The Elf and The Ninja

It was a cold winters night, the elven warrior had finished hunting pink dragon toads for the day and needed to have a bite to eat and lay his head to rest. Tomorrow would involve the blue ones, which were far more challenging to tackle, especially when using their breakdancing skills to evade capture. Pink dragon toads could only do the samba, so they were less of a challenge, but a good warm up for the next day.

After much searching for an appropriate place to stay, he happened upon a tavern by the great sea, with its green neon lighting and seashell encrusted doors and windows. A bit tacky, he thought, but there was no other place to go within 10 leagues, without resorting to sleeping outdoors, camping under the starlight. Wolves with banjos prowled at night and the sound they made was so obnoxious, he could no longer take it. He would rather pull his fingernails out with a paperclip, or, being pragmatic and sensible, just sleep inside the tavern.

Upon entering the tavern, he beheld a beauty never seen before in his life, sitting at the bar with a milk and a cookie. Brushing his hair back and checking his appearance in the sunglasses of the barman, he approached her to get a better look, sitting down on the stool next to her. She was dressed all in black, a skintight catsuit, nearly a full foot shorter than him, kunai strapped to her belt and a whip coiled over her shoulder. Her face was mostly covered, but her eyes were captivating, posture and
figure sublime.

Raising the glass of milk to her lips, she raised her mask to drink, revealing full, luscious lips and clear, pure, pale skin. He could tell she was nervous, he could see it in her eyes and she was trembling (ninjas are normally so self-assured). That and the dribble of milk down her chin as she drank, gulping and gasping until the last drop had passed through her delectable mouth. There was even a bit of whimpering as though she was getting great pleasure from the drink. Then she started eating the cookie…

There was an awkward silence for a minute as seductive nibbling took place, then she spotted his sword hanging down his side and her eyes widened

“Can I touch your sword?” she asked
“Certainly”, he said, pulling his sword out if its sheath and offering it to her
“It is rather big isn’t it?”
“So I’ve been told”
“It’s a bit dirty though”
“That is because I have using it all day, all it needs a bit of spit and polish, but I am somewhat lacking in that department”
“I have some in my room for my own blades. Care to come with me so I can polish your sword?”

Standing erect, he replied “Certainly, it will be greatly appreciated”

 

As they walked through the bar towards the guest rooms, the lights started to dim and the band started to play soft, romantic music, people started dancing slow waltzes. Tension was building, hearts beating rapidly, palms sweating. He could swear he heard a dove cooing as well, but he often heard things that weren’t there.

Upon reaching the hallway with the rooms were, he realised where he actually was. This was no ordinary tavern, this was a ‘love tavern’, where adventurers came to satisfy their carnal desires. She beckoned him to a room, with a large heart on it with the words “Welcome to the Ninja Garden, where all your desires will be fulfilled. Whips optional”.

Resigned to his fate and shrugging his shoulders, he entered the room. “About time I had a bit of luck” and by golly he was to have a night of his life.

 

Let me in

Let me in
I let you in
But you will not
Why is that?

Do I repulse you
Am I too intense
Is it fear or untrust
Something you cannot say?

I won’t judge you
Because I know
Deep down
You are a good person

There may be those
That criticise or ridicule
But they do not know
The person inside

Everyone suffers
Everyone hurts
Everyone cries
Even if it just inside

I take things to heart
That is just who I am
It does not make me vulnerable
It makes me strong

The only one I can hate
Is myself
For not holding back
When I should

Never assume
Presume
Or subsume
Anything

Forgive me
I am only human
Making mistakes
Is part of who I am

I learn from what I do
What I say
What you say
How you respond

I seek only
Connection
Friendship
Respect

On Comment Spam…

As many people with blogs may know, comment spam can be a problem. Some of it is harmless, but other comments insert links to lead you or your readers to sites that sell high end brands at a low cost (fake of course). To prevent this, you either need to moderate all comments, or have a spam filter to prevent it from becoming an irritant and stop people from visiting your site.

The way they are spread is through a ‘script’ (or software program) that is run by either a person or a ‘bot’, though usually automatically on a regular schedule. A bot is a computer compromised by software known as ‘malware’ or a ‘trojan’ – installed without a users knowledge, through a rogue ad (on the more adult sites usually) or an illegal download of software or video from a peer to peer network. This scans the internet for blogs, looking for comment forms and posting a message to your posts.

The comments that are posted are usually full of compliments (wonderful, clever, interesting), appealing to a persons ego so they approve them.To attempt to bypass spam filters or encourage them to be approved, there are often positive words in the comment that are interchangeable and one of them chosen before posting. I have been using the internet long enough to spot spam and hoaxes quite easily, but it can be quite interesting to see what is written sometimes. I received one recently, but this time the string replacement was not performed and so I got the raw text instead. Here is an extract of the comment:

{I have|I’ve} been {surfing|browsing} online more than {three|3|2|4} hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours.
{It’s|It is} pretty worth enough for me. {In my opinion|Personally|In
my view}, if all {webmasters|site owners|website owners|web owners} and bloggers made good content as you did, the
{internet|net|web} will be {much more|a lot more} useful than ever
before.|
I {couldn’t|could not} {resist|refrain from} commenting.
{Very well|Perfectly|Well|Exceptionally well} written!|
{I will|I’ll} {right away|immediately} {take hold
of|grab|clutch|grasp|seize|snatch} your {rss|rss feed}
as I {can not|can’t} {in finding|find|to find} your {email|e-mail} subscription {link|hyperlink} or {newsletter|e-newsletter}
service. Do {you have|you’ve} any? {Please|Kindly} {allow|permit|let} me {realize|recognize|understand|recognise|know} {so that|in order that}
I {may just|may|could} subscribe. Thanks.|
{It is|It’s} {appropriate|perfect|the best} time to make some plans for the future and {it is|it’s} time
to be happy. {I have|I’ve} read this post and if I
could I {want to|wish to|desire to} suggest you {few|some} interesting things or {advice|suggestions|tips}.
{Perhaps|Maybe} you {could|can} write next articles referring to this article.

The Barn and The Reindeer

WritingChallengeBarnJack and Jill had to go up the hill to get water for their mother since she was unable to herself because of her debilitating illness. Unfortunately Jack was pretty clumsy and often fell with the bucket, most likely due to overfilling it with water. Jill was supposed to help Jack, carrying the bucket of water with him, since Mother Goose (as she liked to be called) wanted to make sure the incident with the beanstalk and the giant didn’t happen again. Goose thought that Jill was the sensible one, being Jack’s older sister, and told her to keep an eye on him. Though often she tumbled down the hill with him, so they ended up having to go back up again. It was all rather tiresome, so they decided they wanted to go on a little adventure.

The beanstalk had been chopped down since and the remains made into a barn, though they never found out what it was used for, only that it was a legacy left by Father Christmas when he died. The reindeer were a bit hazy about the incident, not telling them what happened to their father on that fateful day. Jack suspected Rudolph was behind it, but had never found the evidence. The barn held the answer though, at least according to Fantastic Mr Fox who used it for storing the food he stole from Boggis, Bunce and Bean. He may have been a thief, but the tale he told them was enough to pique their interest.

There was a trapdoor in the middle of the barn, but it was heavily secured and the floor around it was solid concrete, too much for Mr Fox to dig through with his spade and too time consuming to use his pick axe without attracting undue attention. What made it interesting was that the trapdoor was big enough for a reindeer to get through, sly Mr Fox saw this one time when Prancer crept in rather surreptitiously and opened it up, locking it behind him. How a reindeer opens a trapdoor rather impressed Mr Fox, though when pressed by Jack to find out more, he would not elaborate.

Through observing Prancer and occasionally Donder and Blitzen, Mr Fox had found a way to get through the trapdoor, although would not tell the children how to do it themselves, but would help them in their endeavours in finding out the secrets of the barn. The day finally came, when the reindeer where no where to be seen and Rudolph had done his survey of the area in his helicopter, heading off who knows where.

Under the barn they crawled, using the tunnel Mr Fox had dug for himself – it was a bit cramped and smelled of stale urine and who knows what else, but they managed in the end. It was not full of wheat or food, apart from the stash Mr Fox kept hidden away in boxes in a dark corner too small for a reindeer to nose around in. It was rather empty, with only a few pallets and an old bus with the words “only blow the doors” crudely written on a note taped to it (as you can imagine reindeer writing can be). Vague enough to raise a bit of suspicion, but not enough evidence to show any wrong doing.

Glancing around the barn for anything else they spotted the trapdoor on the floor. Seeing how big it was, Jack and Jill could see why Mr Fox wanted them to come along – it was too heavy for him to lift alone and his friend Badger seemed to have disappeared (culled, Jill suspected).  A musky smell of old ale and cigars wafted up through the gaps in the side, suggesting there was something underneath work investigating. What Mr Fox did next to open the trapdoor was so ingenious, it made the children gasp in wonder and cannot be described in words alone – it has to be seen to be believed. Heaving the trapdoor up took all three of them all their strength, but they eventually managed to open it.

Jack, torch in hand, led the way through the darkness down a gentle decline (reindeer’s can’t climb ladders after all, that would be silly) until they finally reached a vast underground cavern.  There was a bar area, with all sorts of drinks – spirits, wines, ales, ciders and beers. Smoking jackets laid out on long sofas, with bongs on the floor and games consoles hooked up to big screen TV’s, Playdeer strewn over the floor and all manner of other unmentionables. Dynamite, wire cutters, plans and maps of major banks and gold repositories – something was definitely very fishy here and they needed to get out quickly and inform the relevant authorities about the rogue reindeer.

Before they had a chance, there was a sudden a deafening sound reverberated through the cavern, rotor blades of a helicopter chopping through the air. Rudolph had arrived. There was no time to run back to where they came in as a furious reindeer came galloping towards them in a fit of fury. The last thing Jack and Jill remembered was a searing pain as antlers and hooves smashed into them, then darkness beckoned…

On Writing…

I have always wanted to write and have in various forms in the past – blogging, Open University assignments, tweets, short status updates. Though these may not be significant writing, they have helped me gauge my abilities and improve my skills, through re-reading past work and reflection. It is only within the past year or two I have taken it more seriously, since I have read good stories and feel ‘I can do that’, even if it is only short works or retelling of other stories. It started with a Creative Writing series of courses at West Dean College in West Sussex, England. There were three aspects that were covered: ‘Plot and Character’, ‘Location, Dialog and Revision’ and ‘Suspense, Style and Synopsis’

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