Age of Aquarius Stories
The Story of Hyacinth
For as long Rose could remember, her father always had her watering the hyacinths that stood in the kitchen window. And for as long as she could remember, those hyacinths never withered in the winter nor died of old age. Rose became interested in gardening as she grew older, and the more she learned about plants, the more she wondered if those hyacinths were in fact enchanted hyacinths as no normal flower would have lasted as long as they had.
One day, Rose’s father grew extremely ill and, thinking that his time was over, called Rose and her brother Linden to him and divided the few belongings he had. The house, of course, went to Linden, while a silver ring and the pot of hyacinths went to Rose. Their father passed away not long after that, and things seemed to take a downward spiral for Rose. Linden barely made enough for them to survive, but Rose worked diligently at her garden, providing them with something to eat when Linden could not buy enough at the market. She would sell what little extra they had to get by, but it was barely enough. The two still couldn’t be happier as they adored each other very well and couldn’t think of a better person to spend their hardships with than their sibling.
About a month after their father’s passing, Rose noticed that her hyacinths were a little drier than usual. Panicking, she realized that she had forgotten to water them the day before, grabbed a watering can, and rushed out to the river, the only source of water they had. Along the way, she came across a strange sight; a stately lady was strolling through the forest with seven other maidens not much younger than Rose. The lady noticed Rose and called her forth, offering her some of the food she had brought for a picnic by the river. Rose accepted, though she did mention that she had to hurry back to water her hyacinths and fix dinner for herself and Linden. The maidens spread out the picnic, and the lady revealed that she had plenty enough for Rose to take some of the leftovers for dinner. Gratefully, Rose accepted, and the two chatted away, sharing tales of days gone past. Rose wished she could have given the lady the hyacinths, but instead asked the lady to take her silver ring as a token of their friendship. The lady was touched by this act of generosity from someone who had so little. The lady asked if Rose would become one of her maidens. Rose shook her head and declined, she would not leave her brother to face these hardships alone. The lady nodded and accepted the ring.
Rose soon took leave of her new friend to gather the water, bringing a good dinner to her brother and a fresh drink of water for her hyacinths. Upon arriving in her room, she was startled to find an army of rats between her and her hyacinths. Terrified that they might do something to her, her flowers, or even to Linden, she poured some of the water from her pitcher onto the rats. They scattered quickly, never to be seen again. Taking a few deep breaths to calm down her racing heart, Rose quickly watered her hyacinths. Only imagine her surprise when the hyacinths seemed to speak and told her they loved her. Thinking that she was delirious, Rose went outside for a breath of fresh air, only to be met by the lady she had met in the forest and her brother. Rose quickly told them everything that had happened with the rats and the hyacinths, still unsure, though, if she heard the flowers or if it was some kind of trick. At that moment, a young man not much older than Linden exited the house and used the same words the hyacinths used to tell Rose how much they loved them. Rose stepped closer to her brother in fear, but the lady kissed the man’s forehead and took to explaining the entire incident.
Many years ago, about the time Rose was born, the lady had some dealing with a genie. There was a witch plaguing the kingdom, and being part irshi, the lady took to asking the genies for help in setting the country free from the witch’s grasp. The genies were more than willing to help, and sent one of their purple-colored genies. Between the two, the witch was banished, but not before she laid a curse on the lady’s only son, Hyacinth, changing him into the flowers Rose had watered for years. Stating that only someone of humble birth could ever save him, the witch finally left, cackling as she vanished into the night. The genie searched high and low for someone who could break the spell, and found Rose’s family the day she was born. Entreating them not to say a word, the lady and the genie left Hyacinth in their care, and had to submit to patience for the day when Rose would be old enough to break the spell. The lady went on to reveal that the army of rats was sent by that very witch in an attempt to stop Rose from breaking the spell.
As soon as the lady finished her tale, the genie appeared, and offered to take them all to the mansion that was Hyacinth’s inheritance. Rose and Hyacinth were soon married, and Linden soon met and married a girl. The four lived in peace and prosperity till the end of their days, their years of suffering now finally over, the wait every bit worth it.
**Stories by: Amanda P.
Being the son of the qarin Bromius and the lenai Azina, Fufluns became something of a bridge between the two races. Not that there was much to work on between them, the races got along rather well, but if a lenai wished to communicate with one of the sleeping qarin, Fufluns was the only one who could communicate effectively between them. Whenever he could, he visited his father down in the catacombs, and though the qarin slept, he related many things to his son, mainly of the days before the qarin race was split into two factions. Fufluns would even visit his grandfather, Bacchus, who often told him of the days before Bromius was born. With the knowledge and the strength of a qarin, plus the speed and the gentleness of a lenai, Fufluns was often the head of the away missions as they continued to search for the genies, the keys of Antillia, the people with whom they would share their lovely island, and most importantly, the rulers of Antillia. Lenai, hyleoroi, shedu, and qarin were not meant to rule an island, let alone a people. Hence why Fufluns and his team tended to wear masks when they visited the different worlds, they had no king to report back to, they had no dukes to get them out of tight spots, and they had to search for that authority. It is true that many times they, Fufluns especially, would help some of the local populace with a situation, like helping the police catch the criminal, return stolen items to the rightful owner, or get a child back home. As such, the legend of the Bluebird spread across space and tongues. But as time wore on and the keys still had not been found, getting out and back in was getting harder and harder, and Fufluns’ team was getting smaller, until he and Amitolana, another half qarin, were the only people heading out to search. Finally, they found the genies, and the island was allowed to rest, until the day they would set out again, this time, hopefully, their search would be nearly over.
Bluebird Helps Ananse
The lone figure darted atop the close-knit roofs, barely having to use his wings to fly across the rooftops. He paused atop one roof and took out a pair of binoculars from his pack. He scanned the area with them, his right foot subconsciously tapping to the beat of the music that wafted from the party below. He paused; he noticed some frantic movement in the distance, too far away for even the binoculars to pick up. He flew quickly to a few rooftops down and used the binoculars again. This time, he could see a little more clearly, two figures were battling a masked figure. He recognized the emblem on the masked figure’s suit; it was a spider in the form of an X, the emblem of the masked hero Ananse. He flew quickly to a rooftop just above the fight, pausing to see if the great hero really needed any help. As if on cue, three more assailants rushed Ananse. Bluebird sighed, looks like he did need help. First though, he fitted an arrow to his bow and shot in the midst of the group, a gas bomb exploded. The assailants began to cough, giving Bluebird the distraction he needed to get to Ananse.
“Hey, are you alright?” Ananse paused and glanced at him, though the mask hid any facial emotions, his body language surely talked of the surprise the hero thought.
“Who are you?”
“My name is Bluebird, well, that’s my hero name, as yours is Ananse, right?”
“How do you know that?”
“I’m from Antillia, we were the ones looking for the genies, well, at least one of the four groups, it seems.”
“Oh, has Matthew agreed to help?”
Bluebird chuckled, “He apparently already has. Several of the qarin recognized him from an earlier experience with him.”
“Oh, but I mean, did he agree now?”
Bluebird sighed, “He seems to be talking it over with the genies, I guess, he seems to have disappeared.”
Ananse chuckled, “He does that a lot. And I’d love to chat some more, but I still have a problem to handle.”
“Of course, consider me at your service.” With that being said, the two tore into the dissipating smoke and fought the five criminals. Bluebird was thrilled, and a bit surprised, at the swiftness and grace of his ally. Ananse apparently could have taken these guys out easily, but having to face five at a time was a bit much. Ananse, on the other hand, was thoroughly surprised at the swiftness and grace of his ally. He had never seen a bird fly or even fight as fast as Bluebird was. Ananse could tell that hand-to-hand combat wasn’t his strong suit, but he was doing much better than the five crooks. It wasn’t long before they had all five tied up in plain sight of the next squad car before the two masked figures dashed away. They stopped at a nearby rooftop to keep an eye on the crooks, but were well out of earshot.
“Why are you here?” Ananse blurted.
Bluebird blinked, “What do you mean?”
“Why were you in this neighborhood?”
Bluebird shrugged, “Just out getting to know the ways of humans. They are a strange race, and I felt I must know many of their ways if we are meant to share our island with a select group.”
“Well, not all humans are like that,” remarked Ananse, pointing at the group they just defeated.
Bluebird laughed, “I know, I have come across many good specimens, a good thing, I think, for we will no doubt have many of the best of their kind. We most certainly must have the best to lead us all.”
Ananse nodded, “Quite true, quite true, and I have no doubt the genies will find exactly who you need.”
“Exactly why we need them, now, if you’ll excuse me, I must be going. I would like to speak with you more about this and many other things, for I sense we have much in common, but I’m afraid I have a schedule to keep and I must return to Antillia soon for the gates do not stay open for very long now. Perhaps another time?”
“Perhaps; but, if you don’t mind my asking, why do the gates not stay open?”
“Well, how should I put this? Our locks and keys are rather different from yours, rather than a mechanism and a piece of metal, we have ethelline and virtium.”
Bluebird nodded, “Substances that are hard to describe, I’m afraid. Um, I guess you could say ethelline is like the sun in a marbleized form and virtium is the rainbow in a crystallized form? That is the best way I can describe it, it would be easier if you saw it.”
“Wow, it must look magnificent.”
“Compared to what you have here, it is indeed. Anyway, to put it bluntly, the ethelline is unlocked by the virtium, which is powered by emotions and virtues. The genies removed the virtium a long time ago to keep everyone out while we searched for our human companions, only those who were on the island before the removal could come and go as they pleased, given that they used the gates sparingly, or else they too would be locked out.”
“Wait, before the removal?”
Bluebird laughed, “Yes, that would make me over fifty years old, by your reckoning. I am half qarin, the main reason why I am one of the few who can leave. I’m sorry, but you’ll have to excuse me, I really must go.” Ananse shook hands with him, “Right, of course, perhaps I can come see Antillia one of these days.”
“You should, it really is lovely. Good day!” Bluebird waved as he took off.
“Good day, and thanks again!” replied Ananse with a wave before he swung off on his platinum webs in the opposite direction.
Haunted House Club
As anyone on Alixandria knows, genies are fascinated by otherworldly reports, specifically ghost stories. There is some speculation as to why this is as genies are often quoted as having a connection to the other side, some hypotheses wilder than others. Perhaps they can just sense the spirit world and can’t see anything. Perhaps because they cannot die they wish to find some way of catching that feeling. Perhaps they too wish to speak to their loved ones, the mortals who have passed on. Whatever the case may actually be, the entire race seems immensely enthralled by stories of the otherworld, so much so, that the fascination passes on to future generations of half-genies, the primary residents of Jardines. Every city on the islands has a team of ghost investigators; every school has a paranormal club. Not all the inhabitants of Jardines can participate in the fun and excitement of a mystery, though they do follow the adventures of the ghost investigators most ardently. But those who are lucky to be part of such a prestigious group find that not all adventures are to their liking, and one such group, known as the Haunted House Club from Midnight Gulch, certainly had its fair share of strange cases and close calls. The members of this renowned club varied due to the fact that it was a high school club, but the cases best remembered were solved by a certain group, Nicky White and her brother Chuck, her best friends Lu and Jess Scarlett, his best friends Fred and Jon Mustard, along with the club president, Nate Green, the club vice president, Jerry Plum, and the club secretary, Clara Peacock. They had begun with simply exploring haunted houses, until one haunted house proved to be rather exciting.
It all began when Nicky nearly fell through the floor, revealing a secret passageway. The group set about eagerly exploring it, only to discover a dreadful secret. The previous owner of the house found cruel satisfaction in the torment of numerous victims, the current owner, his son, beginning to discover his own evil delight in screams. The gang soon found themselves caged in the house, the owner scared of their revealing his family’s secret. He captured the group one by one and locked them up in his dungeons, ready to torment his next set of victims, starting with Nicky. However, if there’s one thing about the people of Jardines easily and quickly forgotten by the rest of Alixandria, it is that they still posses powers inherited from their genie ancestors. Though they do in fact rarely use it, in instances like the problems the Haunted House Club were facing at that moment, the genie side tends to come out in almost full force. True, they did not have every single power of the genies, but they didn’t need every single power either, for what they did have was enough to get them out of a tough situation. Fred and Jon instantly took the lead when Chuck’s recently acquired knowledge of locks proved to be useful. Using their knowledge of the house schematics, they were able to get everyone out safely before going back in for Nicky. A brief but intense fight ensued between the three teens and the owner of the house in their attempt to rescue Chuck’s sister. Fred and Jon thought quickly, and managed to catch the owner in his own dungeon. The police soon arrived, and with the teens’ help, was able to put a maniac behind bars. And thus the adventures of the Haunted House Club truly began.
**Stories by: Amanda P.
Meet the Melodies
“Hey guys, I got a gig for you!” The band looked up from their practice at their manager.
“Oh, uh, thanks Mr. Welk, when is the gig?” asked Art.
“Tonight, at the Lotus Hotel, five o’clock sharp.” The band glanced at each other.
“Uh, why so soon?” asked Andy.
Clarence Welk handed Art a pamphlet, “Because their first choice cancelled on them last minute, and you’re the only band available.”
Art glanced at the pamphlet, “Mr. and Mrs. David Stewart celebrate their sixtieth anniversary, followed by their grandson Michael’s sixteenth birthday party. So, classical for the sixties and popular for the sixteenth?”
Art’s bandmates chuckled as Clarence rolled his eyes, “Basically, the back has a list, two lists, actually, of the songs they want.”
Art’s eyes widened, “Spring Aria, Ode to Love, Desire of Man’s Heart, Butterfly’s Wings, and Over the Mountains?”
“Whoa, that’s more Philharmonic work, there’s only four of us,” Rhonda pointed out.
“No, not really. There are variations in which you only need a piano, a harp, a flute, and a violin, something they can afford and you can do. Here, sheet music for each part for each song, including Michael’s requests.” Jazz glanced at the sheets, “Dream Magic, Journey to Franktown, Letter for You, Playtime, Flying, Love in Season, Kick It, and Never That Way.”
“Gotta hand it to that kid, he’s got good taste, and they’re fairly easy songs. Might have to work a bit on the Backstreet Belles ones, but otherwise, all doable,” remarked Andy.
“Yup, and since we’ve got our pop instruments out, we’ll practice a bit on Mike’s selection before pulling out our orchestral instruments,” suggested Art.
“Alright, then I’ll go make the necessary arrangements.”
“Thanks Mr. Welk!” the band chorused. Clarence gave a quick nod before ducking out of the room, leaving the band to practice.
Six hours later, Clarence pulled into the Lotus Hotel parking lot. He parked, and helped the band get out their instruments to set up in the lobby. The band finished setting up while Clarence mingled with the crowd.
“There’s a lot of old people out there,” whispered Andy as he peeked through the curtains.
“Get used to it, you’ll be joining them soon enough,” Art quipped from his seat at the piano. The girls giggled as Andy rolled his eyes, passing Art on his way to the harp.
Clarence poked his head through the curtains, “Are you ready?” The four nodded. “Good, give me a minute.” There was a pause, then they began to fidget, but stopped abruptly when they heard Clarence’s voice ring out. “Thank you all for coming to celebrate with the Stewarts on their sixtieth anniversary!” Applause echoed throughout the banquet, but Clarence didn’t continue until it had stopped. “I know you were expecting the Rocabelles from Symphorian, but I hope you won’t mind a different band. They’re just as good as the Rocabelles, if not better. Allow me to introduce to you Art Nesmith, Andy Tork, Jazz Jones, and Rhonda Dolenz. Ladies and gentlemen, the Melodies!” The curtains drew back, and the audience saw the band for the first time.
Art glanced at his team and gave a slight nod. signalling the start of Spring Aria. At first, the music seemed to drag on, but then, as the notes grew sweeter, it seemed to take flight, and it flew fast. Before they knew it, it was time for a break, and then on to Michael’s selection. The scene changed, from the old waltz to the young swing, as they got back on stage to begin “Love in Season.” At the end the Melodies huddled together, they would do one more song, but it was a surprise, and what a surprise it was. With Art back at the piano, Andy got his guitar, Rhonda went to her drums while Jazz picked up her tambourine and her flute, the four began playing a mix of “Ode to Love” and “Love in Season.” The crowd was shocked into silence, but it wasn’t long before the song took their feet to the dance floor. The applause at the end was the loudest they had ever heard, and shouts of ‘encore’ thrilled them.
That night, the band talked with their manager and the five came to an agreement, it was time to reintroduce classical music to the younger generations, via mixing classical pieces with modern pop. And thus Arthur Nesmith, Jasmine Jones, Andante Tork, and Rhonda Dolenz embarked on a journey that would later become the Melody legacy.
(A box is heard falling over, followed by a grunt. A young man’s voice whispers)
“Dixie, did you hear that?”
“Yeah, it sounds like it’s coming from behind those boxes at the end of the aisle.”
“And it sounds like it’s getting closer. Hurry it up!”
“Hang on, Joe, this is a delicate process, I have to do it right or I won’t get anything.”
“Quickly, it’s almost here.”
“I know, Joe. Ah, got it! Let’s go!” (crumpling paper)
“Thank goodness, come on, this way! Give me your hand.”
“But Joe . . .”
“No buts! Now is not the time to get separated!”
(sighs) “Oh fine.” (footsteps echo through the storage dock, the two are panting) “Uh, Joe, are you sure this is the way out?” (footsteps stop)
“Yeah, I left a marker right . . . wait, where is it?” (a creepy laugh echoed in response)
“Oh great, now we don’t know how to get out of this labyrinth, and that creep is bound to find us if we don’t get out of here.”
“I know, but we need to go this way, I remember putting a marker right there.”
“Alright. we better get going, I know he’s not far behind.”
“Right, come on.” (footsteps continue for a few seconds, then stop again) “OK, Joe, where to from here?”
“Um, I don’t remember, give me a second. Stay right here.” (a pair of footsteps move slowly, then begin running at the sound of a scream) “No!”
“Dixie!” (the sound of boxes tumbling, and a body falls) “Joe! No, let me go, let me go! Joe!”
“Gah, I hate cliff-hangers! But hey, we’ll be sure to check in next week for the exciting conclusion of “Southern Damsel.” Man, those writers know how to keep us coming, raising questions like, will Ray and Connie be able to find Joe? Will they be able to save Dixie? Well, that one should be easy, these are “The Adventures of Dixie Johnson,” so they should be able to find her, but you can’t help but wonder. And, of course, the biggest one of all, who is the creepy culprit? The answers, all coming next week. Ugh, why do we have to wait so long. But, at least we can got to the theater and watch the complete movie of “David Turner and the Skeleton Committee.” One of David’s creepiest mysteries yet, perfect for the Halloween season. Parents, be forewarned, scary material was involved in the making of this movie, but it looks so awesome. Committee members are disappearing and skeletons are all that’s left, or is it? Carol Santonio might have a hand in it, she’s certainly got a big part in the movie. And David’s girlfriend, Trin Thompson, is on hand to help the great detective. At least we won’t have to wait a full week for the conclusion of the movie. I don’t know about you, but I want to watch it, so this is Robin Conkrite signing off. My brother William is on next with news and other boring stuff. Talk to you next week!”
Author’s Note: This short story takes on a surreal effect by listening to the selected music. Just click on the first word “She” of the story to hear the music while reading. Thanks!
She stepped on something, something that crinkled under her shoe. She took her shoe off, and bent over to pick it up. It was a picture, a dark picture, it looked like it had been taken by one of those old cameras and it hadn’t developed yet. She stuck it in her back pocket, and swung her flashlight around the old mansion. Where was everybody else? They were supposed to have met in the living room thirty minutes ago. The picture was proof that the others had been there, but where were they now? She jumped as one of the floorboards creaked on the second story. She tried to slow down her heart as she went to investigate the sound, thinking that her friends might have caused it, but when she got there, there was no one to be seen, only another photo. She stuck it in her back pocket with the other one, fairly certain now that her friends were trying to play some prank on her. She heard another creak from the attic, and boldly bounded up the ladder, thinking of a way to get back at her friends. But no one was to be seen and, yet again, she found another photo. She took out the other two to look at them and gasped as all three were now clear. She glanced quickly around the attic, fear written on her face. She turned and climbed quickly down the ladder. She could hear heavy breathing coming from somewhere in the attic, but she didn’t pause to see if anyone was following. She raced to the front door and yanked on it, but it wouldn’t budge. She checked the windows in the living room and the dining room before checking the back door, none of them budged. She ran frantically to the second story, hoping for an open window, anything, for another way out. The breathing seemed to surround her as she rushed through the hall to the rooms. She checked one, then another, going through each room, nothing, except for a key. Thinking that this could be the key to one of the doors, she raced back to the stairs, and paused. A shadow was moving around the living room, and stopped when it heard her reach the stairs. It moved toward the staircase, but she was already moving back down the hall, hoping to hide in one of the rooms. She tried to turn the knobs, but all the ones she had just checked were now locked. She glanced back at the staircase, footsteps were coming closer slowly, like it knew it had her trapped and wanted to savor its victory. She finally reached the last room she had checked, it was unlocked. She rushed in, closing and locking the door behind her, the footsteps still getting closer. She went around checking everything for a possible secret door, but nothing budged. She turned her attention back to the window, pulling and pushing with all her might, not stopping until she heard a creak. She could see in the reflection of the window that door was open. She turned, and screamed.
“Oh my goodness! He’s ordering a cappuccino! Now he’s sitting down outside! I have a clear shot of him, I’m taking a few pictures. Wow, this is gold! I’ve never been this close before, I’m so close I can almost smell that cappuccino. Oh, he texting somebody! Oh, wait, it’s me! OMG OMG OMG! What did he say? OMG! Here it is! His text!! It says. “STOP FOLLOWING ME!” Aw, isn’t that sweet? He texted me! Oh, wait, where did he go?”
**Stories by: Amanda P.
Author’s Note: You may want to catch up on Part One (2011) and Part Two (2012) before reading the hilarious conclusion.
“Oomph! Allie, argh!”
The girl put a finger to her lips and sharply shushed the silver dragon. She looked him straight in the eye, her eyebrows furrowed with determination to stuff her adopted brother into the cardboard box.
Dude, do you want to get us caught?”
Zinc stopped the objection to gather his thoughts for a moment. He looked at his surroundings; he was cramped into a box that was half his size, just to be a birthday gift to a celebrity or proving the fact that dragons did exist in the today’s world. Wait a minute. He was being a birthday gift? Birthday gift somebody was having a birthday today that would mean there was to be cake and ice-cream, cake and ice-cream!
His tummy started rumbling loudly. The fat dragon sighed and patted his stomach soothingly with both front paws.
“I’m hungry,” he stated.
“You’re always hungry, silly,” Allie commented, taping the flaps shut. Just a little more and, there! I know this isn’t exactly like our last present to him, Zincy, but at least he’ll be in for a big surprise.”
“That’s because Snowdrop helped you out with the wrapping paper last year,” Zinc reminded her, his voice muffled in the box. Inside, he scratched his icy blue underbelly and clasped his claws together politely. “Hey… um, you think we could get some of Mr. Wood’s ice-cream before we leave? I’m famished!”
Allie chuckled, tapping the top of the birthday box with an index finger. “I heard you the first time.”
“Excuse me,” came a voice, do you need any help carrying that?”
Allie waved it off without taking the time to look over her shoulder. “Nah, I’m good. Thanks anyway sir. This is the right spot where it needs to be.”
“You’re delivering that package to me?” said the man in disbelief. “It’s enormous! I have never expected someone your age to be part of the postal service. You must make them proud.”
Allie turned around to face the man, squeezing one of her biceps. “With these scrawny arms? Sorry, I have to disagree with you on that, oh… holy crap.”
She fixed her oval-round glasses and blinked twice, squinting to get a good look at the fellow who was now standing beside her. The girl stepped away, chewing an inward of her cheek. Her brown eyes rolled to the sky and she prayed to God that Zinc wasn’t going to make a fool of himself by jumping out of the box, tackling Elijah Wood across his front lawn and pinning him to the ground just to lick his face. Allie smacked a hand to her forehead as her other hand was engaged with the number one, springing her index finger out.
There was a yelp.
Out came the number two with her middle finger.
Last but not least, number three!
((Cue the cliche cartoony record scratch)) Zinc spread his wings and lifted his head, giving the celeb a funny look. “Wow, Allie, you didn’t tell me he was the spitting image of Papa Ross!”
The dragon then rested his muzzle against the man’s chest and started sniffing out any sign of sweets. Elijah glanced over at Allie, who was trying to shove Zinc off him.
“Sorry, he does this thing to a lot of people.”
“It’s okay,” said Elijah. “I love it when fans who are dressed in mascot costumes come bouncing around, just trying to pin me to the ground and sniff my cologne. That’s life, you know?”
Zinc stopped being nosy and tilted his head curiously at the young man with the big blue eyes. “Oh, sorry,” he apologized quietly. “I’m not trying to get a whiff of your cologne. I think Shimmer’s the only dragon in the world to wear that stuff, since he’s a king and all.” Elijah raised an eyebrow. Who was Shimmer? This dragon liked to go off-topic quite a bit. “I’m just trying to find your stash.”
Elijah simply had no idea what he was talking about. “Stash? What stash?”
Zinc curiously lifted Elijah’s jacket and peeked inside. Nothing. He looked at him with a toothy grin and said, “Your ice-cream stash!!! It’s your birthday today! You’ve got to have an ice-cream stash in here somewhere!”
“Zinc, get off of him!” yelled Allie. “You’re crushing him with all that weight!”
“Whoops!” The dragon giggled and hovered off him and remained at the side. “Sorry Mr. Wood, if you don’t have the ice-cream stash on you right now, can we have some of your birthday cake instead? We came all this way!”
Just for dessert? Elijah thought. He brushed himself off and studied the dragon carefully. He was a particular one, if this was a birthday prank, these were some good special effects. He looked so real. His scales were pure silver, and his underbelly, wings, horns, spine, and the diamond tip of his tail were detailed in a dark steel blue. He had the mentality of a five-year-old. The qualities of the so-called gentle giant. Who apparently was obsessed with ice-cream. What was his name again? Zinc?
From a silly dragon,? ZINC.
Everything was becoming so clear now. Elijah began to stare at the dragon in wonder.
“So, you’re not some kind of studio prop?” he asked.
Zinc snorted. “Prop? Me? Nope, um, at least, I don’t think so anyway.” His claws fidgeted nervously together. “Am I a prop, Allie?”
“I’m pretty sure you hatched from an egg,” Allie informed him.
“And you’re not a special effect?” asked Elijah.
The dragon shook his head no. Elijah touched Zinc’s horn with his fingertips. He gave a low whistle of approval.
“One more question,” he said. Zinc sighed in relief. The questions were giving him a migraine. All he wanted to do was to eat some ice-cream and head back home. Was that too much to ask?
“This isn’t a prank; you actually did eat my ice-cream from last year?”
Zinc perked up. He had no problems answering that one.
“Yeah, those gallons were really tasty! But I’m sorry, again.” He hung his head and shyly hid himself away by taking refuge behind his wings. Elijah looked at Allie and asked,
“Does he usually eat ice-cream?”
“Every day,” replied Allie. “He can’t live without it. He practically survives off ice-cream. He’ll eat any flavor at any day, whatever the time may be. He’ll eat sweets without question. The only thing he won’t touch is frozen yogurt. Trust me, I’ve tried.”
Elijah immediately felt bad for the guy. He didn’t know Zinc’s addiction to ice-cream was so serious that his own life depended on it. He gently patted Zinc on the wing, trying to comfort the dragon in any way possible.
“It’s okay, don’t worry about it, Zinc,” said Elijah sympathetically. “I have an ice-cream cake in the house that I’ll gladly split with you.”
The silver dragon tried to stand as tall as he could on his hind legs. He sniffled and brought Elijah into a bone-crushing hug. The embrace became so tight that the actor’s eyes were bulging out of their sockets. Elijah gave Zinc a playful swat on the shoulder blade in response. Zinc dropped him to the ground and skipped off to the house, his wings all aflutter. Allie provided support for Elijah by helping him to the steps.
“Tell me kiddo,” said Elijah, interested, “How did you two meet?”
“Oh, it’s a long story,” said Allie. Her expression of a beaming smile turned to hesitation.
“Well, a real-life silly dragon with an ice-cream addiction. I’ve never seen anything like it. He’s an extraordinary one, your friend Zinc. “
“Says the man who owns a basement dwelling, pot-smoking dog.”
Stranger In Town
The town of Ivy Hollow was known for many things; hospitality, good food, extravagant parties, and, the most important of all, the many haunted spots and their accompanying stories. There was the old Pumpkin Spice Inn, seeing many years of deaths and gruesome murders; Myrtle’s Grocer, whose ghosts are friendly enough to keep thieves from bothering them; Black-Eyed Susan’s, the bar of ghastly shrieks and shattering glass; just some of the many hauntingly lovely places to be found throughout town. But the biggest attractions are, of course, the cemeteries, where zombies are rumored to spring from the grave, and the castles, where mad scientists, witches, vampires, and a stray werewolf or two are seen wandering the candle-lit corridors amidst the still, midnight air. One castle in particular, Akebiall, was home to a rather strange story. Legend spoke of a vampire who rode a dark horse on moonless nights from there, searching for his next prey. But what’s so interesting about this vampire and his haunt is that there’s a maiden laying asleep in the tallest tower, and to free her, one must spend three consecutive nights alone in that horrid place. Some only made it through one night and went home raving mad, but those who went for two nights were never seen again.
One day, a stranger came into town, astride a glossy black horse, an air of confidence blew through his sandy-blond hair, and a fierce determination shone in his grey eyes. Like those before him who wished to test their courage in the halls of Akebiall, he checked into the Silver Key, the only tavern lying in the shadow of the sinister castle. He left his name down as Luke, and it was in the tavern where he met a mysterious boarder named Matthew, who promised to help him face the terrors of Akebiall.
For the first night, Matthew gave Luke a lantern and some floral-scented candles and told him to not let the spirits blow out the candles or he would go insane. For the first few hours, Luke was alone in the castle, then, about midnight, the spirits showed their horrible faces, but they did not harm Luke while he had the candle lit. Then, when he needed to change candles, the spirits tried to blow it out, but Luke sang a song and that kept them away long enough for him to change the candle. And he completed the first night.
The second night, Matthew made Luke take some special food with him. About midnight, Luke found out why, three vempousi, female vampires, showed up, wanting him to play with them. He managed to get the food worked into the play, and got the vempousi to eat of the lamb. By morning, they were ash, and thus Luke made it through the second night.
The third night, Matthew gave Luke a bundle to take with him, giving him some final instructions before Luke ventured into the castle for the third and final challenge. For the first half of the night, Luke wandered the castle, looking for the staircase that led to the tower where the lady laid. He found them when he heard a sound from the first floor. Unwrapping the bundle to reveal a sword, Luke went to investigate. He found the source of the noise as being the vampire, who was waiting for him. The vampire’s eyes were black with white pupils and red irises, shooting fear into Luke’s heart. But Luke bravely fought him until Matthew arrived to finish up and let Luke wake Leyla. The vampire turned into ash as dawn peeked over the horizon, and Luke took Leyla to his own home in the south.
**By, Amanda P.
Author’s Note: First, I would like to extend my thanks to the town of Newbury Massachusetts, the city of Newburyport, Massachusetts and Plum Island Massachusetts.
All of these places are indeed real and I had the pleasure of growing up in Newbury, later residing in Newburyport, and spending many pleasurable days on the beach of Plum Island.
The Compass Rose Inn is also a real place. I have included these clickable links so that you may view this beautiful and gracious inn.
Lastly, and most importantly of all, to Mr. Elijah Wood I dearly hope you will see this and grant me leniency on portraying you in this story. My warmest wishes to you on your thirty-third birthday, may there be many more.
The Desserts Continue!
Author’s Note: You may want to read ‘Just Desserts’ from 2011 first, otherwise this may not make much sense! 😉
Elijah enters the outside world from his front doorway. He closes his eyes and feels the sunlight pour onto his face. It is greeting him from the sky above, but today is special. It’s the man’s thirty-first birthday today and it should be one of the best! He takes a sip of coffee from his mug and steps off of the porch. The block from his view is looking mightily happy and healthy, and it’s just the way he likes it. Elijah puts on a satisfied smile and starts walking toward his mailbox to see if the newspaper has arrived yet. He stops briefly when he notices a small package waiting for him.
I wonder who that’s from?
The actor raises an eyebrow, and then sets down his mug. Before he stands again, he brings the package with him. Its color is a bright blue – the ribbon and knot is too, only in a decorative navy shade of cerulean. Elijah grins. Blue is his favorite color! He mentally reminds himself to thank whoever dropped this off earlier. Before diving into the present, he sees a card attached underneath the knot of the bow. Elijah quickly sets down the present next to his mug and grabs hold of the card. In his eyes, excitement bursts like fireworks.
Taking a deep breath, Elijah slowly opens the card. He blinks in surprise and reads the words. He does not use his voice – instead, speaks with his mind.
Hi! You might remember me from last year’s card, except that this is Zinc writing, not Allie. I wanted to apologize for eating your cake. I felt bad afterwards. And I got a tummy-ache too! 🙁 So to make it up to you, I got you some ice-cream! 😀 I’m pretty sure that your momma baked you a cake, and this ice-cream I delivered to your address can go with it! It’s a perfect match. I hope that you have a great birthday! Party hard with your friends, and don’t let Pinkie Pie steal the cupcakes! :3
From a silly dragon, ZINC
Elijah drops the card immediately without being aware of the ‘P.S.’ written on it. He removes the ribbon and pops open the present with an exhilarating beam on his face.
But his blue eyes widen, and his once content expression falls into a surprising one. The ice-cream cartons are empty! Gasping for breath, Elijah snatches up the card once more and skims it over.
P.S. I sort of had a little snack!
Elijah groans and shakes his head. He should have known that the silly dragon ate his gift, just like the last time.
Thumping at his pair of jeans, Elijah became indecisive on opening the card. He sat his mug of coffee on the spill coaster that his sister had set out for him and clasped his hands together underneath his chin. His big, blue eyes glanced over to his sister, Hannah, who sat on the petite sofa across from the coffee table, busy re-reading a poem. Sensing her brother’s gaze, she raised her eyes. Exhaling a breath, Hannah lowered the notepad away from her face.
“Well?” she said.
“Well what?” Elijah inquired.
Hannah tapped her mechanical pencil against the notepad. The younger sibling narrowed her eyebrows. “Aren’t you going to open it?”
The older sibling hesitated and stared at the envelope once more. Elijah sighed and reached for the letter, gripped it in his right hand.
“Go on,” Hannah urged.
Elijah grinned at her. “You’re not my mother.”
Hannah smirked right back. “No, but Mom would want for you to open that envelope. She isn’t here right now, and that means you’ll have to deal with me.”
Elijah flapped the sachet into the air. “All right! Relax, Hannah. I’ll open it.”
He placed the object on his thigh and split it open by the seal. Smiling with success, Elijah brought the card out of the torn envelope and into his hands.
“What does it say?” Hannah asked, leaning over from the couch.
Her older brother turned his head, card in hands, and showed her the front of the birthday greeting.
A message appeared to be written on the card in all sorts of blue markers:
I was supposed to bring you a slice of cake, sir!
Hannah’s brows furrowed. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
Elijah shrugged. He opened the card and his luminous blue eyes enlarged, reading what was on the inside. A smile crept on his lips, soon to display the gaped front teeth that certain fans loved as when he beamed in pictures from paparazzi. Hannah’s expression turned puzzled once she coaxed her head to the side. Elijah Wood, who was getting exhausted of the unoriginal ‘happy birthday, you’ve turned thirty!’ cards, started laughing.
“What?!” Hannah exclaimed. “‘Lij, what is it?”
With an enormous, contented beam, Elijah held out the card for his sister to take a nice, long look at it. A silver and blue-scaled colored dragon sat in the center on the right, pleasantly covering his mouth with a paw. The dragon’s other paw was rubbing his gigantic stomach, trying to cease the pain of an ache. A pale plate was beside him, surrounded in crumbs of cake.
But, unfortunately, Zinc ate it all in one bite. (He cannot resist anything that is ice-cream related!) Next year, I’ll let you have marble instead. Despite the cake, we hope that you’re having an amazing 30th birthday!
-Love, Allie & Zinc
Delicious Elijah Cookies
The catch to this recipe are the ingredients. You can find them anywhere, but many don’t use them. If they do, not all are used or they’re measured in the wrong amounts or they’re substituted for lesser substances. It’s been known over the years that Elijah cookies prepared exactly as instructed will yield the best you’ve ever savored.
1 cup Integrity
1 cup Respect
1 cup Compassion
2 cups Humility
2 cups Talent
1-1/2 cups Attractive
1-3/4 cups Appealing
1/4 cup Incorrigible
1/4 cup Nuts
1-3/4 cups Honey
Start off by combining integrity and respect. These set the foundation of a good Elijah cookie. Next, gently fold in humility. This ingredient is very delicate and rare and should not be compromised.
Mix in compassion. This is the secret to a warm Elijah cookie. Without it, the whole batch falls flat and you’re left with a cold cookie.
Stir in talent. Adding this ingredient will surely please the crowds.
Next incorporate attractive. This will make the cookies pleasing to the eye. Appealing can now be combined. A great Elijah cookie is always a treat to have around. These two ingredients will never spoil.
Slowly mix in incorrigible and nuts. You don’t need to add both, but it’s better with each of them. This gives your Elijah cookies freshness with a hint of spice that’s unexpected but delightful.
Lastly, incorporate the honey. Make sure to add the purest available. If you have to, go the the beekeeper and get it directly.
All ingredients will blend well from the beginning but like fine wine, it will reach its full flavor after 30 years.
Servings per batch – Plenty to serve tens of thousands.
Calories – 0
Fat – 0
Cholesterol – 0
**By Chef Deenan
The Birthday Present
I took a look at my calender and I saw: Elijah will be 28 on the 28th.
A present is needed, but what should it be?
I asked my friends. (They now you from TV.)
Margret said: “That’s easy.”
“That’s easy?” I asked.
“Of course. For example, I got a new espresso machine for my last birthday.”
Hey, your old one was broken and you said that you wanted a new one. Usually you are not happy with household articles as a present.
“No, no, an espresso machine is not the right present for you.”
Then I asked Pold and he said: “I know what I’d want. I’d want to travel to the Caribbean. This is a fine present.”
“For you.” I said. “I don’t know, if Elijah likes the Caribbean. Maybe he’ll feel like he’s sent in exile.”
“No, no, I don’t send you to Caribbean.”
Further I asked Emily.
She said: “I have always wished for a sweet little hamster. All my friends have one. Give him a hamster as a present.”
“But will the dogs eat it?” I asked.
He may not take care of it and I heard about the right kind of care of a hamster.
“No, no, I don’t buy you a hamster.”
Julian said: “You are right not to buy a hamster. If I were you, I would buy him a keyboard. I also wanted a keyboard for my last birthday.”
“Yes,” I said, “and now it is behind the sofa, for not being used, because you left it in the middle of the living room, besides, I think he already has one.”
“No, no a keyboard is not the right present for you.”
Then I asked Karl and unkindly he said: “I’m Sure he has still everything. You better give a present to me.”
“No, no.” I said. “You have your present for your birthday.”
I still asked Gabi 1 and Gabi 2, Regina and Sabine, Anita and Bettina and even Thomas and they all told me their own wishes, but not yours.
So I only wish you the very best and that your wishes come true.