Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Writing Prompt: Uri's Invitation

Did another prompt during the typhoon! Much shorter than the others but I enjoyed writing this one.

Again, not directly for the prompt but something that inspired an idea. :D Enjoy!

Uri was self-conscious; but that was normal. He was also on fire; but that was normal too. He wasn’t unattractive, he was quite beautiful. He was smart and caring too. In fact, he was quite popular among other fire-demons, but it was the white hazard suit that made him insecure. Of course, the suit itself was a necessity, as living in a city where fire-demons were scarce meant that almost everything was in danger of catching fire.
Uri stood before the mirror and studied himself, as he usually did every morning before classes. The rubbery suit was bulky and loose, and the glass visor revealed a bright blue flames and yellow eyes. The suit hunched and crinkled as the fire-demon sighed, slouching and marching out of his spacious room and out to the breakfast table, which as a thick slab of stone set in an equally spacious living room. He snatched a tin box and his school bag and proceeded to make his way downstairs via a metal caged elevator at the end of the room.
His entire apartment was an old abandoned fire station which was a good distance from the bayside, which he usually avoided, and a good distance from his small college for minorities. When the caged elevator reached ground level, Uri exited the cage and made his way to the door, passing by stone furniture on the way.
Uri exited the fire station, locking his door by tapping a rune that has been carved into the metal surface of the gate. Fire-demons were quite attached to their belongings but luckily, no human or other ever dared to steal from fire-demons, which are known to have nasty tempers. Uri was different though. When he first moved into town, his polite nature had earned him good neighbors and a kind living environment. He was always invited to barbeques and he was quite helpful when it came to putting out fires. Fires built from accidents were the rudest types and he was more than happy to send them away.
All was well until his growth spurt kicked in. Demons had the worst growth spurts, Uri’s was no different. Normally, Fire-demons’ magma center was covered with molten rock skin, but growth spurts meant cracked skin and wild tongues of fire seeping from the cracks. In most cases, it was a completely natural phenomenon among other fire-demon younglings and would normally be completely harmless. However, living in a city and not inside a volcano, meant that most things, if not all things are prone to catch fire or melt.
Uri walked down the usual path to school and waved at people who were normally quite willing to wave back. It has been a month since he accidentally set that man’s coach ablaze during a school trip where he has lost control of his own fire. Luckily, the horses and coachmen were saved thanks to Su, who happens to be his classmate and is also the only Undine in the entire city. The fire department reacted quickly and their magicians kept him within a bubble while they transported him into an enchanted hazard suit a magician had made him that would keep him from spilling flames and melting plastic and glass.
Since then, he was required to wear the suit at all times so as to pose no threat to the community. He was more than happy to oblige, but having his body constricted and his actions limited were quite stressful. Even in his own home, he had to wear it.
He was grateful; Uri thought and caressed the printed letter S insignia on the center of his suit. If it wasn’t for the suit, he wouldn’t have been able to continue living in the city and would be forced to move back into the mountains.
He silently thanked the maker and walked into his school grounds, which was a rather small building fitted between 2 buildings. The School of Magical Arts for Minorities, or S.O.M.A.M., was a rather small school that was specifically founded for the education of Monsters, Demons and Faefolk and many more. The college in the city was actually a small branch from the main school which was located in Europa, where monsters, demons, Faefolk and other creatures were residing in.
Uri walked up the stairs and paused when he reached the door to his classroom. He took a deep fiery breath and reached for the door knob, only to have someone else open it from the other side. Uri jumped a little, which raised his temperature just a tad. He had to control himself. Opposite him was Su, who had jumped jack a little as well when she opened the door. Uri liked having Su as a classmate. She was strong and extremely talented and not only on water based magic, but she was the complete opposite of him. She was brash and outspoken, while he was calculating and thoughtful. Uri tried to get along with her but she never seems to respond. Fire and Water never did mix well.
Su folded her blue arms over her chest and frowned at Uri. Much like him, Su had to wear something special and was sporting a black wetsuit with a bright yellow S stitched onto her chest. Her wetsuit seemed more flattering than his hazard suit though.
“Well, aren’t you going to step aside?” Uri shuffled to the side and let Su pass with her watery mane trailing back behind her.
“You’re not skipping class are you? You can’t, the professor is going to—” Su turned the corner and disappeared before Uri could even finish his sentence. He turned to the rest of his class and saw them packing their bags and leaving as well.
 “The professor isn’t here,” Said Kun, the fair headed elf, before walking passed him. “Classes have been called off!” She turned from him and dashed down the stairs and disappeared with the rest of the class. Uri sighed. His classmates used to be quite friendly of him until he started wearing the suit. They were distant and the fire-demon was beginning to feel rather lonely. Feeling quite down, he turned to leave when suddenly a wooden hand patted the back of his knees. He turned and looked down to see his classmate, Alan the enchanted puppet.
Uri stepped back for a moment, remembering that he was made of wood. He had spoken to Alan a few times, but at a good distance. As far as Uri could tell, Alan was very hard working and much older than he looked. Alan and his sister were special cases, even among minorities for they weren’t monsters or demons or anything else. They were small but good natured, though his sister had always been struck as odd even among the odder ones.
Alan was the last person Uri expected to be talking to on any day as it was much too dangerous for him to be around the puppet.
“Since we don’t have class,” Alan started, kind and honest as always, “Would you like to visit the library with me? I actually need some help with some spells and you’re the best in class.”
“Su is better than I am.” Uri said consciously.
“Su is better than all of us, but she’s not the teaching type.” Alan said. “You’re much nicer.” Uri smiled brightly, which would normally make people turn away, but Alan’s glass eyes simply reflected them.
“I’m not usually allowed into the library.” Uri said, as they walked up one floor. Alan was made of wood and he was small and he had to take double steps up the staircase, which took quite some time since the library was 3 floors up.
“You’re lucky that you’re so tall.” Alan said, laughing a little as he hopped the last step to the 5th floor where the library was. Uri thought for a moment. Alan was a normal object with a spell cast onto him, which gave him life, but he could not grow, which meant there would be no growth spurts. This made Uri a little envious but he said nothing. They quietly swung the door open and Alan entered, making his clattering limbs echo throughout the room. Uri hovered by the door, wondering if he should enter.
“Aren’t you coming in?” Alan asked.
“I’m not allowed in the library.” He whispered. “Miss Alice will be very cross.”
“Miss Alice isn’t here,” Alan said, not whispering. “She hasn’t been here since this morning. We only have one librarian, so no one’s here. It’ll be okay! We’re going to the spell room at the end of here. Don’t worry, you’re suit will keep you in.” Alan casually walked past the bookshelves and deeper into the library, he didn’t wait for Uri to give him a second thought. The fire-demon hesitated a moment but entered anyway, carefully avoiding the bookshelves.
When they got to one of the empty spell rooms, he felt much better when he saw runes carved into the walls that would keep all magic contained if magic ever got out of hand.
They got to work immediately. Alan began asking him questions about the course assignments, how to manipulate matter, how to cast certain spells to do certain things. He even asked about the life as a fire-demon and about growth spurts. They joked and talked about classes and laughed about school pranks and Alan told stories of his family and their misadventures. A family of magicians always had stories to tell.
“I don’t mean to be rude.” Uri suddenly said. “But I can’t help wondering why you invited me here.” Through his visor, Uri could see Alan’s glass roll around, back and forth, up and down, as if he was searching very deeply for a good answer.
“Your suit.” The puppet finally said. “I’ve wanted to be friends before! The suit makes it much easier.” Uri laughed a little.
“And you’re nice.” Alan added.
Before they knew it, the clock struck 4 and classes were scheduled to be done for the day.
“I have to pick my sister up from class and head home.” Alan had told Uri and they left the library. Walking down the stairs was much more entertaining than walking up the stairs. Alan had hopped his way down and had tripped and skittered down the steps. Uri panicked but Alan only laughed and said that he was fine.
“She’s at the end of this floor.” Alan said, ready to part. “I’ll introduce you both next time.” Uri nodded, he very much wanted to meet the rumored living doll and her pet rat. “I’ll see you tomorrow! We can use the spell room again!” Without waiting for a reply, Alan turned and disappeared into one of the classrooms. Uri walked down the rest of the stairs alone, like he did this morning, except that he was much happier than he was before. He tapped the S on his chest again. If it wasn’t for the suit, he wouldn’t have been able to meet with Alan properly.
The hazard suit squeaked and moaned as he left the school building and walked back to his abandoned fire station, thanking Strauss the Magician for having ever invented the suit for him.
Word count: 1,880

I know I should proof-read this. I will at some point.


Monday, July 16, 2012

Writing Prompt: Flowers for the Wolf

I wrote half of this prompt before I caught the nasty HFM Disease that left me under quarantine for a week! All better now though, so I finally found some time to finish it.

Sadly though, I can't remember for the life of me what the prompt was! FOUND IT!

 In any case, here it is!


The goal of the game was to create such a commotion that people who usually fluttered pass the glass windows would become too curious and would then enter to inspect what was happening inside a modest flower shop.
Business was as usual. Jillian Castell was among the various displays of flowers and was passing the time by playing a quick game of broom hockey with a make-shift puck, which was actually a wooden doorstop. She dashed back and forth, wielding her broom expertly and slashing wildly at the tiled floor. She cried a battle cry and made various whooshing sounds with her lips, causing an enormous racket. The doorstop skidded to and fro and with one final—and overly excited—swing, the hairs of the broom whipped the wooden piece across the scented room and disappeared behind pile of wrapping paper pieces and ribbon snippets in the corner which in the end, made absolutely no noise.
            Yes, it was business as usual. Jillian tried to comfort herself by saying that because it was the middle of the week, people were much too busy to buy flowers for anyone. Of course, the thought did not last very long. Jillian’s job was a labor of love. She adored flowers, arranging them and especially seeing people giving other people flowers. It was her dream to own her own shop and even after her parents pleaded that she take over the family business; Castell Spells and Potions—which was a very profitable and promising business—she had still wanted to own her own floristry. Though her whole family specialized in medicine and potions, she had no talent whatsoever.
Since she was a child, her brothers and sisters had prospered with their study in magic and did exceptionally well when it came to brewing medicine and potions. Jillian was the odd one out entirely. In fact, she was so odd that she wasn’t even able to cast even the simplest spell in the history of magic, which was to heat one’s tea. The magic theory of heating a cup of tea was simple; Think of hot tea. But oddly enough, she was never able to get it done at all. The tea just sat there, sad and lukewarm. Her whole family declared her to be the very first of the family that did not possess a shred of influence over magic and almost everyone had some influence over it which was clearly saying a thing or two about Jillian’s worth in the family business. The one thing she did have though was good old fashioned resourcefulness, and that was good enough to run the business. She could do almost anything without the help of magic, even heat one’s tea. All she needed was a fire and she could make that with matches. The world was much too convenient that people sometimes forget that they got by just fine without magic just a few hundred years ago.
Even flower shops needed enchantments but she managed by hiring an assistant who would cast spells on bouquets to make them sing and recite sweet poems, and wreaths that would scent your home for a month or charmed flower pots that would guarantee your plant a long life.
All that was well and good, until her assistant Harold proposed to the bookshop owner’s niece, Alice and eloped to, funnily enough, Jillian’s own homeland in the neighboring country. For that she had certain distaste for Alice for snatching away her prized assistant but it wasn’t her business to deny anyone’s happiness. The bookshop owner, Mr. Otis, had always seemed to be angry at things, but that was probably related to the fact that his head was that of a wolf. Rumor has it that during his travels, he had angered an old witch and she cursed him. The details of said curse were not relevant to Jillian. The object of Jillian’s concern was the bookshop owner in particular and how he constantly found every opportunity to shoot her a menacing glare from his shop across the street.
When the bells above the front door of the shop jingled, Jillian almost danced with delight until she realized it was Mr. Otis himself at the door. He seemed to have something tucked underneath his arm.
            “Ah, Mr. Otis,” Jillian started, forcing a smile. “What a… pleasure.” The words barely escaped her lips. Mr. Otis was never popular in the shop vendor community. He was never social, never took part during city festivals and barely assisted in charities and events.
            “Good day, Miss Castell.” Mr. Otis greeted. He hovered by the door, bringing a handkerchief to his snout, careful not to disrupt the position of his oddly shaped spectacles. They were custom made. Jillian was not entirely sure whether the smells of flowers and herbs were doing him in or if he was being rude.
She nodded at his greeting and avoided looking at him directly, as she did most times. Mr. Otis wasn’t ugly; in fact he was a rather fascinating specimen. He was dressed smartly, had excellent posture but even that could not hide that snooty personality of his. He was a brooder, a disgruntled man who buried himself in books and refused to be pleasant to anyone except his precious niece Alice. When she left he seemed to have lost all hope in humanity entirely. The only redeeming quality of Mr. Otis seemed to be his natural head for business. No matter how much of a mess his shop seems to be in, he always knew how to pick the right books that people needed and he always made a profit. She admired him for that, but Jillian was never one to admit anything out loud.
            “Is there something the matter?” She cautiously asked. The last time the wolf man spoke to her was to complain that her shop banner was poorly assembled and horridly distracting. Though the banner was indeed horrid, with its crooked looping yellow letters and distracting, with its bright pink fabric, Jillian—as usual—was not about to admit anything and simply scowled at him when she removed the banner.
            “Well, Miss Castell,” Mr. Otis began stiffly, still tucking his snout underneath his handkerchief. “It has come to my attention that my shop has become much too stuffy.” Mr. Otis’s shop wasn’t the only thing stuffy, she wanted to say but didn’t. “I’m afraid not everyone finds the smell of old parchment and ink as charming as I do. I don’t think a better fragrance exists anywhere in the world! Oh, pardon me Miss Castell, I mean no disrespect.”
            “What can I do for you, Mr. Otis?” Jillian sighed. She should’ve known he would have gone through all the trouble of walking across the street and sticking his sensitive nose in her floristry simply to poke fun and insult. Mr. Otis cleared his throat, which was an odd site to see from a man with a wolf head.
            “Miss Castell, I would like to buy a dozen wreaths!” He declared, which something Jillian has never really seen before. She took as step back and almost stumbled over her own boots. Watching a wolf yell out loud was quite a frightening sight. His furry lips stretched backwards, bearing white and sharp teeth, his long ears folded slightly behind him much like how a dog does when it growls and his bright yellow eyes seemed to grow darker.
            Mr. Otis cleared his throat again and seemed mumble something into his handkerchief.
            “You would like to buy a dozen wreaths?” Jillian struggled with the numbers in her head and her stomach seemed to jump. She tried to keep the elation off her face and she reached behind the counter for her catalogue. Wreath making was the only thing Jillian could do right! All the materials were already enchanted; all it takes is a good sense of combining them! She tried to calm herself down and thought of the order. Owning an honest shop meant being honest to the customers and making a bad deal with Mr. Otis did not seem wise.
“That’s quite an order, but I must be honest Mr. Otis.” Jillian brought the catalogue forward, making her way the wolf man. She could’ve sworn that she saw him jump back a little. Of course that would be silly, why would he be afraid of Jillian, the non-magical florist?
            “The spells we use for wreaths are quite strong. Ordering a dozen at a time would be, quite frankly, overkill to those in your shop, especially one such as yourself. You do have quite the sensitive nose.” Mr. Otis blinked behind his brass spectacles, thinking of what Jillian said. He nodded slightly.
            “Is that so?” The wolf man leaned over the catalogue and Jillian walked him through the different type of wreaths available. She spoke of red wreaths that smell of roses and sing the soft songs of bluebirds, then of green and orange wreaths that smell of flowery tea and pine wood, then of blue and teal wreaths that smell of fresh salty air and echo sweet sounds of the rumbling ocean and many more. They both stood by the door, Mr. Otis still half inside and half out with his handkerchief over his snout.
            Mr. Otis nodded through all of the choices, clearly fascinated at the varieties and creative mixtures of spells. The wolf-man was not very familiar with the magic of floristry but he knew spells well and had not realized they were being utilized to such creative extents by florists all over the city. He was quite impressed, Jillian could tell and to her surprise, he asked questions politely and listened intently and not once did he joke about her craft—which she was almost certain he would do. It was an odd feeling, having Mr. Otis look over her catalogue with genuine interest and she couldn’t tell when he planned on being rude or being pleasant. He struck her as a challenge to figure out. Soon, they reached the end of the catalogue and he thought for a moment.
            One thing Jillian noticed was that when Mr. Otis was thinking, he was actually producing a soft growl. It was like a purr, or even a snore—she couldn’t place her finger on it. The wolf-man seems to be completely unaware that he was making any noise at all! Jillian decided to keep it to herself. She placed the catalogue on the counter and waited for his decision. Mr. Otis seemed to be in deep thought about the order—the musty smell of his shop must be quite a severe problem.
            After a minute of silence, Jillian decided to speak.
           “Might I suggest purchasing one wreath for now? If you find it suits your shop, you may continue to order more.” She said.
         “Yes. Yes, I shall do that. Thank you kindly Miss Castell, you’ve been an excellent help.” Mr. Otis said. “I will leave the choice of wreaths up to you, as you seem much more knowledgeable in that department. You can send it to me once you’re done.” The wolf man shuffled the object that was tucked under his arm and handed it to her. It was a large book with floral patterns engraved into the leather bindings.
            “Ah—that is for you.” Mr. Otis said mechanically, as if the words were rehearsed. Jillian realized that the book was actually a cookbook for florists. “It’s quite old and used, but still in a readable condition. I am aware of your—ah—inexperience with spells and such. I thought it might help you with your shop. Now, about payment—”
            “Now just wait a moment!” Jillian cried out, waving her right hand over his hands as he fumbled with his wallet. She held the book close to her as she did. “I couldn’t possibly accept this! This looks much too expensive!” Mr. Otis thought of what to say.
            “Actually, it’s quite weathered and it is an old edition. Some of those spells may not be very efficient.” He looked away from as he spoke. “I just thought it be a waste if I tossed it out. Now, about the pay—“
            “Wait,” She couldn’t help but smile. Laughing a little she lightly pushed his hand that held his wallet away. The book in her hand was rough, old and battered, but since she arrived at the city and opened her shop, no one has showed her such kindness. Other florists knew of her lack of talent, but no one ever offered her help. She understood though, it was a business after all, to share secrets would be costly. She looked at Mr. Otis with his handkerchief over his snout and whiskers poking out of his gray fur. He was hard to read, as animals couldn’t feature expressions like humans could. She knew though, that he was intent on paying for the wreath. Maybe the book really was worthless and he just wanted to clear space in his shop. Maybe he was mocking her, giving her a spell book when she obviously never had any talent for it in her life. Whatever his reasons may be, Jillian believed it was an act of kindness.
“This is very sweet of you. Thank you, truly.” She had to interrupt him and push his hand and wallet away once more. “If I had my way, I would offer my flowers to you for free, but I’m not going to deny your generosity and I know how you men insist on honor and pride. This will be your payment for your first wreath, but the next will cost you.” She smiled as he put his wallet away.
“You are very kind.” He turned to leave. “I want to thank you, Miss Castell.” She couldn’t hold back her laugh. She held the book up and waved it some.
            “For what?”
           “For calling me a man.” Mr. Otis then left; he put away his handkerchief and jogged across the street, back into this shop where patrons of all sorts waited for him. Jillian walked back behind the counter. She opened the cook book and flipped through the pages. She found notes and scribbles left by the previous owners. Some even corrected the ingredients and left their own recipes as well! She was going to have to work on these as soon as possible. She reached for the catalogue once more and absent mindedly flipped through. She stopped at a page.
“Tea and Pine.” She mused at the image of a green and orange wreath decorated with beads and ribbons. That would suit him quite nicely.

Word count: 2,448

It's much longer than the previous prompt. Again, it ends abruptly, I don't usually think of what I'm writing when I do prompts. :D

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this one! Who knows? Maybe I'll do another :)


Friday, July 13, 2012

Toys and Boobs.

Titles is so out of context. Dapper things indeed.

Here's some recent sketches!

The mini cast of TOYS, a short story I wrote a few weeks back.

One night I just felt like drawing boobs.

Two completely different types of sketches. Enjoy anyway!