Search Results for 'fanella'

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  • #6143
    EricEric
    Keymaster

    The Beige House was eerily calm. Most of the staff had left after the super spread of the epidemic.

    Fanella and Finnley had managed to agree to a temporary truce and a fair share of tasks (and masks). After all, they didn’t have the luxury of unpaid leaves, and had to continue to work.

    “Ready for a change of crowd in the building, Fanny?” said Finnley in her unmistakable Kiwi accent, as a matter of breaking the silence in the grand hall. She was dusting the chandeliers, while Fanella was shampooing the carpets.

    “I don’t know Miss Fin’, it iz such a mess now. And I have to take care of ze baby, no time to be political.”

    “Oh, by the way, I received a message from the gang…”

    “Aprrril’ and Joone?”

    “Yep. Those two. The money has dried up, and they learnt the hard way that American are not loved much these days, big spreaders and all. So they decided to sail back to the good ol’ States. Looking for a job now, and hoping that autumn doesn’t mean everything will turn to orange disaster!”

    #5995
    TracyTracy
    Participant

    Fanella was frantic, trying to think of a way to escape with her baby.  The atmosphere in this city was unbearable at the best of times, and especially in this house, but now it was excruciating. It wasn’t that she was afraid of the plague that was terrorizing people, it was the way the people were reacting that was so alarming.  They were howling like wolves, a sure sign of lunacy since time immemorial. The sound of it made her blood run cold.

    Nobody had seen the president for over a week and rumours were rife. Many said that he’d died, and they were keeping it secret to avoid civil unrest.  An office junior was continuing his tweets to the nation, using a random predictive text algorithm. Nobody had noticed. That wasn’t strictly true of course as many had commented that the messages now made marginally more sense.

    Fanella could sense the swelling chaos in the air, both inside the house and beyond, in the city and in the nation. Everyone was losing their minds. She had to escape.

    She consulted the U Chong:

     (Chin / Jin) : Progress / Advance. It represents Prospering, as well as Progress. It is symbolic of meeting the great man.

    The great man! Of course! Lazuli Galore would come to rescue her! But how would he know where to find her? Would he be able to travel freely? He’d find a way, surely! But how would he know she needed help? It was so complicated. So hard to know what to do!

    But first things first. Fanella crept down to the kitchen, in the dead  of the night while everyone was tucked up in their beds with their fitful nightmares, and filled a rucksack with provisions. Then she crept up the back stairs to her hideout in the attic of the west wing.  The baby was still sleeping soundly. Fanella lay down and pulled a blanket round them both. Maybe the answer would come in a dream. If not, she’d think about it again tomorrow.

    #5974

    In reply to: Story Bored

    TracyTracy
    Participant

    Board 3, Story 3:

    Star, Tara and Rosamund discover the mysterious cult is nothing more than a tropical yoga retreat and slimming spa for cross dressers.

    Aunt Idle finds more than she bargained for in the basement of the old Bundy place.

    Fanella is delighted to find their hot air balloon landed in a field in time for a fancy dress picnic party

    #5652
    TracyTracy
    Participant

    Finnley had a feeling that May down in the kitchen knew something about the baby girl imposter.  On impulse, she pushed her cleaning cart over to the service lift.  Luckily the baby was still sleeping soundly.

    May was in the lavatory, a young woman informed Finnley as she entered the kitchen.

    “Are you Finnley?” Fanella pushed her chair back and stood up. “I ‘ave come to ‘elp you with the bedding.”

    The familiar voice roused the baby, whose cry was at once recognized by her mother. Fanella knocked her chair over a she dived into the pile of dusters and seized the child.  “My baby!” she cried.

    “Thank god for that,” said Finnley under her breath.

    #5623
    TracyTracy
    Participant

    “Who can that be now!” exclaimed May as she made her way to the back door.  A flustered looking woman in odd looking mismatched clothes was standing on the door step.

    I ’ave come to ’elp Finnley wiz ze bedding!” she said by way of introduction, “But I ‘ave lost my baby, ’ave you seen ’er? My name is Fanella.  I ’ave come to ’elp Finnley wiz ze bedding, but I must find my daughter first!”

    “You’d better come in,” replied May, wondering what to do.  Until the right baby turned up, she could hardly give this woman her daughter back.  But the poor woman was distraught, and May wanted to ease her distress.  She would have to try to delay her somehow.

    “There is no need to worry, er, Fanella, as it happens there is an unexpected baby girl visiting with the bosses son, but they are both fast asleep. They are quite safe, but I am not in a position to disturb them yet. Do sit down, you look exhausted.  Let me get you a drink.”

    May handed her a glass of wine. “How on earth did you manage to lose your daughter?”

    “I was just about to ring ze bell but I was so nervous I ’ad to pee so I ran quickly be’ind ze bushes. And when I ’ad finished, my baby was gone!” Fanella started to weep.

    “Did you say you’d come to help Finnley in the bed?” Suddenly May started to wonder if this was another call girl for Mr August. Was he planning a threesome?

    “Yes, I ’ave come to ’elp Finnley,” Fanella replied, “Wiz ze bedding.”

    “And you brought your baby with you?”  aghast, May wondered what to do next. Maybe this woman shouldn’t be given the child back after all.  It had been a long night, with far too many babies.

    #4569
    TracyTracy
    Participant

    Elizabeth was even more impressed when the Obviously Intelligent Daily Comment Generator mentioned something very similar to Alice’s cookies .
    She was delighted to see that Sanso was one of the early arrivals to the garden party, and that he’d brought with him a rag tag assortment of strapping young Arduino time hackers.

    And who was that following then? Hypatia ~ and someone else. Could it be Galatea? Liz clapped her hands delightedly. What a party this was going to be!

    Finnley bustled past with her arms full of colourful bed linen, muttering under her breath.

    “Would you like me to write that the French maids arrive next Finnely, perhaps they’d give you a hand with that….I’ve forgotten their names though ~ Mirabelle?”

    Liz scratched her head, perplexed. Suddenly it came to her along with the sounds of a carriage approaching with a deafening clatter of hooves. “Adeline and Fanella, of course!” she exclaimed.

    The horses snorted as they were reined in to a halt an the front entrance. A young woman in what appeared to be a fancy dress costume descended from the carriage.

    “I ‘ave come to ‘elp Finnley wiz ze bedding!”

    #4003
    TracyTracy
    Participant

    “You rang, madam?” asked the butler, adjusting his oversized blue turban.

    “Ah, Lazuli! How are you settling in?” asked Liz.

    “I’ve only just been written into this thread, madam, moments ago. Do I have to call you madam?”

    “Only when you want to be rude, according to Finnley,” Liz said, glancing fondly at the unconscious cleaner.

    “This thread appears to be going nowhere, madam,” Lazuli remarked thoughtfully.

    “I can write Fanella into it if you like,” Liz quickly tried to entice him to stay.

    Lazuli Galore’s eyes lit up. “Did somebody mention something about sexing the story up a bit?” he asked hopefully. “We’d be the perfect characters for that.”

    “Well, if its ok with Finnley, it’s ok with me. If you can wake her, we can ask her now.”

    #3866
    TracyTracy
    Participant

    Vincentius took one last look at the children, wondering if he should give them all a hug and bid them farewell. But they were happily engrossed in smearing Fanella’s collection of Venetian glass with marmite and peanutbutter paint effects, so he slipped out without a word and left them to it.

    Shivering in the damp chill air, he looked nervously at Arona. “Where are you taking me? I’m not supposed to leave without permission, I might get sent back to the detention camp on the island.” He shuddered at the thought.

    “Don’t be silly,” snapped Arona, “Do pull yourself together, you are but a shadow of your former self. Yes, yes, I know it must have been awful,” she said impatiently at Vincentius’ self pitying look, “You can tell me all about Tikfijikoo Spider Camp later. But now we must hurry. Come on!”

    #3842
    TracyTracy
    Participant

    Fanella had been secretly watching Gustave at the bar with his entourage of old slappers, hiding herself behind a potted palm. She was biding her time, and building up her courage for a confrontation with a stiff martini, when the door opened and a crowd of handsome Russian men walked into the bar.

    “Oh my god, Tina!” Becky shouted in alarm when she read the latest entry. “Not only do we have characters to worry about, the bloody characters have been creating rafts of refugee characters of their own! Where will it all end?”

    “It will never end, Becky,” Tina replied in a serious quiet voice. “It will just circle back, again and again.”

    “Well, at least this lot are all handsome,” Al interjected, with a mischievous grin.

    #3832
    TracyTracy
    Participant

    “‘allo? ‘allo, is Fanella there? Zis is ‘er friend, Mirabelle, wiz an urgent message.”

    “A massage, you say? For Fanella?” Vincentius covered the phone with his hand and shouted “Oy! get down off there, you rascals, and go and call your mother, she’s wanted on the phone. Somebody about a massage.”

    “No, no, a message! I must speak to Fanella about ‘er fiance,” the woman said.

    “Well bloody speak properly then,” Vincentius muttered. “Bloody foreigners!”

    Vincentius, for goodness sake, can’t you keep these children under control!” Fanella said crossly, irritated at being interrupted from her massage. “Couldn’t you have just taken a message? And get this place tidied up before Gustave comes over!”

    Vincentius scowled, his once handsome features faded with drudgery. He’d been a fool to leave the old country, notwithstanding the destruction. He should have chanced it, dodged the bombs, he’d have been a free man still. This life of servitude as a fostered refugee wasn’t what he’d hoped for when he set off in the overcrowded dinghy all those months ago. Cold, wet and tired, he’d stepped ashore full of anticipation. But nobody had told him just how awful the weather was, and how dreadful the children. Spoilt wilful little rotters! No discipline, no matter how hard he tried to control them. No wonder everyone had refugee childminders these days, who but the destitute and homeless would want to look after the unspeakable brats?

    “In the Spotted Dick with a tart, you say?” Fanella snorted into the phone. “I’ll be there in ten minutes”

    #3830
    TracyTracy
    Participant

    Gustave was having second thoughts. What had possessed him to suggest meeting this unknown woman? What if he was spotted in the Spotted Dick and Fanella found out? He hesitated outside the pub with his hand on the door. What was this woman like? It could ruin his image as a respected scientist. What if she was one of those new age high vibrations positive thinking ignore the evidence types and someone from the Institute saw them together?

    A cocophanous group cackle ricocheted through the building and snapped him out of his indecision. He was here on a mission, his role was to collect data on the cackle phenomenon. Bracing himself, he pushed the door. Feeling foolish, he noticed the “pull” sign on the door and his squared shoulders drooped. Is it a sign? he wondered.

    #3496
    TracyTracy
    Participant

    It was the first of September and everyone in the village breathed a sigh of relief. Miraculously, it already seemed cooler, although it probably wasn’t, but the promise was in the air. Jack and Lisa stood on the roof terrace watching the migrating vultures glide past on their way to a new story for the winter, exerting little effort as they sailed on the thermals.
    “They never flap, do they?” remarked Lisa. “No frantic flapping or struggling to beat back the air, they just float, and steer.”
    “I wonder why they always circle our village before continuing south?”
    “They’re saying cheerio to us, Jack, although I’m sure you’d prefer a more logical explanation. It’s a reflection that we stopped flapping around with all that teleporting lark, and that we’re all back home now.” Lisa sighed with relief and hugged Jack. “I’m glad you banned teleporting for a year.”
    “I didn’t ban it!” Jack said, not wanting to me misunderstood. “You make me sound so dictatorial and bossy. I merely suggested it. Strongly suggested it,” he added. “We all need a bit of no nonsense plain old grounding and balance. It was getting ridiculous, all the drama and comings and goings.”
    Mirabelle says she wants to write a book about it” remarked Lisa. “Which is marvelous really, considering the trouble she had at first with the language. And Fanella’s studying archeology and plans to travel ~ she’s fascinated with sphinxes, not surprisingly, after leaving an energy fleck in that one on the island; not sure how much she remembers about that now though. Adeline has an exhibition coming up in Paris ~ she’s looking forward to that.”
    “I think they’re all planning on going to that, even the Russian lads. A trip down memory lane I suppose, but I expect they’ll notice some changes. But that’s another story.”

    #3485
    TracyTracy
    Participant

    By the time Mirabelle and Igor had recovered from physical effects of the abrupt emotional catapult during their teleport to find Lisa, Fanella, Ivan and Sanso, they found themselves alone on the sandy beach. Bewildered, they looked around but could find no sign of the others that they had momentarily seen as they landed, before collapsing in bodily distress.
    Weakly, Mirabelle sank down onto the sand, and looked at Igor questioningly. “What do we do now? My head is spinning still and I need a drink of water. Where are we?”
    Igor, drained of energy and just as puzzled, straightened his back and tried to sound reassuring.
    “Something very peculiar has happened. See these mangrove trees? They have grown at least a meter taller since a few minutes ago when we landed. And see this log here, this wasn’t here a few moments ago. It can’t have washed up while I was having a crap behind the bushes. Something has happened to time.”
    “You mean we’ve time traveled again? I don’t think I can stand much more of this,” replied Mirabelle, starting to weep.
    “Come now Mirabelle, sitting here sniveling won’t help. On your feet, girl, we will walk until we find some kind of civilization.” Igor pulled her to her feet, scanning the surroundings. “This way,” he said firmly, setting off along the beach. “I have a feeling there is something over there,” he said, pointing towards the east.

    #3483
    EricEric
    Keymaster

    Bullet-proofed Summary of the latest instalments of the Abalone adventures

    Most of the key characters find themselves mysteriously drawn to the ancient Temple, a place of power forgotten by most. There, many experience under a form or another the presence of the sphinx / Rene a mysterious presence left as a Guardian of the Temple by the ancient builders of the place.

    • Gwinnie – learning and remembering how to communicate with others, she subtly lead them, via mediations and meditations to the secret location of the Temple. Although some split into their own projections, she manages to go through, accompanied by George, as she was infused with the Island’s energies due to her prolonged stay in the bog. She also grows and blossoms to a woman of her natural age, and later helps reconstruct Abalone with the help of George and Rene, whom she heals.
    • King Artie / George – He remembers his intent and forgotten memories which were repressed and manipulated by the P’hope through his travel following Arona into her adventure. He reacquaints himself with Gwinnie, and together they lead the reborn Island.
    • Irina and Mr R – Initially planning to bring Gwinnie back to Karmalott, her plan changes due to the wilting of the beanstalk. Instead, she and her travelling companions find themselves drawn to the temple by the promise of an escape off the Island, via teleportation stone boxes. Instead, she meets the sphinx / Rene who guides her through her memories. It helps heal her past, and provides her with a plausible disappearance that the Chinese corporation that she escaped from a long time ago with Mr R, would believe. Next, she goes with a more humanoid and self-aware Mr R to Mars in 2121.
    • Arona – She stumbles upon the company of Irina, and recognize Gwinnie as the one she is supposed to deliver secretly to Karmalott. However, the beanstalk’s debacle they experience during a guided meditation puts a stop to her plans, and gives her a new goal. Find the spirit turtle and the mysterious Cup that can promise her to astral.
      After a quest through the undercurrents with Mandrake, and still guided by the sabulmantium, she finally finds the Cup and prepares for her next adventures into the astral.
    • Jeremy / map dancer – He reappears naked from his escape in the midst of Irina’s team with Max his cat. They follow the team to the Temple. Little is known yet of his fate.
    • Cheung Lok (and the Chinese squad) – He escapes the destruction of Gazalbion’s walls where he was detained, and use an elephant to track Sanso, who is actually Lazuli who throws him off track. He ends up teaming up with Berberus, the assassin despatched by the P’hope to track down who he believes is the culprit for the beliefs destruction. Later, he rescues Fanella from an accident of duck hovercraft, and they all enter the Temple on the tracks of the others. Thanks to Rene, Mr R and Irina, he realizes he cannot be really free, and agrees to let go of his memories, his mission and start anew on the new Island. Other members of his squad are offered to be sent back with altered memories of his demise, or to stay back as a teenager on the Island.
    • Jube / The P’hope – After a last ditch effort to rescue the city, he orders its evacuation, through storks, cranes and descent through the beanstalk. He goes his own way, ready to confront the power lurking in the Temple that he avoided carefully and tried to contain many years ago. His fate is unclear but it is hinted that he was offered a similar choice as Cheung Lok, and has accepted to become an adolescent again, forgetting the bad choices he made.
    • Berberus – The assassin dispatches of the management of Gazalbion during his visit there looking for clues as to the disturbances. It only hastens the descent into chaos, while during a stand-off with Sanso, he is disarmed by a tiger slug. His fears get the better of him as he is confronted with them once more inside the temple.
    • Karmalott’s gents – It is believed most managed to escape the crumbling city into a refuge, where they started to rebuild anew, thanks to the leadership of George and Gwinnie.
    • Gazalbion’s gents – formerly dissidents of the P’hope’s order, and later home for refugees of all times and spaces, they also mostly escaped to safety and are in the process of enriching the beliefs blueprints of the Island under the guidance of George and Gwinnie.
    • Fanella (Fanetta) – Ejected brutally off a shapeshifting giant and careless duck Lazuli, she has visions of the sphinx, and seems to find herself deeply attracted to him. It is believed she hasn’t forgotten her friends in time 2020 at the village and visit them from time to time with her new pair of wings that George offered to her.
    • Lazuli, Lisa, Sanso – Little is know of what happened after they reached the tile factory and then the Bay of beliefs.
    • Jack (and the others at the 2020 village) – Little is known of what happened after Jack tried to teleport themselves with an amateur rescue team to the Island that Sanso had disclosed the location previously on a map. It is believed everyone who wanted was allowed to go back to the village or to any other place and time they did fancy.
    • Sha, Glo, Mavis – Believed still under a very long death transition, they project to the Island, where they bump into Fanella and her new duties as a sphinx. She leads them to a new incarnated life of their chosing.
    #3479
    TracyTracy
    Participant

    I’ll be back, muttered Lazuli Galore under his breath, although no one was near enough to hear him. Outmaneuvered by a sphinx, it was an outrage. The damn thing had bewitched the girl, there could be no other explanation. Lazuli Galore vowed to break the spell and resume his intended courtship of Fanella, no matter how long it took him.

    #3478
    AvatarJib
    Participant

    “Are you sure this is the right direction ?” asked Sha.
    “The young guy at the Hotel d’El Refugio said it was down South the Sea of Bee Leaf, past the mangrove and the mystic wall”, said Glo.
    “Are you sure about that ? Look, the brochure indicate the pyramid is past the misty wall”, interrupted Mavis.
    “Mystic, misty, what’s the difference anyway ?” Glo tentatively rolled her eyes, but gave up the gym. “The young lad said mystic”, she added, not wanting to let go so easily.
    “What young lad ? You mean the one at the swimming pool that tried to flog the helicoleopter trip over the underwater tunnels of Lacuna to Sha ?”
    “Oh! I recall him well”, said Sharon, “He told me his name was Jube Lee ? He’s no older than eighteen. Don’t tell me you turned cougar Glo.”
    “Bloody hell, what ? Noooo !”
    “Here it is, the fog wall looks quite thin.”
    They heard the sound of big flapping wings.
    “Oh! Are you an angel ?” asked Sha. “What a beautiful face you have, young lady. As pure as vodka.”
    “My name is Fanella”, said the sphinx with a wide smile, “Answer my question and you’ll be free to cross the corridors of time.”
    Excited by the perspective of some fun the three ladies listened carefully.
    “What’s the difference between a cat and a complex sentence ?”
    “What the f*%$k ?”
    “Is that your answer ?”
    “No, no, no. I’m just thinking aloud”, said Glo.
    “That rings a bell”, whispered Mavis to her friends, “I think that’s from one of Steven Kong’s books. It has something to do with the claws and the paws. Yes ! That’s it. I have the answer”, she announced proudly.
    “Are you sure ?” asked Glo. “What happens if she give the wrong answer ?”
    “You won’t be able to enter the pyramid for ten years.”
    “Oh ! That’s all ?” said Sha disappointed, “I thought you were going to devour us or something similar.”
    “You must have mistaken me for someone else. As you are already in transition, there isn’t much that we can do to you. So, what is the answer ?”
    “A cat has claws at the end of its paws. The sentence has a pause at the end of its clause”, Mavis articulated clearly.
    The sphinx smiled, and let them pass.
    “Just one last thing”, she added as the three ladies were entering the Lion’s mouthed gate, “As you choose to go through, only go further, don’t stop or try to turn back. You may get lost in time and never come back. If you complete your taks, you may well find a new life.”
    She disappeared, leaving only her enigmatic smile in the memory of Sha, Glo and Mavis.

    #3476
    AvatarJib
    Participant

    The layer of clouds that had been covering Abalone for so many years had cleared up in no time. So much had changed since they went through the labyrinth of time in the old temple three weeks ago. Karmalott and Gazalbion were no more. The giant beanstalk had simply disintegrated after the mass beliefs that kept it standing were reconfigured, and Karmalott had fallen on its land counterpart. It was hard to tell one from the other when they first came back to the place.

    Gwinnie looked at the giant storks nesting on the cliffs of the sea of beliefs. Her heart bloomed, she felt appreciation and gratitude over Abalone’s Nature. She had spent so many years in the bog that it had infused her with the wisdom of the island. She had been able to go unharmed through the corridors of time, because she simply knew whenre to go.

    As soon as they entered the Lion mouthed door, she had taken George’s hand and whispered : follow me and you’ll be safe. That man was so trusting in life and he had such a pure heart that he did as she said. He’d told her afterward that despite all the images and illusions, his mind was focused on the green light in his heart.

    When they arrived in the central room of the pyramid, she had changed. Her skin was still green, but she had found in the corridors the years she had lost in the bog.

    They had decided to stay and make a fresh start. The former King of Karmalott was now helping with the reconstruction of the entire island. With his natural leader talent, he’d been creating pooling teams of magi and non-magi for different tasks : clearing the ground of the fallen cities, regrouping the lost souls, soothing the injured and building the new transitional Spas. With Gwinnie’s innate knowledge of Abalone and his innate trust, they could do marvels at bending beliefs and reality.

    Actually, the transitional spa was Rene and Fanella’s idea. The two of them had been very helpful, especially since Gwinnie had repaired the sphinx. He was created to guard the temple and warn people who wanted to enter the labyrinth of time with an enigma. The corridors of time were not for the faint of heart, but to help people contact their inner knowledge to grow past their fears and blockages. What his creators had not foreseen was their own departure of the island. Rene was attached to the temple and left behind as they took no material possessions with them.

    His flaw was that he needed people, and as no one was coming anymore, with time he became obsessed with the idea of making new friends. Forgetting his other duties and his connection to the timeline of Abalone, his obsession leaked and the island was thrust through time and space, intersecting with earth reality at specific dates and places. It was becoming more and more difficult to control it and the bogs anomalies were becoming harder to contain.

    Fanella simply recognized Rene as the tall ebony man in her vision. She told them the yellow man, that had saved her from drowning, had disappeared quickly as soon as they entered the labyrinth, but the hook-legged man had seized her and they were caught in the most horrid nightmares. She was saved because his hook got stuck in a tiger slug pit. Rene swore he had nothing to do with it, although it was clear he had a soft spot for the young maid.

    A week after they got out of the labyrinth, the girl had come to Gwinnie in the Garden of El Refugio. The green woman was helping with the introduction of new species of plants to Abalone’s circle of life.
    “What is this plant ? “, asked Fanella.
    “It is an okra. I’ve found it in the memories of one of the recently disengaged person from Earth.”
    “The fruit has such an unusual shape.”
    The silence that followed lasted for a few minutes. Gwinnie was focused on establishing a fulfilling symbiotic relationship between the plant and the island ecosystem, transforming one to acclimate the other and vice versa.
    “How are your friends ?” asked the green woman.
    “My friends ? Oh! They are good. Enjoying the spa and the new attractions.”
    It was clear the young person had something in mind. Her loving glances to the sphinx during the last week had made it clear to everyone. The girl finally blurted it out.
    “You know, Rene,” Fanella blushed as she said the name, “with the recent arrivals of transitioners, he’s got a lot of work for just one sphinx.”
    “Oh! I’m sure he’s going to be just fine with that.”
    “Yes, but, you know he’s been alone for such a long time.”
    “Yes, Fanella?” Gwinnie stopped to look at the girl. She seemed frail, but she had this inner strength that helped her cross time and space before she ever came to Abalone.
    “I want you to make me a sphinx so that I can be with Rene.” She said that without blushing, but pink colored her cheeks at the mention of the name.
    If Gwinnie ever had a doubt of being in transition, it was dissipated. Her surprise almost broke the delicate connection of the okra with the island.
    Becoming a sphinx wasn’t a trivial request. They still had to discuss about it, of course, and when it was obvious it wasn’t just a passing fancy, Fanella was granted her wish.
    As a sphinx-wedding gift, George gave her his wings.
    “They are robust and will serve you well”, he told her.

    #3469
    AvatarJib
    Participant

    Fanella was riding her new zebra friend in a big dry meadow. Something she had never seen before. There were other animals with them and it was delightful. The flight of the cranes transported her up to the clouds while the crocodiles would clap in unison in the marshes.
    The zebra had told her his name. Rene he was, and glad he’d met her before it was too late. He also said something that she didn’t quite understand. “Other friends are coming, you don’t have to worry.” Why worry when she was with Rene ? Other friends ? Lisa was coming back for her with Sanso ? “We’ll meet soon”, said Rene. Now she was having hallucinations. He was a tall man, half an ebony skin, half white and black zebra stripes. But he was already fading away.
    The return back to reality was harsh. She gagged and disgorged sea water on the beach. It felt as if she had been torn inside out.

    “There, there. Welcome back young Miss. You’re safe, now”, said a man. He was wearing a smile but she felt it was just a facade.
    “Are you okay ?” she asked. Even in the midst of drowning, her maternal instinct was stronger. Surprised showed up on the man’s face.
    “What do you mean ?”
    “You’re all yellow.”
    The man laughed. “I’m quite normal, young lady. Quite normal.” He put his jacket on her shoulders to help keep her warmth as social rules demanded. It was relatively dry, whereas he was drenched. He must have took it off before rescuing her from the sea.

    “We should have left her to the barracudas”, said another man. He wore a blue turban, casting a shadow on an already hard face. It was marked by a circular fresh scar around his nose, made by countless small sharp teeth. The flesh seemed to pulsate painfully. She shuddered when she saw his hook-leg, the hook half burried in the sand. She didn’t want to imagine what he could do with it.

    “Don’t pay attention to Berberus”, said the first man, “We have no business in hurting young beautiful ladies.”
    Something in his smile told her that it wasn’t always true. She forced herself a gracious face, as she had learned to do with the noble men back then in Versailles.
    “Thank you for rescuing me, Sir.” She pulled on the edges of the jacket as if she needed warmth. “My name is Fanetta”, she added, lowering her eyes.

    #3465
    TracyTracy
    Participant

    Lazuli Galore in the shape of the mandarin duck looked over his shoulder, grinning mischievously at his passengers.
    “Fasten your seat belts!” he shouted.
    “What bloody seat belts?” asked Lisa. “Hey! Steady on!”
    Lazuli the duck accelerated like a speedboat, ripping across the tops of the swelling waves and performing eye watering figure of eights, tilting the passengers first this way then that way as they held on to the feathers with all the strength they could muster, fearing for their lives, yet wildly exhilarated.
    Lazuli whooped with the exuberance of wild abandon, failing to notice that Fanella had slipped off his back into the brine, and unable to hear the cries of the others amid his own gleeful shouts and the roar of the wind rushing past.
    Fanella rolled and flailed in the backwash, eventually surfacing and gasping for breath. In vain she looked for the duck but it had disappeared from sight. The shore looked too far to swim to, but she knew she must try to reach it. Holding down the panic as best she could, she started to swim towards the mangrove trees lining the beach, barely visible in the descending fog. The striped shadows shimmered in the mist; was it an optical illusion of stripes and mists that it seemed as if a section of shadows was heading towards her? The zebra waded into the breaking waves, and calmly and purposefully swam towards the drowning girl.

    #3463
    TracyTracy
    Participant

    Glancing up from watching the plum dolphins, while cresting a wave on the mandarin ducks back, Fanella imagined she saw a zebra motionlessly watching their progress from the shore. The duck dipped down with the next ebb and she lost sight of it. Rising on the next wave, she could only see the streaked shadows of the mangrove trees along the beach. I must have imagined it, she thought. But the image of the watching zebra lingered in her mind.

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