Saturday, February 9, 2013


By Collin/Tekulo:

The First Winter

Winter was arriving, and soon.  The sun, which had been out for a long, long time had been warming the planet, had grown weary.  Every inch of land was radiating its heat and was lush with green as far as the eye could see.  Many animals thrived on the surface, their numbers great and their cities prosperous.  However, as wonderful as the world was, they’d complained that it was too hot. 

“We need too cool off!” they desperately pleaded to the heavens.  “Please, send us a breath of cold air!”

Now, the winds heard their plea, and they carried the message to the sun.

“It appears those on the surface have become just as tired as I.”  The sun spoke solemnly.  “Very well, gather water and ice in the sky, and send them down to the surface.  Send winds from the North and South to chill the droplets as they fall.”

The winds had begun to do as the sun had commanded and gathered many storm clouds filled with water to the heavens.  The clouds grew so abundant in the sky that they began to drip and drop all the way down to the earth.  The winds began to rejoice with their success as they had more than enough water to help cool the earth.  They began to dance and twirl, and they put on a brilliant show of light and sound. 

“Help us!  Help us!” the animals cried to the heavens, “The water is too high!  We cannot breathe for much longer!”

The winds could not hear these pleas as they were howling up a storm.  Finally, when the winds grew tired of their celebration, they began to keep still, and a fierce chill fell over the dark, silent ocean which was once green with vegetation.  Ice slowly began to form and it covered the entire world!  It remained that way for some time until, finally, the sun returned from its restful slumber. 

“Wake up!  Wake up!” it called to the dead winds, groggy from their festivities. 

The winds did look around, and when they saw few animals who had managed to survive in the ice, they realized their mistake. The sun, now angry, released his fire and warmed the world once more.

To this day, the sun has never again left its world and so winter and summer began to dance around each other creating spring, autumn and balance to the world.


By Alex/TWA:


Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Without the chicken there would be no egg, yet without the egg there would be no chicken. What an odd world we live in where such a question is still debated today. Surely, if answers had been presented, we should no longer need the question. Yet here it is. I’m using it right now, as pretentiously as I possibly can.

As I mull the question over in my head, a brief smack to my ear drags me back to reality, kicking and screaming. I look up and blink out of my daydream to see my housemate, Dave, looking down at me with a frown on his face and a bin full of rubbish in his hands. I stare perplexed at this odd scene and wonder why he drew me out of my incredibly essential thought processes just to show me the produce of a week’s worth of wastage.

He must have seen the realisation hit my face like a speeding train because he swiftly rolled his eyes as soon as I remembered what I had been asked to do. “Sam…You forgot to empty the bins out last night,” he sighed.

“I forgot to empty the bins out last night,” I admitted. And I’m quite proud of myself for doing so. Admitting things shows courage and if I had denied it, that wouldn’t have been courageous at all. In fact, that makes me a good person and completely balances out the fact that I had forgotten to take the bins out. One wrong and one right make a neutral or something along those lines.

“This is the third time in a row. The binmen have been and gone and our bins aren’t getting any emptier. You know I can’t do it because I work the nightshift on Wednesdays. What, were you spending all your time playing video games again?”

“I was spending all my time playing video games again,” I confessed. There! I had done it again! Twice in a row I had told the plain truth as it was, without any hint of a lie. Clearly I was the one with the moral highground in this situation. Should Dave criticise me any further, he would be the one in the wrong. I was an honest saint here. An honest saint who had forgotten to take the bins out because he was very busy trophy hunting.

“You know, you could at least try to make an effort to clean up around here. It’s like you don’t even care about the state of this place,” he growled. Typical Dave, he doesn’t appreciate any signs of honesty, no matter what the source.

“I cleaned up the other day!”

“You broke a plate.”

“It was cluttering up the dishwasher.”

Dave pinched his nose and took a step back, clearly a few seconds away from striking something. Or someone. I didn’t care to find out, so I simply did what any good, kind-hearted human being would do. I got up and I left him to calm down the rubbish I had forgotten to take out. Maybe I’ll do it next week…


by Alex Humva:

We all have our priorities in life. Some people make money their priority, others, love, still more self-fulfillment. Ultimately the sun sets at the end of the day and we're all back where we started, trying to feel good about ourselves without actually succeeding. We feel good about it for a while, sure, but eventually that wears off, and we need to do something bigger. A millionaire wants to be a billionaire. One lover isn't enough. The largest rollercoaster in the world didn't have the right thrills. We all strive for the greatest possible, but if we actually achieve that greatness... we find that it's simply not enough.

I had my own priorities, once upon a time. I never set my goals high because I came to terms with the fact that I wasn't going make it big in life. I lived in the Reykjavik suburbs, raising a family and making a few hundred krona a day to get by with. There wasn't much in the way of chaos or hardship, so my priorities ended up being simple. To live another day, to shovel another pile of snow, to make sure my children grew up and had a chance to reach for better things then I had.
So when that day came when I received a promotion in the small company I worked at, I was surprised to say the least. They even game me a complimentary vacation with the promotion, it was so special. So I spent the next month touring around Europe, looking at the sites and the people going about their lives. It made me want to do something with myself, oddly enough. To set my priority from simply living to actually doing something of my own.

After the vacation, I did try to advance in the world. With my new position I made improvements in the company, expanding us into a small but reputable business. My children later grew up and moved out, my success enough to get them attendance in a good college. Ultimately though, I found that I had been better off keeping my priorities simple. I simply wasn't made for this sort of thing. Others might seek thrills or money, but I didn't want either. Maybe I'm just a dull person like that. I retired with my wife after years with a decent amount of cash in the bank and we lived a decent life.

So, moral of the story? Decent people live decent lives with decent priorities.


By Legolover:


Headlong flight, it felt like, screaming down the highway at almost eighty miles per hour into another vehicle. There was literal flight in the rush somewhere; James Doolittle just didn’t remember where, exactly.

Application of the brake was the first, oh so belated priority. Brakes? Applied. No dice.

Next was the abrupt disappearance of gravity. The event was beautiful, in a way, how it unfolded with such bloody precision like a scene in a play. Lights, camera, action: Doolittle, drunk and unbuckled as he was, smashed through the windshield.

That was where everything went wonky. A series of short memories, like animated GIFs, replayed in Doolittle’s mind after he struck the ground: a flood of fresh air; lightheadedness far more affecting than any caused by alcohol; the other vehicle, light blue, must’ve been a pretty little thing before it got totaled; and, finally, the rough embrace of asphalt, hot even in July’s evenings.

Liquid trickled down Doolittle’s cheek and into his mouth. It washed across his tongue, carrying the familiar metallic taste of blood. More of the substance was welling inside his mouth, but he couldn’t cough it out: His lungs had turned to lead somewhere in the crash, another beautiful tenet of the physics-defying event that is a car crash.

Beeps. Screeches. Those motorists couldn’t keep it down, could they? Blasted kids.


The Doolittle family, gathered in a living room. Mary and Amanda smiling their gap-toothed smiles. Beautiful Mrs. Lucy Doolittle, huddling in her husband’s warm embrace. Two years past that photo had been taken by a visiting cousin; two years past, the Doolittles had been as functional a family as any on Earth.

To the mind of a human male nearly drowning in beer, an attractive lady is worth the cost of breaking apart a family.

Accusations after he came home late. Increased tension in the relationship with his wife. His beautiful little girls, just a few months ago, asking if they would ever have a baby brother. No, he had told them; your mommy and daddy are too old for that sort of thing, okay?

Except, he hadn’t really thought that. He just said it because there was no way Lucy would have another kid with him.

When he was drunk, though, he could pretend other ladies would.

Mr. Doolittle announcing one day he was leaving on a business trip. Mrs. Doolittle eyeing him with suspicion even as she hugged him, kissed him, and said goodbye. It was all for the kids’ benefit, she told him later on the phone when he called; she knew what he was doing and planned to file for a divorce.

Screaming and shouting. The click of a phone hanging up, cutting free a dead limb from the Doolittle family tree.

(Blasted kids; who did they think they were fooling with that siren?)

More alcohol. Not enough women, though, and Doolittle grumbled about it. He left the bar early.

He had been driving a little fast, come to think of it. Road rage wasn’t smart. Maybe he could...


Well, die.

Oh well. Dying wasn’t that bad. He’d set his priorities in order afterward if he got the chance.


By Nick/Zarayna:

To serve the King

His mace smashed onto the shoulder of yet another enemy, and he smashed his shield into the shocked warrior’s face. The killing blow from his mace came a second later. Raymond paused his fighting, breathing hard. His mail was heavy on his shoulders, and his helm was cast back from his head, exposing shoulder length grey hair. The scene of battle was one of many defiles in the rocky field, a little battlefield in itself, hidden from the rest of the fighting in view, though not in sound. The few remaining foes were retreating, leaving his company to regroup and assess their hurts. His eyes flicked across the ground, noting the mixture of bodies: many were Saracens, but among them were all too common the forms of his own men. Looking at his remaining soldiers, he knew that he could hardly withstand another attack. 

He frowned as he tried to set his mind on a course of action. Defending this area had not been his plan, but had been forced on him. He should not be here. His men might be, but the king had use of him elsewhere, and he knew that a king’s uses for a man went far above the man’s own. When the king wished, you obeyed.

A shout from a hastily appointed lookout alerted him, forcing his hand: battle would soon be joined. He looked around at his men: the eight remaining knights, ranging from freshfaced knights hardly out of the bath to grizzled warriors he had known most his life. The men at arms were not ignored either: he knew some, but not others. Crusaders of varying sorts: perhaps this crossbowman who looked askance at him was only a humble farmer, or maybe he was a wealthy merchant setting everything aside to take up the cross. His soldiers were people, and to recall this made him squirm with what he was about to do.

“We hold here. Defend this until our last breath.”

His men were heartened by his command, but he could not even look them in the eye. Not when battle was joined. Not when he broke away, catching a stray horse and galloping off towards the king’s position. Not when, long after the battle, he saw their bodies lined up in the place they had fallen defending, to their last breath has he had commanded.

The king came first, everything else was second.

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