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November 2009 Grab-Bag Writings & Art

krwordgazer

Here are the elements for November:

A reunion
A journey
The spirit of a dead person/animal/thing
A smile
A dream
Smoke

All works must be related to Elfquest, whether canon-based, original character, alternate universe, or whatever. Writings must contain all the above elements. Art can either contain all the elements, or illustrate one of the writings.

And away we go! :D

JadeOwl

[i:a061f103ab]A reunion
A journey
The spirit of a dead person/animal/thing
A smile
A dream
Smoke[/i:a061f103ab]

Ekuar had shaped himself a pipe after the human fashion, and stuffed it with dreamberry leaf. He had bought matches in the last town - easy enough to steal them, but there was something in them both that made them pay when they could. Rayek hesitated to call it pride - so heavy, that word - but it was similar; dignity, maybe.

He'd inhaled the smoke of Ekuar's pipe, once, to see whether it would shut her up. It didn't, but it did lend a certain absurdity to her threats. He found himself laughing, doubled-over with it, as she hurled obscenities at him, harmless, trapped like a rat inside his head. The tang of dreamberries was thick in his throat. He found himself remembering Pike - rosy-cheeked, rosy-natured - and had a strange vision of what it would be like, for the storyteller, rather than himself, to have taken on the Black Snake.

The thought sobered him, clearing the smoke from his eyes. He'd liked the Wolfrider, as much as he'd liked any of them, in those days. He didn't wish to see him broken.

***

[i:a061f103ab]Tap-tap. Tap-tap.[/i:a061f103ab]

Ekuar was cleaning his pipe again, knocking it against a rock. There was a small pile of ash on the ground, black and wet. Rayek focused on it - the remains of something that once burst with green, with life. He narrowed his eyes, and his headache receded, just a bit.

Ekuar glanced at him, sidelong, the way he did when he wasn't sure who, what, he was looking at. Rayek tried to smile, but it was pale and brittle. "Tell me a story?" He asked, hating how he sounded almost desperate.

She laughed, in his head, and curled around his heart like a cat.[i:a061f103ab] Yes. Tell us a story.[/i:a061f103ab]

Ekuar used a stick to get the last flecks of ashes from his pipe, and blew in into its bowl, slow. He untied the pouch from his belt. "What kind of story, Brownskin?"

She had many suggestions, from mocking ([i:a061f103ab]tell us again how my "love" humiliated himself when he first began to fly![/i:a061f103ab]) to conniving, resonating with hidden motive [i:a061f103ab](tell us, tottering fool, tell us how the Palace felt, to have its magic against your palms.)[/i:a061f103ab]

But he shook her off, taking a long draught of water from his skin. "Tell us about Osek, Ekuar." He said, softly. "I want to hear about strength."

Ekuar looked at him for a long moment. Rayek knew the "us" had not gone unnoticed. But then Ekuar smiled, amused and serene, and lifted his newly-packed pipe to his lips. "Once, you would have called Osek useless, not strong."

Rayek drew his knees up to his chin, resting his arms on them. He held Ekuar's eyes. "Once, I would have said the same of you."

Ekuar struck a match and set it to his pipe, eyes to the stars. "Osek was our leader, Mekda's lover, and my great friend. It was he who dreamed of the Palace." He smiled, still staring upwards. "You would have liked him."

[i:a061f103ab]Yes,[/i:a061f103ab] she said, and his headache had not gone away.

"He was never one to rush about, though. He was a planner, a schemer, a thinker. My foolish head was never so level as his. Perhaps that is how he escaped - I'm sure that would be a tale for the ages, but..." He let out a long breath of smoke, and they both watched it curl upwards until it was lost to the dark. "That tale is gone with his bones."

[i:a061f103ab]No[/i:a061f103ab], she said, and he thought about that, let her whisper more, louder. The pain behind his eyes was familiar, now, just her red-hot nails raking, raking. She spoke of the Palace, of finding it, speaking to Osek's soul, but that's not what he was thinking about.

There was a tale in things left behind, as well as those held close to the departing soul.

"What if we go see him?" He said, and ignored her outrage. "I tire of humans, Ekuar. I tire of this endless dance from strange town to strange town. Let's go further out, where the sun is too much for them."

Ekuar raised fine, feathered eyebrows. "You want to go to Sorrow's End?"

Rayek laughed a little, humorless. "More than anything." He ran a hand through his hair, working through its dark tangles. "But I do not think there is such a place, anymore. Not for me."

Ekuar mouthed at the stem of his pipe, considering. "Perhaps not." He said at last. "But to the cliffs, aye?"

Rayek nodded. "The cliffs."

***

As they drew closer, she grew quieter. She felt...curious. As if she were looking about her and noting things, remembering them for future use against him. This was not a part of his life that she had ever known, the part where he had been burnt dark by the sun and made bloody by the stone, and taught himself to burn and draw blood himself.

He thought he might even have sensed some respect.

That night, for the first time in centuries, he dreamed of Leetah.

He dreamed that she beckoned him, drew him upwards into a sky too blue to be real, and he followed, laughing, his head empty and quiet and so wonderfully light. She drew him in, soft skin and softer words, and he held her close and drank her deep. Sweet cactus wine and pure, golden light.

He woke aching and tired, thirsty, with a shrieking spirit rattling between his ears.

They reached the cliffs two days later, and followed along them for another eight. "Will you recognize it?" He asked Ekuar, and Ekuar smiled, rueful. "Perhaps," he said. "It has been so long since I felt his magic."

Rayek nodded, and kept walking. He'd shed his boots long ago, and the wide-brimmed hat meant to hide his elfin ears. The sun beat down upon his head, burnt the too-pale scalp that showed through his hair. He had thought it would feel familiar, like coming home - but perhaps "home" was yet another thing not allowed him.

"Oh." Said Ekuar, the next day. "[i:a061f103ab]Oh[/i:a061f103ab]."

He stopped by a jagged opening in the wall, mostly covered by fallen rocks and shifted stone, and his eyes were welling with tears. "Oh, [i:a061f103ab]here[/i:a061f103ab]," he said, and Rayek fell to his knees, started pushing and pulling the rocks out of the way. Ekuar layed a small, cool hand on his head. "Stop," he said, and Rayek looked up at him, puzzled.

His mentor smiled. "He is here. It is enough...to feel." He planted his stick in the sand and spread out his arms, face to the sun. He was crying openly now, his tears catching the light like jewels. "His bones have become rock," He said, voice distant, "Time has made them so. And the rock itself, shaped by his dying breath - oh, it is him, so much of it. Magic leaves such traces..."

Rayek got slowly to his feet, brushing the sand from his knees.

"Remember this, brownskin." Ekuar said, face still titled upwards like he was drinking in his friend with the sunlight. "Your magic matters. You leave your marks upon the world, as it leaves its upon you."

Rayek smiled bitterly. He thought of the great rift, between the Go Backs and their lodge. He thought of Blue Mountain, collapsed into rubble. "We have scarred each other much, the world and I."

"Yes," Ekuar agreed, lowering his head, and raised his hand to trace, gently, Rayek's cheek. "And now you are given a chance to heal just as much."

Rayek closed his eyes. "Ekuar..."

[i:a061f103ab]Impossible,[/i:a061f103ab] she murmurs, soft enough that it might be his own thoughts.

"Osek says, "If you cannot die, live." And I have always found it prudent to follow his advice."

[i:a061f103ab]Shut up![/i:a061f103ab], she screamed, suddenly, and Rayek smiled, and opened his eyes. "And I have always found it prudent to follow yours, and ignore [i:a061f103ab]hers[/i:a061f103ab]."

Ekuar laughed, and slid the end of his unlit pipe-stem into his mouth. It clicked against his teeth. He withdrew his staff from the sand and turned, hand behind his head. "Well." He breathed. "A long journey ahead. Let's go, brownskin."

"And Osek?"

"We'll let him have his rest."

Nightsea

*claps*
--NS

faeriegirl

Surprised wow... *speechless* *claps much* Wonderful!

RedheadEmber

[color=red:8bd842e549]Nice! :D Seems Ekuar and Rayek just invented the idea of "smoking weed" Wink [/color:8bd842e549]

stargazer

Wow. That was wonderful! Surprised

RedheadEmber

[color=red:a8f15f015c]Once again... I'm going for the short:

[b:a8f15f015c][size=14:a8f15f015c]Dream[/size:a8f15f015c][/b:a8f15f015c]

Dream
Spirit of a friend
Lost so long ago
Lingers on
Through all the years
Try to reach out
Let hands once more touch with joy
Passing through
Like smoke
Unsubstancenly
Remembering a smile
Shining through the dark
One last journey
Two friends will meet again[/color:a8f15f015c]

faeriegirl

Me like!

Embala

:daze: That's great, Jade Owl ... sad, almost desperate ... pitiful ... and full of hope and strength ... and new beginning!



It's beautiful, Redhead, all emotion and affection :love: ... cryptic enough to make me think whom it's about. Right now I think it could be anyone - no matter whether known or unknown. Maybe I'll find a preference later ... after rereading ... thinking about it ...



Spontanous idea for a backfround pic? One-Eye!

G0lden

Love the story Jade Owl. :D

Red the poem as always fantastic. :D

jeb

Wow, [b:ebb453c80a]Jade Owl[/b:ebb453c80a], that was excellent!

And the poem fits perfectly, echoing the relationship between Ekuar and Osek.

RedheadEmber

[color=red:66d6d5a22d][b:66d6d5a22d]Thank you guys![/b:66d6d5a22d] :D As for who it's about...well... like Embala said... could be about ev'ryone! :D Coz I'm a devel :twisted: [size=11:66d6d5a22d](but a sweet one! :D )[/size:66d6d5a22d][/color:66d6d5a22d]

Embala

Reading Redhead's poem after Jade Owl's story it is almost inevitable to think of Ekuar and Osek. I hope to find another interpretation though ... one which enables me to create a collage Wink



Til then - a background pic Smile



RedheadEmber

[color=red:1e293da3e0]Nice! :D [/color:1e293da3e0]

JadeOwl

Thank you guys so much! :oops: It's been a while since I've written Elfquest, so I'm glad to know I can still speak this language.

Redhead, that poem is beautiful! So much longing. And yeah, it's easy to interpret it as Ekuar and Osek, but I kind of like it better with One-Eye's spirit (or maybe Scouter's dead elder sister? Did anyone ever do [i:6e509d0819]anything[/i:6e509d0819] with her?) like Embala's lovely picture. :heart:

G0lden

Love the collage Embala. :D

Embala

:D @ Redhead and G0lden - thanks so much, Jade Owl! Well - a spirit and hands touching like smoke ... this picture came to mind quite naturally.



I actually found another possibility :D - and it's better than I dared to hope.



It stands of its own without any need of explanation - a theme nicely rounded ...

... can count as a fully-fledged contribution with all the elements ...

.... and is a possible interpretation of Redhead's poem as well!







the full size picture for a closer look





If you are wondering how this will go with the "long ago" part in the poem - look at the rock on the right Wink

G0lden

All I can say is simply wow! The collage is wonderful Embala. :D

RedheadEmber

[color=red:4d3737405c][size=18:4d3737405c]Wouw![/size:4d3737405c] I never at [i:4d3737405c]one[/i:4d3737405c] momnent thought about the [b:4d3737405c]Pike-Skot-Krim[/b:4d3737405c] connection [size=11:4d3737405c](probably coz Iwasn't thinking of [i:4d3737405c]anyone[/i:4d3737405c]...)[/size:4d3737405c] But it just fits [u:4d3737405c]perfectly![/u:4d3737405c] The collage = [b:4d3737405c][i:4d3737405c]amazing!![/i:4d3737405c][/b:4d3737405c] :D [/color:4d3737405c]

faeriegirl

Wonderful collage!!! :love:

faeriegirl

:oops: yea, I thought I'd give it a try too... please don't hate me ;)
just a short snippet, but it's got it all...
Feedback is welcome!

Elements:
a reunion
a journey
spirit of a dead animal/person/thing
a smile
a dream
smoke

“High Ones! No!” Hugging the tree in a lover’s embrace, Redlance let his powers flow. The tree already started smoking from the fire set to it, but the elves fiercely fought to prevent losing their new holt. Never again would they be driven away, not even by fire!
One moment, a dream-like vision, he re-lived the agony of the Father Tree Holt fire. How he had wished his tree-shaping powers had emerged before then, how he maybe -just maybe- could have saved them...
“You couldn’t have, dear shaper. It was time to go. And I’m not really dead, you know.” Redlance blinked. He had always heard only whispers and sighs from the trees, but this was more. And it sounded oddly much like... “Yes, it’s me. I’ve come here to help you fight this -our- enemy.”
Redlance doubled his efforts to save the Forbidden Grove Holt. “No! I won’t let it happen again! We’re staying here!”
Quickly, but oh it felt so slowly, and surely, Redlance felt the trees relax from the panic the fire caused them, and help him sending moisture up to where it was needed so desperately. It was no dream! The spirit of Father Tree had really come to help them!
As quick as the trees relaxed, the fire was put out. And it would stay that way, for the combined efforts of elves, wolves and preservers prevented the lighting of another torch.
When Dart and his band arrived, the battle was completely over. Redlance wiped his brow and smiled. “Thank you.”

Embala

That is Hypnotize ... weird!



During lunch break I thought of this picture of Redlance, embracing the burning tree ... and now I find your story about it Surprised



Like your snippet - like it very much!!!



What's that idea? ... hating you? ... for giving us a story? ... such a nice one? ... STRANGE!



Welcome :D

Cleopatra

Your story was great, faeriegirl. :clap:

faeriegirl

Please don't hate me cuz it's not that good a snippet? ;)
but I'm very glad you like it!!

Grin that's weird indeed... I've had the idea of Redlance since I saw the elements... or something with Cutter and Nightrunner. But couldn't think of a good thing yet.
Anyways, do I have a shot for one of your famous collages now? ;) :p

oh, and this sure encourages future writing :D

...so it's no problem it was no dream after all I guess :) yay ;)

jeb

That was a fine snippet! Very well done! And you know, you can only improve with practice! Wink

G0lden

Love the story faeriegirl. :D

RedheadEmber

[color=red:1f91aee327]Nice! :D [/color:1f91aee327]

faeriegirl

glad you guys like it! :D

Embala

To encourage faeriegirl :D ... for my own fun ... and to enjoy everyone else, I hope





click to see full sized

RedheadEmber

Wouw!
:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

faeriegirl

:love: :love: :bow: :thumbsup: :love: :love: :heart: :heart: :EEEK: :heart: :heart: :love:

...does it get the message through? :D


*edit* I guess the lack of contributions this month is due to NaNoWriMo? ;)

Embala

:D Got it! :banana:

Glad this made you happy! And thousand thanks to you, Redhead and G0lden for the enthusiastic comments on my collages :oops:

Looks like I'm up to cluster the whole thread with my entries this month ... couldn't resist to try a background pic with the Pike theme.




Quote:
faeriegirl

*edit* I guess the lack of contributions this month is due to NaNoWriMo? ;)


Guess so, too. As far as I've got it all of our writers are engaged with this 30-days-novel-thing. Seems to be hard to write something else besides it Wink

RedheadEmber

Nice pic! :D

And... isn't it purely for American people... Tenderfoot's Norwegian... so... maybe she'll post her piece
she better!

Embala

Maybe she decided to make her new sequel a noncompetitive entry ... considering the epic lenght of her last ones Wink

faeriegirl

Grin maybe.... ;)

Embala

Thanks so much, Sihreie!





I struggled whether I should post this here ...

I'm afraid the story is hard to understand for "normal" readers. It was meant as an insider gag for Sihreie and Tenderfoot ... all the background scattered in Sihreie's thread. It was even born out of a situation starting there ... only in case someone wishes to look it up.

Well ... it contains all the elements at least - and I'm tipsy enough Wink



The Trip



After longing for his lovely Tenderfoot for three endless weeks Beyond decided to risk the journey to Grab-Bag-land. Fortunately it turned out to be the thread next door.



But - what's this? He couldn't see farther than a Zwoot's lenght ... and hardly breeze. The whole area was filled with smoke - and a heartwrenching howl. He was tempted to leave at once, not knowing what else to do. Should his quest end before it really has begun?



NO! Cleaving his way through the toxic mist ... away ... away from this infernal howl he finally reached a place for rest. A glade with clear air, shadow and sweet smell of white flowers. The flowers she loves to put in her hair ... almost unconcious Beyond collapsed at the bottom of a huge tree.



The leaves were singing in the soft breeze caressing his cheek ... whispering his name ... like a spirit. Oh High Ones beware - should her muse have died? Looking up he got aware of a ghostly figur ... smiling at him ... and suddenly he could understand the whispers "Beyond? Beyond! What are you doing in the wrong thread? Go home ... come to me ... come ... we'll be reunited soon" There was no choice but following the sweet voice ... into the darkness ... dark...



...





Suddenly something is pulled from his eyes ... and he sees Tenderfoot, throwing a small human skull to Shadow-Dancer and grabing Beyond's hand. "C'mon, let's have fun, you mighty chaser of humans!"



This whole trip to Grab-Bag-land was only a dream!



Tenderfoot and Beyond - dolled by Moonmoss

faeriegirl

Grin really like this one... forgot if I commented on it in Sihreie's thread or not... anyways, love it!

G0lden

Love the new collage Embala. :D

RedheadEmber

Great story Embala Grin
[quote:7b94ced362]"What're you doing in the wrong thread?"[/quote:7b94ced362]

Embala

Grin Thankies! :hug:

Nightsea

My contribution this month is here:
http://www.elfquest.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=452170#452170

:D
--Nightsea

Cleopatra

My grab bag for this month. I really have worked hard with this story. Enjoy. Thanks to my sister Tenderfoot for helping me to find a title for this story. :hug:

The Beggining Of The End

Xin-Jing blinked sleepily with her eyes as she pulled the blanket over her and Hawkeye. She smiled as she saw her soul mate slept peacefully while he was snoring low. Gently she stroked his hair away a bit from his face, kissed his forehead and then stroked on her stomach. It would take a season before she would get heavy and it would then be showed she was with child. She giggled for herself with that thought. How would she look with a big belly? Since she and Hawkeye answered the call of recognition, she felt how much the new life was growing inside her. She loved that feeling, it was so special. She looked at Hawkeye and giggled again.


“mmmpph,” came it from Hawkeye as he put his arm over her and pulled her close in to him. She giggles again and went to try to sleep again. It wasn’t any sign of dawn yet, so they could still sleep. Until then, Xin-Jing wanted to dream about the future, when the birth started and she and Hawkeye would bring new life to the world together.


Do you also dream the same as med, Hawkeye? Xin-Jing thought as she put her arms around him and closed her eyes with a smile.
“Do you dream about the furure too?”


###########################################################################


Hawkeye turned his head and looked around in the clearing. He knew where he was. If he continued straight on, then he would be home in his own village, his home. Blindeye would have wished him welcome home with Sunshine and little Himerish would have stretch his chubby arms out toward him. Topaz, Starfire and Daredevil would give him a smile and waved to him while Moonlight would have nodded her head to him while she worked to sew clothes. He began to walk toward the village, knew that everything was fine. Everything would be as before.


He looked up at the sky and held his hand over his eyes, covering the sun wich blinded his eyes. He closed them only a moment before he opened them again. His eyes widened out in shock when he saw that everything was dark as the night. He looked up to the sky, it was red like blood and flames, but what frightened him most was the smoke. He looked at the distance that seeped up into the sky. From his village.

“No!” he screamed as he began to run toward his village. But no matter what how fast he tried to run, it was like he was moving too slowly. He had to reach in time; the others needed him as much as he needed them. They were his family.

“Blindeye,” he screamed as he ran, recognized the environment around him. He would soon arrive at the lake and see the village with his family there.

He continued to run without to stop. He hadn’t time to rest. He had to get there as fast as possible to help his family. He could now see the lake, and with a new hope he continued to run. At once he had run out of the woods, he stumbled and fell at the ground. He was panting as he tried to get up on his feet and looked toward the village. He cried when he saw the village. It was burning, down to the ground.

“Blindeye,” he screamed as he tried to run towards the village again. Screaming their names, trying to reach out his hand to the gate of the village, as if he could reach to them and get them away from the flames.

A quick punch from a sword and he fell into the ground. His eyes widened when he looked up, straight at the enemy. The Dark Ones. The ninja lifted his sword up, ready to strike him again. Hawkeye screamed as he lifted up his arms to covering himself as the sword was going to strike down at him.



###########################################################################


Hawkeye gasped as he abruptly was awake. His heart was pounding wildly as he tried to regain his breath. He could feel that his body was sweating as he held his head with both hands and tried to calm himself down. But it was no use. He was afraid.


“Hawkeye?” he heard Xin-Jing mumble and could feel her hand on his back.
“By the High Ones, Hawkeye, you’re trembling.”


She put her arms around him and squeezed his trembling body against her. It was then Hawkeye started to cry and hugged her hard against him. She stroked his back and tried to calm down. She couldn’t understand, what was it that had frightened him so?


After a while she managed to calm him down and listened to him while he told what had frightened him.

“It seemed so real,” he said with a trembling voice.

“Relax beloved,” Xin-Jing said as she held him close and kissed him at the cheek.
“It was just a dream.”


I’m not so sure, Hawkeye thought while Xin-Jing hugged him and tried to get him to relax.


###########################################################################


Toron stood next to Topaz and looked at the village while he was holding his hand around his left shoulder. He felt still sore after the arrow who had struck him as The Dark Ones had attacked them unexpected. Toron, Sturkas and the other warriors of his group had kept them outside village, but he was sure that they wouldn’t give up at the first. He sighed heavily and told Topaz and the other elves what he thought.


“Isn’t there other ways?” Sunshine asked with a low voice, looking down at little Himerish in her arms. Toron shook his head.

“I’m sorry, but I don’t think so.”


“So that means we have to go?” Daredevil asked.

Toron nodded.

“We should leave as soon as possible.”


Daredevil looked back toward the village with the others. Leaving from a place they know and loved, to go to another place where there could be risks was scary for the, but they knew they didn’t had another choice. They were no longer safe in their own village.



“Goodbye, village. Goodbye, lake. Goodbye, hunting areas. Goodbye, home sweet home,” Daredevil said and lowered his head after to have tried to be funny to the others.


“And hello cruel world,” Blindeye said and dragged Daredevils red west and went to the warriors.
“Come on.”


Sunshine looked back to their village again with the others a last time, a silent goodbye and followed the warriors. A tear ran down her face.


“If only the war could end once and for all,” she whispered quietly.
“Then something like this would never happen with others.”


She didn’t know that Toron and the other warriors had heard it. They felt with her and the other silent elves. The war shouldn’t have affected them. They were few enough as it was.


Some of the warriors gathered around Topaz and the other elves, as if to guard them. Sturkas had been near Starfire a little while before he looked up at Toron, and set up his move and went beside him.


“How’s your shoulder?” Sturkas asked and looked at Toron.


“It could have been worse,” Toron answered while he had his hand over his shoulder.
“What I really wonder is, why did they try to attack them? It’s the second time they have tried.”

“But we did it well to bring them in safety, such as last time,” Sturkas said as he looked toward the small group behind them. They couldn’t hear what they said.


“But how could they do something like that?” Toron asked low.
“Attack elves who are not involved in the war?”


“Hello, they’re evil,” Sturkas said and looked at Toron.


“Of course they’re evil,” Toron answered.
“But try to think. Our tribe has fought against them in fifteen years, without to attack the other eight tribes. But now, after fifteen years, they suddenly try to attack this tribe and try to kidnap one of them.”


“You’re thinking about, Hawkeye?”


“Yeah,” Toron answered.

The two elves were quiet for a long time.


“So”¦ we’re going to unite Hawkeye with his brother and his tribe again? Something that is actually good?” Sturkas asked and pointed to Blindeye with his thumb.


“Yup,” Toron answered.
“And if we continue now, we’ll be at the village before sunset.”


“Sounds good to me,” Sturkas said with a grin and struck his hand on Torons left shoulder and realized too late that he shouldn’t have done that.


“YOOW!” Toron screamed and his hand grip around his shoulder. The other elves stared at Toron and Sturkas. In the next moment, they could hear the beby cry from little Himerish, and Sunshine who began to sing a lullaby low and soft.


###########################################################################


Night. That is the normal time where everyone is sleeping. But not all elves in the warriors’ village were asleep. Some of them had their guard; Eros was one of them tonight.


Something isn’t right, Eros thought while he ate dried meat and chewed thoughtfully. Since the enemy had tried to attack them, they hadn’t showed up for revenge for several days. The war wasn’t over, that was sure. But why hadn’t they been showing up?


He closed his eyes only a moment before he suddenly opened them again as soon as he heard a distant whistle. He sharpened all his senses while he listened to the whistling. It was from captain Toron. He listened and interpreted the message.


¤The Dark Ones have tried to attack chief Topaz and her tribe again. We managed to stop them, but it is clear they are not safe any longer. We are taking them to our village at once. Tell it to chief Optarh immediate!¤


Eros golden eyes were widened when the massage was finished.


“By the High Ones,” he whispered and ran away from his guard post. Now he had got an answer to why the enemy hadn’t attacked them.


###########################################################################


In the sleeping chamber to Optarh and Erla it was only silence from the sleeping couple. The only thing you could hear was their breath. Erla was close to Optarh with her head upon his shoulder, while he had his arms around her as if he protected her from danger and evil. The weak moonlights were the only things that were shining from the windows against the sleeping couple.


“Optarh,” a voice whispered into Optarhs ear as if someone was blowing into his ear.


“grrumph,” Optarh said half ”“ asleep as he took to his ear, his eyes were half open as he was looking around in the room to see if someone was there. Once he found out that no one was there, he lay down at the bed again and pulled Erla closer to him who slept peacefully. He looked at her beautiful heart shaped face, her beautiful light curls that was soft like silk. Her smile showed that she hadn’t nightmares and Optarh thought that she probably dreamed great dreams, maybe something from their past, a happy past when their own daughter was a child. Yeah, they had a happy time together. Optarh smiled as he closed his eyes again and lay right down to continue to sleep.


“Optarh, the same voice whispered again, higher this time.” Optarh turned his head as he blinked with sleepy eyes.
“Optarh, wake up. I must tell you something important.”


Optarh rubbed his eyes and looked straight at the door that led out of their slepping chamber. In the weak moonlights he could see an elf. He was low, his skin was dark and his hair was black, tied into a ponytail on the top of his head. Optarh looked at the elf with luminous aura around him. His eyes lit up as soon he recognized the elf who was standing there.


“Karel,” Optarh muttered while he stretched out his hand against his friend.
“You’re back.”


Karel stretched out his hand to; their hands were to be touched again. His mouth opened as if he was going to say something.


“Chief Optarh. It’s Eros,” the spirit of Karel said who then disappeared in a strong glimpse of light and could only hear someone knocking on the door.


Optarh shook his head as he blinked and looked toward the door and suddenly he was awake. Karel, who had been standing by the door, was gone. He sighed heavily and looked down at the floor and then at the door again.


I could have sworn that he just was there, Optarh thought while he sat on the bed and pulled silently on the nearest pants. What was that he had hoped for? That Karel had returned from dead to be alive again? That he had something to say about The Dark Prince?


Or could it be about”¦? Optarh tought and stood still for a moment before he shook his head. He hadn’t time to think about his own personal problems now. He had been betrayed by him and he would never come back again and let everything be the same again. He left the bedroom quickly and quietly without to disturb Erla from sleep, and immedialty went over to the main door. He opened the door and looked down at Eros and could immediately see at his golden eyes that something was wrong.


“I’m sorry that I wake you up at this time,” Eros said.
“But it is very important.”


“What has happened?” Optarh asked.


His blue eyes widened after that Eros told about the message from Toron in a lock - sending.


“By the High Ones,” Optarh said looked shocked at Eros.


“The attack is just the worst, but no one has been injured,” Eros said and looked up at Optarh.
“So captain Toron and the rest of his group is returning, with Hawkeyes tribe.”


“Very well, but it’s only one thing.”


“What is it my chief?” Eros asked.


“How do we tell this to, Hawkeye?”


That is one of the hardest thing to say, Eros thought as he sighed as if he was saying, I don’t know, and shrugged his shoulders in reply.


###########################################################################


Hawkeye went into the woods alone; he wanted to be alone just for a little while. He did not manage to relax after the dream. Xin-Jing had tried to calm him down, but it was no use. He sighed heavily, he appreciated that Xin-Jing tried to help him, but he didn’t seem to calm down. He really wished that he was with his family now so he could see that everything was well. He could remember the times when he was younger and he had nightmares and was scared, and then Daredevil always could joke about it and make him laugh. Blindeye used the times to hear what bothered him and tried to comfort him. His friends were always there for him, as he was for them. But now he hadn’t been there for them when they needed it.


He couldn’t explain why, but it was a feeling inside him who said that the dream he had, was real. He had to find out if this was true, but how? He could surely ask chief Optarh, or some of the warriors. He stopped walking, he had to make sure that he hadn’t go too far from the village, so the others could be sure that the enemy not were trying to take him again.


Only the thought of the enemy made him freezing down his back. When he had seen them the first time, made him afraid. But knowing that it was him they wanted because of his powers that was even more frightening for him.


He took one hand against a tree, closed his eyes and could feel that he began to come into balance with his powers again. He couldn’t describe why, but it gave him a quiet sense of being one, a part with the nature as he was one with Xin-Jing. As if soul met soul and became one.


With closed eyes he could see the nature around him inside his head, felt a senseof living in a now. He loved this feeling of being one with the environment around him; it gave him a calm feeling. Suddenly he saw another elf in the forest, red hair, a brown eye and a blind eye to the right, a dear familiar elf, Blindeye.


Hawkeye opened his eyes at once, felt quiet stiff in his body. He turned slowly, looked toward a small hill not far from him. His eyes widened of what he saw, blinked his eyes and looked toward the hilltop again.


“Blindeye,” he whispered and just stared at his brother who also stared at him without moving. How long they stood like this and just looked at each other, they didn’t know. Then they started to move towards each other. One step, two steps. They moved slowly as they continued to just stare at each other, without to say a word to each other.


Blindeyes face didn’t show of what he felt, and that made Hawkeye to stop. Blindeye also stopped and the two brothers just looked at each other few meters away. Hawkeye felt confused. What was it Blindeye felt to see him again after so many weeks? Happy? Angry? Furious? Or just confused as he was?


Blindeye only stared at him, long before Hawkeye could see tears in his eyes. Then Blindeye stretched his arms forward. It was then Hawkeye ran to him and not long after the two brothers embraced each other, tears flowing, and both talked at once of how stupid they had been.


“I’m sorry,” Hawkeye sobbed.
“I shouldn’t have leaved in that way.”


“No, it was me who was stupid,” Blindeye said and pressed Hawkeye closer to him.
“I shouldn’t have denied you to go.”


Hawkeye didn’t answer; he just began to cry again into Blindeyes shoulder and hugged harder against him.


“But what are you doing here?” Hawkeye asked after a while as he wiped away tears with the back of his hand.


“The question should be, what are we doing here?” Blindeye said gently and looks at Hawkeye who waited for what his older brother was going to tell.


###########################################################################


Blindeye told everything that happened in the night. The enemy had tried to attack them unexpected, but Toron and his warriors had managed to protect them and bring them to safety. Once he was finish with the story, he asked Hawkeye how it was going for him after he had left the village. Hawkeye told what kind of powers he had and everything that happened since he came to the warriors. He didn’t tell him about the recognition with Xin-Jing at the first, he would tell about that when he meted the others.


They talked the whole day before they went back to the village when it began to be evening. They went together against the building that Hawkeye had lived alone, and now his family also lived there. The building had many bedrooms, so it wouldn’t be any problem to share it.


“Look who I found here,” Blindeye said with a smile as they went right into a smaøø room where Topaz, Daredevil and the others were. Hawkeye was met with smiles and lots of questions; why had he run away that way? How it was with him? Had he been told of what kind of magic he had?


It was difficult for Hawkeye to answer all the questions as he held little Himerish in his arms, who had stretched his small chubby arms toward him. Everyone knew that Himerish liked his uncle; it had been clear since the day he was born. Hawkeye hugged his little nephew while Himerish gurgled happy.


Hawkeye looked toward the window and caught a glimpse of Xin-Jing and remembered that he should tell the others about the recognition. He gave Himerish back to Sunshine and went toward the door.


“I must tell you something,” he said with a calm voice.
“But first there is one I want you to meet,” Hawkeye said against the questioning faces to the others. They looked confused at each other while they wondered what was going on. Soon they heard someone giggle by the door and not long after they saw Hawkeye at the doorway, holding someone in the hand. They looked at him as he led Xin-Jing in to them.


“This is Xin-Jing,” he said with a calm voice.
“My soulmate.”


The elves mouths fall open, their eyes widened. Blinked a few times and looked at them.


“Yes,” Hawkeye said in response to the silent faces.
“I’ve been recognized!”


Starfire was the first who broke the silence.


“I knew it. I knew it would happen one day,” she cried and immediately jumped up and embraced Hawkeye and Xin-Jing.
“I’m so happy for you two.”


Everyone was happy for Hawkeye behalf. A happy moment for everyone, while Xin-Jing hidden a special smile.


“Hawkeye,” she said slowly, the others looked at her to hear what she was going to say. She took a deep breath.
“I don’t have a child in my belly.”


Hawkeyes eyes widened out in surprise.


“What?” he said confused. He stared at her with sad eyes.


“Do”¦ do you have”¦?” he didn’t manage to say more. Had she broke the rules and went out for a hunt. Lost the child?


“I’ve not lost it,” she said and looked at him and smiled a big smile.
“I found out that I carry two.”


Hawkeye was stiff, his mouth fell open while his eyes widened.


“T”¦ t”¦ twins?” he asked.
“Twins?”


Xin-Jing nodded.


“Sit down now, before you faint,” Blindeye said and dragged him into one of the chairs.


“Oh, by the High Ones,” Hawkeye said after a while.
“Oh, High Ones, Xin-Jing, that’s wonderful.”


He immediately jumped up from the chair and put his arms around her and swung her around while the others laughed. Xin-Jing could immediately hear two elves laughing at the window. It was Toron and Sturkas.


“Sooner or later they had to join with each other,” Sturkas said while he was leaning his arms on the window.
“But twins? Oh, Hawkeye is indeed is really a man, huh?”


“Oh, shut up,” Xin-Jing said and jumped straight to the window and jumped on both of them. Hawkeye and the others inside could only hear that the three began to have a play fight.


“Ow,” they heard both scream.
“Ow ow ow ow ow ow!”


“Xin-Jing does not seem to take it easy while she is with children,” Blindeye said slowly.


“What can I say? She’s a warrior,” Hawkeye said as he leaned his arms against the window and saw his beloved win the match.
“But I love her.”

faeriegirl

*giggles* awesomeness! twins! cool!

too bad of the village, though...

Embala

Me likes, Cleopatra :)

So Karel is reappearing? Want to learn more!

Cleopatra

Thank you faeriegirl and Embala. :hug2:

Quote:
faeriegirl

*giggles* awesomeness! twins! cool!


Grin Yeah, I thought it was time for Xin-Jing to tell Hawkeye that they are going to have twins. A happy moment and happy news, that goes to more happines. :D

Quote:
faeriegirl

too bad of the village, though...


Dont worry, it wasn't so bad for the village. It will be okey again. Wink


Quote:
Embala

Me likes, Cleopatra :)



Again, thank you.

Quote:
Embala

So Karel is reappearing? Want to learn more!



No, Karel is dead. But it's not the last time we'll see him. And I promise to write some backstoryes one day. Wink

Embala

He is dead? Surprised When have I missed this stated as fact? Thought he was missed ... his fate unknown til further revelation. :?

Cleopatra

You haven't missed anything. I told in the april grab bag and the june grab bag that Karel and many other elves like Hakeyes and Blindeyes parents are dead.

Embala

:headbang: Guess I just mixed names ... Karel is the former Chief of Hawkeye's tribe, right? I mistook him as Opthar's friend (name... :roll: )who disappeared some time after the "big-magic-bang", blaming himself for not having stopped this catastrophy. Reasonably right this time?

You should link the different grab-bag sequels to the first page of your "Chamber" - this would make rereading and checking MUCH easier!

It's hard to keep track on different persons of different stories and AUs when you try to follow differnt monthly sequels ... or is it just me? :oops:

Cleopatra

Quote:
Embala

:headbang: Guess I just mixed names ... Karel is the former Chief of Hawkeye's tribe, right?



Yes, he was the former chief of Hawkeyes tribe and was Topaz father. I havn't told that in the grab bags I think. :oops:

Quote:
Embala

I mistook him as Opthar's friend (name... :roll: )who disappeared some time after the "big-magic-bang", blaming himself for not having stopped this catastrophy. Reasonably right this time?



Karel was one of Optarhs best friends too, and you're right about the other elf. But soon I'll tell who he is. Wink


Quote:
Embala


You should link the different grab-bag sequels to the first page of your "Chamber" - this would make rereading and checking MUCH easier!



That's a good idea. I'll try it.


Quote:
Embala


It's hard to keep track on different persons of different stories and AUs when you try to follow differnt monthly sequels ... or is it just me? :oops:



No, sometimes it is difficult for me too to folllow other stories too. So don't worry.

Embala

I took a glimpse, Nightsea, enjoying the newest addition :D - allow me to quote myself:

Quote:
Embala

Intriguing! Wish I'll find the time to read the whole story soon :)

Tenderfoot

*sprints into thread, drops story and breathes heavily* Done! *gasp* I'm finally done! It took me a full month, but it's done! *collapses on floor* And to think which conditions I've lived under during this month! Each day went by like this!

Tenderfoot: *sighs* *mopes* *whines*
Moonshade: *cries in Strongbow's arms*
Strongbow: Shh...Everything will be okay...Right, Tenderfoot?
Tenderfoot: Uhh, well...
Strongbow: *presses button*
Tenderfoot: *zapped by shock collar* YEOW!
Strongbow: RIGHT!?
Tenderfoot: Yes...*tugs at collar*
Moonshade: *sniffles*
Strongbow: Hey. No more tears. We are going to get your father back...
Moonshade: *nods*
Bearclaw: Author.
Tenderfoot: ...what..? *zap* OW!
Bearclaw: TYPE!
Tenderfoot: You don't OWN me!
Bearclaw: *fiddles with button* Oh, really?
Tenderfoot: *nervous* Uh, heh heh...you wouldn't really do that again...would you..?
Bearclaw: Want to find out?
Tenderfoot:

G0lden

Love the new chapter Tenderfoot. I'm happy little Skywise found his parents and a little boy will be reunited with his sister. Not to mention a mother and her daughter, but I do feel bad for Redmark because he has lost his new friend. Can't wait for the next chapter. :D

RedheadEmber

YAY!!! Skywise's parents are still alive! And everyone gets reunited! :D
But... yeah... sad Redmark is gonna lose his friend...

jeb

Not only just lost his friend, but also just learned what a family is and what he's been missing.

RedheadEmber

Well... of course Redmark could stay in the Monk Cloister... that would probably bring him closer to Skywise... or... Eyes High and Shale could adopt Redmark! :D Of course... it's all Tenderfoot's decision... but hey... a girl can dream!

Embala

That's great, Tenderfoot! The boys' friendship is described lovely, the family reunion(s) are heartwarming after all the tragedy and poor little Redlance feeling so desperate in the end ... want to huggle him.



Mantricker's dream was creepy, scaring ... his "little friend" the only anchor in the darkness - and finally his way out of this ocean of sadness and guilt. Hope so!



Looks like I was right ...

Quote:
Maybe she decided to make her new sequel a noncompetitive entry (to the NaNoWriMo) ... considering the epic lenght of her last ones Wink
... okay, that's probably not 50.000 words Wink - but still!





Just one typo you should correct:
Quote:
Then he froze as his eyes picked up something. A sound. Soft and distant.



A giggle.
This is meant to be ears, I bet - it's irritating the way it is.

faeriegirl

aaaawww.... :love: the new chappie!!!
So glad Skywise found his parents, and the brother&sister will be reunited...
but do you really have to separate Skywise from Redmark? Unhappy
Can't he come with his parents back to the nun cloister? :D
and Mantricker.... darnit who is his friend?!?!?!

Tymber, you're gonna read this month's entries too, right? :) *shameless self insertion* I did something too! :)

Embala

You did, really? Wink


*sets camp - waiting for Tymber coming up with his part ... and jeb, too*

faeriegirl

Quote:
Embala

You did, really? Wink



Yes I did! :D and I loved your collage that went with it! :D:D
but I wanna hear what Tymber and jeb and everyone else thinks of it, too! :D

And I've already got an idea for December, with the now suggested elements! :D

*joins camp, brings loads of brownies along* :D

jeb

Quote:
faeriegirl

but I wanna hear what Tymber and jeb and everyone else thinks of it, too! :D



But I did! Even though it was short, I thought it was very well written and I'm looking forward to your contribution for December. And Embala's collage was once again spot-on matching images to the text.

faeriegirl

yea, the grab-bags are great! And even more so, now I dare contribute too! :D
oops, sorry jeb, ofcourse you commented already :oops:

*hugs Tymber* yay! can't wait to read more Stonehowl! :) oh, and get better soon ofcourse ;)

teaser: I've already got an idea for December grab-bag, basically the same as november here, a behind-the-panels snippet thingie. But I'm waiting for Rainy to make her element clear, that could mess around with my idea :(

jeb

My story is in my thread here.

Embala

Love it, jeb :D

A little shine for Rain, a wonderful mother for Pike ... and something special for Pike himself. It's even believable! It could have happened - and after Madcoil's attack no one besides Pike knows the truth about this incident.


*sits down ... waiting for Tymber bringing his part*
Want a Zimtstern, faeriegirl?

faeriegirl

a what? *passes around brownies&drinks too*

Embala

Zimtstern = "cinnamon star" - a special cookie mostly available in winter-/Christmas time. It's tasty ... when you like this taste Wink

How about some Glühwein (hot spiced wine), too ... ?

faeriegirl

oooh! sounds good! I'll try it! and gluhwein iz very nice... especially on cold evenings... :)

faeriegirl

Quote:
Tymber

[quote:5f2a1d0473="faeriegirl"]:oops: yea, I thought I'd give it a try too... please don't hate me ;)
“High Ones! No!” Hugging the tree in a lover’s embrace, Redlance let his powers flow. The tree already started smoking from the fire set to it, but the elves fiercely fought to prevent losing their new holt. Never again would they be driven away, not even by fire!



First... hate you? Really? Is that even possible!? I think not!

Second - an interesting take - that the Father Tree itself has a spirit - that perhaps ALL living plants do! Or is it that perhaps the Elves who shaped the father tree; like Madcoil, their magic gave it life?[/quote:5f2a1d0473]
Like I added later: don't hate me because I didn't think it was a very good snippet at first... *hugs* thanks ;)
And yea, I like to think that all living things have a spirit... maybe that the elves who shaped the Father Tree gave it something extra? So that he's not a well, dormant spirit but something more? Like Redlance saw in his dream?

Quote:
Tymber

[quote:5f2a1d0473="Embala"]To encourage faeriegirl :D ... for my own fun ... and to enjoy everyone else, I hope Wink



I could never tire of seeing images of Redlance. (Mostly because the beautiful Nightfall was at his side!) But even solo Redlance is good! :-D[/quote:5f2a1d0473]
Oh, absolutely!! :-D I still LOVE this collage!! (here's hoping Embala will have the energy and time to make other collages for other stories from me, it's soooo cool!!!)

Nightsea

Quote:
Tymber

Stolen energy from Vaya? The Tymber would go rescue Vaya in a heart beat!



Vytha's dreamfeeding skills don't do harm in small doses. Kinda
like one leech bite wouldn't seriously hurt a large blood-bearing
mamal. Over prolonged time or constant use, it might be otherwise,
but have no fear for Vaya in my story now.

Also, Tymber wouldn't even know that Vaya had been visited
in the dreamstate...Vytha's power isn't detectable by others or
even those who are "fed upon" necessarily.

But I'm glad for the positive feedback!
Quote:
Tymber

an excellent story!


Thanks,
--Nightsea

Embala

Quote:
Tymber

... How do you always find so many images? So quickly? This would take me DAYS... DAYS to do...

Guess that's the way I experience the stories mostly ... I "see pictures". And that's what I remember from it, too ... more than smoothed descriptions and clever quotes.
You always quote passages, expressing how much you appreciate this or that ... and why. When I see your quotes I remember ... even recognize that it is something that it makes it special, colorful, lively, enjoyable ... - but I could not remind it by myself. Not more than I'm able to express my impressions of a story in words. My best - and truest comment is when I'm able to make a collage.
I experience it mostly in pictures ... and when it comes to canon fanfic there seems to be no expresssion, no feeling, no situation that is not shown in the comics --- pictures which are "saved" already in mind for causing the same feeling.

Normally the collages are more growing than being built ... and when this happens it's incredible easy to find the pics and put them to the right place. When I'm forced to built them, to think about them it takes its time ... and it more than once took days after having finshed them until I'm able to see the collage as a whole ... and not in bits and pieces.

Quote:
Embala

I struggled whether I should post this here ...
...
Suddenly something is pulled from his eyes ... and he sees Tenderfoot, throwing a small human skull to Shadow-Dancer and grabing Beyond's hand. "C'mon, let's have fun, you mighty chaser of humans!"


[quote:6127713041]I am glad you shared it! I thought that was a pretty good twist to the end![/quote:6127713041]Thank you :D Must admit that I had help, tho ... had to "switch" to the real developement in Sihreie's thread! And like in my collages I wasn't anxious to "borrow" what I needed Grin

[quote:6127713041]I was a victim of that (NaNoWriMo) ... my creative writing STILL has not returned to me... I mean I really burned out at the end... like a burning meteorite![/quote:6127713041]Awwww :hug2: ... I see hope for you, Tymber ... your commenting skills have already recovered Wink

jeb

Hmmm, Pike seems to resonate with a lot of people. I might have to visit this time and subject again.

Quote:
Tymber

So I loved the chance to read more about Rain, more about Pike, and how it all ties together. Thank you!



You make it sound as if I'm writing what "really" happened. Best compliment I could get!
:D

jeb

Glad you finally recovered from your novel writing enough to bring us more Stonehowl!

jeb

Reminds me of a quote I read in an article recently about a man that walked from the coast of Antarctica to the south pole talking about how he did it:

"If you rely on adrenaline or emotion, you burn out. Inspiration comes from doing the work, not as a catalyst to do the work."

Wish I was more like him, because without emotion and adrenaline, I got nothing.

faeriegirl

oooohh, great story, Tymber! I like it...

(have you read mine yet? :):):))

faeriegirl

Oops! indeed I confused them... Hope you have time to read all of December soon! And I've just commented on your December piece :D

Cleopatra

Poor Shadow Unhappy How bad that's hurting him when he is thinking about Joybringer. I hpoe he soon will find peace.

Embala

I love the turn the story has taken :D

NOT burning the savannah but dealing with the Humans, struggling to find a new basis for coexistence promises much more possibilities for the future than just "running away from the fire" after "running away from the Trolls".

Shadow's reaction and feelings are very believable for me - a battle between brains and feeling is holding him in it's claws. Considering what happened he has an admirable self-control ...
Are you sure this flat "emptyness" is yours and not caused by Shadow?

And believe me - Stillbreeze has shown enough adrenalin and emotion for both of you! Wink Wouldn't have seen her as the demanding, leading one before ... but it proves that she is fighting with passion, wits and claws when neccessary!

You should reread it ... after some days passing ...
What you've said about the lack of feeling and satisfaction strongly reminds me of the feeling when I must plan and "force" a collage instead of letting it grow. Even when everything is right there where planned it looks somehow wrong and motley ... but looking at it after some days I can see how well succeeded it came out
:)

Embala

When I must explain it I did something wrong Wink

Tenderfoot

Surprised *sharp intake of breath* That's... that's... that's amazing! Breathtaking! Surprised Woot! I love it! *tackle glomps Embala and clings* Sweetie, I love you! *stares at collage*

Wow... it's beautiful... looks just like them... Redmark's red hair and Ekuar's long robe (you even got the rope right!)... and Redmark's clothes are just like I pictured them!

*squeeze hugs* It's adorable!!! :D :jump:

Cleopatra

Surprised Oh, High Ones Surprised

*falls of chair*

It's amazing. I love it.

Embala

:dance: Does a happy dance because you like it so much! :D *biiiig hug*

This little scene when Redmarks hides behind Ekuar when Oroleed appears set a picture in my mind - MUST do it! And I did a little recherche for monk robes - thouhgt some benedektiner-like would do best. It's better not to reveal who has to lend parts and pieces of her robe til Sire Ekuar was dressed probably Wink

*lifts Cleoparta from the floor* Thank you very much! *group huuug*

Your comments are so encouraging! *... wonders whether the Aroree problem could be solved ...*

WolfMoonSky

Oh...My.........High ones Surprised

*falls of chair to*

This amazing!!!!!!!!! Love this!!!!!!!!

They look so adorable!!! :D :D and Ekuar's long robe....just amazing :D and Redmark looks so cute Wink

*Hugs Embala*

Embala

*gathers WolfMoonSky from the floor* :D Thank you, sweetie :hug:

*goes ordering a set of armchairs ... with safety belts* :roll: *won't risk the sanity of my fangirls* Wink

faeriegirl

*SQUEEEE!!!!* Ekuar&Redmark!!! Amazing! Adorable!!

Embala

Happy you like it :D

Embala

*bump*



faeriegirl knows why (site 2) ;-)