A Creature of the Night

 

You must walk confidently, shoulders back,

like you belong in this dark night world –

because then maybe they will believe that you do.

But I know, I know,

as I step out into the dark,

with its dampened sounds and slick sidewalks,

that this is where I belong.

The wind is at my back;

the rain doesn’t seem to touch me.

Invincible is the word racing through my mind,

rushing through my body

as if it’s an element infused in my blood.

 

But that thought always comes before the fall, does it not?

That belief that nothing can harm you,

that your skin, your mind, your soul,

is impervious to all harm . . .

I suppose I will find out when the sun returns;

but for now, I will remain in the dark –

a creature of the night.

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Sounds of a Breeze

dandelion seeds in the breeze

The breeze is all around me

enveloping me with a soft whisper

shhhhhhhh

The branches of the sugar maple

sway back and forth

Leaves upturned

revealing their fuzzy green undersides

feathery and delicate

like the flower buds of early spring

and petals floating through the air

It isn’t warm yet isn’t cold

comfortable

to sit

and be silent

patient

shhhhhhhh. 

Grasses wave gently

in the cool breeze

rocking back and forth,

back and forth

a sweet lullaby

shhhhhhhh

shhhhhhhh

The air is mingled with mockingbird calls

crying out

their melodious voices in rhythm

with the breeze

shhhhhhhh.  

It comes in gusts

although not forceful

Gently.

Gently.
Gently.

Do not disturb the calm

of the breeze.

 

-Marie Walters (June 2018)

A Pirate’s Journey: Part Nine (Epilogue)

a 3 masted sailing ship at sunset

 

 

 

 

The island prison was utterly deserted, with no humans present other than Timberwolf’s crew and, hopefully, their captain. The island itself was not large, but the prison compound covered the entire land, so it took time before they found Timberwolf.

Theo found the grizzled man, and he called for the rest of the crew immediately. “Silas, Maldir, Red – you guys, I found him!”

There were no keys to open the padlocked cell, but Silas broke the locks using a chunk of rock he found on the ground. As soon as the door was opened, the entire crew rushed in to hug their captain, shouting, “Timberwolf, we missed you!

The captain was practically crushed under the weight of all eight boys, and pushed them off so he could wheeze gruffly, “I’m fine, I’m fine. I was only kidnapped for a few days, there’s no reason to get emotional about it.” He pushed himself into a sitting position against the wall. “I have to ask though, how did you boys manage to find me?”

“It was all Silas,” Red said, pulling the first mate forward. “He led us through thick and thin, even risked his life to save all of us.”

Silas blushed. “You did a lot too. It was your idea to go to Kincade . . .”

“Ah, he’s being modest,” Maldir smiled at him. “Silas was the best. None of us could have done any better.”

Timberwolf looked at Silas appraisingly. “Well, that’s quite impressive. I’m very thankful you took charge, Silas, and I’m proud to call you my first mate.”

“Thank you,” Silas said. Timberwolf’s approval meant the world to him. “Thank you so much.”

“No, thank you,” the captain said. He tried to stand up but groaned in pain; Algreve caught him before he fell. Timberwolf shook his head, grimacing. “Well, boy, since you’ve proven yourself capable of handling a rescue mission, I’d say you should be able to run our fair vessel while I recover from this ordeal, eh?”

Silas’ eyes widened. Timberwolf was asking him to stand in as captain? That was all he had wanted from the beginning, for Timberwolf to give him more responsibility. “Aye, captain, of course.”

“Then let’s get back on the ship, shall we?” Timberwolf, with Algreve’s help, began to limp toward the door. “I’m sure your crew is more than ready to return home, Captain Silas.”

A Pirate’s Journey: Part Eight

three pirate ships on a dark, cloudy ocean

 

 

 

 

“Silas,” Red said desperately. “You don’t have to do this. We’d rather you be alive than take those chances.”

Maldir shushed Red and cheered, “Come on, Silas, you can do it! Show this rum-guzzling, captain-stealing fool why he shouldn’t mess with Timberwolf’s crew!” The rest of the crew followed suit, chanting Silas’ name and booing at Halloway.

Silas drew his sword and faced Halloway. “Do you accept my offer?”

As an answer, the short captain drew his own weapon. “Prepare to suffer.”

Their swords met with a resounding crash, and the duel began. Silas quickly lost ground as he was backed up against the railing, but he darted to the side as Halloway slashed at him. The fight took them all over the ship, Halloway using his strength and experience to his advantage, while Silas used his surroundings and knowledge of the ship to his own advantage. To avoid getting his legs sliced, Silas tried to jump onto a barrel, but lost his balance and fell to the ground.

Halloway stood over him, grinning evilly, cutlass raised high. “I suppose you had a bit too much confidence in yourself, boy.”

Silas returned the grin with a beam of his own. “I think not.” He slid between Captain Halloway’s legs and out the other side, jumping up to give him a hard kick in the back. The man turned around, stumbling, and Silas shoved him to the ground, planting a foot firmly on his chest. “I believe I have won this duel. Would you care to surrender, captain?”

Halloway glared at him. “I surrender.”

Graciously, Silas stepped off the captain and offered to help him up, but Halloway refused. He called to his own crew, “It’s over, boys.” Without a word, the older pirates retreated to their own ship.

Timberwolf’s crew cheered, crowding around Silas to hug him and ruffle his hair. After all, he had saved them.

Once Halloway was behind his own wheel, he yelled back to Silas, “This isn’t over yet, boy. We’ll be back, mark my words.”

“Yeah?” Silas called. “Maybe next time we’ll bring some friends so it might actually be an even fight.” His crew erupted in another bout of joyful yelling.

Halloway didn’t respond, only spun the wheel to turn his ship about and head back to his stronghold, defeated.

Once all the dark-sailed ships had nearly disappeared over the horizon, Silas turned to his crew. He felt extremely giddy – he had just fought a pirate with much more experience than him and lived to tell the tale. Not only that, he had won, and saved his crew in the process.

“Now, who’s ready to go save our captain?”

The Princess and the Pea

a mountaintop castle surrounded by forest

PART ONE

This is no ordinary princess and the pea story. I should know, for I saw it all. Yes, yes, even in times where I would be seen, I was there. An unexpected heroine is discovered in this story, and she changes everything. Twists and turns make this story an exciting one. There are surprises around every corner, ones you won’t see coming, foolish human! This is the story of a prince, princess, warrior, and of course, the pea. Oh, I must go soon! I see you still have one question on your mind. Who am I? I hear you asking. Ha ha! Well, as for that, my newest acquaintance, you will find out soon enough. 

In a far off kingdom there was an enchanted forest. Beyond that forest was a castle, where the king, queen, and princess spent their days. The princess was not allowed outside the castle walls, because of the dangers in the forest. For one, there were the mysterious goblins who always had tricks up their little sleeves. There were also the mischievous pixies and elves, who found a way to get on your nerves faster than you can say “magic”. The babbling brook will talk your ear off if you don’t cross fast enough. Drawbridges open at any given second. If you stumble upon a patch of four-leaf clovers, don’t pick any, or else you’ll receive bad luck. The giant flower meadow lives up to its name – the flowers reach past 60 feet tall! But those are only some of the dangerous wonders of the enchanted forest.

The king and queen wanted their daughter to be the most beautiful, most graceful, and most protected princess in the kingdom. After all, they believed she was a true princess.

I must interrupt here. There were two types of princesses in this realm. The royal princess, a girl born into the royal family, and a true princess, a princess who met all expectations. Those expectations were: Beauty, Gracefulness, Loyalty, Kindness, Respect, and, above all, the ability to feel a single pea under twenty mattresses. Continue on, I’m done for now.

The royal rulers protected their princess and made sure she met every expectation. However, they were forgetting one. The king and queen decided to wait until the princess’s 15th birthday before she would be tested for true princess quality. The test with the pea. In another kingdom, just beyond the enchanted forest’s border line, another king and queen protected their prince, and made sure he was eligible for the princess on the other side of the forest.

Soon, the day came when the prince had to travel through the enchanted forest and meet the princess on the other side. He packed his bags and saddled his horse. After saying good-bye to his parents, he took off into the forest to reach the other castle. Not even a mile into the forest and the prince was met with his first challenge.

Ooooooo this is about to get good! Sorry, sorry. Keep reading.

A cluster of brightly colored goblins revealed themselves from their hiding places behind toadstools.

“EE CHAA!!” a red one, probably their leader, cried out.

“YAA WOO!!” the others responded.

The other goblins surrounded the prince, some holding spears and others wielding potions.

“What?! Hey! Back off, little trolls!” the prince yelled, taking out his sword.

“KAK KROO!! KAK KROO!!” The goblins screamed in terror.

The prince raised his sword, ready to strike, for he believed the goblins were threatening him.

The chief goblin screeched out “YAK YAK YOOOOO!! EE CHA, YA MABOOO!!”

While the prince was distracted from the chief’s yelling, a purple goblin and a green goblin jumped up onto the horse and started stealing things from the prince’s satchel, replacing the looted items with exploding fruits.

What did I say? Those little rascals are full of tricks!

The prince swings his sword around, and when the gleaming weapon is inches from the goblin’s head, a bright green arrow comes flying through the air, knocking the sword from the prince’s hand.

“Leave my friends alone!” someone called out.

Yes, my friend, the warrior has arrived.

The Dream

large forest at night with a full moon in the sky

 

I dreamt I was in a forest

Surrounded by shadows of clinking tree branches

In the pitch-black night

The cool white moonlight

Around my pale reflection

In a dried-up stream bank

 

I dreamt I heard noises

CRACK.

I whip around

Nothing

And yet when there was really something there

I failed to notice.

 

I dreamt and feared the endless emptiness

In the misty woods

And my surrounded isolation

But I settled into the warm ground

Dead leaves, moss, and brush

And I fell asleep, shivering, in the freezing air

 

I dreamt I then woke

To a coyote curled next to me in the leaves

And above me a mouse that barked

 

I dreamt this was not a dream

I dreamt that this dream I dreamt was real

I dreamt I dozed off again to dream on the forest floor

 

And when I woke up

I was alone.

 

-Marie Walters (May 2018)

The Elementals – book 1 – How it All Started

a heavy rain falling on a water-covered surface

Chapter 7 – Hickory and Thunder

“Well,” Hickory starts, “It happened six years ago.” He takes a deep breath, as if the story were long and painful.

“Go on,” Earth says, nodding to Hickory.

“Six years ago, I realized I was different. I told my parents I was, but they just told me that everyone is different in their own way. So I started keeping a journal of all that happened to me. Talking to animals, identifying trees and plants off the top of my head, turning into a lion, to name a few. I still have that at home, and my parents have never found it. Just now, I realized that I’m not alone. I’m not the only one with these elemental powers. I have you, Earth. And as I got older, I started doing things I hadn’t before. Growing plants out of my hands, turning into other animals, things that you just did a few minutes ago. Thank the spirits of nature I met you, Earth. Cause now I know I’m not alone on this.” Hickory looks at Earth, and exhales, releasing all his tension.

“Well, that was sappy,” Thunder says. “Time for my story.”

Marina gleefully squeals and daintily claps, happy to hear Thunder’s back story.

“It started six years ago, just like all of you, and it was hurricane season. My house was right in the path of the hurricane, and we had to run for shelter. We quickly packed bags and ran out to our car. That was when it hit – the hurricane. I saw a glowing blue orb in the center of the storm. I hopped out of the car, like the heroic six-year-old I was, and–”

“Wait, wait, wait! Is this actually real?!” Earth interrupted. “What SIX YEAR OLD would go running into a destructive storm, chasing after some glowing ball that happened to be his favorite color?!”

“I would,” Thunder continued. “Anyway, I hopped out of the car and sprinted towards the bright blue light. My parents screamed at me, telling me to come back to them. I didn’t listen. I was drawn to the orb, as if it were calling me. I slowly made my way through the storm, reaching for the orb. I came to it, and reached out. I touched the orb, and was flung back.”

Marina gasped and covered her eyes.

“The storm went away with me, and all was clear. Blue lines appeared in my hair, and I realized that whenever it rained, I could control how much rain there was, when it started and stopped, and I could bounce it back and forth as if it were a toy. There. That was waaaay better than my bud Hickory’s story,” Thunder finishes.

“Well,” Earth says, “Now we all know that we are alike, and shouldn’t keep secrets from each other.”

Then the alarm sounded.