The Story Chapter 23

Chapter 23

 

He couldn’t breathe. Every time he struggled to bring in the much needed oxygen his chest burned. Outside of his struggle he could hear someone talking. It was his physician, Edmund, who was speaking to someone else. The words filtered passed the wheezing of his struggle, “He has severe pneumonia. I fear there is nothing to be done for him. I cannot cure this.”

A feminine voice asked, “How are we to save him? He is our king!” It sounded like Morgana, but Arthur had never heard her so stressed before. He tried to open his eyes, but his body was not cooperating with him. Just breathing continued to be the only thing he could do. He had never been so weak before.

 

His first knight spoke then, bringing the count of people in the room to four at least, “We sought out a physician within a group that was in the forest and they said that the only one who could possibly save the king’s life is a man named Emrys.” Arthur didn’t remember ever leaving Merlin, let alone coming across anyone in the forest on their way back. A lot of his memory is fog and he wondered whether he was dreaming now. He felt he must be back into the castle again. A sharp hit of thunder outside of his window also alerted to him that the storm was still raging as well.

They had failed and it sounded like he was dying. Their voices filtered in and out as they discussed finding this man who could save him. Leon must have ran out to follow an order of something by Morgana. The physician then gave his own leave.

He struggled some more with opening his eyes when he heard another shift of fabric. Morgana must have still been in the room with him. He couldn’t even groan to let her know he was awake. Then she started to talk as if to herself, “Oh Arthur. What have you gotten yourself into this time? I wonder if you had been lying to me all of this time. Did you know that the peasant had the use of magic to his ability? How could he have stand to hear every one of his kind being burned, beheaded and hanged outside of his window time and time again? I wept, you know? I wept with every death your father cast down from on his balcony. You stood there like a good child and watched each one later. I even begged for their lives at times, too. He would have nothing of it, though. I had hoped you would have been different, but I know you are not. You are just like your father before you.” She sighed and they were in silence so long he had come to think she had left again. “Emrys…” she said suddenly in a way that brought him to think she was contemplating something horrible. “I wonder if he is the one who could stop this storm, as well? I need to go, my dear king, and find this man. He sounds awfully powerful.” Her skirts rustled and her heels clicked against the stone flooring as she left the chamber.

Arthur was once again alone struggling to breath. Inside, though, he wondered why he felt horror at Morgana finding this Emrys. If she found the great sorcerer quick enough then he would survive… right?

~*~*~ Tzuzuku~*~*~

 

 

The Dream of the Muse

Four years ago I kicked my ex out. We had been together for six years and I was pregnant with our fourth child. During those years together I wrote nothing. I didn’t even keep a journal. I went from struggling awake in the morning to going through a drab routine to sleeping at night (sometimes). During the night I got up with the kids on a schedule of night feedings and night terrors. I functioned on about four hours every day. I couldn’t even allow myself time to daydream during those six years.

Then I kicked him out after the final straw (I won’t go further into that). Two months after he was gone, I found myself with a quiet moment and a pad of paper. My thoughts tumbled out through the ink. I was writing again.

Three months after I kicked him out I had my first vivid dream that wasn’t filled with anxiety or a nightmare.

The black of sleep melted away. I looked around at shelves filled with books. I reached out to grab one when something moved to my right. Standing amongst the rows was my sister. Her long brown hair was wavy, and her clothes were the white dress of an angel. I called out to her and she smiled at me.

Why was she here? She had died a few years back, and left me in a mess of depression.

Her hand came up and pointed to the shelf in front of her. I slowly walked and looked to where she pointed. My eyes widened. I was shocked, because there on the shelf was a row filled with my name.

I looked at her and shook my head. I wasn’t good enough. My writing had been the worst the internet had ever seen before my ex even came into my life. No one would read it. I would never get that far.

All of these thoughts were conveyed to her. She smiled again, pointed to the shelf once more and then to me. “Write,” she mouthed. No sound came out, but I didn’t need her voice.

“I don’t think I can,” I began to cry. My eyes teared up and she wavered away. When I blinked them clear again, she was gone. One last look at the shelf, and the blackness crept in on me.

I woke up to one of my babies crying. My eyes were also leaking. I rocked him that night crying with him.

The next morning, though, I sat down and turned on my computer. It took two days to update the programs. I hadn’t had time before to use it.

I wrote during down times at work and typed it onto the computer. I found myself creating my accounts online again. I wrote my fanfiction and placed them up. Blank Slate was the first I had written in years and it tumbled out.

I thought back to that book on the shelf in my dream. The one my sister pointed directly to. NaNoWriMo gave me the goal of writing that book. A story I had told my sister 15 years ago and now she wanted to see it on paper. I knew what I would write.

Keeper’s Kinn flew out of my fingers. The characters tumbled out and retold me their story. After every day I hoped to see my sister in my dream again. I needed to tell her the book was being written.

I didn’t see her until this last Halloween.

In this dream she didn’t smile right away. She stood outside of my farm home in the cold, but not shivering. The dead can’t shiver. I called to her, “I wrote it! Did you see?”

Suddenly her face broke into a smile. Her hand came out from behind her back and there was my book. She nodded to me and mouthed, “Keep going.”

And as it can only happen in a dream, she turned to her right and pointed once again at a book case that suddenly appeared. She wanted to see it with my books; the stories she would beg me to tell her everyday.

I was going to fill that shelf. I am going to fill that shelf. My sister, and the people who have always begged me for a story, will now be reading them from the book shelves.

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The Storm Chapter 22

Disclaimer: I do not own BBC Merlin nor Disney’s Frozen. I am making no money off of this story.

Chapter 22

It was cold. The air was damp and chilly against his skin. He felt his body shiver before his left hand dropped from where it had been draped against his chest. The splash and sudden plunge of his arm into icy cold water jolted him awake. He gasped as he brought the dripping appendage back up and against him.

Slowly he sat up on what he found to be a stone slab bed. It had hay, wet and cold, to make it softer to lay on. Above him was a small window, too small to climb out of. It was dripping down the wall and onto the stone floor below. All around him was a good depth of water gathered. Across from him were bars. He was in dungeons.

‘Camelot’s?’, he wondered. Probably. Arthur must have come back or sent his knights to take him.

He wondered and worried for his dragon. He hoped the beast was alright. He wondered how many of the knights were also injured during the fight. He was sure there would be many casualties.

He needed to get out; he needed to escape again. He gathered courage and put his boots into the water. It sloshed and soaked over the top to his toes inside. He bit his lower lip to stop himself from screaming out. It was like a frozen lake had broke free and surrounded his legs. He started to slowly breathe in and out again. His breath having hitched in his attempt to not yell.

Now that the shock of the cold water was done, he scooted over to the bars. The water was deep even there. It seemed the castle was flooding. He noticed that he was in the upper dungeons. His memory of the layout of the castle served him, still. The lower levels must have been completely under the water. He was hoping someone had had the forethought to pull the prisoners from those depths before the water had drowned them. He pushed away those thoughts as they caused him to tremble more.

He brought his hands up to grasp the freezing cold bars of his cell. His long sleeves moved up on his arms and he saw something odd around his wrists. He hadn’t noticed them before. Two, one for each side, shackles were locked around him. ‘Probably to chain me later,’ he reasoned.

He pushed out slightly with his magic hoping to unlock the dungeon door. Nothing happened. He shook his head and concentrated again. Inside he tried to find that sense to use that always just was his magic. This time, instead of nothing happening, a jolt of pain shot from his wrists to his chest. He let go of the bars to stumble back and grab the front of his shirt.

He decided to shuffle back to the bench and pull his soaked feet from the water. Breathing was difficult at first for him, but soon everything subsided. The pain ceased and his vision once again cleared.

The shackles. They weren’t there to chain him up. They were enchanted to suppress his magic. The chaotic magic had never been controlled like this before. His blue eyes glared at them in anger.

As he fumed at being trapped again, he heard a noise coming down the halls. Someone was entering the dungeons and sloshing through the flood. Two red cloaked guards shown and opened the cell door. It didn’t take them much to pull the struggling warlock from his new cage.

“Let me go!” Merlin yelled. His demands fell on deaf ears.

He was dragged up the stairs to the throne room. Inside the large room where he had been first sentenced to his solitary years with the court physician sat Arthur’s uncle and Morgana. Beside the dark haired woman was a boy in knights clothes who glared back at Merlin with hostility.

“Sorcerer,” Agrevaine ground out, “stop this storm immediately.”

Merlin glared back, but inside he trembled, “I can’t. I don’t know how I started it.”

Morgana pleaded with him, “You must stop it. People are dying. Don’t you care about people?”

Merlin nodded, “I do care, but I don’t know how!”

The king’s uncle stood from his throne, “Then I have no choice. I sentence you to hang in the morning. May your death end this plague on Albion.”

The guards took a now frightened and screaming Merlin away from the acting monarch, “Please! No! I didn’t mean to do it! Please!!” His screams could be heard for ten minutes until they had securely brought him back to the upper dungeons.

~*~Ma~*~

Outside of the outer walls of Camelot stood Gwen, the men, and Arthur in Percival’s arms. They scrambled for the sanctuary of the city inside. Leon took the king from the burly man and rushed for the inner castle. They needed to find Emrys and soon.

~*~Tsuzuku~*~

How do I write books?

A conversation with a fellow author had me thinking about how the different people in the world write their stories. It became an interesting topic for us both as we realized that not everyone has a set way or a “right” way.

How do I go from a thought to the finishing sentences?

First I keep a small notebook with me everywhere I go. It has slips of paper shoved in it from the times that I have an idea but can’t pull out the spiral mass (mostly happens at work). New book ideas go in or even quick thoughts on current projects. I guard it so well that I have been known to lose my phone and not the notebook.

After a quick synopsis is set for a new book, I only write little things down as I think of them. I might have only a title and a paragraph down, but the dream has started.

When I decide to take on the actual project of writing is when the dirty work starts. I write out characters, outline the chapters, and get down on paper the twists and turns of the story. This can take me several days or I can outline only the first few chapters and know the book will continue without any more knowledge on my part. Let the characters tell me where to go after the halfway point, kind of thing. I did this with Blank Slate and only added the one sentence of who the bad guy was and the final twist to set the ending.

Now New Camelot is an entirely outlined five book series. The characters are more intricate and detailed than the first draft I am posting online. Casey is also the same way, but four books are done in outline and less characters (thank everything).

Keeper’s Kinn was entirely outlined, the first outline was scrapped halfway, and it took four different endings before I was satisfied. Keeper’s Kinn was a challenge for me that I gave myself during the NaNoWriMo competition in 2013. I wrote the outline the first night on November 1st and then wrote the 1,667 words needed to start the novel. I also wrote this outline onto my computer and not into my notebook. I found during the challenge that I didn’t like having to tab between the four screens just to write and that I enjoy flipping my pages instead.

I write in order as well. A lot of people write out scenes or even the ending of their stories first, but once I have an outline I follow it chapter by chapter. I flow the outline together with details and information. I weave together the thin strands in my outlines to create their beautiful tapestry. The character spec’s become people during this time.

The first draft can be rough and sometimes I’ll skip parts of my outline just to get the story down (note: there are missing parts in the New Camelot: Blackout that is currently online). Once the book is complete, I walk away for up to two weeks. The first draft will mingle in my brain if I didn’t do this. I’ll start another project or look over notes to a future book.

Second draft is the missing scenes are added in. This takes me going through my version and adding in where I have made the notes that something is missing (you don’t see those notes on my online versions).

Third draft is done after I read through it. I now add in character details, little things I should have done the first time but didn’t see the gaping hole until now, and double checking my own grammar and spelling. This draft is sent to an editor when it is completed.

Fourth draft is things my editors say need fixing. This is the one I always fidget while working on. It means I have completed a book. It gives me a new thrill inside. This is the one ready for people to read.

My fanfiction never go on through the first draft unless there are glaring mistakes that I tweek after comments are made. Ten years ago, on my Beautiful Curse book one, I actually didn’t write an entire chapter. I skipped the chapter thinking no one cared, really, about where that little plot bunny was hopping to. I can redo the entire thing from memory, but I decided it had enough attention at the time. It is also riddled with errors in spelling and grammar. I do a quick glance through each chapter now before I post it for possible grammar and spelling errors. I don’t catch them all, though.

Another difference to this is that I am writing The Storm completely from my mind. This was a challenge given to me when I explained how Blank Slate was outlined. So, the challenge was to write with no outline and no character sheets. The Storm is completely made up almost on the spot. I have to remember where I was to put my twists and who my characters are.

Sending out feedback is great, though. I might change something in my outline due to a comment. The review or comment also helps me to put notes in my outlines for possible fixing on the second draft. We all write differently. I love hearing what people have to say on my books. Never feel intimidated or that I won’t change something, because maybe I didn’t see it when I wrote the outline.

Does your writing differ from mine? Give me feedback and let me know. Maybe I can skip a step or maybe you have a suggestion to make my stories and books.

You can also message me on Facebook. I promise that I will respond as soon as I am able.

Going blind

Last Sunday I was working at the major retailer that pays my bills. We needed to shift all of the Christmas things to the clearance section of our store. No problem; I have done this before. What I have never done before, though, is get glitter into my eye.

Christmas things are covered the fairy’s snot. I already loath the sparkly stuff that takes forever to get off of the clothing and skin, but now it is a health hazard!

Back to my story: I got glitter into my left eye. I tried to wash it out with eye rinses and extreme tearing, but it refused to stop attacking my eyeball.

The damage given is a scratched cornea. It is almost right down the center, probably from my useless blinking. The eye is cloudy on one side and tilted a bit on the other.

It will heal.

On the other hand, it makes my life difficult. I cannot see long enough to write on my laptop. I couldn’t see the new Star Wars movie in 3D (and was doing my best to nurse the headache after the movie since I kept trying to adjust to see it all). Working at the store is a combination of pain pills and breaks to the bathroom to splash water on my face. Driving is only being done when necessary, since my depth perception is very off.

Mostly, though, I just want to finish my books. The stories are swimming in my brain and I need to get them down. My phone has voice to type, but my laptop doesn’t.

I hate being blind. Remember to learn from my mistakes. Do not let your Christmas ornaments cause a disability in your house. Also, fairy snot isn’t fun.

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A picture of one of my cats walking down my driveway after our 9″ of snow last week.

Also, go grab a Kindle copy of Fantasy Life this week. It is at a reduced price. $0.99 today and the price will increase as the week progresses! Get it while you don’t have to pay a lot.

Happy New Year!

Catching up

It seems that I am destine to just fall behind in things. I still haven’t been able to get my internet to work out on the farm, and then all of my kids came down with two different viruses in the last two weeks. Now I have one of the illnesses.

When I have been able to, I have been writing. I have been writing and editing things that I am able to. I have more written for New Camelot and I am trying to outline Casey. My brain is having trouble switching to The Storm, though.

My kids have also been all over the place. With the holidays approaching, they are getting antsy. I am sure most kids are hyper about this time of year. Being stuck inside because of illness isn’t helping them nor my muse.

My goal this week: have New Camelot Blackout finished and on here before New Years. This is only book one to a series I have planned. It will be taken down from here, added to and edited, and published. The other books in the series will then be written and published instead of placed on here.

Casey is also being planned as a series of books. This one isn’t as formed as my New Camelot books are. I decided to write the first book without a clear outline. Now I am finding my brain wants to write the last book more than the first three books. I think this attempt at a drama series might just have to be put on hold while I write the entirety of New Camelot.

The Storm is also in the work. It should be ready, at least one chapter, by this week as well. I know it is fanfiction, and so not many read it on here, but I want to finish what I have started.

I have stepped out of my element as an online writer. This week I published my first Fantasy novel. I have to say I am very apprehensive about this. I am used to feed back every chapter on my stories and books. This is the first time that I am now waiting for people to read something in its entirety and then tell me what they think. It is also the first time I wrote something without a mass of people helping me with questions and cues to where to lead the story. I almost threw this book into my trash pile on my computer.

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Click here for the Kindle version.

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Click here to order the book.

With new projects in mind, and books always swirling in my brain, I suggest that people who like my stuff go and follow my Facebook page.

I feel I am on my way to becoming the author I have always wanted to be. Now to just get my deadlines met on my current projects…

Stay tuned for those updates.

Fantasy Life

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I have sat on this since 2005. It needed to be released. People needed to read it. So, without further ado, I say to go onto your Kindle and read my published book.

It is an older writing, but my style hasn’t changed much since those days. To go from fiction to non-fiction was my toughest obstacle in writing this. I can weave a story of make-believe.

It doesn’t help that I had to relive each moment while writing of me living through each moment.

PTSD isn’t just given to military members (though I am a veteran myself). The struggle can happen to children, victims of abuse or accidents, and war stricken civilians.

I have battled it for years now. I have also dealt with continuing abuse from those that caused my trauma as a child. In the end, though, that first year is the only full account I have. It was my toughest year.

Please go to Amazon.com and read my book. Let me know how you feel about it. Tell me your stories as well. We can all be here for each other.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B017PIA6LM?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

Blank Slate Chapter Twenty-Four

Disclaimer: I don’t own Gundam Wing… *sniffles*

Chapter Twenty -Four

Duo was making himself a tuna and celery sandwich when the others came into the break room. He generously gestured to his food asking if they’d like one, but they all declined in their own ways. Shrugging his shoulders he sat down with them at a large circular table. “The last of the antidote left the tarmac about fifteen minutes ago,” Quatre informed them all.

“We found enough antidote to convict the priest,” Wufei said in answer. Duo snorted and swallowed his large bite, “FAKE priest.” Wufei waved his hand and nodded to concede the man had definitely been an imposter. “We can only link Alecia Grahm into all of this because she confessed, but now she is going against what she said. She has also lawyered up, and they are pressing for confession under duress.” All of them made a small noise to show what they thought of that idea.

“We are making what we need of the antidote now that we have a sample batch to compare it to, as well,” Trowa said after a moment of silence. Duo took another large bite of his sandwich and mumbled something.

“Oh for the love of the Earth, chew and swallow before talking, Maxwell!” Wufei yelled as he turned away from the burnet. Duo started to choke and cough and finally was able to get down what he had taken.

“I said, I’m glad I finally had it figured out… What was the casualty count?” he turned to Heero.

The Japanese boy said in a quiet, but still firm voice, “There were almost 500 dead last we checked. This is all in the British region, though. Here in the United States we haven’t lost anyone.” The unsaid ‘yet’ hung in the air as they knew the first batch of antidote went straight to Britain to stop the dying children from continuing. Their new batches would be ready soon, but they didn’t know how fast the disease could spread in some people and it was a give and take on how long the fever rose to kill certain kids.

“Do you have all of your memories back?” Quatre asked after they were brooding for a while on the innocent children. Duo had taken another bite of his meal so he started off with nodding, and then decided to shake his head, and then rock it side to side and finally just level it all off with an indecisive shrug.

“That was an interesting display of charades,” Wufei said.

“Very expressive,” Trowa added. Heero finished it all off with, “And he still answered.” Quatre laughed as Duo finished the last of his food and stuck his tongue out at them all like a little child.

“I have a lot of them back,” Duo finally said. He used a napkin to wipe his hands and face. They all stared at him, “You want me to elaborate?”

“We want to know where you were before you lost your memories,” Wufei informed him.

“It would be helpful to know how you came across Brennon and Grahm,” Heero added.

Duo sat for a minute and studied the grains in the wood table. “After the party settled down I went to Spain for a few weeks. It’s a large Catholic area, and I thought I could blend in there well and maybe get into one of the churches. It wasn’t so easy, though. After almost three weeks I came to this area. I went to the Cathedral and met with Father O’Neil. He was a bit on the older side, and he at first mistook me for being a kid, but I convinced him I wasn’t and we got along great. I worked in the church doing things that would usually cost money to get done. In repayment I was given a small room up in the Priest’s house on the grounds in the backyard. Many nights Father O’Neil would sleep in his office in the Cathedral, so when he didn’t come home I didn’t panic.

“One day, though, while I was setting up for morning Mass another priest came in to help me. He was surprised to see me, and when I asked where Father O’Neil was, he told me that O’Neil had been sent to another church during the night due to an illness of another priest. It was almost a good lie, and at first I was inclined to believe it, until about three days later during Latin Mass he mispronounced a ton of words. The congregation didn’t catch it, but we’re all very fluent in many languages and a good priest knows his Latin.”

“You figured he wasn’t a real priest when he didn’t speak Latin?” Quatre asked.

“It’s like if an Imam didn’t know Arabic, Q-man,” Duo shrugged. “Anyway, I decided to do some snooping around to figure out what was going on. He hadn’t been there for a month before I found the information on his computer about the virus and the antidote. At first I was confused about it all. I was starting to get worried for Father O’Neil not showing back up, and everything was clicking into the wrong places in my brain. It was another week before I went down to the basement and saw the completed antidote in crates and Brennon and Alecia having a chat over the boxes.

I ran back to my room to pack my things so I could find you guys or just get to a Preventer station as fast as possible. I never made it out of the room. I don’t know what they got me with, but it must have been the same stuff they shot me with later when they had grabbed Sam. Waking up hurt like a… uh, female dog,” he shifted his gaze to Quatre’s and continued, “and I realized I was being tortured by Alecia and some wonderful henchmen. I think they could have been the same guys that hurt Sam, but it’s all still a bit foggy.

I don’t know how long they held me, but at one point they frantically tried to get me moved to another location. The back door, though, wasn’t locked and I was able to shimmy my way from my ropes. I remember thinking that the ground was going to hurt as I went out head first, but I don’t remember the pain.” He sat back and looked up at the ceiling. “Father O’Neil is dead, huh?”

Wufei nodded, “We found him behind the crates in the basement. He was released to the church for a proper burial.”

“Why did you stop taking the pills?” Heero asked after a short silence in honor of the priest.

Duo sighed, “I took them for the first four months I was there, but when Brennon showed up he took me as a kid. I knew something was off with him, so to keep myself from getting bigger as fast as the pills were working, I just stopped taking them. I was going to continue after I reported Brennon for being a fake, but… well, it’s difficult to take something like that when you don’t even remember you need them.” He rolled his eyes and then looked over at the machines before getting up to get a cola from one of them. “Being an adult, though, means I can’t be told to not drink or eat shit foods!”

“Duo!” Quatre scolded. The burnet shrunk his head down into his shoulders.

“It’s not a bad word, Q! I swear it is useful!” Duo defended himself as he sat down with his caffeine and sugar filled drink. Wufei made a face at his selection and the American stuck his tongue out at his friend.

“Cussing is for the uneducated and inarticulate. You are far from being either of those,” Quatre said as he also stood up to get a water from a machine.

“He certainly doesn’t ever shut up,” Wufei added.

“Shove it, Wuffles,” Duo said before drinking a swig. He then looked over at his blond friend, “Can we throw a party?”

“His A.D.D. has returned,” Trowa said in his calm voice. Heero shook his head and gave a small smile to show his amusement. Duo ignored them and waited for Quatre’s answer.

“Sure. I think we deserve to have a party,” Quatre said before taking a drink of his water and smiling at Duo who was showing his excitement by hooting and hollering while throwing his arms around in the air.

~*~Ma~*~

There was cakes, soda machines, water coolers, a fruit bar, and meat and cheese plates. All around Duo was a beautiful display of food and delights. He held back, though, as guests arrived through the doors to the mansion that Quatre had officially given to him just the day before. Duo had argued about it, of course. He wanted to pay for the place or maybe just rent it from his friend, but Quatre insisted and in the end Duo’s arguments didn’t hold water. (“Did Quatre just out-talk Duo?” Trowa asked. Wufei answered, “We are in a lot of trouble.”)

Duo greeted everyone as they came in and he felt his heart fill with a joy he had lost when he had had to leave each of these people for the next foster home. Mrs. Snow showed up first and Duo had hugged her without thinking about it. As more and more people showed up he felt overwhelmed a bit, but happy inside.

“I’m glad you know who you are now,” Mama Snow said as they were talking over a fruit kabob.

“Can I still… uh, can I still have you as, well…” Duo didn’t know how to phrase it without sounding like a creepy guy.

“Duo, I would very much still want you for a son,” Mrs. Snow pulled the boy into a hug. “And at least with you being seventeen, you can drive to see me!” He laughed against her shoulder.

“The scary thought is someone gave him that license,” Wufei said from behind them.

“Don’t mind him, Mama Snow, he has ring-worm and it’s really itchy,” Duo informed his foster mother.

“Are you ever going to grow up, Maxwell?” Wufei asked as he crossed his arms in irritation.

Duo put a finger against his chin and looked up in mock contemplation. “Nope! This is my Neverland and I will never grow up!” he declared. He ran from a now seething Wufei Chang and went to hide in the corner by the soda machines. He looked around as he sipped on a glass of coke-a-cola. Jenna, Starr and Bob were talking with Mama Snow and Quatre. Kennan, Kenre, Rosemary and Ashley were all bent over a table while Heero showed them something on his computer to get a formula for something Duo wasn’t caring about at the moment. Jessi and Lep were trying to convince Trowa to kidnap them into the circus. Wufei was eating from the fruit bar on the other side of the room and eyeing the braided teen back.

As Duo was about to join one of the groups chatting when a woman came through the front door looking hesitant. It was Sam’s mom and Duo felt his heart drop at the sight of her. She had bags under her eyes and her hair was a bit stringy from lack of care. She had done a good job putting on make-up to hide it all, but even her shoulders drooped a bit low. It was hard to see for him, but he had invited them to the party because Sam was still a great friend to him. He walked up to her and looked down at the floor, “I’m so sorry I put him in danger like that.”

She grabbed him into a fierce hug, “You all saved him!” She breathed in trying to hold her tears back. “He will be released from the hospital next month. The doctors say he is doing wonderful and he loves that you call him every day.” She pulled back and smiled at him. He smiled back and brought her around the room to introduce her to everyone.

As everyone was having a lot of fun and enjoying the party, Duo turned to the door as another person, the final person, arrived. “Chia!” he yelled out and ran toward the young child being wheeled in by his new social worker. The little boy smiled brightly and waved one of his hands. Duo stopped in front of the wheel chair and lowered himself down to about eye level, “How are you holding up, little buddy?”

“I wish I could play soccer again,” Chia admitted. He blushed a bit and turned to look at his hands and away from the violet eyes.

“We’ll get right on that, then!” Duo said as he gave the boy’s shoulder a light squeeze. He then stood up and faced the lady, “Thanks Melissa.”

“You take good care of him, Mr. Maxwell, or I’ll flog you myself,” Melissa pushed a strand of hair back behind her ear and the rest of her high blond ponytail shook a bit with action. It was such an innocent gesture that Duo didn’t doubt the lady would whip him if something happened to one of her charges. No one was that innocent, and the gesture reminded him a bit of Releena Peacecraft.

“I wouldn’t hurt him,” Duo promised.

Chia looked up at the lady still holding the handles to his chair, “When are you going to come and get me?” Duo looked down at him and then back at the state’s lady.

“You didn’t tell him?” he asked with shock.

“I thought it best that you told him,” she smiled and walked away leaving a confused Chia.

“Chia, bud, this is your home now! We’ll be brothers forever now!” Duo said happily. Chia’s face brightened fast and a brilliant smile over took him. The other people in the room couldn’t help but smile and some even giggled a bit at the excitement that the little boy shown. Duo grabbed onto the wheel chair and brought the boy around to mingle with all of their friends.

After the whole afternoon slipped by people started to leave and promised to not stay away for long. Mama Snow hugged Duo and then hugged Chia and promised to be back later in the week to play with them both. Mall trips, circus trips, and study dates were all promised. When everyone was gone except for the pilots and their new little brother, Duo disappeared into one of the many doors. He returned with a broom handle duct taped to a child sized cleat shoe.

“What is that?” Wufei ask as Duo handed the handle to the little one in the chair.

“His foot to play soccer with!” Duo said happily. “I made it last night. The basketball court is going to be converted tomorrow with new lines for goals. We’re getting an electric chair tomorrow too. Now we have an even amount of players, we are so going to play soccer next weekend!”

Chia started sobbing and Duo leaned down quickly to embrace him into a hug. “What’s the matter?” Duo asked.

“I don’t know,” the little boy cried, “I’ve never been this happy before, but I can’t stop crying.”

Quatre came forward to hug him as well, “Tears of joy. That is what they are called.” They held the little Chinese boy until all of his tears were spent. Then they set about cheering him up.

“I don’t play soccer,” Wufei said sternly as he crossed his arms when they started picking teams. Quatre gave a disapproving look and Trowa pointed to the boy stuck in a wheel chair for the rest of his life. Heero didn’t seem to change his demeanor at all, but Wufei knew he was also siding with the others.

Chia smiled brightly, though, “Duo, I have an idea!” He motioned for Duo to come over to him and started to whisper into his ear. As he was told the idea, Duo’s face turned into a mischievous grin and then he locked eyes with Wufei. He pulled away from his little brother and said, “That is brilliant!”

Wufei paled, “Oh no, we have two of them!”

~*~KANZEN’NA~*~

Finish dedication to my sister Kier (1987-2009). She was always there to cheer me on when I told her stories and wanted nothing more than to see me succeed as an author. This is the first story I have finished since her death.

Blank Slate Chapter Twenty-Three

Disclaimer: I don’t own Gundam Wing and I have NOTHING against the Catholic church or religion (and I am also not Catholic myself, so I’m sorry if I offended anyone.)

Chapter Twenty-three

He woke up to a sudden pain in his lower arm. “OW! What the hell!?” he yelled as he pulled his arm to his chest to rub the assaulted area.

“He’s awake and responsive,” he heard in almost a monotone voice. He then heard Quatre start to giggle next to his head. All around him were the four other pilots and Une all sitting on the floor. His first thought was that they all must have been very worried for him as Quatre’s laughter subsided.

“That was cruel and unusual punishment, Trowa!” Duo said as Heero started to help him sit up. He looked around more and saw that he was still in the office. “How long was I out?”

“About twenty minutes,” Heero said. They held him to a sitting position and didn’t let him move any further off the cold tiles.

“What happened Maxwell?” Wufei demanded as he crossed his arms over his Preventers uniform.

Duo rubbed his head for a second and thought back to his dream. What had happened? “The cross…” he mumbled and his hand came around the cross still dangling from his neck. Quickly he undid the chain and held it out to Wufei. “This is what happened! It’s on here! The formula for the antidote!” he yelled. He scrambled to his feet even with the protests coming from Quatre. He rushed over to the tablet sitting on top of Une’s desk and pushed the button to turn it on.

“That’s locked!” Une yelled as she went to get to his side. He smirked and held up an unlocked screen to show her it wasn’t locked anymore. “Why am I not surprised?” she asked herself as she threw her hands into the air. “Fine, show us how this works,” she crossed her arms in a good imitation of her senior agent, Chang.

Quickly Duo started to slide his fingers across the screen and downloaded a program into the memory. “C’mon,” he said impatiently as it finally started up and a blank white screen was presented. He took the cross and laid it directly into the center of the tablet. Then carefully he tapped into the right corner of the screen and the display started to form words, formulas, and pictures. “I stole this information from the real bad guy, and I was trying to get it here to you all before they rolled it out,” he said as it continued to scroll. “Alecia isn’t our main dude. She is a lacky and a horrible person, but we have a bigger fish,” he snickered here, “to fry.” Everyone gave him a confused and slightly concerned look. “Oh never mind. It’s Catholic humor. You’ll understand soon enough.” As soon as the download was finished he started to tap above the cross in a rhythm the others couldn’t comprehend. “There, now it’s all saved onto the tablet,” he brought his head up and smiled at his audience.

With a large grin he pulled the cross off and put it back around his neck. He handed the tablet over to Lady Une, “Just use your regular word processor to open the files. You can also email them to every scientist who wants a hand in saving the world.”

Then he turned to everyone else, “Today’s Sunday. We are so being blasphemous right now. We need to go and repent. I have the perfect place!”

~*~Ma~*~

“Take this left coming up at the light and it’s on the right side,” Duo directed Wufei down the street passed the busy traffic. They stopped in front of a large cathedral made of brick. High on top was a large cross that looked like the gold one his mirror boy dream. “And this looks like the right place. Everyone ready to hear some confessions?”

“I thought we’re supposed to give the confessions, Maxwell,” Wufei said as they all left the small car.

Duo shook his head, “Oh, usually, but we have to catch the bad guy first… anyone bring Hell fire with them?” The other four stopped to stare at him again and Quatre giggled. “Okay, fine! Did everyone bring their weapons and badges?” Quatre couldn’t hold it anymore as the other three seemed to be losing patience with their friend. He burst out laughing and pulled Duo up the steps to the front two story large double doors.

“I think Duo would be the first one to burn up out of all of us,” Heero said in his monotone way. Trowa laughed and Duo joined Quatre is his own gaffaws. They were all seemingly in light spirits as they entered the large prayer room. Duo didn’t seem to be on guard and this relaxed the others. The ceiling was covered in a beautiful mural of pictures depicting scenes from the Holy Bible. It was five stories tall and large stained glass windows with the saints shone the sunlight through to create wonderful light patterns around the multi-pathed pews that were made out of a nice wood. Kneeling on the top step in front of an altar with a smaller replica of the large cross outside was the old gray haired priest in prayer.

“Father Brennon,” Duo called out. “You are under arrest for connection to terrorism.” The old man stood up from his spot and turned around to face them all.

“You have your memories back… or did Alecia finally give in to whatever sick thing you Gundam pilots call justice?” the dark brown eyes of the man were weathered, but still held steel as he marched down the pulpet to the face them square. “Suffer the little children…” he started to say before Duo cut him off.

“The parable holds that only the poor can enter heaven freely due to not having envy and the poor children are allowed to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven because they are pure. You need to brush up on your Bible, sir,” Duo grabbed the man’s robed arm and turned him around as Heero pulled out the cuffs. “And your Latin sucks, by the way!”

Duo stood in the center of the cathedral as Heero and Trowa brought the priest out of the front double doors to the waiting preventer’s cop car that had shown up behind their own civilian one. Quatre and Wufei watched as Duo turned back toward the altar. “Wufei, there are boxes of the antidote down in the basement. The door to access it is on the left behind the pulpit.”

He then knelt down onto the carpet and bowed his head. Wufei went down a line of pews to get to the outside of the church wall so as not to interrupt Duo in his place of worship. Quatre put a hand onto the smaller boy’s back in support and then left also through the front doors of the church.

Alone in the chapel Duo whispered, “Forgive me Father…”

~*~Tsuzuku~*~

The Storm Chapter Twenty-One

Disclaimer: I do not own Merlin BBC. I don’t own Frozen, either.

Chapter Twenty-One

Gwaine, with a bit of drink now coursing through him, was more amiable than before. They sat the night away underneath Gwen’s coverings, but they wouldn’t be able to stay longer. The sun would come up and they would need to move forward to somewhere else. One thing they all knew, though, was that they hadn’t been able to stop the sorcerer. Arthur wasn’t able to convince the boy to cease the torrent raging around them. Flashes of lightning happened during the night and through its light they could all see that the king was very severely injured.

They took turns watching over their small camp during the night, though no one truly slept much. The wind began at some point before dawn and it shoved the rain further into drenching them. Guinevere shivered against the storm and also her own dark thoughts. The king had been gasping for each breath since the beginning of the side-ways rain. It seemed to have been entering into each intake and she feared it had entered his lungs. They had all seen pneumonia before and they had all seen what happens when it cannot be treated.

It was Gwaine, surprisingly, who came up with the solutions as soon as they saw that dawn had reached them. “The druids could probably heal him,” he muttered. He still seemed sore that he had been helping the king, but he was also not going to grudgingly allow the man to die a horrible death such as this illness was giving him. “They will probably do it,” he sighed, “even if they know he would kill them for their ways.”

Everyone didn’t comment on the last bit. They all knew that Arthur was the king of a kingdom that banned sorcery of all types and that the Druids were the most known to practice the rites. Instead Leon asked, “Will we be able to find them?” The part left unsaid was could they find one of the peaceful nomadic tribes before Arthur succumbed to the fluid building in his lungs?

Gwaine shrugged, “Dunno, but it wouldn’t hurt to at least walk until we hope to?” It wasn’t a suggestion as much as a question. He wasn’t a leader. That had been Arthur even if they all didn’t want to admit that. At first they all thought they followed him because he knew who had started the storm, but now the group knew that he had just given off the aura of a leader.

They packed up their crude camp and had started walking south away from the clearing where the sorcerer had been and back toward a path they had known existed. Their feet carried them, once again taking turns to carry the very hurt king, and their way didn’t last long before something shifted in the trees among them. The rain still pelted down as four green robed people melted from the protection of the forest.

The sudden appearance of the group of strangers had everyone on instant alert. It was as if the people had used magic to come from the trunks of the trees and the ferns themselves. Lancelot and Gwaine were the first to stop being tense as they all slowly came to the realization that it was Druids that now surrounded them. The same people who they had hoped to find were the ones to find them first.

One of the men, for that is what these robed people were, walked forward and lowered his hood. His eyes were a light blue and his hair had gone into the deep dark gray of an elder. “My name is Isalder,” he told them. “We mean you no harm.”

“We, as well, do not mean to wish any harm onto your people,” Lancelot told the man as he bowed slightly in a friendly greeting. “We need help. Our friend was hurt in a fight with someone and we think his lungs have filled with sickness.”

Isalder waved to one of the other men who walked forward as Elyan helped to bring Arthur down from Leon’s back. The king’s breath shuddered as the new Druid began to examine his patient laying on the forest mud. The physician, because that is what they assumed he must be, looked up into his leaders eyes for a bit and then back down to the blond.

“We cannot help King Arthur,” Isalder declared to the group.

They gasped as they heard that they hadn’t deceived the Druids. They had thought that if they had kept the man’s true name and status hidden than maybe the nomadic magical people would be more willing to help.

“Please?” Guinevere begged. Tears formed in her eyes as she watched the man next to Arthur shake his head and walk back toward his original tree.

“It isn’t that we are not willing,” Isalder informed them. “We do not have the ability to clear this illness from the Once and Future King.” The group became confused from the use of the odd title as he continued, “This storm is powerful and only Emrys can force it to end. He is the one who is destined to walk with Arthur and he is the only one who can end Arthur’s torment. If he does not, then all will be lost to the darkness that looms in the edges of the future.”

“Who is this Emrys? Where can we find him?” Leon demanded. The Druids stood still. When they didn’t seem to want to divulge any more information Elyan tried, “How can we save Arthur if we cannot find this person you’re speaking of?”

“Emrys is a powerful sorcerer. Go to Camelot and he will be there,” Isalder and the rest of the Druids melted back into the forest as fast as they had emerged.

They didn’t stay long as Leon bent down to allow Lancelot and Elyan to put the king onto his back. They had a long journey and they could now only wish to the gods they made it in time to find this Emrys. ‘But why is a powerful sorcerer in Camelot?’ They all thought to themselves as their feet once again pushed into the mud.

~*~Tsuzuku~*~