Topic for this writing exercise are the following:
Bucolic by Guard-a-Manger
Mascot Heroics by Joules
Candyland by Zendead
Crystal Ball of Pastoral Delights [Thing]
While the roughcut ball of crystal looks like just a piece of junk it is much more than that. The crystal holds an image within it of a quaint pastoral land. But don’t look too closely for too long or you might find that you have been transported to the place in the crystal. How did this rough ball get such a powerful charm placed on it? Well its charm may have worn thin on its last owner or they haven’t been able to come to collect the crystal. For the transportation will move you but not the crystal ball.
Where does it send you too? Well it has several features that are always present. There is a water feature of some sort from a wellspring to a waterfall. The next would be a rustic setting in the world. Finally there is some sort of cabin to house you in if it is uninhabited. Which it usually isn’t. It transports you as you are at the moment you spend too much time staring into it. And the location is never the same. Also there is no way of knowing how far it is from where you are when you look in. It is a one way trip so hopefully you can make it back.
Homeland of Mascots [Place]
The Homeland of Mascots is a strange and otherworldly place. It is the land of where mascots come from. Mascots that are of all types and sizes. Before this land started to give rise to mascots it was a dark land between two warring lands. The war left the land steeped in the bodies and blood of them both. While this may not seem like the place that Mascots would come from you would be surprised. It is because of the lost magic of the land and the war that made the land never want to be darkened by the likes of that again.
How though can the land have wants and fears and designs I hear you ask. Well It was more than just terra firma, it had a bit of the spark. When it was used like it was less than it was, it was saddened to be overlooked by the warring nations. So it started to create life from the dead and dying. The bodies of the animals that perished were the better option for the Mascots. The soul of them needed to be sweet and a drive to want to make others happy so the blood of the fallen warriors of Süßigkeitenland were the perfect choice. As the Mascots came to the fields of battle and cheered for the sides that they felt closer to, the combatants started to lose the will to fight. And that is how the Mascots homeland came to be.
Sergeant Swiss Roll [Person]
The Land of Candy or as it is also known Süßigkeitenland is a land that has seen many years of peace. Peace comes at a cost though. The wars with Fleischland lasted for decades. One of the few residents that remember those dark days is Sergeant Swiss Roll. He saw things no confection should ever have to. He also did things for his king few others ever would have. While he can be a sweet and gentle person his soul is fractured.
Most of his days are spent in his home Trying to forget the horror of war and mostly succeeding. His home sits near the majestic Gumdrop Mountain Pass. If you happen to come for a visit he will ask for news of the land as he doesn’t go to court. His days of guarding the halls of the king, which he did before the war, are long over. And if you are forthcoming with tales he might just show you his most prized possession from the war. His crystal ball.
The Ethereal Farmer[Person]
Some ideas and places are instantly soothing to a person. A bucolic vale can be quite peaceful. The pastoral countryside, complete with sloping hills and trickling stream, is an image any of us can find inside ourselves. What you may not always see is the farmer in the middle of that vale. The countryside itself isn’t uninhabited, even if in our minds we so rarely see them. Why is that?
Something about the idea of the vale has permeated all of our minds. The subconscious image is a well of safety for all of us, but also a place where the Ethereal Farmer can elide. The vale must be tended, you see, and the powerful near universal image of the vale cannot be coincidence. Is not coincidence. The slight pruning of our own dreams by this elusive farmer for generations hints at the secrets they possess.
A swirling ethereal apparition you may see in the corner of your dreams, draped in blues and greens, needs something from your dreams. Can you find a way to ask what?
Cookie’s Corner [Place]
Sometimes all you need is a little rest and a little help. Often times, the world heaps on stress, challenges, and obstacles into your way. It can seem insurmountable. These are the times and days that want a nap, or at least a break from everything around you. These are the days that can send even the strongest of people quivering into self doubt and despair.
The candyland known as Cookie’s Corner can be found in most major cities, and even some smaller markets! Oh, to be a child again and let some of the cares weighing you down slip loose. It is possible to do that at Cookie’s Corner because inside everyone is a child once more! The bright colors entice you, but even as you realize there are no safety mats you stop caring and run to jump and bound with the energy of callow youth.
It doesn’t matter who Cookie is. It doesn’t even matter if there are actually cookies. You leave Cookie’s Corner feeling refreshed and lightened. Your own burdens lessened and even relieved. That challenge comes when a contact of yours slipped into one and hasn’t come back out. What is Cookie’s Corner hiding? Delicious pie? A Conspiracy? Psychic vampires? Or just a lucrative franchising opportunity.
Legendary Mithran Pendant [Thing]
It isn’t easy to find a champion. They are rare in real life, and honestly even more so in fiction these days. So many anti-heroes and flawed heroes, a champion just seems out of reach. Technicolor favorites are assuredly something that soothes the mind! At least, they would be if they were meant to be.
The news has reported with increasing frequency these cartoons leaping into the streets to stop some manner of street crime. Cartoons in a solid form, able to lift and jump, helping those in need, and rescuing kittens from trees. Cartoons found on the sides of candy – The Toffee Tiger; Clarence the Cuddly Caramel, and Squeaky the Clown don’t exist. The eye witness reports all say the same thing, but no camera has yet to capture this surprising and unbelievable event.
Nobody seems to have noticed one commonality yet – a child in the background of each tableau. A child that is seemingly nonplussed by what is going off just out of the camera’s field of vision. A child with a turquoise pendant that seems to gleam ever so slightly at just the right angle.
The Soldier’s Journal[Thing]
A soldier’s journal was recently discovered in the Smithsonian’s deep storage. Carbon dating keeps coming back with impossible results. The contents of the journal are even more disturbing.
Tuesday: Been separated from my platoon for a week now. Spent the night in a swamp. Smelled like blackstrap molasses. I have no idea where I am.
Saturday: Heard some laughter. Made my way to the edge of the forest and hid. The trees here are weird. Look and smell like peppermint sticks. Still no sign of my platoon.
Monday: Woke up at night. No moon. Dying of thirst. Heard running water. Made my way towards it. It tasted like root beer. I must be going mad.
Thursday: Heard unidentifiable noises. Hid myself in a field of black grass for several hours. Smelled like licorice. I hate licorice.
Sunday: At the foot of this huge mountain. I recognize the stone piles as travel markers. The stones are gumdrops. What kind of place is this?
Wednesday: They’re closing in. They’ll find me soon. I can’t keep moving. There’s no place to hide. And the smell of gingerbread is getting stronger.
The final page of the journal is splattered in a sticky red substance. Tests results show the substance is similar to blood. But there still have been no explanations for the scent of raspberry jam.
Sitting on the front porch. Slow breath in. You’re lucky. Mom and dad decided to retire to the English countryside, and were willing to let you stay with them to recuperate and regain your strength. Stay with us at the cottage and you’ll get better, they said. It seems to be working, too.
The cottage is cozy, bright, with a lovely view. The clover covered lawn is soft, lush and smells sweet at sunrise. Watching the fog roll off of the small pond at dawn brings with it an almost reverent peace. Mom’s small garden is starting to flower.
As you’ve gotten stronger, you decided to take on the task of maintaining the pond and surrounding wildflowers. Keeping the fishing pier in good shape. Tending the lavender and building a bat box to keep the mosquitos at a minimum.
Till one morning, as you watch as the fog rolls off of the pond. You see a shimmering, silver figure sitting on the pier.
“You can finally see me. Good. Then it’s time for you to go back.” She smiles at your confused expression. “I’ve been overseeing your treatment. The dumpshock you suffered left you nearly brain dead. We enacted the Bucolic V.A.L.E. protocol to try and save you. It was a long shot, though. No one was sure if it would work”
So many questions you can’t express them. “Huh-Wha?” is all you’re able to get out.
“VALE. It stands for Virtual Avalon for Lingering Encephalopathy. Like the Avalon of myth, it is a place to heal and convelace. This one is virtual, though.” A silver hand grasps yours, leading you down to the gate. “It’s time to wake up, Artie. It’s time to go back. Your people need you. I’ll fill you in along the way.”
5th Generation Hero [Person]
In a secret virtual chatroom, icons for the 3 big console companies float in a digital void.
The topic? Scalpers, thieves, and taking them down.
“Look, we’re both facing a major economic hit due to the scalping issue. Normal solutions will not work. We need to send in someone.” – Sony
“Not Master Chief, no subtlety and he may damage your product” – Nintendo, side eyeing Microsoft. Microsoft’s Icon glares back.
“Well who would you recommend? I seriously doubt Mario could do a damn thing except maybe overflow their toilets” – Sony
“I could get Gritty…” starts Microsoft.
“Nobody is that desperate!” exclaim Nintendo and Sony in unison.
**mirthless laughter fills the room**
The icon for Sega materializes in the corner along with a humanoid figure.
“I have a solution to your problems. If you’re willing to make a deal” – Sega
“What can you do, you’ve been out of the console market for ye…” – Ninendo trails off. “How can he be alive? We sent a missile. There’s no way.”
A stone faced gentlemen wearing a gi steps out from shadows behind the Sega icon.
“Who the hell are you talking abo…” – Microsoft gasps, slowly recognizing Sega’s companion. “Segata Sanshiro! He went head to head against Chuck Norris. And survived!” whispers Microsoft
“What are your terms?” – Sony
Sanshiro steps forward, muting Sega with a raise of his hand.
“Interplay between all of your consoles and PC. No restrictions, no caveats. Including saves and account transfers. In perpetuity.”
Sanshiro’s voice, reminiscent of a samurai from a kurosawa film, confirms there is no room for negotiation.
All of the icons in the room sigh, then nod in solemn agreement
Segata Sanshiro nods, satisfied. His steely eyes seem to focus on something far away. He subtly shifts the huge Sega Saturn on his back and explodes out of the room.
A second later, his battlecry resonates in the remains of the chatroom
“Sega Satān, shiro!”
Zendead – The Tales of Kirby City This is a Fate Condensed Actual Play
Joules – Alien Voices: Leonard Nimoy and John de Lancie present Classic Science Fiction Audio-Dramas. Featuring a wide variety of Star Trek actors performing a wide variety of stories like Journey to the center of the earth, war of the worlds and various others.
Guard-a-Manger – War of the Worlds: Global Dispatches. An anthology of short stories as if the martian invasion of the War of the Worlds were witnessed by Teddy Roosevelt, Leo Tolstoy, Joseph Conrad, and more.
Music is courtesy of Sim on Twitter you can find him at @TheSimulacrae
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