Changes to the Internet

I loathe changes to the Internet sites that I regularly go to, such as Youtube's recent change that puts the titles of videos in HUGE LETTERS instead of the smaller typeset they used to be in. And now Google Images is annoyintg with all the pictures across the row! I can't stand so many images coming at me at once...Ugh...
  • Current Mood
    annoyed annoyed

I prefer the dub of Yugioh

People on the Internet make me so angry. No offence to the people on this site. It's just that, I like 4Kids...I think they did an AMAZING job of dubbing Yugioh, taking all the terrible violence and cursing out. I am a soccer mom, even though I'm a guy. I do not want to see or hear fowl things on screen. If Yugioh had not been censored, it would have been a horrible show not worth my time.

And yes, 4Kids adds their own humor. What translator does NOT add some of his own material? You have to read the original of a book to get exactly what the author said, nothing more, nothing less. Why should it be any different with TV shows?

And anyway, do people think the Japanese watch American movies in English with Japanese subtitles? I think it's more probable that they have Japanese dub actors. I'm talking about stuff like Cars and Toy Story 3 here...I know for a fact thaat TS3 had some strange dubbing due to the fact that Buzz speaks Spanish in one part, so in Spanish speaking countries they had to do something so it wouldn't sound "normal."

So, I like watching things in my own language. How does that make me a bad person? And hey, I prefer watching live-action stuff in Spanish...I would never watch Home alone in English again, for example. But when it comes to cartoons, I want to be able to understand what the characters are saying through my auditory senses.

Anyway, Japanese is nothing remotely related to English, whereas Spanish has many of the same letters as English with a couple extra. I can play DS games in Japanese it's impossible to even guess what the words refer to, since I know that different languages have different syntax.

I like 4Kids

People on the Internet make me so angry. I like 4Kids...I think they did an AMAZING job of dubbing Yugioh, taking all the terrible violence and cursing out. I am a soccer mom, even though I'm a guy. I do not want to see or hear fowl things on screen. If Yugioh had not been censored, it would have been a horrible show not worth my time.

And yes, 4Kids adds their own humor. What translator does NOT add some of his own material? You have to read the original of a book to get exactly what the author said, nothing more, nothing less. Why should it be any different with TV shows?

And anyway, do people think the Japanese watch American movies in English with Japanese subtitles? I think it's more probable that they have Japanese dub actors. I'm talking about stuff like Cars and Toy Story 3 here...I know for a fact thaat TS3 had some strange dubbing due to the fact that Buzz speaks Spanish in one part, so in Spanish speaking countries they had to do something so it wouldn't sound "normal."

So, I like watching things in my own language. How does that make me a bad person? And hey, I prefer watching live-action stuff in Spanish...I would never watch Home alone in English again, for example. But when it comes to cartoons, I want to be able to understand what the characters are saying through my auditory senses.

Anyway, Japanese is nothing remotely related to English, whereas Spanish has many of the same letters as English with a couple extra. I can play DS games in Japanese it's impossible to even guess what the words refer to, since I know that different languages have different syntax.

Can I Make the Last Sacrifice?

I need to do something so that I can get back to my writing...namely, give up Collectoons and Yugioh. So, this is really for my writing...however, I may need more than that to motivate me. So I will try to give up these things for Amy Valdez. She was a girl who was sickened by the "idea" of me liking her, even though I didn't like her at the time. She is the opposite end of Christina Sample, who said I was disgusting when I was very young. I have liked girls since Amy exhibited that belief, but I have not seriously thought any could like's not possible. Well, Ellen Spears, yeah, but she's gone from my life.

So can I do it for Amy? We'll see. If not, who knows what will happen?

But Amy isn't anyone special...why do it for her? I mean, Victoria, the girl I was in love with, would make sense...but not Amy. However, I do not care for Victoria anymore. I might see her at Sam Houston, though. Yay.

Just do it, I must tell myself.

Here Again

Hello. I'm back afater a hiatus from Livejournal...I might not stick around. However, many publised authors use this site, and I might as well too. Time to get down and dirty.

This morning I woke up and for some reason didn't want to read. Then I ate a spicy chicken sandwich and started reading Atonement by Ian McEwan from where I last left off. I was disturbed by the adult theme..I do not like sex. So I started playing Yugioh till I got sick of it. I should've went to writing, but I didn't. Bad me.

Later, I got on the computer, went to this site I'm addicted to, and did some crap on there. I've got to realize that the world doesn't revolve around that's hard, though.

An Internet friend tried to help me find someone I knew in real life. But this girl is impossible to find, I'll never see her again. Then I went wild, searching for people from my past on Facebook...not a bright idea...I think I scared one girl. Oh well...

Who am I? I'm just a bibliophile who wants to write books, and eschew least on face-to-face terms. I fear that some action on the Internet will get me sent to jail...but maybe nothing I do will be bad enough. Who knows? But I am The Internet Bandit. Here I use a name that ticked people off on My enemy from that site is Zzzptm. But all of those people are behind me. Rachel Sayers has nothing t worry about. Or does she?

Character Analysis - Yugioh DM and GX


Yugi Mutou – a cowardly boy who requires Atem to duel for him. 


Seto Kaiba – an atheist who wants to forget the past. He has to SEE something in order to BELIEVE in it, and sometimes when something is right in front of his face, he still doesn’t believe it.


Maximillian Pegasus – the disillusioned “creator” of Duel Monsters. He cheats by using a Millenium Eye in dueling, which allows him to see the opponent’s hand and plan his moves accordingly. Wants to use the Millenium Items to bring his wife back from the dead.


Cecilia – Pegasus’ dead wife. If it were not for her early departure from the world, there would be no game of Duel Monsters. Pegasus has multiple paintings of her that he stares at all day. She would also have fooled around with Bakura had she lived, for there are hints of this in the final DM season.


Joey Wheeler – a boy with a Brooklyn accent whose cards all deal with gamling of some sort. He’s so bad a duelist that Seto Kaiba had a robotic monkey named after him.


Tristan – a tough guy like Joey, not a duelist. He actually just wants Joey’s sister.


Tea Gardner – a girl obsessed with friendship who wants to be a dancer one day. She’s in love with a 5000-year-old Pharoah.


Atem – a man who looks like Yugi and lives in Yugi’s body. He is actually three and a half feet taller than Yugi. Yugi forces him to duel in his stead. He almost always wins. Seto Kaiba would be jealous of him if he knew that Atem forgot everything about his past, when he first inhabited Yugi’s body. Until we, the viewers, knew his real name, we called him “Yami.”


Weevil Underwood – a c***roach disguised as a boy. He’s secretly in love with Tea.


Rex Raptor – a boy who thinks that dinosaurs and dragons are the same thing. He begs Mai to kiss him, but she refuses.


Mai Valentine – Materialistic and conceited, her name is a play on the words “My Valentine.” But she’s not meant for Yugi. Fans have said that Mai and Joey slept together and produced Alexis Rhodes, which would be impossible unless there was a time hole. There is also a theory that she has a crush on Harpie Lady, since she never takes it out of her deck. I mean, if you don’t have a crush on a monster, you won’t use it as a crutch.


Maako Tsunami – His Christian name really only has one ‘a,’ but it looks better this way. He is obsessed with WATER monsters, probably because his father was molested by an octopus.


Panik – a man who thinks that shielding his monsters will help him win. Tries to burn Yugi and his friends when he loses, but the Millenium Shield protects them, proving that Atem is a Gary Stu.


Para and Dox – These labyrinth lovers have names that together create the word “paradox.” Although it is the lexicographer’s personal opinion that “Oxy” and “Moron” would’ve suited them better. They don’t even know that Red Eyes Black Dragon can FLY! How stupid can you get? But this is when we are introduced to tag dueling, though it is a very strange version of tag dueling. This is also where one of the most-often used idea takes place. The only thing seen more often in any kind of story is the question, “What walks on four legs in the morning, two legs in the afternoon, and three legs at night?” Para and Dox also make an appearance in the GX era. They almost defeat Jaden and Syrus. If they had won, Jaden would’ve got suspended and GX might’ve been ACTUALLY WATCHABLE.


Bandit Keith – a thief who plays Machine-monsters, which are unaffected by Spellcasters. His next card is always up his sleeve.


Bonz – a Zombie-lover who secretly reads Twilight when his boss is not watching. He doesn’t consume anything that doesn’t have pumpkins in it. He drinks pumpkin juice, eats pumpkin pie for desert, snacks on pumpkin seeds, and even eats pumpkin sandwiches. His favorite move is “Deadly Zombie Breath!” (He has halitosis.)


Mokuba Kaiba – Seto’s little brother. He doesn’t know how to duel, though we do catch him pretending he does once. Seto gives him a card he always admired when Seto decides he’ll quit dueling. The card is not shown on-screen, but there is a suspicion among fans that the card is Shapesnatch.


Yugi’s Grandfather – a retired architect who now owns a game shop, which is cleverly called Game Shop. He trains Joey for combat, in other words, teaches him how to duel. He had the fourth Blue Eyes White Dragon, given to him by Arthur Hawkins, when Solomon Mutou gave him the last drink from his canteen.    Yugi’s grandfather would give up dueling to own a TV that is 10 feet by 10 feet. He also goes goo-goo eyes for girls Yugi’s age, except Tea, whom everybody seems to be sexually oblivious too.


Arthur Hawkins – gave Solomon his Blue Eyes. He really only gave it to him because he thought Solomon would die from lack of water, before someone came to save them, hoping that Solomon would think him a great friend in whatever place he ended up after death. When Solomon lived through that trauma, he was in shock, which is why he did not visit Mr. Mutou for another twenty years.


Rebecca Hawkins – Arthur’s little brat of a daughter. At first she has an annoying teddy bear, but later she comes back with glasses. She is a ten-year-old attending college. Yugi gave her his Ties of Friendship Spell card, and ever since she’s been in love with him. Most likely, Yugi married her and Mindy is their offspring.


Johnny Stepps – a guy who wants to date Tea if he beats he in a dancing match. He cheats but she still wins. Then he duels Atem; if he wins, he gets to date Tea. But Johnny quits when he finds out his opponent is Yugi Mutou. It is partly because of this guy that Tea falls in love with Atem 


The Big Five – a sneaky group of corporate junkies who think that Five God Dragon will destroy Kaiba and get them in control of the company. First they attempt this through a virtual game, then they try this through Noah’s virtual world. They fail both times, and it’s all Atem’s fault. They have sworn to go back 5000 years and murder Atem so that in the present time they can conquer Seto once and for all.


Duke Devlin – a guy who thinks that the creator of a game is undefeatable. To him, it would be impossible for Satoshi Tajiri to lose a Pokemon battle. He fights with Tristan for the hand of Joey’s sister. He can’t accept the fact that any girl in the world will have him except Serenity. Also obsessed with dice.


Serenity Wheeler – a girl who almost went blind but was saved by the prize money that Yugi won and lent to Joey. She and Tea have kindred spirits, and the only reason Tristan hits on Serenity and not Tea is that he sees Tea every day, and Serenity is a new face. 


Espa Roba – a fake psychic in love with Jinzo, which all Psychic monsters are modeled after. He had his little brothers use binoculars to see what his opponent’s cards were. Mr. Armstrong in 2021 copied this tactic, only with security cameras. It’s possible that fifteen-year-old Espa later became one of Mr. Armstrong’s friends, when he’d be, oh…forty-three.


Yami Marik – the evil side of Marik Ishtar, who wants to take over the world with the Egyptian God cards. He uses the power of mind control via the Millenium Rod, though he stole the rod from Seto Kaiba. Thanks to this dude, we get to see Yugi actually duel…against his best friend, Joey. When Yami Marik ends up dueling Joey himself, Joey wins, except that he faints because he lacks energy. Yami Marik deserved his second visit to the Shadow Realm.


Marik Ishtar – a good guy. He’s obsessed with motorcycles, though.


Ishizu Ishtar – a hot Egyptian girl who can see the future, except when it involves the reincarnated spirits that are in Yugi and Seto.


Shadi – a pimp who Pegasus met when he visited Egypt, and who stupidly showed him the Egyptian God monsters, whom he was unable to control. Can steal into your mind with a Millenium Key, so you better watch out. The police would love have to him for work for them.


Odion – a man who pretends to be Marik to fool Yugi and his friends. He rarely uses monsters, and never Normal Summons when he does use them. Instead he uses Trap Monsters, which are just as, if nor more, effective. (He also never lost a duel till he battled Joey Wheeler. Maybe Joey was his first opponent?)


Strings – a mime also known as “the Quiet One.” He can’t speak for himself, but Marik’s mind control allows him to speak through him. Does something that would be illegal in the real game, by summoning Slime Tokens and brining out Revival Jam to block all of Yugi’s—excuse me, Atem’s—attacks. Strings then summons Slifer, which gains more ATK for each card in your hand. Atem uses Strings own tactic against him. Due to Card of Safe Return, Strings must keep drawing cards each time Revival Jam is summoned. And since Revival Jam can’t disappear from the Field, and Slifer’s Second Mouth attack keeps on going and going and going (like the Energizer bunny), and since Revival Jam is on Atem’s side of the Field thanks to Brain Control, Atem wins. This is the first and only time in the entire series that a duelist loses because he decked out.


Arkana – a duelist in love with some girl named Catherine Eanrshaw/Linton/Heathcliff. He has a strange voice that many viewers can’t stand. His Dark Magician card looks weird. The duel Atem had with this guy introduced use to Dark Magician Girl.


Lumis and Umbra – A couple of masked freaks who think there’s an “I” in “team.” All of the monsters they summon wear masks, and all of the Spells and Traps they play either have “Mask” in their card name or feature masks in their artwork. I wonder if they read “The Haunted Mask” by R.L. Stine.


Gozoboro Kaiba – this is a grotesque spelling of his name, but he is a grotesque character, so I don’t care. When he controlled KaibaCorp, it was a place that produced weapons and machinery for war. He adopted Mokuba and Seto after Seto defeated him in a chess match.  He might not have agreed to it either if his own son hadn’t perished from some terminal illness. Seto turns KC into a game-centered company after Gozoboro is taken care of.


Noah Kaiba – the only son of Gozoboro. When his body was in danger of deteriorating, Noah’s father built him a virtual world which was supposed to resemble the real one. Then his soul was put in said world. Noah tweaked it a bit a long time later, and a KC blimp got caught in the vortex. In Noah’s revamped virtual world, you dueled with Deck Masters, which you could bring into the game, but when destroyed means you lose, even if you have Life Points remaining. Noah, like all Yugioh villains, turns out to be a nice guy. He saves Yugi and co. from Gozoboro’s wrath. Mokuba wishes that Noah could come back to life and be a real brother to him.


Roland – one of the “black suits” that works for KaibaCorp. He obeys everything Seto orders him to, for fear of losing his job.


Dartz – a several-millenia year-old man, who has white hair and worships the Seal of Orichalcos. He has several people persuaded to work for him. Or controlled. Take your pick.


Seal of Orichalcos – This thing is so important that I’ll treat it as a character. Yes, I realize I skipped the Millenium Items, but there’s not much to say about them. This Seal is a uberly-broken card that allows you to summon up to ten monsters (no point in that), raises all your monster’s ATK by 500, is impossible to destroy, and sends the loses soul to oblivion. I guess it’s better than the Shadow Realm.


Dark Magician Girl – the “queen” of the place known as the Dominion of the Beasts, where all of the Duel Monsters reside. She has a crush on Syrus Truesdale. 


Raphael – a man named after a famous artist, but who probably never drew a damn thing in his life. He is very muscular, and he uses Guardian cards, especially a broken card called Guardian the Eatos. He was washed away on an island for many years. He is also one of the very few people to EVER defeat Yugi in a duel. Oops, I meant to say Atem.


Valon – a young man in love with Mai Valentine. His cards are actual armor that goes on his body. Go figure.


Zigfried Lloyd – This is a pseudonym and a play on the name, “Sigmund Freud.” This man has pink hair, and duels with Valkyries. He beat both Weevil and Rex in one move. But he ends up losing to Kaiba when Kaiba plays Chaos Emperor Dragon – Envoy of the End. Fans believe that this duel is why Chaos Emperor Dragon is banned in the anime. Sought revenge with Kaiba in the KC Grand Prix, and when it’s all over he cries and asks for forgiveness! Talk about sappy.


Leon von Shroeder – Zigfried’s little brother. Uses fairy tale creatures only. He kisses his Cinderella card at night. Zigfried tries to get him to cheat, by playing a card that doesn’t exist and shouldn’t work on the Duel Disk, but does because Zigfried is a computer whiz and knows how to mess around with stuff.


Uotum Apdnarg – Grandpa Mutou’s name spelled backwards. He used when he entered the Grand Prix, and his first opponent was Joey Wheeler. I only mention him because this is one of the few duels we actually witnessed in the Grand Prix. There was also a doctor, a simian dude, and several other characters, whose duels they just didn’t show.


Vivian – a girl who has a crush on Yugi. She is closer to his age than Rebecca is, but she’s more like a Romilda Vane than any other character in the series. Pretty cute, too, but not Yugi’s type.


Yami Bakura – This guy is the most evil in the entire series. First he just wants the Millenium Items, then he wants the Egyptian Gods, then he decides to meddle with Atem’s past and sends our heroes back to Egypt. Almost becomes Pharaoh himself, by tricking Atem in the past. A pretty good duelist; some fans are upset that not all of his cards are in the TCG yet.


GX era:


Jaden Yuki – an idiot who doesn’t know that “Sayonara” is Japanese, and he IS Japanese.


Syrus Truesdale – Jaden’s best friend in the beginning of the series. His mother wants to hump him, which is why she always tells him that he’s handsomer than his brother. Dark Magician Girl and Thunder Nyan-Nyan fight over him.


Chumley Huffington – a problematic boy who looks like a koala. Unlike Raphael, he CAN draw. Syrus complained once about him putting Dark Magician next to Dark Magician Girl. He went to work for Industrial Illusions. Jaden had him draw the Neos cards when Jaden created them.


Zane Truesdale – the only reason girls watched Yugioh GX. His mother must be blind to call Syrus handsomer than him. Though it must be said that Dark Magician Girl doesn’t have a crush on Zane. He duels pretty well, but it utterly dependent on Cyber Dragon.


Alexis Rhodes – the only reason boys watched Yugioh GX. Probably the cutest girl in Yugioh ever. Oh, and she can duel, too.


Dr. Vellian Crowler – a man who would rather be called “Mrs.” than “Mr.”   His voice even sounds like a girl’s. He uses Ancient Gear monsters, and has a crush on a vampire lady named Bella Swan.


Chazz Princeton – Jaden’s rival. He starts off being an Obelisk Blue, but because he’s so stupid he gets kicked out of school, goes to North Academy and wins with a random deck. He duels against Jaden again, and this time he returns to Duel Academy as a Slifer Red. Due to his defeat, he suffers brain damage and thinks that there’s a possibility Alexis will like him.


Blair Finnagan – a girl who dresses like a boy and has a crush on Zane, until she duels Jaden and he beats her. Then she gets a crush on him. She comes back to the school later, and makes a cameo appearance in 5D’s.


Dmitri – a guy who can’t find his own dueling style, and so he copies others. He even DRESSES like the person whose deck he is copying, even if it’s a girl. Dressed as Mai Valentine, he duels Alexis Rhodes and loses. The real Mai wouldn’t have lost. After this duel, he dresses as Alexis, who tells him to get lost. (Behind the scenes, Mindy sneaks up on Dmitri-dressed-as-Alexis and gives him a big kiss. She is disgusted when she finds out it’s a boy. Alexis doesn’t find out about it.)


Bastian Misawa – a scientist-in-training, he likes playing cards that deal with Chemistry. However, he can’t get a girl. Supposedly he’d rather have a teddy bear named after his favorite scientist.


Belowski – a boy obsessed with Mokey Mokey. He hypnotizes Jaden’s friends, including Alexis Rhodes, but he doesn’t take advantage of her. If that doesn’t show restraint, I don’t know what does.


Wheeler – a robotic monkey named after Joey. 


Chancellor Sheppard – the equivalent of Professor Dumbledore in Yugioh GX. The only difference is that he can’t do magic, doesn’t have a secret crush on Jaden, and has never dueled someone named Gellert Grindelwald. 


Atticus Rhodes – Whoever came up with this name must’ve been reading “To Kill A Mockingbird” not long before. He uses Red Eyes Darkness Dragon. He’s a surfer type who encourages Chazz in his useless attempts to win Alexis’ heart.


Ojama Yellow – This character is meant to provide humor relief when the show gets dark. If it were not for Ojama Yellow, some kids wouldn’t be allowed to watch this show.


I am skipping a lot of Yugioh GX, partly because this was a failure of a series. However, there are a few characters some people wouldn’t be able to forgive me for skipping, so I will list them.


Jesse Anderson – A boy who was raped by Amethyst Cat, and ever since then has found felines more sexually attractive than females. He replaces Syrus as Jaden’s best friend.


Tyranno Hassleberry – boy who loves dinosaurs because he got hit on the head with a bone. His favorite movie series is “The Land Before Time.” He has seen all seventeen of them twenty times at least.


Aster Phoenix – a failure of a boy in everything but dueling. He is rich and spoiled and he uses Destiny Heroes.    Believes too much in fate.


Adrian – treated his girlfriend Echo like crap, because all he cared about was Exodia. What a loser.


Yubel – She/He/It had a crush on Jaden, until he stupidly sent Her/Him/It into space. She/He/It came back for revenge.


Jean-Louis Bonaparte – a man with a French accent whose cards are all based on toys. He is the father of a promising young man called Marcel.


Axel Brodie – his victory saved Jaden from being evil. He was only brought into the show because the other GX characters are white and minorities were outraged.

The Most Dull Story You'll EVER Read

 It so happens that on the ninth of June, 200-, a boy named Querkey was playing in the backyard when he heard the sound of a hippopotamas yawning behind him. Granted, he had never heard a hippo yawn before. However, his instinct told him that that's what it was.1

Turning around, his ears found themselves justified in thinking so. A huge gray beast stood there. It seemed quite tame for some reason. Then Querkey saw her--sitting astride the hippo's back. Actually, all he could make out was her silhouette. 2

"Lumvra, what are you stopping for?" the girl asked the hippo. "Mun mun," the gray beast said.3

"Oh, well he'll have to excuse my manners, won't he?" the girl said, sliding off the hippo's back and rushing up to Querkey. She had strawberry blonde hair and a dimple on her chin. Holding out her hand for Querkey to shake it, a moment passed before he noticed and he awkwardly did so. 4

"I'm Karma Yaney, and this is my hippo, Lumvra. We're on our way to visit the Parting Sisters."5

"Parting Sisters? Oh, and I'm Querkey, by the way."6

"Ah, Querkey. So you've never heard of the Parting Sisters? They're the only ones in the world who can bestow the gifts of magic on mortals."7

"Magic?" Querkey queried, trying to imagine sawing his older brother in half.8

"No, not like that," Karma said. Querkey jumped about a mile. She could read his mind!9

"What's going on here?" he demanded to know.10

"Mind-reading is one of the first lessons of mortals who wish to use magic. You don't think the Parting Sisters would make me a sorceress if I hadn't even mastered one of the most basic skills, do you?"11

Querkey became angry, imagining that Karma was laughing at him. "That's it!" he said, fury ringing from his every note. "You are taking me with you!"12

"Yeah, right," Karma said, chuckling inwardly. "I'll take you with me when Hell freezes over." 13

Quick as a flash, Querkey pulled out a strange, octagonal object with an image of a green zoological skate on it. He held it in a fist and put this fist next to his heart. "Onusabare!" he shouted.14

Instantly, Karma felt flames eating the seat of her pants. She jumped about a mile. "Make it stop you little twerp!"15

"I can come with you?" he asked.16

"Sure, sure! Anything! Just make it stop!"17

He did so. Karma rubbed her hands across the area that had been burning only a minute before. "Whew," she breathed. Then she stared covetously at the talisman, plotting a way of stealing it from Querkey.18

"Just so you know," Karma began, "Lumvra likes brownies. A lot. So you'd better bring some. Preferably Duncan Hines."19

Querkey nodded. He was positively excited that he'd be going on a journey. Running into the house, he grabbed all the already baked brownies from the fridge, and some Betty Crocker zebra cakes, just in case. Then he left a note for Aunt Meredith, explaining where he was going and why. Not that she'd care. She'd probably just be relieved that the nephew her dead sister forced her to raise ten years ago would now be off her hands for a while. If she were lucky, perhaps Querkey would disappear forever.20

Finally, he came outside, and Karma showed him how to climb Lumvra the "right way." Once he was settled, she stepped forward, taking giant strides. And the world vanished. It was as though Querkey were staring at wind. Truly, wind is invisible. But Querkey could have sworn that on all sides he was staring at what wind would look like if it were visible. There were swirls and lines and raging colors--the colors of the wind, which Querkey thought sounded like a song from a Disney movie. 21

"Where are we?" he asked Karma.22

"We're in the Inside-Out Tunnel. All of the trees and houses and cars and people are invisible here. Not only that, but they have also acquired all the properties of wind. Which means that we can go through them. I can't explain all the science of it, but that's how it works."23

"Oh. But how come we can travel with wind all around us without any obstacles?"24

"But there are obstacles, Querkey. Here comes one now."25

Karma stared straight ahead. Querkey had to peer over her shoulder to see, resting his chin against her clavicle.26

It was a tiny orange creature with forklike fingernails. It's entire body was no bigger than Querkey's shoe.27

"A vilderhoppin. Give Lumvra some brownies; she can't defeat it on an empty stomach."28

Querkey handed three brownies to Karma, who reached down to toss them into the hippo's mouth. The vilderhoppin grew steadily larger until it blocked the whole pathway. 29

"Hold on," Karma said. "These brownies DO have almonds in them, don't they?"30

"Yes, why?"31

Karma breathed a sigh of relief and told Querkey to watch.32

The vilderhoppin reached for Lumrva, perhaps to lift her up and toss her back the way she came. But before his fiery claws could touch her body, she spat tiny seeds at him. His arm disappeared, as if it were eaten by gnats. Then the vilderhoppin got the bright idea of kicking Lumra, which action was responded to by hundreds of seeds. Querkey was astonished; three brownies could not hold that many almonds. But he kept silent as the vilderhoppin, now with only one leg, lay down on the ground with its face directly in front of the hippo. He tried to blow her away, but the seeds came too rapidly for his reflexes. Soon he was headless. Then Lumvra proceeded to walk over his prostrate body--he could do nothing without a thinking facility, even as limited as his powers were.33

"How did she do that?" Querkey asked Karma, after they had gone a few feet.34


"The seeds--almonds. There couldn't have been more than twenty among the three brownies, yet your hippo was spitting out hundreds, maybe thousands."36

"Oh, Lumvra's not really mine. Nobody owns any animals--she's my friend. And, secondly, her saliva multiplies anything small enough when she feels threatened. Something about adrenalin, you know."37

"No, I don't know. I'm only eleven."38

"Well, I'm only thirteen. Then again, I've been studying hard to become a sorceress. If those Parting Sisters don't give me what I seek, I'll..." Tears welled in her eyes. She was like this for a few minutes, and Querkey decided to remain quiet for a while.39

Hours passed, and Lumvra trudged on. They saw no more vilderhoppins, which Karma noted was extremely peculiar. It was like not meeting cacti while traveling in the desert. Lumvra had to be fed every two hours. They did not need sleep. Karma tried to explain it to Querkey but it became too complicated. Although only two years disparity in age, they were a decade different in knowledge. Karma was raised by parents who kept books in the house, especially volumes about magic and the Parting Sisters. Querkey was raised by an aunt who loathed books and forced him to watch Saturday Night Live and The Price is Right. Furthermore, his friends enjoyed playing video games and he had spent myriad afternoons with his Game Boy. Karma had no friends except Lumvra--she had devoted the nine years since she learned how to read entirely to the study of magic. And even before that her mother always lamented about how much she had always been meaning to visit the Parting Sisters but never found out an opportunity.40

Thus, all Querkey could make out was that the Inside-Out Tunnel gave off an energy that left slumber a waste of time and unnecessary. 41

After two days of travel, a cacophanous noise ahead alarmed Querkey. He almost fell of Lumvra's back, but Karma grabbed him just before he slipped. 42

"Thank you," he said. "What was--"43

"Shhh!" she warned, putting a finger to her lips. 44

“Ve are the ghosts, ve are the ghosts of Ghortlemackle45

No one around can hear us46

No one around can see us47

For ve are the ghosts of Ghortlemackle48

And ve valk the tunnel of Inside-Outiness.”49

Several voices sung these lines. It sounded to Querkey’s ears like people with twisted tongues. Then white figures surrounded Lumvra and her two riders. 50

“Vell, vhat have ve here?” asked one of the figures, who was chubby with elongated eyes.51

“’Tis a gaddle of straddlers, O Hellem,” said another figure, who had white glasses and a high forehead.52

“Let’s ask the trespassers vhat they vant!” The figure who exclaimed thus appeared very aggressive.53

“Okaaaaay,” said the figure called O Hellem. “Vhat are thou doing in the tunnel of Inside-Outiness?”54

Karma answered. “We are going to visit the Parting Sisters.”55

“Hah! The Parting Sisters von’t have anything to do with a couple of rigrats like thou. Go home, and leave us thy steed.”56

“Lumvra’s not a steed, but a hippo!”57

“Mun, mun!” the hippo grunted.58

One of the white figures was eyeing Querkey very carefully. It appeared to be a female. She was young compared to the others. This staring made Querkey feel uncomfortable. He leaned forward to whisper in Karma’s ear, “Do you want me to take care of them? The talisman—“59

“Ve can hear thou, little sprite! Thou thinkest a talisman can destroy the likes of us? How funny! Does thou also believe that milk comes from bovine, that the Earth revolves around the Sun, and that the vorld is round?”60

“Aren’t those all facts?” Querkey asked, out loud. The woman who was staring at him ran to whisper in O Hellem’s ear.61

“Facts schmacts. Milk does not come bovine (excuse me, I can’t use the common vord of thy tongue—it will only come out as covs). Milk comes from E. coli, a bacteria that exists in the bovine’s stomach. There are 200,000 specimens of E. coli each in the six stomachs of a female bovine. They release the milk through a process called peristalsis. The Earth does not revolve around the Sun. The Moon does, and the Earth revolves around the Moon. Oh, and the Moon is not made of cheese, but of chocolate. There are actually twenty-nine satellites in our solar system—it is the satellites, not the planets, which revolve around the Sun. As to the vorld being round, that is also false. It is shaped more like a cube. So, in a sense it is flat. But it’s flat on six sides. Thou will not ‘fall off’ the Earth if thou reacheth an edge, as the people in the Middle Ages believed a Columbus came along and misdirected them with his theory of roundness. It’s just like reaching a waterfall, except that once thou are on the dovn slope, it straightens itself.”62

The figure who spoke thus had horn-rimmed glasses and a thin face. He must’ve been emaciated when he died.63

The woman figure who had been staring at Querkey had finished whispering. O Hellem spoke. “Myrtle informs me that the young youth sitting behind this obstinate lady is her son.”64

“Her son!” Gasps rang through the throng of white figures. 65

“Yes,” spoke Myrtle. She had a honey-sweet voice. “I vas killed by a member of the Order of the Ostrich near his first birthday. He vas left with my sister, Meredith, an ignorant voman that alvays vanted to corrupt a child. I hope she has not succeeded with this one.”66

“Vance,” Querkey said, without thinking.67

“Vho is Vance?” queried O Hellem.68

“My older brother, and he’s bad to the bone.”69

“Just as I feared,” Myrtle said, touching her white forehead. “Name some of his vices.”70

“Alcohol, drugs, and other things an eleven-year-old should not know about,” her son enumerated.71

“If I could svoon, I vould,” his mother said, sadly. “But thou hast run avay to escape these sins?”72

Querkey was about to reply with a negative, that that wasn’t why he was on this journey. However, Karma told him with her eyes that an affirmative answer would better aid their purpose.73

“Yes. Aunt Meredith is a cruel woman. She taught me to hit girls!”74

There was a young female about Karma’s age in the group. Her face made twists and convulsions as Querkey said this. She gave Karma a sympathetic look. As thanks for the figure’s commiseration, Karma became viperlike. Except for his talisman, Querkey had no weapon against her.75

“I hope thou hast not learnt any lessons from her. Thou escape vas vise, my son.”76

“Ve, the Ghosts of Ghortlemackle, vill let thou pass,” said O Hellem.77

The wraiths stood on either side of Lumvra in a long row. The hippo traipsed at a slow pace. Singing filled the tunnel:78

“The past is gone, let it be.79

The future is not here yet, 80

But a Vise child81

Vill anticipate.82

Today is a gift; 83

That’s vhy it’s called the present84

Ve feel the long journey,85

Shall deplete one’s strength,86

But vhen it comes all87

Dovn to it,88

There is energy in the vill.89

Never hope for it to end.90

Enjoy it vhile it lasts.”91

This song was sung three times. Then a new commenced, something about getting your wishes granted, or “vishes,” as the Ghortlemackle ghosts called them. Querkey was not paying much attention, for, at the end of the row stood his mother. She winked at him as they left the line, never to see the white figures again.92

The ride was quiet for a while. However, after another hour’s walking, Karma found her tongue. “’Vell, that vas exhilarating,’” she said, mocking the wraiths’ speech. “No wonder we haven’t run into any vilderhoppin lately. So, your mother was killed by a Clan?”93

Querkey didn’t answer. He appeared to be lost in thought.94

“Hello? Earth to Querkey,” she said, waving a hand in front on his face. Still nothing. “Talk to me you viddinit little schomspoll!”95

The unfamiliar insult woke him out of his reverie. “Did you say something, Karma?”96

“Yes!” she exclaimed, exasperatedly. “I’ve been talking nonstop for the last five minutes, waiting for your medulla oblongata to respond!”97

“I don’t know what that is.”98

“Ugh! Have you learned nothing? Oh, well, can’t blame your schomspoll of an aunt for not teaching you anything.”99

“What’s a schomspoll?” Querkey asked, puzzled.100

“You answer my question first and I’ll answer yours.”101

“Fire away.”102

“Your mother was killed by a Clan? What was it, the Order of the Stork or something?”103


“You should’ve told me when I first met you.”105


“Because it would give me one more reason to hate the Clan system. All Clans are evil, and I want to be justified in thinking so.”107

Querkey said something in such a low voice that Karma didn’t catch it. She asked him to repeat it, a little louder. “I wouldn’t have been able to tell you, because I didn’t know.”108

“What! Not know that your own mother was killed?”109

“Aunt Meredith told me that she ran off with a man in a tuxedo and they moved to Sydney. I suppose Vance knew the truth, but I was only one when it happened. He’s five years older than me, after all.”110

“What kind of aunt would be so vile that she would lie to her nephew?”111

Querkey said nothing. Karma did not know Aunt Meredith’s ways; she had but an inkling of how he was treated under her roof. Once, Querkey had sneaked out of the house and went to the library by himself. He got a card and checked out three volumes, Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone, The Bad Beginning, and Bunnicula. His aunt ripped his card in four, then tossed it in the garbage. She yelled at him for an hour about the corruption of books and how she would never allow any of them in her house. She even took the first page out of all three volumes he checked out in his spaghetti that night and forced him to swallow them. She burned the books and ever since then Querkey’s fees to the library had been accumulating.112

Another vilderhoppin stopped them when they were just a turn away from the Parting Sisters’ domicile. 113

“Querkey, quick, get some brownies.”114

He searched the bag, but there were no brownies remaining. All that was left were zebra cakes. He handed these to Karma.115

“What is this? No, I asked you for brownies. Lumvra can’t defeat the vicklehoppin with these.”116

“She’ll have to,” Querkey said. “That’s all we have.”117

“Ugh! Leave it to a schomspoll to not bring enough brownies. I suppose I could use an elementary spell and magic them here…”118

“Mun, mun,” Lumvra moaned. The vilderhoppin was growing larger. 119

“Fine, girl. I’ll give you the zebra cakes, but they won’t do any good.”120

Karma quickly stuffed the cakes in Lumvra’s mouth “Man, I need time! Until I see the parting sisters, I can’t whip up brownies in a few seconds.”121

The vilderhoppin had grown as large as it could. It was lifting Lumvra in the palm of it’s hand. It pivoted it’s arm around and chunked them as far as it could, forcing them back a day’s journey. Luckily, Lumvra landed on her feet instead of her side.122

“Oh, bless the stars. We’re alive!” Karma exclaimed, hugging Querkey before she remembered that he was the reason they were unable to defeat the vilderhoppin. She pushed him away.123

They trudged back the way they came. Karma used her elementary magic skills to whip up some brownies, while Querkey pondered. After a few hours, he said quietly, “Karma, you’re not mad at me, are you?”124

“Of course I’m mad at you. When we get back there, we’re going to have to face two vilderhoppin, not one. Even with these makeshift brownies, we’ll have problems. Furthermore, there’s no chance of survival if we get caught this time. There’s an old saying that is easier to win the lottery than to survive a vilderhoppin attack, and it’s easier to get struck by lightning six times than to win the lottery. Which means that we are one hundred percent dead upon this second encounter.”125

“Well, I was thinking—“126

“Yes, I can read your mind, Querkey. I don’t think it’ll work.”127

“But, what if it’s our only hope?”128

“Lumvra’s saliva is our only hope.”129

“You said there’s going to two of them.”130

“Yes, and you’ll see that I’m right.”131

“I’m sure the talisman—“132

“The talisman is not a toy, Querkey. You don’t even know its significance. How you even came by such an extraordinary trinket of magic is beyond me.”133

Querkey pulled out the octagonal object and stared at the green figure etched in its surface. Then he shouted, “Nuctify!”134

Lumvra stopped in her tracks. Karma gave Querkey a dirty look and hopped off the hippo to examine her. “What did you do? Get down here, you little schomspoll.” 135

He reluctantly climbed down. If he didn’t, Karma might refuse to take him any further.136

As Querkey had known she would, the hippo had developed a second row of teeth below her first one. “What is the purpose of this?” Karma asked. “Are you trying to make it harder for us?”137

“Look, it’s the only way I could see for winning. You see, if she has two mouths, she’ll be able to attack two arms, two legs, and two heads that are attacking us.”138

“Hmmm,” Karma thought. “Come here little schomspoll.” Querkey obeyed, not altogether happily. Karma stared deeply into his eyes. “it appears you have a brain in there, after all. Just maybe we shall triumph. But, if we don’t, allow me to call you friend.”139

She held out a hand, and he shook it. Then they climbed back on Lumvra. 140

“So, have you ever used the talisman for to create a second mouth before?” Karma asked, as she finished making the brownies.141

“Yes. One night, when Vance brought his girlfriend over for dinner, I used the talisman on him. His girlfriend stared as his food went into his lower mouth and his upper one remained shut. Then when he tried to kiss her, she ran screaming from the house. She couldn’t bear his upper mouth touching her lips and his lower one on her chin. Luckily, he never found out it was me who did that.”142

They both laughed. For the first time since they had been together, they seemed to enjoy each other’s company.143

Eventually they returned to the corner where they had met the vilderhoppin. Indeed, there were two such creatures now. One tried to go behind Lumvra, which would’ve made her second mouth useless, for hippos cannot turn about quickly. However, this brilliant fiend was stopped when Querkey shot a line of water at it from his talisman. The vilderhoppin stepped back to join its brother, both of them growing alarmingly fast. Karma tossed three brownies in Lumvra’s first mouth and reached lower to put another quarter dozen in the second mouth. One of the vilderhoppin had its arm ready to lift the hippo, when a stream of almond seeds demolished that villainous instrument. The other one stepped in front and attempted to use both hands and cup Lumvra up, but seeds from one mouth went to the left and seeds in the other mouth shot to the right. Now the two vilderhoppins together had only a single arm, which they decided was useless.144

Before the vilderhoppin in front could lift its foot to kick, hundreds of seeds removed both legs. Now, limbless, it let its brother take over. The selfsame result occurred again. Karma blessed the stars that vilderhoppins weren’t too bright. Only the vilderhoppin with a remaining arm could get down and attempt to blow. Of course, its head was in danger. Once that weapon was removed, it seemed to be easy going. The other vilderhoppin stared stonily at these minions from Hell. Then he realized that he could bounce. He did so, landing in the center of his brother’s futile body. And he began to grow again. Finally, at full height, he bent to pick them up. Neither of Lumvra’s two mouths could save them now, for the fiend had grown his limbs behind them. Karma shook violently. She could hear Querkey’s thoughts; she didn’t want to be alone in her fright. But Querkey was not afraid. His mind focused on what she had told him about it being easier to be struck by lightning six times than to win the lottery. Querkey held the talisman aloft, and chanted, “Ficcleusery, Ficcleusery, Limebanbato, Limebanbato, Kwideranerfawn, Kwideranerfawn.”145

Out of the many swirling colors around them emerged six thunderbolts, and they all aimed for various parts of the vilderhoppin, who had eyes and ears for nothing but his quarry. One bolt struck his hand, another his right pupil, yet another his back. Howling in rage, he vanished in a puff of smoke.146

Karma looked at Querkey admiringly. He seemed different from when she first saw him, as if he had grown in spirit or purpose. Plus, in his talisman he held real magic. The magic she craved and coveted whenever she met another being who possessed it. Even as she thought this, she remembered that without his talisman, Querkey was impotent. However, he had proven himself worthy to be her friend.147

They turned a corner, and there was the cottage that had enlivened Karma’s dreams for nine years. The Parting Sisters lived here. It was stone-white with stucco and a statue of the great cat Sudaris, their familiar. Both children hopped off Lumvra’s back. This was it; the moment of truth!148

“Karma,” Querkey said quietly, as if he were unsure about what he had to voice.149

Her ability to read minds was exacerbated since she was brimming with emotion. “Yes, Querkey?”150

“I can’t go with you.”151

Karma turned to him, shock written on her face. “What do you mean you can’t come? You don’t expect me to go alone, do you?”152

“You were perfectly happy with being alone when Lumvra stopped in my backyard,” he reminded her, using the hippo’s name for the first time.153

“That was then. Things change. You’re my friend now. Please come with me!”154

“Karma, I have no business in the witches’ house. Besides, I have to go and find the Clan that murdered my mother. I must punish them, with the talisman. The sooner I commence the search, the better.”155

“I understand, but surely you can wait but a couple hours’ more? Now that I’m here, I’m afraid. Don’t leave me high and dry.”156

“Karma, we must part.”157

“Then, take Lumvra. I won’t need her to travel once the Parting Sisters give me what I desire.”158

“Thanks for the offer, Karma, but she’s your friend, not mine. And you never know what the witches will demand of you; you might need her yet.”159

“Well, if anything, you’ve become wiser,” she lauded him.160

“I suppose I have,” he reflected. “Now, how do I get out of the Inside-Out Tunnel?”161

For a moment, a spiteful thought entered Karma’s head. She would withhold the information until he visited the Parting Sisters with her. But she wasn’t selfish enough to carry it out. And, after all, Querkey was her friend. If he wanted to leave, she shouldn’t attempt to stop him. “You say the word ‘Num,’ three times and grab a blue streak from the Hue Wall in one hand and a green one in the other. Hold the blue streak as high as you can and the green one as low. Then the Inside-Out Tunnel will vanish and you’ll be in open air.”162

“Thank you, Karma.” They embraced.163

“Will I ever see you again?” she asked him.164

“I hope so.”165

He went over to the Hue Wall and caught both a blue and a green streak in the swirls after saying, ‘Num, num, num.’ The blue streak represented the sky; the green one was a symbol for grass. Querkey vanished.166

“Well, that’s that,” Karma said, staring at the place where he had disappeared. She turned to Lumvra, who still had a second mouth. “Wish me luck!”167

“Mun, mun.”168

Karma was grateful that her uncle had taught her to understand animal speech. Lumvra had eloquently told her that she believed that she could handle it, even without Querkey.

Now Karma traipsed toward the cottage. She had seen photos of it in books on magic, but never did it become so real as now. Wishing she had Querkey’s hand to hold on to, she rang the doorbell.170

Five seconds later the door opened wide, and a matronly woman stared at Karma, questioningly. Before she could speak, however, the witch voiced her thoughts, “You have come to ask my sisters and me to impart magic on you? Hmmm…I don’t believe we’ve ever bestowed such powers on anyone of as remarkable youth as yourself. Come in. Gertrude and Cybil will be right down.”171

Then this must be Therese. She led Karma into the sitting room, where paintings by Monet, Manet, Renoir, and Rubens adorned the walls. Then she went to call her sisters.172

Sudaris the familiar entered the room. He was all black with a yellow ribbon tied around his neck. Karma would’ve loved to fondle him, but she had read somewhere that he loathed caresses. Even the Parting Sisters were forbidden to touch him. 173

“So, new cat on the block, eh?” he asked. Just then Gertrude, Cybil, and Therese arrived. They heard his last words. “Sudaris! How many times have we told you not to talk to visitors?” Gertrude admonished.174

The familiar shuffled away in a huff.175

“Excuse Sudaris, young lady. He loves breaking the rules.”176

Karma was silent.177

“Do you forgive him?” asked Cybil. “You must say it out loud.”178

“Yes, I forgive…Sudaris,” Karma said tentatively. She didn’t want to let them know that she had read countless books about them. Of course, they could read her mind to discover that fact, but she doubted they’d search for something so mundane.179

“Well, now, we must get down to brass tacks,” said Therese. “You’ve come here for magic. But in order for us to give it to you, you must pass the Probe Test, which Cybil will kindly administer.”180

Cybil said some rhyming words under her breath. Karma felt a metallic contraption form around her head. It started beeping and she thought a tiny insect was scurrying around in her brain. Then the beeping came to a halt. Cybil frowned.181


Therese, Cybil, and Gertrude all exchanged looks. Then the latter spoke. “Young lady, we regret to inform you that you are not yet ready for our magic.”183

“But—“ she tried to protest.184

Therese held up a hand. “You see, young lady, our sorcery is far too potent for some who has not fallen in love to wield. Until you find a guy that you truly love, so much that you would die for him, you shall remain a mortal as you are.”185

“The books didn’t say anything about this,” Karma said. “Otherwise I wouldn’t have come all this way.”186

“Oh, you’ve read about us, haven’t you?” Cybil beamed. “No, they wouldn’t say anything about it because we won’t let them publish our qualifications. Also, those we have bestowed our gifts on are sworn to secrecy. Anyone who writes or speaks about our requirement is killed. The only exception is with the one that person loves. Of course the lover is permitted to know, but anyone else is off limits.”187

“Doesn’t your magic make someone immortal?”188

“Immortal to mortals, young lady,” said Gertrude. “Not immortal to us.”189

“It could take years to fall in love.”190

“We understand that,” Therese said. “However, in love you must be, if you wish for magic. Furthermore, you must not force yourself to fall in love. It has to just happen, from out of the blue.”191

Karma was crestfallen. “I guess I’ll be going now.” 192

Therese took her to the door. “We’ll call on you the moment it happens. You’ve been bugged.”193

Karma stared at her in shock.194

“Don’t worry; we won’t be able to hear a thing you say. Only your heart has been bugged. If you fall in love, we’ll know immediately. This method also keeps you from attempting to fool us. Thank you. Good-bye.” Therese shut the door.195

Karma stood there for a second or two before she collected herself. Then she went to where Lumvra was waiting, and cried.196

They left the Inside-Out Tunnel in search of someone Karma could love. Her first thoughts were on her cousin, Sebastian Yaney. He certainly was eligible if her chief interest were looks. However, Sebastian hadn’t a brain in his head. She moved from him to Barney Quilliburt, but that was a bust when she caught him kissing Tiffany Spiddle. Karma began to drift. Her heart had to take a man sooner or later. How long it take to fall in love? How long must she wait?197

If anyone could’ve gone back in time to the moment when she left the Parting Sisters’ domicile, they would’ve been able to tell her that she would have to wait eight years. For a girl of thirteen, eight years feels like an interminable amount of time. Thank goodness no one was able to tell her that, or she would’ve given up and never run into a certain Spoonbat.198

However, it is the reader’s duty to permit the narrator to shift his focus from Karma to her other partner that bore the journey with her. 199

Four years elapsed before Querkey finally discovered the Order of the Ostrich. He wanted to rush at them and commit mass murder, but their alarm caught him unawares, and he thought he’d ask someone what was the matter. Querkey accosted a guy in a red tunic with a skull over his forehead. “Is something wrong with this Clan?” he asked innocently, as three people ran by with jugs of water slopping liquid all over the place.200

“The nurt is attacking our last goachani,” answered the Ostrich member.201

Querkey wondered what a nurt was. But he didn’t have to wonder for long, since the creature loomed in the sky for all to see. It possessed nine azure-colored eyes and four tails. Arrows and bullets bounced off its slick armor. The nurt was not something Querkey would want to cross if he were powerless. If…202

He could rescue the Clan. The Clan that killed his mother. He didn’t see any legitimate reason why he should; nevertheless, he wanted to. Querkey had no idea why he wished to help them, perhaps to show compassion for his enemies. Myrtle would probably not be pleased. 203

The goachani came into view. It was a slender gazelle with long antlers rising in spirals from its head. Furthermore, colors danced across its flesh—all the different shades Querkey had noticed on the Hue Wall. He suspected that this goachani was born in the Inside-Out Tunnel. 204

Querkey almost missed the moment when the nurt raised its claws to rip apart the goachani’s flesh. “Ookatapi, Ficcleusery!” he shouted, after pulling out the talisman.205

A lightning jolt hit the nurt’s claw and caused it to decay. A flame was ignited on three of its four tails. The nurt turned with his nine eyes to the assailant, and, leaving the goachani forgotten for the time being, turned its fury to Querkey.206

However, the nurt obviously had no idea whom he was dealing with. Soon it was blinded and limbless. It fell into an innocuous heap, and the goachani kicked it. Then there were screams and shouts. Shortly Querkey found himself surrounded by Ostrich members. They bowed before him, congratulated him. He was a hero.207

A fortnight later, the Clan leader died. A unanimous vote had Querkey chosen as his successor. Now Querkey was the master of the Clan which had left him motherless.208

And so four years was he their leader. Then one day he went hunting in the Target Wood, and heard a girl screaming. He hastened toward the sound. Recognizing his old friend Karma, he pulled out the talisman and kissed the green kite imprinted on it. Then he shouted, “Kwideranerfawn!”209

A thunder blast struck the attacking creature, which he noted at once was a Spoonbat. These mammalian birds had a spoon for a mouth to stick in people’s noses and suck their brain out as the Egyptians did to make mummies of their Pharaohs. 210

“You…you saved me,” Karma said. She did not recognize Querkey.211

“Yes, it would appear I have. What are friends for?”212

“You certainly are bold to already declare me a friend. Anyhow, I’m Karma Yaney.”213

“I know.”214

“You know?” she said, a little bitterly. “Who are you?”215

“The leader of the Order of the Ostrich.”216

Karma’s heart began palpitating. The voice sounded familiar. And the Order of the Ostrich? Wasn’t that the Clan that—217

“Querkey?” she asked him.218

“At your service.”219

“I must be dreaming.” 220

“Climb on Monney,” her friend said, indicating the horse. “Let’s go back to Clan headquarters.”221

Three hours later they were in Querkey’s tent, drinking hot cocoa and exchanging stories of the past eight years. Somehow during their talk their lips came closer and closer until…222

One of the Clan members entered the tent. He was wearing the typical uniform—red tunic and skull over face. But Querkey knew his as his Chief Under-Commander. “Leader, I must inform you that kissing by someone of your stature is strictly forbidden by Clan policy.”223

Karma gave Querkey a look which said, See why I hate Clans?224

“If I can’t kiss her, then I’m resigning,” the leader said.225

“You can’t resign!” exclaimed the Chief Under-Commander.226

“It looks I just did, Dojari.” It was an insult to call a member of the Clan by his given name. Dojari pulled off the skull and lunged it at Querkey, but it fell harmless to the ground. Querkey kissed Karma, and she felt her heart palpitating. Dojari ran angrily from the room.227

Then the three Parting Sisters appeared. “You’ve fallen in love!” Cybil exclaimed. Karma blushed.228

“You have now earned the gift of our magic,” said Therese.229

“Thank you, but no thank you,” Karma said.230

“But, isn’t this what you wanted?” asked Gertrude.231

“Yes. For seventeen years I’ve yearned to be a sorceress. But now I’ve learnt that there is no greater magic than true love. Besides, Querkey has all the power we might need in his talisman.”232

“Humph!” exclaimed Therese. “To think that anyone would spurn our magic! Come on, ladies.”233

They vanished, leaving the two lovebirds alone.234

Querkey asked Karma about this incident, and she told him. For many years after that, he often wondered why she didn’t just accept the gift of magic that she had craved for so long and use it in case the talisman was stolen. However, there was no point in pressing the matter.235

Their wedding came all too quickly. Aunt Meredith and Vance were conveniently forgotten. But the Yaneys came—hundreds of them. They filled both the bride and groom side of the chapel, and some had to stand outside. It was certainly memorable.236

On the first night of their honeymoon, Querkey thought of something.237

“Hey, you never told me what a schomspoll is.”238

“Oh,” Karma laughed. “It’s a warty toad that has no wits in a story for children.”239

"Do you still think I am one?"


They kiss.

  • Current Mood
    relieved relieved

Ellen Spears

 My darling girl, Ellen Spears, had to go back to Virginia when I was forced to return to Texas.  I never saw her after that.

This was sixteen months ago, almost.  30 July MMVII, the seventeenth birthday of another girl I liked.  A girl who I almost swore to make my akora...when really it is Ellen who deserves that honor.

Ellen was seventeen when I met her; I was nineteen and still in high school, though I graduated fourth in my class.  She asked for my e-mail address when I left Wheatstone Academy, but I did not ask for hers.  I HATE life without her.  Well, at least I have books, but I can never be complete without Ellen.  She's mine--I know she is!  She won't marry someone else, will she?

Now, granted, we only knew each other for five and a half days before we were forced to split forever.  However, I knew the night before I last saw her that she was the one.  Why?  We saw the first act of Oscar Wilde's "The Ideal Husband" performed.  Then she compared it to "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight," a story I had been waiting to read and did at my first opportunity after our separation.

It is possible that Ellen and I will be separated for 119 months.  That's over nine years!  Well, eight, since one is gone.  But why must we separated like this?

The last moment I was with her, she wanted a hug, but being a guy I did not understand.  So...yeah, that's how it goes.  And my e-mail address was messed up.  She was never able to send me a message.

Below is a letter I composed to her but cannot mail because I don't have her address:

Dear Ellen,

I wish I could see you one more time. I didn't even give you a proper adieu. You were the best girl I ever met; honestly, I mean that. If you read this, you'll scoff at the preceeding sentence. Of course, you're not shallow or anything, but I believe I really hurt you.

How was I supposed to know you wanted to hug me at the end? I'm a guy; we lack that sense, and I've never hugged anyone outside my family. And I'm terribly sorry about the e-mail address. My e-mail doesn't work unless I send someone else a message first, and I never asked for yours. Seriously, Ellen, I can barely imagine living the rest of my life without you. Almost all of my passwords across the Internet are either "EllenSpears2008" or "JustEllen2008." The year represents the time when you'll turn nineteen, which was how old I was when we met. My username on Wikipedia is "Ellen Spears." I'm crazy about you! I'm missing the first year of your adulthood as I'm writing this letter. How much longer before we see each other again? A decade? Four? I can't live forty years more, especially without you. Ellen, my dreams fall short if you're not around. Your red hair is so dazzling, and I just feel so good when I'm in your presence. I know bad times would still be in store for us, but at least we'd be together!

I dreamed of creating a bookstore after you, the "Just Ellen." It would be as famous as Barnes & Noble and Borders. But it may never be now. I'm losing my intellectual prowess; all that's left is my love of writing. But I'm going to have to write for you, to make sure it gets done. I still feel that my writing dream is going nowhere, but at least I'm attempting to do it. Still, what can I do without you? I feel impotent. I may fail, Ellen. But the only thing that truly terrifies me in that is that you'll think I'm not worthy of you. I'm not, but I wish I were. You're so fantastic, and if I had the temerity to do such a thing, I would ask you to marry me. But, it can never be.


Abel Glen Pamuk
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