Thursday, April 27, 2006

Chapter 14: "Unexpected"

6th post in 8 days!
Anyway, be prepared for the long-overdue new Twisted Tales skin soon! Already set my eye on one, just need to add some personal touches and trek through the treacherous jungle of HTML scripts, and...voila!

I shuddered and froze, waiting for the death blow to strike. Now.
And he froze as well.
"Delete, you fool!" she yelled at me. "What are you waiting for?"
She had managed to cast a Freeze Frame on him! I didn't need any further prmopting. Down went the button in my mind at once, creating a glowing blue spark in my hands.
Zap! It crackled and snapped to life, then burst out of my hands, streaking all the way through Phocadis' body. His eyes bulged wildly, as though wanting to zap me with a ray of their own, before going white.
Then he crumbled into a heap of dust.
I gaped at the heap, then back at my own hands. Did I really do that?
I did. Whatever this Delete thing was, it sure was powerful as heck.
"You defeated him. Well done, Chosen One." Old Lady Melly half-nodded, and turned to leave.
"Hey...wait! You, saved me. Thanks."
"Just returning the favour." She didn't even look at me.
"Why, why, why! What is the matter indeed, all the long faces?"
That voice! What in the world was he doing here?
"What in the world am I doing here?" Archiver stepped out from behind a huge boulder I didn't recall being there. "Oh, believe me, I have much reason for being here."
"You better not be up to no good," I glared at him. "Or else."
He smiled dryly. "Much as I would love to teach you a thing or two for siding with the enemy, I am not here to fight."
"That was some fight you just fought," he applauded sarcastically. "Most befitting of the one He has set apart. You will prove to be a worthy servant in time."
"Worthy servant my foot! The only thing I'm doing is bringing down your boss and His evil plans."
"Heh heh heh heh heh. How passionate our friend has become. You have yet to realise the truly excellent things He can do with His powers."
"W-what do you mean?"
"While you were away, our men found your cave hideout and took U and the girl to Him."
"And if you do not want bad things to happen to them," A grin spread across his face. "Follow me to Climax City."

Writer's Block: Sunshine Splattered Over The Floor

Sunshine splattered over the floor!
The walls hide it no more
Yellow fluffy chicks hop gaily
Chasing me through the feet of Mommy

I squeal in glee, oh how I love to see!
The sunshine trickles, it's coming after me!
Here comes the yellow chick, fat and round
I sneak behind it. "Shh...don't make a sound!"

Here it comes! Quiet as I can be
I hold my breath - one, two, three!
Splash! Pounce on the sunshine!
It squiggles! It wiggles! But it's mine!

Toss it back up the sky!
Yellow chicks fly, fly, fly!
See, the rays reach almost the door!
Whoops! More sunshine splattered over the floor!

"Peter! You naughty, naughty, boy! What a terrible mess!"
"Huh? Don't you like it, Mommy?"
"No! What a bad boy you are. Pick up those egg shells and throw them away this instant!"
"Mommy...did I do something wrong?"
"Yes, you did."
"I'm sorry, Mommy."

Monday, April 24, 2006

Chapter 13: "Forward"

What a soul-sapping weekend! Worship practice on Friday night, guitar practice + Youth Training Union (YTU) + YTU committee meeting for the entire Saturday, then church and Sunday School Teachers' "Retreat" briefing on Sunday. For some reason, I suddenly couldn't help thinking about all the fun things church-going Christians don't get to do over the weekends...was also talking about this to someone who feels even more drained than I do. It's not easy when Sunday is almost always the busiest day of the week, and you're supposed to be constantly "enriched". Sigh...
Wednesday will mark another new chapter for me as I join the Young Adults' fellowship. Managed to drag along a prety sizeable "entourage" (Noel, Zhi Yong, Ee Wan, William), lol, but I don't think all of us will continue coming regularly. Never mind though, looking forward to having more mid-week meetings with church friends anyway. =^D

Instinctively I made myself fall forward and downwards to get out of the way. His fist swiped the air inches above.
I closed my eyes as I fell, fearing the worst should he Scroll over to me in mid-air. One. Two. Three. I landed on the ground, still intact.
"Garrick," suddenly Old Lady Melly stirred. "Don't stay still. He can only Scroll in a sraight line."
Huh? I was still trying to fathom what she meant when Phocadis charged at me again.
This time around, I didn't Shift straight up as usual. Instead, I leapt forward at a lower height.
Sure enough, Phocadis didn't Scroll at me. Or maybe he couldn't. He seemed to be following me with his eyes, but unsure how to get to me.
Now I understood what Old Lady Melly was talking about. His Scroll movements only consisted of straight lines! Therefore, if I kept moving in a circle, he would never be able to reach me!
I landed and quickly spun around. Where was he?
"Scroll Left!"
From the right! Again I Shifted forward, narrowly missing his punch. Like before, he couldn't keep up with me.
"You're just buying time," he growled. "Sooner or later you'll become tired, and then I'll get you when you land."
He was right. I had to finish this off quickly. The only option left for me was Delete.
The button was raised.
"You'll need to come close to me if you're going to use Delete again," he smirked. "And when you get close enough...BAM."
I could almost hear his fist baying for my blood. No more dodging his attacks this time. Surely he would use another Scroll Forward. I had to face him straight on with my Delete.
"All it's going to take is a blink of your eye."
I swallowed.
"Scroll Forward!"
He was fast! I raised my free hand immediately and cried out, "DELETE!"
Before the blue ray could shoot itself something unexpected happened.
He Scrolled to the side.
Then turned to face me.
"Heh." I caught a glimpse of his grin. "Scroll Forward."
He was barely five feet away. There was no way I could dodge in time.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Chapter 12: "Delete"

Yay! It's fun to write silly stories in office during my unsanctioned "2nd lunch break" from 1-2pm. =p On another note, this is the first time in months I've managed to post for 3 consecutive days. First time since the massive 7-day streak last October, in fact. Makes you wonder what happened to the mad, mad world of blog addiction.

I choked and wheezed, trying to release myself from his grasp.
"Is that all the Chosen One can offer me?" His fingers wrapped round my neck even more tightly. "Pathetic!"
Little flashing dots started floating before my eyes. He was going to suffocate me!
Then it appeared. A tiny square button, no more than three-quarters of an inch wide, materialised in my mind. Something was written on it. I took a closer look.
Could it be another new power? I didn't take too long to think. Down went an imaginary finger on the button.
At once a blinding flash shot out of my hands. All I felt was a blast of searing air as I fell. When I opened my eyes again, Phocadis was sprawled on the ground, one arm over his chest.
"Amazing," he licked away the blood from the side of his mouth. "The Delete ray from you. I never would have believed it if I didn't see it with my own eyes."
He painfully hoisted himself up. "And we all thought only He possessed Delete. This makes for a most interesting battle indeed."
I took in a deep breath and tried using the Delete button again. Nothing happened - it was still sunken.
"Your powers of Delete are still new. You can't keep using them." He put on a pair of gloves with blades at the knuckles.
"I'm warning you. I might kill you with my next attack," he punched the air. "Accidents happen, you know."
"I don't care. You're losing anyway." Deep down, I wasn't even half that confident.
"GOOD!" He roared and Scrolled right at me, fist raised. I had to avoid his punch at all costs!
High up into the air I rose, preparing for a chance to attack when I landed.
"Now DIE!" he laughed. "Scroll Up!"
The heck? He shot up two feet above me and directed a punch straight at my forehead.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Chapter 11: "Scroll"

Confession: I wrote this in office over a period of two days while doing other stuff - so expect it to suck somewhat.

Incredible. I soared higher and higher, then swooshed back down. It wasn't the power of flight, nor was it gliding. Just jumping really high.
"Heee-Yah!" I raised my staff above my head and struck it square on Phocadis' head upon landing. He was too dumbfounded to even block or dodge. Old Lady Melly's Freeze Frame helped slightly too, I guess.
Direct hit! The added strength from my leap sent him flying to the ground. So this was my new power - Shift. I trembled in excitement, brimming suddenly with bravado.
"Garrick," Old Lady Melly called out weakly. "Y-you cannot...fight...yet..."
Then she collapsed, totally drained of energy.
"Will the wonders never cease," Phocadis picked himself up. "Our young fellow here has got something up his sleeve after all."
He cracked his knuckles again and struck a pose. "No more foolishness, then. Here I come. Scroll Forward!"
With that he charged - no, drifted straight at me. I didn't even have time to think before his rock-hard body slammed into me. It felt like a giant sack of bricks whacking the air out of me.
Holy smokes, I wondered. How on earth did a guy his size manage to move so quickly? It had to be some sort of power he possessed.
"Come on now! Your turn next!"
I stood back up, clutching my stomach hard. Now it was starting to hurt. But no time for that. I had to focus on putting him down.
It was a no-brainer, really. I took two steps forward and Shifted high into the air. This time I had better control over the direction of my landing. I went once more for the top of his head, thinking it the easiest point to attack from above.
"Scroll Left!" Moments before my staff connected he drifted out of the way. Incredible! His feet never even left the ground.
"Scroll Right!" I turned slightly to block his impending charge. Too late. He drifted back where he stood and gored me into the ground like a rampaging bull.
"My mastery of the Scroll movements is unparalleled," His gleaming eyes looked down where I lay. "And when you consider this as well," He flexed his brawny muscles. "I cannot be defeated by your feeble powers."
Struggling to contain the pain in my gut, I forced myself up. Old Lady still was in no condition to fight. What could I do to counter his Scroll?
I had to react faster, much faster. I gripped my staff tightly with both hands and concentrated on every movement of his body.
"No use," Phocadis laughed. "I can modify my Scroll attacks to different forms. Watch."
Very quickly he Scrolled left, then right, then back left, constantly repeating till he became a sweeping mass sucking me to itself. I tried Shifting away, but the pressure was too strong to break free of.
When I was drawn in close enough, he stopped and reached for my throat. "You are nowhere near my league!" He lifted me with one arm.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Some Other Writer's Block: Three Trees

Not the best way to end a week-long drought of posts, but here's a piece (which I wish I wrote) that appeared in the Sunday Star on Easter in the Heart & Soul section. Quite possibly the best I've seen them feature.
Was at first apprehensive of posting un-mine articles here, but I guess great stories are meant to be shared, regardless the source. This was sent in by an Alicia Goh, so they say.

Once there were three trees on a hill in the woods. As they were discussing their hopes and dreams, the first tree said: "Some day I hope to be a treasure chest. I can be filled with gold, silver and precious gems. I can be decorated with intricate carvings and everyone will see my beauty."
Then the second tree said: "Some day I will be a mighty ship. I will take kings and queens across the waters and sail to the corners of the world. Everyone will feel safe in me because of the strength of my hull."
Finally, the third tree said: "I want to grow to be the tallest and straightest tree in the forest. People who see me at the top of the hill will look up to my branches, and think of the heavens and God, and how close I am to them. I will be the greatest tree of all time and people will always remember me."
A few years after that, a group of woodsmen came upon the trees. One of them looked at the first tree and said: "This looks like a strong tree ... I should be able to sell its wood to a carpenter." He began to cut it down. The tree was happy because he knew that the carpenter would turn him into a treasure chest.
At the second tree, the woodsman said: "This looks like a strong tree; I should be able to sell it to the shipyard." The second tree was happy because he knew he was on his way to becoming a mighty ship.
When the woodsmen came upon the third tree, he was frightened because he knew that if they cut him down, his dreams would not come true. One of the woodsmen said, "I don't need anything special from my tree. I'll take this one," and he cut it down.
When the first tree arrived at the carpenter's, he was made into a feed box for animals. He was then placed in a barn and filled with hay. This was not what he had hoped for at all.
The second tree was cut and made into a small fishing boat. His dreams of being a mighty ship and carrying kings had come to an end. The third tree was cut into large pieces and left alone in the dark. The years went by, and the trees forgot about their dreams.
One day, a man and woman came into the barn. She gave birth and they placed the baby in the hay in the feed box made from the first tree. The man wished that he could have made a crib for the baby, but the manger would have to do. The tree could feel the importance of this event and knew that it had held the greatest treasure of all time.
Years later, a group of men got in the fishing boat made from the second tree. One of them was tired and went to sleep. While they were out on the water, a great storm arose and the tree didn't think it was strong enough to keep the men safe. The men woke the sleeping man, and He stood and said, "Peace", and the storm stopped. The tree knew then that it had carried the King of Kings.
Finally, someone came and got the third tree. It was carried through the streets as people mocked the man carrying it. When they came to a stop at the top of a hill, the man was nailed to the tree and left to die there. When Sunday came, the tree realised that it was strong enough to stand at the top of the hill and be as close to God as possible because Jesus had been crucified on it.
Each of the trees got what it wanted, although not in the way it had imagined. In the same way, God's plans for us are not always our plans, but they are always the best.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Chapter 10: "Phocadis"

Some of you might notice that the final quarter of Chapter 9 has been changed. But then again, I wouldn't put any money on that, haha.
I was actually halfway through this chapter yesterday when I realised that Old Lady Melly needs to be a more brooding, darker character with some background rather than the senile-but-strong bit (think female Archiver) I first wrote.
Anyway, here you go - the twice-written Chapter 10.

"Stand back, boy." Old Lady Melly grabbed her cloak and pushed me out of the way.
"One on one?" Phocadis snorted. "Why don't you two take on me together? That sure would save time."
I wanted to step forward to help, but Old Lady Melly's body language indicated that she didn't want me to have anything to do with this.
"I do not believe we have met before. Who are you, and what do you want?"
"Ho, ho," he grunted. "I am Phocadis of the Scroll Assassins. He has enlisted me to capture and take you both back to Him. And that is all you need to know."
Old Lady Melly's glassy eyes didn't twitch. She seemed to be concentrating very hard on something.
Phocadis charged forward like a rampaging bull, aiming straight at her. He was surprisingly quick for someone of his build. She remained still where she stood.
"Old Lady Melly! Get out of the way!" I shouted at her.
Suddenly she raised her arms. "Freeze Frame!"
He froze six feet away from her. "" he roared through gritted teeth, trying to budge in vain.
Deep creases appeared on her forehead. She closed her eyes and started muttering something, as though trying to keep the spell under control. Her hands began to tremble.
"" Phocadis inched one foot forward. He was breaking her spell!
Her arms were stretched so high that they became almost skin and bone. However Phocadis was still coming to her, albeit slowly.
"Just too easy...just too easy..." he kept repeating.
No! I could no longer stand by and wait for my fate! I had to do something!
Without even thinking I raised my staff and charged at him. As he turned to face me with a vicious sneer, something strange happened. I could somehow picture very clearly in my mind a rectangular button. I knew it wasn't real, but there it was, as vivid as a bad dream. I imagined pressing it, and next thing I knew, I found myself fifteen feet in the air.
I had gained my first power - Shift.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Chapter 9: "Melly"

Lol, I've been terribly wasting my time these past few days on watching sentai shows. Sentai, as I've just discovered, refers to your those Japanese Power Rangers-esque shows we all watched on TV1 at 5pm when we were kids. Now, now, there's nothing to be ashamed of...
But haha yeah, I gotta blame Beatrice for this one. She started it all by sending me this absolutely hi-lah-rious
Spiderman El Cheapo clip which gets funnier each time I watch it. Then it was two sleepless nights down memory lane of Masked Rider Black and Ultraman. Seriously guys, you've GOT to check out Masked Rider Black. The opening theme, the monsters, the transformation sequence, it still makes me want to cover behind a pillow. Wickedly good stuff.

I stopped and gulped down water from my canteen for the umpteenth town. Here I was, with a silly-looking staff U had given me as a weapon, searching for some mysterious Old Lady Melly which he claimed would be able to give me the powers needed to battle Him.
"Everyone in Blogspot has special functions, or powers if you will," he said. "Nobody is ever certain what their powers are or what they will accomplish, but Old Lady Melly has promised me to help you seek your powers."
So here I stood in front of a crummy hut by the countryside that was a steaming cauldron away from being your average wicked witch abode. I checked once more the sketch U had provided me with. No doubt this was the right place, but where was Old Lady Melly?
"Hello!" I rapped the door with my staff. "Anybody home?"
No reply. I tried again.
"Hello! Old Lady Melly? U sent me here! Hello!"
Creak! The door finally swung open. A freckled old woman, eyes barely open, looked up at me. "Who in the blazes are you supposed to be?"
"Uhh...U asked me to come."
"That is none of my business," she closed the door halfway. "Go away."
"But you're supposed to help me gain powers! I need to fight Him!"
"There has been enough fighting already. Go away."
I held the door to stop her from slamming it in my face. "You're not making sense. The fighting hasn't even started yet, and I need your help to make sure it ends well for us."
"Fool! You are the one not making sense! The fighting ended ten years ago, and I never want to see it start again! Do you understand?"
Maybe she was one of the survivors of the first revolution. Someone from the past, just like U and Him. But if she wasn't going to train me, who would?
"Ho, ho, ho, ho," A low grunt caught me by surprise, making me turn to look. It was a hulking half-man half-beast creature in a mask. "He was right. You are here indeed, Chosen One."
I readied my staff to fight. This guy didn't look too friendly.
"A pity really, that He wanted me to bring you back alive. I was looking forward to bringing home your heads." he flexed his hefty arms. "Prepare to fight Phocadis!"

Friday, April 07, 2006

Writer's Block: To Be A Man

Stand up, little boy!
Shake off your doubts and fears
Open your eyes, your ears
Your heart, let it beat on a marching drum
No time to cover, the world calls
Soar from the triumphs, stand from the falls
Be you brave yet unassuming
Proud but never overdoing
Savour the sights
Soak in the scents around you
For life is an everchanging melody
Playing a tune of its own for everybody
Be with you, the twinkly eyes of an old man
The wide-eyed awe a child understands
Remember your dreams, give them great white wings
Love them as only how you can
Should dawn pass too quick or stars shine not
Keep these all safe in your hands
And march on, little boy, to unseen lands
Maybe beyond
Maybe beneath
Or possibly above the skies
And when the rays bathe you in gold
Yet you see far more than riches untold
You know you have what it takes
To be a man.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Chapter 8: "Chosen"

"Me?" I practically squawked. "Y-you mean I'm going to be some sort of Chosen One?"
"Hm...I don't quite like the sound of 'Chosen One'. Doesn't even rhyme. But get the
picture. It's been ten years since a human from the real world has entered Blogspot. We've all waited for so long, and finally it's happened. Just as He is putting the final touches to His masterblog scheme as well, if I might concede. Surely this is no coincidence."
"So let me guess...somewhere down the line, I'll need to fight Him?"
"And defeat Him in the ultimate showdown that the whole of Blogspot has been awaiting for a decade."
"That's insane!" I yelled. "You're all totally out of whack!"
I strode out of the cave shaking my head, hoping to wake up comfy in my bed at any time. I wasn't some long-prophesised saviour with mythical powers destined to save this world from diabolical villains. Nope, nope, not at all. Just your average clueless Joe caught in an eerily sticky situation.
Suddenly a little hand caught my waist. It was the girl who was beside U.
"What do you want?" I asked rather crossly.
She pursed her lips and shook her head firmly, as if begging me not to go.
"Linnie's parents died when she was little," U quipped. "More accurately, they were murdered."
Tears welled up in her eyes.
"That's sad," I replied. "But nothing I can do about it."
"That's where you're wrong. Back then, her parents were one of His strongest opposers. Fearing that they would someday assemble a powerful enough movement to threaten His plans, He tried persuading them to join Him. When they refused He paid them a visit, and...we all know what happened next."
Little trails of tears dotted Linnie's cheeks and fell to the ground. She whimpered mutedly and turned so that we wouldn't see her crying.
"Linnie saw everything. Everything. I don't know how long ago it happened, but since the day I found her wandering alone and took her in, she has never said a single word. I do know, however, that she wants nothing more than to bring her parents back to life again, and the only way that is ever going to happen is if you defeat Him who murdered them."
From the corner of my eye I caught her nodding gently.
"You see, Garrick, it's not a question of if you can do it," U's eyes burned into mine. "You have to do it. Blogspot needs you. Linnie needs you. Heck, even I need you."
Haering that, there was no way I could say no. Be it my will or that of forces beyond my control, I had unwittingly been thrown into the greatest adventure and fiercest battle of my life.