Wednesday, October 30, 2013

[Bunny Stories] Hallowe'en story time with Umbra!

Art by Zaheroux

Umbra took her job as the Hallowe'en bunny very seriously. She'd offered to share with Harrington, but he'd said she told the yearly stories so well.  With the flickering LED candles playings shadows on the wall, Umbra prepared her annual spooky tail time. "Carl Sandburg said that 'The fog comes, on little cat feet. It sits looking, over harbour and city, on silent haunches, and then moves on.' But he was wrong, it doesn't come on cat feet, and when it moves on, it doesn't move alone."

* * *

A long time ago, in a kingdom far away, there was a friendly bunny who lived in a thick wood. He watched the rich nobles of human kind trit trot about, he watched the kindly fae and less kindly fae ride on their grand hunts, he watched animals go about their lives. He did many things well, but the thing he did best was watch. He was a handsome bunny of grey; the grey that was the fog in Aberdeen on a spring morning, of a pure smoke fire, of dusted silver. One morning he was sitting at the top of a hillock, admiring the patterns of the fog, when a horse wandered up to touch noses. The horse was wearing a saddle that's girth had been loosened and had bits of brush hanging from the reigns and catchings.

"Hello," said the friendly bunny.

"Hello," said the horse.

"What are you up to, today?" asked the bunny.

"It's Hallowe'en. Sir Gerric decided he would go hunting witches." The horse shooked her mane in amusement. "He met one, she told him he'd sneeze four hundred and twenty-seven times or till he became more accepting of people. I ditched him around sneeze two fifty when he fell off."

The bunny tilted his head to one side, "Did you just leave him, then? The Bear is up and about and is rather grumpy."

"I'll wander home, he'll catch up." The horse stretched, turning to look towards the manor home of the local lord, "Or not. He's not a very nice man."

The bunny was rather concerned as the horse turned and meandered her way back towards her stable. The bunny decided he better investigate.

It didn't take him very long to find the sneezing man. His eyes were watery, the way he clutched his chest said it was aching, and every time he got to his feet, he'd sneeze and come back off balance. The bunny hopped up, "Are you alright, Sir?"

"No, I'm not," Sneeze, "alright." Sneeze, sneeze. "A witch cursed me and I've lost count." Sneeze.

The bunny thought he looked very apologetic and turned to wiggle his tail in the knight's direction, cancelling the witches magic.

The man lay panting on his side for several minutes, "I thought I was going to die." he moaned.

The bunny nodded with sympathy and hopped off to come back with a large leaf with water in it. He held it for the knight to drink. He drained the liquid dry before he suddenly turned and grabbed at the rabbit. The Bunny wasn't stupid, he watched humans, he knew what the man had wanted to do. He turned tail and ran off into the foggy afternoon. He was a bit surprised how fast the knight got to his feet to give chase. You'd think a man who had been sneezing his fool head off would be a bit more understanding and grateful!

Turned about in the fog, running scared from a rude and hungry human, Bunny lost his footing and fell off a hill, down into the deep, deep, fog.

It was a year later when Sir Gerric went out on his yearly witch hunt. He had to ride a bit further every year as the witches got wise to him and went further and further from his home. This year he brought dogs to help him along with his long suffering squire. The boy was left to jog along at the horse's flank while the dogs ranged every which way in the fog barking directions, ideas and excitement.

The horse stopped and no amount of bellowing got her to move again. She humped her back in warning when the knight started to apply his spurs. He looked over the horse's ears to see the bunny sitting on his hind legs in his path.

"Hello Mr Knight." said the bunny.

"uh." The knight managed. There was something not right about the bunny.

"I helped you and you tried to harm me. That wasn't very nice." The bunny said. "I spent a year travelling the world of fog and I learnt a few things. Do you know what the most important thing I learned is?" The bunny tilted his head to one side to look up at the knight.

"Uh, no." The knight said, wondering why he seemed unable to move. His horse could move, she was twitching her tail. He couldn't even hear his dogs; those dogs would have taken care of the uppity rabbit.

The bunny hopped closer. "I learned that you should always say thank you. I learned that you should never harm those that help you. I learned that if you're nice to people, they're nice to you." The bunny stopped underneath the stirrup, standing up on hind legs as the fog swirled after him. "And we all decided it's a lesson you need to learn too." There was a flicker of red, deep within the grey bunny's eyes.

The fog was swirling up the horse's legs now and she had enough. She bucked him off, leaving him to fall into the fog like a sack of potatoes. She shook her head several times before rearing up to sheer the air with her front hooves. Finally settling to all fours she gave a full body shake and ran off. The bunny watched the display passively before turning back to the knight who was staring at him with wide, wild, eyes.  "You will do good things for people until someone doesn't say thank you. Only then will they take your place, riding the fog." The bunny groomed a forepaw as the fog swirled around the knight, completely covering him until he disappeared.

The fog withdrew, leaving the bunny alone in the grove, water droplets glistening everywhere before he turned to go see how his warren had faired in his absence.

* * *

Umbra put down her front paws she'd been using to help accentuate the story. "And that is why you always, always, say thank you! Especially if its foggy!"

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

[Cat Update] Little Orphan Annie.

For those that aren't following / friends with me on Facebook may have missed the tail of Little Orphan Annie.

On October 21st, I went out to get food and heard a very loud meowling. A cat in obvious distress. We have several toms who lurk in the trailer park behind us, I figured one had gotten in a fight and didn't come out so well at the other side. Searching around, I find a tiny grey cat under my car meowling. After some negotiation and employment of crutch, I got a very sore knee and one rack of bones with a fur coat. I could feel her individual ribs through her fur. As soon as I held her, she stopped meowing. I took her upstairs, got her settled in the laundry room and went off to Superstore to get cat supplies.

I kept checking on her every so often, but other than turning in spot, she showed no interest in food and barely touched the water. By the blood on the towel, I knew she was bleeding from *somewhere* but I couldn't tell where. In the morning I decided I was way out of my depth and phoned the rescue I volunteer at. Ena, our head goddess, said to bring her in. Nicknamed Little Orphan Annie, she was taken to the vet who works with the rescue. She was found to be over 10 years old, possible toxic poisoning from the flea collar she had on, sores all over her mouth and malnutrition in the worst way. The vet wasn't optimistic but they give it a good go.

They ended up having to put her to sleep. Her kidneys and liver were nonfunctional. They'd put her on IV, given her antibiotics, tried to force feed her, all the fun stuff, she was just too far gone. She at least passed in warmth, surrounded by loving people.  Poor wee thing.

As always, all that stuff costs money, so if you can, please support them.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

[Hobbit/PotC Crossover] Another for Cap'n Ren. :)

The two males were sitting in a barely lit tavern. One had a foot sprawled across the table, tilting his chair back and enjoying the rather off colour singing of some of the other man's shipmates. The other man, was trying to ignore his two nephews and the words they were singing. The songs were about things no decent dwarf should know about; besides, who would want to do that in a wash barrel anyway?

"I don't understand women." The dwarf grumped. "Human, dwarven, even.." a slight growl, "elven."

"Women ain't nuthin' but trouble." his inebriated companion agreed, idly twirling a finger around his moustache.

"I try to take a bath. A maid comes in saying she's bringing me towels. She has no towels. The drying clothes were on the stool already!" He thumped a fist on the table, an action a few heads turned to see but realizing it wasn't the start of a fight, they went back to ignoring anything outside their circle. A splash of beer escaped the tankard. "Waste of good beer, that." was the observation from the other side. "Can a dwarf not take a bath in peace?!"

"I don't know about dwarves, but I certainly hope men can't." He sat up a bit, looking around, "Now, which maid did you say that was?"

He got a flat glare. "It would be hardly honourable to reveal such information."

"I'm a pirate, mate. I don't much care about honourable." A swig of rum, "Just give me an open port, a good breeze, and rum to drink and I'm a happy man. I don't much care how any of those got to my life, only that they're here to stay." He looked back at the glowering dwarf, "Look, chum, you're tryin' to figure out what's makin' the girls go squeel, aye?"

"Yes." was the surly response.

"Haven't a fricken' clue. I just enjoy it when it happens." Before the dwarf could offer further feedback, the pirate rocked his chair forward, swinging his leg off the table and onto the mucky floor. The inhabitants of the drunk goose were happy for the poor lighting, it meant they never saw the floor and what was on it. "Look.. uh.." He paused, "What'dya say your name was?"

"I didn't." came the growl, and then he sighed and softened. "Thorin. Thorin Oakenshield, son of Thráin, son of Thrór, King Under the Mountain."

"King?" There was a gleam and extra interest for a moment, "And why are you not kinging there then?"

"It's halls are haunted and tortured by a dragon." Thorin replied, the glower returning to his features.

"Oh. Right. Dragon. I have a personal policy to never pick fights with dragons. Of course, I had a personal policy never to pick fights with kraken either, and that wasn't terribly respected." The pirate stopped, finger on chin. "Where was I? Oh, right, and I, Thorin mouthful and well titled, am Jack. Captain Jack Sparrow, he who sales the Black Pearl, beauty of the seas."

"The pirate." Thorin said, raised eyebrow.

Jack raised a tankard in salute, "We all gotta make a livin', savvy?"

Thorin ground his teeth but refrained from comment and then suddenly smiled, "One might call you .. a pirate king?"

Jack's eyes narrowed, "That was just cold, mate."

"One might thinks, a pirate who gives up a chance at a throne for the sake of a girl, isn't as much of a .. what's the human term? .. coldhearted, selfish, rotten bastard, as he claims to be?" There was a gleam of gold as Thorin gave one of his rare grins.

"Oh.. shutup." Jack replied, taking another swig of rum, pausing with the bottle half back to the table and then taking a sequel to keep it company. He sighed, taking his turn to thump the table. He did it with much less force than his companion. "Speaking of your women problems, 'cause I sure as becalmed seas don't want to be talkin' about mine.. The problem is, y'see, you look miserable. Y'look like a good froggin' could cheer ya right up, an' girls like to be fixin' things that are broken. The faster ye run, the faster they'll chase." He sighed and looked at his nearly empty bottle, "I know - I've left a few ports with the skirts in pursuit." He put on a fake falsetto, "Y'said ye'd marry me Jack. Y'said I could join ye on yer ship, Jack. Y'said ye had news of me father, Jack. Y'said.." He roled his eyes. "Believe anything they will and.." he trailed off. "Er, what were we talkin' about then?"

"Your luck with the fairer sex." Thorin said looking a bit disgusted.

"You travel with a hobbit!" Jack blurted.

"What's that got to do with it?!" Thorin scowled back.

"Well, absolutely-bloody-nothing, does it? But I was on the losin' side of the conversation an' I am not too fond of losin', savvy?"

"Except when you mean to lose." Thorin said drolly.

"Ah!" Jack held up a finger, "but then I'm not losing, I'm winning, right?"

Thorin gave him a hairy eyed look, "If that's what you believe."

"I believe all sorts of things. I believe that you should just be tellin' your lady followers yer a King returning to his throne an' he can't be marryin' or carryin' on with any lady till his throne is his once more and all that."

"That would work?" The dwarven royal looked rather cynical.

"IYou'd be surprised what'll work. That one works well .. well, for the marryin' bit, never tried it for the carryin' on, y'mind.. I've been tryin' for the opposite. But!" He sat up straight, tossing hair, "What've you got to lose but a night's sleep?"

"They're tall. A hairless. And .. " He shuddered, "Practically elven in dimension."

"You've been lookin' at all the wrong ladies. Stop lookin' at the starved an' look at the healthy!" Jack stopped and blinked, "Hairless?"

"A good woman has sideburns for a start!"

"Uh.. right, mate." Jack looked doubtful on that score, but with a fortification of rum, "Look, take the Captain of the Rumrabbit.. well, y'better not, 'cause she's mine to not be carryin' on with, so you better not be not carryin' on with her behind my back or in front of my front, savvy?"

Thorin looked pained, perhaps because he did understand that shpiel of lack of logic and double and triple negatives. "Yes."

"Right. She's your height, blonde, curvy in the most curvy of curvy waves.. er, ways, and .. " Jack trailed off, "What were we talkin' about?"

"Captain of the Rumrabbit," Thorin answered with remarkable patience.

"Right, yes. Great ship that. Never manage to steal it. Damn rabbits are too quick and too smart."

"Are they Rhosgobel rabbits?" Thorin asked dryly.

"They're hell rabbits, that's what they are. Drink me rum, chew holes in me ship, steal me hat, and won't even let me woo their cap'n' without bathing first. And SHE doesn't visit ME in the bath!" Jack took a final swig and carefully put the bottle down. "I think I'm going to pass out now." He said quite clearly right before his eyes rolled up in his head and he fell off his chair sideways.

Thorin sighed. His nephews came over, seeing their uncle's drinking partner out drunk. "A rope and a banana?" Thorin asked with a raised eyebrow.

Fili grinned, Kili blushed.

Thorin sighed. "May the scow be fixed by morning."

He'd had his lifetime's fill of humans.

Monday, October 21, 2013

[Fictional Story] The Cherished Heart

I'm feeling a bit ghoulish today -- but that's okay, it's almost Hallowe'en.


It was getting harder to breath every day. It felt like someone was sitting on my chest and no amount of coughing could relieve the pressure. I knew what I looked like; scrawny, stringy hair, smelling faintly of body owner, medicines and sweat. "It shouldn't be long now," one of my visitors had said, as if it was supposed to be a comfort. I suppose, in a way, it was. We'll put down our dogs when they have no hope of recovery, why is it such a sin to do the same for humans? Because the bible said its bad?

"I think I want to be made into a gem." I said, seemingly out of the blue. There was more wheeze in my voice than I liked.

"What?" My husband said brilliantly. I loved him, but even after eighteen years I wished he'd pay attention when I was talking. I realize that I flitted from subject to subject, that my mind would make lateral skips and jumps, but he could at least try instead of making me endlessly repeat myself and explain things four hundred times.

"A gem, when I die." I extrapolated. I couldn't talk much, it started to hurt after a while. "I want to be made into a heart shaped ruby or something like it."

"That'd be awfully expensive, if its even possible." He said, a frown on his square face. When we'd married he'd have lovely, thick, auburn hair that tended to be shaggy due to his never remembering to get his hair cut. Sometimes I think he married me just so he'd have someone to remind him of things.

I wordless turned my netbook to face him, showing the "life gems" page. The title and the words were hokey, but I very much liked the idea.

"That'd be awfully expensive," he repeated, still frowning.

"It's my money isn't it?" I would have snapped it if I'd had enough breath, but I had to settle for a sarcastic rasp. "Its about as much as a burial. Cremate me, get me made into a ruby."

He looked even unhappier. It occurred to me he didn't want to talk about my death, but really, what else was left to talk about?

He sighed, running his hand through thinning, untidy, mop that was more butter white than red these days. "And what do I do with it?"

"Give it to your next wife. Hold a raffle, whatever you want. What would you do with my ashes other wise? Dump them in the ocean to choke the fish?" Apparently, I wasn't much happier talking about my death but why did he always have to make everything so difficult?

His mouth opened and then closed. He blinked at me several times. "I would think, a ring with bits of my dead wife would be a bit ghoulish."

He had a point. I gave a half-snort and smiled, "Then get married on Hallowe'en," I suggested, humour restored.

He let out a bark of laughter and squeezed the hand he'd been holding. "A raffle, though." He looked thoughtful, eyes tracking slightly as they followed his thoughts. "We could hold a raffle to raise money for the children's oncology ward. They can probably never have enough Mutts books or XBoxes. It would be up to the winner what they want to do with it, make it a necklace, a ring.."

I felt love for him all over again, and it was if it was twenty years ago when we'd met. I'd been leaving the supermarket, he'd been entering and walked straight into me as he'd been talking into one of those old brick cell phones. My milk had splashed and sprayed, the eggs splattered, and the bread became a mangled mess. He'd dropped his phone (It wasn't harmed, but then, it could probably have been driven over and not get a scratch.) and started babbling apologies about how he'd pay for my groceries, or we could go buy more or all sorts of things. I'd just looked at this rather handsome, clumsy, bumbling, babbling man and thought "I could marry him." It was a silly thought, but there it was. I'd told him forget the groceries other than to help me clean up the mess, and to join me for lunch. We'd had lunch that turned into dinner that turned into a walk around the lake.

"And maybe I'd bring them luck and happiness?" I said with the smile, trying to ignore my body's insistence that I really needed to cough. I told it, mentally, that I really didn't so shut up and stop being so high maintenance.

"Or good health," he said with a sigh.

"I think that's covered under luck." I said, squeezing his hand.

And the thought of being kept close and loved for next to eternity warmed me and made me smile.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

[Almost on topic] Three things three times.

The object of this one was "List three things, three times. Any three things." with an example such as the following.

Three Things I won't live without.

- Politics. Its my chief source of entertainment, and I find I'm quite good at reading and predicting political situations and people.
- Storytelling. Even if I'm not writing them down, there's always stories forming in my head.
- Gaming. RPGs, board games, video games, whatever flavour you choose, I enjoy them. Friendly competition or cooperation however, I won't do serious consequence gaming!

Three kinds of pets I've owned.

- Dog
- Cats
- Bunnies.

Three places I've been employed.

- Revenue Canada. (I have no idea what they call themselves this year.)
- Buy & Sell Newspaper
- Vancouver Family Services.

I'm not tagging anyone in particular.. However, I am petting and snuggly all my blog bunnies who'll let me. :)

Friday, October 4, 2013

[Grump] Freaking Blogger..

For whatever reason, Blogger wasn't updating about half of the blogs I follow on my RSS feeder. Today it finally kicked in and I got about 400 posts that I hadn't seen. So, I'm slowly catching up.

Do we have any word on Bells from Potentially Nervous?