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Posted: 16 Oct 2004, 17:32
by EarthWard
"I was told that you would be here and that I should destroy you when you arrived. SHE told me so." EarthWard said in an icy tone
"No! She has you under a spell, but you must fight against it. Its like black cloud that covers your mind controlling what you think. Fight against it!"
"Oh I will fight all right. I will fight you!"
With that EarthWard pulled out a kantana blade sword and swung it side to side making the blade hiss against the air. Sizing up his opponent he approached her slowly.
Sorchael searched for a defense. All she had was an athema blade of a desent size but no match against a sword. Still it was all she had so she had to make it work.
"Please fight against it EarthWard. You must try!" Sorchael pleaded once more, but there was no denying the dark stare in EarthWard's eyes.
A misty fog set in around the apple grove circling the two like an audience ready to see blood shed. Banshees began to howl in the distance. Death was drawing near.
Sorchael backstepped, eyes praying for some sort of salvation other than a blade slash. EarthWard stepped up fast and swung to detach her head from her shoulders.
'Duck!' a voice said inside of Sorchael's head and she did so.
'Jump back' the inner voice said again
'Now strike!'
Obeying the voice Sorchael lashed out with her knife. The blade stung EarthWard in the wrist making a trickle of blood rise to its surface.
"Ouch! Oh you shall pay for that child."
Again EarthWard swung his weapon. Faster and faster in a rage of fury but the voice inside Sorchael's head was equally fast allowing her to avoid every swoop.
Suddenly EarthWard hacked downwards in hopes of cleaving Sorchael in two.
'Dive to the ground!'
Sorchael jumped to the ground and the sword cut in half an apple blossom branch. Out of the served end a swarm of what looked like glowing bees attacked the EarthWard relentlessly.
Swishing and swatting help him none as the hive continued to attack and attack, but soon it looked as they were no longer attacking EarthWard as much as they were pulling out a dark cloud from his body. Soon they had it and made short work of the dark energy substance and EarthWard was left shacking on the ground.
'Good job Sorchael' a little faire came flying out of her ear "Listen to the Fay for they know the way."
Sorchael smiled "Thank you so much. Is he going to be all right?"
'Oh he will be better than ever now that he is no longer under the Green Druid's spell. Hurry up and take him out of here. You two must help your friends.'
"What about the Millium Tree? Will it be safe?"
'We shall take care of it. Just save your friends and leave the Green Druid to us. We have somebody that is just DYEING to meet her.'
Sorchael looked behind her and on the edge of the grove the figure of a horned man appeared from the mist.
"Kernos!"
"All things must die in order for life to continue." The Horned God Kernos said "She must join us in this course of Nature or all Nature will cease to exist. We are ALL in agreement with this."
With that a large black horse stepped out of the mist.
"Ride this horse back to your friends." Kernos said "When they are all safe leave the horse with Green Druid. He will take care of it from there."
"Who is he?" Sorchael said while staring into the horse's yellow eyes, but just then the horse gave a wink and a nod and Sorchael knew this was not just a horse.
"A Pooka" Sorchael whispered half way between a state of awe and terror

Posted: 17 Oct 2004, 04:30
by Branbeith
"We have to tame the Pooka," Sorchael hastily explained as she pulled a dazed EarthWard to his feet. Kernos smiled confirming her deduction.
The god faded out.
There was no mistaking the yellow-golden mischievous eyes of the faerie creature in front of them. Their surroundings faded and our two heroes (um hero and heroine) found themselves in a dark misty forest looking into the smoky eyes of a tall, bearded knight. The knight wore antlers and was demanding ...oh it is too awful to mention...a shrubery.
"And if we don't?" Sorchael sneered. As usual, her wagging tongue won over common sense.
"Then we shall say "nee"
Something akin to pain flickered through the companions' joints.
"nee!! Nee!!!"
The pain was unbearable. Sorchael and EarthWard collapsed.
As they started to black out, there was an explosion. Little shards - all that remained of the evil knights - rained down on them.
A bazaar black robed wizard, wearing ram horns, was blowing up the infamous knights of Nee.
"The name is Tim." He said, as if the name explained everything.
"What you seek is in a cave. I can take you there."
"How do you know what we need?" Asked a skeptical EarthWard.
A tree to his immediate left blew up.
"Doubt my power?"

Earthward and Sorchael quickly shook their heads, figuring it was best to humor the old coot. It would really be hard to tame a pooka if their atoms were scattered across the universe!
Tim took them to a rather unimpressive little cave. Earthward made a step towards it and motioned for Sorchael to follow.
"Wait!!" Tim cried, trembling with fear. Anytime a wizard showed fear people should listen. Earthward froze in his tracks.
"The cave is guarded by a creature so foul..so cruel..that up until now no one has lived...."

He pointed to the cave. In frount of the cave was a fluffy white bunny.
"Is the monster behind the bunny?" Sorchael had quickly decided to mollify crazy old Tim.
"The monster IS the bunny. He is the most foul cruel rodent.."
"A killer bunny?" EarthWard laughed and stepped up to the rodent. The rabbit attacked..and shreaded EarthWard's clothing to threads.
"Run away!! Run away!!" Tim shrieked, EarthWard was only too happy to comply, pulling a dazed Sorchael in his wake. EarthWard only paused to pick some new garments off a convenient clothing tree. (Hey we have stolen from everything else, Why not Peirs Anthony?) He passed on the LadySlippers. Somethings were just a bit too weird even for him!)
"Now what?" Sorshael asked between Tim's tauntings of "I told you so!!" Having listened to it for over an hour it, she was getting quite annoyed.
"We have to cross the bridge of death. That is the only other way to get the bridle that will tame the Pooka." Tim explained. Any comment either friend had about the dubious name of the bridge was cut off by a booming voice.
"None shall pass!!"
"We must pass to get to the bridge of death." Tim said, looking almost bored."now move!"
"I move for no man." The black knight stated.
Tim sighed...and blew up the knight's left arm.
"Tis but a scratch.."
Off came the other arm as result of Tim's fancy pyrotechnics.
"Fight me!!" The armless black knight demanded.
"You have no arms left you stupid bas....."
"EarthWard!" Sorchael rebuked, reminding him that a lady was present.
Still the knight persisted... Tim yawned, waved his staff..and the Black Knight was Legless.
"Stop!!" The black Knight cried.
"What are you going to do..bleed on me?" Tim taunted.
"I will bite your legs off!!" The enraged knight promised.
The three travelers calmly walked by the foaming Black Knight....his screams of "The Black Knight Always Triumphs.." resounding through the woods.
They reached the bridge of Death.
Tim informed them that they would be asked three questions by the old man from scene 24. If the questions were not answered properly, the old man would throw them off the bridge into the rocky chasm.
"Don't you mean 42?" Asked Sorchael innocently.
"Only if you hitchhike across the galaxy." Tim answered wisely. EarthWard knew better than to ask.
Sorshael quickly moved up to the old man.
The old codger leered at her. "What is your name?"
"Sorchael." She replied couragously.
"What is your quest?"
"To get the bridle that will tame the pooka."
"What is your favorite color?"
"Blue."
"You may pass."
A triumphant Sorchael crossed over the rickety bridge of death.
Tim all but pushed EarthWard out of the way. "This is easy!!" The old wizard exclaimed.
"What is your name?"
"Tim" The wizard looked bored again.
"What is your quest?"
"To help them get across this bridge so they can get the bridle than will tame the Pooka." Tim was panting by the end of the sentence. It was rather lengthy for a two hundred and twelve year old wizard to say in one breath.
"What is the capitol of Aseria?"
"Aseria?? How should I Knoooooooooooooooooooo" The wizard was cast into the chasm by the mystical bridge.
"Bye brother." The old man sad sadly.'Mom always said he was never too bright."
Earthward moved towards the wizard."Ask your questions, old man.' He demanded.
"EarthWard." He replied to the first.
"To get the bridle that will tame the Pooka." He responded to the second question.
"What was the air spped velocity of an unladen swallow."
"African or European?" EarthWard asked nonpulsed.
"How do I knoooooooooooooooooooo" The irritated reply trailed after the old man as the bridge cast him into the chasm to join his brother.
"Stupidity seems to run in that family." Sorchael commented, looking down into the pit. In her hand was the bridle.
Earthward moved to her side, and found himself looking into the eyes of the Pooka. He slid the magical rope over the horse's head, and the gleam in the beast's eyes calmed to one of acceptance.
"The brothers wrote. They are enjoying their vacation in the Chasm." Sorchael informed him. "The Black Knight has been restored along with the knights of Nee. All of them have volunteered to help us in out quest. "Now what?"

Posted: 19 Oct 2004, 17:27
by Billy Joe Bob
While EarthWard and Sorchael were busy obtaining the bridle for the magical horse, there were two other groups who were having problems, too.

When Green Druid’s spirit possessed the body of EarthWard, it temporarily left Billy Joe Bob, Mandahr and Kat Lady without a guard. The Texan rushed over to where Kat Lady was dancing around with a pained look on her face.

In Moon Cloud’s jingle-bell voice, Billy Joe Bob asked, “Kat Lady, what is wrong with you? Perhaps instead of dancing around like you are doing, we should take this opportunity to flee.”

But Kat Lady, who had been holding it for many hours to prevent Green Druid from obtaining the three drops of cat urine she required for her spell, replied, “Billy Joe Bob, yes we should get out of here, but first I gotta go, and I gotta go now. I can’t hold it any longer. But can’t you give a girl some privacy?”

Billy Joe Bob blushed and turned away, while Kat Lady ran behind the Millennial Dragon Tree to do her business. The next thing Billy Joe Bob heard was a loud “Ahhhhhh ….”

But just then Green Druid fled the body of EarthWard and re-entered the body of the 400 pound flea, which, with utter disregard for Kat Lady’s privacy, pounced upon the cat and obtained that fluid it had sought in a jar it carried just for that purpose.

This was too much for Billy Joe Bob, however, who, like all Texas men, had a profound respect for women. With a disconcerting feminine shriek, the Texan launched himself at the giant flea.

Posted: 19 Oct 2004, 17:30
by Crow
Meanwhile, the main group was standing outside the apple orchard that surrounded the millennial dragon tree. Crow was writing in his reporter’s notebook as the others discussed their plan of attack.

Branbeith and Merlyn were all for rushing straight at Green Druid, hoping that their superiority in numbers would overwhelm the evil sorceress. But the others were sure they couldn’t get past her powerful spells, and that some type of subterfuge was the only thing that would work.

Despite her bravado, Beith had been stung by Moon Cloud’s words earlier. She knew that on previous adventures she really had caused a lot of trouble. She had faint memories of once biting someone’s thumb off, and another time of turning into a slumbering tree while everyone else risked death in the Texas desert to try and save her. And perhaps that is why on this occasion she said, “I think that if someone could distract Green Druid for just a few seconds, I can sneak in with this jar of lemonade and, if I see that she’s already obtained a urine specimen, I can make the switch, straight away.”

“Now wait just a galldurned minute,” said Moon Cloud in the voice of Billy Joe Bob. “Do you mean to tell me that yer gonna try and be the heroine? Har har, that’s a good one. No, I say we get somebody reliable to do that job, somebody like CelticDao over thar.”

But the hurt in the Irish girl’s eyes was evident, and after much discussion, the majority decided that they should let her try.

Suddenly, EarthWard, Sorchael and the pooka arrived, and a plan was quickly hatched. They would approach the millennial dragon tree from all sides. Merlyn and CelticDao would rush in from one end of the orchard, while EarthWard, Sorchael and the pooka attacked from the opposite side. Caritas, Branbeith and Selene would wait 10 seconds and then rush in a second wave of attack, while Colm, Draghkar and SpiritHealer would hold themselves in reserve, attacking at the most opportune time. Meanwhile, Moon Cloud would provide a fog covering for Beith, who would try to sneak through the melee and switch the urine specimen – if there was one – with the lemonade.

Crow, of course, wouldn’t attack since he was a member of the working press and was only here to write about it.

Everyone crept through the apple orchard and took up positions in a circle just before the clearing at the center, where, on a slight rise, the millennial dragon tree grew in splendor.

As he took cover behind an apple tree and looked into the clearing, Crow saw something he never expected to see, and something he hoped never to see again. Like a rodeo cowboy – which in fact he had been at one time – Billy Joe Bob was sitting on top of a giant green flea, which was bucking and snorting like an enraged bull as it jumped around the millennial dragon tree, trying to dislodge the determined Texan.

Finally, after a twisting, turning leap by the flea, Billy Joe Bob went flying and hit the ground with a bone-jarring crash.

Just then Merlyn and CelticDao, EarthWard, Sorchael and the pooka rushed into the clearing shouting and waving their arms. The flea turned its menacing glare upon them, but just as it raised one leg to cast a spell, in rushed Caritas, Branbeith and Selene.

The flea was obviously confused, but appeared to be regaining its wits when Colm, Draghkar and SpiritHealer entered the fray, hoping to tip the balance against the monstrous green insect.

Suddenly a fog covered the clearing, and Crow, crouching behind the apple tree and writing furiously in his notebook, saw Beith crawl past him on her hands and knees, the jar of lemonade sloshing in its jar as she advanced. “Don’t worry, Crow,” she said as she passed him. “I’ll make the switch and then I’ll be back straight away to give you a good quote for your newspaper.” And with that, she disappeared into the mist.

The fog obscured most of the action, but Crow heard screams and cries, the yowling of a cat, the neighing of a horse, the roar of a rhinoceros and the odd clicking sound made by the giant flea.

Suddenly the fog was torn asunder by a strong wind, and Crow looked out upon the carnage of the battlefield. Most of the friends were lying around hurt and bleeding, while the triumphant 400 pound green flea, which had cast the wind spell, was hopping up and down with obvious glee.

And there was Beith, too, her prone figure identifiable by the stiletto heels she was wearing. Crow had no idea whether she had succeeded or failed in her mission, but knew he would find out soon, because the flea that was Green Druid was again on the move.

Hopping over to the millennial dragon tree, the flea tapped into it with its needle-like proboscis and drew out fresh sap. Crow watched in terror as the evil parasite placed the sap and the other ingredients in a black cauldron. He watched as the flea poured exactly three drops of yellow liquid from a jar into the cauldron.

And then Green Druid changed back into her human form, extended her arms over the cauldron and began to chant the hateful words of the veil-tearing spell. Crow could only watch and wonder what would happen next …

Posted: 19 Oct 2004, 17:34
by CelticDao
Just moments earlier, the flea, was of course, laughing at the feeble attempts of the effeminate Texan to get past all those legs, when a brown blur was seen, flying between her legs! Ashes, Warrior King of the Universe, and all Dogs, Horses, Brass Burros, and anything else Vaguely Resembling a Dog, knew exactly what to do with a 400 pound flea! He immediately began visciously biting the legs off, one at a time! Almost immediately, a glass jar was seen to fall to the ground, and the Texan Hero smashed it under his boots, and climbed on the back of the flea.

When the flea was charged, Ashes, the Warrior King of the Universe, etc. had paused to chase a bunny for a moment, but then as the fighting tapered off, and the evil flea turned into a beautiful woman, Ashes went to his master, CelticDao, who lay, bleeding on the field. Licking his face, suddenly a female persona seized him! The Goddess was NOT in a mood to quibble with a mage, and she seized control of CelticDao's body...

Posted: 20 Oct 2004, 00:13
by Ruthie
Brigid, the Patroness of Healing, rose within CelticDao's body. She raised his arms, and intoned a healing chant upon all the maimed adventurers. Crow, sensing this would come in quite useful (should Mrs. Crow ever get her rolling pin out again), marked it in shorthand on the inside back cover of his notebook.
Next the Goddess turned her attention on Green Druid. CelticDao's arms crossed before his face, and now he retained the visage of Morrigan. Fury rippled from his fingertips. He rose into the air.
With Evil Green Druid thus distracted, Moon Cloud was able to gather herself back together after the wind spell wound down. She was a very, very angry cloud. Really angry, and even more angry than she could ever remember before. She rolled and rolled in the sky, turning blacker and roiling in upon herself. This was going to be the mother of all hailstones, and it had Green Druid's name written on it (really! it was there, etched in tiny ice crystals "This hailstone for Green Druid")

Posted: 20 Oct 2004, 01:57
by Kat Lady
As MoonCloud gathered for the impending storm, Brigid-Dao steadied herself..himself..her/himself to stop this menace once and for all. S/he rose to her/his full height and majesty, commanding all of the power at her/his disposal. Evil Green Druid had crossed the line and now she would be crushed like a ...why like a flea! S/he raised her hands, energy crackling through her fingertips, took one step forward...and was promply mowed down by Mandahr, with Billy Joe Bob yelling atop his back in that sweet MoonCloud voice, "HEE HAW! We'll get ya, ya lili-livered varmit." (Everyone knows that Rhinos are very nearsighted, and Billy Joe Bob was still a little dazed from his encounter with the 400 pound Evil Green flea. So when they saw Brigid-Dao rise up, they mistook her/him for Evil Green Druid. Remembering the Alamo, Billy Joe Bob jumped on the back of the digruntled rhino, and the rest is history.)

Brigid-Dao was down for the count. Which left MoonCloud even more angry. She huffed, and she puffed and thundered until those hailstones were formed and began to drop.

Crow thought to himself, "Uh oh! This can't be good," as multi-colored hailstones began to drop from the cumulous cloud. Multi-colored hailstones? He opened his beak to see just what was up and caught a cherry skittle on his tongue. "Skittles???" he cried. "You are going to get rid of Evil Green Druid with skittles?!"

"What a brillant plan!" said EarthWard. Crow looked at him, the "duh" look on his face and said, "You are joking, aren't you?"

"On the contrary, Crow." EarthWard continued, "Everyone knows that an abundance of refined sugar can kill you, or at least make you so sick that you just want to roll over and die. Just watch any child after a day at the fair with all of the candy apples, cotton candy, and other confections. Sugar is a poison and whats a better way for a sweet person like MoonCloud to strike out and by sweet revenge."

"But not chocolate, right?" said Wolfwalker. "Chocolate is okay, right?"

"Yes chocolate is okay," came the reply, "but only in small amounts."

"And Twizzlers? Surely Twizzlers are okay?" asked Beith.

"I suppose once in a while a Twizzler or two won't hurt " EarthWard conceded. " But I draw the line at those funny marshmallow circus peanut things. They are just evil!"

As the rainbow of flavored skittles came pouring from MoonCloud and the Foggy Duckers were discussing sweets, poor Sorchael wasn't sure why she had ever gotten involved with this group. She turned to the confused Pooka, and said, "There's no place like home." Suddenly, the Ruby Red Slippers Dr. Who-Phil had given to Selene appeared on her feet and she, the Pooka and a stow-a-way flea disappeared in a rainbow of flavor.

Posted: 20 Oct 2004, 02:56
by Branbeith
Poor Sorchael looked around and thanked her lucky stars (and a polka-dotted rhino by the name of Mandahr) that Kansas has been found for that is where she was!! She inhaled the sweet spring air...Spring?? Wan't it suppose to be fall? Any questions she had about the season was cut short by the pooka snorting at her. She scratched him behind the ear.
With the bridle controlling its chaotic tendecies, the Pooka was rather charming.

She suddenly remembered the flea...to her horror the flea was munching on what looked like to be skittles. Tan Skittles?? Sorchael looked closer and realized that it wasn't skittles at all - but evil circus peanuts that smelled vaguely like portobella mushrooms!!

Forgetting for the moment that she was a refined Kansas lady, Sorchael screamed"Shiiiiiiiiiiiiii!!" and tried to knock the evil confectionery
away from the flea.

It was too late. The flea bleached out to white..and started to get fluffy and grow.....
A hundred foot staypuff marshmallow man,complete with green glow, had replaced the flea.

Sorcheal backed away in fear....
"Who are you going to call?" Staypuff taunted.

Posted: 20 Oct 2004, 08:28
by Billy Joe Bob
Once again everyone had overlooked Night Hawk. The little bird had gone looking for help, and now she could be seen streaking through the sky and into the battle, and with her was Moon Cloud’s distant cousin, Stormcloud.

Together, the two clouds unleashed a torrent of rain, and as anyone can clearly understand, a marshmallow, even a giant green one with evil intent, is no match for large quantities of water. The spirit of Green Druid was washed into the ground, where it became trapped for all time.

The threat to the veil was ended.

After the battle, the friends gathered around the millennial dragon tree for a brief ceremony. They then said their goodbyes. Once again it was time to go their separate ways. Would fate ever draw them together again?

Together, Billy Joe Bob and Moon Cloud shared one of a dwindling number of Portobello mushrooms, which Kat Lady provided, and they joyfully welcomed back their rightful voices. “That’s the last derned time I ever want to be around one o’ them mushrooms,” said the Texan. “Well I reckon my voice sounded sweeter than honey on a biscuit, but it just ain’t right for a Texas boy. But I tell ye, now that I got my voice back, I’m takin’ this Pooka feller back to the Great State. He was born to run free on the lone prairie, and that’s where we’re headed now, ain’t that right big feller?” The Pooka neighed and stamped his foot. Billy Joe Bob climbed onto the magical creature, clung tightly to its mane, and suddenly they vanished. All that could be heard was a “Yeeeehaw,” quickly fading into the distance.

Slowly and quietly other members of the party left Tenerife, some by elevator shaft, others using Portobello mushrooms. Now that the fungus was becoming well-known to the Foggy Duck patrons, it was being used for all sorts of good things.

Beith and Selene walked through the streets of Icod, searching for a particular elevator shaft that Selene had read about at http://www.travelbyelevatorshaft.com. They found the right building, stepped into the empty shaft, and, after a blinding flash of light, landed on barstools inside The Foggy Duck Pub. The clock said 2 a.m. Gladys was there, wiping the bar with a wet rag. The ogress then folded her rag, closed out the register, and, with a few mumbled words to Beith, headed out the door.

The two friends were alone.

“Why did it have to end this way?” asked Selene. “It just doesn’t seem right or fair.”

“Just in the wrong place at the wrong time,” answered Beith. “Did you see his reporter’s notebook? He couldn’t spell marshmallow. He’d written it down five different ways and kept crossing out the words, trying to get it right. The battle was over then, if he’d just moved a few inches one way or the other, that falling apple would have missed his head.”

“But Beith,” said Selene. “After all he’d been through … all the stories and dangerous adventures he’d survived … and then to be killed by a falling apple. There’s something wrong with this, I just don’t understand.”

“Some things can’t be understood, Selene,” answered Beith.

Selene got up, walked around the bar and poured stiff drinks for both of them.

“He was a real pain sometimes, wasn’t he?” she said. “But he was a pretty decent writer, and nice enough, once you got to know him. Do you remember the time he talked me into writing a story for The Pagan Press? Oh, the trouble I got into over that, I was just furious with him for talking me into that fiasco.” Selene sighed, fingering her necklace, a faraway look in her eyes.

“And do you remember that time when we had to rescue EarthWard from the insane asylum?” asked Beith. “And one night as I was going to sleep, Crow snuck that coin onto my pillow, and I slept on it and got a welt on my cheek that lasted a week! Oh, I could have wrung his neck for that!”

“Can he really be gone?” asked Selene. “He did say it was his last assignment, but I don’t think anyone believed it, and surely nobody could have guessed it would end this way.”

“Yes, dear,” answered Beith. “We were both there when we buried him at the foot of the millennial dragon tree. I’m afraid he really is gone. But life’s a spiral, Selene, did I ever tell you that?”

“No, but maybe you could tell me while we walk. I’m tired of magical travel. I’m going back to Louisiana, but this time I’m going to fly in a real jetliner, and there’s a flight leaving Gatwick just four hours from now. It’s a short walk to the airport from here. Will you come with me, and we’ll talk about spirals while we walk?”

“I would be honored to walk with you to the airport, Selene, and yes, we’ll have a good talk as we go. And after you depart, I’ll head straight away back to Dublin, but no jetliners for me. I have these,” Beith said, pointing at her stiletto-heeled ruby slippers. “I think I’ll try them out!”

Arm in arm, the two friends walked out the front door and onto the porch.

“Oh wait a second,” said Beith, “I promised Gladys.”

She reached back inside and turned off the lights.

Posted: 20 Oct 2004, 11:52
by SpiritHealer
Meanwhile, back at the millennial dragon tree, a lone figure stood, tears running down her cheeks. She had watched the battles from a distance, not able to participate as her position would not allow it. She was the Healer of Spirits, not the healer of bodies.

She knelt down, gently moving the soft newly-mounded earth until she reached the bruised, broken body beneath. A lone apple was next to the feathered head. She knew that what she was about to do would be considered as interference by her Order. But she could not let the story end like this. So she would do what she could to restore the balance that she felt was missing. There was just too much work left for the Crow to let it end this way.

She picked up the apple and took a small bite. Removing the bite from her mouth, she lifted the bird gently into her arms. Craddling him, she lowered her head to his chest. Just as she thought; the Spirit had not yet left the black-feathered one. Carefully, she opened the shinny beak and gently placed the tiny piece of apple from the Millenial Dragon Tree into his mouth, massaging the throat until the muscles contracted and relaxed, causing the swallow reflex. She sent healing energy into the winged creature. Then she waited.

She was patient. She knew that the apple from any tree was magical with healing properties. Thus the saying "An apple a day...". But, she alone knew that the Millenial Dragon Tree had additional properties that could not just restore the body, but Spirit as well. This would take time and she had all of the time in the world at her disposal.

After what seemed like an eternity, she saw the chest of the unconscious Crow begin to move up and down again with the well-known pattern of breathing. She smiled at the feathered one, gently stroked the feathered head and disappeared into the mist.

Crow awoke with the headache that beat all headaches and watched as SpiritHealer faded into the mist. He vaguely remembered a fight, a giant green flea and then looking up and seeing an apple. But the rest was a blurr right now. He shook his feathered head to clear the cob-webs and looking around, found his notebook atop a freshly dug hole. The gravestone quality of its placement sent shivers up his feathered spine. He shook off the weird feeling and flipped open the notebook to find out where he was and how to get to back to the Foggy Duck. Shaking his head, he decided that he was glad that he was retiring. His not-so-old bones couldn't take much more of this. With a sigh, he continued his search for the key to the journey back.

Posted: 20 Oct 2004, 14:50
by Lily
Moon Cloud wrote:This was going to be the mother of all hailstones, and it had Green Druid's name written on it (really! it was there, etched in tiny ice crystals "This hailstone for Green Druid")

<img src="http://img100.exs.cx/img100/3069/GD_Name.gif" alt="a dark cloud with a hailstone that says This hailstone for green druid" />


here ya go!

Posted: 20 Oct 2004, 18:46
by Crow
Crow grimaced as he rubbed the large bump on his head. He shook dirt out of his feathers as he looked at the hole in the ground. There was his reporter’s notebook, propped up next to the hole like a tombstone.

“Well, it doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to figure this one out, does it?” Crow thought to himself. “Somehow, after the marshmello (marshmellow? marchmelo? … whatever) man had supposedly been defeated, Green Druid had managed one parting shot. She hit me in the head and knocked me unconscious!

“And my friends, my good friends, just couldn’t wait to dig a hole and push me in. Obviously they hadn't even bothered to check for a pulse! I must have awakened later and clawed my way out of a premature grave.

“Oh, they’ll pay for this! They’ll soon learn that the pen is mightier than the shovel!

“I’ll bide my time,” Crow thought, smiling to himself. “Yes. Let them go securely back to their little lives. Let them forget about Crow. But I’ll be watching, oh yes I will! And then, just when something embarrassing happens to one of them and they think they’ve gotten away with it, I’ll expose them in an article that lots of newspapers or magazines will pay good money to print.”

Crow could hardly wait. He flapped his wings, caught a favorable tailwind and headed toward home.

:raven:

Posted: 20 Oct 2004, 19:01
by CelticDao
Ashes Baby! What the heck happened? Stop eating that candy, you maroon! Where'd everybody go?

Posted: 20 Oct 2004, 19:12
by EarthWard
:applause: :robinhood: :hug: :) :glbt: :antler: :merlyn: :witch:

That was a wonderful pub crawl. Very funny and well done by everybody.

Great job!!! :gapple:

Posted: 20 Oct 2004, 20:52
by Branbeith
Crow was quietly amusing himself with thoughts of revenge for the aventurers of the foggy duck. He did not buy BranBEITH's story about the whole escapade. An apple falling and killing the most seasoned reporter in the whole world! With lines liken that, Branbeith sure could get a job at the Inquisitor or other such rag. Maybe she would start drinking mineral water and eating tofu like the rest of the lame-brain, half-wit poor excuses for reporters.
Women. He mentally scoffed. And Branbeith was either a feather-head or wooden head..take your pick. How did her convoluted story go? The apple fell on his head...SpiritHealer went against her order to bring life back to him..something about a pre-chewed apple....Branbeith had also told him that Kat Lady had donated one of her lives to make the resurrection happen... Yeah right! The Foggy Duckers just dumped him prematurely dumped him into a hole..and Branbeith had drawn the short straw and and had to come up with some sort of story.

He took a deep draught of ale. The coolness of the amber liquid did nothing to calm his smoldering temper. He called out to Gladys
for something harder with more fire.

"Not on my time you don't!" The cry sounded like a cross between and icy wind and the snap of a whip. Crow's eyes widened in astonishment when he realized that the mythical Charles Payne was standing before him.
"I did my last assignment.."Crow was inwardly appalled at the timidity in his voice. How could one old man take the world's most seasoned reporter and make him sound like a boy currying favor from an older uncle?
"You never looked over the fine, fine print, did you, Crow?"
Icy dread poured over the bird. "Fine, fine print?"

Payne took out the yellowed faded contract signed in a yellowish red ink. "You signed it in dragon's blood to show the sincerity of your commitment to the paper - remember?"
Crow just stared at the crumpled paper dumbfounded.
"Dragonblood?" He vaguely remembered diluting the red substance so the ink wouldn't burn through the paper. Something yellow.....he recalled. Could have been cat urine...could have been lemonade....
"What is the fine, fine, print?" It was tough for the old bird to push the words through his numbed beak.
Payne gleefully took out his pocket electron microscope..placed the left corner under the lens and motioned for crow to look.

KARMIC CLAUSE: The above individual in signing agrees to
service the Pagan Press for all eternity
and lifetimes. No exclusions.

"You byline will be associated with this paper forever." The chilling evil laugh sounded like a coffin being shut.


The befuddled reporter did not notice that his friends had entered the Foggy Duck. Nor did he notice BRANbeith aiming a new shiny stick at the electron microscope. Nor did he see her tuck the stick under her wing. .
"I couldn't let the Pagan Press lose the best reporter in the galaxy." BRANbeith explained simply.

Posted: 21 Oct 2004, 17:20
by Crow
Postscript

Thanks to everyone who participated in this story. I want to echo EarthWard's comments, and say that I feel this was one of our better efforts.

On a personal note, thanks to Kat Lady, SpiritHealer and Branbeith for bringing me back. When Billy Joe Bob inexplicably killed me off, I had no idea if Crow would somehow fly again.

But I also want to thank Billy Joe Bob for giving this story a serious turn. I was discussing this subject with someone just a short time ago on IM, and I said that I do tend to take these Pub Crawls rather seriously, and I think they are helped sometimes when they take a turn away from silliness and, for a short time, have readers mentally shifting gears and asking themselves, "Oh my, where did that come from?"

At least one person I know of was a little upset at Crow's brief death, and Billy Joe Bob told me he's sorry it had that effect.

Remember, however, that these adventures are really all about friendships. In trying to save the world or one another, we may find ourselves traipsing through the desolation of West Texas, riding giant fleas, burning down the stage at a poetry competition, or having an exorcism under a full moon on Tara Hill. But when you scrape away the silly stuff, what you have left underneath is a caring and concern for the friends who have gathered together to help and support one another. I think that's what drives these stories, all of them.

Crow almost retired and almost died, but he'll be back. After all, it's in his contract.

Thanks again to all the writers, and to all who suffered through the reading.

:raven:

Posted: 21 Oct 2004, 17:58
by CelticDao
Crow wrote:Thanks again to all the writers, and all who suffered through the reading.
You're welcome! And I might have to have a chat with the people who kept getting my butt kicked! Sheesh, do I have a "kick me" sign on my back? This is the first time I've really participated in a pub crawl, and I'm still learning how it all works!

Posted: 21 Oct 2004, 18:33
by EarthWard
:guinness:

All Hail to Crow!!!
The best Pagan Reporter we know
If he is thinking he is going to go
Then let's get him drunk so his pace will slow

Raise a glass to all the Pub Crawls
The bar room brawls
The pretty wenches in the lacey bras
Bottoms up to the tales of these halls

Congrats to the new blood that took a turn
Thanks for helping to make these stories churn
May all their blessings be given back in return
And forever your inspirational fire burn


:guinness:

Posted: 21 Oct 2004, 18:50
by Loosh
:guinness: :guinness: :guinness: :guinness:

Posted: 21 Oct 2004, 22:23
by Ruthie
Truly enjoyable. I would like to thank everyone who took part, most especially Crow. Without his talents our crawl would have slowed to -- to -- to whatever is slower than a crawl!
And I'd like to also thank Green Druid who was really a good sport and volunteered to be evil. Sweet one, we all know you aren't really evil, and you're welcome here as always.
Finally, I'd like to thank Beith. I doubt she has read what we've done to her here, but I know she'll be super about it all.
Job well done folks. Once again, we have saved everyone from certain destruction without their knowledge. :grin:
:-D