Friday, 27 July 2018

Chapter 9
Brandon and Hal were frozen in place. The jemons were advancing on them and one had a bucket of water. “G-guys?” Brandon stammered. His feet felt heavy, he just wanted to stare. “We should t-talk this through.” Is that all he could say? Hal was giving him an incredulous look. The Jemons were standing still… for now.  Their faces were tear stained with streaks that looked almost like they were made of glass, and their ears twitched, waiting for their patients to move.
“Brandon, they have a bucket of water!” Hal whispered. Brandon gasped in realization. They wanted to take care of someone ever since things went wrong with their previous master. Now, they want to spill water on Hal and take care of him.! If they did get him wet, the two would be forced to stay here and waste a lot of time. If that happened, the portal could grow beyond repair. Brandon gave Hal a hard look. “Run.”
They sprinted down the cave, leaving a path of ruffled moss. The Jemons were pounding after them, on front paws and back paws.
When Brandon and Hal stopped hearing the muffled sound of a little army of paws, they dared to look back. The Jemons were looking right back at them. Four of the Jemons weren’t standing, but being carried. Brandon slowed down. Were they hurt?
Then, before he could pick up his feet the four Jemons were loaded on top of two others in a way that slingshotted the one on top towards the two Magi-landers. The duo ran faster than before. The four Jemons were only a few arm’s lengths from them and it seemed impossible, but the Jemons were gaining.
“Run faster!” Brandon yelled. Hal gave him a pained look. “I can’t.” One of Hal’s legs was crumpling with each stride he took. It seemed delicate… almost mushy. Then, Brandon realized that it must have been from when he was trying to get away from the steaming hot bath.
If they kept running at this pace, the Jemons could easily overtake them and drag them back down the cave. Brandon had an idea, but he knew Hal was not going to like it.
“Sorry!” Brandon yelled as he picked Hal up and held him as he ran. Hal was very light. So light in fact, that Brandon was afraid that if he let him go, then Hal would go flying backwards
The Creature struggled at first, but soon realized what Brandon was doing and held on for his dear life, afraid of being whipped into the air. He was not very aerodynamic and caught the wind easily.
It wasn’t very long until Brandon and Hal saw a light at the end of the long cave. Thinking about that now, whatever burrowed this cave was very persistent. The sight of the sunlight shining in gave Brandon a burst of energy. The Jemons behind him were getting tired and one had slipped on their own tail.
Hal and Brandon Burst into the open air. But, when Brandon really looked at it, he realized it was not really open. The bare ground was sprinkled with sticks and leaves. The end of the cave was protruding from a giant chalk grey mountain with mushrooms and moss lining its base. It was surrounded by a large pine forest that seemed to stretch on and on.
The dry, orange-tinted dirt crunched under Brandon’s feet as he carried Hal to a spot that was sheltered by bushes so that no one would be able to find them. Hal sat down on some pebbles, nursing his leg, while Brandon made himself comfortable in a nest of roots. Then he realized the bright colour of it. The roots and the whole trunk of the tree were purple.
“Hey, they have these trees back in Magi-Land!” Brandon observed, looking up at the blue leaves. “I wonder if they have the green and yellow ones too.”

Hal simply nodded at what Brandon was saying. But, when he was given a chance to think it over, he immediately stood up and looked around him despite his mushy leg. He was searching through the thick pine forest for a specific type of tree. “Most of the yellow and green ones are talking trees, Brandon.”

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Chapter 8
It felt like forever. Being in the portal. Brandon was so afraid of feeling those freezing teeth again. When he was traveling between shelves, his fear was overwhelming. He felt a terrible pull on all his limbs. They threatened to pop off and float out into the blackness of the portal. Thinking of blackness, he floating in a pool of it. It was so dark. He couldn’t open his eyes. It was too dark. A pool of nighttime. Maybe he should just go to sleep.


“They must be comfortable,” said a silky, quiet voice.
“Of course,” replied another, sounding very smooth calm.
Brandon was suddenly aware of something on him. It was a blanket of some sort. It felt like it was made out of delicate fur, the softest fur he had ever felt. He jolted upright and a jumble of critters ran towards him.
They looked somewhat like ferrets with blond fur. They were wearing shiny blue bangle bracelets that made a tinkling noise every time they moved. The tips of their ears were dyed the colour of the sky. Or maybe their ears were just usually like that.
They gracefully walked over to Brandon on their hind legs and handed him a damp cloth. It smelled amazing. Brandon couldn’t bother to talk, he just buried his face in it. The scent wafted around him in… Where was he? It took a long time to make himself take the wonderful cloth off his face, but when he did, he was amazed. He was in a large cave that was illuminated by giant blue crystals jutting out of the walls. The beautiful enclosure was carpeted by soft, turquoise moss. He ran his fingers through it and it immediately felt like home. He was again taken over by a feeling so perfect that need not to talk or to question. The soothing ambiance of the cave was all he needed. If this is what Port Malocum’s like, Brandon never wanted to leave.
“Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh!” The scream was from Hal. It broke Brandon out of his trance and bounced off the walls. Brandon jolted to his feet automatically. “What did you do to him?” Brandon demanded. “Who are you?”
“We are Jemons, we were bred for being servants,” said one of the Jemons. “As for your friend, (“I wouldn’t really say friend,” Brandon mumbled. “More like a colleague.”) he was a bit dirty. Doesn’t want to take a bath.”
“A b-bath?” Brandon’s eyes grew wide. “You can’t give a creature a bath!”
“A creature? That’s what you call them…” The Jemon nodded.
“Yes! OH! Call it off!” Brandon yelled, running down the cave towards a big tub overgrown with vines. “He’ll die!”
Hal was screaming and squirming. His little black stick-feet were kicking and paddling the water. Three Jemons were holding him just above the steaming water, waiting for a command. The Jemon from before ran up from behind Brandon and with one motion of its hand, Hal was placed gently on the moss floor. He was furious. “They were going to kill me! KILL ME!”
“Hal, they didn’t know,” Brandon sighed and turned to the growing crowd of Jemons. “Creatures look like hairballs, but really they’re made out of a very delicate substance. They can’t handle water let alone hot water the way we can. It takes a long time for them to dry and can stay soggy and helpless for a long time. If they’re put in hot water, they’ll start melting. Th- it’s- … you guys okay?”
The cluster of Jemons were sobbing and bawling into their paws. “We’re sorry! We’re so sorry!” Their tears were crystal clear and sparkling. Something about them made Brandon uncomfortable. “G-guys, it’s okay, you didn’t know.”
They sobbed more. “We failed our job, our one job. Again.”
“Wait, what?” Brandon asked. “Who are you? Is this Port Malocum?”
The Jemons starting to talk and then stop, finishing each other's sentences and adding onto each other. “We are Jemons,” one said. Another added, “Bred to serve.” They were all nodding their head furiously. “But we failed.”
“F-failed what?” Brandon asked.
The jumble of Jemons began to speak again. “Failed the master.” “Yes, we were his servants.” “Very faithful.” “But we didn’t know.” “We didn’t know the magic was good.” “Was it good?” “It was good magic.” “Good for the master.”
“M-magic?” Hal asked. “Who is this?”
“The master.” “The great Lord Bomsile of course.” “The great lord of Lourdwarfs.”
Hal and Brandon exchanged worried looks.
“He had magic.” “Magic that he didn’t know how to use.” “We didn’t either.” “We hurt him.” The Jemons burst into tears again. “But we need someone to take care of.”
“S-sorry to hear that,” Brandon stuttered and looked back at Hal. “But what do you mean about the magic?”
“Lourdwarfs have never had magic.” All the Jemons were shaking their heads. “Not until…” “Shush!” “Well, anyways…” “The master wanted magic.” “When he got some, he was gaining power.” “He was acting weird.” “Yes, very weird.” “He wanted more.” “More magic.” “More power.”
Brandon shuffled uncomfortably.
“We didn’t stop him.” “We didn’t know better!” “We just did what he asked.” “We helped him learn more.” “Until it was too much.” “Now he’s not like he used to be.” “No, he was taken by the magic.”
“W-we need to go,” Brandon said quickly. He and Hal started walking down the long cave.

“No!” This voice was no longer the sweet voice of the Jemons. It was deep and scaly tone. The two looked back to see the Jemon’s eyes glimmering with an unnatural anger. “We need someone to take care of!” Yup. That was definitely the Jemons talking.

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Chapter 7
When Blair, Brandon, Hal, and Giantray (who had insisted that she must come to wish them farewell) arrived at the gentotree in the forest, they were surprised by the size of the portal. It was already about  20cm larger in radius. Last time they were here, it didn’t even have space for Brandon’s shoulders to fit through. Now, Brandon would easily fit if he went in headfirst.
Giantray gasped. “It’s gotten so big! (The last time she had seen it was quite a while ago) Will it always expand this fast? What if it gets bigger than the tree?”
“It’s hard to tell,” Blair said with a slightly frustrated look on his face. “Within the first hour that we found it, it had grown from a tiny speck to the size of a soccer ball. It’s growing less rapidly now. I suspect that it will be growing at a steady, but slow pace within a day of its existence.”
“How do you know all this?” Giantray said, impressed. Blair’s eyes became wide a shiny as if he was extremely proud all of a sudden. “Oh, I’ve got stacks of books on portals… and usually a lot of time on my hands.” Giantray gave him a nod and he got back to business.
“Okay, we better make this quick shouldn’t we?” Blair mused.
“W-what do you mean?” Brandon stuttered, feeling the spot that the tooth-like thing and scraped him last time he was in the portal. It felt cold.
“Well, we want you in, and then on the other side as fast as possible. We don’t want it to happen like it did last time,” Blair said with a bit of a shiver. “The faster the better. So, could you just…”
Blair guided them a little farther away from the portal. “Okay so… got your stuff?” The two spies nodded. “Wait!” Giantray held up a little leather bag. “Before you go, take these.”
Inside, there was a rusty spoon, a can of green beans, and what looked like the claw of a big cat. “What are these?” Hal asked excitedly. “Magic items?”
“No!” Giantray replied rather loudly. “I would never give magic gifts. They are simple objects that could come of help during your… adventure.” Hal’s face dropped. “Um, sure. I’ll definitely use an ancient spoon for eating my expired green beans. I might even use the rotten fingernail as a back scratcher!”
Giantray gave him a dull stare. He looked back at her and quickly stuffed the gift package into his backpack. “Okay, I’m ready to hurdle myself into the mysterious portal.”
“Headfirst,” Brandon added.
“Make sure to get a running start,” Blair advised.

Hal backed up a bit more and put himself into a half-three point stance. Then, he ran.

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Chapter 6
“Oh! Oh! He’s going!” Hal was exploding.
“And what are you going to do about that?” Blair asked matter-of-factly.
Hal opened his mouth to make a snappy reply, but paused as the fuzz around his cheeks began turning a dark shade of red. Blair leaned back in his chair. “I don’t suppose you would want to join him?”
“NO!” Hal and Brandon both shouted in unison. They stopped for a moment to look at each other, and then Hal said, “You know what?” Then, as if he were accepting a challenge, “I will.”


“I’m such a blockhead!” Hal cursed as he packed his things for the trip. They were sitting in a taxi, on their way to meet Blair back at the tower. They had to stop off at Hal’s house to bring some supplies. “I can’t believe I agreed to this!”
Brandon gave him a sarcastic ‘thanks a lot’ nod. This is going to be a great trip, thought Brandon, I’m walking into a creepy portal with a human-hating creature that’s being a snob. “What did you even pack?” he asked.
“A loaf of bread, a telescope, a tent, and some special plant fertilizer,” Hal replied. “Do you have anything useful?”
“I brought a couple blankets, a flashlight, and that weird cube thing that we had on our way to the tower,” Brandon said.
“What cube thing?” Hal questioned, rummaging through Brandon’s small backpack. He came up with a grey striped cube that had a button in the top. Brandon snatched it from Hal’s stick-arms. “Remember how dangerous this thing is?” He reminded Hal. “You said it yourself! And you saw what it did to that tree.”
It was hard to forget. During their journey together to Blair’s tower, Brandon had pressed the button on the top of the metal cube and a blast had come out of it and split a tree in half.
The two shuffled out of the small taxi. “Thanks, Jan!” Brandon said to their driver. The dark blue monster waved back at them, and forced a smile even if he was cramped and crumpled in the tiny vehicle.
Blair greeted them and patted them on the back. “Take these,” He said, handing them a satin pouch about the size of your hand, and a large glass disk. “This one will let you talk to me for one hour of the day. This little pouch should only be opened when you’re trapped. You’re probably going to need it.”
“We’re going to be trapped? We’re going to need it?” Brandon asked, hesitantly accepting the items and putting them in his pack.
“Oh yeah,” Blair replied. “You’re gonna need a lot more than you have, but I’m sure you can improvise.”

“That’s really comforting,” Brandon sighed.