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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.