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furry arts discussion => furry storytelling => Topic started by: Iara Warriorfeather on December 18, 2014, 07:15:44 pm

Title: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on December 18, 2014, 07:15:44 pm
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away (sorry George Lucas), TypingWithPaws had a short story challenge posted here...
http://forums.furtopia.org/furry-storytelling/paws%27s-short-story-challenge/ (http://forums.furtopia.org/furry-storytelling/paws%27s-short-story-challenge/)

Taking a cue from this, I'd like you to challenge my writing skills! Starting with a one sentence or one word prompt you provide, I will write a furry themed short story around it and post it here. Only one sentence or one word prompts will be accepted, not both!

Thanks for reading, and I hope I will get some interesting responses!  :D

Completed Stories-In Order of Appearance
Bakery (http://forums.furtopia.org/furry-storytelling/iara's-writing-corner-prompt-challenge!/msg1012336/#msg1012336)
Trust is not a scalar (http://forums.furtopia.org/furry-storytelling/iara's-writing-corner-prompt-challenge!/msg1012406/#msg1012406)
Adventure (http://forums.furtopia.org/furry-storytelling/iara's-writing-corner-prompt-challenge!/msg1012656/#msg1012656)
Reserve (http://forums.furtopia.org/furry-storytelling/iara's-writing-corner-prompt-challenge!/msg1013207/#msg1013207)
Interoperability (http://forums.furtopia.org/furry-storytelling/iara's-writing-corner-prompt-challenge!/msg1013771/#msg1013771)
Interglacial (http://forums.furtopia.org/furry-storytelling/iara's-writing-corner-prompt-challenge!/msg1014069/#msg1014069)
Defenestration (http://forums.furtopia.org/furry-storytelling/iara's-writing-corner-prompt-challenge!/msg1014372/#msg1014372)
Modicum (http://forums.furtopia.org/furry-storytelling/iara's-writing-corner-prompt-challenge!/msg1018886/#msg1018886)
Beware the whispers, for they whisper lies (http://forums.furtopia.org/furry-storytelling/iara's-writing-corner-prompt-challenge!/msg1019663/#msg1019663)
Derivatives (http://forums.furtopia.org/furry-storytelling/iara's-writing-corner-prompt-challenge!/msg1021413/#msg1021413)
Concierge (http://forums.furtopia.org/furry-storytelling/iara's-writing-corner-prompt-challenge!/msg1027209/#msg1027209)
Pandemonium (http://forums.furtopia.org/furry-storytelling/iara's-writing-corner-prompt-challenge!/msg1030257/#msg1030257)
Determination (http://forums.furtopia.org/furry-storytelling/iara's-writing-corner-prompt-challenge!/msg1031930/#msg1031930)
Esoterica (http://forums.furtopia.org/furry-storytelling/iara's-writing-corner-prompt-challenge!/msg1034612/#msg1034612)
Perfunctory (http://forums.furtopia.org/furry-storytelling/iara's-writing-corner-prompt-challenge!/msg1038944/#msg1038944)
Humans Encounter Furries (http://forums.furtopia.org/furry-storytelling/iara's-writing-corner-prompt-challenge!/msg1047134/#msg1047134)
Polyglot (http://forums.furtopia.org/furry-storytelling/iara's-writing-corner-prompt-challenge!/msg1049052/#msg1049052)
Notorious (http://forums.furtopia.org/furry-storytelling/iara's-writing-corner-prompt-challenge!/msg1053147/#msg1053147)
Scintillate (http://forums.furtopia.org/furry-storytelling/iara's-writing-corner-prompt-challenge!/msg1056729/#msg1056729)
Banality (http://forums.furtopia.org/furry-storytelling/iara's-writing-corner-prompt-challenge!/msg1058613/#msg1058613)
Murmuration (http://forums.furtopia.org/furry-storytelling/iara's-writing-corner-prompt-challenge!/msg1059875/#msg1059875)
Villify (http://forums.furtopia.org/furry-storytelling/iara's-writing-corner-prompt-challenge!/msg1061491/#msg1061491)
Choleric (http://forums.furtopia.org/furry-storytelling/iara's-writing-corner-prompt-challenge!/msg1062399/#msg1062399)
Ilk (http://forums.furtopia.org/furry-storytelling/iara's-writing-corner-prompt-challenge!/msg1062637/#msg1062637)
The loud explosion jarred him awake and nearly out of his tent (https://forums.furtopia.org/index.php?topic=49450.msg1063360#msg1063360)
Isolation (https://forums.furtopia.org/furry-storytelling/iara's-writing-corner-prompt-challenge!/msg1063408/#msg1063408)
Through the Arctic (https://forums.furtopia.org/furry-storytelling/iara's-writing-corner-prompt-challenge!/msg1064366/#msg1064366)
I found a tail/it's so weird when you do that (https://forums.furtopia.org/furry-storytelling/iara's-writing-corner-prompt-challenge!/msg1064367/#msg1064367)
Ensue (https://forums.furtopia.org/furry-storytelling/iara's-writing-corner-prompt-challenge!/msg1065789/#msg1065789)
He shattered his femur... (https://forums.furtopia.org/furry-storytelling/iara's-writing-corner-prompt-challenge!/msg1068784/#msg1068784)

Works in Progress
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Kobuk on December 18, 2014, 08:49:37 pm
Ok, here's your first word:  bakery
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on December 19, 2014, 10:24:11 pm

An icy cold wind whipped through the busy streets. He tugged on his scarf, unfurled behind him like the flags on a sailboat’s mast. He pulled his overcoat tighter around him, and kept on, making his way past dozens of others in a hurry to get to work. His hot breath curled around him as he walked briskly. He noted typical city furs—well dressed foxes, scrounging rats huddled on the sidewalk near a lit trashcan for warmth, warbling pigeons fluffing up to prevent the cold from seeping into their skin. For miles the same furry folk scowled and shuffled past, unable to meet his eyes or give him a pleasant hello.

He hated the big city, although he’d lived in one for a quarter of his life. He laid back his ears and snarled a little as the cold wind made its way to his ochre spotted fur beneath his winter wardrobe. He hated feeling as cold inside as it was outside—not one fur was warm and approachable, not one wanted to know who he was much less how he was feeling. A raccoon stumbled into him as he made his way past a hot dog cart—“Hey! Watch where yer goin,’ will ya?!” the raccoon barked. He lowered his gaze and kept moving forward, not even bothering to apologize anymore—it seemed like big city furs enjoyed being cold, cruel and self-serving. That, and he disliked the fear in their eyes when he looked at them.

He was a jaguar, far from his beautiful, rugged villa, lost in an urban jungle which seemed all the more vicious as the years went by. Not once had he felt accepted and very little kindness was given him. He sighed, keeping up his pace lest he get howled at again by his boss. He’d been chewed out a lot at work, especially as the holidays approached—time off for others meant double the work for him.

It was then, when he longed for even a taste of home that a scent wafted on the breeze, tickling his whiskers and making him pause his reckless, frantic pace. The other furs on the street milled around him, in just as much of a hurry to scuttle into their cubicles and type away. He lifted his head a little, taking in the scent again. He closed his eyes.

Bread. Freshly baked bread! His heart nearly skipped a beat. How long has it been since I even tasted it?

He noted a side street he rarely took, due to the construction near the area. He walked through the crowd, fighting a way toward the virtually empty side street. The scent of the bread grew stronger, mingled with cream cheese, frosting, and warm chocolate melting on a stove. His tail twitched eagerly and his eyes lit up in anticipation.

He stood at last in front of an adorable bakery, with a giant pink frosted cupcake sign over the door. In the center of the sign was the name of the bakery—Cupcake Sprinkles Tasty Treats. On either side of the bakery were dilapidated businesses—to the left was an old printing company, to the right an abandoned tailor. A few mice and rats scurried past, but no other furs were in sight. He hesitated at the door, looking at his watch. I have just enough time to grab a bite to eat…

He gently pushed open the door. The chiming of tiny bells announced his presence to the busy bakers inside.

The bakers stopped their work as he entered, shaking his fur and reveling in the warmth inside.

Mice. The bakers were all mice. His smile didn’t appease them as he approached the counter. He unwound his scarf and opened his overcoat, batted around his pockets for his wallet.
The bakers scurried into the kitchen, their hushed squeals belying their terror. This was a big cat, and mice were doubly afraid of big cats as they were housecats. They huddled together in the center of the kitchen, their smocks and frocks coated in crumbs, powdered sugar, and pawprints laced with frosting of all colors.

“What do we do?” one wailed. “Where did he come from?”

“We can’t let him eat here! He’ll frighten our kittens!” another chimed in, holding her shivering little ones close.

“We should talk to Cupcake, she’ll know what to do!” one courageous mouse suggested. The others nodded, their whiskers quivering in approval.

A baker poked his quivering nose over the counter, his eyes wild with fright. “We’ll…we’ll be out in a minute!” he squeaked. The jaguar smiled despite his sinking heart, expecting this reaction by now.

“Take your time,” he sighed. He grabbed a copy of the local paper and took a seat by the window, watching the empty side street begin to fill with city furs. He read a few dull articles slowly, peeking over the top every so often at the nerve-wracked hosts.

Hoofbeats clomped on the tile floor. The jaguar looked up, and set down his paper.

A beautiful pastel pink unicorn, all smiles, reached out her hooved paw to shake his. She had a blue, lavender and pale yellow mane and tail, and sky blue eyes. Her apron was in the shape of the cupcake sign outside, with the same coloration. Her nametag was glossy silver, shimmering in the morning sun.

“Hi, I’m Cupcake Sprinkles,” she beamed. “Welcome to our shop! It’s unusual to have visitors, much less exotics like yourself stroll in these days!” They shook paws. He noted how strong her grip was, despite her diminutive stature—she wasn’t much taller than her employees. She leaned into him to whisper, “Pardon my employees…they tend to freak out when we have visitors. They mean no harm, and will warm right up to ya once we put ‘em to work!” She winked at the last part, and he grinned. “What would ya like?”

“Just a croissant and some hot tea, please,” he grunted. The unicorn wrote his order quickly on a bright pink notepad. Her head chef, the male mouse the jaguar had encountered before, snatched the order and bounded into the kitchen, calling it out.

“Make yourself at home,” the unicorn nickered. She turned about and went into her office, shutting the door behind her gently.

The jaguar returned his attention to the rest of the bakery. It was clean, warm and cozy, with plenty of chairs and tables. It reminded him of an old time soda shop, and he figured it was renovated from one. The floors were teal green and the walls a bright pink, like the cupcake on the sign outside. Before he could take in any more details, the head chef arrived with his meal.

“Thank you, so much,” the jaguar murmured, and handed the mouse a ten dollar bill.

The mouse’s eyes went wide. No one had tipped him in ages.

“Sir, would you like change?” he suggested. The jaguar smiled before he sank his teeth into the hot bread.

“No, go ahead, keep it.”

The mouse fled into the kitchen, wriggling in joy.

The jaguar sighed. The bread was just the right texture, crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. It melted into butter the moment it touched his tongue. He wiggled his tail in approval. He ate it slowly, drinking his jasmine tea and savoring the silence. He was surprised how quietly the mice worked, and thought it a nice touch. So often his workplace and home were interruptions waiting to happen—bright lights, yelling, papers in his face, noisy neighbors, and the train rattling by on the tracks. But here, in the warmth and quiet of the bakery, he felt…comfortable. He felt he could be himself again.

He finished his croissant, and the dregs of his tea. He sighed. He began to bundle himself up, preparing for the cold, stressful day ahead, masking his true self once more.

Suddenly, he felt a tiny tug on the corner of his overcoat. He ignored it at first, and then the tug was more insistent.

He looked down, locating the source of the tug.

A tiny mouse, very young and a soft gray, held out a big cupcake in her pink dainty paws.

“Mister, thank you for stopping by our bakery. We don’t get a lot of…of…”

Her mom, a slightly larger gray mouse standing behind her, whispered the word in her ear.

The little mouse continued, “…business and we really, really like you. So here! Enjoy!” She scurried off into the kitchen with her mom in tow, leaving the cupcake in his paw.

He stared at the cupcake, which was clearly crafted by the little mouse, with its multicolored, messy frosting and crumbly cake. Tears filled his eyes as he remembered being a cub, running along the streets he once called home to the local bakery, and then running back again to the villa before his parents woke up at dawn.

I’ve always been on the run…

He continued to stare at the cupcake. The bakers poked their muzzles past the kitchen, glancing curiously at him.

The jaguar stared out the window of the bakery glumly. He then took a swipe of the frosting and sucked it off his pawpad gingerly.

The little mouse wiggled her nose in excitement.

Why should I go on being miserable, when I have the choice to be happy, even for a moment?

“It’s funny,” he murmured, more to himself than the bakery. “Being here…reminds me it’s okay…to slow down once in a while and enjoy myself. You accept me…for me. Thank you.”

“You’re welcome,” the little mouse peeped. Her eyes grew wide as he gulped down half the cupcake all at once. She giggled, and scurried off into the kitchen to make more.

The jaguar decided spending a little longer at the bakery that day won’t be such a bad thing…because he felt that by accepting himself at last, and leaving room for fun, he really did belong in the big city after all.
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: redyoshi49q on December 19, 2014, 10:29:14 pm
Since Kobuk gave you your first word, I'll give you your first sentence.

Try "Trust is not a scalar (https://www.google.com/search?q=define+scalar).".  If that sentence doesn't make a lot of sense to you, I can elaborate on the meaning behind that choice of prompt (I deliberately omit it here so that you have the option and opportunity to interpret it however you wish).

(On a side note, you ninja'd me with your response to Kobuk.)
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on December 19, 2014, 10:50:13 pm
Sorry about the ninja, RedYoshi!  :-[ I will work on a story around that sentence asap.  (:
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: redyoshi49q on December 19, 2014, 11:55:30 pm
No need to apologize!  I was just making note of it, that's all.
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: xracecar on December 20, 2014, 12:06:07 am
I got a word for you! Just do it after the other guys sentence.

Umm...uhh... Adventure!
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on December 21, 2014, 02:43:58 am
It had been many years since she had heard from him. Still, she decided to make her way into the slot canyons alone that morning, to push herself in ways she’d never done before. She had to learn to trust herself again.

As a leopardess, she was more accustomed to her homely, forested den than the harsh desert that surrounded her. She heaved her pack a little higher on her shoulders and sighed, determined to make her way up to the top.

The sun spilled its light over the pale blue horizon. She sipped her water slowly. She knew in a few hours the heat of the day would sag her spirits…and that she had to get to the top of the canyon before it set in.

She began her ascent gradually, picking her way up the gently sloping sands. She loved the sandstone slot canyons, their gray hue shimmering in the light like a mirage. She felt like a fish darting through miniature sea arches.

Her thighs began to burn from the effort of climbing uphill. She drank more water.

She didn’t dare to look down. She knew it would make her vertigo spike. She had to overcome that fear, to trust her body, heart and mind.

The trail wound steadily upward, past larger and larger boulders. It suddenly began to narrow.

She paused at a rickety steel ladder. She took a deep breath. Her heart began to thunder in her chest.

Here we go.

She lowered the bottom half of the ladder. It hit the trail beneath her with a hideous clang, the sound of metal on stone echoing for miles.

She froze. The sound alone caused her heart to pound even faster. She drew her ears and whiskers back instinctively. Then, she drew in several deep breaths, shivering in fear.

You can do this. One paw in front of the other…you can do this.

She gripped the bottom rung, and heaved one leg up. Slowly but surely she moved upward, ensuring her footing was secure as she ascended each rung.

She saw the edge of the trail continue above her, and leaped for it, glad to be on solid ground again.

She smiled, her tail tip waving happily. I did it!

The leopardess kept climbing up, making her way up two more rickety ladders. Finally, she had come to a rather large gap in the trail.

Now what?

She took in the scents of the day—dry riverbeds, mesquite trees, and sage brush flanked the trail. She drank her water. A few warblers chattered in the bushes nearby. She noted the position of the sun—it was almost mid-day. She began to pant, releasing some of the heat from her body.

Which way do I go?

She examined the gap. It was several feet wide, with at least a ten foot drop to the bottom portion of the trail below. She shivered, not willing to hurt herself to enjoy her climb.

She looked up. The scraggly trees on the side of the trail led up to higher ground, and that much closer to her goal.

She sighed. Looks like the only way left is up.

She tested her weight on the trunk of the tree nearest the gap. It didn’t buckle or creak. She dug her claws into the bark, and scrambled up to the highest, thickest branch.

She reached out a paw on the edge of the branch nearest the trunk. It began to bend. She hesitated.

If I move quickly, I can get up to the trail again. It’s just above me.

She closed her pale green eyes and inhaled a shaky yet deep breath.

She gently tapped the branch. It didn’t sound like it would break under her weight. She slowly added more pressure.

Part of the branch suddenly snapped off, falling into the gap far below. The leopardess looked down.

Her eyes widened in terror. The drop was now twenty feet.

She looked away, closed her eyes. Her heart thudded even harder than before. She hugged the tree trunk tightly.

Oh no, oh no…I’m so scared…

Fear began to wrap her mind in a dense fog. She felt uneasy, scattered, and alone. The wind began to pick up, whistling through the slot canyons all around her.

Hey, came a gentle voice in her ear, a distant memory. We’re here for you. Don’t give up. You can do it. We know you can! It was her advisor, from years ago. His gentle encouragement, along with her classmates, coaxed her to jump a gap and land safely on the other side. She took a deep, cleansing breath. The fog lifted as she focused on his words of encouragement.

I can do this. I just have to leap up, my claws can help. I can do this.

She took another deep breath. She crouched and then launched herself into the air, off the branch…
…her paws gripped the edge of the trail above her, tugging on some roots for support. She pulled up, her chest heaving with the effort.

She scrambled up to the top of the trail. The wind whistled in her ears. She laid on her back, panting.

The sun was brilliant in the blue sky above. The clouds were wisps, the trees around her were waving their thin branches in the wind. She suddenly began to laugh.

I did it! I made it! I got through the slot canyon all by myself!

Finally, she could trust herself again. By staying positive and building her journey piece by piece into a whole picture, she was successful in not only her goal, but in trusting herself to achieve it.

And then, after regaining her composure, standing up and shifting her pack, she saw a bright yellow something fluttering in the breeze, caught in the branches of a nearby tree.

She advanced toward it, tilting her head to one side.

She unfurled the yellow paper. On it was written, in the form of a triangle, the following phrase:

Trust is not a scalar.
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on December 23, 2014, 10:52:47 pm
xracecar, just an update--I am nearly done with Adventure, and will post either tonight or tomorrow! Merry Christmas all!  :D
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: redyoshi49q on December 24, 2014, 03:49:33 am
I enjoyed your portrayal of the phrase; you did a good job with it.

The phrase I gave you was a derivative of "Trust is not a boolean.", which was (to my awareness) first used in a security related discussion sometime in 2006.  The point being made in that post was that trust is something that can't be appropriately modeled by a yes/no statement; if someone has a partial level of trust in a system, that trust cannot be appropriately described as either complete trust or as complete distrust.

From a Google search that I did shortly after making my earlier post, I saw that only two other uses of the phrase "Trust is not a scalar" on the public facing Internet (this thread will probably be added to that list once Google's bot crawls this page).  I intended that phrase to communicate that trust wasn't unidimensional.  For instance, it'd be possible to entirely trust Alice's honesty but not her intentions, entirely trust Bob's intentions but not his honesty, and partially trust both Carol's honesty and intentions.  In such a case, you wouldn't be justified in saying that you trust any of those three strictly more than either of the other two; therefore, you wouldn't be able to effectively model your trust in these individuals with a single number.

You took an entirely different (though it must be noted, equally valid) interpretation of the phrase; specifically, you communicated that trust isn't a quantity that's static in magnitude.  You showed the character's trust in herself as fluctuating with her circumstances and with her self confidence, and while one could model this trust with a number, that number would be prone to change in light of other factors, including time.  Part of what I like about these writing challenges as a prompter is being able to compare the writer's notion of the prompt with my own notion of it; the differences between the two can oftentimes be interesting.

I'll hold off for a bit on submitting another word or phrase in order to give another forum member a chance to submit one of their own (and take advantage of your soon to be empty queue!).  If you'd be OK with it, I'll enqueue myself again in a few days in either case so that you don't find yourself wanting for a queue for too long.
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on December 25, 2014, 01:17:58 am
I'm glad you liked the story, RedYoshi! I must admit, I am not as much of a mathematician as I am a writer who conveys reason in an emotional context.  :-[ Still, your perspectives are interesting as well. :)

When I post Adventure you are more than welcome to submit another prompt when you feel like it.  (:
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Old Rabbit on December 26, 2014, 12:03:27 pm
Nice stories Ira.. Here is my word. "reserve"
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on December 26, 2014, 11:09:23 pm
        The azure dragon tipped his brown felt hat toward each rider as they exited and meandered into the main paths of the theme park. “Have a good day now! Keep an eye on those snakes for me, will ya?” He adjusted his belt and khakis every once in a while, faking out some furs with his bullwhip and pistol. They laughed at his antics. He was glad he could make their adventuresome day more special and put smiles on their faces.

   That night, after he discarded his uniform for some comfy pj’s, he sat in front of his gaming computer, clicking away and chatting with his fellow gamers.

   “This has to be one of the best MMOs yet!” one friend, a red fox, chirruped.

   “No way, WoW is much more superior,” a tabby grunted, pushing his spectacles further up the bridge of his nose.

   “Hey, when are you going to invite your girlfriend over?” a wolf snarled in mock glee. The dragon ruffled his membranous clipped wings in mild irritation.

   “You guys know I still live with my folks…” his scales burned crimson at their edges at the admission.

   “We know,” the three gamers sighed as one over their headsets. They fell to sniggering laughter.

   The dragon sighed. He checked his clock—it was nearing midnight.

   “I’ve got an early shift tomorrow, got to go,” he muttered, crestfallen.

   “Aw man!” the fox whimpered.

   “That’s okay,” the wolf grinned, “it’s not like his girlfriend is in the next room or anything…”

   “Shut up man,” the tabby hissed. “Leave him alone, will ya?”

   The dragon shut off the headset, and shut down the computer. He sighed.

   Just once…just once I’d like to leave home, only to wind up on a thrilling adventure…I’d get to eat weird things and meet wonderful lady furs…if only…

   Several weeks went by. The dragon played the game less and less, as he was continually being ribbed by his friends. One day, he got an ad in the mail for a reduced airfare trip to Ecuador. At first, he was skeptical, but as time wore on, he realized that the trip would be a perfect opportunity for a new adventure—a real life one. Beautiful beaches, interesting wildlife…it would be a nice way to spend my summer vacation I’ve earned…

Finally, after a few months, the dragon saved enough to take his trip to Ecuador. He purchased the ticket using the ad as a discount online.

“Hey,” an IM window popped up. It was his ‘friend’ the wolf.

“A little busy,” the dragon quickly responded as he got the virtual receipt for the ticket. The wolf was clearly miffed.

“You’re always busy, dude,” the wolf replied. “We never see you in game anymore…”

“Well, I’ve got better things to do,” the dragon tersely typed.

“Better things than hanging out with friends? Wow. Some friend you are…”

The dragon printed his ticket, ignoring the wolf’s pleas for attention. The IM window finally quit chiming.

“Thank goodness,” he sighed, and shut off the computer for the night, packed for his trip.

The next morning, the dragon was all ready to board his flight, ticket in hand, when a shady looking canine took off with his carry-on luggage. Stunned, the dragon whirled, shouting, “HEY! Get back here!”

   He chased after the mutt, only to find himself lost in a crowd being shepherded aboard the wrong flight, toward Uruguay. Panicking, the dragon tried to see where the mutt had scampered off to. He noted the all-smiles stewardesses, their gator tails swooshing side to side under their skirts.

   “Um, hi!” he breathlessly muttered. “Ladies, listen—I think my luggage was stolen, and I’m on the wrong flight, and—“

   The captain began his speech in a sonorous voice, drowning out what the dragon was desperately trying to say. The stewardesses gently directed the anxious dragon to a seat.

   Several hours later, the plane arrived at an airport in Montevideo, Uruguay. The dragon awoke, groggy, dismayed, and terrified. He shuffled along with the other passengers off the plane, wandered through the giant airport. Without a dime in his pocket and no passport on hand, the dragon made his way to the counter on the way out of the airport.

   “I need your help!” he muttered, his voice cracking. He rustled his wings anxiously.

   “Yes?” a vixen in a security guard uniform sat cross-legged, filing her claws. She didn’t even look up to see the azure dragon’s face.

   “I lost my luggage, and I don’t know where I am…”

   “Bienvenidos a Montevideo, el capital de Uruguay!” the vixen stated in the most practiced, forced cheerful greeting the dragon had ever heard. “If you need additional help, please visit the embassy.” She waved a manicured paw out the airport, toward a building in the distance as if it were an oasis in a desert. “Take that street from the airport to your left. The embassy is right there.” The dragon was rooted to the spot.

   The vixen finally lifted her blue eyeshadow caked lids, her sparkling amber eyes meeting his. “You’re new here, aren’t you?” she winked. The dragon shuffled his feet, flapped his wings, nodded. He was deeply embarrassed, and had never felt so lost in his whole life.

   “Ay, pobrecito,” she tsked. “I’ll call you a taxi, hm? Be careful now,” she added as he shuffled toward the airport exit, “the city is a dangerous place!”

   The brightly colored taxi arrived some twenty minutes later, the driver looking harangued. The driver pounded on the accelerator and slammed on the brakes by turns as they made their way through traffic. The driver was cursing in some language the dragon barely knew, a mix of Italian and Spanish with Portuguese thrown in. The dragon slumped in his seat, begging to survive the short, free trip to the embassy.

   “No tip?!” the driver spat as the dragon launched out of the taxi the moment it pulled up to the embassy. The dragon looked at the angry armadillo apologetically.

   “Sorry, no cash…no dinero,” he stammered, and ran into the pristine government building. The armadillo spat on the sidewalk and took off.

   The cool tile floor and marble walls of the embassy did little to cheer the anxious dragon as he sought out the front desk. He hurriedly explained what happened.

   “Hi. Um, listen, I’ve lost my carry-on luggage and I’m in the wrong country. I was supposed to be en route to Ecuador but someone at the airport back home stole my stuff and now I’m here by mistake. I don’t have any money, I’m all alone. Please, help!”

The furs behind the counter looked at one another, mesmerized by the dragon’s rapid fire speech, unable to understand a word of it yet sensing the urgency in his voice. They warbled back and forth to one another in hushed tones, then one snapped her claws. A translator, an older vixen in a similar uniform to the one at the airport, arrived, looking annoyed. The dragon, unsure of their customs, bowed a little, trying to show respect. The translator adjusted her cat’s eye lenses and wriggled her nose. “Go ahead.”

   “Hi, ma’am. Look, my carry-on luggage was stolen—“

   She translated, “Hola, ustedes. Mi maleta robé—

   “—so I don’t have my passport, my phone, or any money. I’ve also boarded the wrong plane. I was originally meant to go to Ecuador. Please, if you can offer any help!”

   “No tengo una pasaporte, un telefono cellular, y no tengo dinero. No tengo una targeta de embarque de Uruguay…tení una targeta de embarque de Ecuador. Por favor, ayudame!”

   The embassy furs nodded and gave him a lengthy questionnaire. The translator listened to their fluid speech, then said, “Okay. You can have a seat and fill out this paperwork. We will do our best to help. You can also call your home country to let others know what is going on.” She pointed to a single phone booth in the lobby.

   “Thank you! Thank you!” the dragon took the paperwork and filled it out furiously. He then rushed to the phone, hoping his friends would be able to help him out. He dialed the number quickly, waiting with bated breath as the phone thousands of miles away rang. Finally, one of his friends picked up.


   “Listen, guys, I’m in a bit of a bind…you know how I won that trip to Ecuador? Well…my stuff got stolen and I boarded the wrong flight. Now I’m in Uruguay.”

   The fox who answered was taken aback. “No way.” The wolf and tabby rushed to the phone, eager to hear from their long-lost friend. Or so the dragon hoped.

   The tabby seemed elated by this news. “You can’t be serious, bro!” The wolf took the phone.

    “Why are you calling us? Shouldn’t you be calling your mommy and daddy?” Laughter ensued.

   The dragon snorted in frustration. “I’ll cut to the chase—I need three grand to get home.”

    “WHAT?” cried the fox, wolf and tabby together.

   “It’s ridiculous, I know, but I’m stuck here otherwise…at the embassy…”

    “Well, bro, looks like you got your adventure after all!” The trio laughed again at his plight and hung up, returning to their games. 

   “Ugh!” the dragon hung up, tilted his head toward the ceiling, tempted to let loose jets of flame.

   “Any luck?” the embassy furs struggled to say.

   “No,” the dragon muttered quietly. He retook his seat.

   Hours passed. The dragon laid back in the seat, head down and eyes on the ground. The sun was just starting to set. Tears filled his eyes. I’m such a loser…how could this have happened? Now I’m…

   “I’m lost! I’m lost!” wept a little bearded dragon, who ran into the embassy. Her scales were puffed and darkened with fear, tear stains down her scaly cheeks.

   “Hey little one, why so glum?” The dragon was glad to find another scalie who spoke his language, but sad she was so hurt.

   “My mum and dad left me,” she blubbered, lost in sadness. “I don’t know where they are (sniff) or where I am (sniff sniff) or ANYTHING!” Tears moistened her nostrils, and she shivered. The dragon got out of his chair and knelt down next to the tiny beardie, slowly opening his wings.

   “I’m sure they can help,” the dragon suggested, trying to lead her to the embassy desk.

   Suddenly, she pulled away, crying, “No! I need to find them myself!” The beardie ran out of the embassy, screeching for her missing parents.

   “Hey! Wait!” the dragon gave chase. He ran through the streets, past confused tourists and busy city dwellers. The beardie was tough to keep track of, but her tiny scales glinted in the fading sunlight as she weaved between larger furries and scalies.

   The dragon eventually found himself on a stretch of beautiful coastline, with turquoise water and clean white sand. The beardie hid in a cabana meant for beachgoers, gasping for breath and sobbing.  “Hey, there you are!” he cooed, sliding his wedge shaped azure head into the cabana. The beardie gasped in fright at first, then skittered to the back of the structure, burying herself in the hot sand.

   “Go away!” her tiny voice asserted, once she was safely buried in collapsing grains of sand.

   The dragon chuckled inwardly at her plight. Little did she know he felt like her most of the time. Somehow, being in a new place and helping her out rose his self confidence a peg.

   “It’s okay, I just want to help.” The dragon waited. He backed out of the cabana a little, to give the beardie some space.

   She poked her nose above the sand, gazed at the dragon for a long time. Her tiny voice warbled, “We’re not from here, we’re from Australia. Daddy is visiting on business, he’s always on business trips. This time, mum wanted us to go, too. So we’re making it a vacation…but I don’t like it here…the food is weird and the furries here talk funny.”

   The dragon smiled. “So you ran away?”

   “No!” the beardie began to rise from the sand, dusting herself off. “No, mum, dad and I were on this beach earlier…and…they went away. They said, ‘Stay right here, Gracie. Be a good girl, eh?’ like they always do, and then they left…and never came back…” She started to cry again, taking the edges of her skirt and dabbing her eyes.

   “Maybe they got lost, too?” the dragon suggested. The beardie sighed.

   “I guess they went back to the hotel.”

   “Well, maybe they are looking for you, Gracie,” he continued, looking up and down the beach. It was becoming deserted as the sun sank lower and lower into the horizon. A cold breeze blew off the ocean, making both scalies back away from it.

   The beardie looked up at the dragon curiously. “You know, you’re really nice. I like you. Maybe you can help me find them.” She took his big paw in hers and shook it firmly.

   “Nice to meet you, too!” he grunted. She giggled.

   He opened his wings a little, shielding them from the sand and wind. “Let’s go to the hotel, maybe they will have more answers for us.”

   “Okay!” she agreed. He led her up the sloping sands to a very large and ritzy hotel along the coast.

   They entered the large hotel, which was considerably warmer than the beach behind them. Extravagance was everywhere, from the marbled tile floors to the gold inlaid desks. The leather seats were polished and a large fountain gurgled near the entryway. Bellhops scuttled to and fro, their luggage carts filled with suitcases of all shapes and sizes.

   It was then that the dragon’s heart leaped. My carry-on!

   His carry-on trundled toward an open elevator, along with dozens of other suitcases. To his shock, the dragon recognized the shady looking mutt standing alongside the bellhop!

   “Hey! HEY!” he called out. But the little beardie tugged on his paw.

   “The entrance desk is this way, silly!”

   “But, my—“ the dragon sighed. The elevator doors closed and he swore the mutt winked at him as it ascended in a clear glass tube.

   “But what?” the beardie asked, paws on her slim hips. She squinted up at the anxious dragon. “Are you going to help me, or not?” she stamped her foot in impatience.

   “Oh,” he sighed. “I’m sorry…you see, I lost something too, on the way here…it’s a long story. Let’s try and find your folks, Gracie…”

   “Good!” she lifted her chin, flickered her tongue in approval. The dragon grinned, rolled his eyes. They walked up to the front desk, Gracie’s nose barely above the level of it.

   “Excuse me,” the dragon grunted. “This little lady is lost.”

   “What’s your name, hijita?” the staff member asked. Gracie puffed up in pride.

   “Gracie Shepherd.”

   “Hmm…let me check,” the staff member reassured the dragon and the beardie. “Ah, here we go. Room 905. Here’s a spare key for you,” she handed off the key to the beardie.

   “Muchas gracias,” she murmured in perfect Spanish. The dragon’s jaw dropped.

   “De nada, hijita!” the staff member waved them off. The dragon rushed after the beardie, stunned.

   “You know Spanish?!” he cried, aghast. “I thought—“

   “I told you, my daddy travels a lot on business. You learn a thing or two when you travel all the time.” The beardie puffed up again as she marched toward the elevator, the dragon in tow. “Come on. I’d like you to meet my folks! You’ve been a big help.”

   “It’s nothing, really…” the dragon gulped as they went up the nine flights to the room.

   “You deserve a proper thank you,” she insisted.

   The elevator doors chimed open. The mutt stood in front of them in the hallway, the dragon’s carry-on in his paws.

   “YOU!” the dragon hissed, flaring his wings open. “You stole my luggage at the airport!!”

   Gracie ran into the mutt’s arms, thrilled. A larger bearded dragon lady stood alongside the mutt. “Daddy! Mummy! This dragon found me and brought me to you!”

   “Good work, Gracie, darling,” the mutt patted Gracie’s head. The dragon stepped out of the elevator, bewildered.

   “But--! What?!” he spluttered, confused.

   “That travel agency ad you responded to is a ring of identity thieves,” the mutt growled softly. Gracie skittered with her mother into the room, overjoyed to be reunited. “I took your carry-on because it has the last piece of evidence I needed for the scam.” The German Shepherd-dingo mix tossed the bag to the dragon, who caught it with a surprised huff. “Thanks, mate.”

   “So…so my ticket to Ecuador…”

   “Faked,” the mutt nodded. “You would’ve been in Ecuadorian jail if I didn’t pull that stunt. I’m glad you followed me. That takes guts. And you found Gracie, who led you here…again, part of the plan. Your name badge from the theme park you work in is not exactly a luggage tag…I figured you’d respond to kids better than adults…and well. Here we are.”

   The dragon blushed. “Wow…how can I ever repay you?”

   “Here,” the mutt gave him a return flight ticket. “After all you’ve been through, and after you’ve been here another week, I’m sure that’s more than enough adventure for many years to come!”

   The two new friends hugged. “Thank you…” the dragon sighed.

   “Take care, kid,” the mutt winked as he went back to his room. The dragon descended, gazing in awe at his returned carry-on and ticket. He was thrilled he would finally have the adventure he’d been craving at last!

Spanish translations:
Bienvenidos a Montevideo, el capital de Uruguay-Welcome to Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay!
Ay, pobrecito-Oh, you poor thing (-ito can also be translated literally as little thing, so pobrecito means poor little thing)
no dinero-No cash
Hola, ustedes. Mi maleta robé-Hi sirs/madams. My suitcase was stolen.
No tengo una pasaporte, un telefono cellular, y no tengo dinero. No tengo una targeta de embarque de Uruguay…tení una targeta de embarque de Ecuador. Por favor, ayudame-I don't have a passport, cellphone nor cash. I don't have a boarding pass for Uruguay...I had a boarding pass for Ecuador. Please, help me!
hijita-literally translates to 'little girl/daughter.' However, it can also be applied in the same way as 'dear' or 'honey.'
Muchas gracias-Thank you very much
De nada-literally translates as 'it's nothing.' Typically translates as 'you're welcome.' In some countries, like Argentina or Uruguay, 'de nada' has a much deeper connotation, and is a grateful response to sincere thanks.

Thanks for your patience! I will get to work on reserve asap.  :D
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Old Rabbit on December 27, 2014, 11:46:30 am
Nice short story Iara, a bit of mystery, and adventure.
I enjoyed it.. No hurry on my word. :orbunny:
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on January 04, 2015, 12:31:21 am
Hi OldRabbit-working on Reserve, should be done with it in a few days.   (:
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: redyoshi49q on January 04, 2015, 04:29:25 pm
After a little bit of thinking on the subject, I think I have another word to enqueue.

Give "interoperability" a shot.
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on January 07, 2015, 02:59:07 am
Here is Reserve.

The Channel Islands vixen pulled her heavy suitcase into the hotel lobby, exhausted. She was glad she could finally afford to attend the conference, as she had missed out on previous years. She sighed as she approached the front desk, hastily sweeping her hair out of her large, almond shaped eyes.

“Hi,” she smiled. “I’ve made reservations…my name is Catalina D. Vixen…”

“Actually,” the receptionist countered while finding her name in the system, “your reservations have already been paid for. Your room is ready.” The receptionist handed her the hotel key card.

Catalina was taken aback. “Really? There must be some mistake...”

“No, it says right here, paid in full.” Catalina took the key card, smiled nervously.

“Um, wow…thank you,” she muttered, finding her way to the elevator.

That’s strange, Catalina shrugged off the thought. She found her room, a small and clean suite with a large cozy queen bed in the center. Well, whoever took care of my room was very thoughtful… She wondered if her mate, an Arctic wolf named Kobalt, had already paid for it. She sighed, missing him even more than usual. Kobalt was also away on business, on tour again with his bus company.

“I want you to have fun, honey,” Kobalt told Catalina over the phone the night before she left for the airport. “I can’t wait to hear all about your adventures this time!”

Catalina stowed the thought away as she did the same with her luggage. She gathered up her bright pink and purple leopard print day pack then wandered out of the hotel, eager to take in the new city.

She found the small, tightly packed and colorful apartments charming as she ascended one of the many paved hills a short distance from her hotel. She was glad she wasn’t at the host hotel—it was a waste of money she absolutely could not afford. She enjoyed making the most of conferences, walking around and playing tourist, taking pictures and trying out new languages.

She stopped into a tiny café. A few presenters at the convention were milling about, grabbing coffee and breakfast. She said hello to a few she recognized and took a seat at the counter.

As she was about to order, she noticed a cup of tea by her, with a napkin under it. The napkin had her name scrawled on it in bleeding black ink.
She looked around. The barista nodded when she took the tea. “Excuse me…perdoneme…quien dar este te a mi?” Catalina queried. The barista tilted her head in the direction of the end of the counter, where a handsome Friesian stallion sat in a suit and tie, one arm on the counter near his tea, the other on his hip, his gaze soft and smile charming.

“Giorgio?” Catalina gasped, blushing. The stallion stood, wandered over to her.

“Hola,” the stallion nickered, planting kisses on each of her cheeks, the heat from them tickling his muzzle. “It’s been a long time since we saw each other, hm?”

“I—I didn’t know you’d be at the conference!” Catalina squeaked, swishing her tail and drinking the tea. It was a robust chai, with honey and sweet milk…the kind she ordered often at home.

“I didn’t know you’d be here, either,” Giorgio confessed, sitting next to her. He interrupted their conversation momentarily by telling the barista, “Un pastel por favor, gracias.” He then faced her again, his eyes alight. “But I had a feeling you would be…you can’t stay away from things you love.” He winked, tossed his mane slightly.

“Right…” Catalina sighed, her nose buried in her tea, her ears burning from being flushed for so long.

“Listen, Catalina. I know we met on…less than ideal terms,” Giorgio continued. Catalina’s tail swished in embarrassment; her previous dalliances with the stallion were best kept private. “But like I said before, I’m a scientist in your field, too...I’m presenting tonight. Would you like to come? It’d mean a lot to me if you were there…”


The barista delivered the Danish. Giorgio offered some to Catalina, but she declined. “…I realize how awkward this is, but…I’d love to get to know you more. Maybe…maybe during or after the conference…I can show you around sometime. I know this city better than anyone here…” At that another stallion in the back of the cafe, a large roan, coughed in disapproval, which Giorgio shrugged off. “…I know this city well,” he corrected, rolling his eyes, “and I’d love to see the sights with you.”

Catalina finished her tea. She set down the cup. She squeezed Giorgio’s hooved paws gently.

“Giorgio, that is very thoughtful of you,” she smiled. “But I was planning on being at this conference on my own.”

“I’ve reserved a spot at the presentation tonight, just for you.” Giorgio’s heart swelled and ached. I’ve always reserved a spot for you, ever since we first met…we didn’t meet the way we should have, but we have a chance to make things right!

“I will attend,” Catalina agreed. “Thank you for the tea, but please, Giorgio—no more favors, okay? I’d like to explore the conference on my own, without pressure, for once.”

“Understood,” Giorgio flared his nostrils. He nodded, then finished his Danish, chewing thoughtfully. “I’ll see you tonight, then?”

“Of course.” Catalina stood, ready to leave. Giorgio practically leaped off his stool, elbowing an iguana next to him.

“Hey!” the lizard hissed, irritated.

“Sorry,” Giorgio apologized, then looked to Catalina. “Hey, um—can I walk with you to the hotel?”

“Sure!” Catalina shrugged. Giorgio held open the café door for her.

“Ladies first,” he grunted, taking in her scent as she walked past. He trotted after her, amazed at how fast she could walk. “Slow down!” he laughed. “There’s no rush!”

“But the first talk is at 8!” Catalina whimpered. Giorgio caught up to her, his tail fluttering in the breeze as his hooves clipped along on the pavement.

“Bah, no one goes to those talks, too early,” Giorgio waved it off. “Besides, you’ll be there in plenty of time for the opening talks at 9.”

Catalina wrinkled her nose. “If you say so.” She began to pant as they walked up and down several small hills toward the host hotel for the conference. Giorgio’s gaze kept wandering to her, his heart pounding in his chest from more than just the exertion of moving up and downhill.

“You look nice today, by the way,” he complimented.

“Thank you,” she murmured, trying to keep track of the winding pavement. It finally began to even out as they approached the hotel.

“Well, I guess this is goodbye for now,” he held open the doors to the hotel for her. Catalina smiled as she passed through them.

“Thanks for walking with me,” she added as they parted ways. She checked into the conference, donning her badge and hurrying to find the first series of talks.

The rest of the day was busy for Catalina. She rushed from ballroom to ballroom, listening to interesting new finds and taking notes along the way. Giorgio stayed busy too, reciting his talk over and over, pacing the halls when he could, catching snippets of conversation and gossip.

Giorgio glanced at his watch. It’s almost 6…almost time…

The ballroom where Giorgio’s talk was scheduled began to fill. He scanned the audience, searching for her.

Just as the clock struck 6, Catalina rushed in with some last minute stragglers. The older scientists huffed disapprovingly while the younger set fell to tweeting and setting up their iPhones for video recording.

Catalina sat with her notepad in paw, her doodles and notes from earlier swept away to a new page as she prepared to take more notes. Giorgio liked that about Catalina—she was so different in the way she paid attention in conferences, how she sat apart from the others, how their eyes met from across the room from time to time as she drew or wrote. He wondered if she wrote or drew about him, but stifled the thought as he launched into his carefully prepared talk.

Fifteen minutes flew by. During the questions session, Giorgio was pressured by the roan stallion Catalina saw at the café to talk about specific aspects of his research. She sensed the two were either rivals or colleagues, for the way they acknowledged one another seemed brusque. Catalina applauded along with the others after the talk ended.

Giorgio waited as the crowd dispersed. He found Catalina putting her notes into her day pack, and trotted over to her.

“Hey,” he grinned, sweat coating his hide. Talks always made him nervous. “Thanks for showing up!”

“Oh! Hey Giorgio!” Catalina shouldered her day pack. “You’re welcome. It was a great talk!”

“So…uh…do…do you have any plans tonight? Aside from going back to your hotel…”

Catalina blushed. “Are…are you asking me out?”

“Um…uh…well, not out, out…just…to get a few drinks, yes.” He scratched his mane sheepishly.

“Well…I do have an early start tomorrow…there’s a lot to see and do before the convention is over…”

“I understand,” Giorgio muttered, crestfallen. He was about to walk away when Catalina stopped him:

“…but I would love to spend time with you. I enjoyed your talk and I’d like to share my notes with you, to make sure I got everything I needed.”

Giorgio whirled around, grinning ear to ear. “I’ll go ahead and reserve us a spot at the bar,” he whinnied. Catalina smiled as he galloped to the hotel bar, shaking her head.

This will be one talk I am glad I went to, she thought.

~Spanish Translations~
perdoneme…quien dar este te a mi-Pardon me....who gave this tea to me? (the word te should have an accent, to distinguish it from the command form of you in Spanish  :-[ )

“Un pastel por favor, gracias.-A pastry please, thanks.

Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on January 07, 2015, 03:03:55 am
After a little bit of thinking on the subject, I think I have another word to enqueue.

Give "interoperability" a shot.

I will get started now that I'm done with Reserve! Thank you all for your patience and kind words, much appreciated!  :D
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Old Rabbit on January 08, 2015, 12:32:29 pm
Thanks Iara.. You did a nice story about "reserve"  A good read keeping my
interest. I found the descriptions of the characters and background well done
without over doing it.

If you run out of words and want another. How about "interglacial" just for fun. 

Old Rabbit :orbunny:
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on January 09, 2015, 12:01:39 am
Thanks Iara.. You did a nice story about "reserve"  A good read keeping my
interest. I found the descriptions of the characters and background well done
without over doing it.

If you run out of words and want another. How about "interglacial" just for fun. 

Old Rabbit :orbunny:

Glad you enjoyed it! :) Interglacial will come after interoperability, thanks!  :D
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on January 16, 2015, 01:49:45 am
I've been delayed--I will post Interoperability soon, followed by Interglacial!  :-[
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Old Rabbit on January 17, 2015, 11:37:09 am
No problem.  Take your time. :orbunny:
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on January 18, 2015, 12:52:13 am

It was a dark and stormy night when she received the email.

The only light in her apartment was the eerie glow of the laptop screen. She had just finished another short story for an upcoming anthology when her inbox pinged.

My sources say you are an excellent writer. My team and I need you and your agents to ghostwrite for us. We need a story about our organization and its founder. Should you be willing to do this, we will compensate you handsomely. Name your price and you will have it. Our founder has that much faith in you. Please write us back at your earliest convenience.

The leopardess fluffed her wings in excitement and anxiousness. A real gig at last!

In an instant, she wrote back, her pawpads flying across the keyboard as they would across the damp soil in pursuit of prey.

Thank you for the opportunity. I'd like some additional information about your organization before proceeding, and my agents and I will reach a decision next week.

She smiled, her fangs glinting in the glow of her computer. Her inbox pinged again.

We appreciate the opportunity for interoperability as well. Our organization is a charity fundraiser operation founded by one of the best known classical musicians in the world. Our mission is to keep classical music in schools and to support creativity in public education. You will have the opportunity to to interview our founder, as well as attend one of his concerts free of charge. Let us know if these terms work well for you.

The leopardess’ tail tip twitched and she sat up straight in her computer chair, stunned. One of her lost childhood dreams was to become a violinist, and her heart leaped as she read the reply. Now’s my chance to pick up the pieces! And meet a famous musician, to boot!

The leopardess typed back,

These terms are excellent. Please send the assignment right away so I can get to work!

Over the next few weeks, the winged leopardess researched the organization and its founder thoroughly, spending most days and nights curled up in her computer chair, downing inconceivable amounts of chai tea, and typing until carpal tunnel seized her paws, forcing her to stop. She listened to his music over and over again, his tenor resounding in her ears and filling her mind with dreams of far off places.

She sent the final draft of the report to her editors, and then to the organization. She sighed, proud to have completed the work.

The sun set, its crimson staining the darkening blue sky. The leopardess had just finished yet another run to the local coffeeshop. Before returning to her apartment, she found a single red rose on her doormat.

A rolled note was tied around the stem. Hi, it read on the outside. The leopardess blushed. She went inside, then unrolled and read the note.

My ghostwriter and team,

Your efforts have helped me improve my charity work tremendously. Your eloquent phrasing has been used on my main website, and draws more donors every day. Thank you.

As a personal thank you, I’d love to have you as VIPs at the first concert in my next tour, in New York. You are more than welcome to join me backstage.

Musically yours,
Winslow A. Caballo

The leopardess fluttered her wings and smiled a big toothy grin. She couldn’t wait!
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Old Rabbit on January 18, 2015, 12:11:58 pm
I enjoyed the story, a good read as before.

I like how you show females in your stories as intelligent creative individuals. Not just
something to look at, and use, but still showing their famine side as well.

Keep up the nice work. :orbunny:

Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on January 18, 2015, 11:20:38 pm
Thank you much, Old Rabbit! Interglacial is on the way!  :D
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on January 25, 2015, 02:22:03 am

The sabertooth tigress lay in her den, flipping her tail side to side. She knew the cold. She could anticipate it. The bellowing wind in the evergreens, the snowpack beneath her paws…she knew those sounds like the rhythm of her heart. Her pulse had quickened that morning, for something new was happening, something strange about her world she had yet to understand. The light from the sun spilled into her den, making her squint and turn away. Worse, the snow began to fall in clumps over her den’s archway, splattering on the cold stone floor and seeping toward her warm dry pelt.

The sun was warming the floor of her den. As it ascended, her den began to become brighter, exposing her hideaway. She liked to hide, it was part of her. Now the sun was tearing that idea asunder, forcing her to face it and the changing world.

She sighed, squinting. She stood, her pelt suddenly making her skin twitch. The air began to warm with the sun, much faster than she was used to. She padded out of her den, and nearly slipped at the entrance. She was stunned. Never before had the earth refused to give way to her paws.

The river near her den was moving. She stared at it in wonder. Miniature ice floes rafted along, bumping into the dripping mudbanks. She had seen thaws before. Since she was a cub thaws meant spring, mating, and den seeking. Spring was not to arrive for another sixty sunrises. She knew this, for the rhythms of the season helped her hunt and mate. But now, with the sun blazing and the water flowing, she was not sure anymore.

She looked into the clearing near her den. Other animals were confused by the changing environment. Mastodons wandered in loosely clumped herds, the muddy soil impeding their progress. Some slipped and sank into the mud, crying piteously. The other den creatures—rodents—tested the new air with their noses, whiskers twitching. Most decided it better to stay in their dens. The sabertooth thought it a wise choice, as a pack of unruly jackals yelped and attempted to finish off a drowning mastodon calf nearby, eager for the chance of raw flesh. Several of the canines were trampled in the process. The sabertooth scented a large rogue male saber in the vicinity. He was wise to hide, waiting for his chance. She decided that was the best option, given the struggling mastodon herd. If they couldn’t make it in the new world, how could she?

A giant lake had formed several yards from her den. The sun was reflecting off it, its promise of fresh water and grasses too tempting to pass up. The mastodon herd marched toward it, some of its kin surrendering to the earth. They tried to drink. The sabertooth tilted her head, scenting the air.

The worst change was the air. It was heavy, difficult to breathe in, and smelled bizarre. It smelled wrong, the sabertooth had decided. She shivered, not from the cold.

The foolish mastodon calves went first, lured by the lake. Once separated from the adults, an advancing pack of dire wolves burst from the trees. Only…they began to cry out in a way she had never heard wolves cry before. Their packmates on land skittered back, whimpering. The ones lured by the mastodon carcasses gorged themselves, until a paw slipped…a tailtip got stuck…black mud covered them, its foul smell tainting the air…and their wails of terror gripped everything.

Silence. The mastodon herd stopped bellowing for their calves. The wolves had retreated. The sabertooth tigress watched in horrified fascination.

The dead were being eaten by the lake, as if the earth itself hungered. The dead bodies sat for a while on the surface, but the more the predatory victims struggled, the more the lake swallowed them.

The sabertooth watched the rogue male make his way to this awesome predator. Surely, he was paying it respect. Never before had he seen such an efficient killer, consuming both predator and prey. He padded toward it, head bowed low in submission.

The sabertooth tiger gave a feeble cry, as if he were mewling for his mother. His paw was ensconced in the black ooze of the lake. The more he tugged, the stickier it became, embedding in his fur. He managed to pull away, falling on his rump. He tried grooming his paw, but one whiff made him grimace, his fangs exposed. He wandered off, his pride wounded and paw forever changed.

The tigress watched from the trees near her den. The sun reached its zenith, then descended. Camels and horses became trapped, their desperate cries unheeded. Giant predatory birds leaped atop them, succumbing to the ooze beneath their last meals. The sun set at long last, the cool of the evening making her shiver gratefully. Unfortunately, the breeze brought the reek of death and the ooze together, making her ill.

She sought her den, her last refuge in this strange new place. She slipped and felt her shoulder snap. She gasped. Pain lanced through her as her teeth did prey. Her strong clavicle was broken, her paws useless.

She whimpered and winced, lay in a heap, her pelt absorbing the icy water from the unyielding stone floor. The pain numbed her. She couldn’t see the sun anymore, its warmth quickly leaving her den and her body. A new fire took its place, one of pain inside her, sapping her strength and courage as the lake its victims.

The noxious scent of the black mud filled her nose. She focused on it, and then the scent of the rejected male. He sat near her, nudged her gently. She shivered in shock. He showed her his ruined paw, which she noted was not only smeared in the mud but also had been broken in several places. It was as if he was saying, I am broken, too.

He grew bolder, lay next to her, watched over her during the night. Her pain lessened when she was totally still, a challenge for her. The tiger left in the morning, letting the sun warm her fur. He returned at night, with a small bird carcass as a gift. He kept her company for many sunsets, until spring properly returned. The last gift he left her was an untouched foal carcass at her den’s entrance. It was her biggest meal since damaging her chest. She stood weakly, dragged it to her corner, and turned her back to the sun as she ate.

She would never forget the times when the cold gave way to warmth, inside and out.
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Old Rabbit on January 25, 2015, 12:23:10 pm
Very well done Iara. A sad story, but I imagine something like this has happened many many
times since life began.

In fact I believe  last summer while excavating an ancient glacially formed lake in the rocky
mountains. They discovered a huge number of animal bones buried in the mud. Many with no
signs of being killed by carnivors.

Ok here is a word you might have some fun with. "defenestration".  :D  If you wish to wait to
see if someone else has a word first, it's fine with me. :orbunny:
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on January 25, 2015, 12:41:11 pm
I will work with defenestration. Glad you enjoyed the story!  (:
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on February 01, 2015, 12:38:45 am

The little brown feathered dinosaur opened her bright green eyes.

She blinked, shook her head, and blinked again. A creeping chill raced down her spine from her neck to her tail tip.

Something is very wrong.

She remembered going to sleep that night in her nest on the ground, her head tucked under her wing, her body warmed by her feathers and the cycads she used to line her nest. She remembered the twinkling sea of stars overhead, the total darkness of true night. She also remembered feeling very much alone in the world, which saddened her as she departed for the world of dreams.

She did not like waking up out of her nest. She especially did not like the world in which she awoke.

She stood slowly, bobbing her head, taking in her bizarre surroundings. It was strangely bright, as if the sun were a permanent fixture in the sky, and yet there was no blue sky above her, only a strange gray thing that looked like a flat rock. She hissed, and jumped as the hiss faded into buzzing and then silence. She shook herself, fluffed her feathers. This has to be a dream, she reassured herself.

She stepped forward, noting the slick and cold tiles below her feet. It had an odd scent to it–one she could not place, but resembled shale or slate. The next thing she noticed was the opening created by a slightly ajar window. The sunlight poured through the clear glass panels and into the fluorescent lit room, beckoning her away from the nightmarish realm she awakened to. She nearly fell as she kept moving toward it, her balance thrown off by the slick tile floor. Regaining her composure, she focused on the window again.

A warm breeze buffeted her facial feathers. She tentatively poked her muzzle out the window’s opening, the scents of steel, concrete and human excrement overwhelming her. She felt dizzy as she looked down. The street beneath her was a ribbon, like a winding river filled with concrete. Her heart thundered in her chest as she surveyed the gray world around her, a world frozen in place, its buildings like the necks of sauropod skeletons twisted in the cruel sun, gasping for air.

A door behind her slammed. Angry voices, frustrated ramblings, fists slammed onto tables. Her heart picked up the pace, her head swam.

A hummingbird darted into the room, hovered around her. It trilled at her, its eyes alight with bliss. She was drawn to its bright colors, the greens and reds of her time.

Her foot had reached the ledge. She was standing on the sill now, fully exposed to the air and the sunlight that pierced the smog on the horizon.

She swung her tail as she balanced on the ledge. The sun was warm, the air thick. The hummingbird darted toward its nest, quick as a wink.

A panicked shout barely registered as she closed her bright green eyes. She spread her wings, her primaries twisting in the wind.

The air caught her body. It was suddenly cold as she picked up speed. She tried moving her wings, but she was going too fast. Tears filmed her eyes. She looked upward, twisted toward the sunlight. She gazed at it as the concrete rushed up to meet her…

A pair of bright green eyes snapped open in the depths of the night.

Background music: Demons by Imagine Dragons
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Old Rabbit on February 01, 2015, 12:47:21 pm
A interesting story using the definition of the word "Defenestration" rather than the word
it's self. I like how you held the reader in suspense, then leave them with the realization it
was only a dream in the last line.

I haven't thought of a new word as of yet.  Perhaps someone else has one.  :orbunny:
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Old Rabbit on February 02, 2015, 09:19:16 pm
Iara I found another word you might like to write about. "modicum" .  It refers to
something small. :orbunny:
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on February 03, 2015, 01:49:00 am
Thank you again for your readership and participation, Old Rabbit! Much appreciated.  :D

Modicum is a neat word...now to write about it.  8)
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: redyoshi49q on February 20, 2015, 06:48:24 am
...So... I kinda fell off the face of this thread, but I'm still alive!

I have a few things to say in response to something you mentioned at the end of one of your prior stories...

~Spanish Translations~
perdoneme…quien dar este te a mi-Pardon me....who gave this tea to me? (the word te should have an accent, to distinguish it from the command form of you in Spanish  :-[ )

I've found the US International Alternate keyboard layout from halfway down this page (http://keyboards.jargon-file.org/) to be rather useful.  It treats your right Alt key as a special kind of Shift key for the purposes of typing uncommon characters.  Generally speaking, if you want to type a character with an accent, tilde, or similar, you hold the right Alt key while typing the corresponding punctuation key, then type the base character without holding the Alt key.  Below are some examples of what you can type:

Alt + ', a   ->   á
Alt + ', A   ->   Á
Alt + ^, e   ->   ê
Alt + ", I   ->   Ï
Alt + ~, n   ->   ñ
Alt + /   ->   ¿

I recommend this keyboard layout over the US International keyboard layout that comes with Windows because unlike that layout, this one doesn't interfere with everyday typing, including that which involves a lot of punctuation (a particularly useful trait for me, considering that I'm a programmer).

Also, a more correct Spanish translation for the English line provided here is "Perdóneme... ¿Quíen me dió este té?" (I poked a native Spanish speaker on the subject; he corrected a mistake that I had made in failing to make the sentence past tense when I tried to translate it myself).  Note both the past tense third person singular conjugation of dar as well as the indirect object that comes before the verb.

I have another phrase that I'd like to enqueue (after Old Rabbit's word).  Give "Beware the whispers, for they whisper lies." a shot.  If you don't recognize it, it's from a poem (http://inheritance.wikia.com/wiki/El-Har%C3%ADm) featured in the Inheritance cycle (Eragon and its sequels).
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on February 23, 2015, 01:13:48 am
Hi all,

Sorry it's been so long since I last added to this post! I am still alive, just drowning in RL paperwork.  :-[

Old Rabbit, I will post your story (modicum) and RedYoshi yours based on the phrase you gave when I can.

Thanks for your patience and RedYoshi, thanks for the International Keyboard tips! I forgot the hotkeys, thank you so much!

Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Old Rabbit on February 23, 2015, 11:45:40 am
Take all the time you need.  The RL rules us all.. :orbunny:
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on April 27, 2015, 02:37:58 am

The jaguar sat in a corner of the coffee shop, curled up in a leather chair, her iced jasmine tea latte on the table and a book in her paw. Her breathing was soft yet muffled, her vision less than clear as she read slowly.

“You don’t have a modicum of decency left, do you?” huffed the bespectacled blonde lion beside her, with his black coffee warm in his pawpads. His name badge hung askew across his broad chest, his button down shirt fresh pressed and clean, his mane neatly combed and styled.

“Nope.” The jaguar sipped the dregs of her iced tea through a purple straw, making a horrible churning sound that everyone winced to.

“What in the hell are you doing here, anyway?” he growled, pretending not to notice the curious stares.

“Drinking tea,” the jaguar responded, turning a page in her latest fantasy novel du jour, A Dance With Dragons. “What’s it look like?” She wiggled a bit in her seat, tossing her hair casually. Her name badge barely moved.

“It looks like a My Little Pony fanfic gone awry,” the lion hissed, blushing as some cute furries waltzed past, whispering and staring.

“You know what?” the jaguar suddenly stood, folding her arms. “I don’t have to take this from you!”

“What are you doing?! Are you crazy? You can’t just walk out there dressed like—like--!” The lion tried to stop her, tugging on her arm, but she backed up, turned away toward the door.

“Dressed like what?” she murmured, head down, voice sad.

“I mean, do you realize what you look like? What everyone at the conference will think?! They already think you’re crazy, this isn’t helping at all--!”

“I don’t care!” she huffed, lifting her chin. “I’m tired of caring about what everyone else thinks. I’m doing what makes me happy, for once. I didn’t ask for your help, thank you.”

“But! But!” the lion stammered as the jaguar pranced out the coffee shop door.

The jaguar wandered down the sunshine laden street, her horn and hooves a glimmering gold. Her pastel pink coat, neatly brushed, hid her natural spotted markings. Her mane and tail were an array of pinks, blues and yellows twirled in a cotton candy spinner, in stark contrast from her natural brunette locks. She marched along with purpose, A Dance With Dragons and illustrious science journals bundled in her totebag.

A gaggle of schoolcubs raced to her, enchanted, asking all kinds of questions in tiny voices. She smiled inside, but did not speak. Instead, she hugged them and waved goodbye.

Once she was inside the conference hall, the usual comings and goings and chit chat ceased. Some furries began to laugh, others stared in disbelief at the pastel unicorn trotting in their midst. She made her way to the bar and sat down, unable to see who was beside her.

“Some wine for my lady?” came a gentle warble, and she wiggled on her stool to get a good look at the stranger offering her the drink.

She stifled a gasp. It was a dragon, a beautiful red and gold dragon, with amber eyes and a toothy grin, offering her a drink! How could a unicorn refuse a dragon?

“Absolutely, my fine fellow,” the jaguar winked beneath her unicorn’s teal blue eyes, their square pupils reflecting the fluorescent lighting.

“Two it is, then,” he grunted, his amber eyes reflecting the bar before them, the black patches beneath hiding his bright green and ochre gaze.

“Your scales are marvelous,” the unicorn complimented the dragon. It was wise to compliment a dragon, lest his wrath was incurred. Dragons were known for burning furries and bridges.

“Mmh, thank you, it took a while to get them polished,” he imbibed the wine without a second thought.

The scales on the dragon were unique, for a suit. They were individually sewn into the body, a difficult task that cost far more than necessary. But then again, if one wanted realism, one had to spend a little more than expected.

“So uh…the conference is off to a good start,” the unicorn began nervously, pawing her multicolored tail with her golden hooves.

“Yes, it is,” the dragon nodded. “More attendees this year than last. I suspect that’s due to dropping the fees.”

“A wise move, for a certainty,” the unicorn agreed. A dragon’s hoard was his prized possession, after all.

“Tell me true,” the dragon swirled the wine in his glass, “how are things with you?”

“They are going well,” the unicorn sipped her wine slowly. “And with you?”

“Eh, yes, they are going well also.” He stretched, his wings flapping with the movement. “I am off to watch some talks. It was good to see you, little dove.”

“I’m a unicorn,” she snorted.

The fur grinned beneath his guise. “Very well. It was good to see you, my little unicorn.”

“Thank you,” she lifted her chin. She raised her glass. “Send the community my regards.”

The dragon bowed dramatically. “Of course, my lady.”

Background music: Rains of Castamere-Peter Hollens-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4dc0OjFAw8&list=UUgITW_70LNZFkNna7VsXbuQ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4dc0OjFAw8&list=UUgITW_70LNZFkNna7VsXbuQ)
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Old Rabbit on April 27, 2015, 11:36:57 am
A interesting story Iara, and a cool twist for a furry story too.

Along with a good use of the word. "Modicum" 

I will see if I can come up with another word. :orbunny:
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on April 27, 2015, 08:03:46 pm
Thank you kindly, Old Rabbit! :)

RedYoshi, your phrase is next!

After that...I am open for suggestions once again! *rotates wrists and primaries in anticipation*
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Old Rabbit on April 29, 2015, 11:07:41 am
Here is another word. "Derivatives"  Not that unusual, but should be interesting to use
in a story. :orbunny:
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on May 18, 2015, 02:20:37 am
Beware the Whispers...

Iara found herself in a nest that was not her own. Instead she was in a den lined with dried pine needles and ochre fur. A musky scent clogged her nostrils in the damp dawn air.

Iara wandered out of the den, fluffing her plumage and preening nervously. “Hello? Is…anyone here?”

He lay on a warm rock nearby, watching her move into the sunlight strewn clearing. His tailtip twitched.

A Microraptor chirruped at Iara as it scurried up a nearby tree. Iara blinked, stunned, for its chirrup hissed, You do not belong here. Iara had never heard the Microraptor speak before; they usually chattered amongst themselves in a jittery dialect only they understood.

Another avian, a Confuciusornithid, rattled its beak at her. Its cry seemed to hiss, You are weak.

Weak! Weak! Weak! several Confuciusornis repeated, their wings beating in a flurry as they moved about the canopy.

Iara shook herself from nose to tailfan. “This is getting a little weird…”

You’re the weird one, a sunning lizard’s eyes seemed to retort. Iara squinted at the basking brat. The lizard stuck its tongue out, tasting the air.

His velvet pawpads pressed into the dirt, silencing his movement through the underbrush as he made his way into the clearing.

“I really should be going, then…” Iara began to back away, toward the path that headed into the forest enclave she called home.

Good! Leave us alone, a turtle grunted as she stumbled across its shell. You clumsy fool!

Iara grunted, startled by the fall. She shut her eyes tight as she slowly stood up. A frog in a puddle behind her croaked, Dumb! Dumb!

Iara opened her eyes, finding herself nose to nose with a jaguar. She squealed, skittered backward, flashing her primaries outward as she nearly fell again.

“Oh, gods, please don’t eat me!” she shivered, crouching into her sleeping position, her wings outstretched rather than tucked inward.

The jaguar only stepped toward her, his brilliant green eyes flecked with ochre, like his fur. His talisman, a single blue Archaeopteryx feather, swung in the light on its chain, its fibers iridescent one moment and dull the next.

Iara’s eyes dilated and contracted in turns as she panicked. So this is how I die, she thought, her mind whispering to her in pure terror as the jaguar advanced steadily.

“Beware the whispers, hijita, for they whisper lies.”

His voice shattered her thoughts just then, and she began to regain composure. “What?” she squeaked, panting.

Die! Die! Die! A flock of Microraptor chattered as they made their way through the trees.

The jaguar sat before her, his breath calm and slow. “Beware the whispers, for they whisper lies.”

“But…but everything around me…I don’t feel accepted…”

The jaguar paced as he spoke, his voice ringing through the clearing. “Those are the voices within, tearing you down. They are the whispers you hear when you doubt yourself. Dispel them. Beware of them. They are lies. You are not who you think you are, when you are afraid. You are strong, strong, strong! Honor your strength! Be proud in who you are, despite your fears and your doubts. Let them fade with the mist in the sun! Beware the whispers, for they whisper lies.”

Iara closed her eyes as the jaguar stepped even closer to her, one of his eyes locking on her as he snuck past, inches away. She opened one eye, wincing.

The jaguar had vanished. The frog leaped out of the puddle, its croaks cheerful. The Microraptor chased one another up tree trunks, chittering greetings to her. The turtle she nearly stepped on continued its slow pace, determined to get back to its pond. The lizard had already scurried off in search of food.

“Remember this lesson, and all that I have taught you,” the jaguar’s voice echoed from a distance away, somewhere behind her, in the depths of the rainforest. “All is never as it seems.”
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Old Rabbit on May 18, 2015, 12:10:29 pm
Another short story to be proud of Iara.. :orbunny:
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on May 18, 2015, 03:28:02 pm
Another short story to be proud of Iara.. :orbunny:

 :-[ Thank you! I will interpret Derivatives asap.  (:
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Old Rabbit on May 21, 2015, 10:48:45 am
Your welcome Iara.  I have a few more words as you have time. :orbunny:
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on July 06, 2015, 12:03:32 am
Finally! Here is Derivative

The professor tapped the board with his pointer, chalk dust drifting lazily to the floor. It was a warm spring afternoon, nearing the end of a long semester.

He droned on, "Let's say we have a curve, like so." He began to draw a graph on the chalkboard, tilting his head to the side to prevent his muzzle from getting in the path of his curve. His dark scales glimmered slightly in the sun, but he was as black as night, nearly blending into chalkboard itself. His toothy grin was permanent, but his tone was lackluster, as ever.

The students yawned, restlessly wiggling in their seats. The desks were small, old hand-me-downs from other prestigious universities in the city. One student, a jaguaress, kept gazing out the window, daydreaming. She doodled a heart with wings in the upper right corner of her notebook as the professor continued.

"We can measure the slope of the curve by calculating the difference between two points on it. These are fixed points. Their position does not change; they are linked by the slope. This particular curve has a positive slope."

The professor scribbled some equations on the board, calculating the slope of the curve. Several students dutifully copied his writing, but most were staring at their iPhones or chatting amongst themselves. The professor's hearing loss was a boon to most in his class.

The jaguaress added the equations to her paper when a paper crane fluttered to her desk. She looked around suspiciously, fearing a high school-esque prank.

A group of hunky jags and tigers were in the corner, discussing their next big frat party. Thin, preppy vixens snarled and giggled derisively as she looked their way. Definitely not from them.

"Now this slope we just calculated is an average--it is not the slope of the curve at a specific point. In fact, it is impossible to calculate this!"

A tortoise was struggling to keep up with the professor's writing. A capybara snorted and frowned, chewing loudly on a handful of Cheetos. Definitely not them, either.

"In order to find the slope of a curve at a specific point, we must derive it--calculate the derivative. A derviative is a change in slope between two specific points, until they reach zero."

A male jaguar sat two seats away from the jaguaress. He was engrossed in a bird guide tucked into his textbook, but kept glancing her way once in a while. She raised an eyebrow at him and he smiled shyly.

She noticed the origami paper underneath his books, the same the crane was made from.

"Dulcinea?" the professor called on the jaguaress, to her horror. Startled, she nearly dropped the delicate paper crane off her book.

"Yes, sir?" the jaguaress cleared her throat, trying not to pay attention to the giggles behind her.

"Can you calculate the derivative of x squared?" The professor shuffled toward her, holding out a nub of white chalk.

Everyone stared. Dulcinea straightened her skirt and took the chalk gently.

"Well, we start with the slope formula, delta y over delta x...delta y is the function of x added to delta x...minus the function of x."

Some students began to stop staring at their iPhones. A few pricked their ears as she spoke, writing so everyone could see. She spoke loudly but clearly, her smooth voice filling the room and silencing her fellow classmates.

"If the function of x is x squared...we substitute it into the original equation...and complete the square...simplifying, we get...2x plus delta x...and as delta x becomes zero...the derivative of x squared is 2x."

"Excellent!" the professor beamed. Dulcinea turned around. The students were paying attention, waiting for her next move.

"Um...that's all, I guess." Dulcinea blushed, her fur standing on end. She hastily took her seat. She was tempted to groom her facial fur, but ended up chewing her lip instead.

"So class, does everyone understand how derivatives work?"

The male jaguar tossed a paper airplane onto Dulcinea's desk.

"Open it after class," he mouthed to her as the professor ended his lecture.

Everyone filtered out of the room, including the jaguar who noticed Dulcinea. He winked at her in passing. She waited until the room was empty to unfold the plane and read the note.

Derivative-where once there was one, now there are two
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Old Rabbit on July 11, 2015, 01:38:05 pm
That was well done Iara.  I like how you worked several characters into your
story. I always like your female lead characters too. They are intelligent
caring individuals. 

Okay I have a new word. In case your wondering where I get my words. I have been
reading a few books by Arther C. Clarke lately, and when I see a good one I try to jot it

The word is "Concierge" :orbunny:

Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on July 12, 2015, 10:51:01 pm
Thank you yet again Old Rabbit! You're keeping this post alive; for that I am grateful to you, lagomorph. :D

I love Arthur C. Clarke! I read 2001 and 3001 several times; he's one of my all time favorite authors. I also enjoy traveling and hotels, so we shall see what happens with Concierge. :)
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Old Rabbit on July 14, 2015, 01:06:03 pm
Glad to help you my feathered friend.  :) Hopefully others will give you a word or
two in the future.

I have read the series of 2001 through 3001. Also several others. I am reading the
Rama series right now. I have always been a big fan of science fiction, and Mr Clarke
is one of my favorite authors too.  :orbunny:

Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: WhiteAkitaKeiko on July 15, 2015, 04:58:32 am
I'm not going to lie, I absolutely adore your stories!
Keep up the stupendous work! :)
May I suggest a word? Pandemonium  perhaps?

I'm looking forward to see "concierge" !
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on October 26, 2015, 12:08:38 pm

Iara was startled from a dreamless sleep, her neck jerking off her shoulders and into the muggy night sky. A sizeable raccoon next to her managed to knock over a filthy trash bin, spewing its contents into the gutter and the nearby homeless shelters of U-Haul boxes and human odds and ends. Her lids began to shut involuntarily, but the raccoon’s noisy foraging kept her bright green eyes open.

She sighed. So far this new world was dreary and lonely. She preened constantly, disgusted by the thin air and its bizarre contents. She gasped for air some nights, coughed most days. The pigeons, her only living kin aside from the occasional hawk or swirl of finches in a bush, kept her company, cooing and feeding near her talons.

The humans, as she learned they preferred to call themselves, were even less welcoming than the environment. They reveled in their own packs, keeping to themselves and staring at square boxes with blue lights. They moved quickly, barely registering her presence. She wondered if she was an apparition, a ghost from a past too distant to ever hope to return to.

Home. That is what she needed to find. She remembered being in her nest of pine needles and cycad fronds, warm and cozy…and then she awoke in this strange place, where nothing was familiar and every turn held a horrible mechanical nightmare.

Every step she took made her legs ache. The air was stifling. Even the stars were different, and blocked by the cloudy haze she was sure was from some vast mechanical mountain, pumping its toxins into the sky.

She managed to flee down a few dingy alleyways by night—ones humans avoided, much to her relief—and often found herself in the company of funny fluffy creatures, not unlike larger versions of the burrowers she used to eat once in a while. The fluffy ones were mean, hissing as she approached, hunkering down and nibbling on some bit of plastic, desperate to get nutrients from the desolate world they inhabited. She pitied them, and then reflected on her own situation.

One day, she saw something through a human box. Her own kind, a dead one, but a friend, nevertheless. She stumbled across it while she took refuge in a green area—one of the few pieces of the world she knew. The trees were different but provided ample shade from the heat of the sun, and the bushes were comfortable enough to crouch in. She occasionally snacked on a hapless bird or rat, and if she got really lucky, some human tidbits, but her hunger ate at her, begged her to return home.

She snuck closer to the human box, keeping to the shrubs that surrounded it. It was midday, and the sun was too much for her. She was very thirsty, and very tired, but seeing the familiar outline of a lost soul like her made her skin prickle and plumage rise.

She dared to raise her head above the bushes.

Several lumps in the ground made a pathway toward the human box. Inside that box was her friend. She had to get inside, and not be seen. She didn’t know if humans hunted and ate creatures like her, but she thought it best she didn’t find out.

She took in several breaths, her chest shuddering quickly with the effort. She was glad she could get extra air into her body—she had no idea how the humans around her could survive in it.

She hunkered down to the ground, creeping slowly. She held her wings tight to her sides, kept her tail level, and bobbed her head slightly. Every muscle began to tense as she approached the edge of her refuge in the bushes. The shadows of the humans blocked the sun as they strode past, their voices loud and harsh.

She froze as a wet substance landed with a loud plop on the ground by the edge of the bushes.  The fluid oozed toward her foot. Too paralyzed with fear to move, she then winced and jerked her head sharply as the shriek of a human infant rattled her bones. The humans stopped to comfort the wailing young one, and Iara saw her chance to run past them, up the edge of the lumpy path.

Iara tensed, focused on the outline of her kin. She then opened her wings to the sides, twisting her wrists to allow her primaries to flare out, catching the air. She lunged forward, her legs stretching as far as they could, her muscles tense and taut. Her tailfan acted as a rudder as she deftly dodged human legs, keeping within their shadows. She bounded up one lump at a time. The lumps seemed endless, and she opened her mouth, her thin tongue cooling her blood as she kept up her reckless rush.

Her wings brushed past the humans, but no response from them reassured her. She finally found respite from the cruel sun, hopping weakly up the last lump to the outermost edge of the box, where shadows were cast from the columns.

She hunkered down in a dark corner of a column, glad of the shade. She saw the humans continue their walk down the lumps, chatting away as if she didn’t exist. She was glad none were hungry.

She then tilted her head to the side. The box was so bright! She wondered why—it wasn’t bright before, and now it was as if another sun was beating off its surface…as if…it was made of water? But how could it be made of water? Iara shook herself involuntarily. Humans loved their odd boxes, that much was certain.

She darted to and fro, wondering how she could reach her friend inside the box. The fact that her friend was dead was a macabre realization, and worse still considering it wasn’t on the ground but standing as if its flesh was stripped clean while alive. None of that mattered; Iara was determined to find a way home, and she felt this was it.

She waited. She watched the sun dip lower in the sky. She watched the shadows of the humans get longer, and less of them came out of the box. She then noticed a pattern she neglected to see before—each time a human went into the box, part of it made a hole. Each time a human went out, they went through the hole. Iara then realized—this was not just a box, it was a cave! A den for her dead friend! Perhaps they were grieving it, but Iara had no time for philosophy—she watched the box open and close…open and close…open….

Iara squawked and darted for the opening, past a human’s legs and into the cool den. The den closed behind her.

She found herself staring at not one, but two dead friends locked in mortal combat, as they would have done in life. She thought it bizarre, and called to them, despite knowing that bones never replied to one’s voice.

She ran in circles around the pair, dodging humans as she went, nearly slipping on the flat cold stone below her.

She then stopped, her head spinning. She glanced about, desperate to find a way home.

Another box blocked her path, and a human sat behind it, entranced by his tiny blue screened box as most were. He was chatting with another human, a female, and the way he puffed out his chest and preened told Iara some kind of courtship ritual was going on. She grunted, rolled her eyes. Now is not the time to mate! she felt like chiding the humans. Now is the time to send me home!

The box was black and had white symbols on it. The human had a silver thing on his chest, probably to show off its puffiness to any available female. Iara judged the distance between the floor and the top of the box and scrunched down as much as possible.

She leaped up, her wings spread wide for balance, her tailfan curled up as she landed on the black box.

In the meantime, the humans conversed.

“I’m a concierge,” the male explained to the female. His bright blue coloration reflected his status.

“Uh huh,” the female muttered, absorbed in her blue screened box. “What’s that?” Playing uninterested was an excellent tactic for vying for male attention. Iara tilted her head, watching the exchange between the humans, unable to understand their odd dialect, but amused by the ritual all the same.

“I can make sure you get where you need to go,” the male leaned in closer to the female. He lowered the volume of his voice, deepening it, “And I can hook you up with the hottest spots in town.”

Iara bobbed her head at the change in tone. She had never heard humans deliberately do so before. It must be some sort of mating call, she decided. She hopped closer to the pair.

“I’ve already got a date tonight,” the female demurred. The male seemed hurt but didn’t express his rejection by assuming a submissive posture. Instead, he became more aggressive, which surprised Iara.

“I can get you the MUSE tix for free, if you want,” the male went on. Iara was impressed by his persistence. Surely the female would be swayed by now, and then she could get on to the real business of getting home.

“I dunno…maybe…maybe some other time.” The female human turned away, lured by the rest of her bachelorette pack that lingered near yet another opening in the box.

The male sat behind the black box, clearly upset. Iara flapped her wings and chirruped, as if to get the human’s attention. But the human only stared glumly at his box with the blue screen.

I need to get home! she insisted, opening her jaws and trilling, beating her wings loudly. The human behind the black box paid her no mind, only yawned and moved his thumbs across the screen.

Iara slowly realized the human could not see her. He couldn’t see her! How could she ever get back to her nest now?

She turned around and bounded back onto the cold stone floor. She then spied more of her friends, all dead, from the corner of her eye.

Before she took one step toward the new opening, a larger human strode toward the human behind the black box. This was a male, very showy. Iara decided he was an alpha, given his advanced age and colorful plumage. She scrunched down behind the leg of the herbivore, curiously watching their exchange.

“Hey, hey you!” the alpha male barked at the male behind the black box.

“Yeah—“ the other male absentmindedly blurted.

“I need to arrange a ride tonight to the gala, and I need it now.” The alpha was serious. Iara saw a muscle in his jaw twitch. She wondered if humans snapped their jaws in agitation like she did.

“Yeah, yeah, I’m on it,” the other male mumbled, too absorbed in his tiny box. The alpha suddenly grabbed the other male’s box. Iara’s eyes widened. Definitely a challenge in territory! She decided this exchange was more interesting than the mating ritual.

“Listen up, idiot,” the alpha snarled at the stunned male, who finally and reluctantly made eye contact with the alpha. “Don’t fool around with me. Don’t you realize who you’re talking to?”

“Oh, crap! Sir, I’m so sorry, I—“ The male realized his error and scrambled to get his paperwork in order.

The alpha thrust the box back toward the male. The alpha then turned on his heel, heading toward the opening Iara wanted to see.

Iara chirruped, tilting her head at the alpha. She was startled when the alpha paused mid stride.

The alpha male human turned back, looked around as if he had heard something. To him, it sounded like a bird.

“Hey,” he gently stopped another human in blue, this time a female. Iara found it interesting that males and females, once they had reached a certain status in this pack, were the same color. “Is there a finch in here?”

“No, sir…one did get in earlier downstairs, but we had the janitorial staff shoo it out.”

“Huh,” he mused. He smiled at the female and she took her leave. He then resumed his walk toward the opening.

Iara blinked. Did this human hear me? Am I invisible to all but this one? Perhaps I can be seen after all!

Iara followed the alpha male human, careful to keep her distance. Her dead kindred were all around her, and she paused. She flapped her wings and chattered a mourning dirge. If my kind are gone…how can I get home? Is this my new home? Am I to die here too?

The alpha male human definitely heard the familiar snap of wings, the fluted call of a bird. He stopped dead in his tracks and turned toward Iara.

“I swear, if there is a bird in here, someone’s head is gonna roll…this is the last thing I need to deal with…”

He stopped in front of her. His polished shoes reflected the odd light in the box. Iara skittered backward, hunkering under a bench’s shadows.

She breathed roughly, hoping the alpha male would not get a hunger pang and try to grab her. To her dismay, the human bent down, staring under the bench carefully.

Iara shut her eyes so that her eyeshine would not betray her presence. She scrunched her body as small as she could, sweeping her tailfan against her body and folding her wings as tightly as she could. Please don’t see me, please…I just want to go home…

The alpha male human’s large hand moved toward her…Iara held her breath, terrified….and snagged a dust bunny under the bench.

“Gah,” the human grunted in disgust at his prize. “This place needs to be cleaned a lot more often…”

To Iara’s great relief, he walked away, in a hurry to whatever destination was deeper in this box. She noted the sky outside was dark once more.

I need out of here, she thought. She ran toward the opening she went into earlier that day to get inside the box…and the opening was gone!

Iara wilted on the cold stone floor. She felt the tears spring to her eyes. Perhaps I am dead, like them…perhaps I am but a ghost, seeking a home I will never see again…

…and then the concierge made an opening in the box.

Iara gathered the last of her strength, and ran for the opening, half bounding, half flying. She rushed past the humans walking toward the door. One, a female human, paused. She could have sworn she felt the brush of feathers on her legs…

Iara was relieved to have escaped the box. She wearily bounded down the lumpy path and headed toward the green space. She found a dead rat and tore it to pieces. She swallowed some dingy water from a puddle in the gutter along with the pigeons. They cooed at her, their melodies far away and yet familiar. Iara curled up under the bushes, and fell into a restless sleep, hoping she would one day wake up in her own nest, in her own time once again.
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: redyoshi49q on October 27, 2015, 01:19:19 am
I read through your latest stories.  I think you nailed the mood for my prior phrase, and your story on "derivative" spoke to my inner math geek (while you tripped up on rather minor details, I'm too pleased about the thorough and otherwise accurate description of a mathematical derivative's definition to care).

I'd like to enqueue a word that's inspired from a game that I've been marginally obsessed about recently (http://forums.furtopia.org/gaming-discussion/undertale/), in which the will to keep going is literally the power to undo your own end (a pun presumably intended by the creator).  I'd like to enqueue the word "determination".
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on November 01, 2015, 08:50:02 pm
I'm not going to lie, I absolutely adore your stories!
Keep up the stupendous work! :)
May I suggest a word? Pandemonium  perhaps?

I'm looking forward to see "concierge" !

Thank you WhiteAkitaKeiko! :) Your word pandemonium is next.

I'd like to enqueue a word that's inspired from a game that I've been marginally obsessed about recently (http://forums.furtopia.org/gaming-discussion/undertale/), in which the will to keep going is literally the power to undo your own end (a pun presumably intended by the creator).  I'd like to enqueue the word "determination".

Thank you also, RedYoshi! I will write about determination after I finish pandemonium. :)
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Old Rabbit on November 06, 2015, 12:30:26 pm
Was a very nice story for the word "Concierge"  Iara.. :orbunny:

Here is another word for when you have the time.. "esoterica"
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on December 20, 2015, 07:34:31 pm
Iara looked out at the vast desert before her, the wind buffeting her feathers and assaulting her ears.

Everything was coated in swaths of mahogany sand. The onyx and crimson gravel beneath her clung to her toes in an irritating fashion. Only her bright emerald eyes stood out among the scenery, her plumage blending seamlessly into the shifting world around her.

She moved forward slowly, squinting to reduce the glare from the sun and the amount of grit in her eyes. Her nictitating membrane swept over her eyes to protect them as she trudged forward. She took ragged breaths through her nostrils, the dry and hot air instantly making them sting. She felt as if her throat had been stuffed full of fiddleheads, all itchy and suddenly dry.

The sun began to dip into the horizon as Iara made her way to the top of yet another wave of sand. She could no longer see the pawprints she was supposed to be following, and stopped for breath.

The wind finally abated. Iara adjusted her eyes, shaking her head free of the sand that now coated every scale and barb. She snorted and coughed, shook her whole body free of sand.

Iara looked down at the sea of sand beneath her. A series of jet black and crimson masses moved in rhythmic patterns, some stationary and others moving in a jerky fashion, as if they too were being buffeted around by the winds. As Iara’s eyes took in the scene, she realized she was staring at other avians.

A colony! she realized. At last, someone to speak to! Maybe they know how to get out of this place and to this Oasis…

Hopeful these new avians could help, Iara made her way carefully down the giant sand dune and toward the valley below.

By the time she arrived at the colony, the moon had risen and the once-mahogany seas of sand had become inky indigo. Iara stepped quietly among the sleeping avians, gazing at them curiously.

Each avian was only a few feet apart from the other. They sat on round ridges, which Iara instantly recognized as nests, with their wings spread wide over their individual areas. Iara noted their odd faces—each had incredibly large eyes, downturned and pointed beaks, and brightly colored, lumpy crests that extended from their nostrils toward the back of their heads. Some crests were an iridescent blue-green, and others neon orange with brown blotches. All of the avians had black feathers, and none were very attractive in that regard. Iara could not help but stare at them as she wandered toward the center of the colony.

Iara thought that the arrangement of the colony must be like her own—the alphas were in the center, so Iara moved toward the center, hoping to make contact with the leaders and gain their trust so she could get help.

Iara stopped at the center of the colony. Two avians nested beak to beak, their wings outstretched over their eggs protectively.

Iara blinked, watching them sleep. She noted one eye was half-open in the avian with the blue-green crest, gazing at her intently. It was a fierce red eye, with a knowing look to it, as if to say, I know what you’re up to!

“Psst!” Iara hissed softly to the blue-green crested avian.

The lid on its eye slowly lifted, exposing its full size. The large avian suddenly became alert, and squawked harshly, “Intruder! Intruder!”

Iara backed up slowly, spreading her primaries and lowering her body submissively. “No! No, I mean no harm, I just want—“

The large male woke his mate with his cries, along with all other avians in the colony. Iara found herself surrounded by open maws with stubby teeth, puffed feathers, and was soon assaulted by dozens of hissing, yowling, and booming sounds.

“Wait, please! I don’t mean to--!” Iara had no chance to speak, for she dodged a flying beak and angry cry of a vicious female avian with a neon orange crest. Another female aimed for her neck, its own neck swinging and beak rattling as it snapped it open and shut in a warning bite.

Iara found an opening as the colony began to close in on her, their charges and cries rising in temper. She bolted for it, bounding over an angry male’s head and body, and ran as fast as she could toward her lookout point above the valley.

“Quick quick!” a tiny cry met her ears as she fled. “Follow me! Follow follow! They will catch you and eat you! Feed you to their chicks! Quick!”

Iara veered off in the direction of the sound, having no choice but to trust it as the alphas of the colony led the charge.

“Inside! Inside!” the voice chattered, and Iara stopped before a hole in the sand, carefully constructed to prevent sand from accumulating in it.

Iara looked down, panicked. “I can’t fit in there!”

“Try! Try!!” the tiny voice urged. Iara felt a small head pushing against her ankles furiously, edging her toward the burrow.

Iara managed to stuff her head into the burrow, collapsing it on top of her neck. The tiny avian cried out in anguish as Iara scuffled into the sand, carving an entrance large enough for her to hide in. More tiny avians within the destroyed den chirruped and squealed in fright, huddling together as Iara wedged her way into their living space.

Suddenly, the wind began to pick up speed, hurtling sand and debris in every direction. The infuriated colony ceased their chasing, returning in pure panic to their nests, trying desperately to protect their offspring.

It was too late.

The colony shut their eyes, hovering over their nests and crying out in fear. The sandstorm howled over the ridge, bringing a deluge of sand and mud with it. Iara watched in horrified fascination, paralyzed. The tiny avians were mute, shivering and afraid.

How can so much pandemonium arise from nothing? Iara thought as the storm continued throughout the night, eventually fading by dawn. No trace of the colony existed—only sand and mud remained, entombing them with their offspring forever. Iara shuddered.
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on December 20, 2015, 07:41:42 pm
Was a very nice story for the word "Concierge"  Iara.. :orbunny:

Here is another word for when you have the time.. "esoterica"

Thank you Old Rabbit!

Next up is determination, and then I will write a story for esoterica.

Thank you for your readership and patience!
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on January 07, 2016, 12:23:49 am

The blue and gold lance struck him hard in the breastplate, and he fell to the dirt with a whoosh and a clang, the Queen’s favor fluttering around his arm.

The challenger, a bay charger stallion, whinnied his triumph to the cheering crowd, hoisting his lance skyward with a smirk.

The black destrier stallion lay in the dirt, his head spinning beneath the crushing weight of his armor. He had been struck down twice by the challenger, and began to feel as if all hope was lost. His energy was slipping away as the sun sank lower in the evening sky. The flapping of the banners and the radiant cries of the audience thundered in his ears.

He groaned, his chest burning from the hit. He struggled to move his arms, and then noted the pale purple favor his Queen had bestowed on him through his visor. My Queen, the stallion thought. The melanistic jaguaress in her elegant, sheer gown, her sleek mahogany hair falling past her shoulders…she planted a soft kiss on his broad cheek and wrapped her scarf around his arm the night before, and the thought flooded his memory. I cannot fail her now! I am honor bound…

The black destrier huffed and grunted, pain searing through his body as he struggled to sit up. The Queen and King watched from their stand anxiously. The Queen fidgeted with her new silver necklace, her eyes pleading with her fallen knight to stand and face the challenger once more.

The challenger whirled around to see the fallen knight on the opposite side of the arena. He tossed his neck beneath his helmet and grinned. “Don’t bother to get up, dear ser,” the bay knight called out to the black and the hushed audience. The bay’s squire handed off a sword in exchange for the lance and dashed out of the way. “Unless you want a trial by combat…?”

The question hung in the air. The black destrier finally managed to get on his paws and knees. Sweat soaked his coat as he shakily stood on his hind hooves. His squire stood by, a sword in paw and anxiety clear to see on the young goat’s face. The black destrier, breathing heavily, looked up at his Queen, awaiting her response.

The Queen clapped her paws together once. The audience roared, eager to see what they believed would be a short and bloody fight.

The squire rushed over to his knight, his hooves trembling as the knight gripped the sword. “My Lord, you are not well…this fight is over…please forfeit!” the goat bleated.

The black destrier spat, lifting his visor. The Andalusian bloodline made his nose large but his eyes were warm and kind. His forelock was matted with sweat, his coat twitching, and his mouth frothed. But the destrier was determined to beat the challenger, no matter the cost.

“Make way, squire,” was all the destrier could say. The squire bleated again and fled.

The challenger swung his sword in a circle, dancing to and fro on his small, tan hooves. “We meet again! Tell me, is your Queen as beautiful as your end will be?”

“Speak ill of her, and it is your end they will cheer for,” the destrier grunted as the two stallions’ swords clashed.

The two knights fought well, the bay dancing in and out of the path of the destrier’s sword, and the destrier managing to hit the bay across the shoulders and back on multiple occasions. The evening stars lit the sky and the knights continued their pacing by torchlight. The audience watched the swordplay with bated breath—never before had a tourney been taken so seriously.

The bay stallion pinned the black destrier beneath his blade, pressing hard against the other’s sword. They were locked in a deadly struggle, using all of their remaining strength against one another.

“Rumors abound,” the bay whispered, trying to throw the black destrier off balance. “They say you love the Queen…”

“I fight for her honor,” the black destrier snorted through gritted teeth, pushing against the weight of the bay and the flat of his sword.

“Honor and valor, hmph,” the bay grinned wickedly. “Some say…you fight for so much more…”

“Gahh!” the black destrier pushed harder than ever before, breaking the stance and facing the bay charger. The two paced around one another slowly, their armor hindering their speed and sapping their strength considerably.

The bay swung his sword at the destrier’s breastplate. The destrier blocked the blow just in time and managed to swipe at the bay’s legs. The bay danced away, slashing at the destrier’s back.

The bay’s sword sliced through the destrier’s beautiful wavy tail, leaving a shortened mass of fuzz.

Dodging and parrying, striking and slashing. The bay’s visor was cut, and the destrier’s greaves were damaged. Finally, the destrier pinned the bay beneath his blade, in reverse from where they were  before.

“What say you, ser?” the destrier huffed. “Do you give up?”

“N-n-never,” grunted the bay.

The two stallions groaned, their bodies shaking under the effort and from the weight of their armor.

The bay shifted his weight slightly to his left, to keep from falling. The destrier saw his chance.

With a colossal shove, the destrier pressed the bay toward his left side. The bay faltered, and the destrier pressed his blade against the bay’s neck.

“Enough!” the Queen shouted. The audience watched in mute fascination as the black destrier’s eyes met his Queen’s. He pulled away from the challenger and thrust his sword into the dirt of the arena, bowing before his Queen, his body shaking violently.

“The winner!” the announcer raised the destrier’s paw into the air, forcing him to stand. His squire pressed against his side, allowing him to stand weakly.

The audience cheered as the challenger limped out of the arena. The King followed, returning to his chambers. The Queen lifted her skirts and padded into the arena as the crowd dispersed. She gazed sternly at the black knight.

“You stubborn fool,” she hissed, narrowing her blue eyes at him.

“Your Grace,” the knight nickered, a grin plastered all over his muzzle as his helmet was removed by his attendants.

“I thought we agreed you would go into exile,” she continued as the knight was tended to.

“I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving your side, your Grace,” the knight winced as a wine soaked rag was applied to his wounds. “I earned your favor, and I had to honor it.”

“A tourney is no way to honor your service!”

“It is the best way, begging your pardon, your Grace,” the squire piped up. The Queen glared at the goat, who trembled and rushed to gather the knight’s armor.

“I must stay. It would give me no greater honor than to serve as part of your Guard again. Didn’t the tourney show that?”

The Queen considered the knight’s words. Then,

“You are determined. I will give you that.” She looked away, toward her castle, as she said, “Arrive in the Courtyard on the morrow. Keep your favor, ser.”

The Queen swept off after her King. The knight sighed, watching her leave. He gazed fondly at her favor, and then, helped by his squire, limped off the dirt of the arena to an inn for the night.
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Old Rabbit on January 08, 2016, 11:54:37 am
My my such determination. One wonders how many knights met their end in such foolish games
of honor..

Nicely written Iara  :orbunny:
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on January 08, 2016, 12:28:13 pm
Thank you, Old Rabbit!  (:

Esoterica is the last word in my queue, and then I will be open to receive more words or phrases!  (:
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Old Rabbit on January 15, 2016, 12:11:58 pm
We can't have you running out of words Iara. :orbunny:

How about "perfunctory"   I think it's a new one anyway.

Perhaps you should put a list of the words you have done at the
beginnning of this thread..

Old Rabbit :orbunny:
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Kobuk on January 17, 2016, 11:54:27 am
I don't have a particular word for you to use, but rather something else to challenge your creativity. ;) Can you write a story around the dialogue I wrote in Post # 8 here:
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Old Rabbit on January 20, 2016, 12:47:37 pm
I don't have a particular word for you to use, but rather something else to challenge your creativity. ;) Can you write a story around the dialogue I wrote in Post # 8 here:

That would be interesting. I second Kobuks request. :orbunny:
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on January 26, 2016, 10:29:31 pm
Listing the words/phrases at the beginning of the thread is a great idea! Thanks Old Rabbit!

I will post Esoterica, followed by Perfunctory and Kobuk's idea.... (:

Thanks for your readership!  :D
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on February 06, 2016, 01:31:15 am

“This is boring,” whined the tiger-wolf cub as he walked with his mother and auntie into the exhibits of the museum.

“Shush,” the tigress admonished the disinterested cub in a sharp whisper. The marble floors and columns reflected the spotlights and echoed his lament. The halls were quieter than usual as the sun began to set, the crowd emptying out before the museum closed.

The jaguaress, his auntie, stared at the dinosaur specimens in a knowing way, as if they were old friends. Really old friends, the cub reflected, remembering that most dinosaurs were extinct.

The jaguaress knelt next to the wiggling cub and murmured, “I used to come here often when I was your age.”

“That must’ve been way before the iPhone,” he glumly retorted.

“Well, unlike an app, these dinosaurs were real,” she went on, hoping to catch the cub’s curiosity.

“Meh,” the cub shrugged. “Come on auntie, we’ve been here so many times! Why can’t we just go to Disneyland like all the other cubs in my school?”

“Because these dinosaurs have a secret no Disney character has,” the jaguaress grunted.

“And Disneyland’s prices are outrageous,” the tigress muttered to the jaguaress.

“What secret is that? They’re dead, and dusty, and old!” the cub sat on a bench near a looming Tyrannosaurus rex skull.

“In each of these dinosaurs is a special code, one only a few can understand,” the jaguaress whispered to the cub. Despite himself, his eyes began to go wide.

“You can scan these with your phone?!”

“…no,” the jaguaress grinned. “It’s more of…a secret you learn in a special society…”

“Oh,” the cub thought. “A nerd club. The nerds at my school get bullied, auntie. I don’t want that!”

“I was a part of that society once,” the jaguaress went on, determined to keep his flagging interest.

“What’d you do? Get kicked out?” the cub wondered, half teasing, half serious.

“When you came along, I attended less and less,” she explained. “But I still know the secrets, still know the codes, still understand the beasts before you.”

“How did you get in this society in the first place? Weren’t you a cub? I thought only grown ups could be in a society. And why is it a secret, anyway? This stuff’s dead—that’s not a secret to me!”

The jaguaress smiled. “I thought you weren’t interested. You said yourself this place is boring, with just a bunch of dead animals.”

“Hey, I didn’t say dead stuff wasn’t cool,” the cub replied, defensive. “It’s just seeing the same old dead stuff over and over again. That’s not cool.”

“What if I told you this secret lets me see these dinosaurs differently every time I come here?”

“What? That’s not possible. What’s here is here, and what’s dead is dead.”

“True,” the jaguaress admitted. “But every time I visit, I learn something new in my society, another piece to the puzzle. You like to solve puzzles, right?”

“Duh,” the tiger-wolf cub rolled his eyes, remembering how he beat the crossword in a few minutes on his tablet that morning.

“Each of these dinosaurs has its own set of codes, and each is a piece of a much bigger puzzle. That bigger puzzle includes you—“ she pointed a paw at him gently, “—and me.”

“Auntie, we’re not dinosaurs,” the cub shook his head. He waved his paws around the room. “Those are!”

“If you want to know more, all you need to do is look at them,” the jaguaress tilted her head behind her toward the dinosaurs on display.

“All I see are dusty bones,” the cub huffed, setting his chin on his paws, hugging the railing.

The jaguaress laughed gently. “One day you will learn more about your own bones, and then when you see these bones for the millionth time, maybe something will click.”

“What happens then?”

The jaguaress whispered, “A door will open, and a path will be ready for you…if you wish to take it.”

The tiger-wolf cub tossed and turned in his dreams that night.

He was older, and anxiously stood before a group of black robed elder furs whose faces and species he couldn’t recognize. He was in a small, dimly lit room, much like the halls of the museum. He held a manuscript in his paws, and was shaking. He was awaiting their verdict.

A door in the wall on the right side of the room opened. His auntie, white haired and wizened, beckoned to him, whispering, “Come on!”

Before the tiger-wolf could join her, the dream dissipated. He sat up in the darkness, panting and whimpering.

His aunt peeked her head into the room, softly grunting, “Are you all right, little one?”

“It’s just a bad dream, is all…” the cub tried to reassure himself. His auntie sat next to him, squeezed his knee.

“What was it about?”

“It’s…it’s like the stuff you were saying earlier…about a door…I was gonna go through it, and then I woke up…”

“What was so bad about it?”

“I was really scared…there were all these grown ups judging me…and I was a grown up too…I had this paper…like homework…and they were gonna decide whether I was passing or failing…”

“Ah, you had a premonition.”

“What is that?”

“It’s…it’s when you know something will happen before it really does.”

“Like when I know I aced an exam?”

“Sort of!” the jaguaress nodded. “But you’ve dreamed something that might happen to you in the future.”

“…will it?” the cub wondered, leaning into his auntie for a hug. “Will I go through this door?”

“Once you do, there is no turning back.”

The cub shook himself, and the jaguaress hugged him again.

“It’s just a dream, sweetheart,” she murmured. “Try and get some sleep, huh?”

The cub watched his auntie leave. Then, he called out, “Wait!”


“Will I be a part of that society you talked about? Is that who was judging me?”

The jaguaress smiled. “Time will tell.” The tiger-wolf’s cubs went wide, and the jaguaress murmured, “You will be judged fairly, and if you pass, you can go through the door, like I did.”

“What’s on the other side?”

The jaguaress paused. She sat next to the cub again, tucking him into bed, soothingly petting his hair.

“Nature’s secrets and wonders…however you choose to see them.”


“Think of a beautiful landscape…something soothing…something that makes your heart leap when you see it…and think of something you’re doing in school that makes you happy. Now, envision yourself doing that happy thing for the rest of your life, in that beautiful place. Whenever you’re sad, or scared, I want you to return to that place, especially before you go to sleep.”

The cub grew sleepy listening to the jaguaress’ soft voice. He yawned. “Is that what’s behind the door?”


“I guess…that’s not so scary…after all…”
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Old Rabbit on February 06, 2016, 12:11:04 pm
Well done as usual Iara.   

You have told us your a teacher. Just curious if your an
english teacher?  :orbunny:

We all can benifit by knowing our history. When I was a young
fellow I had the idea that we were smarter than those before
us, but I finally learned by reading that we aren't any different
other than the knowledge we have learned. It's also possible
that we are only relearning some of what was known in the ancient
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on February 07, 2016, 12:34:24 am
Thank you, Old Rabbit!

I'm a geology teacher (at the community college level), but I appreciate the compliment all the same.  :-[

Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Old Rabbit on February 08, 2016, 12:50:39 pm
Thank you, Old Rabbit!

I'm a geology teacher (at the community college level), but I appreciate the compliment all the same.  :-[

That is interesting. You are a good writer though. I imagine studying to be a
teacher required a good understanding of writing. After all a teacher needs to
know how to communicate well.

I enjoy your writing, Keep up the good work. :orbunny:
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on February 10, 2016, 02:05:43 pm
Thank you! :) Your continued readership has kept this post alive...thanks!

And before I started college, one of my life goals was to become a writer, in particular a fiction writer. I loved fantasy novels by McCaffrey and Tolkien (later on Martin and Asimov) and started writing when I was young. I also illustrated the books I wrote, and I still draw from time to time. Writing, art and spelling were my strengths in grade school and high school, and they carried me through college. I'm glad I can share some of my stories and work with you all on Furtopia--it keeps my hobbies going and my heart light too. :)
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Old Rabbit on February 11, 2016, 12:25:50 pm
That is interesting Iara.. I always enjoyed reading, even as a child.  My parents
read to me when I was only a toddler. I suppose that's where I gained my love
of reading. Perhaps even my love of animal stories too.

I wish I had taken more of an interest in English when I was in grade and high
school. Though I enjoyed reading I didn't think about writing. About 20 years
ago, partly due to some vision loss. I decided I would like to learn how to write.

It's one thing a person can do even with poor or no vision at all. :orbunny:

I have a few books on writing, so I probably know enough to think I know
more than I do.  :D

I found some more interesting words in. Lewis Carroll's "Through the looking glass."
A interesting read actually. It's rather silly of course, but has interesting characters
much like "Alice in Wonderland" I like books with female lead characters, wither
they be furry or not. These are a nice study for anthro animal characters.

I look forward to more of your work.

Old Rabbit :orbunny:
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Kobuk on February 11, 2016, 09:39:06 pm
*waits patiently for my story*
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on March 24, 2016, 02:24:53 am

The cold winds of winter howled outside her den. Her kit snuggled alongside her for warmth, and she drew the little one close.

She smeared the window with a tiny pink paw, her whiskers translucent and quivering.

She sighed. Today will be like any other day…

She bundled herself and the wakened kit slowly, begrudgingly. How many hours had she worked this week? They all seemed to blur together, from the time she pattered down the cold concrete to the time she punched out for the long day.

Every day was the same routine—dragging her reluctant kit out the door, which nearly slammed on her petite pink tail, locking it tight, rushing past the larger citizens to the side streets, dodging the drunk alley cats and mangy canine panhandlers, skittering into the brightly colored bakery just in time. She then set to work, donning a bright blue apron alongside the other mice, rushing to and fro, mixing dough, setting frosting, baking cakes. Every minute was a rushed one, every moment her heart was heavy.

Today will be like any other day…

The bell to the shop rang just as she had set another cake in the oven. The shrew family reunion had doubled in size, and she was already exhausted.

The usual hustling and bustling suddenly ceased. Her coworkers froze in place, their eyes wider than usual. She stopped work to see what all the fuss was about.

Her jaw fell open and her eyes lit up as they took in a bundled jaguar, his green and ocher eyes sad.

He too had seen too many similar days. Perhaps the bakery was a reprieve from the rat race. Cat race? Whatever species…all they knew was how to be busy!...especially in a big city.

Her nose twitched, taking in his scent. Her big brown eyes sparkled.

“A jaguar! What is he doing here?!” her coworkers gasped in fright.

“He’ll harm our kittens!” one of her loudmouth coworkers howled, clutching her kits close in fear.

“I’ve seen him before…” she muttered to herself, more loudly than intended.

“What?!” another coworker gasped.

“Yes…yes I have seen him on the subway….I think he works near the museum or something…”

“Humph! He should know better than to be here! We’re not his type!”

“Mama, what does she mean?” her kit whimpered.

“Hush,” she stroked her kit’s ear gently. “Some grown ups have no idea what they are talking about.”

“Oh, is that so?!” the outraged coworker slammed her spatula down perfunctorily, slopping frosting all over the counter. “You have some nerve, Elodia! You call yourself a mouse?!”

“My mama is a mouse with the heart of a lion!” her kit defended her proudly.

“Cats are cats, through and through. They’ll turn on all of us, just you wait, kid. Someday you’ll end up on the menu!”

“Be quiet!” Elodia snarled. “All of you!” The bakery fell silent. The mice peeked over the counter at the seated jaguar, whose eyebrows were raised as he stared at them while reading the paper.

“I’ll talk to Cupcake,” another brave coworker broke the awkward silence. “She’ll know what to do!”

The order was called out, and Elodia took it. She kneaded some dough, layering it and curving it into the familiar crescent shape. She set it into the oven, watched it darken to a golden brown. She took it out, and let her coworkers plate it. She watched as they slopped the hot water for his tea into his mug. She scolded them, insisting he get better service.

“Who cares? He’s probably already eaten,” the loudmouth huffed.

“How do you know?” Elodia challenged. “You shouldn’t treat him different just because he’s a big cat.”

“Bah,” the coworker rang the bell for delivery to the jaguar’s table. “What, you got a crush on the guy?”

“No,” Elodia murmured, gathering up her dishes and setting them into the sink. “It’s only fair he gets treated well. Who knows? He might become a regular!”

“Keep dreamin’, sweetheart,” the coworker chuckled derisively while cleaning a mug.
Elodia whispered to her kit, “I think we should do something special for him. He seems in a bad way.”

“I know! I could make him a cupcake!”

“That’s a wonderful idea! Hurry, before he decides to leave! You know the recipe?”

“It’s all in here!” her kit pointed to her head then her heart as she gathered the ingredients and set to work.

Her kit rushed over to the jaguar just as he was about to leave the bakery, tugging on his jacket.

Elodia watched the jaguar gaze affectionately at her little one, the cupcake enormous in her tiny pink paws. For a split second, the jaguar’s eyes met Elodia’s. For a split second, her heart stopped.

He devoured the cupcake after musing over it, and her kit rushed into her arms.

“Mama, mama, he loves it! He does!” she squealed excitedly to her exhausted mother.

“I know, little one,” Elodia held her kit close. “I know.”

The bakery seemed less perfunctory after the jaguar’s impromptu visit, and from then on the days no longer blended together for Elodia.
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Old Rabbit on March 25, 2016, 01:25:08 pm
Now mice would likely find it hard to do business as usual under
those conditions.  :D

Nicely written as usual Iara.  Fits Perfunctory well. :orbunny:

A new word "polyglot"

Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on June 19, 2016, 09:45:21 pm
Conventional Wisdom

The fox yawned, blinked sleepily. The sunlight peeked through his tightly drawn blinds. He looked at his alarm clock reluctantly.

It was already 5 A.M.!

He leaped out of bed and hurried to his bathroom. He hastily brushed his fur while brushing his teeth, all the while checking his watch.

He hopped around his tiny apartment, zipping up his pants and tossing on a tee shirt that read “FURS RUIN EVERYTHING.”

He then rushed out the apartment door, nearly forgetting his keys.

He hurried into the street…to discover he didn’t quite know where he was.

He turned back to his apartment complex. That certainly looked the way he remembered it—a dingy, six story confused mess of cramped places and any number of species.

He then turned to the street again. He checked his watch, tilted and scratched his head.

People were crammed along the city sidewalk, in a hurry to their next destination. People, as in humans.

Humans have been extinct for centuries! the fox thought as he shuffled into the sidewalk to join the crowd. His size was the same as the other humans, which relieved him somewhat—at least he wasn’t a mouse to be trampled!

He hurried along to the subway with most of the crowd, and snuck into a train car in the back.

He sat next to a human mother and her young child. The little girl smiled at the fox, who smiled back, a little unnerved.

The mother pulled her daughter close, glaring at the fox, and edged away from him.

The fox shrugged. Their reactions seem typical enough…

The train stopped an hour later. The fox wandered into a coffee shop, ordered a black coffee, and sat down. The chairs were uncomfortable—he had to stuff his tail through them, and the seat was small.

His order was called out. He went to stand up—and nearly took the chair with him! Embarrassed, the fox tugged his tail free. He abashedly paid for the coffee and left. The barista stared at the money he handed her—and she pushed the emergency button under the counter before the next customers came up.

The fox sipped his coffee, continuing his walk along the street.

A middle aged couple saw the fox approaching as they walked on the opposite side of the street.

"Oh, look, dear. It's one of those people known as furries. He’s in costume too. There must be a convention nearby."

" Wow, that sure is a realistic costume! I can’t even tell where the seams are! Let’s go talk to him."

The couple ambled across the street just as the fox neared the crosswalk.

“Ahem! Hello! Hello in there!”

“Huh?” the fox blurted, confused. He stopped his walk, having been cornered by the couple.

“Oh, hello!” the lady began, thrilled. Her eyes lit up as she saw the fox up close. “Do you speak?”

“Of course I can, lady!” the fox put his paws on his hips, annoyed. He was already late for work, and these two weren’t helping any!

“Let me try, dear,” her husband continued. “Hello! Do..you…speak…like…us?”

The fox raised an eyebrow. “Yes! Yes I do! Don’t you two have somewhere to be?”

“I guess he must be in character,” the lady went on, ignoring the fox. “You must be headed to the convention, huh?” She patted the fox’s head as if he were a dog.

“Hey hey hey! Hands off the merchandise!” the fox pulled away from her, fixing his mussed fur. “I just brushed it all down this morning.”

“Hey, um…honey?” her husband murmured, having given the fox the once over.

“Yes, dear?”

“I…I don’t know. This costume…it just…looks so…real!”

“HEY!” the barista from the coffeeshop shouted. “HEY YOU! IN THE FOX OUTFIT! YOU BETTER PAY UP, OR THERE WILL BE HELL TO PAY!”

The fox grinned sheepishly at the bewildered couple. “Got to go!”

He ran from the barista, his paws hitting pavement faster than he had run in ages. The wail of sirens met his ears as he pushed past the sea of humans.

“I need to find my way back home,” he muttered as he ran. The barista caught her breath at the corner, and the fox took the chance to double back toward the subway.

He leaped on to the open train car in the back just as two angry policemen barged through the crowd, looking for the fox.

The subway train finally stopped near his apartment complex.

The fox ran up the stairs, fumbled with his keys. The door opened the minute he fit the key in the lock.

No humans were inside. The room was as he had left it.

He locked the door, just in case. No pounding on it from the policemen…

He sighed, relieved. Then, a forceful knock jarred him from his complacency.

The fox swallowed hard. “Who is it?”

“Open up! Police!”

The fox sidled up to the door, breathing hard. “What do you want?”

“What do you mean, ‘what do you want’?” was the irritated, muffled reply through the door.  “I want you to open this door! Open up right now!”

“Are you human?”


“Answer me! Are you human?”

There was a pause. The fox reached for his taser, and began to sweat in fear.

“Humans have been extinct for centuries. Why would you ask? Come on, just open the door already! I forgot my keys.”

The fox threw open the door, dropping his taser and hugging the rabbit in the doorway.

“Oh, I am so glad things are back to normal!”

“Yeah…uh…sure. Can I get my keys now, or are you gonna taze me?”

“Here you go, kid. Thanks.” The fox kissed the bunny’s cheek. The bunny touched it, blushing.
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Old Rabbit on July 09, 2016, 12:59:52 pm
That was a nice story Iara. I can imagine what an anthro fox would run
into in a world like ours. Especially if he couldn't communicate with us.

Thought maybe the fox woke up from a dream when the rabbit knocked
on his door. Then so happy to find his world hadn't changed after all.

Thanks for sharing. :orbunny:
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on July 09, 2016, 09:38:34 pm
Thank you, Old Rabbit! Your word polyglot is next!  (:
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Old Rabbit on July 18, 2016, 12:54:21 pm
Almost forgot. :orbunny:  Here is another word Iara.. "scintillate"

I checked your list. So I am pretty sure it's new.

Do Beag L. Howler's word before this one.  I can wait. :orbunny:
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Beag L. Howler on July 19, 2016, 02:28:20 pm
These short stories are great. If I may request one, I'd like to see how you do with the word "notorious."
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on July 22, 2016, 12:12:00 am
Almost forgot. :orbunny:  Here is another word Iara.. "scintillate"

I checked your list. So I am pretty sure it's new.

Do Beag L. Howler's word before this one.  I can wait. :orbunny:

These short stories are great. If I may request one, I'd like to see how you do with the word "notorious."

Thank you both! The words have been added to my WIP list and will be completed in due time! Thank you for your readership!
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on August 11, 2016, 12:33:08 am

The phone buzzed on the table. “Yes?”

“The next candidate is ready to see you.”

“Send him in.”

The Andalusian-Friesian stallion stepped quietly into the stately office, his gray pinstripe suit standing out but a little from his raven coat. He decided to wear a blue tie, which accented the star and snip on his face.

He sat across from a stern Fallabella, whose gaze was searing despite her diminutive size. Her coat was a dapple gray, and her white mane was styled in a French braid. She wore a pale pink blouse and gray slacks. She swished her tail as she reached up to shake the nervous Andalusian’s paw.

“Greetings, Giorgio. I’ve heard much about you from our other interns.”

Both horses sat, the Falabella behind the desk and the Andalusian in an uncomfortably small swivel chair on the opposite side.

“Nice to meet you as well, Doctor.”

She scanned his resume. “Let’s see…you’re well versed in language, I noticed.”

“Yes,” Giorgio swallowed. He resisted tapping his hooves on the floor in anxiousness, and adjusted his tie instead.

“You know Spanish, Italian, English and several equine dialects of each. Hrm! Por favor, digame un ejemplo de cada.”

 “Pues…quiero trabajar en este corporacíon por seís años.”

Che è un lungo periodo di tempo!” the Falabella noted, continuing to read his resume.

Non mi qualifico per questa posizione fino a poco tempo, quando ho ottenuto in linguistica del mio Maestro.”

“You have a Master’s degree. Impressive. Most of our candidates stop with a Bachelor’s. You do seem driven, this much is evident.” The Falabella stopped reading his resume and stared at the stallion.

Giorgio smiled, praying the beads of sweat forming under his forelock didn’t begin to drip down his nose.

“You are also quite fluent. We need that in our company.” The Falabella hopped down from her chair and walked to the large window overlooking the city. Giorgio watched her, not daring to move from his chair. His legs began to cramp. 

“I know that science is not my first career choice, but I want to contribute to the community in a unique way.”


“A lot of science journals are in desperate need of editors that are well versed in multiple languages. I can help with readership, and in turn, influence your impact factor.”

The Falabella turned, her arms folded. She stared hard at Giorgio, taking in his words during their awkward silence.

Then, “Have you edited a peer-reviewed work before?”

“Yes,” Giorgio nodded. “I also moonlighted at Scientific American for a short time. I learned how to write for the general public.”

“Are you implying my articles are not concise?” the Falabella snorted.

“…no!” Giorgio whickered, twisting his ears in confusion. “No! Not at all!” He felt heat rising from his cheeks to his ears.

“Are you implying my English is not good?!” the Falabella stepped closer to the Andalusian, her ears beginning to twist back and her nostrils flaring.

“No, Doctor. It is excellent, I assure you. I…just feel that science articles in general need help…we’d get more readership if we appealed to the general public.”

“Hm.” The Falabella’s ears twisted forward again. She took in his words. “I admit, sometimes…I need help. My English is not as excellent as you proclaim it to be.” She smiled wryly at the nerve-wracked stallion.  “Having a polyglot editor would be useful, someone to catch our mistakes at the company…yes, you will do. Follow me!”

Giorgio stood, flustered. “What?!”

“Come, come, follow me, before I change my mind,” the Falabella whinnied as she trotted out of her office into the hallway.

~Lost in Translation?~
Spanish phrases:
Por favor, digame un ejemplo de cada-Please say an example of each
Pues…quiero trabajar en este corporacíon por seís años-Well, I've wanted to work for this company for six years

Italian phrases:
Che è un lungo periodo di tempo-That's a long time
Non mi qualifico per questa posizione fino a poco tempo, quando ho ottenuto in linguistica del mio Maestro-I didn't qualify for this position until recently, when I obtained my Master's in linguistics
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Old Rabbit on August 12, 2016, 01:01:47 pm
As usual you handled the word, and wrote the story well Iara.

I look forward to your next story. :orbunny:
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on September 25, 2016, 12:47:39 am

Moongaze waited in the darkness. She could hear other furs milling around, their muffled voices filling the air.

Someone tapped her on the shoulder. It was time.

She lowered her head, rotated her head to the left and right. She took several deep breaths, jogged a bit out of nervousness.

She was known for lounging in the coffee shops around town, but she had never dared to do something like this before. It reminded her of playing the violin as a cub…the thrill of being on stage, with the hot lights on her fur and clothes…performing for others made all the walls around her crash to the ground, forgotten in the ecstasy of hitting all the right notes.

The music came on. “Ladies and gentlefurs…here is…Cupcake Sprinkles!”

She began to move as she hadn’t done before…twirling, skipping, walking like an Egyptian.

Nothin’ I can’t see but you…when you dance, dance, dance girl…

The furs in the audience watched. The judges scribbled notes. She moonwalked. She clapped her paws, and the furs in the audience did the same.

I feel that hot blood in my body when it drops, ooh
I can't take my eyes up off it, moving so phenomenally
Room on lock the way we rock it, so don't stop

She was energized by the music, and the comfort of being hidden from view while dancing gave her a surge of confidence.

Ooh, it's something magical
It's in the air, it's in my blood, it's rushing on
Don't need no reason, don't need control
I fly so high, no ceiling, when I'm in my zone

Her tongue lolled in suit as she began to end her dance. The music sent chills up and down her spine, numbing her…enveloping her…

She barely heard the judges responses. All she knew is that she felt like she was floating above the stage as she made her way back to the changing station. She gently removed the pink unicorn head, and shakily unzipped her suit.

She sat in front of the cooling fans, sucked down an entire water bottle while she cooled off. She wondered if what she had just done would be plastered all over the Internet.

She would finally be notorious for something more than just being an introvert.

Music: Can't Stop the Feeling (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ru0K8uYEZWw)
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Old Rabbit on October 08, 2016, 10:55:50 am
More good work Iara.  I would have commented sooner, but politics has distracted me. :-[

Keep up the good work. :orbunny:
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on November 04, 2016, 10:07:12 pm

She wondered if she would ever see the stars again.

The rain pattered on the sides of the train car as it rattled along the track. The fluorescent glare in the car was blanketed by darkness as it moved into a tunnel. The car raced above ground, and she looked below at the city, its grime temporarily washed away by the rain.

The crumpled letter was in her clenched left paw. She brushed the tears from her fur again, drawing her legs close to her chest as she sat in the train car, her hooded sweatshirt and soaked leggings reminding her of home. Anywhere but here.

We regret to inform you…

That was all she needed to read. All she heard was the cacophony of raindrops on the rattling windows, the choked internal sobs, the years of ridicule that resurfaced. Fog enclosed the city as it enshrouded her mind, enveloping her in doubt, melancholy and fear.

She remembered the stars twinkling overhead in all those times she went camping, doing fieldwork. It didn’t matter with what group, or why…all she wanted to think about were the stars. How that huge vastness held so much possibility with each scintillating speck, how she chased her hopes and dreams as if she could somehow reach those stars, and bring one home.

Now, all she could focus on was the bitterness of rejection. All she wanted was to curl up, and never see the light of day or night again.

How many times has my disability held me back? How many times have I seen their sad glances despite their false smiles? I thought I had friends…I guess I was wrong, so very wrong…about everything…I guess…this dream really is that, after all…

She pulled her hoodie over her ears tighter, let the tears flow down her muzzle freely. I don’t care who sees…I just want to be accepted for who I am…and if my dream job won’t let me be myself, it’s not worth my time…my passion…it’s gone…

She barely registered when the intercom announced her stop. She reluctantly left the train car, watching it rush off into the night like a swift vanishing into the darkness.

She sighed, her sadness engulfing her as the rain soaked her to the bone. She opened her left paw over the empty railway.

The letter fell to the rail ties unceremoniously. Its words became blurred by the water and it began to absorb the surrounding soil.

Headlights lit her silhouette, and her mate ran to her, his uniform getting drenched.

She followed him back to the car, sobbing. A freight train rushed past the station, demolishing the letter and her dreams in the same instant.
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Old Rabbit on November 05, 2016, 12:34:30 pm
That story is full of strong emotions. Was nice she had someone to
cling to at the end.

Enjoyed it. :orbunny:

By the way here is another word if you like. "banality"
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on November 05, 2016, 05:18:29 pm
Thank you, Old Rabbit! I added your word to the list and will write a story around it soon.
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on January 08, 2017, 12:18:56 am

Moongaze was curled up in front of her TV, absentmindedly flipping through the channels. Ugh, nothing’s on, as usual…

A flash of a black cape, the crescendo of the violins, the rapid pace of the Spanish guitar and the dramatic pause of a masked hero…the glimpse of such banality made her roll her eyes. And yet…

She stopped channel surfing to watch the telenovela unfold, not wanting to watch but unable to look away.

“They’ve stolen my father’s sword! You must help!” a swooning vixen wept, her flouncy curls and running mascara enough to convey her tragedy.

“Of course, my lady!” cried the masked silver vulpine, his eyes narrowing at the escaping stallions with the sword held in the carriage between them.

The fox whistled sharply, and his stallion, a black destrier, rushed over to him. He leaped on, and galloped after the escaping bandits.

The hero chased the villains for a time, navigating the crowded city streets with ease, eventually winding up in a vast desert. The villains shot at the hero, but they missed, and he clung to the top of the carriage.

“You’ll never catch us alive!” the ne’er-do-wells protested.

The stallions whinnied in fright as they were cut loose from the carriage, bolting to the empty desert. The black destrier had somehow kept pace with the carriage, waiting patiently for his master.

The carriage came to a crashing halt, spilling the villains to the dust along with their prize, the missing sword. The masked hero stood over them, tsking.

“You should have let me drive!”

He snatched the sword, eyeing it in the summer sun. It was a beautiful piece of weaponry, a thin blade that was perfect for him to wield, even though it wasn’t made for him.

He swung the sword to them, grinning.

“I think I’ll take this back to the governor straight away.”

“Not if we can help it!” A nasty fight ensued between the silver vulpine and the two brutish coyotes, involving missed shots and close calls for the fox, but somehow he mounted his stallion, the sword in his paw. He raised it victoriously, his horse rearing and whinnying, his cape fluttering behind him.

Adios, amigos!” he laughed at them as he sped into town.

The villagers cheered as he dismounted, returning the sword with a flourish to the surprised governor and his teary daughter.

“Thank you, masked stranger!” the vixen placed a kiss on his cheek, and the fox winked, laughing.

That…was terrible…Moongaze shook her head, shutting off the TV.

Later that night, she sketched a black destrier in the mask with cape and hat, grinning mischievously…
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Howie_Noble on January 08, 2017, 08:32:28 pm
Wow, this is great stuff! You're wiz at this!
I have a word for you: murmuration
If you choose to do this one, I'll do a haiku based on your short story to accompany it.
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on January 09, 2017, 02:48:55 pm
Wow, this is great stuff! You're wiz at this!
I have a word for you: murmuration
If you choose to do this one, I'll do a haiku based on your short story to accompany it.

Thanks, Howie! I will add your word to my list and write a story around it asap.  (:
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Old Rabbit on January 15, 2017, 01:43:24 pm
More good writing Iara.  It's kind of nice to see a FOX as a hero. They
tend to be vilified in many stories.

"Vilified or vilify if you prefer." is my next word offer. :orbunny:
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on January 15, 2017, 05:53:35 pm
More good writing Iara.  It's kind of nice to see a FOX as a hero. They
tend to be vilified in many stories.

"Vilified or vilify if you prefer." is my next word offer. :orbunny:

Thanks, Old Rabbit! I will add villify to the list.  (:
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on March 01, 2017, 11:54:27 pm
I've been busy with work, but will catch up on the stories asap! Thanks for your readership and patience!  :-[
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on March 11, 2017, 01:30:51 am
Moongaze had only seen it on documentaries: what appeared to be a cloud of soot twisting in an evening sky was actually a huge flock of starlings. They moved as a single mass, each bird moving in time with the ones around it, as fish in the ocean. The birds who couldn’t keep up were prey for other birds or even mammals, should they falter and fall.

Right now, she felt like that starling who couldn’t keep up.

She persisted in joining the field crew for another expedition, despite her rejection letter and lack of experience. She’d been on trips before, but was often unsuccessful in her attempts to fit in. She wanted so badly to fit in, she was willing to sacrifice a whole month’s worth of decent pay…a whole month away from her mate…a whole month of sanity to prove to herself she was worthy of being accepted.

The rest of the team was huddled in the corner by the vehicles, which were loaded up with gear and supplies. They chatted amongst themselves, their movements as one, their goals aligned.

Murmurs and glances, shaking heads, deep sighs.

“Not her again! She’s slow and weak. She’ll just get in the way.”

“The only thing she was good at was sitting on her paws.”

“…or tripping over them.” Hushed giggles and smirks followed.

“She doesn’t get us…or what we’re about…just leave her behind, like we did before. She’s just going to weigh us down.”

“It was only her second time in the field, though.” The dissenter folded his arms, head down, listening to the team’s reasoning. “We shouldn’t be so hard on her. How can she learn if she can’t make mistakes?”

“She’s socially inept! We don’t need that!” another crew member argued, almost a little too loudly.

Silence followed the outburst.

Moongaze watched their heated discussion from a distance. She looked at the caravan, at the gravel beneath her feet. She looked at the horizon, the bright blue sky framed by wispy white clouds. Anything to keep her thoughts positive. Anything to keep her heart from sinking.

“She slowed down for me. She stayed with me when everyone else here decided to go ahead.”

“She was careful with excavating and prospecting. She helped me find a potential quarry site.”

“She was good with the cubs.”

“We won’t be bringing them with us, though.”

Silence again filled the air. The team shuffled their boots in the dirt, argued amongst themselves some more.

“She’s an educator, not a researcher. Leave her here. She’s not worth our time. We need serious work, not a trial run.”

The team moved toward her. She waited, ears perked, heart pounding.

“Our answer is no,” one of the team members bluntly spat. “Please go home. Stop wasting your time.”

The team turned away, heading toward the vehicles. The dissenter paused, letting the group go.

He approached Moongaze. She did her best to hide her tears and pain. He watched her hoist her things with great effort, heading back to her mate’s waiting car.


Moongaze sighed. She didn’t look back, but paused, setting her things down somewhat. “Whatever you have to say, I don’t need to hear it. You’ve made your choice.”

“Look, I think you have potential, okay? Maybe not with this team, but with another. You deserve to work with a better one.”

“Like I haven’t heard that before,” Moongaze shook her head.

“You deserve another chance. Come with me, join my team halfway round the world, where you’ll be respected for once.”

“Ptah, what for? To be ridiculed again?” Moongaze turned around to face the dissenter.

“We need more educators who are willing to be a part of fieldwork, to share their experiences and encourage interest in our work. Those are fools that rejected you. Please, reconsider?”

Moongaze paused. “Will I be compensated?”

“Monetarily, only partially. Funds and space are limited.”

“I will think about it.”

Moongaze picked up her gear, made her way back to her mate’s car. They drove off, away from the caravan and away from her idea of securing her dream career. Away from the screeching starlings that twisted in the wind, their harsh voices fading with each mile beneath the tire treads.
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Old Rabbit on March 25, 2017, 12:47:42 pm
Nicely written as usual Iara.  I have a suggestion. The list of used
words is getting long. How about posting them alphabetically?  :orbunny:

Here is a new word "Choleric"

Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on July 01, 2017, 08:28:53 pm

Author's Note: So often, we tend to villify predatory animals, when they are simply trying to exist as much as prey animals are. This is my take on the term.

A pair of broad nostrils widened, huffing loudly. The beak that contained the nostrils opened wide, shearing off what little vegetation existed near the oasis.

The Protoceratops had wandered far from her herd on the outskirts of the desert, trying to find food so she could bear her mate worthy offspring. Last season was impossible, given the frequent sandstorms and flash floods. This year, with the winds abating and the storms lessening, she felt she stood a better chance…a few sparse cycads dotted the desolate landscape, and oases like the one she was near were perfect for her purpose.

She dipped her beak delicately into the water, tossing her frilled head back to swallow it. She did this several times, unaware of the predator lurking in the underbrush.

She has been separated from her herd…the fool, the Velociraptor thought as he waited, watching her movements carefully. He was silently evaluating her position, the angle of his attack. His beige and burnt umber plumes concealed his body from her sight, his amber eyes locked on her.

He held his breath. She suddenly paused her drinking, having heard the familiar distant warning rumble of an impending sandstorm.

The Velociraptor paid the winds no mind. He hadn’t eaten in two weeks; his ribs were showing and he had lost his mate to a strange illness brought on by the oasis water. Hunting alone was difficult, and grieving over his mate made the process that much more challenging. A Protoceratops could sate his hunger for well over a month, if he calculated the kill correctly. He couldn’t afford to lose the fight…he would surely lose his life.

The Protoceratops sniffed at the wind, her eyes wide. She had to finish foraging, otherwise she couldn’t provide enough sustenance for herself and her brood.

She decided to continue to eat. The Velociraptor, relieved, lowered his body close to the ground. He tensed his legs, opened his jaw, and propelled himself from his hiding place. With his primaries keeping him slightly aloft and his tail acting as a balance, he lunged at the terrified Protoceratops, saliva spraying into the wind.

He was trying to aim for her throat or her exposed backside. She thrust her frilled head down instead, her vicious beak grasping his left wing. He let out a hideous scream of agony as she stumbled backward, his cracked ulna sending showers of blood into her nostrils. The Protoceratops, unable to breathe, backed away from the oasis, dragging the Velociraptor with her into the mud.

The Velociraptor took his right wing and jammed its claws into the Protoceratops’ tough hide as she flung herself into the oasis mud. She writhed to free herself from the profusely bleeding wing, but the shrieks of the Velociraptor and the howling wind of the oncoming storm overwhelmed her.

The Protoceratops gasped her last breath, the blood from the raptor completely clogging her nostrils and the toxic fumes from the oasis mud suffocating her. The Velociraptor continued to struggle to free himself, his attempts weakening as his blood left his body.

The sandstorm howled over the ridge, its fury and force unequaled in recent months. The oasis was blanketed in sand and debris, the cycads destroyed instantaneously. The Velociraptor choked out his final breaths, buried by what he was certain was his saving grace.
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Old Rabbit on July 09, 2017, 01:34:52 pm
Very good story as usual Iara.

The food chain seems  cruel, but without it life as we know it wouldn't

I will try to come up with a new word for you.  :orbunny:

I found one  - Ilk -   Yep just 3 letters.
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Sither on September 05, 2017, 10:28:07 pm
These stories are absolutely fantastic. If you are still open for more here is a sentence.

The loud explosion jarred him awake an nearly out of his tent.
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on September 26, 2017, 09:43:39 pm
Sither-thank you, I will add the phrase to the list!

Update-sorry for the delay in posting, RL has been stomping on my tailfeathers as of late. But I will get to posting more prompts soon!  8)
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on September 30, 2017, 02:38:54 am

Moongaze glumly sat, her chin in her paws, her eyes glazing over at the computer screen.

The deadline for her paper was on the horizon, but all she wanted was to explore the horizon. She wanted to be swept off her feet on a grand adventure. She wanted to experience the romance of fieldwork, watching the males paw at the earth, seeking treasures of lost time…watching the stars at night as the fire of alcohol coursed through her veins…wondering if any male even found her remotely desirable one moment and wondering if her research would be understood the next.

The Word document glared at her, its bright white page screaming for her attention.

Moongaze huffed in frustration, her ears pinned back. She slammed the laptop shut and briskly walked to the adjoining hallway. She had to get some air.

She walked out of the busy museum halls, trying to ignore the cries and crowds of cubs in her wake. She caught sight of her mentor out of the corner of her eye as she temporarily fled the building, making her way toward the street.

The coffeeshop down the way from the museum offered her solace during these choleric moods she suffered as she wrote. She wondered if her mentor even had the same problems. She sighed, considering the years of experience he had, how much better he was than her at everything. She pushed the thought away as she entered the shop, desperate for caffeine and sugar, anything to ease her clouded mind.

Another jaguar, a melanistic one she had never seen before, sat in front of a laptop, his brows furrowed. His tea was untouched at the table, his bespectacled eyes glued to it as hers had been moments before. Moongaze felt her cheeks flush and realized she was blushing, staring at this newcomer with a little too much intensity.

She cleared her throat and turned her attention to the waiting barista. The barista, a mink, grinned cheekily at Moongaze.

“He’s cute, huh?” she murmured, tilting her head toward the male jaguar across the room. Moongaze blushed even more, upset she was feeling so flustered in his presence. It’s bad enough I am distracted when I write, now when I get my coffee, too?!

Moongaze grunted, “Uh, yeah, sure.” The response was terse, but her temper was already flared. She hadn’t written a single sentence all day, and the paper was due in less than a week. Thousands of words, and not even one could work its way onto the page. Her tail lashed in annoyance at the thought. “Can I get my usual?”

“A dirty chai, coming right up!” the barista blurted a little too loudly, definitely within earshot of the male in the corner. Moongaze was grateful he was too absorbed in his work to even twitch an ear. “You know,” the barista added, winking, “he ordered the same thing.”

“That’s great,” Moongaze forced a smile. She hated making small talk when she was so upset.

“You should say hello,” the barista went on, oblivious to her frustration. “He looks like he could use a pick me up!”

“Maybe later…” Moongaze took her chai hastily and was about to walk out the door when the male darted in and snagged a stopper from the self serve cart.

“Oh!” he grunted, his crooked grin highlighting his bright blue eyes. “Sorry about that!”

“It’s okay,” Moongaze lied. She tried to avoid his smile, his concerned gaze as their eyes met.

“I’m Riley!” he grunted, his smile fading somewhat as they shook paws. “I’m visiting for a little bit, and I am doing a story on the museum. You’re Moongaze, right? I think we’ve met before, it’s been a while, yeah?”

Moongaze paused, studying the melanistic jaguar carefully. “…Riley?”

“Yeah!” he grinned again. She swore he was blushing too, but his pelt hid it well. She smiled a little, more out of courtesy than mood.

“I think I remember you…yeah! It’s good to see you again. I’ve got to run, though…I have a paper to write and…”

“Oh, you’re doing more research!” Riley grinned, appearing thrilled. “Sounds awesome!”

Moongaze bit her tongue. She was tempted to eschew her mentor’s demands right then and there, to bemoan the lack of imagination required in scientific writing, but she simply gave a polite nod. “Yeah…it’s…”

Riley grinned even bigger, a glint of mischief in his eyes. “…it sucks!” he pronounced gladly.

“…what?!” Moongaze’s jaw dropped. She found herself suddenly sitting across from Riley, her anger slowly melting away and changing to relief.

“Yeah, it sucks. It’s so tough to write on a deadline, to change your every word to suit your editor’s whims. It sucks to see your baby be butchered, to watch it writhe and bleed out and then to revive it as a ghost of its former self. Ah, yes, to be a researcher again! I don’t miss it.”

“But…isn’t that what you do…?”

“Not to the same extent. The process doesn’t get any easier though…” he grinned, setting his jaw in his paw, holding his tea with the other paw gently. “Let me guess, you haven’t done a damn thing?”

“…no…” Moongaze was ashamed to admit, blushing.

“Neither have I.” Riley’s anger matched hers. “I can’t come up with anything. I keep thinking about the tour I just took, the meetings I have had. Nothing. Nada. Nope. I keep wanting to write about fieldwork, for some weird reason…”

“…me, too…!”

“Wait…you, too?” Riley tilted his head. He chuckled, “Are you sure we’re not on the same wavelength or something?” He closed his laptop, drank his tea, stared at her, amused.

“I…I don’t know why I can’t think of anything except being in the field,” Moongaze felt her eyes well up with tears. “..I…I hated it!”

“Ah, from that anger comes powerful work,” Riley grunted, fascinated now.


“My last trip to the field was due to frustration…I…I can only do that right, in my life. Just dig and stare at bones that are long gone. That’s all I know how to do well. That’s all I want to do, half the time.” He turned away, gazing out the window longingly. “Ah, to be swept up in the adventure of deep time!”
He paused, he gasped. “Wait! Wait wait wait…” he felt an urge to type maddeningly, and Moongaze stood.

“Um, are you--?”

“I am more than okay,” he grinned up at her, his eyes flashing behind his glasses. He typed furiously, and gently murmured, “…thank you.”

Moongaze’s mentor swept into the coffeeshop, searching for her. She was transfixed as Riley wrote, his grin lighting up like it hadn’t in ages. She wished she could feel that way.

She snuck off before her mentor could catch her, chai in her paws. She felt dizzy, thrilled that another could feel the same as she about writing. She sat on a bench by the museum entrance, dazed.

“Write what you know,” her mentor’s voice soothed. He sat next to her, as he had done so often all those years ago. “Write what you know, hm?”

“Oh!...oh, no, um…I know I am supposed to be working, I am sorry…”

“It’s okay,” he grunted. “I could tell you needed a break.”

They sat, watching the visitors come and go, the birds darting beneath the benches and chattering amongst themselves.

“I…I don’t know if I can do this,” Moongaze confessed. “I haven’t done research in a long time. It’s been tough for me to think much less write well lately. I’m…I’m sorry.”

“You don’t have to be like me to succeed, Moongaze,” her mentor shook his head gently. He stood. “Your voice will come, in time. Think it over, write when you can. No pressure, ok?” He squeezed her shoulder and ascended the steps, heading inside the museum once more.

Moongaze sat, tears in her fur. She felt so foolish, for being so mad. She didn’t know why the words hadn’t come to her. She envied Riley then, and let the feeling go.

I really need to get back into my work, she thought as she turned around to go inside the museum.

“Wait!” came a familiar call. Riley bolted up the stairs, his eyes shining and his enthusiasm sparkling. “Hey! Let me help!”

“…you…want to help?” Moongaze paused, and Riley faced her.

“Sure! You helped me,” he breathed. “It’s only fair.”

“I…I don’t see how my sour mood can help anyone,” Moongaze lowered her head, feeling embarrassed.

“Nonsense!” Riley beamed. “I was in no better shape than you. You know, you are rather inspiring!”


“Yes!” Riley tilted his head in the direction of the museum. They walked inside. “Think about it—how many cubs have you passed your torch to? How many look up to you? You know a hell of a lot more than most ever will in their lifetimes. You…you helped remind me of that.”

“I will never know as much as…”

“No one knows everything,” Riley shook his head, tilting it, staring at Moongaze. “Sure, some of us are good at certain aspects of paleo, not everyone is a fieldworker, so what! I think you’re great, and I think you have potential. I can help you edit your work as you go, if you’d like. Gives me a chance to appreciate my editors!” he chuckled.

“Oh, I don’t know, I don’t want to burden you…!”

“You’re not,” Riley grinned. He sat next to her, rotated her laptop around, and typed a paragraph on the blank page.

She wanted to experience the romance of fieldwork, seeking treasures of lost time…watching the stars at night, beacons of the past…wondering if her research would be understood and appreciated in the years after publication, long after the years of pain in the process had passed. For writing as a scientist is never easy, it is often a skill we don’t use enough in this day and age. Know that this work you are about to read is one she has labored on for more than enough time. She volunteered her time to travel and see the world as she does, in her eyes the dinosaurs of long ago live again, and in ways more detailed than many can ascertain. Thank her for it, and thank you for reading.

Moongaze’s eyes filmed with tears. She wiped them away as she started writing, the glare of the computer screen in the dark room the only light in her path.
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Old Rabbit on October 12, 2017, 01:10:07 pm
Nicly written as usual Iara. I look forward to your next work. :orbunny:
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on October 14, 2017, 08:08:36 pm
Thank you Old Rabbit! Developing ideas for the WIP prompts that remain...your readership is appreciated!  (:
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Old Rabbit on October 15, 2017, 01:27:18 pm
Glad to help Iara. 

I might try a bit of writing myself next month. :orbunny: Since I can't
see well enough to draw much of anything nowadays.

By the way. Here is anew word. "Isolate"
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on October 22, 2017, 01:28:35 am

Moongaze sat in her room, the sunlight streaming through the window and hitting her desk. She was in the middle of drawing a comic about a unicorn that owned a bakery when the rumble of her father’s snarl ripped the air. “Moongaze!!” he yelled, his rage barely contained as per the usual.

Moongaze hid her work hastily as her mother entered the room, her eyes sad. “Moongaze, why aren’t you at dinner with us?”

“I’m coming,” she warbled, reluctant to leave the sanctuary of her room. There, she would not be teased endlessly. In her art, she could be free. Free from the pain of being different, free from ridicule and criticism by turns from her siblings, her parents, her so-called friends.

Years had passed since that time of living with her parents, but the memories flooded her mind as she set foot in the conference, donning her new fursuit.

“What are you doing, associating with that ilk?!” her father would admonish her for creating her characters. “You need to get serious about your career!”

Moongaze tried to hold her head high inside her unicorn suit. Echoes of her father’s voice traveled to her from the lion that shook his head at her, the shocked conference attendees.

She made her way toward the bar, eager to drink some of her pain away.

She sat, unable to see who was next to her. Her plush pastel pink fur contrasted with the rich mahogany of the bar table, her punky rainbow swirl of mane and tail catching the fluorescent lighting and making it sparkle.

A throat was cleared, and someone sat next to her. “Nice suit,” a male voice grunted. It sounded muffled and far away.

“Thanks,” Moongaze sighed. She gestured for the bartender, but the male next to her took care of her request.

“What’ll it be…uh…”

The bartender, a gray fox, wrinked his nose at the sight of his new clientele. One was in suit as a unicorn, the other a dragon. Other conference attendees leaned in and whispered to each other, their looks a mixture of confusion, scorn and dismissal.

“Some wine for my lady?” the dragon turned to the unicorn.

“Uh…sure,” Moongaze blushed.

The dragon slid some cash to the bartender, who quickly turned away to get the glasses and wine poured. “These conferences get weirder every year,” he grumbled as he popped the cork.

“So uh…the conference is off to a good start,” the unicorn began nervously, pawing her multicolored tail with her golden hooves. The bartender slid the unlikely pair the glasses of wine.

“Yes, it is,” the dragon nodded. “Tell me true,” the dragon swirled the wine in his glass, “how are things with you?”

“They are going well,” the unicorn lied, sipped her wine slowly. “And with you?”

“Eh, yes, they are going well also.” He tossed the wine back, a practiced move that indicated he was used to drinking in suit, a feat unto itself.

“You don’t belong with them,” came an old echo, a harsh hiss in Moongaze’s ear. “You can’t be an artist, what money is there in that? You will fail at everything you want to be good at, because you can’t do it. What do you have to offer? You are disabled and antisocial, Moongaze. No one wants you around, you are a burden and you are a curse upon this family!”

Moongaze swallowed the wine. It burned through her body like her father’s harsh words.

“Old wounds take a long time to heal,” the dragon sighed, staring at the empty glass. He set it on the bar table, gazed at Moongaze gently. “Is that why you suit?”

“…huh?” Moongaze was pulled out of her dark reverie.

“…do you suit, to escape the pain?”

“I…uh…” Moongaze felt her cheeks flush, the interior of the suit becoming hotter every second. It was a bad idea to drink while in suit, she thought as the buzz washed over her.

“It’s okay,” the dragon turned toward her. He held her paws in his, in a sudden gesture of gentleness. “I understand how you feel.”

Moongaze felt tears sting her eyes. This complete stranger was so warm and tender, and all at once she felt like a fool for just sitting there, her paws in his, not saying a word.

She felt she didn’t deserve any of it.

“Um…excuse me,” she stood, her legs wobbly from the drink. “I uh…I have to go…”

“Want some air?” the dragon nodded. “It does get really hot in these things.”

“No…I uh…listen, this is all sudden, you know? I…I’m not ready…I’m not what you think, who you want.” Moongaze looked around for the bathroom, feeling lightheaded and as clouded as her unicorn suit.

The dragon was taken aback. He sat at the bar again. “Well…it’s okay. Thank you for your time. Take care, okay?”

Moongaze stumbled into the bathroom, slammed the stall door shut.

She tore off her unicorn head, sat down on the toilet, and sobbed.

“I feel so alone,” she wept.

A knock on the stall door. “Hey,” came a soft feminine voice. “Hey. You ok?”

“…uh…” Moongaze quickly wiped her tears and nose, dabbed the sweat off her tongue and flushed the toilet. “Uh…sorry, I didn’t know I wasn’t in here by myself…”

“You ok?” the voice repeated.

“…yeah. Yeah, I’m okay. Thanks.”

Moongaze waited for the other fur to leave. She replaced her head and sighed.

She unclipped her badge, wandered out the convention’s doors, her father’s words gutting her.

“Wait a second!” called the dragon, who ran up behind her. She was about to get into her ride home.

“Why?” Moongaze hissed at the kind stranger. “You’ll just reject me anyway.”

She slammed the car door shut and the dragon stood, watching her leave. He clenched his fists in rage, wondering why he wanted her to come to the convention, why he expected anything else.

Moongaze looked out the car window, her unicorn head’s eyes reflecting the streetlights. She sighed. She regretted her decision, but it was too late to change it.

Rejecting one of his ilk is easier than being rejected in the first place, she told herself.
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Amducious on October 24, 2017, 01:34:15 am
I have one for you. Through The Arctic
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Old Rabbit on October 24, 2017, 12:28:52 pm
A fine job on "ILK" Iara.  Well written as always.

Old Rabbit :orbunny:
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on October 24, 2017, 06:40:25 pm
Thank you, Old Rabbit!

I will add your phrase to the list, Amducious.  (:

Thank you both for your readership  :)
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Amducious on October 25, 2017, 07:58:06 pm
Awesome look forward to it ^^
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on December 28, 2017, 12:57:05 am
Sorry for the delay! I will post more tales very soon. The holiday and semester have overwhelmed me!  :-[

Thanks again for your readership and patience!
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on December 28, 2017, 12:39:07 pm
The loud explosion jarred him awake and nearly out of his tent. He fumbled for his lenses, shouldered his khaki shirt, and furtively peered out his tent, his ears pricked for the slightest sound.

The hillside collapsed, the earth slumped inward and clouds of dust and debris filled the dawning sky. The lion in the khaki shirt yawned, shaking his blonde mane. How many months have I been out here, anyway? Not a single bone fragment worth taking back. Damn that other expedition and that other site, they have found everything we need…

He grunted, padding across the campsite to the newly formed crater. The earthmovers hauled tons of rock and debris away, several other paleontologists carefully surveying before signaling the drivers to keep digging at the sandstone walls.

He sat, disinterested, on a boulder being warmed by the sun. He opened his canteen and drank, squinting at the sunlight.

“No luck yet, but we’ve broken through the first few layers of strata. There’s got to be more to find,” a raven clapped his primaries on the lion’s shoulder. The lion grimaced, pulling his whiskers back in disgust, and sighed.

“Doubtful,” he shook his head. “We’ve been here for months. We’d be better off saving up for next year, packing up and heading home with our tails between our legs.”

The raven chuckled, a hoarse clackityclack. “You’re young. You can take more time!”

“More time? We have been here so long, my mane is grown past my legs!”

A red tailed hawk swooped in on the conversation, shuffling her feet and preening nervously. “Hey guys!” she chirruped, a mug of tea in her primaries.

“Oh, hey,” the males grunted.

“No frags yet,” she sighed. “I’ve combed through a ton of sites, and I’ve never had this bad of luck before!”

The lion pinched the bridge of his muzzle, growling. “I probably dragged in all the bad luck.”

“Nonsense!” the raven warbled. “Eh, these things happen sometimes. It’s the way our work goes—either we come back with specimens in our wildest dreams, or with a whole lot of—“

“Nothing!” howled a husky, his tongue hanging out. What he was doing so far from the cold of the north, stranded in a desert of all places, the lion would never know. “We keep coming up short, boss. We need to head home.”

The husky, lion and hawk glanced at the raven, waiting for the response they wished for, to go home. Hot showers, soft beds, good food...

A spotted hyena ran in, her heavy boots and grinning maw interrupting that ray of hope.

“We found it! We found it!” she yelped.

“Found what?” the raven croaked, tilting his head at the huffing and puffing hyena.

“The whale…the last whale specimen of the Anthropocene!”

The lion, hawk and husky jumped up, their energy suddenly renewed. The raven chortled as he watched them follow the hyena to the paydirt.

An enormous baleen whale jaw jutted from the sandstone, entombed with bits of plastic and fishing net that was ubiquitous in the marine Anthropocene strata. It was nearly complete, and the team was enthusiastically digging away, careful to expose the bone one section of earth at a time.

“It’s so weird and incredible, isn’t it?!” the hyena panted. “Seeing our ancestors, rising from the dirt as they might have risen from the ocean depths…”

A pang of sadness struck the lion as he gently brushed sand and plastic pieces away from the bone. “It…its jaw…it’s intact but…look…”

Everyone winced, realizing the creature’s baleen plates were covered in the remnants of inedible plastics, fishing line, and the glint of microchip pieces.

“Plastic.” The husky shook his head. “Man, that stuff…it’s in almost every layer. It caused a huge extinction event, huh?”

“It’s a contributing factor, yes,” the raven nodded, inspecting the paleontologists’ work as they went.

 “Remember those albatross specimens we found a few years back? Those chicks were well preserved, their gut contents were nothing but broken plastics…” the hyena spat in the dirt, disgusted.

The hawk shivered, fluffing herself. “Ugh, don’t remind me!”

“Sorry,” the hyena shrugged, narrowing her eyes at the chunk of dentary she was clearing.

The lion felt conflicted as he continued to excavate. He wondered what other horrors the epoch held.

Eh, it can’t be nearly as bad as the explosion this morning.
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Jade Sinapu on December 28, 2017, 06:03:12 pm
Thanks for that Iara!

Thanks to your descriptive language and scene setting skills, I was easily transported to a hot dry climate covered with red-brown soil and some grasses, with many outcropping layers of sandstone and shale.   I could imagine the lion and husky working in a small canon, while the hawk and raven surveyed the area from above.  I could imagine the characters toiling in the unbearable heat, even though the sun was setting.  (some of this I may have imagined, but you made it easy for my mind to add to the story)

Voicing the characters out loud added to the effect.  I wasn't sure if they would find whatever it was that they were looking for.  But when I learned of what they had discovered I was upset  :(  , for I realized that the Anthropocene Epoch was not a made up word, it is the present time!  And now I fear what I read was a look into the future where plastics are misused to the determent of the world!   It made me think! Plastics do not degrade, they very well may be preserved!  What will the future think of the present generations?

Good work Iara!  :)
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Old Rabbit on December 30, 2017, 01:01:42 pm
I agree Iara. You did a fine job with this story.

All the best for a Happy New Year in 2018. :orbunny:
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on December 31, 2017, 05:10:30 pm
Thank you Jade and Old Rabbit! Happy New Year to you also!  :D
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on January 06, 2018, 09:41:44 pm

The stillness of the rainforest was broken by a rush of wind and a clap of thunder, breaking the sound barrier.  Startled from her sleep, she snuck over, watching the arrival of an unusual visitor to her home from her hiding place.

He was in a clearing. The surrounding rainforest foliage was dense and colorful. Butterflies floated by in the warm air, and the birds in the canopy were temporarily silenced. A secluded hut was in the distance, its presence barely detected.

She studied him, her tail twitching. He was a blue hedgehog with green eyes, his red and white shoes covered in dust from miles of running. He looked around, and called out, “Hello? Hey, Shadow! Get back here!”

His taunt was met with silence. She crept closer, her rosette covered pelt hiding her in the shadows of the underbrush.

“Huh?” he swiveled an ear, his nose twitching. “Who’s there?!” He clenched and unclenched his fists, posturing himself in preparation for an attack.

She scented him in the still air, and decided he was no threat. She showed herself, a jaguar in simple hide tatters. She had bright green eyes, mid length brown hair, and a necklace with an ammonite shell pendant. She huffed, “What brings you here, Hedgehog?”

“Oh!” the blue hedgehog jumped a little, startled by her presence. Then, he smirked, relaxing slightly. “I’m after a black hedgehog. He looks a lot like me. Have you seen him?”

“Afraid not,” the jaguar replied.

“You’d better get going,” the blue hedgehog advised. “That black hedgehog and his cronies have decided to blow this whole forest up!”

“What?!” the jaguar was stunned. She gazed at her beautiful enclave, its tranquility the reason for her isolation. Tears filled her eyes. “Why? This place…it’s my home!”

“I’m sorry, I wish I had more answers.” The blue hedgehog shook his head, his smile fading. “I’m on my way outta here, you want to follow me?”

“…my home…” the jaguar fell to her knees, deeply saddened. She sobbed.

“Hey!” the blue hedgehog knelt next to her, lifted her chin. “You know, if it makes you feel any better, I don’t really have a place like this to call home. In fact…I don’t remember the last time I felt home.”


“Yeah…it’s…well, it’s why I like to run. I love to be free, y’know? No place and nobody to tie me down. Heh. Running…does take its toll. But it’s what I know and it’s what I can do better than anyone else!”

A distant explosion rumbled, tearing the silence of the canopy apart. Birds and insects fled in droves, their cries filling the air.

“Speaking of running, we’d better go!”

He stretched out his gloved paw to her, waiting.

She looked up at him, his grin defiant despite the pain he had endured. She looked at her home one last time.

She took his paw, and took a deep breath.

“Just hold on, okay? I can run really fast!” he warned. He took several cleansing breaths, then, squeezing the jaguar’s hand, bolted away. The jaguar gasped, stunned by the sudden takeoff. “By the way!...” he mentioned in between bursts of speed, leaping over logs and branches, “…the name’s Sonic! Sonic the Hedgehog!”


“MOONGAZE!” her father’s voice tore the air, interrupting her reverie. She sat dazed in front of the screen, the controller in her paws warm from her touch. She was shaking, wishing she was a million miles away, on an adventure to somewhere new and welcoming, rather than being stuck in the isolation of her room. She sighed, turning off the console.

I've always enjoyed Sonic the Hedgehog. I was introduced to him in the early 90s, when the Sega Genesis came out. I played Sonic 2 constantly. When the Sega Dreamcast debuted, I played Sonic Adventure and then Sonic Adventure 2, which I later owned. I loved Sonic Adventure 2. The story was cheesy but the gameplay and the music drew me in. I drew all kinds of Sonic comics during the early 2000s, influenced heavily by Archie comics, Sonic SatAM (which I also watched constantly as a youngster) and Sonic Adventure 2. I wanted to go to Sonic Boom to celebrate Sonic's 20th anniversary, but my funds and embarrassment of being a Sonic fan in my 20s myself made me shy away from the Sonic fandom. I still enjoy playing Sonic games...I attempted Sonic Generations and Sonic Colors on Steam, and I managed to get through Sonic Forces on the XBox. Sonic is an odd source of comfort for me, and was one of the main reasons I identify as a furry today.

Enjoy the story!  :D

My favorite Sonic Forces track: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56INRdm0rQo (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56INRdm0rQo)
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Old Rabbit on January 13, 2018, 12:09:21 pm
A good story as usual Iara. 

I never played the Sonic games due to my vision.
I did like the cartoons of Sonic the Hedgehog. All
those characters were intertaining. :orbunny:
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on February 02, 2018, 11:44:29 pm
Thank you Old Rabbit! Your continued readership and enjoyment of my work is much appreciated! :3

I will add more stories in time--I have one more to write for the challenge; if anyone would like to add a word or phrase, please do so!
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Old Rabbit on March 11, 2018, 01:07:28 pm
Here is two phrases.  Or it could be three counting this one.  :D

I found a tail

it's so weird when you do that.

Old Rabbit :orbunny:

Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on April 14, 2018, 10:04:54 pm
Hi readers!

I am behind on posting new stories!  :-[  I've been adding to my novel Iara's Crossing and I am in the process of writing my alt fursona's story also. I will work on the
phrases Through the Arctic and I found a tail/it's so weird when you do that asap!

Thank you for your continued readership/patience!

Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on June 16, 2018, 05:08:40 pm
Through the Arctic

Eloise raised her paws to protect her muzzle as a bitter cold wind howled past her ears, biting at them as it whipped by. She had been making her ascent all morning, the steel ladders slippery and slick with ice.

She trudged through the blankets of snow, waist deep in it, her skin shivering and fur saturated despite her winter coat, water resistant boots and scarf. She fell multiple times, but her goal was in sight, the hint of blue in the distance like a burning light, a beacon in the cold and dark.

She flexed and relaxed her numb paws, breathing on them occasionally to feel them working again. She took ragged, gasping breaths as the cold air stabbed her throat and lungs. Just another few steps…

Eloise cried out in agonized euphoria as she had finally reached the object buried in the snow. She reluctantly removed her thick gloves and tears sprung to her eyes as the cold whipped her freed paws. She dug frantically, tearing away at the ice as a dog excitedly tears at the earth, hoping for hidden treasure.

The blue monolith was finally freed from the ice, and Eloise quickly replaced her gloves as she held it close to her chest. She turned around, stumbling, and began to make her way toward the steel ladders to start her descent.

Her boots slicked back and she gasped in terror, clinging to the ice covered rails above her and the newfound treasure for dear life. Her scarf unraveled, swaying toward the dark abyss below.

She stood there, paralyzed in fear. Her whiskers quivered, growing heavy with ice at their tips. Her breath steamed on the wind, her nose instantly numb once exposed. The cold and the darkness enshrouded her, the light fading away. She had to hurry down, had to get out of the vast wasteland and return to the warmth and safety of base camp.

Eloise mustered up the courage to continue climbing down, gingerly setting each boot down one rung at a time. Each motion was slow, steady. The monolith nearly slipped from her paws and arms as she descended, but at last her boots touched solid ground.

She was relieved the snowpack had lessened considerably, and gasped for breath. She could feel the warmth beckoning her…the light suddenly beamed all around her, casting everything into faint shadows and bright luminance…

The door was swung wide. The silouhette of a unicorn with a spiked mane blocked out the light momentarily, and Eloise shielded her eyes before offering the monolith as if in sacrifice.

In the distance cheerful music was playing:
I’m still standing
Better than I ever did
Feelin’ like a true survivor
Feelin’ like a little kid

The giant pastel pink unicorn smiled, taking Eloise and the monolith into her huge hooved paw gently.

“Thank you, Eloise,” she nuzzled the mouse kindly, and set her into a waiting hot tub area.

Then, loudly to the rest of the bakery: “Frosting’s here! Let’s get those cupcakes finished up!”
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on June 16, 2018, 07:12:48 pm
I found a tail/it's so weird when you do that!

Moongaze set the pastel unicorn head on her own head and neck, careful to adjust the eyes so she could see through the mesh. She felt for the snaps on her hooved paw gloves, and set them with a sharp click. She sat down, fumbled for the boots that had been transformed into feathered hooves, and slid her tennis shoe covered hindpaws into them gently. She then stood, and went to the mirror, gazing at her new reflection longingly.

“Hey!” Jay purred, poking his muzzle around the corner, violating her privacy. They had agreed that suiting was a solo thing for Moongaze, and that doing so was a private glee, never shared with anyone outside the studio Jay was renting for his artwork business. Moongaze shot him a dark look, but all he could see were those teal orbs of the unicorn costume glaring at him. He shrank back around the corner of her room, waving her pastel tail at her as if she were playing with a feathered rod. “I found this tail—is it yours?” he teased.

“Give that to me,” she huffed. She snatched the tail away and attached it carefully, sliding her own tail through the expanding loops, creating the illusion that she and the unicorn were truly one being. She turned to Jay. “Well? What do you think?”

Jay grinned, his sabers glinting in the light. Moongaze spun around, wobbling a little as she did so. He shook his head in mild condescension. Jay was an artist, true, but he wasn’t as open minded as the profession let on.

“Honestly?” he huffed, the air whistling slightly past his sabers. The effect was a constant lisp—and muted his growls and purrs somewhat.
“You don’t like it?” Moongaze warbled sadly, stopping her prancing. She limped, ready for the verbal blow her lover was about to give.
“Moongaze,” Jay approached her. He rubbed her shoulders gently. “It’s so weird when you do this. Why can’t you just…be happy being you?”

“But…I am me,” Moongaze sighed weakly. “I’m happy in this! Can’t you be happy for me, too?”

Jay sighed. He grinned and pressed his lips against her unicorn head’s muzzle gently. “I’m just worried, is all. Other furs might not like this. You will get made fun of. I don’t want you to get hurt.”

“I don’t understand, Jay!” Moongaze muttered, the tears starting yet again. She took a deep breath, trying to stop her anxiety and frustration from spiking. “You’re an artist—I thought you would appreciate performance art, this costume took me a long time to make! And you helped me with it, too! Come on…do I look okay in it?”

Jay bit his upper lip, chuffed a ragged sigh of disappointment. “I wish you would stop hiding in this thing when you feel sad or insecure. It doesn’t seem healthy, at least not to me. And you’ve been chatting with so many strangers online—you tell them things about you that you never tell me!”

“Jay,” Moongaze tried to explain for the umpteenth time, quelling his jealousy, “I have this hobby that makes me happy. You have your hobbies, too. I am glad to have friends who like what I do and who I am. Do you like this part of me?”

Jay and Moongaze sat across from one another on overturned wooden crates. The studio was technically an attic in an abandoned warehouse in New Los Angeles, with string lights and canvases, paint buckets and brushes strewn haphazardly around the small space. Moongaze fondly remembered being in Jay’s arms late at night, cuddling in his blankets and sipping tea as he sketched hummingbirds for her in the faint starlight. Now it seemed the lovers were enemies, always trying to seek each others’ weak points.

“Moongaze, I do like you for you. I am concerned that this hobby of yours will ruin your reputation at the University. You’re a graduate student doing serious work—if they find out on the weekends you parade around as some kind of punk unicorn…well…”

“Jay, who cares? Lots of furs have hobbies and strange things they like. Why can’t I?”

Jay turned away from her. He tossed his head back and sighed, his jaw twitching in quiet anger.

“I don’t want you going out in that. At all. Keep it here, like we agreed. Leave this stuff for the bedroom, or whatever, okay?”

Moongaze sighed, hanging her head. She felt so helpless to do anything, because Jay was right. She slowly took off the unicorn head and stared sadly at him, her hair a matted mess of sweat, her eyes filled with tears.


She slowly removed the suit and packed it away in her overnight duffel bag. She zipped it up quietly, its teal orbs pleading as the darkness consumed them.
It would be years before Moongaze snuck back into the attic, snatched the duffel, and decided she would be who she was without shame and secrecy…

**Background music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuwfgXD8qV8 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuwfgXD8qV8)
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Old Rabbit on June 27, 2018, 01:22:07 pm
Good story Iara. I imagine may people have similar problems
with the fandom. Many people want to judge others instead
of accepting their feelings and things they enjoy.

Here is a new word  "ensue" .

Old Rabbit :orbunny:
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on July 01, 2018, 12:33:38 am
Thank you Old Rabbit! Your word is added to the list!  :)
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Jade Sinapu on July 01, 2018, 09:59:24 pm
Very nice Iara! 
Again, you took me into a place new to me.   You set the scene well!
I could "see" most of what was happening.   

Please continue writing your stories!

Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on July 07, 2018, 01:31:16 am
Thank you kindly, Jade! Your readership means a lot to me!  :)
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Amducious on July 17, 2018, 11:37:57 pm
Loved the story I’ve re-read it a couple times now ^^. Great job!!!  :) :) :)
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Jade Sinapu on July 18, 2018, 12:48:53 pm
What about...
"He shattered his femur, and water was running low"
If that is too "directive" you do not have to use it.
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on July 20, 2018, 11:46:45 pm
Loved the story I’ve re-read it a couple times now ^^. Great job!!!  :) :) :)

Thank you so much Amducious!  :)

What about...
"He shattered his femur, and water was running low"
If that is too "directive" you do not have to use it.

I will definitely add that phrase to the list, thanks Jade!

Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on December 24, 2018, 01:09:29 am

Moongaze the jaguar clung to her backpack handles nervously as the train pulled into the station in the heart of downtown New Los Angeles. She wore her Dog Groban tee shirt without shame—it was a large black tee, with the Labrador retriever’s mug plastered in an all over picture in the center—and decided to wear her dark blue jeggings with it. The other train passengers shook their heads at her—she was no teenager, but Moongaze felt like an exhilarated teen all over again, thrilled with the possibility of meeting her crush in furson at long last. It had been years since she went to a concert, and she decided to go it alone—to treat herself, as Xena the pitbull called it—rather than with her mate, Jay, or her friends. She began to regret the decision as she boarded the even more crowded transfer bus to the concert hall, and her heart sank on seeing the sea of furs waiting for their star singer to arrive.

Moongaze found the line for autographs and she joined the throng, hoping he would sign the artwork she brought with her. She hadn’t spent her whole life on the piece, which was of the singer in a variety of poses and in appropriate business casual attire, but she put her heart into it, channeling his warm energy into her work. She was in line behind a chatty group of furs—two jaguars, a gray vixen, a tiger and a rabbit, among other canines. One jaguar seemed vaguely familiar to her—they had a blue tipped mane and a melanistic coat with blue rosettes. The melanistic jaguar’s skin tight, colorful leggings and crisp overcoat with a loosely wrapped silk scarf put Moongaze’s baggy concert tee and plain jeggings to shame.

“How long is the line?” the rabbit asked, grunting in irritation at the sea of furries around them.

“It’s probably a mile before the concert hall,” grunted the tiger, rolling his eyes.

“We’ll get there, when we get there,” reassured the melanistic jaguar, shaking her head at her friends’ impatience.

“I hope he doesn’t just take off,” Moongaze overheard the group ahead of her. The group stared at her as if she was incredibly rude, and the melanistic jaguar grinned gently at her interjection.

“I hear he’s so nice to his fans!” a canine whimpered, a Borzoi by Moongaze’s reckoning. “I’m sure he’ll stay for us!”

“Keep dreamin,’ sweetheart,” gruffed a mouse by Moongaze’s feet. “We’re at the end of the line—there’s no way he’ll stick around for us latecomers!”

“Don’t mind her,” the melanistic jaguar tsked, again meeting eyes with Moongaze in quiet recognition. “I’m sure things will work out, somehow…”

Moongaze sighed, feeling drained. It had been two hours since she joined the line for autographs, and the concert would begin in less than half an hour. Her feetpaws ached, and her backpack seemed unusually heavy. Suddenly, a beefy bulldog bouncer approached the end of the line.

“The official end of the line is here,” he grunted, stopping Moongaze before she could advance another step. He placed a plastic sign on the ground denoting and reiterating his point with an angry red text of LINE ENDS HERE.

“But!” Moongaze sighed, feeling the tears starting. “I’ve been here so long and…I just wanted one autograph…!”

“Sorry, ma’am!” the bulldog pointed toward the ticket kiosks, which were practically empty by the time she retrieved her online tickets.

Moongaze realized her seats were in the highest row of the stadium—while she could hear her beloved canine idol, she wouldn’t be able to see him well at all. She sighed, wiping her tears away with a paw hastily as she ascended the steps to her row of seats.

Some date for myself this turned out to be, she thought angrily as the stage lights began to swivel and the crowd became excited. She took several deep breaths, trying to reassure herself—and the jaguar’s voice broke her anxious thoughts—things will work out, somehow.

Moongaze’s thoughts dissipated as the orchestra began to tune up, their arpeggios beautiful in comparison to her squeaky ill practiced ones on a rental violin she had snagged from an abandoned Guitar Center parking lot. The thrill of the strings and the drums, the careful plucking of a Spanish guitarist…then, her heart stood still as he took the stage. The Labrador retriever wore his black suit jacket, white button down top and dark jeans which contrasted his cream coat, soft brown eyes and curly dark mop. The canine began to sing, his voice powerful and beautiful. Moongaze felt her jaw drop a little and fresh tears sprung to her eyes as his voice carried even to her in the heights of the concert hall, making her heart pound and soar with each crescendo and piano warble of his baritone.

The concert ended as abruptly as it had begun, but Moongaze sat motionless, her eyes fixed on the canine that had stolen her heart with his voice. She felt like she was floating above her chair, and she snapped back to reality once she realized everyone around her had left the concert hall and headed for home. She watched the singer, guarded by his bouncers and staff, be escorted to the offstage area, and Moongaze gasped, nearly forgetting that she wanted to get his autograph!

She rushed toward the stage, nearly calling for him, when she bumped into the group of furs she had interrupted earlier. The melanistic jaguar caught her, and asked, “Hey! You alright?”

“M-m-my autograph!” was all Moongaze could stammer, looking for the canine that had so swiftly vanished into the darkness of the night in the big city.

“Here!” the jaguar shoved a pass into her paw and urged her to hurry, tilting their head toward the canine.

“This is a backstage pass?!” Moongaze cried out, stunned by the kind gesture.

“Take it!” the jaguar growled. “You’d better hurry! He’s off to get ready for the next stop on his tour!”

Moongaze stared at the pass, and recognized the jaguar’s name, reading it silently. As she looked up, the melanistic jaguar grinned knowingly. The jaguar winked at her and joined her friends, and Moongaze took her departure as a cue to follow the errant Labrador.

“Excuse me—sir! Dog Groban!!” Moongaze called out as she ran toward the canine and his escorts. The beefy bulldog bouncer frowned at her and immediately began to growl, but the Labrador pressed his paw into the muscular dog’s shoulder with a gentle squeeze, facing the panting feline.

“Hey!” the Labrador panted, his grin genuine and his large brown eyes sparkling in mirth at the disheveled jaguar before him. He noted her attire, and tossed his head a little as he said, “Ah! A fan, I see! You’ve got a pass? Cool! Nice to meet you—uh---!” The canine gracefully extended a paw toward the awestruck jaguar.

“Moongaze!” was all she could blurt as their paws met. His paws are so warm! she thought, but stowed it as she dug out her drawing. “May I…get your autograph?” she stammered, handing over the art. The escort had crowded around them in a protective circle, and the bulldog had finally relaxed.

“Hey! That’s pretty good!” Dog Groban chuckled, his eyes widening as he studied the piece. “Got a pen on ya?” Moongaze handed over a Sharpie, her paws shaking. She felt so anxious, almost giddy as she watched him think for a moment, then sign the paper with a practiced flourish. “Here ya go!” He handed back the art as carefully as he would any piece of precious art. “You know of any place to grab a coffee? We need some for the road!” he asked Moongaze directly after she put the art away.

Moongaze felt the heat from her blush race toward her ears, searing her cheeks. “Um…yeah. I know a place. It’s by the old Natural History Museum…”

“Awesome! Boys, let’s go for a walk, huh?” the canine grinned, offering his arm to her. Moongaze trembled and grinned madly as she directed them toward her favorite coffee shop, thinking of the melanistic jaguar's gift the whole way.

~~Music to accompany the story! https://youtu.be/wKbXmuUXito (https://youtu.be/wKbXmuUXito)~~
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: FarFar on December 24, 2018, 08:04:48 am
Bravo! *claps paws together in applause*

Wonderful story! Went over some of your other ones. Equally good! Keep up the great work!  :)

How about "Contrast"? I thought about "coffee" as it is one of my favorite things *sips his third cup of the morning*, but I see you used it in your last story.

Again, great stuff!


I took the red pill....
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on December 25, 2018, 11:45:24 pm
Bravo! *claps paws together in applause*

Wonderful story! Went over some of your other ones. Equally good! Keep up the great work!  :)

How about "Contrast"? I thought about "coffee" as it is one of my favorite things *sips his third cup of the morning*, but I see you used it in your last story.

Again, great stuff!


I took the red pill....

Thank you, FarFar!  :) I will add Contrast to the list!

Feliz Navidad!
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on July 26, 2019, 02:10:24 am
It's been a while, Furtopia! Have another story-based on the phrase from Jade! Enjoy!

The lion lay in the dirt, his beautiful blonde mane pressed into the earth, his sweat soaking through his khaki shirt and shorts. He knew losing so much water would be a sign of severe dehydration—the camp’s water was already running low, and he knew he had to replenish the water he was losing. But he was in excruciating pain—his femur had been shattered on falling from a cliff during part of the excavation.

His team had trundled off to the next town, to get help and supplies, probably to get an ambulance.

Moongaze wandered over to him, unscrewed his canteen and shoved it under his nose.

“Drink,” she hissed softly, and encouraged him to sit up slightly as he did so.

“You—you--!” he grunted, the shock from pain dulling his senses but his reaction to her made her smile.

“I am here, despite their want to be rid of me,” she made sure he drank smoothly. He coughed some water up, turned his head and spat. He lay back on the dirt, shaking from the pain. “You wanted me to stay, remember?”

She recalled his plea to her, to reconsider joining the expedition. She did so the following summer, and now she was returning the favor in spades.

“I did,” he grunted, weak and tired. “I am so glad I did.” He reached over, and squeezed her paw. Then, “Moongaze?”


“I’m sorry for making fun of you,” he warbled, the tears starting, “when you attended the conference in your fursuit.”

The two felines were silent for a while, a random insect buzzing in the heat of midday the only break in the silence. Moongaze dabbed his brow with her handkerchief, which was covered in illustrations of ancient beasts.

“What is past is past,” Moongaze sighed, adjusting her hat as she looked for the vehicle, hoping it would return before the lion would black out. Her long brown mane was tied into a ponytail, her khaki shorts loose on her wide hips. Her button down overshirt hid her curves well, and her undershirt had the Jurassic Park logo on it.

“I have missed you,” he went on, feeling delirious in the heat and from the pain. “It’s too bad we never made it to the Gobi, huh?”

“Well, I can’t drive, for one thing,” she sighed. The lion grinned, his lips quivering with the effort.

“Ptah,” he blew it off. “You are helpful in other ways, and you are helping me now. I lead this team, you know. And I want you to be here. With me.”

Moongaze cleaned his lenses, set them back on his face. His mane had lengthened since she met him many months before, and his stare was much kinder.

“You want me to go with you?” she asked, her voice far away, in some kind of dreamland, as usual. “To the hospital?”

“They’re probably gonna have to airlift me out of here,” the lion argued. Moongaze gave him more water. “Besides, you have a mate to tend to…”

“My mate has given me his blessing to be here,” Moongaze countered. “And you are in need of my help. You are my friend. I will not leave you to some hospital in the middle of nowhere.”

The lion managed a snarky laugh. “He trusts me? We were more than friends, once.”

“That may be true, but I still want to help you—” Moongaze was cut off by the approaching vehicle, and the rest of the team carried a stretcher from the back of the van.
“We’re gonna drive you back to town, okay?” the hyena panted, and the raven hoisted the lion onto the stretcher while two other furs held it steady.

“Moongaze!” the lion cried out, panicked.

Moongaze watched him get packed into the back of the van. She jumped in, careful to do so slowly lest she twist an ankle. She stood by him as the van lurched forward, and sped off toward town.
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Jade Sinapu on July 26, 2019, 09:01:16 pm
Very nice Iara!

Spoiler: show

I thought the lion was going to die. although I am not sure he didn't later.  But I assume Moongaze kept him going.  ;)

  Kept me in suspense.  Touching as well.  Thanks for using my phrase.
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: Iara Warriorfeather on July 27, 2019, 01:49:04 am
You're welcome, Jade--glad you liked the story! More are to come--I have one phrase left before I have another clean slate!  :)
Title: Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
Post by: FarFar on July 27, 2019, 08:17:23 am
Very nice, Iara!
Good story. As Jade said, touching. I like that in the context that you wrote. Also, good use of the word choice.