Monday, June 16, 2014

So, Tom and Lucinda cross into the woods.

So, Tom and Lucinda cross into the woods

     Tom and Lucinda crossed the river and follow the tree line into the woods. The damp grass from last night’s rain squished under their feet. Tom found his favorite tree, and began to climb. He climbed until he could see the forest spread beneath him. The verdant treetops were a field of broccoli, and Tom was a giant.

     “I am the king,” he cried. “And you are my subjects.”

     The tree’s waved their applause. Birds greeted him and a squirrel sat at his side, an attentive squire. Lucinda brought him a flower bud filled with rainwater.
Tom raised the flower, “A toast. To the kingdom.”

     “To the kingdom,” Lucinda chimed.
Tom looked down as he heard a bark at the base of the tree. Climbing down a few branches, Tom saw Christopher with his front paws on the tree trunk and his back paws ready to jump.

     Tom scrambled down the tree, “Oy! My trusty steed! I knew you’d not forsaken me.” Tom leapt from the final branches and landed lightly on his feet. Christopher bowled him over. “That was some water Lucinda gave me.”

     Christopher barked his agreement. Together they played until dusk. As the sun faded from the sky, Christopher faded. The last beams of daylight flickered, and Tom said, 

     “Good night, buddy. I love you.”

      Christopher gave one last bark, and Tom stretched as night settled in around him. He watched as the stars blinked their eyes open. He waited there until Sirius rose in the sky in hopes of celebrating one more dog day of summer.  

The end. (Click here to go back ONE option)

So, Tom and Lucinda follow the river.

So, Tom and Lucinda follow the river

     Tom and Lucinda walk along the banks further than he had ever adventured. The leaves and water harmonized a perfect melody. As they continued, the water crescendoed as the leaves decrescendoed. Tom and Lucinda stumbled across a waterfall.  

     “Wow, this is so cool!” Tom exclaimed. “Christopher would have loved this.”
Lucinda fluttered her wings, “I have something to show you.” She blinked twice. For a moment, the river stopped flowing. The waterfall hiccuped and resumed its incessant thundering.

     “Go ahead, walk through it,” she encouraged him.

     Tom closed his eyes as the droplets washed away any fear or anxiety he’d had. When he opened them, he saw a familiar friend sitting on the ledge.

     “Christopher!” He lost his footing on the mossy stones. But, Christopher beat him to the spot, and Tom fell into a puddle of puppy and moss. “Christopher, I can see through you. What kind of trick is that?”

     “A pretty transparent one,” Christopher guffawed.

     Tom stopped petting Christopher, “And, you talk?”

     “I guess,” he shrugged. “I love you, you know.”
     “So, this isn’t forever?” Tom asked.

     “No, it isn’t forever. But, it is for now. I am so excited for you to keep having adventures. Promise me, you will keep having adventures?” Christopher licked Tom’s face and head butted him.

     “Okay, Christopher. I promise.”

The end. (Click here to go back ONE option)

So, Tom sees heaven.

So, Tom sees heaven.
     “Wow! Holy smacks!” He shouted.

     Through the looker, Tom saw a dense jungle. The trees played side by side with the river running through it. Criss-crossing branches held hands and the water splashed up to keep them cool. Something fast darted across the Looker’s limited scope. And, again it crossed his vision, a little closer this time. In no time, the beast was right next to Tom. Looking down through the Looker,  Christopher sat patiently a his heels waiting for an “Up” command.

     Tom exclaimed, “UP!” and Christopher pounced on him attacking his face with wet puppy kisses. Other animals crawled out of the jungle to the clearing. Christopher brought forth each of his new friends. They greeted Tom, nudged him, and went back to their spots. After the last giraffe introduced himself, Christopher barked once. They broke formation and started traipsing about in groups of three or four mixing species and creating quite an animalistic cacophony.

     Tom and Christopher left the clearing to find some peace and quiet. “I guess you did okay, Buddy.” Tom said. “Do you like your new family?”

     Christopher growled his approval, but then nudged Tom’s leg assuring him that he was the favorite. Tom rested his hand on Christopher’s head and said, “I know.”

     Scratching Christopher’s ears, Tom looked into his eyes and said, “You better watch out for jungle cats. They are way bigger than the ones we have at home. Got it?”
Christopher barked once and licked Tom’s face.

     “Adventure on, Christopher. See you soon.”

The end. (click to go back ONE option)

So, Tom sees and alternate universe.

     So, Tom sees an alternate universe.

     “Wow! Holy smacks!” He shouted.

     Through the Looker, Tom saw the cavern walls awash in pink and orange hues. His own hand trembled and shook; purple waving in front of his face. Lucinda’s previously pink hair shifted into tawny, and the water moved at a slow, red pace. Swinging the Looker around to investigate his new pirate ship, a grumble bounced off the walls of the cavern. Out of the corner of the looker, a giant bronze statue leapt up from the water onto the deck. “Christopher in Bronze” wagged his mighty head. He shook off the water, and as he did so, the bronze turned to fluff. In a moment’s time, Christopher stood in front of his owner with his tongue lolling. He jumped on Tom and started licking all over his face.

     Christopher pulled back and rested his maw on Tom’s shoulder and said, “Don’t worry, Tom. I miss you, too.”

     Tom, surprised, responded, "Christopher! You can talk?"

     "I can talk. I can jump. I can do ballet if I really wanted to."

     Tom exclaimed, "This is the best thing ever! I love this magic looker."

     Christopher barked, "Yeah, it is pretty cool. Can we play pirates now?"

     "Of course," Tom said, as he winked at Lucinda and turned the steering wheel to set off on a new adventure. 

The end. (Click to go back ONE option)

Sunday, June 15, 2014

So, Tom and Lucinda follow the stream.

     So, Tom and Lucinda follow the stream.

     Tom and Lucinda walk along the water. Tom playfully splashed in the water stirring up muck and mud. The little fish darted away from his feet. He gathered a handful of mud and drew warrior paint on his face.

     The stream changed course into a river. The current strengthened, and they crossed the river at a dam. Tom stopped and sat down with his feet swinging over the edge.

     “This is where I found him,” he breathed.

     Lucinda sat on his shoulder, “Found whom?”

     “Christopher. It had been two minutes since I saw him, so I ran along the bend in the river, just there. There was a girl spitting and coughing on the bank. And, then I saw Christopher floating down the river. I checked to make sure the girl was okay then ran down to get him. She said she had fallen off of the dam, and Christopher leapt from the bank to save her. He took her to the bank. She pulled herself up from the rocks. He tried to do it, too. But, but but he slipped and hit his head. We got to him, but it was too late. He was a hero. And, everyone knew it.”

     “Wow,” Lucinda tapped his ear. “You must be proud though.”

     “Mostly just sad,” Tom wiped his hands on his shorts. “Let’s keep going.”

So, Tom and Lucinda go to the caves.

     So, Tom and Lucinda go to the caves
   “Well, on windy days like today, we’d go to the caves. Our pirate flag flies really well,” Tom climbed through the trees and brush to get to the rocky foothills. He plotted a course up the side of the mount-lette and began trekking the narrow winding path. Lucinda floated near him, encouraging him.

     They reached the mouth of the cave system and crept through. They toed deeper into the belly of the mount-lette. Lucinda’s iridescent shoes glowed in the darkening tunnels of the cave. Tom skipped across the packed earth and stone.

     He stopped just short of the edge and started touching the walls as if he were trying to read them. “Ugh, this was Christopher’s job. He always knew where the packed stones stopped the loose ones starte—ah, here we go.”

     He jimmied the rocks just enough to open a small window through which he folded himself. Lucinda glided through without hesitation. On the other side, she saw Tom splashing through an ankle deep pool of water in a cavern that reached towards the heavens. A patch of light shone through the top of the cavern, where it seemed like there just wasn’t quite enough rock to cover it up.

     Tom galloped toward a giant stone shouting, “Ahoy, ahoy. All paws on deck. Hoist the anchors! Ahoy. Ahoy.” Lucinda zoomed after him.

     Tom raised the sail as the wind tunneled through the opening in the ceiling. It whipped about as Tom shuffled from port to starboard and bow to aft checking all the things one must check on a pirate ship before an adventure. “Take the wheel, Christoph—“he shouted. “Oh. Um, Lucinda. Do you know how to steer a pirate ship?”

     “No, but I can try,” she responded. “First you need that thing you look through. What’s that called?”

     “A monocular? A scope? I dunno. I always called it a Looker,” Tom shrugged.
      Lucinda flew over the water, “Okay, I will make you one.”

     “Be careful, there is a drop off to, like, a zillion feet.”

     Lucinda scanned the water. She listened to the slight trickle as the shallow water joined the deep. She spied a large leaf floating on the water, snagged it, and rolled it into a tube. Then, she ran her fingertips through the water turning it bright blue and green. Dipping each end of the leaf in the glowing water, she whispered, “That should just about 
do it.”

     She hurried back to Tom, and sat on his shoulder, “Every good captain need a Looker.”

     Tom hesitated, but peeked through.

So, Tom turns left at the puppy.

     So, they turned left at the puppy

     turn left at the puppy. The puppy is me. Do you get it? Let’s adventure.

     Tom shook his head and reread the inscription. He ran his hand through his hair, hoping to scratch sense into his brain, “Onward, I suppose.”

     Tom and Lucinda turned left heading east back toward the grocery store. Tom stopped short as they passed the ice cream shop. He walked in and ordered, “Could I please have one scoop of blue moon ice cream and a baby cone of vanilla for Christopher.”

     “So, that is a single scoop of blue moon, and a baby cone for, umm, Christopher?” the clerk sadly asked.

     “Yes, please. Christopher loves—loved—oh, um. I guess just a single scoop for me,” Tom hung his head.

     “What happened to the girl he saved?” the clerk asked.

     Tom’s sad smile shifted, “She is doing really well. We are going to be in fourth grade next year. She comes to my house to play sometimes. She is really happy that Christopher could help. I am sad, but happy. Sadhappy. Do you think that’s okay?”

     “I think you can feel whatever you feel. You are a good friend. She is lucky you and Christopher were playing near the stream that day,” the clerk smiled as she prepared his ice cream.

     “Yeah, she is real lucky. Christopher is not as lucky,” Tom’s breath caught. “But, he is in my heart. And that is good right?”

     The clerk smiled as she gave him his ice cream, “Very good. Good luck, Tom. Have a better day.”

     Tom left the ice cream shop and walked along the outskirts of the city. He followed the dirt roads to where the town snuggled up to the forest. Tom and Lucinda took in the natural beauty around them.

     “Where shall we go from here?” Lucinda asked Tom.

     “Well, some days I like to follow the stream, but I don’t go past the dam. Or, I go up the foothills and play in the caves. Where do you want to go?”

So, Tom turns right at the puppy.

     So, Tom turns right at the puppy.

     turn right at the puppy. The puppy is me. Do you get it? Let’s adventure.

     Tom shook his head and reread the inscription. He ran his hand through his hair, hoping to scratch sense into his brain, “Onward, I suppose.”

     After some time, Tom turned to Lucinda, “Where are we going?”

     “I don’t know,” she blushed. “But, I know it is somewhere good.”

     Tom ambled west toward the place where grass and woods melded into a no-human’s land. His breath caught as he paused on the threshold of the deep woods. Wiping at his eyes, he let out his breath.

     “He-he would always stop and sit right there. Like he was asking permission to cross,” Tom whispered.

     “Whom?” Lucinda tilted her head to the side, and sat on Tom’s shoulder.

     “Christopher. He would wait until I said, ‘Go get ‘em.’ Then, he ran around the woods trying to do everything at once. He would check on me every 60 seconds. You could set a clock by him.” 

     “Where did you two adventure?”

     “Some days we walked through the foothills up there and played pirates in the caves. Christopher loved looking for buried treasure. Other days, we followed this stream and played lava monsters in the mud. Mom didn’t like those days. But, those were Christopher’s favorite.”

     “So, where do you think Christopher in Bronze wants us to go?”

So, Tom follows Lucinda.

     So, Tom follows Lucinda.

     Tom and Lucinda weaved through the afternoon meandering this way, hopping that way. They traced a route back through towards the town square. The festivities celebrating his dog’s life dwindled to the last of the humans who were not really sure why they were there, but came for the watermelon spitting contest and fair games.

     Lucinda led him towards the statue of “Christopher in Bronze.” She snapped her fingers and script burned into his marble base.

     Hey, Human! You found it! There is a place I want to show you. To get there you must

So, Tom thinks he's dreaming

     So, Tom thinks he is dreaming.

     This isn’t some Alice in Wonderland rabbit hole. Clearly, this is a totally realistic interpretation of every day events. This stuff happens all the time. Reader, go back and follow Lucinda. C’mon, n00b.

     Just kidding, you do what you want. And, you’re not a n00b. You’re a lovely child of the human race. But, really, Lucinda has a much more fun story. Keep reading if you don’t believe me.

     Tom woke up in the middle of the night. Honking horns and iridescent lights blared through his studio apartment. And, he had no recollection of a dog named Christopher, a flying mini human named Lucinda, or the awesome adventures that they had.

The end. (Click here to go back ONE option)

Start over.

So, Tom goes on an adventure.

*We take a break from the regularly scheduled programming entitled: "So, pirate socks are for boys, and princess socks are for girls: a discussion on gender and behavior" to bid adieu to one of Korea's finest gentlemen. Mr. Caprikajajdhfgnica, you will certainly be missed by all.*

About a thousand months ago, I asked for ideas on short stories. And, my friend T has asked me about them every time I have seen him. So, as his going away gift, I decided to not write just a review, but a full on short story. BUT THEN, I decided that that wasn't enough for him. Instead, I wrote my very first Choose Your Own Adventure adventure. Please bear with me. Imma try to not eff up the hyperlinks, but I am sure there will be at least one. 

Tom, you are a hero among humans.


Take a _______ At The Puppy-- Idea submitted by Anonymous

     “Today is an auspicious day,” Reginald winked at the gathered crowd. “Today is the day we honor our most charitable member of our community. Today is the day we unveil a statue sculpted with such a likeness that our dear Christopher might have thought he was looking at a mirror. With no more pomp and much less circumstance, I give you the piece: Christopher in Bronze.”

     Cheers erupted from all corners of the square. Reginald dabbed at his forehead with his handkerchief before grasping hands with the townspeople. Tom slunk through the legs of the adults with expertise. Soon, he was nose to nose with Christopher in Bronze.

     Patting the sculpture’s head, Tom whispered, “’Atta boy, Christopher. ‘Atta boy.” He kissed Christopher in Bronze’s snout and melted back into the summer’s day scenery. 

     The picnic was in full fledge. He dodged potato salad tables, hot dog grills, and games involving balloons and fish, though uncertain about their connectivity. Tom snatched one piece of watermelon cut exactly in an equilateral triangle, had the rind been a straight line. 

So, Tom stays at the festival.

     So, Tom stays at the festival

     “Tom, you’re such a brave boy,” one man said, ruffling Tom’s hair.

      A woman with a powdered face and pointy nails scratched his arm, “Thank you for sharing your dog. I am so sorry.”

     Moriah sidled up next to Tom, and held his hand, “Thank you, Tom. You saved my life. I’m real sorry that Christopher got hurt.”

     “Thanks, Moriah. I am glad that you are okay,” Tom sighed. “I just miss him, you know?”

     “Yeah, I know,” she dropped his hand and scurried away from him.

     Tom walked through the festival not seeing anything. It all blurred into colors and shapes. Tom’s teacher handed him a red slush drink. He took it without realizing and continued walking. He sat down on a bench and watched the festival unfold. His eyes drooped. Snap. He jumped awake to a small floating human hovering just above his nose.

     “Just what do you think you’re doing sleeping at a time like this?” this woman in a green body suit and pink hair chastised him.

     “Um, I don’t know. I was just—it is just so much,” Tom sputtered.

     “My name is Lucinda, and I am going to go on an adventure. Wanna come?” She rested one hand on her hip and pouted.

So, Tom goes home.

     So, Tom goes home.

     He scuttled home climbing fences, jumping ditches, and slithering through bushes. Reaching his backyard, Tom flopped down by the tree where a fresh mound of dirt covered his friend.

     “Hey Christopher, I got you some watermelon,” Tom ripped off a bit of the watermelon, dribbled the juice over the dirt, and pushed the fruit deep into the pile.

     The leaves played a shadow song on the blades of grass. Light and dark tinkled through the air—a visual wind chime. Tom looked up and saw a tiny human-like thing fluttering in time with the music.

     “Hi, I’m Lucinda,” she sang. “Let’s go on an adventure.”