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Ungod

I'm starting a novel/reputation needed

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I get random ideas at random times, and today, when I opened the MD forum, I saw Ignnus' topic. Then I thought 'Why not?'.

But I lack the time to write something elaborate, so it'll be some gag stuff. Also, I need reputation to keep going. Positive or negative, it doesn't matter. Hit the down/up button and I will continue writing new 'episodes'.  

Today, it's 'The Necrovion Cafe'.

Ignnus was dragging his feet across the Necrovion wasteland. After he left the House hours ago, he managed to climb all the stairs without assistance and was now contemplating death. After all, what else was he to do while leaning on the graveyard brick wall, wheezing like a geezer?

I'm tired of this ****, he mumbled. 

The priests were doing their habitual techno dance around the literate bonfire. Ignnus must have lost it seeing them, because he started to scream:

I'm tired of this SHIIIIIT! I want asphalt! I want a hat, I want a gas mask and...and...a coffee would be great...'

The priests were too busy to stop and listen, but out of nowhere, a shade appeared.

Did you say... coffee? it asked.

Yeah, said Ignnus. Do you have some?

There is a price to pay...for everything, the shade smirked.

Price? scoffed Ignnus. I would KILL for a cup of coffee. How's that for a price?

The shade chuckled. 'It seems we have found what to motivate our troops with, Master.'

...………...…......…………………………………...…………………...…………......………......…......…………...…………..

Ignnus was sipping his freshly-baked beans coffee, with sugar cane and sour cream on top, at the Necrovion Café. He looked as happy as a corporate employee at lunch - only he carried a bazooka on his back. Somewhere, the Shade Sentinel was grinning. 

 

 

 

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21 hours ago, Nava said:

Criticism: no Shade would call another Master.

Oh, k.

A popular inn by the lake:

Seigheart decided to take a break from his tireless wandering in Marind Bell. What better place to rest than that popular place with a terrific view of the lake, whose name he can never remember? He consciously avoided the tables in the front and chose a small lonely one on the side, close to the kitchen. The older daughter of the owner brought his tea, with a rascal smile in her eyes. How old is she, thought Seigheart...

As the crimson sky melted into the azure waves, the faint colour of nostalgia overcame Seig. As we grow up, we must discard old memories and old interests - just like a snake sheds its skin. People that have ventured in your life and one day disappeared, people you cared for, people you trusted, people...

Mommy, isn't it ready yet? he heard from the kitchen.

I told you to wait a while! 

You know, today I heard Ms. Harris that our neighbor Mrs. Huff was having an affair. Mommy, what's an affair?

Shut up! You don't need to know that! Mrs. Huff's life is none of your business.

But mommy, Ms. Harris was angry, she said the mailman is only 20! 

Seigheart lost interest in such a trivial conversation, although he felt some of that nostalgia cleared off. Still, the snake analogy seems true enough. Old loves, old passions and memories - can you live while holding on to them? Isn't it painful? How can you grow as a human being without changing part of yourself? And then, sure, not all memories are...

Lisa! Hey, Lisa! Where's the axe? 

Whatcha need it for?

I'm not taking this **** anymore from Jim! I don't care he's got pals in Loreroot, I've had enough.

John, be careful! Don't do anything stupid! shouted the woman.

When haven't I been careful, he shouted back. Ah, found it.

… But you cannot go on living in a suit that fits you no more. You must give up a part of yourself, you must accept a loss. Time goes on, we grow older, and we must! we must give up our dreams. Snakes probably do not dream - they don't build these huge sand castles that fill our hearts with joy, trapping the mind that would otherwise destroy it in a second. No, it's under time's scrutiny they...

Mom, the guy over there only had a tea. And he's holding all the table to himself. 

It's a customer, so let it be.

But there are some people waiting.

That's a small table he's at, and the guys are waiting won't take it anyway. 

Alright... how much is the tea, anyway? Oh, that little? Fine, I'll add a little extra - I've been wanting a new pair of earrings.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Seigheart raised himself from the table. The crimson sky was melting into the azure lake, but he felt no sadness, no nostalgia, not a shred of compassion for the world. Yet he was grateful - these feelings we have, feelings that could drag us into the abyss - they are easily cured at this popular place with a terrific view of the lake, whose name he can never remember.

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Folks, don't be afraid to hit the 'down' reputation. I feel more motivated when I'm put down (that's when I'm not the one doing it, which happens often when looking back). Hit that button, bleed it, abuse it, say 'Ungod, a fart at the queen's table is funnier than those attempts of yours'. I need feedback :)

It's not the best title, but I can't think of something else  - Birds on a wire:

Walking through the Whisper Alley, Jubaris felt a strange feeling of calmness.
It must have been the sight of three old men on a bench, because
they looked as if nothing could ever bother them. Lined up as for a parade,
in crisp clean clothes, their faces were almost glowing in the afternoon light. Jubaris
thought 'Some day, when I'll be old, I'd like to look just like them.' He purposefully
slowed down, to hear their conversation.
Yesterday I went to the venison store and they had a new girl working there, said one.
Ha? A new what? asked another.
A new girl! shouted the other. Fresh out of the box. Big tits, too.
Ha? What about mitts? It's always warm in here.
Jonn, would you shout what I said into his other ear? This one is already busted.
My name is not Jonn, how many times do I have to tell you? said the third.
Whatever, I don't want to spend all day learning your name. Your mother was Chinese, after all.
She took my father's name!
Either way, I can't pronounce fancy foreign names.
But I'm called Jeremy!
So, Jonn, how about we go to the store tomorrow? All three of us?
Eh...I can't. I have an appointment.
With whom? The mortician?
With the...dentist. I have a ... new cavity.
Yea, cavities in ceramic teeth, that's a new thing. You should stay away from the lake,
you've already been reported for peeping twice.
That's none of your business!
What? Peaches? I love peaches!
'Some day I'll be old', thought Jubaris, picking up the pace.

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Wow Ungod, never have i thought someone could get so angry/emotional dare i say butthurt over a story by a super novice aspiring writer. Regardless, you seem to have riled up yourself and i'm an advocate of free speech anyway. As much as i'm offended there is always something funny and refreshing about these reactions that i know too well by now. However i'd ask not to use my name or nickname without my permission in any story.  Thanks.

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I think you are mistaken about something?? My topic is an reaction to yours, but not something 'against' it, but 'along' it. It occurred to me, when I started this, that a novel consisting of episodes, much like mangas, could actually work (and it was your post that made me think about it).

Idk what you assumed, but it was a bad assumption :P 

About names: nasty bugger. I believe it's not ok to use people's names without permission, but my little stories are written such as to not be offensive or injurious to the main character. And some are not active anymore, I could very well send a PM that would never be read... Anyways, as I take care to not offend anyone, I will not ask for permission for names to appear in this thread, unless being asked explicitly, as you did, also because I can't edit posts later and change the name. 

Btw, your name was up there first because you inspired this thread, so... you seem to be upset for no reason. Do continue writing your novel, and compete with me :P 

Edit: forgot to mention that this isn't a serious attempt at literature, as I seem to have no definite style of my own and I often cringe when reading some stuff I wrote. It's me fooling around, although in a careful and 'vectorized' manner. It's experimenting, and you always get something out of it.

Edited by Ungod

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2 minutes ago, Ungod said:

I will not ask for permission for names to appear in this thread, unless being asked explicitly, as you did, also because I can't edit posts later and change the name

Kinda my point don't cha know?

 

3 minutes ago, Ungod said:

I think you are mistaken about something?? My topic is an reaction to yours, but not something 'against' it, but 'along' it. It occurred to me, when I started this, that a novel consisting of episodes, much like mangas, could actually work (and it was your post that made me think about it).

Of course, what was i thinking :XDDD darn me and my needless irrational fears that makes me neurotic and my life hell, well, everyone is special in its own way. 

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And that's the last post i'll make on this topic, i'm very sorry. You can tag along if you want, either way nothing would stop those 100 chapters from getting churned out. Even though MD helps a lot for me to be able to write and i had no plans for this project before whatsoever MD is in no terms requisite to follow up my story.

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I'll take it as it is, then :) 

Spoiler

(what I don't feel good about is that bit with the fears that make your life hell, fears are supposed to be conquered or embraced, no? I think lashtal had some talks on fear, although I don't remember the conclusions :D Personally, I think you shouldn't be afraid of some posts on a forum)

 

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No feedback on my previous gag :(

Love and fear

Azull retreated to his quiet study, where at times he conversed with the ancients. Today he had an appointment with Machiavelli, whose thoughts materialized upon opening a Necrovion book. He was now a translucent ghost, flickering above the said book, grimacing as if tipsy.

Ah, Niccolo! Good to see you again, said Azull. I hope you remember what we planned on discussing. Let's get to it - how else do you argument that it is better to be feared than loved?

I say it is better to be loooved, said Machiavelli.

Excuse me? Since when?! exclaimed Azull.

Since yesterday. Went to Firenze...hic! and met a lovely young woman - Chiara. The things we did last night, hic!  - I can't begin to tell you.

That's...something else, said Azull. We were talking about principalities, about leaders. 

No, no, it is better to be loved, trust me, replied Machivelli. I swear to hic! God last night was the best night of my life.

Again, we are not talking about last night. You were saying it is safer to be feared than loved, because men are ungrateful, fickle, false, cowardly, covetous, that love is preserved by the link of obligation which, owing to the baseness of men, is broken at every opportunity for their advantage; but fear preserves you by a dread of punishment which never fails.

Me? I don't remember...hic!

Yes, you! In the book you wrote for Lorenzo!

Lorenzo? Which Lorenzo? Oh, that Lorenzo! I thought you meant the barber. Yeah, that was...that was...to think of all I did for the republic, and how they treated me...I had a dream, you know? Hic! A dream where Rome was back, back to its former glory, shining splendidly in the sunrise! A dream where just people live under the best kind of government - the Republic. And you know what they did to me? Hic! Do you know?! 

Machiavelli started sobbing, cursing at his enemies and the lack of vision of Florentine leaders. Azull listened to him for a few minutes, then closed the book. He took his pouch from a drawer and rolled a cigarette. Taking a puff, he slammed shut the drawer:

F****** drunkard!

 

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This one is Lord of the flies:

 

Thinking of making quick money, Ungod set up a small hut on a slope of Golemus mountain,
near the rich veins of mineral ore. Aiming for londsdaleite shard, gold and gems, he waved his pickaxe every morning, happily singing 'the lumberjack song'. His only problem was a type of imp-like creature populating those parts, which often caused him trouble. Big heads, small legs, savage screams and incredible stamina. Ungod hated them. The locals called them 'kids'.

One day, when the supposed night was giving way to day, he heard some suspicious sounds in 
front of his door. Grabbing the pickaxe, he rushed outside, only to see a bunch of naked kids staring at him.
Get outta here, you scoundrels! he waved his pickaxe.

We came to say we're sorry, mister, said one. 

Huh?

Ungod just stood there, speechless.

Yeah, said another, we're sorry to have caused you trouble.

Aha! exclaimed Ungod. I think I know what happened. Finally, your parents are taking action.
Good, you leave now, he said, turning his back. 

No, we're really sorry. Reeeealllly sorry.

So what? Get lost, said Ungod.

We have brough you a hat. The sun will burn all your hair and you will be baald.

Ungod slowly took the hat, grumbling.

Ok, hrm, thank you, now...leave.

Oh, we also got you a magnifying lens. It's kinda old, though.

Uhh...ok, it's...unusable... Can you leave now? I thought you were burglars.

Wait, Jim found something in the cave yesterday. Is it a precious gem?

One of the kids stepped forward and showed him a small dirty rock. Ungod laid aside the pickaxe to take a better look at it. 
Nah, it's just some crystal, he said, throwing it aside. He reached for his pickaxe, but it was gone.

I have it! said one of the kids. All clear!

Roger that! Atttttaaaaaack!

The first light of dawn saw Ungod being kicked and punched by a bunch of kids.


 

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Have some peanuts

Germie strolled towards the Root of the Matter inn. Just another Wednesday evening, wasted at the local pub. Nothing more. Can life top this? Germie put off the dying cigarette and climbed the stairs.

The inn was busy, with Lintara serving drinks to various customers and Shemhazaj lending a hand. Germie took a seat at some place closer to the window, where smoking was allowed. He scanned the room and found it pretty crowded. When it's crowded, the obnoxious customers start arguments. And, sure enough, one started soon.

I've never seen any peanuts in the realm, said Ungod.

Shemhazaj was serving peanuts.

I think I spotted some plants nearby, said Lintara.

I got them in my travels, said Shemhazaj.

Your stories really don't match, replied Ungod. You know, I can't eat these. Uncertified origin - and I never have anything that is of unknown origin.

Err...they're good, you know? We have them every evening.

I know, said Ungod. I've eaten them before. But, now that I think about it, I shouldn't have. Something is wrong here. What if these ones are toxic?

The arguments was heating up. On the one side, the voice of the pub - reassuring, but uncaring. On the other, the voice of reason - on point, but unneeded.

I will not have them! I don't care, the most I've seen in your forest is oak, therefore you should serve acorns if you want me to trust you, was shouting Ungod.

……………….……………...…………………………………………………...………………………..

Lintara was shoving peanuts down Ungod's throat and some got stuck, so Ungod was turning purple. Germie found the taste of the beer to be odd today. It doesn't matter at all, but...there really aren't any peanuts in MagicDuel.

Edited by Ungod

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Alone:

 

Rikstar stood at the edge of the carnival, deep in thought.

'Truly, in this life you can only live for yourself. You are - and company is a sweet illusion - alone. Let someone close to you, you get betrayed. Those who you don't let die, later don't let you live. And if, if! you somehow think of helping someone, you realize nobody can take another's burden. Each on their road, in this life. Company is but a sweet illusion.'

A clown popped out in front of Rikstar. His eyes suddenly glowing with murderous rage, he lifted his hammer high and slammed it on Rikstar's head. It was a toy hammer, and the crowd was laughing. Rikstar took out a wooden bat, and calmly sent the clown flying over a tent. It was a wooden bat, and nobody was laughing.

'I don't need these clowns in my life. I enjoy laughing and laughing at someone's expense is what makes laughing laughing, but I don't enjoy laughing at myself. Who does?! So, yes, you are alone. If laughing at someone can make you closer to that someone because of the feelings of resentment from the other, you try to laugh. Laugh at the poor souls, maybe you'll feel something, something to cling on to, to forget that you are alone...'.

Excuse me! Sir? Sir!

Rikstar found himself in front of two carnival officers, who were trying to get his attention.

Excuse me, sir, it has come to our attention that your monthly fee is overdue.

Rikstar grumbled.

You know, if members don't pay, there can be no carnival. Be reasonable, sir, all this glitter cannot maintain itself by itself. The enchanting bright lights, the alluring colours - all need your money.

'I say to you - it is truly an ugly world, where if people could take your skin, they'd do it, without second thoughts. From taxes and fools you will never get away. Try to live quietly, they will find you. Be alone at the summit of the mountain they will find you. In fact, even if you do not want to be alone, they make you want it.'

A young lady in a fancy red dress passed by Rikstar. Her smile and delicate scent made Rik forget himself for a moment.

'Truly, in this life you can only live for yourself. You are, always were and will be, alone. And tonight, as usual, company is a sweet illusion'.

He turned around.

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The box:

Slotsh yawned and scratched his belly. Yet another boring day in the glorious land of Marind Bell. If only he could find something to do - something magnificent, something that would put his name up there, in the heav...the anns. He yawned again. Nah, no chance.

He directed himself to the Sanctuary, when he spotted a curious box at the crossroads. Aha! Fate was lending a hand. He read the label : "Do not open if you are not the purchaser". In fine print was written "but you're gonna open it anyway, huh". 

Slotsh sat down and opened the box. He pulled out a heavy parcel that had a label "Best music of the century" on it. Nice, it was getting boring in here, I've been wanting to listen to some music, he thought. He unwrapped the parcel and stared at a bunch of discs. Slotsh sighed. I should have known, he said aloud. He took out some tape and put together two slim stacks of discs. Then he bashed them together, but the sound was dull and unappealing. He banged them a few more times, then threw them away. Useless.

He took out a small parcel and unwrapped it. It contained a small peculiar rectangular thingy. The instruction read "Another great storage device from *****. Insert it in the appropriate slot.". Slotsh looked around. Appropriate slot? And...what does it store? It might store...yes, thoughts! Lately, they've been leaking, and I'm afraid all my good ideas are leaving me. 'twould be a shame if the world never got to know them. He put the usb stick into his ear and waited.

The lake was shining and a soft breeze was now animating the reeds. Slotsh tried hard to remember all his inventions, and he described them one by one aloud. After some time, he raised himself, satisfied. They were safe now. Suddenly, a fear came onto him. What if the right slot was not the ear? He tried to think of other gaps. No, the nostrils won't do...maybe the mouth? He put the stick into his mouth, but the metal taste made him take it out. I have one more slot, but...not today, he said. Let me hold on to this, for now.

Slotsh hurried to his mysterious box to unwrap another wonder - headphones. Woah, what a strange device, he thought. He turned it on one side and the other, turned it around and around, but couldn't grasp its use. Head, he thought. I don't know what a phone is, but it must be placed on the head. He put the headphones on his head, the soft parts over his eyes. Ah, what a pleasant feeling. It's to rest the eyes, now I get it! He laid on the grass and put his arms under his head. I could stay like this all day, he thought. A buzz woke him up. Get away, stupid fly! I can't relax with you around. He waved his hands, but the insect was persistent. Slotsh grabbed the headphones angrily, pulled them off and...they snapped. Look what you made me do! He tried to kill the fly, but only tired himself.

Dejected, he turned back to the cardboard box. It only had one more item inside. He took out the parcel that had a "New and enhanced version. Greater maneuverability. Ultimate mouse" label. A mouse? he thought. Welp, I should get my cat here! He unwrapped it slowly, Betty close to him. Slotsh's heart was beating fast. He grabbed a long cord and held it tight. You're not getting away, rodent... What a long tail!

But the mouse was quite dead. It didn't even look like a mouse. Slotsh pushed it to his cat, but the cat yawned and went away. Betty doesn't want it, so it must be awful. Or...dead. Slotsh sighed again. If it's dead, it will rot and stink. He took a shovel and made a small hole, then threw the mouse in. That should do it, he said. Then, reflecting on his lost day, he decided the curious box was coming from another world. But for all the excitement he had, it had not been a box filled with wonders, but useless items. Today was another wasted day. Tomorrow, he'll look for something to do that will make his name known everywhere.

……...……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

A distressed Mur was wandering around the Sanctuary: Hey, did anyone see the package I ordered?

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26 minutes ago, Mallos said:

I object to your use of false characters when there is a perfectly real Mallos to make fun of!

There was a real character in the text, it was Mur 😛

and anyway, i'm not making fun of anyone, but your name will appear in the next one, since you insist

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Of fish and men:

Mallos was treading down the old Golemus steep roads, on his way to the Bridge. Near the Kell'etha Cannon, he spotted a peddler, selling fish. The stand had a catchy banner onto which the words 'Impressionable fish for sale' were written. Mallos turned his glance away, but he immediately looked again. He had never seen such fish in his life - they had wings! They looked like bat wings , and the fish fluttered them now and then. Catching his glance, the peddler started to advertise his merchandise.

These are the most extraordinary fish you'll ever see, sir! They can read! You put a sticker on their bowl every day and their mood changes according to the words written. And they have wings, as you can see! They can't fly, though; but that's a good thing, or else you couldn't keep them as pets! For a mere gold coin, you can have one of these wonderful fish.

Meh...Mallos tried to haggle for a while, but he wasn't really into it - the fish were more than he ever expected to see in MagicDuel. He ended up with a sticker notebook full of phrases, a small glass bowl and the strangest fish he'd ever seen...

Mallos put down the bowl and looked at the creature. Oh well, he thought, I've been had. Who's ever heard of fish reading? But I'll try nonetheless. At least I'll laugh at myself for being so gullible. He took a sticker and glued it to the bowl. It said 'Go and travel! See the world!' The fish started to swim excitedly, going round and round, getting its head close to the surface and staring into the blue sky, beyond Mallos' puzzled face. It sometimes went to the bottom of the bowl, as if surveying with curious eyes. Mallos mumbled 'It's the same fish bowl you've been in forever'.

The next day, he decided to put up a new sticker. He still didn't believe the fish can read, but at least it was livelier. The new line was 'You are not alone, do not despair'. Now the angelfish was mostly hanging out with the distorted image of itself, as reflected in the bowl glass, gesturing with the fins and fluttering the wings, opening and closing the mouth many times more than necessary for any decent fish. Mallos scratched his head: 'But you ARE alone, there's nobody else there'.

The third sticker said 'Trust is fundamental in human relationships'. Mallos had some doubts before putting it up - it said 'human', didn't it? He hissed and cursed at the imbecile peddler. But the fish was now looking at Mallos with clear lit up eyes. Yes, conveying much more cuteness than puppy or kitty eyes. Those eyes were saying 'I trust you. I trust you even if you haven't fed me in three days. After all, trust is fundamental.' Mallos rushed to find some fish food, mumbling that the day he's gonna trust people is the day he's getting ripped...

Days were passing, and Mallos began to dream he was a fish. He was spreading his wings under the blue sky, which sometimes seemed to be the large cover of a fish bowl. At some point, he began to think he needed some lines to go by, but he had no paper, and no ink. 

(forgot to bold)

Edited by Ungod

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The incident:

 

Mallos was sitting on a rare bench in the East, contemplating the sky through large puffs of smoke. The smoke was coming from his cigarette, of course, although the Cuban cigars he was usually puffing were even more awesome. Lately, however, the smuggling at the (MD) border was stricter due to some Mur enforcement regulation, so he couldn't get his hands on those.

He saw in the distance the silhouette of a man, if you can call it that - and recognized Teal. Tossing the cigarette aside, he threw himself in the middle of the road and become as rigid as a board. He was playing dead - a favorite trick with some Caretakers. Naturally, Teal was shocked to see a corpse in the middle of the road, but when he got closer, Mallos lift his head, mouth wide open and eyes popping. Giving Teal a scare made him feel good and he took out another cigarette out of his chest pocket.

So, how's it going ? I saw you training in Marind Bell for a while now, asked Mallos.

Meh, not so much, replied Teal. Ever since that incident...

Oh? Something happened?

Yeah. Not particularly fond of remembering it, to be honest.

Ah. It was that bad...

Well, not particularly bad, but, you know...left a bad taste.

I see, asked Mallos. Yes, sometimes such things happen. It's in our best interest to let them go, though.

Yeah, I know what you mean. This is why I don't want to talk about it.

Sure. Incidents like these are hard to forget, though.

(You could almost see some energy going back and forth between the two.)

Yea. So, I don't train as much.

So, what else have you been doing?

Ah, the usual. It's a bit rough on my left hand, you know - because of the incident. But I can manage, it's no big deal.

Mallos threw a glance at Teal's left hand. It was bandaged. 

Woah, it must've been some event. To even hurt you physically...

Well, of course. It was painful. It will heal, no problem. It just gave us a hell of a scare.

It gave you more than that, said Mallos. I bet it was mortifying.

No, no, no. Nothing to worry about, smiled Teal. I suppose things are fine here, in the East?

Sure, quiet as ever. I've been admiring the Wreath for a while. Hot stuff.

Hot, shivered Teal.

What's wrong?

Ah, nothing. Just...reminiscing.

(At this point, Mallos couldn't take it anymore.)

Enough, my friend. Spit it out - what really happened in Marind Bell?

Teal sighed.

Well...you know Ungod - he's really clumsy.

Yeah.

(Ed. Don't agree so easily, Mallos!)

We were doing some combat training and all was well. Then...you know Ungod. His throat gets parched easily.

Yeah. He's the shy type.

Yeah. So, he said 'Guys, how about some tea? I'll make some.' Mind you, he wasn't training with us, just playing the host.

...tea? asked Mallos.

Yeah. So he put some water to boil, but he used a large container for it. When he took it from the fire, since it was heavy, he tripped and fell, splashing some of us with boiling water. Man, that was ugly.

So...this was the incident?

Yea. We decided to let him cool off for a while, you know...so I'm not training as much anymore. Actually, all of us aren't. Some weren't as lucky as me - I only got my hand injured. Yeah...what are you doing?

Mallos was playing dead.

 

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Goddess:

 

Lazarus was wasting time in the garden of Eden i.e. one of his delusions, walking and admiring the scenery. He was almost at the gates of Eternal Truth and Knowledge when a woman descended from the clouds. She was fair and totally naked, but that wasn't what got his attention. The woman had a king tattooed on her forehead and a rook between the breasts; on a shoulder she had a knight tattooed, and a bishop on the other, and under the navel, a queen. It was the chess goddess, Caissa, although she insisted people call her Vera.

Oh, whatever shall I do, she mourned. I lost my pawn!...

Lazarus thought that she had a pawn on her back for sure, so he turned to check, but got whacked promptly. Nobody likes people creeping behind them; this, however, got her attention.

Oh, what a lovely young man! Will you help me find my pawn?

Maybe it's at a pawn shop, joked Lazarus, but his joke wasn't taken well. Vera pouted and pointed to a silhouette.

Go look behind that mirror. 

Nothing here, m'am! said Lazarus after thoroughly checking.

Go a little further! Oh, maybe under that horse's tail?

Lazarus lifted a horse's tail with a long stick, but what was under it wasn't worth mentioning, so Vera sent him even further.

Ah, see that elephant?  she shouted.

Lazarus was about to say something, when he spotted the elephant mom rushing to his position. He closed his eyes and prepared for total annihilation. Moments passed, but there was nothing.

Go on ahead! he heard Vera, and so he did, discovering all of a sudden that the elephant was nothing than a wooden tower in the shape of an elephant. He climbed the wooden stairs. From the top, he could see all of what was below...How curious! He saw, faintly, traces of squares, some dark, some light, forming a board, where we could only see grass before.

She was...started to say Lazarus, but couldn't finish. Vera was flying towards him, humming and dancing, visibly excited. 

I won, I won! If I promote you to a queen, the game is basically done. 

She handed him a wig and winked. 

Uh...isn't there something more dignified than this? Some treasure, perhaps? dared Lazarus.

Vera sighed and knocked him back. 

Fine, I bestow upon you the gift of drawing. These cheeky men and their demands! 

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An unsettled quarrel:

Junior and Ginger have long been enemies. It all started when Ginger took the last gingerbread from the MB bakery a few years ago. The feud continued with the last croissant, last blueberry jam jar and the last strawberry tart. It developed into a battle that was almost ritualic: the two enemies would stare each other down for a few seconds, then they would start the 'pleasantries', which were often condimented with terms such as 'lemon-sour wise guy' or 'happy-go-lucky-wurstel'. Then, the battle for the first one to enter the bakery would start, with endless ramblings about who was there first, with the date and time being measured to milliseconds. In truth, they would both show up at the same time, but none would ever admit that.

Today it was all the same. Pushing each other while entering the bakery, they both rushed to the counter to ask for a baguette, but noticed - at the same time - it wasn't so well baked. It was, in fact, the last baguette, as the Marind Bell folks eat a lot of bread. This was a rare occasion to continue the battle, so Ginger took the initiative and said:

Ah, there is only one baguette in stock today! Junior, my friend, I think you should take it. 

Why me? asked Junior. You're the one who loves baguettes.

Today I'm being magnanimous, my friend. After all, I can get a flat-bread; they're discounted today.

You, eating flat-bread? Mixing with the plebs? Is it really Ginger talking? Who are you?! Confess!

Now, now, I'm only thinking about you. My friends can order first, and I'm sure you wanted the baguette.

No, I'm sure you're the one who wanted it.

No, no, I'm sure it was you.

No, no, after you.

After you!

After you!

After you!

The door opened suddenly, and Ungod entered the bakery, all sweaty and anxious.

Can I have a baguette? I have a guest and I'm out of bread!

Sorry, but these two wanted it, said the shop owner.

Nah... he can have it, said Junior.

Ah...sure, nodded Ginger.

They both looked at Ungod as he was leaving the bakery, then glanced at each other as if saying 'You were lucky this time'. With a loud 'hmph', they both got out of the shop, with their shopping bags empty.

 

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I remembered today about a talk I had with someone about...long life? She told me of a 120 years old woman who said that all her life she did as she pleased. Now, the person I was talking to has a habit of drawing the wrong conclusions, so I had to stress that you don't get to 120 by doing whatever crosses your mind. If she reached 120, she must have had modest wishes; the point here is to not feel caged, to live life in a relaxed manner, free from mental or physical excesses. You don't reach 120 by going to bars all nights and pouring alcohol into you; it doesn't work that way. All the more as the woman was Mongolian, and it's not like there are many temptations in the steppe.

But because the one I was talking to has this tendency of ignoring these tiny unimportant details called FACTS, and just rushes to a conclusion, she was kinda telling me how you need to do as you please if you want to have a good, long life. 

This is what inspired the following:

Doing as you please

Nlo yawned. Whatever can be done for fun in here? he thought. Life is dull, really, really dull.

He was standing at the base of the marble stairs, fixating the fountain. One would think Nlo was impressed with the beauty, the artistry of it, but no - Nlo was not that kind of guy. He wanted to make life more interesting, and there was nothing interesting about order and stability. People must do as they please, to really live. And Nlo was doing as he pleased all the time.

The pillars at the top of the stairs were shiny, sure, but they were dull, really dull. Nlo started to doodle on them, because he was doing as he pleased all the time. He got bored soon, and decided what these pillars really need is the power to inspire. Arousing the intellect, creating sparks within one's imagination, that kind of thing. How better to achieve it than by writing some motivational quote that would make people really appreciate these pillars? 'You are your own pillar of strength' sounded too old-fashioned, and the play was perhaps too obvious. For a moment, he thought of writing 'Romanes eunt domus', but then again, not many would know the reference...How about 'Mur said be happy?'

Nlo wrote in italics Mur said be happy. Then he wrote Marind shall rent you her umbrella for a quid and Chewett said this is Nlo's abode. You see, Nlo always did as he pleased, even though 'Mur said' or 'Chewett said' were taboo words in MD (or are they?). Suddenly, Nlo found himself into the prison. Who reported him?! A candle (it's December, the prison got decorated) threw light over a small bench, where Nlo saw Rudolph shaking his head continuously. The poor reindeer was locked up for indecent behavior and hadn't had a drop of alcohol in days. 

Nlo began to pace to and fro. Did he cross the line? Nah, the right way to live is to do as you please. There's no meaning in it if you do what others ask you to, if you feel restrained. He wasn't in the wrong. He ignored the mumbling reindeer and started doing some warm-up exercises, just because he could. Then he named the walls - this one's Cassandra, this one is Alexandra, then Priscilla, Laetitia. Nlo was now running from Priscilla to Cassandra, from Cassandra to Laetitia, from Laetitia to Alexandra and so on - because he always did as he pleased. 

There was no way to tell the time, but Nlo decided it's night and he'd better prepare for a cold one. He glanced at the bench (and the reindeer) and decided against it. Indeed, the best way was to fall asleep in the arms of Emily.

 

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