Okay. So what I posted the other day for Chapter 1 was not the chapter in its entirety, and yes it is finished, but I thought I'd go ahead and post Chapter 2. Just because. *laugh* For anyone who may want it, here's a quick recap:
Adele- Main character; an ugly, noble, 8 yr old.Rahhh--a she wolf with three pups and a terrible cold
Grawwq--eldest, largest boy pup
Curghaa--youngest boy pupBaroooi--Rahhh's nosy fox aunt
Grawwq--eldest, largest boy pup
Curghaa--youngest boy pupBaroooi--Rahhh's nosy fox aunt
Adele finds a magic map one day which transports her to another land. She doesn't yet know why, but it must be returned to the Necromancer, all the way in Promethia, and to do so she must first cross the Land of Pain and Suffering. The wolves agree to help her.
A Tale of Unlikely Magic and Wonderful Adventures
Chapter 2: A Short Interlude of Butt-Kicking
Now having a cold is a pain no matter who you are, what you are, or in what realm of existence you live, and if doesn’t matter how hard you try to pretend that’s not the truth. I could go into the details—but I won’t. Too much snot and too many coughs. Suffice it to say that by the time Rahhh got over her cold, she’d successfully passed it onto all her companions. So we’ll just pick back up with our story when everybody was healthy (except for Aunt Baroooi, and who really wanted her along?) and ready for the aforementioned adventure and danger….
Adele, the three pups and Rahhhh stood at the edge of the rock stairwell that led down to the Land of Pain and Suffering. I know what you are thinking—but yes, there was a rock stairwell. Granted it was crumbling and “fraught with peril” in and of itself, but a stairwell nonetheless. In ages past, for even the Early Realm has ancient times, this had been called, in hushed, solemn tones, The Most Fantastic and Long and Steep and Stupendous Stairwell.
The ancients weren’t so hot at picking names, you see, but you can at least get the general idea. At the top of the stairwell there read an ancient, roughly hewn stone sign that read “Warning: Those With Arterial Issues Should Turn Back Now.” In smaller, later scrawl, a line followed: “Everybody else, grab your water bottle,” which of course proves this was not the first time a human had ended up in the Early Realm and had to take The Most Fantastic and Long and Steep and Stupendous Stairwell, in order to reach the Land of Pain and Suffering, no doubt with the end goal of Promethia. For nobody in the Early Realm bothers with water bottles.
While I would like to tell you of all sorts of incredible, adventure-like things our group of travelers faced as they made their descent, I am afraid I cannot. It was fantastically uneventful, long beyond all preconceived notions of long, steeper than the highest mountain upside down, and stupendously boring. Sorry. That’s the way it is. Sometimes you want cake, and you get a cookie. Sometimes you want just something a little bit sweet, and you get a flopping salmon on your plate (which you then demand the waiter remove).
Which brings us to...the Land of Pain and Suffering.
“Ugghh, was that you,” Grawwq asked, turning himself into a ball so he could hide his face in his butt.
Adele glared at him.
“Why does everyone assume the smell is me,” she said, exasperated. “It’s this!” She swept a hand and stood real tall so they’d remember she was noble. Noble people don’t fart or stink at all, let alone fart or stink like sulfuric fire and swamp mold and rot. We know this because in the history of all histories, no one noble has ever admitted to such a thing, and as they are noble people, they would be nobly-bound to do so.
Rahhh pointed her nose straight into the mists that hung close to the belching land of fire and bog sand.
“Everybody in a line. Stay close. Follow me.” And she took the first few fated steps. The rest followed.
It was slow going. There were a couple of tail-fires, and Adele lost her right high-top in a pit of quicksand (no huge loss there, because she was obliged to chuck the other as well for comfort’s sake, and they really were awful looking shoes), but all in all things were going fairly well, considering. The first part of the day lapsed into relative monotony.
This monotony lulled them into a false sense of comfort. This was unwise, as they’d already attracted the attention of a very looming troll, and he doggedly followed their progress, sneaking through the shadows and mist. And nothing, nothing at all, could have prepared them for what happened next.
For from out of the depths of the mists and the stench there sprang a very small frog, a very looming troll, and a ninja dressed all in red. The frog is of no consequence, and soon hopped away, but the troll and the red ninja, were—as you can imagine—quite a different story.
Kapow! Whoosh! Whip, wham, bam, thump, whoosh, whoosh, kapow! went the Red Ninja on the poor troll. The Red Ninja was both nowhere and everywhere all at the same time, and was beating down on the troll so badly, so harshly, so knock-down-drag-out-fantastically, that within a few moments of the duo’s appearance the troll collapsed onto its mossy, tree-like legs, and started to cry. The crying was very loud, and very much along the lines oh “Booo whoo, booo,” sniffle, sniffle, "booo, whooo.” But the Red Ninja, lest he be deemed a sissy, was relentless in his attack.
And Adele had had enough. The nobleness of her being coursed through her veins. Before she knew what she was doing, she’d gotten out of the line, marched ahead, and yanked the Red Ninja (at that very second he’d been atop the troll’s shoulders, delivering mind-shattering pressure-point blows to the creature’s ear and neck) down by the scruff of his red pant leg, and she did it hard, too. The Red Ninja, surprised by this onslaught, sprang to his feet.
“Get back, ugly girl! I am the Red Ninja! If you engage me in combat, you must die!”
The Red Ninja backed away from Adele, straightened himself perpendicular to her, and shadowboxed the air. Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, swept his fists through the fog.
Adele remained unimpressed. The troll remained seated and crying. The hopped-away frog of no consequence remained…well…froggy.
So Adele stood there, hands clasped behind her back, waiting for the Red Ninja to stop his tomfoolery. It was a trick she’d learned from her second grade teacher and worked like a charm. Sure enough, soon the Red Ninja dropped out of his butt-kicking stance, and lowered his arms. Adele tilted her head one way at him. The Red Ninja did the same. She tilted her head the other way. So did the Red Ninja. She smiled.
“What?!” burst the Red Ninja.
“I was just waiting for you to be finished…are you?”
“I….well…” he glanced over his shoulder at the boo-whooing troll, and then back at Adele, his eyes two mere glints of darkness in the shadow of his red mask. “I…yeah, I guess...”
“Good.” She strode over to the troll. The wolves all held their bodies motionless, as if wanting to escape notice. Only their eyes followed Adele. “There, there,” she said, stroking the troll’s mossy arm—the arm alone was twice the size of Adele, who was of an average size for her age—“It’s alright now. Everything is alright,” she continued. “Does it hurt?”
The troll gave a very pointed sniffle and nodded its boulder of a head, trying a wavering smile on for size. But apparently this hurt too much, because as it did so the troll’s tears grew into buck-sized drops. The Red Ninja threw up his hands in disgust and began pacing between the swampy pits.
The troll sniffled again, and shot a look at the Red Ninja.
“Everywhere,” he huffed. “Just everywhere.”
The Red Ninja glowered.
“Hey wait a minute now,” he said in a protesting tone, “he started it.”
“Shut up, will you?” Adele’s noble streak could only run for so long—she was only eight, after all. “Good grief! Now tell me straight: which one of you is the bad guy?”
They both pointed to each other. Then, after a moment’s hesitation, the Red Ninja changed his mind and raised his hand, hanging his head a fraction as he did so.
“Oh,” the Red Ninja said slyly as he lowered his hand and produced from his ninja suit the most dangerous throwing stars ever to be thrown, even if thrown by someone like you or me, let alone a ninja with training for that sort of thing, “I wouldn’t exactly say ‘all right.’”
He threw the stars.
“In fact,” he said, voice filled with spite, “I would say ‘all wrong.’”
For with his throwing stars he’d managed to pin Adele to the ground. Seventeen stars passed through her skin and into the rotten, putrid soil. And there, in a valley of the Land of Pain and Suffering, Adele experienced exactly what it was to be pinned to the ground with her own skin and someone else’s throwing stars. Blood leaked from the scores in her flesh and spread across the ground in pools of red liquid.
“Didn’t need to make a cheesy joke,” she wheezed. And in a blink, she was out.
Having grown quite fond of their ugly duckling, the wolves sped into action. The pups were still pups, true—but they were wolf pups. Not Golden Retriever pups, or Basenji pups, or Saint Bernard pups, or even pups like Tramp (from Lady and the Tramp); they were wolves. And well, you know how wolves can be. There’s a reason they have a fearsome reputation.
The bulk of the problem when faced head-on with a wolf is that of the teeth. No; wait; the speed. No—the huge, clawed paws. No.
Well, either way, the Red Ninja was in for a galaxy of pain. Very fitting, considering the location.
Before he could even get into his butt-kicking stance, the wolf pups sank their teeth into his thigh, Grawwq on one side and his smaller brother and sister on the other. Their fangs were incredibly sharp and they sank deep. Still, the Red Ninja fought on. He and Rahhh traced the circle in which they would fight over Adele’s body by slow and steady steps, although the Red Ninja was bobbling a bit as he struggled with the wolves. But once they’d stalked each other a bit, they were at each other’s throats.
Quite literally, I mean.
Snap, flash, snap, snap, went Rahhh’s teeth at the Red Ninja’s neck, who deftly twisted out just in time. Kapow! Whoosh! Whip, wham, bam went the Red Ninja as he made for a fatal pressure-point attack behind her right ear. But he was not used to fighting wolves, and his pressure-point attack was to no avail, and so he tried to strangle her. Have you ever seen how big a wolf’s neck is? It’s big. Real big. Very foolish move on the Red Ninja’s part. Then again, he was no doubt distracted by the three sets of puppy fangs ripping through his thighs. And so it seemed that Rahhh would be the victor, and rip the Red Ninja’s esophagus clean through his red ninja suit, when all of a sudden they each glimpsed a rock above their head, felt a sharp and heavy thwak!, and saw no more. Thwack, thwak, thwack, went the rock again and out went the pups too.
The troll, towering above them, sighed a gurgling sigh, picked all the bodies up, and carried them away into the stinking fog.