Happy Epiphany

So sorry for the lack of updates. I been working on a few things.

Frist of all, I want to wish everyone a happy Three Kings’ Day, just in case there is everyone out there who celebrates the holiday. I just found that out recently.

Also, I’m working on a new novel that I’m calling, “Unlovable”. Here is the summary: After years of emitting large amount of carbon dioxide, which led to climate change, which led to a series of natural disasters, such as floods and hurricanes, which led to the collapse of infrastructure, which led to the overconsumption of natural resources, which led to a shortage, which led to civil unrest, which led to many cities and towns declaring martial law, which led to a spread of influenza, the United Nations declared that all countries must lower their carbon dioxide emissions by fifty percent every year. While many countries converted to a somewhat medieval lifestyle, the United States, however, took a different route.

The United State government determined that the only way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions was to purge certain people from the population. Thus, they created the Pageant Games, a brutal, cutthroat, winner-takes-all competition that every young citizen from every district in the United States must partake in during the ninth grade. Those who win the games graduate from the ninth grade and continue their lives. Those who lose are deemed unfit to live in society, or “toxic”. These “toxic” people are taken to Blessed Wings Academy, which is a large building complex in the forest. The propose of the old campus is to imprison those who loss the Pageant Games, while cameras record their actions.

There are limited supplies inside the building, there are deadly traps set throughout the campus, and there is virtual no escape. The only way to leave Blessed Wings Academy, is for every student’s heart to stop beating. Zephyr Locke, a fifteen-year-old high school student, along with his close friends, will find themselves inside Blessed Wings Academy after losing the Pageant Games. While the rest of society is expecting them to die, Zephyr is not prepared to let that happen. Zephyr soon becomes the leader of the group, and as such, he is tasked with keeping everyone alive. So long as everyone is alive, there would be no reason to keep them in the school, and, sooner or later, everyone will realize that they have to let them out and rejoin society…right?

I was also thinking about writing another novel, but I can’t come up with an idea.  Anyways, I just wanted to say hello, and let you know that I am ok.

Have a nice night.

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Happy Holidays!

Yes, I know, it been more than 23 days since my last post.

I’ve just been so busy with work for school that I hadn’t gotten the chance to post anything. I had to take exams for both of my art history classes and finish homework for my environmental class. I stayed up late to finish a essay. For one of my classes, I had to build a portfolio of all the writing I did.

I’m home now. I decided to write something; to let you know how I’m doing.

For the last few days, I’ve been working on a new idea. I got it some time before my birthday. I’m thinking of creating another animated show and calling it “Magical Talent Showcase”.

Here is the plot: 13-year-old Zephyrus Quisenberry had only one wish: to perform in front of a large audience, He didn’t care what he was doing, he just wanted to perform. He knew he had the talent and the determination for performing, all he needed was the opportunity. Sadly, being the son of a gypsy, no one gave him the chance to do anything on stage. It wasn’t until he met Sabrina Steele that him luck began to turn around. Like Zephyrus, Sabrina loved to perform, and was a well-known performer of magic tricks in her hometown. However, there was a mishap at her last performance, and many people, most of which were people in power, became angry with her. They arrested her and, at her trial, they sentenced her to spend the rest of her life as a half-cat, half-fairy creature. It is her hope that, with Zephyrus’ help, she can find a way to turn herself back into a human. Together, the two of them compete in performance showcases and talent competitions. Slowly but surely, making their way to the top.

I made a few sketches of two of the main characters. They’re a little outdated, but I still want to show you.

I hope you enjoy them.

I also been working on my novels. I finished two new chapters of book one of “Eldritch”, and I finished one new chapter of “Turning a Blind Eye” and “Realm of Madness”. After I post this, I will update the pages.

Anyways, I should go. Will post again as soon as possible.

In the meantime, have a happy holiday!

Back to School

Well, I’m officially back at college. It was a struggle moving all my things, but we got them up in the dorm. Tomorrow, I will start my classes. I got my textbooks this afternoon. I still need a few more things, but for now I’m good.

I been thinking, and I decided that to dump some of my ideas. You might remember my earlier post that I entitled, “Quadruple Threat”. I also this idea for a point-and-click game called, “The Lost Priestess”, and I was going to write a novel about a girl who can talk to animals entitled, “Billie Copperfield”. I realized that I probably wasn’t going to continue working on those. Then I came up with an idea for a television show. I’m calling it, “Good Samaritans”.

Here is the setup of the show: 14-year-old Troy Brooks believed that he was the most blessed human in the world. He was the most popular boy in the ninth grade, beloved by all his classmates. He had a swarm of female admirers who wanted to be his girlfriend. He was the captain and star player of the school’s volleyball team and was promised a sport scholarship from a prestigious college. He never had to work or earn money because his family had money since before he was born. Almost everyone within the bustling town of Great Paxton, USA knew his name. Troy’s life was perfect, but through one event, that perfect life was throwed into chaos. That event was the marriage of his mother, Tiffany Brooks, to Doctor Xavier Francis Everglade, a scientist in the field of biotechnology, founder and CEO of a biotechnology company called Everglade Syndicate, and the father of Prudence Everglade.

Prudence is a 14-year-old girl that goes to the same school as him. She is the president of the Good Samaritans’ Club, which is a club for volunteering, organizing charity events, and other activities that can help others. Sebastian Needlepoint, Hyacinth Papadopoulos, Edith Timberlands, and Billie Copperfield are all members of the club. Saved for each other, the club members mostly kept to themselves, not socializing with any of the other students. Troy had always been suspicious of the club and never trusted them. He and his friends would bully and belittle them, but mostly he stayed far away from them as possible. Now that he and his mother had moved from their luxurious apartment in the center of the city to the Everglades’ mega-mansion built in the rural area outside of the city, he is forced to interact with the Prudence and the rest of the club.

One day, while playing hide-and-seek in the massive house, Troy tumbles across the truth about the Everglades and the Good Samaritans’ Club. Dr. Everglade is, indeed, a scientist in the field of biotechnology, however, that is just his cover. He is actually the leader of a covert organization called Indigo, whose task is to create a team of superhumans that can assist and protect humanity in ways that would be too dangerous or impossible for normal humans. The Good Samaritans’ Club is also just a cover. All its members are agents of Indigo. These children were born with superhuman abilities.

I think it’s a great idea for a show; I already came with a lot of ideas for episodes. Let me know what you guys think.

That’s all for now. Have a lovely night.

Second Parts of Animated Shows

Hello everyone!

Right now, I’m in the library because the Wi-Fi in my apartment is bad. I just wanted to share some things with you all.

Remember in my last post, when I wrote that I wanted to post the first half of my stories so that, in the future when my books are publish, people will be motived to buy my novels. Well, I’ve been think more about that.

For my fantasy novel, “The Infinite Guide”, I’m thinking about posting only the first book; I’m planning on writing a series of book staring Fiona Greenberg. For “ElderHeart”, I’m going to post only the first part of book one; I’m planning on writing a series of books about the eldritch too.

If you read my earlier post then you would know that I can in the middle of writing just not one mystery novel, but a series of mystery novels. Though, I’m only posting the chapters of the first book on this site. That way, if people want to read the other books, they would have to buy them.

I’m going to do the same things for all the novels I’m writing; either posting the first part of the book or the first book in the series. Also, I’m planning on writing a continuation of some of the television shows I’m writing.

For example, I’m already writing one for “Star Children” and “Three Wayward Angels”.

The continuation of “Star Children” is going to be called: “Star Children: A New Generation”. Here is the summary: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Likewise, for every act of kindness, there is an act of cruelty. When the Gurus created the Grand Star all those eons ago, they had unwittingly created the Dark Star. The Dark Star was created to be the exact opposite to the Grand Star; while the Grand Star spreads happiness and peace, the Dark Star spreads death and destruction. Like the Grand Star, the Dark Star is a sentient and can sense the things that are happening around it. The Gurus, fearing what this thing would do, hid the Dark Star away in one of the caves on their planet. However, when the Grand Star broke during the invasion of the Gurus’ planet, the Dark Star had sensed that it had taken shelter on other planets. Thinking it can spread its wickedness throughout the universe or that it can counteract whatever powers the Grand Star may still have; the Dark Star broke itself in seven pieces. The pieces became dark and sentient entities called Ids. These Ids are the personifications of the seven different aspects of death: Meaninglessness, unwillingness, greed, ruthlessness, hopelessness, enmity, and nether. These Ids have the ability to possess other creatures and afflict them with the vices that they represent. The goal of these Ids is to find the remaining pieces of the Grand Star and destroy them.

The union of King Dillan of Innocence and the young orphan, Mothra, from Ariel had inspired Solomon to talk to Cee about having heirs for the title of Guardians of All Living Things in the Universe. So, Cee and his friends travel to the far corners of the universe to find students who will become their eventual successors. Their search leads them to seven children who hearts glow with the virtues that they aspire to represent. Together, the seven children combat the shadows.

The continuation of “Three Wayward Angels” is going to be called “Three Wayward Angels 2”. Here is the summary: It had been two years since our favorite little angels have been guardian-angels-in-training. The triplets are now official guardian angels, going on more grand adventures and helping humanity. Meanwhile, back on earth, Phoebe is had graduated from the Gifted Children’s Academia and is becoming a successful amateur magician studying under her favorite magician, surrounded by loving fans, friends, and family. But the shenanigans are not over yet, for the triplets are now reasonability for the care and well-being of an infant child!  

I’m still polishing the ideas; working on developing the new characters, working out the new plot, etc. I think what I have so far is great. I’m still adding new stuff to them; sooner or later they will be done. Once they are done, I’ll post them here on the site.

I still have a lot to think about. I’m still drawing and writing. Even when I go back to college, I’ll try to draw and write in my free time, and I’ll be sure to post as must as I can.

That’s all. Have a great day!

Finished Chapter

I was going to upload the pictures I took of the animal sanctuary I want to during my two-week trip to Lee, but then I finished the fourth chapter of “Dark Red Riding Hood”, and I really want to show it here. I posted it on my DeviantArt, and later, I’ll update the page on the blog. For now, enjoy the newest chapter of “Dark Red Riding Hood”.

Chapter 4: The Huntress

Little Red Riding Hood. Notorious huntress-thief for the feared crime boss, Woody Lumberjack, also known as the Woodsman. Never in my young life did I think that would be my identity. In fact, when I was a little girl, I wanted to be an adventurer; traveling to far and exotic places. My grandfather used to be an adventurer before meeting my grandmother. I doubt they would be proud of me, seeing what their precious granddaughter have become. I didn’t blame them if they’re disappointed in me; I was disappointed in me.

Allow me to explain what my job was as a huntress-thief. You see, “huntress”, or “hunter”, were just another word for assassin. We hunt down persons and then eliminate them, hence why we are called “hunters” or “huntresses”. There were different kinds of hunters and huntresses; those whose jobs where more than just assassinating. For example, hunter-runners or huntress-runners were assassins who worked in the drug smuggling business. Hunter-eyes or huntress-eyes were assassins who doubled as detectives. There were the royal hunters and huntresses who worked for the sovereignty. Then there were the hunter-thieves and huntress-thieves like me. Our jobs were to not only eliminate targets, but to also steal from targets. Just last year, I was ordered to steal a prized piece of artwork from the home of a wealthy art dealer.

I had just exited the Woodsman’s hideout and was making my way through the busy streets of Gemstone. The sun was high in the sky and the gentle breeze flew through what leaves where left on the sturdy oak trees that lined the streets of the city. As I walked, I noticed the sidewalks glimmering with a blue sparkle; it was as if the sidewalks were made from real sapphires, and not artificial gems that looked like real ones.

I passed by clothing stores, delis, flower shops, and other small family-owned businesses. I walked pass one of the city’s public libraries, it’s marble columns glistening in the sunlight. The many apartment buildings towered over me, their glass windows reflecting the sun’s light. I had to look away by the time I reached the elementary school; the sight of happy children playing reminded me too much of my own childhood. I turned a corner and walked into a dark alley. At the end of the alley, was my destination: the abandoned train station on the outskirts of the city.

The station was built about seven hundred years ago, I think. It was built near the base of the gray, snowy-topped mountains that stood towering over the city of Gemstone. It was a modest, two-story building that was the length of a modern house. It’s once brilliant and vivid blue painted exterior was now a moldy, dark green. It’s brown, tilted roof was so worn that holes began to appear. Its windows were shattered, their shutters broken in halves. The benches that sat on the front porch were all broken in the center, which made sitting on them nigh impossible. The door that led to the inside was just barely attached to the doorframe; it was hanging on its side, freely swinging. Not too far away from the door, attached to the overhanging roof, was a sign that still displayed the train schedule. In front of the station was the train rail that was abandoned along with the station; it was now covered in tall grass and wildflowers.

I stepped onto the porch, which creaked and groaned under my feet. Carefully, I opened the door and entered the dilapidated train station. The wallpapered interior was just as worn-down as the exterior. Four long wooden benches, all of which were coated in dust, sat in the center of the small station. A small window was built into the wall opposite me. The glass of the window was cracked and looked as if it was about to fall out of the frame. The room behind the creaked window used to be the ticket office, but now, it was mostly a home for field mice, raccoons, or some other wild animal. I made my way to the back of the station, where a narrow hallway led to the back of the station, where the lockers were. I was surprised, but somewhat grateful, to find the door to the back porch still attached to the doorframe and still in one piece.

I pushed opened the door and stepped out onto the back porch. There was a lone bench that faced a meadow filled with flowers of many species. In the distant, I could make out a shape hidden among the grass and flowers. The shape lifted its head and I saw that it was a unicorn. Seeing a unicorn in the wild wasn’t uncommon, that was, if you lived in the countryside. Creatures like unicorns made it a point to steer away from largely populated areas. I briefly wondered why I hadn’t recognized the animal the second I saw it. Then I saw that, unlike most unicorns, that were pure white, this unicorn was gray. It’s coat, mane, tail, and even horn was gray, making it blend in well with the surrounding area. For a moment, I envied the beautiful creature and wished I could just blend in, not stick out, be like everyone else. I snapped myself out of my trance and tore my eyes away from the animal. By the time I looked back, the unicorn was gone.

I turned my attention to the lockers, which sat beside the lone bench. The metal of the lockers was rusted due to years of being left in the rain and snow. The lockers were rectangular containers, stacked on top of each other, forming a six-by-two grid. Each locker had a lock, which could only be open with you had the right key. Lucky for me, I was given the right key. I approached the locker that was on the lowermost-right of the grid, kneeled before it, and inserted the key into the lock. The moment I turned the key, the heavy lock became undone. I removed it from the door and placed it, along with the key, gently on the wooden floor.

Slowly, I opened the rusted door of the locker and peered inside. The locker held three items. One was a leather holster. The other was a thick, black, and cylindrical object that looked to be about a foot in length. Finally, there was a small green and black box made from cardboard. I pulled all three items out of the locker with the upmost care. With one hand, I held the holster and cylindrical object while keeping the small box squeezed between my arm and my side. With the other hand, I closed the door of the locker and placed the lock back on it. I knew that no one came to this station anymore, but I still didn’t want someone or something to know that I was there.

As I stood, I examined the holster and cylindrical object in my hands. The holster was small enough to fit around my waist. There were two pockets, one of which was designed to hold a large gun, the other was designed to hold a sickle with a particularly long handle. Along the belt of the holster, were seven small loops to fit up to seven bullets. It was designed to be lightweight, so not to be a hindrance to the wearer. I wrapped the holster around me and fastened it with the clasp. Once it was secured around my waist, I patted the leather of the belt a few times and, suddenly, it vanished. I patted the area where the belt should be and it reappeared. The holster was enchanted to turn invisible when the wearer pat it. Anything in the pockets or loops of the holster also turned invisible. The perfect way to conceal weapons while walking in public. The Woodsman had this thing made for me around the same time joined his gang, that was about seven years ago. I was mildly surprised that it still fit me.

After putting on the holster, I took the small box from under my arm and opened it. Inside, were seven large brass bullets that were wrapped in purple shell castings. The brass slugs shimmered like gold in the sunlight. I could tell that they were expertly polished; I could even see my reflection in them. I could tell that these weren’t the rounds that I usually use. These were bullets that the Woodsman had his friend made. This friend was a gunsmith who also made specialty bullets. The guns and bullets he made normally came at a high price, but as he was an associate of the Woodsman, he gave them to my boss at the low, low price of free. I wanted to get angry. I wanted to go back to the Woodsman’s hideout and demand that he gives me my usual ammunition, but as I took each bullet and placed them inside the loops of my holster, I reminded myself that I had already made my boss angry when I leave and that I didn’t want to have a falling out with him. I collapsed the small box and put it in the pocket of my jeans.

With the holster around my waist and the bullets in their place, I turned my attention to the black cylindrical object in my left hand. It felt cold, hard, and somewhat heavy in my hand. I twirled it a few times in my hand, tossing it from one hand to the other, before having it toward the sky. The metal of the object shone in the light. There was an engraving on the object that read, “ROSEBUD G. HOOD”, in bright red, cursive letters. I held the object toward the light for a moment, before swinging it down with all my might.

With that one swift and abrupt movement, a red rod, a similar shade of red as that of my hair, protruded from the black cylinder. The red rod extended in length, becoming longer than one foot; as it extended, it also became skinnier than the black cylinder. The moment it stopped extending, a large, long, curved blade appeared from the top of the rod; as the blade emerged from the rod, it made a sound like that of a sword being removed from its sheath. A shorter, but equally sharp, blade appeared from behind the longer one. In a matter of seconds, the black cylinder transformed into a scythe with a black grip, a long red snath, and two steel blades that could slice the toughest of skin.

It was impressive, how an innocent and slightly useless object can turn into a menacing weapon. And it didn’t end there. I threw the scythe in the air and I watched it transform again. The blades retracted within the rod, then the bronze rod retracted until all that remained was the black cylinder. I watched it land into my outstretched hand. As it did so, something popped out from underneath it: it was a red trigger surrounded by a red trigger guard. I watched as a single red bronze barrel protruded from the black cylinder. At the same time, the cylinder bent itself to create the handle. The scythe had changed back into its previous state, and from there it transformed into a single-barrel sawed-off shotgun. This type of shotgun was break-action, meaning I didn’t had to pump anything; I could just break it and load the shell inside. This kind of shotgun was also easier for me to use; I was still considered a novice when it came to guns.

I looked down at the gun. The engraving never left the handle of the weapon; both the scythe and the shotgun has my name etched into it. I cracked a smile. I had this thing for almost seven years; I never did a job without it. It was a birthday gift from my late grandfather; it was on that same birthday where my grandmother gave me my signature red hood. My grandfather, bless him soul, taught me how to hunt, how to fish, and how to survive. He had this made for me and showed me how to use it properly. He told me that the weapon was made with a mixture of technology and magic and that the creator, a craftsman from some major metropolis in Fairytale, was a friend of his. Next to my hood, it was my most treasured possession. As much as I got angry with the Woodsman, even I had to admit that he respected the sentimental value of objects.

I placed the gun in one of the pockets of the holster. I looked down at the floor and saw that the rusted key was still there. I picked it up and stuffed it in the pocket of my jeans; I intended to bring it back to my boss when I got the chance. I had my weapon, ammunition, my holster, and the name of my target was in the jade cylinder, which was in my backpack. Now, I was ready to get back to work.

Lee, MA

Sorry for not posting anything. I know it was a long time since my last post. Just wanted to let all of you know that I’m now in Lee, Massachusetts for a two-week job readiness program. So far, everything been fun. This afternoon, we went to Lee Beach and went swimming. Before that, we played some games. Yesterday, I met my roommate and the other students. We talked, ate, and relaxed.

Everything been fine so far and I hope to learn something new. I took a lot of pictures of the town. Here they are:

Also, I’m working on a mystery novel. I’m calling it, “Turning a Blind Eye: A Stargazer Everhart Mystery”. Here is the plot and backstory:

Aiden Everhart, a private detective that lived and worked in the city of Las Vegas, and his wife, Petunia Everhart, a writer who mostly wrote mystery and thriller novels, lived a happy, stable life with their three children. Bradley, the eldest child, and the first-born son, was the most popular student in his school. Firefly, the youngest child, was sharp-tongued, but passionate about helping others. Then there was Stargazer, the second-born son, and the middle child. Stargazer was born prematurely, so his eyes didn’t have time to develop. His eyes don’t have pupils, rendering his completely blind.

His parents named him Stargazer because his eyes reminded them of a starry night sky. Despite his obvious disability, his parents loved him with all their hearts, and, although he couldn’t see, Stargazer was very smart. With the help and protection of Firefly, he was able to go to public school, cook, play chess, and even graduated high school with a GPA of 4.0.

One afternoon, Aiden and Petunia, as part of their 20th wedding anniversary, went to broad a plane to Europe and left Bradley, who was eighteen at the time, and still in college, in charge of Stargazer, Firefly, and the house. A day later, word is sent to the children that the plane that was carrying their parents crashed landed into the ocean. After the funeral, Bradley, overcome with rage, exploded at Stargazer. Later that night, he announced that he would be sending Stargazer, seventeen at the time, to a college in New York.

So, Stargazer spent four years in New York. He met a girl named Ophelia, a gothic girl who also loss her parents, never finished high school, and was living with her childish uncle. After graduating college with a Bachelor’s degree in liberal arts, he married Ophelia. The couple brought an old van and turn it to a bookmobile. They began their lives as traveling librarians, bringing books to towns and villages that don’t have libraries. They had three children together: Absentia, an aspiring lawyer, Frostbite, an aspiring ice hockey player, and Maud, an aspiring actress.

After eighteen years of non-stop traveling and being away from his siblings, Stargazer, thirty-five years of age, finally returned to Las Vegas to see his thirty-four-year-old sister, who became a nun for the local church. Firefly begged for him and his family to stay in Las Vegas permanently. He asked his wife and children if they want to live in Las Vegas and they agreed. It been only a week in their new permanently home and already things had gotten complicated.

The body of a young woman was found in a hotel room. The police ruled the death an accident. Everything within the city goes back to normal, if only for a while. As it turned out, Firefly met the woman who died. She was an escort who had came to the church to confess. Stargazer, armed with his wits, slyness, and gentlemanly charms, took it upon himself to solve the mysterious death. However, as the death count raise, so does the suspicion around Stargazer. 

Anyways, that is it for now. I’ll post again later. Have a nice evening.

Chapter Four of “Realm of Madness”

I have finished the fourth chapter of “Realm of Madness”. I’ll add it the other chapters later, but for now, you can read it here. Enjoy!

Chapter 4: The Gift

Back to what I was talking about before. Great Uncle Arthur and I had yet another pleasant talk while on the back porch. We talked about many things; things that would take too long to describe in detail. I will say though that I got a lot off my chest and I felt just a hint of happiness. Yet, there were times where we needed to stop because the yelling inside the house was so loud that we couldn’t talk over it. I could only assume that my parents were arguing again. Mother did always hate it when my father let Arthur into the house.

“Pay them no mind, Mary.” Arthur said. “They’re being ridiculous, as always.”

I stared down at my folded hands sitting neatly in my lap. A familiar feeling of guilt and remorse rushed through me and I feel that same lump of coal forming in the pit of my stomach. “Are Mom and Dad fighting because of me?” I asked.

Arthur gently patted me on the back. “Of course not, Mary.” He said. “Grow-ups fight over trivial matters all the time.”

“It’s not trivial!” I protested; I even lifted my head to look at him. “Flint and Marine keep saying that Mom and Dad are gonna put me up for adoption.”

“My dear Mary, they would never do that.” Arthur said firmly, as if his words only would make that a fact.

“How do you know?” I snapped. I quickly recognized that I may had sounded angry, and that Arthur might think that I was angry at him, eventhough I wasn’t. “I’m sorry.” I apologized. “I just feel scared.” I felt my lower lip quiver and my hands automatically clench fists as they raised to wipe the tears that were already forming in my eyes. “I’m scared Mom and Dad will abandon me because they don’t care about me anymore.” I exclaimed before breaking into silent sobs. Arthur didn’t say anything. He let me sob while he rubbed my back. It was comforting.

The truth was that I wasn’t afraid of being abandoned by my parents. I knew, even back then, that if they wanted to get rid of me, they would just send me to live with Arthur. I didn’t even care if they suddenly stopped caring about me. No, I didn’t fear abandonment or neglect. I feared the idea of being alone with my depression. Yes, there were times that I didn’t like my parents or siblings, but they, along with Great Uncle Arthur, were still my family. I didn’t have any friends before the incident and even if I did, I doubted that they could empathize with my problem. Whenever I was with my dysfunctional family, I felt as though I wasn’t alone in my suffering.      

After a minute of sobbing, I wiped the last tears off my face. I looked up at Arthur with a hint of a smile. “Thanks.” I said.

He smiled as he said: “There’s no need to thank me, Mary. That’s what I’m here for. But you must understand,” His expression slowly turned into one of seriousness. “Your parents do care about you. They just have odd ways of showing it is all.”

“What about Flint and Marine?” I asked. “They hate me.”

A hint of his former smile returned to his face. He said in a whispered voice: “Your older siblings are just jealous.”

“Jealous? Really?”

He nodded. “It’s common for older siblings to be jealous for younger ones.” He said.

“I don’t want them to be jealous of me.”

“They won’t be.” He assured me. “We’ll grow out of it. I’m sure of it.”

“I hope so.” I murmured. I pulled my knees close to my chest and hugged them with my tiny arms. I settled my chin on my knees and looked down at the ground. The lump of coal began to rock back and forth inside my stomach, until it was rubbing against the sides of my insides, creating a stomachache. Guilt ate at me in this same. It always started with a mere stomachache, then the pain would elevate into something like pins and needles pressing against the skin of my entrails and punching holes in them. My limbs would feel weak; so weak that I couldn’t move them. Finally, when all my energy drained from my body, I would let my eyes stare into space as I contemplated my wrongdoings. With my bloodshot eyes and sickly skin, I guessed I resembled a zombie.

“Mary?” My great uncle said, concern evident in his voice.

“I can’t handle everyone hating me.” I said as my head sunk so low that my face was hidden by my knees. I brought my hands up to my head and started to grip my hair in my fists. I was on the verge of crying again.

“My dear, no one hates you.” Arthur said. “Who could hate you?”

“A lot of people.” I answered.

“Well, those people just need to get to know you, and they’ll see what a wonderful young lady you are.”

I slowly lifted my eyes to meet his. Great Uncle Arthur wasn’t the kind of person to give compliments lightly, but when he did give a compliment, you knew he meant it. “You think so?” I asked.

He nodded. “Of course, I do.” There was a pause, and his eyes lit up with a little boy who had just be told that he will be getting a new toy. “If you weren’t such a nice girl, I wouldn’t bother with a present.”

“Present?”

One of the many things I loved about Arthur was that he always got me the best gifts. Whether it was my birthday or Christmas, he would always get me exactly what I wanted. Most of the time, he gave me books, which was great. I felt genuine joy whenever I read the books Great Uncle Arthur gave me. I always liked reading, and I was good at it. My teachers said that I read at a high school level. My favorite books to read were mystery novels, like the ones written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle or Agatha Christie.

I watched as my great uncle brought the black suitcase he always carried with him onto his lap. “Close your eyes and hold your hands out.” He said. I shut my eyes and held my hands out as instructed. I heard the telltale sound of the suitcase opening and I wondered what new book he had gotten me. I allowed myself to daydream about the new mysteries and adventures I would get to read about. Suddenly, I felt something gently pressed into my small hands. It felt soft; not hard like the other books he gave me. A softcover book? I thought. “Open your eyes.” I heard Arthur said, and I did.

Maybe it was because I already expecting a book, or maybe it was because I gotten myself excited, but when I opened my eyes, I was shocked. Though, not to say I was disappointed to find that the thing in my hands wasn’t a book; I was surprised more than anything. “I got this during my trip to Japan.” Arthur said. “The man who sold it to me said it was a rare item. Nothing like it exists anywhere else in the world.” I looked up at Arthur, who had a prideful look on his face, like he picked out the best possible present. “Don’t you think it’s adorable?” He said. I didn’t look to meet his gaze. Instead I eyed to the object in my hands, then turned it around a few times in my hands. My gift from Great Uncle Arthur: a stuffed dog toy.

The arms and legs were stubby. The tail was slender, short, and curved. The ears were ovular and floppy. The eyes, which looked as though they were made from a shiny plastic, were black and beady. The whole thing looked as if it taken multiple types of fabrics to put together. The right arm and left leg were a lavender color. The left arm and the right leg was a bright blue. The tail was a bubblegum pink. The body was orange with patches of blue, lavender, and pink where the arms, legs, and tail were attached. The left half of the head was yellow, while the right side was green. The left ear was red, the other was brown. The small, almost catlike muzzle was pure white, saved for the large black that was most likely supposed to represent the nose. Attached to the nose, there was a thick, black line that ran downward and ended in an outline of a semicircle; a small, simple smile.

I felt so many strange feelings while holding the thing, but I pushed them all to the back of my head and embraced my great uncle is a tight hug. “I love it!” I exclaimed.

He chuckled and hugged me back. “I knew you would like it. I thought you needed something to keep you company.”

I broke the hug to look at him. “So, what’s his name?” I asked.

He answered my question with a question. “Well, what do you want it name to be?”

I looked down at the stuffed creature in my hands with a smile on my face. I then held it–or rather him, because I assumed it to be a male–toward the sky. “I wanna call him Puppy-dog!” I am now aware that ‘Puppy-dog’ wasn’t the most original name for a stuffed dog toy, but I was eleven and I didn’t know many names. Besides, it is far too late to change his name.

“Puppy-dog it is.” Said Arthur. “I can tell that you two are going to be great friends.”

I nodded my head in agreement, but, on the inside, I was nervous, frighten, and uneasy. There was some things odd about Puppy-dog. Firstly, he looked brand new, like he never been touched before, but as I held him in my hands, I sensed the presence of several other people; it was as if other children had held him. Secondly, for some reason, he felt heavy. I knew, even at a young age, that stuffed animals were made of cotton. Puppy-dog should had been light, but he wasn’t. Lastly, and this was the strangest thing of all, Arthur said that there was nothing like Puppy-dog in the whole world, but I had the nagging feeling that I had seen something like him somewhere before.

What I first thought of Puppy-dog was nothing compared to what I discovered. In the days that would come, I would discover just how unusual the stuffed animal was. Almost all my uneasy feelings about him would be answered as I came closer to the truth about my new toy–and yes, I am using the term sarcastically. I am still not one-hundred percent sure that he is a toy, and if he is, then he is the strangest toy is the entire world. But I’m getting ahead of myself again. I’ll get to Puppy-dog’s true nature eventually, but, for those who are reading my posted, you’ll just have to wait in the meantime.

Posted: August 11, 2020 1:00 AM

Word Count: 1,871