aj story

Fiction Fridays #12: The AJ Story, Chapter 11

Hey, guys!  Here’s the next chapter of my story!!  The AJ Story is not its official title; I’m still looking for one, but I can’t think of a good one.  If you have any suggestions, PLEASE post them in the comments!!

If you haven’t read the previous chapters:
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10

~~~

“What do you mean, she hasn’t come back?” cried Flora. They were standing on the edge of the plateau called Peregrine Peak on the edge of Coral Canyons. The view was beautiful, looking down on the wild forest outside Jamaa, but the three wolves and the panda had much more on their minds than the scenery.
“She was supposed to return an hour ago,” said Liza worriedly.
“Juniper’s worthless on patrol,” said Lucky with a scowl. “I’ll admit she’s a whole lot better than me in a lab, but you should have sent someone else. Or, better, never separated us in the first place.”
“All the more reason to search for her,” said Greely. “You said it yourself, Lucky, there’s far too much trouble an incompetent teenager could have gotten into out there. I’ll go find her myself, if you won’t.”
“I never said – ”
Greely had already disappeared. Flora had long suspected the Alphas had a means of teleporting, but perhaps he was just fast.
“’Incompetent teenager’,” murmured Lucky. “Do you think he meant me or Juniper?”
Flora almost laughed. “He would have to be one stupid Alpha to have known you for your whole life and think you were incompetent.”

Crashing was having the time of her life. Scooter was great with kids, and never ran out of things for them to do, Fauna was tons of fun to play with, and LaSelle was one of the nicest animals she’d ever met. All in the magnificent Raccoon Alpha’s palace.
The house had four bedrooms, all with a walk-in closet, and had a giant ballroom-like room with a fountain that they couldn’t keep Fauna out of.
“Look at meeee!” the silvery penguin squealed as she jumped into the fountain from the third-floor balcony.
“Fauna, you’re going to hurt yourself,” admonished the Raccoon Alpha. Even though an ordinary eight-year-old would have been a splat on the polished marble tiles by then, Fauna seemed to have a great affinity from heights, and had even stuck a landing from the fifth floor.
“I thought penguins couldn’t fly,” said Scooter with a grin.
“Yeah, ‘cause penguins like to swim,” Crashing confirmed.
“Well, I don’t even have wings.” Scooter tweaked one of her own long white ears. “That’s the closest I got.”
Crashing was so small she could have been a rabbit, but she was looking more wolflike by the second. She had even learned to howl.
Fauna waddled out of the fountain, still dripping wet. Scooter could not get over the penguin’s odd look. She was silvery gray with pale golden streaks, but gray was not unusual; Flora herself had a light silvery pelt. It was her eyes that looked so abnormal. Instead of dark blue like Flora’s, they were a strange light yellow, like the color of the moon. They were very fractal-looking, with streaks of white and rimmed with tan.
“LaSelle, I like your palace,” said Fauna with her pretty smile.
“Oh, you poor dear, you’ve spent your whole life in that awful cell in the Hive,” crooned LaSelle. “You haven’t seen anything; I’m a minor Alpha. I hear Peck’s palace is beautiful, though, maybe you could check that out sometime.”
“It is,” sighed Scooter. “The whole – ”
LaSelle looked up as she heard a knocking sound. “I’ll be right back, then, dears, just let me get the door.”
She came back a minute later with none other than Flora Cottoncloud.
“Flora!” cried Crashing, bounding up from where she was talking to Scooter, Fauna, and LaSelle and giving the silver-and-purple wolf a hug.
“Hey, Crashing,” she said with a smile. “Are you having a good day?”
“Yeah!” cried the little wolf. “Are we going home now?”
“Not yet,” said Flora evasively. “We’re having some problems, but you can come back with us now. Greely’s fine, and we missed our little Cutestar.” She turned to the other animals. “Scooter and Fauna, you’re coming with us, too, of course. Peck’s unconscious – ”
“Huh?”
“ – but she should wake up pretty soon, and we can get you placed, Scooter. Fauna, we may have to keep you for a little while, but I know you won’t mind.”
“Nope,” agreed Fauna.
“We can’t take you two with us right this second, but we’ll come back in a few hours.”
Flora and Lucky met back at Greely’s palace to wait for him. Crashing was playing in the big gathering room downstairs. Liza didn’t accompany them because she was still patrolling. Unfortunately, she didn’t know just how far gone the purpose of the patrols were.
Greely showed up ten minutes later with Juniper’s still form hanging limply from his jaws. With Flora’s squeal and Lucky’s hoarse shout, the two wolves ran over to where Greely had put down their fallen sister.
“Is she okay?” said Lucky hoarsely. There was a burnt hole in the back of her hood, and there was a purplish cut on her head. With a terrible feeling of déjà vu, she put her ear to the blue wolf’s chest and listened. She had a thrill of relief when she heard her little sister’s slow, shallow breathing.
“She’s okay,” said Flora, releasing a breath she didn’t know she had been holding.
“Let me wake her up,” said Greely, with an uncharacteristic air of awkwardness. Greely was usually a smooth creature, but he acted like there was something on his mind.
He disappeared for a minute or two, then returned with a bowlful of something sticky and grayish-green. Lucky gagged as he dripped a stream of the lumpy concoction into Juniper’s mouth. With a start, she awoke with a choking noise and sat up.
“Oh my goodness, I’m so sorry, I – ”
“Juniper, what happened?” Greely growled. Juniper, still not fully herself, only panicked more at his deep-voiced demand.
“Phantoms!” she cried. “I’m so sorry, there was a hundred of them, there was nothing I could do – ”
“Phantoms got in?” said Flora, trying to keep her head. This could be worse than bad. This could be the start of one of the biggest wars in Jamaa’s history, besides the first Phantom Invasion when the Alphas fought alone.
“I tried,” she sobbed. “But they attacked me, and – I don’t know, I just blacked out.”
“It’s alright, Juniper, I doubt even Lucky could have held off a hundred phantoms,” said Flora, shooting Lucky a negative look as the golden wolf opened her mouth in indignation.
“We have to tell the other guards,” said Juniper, finally coming to her senses. “We need to – ”
“Wait,” said Greely. He slowly inhaled after he said it, like he’d been waiting to get out that single word for forever.
“What?” said Lucky impatiently. “Don’t you get – ”
“I understand what’s going on here, and don’t think you know it better,” he growled. “I fought in the first Phantom Invasion, and six Alphas died. But this is serious.”
Even Lucky shut up.
“I know how you may have missed it,” said Greely carefully. “Crashing was in horrible shape when you found her, and I understand that wound of hers made her face look different, and she couldn’t have told you herself. She believed she was what you thought she was, and she believed it with all her heart.
“What are you – ” said Flora, with a hint of defense for their adopted little sister in her voice.
“I didn’t know it myself until the acceptance ceremony. I didn’t know she hadn’t already been accepted, because I hadn’t accepted her myself.”
His brow creased as his face darkened. In the moody light inside the mountain, he looked dark and slightly menacing. “That’s where I made my mistake. When I gave her the second acceptance ceremony, not my mark but Peck’s appeared.”
“What are you saying?” gasped Juniper. Lucky hadn’t moved at all the whole time. She just stood there and looked offended, but just by her slight change of expression, her sisters knew she was listening.
“She is no wolf,” breathed Greely. “She’s one of Peck’s rabbits.”

~~~

Thanks for reading! I hope you like my story! Stay tuned for the next chapter next week!!

Summer 🙂

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Fiction Fridays #9: The AJ Story, Chapter 8

Hey, guys! Here’s the new chapter of my story! I hope you like it, I worked hard on this!!
If you haven’t read the previous chapters, they’re at
https://tweenfictiongirl.wordpress.com/2014/05/16/fiction-fridays-2-the-aj-story-chapter-1/
https://tweenfictiongirl.wordpress.com/2014/05/23/fiction-fridays-3-the-aj-story-chapter-2/
https://tweenfictiongirl.wordpress.com/2014/05/30/fiction-fridays-4-the-aj-story-chapter-3/
https://tweenfictiongirl.wordpress.com/2014/06/06/fiction-fridays-5-the-aj-story-chapter-4/
https://tweenfictiongirl.wordpress.com/2014/06/13/fiction-fridays-6-the-aj-story-chapter-5/
https://tweenfictiongirl.wordpress.com/2014/06/20/fiction-fridays-7-the-aj-story-chapter-6/
https://tweenfictiongirl.wordpress.com/2014/06/27/fiction-fridays-8-the-aj-story-chapter-7/

~~~

It was a sleepless night for the wolf sisters. They woke up Scooter, told her to keep an eye on Crashing and Fauna, and went with Liza all the way to the Alpha Council House at the top of Mt. Shiveer at the edge of the mountains. It was almost eleven o’ clock when they finally reached the summit. Most of the other Alphas, looking ruffled and nervous, had already reached the top, and, to the wolves’ embarrassment, there didn’t seem to be any other non-Alpha animals there.
“Flora, Juniper, Lucky,” said a voice anxiously. They turned to see Peck, her violet eyes wide and her whiskers quivering. “I’m sorry to hear about Greely. I know you three are really close to him.”
“He’ll be okay,” Flora said, although it sounded rather like she was reassuring herself. “They’ll put a search party together, and we’ll find him no problem.”
“Flora, you know what this means,” whispered Juniper when everyone was out of earshot. “The Phantom King. He’s already got Greely. His plan’s working, and the other Alphas are doing exactly what he wants them to.”
Flora’s eyes widened. “We have to warn them,” she whispered. Juniper nodded.
Lucky was discussing battle plans in a low voice with Sir Gilbert. Sir Gilbert wasn’t Greely’s best friend – in fact, the two had a long history of consternation – but the huge tiger’s loyalty was unmatched, and there was no way he’d step down from helping his fellow Alpha.
“Got a plan?” he said to Lucky.
“Run in there, save Greely, and whip those phantoms’ big black butts,” she replied.
“Sounds good to me,” said Sir Gilbert.
“Attention!” called Liza from the end of the large table in the center of the room. All talk ceased, and everyone took a seat at the huge conference table. Flora, Juniper, and Lucky were able to share Greely’s empty seat, and it wasn’t that cramped, considering the size of the missing Alpha.
“Yesterday, Greely left Jamaa on one of his missions,” said Liza. “We weren’t worried until he didn’t return, and one Sparkle Wingedlily, an arctic wolf that was watching Miss Cutestar while Flora and Juniper went to the Hive to help Lucky, said he had set off for the Hive. He should have come back quickly, but he didn’t.”
Flora felt herself go cold. Greely was at the Hive. It wasn’t that she didn’t think he, Alpha, couldn’t take care of himself, but the Phantom Hive was dangerous to any animal, immortal or not. The Alphas’ immortality wasn’t absolute, after all; they would never die of old age or grow any older, but they could be killed in battle like a normal animal.
“Naturally, we will assemble a party of our best warriors to venture into the Hive and find him. It – ”
“Wait!” Juniper burst out. “While we were in the Hive, the Phantom King told us his plan. He was planning on capturing Greely, then, while we were all busy, leak the phantoms into Jamaa and take it from the inside out.”
All eyes turned to the blue wolf, and she blushed.
“What was his plan?” asked Liza softly.
So Juniper told them everything the Phantom King had said. When she finished, Sir Gilbert pushed his chair back and rose to his feet. “We must act,” he growled, and shouts of assent filled the room.
“Quiet!” shouted Liza. “This is indeed a bad situation, but we can’t rush into it. We have to leave a group behind to keep vigil over Jamaa’s borders and make sure the phantoms don’t infiltrate, and form a search party as well. Sir Gilbert, Peck, Ruby, Lucky, and Flora will search for Greely.”
The named animals stood up. The huge tiger, rabbit, rhino, and two wolves, all great warriors, promised they would give everything they could, and wasted no time in leaving for the Hive.
“That leaves the matter of security,” continued the panda. “Cosmo, Graham, Juniper, and I will watch the land borders. Harper and Marco can take the waterways.”
Harper and Marco were the Seal and Penguin Alphas, respectively. “On it,” said Harper, throwing Liza the finger-gun. Juniper quietly rolled her eyes.
“And Crashing?” she asked hesitantly. “I’m sorry, but I can’t just leave her alone. We’ve got a little penguin and a rabbit, too.”
Liza raised her eyebrows at the last part, but said, “They can stay with LaSelle while you do your duties as guard.” The glamorous raccoon rose from the table. “I’ll take very good care of your little ones, Miss Spiritbird.”
“Thanks,” said Juniper. She gave LaSelle her address so she could pick them up, then left with her Alpha helpers to organize a watch over Jamaa.
Meanwhile, the search party was about to reach the bottom of Mt. Shiveer. It was a much faster journey downhill, and with their long legs and Alpha speed, they almost halved the time it took to get down.
Sir Gilbert shook the dirt and snow out of his fur once they’d reached the bottom. “It’s about an hour’s journey to the Hive,” he said in his bass voice. “We should arrive just after midnight. You all ready?”
“Ready as ever,” said Flora, digging her claws into the rocks beneath her.
With the affirmative from everyone else in the party, the second leg of their journey began. Huge stony mountains loomed at them from all sides, towering above their heads, making even the Alphas seem miniscule by comparison.
“I’m almost glad we got here,” said Peck once they’d reached the Hive. “Those mountains looked too sinister. I bet they were crawling with phantoms.”
“Well, get ready for more,” growled Ruby. She tossed her head from side to side, then smashed her horn through a rock by the entrance. “I’m waiting for whatever those phantoms throw at us.”
So they all went inside the Hive. Lucky bowed her head and quickened her pace as her fur stood on end at the sight of a bloodstained patch just inside the mouth. She tried not to think about Little and her terrible, if brave, death.
“Keep your guard up,” whispered Sir Gilbert, whose head was scraping against the roof of the tunnel. More than once he’d hit it on a rock and said some extremely rude things to the ceiling.
“We’re getting close,” said Flora. “I know where we are.”
After five more minutes of narrow, winding tunnels, Flora spotted the sign that marked the entrance of the dungeons. She crouched low, and motioned her companions to do the same. One phantom drifted from one side of the corridor to the other, guarding the doorway, but the search party wasn’t nervous in the least.
“Here we go,” said Ruby, a daring smile spreading across her sharp features. Flora couldn’t help thinking that she was among a group of Luckies.
“On your mark,” muttered Sir Gilbert.
“Get set…” Despite Peck’s size, she managed to look like a fierce enemy.
“GO!” shouted the rhino.
The phantom never had a chance against all five of them. With one slash of Ruby’s claw-sharp horn, he was nothing but a pile of goop on the ground.
But the worst was yet to come.

~~~

Thanks for reading! I still don’t have a good title for this story, so if you have any suggestions, PLEASE put them in the comments!!

Summer 🙂

Fiction Fridays #8: The AJ Story, Chapter 7

Here’s your new chapter! I’m really enjoying giving these chapters to you, and I hope you like them!!
If you haven’t read the previous chapters, they’re at
https://tweenfictiongirl.wordpress.com/2014/05/16/fiction-fridays-2-the-aj-story-chapter-1/
https://tweenfictiongirl.wordpress.com/2014/05/23/fiction-fridays-3-the-aj-story-chapter-2/
https://tweenfictiongirl.wordpress.com/2014/05/30/fiction-fridays-4-the-aj-story-chapter-3/
https://tweenfictiongirl.wordpress.com/2014/06/06/fiction-fridays-5-the-aj-story-chapter-4/
https://tweenfictiongirl.wordpress.com/2014/06/13/fiction-fridays-6-the-aj-story-chapter-5/
https://tweenfictiongirl.wordpress.com/2014/06/20/fiction-fridays-7-the-aj-story-chapter-6/

~~~

They were already out of the mountains when Scooter finally broke. She’d been holding back her tears for the sake of the mission, but once they were out of range of the Hive she sat down, buried her face in her paws, and started crying.
Juniper silently padded behind the rest to where Scooter was sitting. She nuzzled the little rabbit and whispered softly in her ear.
“Little was a hero, you know,” she crooned. “She died the best way anyone could have. She saved all our lives, and you can be thankful for her your entire life.”
“But she’s never coming back,” said Scooter in a small voice. “She’s dead, and there’s nothing we can do about it.”
“She walks with Zios and Mira in the Sky Kingdom now,” said Juniper quietly. “But someday you’ll see her again, and when you do, nothing can ever bring you apart again.” With that, Juniper picked Scooter up in one paw, set her on her back, and trotted off to catch up to the others.

Greely stood by the mouth of the Hive, his brow furrowed and his chest puffed out. It had taken him a long time to reach the Hive, but Greely was not a hasty wolf. He took no risks, instead timing his arrival to when the phantoms would switch the dungeon guard. Greely knew everything about the phantoms. Greely knew everything about lots of things, and that was part of the reason the other animals thought he was a bit creepy.
Greely prowled through the cave’s opening, his eyes alight with awareness and caution. Nothing would get past him.
With astonishing silence and gracefulness for a wolf of his size, he wove through the maze of the Hive until he came to the dungeons. It didn’t look like the new guard had come yet, but there was a dark stain on the ground. He crouched down and sniffed it. Phantom blood. He hoped the wolves hadn’t done anything to upset the phantoms. That would just make his job more complicated than it already was.
Wary and attentive, he made to go through the doorway and came face-to-face with a big, burly phantom. No problem. He swatted the phantom with one massive paw and he exploded into a mass of purplish goop.
“Well, you are a strong one,” said a voice behind him. “You came a little earlier than we expected, but we’re right on schedule now.”
Then everything went black.

By nightfall, everyone had settled down in the wolves’ house. Crashing was delighted about having guests, and she and Fauna got along great. Even though Scooter was heartbroken about losing her best friend, she made herself right at home at their small cottage. Juniper made a hearty dinner of thick chicken noodle soup and salad, and at Lucky’s request, they had chocolate cake for dessert.
Before Crashing went to bed, as usual, she asked for a story. Juniper and Lucky were helping Fauna and Scooter get to bed. Scooter was sleeping on the couch, and Fauna was sharing Crashing’s room.
“Do you want to hear the story?” Flora asked Fauna, who was on top of a big pile of pillows at least a foot high.
“I like stories,” said Fauna cheerfully.
“Well, this one’s true,” said Flora. “It’s about two wolf sisters at battle camp.”
“I want to go to battle camp when I’m older,” said Crashing.
“Shh,” said Flora. “Do you want to hear the story or not?”
“Shh,” repeated Crashing to Fauna.
“One wolf was twelve, and the other was eight. It was the younger one’s first year at battle camp, and she was doing very well. The other had been going for a few years, but she didn’t like it very much. She tried her best to be a warrior, but it just wasn’t her thing. Instead, most of her time was spent developing medicines for the warriors.”
Like Juniper, thought Crashing, but she didn’t interrupt the story again.
“One very cold winter night, under the cover of hard snow, a legion of phantoms attacked the camp. The younger wolf wanted to fight, but she wasn’t allowed. The older wolf didn’t want to, but she had to because she was older. She was able to make a compromise and work as a field medic, but the younger one was frustrated because she couldn’t help in the fight.”
Fauna thought the wolf should have been able to fight, even though she wasn’t old enough. She was eight, just like the wolf in the story, and she’d just taken down a Hive full of phantoms.
“So the younger wolf, against orders, ran away from the camp and began to help the soldiers in their fight. She was a very good warrior, but her big sister was very worried for her even when she was safe and sound at camp. When she saw her in the middle of the battle, she stole the sword of one of the animals she was tending and rushed into battle.
“The younger sister was never in any real danger. She was a great fighter, and the trainers of the battle camp had the phantoms covered, but the older sister fought nevertheless to save her sister. But before she could even find her to help her, she was cornered by a huge phantom. She fought as best she could, but the phantom hurt one of her paws very badly. The battle was won by the camp, but they weren’t sure she would survive.”
Crashing’s bedtime stories – especially the true ones – got a little violent sometimes.
“She was saved by one of her own medicines. She was the first to make a solution that would help to heal phantom wounds to that degree, but it wasn’t enough. They – ”
“I thought Juniper invented that,” said Crashing softly.
“Not much longer, honey,” said Flora. “Just let me finish the story.”
“The medicine didn’t help enough. Her paw was too badly hurt, and to this day she has one metal paw.”
It was all silent for a few seconds. Crashing thought she knew who the two wolves in the story were.

Everyone was in bed and nearly asleep when a frantic knocking at the door woke them up.
“Who could it be this late at night?” whispered Juniper.
“I don’t know, but they better have a real good reason,” growled Lucky, who had already fallen asleep.
When they answered the door, they found none other than Liza the Panda Alpha, the most well-known and well-liked of the immortal rulers.
“Liza, ma’am, it’s you,” said Flora, dipping her head. “What is it?”
“It’s Greely,” she said. “He left this morning, and now he’s gone!”

~~~

Thanks for reading! I appreciate your feedback and title suggestions in the comments!

Summer 🙂

The AJ Story 2!!

Hey, guys!!  Last night I finished my rough draft of the sequel to the AJ Story.  It’s a few chapters shorter, with 12 chapters, but I can assure you it’ll be as good.  I’ll post a few Fiction Fridays between the two stories, just for kicks, but there won’t be too much waiting.

I know this post is short, but that’s all I needed to say.

Summer 🙂