Kallista didn’t know what time it was when she woke up. All she knew was that the day was overcast and foggy…..……and she was still tied to a tree. A coconut fell on her head momentarily stunning her. A coconut tree to be precise, she thought, mildly irritated. Blinking her stinging eyes she looked around some more while keeping a nervous eye above her on the menacing looking coconuts. They were all staring at her evilly. A shiver shook her then she realized someone or something was missing.
“Ed?” She called out timidly. “You still around? I could use a hand….or a paw to help me down.” Confused she wrinkled her nose. “Do gorillas have hands or paws?”
Another coconut fell bonking her on her head again.
“OW! YOUFRIKKENBLOODYNINJACOCONUTS!” She raged a few more minutes before her temper cooled down.
Taking a deep breath she tried calling for help again.
There was no answer
Still, there was no answer.
“BIG BAD ED!” She growled it out now in a deep voice.
Edward the gorilla was gone.
“Great!” She snarled softly. “Now how am I going to get down?”
In frustration she grunted angrily and hit her head against the tree.
The rest of the coconuts fell upon her head.
“OK. So that was a bad idea.” She spoke through clenched teeth after a moment of silent raging.
After a moment of gazing around at endless fog her mind began to calm down……..and got bored.
“WE ARE THE WOOOOOORLD! WE ARE THE CHILDREN!“ She bellowed out suddenly as she began singing the hit song from the mid-eighties.
She was halfway through the song when she heard a strange sound echoing through the sky and forest.
Taking a moment to concentrate she considered where the sound had come from.
“With my incredible detective and hunting skills…I deduce the noise game from over THERE!” She eyeballed to her left intently completely missing the large shadowing mass that appeared briefly on her right.
Slightly disappointed that nothing came within view she began singing again while keeping a close watch to her left.
Suddenly a large gray creature filled her vision in front of her and screamed its rage at her.
“Oh fine! Everyone is a critic!” She snapped sarcastically.
It screamed again at her, its long beak inches from her nose.
“Niiiiiiiiice birdy.” She tried to sooth it nervously.
Moving her head in time she was able to dodge its first attack.
“BAD BIRD!” She scolded.
As it took off again in a cloud of claws, wings, and a beak she stared at it in wonder. She could hardly believe her eyes! It was a bird from the dinosaur age. Now what was it called? Raptor….raptor bird…..no….it was something else. As she thought hard she forgot about the thing in the sky that was now circling above her, unfazed by the fog below.
“Terry….turtles……I’VE GOT IT!” She suddenly spoke out loud triumphantly. “Pterodactyl!*
Above her the creature dived towards her unnoticed.
“I wonder how that’s spelled.” She mused aloud, forgetting of her doom. “Let’s see….T……A…R…..Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!”
The claws of the prehistoric bird grazed by her, drawing blood on her cheek.
“Ooooooooow….”She moaned, then muttered. “Well at least I won’t have to shave for a while.”
The creature swerved back and few at her. There was nothing she could do. It ripped into her but instead of her flesh being torn apart it cut her ropes instead. Dropping like a stone her scream was cut off as she face planted into the sand below. Warily and slightly dazed she raised her head to see something shiny. It was the ring! How could she have forgotten about that?
In an instant she pounced on it. “My…..PREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEECIOUSSSSSSSSSSSSS!” She crooned creepily then screamed again as the pterodactyl attacked her once more.
Reacting almost on instinct she reached for a fallen ninja coconut and threw it at the bird. It fell like a dud, way short of the hungry beast.
Desperately she hugged the ground as she felt it fly over her, its sharp claws raked her back. Clentching her teeth together at the pain she grabeed another coconut.
Taking a deep breath she flipped herself over and waited this time for the right moment. As it flew over her again she hurled the hard exotic fruit at it.
The coconut seemed to fly though the air in slow motion, it’s rotating surface a study in ariel ballet. With skill that only a ninja coconut could have, it struck the flying beast on the beak and was pierced though.
Surprised, the beast flapped its humongous wings backward and waved its beak all around trying to dislodge the fruit. When it failed that it began to fly away angrily, back to where it came from. The only flesh it enjoyed that day was the flesh of the ninja coconut.
“No. I don’t want fries with that!” Kallista’s own voice woke her from the dream she was having.
Sitting up with a start she rubbed her head and looked around. No. She was not at McDonald’s. She was still on the strange island and she was still hungry though not as cold as before. A remnant of her dream stayed with her, so real she could smell the aroma of a warm cooked meal. She looked down at her hands just willing the object she was holding to be a hamburger. Instead of food in her hand she held a small piece of driftwood and judging by the teeth marks and odd taste in her mouth, she must have been chewing on it too.
“Oh well, at least I’m dry again.” She mumbled as she got to her feet and tossed the driftwood aside.
With food and something purple still on her mind she trudged slowly towards the forest, looking around cautiously for anything that might attack her again. Out of the corner of her eye something flashed and sparkled. Turning to see what it was she saw a bright glowing light that hovered high in the air just outside of the forest. Kallista’s big lovely blue eyes widened in pleasure.
“SO BEAUTIFUL!” She breathed in awe.
Hastily she changed her direction and headed for the warm inviting glow of the small orb. As she drew closer she could feel the power radiating from it. She began to run feeling a sense of urgency to grab it before it disappeared.
Then she stopped just short of her goal. Something else has caught her attention. The ground beneath her feet shook and rumbled as the sound of heavy footsteps echoed in her ears. Something big was headed her way. The trees ahead of her shook violently and were bent backwards as the big something passed through them.
“Oh crap! That can’t be good.” Kallista mumbled as she backed away quickly.
A strangled scream escaped her lips as she tumbled backwards into a deep hole.
“SURPRISE!” A loud booming voice sounded just as she landed with a thud.
Terrified but unhurt she pressed herself against the sandy wall of the hole.
Above her she heard the voice speaking again.
“Where did she go?” The giant’s voice sounded irritated. “My big entrance was ruined!”
With her heart pounding she listened in silence as the voice continued to rant. It seemed as if it was talking to some one else. Thunder rumbled gently from a distance as if in reply. She was only slightly curious about that but not enough to poke her head out and investigate. Instead she hoped desperately that whoever that big voice belonged too, that it would go away fast.
But there was no such luck. She whimpered as she heard what the voice said next.
“What? You say she fell down in the hole? But I had placed a warning sign right NEXT to it.”
The thunder rumbled again.
Had there been a sign? Kallista had not seen one. Then she spotted something across from her half buried. Digging it out she saw a smallish sign with the words written on it: Beware of hole. Don’t fall in.
Well, that’s nice. She thought sarcastically as she picked it up.
Then suddenly something huge reached down and grabbed her by the belt loop on the back of her pants.
Shrieking wildly she covered her eyes with one hand and made crazy jabbing motions with the stick part of the sign in what she hoped was the right direction of the thing that now held her.
“Oh good! You found the sign!” The beast cheered as it easily plucked the sign from her hand.
Now she dangled uselessly high in the air. Fearfully she peaked between her fingers and saw a giant…
“MONKEY!” She shrieked again and flailed her arms and feet futilely.
The giant beast sighed and looked at her exasperated. “I am NOT a monkey. I am a gorilla. There IS a difference though you know. Will you PLEASE stop screaming!”
“I’m sorry.” She said tearfully. “I am afraid of heights and…..and…BIG THINGS!”
She covered her eyes and pointed to ground far below her.
“If I put you down will you promise not to scream or run away?” The giant gorilla asked her.
“Yeah, okay. I promise.” She mumbled.
As he put her down her fear began to leave. She then realized with astonishment that the big Gorilla had been speaking with a proper English accent this entire time.
“For a person in uniform you are oddly cowardly.” He spoke mildly with an air of disappointment.
She merely shrugged, not remembering how she came to be in a military uniform in the first place.
“I bet is has something to do with my good friend, Lizzy.” She mused suspiciously with narrowed eyes as she was lowered.
Once on the ground she staggered for a few minutes as her legs found strength again to stand upright.
The gorilla watched her somberly as she found her bearings. “I am Edward, guardian of this part of the island and also Keeper of the Ring you see here before you.”
“Well hi there, Eddie!” She greeted in a dreamlike way.
It was all so fantastic she could feel her mind threatening to explode. Once again Edward looked exasperated and raised his eyes to the sky, beseechingly.
“Why, oh why did you HAVE to place me with HER?”
The thunder rumbled back as Kallista looked on with astonishment.
“Are you speaking to the Thunder?”
“Yes I am.” Edward replied trying to be patient. “The thunder is..”
“COOL!” Kallista shouted as she interrupted him and looked up into the sky crazily.
“HEY! YOU! BUSTER IN THE SKY! Take a look at THIS!”
She whirled around and mooned the sky. She laughed wildly then screamed a moment later as lightning flashed and struck her. To Edward is sounded like some sort of demented yodel.
“Mypantsareonfiremypantsareonfire!”She screamed as she dashed madly back and forth in front of Edward with a small flame on her backside.
Edward sighed and flicked at the small human with his large finger sending her flying backwards in the sand. Immediately the fire was out leaving behind a thin smoky trail.
“I really wish you would not do that.” Edward spoke. “You must not anger the King of this island.”
“King?” Kallista roared as she got over her predicament easily. She jumped up and stood in a noble pose. “ I am an AMERICAN. No king or queen rules over ME!”
Immediately she was stuck again by another bolt of lightning. This time it left what was left of her long black hair in a sort of weird afro.
“Ok maybe I will.” She spoke meekly in a high squeaky voice as she collapsed in the sand again.
“I really wish you would not do that” Edward said again. “Now if I can please continue?”
Kallista only managed to nod with her blackened face set in a frozen shocked sort of smile.
“Good.” Edward nodded finally satisfied. “As I was saying, I am the keeper of this ring. You desire this ring. Am I correct?”
Kallista nodded dumbly again but briefly wondered where one would go to learn the fine language of thunderese.
“Then let me continue. This ring is called Rüya Veren, the giver of dreams. Whatever is your dream, the ring will make it come true for you if you are the bearer.”
Edward stopped for a moment as he saw the little human’s expression turn from a dopey grin to that of wonder.
“I had a dream once where I was at school giving a speech and I was naked!” Kallista smiled happily.
“Uh….er….not THAT sort of dream.” Edward said dourly.
“Oh.” Kallista looked slightly disappointed, then brightened. “I would like to see you in a pink tutu! You would look SO adorable.”
Edward facepalmed. He guessed that most people did when around this exasperating human.
“That is a wish, not a dream.” He responded trying to keep his temper down. “Is there nothing you aspire to? Something that you long for but is beyond your reach?”
Kallista eyed the beautiful glowing ring again.
“There is something.” She admitted. “Something…..purple.”
“Then you will want this ring.” He said, stopping her from reaching for it. “But there are three tasks you must do first.”
“Really?” Kallista frowned in annoyance. “Can’t you just hand me the ring and be done with it? I mean, it will be so simple.”
A burst of flame and Kallista was struck by yet another bolt of lightning. Edward sighed and waited for her to stop jerking about and screaming then continued. “As you may have noticed, you HAVE to complete the three tasks. It is required.”
“Yeah, OK.” She stood there with a stunned look on her blackened face. “So tell me, what do I have to do?”
“Your first task is to carry me over a pit of hot coals.” Edward said calmly, silently daring her to protest again. He liked seeing the small human get electrocuted.
“Aww…” Kallista began, a protest almost out of her mouth. Quickly she closed her mouth and eyed the sky nervously as the thunder rumbled ominously.
There was a whooshing noise as a long stretch of burning coals appeared before her.
“How……?” Kallista started but was interrupted by Edward.
“Turn around.” He said simply.
Mystified she did as he asked then squeak with surprise as he turned and set on her back.
“Go on now human. Carry me across.”
Grunting with exertion she started across the hot coals.
“Oh! By the way. No shoes or boots or any foot wear of any kind.” Edward admonished her.
Magically her boots disappeared and she screamed in agony as the heat seared her feet.
“ I suggest you hurry across.” Edward said as he made him self comfortable one her back.
Hastily she did as he suggested and staggered across the hot coals with a panicked expression.
“Ow! Oh! Oh! OUCH!”
Finally she was across and sagged to the ground Edward still on her back. She disappeared under his brown fir. The thunder rumbled again and Edward spoke grumpily.
“OK. Fine I’ll get off her!”
He got off her to find she was laying spread eagle buried halfway in the sand.
“Oh get up you!” He said somewhat irritated. “The King says I have to let you live so you can complete the other two tasks.”
He plucked her out leaving a Kal print behind.
“Second task is…” He broke off as she groaned a long prolonged groan.
“Are you quite finished?” He asked her mildly offended.
She waved him on wearily.
“Fine then. Next task is a game of….BUMBLE BALL!”
“Bumble ball?” She squeaked out.
“Like dodge ball but only played with coconuts and there is a goal. “ Edward explained. “You know, because the island doesn’t really have any balls. Just coconuts.”
“Of course.” Kallista responded cantankerously.
“Your duty is to act as a goalie and to keep the coconuts from passing by you.” Edward continued, ignoring her outburst.
A moment later she found herself in between two tall coconut trees that were aligned but far apart from one another.
“This is a big goal area.” She muttered under her breath, wondering how she was going to achieve this.
“What was that?” Edward asked her.
“Oh, nothing!’ She called back with false exuberance.
For the next hour she endured a plethora of coconuts being lobed at her with the velocity of a speeding train. With a valiancy that even noble Edward admired, she tried to block every coconut that was thrown at her. In the end, she was buried again. This time under a pile of coconuts.
“I win!” Edward called out happily.
He sat himself down and waited for Kallista to rise up from her pile of coconuts. It took a while. When she finally did emerge, she was sporting two black eyes, a bloody nose, split lips along with her fried afro hair, tattered clothing sloppily arrayed, and smoldering slightly.
“I’m still beautiful.” She groaned out hoarsely, her voice breaking.
Neither one of them knew exactly what happened next. One minute Kallista was on the ground, staggering forward as seemed to be her custom. The next thing Edward knew, she was airborne and flying through the air. He looked down at the stick he had just stepped on. She has just stepped on the one end of the stick when he had moved forward and stepped on the raised end. The simple act had sent her flying high into the air screaming crazily across the sky towards….…NO!
Edward saw her as if in slow motion as he lunged forwards. Her mouth was wide open in a scream as she once again was flailing all her limbs uselessly.
All his efforts to save the ring was lost. Kallista, blind with terror swallowed it mid scream and choked. Now the ring lay in the bottom of Kallista’s stomach.
Due to its magic nature, Kallista did not plummet to the ground. She hovered instead.
“Now you have gone and done it.” Edward closed his eyes in irritation. “I USED that glowing ring as a night light when I read during the evenings!”
“Uh…sorry?” Kallista apologized sheepishly as she hovered by his large face. “Look on the bright side! I’m not hungry or cold anymore!”
Edward did a double take as Kallista began to glow just like the ring had done.
“I’m looking at something bright now.” He replied to her as an idea formed in his head. “I now know what your third task will be.”
A short time later Kallista found herself bound to a particularly tall thick coconut tree that Edward was leaning up against as he read from his book. It was dusk now and Kallista provided the only glow as she hung from the top of the tree, tied to its rough bark.
“Soooo…” She ventured in the silence. “Once I’m done being your nightlight, I get the ring?”
“Yes.“ Edward replied without looking up and shuddered. “Believe me, I don’t WANT to have that ring anymore! It’s yours! Now be a good nightlight and shut up before I gag you too!”
Kallista could not help it. She cheered. “YAY!”
A moment later she found her mouth gagged with a banana peel and for the rest of the night, Edward read happily in silence.
CHALLENGE 1Kallista woke up to find her face half mushed in the sand, water lapping gently up and down by her face. Slowly and unsteadily she rose to her feet, grimacing at the odd taste of sand and saltwater still in her mouth.
"I'm still beautiful." She mumbled incoherently as she clumsily wiped the bad taste from her mouth with her sleeve.
Doing a double take she noticed her sleeve was that of an unfamiler jacket. Glancing down at the rest of her, she saw she was wearing the tattered remains of once had been a proud military uniform.
"Huh?" She wrinkled face confused and stumbled forward, doing a sort of pirouette as she turned to look about her. "What is going on?"
Several things became apearant to her as she took in her surroundings. First was that she was alone on a beach. Second was that the sky was turning a dramatic shade of dark gray mixing in with the deep blue casting a shadow onteh iland below. The water was a stormy shade of green and becoming more choppy as te wind picked up. Thirdly, she was becoming cold by the winds blowing off the ocean. Turning she noticed in a treeline of heavy foilage. The dence greenery streatched up righ beside a rocky cliff. The surface of the steep cliff apeared smooth from where she stood.
"I need shelter." She muttered intelligently and pointed forwards as if that would help her march more steadily on the sandy ground.
Sighing she marched forward, determined to make it there before she passed out again.
Glancing up again her eyes widened ans she saw something unexpected.
"OCTABOONA!" She creid out happily as she spied him standing there by the foot of the clift.
He smiled at her and held out his hand but did not say anything.
"Oh! Octaboona, I am so glad to see you!" She ran forward to embrace her dear friend only to run SMACK against the side of the very hard and very cold cliff.
"Oof!"She fell backwards cutching a bloody nose and glancing back with disbelief at where Octa had once stood. He was no longer there. He had just been a mirage.
"Crap! Crap! Crap!" She rolled in agony in the sand, both physical and in her heart and muttered. "This is what you get for drinking to much saltwater."
Grumpily she stood then realized with an eeriness that she was not alone. Moving her head slowly around while fighting the rising sense of fear that invaded her soul she looked for the source.
There, standing not so far away by the shore line stood a giant humaniod figure, rising from the water like a nightmere. It was drapped in long thick strands of seaweed, covering a stone like body. It was hugely musculer with overlong arms that had deadly looking claws at the end of each finger.
A cold sweat broke over her forehead as she felt along side of her for any weapon but found none.
"Ah...I don't suppose you are a friendly beastie, eh?" She smiled through a pale face as she stumbled backwards. "No?"
The creature moved forward purposely with unfalthuring steps. Silent and dealdy it's movements were forceful and unnatural. Worst of all it was FAST! In moments it was upon her. A strangled cry broke free from her numb lips as she fall backwards inthe sand, just narrowly escaping the slash of it's huge claws. Gawking up at it she realised it was larger than she had first thought.
"You would not hit a girl, would you?" Her voice broke as she pressed up against the surface of the unyeilding cliff. There was no place to go.
Silently it slashed out at her again. This time it's claws tore into her midsection ripping her already tattered shirt even more. Gasping in pain she glanced down to see blood trickling from her wonds. They were not deep, much to her relief. But something else caught her attention.Whipping her head back up she growled back up at it, rage giving her an unexpected surge of energy.
"YOU!" She bellowed at it and stepped forward.
It did not do anything but merely cocked it's slimy seaweed covered head at her.
"You exposed my.........BELLYBUTTON!" She raged as she stepped forward throwing a few stones uselessly at it. "How DARE YOU!"
It responded simply by slashing it's long claws at her again. Half of her long stringly wet black strands fell into a pile at her feet in the sand.
"Ok. Maybe I was wrong." She repsonded shakily again as common sence once again flowed into her. "I blame the saltwater...."
"Gotta go! See ya!" She moves to elude the creature and ducked past it, heading back towards where she had first found herslef.
Surely there would be something that had washed up with her to the shore that would prove helpful to provide a quick escape!
A blow to her back knocked her forward sending her flying into the sand. Once again her face planted into the gritty sand filling up her mouth and nose with it's bitter and rough taste.
Screaming she felt herself being lifted upside down by her leg as the creature lazily poked her in her side making her feel like a human pincushion. By now she was steaked with blood but none of the wounds were deep. It was as if it was playing with her. The creature let her drop undignified into the sand where she lay whimpering.
"I'm still beautiful." She whispered half crazy with exhaustion, pain and fear.
Then in wonder she heard a voice. It was as if from a distance. Music from a piano was playing too.
Instinctively she rolled over and leapt up, sprinting back towards the cliff, her eyes directly on the smiling face of Octa. In the back of her mind she knew he was a mirage but it was enough to remind her of what she had to live for.
"I found the middle C!" She could hear his voice in her mind as he looked up triumphantly.
Determindly she jumped up in a parkour move along the face of the cliff where the image of Octa had been. She could sence the presence of the creature close behind her. It missed her as she rebounded off the cliff, flipping over it's head and landing on the other side of it. Crouching before it she prepared to fight to the death. For Octa, she would not go down easily.
It made it's first noise then, a bellow. Surpisengly it was it's last bellow too. From up above a huge boulder somehow been shaken loose and fell with a heavy thud on the monster before her, making an instant monster pancake.
"Well," She remarked as she blinked rapidly in astonishment. "That was easy."
Wearily she sank to her knees then collapsed in the sand.
"I'm still beautiful." Were her last words before drifting off to sleep and dreaming about a certain purple poet.