Saturday, December 11, 2010

Just desserts

“Come closer, my little chick!” grated the Duchess, a saccharine smile plastered across her lips. “Mmm…properly seasoned, you’d make a handsome dish!” “I’m not edible.” “Not a full meal, certainly, but alight snack, I think!” “I’ll have the Turtle’s shell now, you disgusting ogre!” “Over my dead body!” “I’ll try to accommodate you,” I sneered, pulling out my Blade. “I’ll teach you to take that tone with me! Grah!” she yelled, and I was completely caught off guard by a large, stinky, slimy uncooked chicken. Pushing the revolting thing away from me, I threw my Blade at her, but with her head being so high up, the Blade merely ripped her smock slightly. This wasn’t good. “Ha! I’m the one who’s good at kitchen utensils around here, girl! Take this!” she cackled, dousing me with dirty-black pepper from her sprayer. It was like a serving of spores except this burned worse. As I choked and coughed, the Duchess struck me across the head with her club-like spray, knocking me to the other side of the room.
“I didn’t want to need to do this, but you have left me no choice,” I growled. I began to wind up my Jackbomb, but the Duchess was already striding towards me, chicken in hand, forcing me to hurl it at her without further ado. Unfortunately, it landed halfway down the smock rather than her nauseating face, but it was sufficient. Though not the mighty flamethrower it had been when clearing her garden, the Bomb exploded into flames which started to lick greedily at the stained cloth of the smock, then landed unobtrusively on the floor. “Darn you! Have a taste of my pepper!” she shrieked, waving the pepper spray wildly in one hand, frantically putting out the fire with the other. I wasn’t taking another seasoning from that nasty weapon, and leapt for the fireplace, just avoiding the stinging cloud. “Observe, learn and react,” advised Chessur from somewhere in the deep recesses of my head. Blinking at the unexpected cranial intrusion, I looked around for somewhere to hide in relative safety. Finding only the cluttered mantel piece, I jumped, gripping the chipped ceramic, but nearly lost my grip as another plucked fowl slammed into my feet. Quickly hauling myself up before the Duchess could make a grab for me, I slid behind a wide table clock, concealing myself from the Duchess’s piggy eyes.
Rather puzzled by my abrupt disappearance, she settled for rattling about the mantelpiece. “Here, girly, girly, girly…come on, come out, wherever you are!” teased the Duchess, using her vile condiment dispenser to push random ornaments out of the way, releasing wisps of pepper from its pores. Seeing her move closer and closer to my hiding place, my heart beat like a bass drum. I looked about frantically and caught sight of the jerking pepper spray. Tensing myself, I held my breath, and as the spray knocked into the side of the clock, I darted out, hefting the tool out of her less-than-firm-grip, and poured the contents down her nose. “Hey, what the — “she choked, then sneezed. The sneeze was violent enough to pop her ears and knock her backwards. “You little bitch, it’ll take more than that to down me. I’ve used pepper all my l — “another sneeze. Bigger this time. Blowing a trumpet of steam from each nostril.
“Yea? Looks like that life won’t be lasting any longer,” I scorned. Picking up the abandoned shaker, I swung it hard at the Duchess, emptying all the pepper at her face. “Huh. This is pathetic. I say, girl, you’re rea — “A third sneeze, this one traumatizing the entire body. Tears streamed down the Duchess’s face. Her legs jittered and I swore I heard a shoulder joint pop. “Arrgh!” she squealed. Tendons tightened, toes pointed and her finger ripped holes in the air. “Wow,” I said. This was a stronger reaction than I’d expected. Looks like someone isn’t as experienced as she’s claimed. The Duchess sneezed again. And again. I could almost feel the jet of air blowing me down from where I stood. Then she sneezed so hard I heard a crack, and somehow she literally sneezed her head off. The force of the sneeze flung half her skull right at me, and though I dodged in time to escape ending up as a messy splat on the wall, drops of hot blood and assorted grey, squelchy bits spattered my dress and hair. Turning to look at the Duchess, I saw dark red fluid spurting out of the jagged cavity that was once her head, before her body toppled heavily to the ground.
“Help…is someone out there? Help me out…” Like a wraith, tortured whispers issued from the wooden floor. “Who are you? Where are you?” “Under…in the basement…pull the lever beside the fireplace…” Doing as the stranger asked, I heard a crackling noise as a section of the floor opened, revealing stone steps. Hurrying down the spiral staircase, I came upon a youthful woman who had seen better days. Though dressed in atypical flowing, noblewoman’s attire, the single torch in the chamber threw into sharp focus her skeletal frame, mostly skin stretched over bones with hardly any muscle mass underneath. Reaching out to touch the alabaster skin, to confirm that she was real and my eyes were not fooling me after days of lack of food, I whispered, “Who are you? Who did this to you? “You…killed that woman?” I nodded in the affirmative. “Thank the gods; I can be free at last. Help me unlock these awful chains, please…the key is in her pocket.
Retrieving the surprisingly small key from the cooling corpse of the woman I battled, I lightened a splinter of wood using the torch. She glanced into the darkness and swallowed hard, Adam’s apple bobbing then closed her eyes, clasping and unclasping her clammy hands, seeming to preparing herself mentally for something. “The chains…are at my feet.” “Where exact — Oh my god!” Coming from me, the merciless slayer of scores of Card Guards, it was truly something horrific. An entire chunk of flesh had been gouged out of where her calf had been, and without any bandage to minimize infection, the wound had begun to fester and rot, a faint decaying odour emanating from behind the thin film of dark congealed blood that had collected in a puddle on the basement floor and the cavity of her wound.
I am the Duchess,” murmured the young noble lady morosely. “You are the…well, then who’s that repulsive woman I fought with not moments ago?” “That is, was, my Cook. She only ever did put too much pepper in my food from time to time, but of late she turned into a monstrous horror. Eats all my food, locks me in this dungeon to starve, and even overruns my beautiful lawn with weeds just as bloodthirsty as her. She was the one who dug out a chunk of my leg for supper yesterday when the provisions in the pantry ran out…I suppose I don’t even need to begin to tell you how much it hurt when she went at me with a carving knife, with that beastly pepper pot constantly releasing acrid plumes all the time…” “Ouch. I helped you clear your lawn, though. Burnt down every last stalk. Do you need help going up the stairs?” I said as I unlocked the chains, trying to vain to tear my eyes away from the gaping hole in her lower left leg.
She smiled wanly, her pale lips drawing upwards ever so indiscernibly at the corners. “It is nice of you to offer, but you are simply too — oh! I think I can solve that for a while.” Bowing her head, she wrinkled her forehead, making her face look gaunter than ever, and a small pastry materialized in her hand. “Here, have some cake. It should restore you to your original size for some hours, I think.” Popping the cake into my mouth, I felt a warm sensation flowing slowly from my mouth to my extremities, seeming to stretch them up and outwards. Now just as tall as the Duchess, who didn’t seem that older than me even in her starved state, I hauled her up, avoiding the injured leg as I went, and ascended the stairs slowly. “Thank you so much…I haven’t eaten in weeks, and what with the blood lost from my leg…you wouldn’t happen to have any Mana Crystals, would you?” “As a matter of fact, I do,” I asserted. “How wonderful…but you don’t seem to be from around these parts, or even like a Wonderlander at all. How do you even know what Mana Crystals are?” “…It’s a long story.”


Dynamite Lyrics--or to put it better, a sign of things to come

I throw my hands up in the air sometimes
Saying AYO!
Gotta let go!
I wanna celebrate and live my life
Saying AYO!
Baby, let's go!

I came to dance, dance, dance, dance
I hit the floor
'Cause that's my, plans, plans, plans, plans
I'm wearing all my favorite
Brands, brands, brands, brands
Give me space for both my hands, hands, hands, hands
Ye, ye
Cause it goes on and on and on
And it goes on and on and on


I throw my hands up in the air sometimes
Saying AYO!
Gotta let go!
I wanna celebrate and live my life
Saying AYO!
Baby, let's go!

'Cause we gon' rock this club
We gon' go all night
We gon' light it up
Like it's dynamite!
'Cause I told you once
Now I told you twice
We gon' light it up
Like it's dynamite!

I came to move, move, move, move
Get out the way me and my crew, crew, crew, crew
I'm in the club so I'm gonna do, do, do, do
Just what the fuck, came here to do, do, do, do

Ye, ye

Cause it goes on and on and on
And it goes on and on and on


I throw my hands up in the air sometimes
Saying AYO!
Gotta let go!
I wanna celebrate and live my life
Saying AYO!
Baby, let's go!

'Cause we gon' rock this club
We gon' go all night
We gon' light it up
Like it's dynamite!
'Cause I told you once
Now I told you twice
We gon' light it up
Like it's dynamite!

I'm gonna take it all like,
I'm gonna be the last one standing,
I'm alone and all I
I'm gonna be the last one landing
'Cause I, I, I Believe it
And I, I, I
I just want it all, I just want it all
I'm gonna put my hands in the air
Hands in the air
Put your hands in the air

I throw my hands up in the air sometimes
Saying AYO!
Gotta let go!
I wanna celebrate and live my life
Saying AYO!
Baby, let's go!

'Cause we gon' rock this club
We gon' go all night
We gon' light it up
Like it's dynamite!
'Cause I told you once
Now I told you twice
We gon' light it up
Like it's dynamite!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Hunting the Duchess

Wakeboarding is much easier when you’re small enough to have nearly no mass to speak of. On the other hand, it made the Ladybugs, who were all eager to grab at any chance to bomb me off my ride, very irritating indeed.
“ARGH! Stupid Ladybugs! I’m killing every last one of you if that’s what it takes!” I screamed and tottered on the rather unstable leaf, as yet another Acorn Bomb nearly struck me off balance. “Tell yourself: I’ve seen worse at Rutledge’s. Prevarication in this instance may help,” “On the contrary, your equivocation really isn’t aiding my nerves.”
Somewhere between shooting down bugs and exchanging barbs with Chessur, I noticed the mock Turtle waving from the nearby bank before loping off again. Giving up the battle to stay standing upon the leaf amid a renewed assault of the bugs, I swam to the shore, which was dotted with a couple of vibrant mushrooms, large roses and…Ant Soldiers. “O…K. Slowly does it…” I cautioned myself, edging behind the mushrooms, which shimmered beautifully under the bright noonday sun.
“No, Alice, not a good idea,” warned Chessur. Then, when I passed by the first Mushroom, everything seemed to happen at once: Two beady eyes opened up in the mushroom cap, and with an unpleasant sucking sound, started to draw me in. The other `shroom, seeing that I was too far away from it to suck, threw back its cap as if to sneeze, and expelled a cloud of dirty green spores in my face, burning my eyes and searing my throat. The Pink Roses, unwilling to miss out on the fun, unfurled to reveal mouths of gleaming sharp teeth, sitting half a dozen thorns my way. At the same time, Chessur unsheathed his claws to deal with the Soldiers before I was faced with a three-pronged assault.
Their acid bursts useless at such short range, the Ants tried to swing the bayonets mounted on their rifles to fend off the dangerous feline, but he was too fast for them. Thrusting his hips backwards to avoid the blades’ deadly arc, his outstretched arms gripped the heads of the Soldiers and twisted sharply, separating head from thorax in one swift movement. Yet though the cruel Soldiers had been taken care of, I was still receiving a heavy beating. Driving my Staff into the ground, I inched my way forward painfully, spores and thorns stinging my back all the while. Finally escaping the Mushroom’s forceful pull, I released volley upon volley of shards at the Mushrooms and Roses till they shrieked, shriveled and died.
“I enjoy the taste of mushrooms, nut not the ones that bite back!” I gasped. “When the remarkable turns bizarre, reason turns rancid. But that, I would say, is the least of your troubles. Behold that large mansion yonder, upon the torch-lined hill.” I…beheld. It was evidently large and evidently beautiful…once, for it had also evidently fallen into a state of severe disrepair. All these, however, weren’t of paramount importance compared to the last observation: The hill itself was overgrown with carnivorous Roses and Mushrooms. “And how do you propose I pick my way past that minefield?” “Hey, you’re the one looking for the Duchess, not me,” replied my companion, shrugging noncommittally. “Psst! Oiver heyuh’!” Startled by the hiss, I turned around to see a scaly, stocky lizard, peeking out of a clump of bushes.
Hmm. Things were getting interesting.
“Don’t I know you?” I said, walking over to him, grasping the knife behind my back in case the turned out to be a nasty trap. “Bill McGill, at yer service. Call me Larry…er not. Got any branday?” “No. I’ve only my wits.” “Then yah have nuffin’. Wits a’ useless ‘ere. Oivrytoing is downsoide up!” “I must see the Duchess.” “She only sees those who don’ wish ta see ‘er.” Frowning in partial confusion, both at the comment and interpreting his mashed-up pronunciation, I remarked, “That’s not right.” “S’ perfect. She’s s’posed ta be hidin’ from the Red Quoin who wants her dead.” “…her head?” “That, too. Roins moi home, and lets her own become this monstrosity. She’s as mad as monkey mash! And just as tas’less. Well, never moind, we’ll all perish soon enuff’. Sure yer got no branday?” “I’m here to retrieve the Turtle’s shell. I won’t leave without it.” “Won’t, eh? What’cha gonna do, stick yer thumb in her oi or something? Oi’m yer devoted servant. Owe her a bad turn meself. Follow moi,” proclaimed Bill, starting to ascend the hill.
I looked at him, astonished. “Not to dampen your enthusiasm or anything, but how are you get us those plants? Unless you have wings concealed in that rough back of yours.” “Hmm? Oh yea. Neyurlay forgot. Not too long ago there was this roibbit who passed by—“ “Dammit! To think I just missed the feller…Sorry, didn’t quite catch you.” “As Oi was sayin’, he came along, took one look at the Duchess’s garden and desoided he doin’ loike the look of oit. So he hands me this, saying it should help clear the weeds,” drawled Bill, clutching a…Jack-in-the-Box.
“This is a Jack-in-a-Box, not a lawnmower. That won’t help us clear out the plants,” I commented dryly. “That’s what Oi said. And he tells me some rubbish about oit being a foinal product of fusin’ a phoenix’s—can you believe that?—essence with a toi. So Oi tells’im ter stuff oit, but he says ‘the girl who’ll be coimin’ by later will know how ter use oit’…Oi believe that means yah,” Bill explained, licking his eyeballs. “Let me see,” I said, grabbing the toy. Not seeing how else to work it, I wound up the toy—and it immediately began to tremble. Violently. “Darn! That thing’s dangerous!” I yelled, throwing the Box towards the hill. It continued to shake for some time, before the Jack popped out of the cover, and with a roar, began spewing a continuous jet of intense flames, deciminating every Rose and Mushroom upon the hill as it turned in a slow circle. Completing one revolution, it then exploded, sending out a thunderous shockwave that scattered the ashes of the charred herbs to the winds, clearing a path for us. Then the flames seemed to collapse into themselves, incongruously coalescing back into the innocuous Jack-in-the-Box.
“That’s one powerful toi.” “I’ll say.” “Jack’s a friend, but his temperament is explosive; perhaps best to let him play by himself,” advised Chessur, smirking at our impressed looks. “And now it’s high time you met our dear Duchess,” croaked Bill, prodding me up the hill. “And I’ll have that,” I said, picking up the Jackbomb as we neared the door of the fine establishment, or what was left of it, for giant cards had been taped in place to cover the gaping holes in the woodwork. As I walked right up to the ruined door, it abruptly split into two, and sucked me in, while the yellow-bellied coward Bill ran away screaming at the top of his lungs for no apparent reason.
Sometimes, life sucks, and then you die. But I’m usually not that lucky.
Propelled along the dark, forbidding corridors of the manor, the unknown force finally let up before a locked door. Ramming my staff into the rotting wood once, twice and thrice, I finally broke down the stubborn barrier and emerged into an enormous living room—well, enormous because I was so tiny. Then the floor rocked, and the…fireplace expanded, revealing an equally large, fiendish-looking woman. The Duchess, presumably. Wearing a blotted, filthy cook’s smock, holding a pepper spray in one hand, she sniffed the air greedily with her misshapen nose, nostrils opening and closing repulsively. And when she…caught my scent, her lips stretched wide, revealing a row of dirty yellow, jagged teeth in a nasty leer.
I wasn’t going to enjoy this.
Later in his room, while his right paw wrapped half his face in a homemade bandage, he was setting up the chess pieces with his equally dexterous left. It is by her Imperial Viciousness’s decree that all citizens are to engage in the sacred game that is Chess at least thrice a day, to hone their strategic skills and ensure the sharpness of mind. Failure to do so will result in especially undesirable circumstances. Such as being sent to the Crystal Mines to slog out the rest of your life excavating crystals from stubborn bedrock, under pitiless wardens who dished out daily whippings and other harsh punishments at whim until oppressed prisoners either took their own life to escape their bleak existence, or had them taken by the Pawns who patrolled the mining camps. These, though, were the lucky ones. More brazen rule-breakers could have their body torn apart by galloping Knights, or turned into a flat mash of flesh and bones by the heavy Rooks who would jump up and down gleefully upon the condemned man’s body.
He shuddered at the new torture methods the Queen thought up. Daily, whenever she was not calling a meeting of the Ruling Houses for her amusement, or engaging the Hatter (who had truly gone deliciously mad, judging from the rumours about the “great and honourable” man he was once) to present to her new inventions, contraptions, or improvements to the Aces, her replacement army for the Heart Decks, massacred in a mini-Holocaust when they refused to pledge allegiance to Her Imperial Viciousness after she herself had blasted the King and Queen of Hearts’ head into oblivion in a bloody coup. He remembered that night well. He remembered that night well. He remembered the fear in the pupils of the Hearts’ eyes when they realized that the increasingly desperate swings and stabs of their electro-halberds had no effect whatsoever on this satanic being who had been spawned into this world with the skills of Chessur, the most deadly assassin-for-hire in Wonderland? Momentarily forgetting the searing ache in his cheek, he reveled in every single killing he made in the happiest night of his life, savouring every slash, delighting in every smashed skull.
Then his wounds throbbed, jerking him back to reality painfully. Fortunately, the soothing herbs that made up the paste in the bandages alleviated the sore somewhat. He dreaded for his face, and life, if the Queen ever found out about his source of healing plants. Fortunately his prowess in battle never led the Queen to be inclined to look too deeply into his swift recoveries after every slap. Shunting these gloomy thoughts from his mind, he turned to the board, and tried to remember Her Imperial Viciousness’s teachings on the hallowed game. “In chess, the pawns go first,” he murmured, moving the relevant piece.

Making a Splash

“Ah! The Diabolical Dice, Throwing them on the ground may open up a portal to the Demonic Dimensions and release the horrors within upon your adversaries…if you’re lucky. One word of caution though—don’t ever throw it when alone. The fiends lack loyalty, and their notion of nourishment is quite disturbing.” “I guess I won’t need it now, obviously.” Dropping the dice into a pocket, I took in the fresh new surroundings. A placid pool bubbled through damp, grey-black rocks in calm streams amid freshly moistened mud. Behind me, an imposing waterfall crashed down many feet into the main pool, lightly dousing me with spray.
“What is this place? The…Pool of Tears?” “Indeed…your memory seems quite well on this account.” “But…it’s grown since the last time I was here. By a lot.” “The water in the Pool comprises of the…tears of Wonderlanders, which have, ever since the tyranny of the Red Queen, been produced in rather copious amounts, as you can quite clearly see. In fact, it is now known as the vale, rather than the Pool, of Tears,” explained Chessur patiently. Turning to look at the waterfall, I suddenly spotted the no longer minuscule Rabbit (to me at least) peeking out from one rocky outcrop before proceeding to leap up the waterfall using the jutting rocks. At the same time, and alert…Red ant, in what seemed like full soldier uniform, with his rifle and golden insignias which glinted in the bright sunlight. Having spotted the Rabbit skulking about, the Ant Soldier heaved one heavy-looking boulder and shoved it off his outpost at the top of the falls. However, the rabbit was just too nimble for surprise attacks to work effectively, and continued hopping his way up. “Quick!” hissed Chessur, already on the move, “You must not let Rabbit evade you!” “Right. Yea,” I mumbled, following in his footsteps.
Leaping up the rocks was definitely harder than the Rabbit made it look. And coupled with having to duck frantically behind or below nearby ledges from the occasional boulder sent rolling our way. With only Chessur’s sharp eyes for any warning, I had came up with some choice swear words to yell in the Soldiers’ faces if I ever saw them. Not that they would understand me, I thought belatedly, but on the bright side, I’ll be able to play netball better in the future, what with all this jumping. “Now, be careful. The Ant Soldiers’ outpost is just past the waterfall,” cautioned Chessur as he…vanished. “Great,” I muttered, trying to see past the rushing water to spot the best place to land. I was going to be sopping, and…salty. Not a good combination.
“Come here where I can beat you up, Ants!” I challenged, whipping out my splinter staff in one hand and Blade in another. Turning about on four legs, two Ants, seeming completely unruffled by the threat posed by either weapon, took aim at me with their rifles and fired. Strafing left, I just managed to avoid one projectile, but felt searing pain as the second bolt grazed my right arm. More concerned on getting these irritations out of the way as soon as possible rather than the wound, which throbbed in pain from the salty spray thrown up by the rushing falls), I thought fast, pulling out two small metal plates from thin air to deflect the next two shots, then flung both Blade and Staff at their heads. The Blade stabbed through the tough exoskeleton into the soft flesh, but the Staff simply knocked the soldier senseless, long enough for me to retrieve the blade and cut off his head. Now that the coast was temporarily clear, I inspected the rock face on which the first two projectiles had hit, and realized with mixed outrage and intrigue that the “bolts” were a mixture of strong acids, already burning my skin from the light graze, and now eating rapidly through the rock. Nothing a bandage wouldn’t solve, though, and I resolved to inspect ant bites more carefully in the future. On a related side note, ants are now my least favourite insect.
“Alice! Over there!” “Huh?” Snapping out of my pain-induced reverie, I turned to see one last ant soldier skittering away, before searching his backpack for something. “Take him down before he sounds the alarm!” hissed Chessur. BREEEE!!! “Well, too late.” I dropped down on one knee and fired three shards in a row, but the distress signal had done its deed. As the Soldier twitched in its dying throes, the air was suddenly thick with loud humming noises. Looking up from the insect corpse, I spied three Ladybugs beating their wings rapidly and heading toward us, clutching a peculiarly-shaped object each. “Is our situation not dismal? Wonderland is so discombobulated that ladybugs gave turned belligerent and enlisted in the Queen’s Army. Punish their conversion.” “For what? I’d saw off their heads before their pincers can catch me. They can’t do anything to me…” I said smugly.
Before I even finished speaking, though, one Lady Bug flew ahead of the rest, directly overhead, and released what seemed like an acorn. “Look out!” Chessur broadsided me to hit the rocky wall, and I watched, as if in slow motion, the acorn land heavily on the ground and…explode, peppering the area with hard shell-bits. Wafting away the burnt smell in the air, I got up, Staff at the ready. “ I get your point,” I growled, gritting my teeth. The Lady Bugs thankfully didn’t prove much of a challenge. One glass shard was quite enough to send them tumbling down lifelessly into the rushing stream below. “And now, onward! Insects or not,” Chessur proclaimed smoothly. “Easy for you to say. I can’t just shake my dress to get rid of excess water.” On top of all that, my shoes were going to be ruined. This is not turning out to be a good day.
“And what’s all this? Did someone die? Or have you lost your family?” as luck would have had it, I’d lost the Rabbit during the tussle with the bugs, but chanced upon, if I remembered right, the greatest contributor to the tears in the Vale: the Mock Turtle. “No, my shell! The Duchess stole it and tried to eat me for lunch. Nobility must be served, I suppose…” he sobbed. “Oh, do stop all that wailing, won’t you?” I admonished. Flicking away tears, he turned to glare at me. “You’re very cold-blooded for a mammal. I was almost soup!” “Most tragic, I’m sure, but I’m a bit pressed for time. Have you seen a rabbit, by any chance?” “Hmm...Twitchy nose, shifty eyes, constantly consults his pocket watch? Most peculiar beast.”
Speaking of peculiar beasts, he himself was a creature with a rather ridiculous appearance. I’d cry all day myself if I caught my reflection in the mirror looking like that. Having a dry, scaly body and four clawed flippers, as was befitting a reptile (though when I saw him his skin was glistening—whether from his substantial tearing or some well-spent time in the water I wasn’t sure) his head was, quite ludicrously, that of a bull. A rather healthy, large bull head with similarly long curved horns to go with it. In fact, the only reason I could call him a “Turtle” with a straight face was the fact that he usually had a thick shell on his back. And today it was missing.
“Well, he’s very dear to me. Do you have any idea how I might find him?” Not really. But the Caterpillar would know, I’m sure. He knows everything there is to know.” Turning up my nose in disgust, I snorted. “And where does that smushy lay-about hang his hookah these days?” “Ever since the troubles began he’s gone into hiding. I might know of his secret hidey-hole, but the Red Queen has eyes and ears everywhere. I really couldn’t risk telling you without…something in return.” “Risk nothing, gain nothing.” “His whereabouts then, for my shell. The Duchess won’t part with it willingly.” “Then I’ll teach her to part with it unwillingly.” “You are most brave. But I must warn you, she treats everything as food!” He glanced up. From an overhead branch, two leaves had detached themselves and were spiraling their way down into the river. Stepping lightly on one leaf, he instructed me, “Hop on and follow me. I’ll show you the way to the Duchess’ house. Ride the currents, but do be careful not to fall in. I’d hate to think of voracious fishes snapping at your limbs.” With that, he rode off along one meandering current, leaving me waiting. “Sigh. Thanks for the patience,” I grumbled at his receding figure.
He paused before the door and paced for a while, before stepping onto the weight marker and tapping in the entry code. Then, after he had lowered his paw into the clear green gel, allowing numerous nano-biometric sensors to identify him, the crimson metal doors slid open smoothly to allow his entry to the palace. Striding proudly upon the checkerboard floor constructed of alternating squares of ruby and obsidian, the dim red light shed by the sparse light-crystals did not slow him—if anything, the near infrared surroundings boosted his vision as he made for the dais at the end of the nearly-empty Royal Chamber. Upon it, a mighty throne reared up high, towering over the other six, where, clad in their finest, the Lords and Ladies of the remaining ruling Suits: Spades, Diamonds and Clubs, were seated. The bubble of intense (but as he knew, mostly useless) discussion had been cut off and all six pairs of eyes now gazed at him, haughtily but curiously as he continued to stride towards the current Queen of Wonderland and Looking Glass Land, who was looking out a rose-tinted window pensively rather than actively taking part in the discussion.
“Your Imperial Viciousness, I have news of urgent nature to inform you of…” he whispered, glancing at the Lords and Ladies,”…alone.” Without turning to face him, or anyone else, she flicked her hand dismissively at the Royals, while side doors emblazoned with their respective suit symbols opened in the granite walls. As one, the Lords and Ladies rose from their thrones and swept into their respective chambers without comment, leaving behind a frigid silence.
Still displeased at being ranked lower than an animal, I see, thought the feline assassin. Inconsequential. Anyway, I am an animal important enough for that especial honour. “Another Earthling has made her way to Wonderland…with that fool Niven’s help of course.” “And this happens to be urgent because…” He hesitated at Her Imperial Viciousness’s icy tone, sensing the famous command at the tip of her tongue. “Your Imperial Viciousness, if the Card Guards’ reports are to be believed, this one could prove to be a real threat to the Queendom. Judging by the sheer number of Card Guards she has slain, she would strike them motionless with fear by her mere presence…if they had feelings in the first place. She has shown extreme cunning, bravery and brutality that could almost mat—“CRACK!! The sharp slap echoed throughout the vacant chamber, and the Red Queen’s talon-like nails left deep grooves in The Cat’s skin where she had slapped.
He tensed, knowing what would follow, yet was unable to stop himself from dropping to the cool floor, both paws clutching his face as he yowled new levels of agony. “I created you to be my personal bodyguard, assassin, spy, and the counter to the ever-present threat of the elusive Chessur, not to prove a demoralising presence to my troops. If you do not have the will, if you do not have the lust for battle, you have nothing. I will not hear such pessimism coming from you again. The Cards may lack the necessary skill not unlike their masters, but they have the numbers, as well as my master tactics to fall back upon.” Brimming with cold fury, she glided back to her blood-red throne. “Now leave. And if you’re interested, I was using Jujub Bird poison today.” Feeling his face swelling like an overripe pumpkin beneath his hard clasp, he managed no more than a nod before slinking out, wanting to face her rage no more.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Walrus and the Carpenter

“Ah! My pride and joy…quite a pity when the Hatter began his rampage. I do miss the Oysters’ laughter…”mumbled the Gnome Elder. “Now, hurry along and get my poppy blooms for me! Since Nature has ordained that certain seeds require assistance to fulfill their destiny, I think you will need this…” he barked, handing me a flask labeled, “Jumbo Grow”. “Now don’t look so surprised. Gardeners store rat poison and fertilizer in sheds. Skools have laboratories for that purpose.” “Oh, fine. I hate doing grunt work,” I complained. “It is, indeed, a small price to pay.”
Later on, I sampled the weirdness of Wonderland once again as right before me, under the effects of “Jumbo Grow”, the greenhouse poppy seed grew into a large pink…lollipop. As there wasn’t anyone to enquire about this oddity, I plucked the lollipop and ran back to the Laboratory. Unfortunately, when the threw open the door, I was greeted by a scene of destruction: apparently, two Club Guards had infiltrated the lab and, throwing about various test tubes and scientific apparatus, were in hot pursuit of the wily Elder around the room. Jumping into the fray, I clothes lined one Four Clubs with my Staff before stabbing him in the head, while Chessur scratched and sliced the other Three Clubs to pieces.
“You’re lucky I was passing by,” “What? You’re lucky I was still where you’d left me! Also, I’ve cooked up the final ingredient: Sugared spice drops. I hope you got that Poppy Seed,” he retorted, holding one hand out while setting up various fragile-looking and fortunately unbroken equipment in a complicated arrangement with the other. “This primitive condenser should help us brew the potion…doesn’t seem like I can build anything more intricate with what those despicable guards have left me with.” Tossing the mushrooms, lollipop and sugared spice drops into a cauldron at one end, he then scattered handfuls of dull-red quartz around it. Watching the mixture bubble as the quartz glowed red hot, it flowed through the condenser’s various tubes and finally collected in a small test tube. “Here’s the potion,” he said, handing me the test tube of purple liquid. “And now you can leave, unless you’d like to meet the Carpenter…?” “I suppose it wouldn’t hurt.”
Moments later, after ascending what seemed like an endlessly high Observatory Tower, we stepped off the lift and came to a room with…four empty walls. “Ok and this would mean…” “Well, here we are,” remarked the Gnome Elder, and as I turned back to look and emerald door had appeared out of nowhere right across the room. “That clearly wasn’t there before!” “Of course not. We weren’t really here yet,” deadpanned the Elder as he rapped the door once, twice and thrice. “Who’s there?” an authoritative voice issued from a speaker mounted upon the door. “It’s me, Mr. Architect.” “You will let me confirm that,” “Certainly, sir.” Whirring noiselessly, an eyelike device projected from the door and swept the Elder with luminous green rays. Finally, with a series of clicking and ramming of bolts, the door creaked open to reveal an immaculately-suited man wearing a crisp white lab coat, matching pants and…wielding two tiny yet dangerous-looking firearms. “I’m sorry for the paranoia, but with a tyrant having as much power as the Red Queen it isn’t exactly unfounded. Now,” he said, pointing one gun muzzle between my eyes. “Who is this?”
I gulped, audibly.
“Now, let’s not be hasty, Mr. Architect. This here is the Champion Rabbit said would return Wonderland to its former glory.” Still glaring at me suspiciously, “Mr. Architect” holstered one weapon while keeping the other perfectly trained on me. I was getting cross-eyed from staring at its business end. “But the resemblance to Her Imperial Viciousness is just too—good Heart!” “Yes. That is the point,” intoned the Elder sagely, nodding at the surprised Architect. I was going to complain about them talking about me in front of me as if I didn’t exist, but the gun was being a good distracter. At that moment, “Mr. Architect” quickly recovered from his initial shock and waved us in hastily with the weapon, glancing around the outside nervously before locking the dozen locks that kept his door secure. I stood with the Gnome Elder, looking at the sparse but, like the Skool, beautifully furnished room. Having nothing except for what seemed like a Victorian-esque table, a quaint oil reading lamp, and two large chairs on either side of it, the most striking thing in the room was an enormous cabinet made of frosted glass behind the chair facing us.
“Please sit,” “Mr. Architect” said, motioning me tone of the chairs. “And will you be staying, Elder?” “No, I must return to give encouragement to my kinsmen.” “Very well.” With that, he strode over to the remaining chair and sat down, his electric-blue eyes seeming to peer into the very depths of my soul from across the table. “I suspect the Elder must have told you who I am, but for politeness’ sake I will just introduce myself. “I am the Carpenter, or as people like to call me, Mr. Architect—you may refer to me as that. Together with Mr. Walrus we started the Oyster Skool of Wonderland—I did most of the building while he did most of the teaching. Greatest learning institute around here—of course, until the Hatter went mad.” His thick eyebrows bunched and his crow’s feet crinkled at the mere thought of that. “But this isn’t why you’re here. Long story short, The Red Queen took over not long after you left the last time and Wonderland itself descended into madness. Elder probably hopes I can teach you Imagination to counter her powers. And I am Wonderland’s best Imagination trainer after the Caterpillar, if I do say so myself.” “And can you teach me?” “I’m afraid I can just touch on the basics, with what little time we have. Constructs, or simple inanimate objects will be what you will be learning—nothing too fancy. You can, of course, attempt more complicated tasks, but it will take its toll physically and mentally…which is something not to be scoffed—but enough talk! We must begin before it’s too late.”
I wasn’t sure how long I spent in that room learning the art of “Imagination”, or as I saw it, conjuring. It was one thing to focus hard on an object, but to focus so hard, atom by atom, until it became reality was a whole different ball game. Night and day made no difference in that lamp-lit room, as I continually tried to visualize various objects: a ball, a book, jacks, my knife and so on. Though it seemed that I had plenty of precocious talent in this field, with the Carpenter praising me from time to time as I managed to think the objects to reality (which he assured me he never did except for exceptionally good students) after each exercise the brain drain I felt was scarcely describable, I felt various neurons firing in ways they never had before. “Rest well after each exercise,” the Carpenter always said, “You will need plenty of the energy.”
After what seemed like many torturous weeks, the blessed words fell from his lips: “Our lessons conclude here. You cannot delay your quest any further. Do you have any questions?” “Just the one,” I said feebly, “When I slay the Boojums, they leave behind a sparkling dust…which the Elder used to Imagine a chemical bomb out of mid-air. What is that, exactly?” “Once again, his eyes X-rayed me carefully. “Boojums and Phantasmagoria in general, are the lost, tortured souls of wrongfully dead people, their afterlife minds twisted to crazed vengeance by the tainted presence of the queen. But as they had Imagination in their past lives, they leave that part behind when they are truly slain…I guess, as a friendly teacher-student parting, I should give you something that I hope will aid you on your journey.” Opening the enormous cabinet for the first time I was here, he took out three ornately carved dice from the multitude of items and passed them to me. “Chessur will know what they are for. Now drink your potion, and leave by way of this,” he whispered, handing me a small Looking Glass. “Now go! Our future lies with you, Your Highness.”


“Countless generations of termites would only digest a mere fraction of the volumes here. And they wouldn’t be one wit wiser,”
Well, count me surprised. Twice in one day…though I’m not really sure what day and night around here anyway. A cavernous Reading Room was one thing, but the cost of filling a room the same size as this Library was definitely astronomical. Even more mind-boggling, some of the books were taller than I was. As I prepared to search for the cowardly elder, an Oyster ran past, saw me skulking in the corner, and threw a crumpled piece of parchment at my face before dancing a merry jig, clapping his hands and somersaulting on the spot. Chuckling slightly at his antics, I opened the scrap: ‘Had to rush. Left the Book of Bizarre Things at a high hiding place for your reference. See you in the Gymnasium.’ “‘Seek and ye shall find, they say. But they don’t say what you’ll find,” remarked Chessur, reading from beside my arms. “Then I’d just keep seeking till I find what I’m looking for,” I replied, setting off to scour the voluminous stacks.
It wasn’t until I was fending off Card Guards attacks from both flanks (why were there Guards here?! Are the books that valuable?) that I spotted the enormous, gold-leafed tome resting in an alcove, two storeys up. Swinging the Staff around to knock out the Guards who were rapidly closing in, I then slammed one end into the ground, clearing one imposing shelf in a single leap. “Steps to enlightenment brighten the way; but the steps are steep. Take them one at a time,” advised Chessur from beside the Book. “Eh? Whoa!” Evidently, the Card Guards had recovered from my assault, and seemed to have enough intelligence left in them to decide that the best way to get me down was to push me off the shelf, which might explain why it was toppling all of a sudden. I jumped for the nearest shelf, which was struck off balance by the one I just leapt off, and ad infinitum…
You know, I never liked playing dominoes.
Then I felt two strong paws grip my shoulders and haul me off the collapsing shelves, and I found myself panting between the humongous Book and a very complacent Chessur. Tottering over to look past the alcove ledge, I saw the Card Guards gesturing angrily at us, pointing their weapons uselessly, then beginning to squabble loudly among themselves. “I’d say you’d better get around to reading that Book before they argue up sufficient wits to call in Diamond reinforcements.” “There is no lock but it won’t open. It’s stuck.” “Think of it as a Chinese Box or a stubborn lid—a tap in the right spot might do the trick.” I considered the Book and the quibbling Guards thoughtfully, then kicked it off the ledge, hard, down several floors, a mischievous grin playing across my face. The Book crashed to the ground and grudgingly opened. “You call that a ‘tap’? Fortunate I didn’t suggest force. You might have pulverized it!” snickered Chessur as we descended gingerly down the haphazardly fallen bookshelves. Someone was going to have to pick up many pieces. “Hey, I killed those Guards didn’t !?” “That, I admit, was innovative indeed.” In their heated discussions, the Clubs didn’t exactly rate the large, rectangular shadow above their heads as “highly dangerous”. That their skulls weren’t stronger than the hardback volume certainly made my job easier.
I read the giant print on the open page: “‘Mushrooms, poppies, sugar and spice, all those things are very nice. When combined, the proper mixture makes a getting small elixir.’ Hmm. I don’t really like sweets.” “It’s not really a matter of liking something that’s good for you—or not. But I’m quite sure getting small was your main objective.” “Indeed. To the Gymnasium I go then,” I answered, finding my way to the Elder in the various cavernous rooms.
I’ll say one thing: we’re all mad here, but fortunately they get their signs right. Though they might consider looking into suitable repair works. Making my way across the Gymnasium to the Elder, who for some mysterious reason was perching high up on the rafters, was a damn sight harder than it should have been. As I traversed the rotting wooden beams, I couldn’t help but glance nervously at the equally bottomless pit beneath my feet, filled with endlessly high piles of books.
“I see you got my message. The Gymnasium should be safe. Cards Guards never exercise—can’t afford to lose the weight,” rumbled the Gnome Elder as he watched me approach. “I never cared much for sports at school…although during my ten years at the asylum it was usually either that or beating myself up. Both physically strenuous activities as I’m sure you’ll agree. But I don’t have to wear a pinny do I?” “No, it really wouldn’t suit you. In any case, I just wanted to inform you that I’ve found one of the ingredients for the shrinking potion: Mushrooms, freshly picked from the third grade greenhouse. Lovely texture…what’s that?” “It’ s a sucky prediction, meister!” I spat at him before springing towards what was left of the gym floor to tackle the three Boojums who had somehow floated out of the biblically inclined abyss.
As I prepared to fire shards at one Boojum, the Gnome Elder, surprisingly given his previous attitude, followed me down and, scrimmaging in his pocket, pulled out a satchel of shining dust not too different from the one I had collected, which he promptly flung into the air. He screwed up his eyes in concentration and the glittering dust reshaped into a test tube full of a glowing green fluid before my astonished stare. “Duck!” he yelled, hurling the tube towards the Boojums. The liquid in it turning red as it flew, the test tube abruptly exploded in a mini supernova of flames, catching all three spirits in its fury. Literally feeling the heat from the after effects of the chemical bomb, I questioned the Gnome Elder, who was gathering the dust from the expired Boojums: “How in wonderland did you do that?” “With quite some Imagination, but to explain more I’ll have to take you to the carpenter before you leave for the Vale of Tears.” “Carpenter? Vale of Tears?” “Oh, no time for that now! I have to mix up your potion in the Laboratory, and you need to get me a poppy seed.” “The Skool has a laboratory?” “Of course! This Skool serves more than nasty lunches. The laboratories are especially fascinating…if you can stand the vile stench. Hurry along, now,” muttered the Elder, trotting out of the Gym with me close behind.

Skool Daze

If I had to envision my ideal school, I’d say my imagination wouldn’t have been able to conjure an institute of such proportions. Well, now it does.
I landed with a thud upon the floor, covered in an opulent, thick carpet that. As I stood up shakily, it seemed that the carpet filled every corner of the enormous Common Room, all of what seemed to be the Room’s hundred acres. Looking around and upwards, crimson spotted pillars extended skywards into a ridiculously high marble ceiling that appeared to be…embroidered with elaborate patterns of silver reminiscent of twisting, spiky vines. Walking over to one of the imposing pillars, I noticed that the crimson patterns seemed disruptive and odd. Much too freshly painted. Peering closely, I made out deep gouges in the expensive metal. I reached out and touched the paint, which came off stickily in my fingers.
“Heeheeheehee erhurhurhurhurhur!” Somewhere along the extensive wall, double rosewood doors opened out into the room and a gaggle of…really odd…children scampered out, some on two legs and others on all fours. All equally demented. Staring curiously, I realized that the children had somehow been transmogrified into grotesque cyborg-like creatures. Some had cogs embedded in elbows, other had double-ended screws through the skull, while some already had entire limbs replaced by machines, pistons and steel arms pumping in eerie mechanical motion apart from the twitchy movements of the organic ones.
“Psst! In here!” Wrenching my gaze from the mutilated kids, I saw the Gnome Elder beckoning from behind the doors. Turning back to look at the scuttling crowd one more time, I backed into the comparatively small Auditorium and clicked the doors locked. “What the hell happened here?” I questioned the Gnome Elder. “Arr… this recording will explain things better than I.” Fiddling with a crystalline projector, he twisted a dial sharply. The millions of tiny crystals giving light to the room abruptly flashed once, and I found myself in the Reading Room once again. “Err…” I glanced around, feeling slightly dumbfounded. Suddenly, the main door burst open, and an army of Skool Children marched in, each pointing some slicing or firing weapon straight at us.
“Ahem. Holo-recording—completely realistic to the sight, but they’re not gonna hurt you,” the Gnome Elder rumbled, joining me by my side before I began throwing knives in a panic. Trying not to appear foolish, I hissed, “I knew that!” Turning my back on him, I watched as a Ten of Diamonds marched in and barked some commands, sending the Children charging up the stairs and swinging up floors using grapple hooks, then emerging mere minutes later harrying groups of sobbing, pleading children. Walking forward to one of the mute Children Soldiers (yes, I don’t really have a better name for them), I realized that though they seemed identical to the children they were herding, two glassy, blank crystals stared out of where eyeballs should have been. Also, some seemed to have had minor, refined alterations, unlike the deranged kids I had encountered: Swiss army knives for fingers, or grapple hook launchers on the shoulders.
“Halt! I will not let you continue to abuse my poor Oysters! Stop in the name of the Princess of Wonderland!” All heads turned to look at a burly sword-wielding bespectacled man sprinting towards the exiting Children Troops. “It is amusing, Mr. Walrus, that so many are willing to believe that myth. Now stop.” The methodical, cold whisper that cut across the babble of trapped "Oysters" chilled my blood and magically stopped the desperate man in his tracks. Fearing what I would see, I twisted my neck and body, slowly, hesitantly, as if I had forgotten the proper muscle movements.
Finally I managed to summon the courage to look, and in strode Tarrant Hightopp in his cruel triumph. Pushing up his signature top hat, the Hatter simply stared past his troops into the horrified teacher’s eyes with his own mismatched, emerald green ones. Then he began to giggle. And the teacher began giggling right along with him. As they continued chortling, the teacher started to drool from the mouth, and his eyeballs seemed to bulge out. Even after Tarrant stopped and smiled serenely, the teacher’s jowls turned red from the effort, and he collapsed, rolling about on the ground, cackling madly, with all the children pausing in their futile struggles to watch this astonishing display. He had been driven mad by a single stare.
Plucking non-existent lint from his coat shoulder, Hightopp sighed as if in pity, then murmured to the Ten Diamond, “Take them away and leave behind the failures. Also…” as he turned to leave, he glanced at the helpless teacher and snickered. “Bring along the fat one too. A new pet would be nice. As I always say, one mad man deserves another.” As suddenly as it began, the recording dimmed and bright light illuminated the room once again. I couldn’t believe my eyes…or my ears, for that matter. How deep a pit had Wonderland fallen, to turn the one who was once my closest friend when I wandered, young and confused and lost, in this dizzying world, and who provided comforting advice and harmless fun through his lively tea parties, into this demented, ruthless version? “This was…one of the better days. There was once where a group of brave Oysters rebelled, when there were much fewer Glass Eyes. The Hatter appeared upon the scene immediately, pulled a rapier out of his hat, and…” the Gnome Elder choked and blinked rapidly, trying to stave off tears. “Their innocent blood will stain the Skool forever. And, of course, you saw what he did to that poor trader. Oh yes, the Mad Hatter has gone mad indeed…” “How can I bring the Tarrant I knew back?” “eh, nothing for the moment. But we need to concentrate on you getting small.”
Suddenly the rosewood doors shuddered as a loud crack sounded from right behind it. “Darn, this can’t be good. Here, take this,” he muttered, passing a long glass rod standing nearby to me. “Splinter Staff. Click this and it will fire a glass shard at your enemies…or you could just swing it about to beat them up. Meet me at the library.” “Eh? Hey, wait up!” The doors crashed open as the Elder vanished, and two Four Diamonds charged in. Firing the remaining cards at one of them, I tossed the now-empty Dealer to a side and launched two shards into the other’s head and chest. Hearing a clicking sound from its side, I noticed a number marked “98”
What? 100 uses only?

It's a deal

“So, we bustin’ the front or sneakin’ in by the side?” “You ask that like I’m stupid,” I sighed exasperatedly, taking one look at the legions of AD-52 armed Diamonds striding up and down before the front portcullis and slipping instead through a dark nook in the wall.
“Intruder! Club Guards, unshuffle and move out!”
Right. That could prove problematic. “Err, Chessur? Any suggestions?” I called out semi-nervously as Club Guards seemed to march out in droves from the guardhouse. “I thought I’d never hear you ask.” Grinning widely, he pulled out a syringe full of bubbling crimson liquid, stabbed it into my forearm and emptied the load into my veins in one fluid stroke. Immediately, searing pain razed through every nerve in my body, bringing me to my knees. “What…have you done?!” “Time to raise some havoc! The dogs of war are loose!” proclaimed Chessur, cackling in glee as he leapt forth to face the first line of Clubs.
“Arrgh!” my moan of pain slowly morphed into a growl of rage as the transformation took hold. From my skull and shoulder blades, curved, jet-black horns punched through skin, extending a meter past my head and midriff. Beginning from the new-grown horns, my skin inflamed a deep, angry red. Tendons and muscles stood out, taut, on my arms and legs. Finger bones elongated and burst out of my fingertips, ending in malicious claws. In my sight, the warm bodies of the Club Guards glowed red, and an unquenchable bloodlust bubbled wildly to the surface of my thoughts.
Bounding forward, I swung my knife in a wide arc as I descended, felling half a dozen Clubs before they could move their axes skyward. Another squad stepped forward to take their comrades’ place, and in a quick succession of alternate blade strokes I slew the five enraged Threes. On my left flank, Chessur batted away helpless Twos ad Fours, then pinned an armoured Six by his neck to a pillar while crushing the skull of a Seven underfoot.
Man, those were some, pardon the pun, bloody good fighting skills.
“Maybe you haven’t noticed, girl, but you’re slicing thin air,” smirked Chessur. My blood lust took a back seat for a slight moment as I looked around the Fortress courtyard. Twenty-odd Club Guards lay in various positions of death, and the austere brick floor was now covered in a fresh, fine red mist. Striding over assorted body parts, I didn’t even feel out of breath. One Seven twitched towards his weapon, and I flung my knife, impaling him at its quivering tip. My skin just had to choose this fine moment to lose its healthy colour.
“Don’t look at me, I ain’t got any more of that stuff,” hissed Chessur from across the room. Just then,, a Four of Diamonds, obviously alerted by the dying screams of the pathetic Clubs, stepped through a hidden door behind Chessur. Taking one look at the carnage,, shock flitted across his face, and he hefted his AD-52, ready to fire at my feline ally’s back, who simply turned around and ripped his throat out. While I fully appreciated the meaning of “senses of a cat”, Chessur picked up the machine-dealer and shoved it in my direction. “I’d suppose this might come in handy against the Diamond, though you’ll need to find cartridges yourself. Good luck getting small…” As his outline dissolved, a door rumbled out of view, revealing a spiraling staircase leading up the barbican. As if to make my decision easier, a trio of Diamond Guards emerged and began firing across the courtyard with me in their sights as I sprinted for the stairs, up the tower and onto the battlements.
However, even as I fired a deck into two Diamonds and sawed off the head of the last, an unearthly shrieking reverberated off the stone, seeming to shake the Fortress itself. Two spectre-like creatures with literally jaw-dropping maws floated up on either side of me. “That savage shriek is just the tip of the iceberg that is the Boojums’ repulsive personality. They’ll eat anything. Dispose of them or become a meal. ” “You know, I really am more interested in their vulnerability.” I threw my knife at one, but it simply darted off to avoid the blade, leaving an opening for the other Boojum to howl her head off at my back, making me tumble head over heels along the long battlements. And though I was twisting and turning to nail them down, whether with razor cards or knife, the annoying ghostly screamers were simply flitting about too fast for the eye to follow. Soon I was feeling pummeled and pissed by their high-pitched keening.
Chessur scowling, by the way, is an interesting sight. “Hit them while they prepare to scream, fool!” His bony tail twitching erratically, claws flashed out at one Boojum that had paused before me, and with a flurry of swipes, it screamed in agony, misty fingers attempting to staunch the rush of vaporous essence out of various gashes , then abruptly burst into flames, reducing it to a pile of sparkling dust glinting against the dull brickwork. Following his lead, I rolled to avoid the bone-rattling howl of the second while reloading my dealer, then pumped two dozen cards straight into its demented face, noting grimly its pyrolytic demise. Maybe that wasn’t so hard after all.
“Collect that dust. Tell you more about it later,” said Chessur while looking at something past the battlement walls. “All well and good, but this won’t get me inside Skool.” “Indeed. Entering Skool requires a real leap of logic,” he stated with a glint in his eyes, pointing in the distance. Following his gaze, I realized that the so-called “Skool” was a Victorian style mansion-like building…teetering back and forth upon a seemingly wooden pole. The twenty-metre drop from the battlements wasn’t helping. Trying to gauge my jump, I called out to thin air, “I can hear your sarcastic little laugh, Chessur!”
Well. Here goes nothing then.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Lots of Water

After a week of highness, I think I should finally pick off where Who wants to be a Dollaraire started. Except that I’m remembering so little :O.
You know, I have this niggling suspicion that we did a 50-50 for the question about IQ too. I’ll leave you to guess which two he cancelled out :D
Anyway. Hurm. 50,000 words in a month. CAN I DO IT?
This is going to be tough. Let’s see now…
DH: OK, let’s have the subject I’m proficient in: Art. Now, who created the sculture, Self, out of his own blood? Is it A, van Gogh, B, Marc Quinn, C, Picasso, or D, ME. Here’s a hint: Obviously I’m the only guy who has the skill to create such a masterpiece among all these people.
Simin: :| I think it’s…B
DH: Well, as Art is my area of proficiency, I can confidently tell you that the answer is…I don’t know. *asks around* OK, the answer is B. Which is obviously false, but we’ll go along with it for now. You have won…TEN cents!
Simin: Yay.
DH: OK, now you have to option to either…leave with the twenty cents you already have (you can buy a nice roll of tissue paper) or, you can continue playing, for ANOTHER twenty cents.
Simin: I’ll continue playing :D
DH: O…K! Let’s now ask a random audience member for a topic! Peng Seng, will you give us a topic?
APS: Don’t want.
DH: Right! He has kindly given us the topic of “don’t want!” So, the question is: What is the meaning of don’t want? Is it A, saying you don’t want but actually wanting or B, you really want it, C, you don’t want it, or D, Charlie is a flying unicorn :D
Simin: O.o C.
DH: Hey! Are you sure? Charlie is OBVIOUSLY a flying unicorn!
Simin: Er…but that obviously isn’t what don’t want means…
DH: Hmmm, I’m not sure about that so we’ll ask the English expert, Cyrus. What is the correct answer?
Cyrus: Well, Simin’s answer is…correct!
DH: Oh! Ok, you have won another twenty cents!
*Ms. Fong starts to leave*
DH: OK, the organiser’s started to leave, so we can add all the obscenities and less-than-desirable references back to the show!
*Ms. Fong turns back*
Class: LMAO
DH: On second thoughts, I changed my mind, because there were NEVER any dirty references in the game show in the first place! :D
Ooh smart u-turn.
*Inserts a random blank space here indicating the state of my memory, a space where Simin won another 20 cents*
DH: Right. Last question, because we’re going broke, will be chosen from a choice of topics. You have the choice of Philosophy, Philosophy, Philosophy, Philosophy, and Philosophy. Which will it be? Obviously Philosophy. SO the question is: Confucius say, when you pour water into water, what do you get? A: Twice the amount of water, B: Even more water, C: Same amount of water, D: No more water
Simin: Even more Water :D
DH: Well, there is a hole in the bottom of the container, so when you pour, there is No More Water. SO you have lost all the One dollar and twenty cents you have won. :D

Friday, October 22, 2010

Unipire Zombot!

So it was a great day. And a short day.
What a crappy introduction. But who cares.
Bio was ARGH STRESS STRESS STRESS so much to freaking remember T.T
Ms. Fong (after giving out the common hints): Actually, you should just try and read up on everything.
:O yea great so much help those hints were.
At least Bio quiz was comparatively easy. Although just for once I wish my essay-like responses could get me a full mark. And my homeostatic pathway was SO ideal XD *egoes*
Anyway. One more week to complete and utter annihilation. I’m so excited about my impending doom. XD. So that we can then go Galen’s house and PAR-TAY! XO
Surprisingly, planning our first 303 class outing took much easier than expected. All of the 45 minutes, unlike 204 outings.
I have realized that reading manga is getting to be a really useless venture if I have to load every page three times. Bleurgh. But *sob* Jit finished a 50-chapter manga in ONE DAY :O
So. Back to today, of which I have managed to detour far far away from. XD. English was WOOT. Managed to suan everyone with surprisingly high (or was everyone else getting surprisingly low? Maybe I just click with bots :D) and finished watching the movie Mr. Tan kindly started showing on Thrusday, while saying “that’s what SHE said!” with Cyrus ad Galen.
GG hockey puck rips the net with one shot. And clears an entire opposing team of players like some matrix bullet. :O what a hacker. Of course, the fact that the coach was trying to hack isn’t really the point. But I wish he’d shown something like…underworld: Evolution. Which we’re not allowed to watch really. Which makes that REALLY COOL and FUN XD.
Too many people scared of my blog now. :X it seems that many undesirable reputations can be created and broken down right here at death-a-h-o-l-i-c. :D
J. Tan: Don’t quote me.
Ming Wei: Oh, you didn’t say poke…wait…what NUUU Don’t quote me! My reputation as a lol-8ahemahem* is already too widely known!
Mr. Yee: You got negative feedback better tell me now ah! Don’t post on your blog later. I don’t read blogs.
And, just in passing, the Mr. Wong affair…
Still. I stand near the sidelines, or fence, whatever you like to call it and watch the fun.
Anyway. Chinese and music left. Hey…that’s not really much to talk about. Except between Mentoring and Chinese Ming Wei came in and we were poking him according to the rhythm of songs Claire was playing. ~fun~ Also, that miserably uninformed guy just found out that we had a…”secret” balcony. -.-
OK. Die. 2000 word Chinese analytical essay due. On Tuesday. :(
And Galen was literally feeling the pain on Thusday watching the Misery music video. Probably the only thing worth or non-trouble-causing for me, to mention safely. XD

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


After a few days of writing fanfiction (Interestingly, I have been able to keep it up, as well as my overall mental wellbeing despite the apparent lack of notebook. :O. Not that the Chapter titles would mean anything anyway XD) and…I dunno, rushing a 2000-word essay, it has come to my attention that I have been blogging very little meaningfully. Which is bad because my memory doesn’t exactly stretch for more than a day especially. Still. Here I am.
I have realized that I am failing. In Chinse. Which is bad because I am still hoping to get at least an A- if things can go well. Or not. :O Interestingly, I happen to be doing well in Biology, which I have occasionally failed badly before. I guess it’s that something out there called the circle of life. Or knowledge or something. Whatever. NUUU I like languages. And doing well in all other respects. But I like doing well in languages. 
Must gogogo in final examinations is all. But that really isn’t encouragement because I am playing too much bridge, hearts or anything card-related while watching other people mugging, which isn’t doing anything much for my confidence.
Anyway, that is why I have decided to kind of cheer myself up by continuing the Who wants to be a Dollaraire. More on that later.
Today was a long and boring day. Or, to be more appropriate, Physics was a long and boring lesson where I wrote most of my fanfic and listened to most of my music.
Megamind sounds so cute.
Still. There was much merrymaking during chemistry…or not. Maybe there was more merry making yesterday…or not. Two or nots does not a yes make. And the third not wasn’t counted. At least I managed to get a full marks for Chemistry, which has been kind of troubling of late. The revision questions helped indeed. :D
Anyway. We were…I dunno. Doing nothing. Or something. Maybe more revision. Going through practical. Not really sure about that, except everyone has been getting better marks these few days. A good sign. XD
Crossing my fingers to get through to SMP. SO that I have a BIG excuse to use LOTS of computer or something.
Argh I am resisting the urge to play games but just letting the urge surge through. Consequently, my Alt and Tab buttons are VERY clean. XD
In any case, there was much playing of cards in the last one and a half hour. Add that to the fact that Mr. Tan lost his voice, and I shall not mention anything further :X
I am pleased to know that dance music does not affect my writing.
Mr. Yee was having much learning experiences in our class.
*stares at Nicole in one of her…possessed moments* This is one the problems of having too many boys in the class
(Incidentally, we were telling Ms Teh about how her netballers were going crazy. Bad.)
And today he was making us do a paper and laughing evilly at especial moments. (Damn when can you draw a cute turtle on Nat’s face :O)
Mr. Yee, use your massaging skills for good XD.
*I pass him my earphones*Eh connected to hand phone? Eeyer I wanted to listen also…
On a side note, I didn’t say when later was. It could be tomorrow. But now we have to address a most important question: Who killed Captain Alec?

Saturday, October 16, 2010


I am running into writer’s block. And it seems that pushing isn’t working.
Either that, or I’m just too lazy. Or too busy. Whatever. Many things to worry about these days. :O
Watching more and more TV FTW.
Let’s just round up the past few days in a few sentences.
Thursday was awesome. Both teachers absent, just one relief teacher. One fun relief teacher. Result: Colonisation of Student Lounge since…say, 9 am. WOOTZ
Observation: Galen REALLY looks like a Chinamen without his glasses. An old, wizened Chinaman.
Observation: The world REALLY does revolve around me. Or, to be more accurate, the luck. XD I foresee Galen aiming to sit in front of me the next time he plays cards.
In any case, there was LOTS of playing Bridge over two days. Perhaps too much for out own good.
And of course, there was too much retarded-ness from Bryan. For HIS own good.
Jit: You want me to throw these cards in your face?
But then again, the way he threw the cards right in Bryan’s face were really fun to see. Like PIU.
Jit: sthsthsth PIU PIU PIU
Retarded sound effects maker.
Also, I have managed to scare a person witless upon first sight
Me: Clarice I’m here to poke you!
Clarice: Oh no poke Yang Qian she’s more fun to poke
Me: OK *walks over and makes to poke her*
Yang Qian: Ah no no no don’t poke me ARGH!
Subsequently we were walking about the class in a retarded kind of cha-cha where I just keep moving forward. While she was holding magazines and tables to block me. :O
Incidently, :O was the reaction of everyone, who unanimously agreed that Jit’s pedo look is just so much more….pedo. :P
Candice: Right before Oral he just turned around and pedoed me! :O traumatizing
Then later when YQ saw me at the bus stop she turned tail and walked the opposite direction. Galen was SO amused. Bad bad counselor.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Riddle me this, riddle me that

I have realised that I am not balancing enough.
Namely, I am typing too much fanfiction skeletons and not enough blogging, which seems to interest its intended audience more than I would have expected. So if this is appearing on a projector screen, I reserve comment. =D
So let’s devote this particular post to a non-charitable talk show hosted by the awesome Lim Dao Han, and co-hosted by Yap Jit Wu. Due to prior inherent cutting from the sponsors and producers, most of the obscene language was been removed for the safety of the young little kiddies’ eyes. Of course, innuendos are a different matter atogether.
Lim Dao Han: And welcome to…WHO WANTS TO BE A DOLLARIARE! And Today’s Host is ME, Lim Dao Han, with co-host Jit Wu, while the participant is…Leow Simin, with HER retarded friend Nicole Tan! Our audience is obviously, everybody else! And without further ado, let’s move to the first question: What shape is THIS piece of paper? Is it A, rectangle, B, square, C, pentagon or D, triangle?
Simin: Oh, A, rectangle.
DH: *folds one edge* I’m sorry, but because of this hidden edge it is obvious that the piece of paper has five sides, and this is a pentagon. You have gotten the first question WRONG. But never mind as that was just a preparatory question. Let’s move on to the next one: How do you spell Mongolia? Is it A, M-
Nicole: Eh but game shows the options are flashed on the screen…
DH: OK, so to accede to our participant’s request, we have obtained, a high-budget and high-quality screen *holds up the same piece of scrap paper* Is it A, Mongoriah, B, -
Mr. Tan: Hey OK, cut cut, it’s time to start the lesson.
*Back in class*
DH: Right, back to the Who wants to be a Dollaraire! So the next question is, How do you spell Mongolia? Is it A, Mongoriah, B, Mongolia, C, Monkorea, or D, abcdefgh
Simin: Er…50-50?
DH: Of course. Now answers A and B have been cancelled out. So what will your answer be?
Simin: Er…B
DH: But that’s cancelled out.
Simin. B.
DH: Alright, let’s ask the Mongolian what is the correct answer. Tseren, What is the correct answer?
Tseren: C C C !!!
DH: As this Mongolian is high on crack, the answer is obviously B. So, Simin, you have won…One cent! Moving on to the two-cent question(well it wasn’t actually the two-cent question but who cares): What is the intelligence of Gabriel Sidik? Is it: A, 0 (Simin :O). No it’s OK that’s not the worst. B, -100, C, 120, or D, 168.
Simin: :O C
DH: Much as I don’t want to say it…that is probably correct! You get TWO CENTS! Next question will be selected from categories. You have Physic-
*Ms. Fong spots us and walks in*
DH: Oh, since the sponsor has decided to pay a visit, we will have to cut out all vulgarities and obscene information from the show. *Ms. Fong: :O* So, for the categories: Physics, Chemistry, Biology,
Simin: Biology.
DH: (whispers to Jit) what a kiss-ass
Ms. Fong: Excuse me?
DH: Oh yea ahem I said nothing. So. Where is the left ventricle of the heart? Is it A, here? *Points at a random table Simin is sitting at*, B, here? *points at his heart* C, here? *points at the clock above the white board far behind us* or D, all of theabove?
Simin: Oh, B
DH: Are you sure? I didn’t say it had to be my heart. It could be…Cyrus’s heart! (LMAO) Never mind, let’s ask our sponsor…is she correct?
Ms. Fong: …Yes!
DH: Well done! And you have got…Five cents!
Shall cut the cameras here for another day. XD
So when I went for a drink, and then walked back, I squashed a random moth resting on the ground.
So should I say sorry, moth, for resting on the ground where I can step on you?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Beyonder Door

“Why do you pursue me to this deserted place?” murmured the Gnome Elder, peering up at me through thick white cataracts. Coupled with his salt-and-pepper beard, deep-set wrinkles and hacking cough, this prune of a face was one that only a mother could love, and probably only if she had cataracts as thick as his. “To benefit from your wisdom, of course,” I said distastefully. “Ha! Even blurred vision is valued by the blind. If I were clever, would I cower in this slag heap? I’m not wise, girl…just old.” “I just wish to get very small, no bigger than a mouse. Do you know how I might do that? And don’t call me ‘girl’” “Only that? Oh yes. I could manage that. For a price.”
I narrowed my eyes at him, stating, “I have nothing of value.” “You have your nerves and your health. Mine are nearly gone. I’ve seen too much suffering. And I smoke too much, you see.” “Point taken. How may I help?” “Deep inside the card guards’ compound, a particularly rough diamond holds the key, under armed guard by a Two and Three of Clubs. Obtain that Key for me, and I will…return the favor. Now, follow me.”
Hobbling over to a lever, he twisted t slightly, and the wall beside him grated upwards to reveal a shimmering, reflective portal-like surface. “Ladies first,” he said politely, motioning for me to walk through, improbable as that sounded. “Ah, the Looking Glass Continuum. Haven’t seen one of those used in a long time, though.” “Speak English, cat,” I hissed. “Step into one Looking Glass, and with luck or lots of practice, you’ll emerge in another Glass nearest to you intended destination. This one, on the other hand, is a bit more special. Step in one Glass and there’s only one other Glass you can step out of. That right, Elder?” “’S the only way we can avoid the Queen’s spying eyes. And if you don’t step through quick, we’ll be spied upon real quick, you mark my words,” he asserted, hurrying all of us into the mirror.
I have to say, I was dazzled by the kaleidoscope of brilliant hues, the light from the mirror refracting and reflecting off the vaguely cylindrical walls at impossible angles to provide an amazing sight, and I was sorry indeed to see the Elder grind shut the Glass. “I’ll betcha the next time you won’t be admiring the view as much as you’re running for your life,” grumbled the Gnome Elder, who promptly vanished at the same time as Chessur. Reminder to self: I really need to pick up that trick. Then again, that’d be denying my knife its first chance at action.
“Hey! Over here!” I shouted, blade in hand, running straight towards the two Club Guards with expressions that spelled i-n-f-u-r-i-a-t-e-d in flashing capitals. Sidestepping the clumsy Three of Clubs, I twirled between the guards, knife extended, opening up long, ugly gashes in their backs and midriff. As the Two of Clubs doubled over in pain, I swung my knife down diagonally, cleaving him open as if I were slicing paper, then turned to behead the Three of clubs as he hefted his axe above his head to strike. It hadn’t taken more than two minutes for me to overcome the so-called “armed” guards. Picking up the glinting key-shaped diamond on the table, I unlocked the door at the back of the room, in time to see and enormous flying mechanism float up from the yawning chasm just outside the door, with the Gnome Elder pedaling and operating its humming propeller.
“You have the key! Most resourceful. It seems that Rabbit’s trust is not misplaced,” the Elder remarked as I hopped on the passenger’s basket. “We will, or rather I will, use the key to lead my fellow kind in an uprising against those abominable Card Guards, and free them from this oppression. They have suffered enough.” “I really feel sorry for your people, indeed I do,” I said in a tone clearly indicating otherwise. “But what about getting me small?” “Within the Fortress of Doors is a Skool, and within it is scattered various items I can mix up in its laboratory to make a concoction to get you small,” he droned. “Items? What items?” “Item, items, you’ll know’em when you see’em. Speaking of seeing, we should keep out of the Card Guard’s—Dammit! We’ve been spotted!” The Elder grunted and began spinning the captain’s wheel.
Curious, I peeked overboard—and was immediately rewarded by a stream of sleek, steel cards whipping wind across my face. Pulling back hurriedly, I yelled, “Are they armed with…machine guns?!” “Automatic Dealer 52s or AD-52s in short. Nay one of those cards they fire can leave a deep cut in your face or my balloon, so you best keep your pretty head in and let me concentrate on steering.” Card guards firing cards…to guard. I’m confused.
Old he might be, but those steering skills were quite top of the notch indeed. Especially when he was maneuvering a bulky balloon against weapons spitting steel fifty-two times a minute. “You’ll have to fight these guards soon enough, but for now…JUMP!” The gnome Elder swiftly drove his crazy contraption near a ledge jutting out of a high wall of the Fortress. “Protective walls may impede you, but the walls most difficult to penetrate are those surrounding out hearts.” “Sometimes, Chessur, I’m not sure if you’re trying to be funny, or just messing with my head. Probably both.” Glaring his way, I braced myself, and leapt.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Usher me

Friday was a day of totally intellectual discussions.
Namely, I was being a retard.
I really can’t remember Bio. But there were some wise words. Which I shouldn’t be bothering about until next year, hopefully.
And then Ms Lee mentions it again during mentoring about people being not sure about what they want to major in. :O
I have realized, once again, how important to one is a 20 cent coin. Or $1 coin, which can also buy me a cookie. COOKIE RAHH.
Anyway.. Let’s skip thru all the boring stuff, like me finishing the music test in 30 minutes (:P hopefully all correct)…
Dr. Wong: Such an encouragement to your friends!
Oh well. What can I say?
Anyway. I have skipped everything boring to like my first CIP. XD
I totally dig why Ming Wei is *ahem*pedo*ahem*, with referral to his amazing topical presentation and his eagerness to be at Pei Tong with us. But the kids are just…so cute! XD
In any case, it was a relief to earn 2 hours of CIp for just playing..Blow Wind blow with the kids. And talking with J. Tan.
By the way, kids, I must warn you NOT to watch F1 races. It is a VERY bad example to all future drivers, because
1. They are like going…no less than 100 km/h?
2. Cutting into other’s lanes without waving. flashing their lights, whatever,
3. And worst of all, they are driving in bus lanes.
Aiyah. Tsktsk.
So we were having an engaging discussion about Alice in Wonderland, of which I am currently VERY obsessed about.
Ming Wei: Writing fan fic about alice is like…writing fanfiction for a 1960’s manga!
Me: But Alice dates further than that
OK well that wasn’t really the point.
J.Tan: I don’t see the point of writing fanfiction for Alice…it was supposed to be a…book on mathematics or Alice, innocent fairytale book for children, before modern day people twisted it into…ramblings of a mad person.
Me: Of course it WAS meant to be the ramblings of a mad person, it’s just that no one had realized it yet. And that’s obviously more fun.
J.Tan: Parents don’t tell children who are to bed reading Alice and telling them it’s the ramblings of a mad person!
Me: Well of course not; that’s the impression you want to give them when they’re still young and impressionable. Later on, you will introduce them to the evils of the world’s society, and the evils of Alice.
J.Tan: But that’s…destroying their childhood!
Me: And that’s…the FUN! :D
J.Tan: -.-
Me: Reverend Charles’Dodgson has this encyclopedia entry which says he enjoyed his trips with the three young girls of the Liddell family. Suggestive.
J.Tan: But he’s not a Catholic priest, he’s a mathematician
Me: Well, he’s BOTH a Reverend and a mathematician.
J.Tan: Do you get what I’m talking about?
J.Tan: Catholic priests are pedophiles!
Which was how we touched on Ming Wei’s evident Lolicon (e: Why didn’t you let him come?! It would have been so fun!) and then sexuality evident on other Singaporeans. Such as certain girls filmed having lesbian sex.
J.Tan: so Mr. Wong looked at Audrey and Andrea, and Rania and Mio Jing, and remarked, I really hope that does not happen in our school.
Dh for SC Pres next next yr FTW XD

Friday, October 8, 2010

Pan the minion

Something seems to have changed in Wonderland since the last time I was here. I mean, other than my highly questionable mental state, which has been interestingly lucid for the time I’ve been chasing rabbits Either that or global warming has begun changing this world in ways our scientists could never have predicted. Eyeing the chunk of ore steadily dissolving in the simmering lake of acid suspiciously, I continued picking my way gingerly over the spider web of wooden planks crisscrossing the dark, dank mine. Towards the tiny figure running on two stubby legs, the large sack laboring his jog sufficiently for me to catch up.
“Yes! Got you at last! Now you have some explaining to do!” The gnome shivered in my vise-like grip, his eyes dull. “Our land is destroyed; our spirit crushed,” he intoned. “Reminds me of the asylum. Is there no joy here?” For that was true. All through my chase, all I could see were depressed miners, forlorn miners, morose miners, and…more depressed miners, their arms swinging against the rock walls perfunctorily, the very light of life seemingly burnt out of their eyes by the endlessly backbreaking work they were forced to toil at. Definitely unlike the cheerful land of, well, wonder I chanced upon ten years ago.
“Slavery and happiness do not dwell in the same house…” the gnome muttered, bringing me out of my reverie, wriggling out of my grip. Just then, Chessur materialized before me, watching the gnome scurry off. Frowning, I said, “Wonderland’s become quite weird. How is one to find her way?” “As knowing where you’re going is preferable to being lost, ask. Rabbit knows a thing or two, and I, myself, don't need a weathervane to tell which way the wind blows. Let your need guide your behaviour; suppress your instinct to lead; pursue Rabbit!” “How simple you make my life,” I sigh at his disappearing visage, running further into the mines. One torch bearing gnome, seeing me run past, remarked sadly, “Stir up no trouble, stranger! The Red Queen’s agents are ruthless.” Pausing before him, I spat, ”I’m not afraid of her or her creatures! Never was, really. You should stand up to her!” “Defiance is useless. While the Queen reigns, only death can release us from this misery.” “Or her death, perhaps?”
Lesson Number One: Speaketh of the devil, and the devil arriveth. No sooner had I finished bragging did an axe-wielding card guard slam his weapon into the ground mere inches beside me. Taken aback, I whirled around to see the guard shredded into a dozen quivering bits by razor sharp claws. As the guards head landed in the pool of flesh and blood which once made up his body, Chessur leapt nimbly over to land before me while I stared agape at his radical transformation. Now bipedal, his body rippled with bulging muscles, and each paw boasted four five-inch long claws, dripping with blood and gore.
Licking his right claws, he held out his left paw as if to shake my hand, except in it was a long, wicked-looking knife. I took it, admiring its sheer lightness and the pleasing shriek it made as it swung through the air. Throwing it in the distance, it flew back like a boomerang. Watching me play with my new toy, Chessur spoke grimly, “The Card Guards are tools of the Queen. All suits are dolts, but dangerous. Your knife will be necessary, of course, but not sufficient. Always collect what’s useful. Reject only your ignorance and you may survive.”
“Well, thank you for your overwhelming confidence in me, sir,” my voice dripping with sarcasm, watching him shrink back to a skeletal shadow of his more powerful form. “Though I must admit that the claws are a nice improvement.” Spying Rabbit bolt past, I set off in hot pursuit, only to see him magically shrink and leap through a hole just large enough for my fist to fit in.
“Oh, now what?” I grumbled. “And what might you be moaning about. Moaning never helps.” These pessimistic, ubiquitous gnomes were definitely getting on my nerves. “yes, I get it, everyone seems completely dejected, blah blah blah. Are things really as bad as all that?” “The truth would reduce you to a blubbering baby. Are you the savior that Rabbit has been tellin’ us about all this time?” “I wouldn’t hope so, or Rabbit would be the cause of all your troubles. Right now I just want to be…this small.” “Ar…calls fer some serious twistin’. Yer’ll needa go sideways, not forward. I’d be doing it if I knew how.” “Not twisted! Just to be smaller in size.” “Hurm…one in the Fortress of Doors may hold such secrets. Take more than a wish to get in there.” “Doors have locks, which need keys. Let’s hope the doors are unlocked,” purred Chessur. “Indeed…or there may be more than one way to skin a cat, if you’ll pardon the expression.” “A most unpleasant one it is. Please avoid it in the future.” “Can you get us inside the fortress of Doors?” “Oh! I wouldn’t even dare. Since the Red Queen took over we’ve all become gutless half-wits. I can’t even risk crossing the road! However...if you go deep into the mines, you will find one braver and wiser then I. He may be of some help...” Shuddering, he plodded off.
Into the hole again, we hurried along our way, into a once-glorious garden now seeped in dark decay.
Hey, that rhymed.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


RAWR Mortal Coil sucks Tanith can never be tortured in new ways again BLEH. It is interesting to note, though, that everyone ends up with the originally less preferable partner. What happens when the Girl of Armageddon falls in love with a vampire?
Today was a lesson in Endurance. SO I managed to finish my Math assignment while owning completely in cards. Not at the same time, of course.
English lesson was essentially a rant against not teaching us the nuances of English until Year Six. So obviously a plot to keep us in NUS High UNTIL Year Six.
So do I want to finish the revision exercise or not?
Galen was trying to second-guess and he failed. But then he was failing quite often. Though not as often as Peng Seng =D
Anyway. Trying to finish Chapter 3.
But I like arm wrestle until arm no strength liao. :O

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Men Tsar

I used to wonder how asylum residents could scream and yell or continue on other related mad behavior for so long. I mean, I was sure it would get tiring or boring at some time. But then again, I was the one locked up in the madhouse so who was I to judge?
Interestingly, my first-hand experience seems to have proven my theory right. Except tiring and boring just aren’t sufficient to stop madness from consuming you. Even after beating myself up for ten years, it just won’t let up. It just can’t assuage the pain. This probably explains these heavy duty chains bolting my limbs to the bed frames. So they have money to spend on chains but not on cleaning do they? Now I can’t even touch the new bandages.
I spot a movement near the edge of the bed.
Well, with my new accessories I can’t really do anything about it even if it was a demented killer determined to slaughter the first person he sees. One mad person deserves another, I guess.
Then Rabbit grabs my hand and rasps, “Save us, Alice!”
Before I could say, News Flash, Rabbit, but I can’t even save myself, the room, chains and all, dissolved into a swirling whirlpool of dizzying colours. And as gravity took its hold, all I thought was, What The Hell?
TO the uninitiated, falling is a boring activity as well. Especially if it happens to be a three-hour long one. It is occasions like this where the random insane thought comes really in handy. The impact knocking all breath out of me, I landed with a huff. Shaking off the effects if my sudden descent, I smoothed down my burnt, bloodstained dress and looked around, trying to get my bearings. And this…thing resembling a skeleton with four legs simply appeared out of the air and sauntered towards me.
“Chessur,” I drawl, unimpressed by his, well, unimpressive appearance. “I hope they’ve been feeding you, if at all. Though if you were considering getting as mangy as possible, thinning down that huge, toothy smile shouldn’t have been too much of a trouble.”
“I much prefer to see myself as…”lithe”. As for the smile, well, you can’t help who you are, can you?” Grinning complacently, he licked his paws and continued, “You, on the other hand, have gained quite an attitude since the last time you were here. Still adventurous and willing to learn, I hope?”
“Whatever, But I would appreciate it very much if…damn.” Did I mention? His disappearances are just as freaking annoying. Might as well make the best of my time here then.
Walking through a rotting doorway, I pondered upon the possibility that this might be just one of the fantastic imaginings my deranged mind, perhaps further induced by some mind-altering drugs introduced by the devious Doctor, while surgeons in starched white gowns gleefully slice open my brain to explore the mysteries within. Of course, I was quite sure my mind was no longer capable of conceiving such a forgotten image, and even if it was, I wasn’t in the position to change my fate, was I. Which was when I bumped into the gnome.
If this was a dream, it’s definitely a very realistic one,
“Sure haven’t seen your kind in a long time. Mind telling me…Oh, don’t run! I’m not going to eat you!”
Just as I was about to go after the fleeing little man, who was fleeing fast indeed considering the sack of rocks on his back, a rather small and surprisingly strong ball of fur cannoned straight into me, knocking me down.
“Now excuse me, mist-" “Oh, do be quiet, Alice! We’re very late, very late indeed!” and with that, what appeared to be Rabbit bounded off further into the mine. Curiouser and curiouser. Though that brown suit is a nice addition. “Hey! Wait up!” I yelled, beginning to run. I can just see how this could be an exhausting return. Indeed.

Soif de Sang

Aiyah. Die already. How to complete all the revision stuff over this week. Mr. Yee dun like me cos I posted that post I think. :( Then later he sees this post. :O
Anyway. Today is aiyah. Jeremias at specialist for…reasons I won’t mention as I can’t. :D
Jit: Liposuction!
OK Yea obviously he would say that.
Quotes from Mr. Soh today:
Boys should know a lot about…buoyancy force, because before they invented buoys they would put a little boy on top of a float to wave at passing ships. That force is the buoyancy force. And how did they pick these boys? They would go to a random school and ask around Hey which of your boys can you do without for some time? And they would get that boy to float for some time as the buoy. :D
So Bernoulli was Dutch at first, until he saw the World Cup, where he was mortified to see the Dutch playing rugby when they were supposed to play soccer, and thus tried to renounce his nationality. Unfortunately, he only succeeded halfway and so he is now known as Dutch-Swiss. :D
(from Ansel) I won’t be around next week. I’ll be square.
And yes he was being a retard about chucking Ansel into a river which was thinner at some point and then deciding whether Bernoulli or Ansel would be cheering depending on whether ansel made it across. Of course I had some theories of my own, the first being that the river OBVIOUSLY moved faster at the narrower point because an incredibly hairy Bernoulli happened to be standing there, scaring away all the molecules. Then Mr. Soh moved on to how Bernoulli’s equation could be expressed as the Conservation of Life in a wide leading to narrow corridor. Of course, I have the Conservation of Death: When you stand with your back to the walls of the corridor holding out a long knife, you kill mmore people in the narrow corridor. :D
And now our English file will be made up of a pathetic 4 pieces of work. Sigh.
Maybe I should start reading the dictionary. A 4 mark difference IS quite something to look at.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

King of Hearts

I have come to the conclusion that my chapters seem to be anemic indeed in word count. Well, compared to above average pieces in
But today isn’t exactly about my boredom relieving fanfiction today. Although it is good to post about it on days where there are nothing better to post about.
Just yesterday I came face-to-face with the terrifying force called The Young Joo. (and do you have a Younger Joo?) It seems only the Mongolian power is enough to contain him.
Funnily enough, he ran and ran and dribbled and dribbled and failed to score. Sigh
So James was kicking the ball near our goal, and Galen, who was on his team, was going JA-ME-SI, JA-ME-SI!
Distracting your own teams mates is such a great idea.
Maybe I might just play minecraft one day, and try to build a computer that can let me play minecraft. The idea of fighting a monster while playing minecraft is just awesome. But after I’m done with that WTFBBQ Phantasmagoria. (Shocking as it maybe, this one has nothing to do with Alice)
Quite the only significant thing yesterday, other than Mr. Yeo taking us for physics. Awesome-ness.
So. Today was a bad day.
Mr. Wong was playing nice videos. So nice.
I am being constantly sidetracked by random nice Alice in Wonderland fanfictions. Although you know the weird just get weirder when the March Hare begins to speak random Japanese as ordered by a…hare doll. *ahem*
Anyway. Chinese test was OK, except for the easy questions. Contradicting myself is fun.
Argh. Random ramblings from notebook withdrawal.
Chemistry was quite a lesson in magic making. I shall stop here to prevent further havoc from being caused.
My blog posts are just getting shorter and shorter. Yes, I’ve commented on that for the…I-can’t-really-count-time, but yes. It’s a fact. So many lines and random spacing between them.
I hate it when they call Alyce Alice despite the fact that it’s JUST ONE FREAKING LETTER.
Ming Wei is bored. Was bored. As we were all during Chinese culture. At least it IS an improvement. Why couldn’t we have had this teacher before?
I need to keep writing.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Gothically speaking

I have realized that
Life sucks
And the Four divided by two and divided by two again is one.
Amazing observation.
Now, in a pathetic attempt to stay alive with the cold turkey from notebook related distractions for the next month, I have taken to writing a fanfiction based of American McGee’s Alice. It is turning out to be rather fun. Rambling has never been so awesome.
Enjoy. Or not. *shrugs*
The door clicks open, a sound not a sound.
The Doctor trots in, hurriedly flipping his pocket watch open and examining it carefully before stowing it in his left pants pocket. He pulls over a rickety chair, the same one he replaced at the end of the last consultation. Trying to smooth his hair and suit at the same time, he spares the prone figure on the tattered mattress a nervous glance.
“Alice,” he calls, clasping a record loosely in one hand and a sharpened pencil in another.
I deign to swivel my eyeballs towards him. Expectant. Unsure. Maybe I would have looked like that, if I had been leading my past ten years like a normal person. But then, if I were a normal person I wouldn’t BE here would I?
He blinks, not sure whether to be pleased or concerned to get a response out of me. “Ah, yes, good. So,” he glances hastily at the scribbled record. Not that he has been able to do much scribbling. “How are you today?”
I finger the dusty ears of Rabbit mechanically “Well,” my tone as dead as my movements. And my heart.
“Uh, very well, very well, I was hoping that today we could perhaps touch on coming to terms with the…” At his words, I saw red. Literally. All around my vision, tongues of flickering flames licked at the edges the same way a cigarette burn eats away at a photograph. My ears catch none of Hieronymous Q. Wilson’s (what an utterly ridiculous name) questions, but are filled with crackling roaring and screaming. Echoing, tortured screaming.
“Fire! Fire!” ”Hurry, we must save Alice!” ”Daddy? Mummy?” “Hush, Alice! Drop everything and run!” The doorknob, roasted by the flames, is searing to the touch, but my father yanks it open and is greeted by the staircase leading to the bottom floor crashing down. “No! Dad, Mom, I can’t just leave you like that!” “We have no time for this, Alice. Save yourself!” My father heaves me out of the window into the hard snow, moments before the fire-weakened mansion collapsed.
“NOOOOO!!” A bestial scream rips its way out of my throat, and I grab the most lethal weapon I can find, hurling the handful of jacks which thud into a closing door. I cannot even see enough of his fast-receding figure to get enraged at. I’m not sure about his credentials as a psychologist but that guy has a hell of good reflexes. Stalking over to the grimy windows, I swing the badly-ripped curtains shut, blocking out some measure of the unbearable light.
I cast my eye gloomily around the filthy, bloodstained room. Which they never seem to bother to tidy up, but then an institute such as this probably doesn’t get enough grants to keep itself going, much less clean. They declared me a ward of the state, and took everything away from me—knives, hammers and even the little sewing scissors, so people would not find me with slit wrists, or a caved in skull, or a broken neck.
Fine. I admit. I’m not that into sewing anymore. But it was mine. As were my parents. Were. They were taken, just like everything else. My property. Which I lost. My fault. In the fire. It was me. I didn’t rush back in. I didn’t pull them out and hug and thank them for saving my life. Two lives were lost for mine. My fault. And there is no solving that.
Pain pain is good which I won’t get good I don’t deserve good I’ve been a bad, bad girl I’m sorry I’m so sorry, Mom I wasn’t good enough I wasn’t good enough to save you Dad I’m so, so sorry It was ALL MY FAULT I DON’T DESERVE TO LIVE.
Down the hallway, I hear as if in a dream, the mutterings of the Rutledge asylum workers…
“Isn’t it that annoying Liddell girl again? Fortunately we cancelled the cleaning service for THAT room. Day after day of cleaning out bloody spots would turn away any cleaning personnel…”