosh of the waterfall’s water pouring; that one word that had him all to blame for it:Hesitation. In the arms of the angel, Fly away from here, From this dark, cold hotel room—, And the endlessness that you fear... And the memories ended for Lesovikk, as he emptied the tears from the inside of his mask. It was too much to bear as the burden came down upon him, the reason why everything had gone wrong, why it all happened—himself. And Lesovikk could not bear that burden, that weight—it was too much for him to carry upon his shoulders. But it had happened, haunting him still to this very day that he lived in haunting of it.It crept on him again. You are pulled from the wreckage, Of your silent reverie, You’re in the arms of the angel— May you find some comfort here... That burden...the one he had carried upon himself for years at a time, one that made him wonder what would have happened if he had possibly expected that, all of it before it came crashing down upon him. He would not have been here, down in Mahri-Nui, where his soul was left empty, no emotion that he could share but tears and pain, no friends with him and the only thing he had—a simple sword and a sea-sled that he would soar with among the waters of the underwater island where creatures lurked in caves.He was left in the dark, where he did not feel he belonged in all this time of waiting for a shining light of hope to come, and the darkness shattered and the shadows unveiled from his mind. Not anymore to be left in a lurking of memories of pain, anguish, agony, astringency, mortifyingly, throbbing, pain unending. Immortality of pain and revenge lurked still in a scarred memory, and an eternity it would take to remove it and to look forward to hope and none of the despair that kept with him now.And that was a path that would take years to conquer and go down in happiness.But he would set out to do it, to become a hero and to show the leadership he had yearned for all those years ago that he had failed himself with. He would regain the respect he thought he deserved, the respect he would set out to earn in the empty, mutant waters of Mahri-Nui. He would find friends to lead and friends to not fail again You’re in the arms of the angel— He would indeed. May you find some comfort here... ---This is really out of date, and I plan on revising it very soon. The story is based off of Lady Kopaka's picture Hesitation (don't have the link to the picture, although those of you who have seen the piece of art will see the inspiration), and although at first I wanted the viewpoint to be based from Nikila's perspective, I switched it to Lesovikk's point of view before making last-minute edits to it. The song is by Sarah McLachlan, entitled Angel. I mainly posted this as a 1,000 post special (1 over, but it's still a specal), so yeah.Comments and critique are appreciated. =)
  8. Do you hear the jet plane yawning miles across the sky?Hear the garbage truck back down the boulevard,Setting off the car alarms as it passes by?***********It’s an odd concept, breathing. One minute, you’re doing it, performing a basic sentient necessity that goes along with being alive, moving, laughing, playing, and the next, the rise and fall attributed to the flow of oxygen in your lungs is gone, and the world goes black and never bothers to fade back into color. And if you’re not able to breathe and you’re still alive, well, you won’t be for much longer.That, safely to say, is not what the Toa of Fire wanted. Forcing himself from the makeshift coffin that had been created for him by the wreckage of his downed hut, he rubbed his eyes and blinked, as if his eyes were deceiving him, playing a cruel joke on his psyche by superimposing the vicious sight before him.***********Do you hear the static of one thousand detuned radios?Shut the window, love, keep the world outside.I don’t want to think about anyone.Matoran, Toa, and Turaga who had been unprepared for the vicious assault lay strewn across the streets, their faces grotesquely trapped by the passage of time in various poses of shock, horror, and anger. He opened his mouth to speak, but his vocal cords, too, appeared to have died in the assault: the most he could utter was a small, wordless whisper of pain.***********But the footsteps are getting louder,Drowning out the sound of the rain as it knocksOn the windowsill.***********The Toa of Fire moved towards the hut that had become his Toa Team’s base: surely one of his brothers, or his sister, the love of his life, would walk out from the structure; battered, perhaps, disheartened, definitely. After all, they, too, would have heard the Makuta’s proclamation: he had expelled the Great Spirit Mata Nui from his own body and taken over their world, but surely, they would be willing to fight. Surely, he would find at least one of his teammates, alive and ready to fight the good fight.He would have no such luck.***********I’m not answering the phone, let it ring.Lately I’ve been feeling like a falling bomb.***********The structure was destroyed beyond any comprehension. As the Toa staggered towards the building, tears finally welling in his eyes, his eyes picked up on scattered, multicolored assortments of armor: a white shoulder pad, a green Kanohi Kadin, a sword that belonged to a once-great Toa of Stone…***********The ground is getting closerAnd the sky is fallingDown…***********And there, in the center of the wreckage, lay the motionless body of the team’s Toa of Water, the Toa of Fire's best friend, his first and last love. She wasn’t breathing.And to top it off, she wasn’t alive, either.***********This song has been brought to you…This song has been brought to you…By a falling bomb…By a falling bomb…***********The song used in this story was "This Song Brought To You By A Falling Bomb" by Thursday. This was my first story since BZP came back up, so forgive me if it's kind of screwy: I'm still out of practice. :PC+C is greatly appreciated. Much love.-Teezy
  9. A/N: So, I was listening to the song, (which I don't own, btw), and was inspired to repost it. I know Neelh has another songfic with the same title (which I reccommend), but they're different stories, I promise. Anyways, slight AU warning to go with this one. As always, written for you. Enjoy! ₪҉₪ Walking Her Home ₪҉₪ Looking back He sees it all It was her first date The night he came to call ₪҉₪ Two Le-Matoran stood bickering in hushed voices outside a school in Ga-Metru."You're hard-thinking about this too much, Matau." Tamaru told his companion."I am not! I don't even know why I let you drag-tow me over here in the first place!" Matau retorted."You were the one speak-saying nonstop about how you found out where this teacher-friend of yours works, and you were in a hurry-rush to get over here before class lets out, and now you want to quick-leave?" Tamaru asked, incredulous."Yes! That's exactly what I'm speak-saying to you! And I'll have you know-" the little Le-Matoran was interrupted by the obnoxious ring of the bell, signaling the end of the class.As students began to pour out of the classroom, Tamaru snagged Matau by the arm, preventing him from making a quick getaway. Ignoring Matau's protests, which sounded suspiciously like, "Unhand me this instant, you criminal!" mixed with various other insults.Tamaru clapped a hand over Matau's mask, muffling his indignant objections, and asked one of the exiting Ga-Matoran, "Is your teacher-friend, Nokama, in there, by any happen-chance?"The she-Matoran eyed the two Le-Matoran with skeptically, like the way a relaxed, dismissive cat would question a passerby . Tamaru smiled innocently at her, all the while grappling with a fighting Matau."Yes, Nokama is in. Mata Nui help her, if you two are going to see her." The Ga-Matoran muttered, before hurrying off to her next class.Matau stopped struggling and straightened up, brushing nonexistent dust off of his shoulder armor, and gave his friend the deathglare. "I hate you.""I know." Tamaru grinned. "But you'll thank me in the end." He finished, as he shoved Matau through the doorway to the classroom. ₪҉₪ Her dad said, "Son Have her home on time And promise me You'll never leave her side." ₪҉₪ "For next class, just remember that we'll be meeting outside the Great Temple." Nokama reminded her class, right before the bell rang, and they all scuffled out the door. Her eyes followed her students out the door, and she saw those two Le-Matoran. They had been waiting out there for the better half of the last class period. She hadn't seen their masks yet.Nokama sighed quietly to herself, chiding herself for hoping. They were probably waiting for two of her students, and then they'd all go and enjoy a night in the city, or maybe a quiet boat ride together. Shaking her head to get back to focusing, Nokama reached for the stack of tablets her students had piled up on her desk, as an in-class assignment. She had just begun to read the first line when a yell and a crash snapped her head back up."Matau?" She laughed, seeing who had made the grand entrance.The Le-Matoran whirled around, and managed a weak smile at her. "Oh, Nokama. Er… fancy finding you here. What a shock-surprise."He laughed nervously.Nokama's voice was laced with amusement and friendly sarcasm. "Yes, what a shock. Me, a teacher, here, in a classroom. Shocking."The Le-Matoran let out his nervous little laugh again, and then stuttered out, "So, I was think- wondering if you wanted to… wait, no. I wanted to ask-invite you to… " He ground to a halt, cursing himself."Yes?"Matau took a deep breath, and spoke slowly, carving out each word. "There's an act-play in the square tonight. I wanted to ask-invite you to go with me to watch-see it.""Of course, I'd love to." Nokama replied, feeling as though the smile on her mask was there to stay forever. ₪҉₪ He took her to a show in town And he was ten feet off the ground He was walking her home Holding her hand All the way, she smiled And stole the breath right out of him ₪҉₪ As the suns sank behind them, Matau felt as though he was a whole new Matoran, as he walked the quiet streets of Ga-Metru with Nokama.He had booked them front and center seats for the play. When Nokama had laughed, he'd laughed with her.When he didn't get what was going on, she'd leaned over and whispered to him.When the two characters strolled happily ever after, hand in hand, into the sunset, Matau wanted nothing more than to do the same. He grinned, and took Nokama's hand in his as the play ended, and said, "Gotta start somewhere, don't we?" ₪҉₪ Down that old road With the stars up above He remembers where he was And that he fell in love ₪҉₪ "Did you like-enjoy the play, Nokama?" Matau asked, as they stood outside Nokama's house."You need to ask?" She replied in her way of answering.Matau chuckled. "I'll take-know that as a 'yes'.""Yes." Nokama returned the smile, and said, "Next time, I think we should go tour the Archives.""The whole Archives?" He frowned, swallowing a groan."Why not?" She shrugged."Can't we just go see the interesting stuff?" He inquired."That would be the whole Archives." She said seriously.Matau's face dropped.Nokama had no choice but to laugh. "I was kidding, Matau. We can go to the top of a Knowledge Tower, you can take me to the Test Track, we can go see the Great Furnace, or to see the Sculpture Fields, whatever you decide. I trust we'll have a good time.""Great, then. I guess I'll find-see you tomorrow, and-" He said, and was about to say more, but was silenced when Nokama quickly pecked the cheek of his Mahiki."Tomorrow sounds great. Thank you, Matau."As he stood there, Matau felt as though he'd been struck by destiny. ₪҉₪ He was walking her home ₪҉₪ Time passed, in that manner it has, uncaring, relentless, tiring, and not stopping for anyone or anything, but generous enough to let one live life to the fullest.It didn't take Nokama long to figure out that the best part of being a Toa was having Matau there with her. She would always have someone to catch her if she fell. Matau would be there to find her, and remind her who she was, if she forgot who she was, and went and lost herself.Time kept moving. ₪҉₪ Ten more years in a waiting room At half past one The doctor said, "Come in and meet your son" ₪҉₪ "Matau, go on!" Whenua urged his Toa-brother."Yeah, what's the worst that can happen?" Onewa said."Go on, Matau. She's waiting for you." Vakama told him, as Nuju pushed the door open for him.Matau didn't trust himself to speak, so he gulped down a breath of air, and held it, as he walked down the long hallway, praying that his nerves would survive, looking for the right room."Matau." Nokama's voice called gently, "In here." ₪҉₪ And his knees went weak When he saw his wife She was smiling as she said, "He's got your eyes." ₪҉₪ Outside, Vakama was pacing nervously. The three others were similarly dealing with their anxiety. How, the Toa Metru of Fire wondered, can one be so nervous on such a joyous occasion?But when the doors opened again, they saw Nokama with a bundle in her arms, in a wheelchair, and Matau. It looked like he needed the wheelchair more than it needed him."I'm an uncle." Whenua said to himself, beaming around at everyone. In turn, everyone beamed back. ₪҉₪ As she slept, he held her tight His mind went back to that first night ₪҉₪ What would life be like now, where would I be standing, Matau asked himself, If Tamaru had never kicked me into that classroom? Would I be happier? Not possible. Sadder? Do I even remember what that feels like? ₪҉₪ He was walking her home Holding her hand All the way, she smiled And stole the breath right out of him Down that old road With the stars up above He remembers where he was And that he fell in love ₪҉₪ And time passed in the way that it does. ₪҉₪ And he walked her through The best days of her life Sixty years together And he never left her side ₪҉₪ Over countless years, countless things happened. Some good, some not so much. But looking back, the good things and happy memories outshine the bad, and chase away any shadowy memories. ₪҉₪ In a nursing home At eighty-five The doctor said It could be her last night The nurse said, "Oh, Should we tell him now, Or should we wait until the morning to find out ₪҉₪ In a new day, in a new land, where life is peaceful and lax, the Matoran and Turaga of Metru Nui, and Mata Nui, the island paradise gather. The occasion is not so joyous this day.Four Turaga, and a Ga-Matoran named Macku stand outside a quiet, somber hut. ₪҉₪ When they checked her room that night He was laying by her side ₪҉₪ Inside, Turaga Nokama sat in a large rocking chair, with her eyes closed, and a faint smile on her old pale Kanohi Rau. Turaga Matau sat faithfully on a stool beside here.She spoke slowly. "Matau?""I'm here." He replied."Do you remember Metru Nui?" She wanted to know."How could I forget? The Morbuzakh, the Krahka, the Makuta, the Visorak." He trailed off."No, no. Before all that. Before we were Toa." She said."The day we met?" He guessed.Nokama chuckled. "No. But I still don't believe that you were dared to jump off the Protodermis Falls. I think you were lost."Matau smiled. "Perhaps I was.""But do you remember the play you took me to, way back when?" She asked."I'm beginning to think-sense that you're insulting my memory.""I would never." The Turaga of Water said.After a stretch of mutual silence, Matau turned serious, and his smile faded, as he took her hand in his, one last time. Nokama grasped it, and Matau knew that the Toa in her still lived.She spoke. "I don't know where I'm going, Matau. I won't be able to come back.""Are you worry-scared?"Nokama nodded. "Yes." She paused, then said, "But I'll wait for you, wherever I'm going. Then we can go together. It's better that way."Matau nodded in his turn, "Anywhere you go, I'll be there too." He promised. ₪҉₪ He was walking her home Holding her hand All the way, she smiled when he said "This is not the end" Just for a while They were eighteen She was still more beautiful To him than anything He was walking her home He was walking her home ₪҉₪ "Wherever you go, Nokama, remember me. Remember us." "I promise." ₪҉₪ Looking back He sees it all It was her first date The night he came to call ₪҉₪
  10. Voltex

    Fear

    Fear - What Lurks Below Pohatu had disappeared just then, without a trace. Hewkii gone within seconds. Tahu Nuva could only stare at Hewkii as he disappeared into the shadows, possibly forever. Just one more picked off, as they would all surely be in time. Then- gone. Tahu Nuva found himself elsewhere, inexplicably, though his heart was pounding with fear. Oh poor twisted meOh poor twisted meI feast on sympathyI chew on sufferI chew on agony Tahu Nuva clutched his twisted leg, gasping from both the pain and the need to breathe. The tunnel walls around him were cold and damp, and every so often dirt would trickle down onto him from above. Whatever had attacked him he hadn’t seen; and he had no idea where the others were either.Swallow whole the painOh it's too good to beAll this misery The Toa Nuva of fire pushed away the pain, dragging himself to his feet, making sure to keep his weight off the injured leg. Though still intense, the pain felt lesser.Is just for oh poor twisted mePoor twisted me Something slammed him into the wall; flecks of something splattered his armour, though he was sure it wasn’t blood. His tools on the ground below him, unable to see in the darkness, Tahu Nuva screamed as it struck again. Fear building in his chest since hours before was released in one terrible sound.Poor mistreated mePoor mistreated meI drown without a seaLungs fill with sorrowLungs fill with misery The fear and the pain took his breath away before he could even take it in, and Tahu Nuva began to suffocate, drowning on dry land. The thing continued to strike- his armour cracked, his leg burnt in furious lashes he hadn’t thought possible, and nobody was around to save him. Too much to fall unconscious, to blackout; Tahu Nuva had to suffer through it all as his lungs burned with the need for oxygen.Inhaling the deep dark blueOh woe is meSuch a burden to bePoor mistreated me He began to imagine that he was drowning amidst whatever “It” was, the black around him as dark as the bottom of the sea, with no way to tell which way was up and which way was down. Tahu Nuva began to think, unbelievably, of his past errors. Turning against those he loved in fits of rage, weighing in on his conscience.To finally reach the shoreSurvive the stormNow you're bare and coldThe sea was warmSo warmYou bathe your soul againBathe it again, and again, and again It was gone without a trace, as if it had been a mirage in the desert. But this wasn’t a desert. A desert was open, bright, and hot. This tunnel, this horrible tunnel, was closing in, freezing, and above all else, dark. Darker than the shadows of Makuta himself. Tahu Nuva felt the pain flooding over him, rising in waves. And he fell out slowly, gracefully; and the blackness became more complete, more solid as he lost consciousness.To finally reach the shoreSurvive the stormNow you're bare and coldThe sea was warmSo warm, you bathe your soul again Dreams of terrible things. Before he had called dreams of Makuta victory nightmares, but they were like the light of Takanuva compared to this. Creatures indescribable and infinitely varied, infinitely horrible. Each nightmare worse than the last, until awakening.Good to see my friendOh woe is meSuch a burden to beOh poor twisted meOh poor twisted mePoor twisted me Awakening into the arms of friends known so long ago, it seemed. Yet they were in that very tunnel still, and Tahu Nuva could feel the fear. Fear had become a tangible substance in these tunnels, with the creatures in the dark. A creature nobody understood. A creature nobody saw. And Tahu Nuva couldn’t help but wonder if they would ever be able to leave. The idea for this came to me about an hour ago, to be honest. I had lots of fun writing my entry for Short Stories Contest #8, What Lurks Below, and had been wondering how to take the idea further. I was listening to the old song by Metallica called "Poor Twisted Me", and it gave me the idea to give Tahu Nuva's perspective on what he went through during his disappearance in What Lurks Below. Thoughts & Reviews Appreciated. -ibrow
  11. The song is Here Come Those Eyes by Chris Rice.------------- Hewkii stretched his neck, eager for the announcer to stop talking and the kohlii match to begin. This was his fourth game of the season, and the other three had all been victories. Not that it could have gone otherwise, he grinned. I invented this new version. How can anyone beat me at my own game? "Let the game begin!" Jeletu declared through his announcer's horn. Instantly, Hewkii darted for the hole where the ball emerged. The Ga-matoran forward, Hahli, tried to mimic his movement, but she was still a novice. He reached the ball first and sprinted across the field. He counted the seconds, then at just the right moment, he backflipped over Hahli's head. In her suprise and attempt to watch his move, she tripped and stumbled. That was all he needed. He slammed the ball towards the Ga-matoran goal.Here come those eyesThere goes my ability to breatheThose legs are walking her to meOh, tell me I ain't dreaming The Ga-matoran goalie leaped into the air and caught the flying ball with the grace and ease of a veteran. Even after all the time he had known her, Hewkii was impressed. Macku was still the best player he knew. Too bad she got teamed with a rookie this year, he thought, even as he raced to catch the ball again. We could've had an epic championship game.And here comes that smileI can't even move, can't even blink'Cause I don't wanna miss a thing "And that's the game!" Jeletu proclaimed proudly, over the cheers and whistles of the rowdy Po-matoran. "Final score: Po-koro, 5; Ga-koro, 2!" "Not bad that time, Macku." Hewkii teased as she stepped to the center of the field to concede the victory. "Seven blocked shots is impressive against anyone, let alone me." She grinned and tossed her head. "You just wait. I'll beat you yet." "Only when I let you." he replied as the four players bowed to Turaga Onewa. "And I like you so much, I might just do that one day... Nah." Quickly, she planted her feet and gave him a hard shove, nearly making him lose his balance and take a dive into the sand floor of the stadium. "Never underestimate me, Hewkii. Never." Oh, trust me, he smiled, I don't.And I ain't even foolin'When I say the boys and droolin'And the girls are all staring her downMy knees go weakAnd my heart starts to pound "Can you stay in Po-koro for a few days? For training, of course." he asked as he and Macku walked out of the stadium side by side. She laughed. "Training, huh? You still have all the tact of a Muaka." "And you still say yes when I ask you to stay." he replied, waving to the cheering fans behind them. Macku crossed her arms. "Fine. But in exchange, you actually do some training with me. Deal?" "Mata Nui, yes!" Hafu imitated Hewkii's voice as best he could. "You're the woman of my dreams, Macku, and I'll do anything for you!" "Shut up, you maha goat." Hewkii shoved his kohlii partner's shoulder. "Can't you tell when two's company?"It happens every timeShe saunters into the roomIt all blurs and it all starts to zoomAnd then my head starts spinning "You'll come to Ta-koro to watch the championship, right?" he asked as the two girls stepped onto their boat, preparing to leave. "Hey, Mr. Champ, we might still be in the championship." Macku reminded him. "We've won two of our games already. This time, he spoke seriously. "Be careful going home. Watch out for Tarakava." "We will; don't worry so much! I can handle myself!" She gave him a quick hug, then tossed her pack into the boat and leaped lightly on board. "That's why I worry!" he teased. "With you in charge, nobody's safe!" As he expected, she shook her head mockingly and cast off the rope. Moving their sail to catch the breeze, the two Ga-matoran slowly edged away from the sandy coast.She gets a few feet awayAnd suddenly we're both in slow motionLike we're alone in the deep blue ocean "I still don't get why she's your girlfriend." Hafu shrugged as the two began the trek back to their village. "She not as pretty as some of the other Ga-matoran, and she's always teasing you. You can't be romantic with a girl like that. She'll pour a bucket of dead fish on you right after you say something nice." Hewkii felt equally inclined to laugh and to slap his friend. He obeyed both impulses. "Then you don't understand what romantic is, dude."I know it's just a feelingBut it might as well be real becauseI think I might be fixin' to drownMy knees go weak andMy heart starts to pound "You're hopeless." Hafu grinned, avoiding the shove. "And you're just jealous." Hewkii returned. "When Makuta tells Mata Nui he's sorry, I am!" the Pakari-clad Po-matoran exclaimed. "You can have her." "Thanks. I will." This time, his push was not dodged.She takes my handI don't know what to sayShe understandsAnyway "Told you we'd make it to the game." Macku said proudly, tapping her kohlii staff against his. "And this year, Po-koro's going down." "Hey, making it to the championship doesn't mean you can beat me." he laughed. "I've already taught your lesson this year, remember?" Macku's face grew grave. "Can you keep a secret?" "Yeah." She whispered softly. "We... let... you... win." He grinned. "In your dreams, girl." Macku just shrugged. "You'll see. It's all part of Hahli's and my plan." Unexpectedly, she took his hand for a moment. "But seriously, I can't wait to see your face when we win."And here come those eyesCan she see what I'm thinking of?If this is what they call loveI can't believe I'm in itThanking Heaven every minuteI'm the luckiest boy in this townMy knees go weak andMy heart STOPS "We'll let the ball decide." He shook his head laughingly. "See you at the stadium." He turned to go and find his teammate for a last minute practice. "Hey, hotshot!" Macku called after him. He turned his head and waited for her parting remark. "I love you, Hewkii." Sheesh, Mata Nui, you had to say that here? Now? he thought, desperately trying to think of a response. She waited a moment, then took a few steps towards him. "Hey, aren't you supposed to say something back?" "Yeah... You make it look so easy, though." he laughed, covering his sudden nausea. Weird, I never thought nausea was a good thing. "It is." she replied saucily, hands on her hips. And she was right. "I love you too, Macku-girl."And I can't catch my breathI think I'd better sit down'Cause my knees go weak andMy heart starts to pound
  12. Darkness. Simple, pitch black, terrifying darkness. It was suffocating, and had long since chocked the life out of the one being who lay prone of the floor of a small cell. His eyes were dim, their normal orange tint dulled to a bleak yellow. So many months had passed in the Matoran’s bleak existence, while life went ton for most, this Matoran’s mind was fixed in his past. Who would have thought that a simple meeting could have thrown and entire life out of balance... Funny, but in a world ruled by Teridax, not surprising. The room brightened suddenly as two blood red eyes appeared on the wall. “Why hello there Teruky.” A deep voice rumbled through the room as though the very walls were speaking. Lie awake in bed at nightAnd think about your lifeDo you want to be different? “Hello Teridax” The Matoran muttered softly, breathe puffing out a small cloud of steam as he did so. The darkness again deepened as the eyes faded. “Do you remember when I brought you here?” Teridax asked. The Matoran nodded his head meekly in agreement. Teridax smiled as Teruky did so. “Then you will not mind if I show you.” Teruky began to struggle, trying to get up and run away from what was about to happen, the memory of it still freshly burned into his mind by Teridax. Teridax laughed as he reached out and tapped the Matoran, who quickly fell over, as his eyes locked open, glazed over from the images being poured into his mind. Then suddenly, it stopped. The red eyes, the laughter, the very idea of a cell under the ground with a single being within it, was gone. And so was Teruky, replaced with the hustle and bustle of a Po-Metru Marketplace. In his mind’s eye, he was perfectly at ease, but the reality was that he was sobbing pathetically on the ground. Try to let go of the truththe battles of our youth‘cause this is just a game As time passed, even his dim awareness of that fact drifted, leaving only a fleeting memory of the true reality, one that was soon swallowed up by the memories he relived. * * * Teruky walked slowly through the bazaar, inspecting the goods of various vendors on the way to his destination. Said destination was a hut some fifty feet from him. As he walked inside, a few chimes rand loudly, signalling the owner of his visitor. However, what greeted him inside came as a shock. Three Vahki law enforcement officers who were previously rummaging through the hut now turned, blue optics flaring as the registered the newcomer. It’s a beautiful lieIt’s a perfect denialSuch a beautiful lie to believe inSo beautiful, beautiful lie makes me “Identification: Teruky, Threat Level: none.” Their metallic voices resounded in unison, “Matoran Teruky, an investigation is currently in progress concerning the Onu-Matoran Dieb.” Another chimed in, “Matoran Teruky, please leave. You are in a restricted area.” Teruky weighed all his options. He could run, but Vahki were fast. Or, he could fight, but stun staffs were very... effective, to say the least. Teruky made no start to move, prompting the Vahki to advance a few steps. One Vahki was so close; the Matoran could see the multiple lines of text and data streaming up its optics. A shadow passed quickly through Teruky’s vision, prompting him to visibly steady. “Threat Assessment,” the Vahki squad leader droned, “Minimal. Subdue with caution and return to Ta-Metru.” It’s time to forget about the pastTo wash away what happened lastHide behind an empty faceDon’t ask too much the same‘Cause this is just a game Green lights began charging on the Vahki’s staffs, brightening to an almost unbearable glow. “Down!” barked a black shape from just outside Teruky’s vision. He did so, even as the Vahki fired their staffs, and one Vahki fell to the ground, an ornate dagger wedged into its processors. The other two died without a sound. Teruky’s saviour stood amongst both the wreckage of the Vahki... and his own home. “Dieb...” Teruky whispered. The Onu Matoran raised a hand, asking for silence. He turned around, revealing his monstrous appearance. His mask was adorned with three long scars below the right eye, his armour pitted and scarred. Line green light peeked out from under the master thief’s cloak, and he brushed aside part of a Vahki, with the long tail that extended from behind him. “Teruky,” Dieb replied after a long minute of silence, “Thank you for distracting the Vahki. If you hadn’t, they may’ve found the vault... not even that, but you’ve helped me get more spare parts. These will be worth much.” “Dieb,” Teruky repeated, “You called me here?” “Ah, yes, that.” Dieb replied, sombrely, “Follow me.” Dieb walked over to a section of the wall covered with an enormous map of Metru Nui, hundreds of pins marked the places Dieb had struck, there were literally hundreds. The only place without a single pin, was the ultimate prize; The Coliseum. Dieb stepped onto a small block on the ground, activating the mechanism that opened the way to his vault. The master thief led the way through winding tunnels made of hastily tunnelled stone – it was doubtful that the thief would leave it as such for long. It’s a beautiful lieIt’s a perfect denialSuch a beautiful lie to believe inSo beautiful, beautiful lie makes meLie, beautiful, oh After a time, they reached the vault, a gigantic cavern filled with various rare and expensive treasures, all “borrowed” from their owners by Dieb. Golden masks, medals, trophies, even the occasional painting were piled up along the walls. The master thief had been able to keep it all for so long, due to the fact that only one person in the known universe had even caught him. The story of Teruky and Dieb’s meeting is an awkward one. After casing Teruky’s house, Dieb had decided to break in and steal an amulet that had recently been given to the Ta-Matoran by his new love, Zorah. Dieb had broken in, but Teruky had forgotten something, and came rushing back into his house to catch the thief, red handed, with the amulet in his hand. After a brief struggle, some awkward introductions, and a very long argument over whether or not to call the Vahki, the two became fast friends, often trading off with each other. Some days, Teruky would watch someone’s house for Dieb, while others Dieb would watch Zorah and decide upon something from his vault to give to Teruky... The Ta-Matoran had attained a sizeable selection of gifts before they deemed it necessary to stop. But this Dieb was different, a far cry from the normally jovial and adventure seeking Thief that, on brief visits, had told grand tales of far off lands. No, this Dieb was much grimmer, as though something was troubling him. The Matoran stopped suddenly, causing Teruky to nearly bowl over him in the process. “Remember how I said I was trying to get into the coliseum?” Dieb asked, his face drawn with already apparent concern. “Yeah,” Teruky replied, “But why do you ask?” “I found a way in, finally... though what i’ve found isn’t good.” Everyone’s looking at meI’m running ‘round in circlesPlagued with a quiet desparations getting higherI’ve got to remember this is just a game Dieb understated the point, as Teruky’s eyes widened and the full scale of where they were was revealed. “This is—this is some sort of lair... but for what?” Dieb didn’t stop there, gesturing for the Ta Matoran to follow him. “If you think that was bad, just wait.” They came upon a round sphere, humming with energy. As they approached closer, the hum became louder until they could actually see inside the sphere. “Mata Nui!” Teruky gasped, unable to believe his eyes. Turaga Dume, the very same turaga that had been running Metru Nui, was locked within this sphere, without his mask... which meant that- “The Dume we know is an impostor.” Dieb stated matter-of-factly, both following and finishing Teruky’s exact train of thought. “But who could possibly do that?” Teruky asked voice shaky from the revelation. “The one who owns this lair... the one, that i sense, is near...” Dieb replied, pushing his body up against the wall, blending almost instantly with the dark rock. Looking over, the master theif saw Teruky’s red armour splashed bright against the wall. He threw his black cloak over Teruky, and just in time too, as they heard voices coming down from a path off to their right. So beautiful, beautiful “I grow tired of these games, Teridax... how long will it take for you to realize that getting this mixed up with the Matoran could be damaging to the plan?” The first voice choked off after saying that, and a second, much deeper voice responded, “How long will it take for you, Chirox, to realize that this is all part of the plan?” Teridax threatened. A large slam was heard as a black shape flew by the two stunned Matoran, their breath caught as the being shakily stood up, then bowed his head. The ground shook loudly as the other being stepped into the dim light of the cavern, voice grating and hoarse, as the Noble Kiril of Turage Dume skidded across the floor. “I would have thought, that you of all Makuta, would understand the plan. I grow tired of these games, Chirox, give me something i can use!” It’s a beautiful lie “Of course, Teridax, i am working as fast as i can... if you would only attempt at creating a beast taht could do what you wish, instead of sitting here as the leader of Metru Nui...” Teridax whipped around, putting a blade to Chirox’ throat and slicing. Chirox’ armour split open, and a gaseous form slipped out of the crack. The form coalesced into a cloud like entity, that which immediately screamed with an unearthy howl. “You little-” the entity was cut off as Teridax once again sliced, the blade he was using bursting into flames as he did so. “Say another word and i’ll destroy you!” Teridax growled. Chirox backed off, staring past Teridax’ shoulder when he re-entered his body. His eyes squinted, before he drew his sword, while pointing at the exact spot Teruky stood, “Spies, Matoran!” Dieb drew his sword without a moment’s hesitation as Chirox summoned a shadow bolt to fly from his hands, straight at the Ta-Matoran. He flipped the sword around in his hands, the flat of it absorbing the Shadow Bolt. Dieb stood up, tail swishing as he balanced himself, sword crackling with dark energy as his red eyes turned towards the Makuta. “I am no Matoran.” He said simply, slashing downward with his sword and sending the bolt of energy back at Chirox, twice as powerful. Teruky simply stood, awed by the remarkable display of power from both powerful Makuta, and Hordika Matoran. So beautiful, beautifulThe bolt impacted the Makuta’s chest, but did no damage. Chirox laughed, long and slow, before finally speaking. “I am Chirox, Makuta of the island of Visorak, creator of the poisonous scourge! You are but a sand mite in comparison to me!” The Makuta’s hands flew towards eachother, palms inward. The collided, and a massive explosion of elemental shadow rocked the chamber. Dieb was sent flying against the wall, as Teruky scrambled to escape. Chirox advanced, blade held high for the killing blow, but suddenly Teridax moved with incredible speed and grabbed Chirox’ arm. “Let them go,” The giant boomed, “Let them tell of what they have seen.” Chirox began to protest loudly, but was cut off as Teridax continued, “After all, who in Metru Nui will believe two crazy Matoran?” As Teridax began to walk away, Chirox following rather glumly, Teruky exploded out of his cover and tried to grab Dieb and drag him to safety. With a groan, the Hordika Matoran rose slowly and limped towards they tunnels they had came through. Teruky smiled slightly as he heard Dieb whisper to himself, “Never again.” No matter what you do, some things will never change, and Teruky laughed at the irony. He and Dieb had just uncovered the single greatest conspiracy known to Metru Nui, and yet at the same time, no one would know. It’s a beautiful lie And so it was that they crawled back up into the world of sunlight, hearts heavy from their discovery of truth. And so it was that both suffered the next day. * * * Teruky awoke the next morning in pain. It wasn’t a muscles sore type pain, nor was it a stressed pain, but raw, unfathomable pain. As his brain regained the use of its higher cognitive functions, his nerves suddenly cried out in pain as he screamed at the top of his lungs. But he didn’t stop, couldn’t stop. The pain just kept going, never even lessening in the slightest. Even the door blowing off its hinges didn’t faze him, or reach him within the blanket of pain. It wasn’t until he was shaken violently that his mind, and thus his body, cleared. So beautiful, beautifulIt’s a beautiful lie “What... what happened?” Teruky asked, staring into the concerned eyes of his friend Vuran. Vuran’s eyes softened beyond the Miru that adorned his face. “You were screaming so loud I would bet my lifes wage that half of the metru heard you. When i heard it, i called the two closest Vahki and rushed here.As Teruky stood, shaking slightly, he steadied himself on Vuran. He kept lying to himself, telling himself that what had just happened had nothing to do with what he had witnessed the other day, but he knew, in his heart, that it did. Slowly they made their way to work under the eyes of the ever vigilant Vahki. If Teruky shimply didn’t have the heart to move, the knowledge that the being, the Makuta controlled their very lives, was too much. And so, as he walked into the foundry where he worked, it was with a heavy heart a slow hand that he began to craft the masks – masks he knew would be used by the Makuta. * * * A bell rang, and just like every day, it tortured the ears of Teruky, who grimaced with pain as the end-of-shift bell sounded. Walking outside, long since separated with Vuran, Teruky noticed something just outside of the foundry... A crowd of people, and a large squad of Vahki arrayed in a haphazard circle around a single point... a single, blue, point. Teruky rushed forward, intent on discovering what the commotion was about. As he neared the line of Vahki, due in large part to some pushing and shoving, he cried out in pain and shock. So beautiful, beautiful Lying on the ground in a pool of blood was the Ga Matoran Kiria. Or, as Teruky preffered it, Kiri... his vhalentain. His heart wept to see her there, formerly glistening blue armour now so black with ash and burnt, it was all he could do to keep his stomach in check. But suddenly, the haze of that reality had fallen away, replaced once more with the dark cave and the realization that he truely did not remember that event, and the understanding that, thought his memories could not be changed, they could be manipulated by Makuta. He also noticed the extra set of red eyes in the room, red eyes that just happened to blink and then appear to nod. Before he could process that, however, the vision overtook him once more as Makuta hissed and pressed his attack, his invasion upon the poor matoran’s mind. He fought back, now remembering fully the events in his memory. “Teridax, Teridax, Teridax. For a master of shadows, your lies are not deceiving. I took the gout of flame you sent for Kiri, my armour melting on me even as i told her to run. It was, after all, how i ended up here.” It’s a beautiful lieSuddenly finding the strength to stand, resisted even more, his own thoughts invading Teridax as the Makuta attempted another attack. The Matoran send the feeling of the pain that he had endured, and though the Makuta had no form aside from the cursed antidermis, the great titan suddered. That was when it happened. Even though Teruky had expected it, the dagger flying out of the shadows and into his hand was a surprise. Even moreso was the familiar shape of Dieb standing before the Makuta. “Teruky, i have given you this chance. I bid the run, because i will not last against him!” Teruky didn’t need a seconds more time. It was ironic he thought, that after the Makuta had trapped him, broken his spirit, that he had more courage to actually run... unlike last time where he simply froze. And yet, as he heard the clash of steel on steel, he endured the grunts, and eventual shouts and gasps of pain. But worse yet, was the voice of Teridax in his head. I let you leave Matoran, you are no longer of use to me. But be warned, the next time you meet your friend he may not greet you with the same... hospitality, as he has before. And with that, the door of Makuta’s lair slammed shut, the final sound that escaped was a cry of terror, and then nothing but silence. It’s a beautiful lieIt’s a perfect denialSuch a beautiful lie to believe inSo beautiful, beautiful, lie makes me ~~~~~~ So... Okay, this is a story i posted... about a year ago. It didn't get very much reception (like most of my stories ><) so i figured i'd repost it now with the Reboot and see if i can't get a few more readers when there're only sixteen stories in the subforum. =P Anyways, hope you like it, it's probably one of the better stories i've ever written... and yeah.
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