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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Lee's Island, Part 5

(Part 1 is here.)

Part 5: in which passage of time just kind of happens and Lee is the only one who can save the day.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*


Rock Lee walked through the forest. "Hmm, I need some sort of container. Maybe a leaf? No, that might absorb the water. Hmm, what could I use? Maybe tree bark? Yes, that will work." Lee said, beginning to search for the right shape of tree bark. A little later, he found the perfect one.
"Yes! This will definitely work! Now all I need to do is get some seawater!" Lee, with a sturdy hold on the bark, ran towards the shoreline. He scooped some water into it and walked to the others, who were not far away.
"Here it is!"
"Great! That'll work perfectly! Just set it on this little grid of sticks. Do it gently, though. We don't want it to break."
"Yes, Ma'am!" Lee set the bark bowl down on the sticks and TenTen placed three of the fish she and Sakura had caught. A loud sizzling sound came from the bowl as the fish broiled. "It smells really good," Naruto said.
"Sure does!" The sizzling sound quieted. "Okay, guys, these are ready! Go ahead and take your pick and I'll cook the next three." Naruto and Rock Lee quickly grabbed two of them. "TenTen, you go ahead. I'll cook the next ones for you," Sakura said. "Thanks," TenTen said, fetching the third fish. Later, the four were finished. "Man, I'm bushed," Sakura said. "I'm going to sleep. Who takes first shift?"
"I'll do it."
"Okay, TenTen, go ahead." Sakura yawned. "See you in a couple of hours."
"See ya," the others said in unison. Sakura walked into the tent. "Okay, there's nothing left to do. I shall go ahead and sleep, too. See you later!" Lee followed Sakura into the leafshod tent. "Okay, this is boring. See ya, TenTen." Naruto ran into the tent.
"Night, guys."
"Naruto!" Sakura yelled. It was her shift, and she was being attacked.
Naruto groaned, rubbing his eyes. "What?" he mumbled, obviously aggravated from being waken up so early. "Naruto!" This time Sakura added a scream. "Sakura? Are you okay?" He ran out into the morning. Sakura wasn't there. "Sakura!" Naruto ran into the trees nearby, hoping to find her. He did.
Sakura was crouched against a tree, trying desperately to defend herself. She looked incredibly beaten up. In front of her was the ninja she had encountered earlier. "Now I can have a little sweet revenge! Where is she for the last time?!"
"I won't tell you!"
"You'd better tell me!" The boy held his Demon Wind shuriken at her neck. "Now talk!" Suddenly a kunai whizzed by him. "Looks like I came just in time! Believe it!" Naruto said.
"You annoying little brat!" yelled the other boy. "If you think you can save her, you're wrong! Besides," he said, holding his giant shuriken a little closer to Sakura's neck, "I have the upper hand here! One move and the girl dies!" Sakura gave a little whimper. "You'd better back away from Sakura!"
"Or what?"
"Or you'll take a beating, that's what!" The other ninja grinned. "Why don't you try?"
"Glad to! Believe it!" Naruto drew another kunai and ran towards the kidnapper. "Your weapons won't work! Metal Repel Jutsu!" he said, making a couple of hand signs. Naruto immediately fell back. "What the?" The ninja chuckled. "Since you're holding something made of metal, you can't touch me! You can't throw anything at me either!"
"And you didn't do this before because..."
"Um, heh?" Naruto groaned. What kind of idiot is this guy? he thought. "Well, whatever! I don't need kunai! Believe it!" He rushed at the ninja, his arm back and ready for a punch. The grass ninja jumped up just barely enough to dodge his attack. Suddenly, when the ninja made his descent, Naruto started to move back, nudged by invisible hands.
"What the? I don't have any kunai! How is it still working?!" The grass ninja cackled a bit. "It appears you have a zipper on your clothes; that's enough to not let you touch me!" All of a sudden, a whoosh came from behind them. "Huh? What was that?" Then a figure came, its outlines blurred by its speed, and knocked the grass ninja fifteen feet away.
"Lee!" Sakura yelled, relieved. The grass ninja quickly got up. "What? You have your headband on! How could you get to me?!" Lee replied, "It was really not that hard. All I had to do was build up enough speed and I got through your defenses." Is he really THAT fast?! thought the grass ninja. He backed away, stunned. "Sakura, could you hold this for a minute?" said Rock Lee, who had taken his headband off of his waist and extended it towards Sakura. "This way I will not have to waste any time building up speed."
"Sure." Sakura took Lee's headband, an instant before Lee darted towards the grass ninja. When he got there--in a matter of seconds--he kicked the ninja in the stomach, knocking him out of sight. "Go, Lee!" Sakura yelled. Rock Lee now stood before her. "May I have my headband back now, Sakura?"
"Okay, sure," she said, returning it to Lee. "Thanks," he said, wrapping it once again around his waist. "Can we get something to eat? I am starved!" Sakura giggled. "Alright, we'll get some food! Let's go find TenTen. She'll be able to catch some fish for us." The three ninja set off.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Just Look Here

It comes to my attention during revision that I overuse quite a few words. Ignoring articles and conjunctions, which shouldn't be an issue if I don't keep repeating the same sentence structure, the worst offenders are "just" and "look."

"Just" is tricky—it sort of adds a vague limit to the sentence, and it's hard to get rid of without getting an uncomfortable twinge. The best trick seems to be unanimously deleting them in editing without paying attention to the context and then adding it back in if I notice it missing. "Quite" and "a bit" are in the same boat.

"Look" gets overused because it's more vague than some other verbs. If I try to plug in synonyms, it doesn't always work for me. It doesn't help that I use it as a verb and a noun all of the time.

This isn't exactly a comprehensive list. It's hard to figure out how much each kind of word should be used. The "glue" that's necessary for correct usage of the English language in general can't be skipped, but exactly how "invisible" is each word? "Said" can be used often and is indeed recommended more than its relatives, but is it the only non-copula verb of its type? How invisible is "look"? "Just"? Others?

Monday, December 23, 2013

More Words To Use and Love

Since the first post didn't quite cover all of my pretty words, I've decided to make a second. The list still isn't comprehensive, but here's more of it.

pelagic                                   versicolor                                    exordium
simper                                    fulgurant                                    violescent
velleity                                   assoil                                          couthie
fabulist                                   parturient                                    hypnopompic
vigorish                                 splendiferous                               kibitzer
ramose                                   quid                                            brabble
rollick                                    troth                                            intemerate
spleenful                                balsamaceous                             word-hoard
celadon                                  erinaceous                                  plotz
Tartuffery                              mulligrubs                                  wellaway
sententious                             cruciverbalist                              jackanapes
austral                                    adiaphorous                                atavistic
tardigrade                               apopemptic                                irrefrangible
draggle                                   fastigiate                                     lollapalooza

Friday, December 20, 2013

Sharing is Caring

Some of you may have noticed that, on a quite a few of my fiction and fan fiction ideas, I've put up a notice that someone else is free to try it out. My father is staunch in his belief that such a thing will inevitably lead to someone taking my idea and making millions off it. (If they can, power to them. It's better than I would do, anyway.)

Yet I've also heard that posting ideas publicly helps to enforce that they belong to me. With all of the other posts I put out here, it would be hard to argue that a posted story idea was actually posted after someone else started writing that story—even if I can change one timestamp, it's obvious whenabouts I posted that idea.

At the same time, I'm posting all of my Fragments, which are so little and vague anyone could take one and slip it in without drawing suspicion. And that's okay. I've already taken an idea from a friend and then given it back to her. I don't mind. Just because these thoughts entered my brain doesn't mean I have irrefutable claims to them, or responsibilities to write them. It just means I had an idea that I can treat however I please.

As I just mentioned, I take ideas from others. Of course I do! There aren't really any new ideas; it's just the combinations. And if I use ideas from others, why shouldn't others get to use ideas from me? Half of them they'd find elsewhere, anyway; I just thought it would be nice to get them all in one place.

Basically, writing is more of a social occupation that it seems like it should be. I could probably lock myself in my room and just ideas from other books—and indeed I will do this—but that's not enough. I have to get a few ideas from living my life, and, still, that's not quite interesting enough to get me all the material I need for an original piece, anyway (considering I do, in fact, prefer to lock myself in my room all of the time). So I get a few ideas from others' lives and the stories they've read. We bounce all of our ideas off each other, and both of us can come out of it with stories that never would have occurred to us otherwise. Maybe there is some competition when it comes to publishing and such, but writing to me just seems like a team sport.

What do you think? Enjoy sharing your ideas? Enjoy seeing others'?

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

New Fiction Idea #41

This was just a vague setting based off a dinner conversation until Lola suddenly showed up, casually hanging upside-down via a bungee cord tied around one ankle and slicing open her hand, commenting on how warm the blood was.

Working Title: Bad Blood

Genre: Dystopian

Protagonists: Greg, an AB+ 16-year-old with dark, curly hair. Born and raised in the underbelly of his city, he's quite relaxed about robbery and such since society made him do it. He's muscular but underfed, short for his age, and has a thing scar along the left side of his jaw.
Lola, an A- 16-year-old of mixed European, Indian, and Chinese heritage. She's slender but toned and dresses in a punk lolita style that exposes a lot more skin than would be considered modest or prudent (given that robbing her of blood would be a lot easier).

Other Main Characters: Metra, Greg's (AB+) drug-addicted mother. She's kind when she's aware of anything, but she either can't or won't work.
Vincent (O+) and Abbey (O-), Lola's best friends. A gang of punks, they don't do much that would harm others, but they're political outcriers as well as adrenaline junkies. They have a pact to bury each other blood and all if anything happens, and they've already done this to Matt (B-), a former member of the pack who died in a group cliff-jumping escapade.

Antagonist: Basically everyone else, to varying degrees.

Setting: A dystopia where blood is currency, O- being the most valuable. Other types have begun to dwindle but still make up a good third of the population, and AB types are generally avoided or born in poverty.

Plot: Greg tries hard to survive no matter what it takes; Lola somewhat tries to survive but is more interested in sabotaging "the system" and daredevilling with her friends. Both find themselves caught up in a very illegal black market system and, deciding it's much better than what the government deems legal tender, seek to make it the real market. Their paths will cross at a few points, but, for the most part, they're followed independently.

Point of View: Third-person, limited to Greg and Lola at different times/chapters.

Still very hazy, especially plot-wise, and the twin protagonists bit may be difficult to pull off, but it interests me.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Unemployment Line

Just because I don't write a certain story doesn't mean the characters will never see the light of day. In fact, a lot of the time I come up with a setting long before I know who's in it, and in times like this, I take a look at some of my "abandoned" characters to fill the void.

For example, the current cast of New Fiction Idea #40 consists of Cahokia and Axum from Man in the Blade and Dobson and Crick from Mount. Given the totally different universe, they're not precisely their old selves, but what fun would it be if they were?

In another vein, I've taken fan characters for fan fictions and turned them into fantastic creatures for OCTs. How would this character react to having powers? What powers would fit this one? What powers would be the worst for this other one?

It's really quite similar to writing Alternate Universe fan fiction—take a character from one place, put them in another, and see how much changes or stays the same. It may seem a bit like cheating or copying, but there are only so many character traits out there. Why try to put together an entirely new set every time when you can just take an old friend or archetype and tweak it?

And some of my characters are just too dear to me to be left behind altogether. If I can't write them in their original setting, why shouldn't I pick them up and put them somewhere else? I think they deserve a place in my stories outside of my head, and I'll try not to make them wait in line too long.

How about you? Copy-pasting any characters of your own?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Mayflies, Chapter Six

Well, not the whole chapter, but at least a bit of it. This is still only an unrevised version, but I thought it might be nice to leave a little update on this story for you. It's coming along at about 170 words a day, so, not that quickly, but that only means I don't have to feel like I need a lot of energy to work on it.

Anyway! Enjoy this bit from Matthew's POV.

(Also, I'm sure Julian will soften up eventually, but he's awfully fun to write.)

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

We manage to collapse in Julian’s main room before our wings burst from our backs. As I’m spread out face-down, the extra weight seems to crush in on my panting lungs, but a cold tingle of relief passes through me. How did I ever hold these in?
I can’t hear the footfalls over my breathing, but Julian steps in and peers down at us. He checks the doorway for pursuers before sighing and sitting down nearby. 
“Did you make it?” he asks.
“Barely,” I croak.
My brother pushes himself up, although his breathing is no more quiet than mine. “Three fish,” he says, pushing the purchase towards the scribe. “We were going to get some avocados, too, but we couldn’t stay long enough to haggle.”
Julian frowns a bit more. “So that’s all you got?”
Jonathan nods, sitting up straighter. “We didn’t spend all of the beads—”
“You spent too many,” the scribe snaps, although neither of us has shown him our change yet. My brother and I stare at him blankly as we catch our breath.
“What?” Jonathan finally starts.
“Why on earth did you get something you have to cook?” Julian squints at the wrapped fish, scuffing his foot as if to kick dirt over them. “Were you really so confident you’d be able to hide those wings long enough to stay outside and tend to a fire?”
My brother and I exchange a look. I had not thought that far ahead. We haven’t bought or otherwise taken fish in a long time. On occasion we’ve caught them ourselves, but we were always far enough in the wilderness we didn’t worry any more than usual about being caught. I hadn’t thought about how we would cook these. We certainly won’t be starting a fire inside the house—I’m sure we could keep it contained, but I don’t want to risk burning Julian’s house down, especially with all of his books—and there could easily be people passing by outside.
With an exasperated grunt, the scribe swoops down and scoops the fish off the floor. “I don’t know how much presence of mind it takes to operate those wings, but do try to catch up with the rest of us in the way of common sense.” He stomps towards the doorway. “I’ll go out and cook the stupid things so I didn’t waste my money on you. Idiots!”
Without another look back at us, he flits outside and beyond our range of vision. My brother and I sit for a minute, finally breathing normally but speechless nevertheless.
“Is it too late to apologize?” I eventually start, stretching out my wings. They feel awfully cramped. Where exactly have they been jammed this whole time?
“I doubt he’ll think any better of us if we do.” Jonathan sighs, pulling in a wing to lie on his side. “We can definitely thank him, though.”

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Must Stop Fangirling over my Own Characters

Since I seem to have issues when it comes to being a fangirl of characters that I created myself (which may not be the best thing when I'm trying to write stories that don't necessarily revolve around them), I decided to make a list of the victims of my affection. It's not ordered.

  • Cahokia: The cutest Britt (man from the nation of Brittack, as it were) on the list by far. He's rather weak and not that determined a character, but he's so much of a literature nerd and overall eccentric that I can't bear to leave him behind, even if Man in the Blade is never drawn up.
  • The Gentleman: No, he has nothing to do with certain other characters who qualify themselves as gentlemen. He's just quite the chivalrous character, but hardly in a way that patronises the females. He's also a calm psychopath. And he kills people using a rapier, an umbrella, or most often his hat. That is all.
  • English (of my silly little webcomic of personified language): I don't know; he just turned out really cute. And he's sort of the lonely type (since he beats up other languages so much according to the old joke), so he's a bit of a woobie.
  • Master Fire: He would be more on the hot side than cute, I suppose (no pun intended). I'm not entirely sure why I fangirl over him, because he's more of the bad-boy type and a devoted drunk, but I guess he has enough snark to keep his character afloat. And I like his hair.
  • Clyde: Oh, Clyde. Who would have known that I would turn out fangirling over someone based off a Pac-Man ghost? He's just kind of cute and sassy, and, to avoid spoilers, I'll just say he's been through an awful lot to be as cheerful as he is.
  • Francisco: He's just so eccentric; I don't know. He certainly has the joy of life about him, and the ease with which he puts on his air of self-confidence is pretty cool when, outside the cruise ship he's really nothing special.
  • Dobson and Crick: They're not even really characterised. Yet here they are. Cute accompaniment, I guess...
  • Macbay: He's kind of grimy, but in more of a way that makes you smile and shake your head than frown at him. Although that happens, too. He's not very attractive, but his powers are quite excellent, and, oh, I don't know. He has enough of a sarcastic streak for me.

Friday, December 6, 2013

New Fiction Idea #40

This is all very tentative, but I do like the magic system.

Working Title: Rock and Roll Fantasy

Genre: Fantasy

Protagonist: Chuck, a 20-year-old man with shoulder-length blonde hair he keeps in a ponytail. He's rather unimposing, cheerful, and nerdy when it comes to literature. He can get serious, though, when it comes to patriotism and protecting his loved ones.

Other Main Characters: Donna, a 20-year-old Tarrer with curly, black hair about the same length as her fiance Chuck's. She looks like a bit more of a threat than Chuck, but she's still notmuch above average in stature. She's generally gentle and feminine, but she'll beat the tar out of people when she needs to.
Taylor, a 22-year-old man who is very tall and on the scrawnier side. He dresses well and is the insufferable genius type. Aside from the arrogance, he's a good person.
Nathan, a 23-year-old Devver who is shorter and stockier than his "adoptive big brother" Taylor. He's generally quiet but a very good problem-solver, and he doesn't have a great tendency to use his powers more for the common good than for his personal amusement.

Antagonist: Mel Kougre, a tall but short-haired man with an always-present evil grin. Though he can be amiable and caring, he's ruthless for power and already has quite a bit of it.

Setting: In general, a standard medieval-type fantasy kingdom, although a bit more casual than is typical. There are several varieties of magic that all the public (with the exception of those who don't practise magic, of course) can access. There are also some special types of people with extra abilities sort of in exchange for only having access to one species of typical magic. There are the Twisters—limited to sound-based magic but with the ability to shapeshift into animate objects—the Durers—limited to perception-based magic but with the ability to manipulate romantic attraction—the Devvers—limited to fire-based magic but with the ability to incite or dispel fits of madness—the Cinders—limited to water-based magic but with the ability to teleport—the Hailers—limited to flight-based magic but with extreme acrobatic abilities—and the Tarrers—limited to strength-based magic but to a greater degree than normals; they're also all female. At a glance, a person's magical prowess can be estimated by the volume of his or her hair.

Plot: Mel has most of the royal court under his finger and is plotting to overthrow King Neal II. Chuck, a sometime tutor for the royal sons, is one of the few to suspect the plot and decides to overthrow it, but it won't be as diplomatic as he would have hoped.

Point of View: Third person, limited to Chuck.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Genre Schmenre

I've never been good at figuring out precisely what genres I write. In fact, when a professor asked me what kind of stories I write, I took a moment and replied, "Anything that could never happen in real life."

Of course, that mostly puts me in science fiction and fantasy, but now there are so many subgenres of those that I still don't know where I fit. Steampunk is more of a cosy niche, but those I label with that genre can be questionable because most of them really aren't that "punk." Macbay, of course, would have to count because he goes against the government basically his whole life and for the whole story, but Mount? I think it only follows the steampunk aesthetic without really being a steampunk story. So what on earth does that make it?

Then there are the handful of story ideas that don't even fall into one of those broader categories. Generally, I'll label them horror because, being myself, I usually end up killing or otherwise harming everyone. But is that really what constitutes a horror novel? What about thriller? Where's the line? Four Walls is trying to be literary—can that even work hand-in-hand with the horror genre? Or is it horror at all?

And what difference does it really make? I'll judge a book by its cover and synopsis before I ever see what genre it's assigned, but I suppose those in turn are based on the genre. But what if it's more of a general feel of the book? Is that or genre more important? And how does genre affect audiences on ebook sites, like Smashwords, where I'll be publishing? If I label my books incorrectly, will those interested not be able to find it? How specific a genre/subgenre does the average reader prefer?

Basically, genres confuse me, but they're necessary. Do tell me about them, if you like.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Fragments VI

The madness will never stop.

  • A dystopia where everyone chooses to be bound to a certain mode of transport (skateboard, rollerblades, etc.) for life and is inducted into a faction for that vehicle and trained to hate all other factions
  • A world where magic can bring one corpse (in good condition) back to life in exchange for killing someone else, and vise versa
  • "in a flash, he backhanded Ace across the jaw." (Mac dictionary entry: backhand)
  • A character with sporadic fatal insomnia
  • A "bad guy" protagonist
  • "We just had a 15-Watt laser delivered to us, but they didn't give us any instructions." (overheard during my physics lab)
  • Cities that look like giant circuit boards
  • Powers based off famous paradoxes (i.e., an archer whose arrows behave similarly to the Doctor Who statue-things for Zeno's paradox)
  • A car park echoing with the sound of scrapers getting ice off the various windshields
  • A "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" type of Hetalia fan fiction

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Dream Journal #17

Ah, it's been too long since I had a good, long dream.

24 Nov—25 Nov

Two ambiguous female friends and I were in casual Hetalia cosplays when we boarded a plane. We crowded into the same row, which spanned at least seven seats, and prepared to sit down, but in the row in front of us was America himself. We got his attention and asked him if he could figure out our cosplays. He managed to figure out my friends', but when it came to me, he didn't know I was supposed to be Belgium, even when I secretly slipped on a black headband.

I was lounging sideways in my seat and the one next to it, with my arm over the seat in front of me. I nearly tumbled to the back of the plane upon takeoff, but I managed to stay in place. There was something wrong, though—the pilot would at one point cite stormy skies that I could not detect—and we came back down to land. All of us got out of the plane to find we had landed next to a swath of grass interrupted by two adjacent hay-filled pens. A farmer lady resided over the cows of many ages that roamed the small area. Some of the other flyers gave her a hand, but I was a little scared to help.

We got back in the plane and taxied to the original takeoff location, where we tried again. We landed again. We took off again. We landed again and went back to the cow pens. This time, I decided to be brave and help birth a calf. The farmer gave me one of the soup cans she had. It was a large but inconspicuous size and filled with chicken, rice, and carrot pieces, and its top was a pull-tab type. I had already known from my first time there that the baby cow was inside.

Still not sure what to do, I tried to recall what I had seen the first time we came to the pens. There were some wooden turntables on the ground, nearly obscured by the hay, so I tried to start by setting the can on one of them. The farmer lady told me to open the can, so I did. The little calf inside was black, with tiny ears, and very soft and cute. I was ready to take him out, but the farmer told me I had to pray for the calf first. I did so and started to decant the chicken and rice from the can so the calf could get out. The next time I looked at him, he was a full-size calf.

Since the cow pen was actually right across the street from a house that I knew to be mine, I decided to go over and clean myself up, but I didn't want my parents to realise that I was there and not on the plane. Hurrying up the outside stairs, which were white metal steps in concrete, I caught a glimpse of my mother through a window on the first floor. She was smoking a cigarette, which shocked me.

I went inside and hurried to my personal powder room, which was separated from my room by a wall with a doorless gap. The lighting was rather dark, but the powder room was a sort of balcony overlooking a narrow atrium area on the floor below, which was mostly empty save for a few pieces of furniture and some large windows. I went to the sink, which was designed to spray over and across the table on which it resided without getting any of the things on it wet. Once my hands touched the water, though, some of the spray got onto a magazine I had set on the table. I washed my hands and armpits and looked out to the atrium again. I couldn't see the plane through the windows; there was only street where it must have been parked previously.

Hurrying to the hallway, I found that my two friends had come into the house with me—I didn't see them, but they had quite obviously used two of the large, black showers lining the other side of the hall, considering they had hung loofahs, washrags, and the capes of their cosplays all over the black tile.

I made it downstairs, still inside the house, and found my friends. The pilot was also there, on his phone, and he informed us that he had called to get the plane back over here and there was no reason to worry. A butler was also there, and he informed us that the plane ride, which was for a school lab, was going to take six hours and thirty minutes. I balked—it was getting late by now—and then he asked my friends and I if we wanted him to go ahead and start our baths for when we got back.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Lee's Island, Part 4

The beginning of the madness can be found here.

Part 4, in which the only character in a scene needs to be named several times and dire situations are easily forgotten.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*


"I think we need to post watches," TenTen said. "Whoever or whatever attacked me might come back. I'll go first, then Sakura, then Naruto, and then Lee will go. Sound okay to you?"

"Yeah, it makes sense. Wake me up when it's my turn," Sakura said, yawning and walking to the shabby hut. "I don't want to go to sleep yet," Naruto said.
"You don't have to, but when Sakura's shift is over, you'll have to be awake or we might all die."
There was a moment of silence. "Uh, I don't want to die, believe it!" Naruto said.
"I don't either. I suggest you get to sleep while you can."
Naruto mumbled, "Okay, fine."
Naruto walked over to the hut where Sakura was snoring as softly as Lee was loudly. "How am I supposed to get to sleep with all this snoring?! Believe it!" Naruto lay down on his leaf, covering his ears. But he couldn't sleep. An hour passed, and Naruto was playing with his kunai, given up hope of sleeping. TenTen walked in and shook Sakura. "My turn already?" she said softly, getting up. "Naruto, quit playing! You should get some sleep while you can!" TenTen walked over to her leaf and went to sleep. Forget it, Naruto thought. I can stay awake if I want to, believe it. He continued to play with his kunai. An hour later, Sakura walked in. "Naruto?" she said. "It's your watch." Naruto got up and walked outside as Sakura walked into the shack. Naruto got to the shore and sat down. After a few minutes, he said, "Well, this sucks. This is boring! Believe it!" A couple of minutes later, Naruto lay on the shore asleep.
When he got up, the sun was high in the sky. "Okay, Bushy Brow, it's your shift! Believe it!" he yelled. He walked into the hut and looked around. No one was there. "Sakura? TenTen? Bushy Brow?" He said, looking around. He walked back outside and shouted their names into the air. No response. "Oh, great, everyone's gone." Naruto said. He walked to the shore and began to search the island. He walked into the forest and searched around, but suddenly stopped. A strange noise was coming from the top of one of the trees. Naruto looked up but saw nothing. He climbed up towards the noise. He reached the top, but Naruto Uzamaki saw nothing. Then he realized that the noise was coming from the next tree over. He jumped to the neighboring tree and looked around. The strange sound was much louder than before. "Hello? Anybody there?" he called. The noise seemed to grow louder each second. Naruto had to cover his ears. "What the heck is making that noise?!" he yelled, the noise still growing louder. "Forget it! I'm out of here, believe it!" he said, jumping through trees and out of the forest.
"Help!" Sakura screamed. She was right under a tree in the forest, bound and gagged. "Somebody help!" She was lying next to TenTen, who was also bound and gagged. Naruto and Lee weren't there. TenTen thought, Sakura, shut up. It's not like anybody's going to know it's you. Then the two girls heard someone. Someone who was headed straight towards them. The person arrived right in front of them. It was a boy, not much older than them. He had jet-black hair, blood-red eyes, and a Demon Wind Shuriken on his back. "Having fun, girls?" he said. "Not much!" Sakura replied unclearly. The boy chuckled. "So someone else is stranded here, hmm? Well, this is my island, and any tresspassers," he paused just long enough to draw the shuriken from his back, "will be killed." Sakura was squirming around, searching for an exit. My gosh, Sakura, TenTen thought, get ahold of yourself. The only way we can get out is if he lets us out, and I doubt that'll happen anytime soon. The boy unfolded his shuriken so it was at full size. He swung his arm back, ready for the kill. Then he fell down hard.
Rock Lee of the Village Hidden in the Leaves was there on his back. "Lee!" Sakura said, although no one could tell. Lee quickly ran over and untied her while the boy was down. It didn't take long for the kidnapper to recover, though. He stood up, readying his Demon Wind Shuriken, but it was in vain. Lee ran over to him, fast as lightning, and shot the shuriken five miles away. "That's it! You're all going down!" he yelled, making some hand signs. "Steel Forming Jutsu!" Suddenly, out of thin air, ten dozen shuriken appeared. Lee quickly freed TenTen while he had the chance. "You're not the only one who can make can make weapons appear!" TenTen said, taking out two scrolls. "Rising Twin Dragons!" She jumped into the air with the scrolls swirling around her. Out of the scrolls came various weapons, which TenTen threw at the kidnapper. The boy screamed, weapon after weapon falling upon him. Finally, TenTen jumped down and landed on a clear spot. A barely audible groan came from one pile of sharp objects. "Good to see your scrolls still work," Sakura said.
"You said it."
"Let's go before he gets up," Sakura said.
"Okay. I wonder where Naruto got to?"
Sakura sighed. "Who knows? He abandoned his post and somehow avoided that guy," she said. The three walked back to the hut where Naruto was waiting.
"Hey! There you are!" he called, seeing them approach. "What happened last night?" Sakura asked. "You fell asleep, didn't you?!"
"Uh, maybe," he said. "Naruto!!" Sakura jumped up and hit him on the head. Naruto groaned as Sakura yelled loudly at him. "Sakura, shut it. We'll need our energy for more important things," TenTen said. "Okay, fine." Thanks, TenTen, Naruto thought, rubbing his head.
"So what do we do now?"
"I guess we should go ahead and look for some lunch. Should we fish or try to find something in the forest?"
"Fish."
"Fish."
"Forest."
"Okay, we'll go ahead and fish then. Sorry, TenTen."
"That's okay." she said and headed towards the shore. TenTen started to throw kunai at swimming fish. "These are kind of hard to catch, though."
"Here, I'll help," Sakura said, walking up to her. "I'll need to borrow some kunai, though."
"No problem. I have plenty. Here you go," TenTen said, handing a couple of kunai to Sakura. "Thanks. Wow, these fish are pretty fast swimmers!"
"You said it. At least I have good aim!" Sakura laughed. "Yeah, yours is probably better than mine!"
"So what are we supposed to do?" Naruto asked.
"Well, Sakura and I have got the fishing covered. I guess you guys could do target practice or something."
"Okay, sure," Naruto said, walking over to a tree. He drew a target on it with a kunai, backed up, and started throwing kunai, sometimes missing the target completely. "I think I will do some squats," Lee said.
"Sure, whatever you want to." Lee started doing squats, counting each quietly. Soon Sakura asked TenTen, "Do you think this is enough?"
"Yeah, probably. But you never know when you're feeding boys." she said with a chuckle. "Good point!" Sakura said. "So can we eat now or what?" Naruto asked impatiently. "Not yet. We still have to gut them and fry them. Oh, that gives me an idea! Hey, Lee?" Rock Lee ran towards her. "Yes?"
"Do you think you could get us some ocean water and something to hold it in? It might make the fish taste better." Beginning to run into the forest, Rock Lee replied, "Sure! I'll be back!"

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

New Fan Fiction Idea #22

I actually started writing this one but gave up during the second chapter. I could go back to it eventually.

Working Title: White Room

Fandom: Hetalia

Genre Tags: Mystery/Drama or General

Length: Multichapter

Protagonist: No one character in particular.

Other Main Characters: The main nine characters have no recollection of themselves and refer to each other by the numbers on their wristbands. In reality, the characters are the Axis and Allies (including Canada).

Antagonist: Unclear for most of the story, where most of the obstacles are machines and puzzles. They're two men, though, and they're not necessarily on a totally different side than the mains.

Setting: An indoor facility with wide rooms, thick walls, and heavily locked doors (when they're meant to be locked). Rooms with food, water, and other facilities are distributed at nearly-even intervals between the main rooms.

Plot: The main characters awaken in hospital beds arranged in a grid. Not knowing who they are, they try to figure it out and escape. They must go through a series of puzzles and physical trials before they can meet the operators at the end and realise who they are.

Point of View: Third person (omniscient).

Saturday, November 23, 2013

No One's Really Sure What Became of Waldo

(Title from the "Hot for Teacher" music video.)

So, what's the point of coming to love my characters or story ideas here if you never get to find out what happened to them? I've decided to post an update of what (little) progress I've made with these.

Most have been untouched, unfortunately. There's just not enough time to toy with them.

The stories that have at least been elaborated upon in my mind:


The stories that have received extra attention through prompts: New Fiction Idea #27 (Promptness), Roughhouse (Prompt Writing #3), Bloom (Prompt Writing #4), Macbay Transportation Services (Prompt Writing #2)

The stories that have begun:


The stories that have made serious progress: Mayflies (14,872 words), The Long and Winding Road (107,529 words; 90,286 words in original fiction version)

It feels slow, but it's at least nice to know I have been going somewhere with some of these. What kind of progress do you expect—for me, or yourself?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Yet Another Prioritising Special

Another 20 new fiction ideas have come, so here's the special.

Top of the List:
These are stories that I really want to write (or at least plot out/world-build, etc.) as soon as humanly possible.
  1. Piracy Cruise Lines (have begun writing, but barely)
  2. I'm with the Band (sounds terribly fun if I can decide on an adventure/enemy; actually started writing but got distracted by finding the perfect format for chapter numbers)
  3. Blood, Brain, Body (it's just fun and epic, for lack of a better term)
  4. Roughhouse (after the writing prompt, I'm really starting to appreciate these characters, and I love a good fight or two)
  5. Contestant Zero (game shows are overdone, but this just seems like a lovely fiction to work with)
Almost Top of the List:
These are stories that really interest me but aren't yet demanding to be written.
  1. Dead Man's Hand (it really seems interesting; it just doesn't particularly speak to me)
  2. Bloom (the plot is hazy at best, but I do like this one)
  3. Four Walls (mostly turned off by the research I'd have to do and the overall seriousness; the worldbuilding also needs adjustment)
  4. Figments (I like the story, and the main character, although I'm really not sure that this could end up novel-length)
  5. New Fiction Idea #33 (I love the characters, but the plot just doesn't want to cooperate)
In the Middle:
These are stories I may or may not write, depending on whether some discovery about the story suddenly makes it more appealing.
  1. Portalmancy (I love the magic system and I think the story could work overall; not sure why I don't like it more)
  2. Dynblaidd (it seems like it could be cool, although I'm still not sure about the basic worldbuilding)
  3. The Piper (not sure about the ambiguous time period or main mystery, but it could still work out)
  4. Storm Clouds Rise (it's interesting, but the plot isn't clear and it's too easy to see as racist)
  5. New Fiction Idea #27 (it's okay, and I feel like Cayman's organisation is pretty original, but I'm really not feeling attached to it at this point)
Just Meh:
These are stories that really don't particularly appeal to me yet. I may not feel capable of handling the material or style, or it was just a passing whimsy I wanted to note.
  1. A Job to Do (the emotions in it would be fun to write, and the world may be cool, but it just isn't calling to me, and it doesn't seem terribly original)
  2. Home By the Sea (just isn't as appealing as I originally wanted)
  3. The Adventures of Donny Quigley from Smudgen, Kansas (Could be kind of fun, but long and not quite silly enough to sustain)
  4. Check (the original concept was kind of fun, but it just doesn't interest me)
  5. New Fiction Idea #34 (way too close to the source material to seem original)
What do you think? Disappointed or encouraged? Had a different list of what you wanted to see first?

I may try to splice this with my previous prioritising post if anyone's interested.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Words to Use and Love

While my main love is for the stories and sometimes the characters, I have to appreciate the words themselves. Here are a few of my favourites (usually just because of the sound of them), although I haven't always had the chance to squeeze them in naturally.

I was going to provide the definitions in this post, but that might be a little long. As it is, I'm only posting a small portion of my saved words.

spangled                                     brown study                                  apoplectic
etiolated                                      fomite                                           larrup
bespatter                                     torrefy                                           divulse
boffin                                         catawampus                                  ravelment
wowser                                      erubescent                                     cunctation
skylark                                       mantic                                           agnate
asseverate                                   hoary                                            chockablock
impecunious                               aureate                                          abstergent
nidus                                          melismatic                                    mumpsimus
foofaraw                                    overslaugh                                    sumpsimus
lucubration                                nervure                                          aliquant
coffle                                         skirr                                               hypethral
malapert                                     bosh                                              deflagrate
incondite                                    hew                                               orectic

So, what are your thoughts? Have any words of your own that have never quite fit in a scene, or are a little too rare for the common reader (and often spellcheck)?

Saturday, November 16, 2013

New Fiction Idea #39

Unrelated, but this is the first time I typed out the New Fiction Idea profile without reference.

Working Title: I'm with the Band

Genre: Adventure/Fantasy

Protagonist: Jaron, a pale, gangly 16-year-old with very curly dark hair and a freckled face. He plays bassoon (third-chair) in his school band and wishes he could play electric guitar. A total doormat, he's cheerful and takes insults and setbacks in stride. He's also a proponent of chivalry and in general just a total dork. It's also quite possible that he's The Chosen One in this story.

Other Main Characters: Erika, a 17-year-old who's on the tall side and of otherwise average build. Her hair is a smooth curtain of uniform brown that hangs to just above her shoulders. She's rather pale and has a prominent nose and slanted eyes. Of few words, she is generally hostile and not afraid to fight. She plays drums for a small, school-friends-type jazz band.
(Luke) Smith, a 17-year-old with longish, shaggy blonde hair that gets in his eyes. He's fairly bulky but of average height. He tries a little too hard to be cool and low-key, but he's a bit of a Stevie Ray Vaughn fanboy. He plays electric guitar for an incomplete bluesy rock band (the only other member being the pianist Hilary).

Antagonist: Rudy, an adult male with long, black hair and an impressive stature. Obsessed with jazz, he will do anything to keep the nighttime jazz clubs going.

Setting: While all of the main characters are in an average, modern-day American high school at the beginning, the setting changes to Gwelan when the plot begins. While it's a sort of medieval-type town, the residents don't seem at all surprised by electric instruments.

Plot: Jaron wakes up one day to find himself in a sandy area of Gwelan with a bass guitar strapped across his shoulder. After discovering that he is able to play the instrument quite well despite never studying it, he wends his way to the centre of town to find that the townspeople are in the midst of a terrible insomnia plague spread by birdlike monsters. While the town has had some defenses against the creatures, they prove to be particularly susceptible to the power of rock music. Jaron is able to take on the smaller creatures by himself, but once the attacks heighten, he must join forces with Erika and Smith to survive and stop an imminent war with the monsters' creator.

Point of View: First person (Jaron).

This probably doesn't need to be said, but this won't be the most serious story I have planned. I'm not sure exactly what type of quest is suitable for the plot, so I'm still toying with various ideas there.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Prompt Writing #4

This one's certainly different, but it's not the worst.

Prompt: [Yeah Writers blog]

"Write a story from the perspective of an imaginary friend of someone who is not a young child anymore (over 12). But they only exist while the person is thinking of them, lately there have been many other things on their mind."

Randomly Selected Story and Character (after rejecting a few randoms that just wouldn't fit): Bloom, M


*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

I doubt she has much need for me anymore.

I know I've been her lifeline for a while, years, even. A dark cage can't be the best place to find friendship, nor keep one's self sane. As alone as she's always been—well, without any "real" companionship, at least—I don't think she would be able to talk now if it weren't for me. She wanted me to listen, so I did. She wanted me to speak back, so I did. Whatever she needed—someone else with unexplained abilities, with girl problems, with dreams of the outside world—I was. I had no choice; I was hers.

There was never anything wrong with that. She was the reason I even existed; why wouldn't I want to be her friend? Why wouldn't I want to help ease the pain of being alone for so many years? I needed her, too. Just as I listened to her, she listened to me. I knew there were others out there, some like her, some unlike her, but I never wanted to leave. I was needed in that cage, and I really did belong there with her.

When she left, finally ran outside and pulled me along with her, I was excited. We even had a new friend, Lawrence. Or, she did. He could never hear me. I don't know why I expected him to. He wasn't my special friend, nor I his.

At first she would talk to me about him, like girls are supposed to talk. But she started to talk to him more. That was all right. Then the real running started.

We always knew she was kept in that cage for a reason, and that she wasn't supposed to be let out. I couldn't have been any more surprised than her when the others tried to hunt us down. When her thoughts turned more to survival than friendship. When she only had time for friends that could actually interact with the rest of the world to help her keep running.

I was patient. They couldn't stay after her forever, and, once they pulled back, she and I could start talking again. But she kept talking to Lawrence. She kept running. I kept fading.

Sleep felt strange. When she was asleep, when she had stopped thinking of me in the cage, I would sleep. When she turned a blind eye to me in her waking moments, I still slept. I actually started missing things. I didn't see her for days. Weeks.

Even now, as we chat quietly over a fire and a sleeping Lawrence, I can barely hang on. She's not focused on me. She hasn't been lately. I'm not even sure when the last time I saw her was—her hair seems longer, her body thinner.

Maybe she'll keep me around to talk about Lawrence sometimes. Maybe she'll let me stay awake—alive—even if she barely needs me. We've been best friends for years, and we can't turn our backs on that. Right?

I can't fight the feeling that she might do just that. Would that be all right? I've only existed to help her stay sane, and now she doesn't need my help with that. Is it okay if I sleep forever, having already served my purpose? It sounds like it should be. Maybe I can come to believe it wholly if I have the time.

For now, I'll cling to life whenever she needs me to.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

New Fan Fiction Idea #21

This is actually a really old one (the fandom shows it), and I doubt I'll ever return to it, but someone else could always adjust it to his or her liking and give it a shot.

Working Title: Dimensional Analysis

Fandom: Naruto

Length: Multichapter

Genre Tags: Romance/Adventure

Protagonist: Sakura (pre-Shippuden).

Other Main Character: Rock Lee (also pre-Shippuden)—many different versions of him.

Antagonist: The nameless old witch or whatever that sends Sakura off in the first place.

Plot: Sakura's and Lee's teams are fighting on a mission together when the antagonist casts some sort of jutsu to tear the group apart among alternate dimensions until her plot (which they had been trying to stop) can come to fruition. Sakura ends up in some modern-day-like dimension where she runs into Lee's alternate version, who has been forced into a gang, but she's able to help him escape. Upon that, she ends up in another dimension, where she again runs into the next version of Lee. Soon enough she figures out that somehow giving him real help is what can get her into the next universe, so she tries to keep universe-hopping until she ends up home. Of course, no one can stand that much Lee without falling in love with him, so...

Setting: It starts somewhere in the Naruto-verse, pre-Shippuden, but goes to a heck of a lot of alternate universes, not all in the same climate or time period.

Point of View: First person or third-person limited (Sakura).

Friday, November 8, 2013

Applied Physics

Despite my deep loathing of the subject, I've found that physics can, in fact, be useful. Even to writing. More specifically, I found the explanation of elasticity to be quite relatable to how I tend to develop my characters. Here's a lovely illustration for those unfamiliar with this concept:

At the beginning, the stress (basically, force or pressure) gets added to the object, and the strain (stretching or compression) of the object increases proportionally. So, when the story just starts out and the character's troubles have only begun, he can adjust to the stress put on him and grow without being harmed too much.
Once the elastic limit is hit, things start to get weird. No longer is the relationship between stress and strain so simple. The object can still stretch and compress, but it doesn't take much more stress, and, once the stressor is removed, the object can't return to its original state; it is permanently deformed. So, once our main character reaches a certain amount of stress or trauma, it just isn't something he can adjust to. He can indeed rise above the circumstances, but he has to stretch himself too much to do so, and he'll just never be able to go back to the person he was.
Last but hardly least is the fracture or breaking point. What happens to the object there should be obvious. The character, likewise: whatever he used to be before, he is now but a broken shell of a man.
Exactly how much stress you want to put on a character, or how much he can handle before hitting one point or the other, can and ought to vary from author to author, story to story, and character to character. Want to break everybody? Go ahead. Just warp them? Sure. Break a few, warp a few, and just stretch the others a little? No problem. It just depends on what kind of story you want to tell and what kind of characters you want to deal with.


Monday, November 4, 2013

New Fiction Idea #38

This struck me in the middle of a lecture. More specifically, I saw the MC struggling to carve her name into a wall already riddled with others' in an attempt to leave something of herself.

Slightly related to my Hunger Games ripoff.

Working Title: Four Walls

Genre: Horror/maybe even Literary

Protagonist: Elizabeth, a 19-year-old Midwestern American WASP. She has frizzy, medium-brown hair that she keeps in a low ponytail, and she's rather skinny but average height. She's only talkative around friends, although she doesn't mind being around people.

Other Main Characters: Raj, a 20-year-old American of Indian heritage. He's a bit boy-faced and a people-pleaser, although he can get fairly pushy with his Christianity. He had recently been accepted into medical school, which is a huge deal at this point in time.
Lili├ína, a 27-year-old Hungarian woman with thin, dark brown hair that curls to her shoulders. She knows a bit of English but stays silent for (as far as I can see at this point) the entire story and spends 
most of her free time sitting on her bunk.
Thulani (name could be changed), a 15-year-old African (country not yet determined, but not a well-off one) boy who's quite 
obviously been underfed his whole life. He speaks some English and is quite cheerful and plucky.
Adil, a 30-year-old Saudi Arabian man with hair of average length and a broken nose. He's a Muslim and generally quite kind, but when he gets angry, run. He's fluent in English.
Momo, a 14-year-old Japanese girl who's from the country and knows little to no English. She's very small-framed and wears her hair without adornment to her shoulders. She is loosely Shinto, the lonely type, and cries easily.
Others will be added.

Antagonists: Sometimes the guards assigned to keep them where they are, but most often each other.

Setting: On a wide scale, future Earth with a disturbing population problem. The story itself is contained in a dilution camp with bunk-bed cabins that hold about sixteen but are often crammed much tighter.

Plot: Elizabeth and the others have been selected randomly (well, by stratified sampling—randomly chosen after being divided into groups based on race, gender, class, and religion) to be allowed to starve in a system that has been around for some time to curb population growth. They don't exactly all hold hands and quietly wait for the end.

Point of View: First person (Elizabeth).

Friday, November 1, 2013

Lee's Island, Part 3

More of my first fan fiction. Part 1 here.

In which canon and paragraphing are ignored for the sake of a fight scene and Lee gets seriously hungry:

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

    "Ugh. What happened?" Lee said, finally getting up. He looked around. None of the others were conscious. "Sakura?" Rock Lee walked over to Sakura. He knelt down and leaned over. 
    "Sakura's mine! Believe it!" said Naruto in a hoarse voice. Lee turned around to see him standing up. But this wasn't the normal Naruto. The girl's chakra stealing had forced the Kyubi to awaken inside him. 
    "Ha! There is a better chance of a squirrel becoming Hokage!" Lee retorted. 
    "She's mine!" Neither Lee nor Naruto seemed to notice that Sakura had gained conciousness. "Grrrrrrr! I'll take you down! Believe it!" 
    Lee started to grin. "I would like to  see you try." 
Naruto charged at Lee, grabbing a kunai. Lee jumped up, about five feet into the air, and Naruto threw his kunai at him. Lee drew out his own kunai and knocked Naruto's out of the sky and into the ocean. Sakura did nothing but watch. She sighed, but thought, Boys are fighting over me! Cha! Lee ran towards Naruto, his right arm back and his hand curled into a fist. He socked Naruto on the side of his face. Lee backflipped and prepared for an attack. Stumbling backwards, Naruto almost fell over, but he steadied himself and ran towards Lee, who jumped at the last minute. Naruto ended up swiping the air. Lee descended, taking care to land on Naruto. Naruto was flat on the ground when he made three hand signs and said, "Shadow Clone Jutsu!" Instantly, six more Kyubi-chakra Narutos appeared. Lee drew a couple of kunai and jumped into the air. Three of the Narutos jumped up with him. Rock threw kunai at them, and they vanished in a puff of smoke. Now there's only four to deal with, Lee thought. He landed softly on the ground, with the remaining Narutos rushing towards him. Suddenly they stopped. Lee was not there. The Narutos looked around. He was nowhere. Then Lee appeared, kicking the real Naruto into the air. The clones disappeared. Naruto was sailing into the air with Lee behind him. The many bandages on Lee's hands unraveled and wrapped around Naruto. "Primary Lotus!" He yelled, spinning rapidly towards the ground. When the two made contact with the earth, Lee jumped up, unharmed, and ran back towards Naruto. Naruto got up, defending himself with his arms. Lee didn't care. He charged towards Naruto and kicked him in the chest with the force of a hurricane. Naruto was down on the ground for awhile, but got up sooner than expected. He threw a punch at Lee, who easily dodged. Lee then punched Naruto, only to swipe the air. They were engaged in a brutal fistfight when Lee disappeared again. "Oh, crud," Naruto said. Lee reappeared, kicking Naruto in the air once more. Rock Lee jumped up and pummeled him until Naruto was back on the ground. Naruto now lay as motionless as he was before. Panting, Lee stood up. Lee had only noticed Sakura was up when she said, "Wow." Lee turned around, startled. 

    "Oh, hi Sakura! You doing any better?" 

    "Yep, at least better than before."

    "Okay, good. Is TenTen still down?"

    "It looks like it."

    "That cannot be good."

    "That battle was fun to watch."
    "Oh, you saw that? Well, it was no match. At least not for the handsome devil of the Leaf Village!" 
    "Lee, please."
 Then she said, "I checked TenTen for a pulse. She's alive, but it looks like it might not be for long."
    "What makes you say-" He stopped, seeing the huge amount of blood on TenTen and the sand around her. 
    "Oh, no. Do you think she will be okay?"
    "I can't tell. I guess we'll just have to hope." Lee gulped. "I guess so." After about an hour, Sakura said, "Well, I think we should get some food now. It's about noon by the looks of the sun." Lee heard his stomach growl. "Does not sound bad to me. But TenTen is... Well, she cannot catch fish for us right now. So what do we eat?" 
    "Hmmm," she said. "I know! My mom got me a little survival techniques scroll for my birthday once. Maybe it's still in my shuriken pack." She reached inside the pack on her leg and took out a small scroll. "Bingo!" she said. "Perfect! Now, let's see if there's anything about edible plants." She rolled open the scroll and looked through it before saying, "Here it is! There aren't any pictures, just descriptions. Let's go through the trees and see if any match the description."
    "But what about TenTen?"
    "Well, if she survives, I'm sure she'll be fine. Now let's go." Lee followed Sakura into the patch of trees.
"Is this one edible?" Lee asked Sakura, for the umpteenth time. "Okay, let's see here," she said, browsing through her scroll. "Blue leaves, blue leaves... I don't see it anywhere." 
    "Darn it!" Lee said, hearing his stomach grumble louder than ever. "Maybe we should try a different approach," said Sakura. "I'll look for a plant that looks like it would match this description, and you look for another." 
    "Okay. Read me mine."
    "Yours is...let's see...Okay, yours is a tree with, 'red leaves with pointed tips, three on each leaf, with small yellow fruits. Only the fruits are edible.'. Sound okay to you?"
    "Sounds good! On my way, ma'am!" Lee saluted and began to walk deeper into the forest. 
Lee had walked a total of about six miles looking for the plant. "Ugh! I cannot take this any more!" He yelled, the words echoing through the forest. Rock Lee felt like he was going to die of starvation. He plucked a portion of vine with purple leaves from a tree. "I do not care if this is poisonous," he muttered, "I am eating it anyway." He took a bite from the ivy, chewing slowly. "Huh, this is pretty good!" He said, taking a bigger bite and finishing the small portion. He snatched another bit of the plant from the tree and ate it.
About five minutes later, Rock Lee was atop the tree, which was about thirty feet tall, eating the last of the ivy. He looked down, thinking about the delicious leafy vines that had grown to the very tip of the tree. "I wonder if there is any more?" he said to himself, looking around the forest of trees. To his delight, there was a tree completely engulfed by the same ivy. He jumped off of his perch and ran towards the giant tree. When he got there, he chomped down the ivy as if he hadn't eaten for months. With only about ten minutes past, he had completely consumed all of the ivy on the tree. "Oh, is that all?" he asked to the air. He jumped down from the bough he was on, landing gently on the forest floor and walked back to camp.
Soon, Lee was back where TenTen and Naruto still lay motionless. He leaned down and placed his hand on TenTen's neck. No pulse. "TenTen?" he yelled, shaking her. "TenTen?!" No response at all. "No," he whispered. Sakura arrived next to him at that moment. "Lee?" He turned to her, tears brimming in his eyes. "Sakura, she-she is gone."
    "Oh, no," Sakura said, weeping along with Rock Lee. Naruto began to stir. No longer in Kyubi form, he said, "Huh? What's going on?" 
    "Naruto," Lee said,"TenTen-she-she is not with us anymore."
    "Uh, that's not good, is it?" Sakura whacked Naruto on the head. "Naruto, you idiot!" she yelled. Naruto groaned. "What'd I do this time?" 
    "Like you don't know!" she yelled. 
While Sakura was yelling her brains out at Naruto, Lee continued to cry. "TenTen, do not go, do not go," he said, sobbing. He stroked her hair gently. "Do not leave us, TenTen, do not..." He looked down, stopping his tearflow. He swallowed, accepting her death. "Well, guys," he said, standing up, "she is finally gone. Should we give her a proper burial?" It was all he could do to keep from breaking down in tears. "Yeah, I guess we should. But where?" 
    "Do not bury her," said a voice from nowhere.
    "Huh? Who are you?"
    "I can help her if you wish."
    "What's the catch?"
    "None. Now do you want her back or not?" 
    "Well, if you can." The ninja appeared. It was a girl, her hair a bright shade of blue. She was wearing an orange dress that reached to her mid-thighs. She walked up to TenTen, made several hand signs, and said, "Spirit Heal Jutsu!" A circle of chakra emnated from her downturned hand. TenTen's eyes twitched a little. "I must warn you," said the mystery girl, "she won't be the same."
    "But you said there was no catch!"
    "That I did. And I did not lie."
    "Then how is she different?"
    "Not of my making. It appears that blood wasn't the only thing that came out of her wounds," the girl said. "She has lost more than half of her chakra as well." Naruto, Lee, and Sakura gasped. 
The four heard a quiet moan. It came from TenTen. "What-what's going on?" she mumbled softly. "My work is done. I shall leave now." said the mystery girl. "Wait!" yelled Sakura. "I think we'll need your help a lot more than once. Could you stay with us?" 
    "I must go where the winds call me. But if one of you has died, I will know and I will come. Until we meet again." she replied, holding out her hand. "Until we meet again." Sakura said, shaking the girl's hand. "Oh, and what is your name?"
    "My name is Kikesu. And now I must go, as someone else worthy is on the edge of death. Goodbye." she said. Kikesu made four hand signs, whispered something, and disappeared into the air.  
    "That was weird," Naruto said. "Naruto! I'm THIS close to whacking you upside the head!" Sakura screamed. "TenTen? Are you okay?" Lee said, kneeling down. "I think so," TenTen said, slowly sitting up. "What happened?"
    "Well, that Undinashi person took your chakra and I think something attacked you, and then you died and then some other girl made you, uh, not dead again." Naruto said. Sakura groaned. "Naruto, you are such an idiot!" Naruto mumbled something under his breath. "I think what Naruto was trying to say is that the Undinasha clan girl used up your chakra. Something probably attacked you because there was blood everywhere, and you died. Then another girl, Kikesu, came and brought you back to life." said Rock Lee. "Know-it-all, believe it," Naruto mumbled. 
    "Kikesu said that she was saving another worthy person. Does that mean TenTen is worthy of something?"
    "Yeah, I guess so. I never really thought about that." 
Suddenly, Lee fell to the ground, grasping his stomach and crying out in pain. "Lee! Are you okay?" Sakura said. "I am not su-" Lee stopped mid-sentence and gagged. "Lee, are you sure the plant you ate was the one I told you about?"
"No, it was not. I was just so hungry..." Sakura groaned. "Lee, be more careful next time! Let's hope what you ate wasn't poisonous!" I think I'm the only one with common sense around here, cha! Sakura thought. Lee finally stopped gagging and laid himself down on one of the cushy leaves. "I think I am going to sleep now," he said. "Go ahead, we'll make do," Sakura replied. Rock Lee heard Sakura say,"So, are you okay, TenTen?" before he drifted off to sleep.