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A Thousand Years

There once was a beautiful princess who lived in a realm not seen by man. Every day, she watched the people of the Earth and wondered what it would be like to be one of them. The people of the Earth were always so busy moving to and fro with many things to do. She watched their short lives begin and end in hours for time moved very differently in the unseen realm.

One day, the princess noticed a man helping a stranger. She didn’t understand what was happening so she watched as he took the stranger into his home and cared for him. He gave the stranger clean clothes and warm food and a bed to sleep in. Intrigued by the man, she watched him for many lifetimes. He was always kind, always caring, and he helped all those around him with a smile. The princess eventually grew to love him and her desire to be human increased even more.

“Father,” the princess asked one day. “I’d like to spend a day on the earth.”

The King, great and wise that he was, looked at her with love. “The Earth isn’t like our world,” he told her. “You will know many things you do not know here, things that will cause you pain and sadness.”

The princess didn’t know what pain and sadness was. Where she lived, there was happiness and rainbows. “But Father, all I do is watch the people of the Earth from the outside. I would like to be on the inside as one of them.”

No matter what the King’s response was, the princess insisted until the King gave in to her desire. “One day, my darling. Then no more.”

The princess nodded. One day was more than enough time for her to find the man and live out a human life. “Thank you, Father!” The princess leaped for joy and hugged the King. “You will watch over me, won’t you?” she asked him. He nodded. “I can’t wait to go! I want to go now!”

In all her excitement, she had forgotten that in order to become one of the people of the Earth, she had to be born as one of them. She would no longer have her powers or her immortality. Nevertheless, the King granted her wish and gently sent the princess down to the Earth with love.

The princess was born to a very loving family with many siblings. From the beginning, being human was so strange that it was overwhelming. The poor princess cried daily at her troubles. She didn’t understand how the human body worked or why she was so lonely being separated from her father. She didn’t even remember that she was a princess. The desire to go home was so great that she had forgotten why she came to Earth in the first place.

The King, seeing his daughter’s distraught, sent her a vision in a dream. “You wanted this,” he reminded her. “One full day, no more and no less.”

Oh, how she cried her eyes out at her father’s words! She wanted to leave and she wanted to leave now, but the wise King didn’t allow her.
“You asked for this, my darling. You will have to be patient and wait it out. Remember why you wanted to come. Become human and live as one of them. Learn as one of them. Promise me.”

With a sigh, the princess conceded and said “I promise I will live and wait the day to be over.” The dream ended and the princess was very sad. She wanted to go home, but she had promised to stay.

With each passing lifetime, the princess remembered less and less of her real home. Her dreams were filled with fragments of memories. She remembered faintly of the man, but could never find him. In each life, she felt the strong desire that home wasn’t Earth. One day was the same as a thousand years. The poor princess has only lived a handful of lifetimes and must live through much more before she could return.

 
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Posted by on May 1, 2015 in Stories

 

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How the Man with the Long Hair Turned into Mr. Grey

Something I wrote back in 2008/02/04. It’s part of a story.

***

The day is clear and beautiful as dewdrops still clung to the blades of grass trampled underfoot by the man who walked carelessly along the unmarked path in the dark woods. He is tall and slim – not skinny but pale, as pale as the creamy surface of the moon that sometimes could be seen in the sky during such a beautiful day as this. His long hair fell right below his waist, tied in a ponytail braid without a source of a tie. Loose strands of hair framed his angular yet long face. His eyes are a dreamy deep chestnut tinged with goldenrod streaks. His thin lips curled into a grin as thoughts of joy danced through his head.

He walked towards the edge of the dark woods, towards the village but not close to it. His destination is somewhere different than neither the quaint shops of arcane and modern delicacies in the midst of the village nor the huge architectural wonders of the city. He took a turn and walked forward, up a grassy hill that sloped more like the side of a deep cliff instead of a small rounded bump. He soon reached a modest residence that stood alone at the top, its white columns holding together two stories of which were painted bright white but had aged to an almost dirty speckled white where some patches of the house were covered with more dirt than the rest. The house had no windows visible and no entrances or exits save a door that stood in between two post classical columns.

He stepped up to the door and slightly raped three times, pausing to speculate whether the owner is home or not before lifting his hand to rap again. Suddenly, the door opened and he peered into the dimly lit home as his hand paused in mid air, waiting to rap again at the door.

Another man, a taller man with blonde hair and flaming green eyes looked at him nervously while tapping an irritated foot against the hardwood floor. “Yes?” He asked, raising an eyebrow in question of the man on his doorstep.

The first man mumbled a few words audible only to those within an arm’s reach and the owner of the residence opened the door wider and allowed him entry. The door shut behind as the first man walked inside with a smile, his mouth chattering and continuing on the conversation.

It is nearly dusk now and all around is quiet. No noisy beetles or chirping crickets abounded. The very beginnings of stars appeared overhead along with the moon to light the way for travelers but the house stood motionless. Then the door opened and the man with the long hair walked out, a look of satisfaction plastered on his face as he dragged behind him a huge mahogany box. The door shut itself as the man past and it once more stood still, resembling a sleeping giant.

The man walked the same way he had come and through the dark woods he ventured. The night sky changed the shadows of the woods and an eerie dread replaced the look of happiness on the man’s face. He is nervous now, glancing around at every stir within the woods; beads of sweat started to form on his face as he walked forward. The soft click of a tree branch or an old tree limb that cracked underneath the weight of a passing critter stopped him in his tracks. He stood still and cold, with the passing of the breeze, as a statue in the middle of the dark woods. His eyes scanned his surroundings, terrified of what he should find. A moment passed. Then more and more time passed and no creepy shadow came to pester him. He moved slowly and walked, his pace quickening as if he is silently being chased by some unseen presence.

The edge of the box hit against an ancient tree as the man stopped and from behind the tree, pulled out a shovel. The moistness of the dirt made it easy to scoop out and pile beside the roots of the tree. The rain the night before drenched the earth and made it easier for the man to dig deep and fast. It didn’t take very long until he dug enough and seeing that, he laid the shovel against the side of the tree as he shoved the box into the hole. It hit the bottom of the hole with a thud, a soft sound that barely could be heard but was rather felt by the swaying of the contents inside.

Reaching down, his fingers gently clasp the silver chain and ran it through thumb and forefinger, feeling the smoothness of the chain. His fingers stopped momentarily to outline the detail of the charm before he caught a glimpse of green.

The man with the green eyes stared intently at him, those bright green eyes flaming with anger. The man with the long hair bent down over the box with a casual grin. He bent down closer into the box to unclasp the necklace and as he did so, the man with the green eyes whispered something into his ear. He shrieked back from the box as if in pain and the flames within the green eyes of the man in the box burned into the depths of his soul. He gripped his head in agony and fell onto the ground, gasping for air.

It was a moment before it all faded and the man with the long hair stood up once more. He took the necklace and stuffed it into his pocket, a silver necklace with a silver charm. He laughed at the man in the box. The man with the green eyes was tied at the wrists and ankles with heavy rope. Although his mouth was not gagged, he did not speak. He only stared with unblinking eyes.

The man with the long hair spat into the box three times, took the shovel and poured dirt back into the box, starting from the foot of the box and working his way up to the face of the man with the green eyes. As he lifted the shovel high in the air, heaping full of rich black earth, he grinned at the man with the green eyes – those flaming green eyes which were all bright and vibrant looked back a lifeless and dull green, cloudy and weary. The man hesitated before tipping the shovel over to pour dirt on top of the man in the box. He heaved dirt back and forth, filling up the box and soon, filling up the hole that he had dug. He patted the earth with the backside of the shovel once his task is finished and smiled to himself; a hand deep into the inner reaches of his pocket, fingers intertwined with chain and charm. He threw the shovel behind the tree and spat three more times on the freshly buried grave. Satisfied, he began to walk away from the grave, the box, the tree, and the memories of the man with the green eyes. He walked farther and farther until it all disappeared behind him, nothing more than a forgotten memory that is too forgotten to be remembered.

He walked until he reached the edge of the woods and saw the shadowed outline of the village ahead. Stepping forward, he is thrown back into the woods by unseen hands. His body throbbed and convulsed until he is so distorted that he did not know which arm was where and which foot was there. The pain spasms down his body from head to toe in great waves of anguish and he cried out horribly. His eyes burned and he longed to dig them out of the sockets if he could find a way to signal a hand to will itself towards his face. Tears ran down his cheeks and his endless screams of agony went unheard.

When it was all over, he laid in a heap in the woods, a meter from the edge of the village path. His head was bent underneath his back, broken oddly to one side while his legs twisted and curled here and there. His arms were twisted in unnatural positions and his eyes glistened with tears as the chain in his pocket is still clutched safely in one hand. Death is only a small thing but for him, the necklace had brought him more than death; it brought him the loss of his freedom.

Those big brown eyes rolled back into his head and as the whites appeared, his eyes closed on its own. His body stiffened and his mind ran away to dance with the nymphs of the distant waterfall. Death took him, in those clawed hands, and carried him away on threads of wispy blackness.

A moment later, the man with the long hair blinked. His fingers slowly – and painfully – lifted his legs from on top of his arms. He managed somehow to untwist himself, to bend into place what was bent out of place, and to snap his head back into its rightful position. He muttered as he sat on the cold earth; holding both his hands before his eyes, he tested each finger to see if they worked.

Cursing, he got up and walked towards the path again, towards the edge of the village. With one foot brushing the outside of the dark woods, in mid step, he is thrown back with such force that he landed somewhere that he did not recognize. He cringed at the sound of something broken as he hit the dirt floor. He found himself okay although he is not spared the pain from impacting the earth. He bent his foot back into place and reconnected his spine, muttering curses into the darkness. Somewhere in the night, he could hear the man with the green eyes laughing at him. He cursed the man with the green eyes and tried to find his way back to the edge of the dark woods. He began walking, only to find himself amongst moving shadows and nothing more. He came to the conclusion after several attempts that he is lost; not only lost but damned as well.

 ***

It is past dark now and she worried about him. She sat upon the white loveseat, her legs tucked neatly under he tiny frame. She sips freshly brewed hot tea made from the pink and purple tea flowers that bloomed on the top of the still lake, nestled in the woods, hidden behind rock and waterfall. She brought the teacup to her lips, two fingers resting on the tiny handle, and took a sip or two. The hot liquid warms her as it passed through her throat. She sat still; the only movement came from the steady lifting of the teacup.  Her eyes glance out the living room bay windows often as she hoped to catch sight of him walking towards her front door. Her long black hair hung down her shoulders and spread itself upon the brocaded loveseat.

This is not the first time that he has been late but he has never been this late before. She thought back to their last conversation and was lost deep in thought when there came a knock at the door. Time had passed and it is late morning when he arrived. She got up slowly, deliberately, and set her teacup upon the saucer that rested at the edge of a thick cherry oak table. She did not rush but glided towards the door with a smile on her face, thinking of how she would hug him instead of scold him for worrying her so. She is happy enough that he is safe and sound.

The door opened and she looked at him a moment, a bit confused and a bit bothered by the way he looked. His clothes carried dirt in almost every crevice and fold; somewhere along the way, he needed a shower badly. The smell of damp earth clung to him and she guided him upstairs to use her bathroom instead of turning him around to go home. When he finished and came downstairs with the new clothes that she had set out for him, she set out a second cup of tea for him on the table. He found her sitting on the sofa, her eyes smiling at him while she sips hot tea from her own cup.

He sat himself down beside her, not too close and not too far. He thanked her and took a big gulp of tea, a bit clumsily of manners, before whispering to her. He whispered of things unknown, things that made her eyes grow wide with fright. She caught herself before she screamed at his words. Her voice fell to into a broken whisper as she asked him where he had been and what he had been doing. He shook his head at her then fumbled with something in his pocket. She drew back from him, anticipating whether she should jump out of harm’s way or whether she would faint at what he brought forward.

With sad eyes, he withdrew a thing from his pocket, holding it in a closed hand; he held it out to her. She strained to see inside his hand but she could not see past his fingers and she longed to see what it is that he would show her. His fingers opened, palm up, and she saw a shiny thing in his grasp. Tears filled her eyes and she clasped the shiny object in her own palm and recognized it to be her own. She couldn’t stop the tears and she fell against the loveseat sobbing. Her hands still clutched the object, pulling it towards her heart as he leaned in to hold her and comfort her. Through tears, she drew away from him and bid him to leave. He hesitated before nodding his head low and showed himself out the door.

She lay on her side against the cushions of the sofa, her legs drawn up towards her chest, pressing against the hurt and pain. Her sobs softened to quiet whimpers. She could hear him leaving, walking away from her house back into the dark woods. She did not move. The day passed and morning came but she had neither gotten up from the sofa nor did her daily chores around the small house. She can hear the garden whisper and scream for her but she did not answer. She can hear him back again, on her doorstep, steadily knocking and she still did not answer. He left after seeing that she would not come. But the next day passed the same way. The same voices heard, the same knocking, the same screaming in her ears. She drowned the noise out with her own crying, coming from deep within her.

The house felt empty and she felt alone. Lying, she found herself escaping into dreams – dreams of now distant memories that faded too fast for her to grasp a hold of. Even in sleep, tears rolled down, wetting the expensive upholstery as she wandered away from reality into the space in between. She did not venture outside, nor did she venture into her garden where the weeds took root, overtaking her crops. Wild vines climbed and settled themselves over her house in tight overlapping rows. For a year, everything stayed the same. For two years, no one has seen a trace of her. The flowers that once grew in her garden and filled the yard with a sweet fragrance shriveled and died underneath the thick carpet of weeds and vines. Three years passed and she is forgotten; time passed and it continued until the dark woods swallowed her home and her garden. There is no presence of anything inhabitable as the woods reclaimed a part of itself that had once been infected but now healed.

***

Ameggo, that charming child with the curly brown hair, stared up at Maeroleez and grinned. His master is happy and as long as his master is happy, he too is content. They entered a home in the middle of the dark woods and as soon as the door shut, he could feel a change in the atmosphere. Ameggo stopped talking of his adventures with his only friend Keera and watched silently at his owner.

Maeroleez stood quiet by the door for a moment and when he turned around, Ameggo – frightened by the gleam in his eyes – backed into a corner of the house, crawling underneath the ragged quilted cover that he slept with. The man came swiftly and grabbed the child by the throat with one hand and held him up against the wall. The child struggled but he could not free himself from the tight grasp. He dared not try to claw his master’s hands if he valued his life.

Those big amber brown eyes welled up with tears as Maeroleez tightened his grip around the child’s neck. Ameggo pleaded and begged but the man only lifted him higher, laughing, watching the child struggle to no avail. Ameggo watched as his master’s other hand balled into a fist and struck hard against his own left cheek. Pain swept through him and Maeroleez, watching him in pain, the big teardrops streaming down his face, only made his want to hurt the child increase. The man felt stronger, more powerful than the child who desperately tried to free himself from his owner’s clutches. He hit Ameggo again and again, each time, the child cried out in pain, satisfying the man’s twisted lust.

He slammed the child into the far corner. Ameggo hit the wall with a thud, sliding down, hitting the wooden floor with another loud thud. He watched as the child whimpered and curled himself into a ball in that corner of the house; soft choking sobs came as he walked towards the child.

His hand touched Ameggo’s shoulder and the child jumped back afraid. In a pleasing voice, he coaxed the child into his arms. He gently rocked the patted the child’s head.

“Hush now.” He whispered as Ameggo clutched tightly to him, still sobbing. “It hurts me so much more to hurt you. I have told you before not to destroy her things. Please listen dear Ameggo. Hurting you hurts me so much more and I don’t even want to hurt you to begin with.”

He held the child and rocked him until he stopped sobbing.

“You’ll behave this time, won’t you?”

Ameggo stared into those deep brown eyes, a different color from his own. He nodded his head in agreement.

“Good.” Maeroleez smiled a wide smile at the child. “I’m hungry. Let’s eat!”

 Ameggo smiled too and swallowed the last of his tears. He believed every word that was said to him. He forgot the pain and the hurt; he traded the hatred for happiness as he followed Maeroleez into the kitchen. All the while, Maeroleez chattered in laughter and Ameggo laughed along too.

 

 
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Posted by on December 5, 2014 in Stories, Unfinished Stories

 

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No Need For Little Tenchi!

This is my first fan fiction, thanks to my awesome friend Luke Green who gave me this particular idea. (I don’t even know how one writes fan fiction!)

This piece is based off the characters of Tenchi Muyo and I’m calling it, “No Need for Little Tenchi!” 😀

***

Tenchi stared up into the blue sky. Nothing stirred. With a sigh, he dutifully tied his shoelaces. I can’t believe it’s been a whole year already, Tenchi thought to himself. I wonder how Ayeka is doing.

Ayeka, princess of Jurai, had left earth in haste, vowing never to return. Tenchi didn’t understand why. The day before Ayeka abruptly left was a day Tenchi wouldn’t forget so easily. He remembered it as if it was only yesterday.

“Where are the others?” Ayeka asked as she came in from hanging laundry out on the clothesline in the backyard.

Tenchi glanced up from his studies. “Oh, dad’s still at work and grandpa is at the shrine. Washu made Ryoko and Ryo-ohki take her to some science thing out in space. Kiyone and Mishoshi had something to do at headquarters. Sasami went to the store because we’re getting low on Miso and tempura batter.”

Ayeka paused for a moment. “I guess that leaves only you and me.”

“I guess so,” Tenchi said with a smile. He glanced back down at his school books.

“Um, Tenchi?”

“What is it, Ayeka?” He watched as she fiddled with the hem of her sleeves.

She hesitated. “Have you ever thought about us?” she asked him. “I know I live on Jurai and you here on Earth, but–”

“I have.”

His answer surprised her. “You have?” Ayeka walked closer. She smiled and sat down beside him. “Will you tell me what you thought about us?”

He smiled. “Uh-huh. I sure will.”

Tenchi!” The happy, high pitched wail jolted him out of his day dream. Ryoko appeared beside him and he smiled. “Tenchi! You forgot your lunch. I brought it for you.” She handed him the brown paper bag.

“Thank you, Ryoko.” He finished tying his shoes and got up. “Have a good day, Ryoko, Don’t get into too much trouble.”

She grinned. “Me? Trouble? Never!” She laughed out and he smiled at her laughter. She had came a long way from being the most feared space pirate in the entire galaxy to being almost a decent member of society if not for her mischievous streaks of destruction at times.

“Well, I’ll see you later.”

“Tenchi…”

He turned around to see a big eyed, sad faced Ryoko. “What’s the matter?” he asked.

“You forgot,” she said.

He thought about the several things he could’ve forgotten that would’ve made her sad. “Ah, I remember now.” He walked back over to Ryoko and pressed his lips against her cheek in a kiss. “I’ll be home soon.”

With a grin, Ryoko shot up into the air and disappeared. “I’ll be waiting for you,” her voice echoed.

Tenchi turned towards the fields and started walking. It had been an entire year since Ayeka left. Many things had changed in that time. He had married Ryoko.

He spent the time walking to the fields thinking about Ayeka, thinking about their time alone together. Although he was married to Ryoko for about a week now, he had never spent time alone with her. Time alone was impossible in a house full of women from outer space who made things very interesting. Sasami was gone now. She followed Ayeka back to Jurai. Kiyone did all of the cooking as long as Ryoko helped to keep Mihoshi out of the kitchen. Things had returned back to normal since Ayeka and Sasami left, but there was always a part of the family missing without them here.

A shadow fell over Tenchi and he looked up. A Jurai ship! Smoke trailed from the ship as it whizzed through the atmosphere and crashed into the side of a mountain. Tenchi dropped everything and started running towards the crash.

***

“That was bad driving, princess Sasami,” the ship said. “I’ve lost 40% of my shields.”

“I’m sorry!” Sasami cried out. She was clutching a bundle wrapped in cloth tightly to her chest. “I didn’t know what to do. You’re not my ship.”

“I’m your sister Ayeka’s ship,” came the reply. “It’s okay, princess Sasami. Princess Ayeka will be happy you’re safe.”

Sasami dried her tears on her sleeves and nodded. “I’m going to find her,” Sasami said. “I need to stop here first.”

“Ayeka! Sasami!”

Sasami turned and saw Tenchi on a monitor screen. He was calling for her. “Open the door,” she told the ship. With tears in her eyes, she ran towards the door.

Tenchi spotted a blue haired girl running towards him, her pony tails flying behind her. “Sasami!” Tenchi called out. He opened his arms and she fell into him sobbing.

“It’s okay, Sasami,” he comforted her. “Are you hurt? Is Ayeka still in the ship?”

“What’s all this ruckus?” Ryoko appeared beside Tenchi and saw the ruined ship. Then she glanced at him and saw him hugging Sasami. The little vein in her forehead started throb. Anger filled her, but she noticed something awkward about their hug. “What’cha got there, Sasami?”

“Ryoko!” Sasami instantly left Tenchi and clung on to Ryoko’s waist.

“Whoa! Get it off,” Ryoko told Tenchi. Tenchi laughed.

“She misses you too, Ryoko.”

“Misses me?” It was strange for anyone to miss her. Ryoko smiled that she might’ve been missed by Sasami and gently pushed the crying girl away. “What do you have there, Sasami?”

“Huh?” Sasami looked confused for a moment. Ryoko pointed to the thing she was holding and she looked down. “Oh, this.” Sasami lifted the cloth back to reveal a baby. “This is my baby brother,” she said cheerfully.

“You mean, Misaki had a baby?” Tenchi asked, surprised.

Sasami smiled. “Something like that.” She glanced up at Ryoko. “Here.” She tossed the child up and Ryoko caught him.

“Here? What? Wait! I can’t take a baby!” Ryoko called out. Sasami was already halfway back to the ship.

“I have to save my sister,” Sasami said without looking back. “Ryoko, please take care of my brother.”

“Your sister? Ayeka!” Tenchi got up and ran after Sasami. “What happened to Ayeka?”

“She’s been kidnapped,” Sasami said. She completely ignored Ryoko’s whining in the background. “I’m going to save her.”

“I’m going with you,” Tenchi told her.

“But, Tenchi! Tenchi!” Ryoko called out.

He turned towards her. “If Ayeka is in trouble, we’re going to save her.” Ryoko frowned at his decision. “Take good care of their little brother. We’ll be back home with Ayeka soon.”

“Tenchi…” Ryoko was crying now.

He turned to Sasami. “Let’s go!”

“What do I do with…” Ryoko glanced at the smiling child. When she glanced up, the ship and both Tenchi and Sasami were already gone. “TENCHI!

***

Ryoko grumbled all the way back to the house. The child laughed at her. “What are you laughing at, brat?” she asked, picking him up by one leg and dangling him in the air. He laughed even more. “I can drop you, but then my Tenchi will be mad at me.” She sighed and threw the child into the air. She grabbed the cloth and spread it out under him, caught him, and wrapped him up again. He giggled and laughed at her. “You like that, huh?” she asked with a softer smile. “I’m not a good mother,” she whispered.

“What do you have there, Ryoko?”

Ryoko looked up to see Washu standing in the doorway waiting for her. “Eeek!” She caught herself and clutched the bundle close to her. “Washu! What are you doing here?”

“I was waiting for you,” Washu said with a smile.

“Wh…why? I can come home whenever I want!”

Washu laughed. “I saw a ship enter our space on my radar,” she said. “It was a Juraian ship. Two aboard and two gone. I’m suspecting one of ours has left and we have kept one of theirs.”

Ryoko hesitated then offered up the bundle. “Sasami gave it to me,” Ryoko said.

“Sasami?” Washu opened the bundle and saw the cute baby inside. “Little Tenchi!” she exclaimed. She pulled the boy out of his bindings and cuddled him close. “You’re so cute!”

“He’s not little Tenchi,” Ryoko told her. “He’s Sasami’s little brother.”

“Oh?” Washu glanced from the child, then to Ryoko, and back to the child again. “I could’ve sworn he has Tenchi’s smile.”

“Huh?”

“What’s his name?” Washu asked.

Ryoko shrugged. “Sasami didn’t say.”

“We’ll call him little Tenchi then. Are you hungry, little Tenchi? Yes you are!”

“You’re just like a baby too,” Ryoko snickered.

“What was that, Ryoko? You want to take care of little Tenchi all by yourself? Change his diapers and burp him too?”

“No! I’m good,” Ryoko said quickly.

“That’s what I thought,” Washu said as little Tenchi laughed. “You like that, don’t you. You like that mean space pirate Ryoko.” Little Tenchi laughed some more and Washu glanced over to a slouching Ryoko who suddenly stood straight. “Sasami gave him to you to watch, did she?”

Ryoko nodded.

“Tenchi left to save Ayeka.”

Ryoko nodded again.

“Hm, very interesting.” Washu glaced at the purple hair on little Tenchi’s head.

“What’s interesting, Washu?”

“Here.” Washu shoved the child back in Ryoko’s arm. Ryoko looked him up and down.

“What is it? I don’t see anything.”

“He needs a diaper change,” Washu said.

Ryoko hit the floor. “Diaper change?”

“Yes, change his diaper,” Washu told her. “Then feed him and burp him and bathe him and put him to sleep in Tenchi’s bed.”

“Ugh…” Ryoko groaned. “Can’t you do it, Washu? Please?”

“Nope. Little Tenchi is your responsibility. Now keep him clean and safe.” With that, Washu walked back into the house, leaving Ryoko standing on the porch holding on to little Tenchi.

***

This is only part one. Here’s the summary: Tenchi and Ayeka finally express their feelings for one another and Ayeka becomes pregnant, but she doesn’t let Tenchi know. She runs off to Jurai and told him she was leaving forever. With Ayeka gone and never returning, Tenchi finally gives in to all of Ryoko’s seductions and marries her. Meanwhile, back on Jurai, Ayeka is kidnapped and Sasami escapes with the child. Returning to earth, she places the child in Ryoko’s safe keeping, telling Ryoko that it’s her brother instead of her nephew. Those were the instructions left to Sasami, that if anything had happened to Ayeka, that she’d bring the child to Ryoko because all feared the great space pirate and her ship, Ryo-ohki. Sasami doesn’t know that the child belongs to Tenchi since the child was thought to have been conceived on Jurai. Tenchi insists on leaving with Sasami to help find Ayeka, ordering Ryoko against her will to take care of the child…16 years later, Tenchi’s son looks exactly like Tenchi but with purple hair and Ayeka’s eyes. Ryoko’s not an idiot. I wonder what kind of mess Tenchi would come home to find. 😀

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2014 in Stories

 

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Dust and Ashes

(When eight-year old Zahid’s father dies in the throes of the Sudanese civil war, Zahid must save his best friend, ten-year old Maleek, from the rebel Red Army who kidnaps children and trains them to fight and die for the army’s cause.)

The day that my father died was also the day that I met my best friend Maleek. I wasn’t there at the place where they killed him. I was too busy getting into trouble, even when my father specifically told me to stay inside. I didn’t obey him. He wouldn’t have known and so I sneaked out of the apartment we shared and ran down to the market to buy some sweets. That was where I met Maleek. He was two years older than me, ten, and he had skin so black I thought it hurt to touch him. We had been running around for most of the day, two dirty kids laughing and playing in the middle of the market, as happy as we could’ve been. There wasn’t much to be happy about it those days. I didn’t like the place my father and I had come to or the people here. I didn’t remember being happy much after we arrived here.

My father, General Hamad Assain, divorced my mother when I was still a child. I remembered nothing of her, but I found a picture of a beautiful woman hidden in some of my mother’s belongings. She had dark hair and very pale skin. Her eyes were a soft green and she smiled. I have her eyes, the same shade of summer leaves on the sparse trees that grew around the apartment complex where we used to live. Years later, I heard rumors that told me a different story. The rumors said that my father didn’t really divorce my mother. My mother was said to have been having an affair with another man and when my father found out, he killed both her and the unborn baby brother or sister I could’ve had which was in her belly at the time. I didn’t believe the stories told about my father. I didn’t know my mother, but I was sure she was a good woman. My father was always so king and so nice to me. He couldn’t have murdered my mother and the baby. He was a devout Muslim man who believed in doing good and in treating others with love and respect.

We lived in the small apartment complex, which was a series of white boxes stacked one on top of the other, for the first few years of my life. We moved shortly before my seventh birthday because my father had a job that took him from place to place, and this time, he was to be gone for a very, very long period of time so he took me with him. He explained this new place to me before we left. It was a place filled with new things and new people–people so dark that at night, the only part of them that could be seen was the white of their eyes. I didn’t believe him. No person was ever that dark. But this was to be a world different from the one I knew while living in the tiny apartment complex. This was no longer Saudi Arabia, but Africa, and that was where we were going.

“Zahid,” Maleek whispered as his invisible fingers shook me gently. “It’s your turn to keep watch.”

“Leave me alone,” I mumbled quietly, pushing his hand away. “I just fallen asleep.”

Maleek pressed the button on his watch, covering the soft light of the indiglo with his whole hand cupped around the face of the watch. “It’s four-twenty and my turn to sleep,” he insisted. “You slept for four hours.”

I groaned and swatted behind me, not hitting Maleek, but wishing that it was as easy to ignore him as crushing a pesky mosquito and not having to deal with the persistent buzzing in my ear. “Fine, fine,” I said as I forced myself to sit up. It was so dark that the only part of Maleek I saw was the white of his eyes. We stared at each other for a moment. “Go on then,” I said to him. “Sleep, sleep, so it will quickly be my turn again.”

“In time,” Maleek said as he settled down beside me. He dug himself into the dry dirt and bent some tall grass to use as a pillow. He took off his watch and gave it to me. “Don’t lose it,” he warned me sternly. He did this every time he had to part with the watch. “My father gave it to me. If you lose it, I will kill you.” The threat was an idle one. Maleek didn’t have a father. He grew up on the streets of Umptin, a small poor city in Sudan. He found the watch one day while digging through the trash bins, searching for something to eat. The wrist band was the only part that was broken so Maleek found some string and tied two ends to the face, creating a new band.

“I hear you too loudly,” I said, hushing him with the last two words. “It’s safe, I promise.” I tied the watch tightly on to my wrist, making sure that it wouldn’t fal off, and then I turned to see Maleek staring at me. “What?” I asked. “Didn’t you want to sleep?”

“Don’t fall asleep, Zahid,” Maleek warned me. “I have a bad feeling about tonight.”

“Tonight, tonight,” I said to him. “Night’s almost over now. You always have bad feelings.”

He nodded at me. “Yes, and you fell asleep twice.”

My cheeks reddened, but Maleek couldn’t see the color in the dark. I bit my lip and puffed out my chest. “A simple accident,” I told him. “I didn’t fall asleep after that. If I said I’m up, I’m up.” He only stared at me and it made me more nervous. “Don’t worry,” I said as I pushed his head towards the ground. “I am the brave son of a General. In my country, everyone will be glad to know that we are protecting them, us Generals. My people are not cowards. My father never ran away. I will never run away. And you will not have to fear–”

“You speak too much,” Maleek said as he closed his eyes. I instantly stopped in mid-sentence. I did speak too much when I get nervous. “Do not fall asleep, Zahid,” Maleek repeated. “I have a very bad feeling about this.”

“You can count on me,” I told him. Then I stared into the darkness where I thought he lay until I was sure that he was asleep. “Nothing to do now,” I whispered to myself. “It’s good there’s no lions around.” I shuddered at the thought of the wild beasts that could at any moment, rip to pieces two weak young boys in the middle of nowhere and no one would’ve ever known we existed. I cast the thought out of my head and focused on the task at hand. I was going to keep us both safe, like my father would’ve done if he was still here.

Africa was much like Saudi Arabia in that sand and dirt was everywhere. It was much hotter in Sudan and since being here, I gained a darker skin color than what I’ve been used to all my life. My father and I moved to a small city which wasn’t really a city at all. The roads were cracked and broken with deep gashes stretching far into the earth. Trash was piled up at every place imaginable and there was no room to step without having to step on some type of trash that was permanently stuck on the ground and could never be removed even if it was scrubbed by powerful machines. Vegetables were in short supply and most of them, wilted, nearing rotten by the time that it was carried home in plastic bags. Gangs of little kids shamelessly begged in the streets, picked pockets, and stole right from under noses and hands. I didn’t know that each dirty and raggedly dressed child was an orphan, a lone survivor who banded together with other unlucky souls to survive in their unkind world. I didn’t want to ever become like them. In fact, the city that we arrived in was a great big one with no unsupervised children running around, nice paved roads, restaurants to eat at, and beautiful homes and apartments. I thought we were going to stay there and I got very excited. Then my father took me to this dump of what was called a small city and I felt disappointed. I was unhappy to settle in such an unclean and unwell place.

“Why here?” I had asked my father.

He smiled at me. “This is where my job takes me to,” he replied very kindly.

“You want us to live here?” I couldn’t believe I had to stay in this awful place. “There’s nothing here.”

“A very important job is here,” my father said. “As long as it is here, then we shall be here too.” He patted me on the head and led me up a very blue staircase to a second story door. The white paint was chipped everywhere I looked and the door looked beaten in a few times with dents and a few splinters in the wood. Layers of yellow peeked out from behind the white paint.

“We live here now,” I said to myself, feeling a sense of overwhelming hatred rising up for this place I had to live in. I didn’t understand why we couldn’t live somewhere else, somewhere cleaner. “But this is too much. No one can really live here.”

My father opened the door with his key and turned the rattling loose knob. “Zahid, there is always hope in the midst of any bad thing.” He smiled at me and suddenly, I had to pee.

I awoke to a tightening in my belly. I quickly glanced around to see if Maleek had seen me sleeping, but I heard the soft breathing and knew he had been asleep the whole time. “Lucky!” I whispered to myself as I started to climb to my feet. Maleek would’ve killed me if he knew! The rumbling in my stomach started to ache and I pushed my stomach inward to help soothe some of the pain. “Oh, no,” I groaned. “I have to poop too.” I hurried past Maleek and farther up front, trying to count my steps so I could find my way back. I went fifty steps, and then decided to walk a little bit more to keep the smell away from Maleek who was still sleeping.

In the middle of relieving myself, I heard laughter from somewhere behind me. I strained my ears to listen as much as I also strained to pass a big one. Was Maleek up and laughing at me? Did he smell the stink? I worried and tried to finish so I could go tell him how sorry I was for waking him up. I thought I was far away enough and without wind, there shouldn’t have been any smell.

I was about done, ripping off tall grass in clumps to wipe myself when I heard a voice that didn’t sound familiar. The voice stopped me cold and my hand almost fell into the pile of mess I just made.

“What have we here?” said the stranger. “A little piggy alone to be food for wolves.” There was much laughter after that and coming from more than one person.

Wolves? There are no wolves in Sudan. There were no wolves in Saudi Arabia too although I’ve seen them in textbooks and on the internet. No internet in poor places like this one either. What was the voice talking about? It was not deep enough to be a man. It sounded like a boy, just like me and Maleek. I listened more, hurridly wiping and not caring whether I got all the mess off of my skin or not. I couldn’t leave Maleek to himself.

“I am alone,” Maleek said. So he was awake! “What want you and you?”

Why did he say he was alone? He knew I was here too. Maybe he thought I had run off and left him. I told him I wouldn’t leave! I was about to shout and say something when Maleek’s words brought me to a screeching halt.

“You carry guns.” I didn’t know if he said it as an observation or as a warning to me. A gun was a dangerous weapon. My father had told me so. He said guns took many lives. I’ve seen my father’s gun, but I had never been allowed to touch it. Maleek continued on talking, almost too loudly. “I am alone and there is no one with me. I cannot run away. I will do what you want me to. You go away. You run away. I will stay here.”

His words seem to speak to me as well as to the people around him. Run away, he had said. He wanted me to run away? I stayed low and crawled away from the stinking pile, away from Maleek. Before we rested, I saw a stretch of trees to the left, but that was behind of us. I didn’t know how many people were there with him, but if I could somehow crawl around them and make it to the trees, I would be safe. But the thought of a lion hiding in that brush or a snake or any other wild animal made me worry. I didn’t know what to do.

“You go away,” Maleek said, even louder this time. “You run away. I cannot go awya. What want you and you?”

“He makes no sense,” said one of the boys to the others. “Is he damaged?”

I heard a loud thump and Maleek groaned, a fall in the tall grasses where we were sleeping. “Go away!” Maleek screamed. He was definitely talking to me. I saw falshlights in the distance, but I jumped up and ran in the opposite direction, running and running as fast as I could. I heard someone order the others to look around and see if there was someone else there. I should’ve ran away when Maleek first told me to. I looked behind to see multiple beams of light behind me. Luckily, they did not reach my small form. I have been lucky twice tonight.

I didn’t know where to go or what to do except to run. It was foolish to run in a straight line so I turned left. I had no idea where left went, but it was better than all the people coming up behind me. Maybe they thought I kept straight or maybe they thought I went right. As I ran, the fear carried my tiny legs deep into the early dawn. My chest heaved and my stomach hurt. I didn’t have to poop more, but the lack of food made me nauseous and a little dizzy. I wanted to stop, to rest, but there was nowhere to be safe. As light streamed across the sky, I saw I was on an open plain and behind me, no one was coming up over the horizon. I slowed down enough to catch my breath, wheezing as my lungs tried to draw air past the confines of my chest. My leg muscles spasm and ached, paralyzing themselves in hurtful charley horses that made me wince in pain. I fell down and repeatedly massaged my calf muscles to stop them from locking up on me.

“Maleek,” I whispered as tears threatened to squeeze out of my eyes. Where was my best friend now? Had he survived? What happened to him? I pushed the though out of my head. What was I going to do without him?

I needed water and that was the first thing that Maleek and I had always looked for. We always tried to stay near water although sometimes, the animals stayed by water too. With Maleek, there were two sets of eyes to watch the land around us. If we saw a lion, we always walked really fast in the other direction. If it was a leopard or a cheetah, the same rules applied. In fact, we tried to stay away from all the big animals, harmful or not, We ate berries and whatever else we could find. We ate dirt at times to fill up our groaning bellies.We were so hungry at times that we took handfuls of brown grass and ate it like the animals did. Grass was better than nothing.

I was eating grass now, chewing on long dried stems, trying to work the saliva in my mouth so I didn’t feel so thirsty. If i didn’t find water soon, I’d be dehydrated even more so than I now and I might die out here. I shuddered at that thought. I didn’t want to die out here where the wild animals would fight each other to tear off pieces of meat from my carcass. What would happen if I died? How would I ever know what happened to Maleek? And what if he was looking for me right now? I turned around, but no one was following me so I took my time, trying to see if there was anything in the distance ahead or anywhere.

 

 
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Posted by on July 5, 2014 in Stories, Unfinished Stories

 

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