Just a small post…

To talk about nothing and everything really. I had a good, quiet day, spend mostly asleep in my bed (fighting a turn of the season cold) or watching television with my mom. Didn’t go to work, as I didn’t get the session that I put in for and it was quiet blessing. I haven’t had a proper day off in days. I watched UP today, (the animated film) and went to see Alice in Wonderland which was a real treat. I love Johnny Depp, I really do. I want to have that man’s babies…

I didn’t get the time to work on the Nasty Pixie Tale today. My beta’s returned a chapter of another story that I’m working on so I have to work on that. There was a delay on both our sides, me getting it out there (thank you NaStyRoMo) and him getting round to it due to being ill and swamped with his own work. We make a fine pair, me and my Tenchi Knight… Needless to say, it’s time to get it out there for the public to read.

I hope all’s well!



NaSty Pixie Tale Part 2.

Once again, I’d like t point out that this is just a work of fiction. I’m not implying anyting about the original NaSties true characters, merely using their chibi’s and general personas to fit my evil purpose. I hope that they enjoy this, and if they don’t they should feel free to tell me to pull the plug at ANY second. To those of you who are not part of the NaSty madness who’s reading this, you can find Kylie’s drawings here – http://woobie331.deviantart.com/gallery/#The-NaSty-Nine They are great! All the characters seen here will make an appearance. 😉

So, without further delay – I present to you part 2. It starts with the sentence of the last post.

NaSty Pixie Tale Part 2

Kylie shook her head but she seemed untroubled. “I’m sure they are around,” she said confidently. “I mean why wouldn’t they be?”

The other two couldn’t really answer her. Antonio’s tail twitched in anticipation and when they looked at it the fur on his face rose with embarrassment.

“Sorry,” he said. “I can’t really control it. It’s just sort of… Me…” He paused. “Did you hear that?”

Kylie looked introspective but Alyssa unconvinced. “What?”

Antonio looked around and fixed his gaze in a specific direction. “I think that I heard a dog bark, Kylie?”

The ninja was still standing very still. “I think I sense something coming,” she said. “Hang on for a moment…” She donned her mask in a flash and leaped into the nearby tree. Alyssa looked after her and then turned a sceptical look on Antonio.

“Sense?” she queried to which Antonio shrugged. “Ninja sense probably,” he offered. “I did hear a dog bark.”

“Hmm,” Alyssa intoned, refraining from commenting. She touched her brow and paused, startled. “Hey!” she exclaimed. “My glasses are gone as well!”

Kylie dropped down next to her with a light thud and grinned. “Hey,” she said cheerfully, “Chibi’s have 20/20 vision remember? We’ve got company.”

Antonio looked at the young woman uncertainly. “Do you know who?” he queried to which Kylie grinned.

“See for yourself!” She said and motioned to the other end of the clearing. Before long a sleek gray figure appeared in the distance, walking on all fours. As they watched, the figure rose up in much the same fashion than Antonio did and motioned behind her. “They’re here!” they heard her call in a voice almost switching to a howl. “Come on Mud!”

Another figure lurched into the clearing and despite her mood even Alyssa grinned when Kylie waved them over.

“Marsha!” She called out across the distance. “Mud!”

The two waved at them and Marsha dropped down to all fours again and trotted their way, her tail held high and wagging slightly and a gleeful expression on her face. Despite her wolf-like appearance she wore a light purple shirt and a loose pair of pants.

“Guys!” She said with a grin as she stopped just short of them and stood upon two feet. “It’s good to see you! Mud knew you were here!” She glanced back at the zombie who was still lurching their way with a patient expression on her rotting features. Kylie grinned and glomped Marsha, laughing with delight when the woman’s tail wagged vigorously. “This is so cool!” the only teenager said as she hugged the older woman then turned to the zombie who had stopped just outside the group, tugging at her fraying shirt to try and hide her protruding ribs. She wore a small smile on what was left of her mouth.

“Mud!” Kylie exclaimed. “You look fantastic! How did you know we were here? Do you have Zombie sense?”

Mud raised her only eyebrow and shook her head gingerly, her hair moving over the half of her face as Antonio stepped closer to her and put a welcoming, furry paw on her shoulder.

“Not quite,” she said dryly. “Though I have other gifts.” She motioned to her companion. “Marsha heard someone scream and lead us here.” Her features twisted to concern. “Was it one of you?”

Antonio chuckled as Kylie finally let go of Marsha and bounded over to them. “It was Alyssa,” he pointed out. “She’s… having a bad hair day. It’s good to see you Mud.”

The Zombie gave him a sceptical look as only a zombie can.

“All the bits of me?” she queried to which Antonio laughed and hugged her gingerly.

“Every bit of you,” he said warmly. “Kylie – no glomping, I suspect the zombie’s fragile. Do you still have that flu?”

Mud chuckled as she returned Antonio’s hug stiffly and patted his furry head. “Let’s juts say I feel like death warmed up. Hello Kylie.”

The ninja grinned and gave her a careful hug while Marsha went over to Alyss, her tail still wagging.

“Bad hair day?” she queried to which Alyssa laughed and shook her head.

“Don’t ask,” she said. “Really, just don’t. I don’t even want to talk about it. Ever. It’s better than yours though…”

They laughed as Marsha spread her arms, inviting a hug. Grinning, Alyssa stepped forward and spread her arms but as she did so her wings unfolded with a snap that startled Marsha and hit something with a sickening – pop! There was a brief moment of confusion before Kylie cried out in horror.

“Oh Mud!” she exclaimed. “Your arm!”

Alyss turned and realized with a nauseating horror that her wing had accidently knocked off the zombie’s arm as she had stepped away from Kylie’s finished hug. “Oh my soul!” she exclaimed and clamped her hands over her mouth. “Oh my freaking soul… Mud I’m… Oh souls. I’m…”

To everybody’s horrified surprise Mud chuckled softly and bent down. The half decayed arm that had been lying on the floor reached up and allowed Mud to pick it up. As they watched Mud simply slipped the arm back into her tattered shirt and reattached it to her shoulder.

“These things happen,” she said in a soothing tone as she watched the NaSties. “It’s alright, see?” she lifted up her hand and wiggled her half skeletal fingers. “Good as dead.”

Alyssa didn’t look convinced with her hand still clamped over her mouth in horror and her wings wrapped around her securely like a shield. Even Kylie looked a little pale and taken a back and Antonio was looking at the spot where the arm had reattached.

“You ah…” he hesitated and cleared his throat with a tiger like growl. “You didn’t feel that?”

Mud shrugged, the bone in her shoulder moving.

“I am aware of my body,” she said. “But I am not in pain. It’s an enlightening experience being dead.”

Kylie finally found her voice and swallowed. “Ah, Mud,” she said softly. “I have to ask… You’re not a flesh eating zombie are you?”

The older woman shook her head patiently and, with a second or two’s thought, lifted up her shirt to expose a hollow stomach cavity. “I’m not an eating zombie,” she said with a light shrug. “See, no stomach.”

Kylie blinked and bent down to peer through the hole. “Dude,” she said. “That’s… Nasty.”

They stared at it for a few seconds. When she dropped her shirt again and straightened it with a slow, practiced motion, Alyss stepped forward as if to touch Mud but recoiled and hugged herself.

“Mud, I’m so sorry,” she managed. “Really, I don’t… I can’t control the wings. Or, I don’t think I can. It just happened, I’m so sorry.”

Mud gave her a half zombie smile. “This is new to all of us,” she said and winked. “You need to get used to being a blond.”

Antonio grinned in response and motioned to himself and Marsha. “We’ll figure it out,” he said. “Tell me, how did you two get together?”

Mud smiled and patted Alyssa’s shoulder reassuringly. “I’ll let Marsha tell you,” she intoned. “She found me – or parts of me.”

Marsha chuckled softly and ran her paw like hand over her wolf like ears before giving them a good scratch. “I came to a couple of miles from here and wandered around for hours,” she began. “It really took me a moment or two to realize that I was walking on all fours.” She glanced at Antonio. “It just sort of came naturally.” He nodded with a smile and motioned for her to continue with the story. “Well,” Marsha continued. “After a while I smelled something that really smelled delicious.” She looked embarrassed as her tail dropped for a moment. “It’s embarrassing really; I just had to know what it was. So, I used this canine nose of mine and set about discovering the source,” she smiled. “It turned out to be Mud’s arm.”

She paused to let the scene sink in. Kylie, with her eyes wide, couldn’t help but ask… “Did you eat it?” To which Marsha laughed. “No kiddo,” she said. “Admittedly, when I saw the hand I had a moment of utter, blind panic. I wanted to run away but when I turned around the hand grabbed me by the tail…”

Alyssa shuddered and put her hand over her mouth again. “I’d have freaked out completely,” she added to which Marsha nodded with a laugh. “I did,” she said. “My first instinct was to turn around and try biting it but it held onto my tail and started crawling up… up…” Kylie shuddered for dramatic effect, though her eyes were bright as she enjoyed the tale. “I stood up on my hind legs and grabbed at it as it reached my neck. I fully intended to fling it away from me but then it snapped its fingers and motioned at me to stop.”

Antonio purred a laugh and glanced at Mud who was standing peacefully, enjoying the retelling. “And you obeyed it?” he queried.

Marsha shrugged with a smile and glanced at her original companion. “I felt as if I had no choice,” she confessed. “I suspect it’s because she’s a dog trainer.”

Mud chucked and shook her head after which she made sure that her hair still covered half of her face. “I suspect it’s because I scared you stiff,” she intoned. “It’s got nothing to do with training.”

The other woman shrugged. “Quite possibly,” she agreed. “So, there I was holding this decaying hand which immediately after telling me to stop, showed me the peace sign. That got my attention so when the hand motioned to me to put it down, I did so carefully and watched in fascination as it wrote down the words in the ground: Find me, I am Mud.

Antonio laughed again and, after a second or two’s consideration so did Kylie and Alysas. “And once again you obeyed it?” he queried to which Marsha chuckled embarrassed.

“I figured that my day couldn’t get any stranger,” she said. “The arm hitched a ride and once again I used my nose and the now familiar smell to find the rest of her.” Marsha smiled wistfully. “I haven’t run this much in years.”

Kylie shared her smile. “I haven’t leapt into trees like this in like, forever,” she said with a laugh. “So you found more of Mud?”

Marsha nodded. “I found all of Mud,” she said. “She was calmly waiting for me under a tree.”

Alyss frowned and held her wings around her like a blanket, careful not to let them open unplanned. “Was it on purpose?” she queried. “I mean, did you know that she was coming?”

Mud nodded and smiled at her. “Of course,” she said. “She had my arm didn’t she?”

Alyss frowned, clearing trying to figure it out. “But a hand is… well…” She shrugged and her wings twitched in her grip. “A hand. How could you be aware of it? It’s not even attached to your nervous system.”

Mud chuckled softly. “I don’t think trying to work this out scientifically would make it easier Alyssa,” she said. “I spend quite a couple of hours thinking about it with a brain that technically doesn’t exit anymore.”

Alyss made a considering sound but didn’t look as if she was about to let the subject go. None the less, she didn’t say anything and rather turned to Kylie and Antonio. “So, what do we do now?” she asked.

The ninja shifted and shrugged, looking at her friends with a smile. “What ever we want to I guess,” she offered. “I think we should look for the others.

“Others?” Marsha asked.

“Yes,” Antonio said. Kylie figures that all of the Nasty Nine are here and I guess with you and Mud here they must be as well.”

Marsha nodded and glanced at Mud. “She said much the same thing when we were still alone,” she pointed out. “So, how are we going to go about looking? Split up or move in a group?”

Kylie grinned and bounded forward. “I’m sure I can use my ninja sense!” she volunteered. “I sort of sense people. And you two, Marsha and Antonio, you guys can sniff them out and Alyss can fly…”

“No she can’t…” ALyss finished in Kylie’s cheerful voice, who didn’t miss a blink. “She can try…”
“She can’t fly…” Alyss started again but Antonio tactfully stepped in between the two. “Nobody needs to do anything they don’t want to do,” he said. “But we should try and find the others. Splitting up seems like a good idea…”

To their surprise, Mud shook her head. “Sometimes,” she said. “But in this case, I believe we just need to move in one direction – all of us.” They turned to her surprised.

“Why do you figure?” Antonio queried to which Mud shrugged. “Call in Zombie intuition,” she said. “I don’t want to explain it now, but we should all go in one direction and stick together.” She paused and looked around pointing to a place somewhere to their left. “That direction to be exact…”

To her delight, she wasn’t met with scepticism but general acceptance.

“Right,” Antonio said. “Then it’s settled with a unanimous vote that never took place and general lack of any other suggestions. Buckle up folks! We’re going that’a’way!”

To Be Continued…

Nasty Withdrawal…

I blame NaSty Withdrawal for this. And Kylie. Mostly Kylie. (laughs). This story found it’s origin in the great Chibi’s that Kylie-chan, one of the NaSty Nine, drew for us. It’s a fairy tale and it’s not finished. The characterizations aren’t terribly true to the real people. This is a story and I needed characters to reach in a certain way. J Or, they sort of just acted. It’s by no means meant to offend the original people. I didn’t even ask their permission to post this. It’s a surprise, lol. To those of the Nine not mentioned, don’t worry – the story’s not over yet.

So, here we go;

A NaSty Pixie Tale… Part 1.

“Back off Tiger boy!” Alyss snapped, grabbing a fallen branch near her and swinging it at the advancing feline. “I’m warning you!”

The tiger made a low growling sound and to Alyssa’s horror reared up onto two legs, tugging its shirt in place.

“Listen woman,” the tiger spoke (and not for the first time). “I told you, I just want to talk.” He took a step closer. “And, as much as you freak me out, you’re the first apparently smart thing that I’ve seen in hours so drop the branch and lets talk…”

Alyss lost her temper in a second. “Apparently smart?” She snapped and shook the branch at him. “Are you saying I’m stupid? And what you do mean I freak you out? You’re a bloody talking tiger!”

The feline regarded her calmly and slipped his paws into his mean pockets. “And you ma’am,” he said calmly. “Have bat wings and a funny accent.”

Alyssa gasped indignant. “Bat wings?!” she exclaimed. “I have nothing of the sort!”

The tiger raised his busy eyebrows and just glanced at her shoulder. Unable to help herself, Alyssa glanced down and started screaming.

“No!” she exclaimed when the scream finally became coherent. “No no no! This can not be happening!”

Startled at first, the tiger stepped forward hesitantly. “Look,” he said carefully when Alyssa quieted down, her gaze fixed on her shoulder in horror. “If it’s any consolation, I woke up with fur all over my body, I know how you feel…” He trailed off when Alyssa’s horror filled eyes met his.

“How can you?” she exclaimed. “You’re not…” she paused and swallowed. “You’re not blond!”

The word rang through the clearing ominously. The tiger blinked several times.

“Blond?” he queried.

“Yes!” Alyssa exclaimed and grabbed her waist length braid, shoving it under his nose. “Blond!”

The tension that had been around minutes before filtered out of the air as Alyssa sniffed miserably and yanked her braid. The tiger gave her a hesitant look and ran his paw over his furry head.

“Ah,” he hesitated. “My name’s Antonio and… I didn’t use to be a tiger.”

Alyssa looked at him dejected and tossed her braid over her shoulder as if it offended her. “My name’s Alyssa,” she said. “And I used to be a red head.”

Antonio raised his eyebrows again, his stripped tail twitching. “With bat wings?” he queried to which Alyss frowned.

“No!” She snapped. “With bloody Walrus tusks.” She glared at him. “What do you think?”

Antonio thought that she was a little bit touché, but he decided not to say anything. “I think we’re a bit lost,” he said instead. “What did you say your name was again?”

Alyssa sighed and looked down at the cloak like wings that were folded around her shoulders. “Alyssa,” she said. “Or Alyss. You’re who? Antonio?”

He nodded and quite suddenly they blinked at each other in realization. Before they could comment though, there was a soft thud in the grass beside them. Alyss jumped back shocked, her wings unfolding suddenly and staying spread eagle as Antonio dropped to the ground and snarled a very tiger like snarl. To their surprise, the new comer – a ninja dressed in black – laughed with delight and yanked off the mask that was covering her face.

“I knew it was you!” she exclaimed. “This is total awesomesauce!”

Antonio and Alyssa paused and glanced at each other uncertain. “Kylie?” Antonio queried and once again rose up on his hind legs. “It that you?”

The Ninja grinned and spread her arms. “Antonio!” she exclaimed and before the feline could do anything she bounded over and gave him a proper glomp. When she turned to Alyssa, leaving the tiger gasping for air, the young woman took a step back in alarm; her wings flapping uncertain.

Kylie’s eyes were filled with delight as she stared at them. “They are magnificent aren’t they?” She mused as she looked at the wings. “I mean – I liked the idea when I drew them but seeing them in real life is… well…” she grinned. “Awesomesauce!”

Alyss folded her wings abruptly and grabbed her braid, pointing the end at Kylie. “You did this!” she snapped. “This is all your fault!”

Kylie, who seemed to have been debating glomping her took a step back and chuckled. “Yes, sorry bout that;” she intoned. “You know, Kim-san already had red hair and I wasn’t so sure bout you and…”

Alyssa growled. “I was a natural!”

Antonio tactfully stepped in between the two of them. “Kylie,” he said, looking at the young ninja. “How did you get here?”

Without loosing sight of the angry fan fiction author, Kylie shifted her attention to Antonio and grinned. “You know,” she said. “I have no idea. I came too alone in the forest dressed like this. At first I didn’t know where I was so I just sort of wandered. I then had this like super sense that something was behind me. Before I really thought about it I was jumping into the trees like this…” she snapped her fingers left and right in rapid succession. “It was total awesomesauce! I mean dude, I always thought I was a cat but…” She grinned pleased. “I’m a ninja!”

Antonio looked at her with a small feline smile as his tail twitched left and right. “Who was jumping into the tree because…” He prompted her to continue her story. From her end of the clearing Alyss rolled her eyes and let her braid drop with an exasperated sigh, instead choosing to fiddle with the spot where her wings crossed.

“Oh!” Kylie continued. “I jumped into the tree and soon after you came stalking by Antonio. I’d have let you go; thinking you a normal tiger but then I noticed you’re wearing pants! How cool is that?”

Alyssa snorted and shrugged. “It’s a blessing really,” she said dryly to no one in particular.

“So I followed you,” Kylie continued. “And then you found Alyssa and I just knew who you were and where we are!”

The two looked at her. “And where is that?” Alyssa asked to which Kylie shrugged.

“Well, I don’t know know.” She admitted. “But, where ever we are we’re here as the Nasty Nine! This doesn’t happen every day you know.”

Antonio smiled at her. “No it doesn’t,” he admitted. “So, have you seen the others?”

Kylie shook her head but she seemed untroubled. “I’m sure they are around,” she said confidently. “I mean why wouldn’t they be?”

To Be Continued…

Beyond the Mirror’s Edge

And, on top of everything else, I’m a gamer as well…
I finished a game today and I have to say, I really enjoyed it. It’s called Mirror’s Edge and it was released in 2008 though I only managed to get my hands on it now because the second hand game became affordable (I use PS3). Having grown up with Lara Croft (Tomb Raider, I’ve finished every single one) I can be quite critical on my games. I realize that there are many other great games out there, but for me – the busty Tomb Raider will for ever be the standard to live up to. Generally, I like a strong female character to be present in my games, I like good puzzle solving, a good story line, good graphics and good music. If you give me three out of the five, I’m pretty content.
Mirror’s Edge provided four.
The story line’s basic but unique (which in my book would make it good). You are a runner called Faith in a supposedly perfect city where people have given up their freedom and privacy in exchange for a utopia like world. They are monitored everywhere by CCTV cameras and police in order to assure that everything runs smoothly. Faith works for a firm that opposes this perfect world and who uses runner’s like her to exchange messages with other revolutionaries who distrust electronic communication. When the mayor of the city is killed, Faith’s sister (who works for the police and doesn’t approve of Faith’s way of life) is framed for the murder and Faith has to find a way to not only clear her name but save her from an unknown third party with a hidden agenda.
The graphics are great and expansive and although the world isn’t very 3D (bit of a linear playing style in comparison to something like Assasin’s Creed or Tomb Raider Underworld) it’s still amazing just to see. The music is also great, providing a nice background atmosphere without distracting you. There was sadly very little puzzle solving, but in hind sight, you don’t really have time to do much of that as you’re always being chased. You need to be able to think fast though and always think of alternative ways to get around so I guess that in a way, that ‘replaced’ the puzzle solving aspect. The down side is that it made the game very ‘easy’ to finish. Although the combat becomes more intense and the stunts harder to perform, one you’ve mastered the basics it’s just a question of applying it.
The thing that attracted me to this game in the beginning though was actually the theme song called ‘Still Alive’ by Lisa Miskovsky. I heard the song on a trailer for another game and, after some searching, discovered that it was mainly used in this game. It’s a haunting song, that (in sharp contrast to most songs out there) doesn’t go about love, but about life and how to survive. It’s also perhaps the theme of this game as one of the characters say at some point – there’s more to life than just surviving. The story’s not fuelled by passion or obsession, rather one character’s struggle and strives to keep her sister alive. It showed that, no matter how opinions can differ – at the end of the day, family is family and you should do anything to protect it.

Although it didn’t provide hours of engrossed playing, I loved this game – and can highly recommend it to anybody else. The thing is that I’m not just in it for the gaming, I’m in it for the story and how the characters can teach me something about myself or other characters I have. Mirror’s Edge did just that for me. And, it provided a great escape.

The Morning After.

I always hate the morning after work. Always.

I worked yesterday – a full day at the place where I do horseback safari’s. My day was very long, (always is). I start work at 5:30am when I hike out into the bush to find my horses and it finishes at 7:30pm (or 8pm as it did last night) when I hike back to where I had left my car after I had pushed the horses back into the field. I spend about 7 hours of the day riding and the rest running up and down, organizing my helpers, talking to people about the horses that we have, catching the odd stray pony and trying to figure out how to take a group of 15 people out when we only have 13 saddles. I did my last two rides yesterday bareback because there were only enough saddles for the people I took out and one for my helper (I used my private saddle for her). Even if you’re a seasoned horse rider… That hurts. My guide horse yesterday was also a young, spirited animal and I was very relieved that I had not fallen off at the end of my last ride (a fast ride for advanced riders). It’s hard work and I always pay for it the morning after.

I’m bruised black and blue, I’m raw and my chest and nose are blocked from allergies (ironically, I’m very allergic to horses). I’m sunburned and dehydrated despite the fact that I drank almost 4 litres of water. The African sun is a hard task master. It’s on a morning like today that I’m very relieved that I’ve not quit the job although my physical well being was the last thing on my list when I started with the reasons for doing so. I’ve been working with this company for 6 months and sadly, I’ve had enough. The pay is terrible (for my American friends -$28 for the day) and although I’ve always been able to justify it, saying that I enjoyed it, I can’t do so any more. Things have changed within the company, and now – the focus is on making money, not taking care of the animals’ well being. I have complained and cried and practically shouted at the owners when I voiced my opinions and their answer was a blasé “we know, and we’re working on it.”

I’m sad to say that that was the last straw. I’m tired of working with horses that are over tired. I’m tired of working with animals that, although they have so much to give, they can’t go any further. I’m tired of seeing the animals that I love continuously get hurt. Although the horses are in a good physical condition, it’s something in their spirit, something in their soul that’s tired. I can feel it, but it’s so damned hard to prove. The thing is that I’m only the weekend guide, working 3 Sundays a month. The main guide don’t see it that way and can’t stop raving about how good the business is doing and in what a good condition the horses are. When he does this, I have a black fury that rises up inside me, because I feel that he’s not seeing what he should.

So, I quit. I feel as if I’m abandoning them, I feel as if I’m a drop out and a quitter. But. I quit. I have tried to change them but I have come to the realization that people will never have my priorities, will never see horses the way I do. It’s a sad fact of life.

So, I’m sitting here with my aching body, with my cuts and bruises and sunburn and I’m relieved that this is almost the last time. Next weekend, I will step away there and probably not look back. I’ve burned a bridge I suspect, but that’s the way it is.