MLK Writing Contest #43! [Voting!]

Which is the best story in WC 43?

Poll ended at August 7th, 2018, 6:10 am

Oh Hay There
2
40%
Son of Heshima
3
60%
An Ending
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 5

MLK Writing Contest #43! [Voting!]

Postby DGFone » July 28th, 2018, 6:10 am

It's a voting round again! So the surprising thing with this round is the authors of the stories: Two members who have previously submitted a story, but hadn't in a while, came up with an idea and wrote for it. So while it will be until the next stage of this round that you will all get to know who wrote what, I'm going to let you all guess and most likely get incorrect on who is responsible for what. But then again, guessing the author isn't the point of the voting round. It's to decide which is the best story! So here they are, once again three nicely length-ed stories:

Story 1:
Oh Hay There: show
Oh Hay There


Emerald. Amber. Pear. Moss. Lemon zest. These were but a few of the many lively, vibrant shades of the Pridelands, painted so gently onto its vast ranges of savanna.

Or at least, that was what Simba was told in his morning report. While his young and fluffy one was busy running circles around Nala's tail, he had crept out of Pride rock with his mane still fuzzy and his eyes groggy. Things were definitely green and gold and stuff, for sure. He could see it with his own eyes, and this was a marked improvement. The shadows were looking sharp, too.

Simba felt something settle down on his shoulder, accompanied by a voice that moved uncomfortably close to his right ear.

"Are you even listening?" Zazu asked.

Simba's ears jolted back. His head turned to meet Zazu's rolling eye. "Yes... yes. Go on," he said. "The... the grass... I know. I heard."

"Excellent. So you're aware Dan needs to speak with you regarding the Prideland's flora," Zazu corrected.

Simba wiped some of the sleep from his eyes to get a closer look at Zazu. "Dan... Dan who?"

"The Zebra. A friend of your father."

Again, Simba tuned out Zazu and listened to his happy cub in the background for a brief moment. He exhaled a sigh, then tilted his head. "Well, why can't you do it? I would like to spend today--"

"--Oh no!" Zazu interrupted, "That will not do. Dan has requested to speak with you. And as your chief advisor, I do recommend you make this your priority of the day. He is not a patient one."

"Fine," Simba sighed again. "Fine. I'll see what he wants."

---

Later that morning, Simba's pawprints left a trail from the den to the waterhole and beyond. Though he had enjoyed his walk, his pleasure came to an end as a galloping Zebra trampled right for him.

"Simba! Simba!" the Zebra called, somehow never taking a moment to breathe. "Oh haaaaaay Simba! Wow, am I glad to see you!"

"Glad... to see you too? Dan, is it?" Simba asked.

The zebra eventually slowed, and raised his hooves to bring Simba into a tackle-hug. "Of course it's Dan! The one and only! You remember me?"

Simba grimaced while the zebra squeezed him. He tried to right himself, keeping his balance with his tail so that he wouldn't fall over into sandspurs. "No...?"

"Hay, don't worry about it," Dan replied, finally letting go so that Simba could breathe. "I ain't seen you since you was young. So happy to be king, were ya? Remember that dance? Oh, that was nice. You know, those were the times. Bet you're so happy to be king now!"

"Please," Simba insisted, "I'm glad to see you, but life is different now. I'm not the cub I was before."

"Oh! Oh! I understaaaaaand! But hey, since you're the king now, do you think ya could help us out with a little thing?"

"It's why I'm here. Go on..." Simba directed.

"Oh, thank you Siiiiimba! You're the best! I knew ya never stopped being Mufasa's boy!" The Zebra then shook his head and repositioned himself on his hooves. "Right. Yeah. So, we was kind of having this little problem with the grass."

Simba looked down, then back up. "It's better than ever, no?"

"Yeah yeah yeah!" he exclaimed, raising a hoof. "Now, it is. But ya see, we been stuck with some bad grass for a long time. Now that we got this good stuff, we're wanting to keep some of it. Ya know, for some extras in case something goes bad again."

Simba could only shrug. "Okay?"

"Yeah! So okay, let me tell ya, that is some great news. I'm so glad to hear it! Jack is gonna be pleased. Make sure you get the Anjan grass, that's the good stuff. Jack loves it! Oh, and he asked for... uhh... eight rolls. Yeah. I think he said eight."

Simba was caught in an awkward superposition of smiling and bringing a paw to his face. Sure, he was glad to help if he could, but something about this seemed to be slightly absurd. He'd never heard of anyone trying to create a stockpile of grass before, and he was not sure why he was the one who needed to be doing this. Instead of responding, his eyes remained wide, and his lips just wobbled up and down.

"So glad you could help us! Thank you, thank you so much! Simba, ya the best!"

Dan gave Simba a second hug, then darted off towards the horizon. Instead of following, Simba remained where he was--contemplating what had just happened.

He looked down at the grass. "Eight rolls..." he whispered to himself. "Guess I better get started."

---

With a face full of dirt and paws full of sandspurs, Simba had finally completed his task. He looked out at the eight giant bales of fresh-cut anjan grass, admiring his day's hard work. There was a distinct aroma that filled the air, but it was not one any carnivore would consider appetizing.

The Zebras, however, were attracted to it like moths to a light. Dan returned within minutes, again pouncing on Simba with his thin yet unwieldly hooves.

"Simba! Ya did it! Oh, Jack is gonna be so happy! Can't wait 'till he sees! You're the best king we got, ya know!"

Simba didn't struggle to smile this time. "I'm glad I could help. But it's getting late now, and I need to wash this dirt off. Tell Jack I wish him a good night."

"Awww! You're not gonna stay to meet him? He'll be here in five, ten minutes tops! Just give him a couple minutes, ya know, he'd love to meet the new king. He couldn't make it to your little one's circle-o'-life birth ceremony thingy-doo, and he was really bummed about that."

Simba placed a paw on Dan's shoulder to push the zebra back. "Look," he began, "my cub is going to get worried. I'm out late enough as it is, and I still have other responsibilities to attend to today. It can wait for another day."

Dan flipped his ears and swished his tail. "Ooooh! He is not gonna be happy about that!"

"Well, he will be happy to have his eight rolls of anjan grass," Simba insisted.

---

Weeks passed. The eight bales of anjan grass remained eight bales of anjan grass, left untouched by the many zebras roaming the territory. Not a single blade saw even the slightest of disturbances, affected by neither zebra teeth nor wind nor rain. This grass was pristine.

Simba circled around to the pile of bales, and--predictably--crashed into Dan once again. This time, the Zebra had a mouthful of grass holding him back, but he didn't hesitate to swallow it once he'd run head-first into Simba.

"Heeeey-hay!" Dan said, "Look who it is! It's my favorite king!"

Simba, still reeling from having a zebra knock him over, was a little less enthusiastic. "Hi Dan," he grumbled, but quickly corrected himself when he realized his voice was a little less than pleasant. "How are you enjoying the grass? Is it okay?"

"So, let me tell ya, we love the grass," Dan said. "We decided to call it hay. Because, we used to be so hungry, y'know? But now, we're all like... haaaaay, we got some foooooood!"

Simba turned his head to examine the grass behind him. He gave it a good stare for several seconds before he looked back to Dan. "It looks exactly the way it looked when I rolled it up for you. Have you done anything with it?"

Dan leaped up onto his back hooves, and crossed his front hooves while in midair. He let out a sound that was almost like a neigh. "Oooooh no no no! No sir! This is Jack's grass, but he migrated eastward some couple of days ago. Said this place just isn't for him. Something... something he said, about a king he just doesn't like. Gotta get away, you know. But I'm sure it wasn't you. You're great. We love you!"

Simba scowled.

"It's also anjan grass," Dan continued. "And we don't eat that anymore. We're on a strict diet now. Elephant grass only. That anjan grass gives us indigestion."

Simba's expression remained unchanged.

"But, uhh, we're going to keep it. You know. We love the grass. And, gotta be honest, who knows. Our stomachs can be finicky, ya see. Our indigestion issues may be resolved by next season."

"You have the grass for when you need it," Simba replied. "You're welcome."

---

Generations passed. The seasons cycled in their normal patterns, as the years grew too numerous to count. Herds of Zebra followed the rising and falling of the river, and while the hay bales migrated with them, one thing never changed.

"Daddy?" A cub asked, looking up to her father beside her.

"Yes?"

The cub stared with her curious eyes. "Why did the zebra ask you to move the hay to the other side of the river?"

"Because it makes them happy," the father answered.

"Why?" she asked. "They never do anything with it, so what's the point?"

"They like to have the hay... around. They never eat it. They just like it."

"But why?" she asked. "It's so silly. Don't kings have more important things to do?"

The father had to stifle a laugh. He put a paw over his mouth, then gently shook his head back and forth. "Sometimes," the father explained, "we do silly things. Not because it is useful, but because it is asked of us."

"Why?" the cub asked again.

"Because we need the zebra to stay in the Pridelands," the father continued. "And as long as they have their hay, they are our friends. It is an easy thing to do to keep the peace among us. It has worked for many generations."

"But the zebra are dumb," she insisted, "And they look funny."

The father laughed heartily. "Hahh! That's it! It's time for my little cub to go to bed!"

"Nnononoo!" she whined, "Just a little longer! Pleeeeeease?"

Just as the father was about to pick her up by her nape, he paused. He had an unmistakable, wide grin. "Why?" he asked of his cub.

"Because I want to!" the cub answered, though unable to provide a more convincing reason.

"There's no point in letting you," her father replied.

"But I want to!"

Her father gave her a nudge. "And what does that mean? I should let you, because...?"

"Happy?" she answered. She then shrugged, knowing that wasn't right.

"Close," he replied. "We all have silly little things that make us happy. You'll understand someday. Now, until then, on to bed with you!"


Story 2:
Son of Heshima: show
Son of Heshima

Shetani felt a prick of anticipation - anxiety, even - as she walked along the familiar stone. Her pawsteps fell soft, pads suddenly cooled as she swiftly left the curtain of dull, mustard-colored grass behind her. The air was suffocatingly still and there was a note of trepidation in the humid air. Silence. It had been a while since she’d seen this place. The pride that lived here had gathered, and she noticed amongst the vague derision some familiar faces of old acquaintances, aged somewhat, and others of which she had no recollection. Times had changed. This was certain.

The lioness stopped about halfway up the promontory, heaving a sigh that, while deep, was quiet, almost inaudible. She steadied her breath and exhaled through interlocked teeth. Her companion, with the cub, appeared in the corner of her eye, having followed only a few steps behind. They waited for a moment, the prickle of apprehension still building as an uneasy feeling in her chest. Meeting a king, even for someone of her status, was always a cautious undertaking. Even for him. No, especially for him. Her breath quickened almost imperceptibly. Must he be late again - at this time, no less?

Her impatience waned as she saw a svelt, dark figure emerge from the murky cavern along the side of the rock, seemingly unhurried. His eyes, locked in a stoic, calculating expression, seemed to evaluate his surroundings coldly as he moved, liltingly, gracefully, through the remnants of his pride. It was hard to read the expression on his face, though she did pick up a faint tiredness in his heavy-lidded visage. “Shetani,” he greeted, albeit without much enthusiasm. “You’ve made it.” His smooth gait and graceful movements complemented the soft-spoken and level timbre of his voice. He approached silently.

“Yes. I’ve arrived, Your Majesty.” She half-bowed - a rare display of humility, if only done for decorum - on an outstretched paw, stooping her head low according to custom. He looked her over, evaluating, and pressed his lips into a thin line.

“Very well, you may rise. I presume you’ve brought the cub?”

“Yes, Your Majesty.”

“Good.” He closed his eyes a moment, as though gathering himself. “Sarabi?”

“Yes, Scar?” One of the lionesses responded, her tone clipped. He grimaced.

“You and the pride are dismissed. Shetani and I will be discussing our matters in private.”

“Very well.” There was a vestigial politeness in the lioness’ voice, but even from here, as an outsider, Shetani noticed that she moved reluctantly. Slowly the pride withdrew from the base of the rock, allowing enough time for Sarabi to cast a very suspicious glance in Shetani’s direction - one that was not meant to go unnoticed. The foreign lioness wore only a sobered, unfazed expression in return, her crimson eyes narrowing only marginally as her host’s pride grew sparse and disappeared.

Soon only the king and Shetani - her escort and the cub in tow - remained. And with this newfound solitude all mental walls, all pretenses, began to melt and drift away, painting the mood in the air a different shade of foreboding. Her pulse picked up once again. The sky was growing dim and a crescendo of colors bled into the western horizon like a stain of gore upon a deep blue-satin curtain. She began to wonder how long this would take, her thoughts wandering to the possibility of a potentially threatening journey home in the dark…

“Your journey was safe, I hope?” He asked conversationally, though his inflection betrayed the fact that he wasn’t particularly seeking a detailed answer. Shetani tried to smile in acknowledgement, though she was certain that her expression resembled a grimace instead. She didn’t correct this.

“Yes, we traveled safely.”

“Very well.” He cleared his throat and turned halfway back towards the den from which he had emerged, only a faint trace of his façade now visible. “Shall we retreat somewhere more private and get to the business?”

“I appreciate the sentiment and would very much prefer this, Your Highness.”

“Please, I don’t have time for empty words.” He looked over his shoulder at her, piercing verdant eyes narrowed in the first display of outward emotion she had seen from him. It was a very controlled, and very intentional, expression of irritation now that nobody was around. “Be forthright.” She complied.

“I would prefer to get this settled before dark.”

“Of course.” His tone was flat again, with no indication of emotion. She pressed a little harder.

“It’s been a long walk for the cub; he is sure to be tired.”

“Yes, and I, too, certainly have other matters to attend.” He replied with an edge of sharpness - not one borne of rudeness, as she understood it, but rather only a ruthless expediency befitting an aging king. “Come inside.”

He sauntered into a deep crevice formed where two stones joined each other, and she followed closely, pawsteps subdued and nearly mute. The inside was refreshingly cool and, rather contrarily to her expectations, glaring in its emptiness. Sparse interior features jutted out from smooth rock walls, and the entire place had an air of austerity that surprised her, given the nature of the lion with whom she was talking. Indeed, Taka - or Scar, as he had been called a while now - and his late brother had been old allies of her family that she’d known for a long time, and she had met the both of them plenty of times. Thus it surprised her that his sense of style, flashy and flamboyant as it was, took such a backseat to the stoic, calculating determination with which he pursued his interests.

Hence why she was here today.

“You’ve heard of my troubles, then, Shetani?”

“Yes, Sire.” She took another step closer as the sunlight waned outside, giving the inside of the cave an ever-more chilling aura. Her gaze was stolid and unflinching - despite the nature of their discussion, the conversation continued in its frigidity as he solemnly moved from his place beside a rock shelf, taking interest, for the first time, in the lioness and cub a few strides behind them.

The young lion in tow for this meeting, despite the murmur about him this day, was not much to look at: not yet. Scarcely of age to make this journey, and hidden partially behind the leg of his escort, he still very much possessed the features of a young child. His expression was ingenuous and unassuming, eyes bright but, rather like the king’s own, a piercing green. He remained silent, for even he, doubtlessly, understood the sheer gravity of this encounter. Shetani finally delivered a small half-smile, realizing this would be the apt time to introduce the bright son from her most recent litter.

“My Lord,” she nudged the cub into the open with her nose, denying him any option of shyness, “this is Kovu.”

The cub looked briefly back at his mother, as though mentally reaching for help. She could see a nervousness in him, as though he wanted to whimper, but - much to her sense of pride - he managed to just suppress these feelings, stifling any cry as he turned back and fixed his curious eyes on the king. He swallowed his fear, and though it still tinged his childish voice, his innate bravery surpassed it.

“Pleased to meet you, sir.”

“Likewise, child.” Scar muttered, features pensive, cold eyes examining. A moment passed. Shetani thought she saw a brief, faint lightening of his features. A mote of levity in the crease of his brow that was quickly extinguished as he spoke again. “How is his temperament?”

“Bold. He is bold, Scar.”

“And is he obedient?”

“Perfectly.” Her demeanor was calm, but there was a tendril of pride worming its way up from her core that found its way into her voice and into the satisfied smile that appeared across her maw. “Believe me, he is much more active and well-trained than my last was at his age.”

“Ha.” There was a small chortle. The king’s eyes gleamed in thought. “That’s not a high bar, now, is it?”

The lioness grit her teeth, struggling to shirk off this brusque slap to her pride. “The last was an… aberrance, I assure you. His sire has had other sons - all of them are strong. And shrewd, as you are known to be.”

“Who did you say his sire was?”

“Heshima,” she paused, scarcely a breath passing before she added: “A strong rogue from the east… from desert lands.”

“I see.” He carefully looked over what she was offering him. “Not the brightest strain of lions there is, but famed for their strength - yes.”

At this the lion visibly pressed his teeth together. Thinking. Shetani recognized the expression well enough to know that he was carefully considering all that she had said to him, weighing the words in his mind, considering their veracity, her motives… and attempting to come up with his next move. She braced herself mentally for what came next, hoping that she could continue to steel her son’s nerves by preserving her own stoic façade.

“How old is the boy?”

“Two months.”

“Is he not a bit small for two months?” A nose wrinkle appeared.

“Times are hard for us, as they are for your own pride.” Not a lie - the Outlands, already scrubby in the best of times - were being hit hard by the emergent drought.

“I would still have thought that a lioness such as yourself could go further with him.” He sounded cool and haughty.

“With all due respect,” she spoke firmly, her tone displaying the first hints of the emotion she found flaring haphazardly inside. “I think he’s done better than any cub any of your Pridelanders has raised.” She paused, before attempting to soften the blow. “Any of your brother’s ilk, I mean.”

“Yes, I know what you mean,” he scowled, making no attempt to hide the acerbic note in his voice. His expression flickered into something dark and sour, and unlike before this shred of feeling lingered too long, like the aftertaste of under-ripe berries. He swallowed, his tongue still for another second. “But that is of no matter. If I cannot find a suitable heir from their ranks then so it shall be.” There was no attempt to hide his bitterness this time, either, and his lurid green eyes flashed with a jealous spark that brought back to her faint memories of aging princes, of embattled brothers constantly entrenched in mild mental scuffles, small breaches of trust, occasional moments of flagrant pride left unabated. For as long as she could remember, the two siblings interacted with a dissonance that belied the apparent unity of the royal family, and she thought that was why now, perhaps, there was a rift in his pride that would likely shift beyond repair. Even she, an infrequent observer, could see it.

The late king, well-meaning though he’d been, had sowed the seeds of discontent through the close connections he’d formed. His kin outlived him and with their old ties and unfading loyalty resentment grew in the wake of the new monarch’s ascension. Thus every step had been a battle, every move entrenched in politics amidst the backdrop of a drought-stricken kingdom, and now he was paying the price for it.

Scar finally hefted a sigh, and the lioness spotted a weariness there that had escaped her before. She also heard, for the first time, noise from her son as he yawned tiredly, heavy-lidded eyes blinking away impending sleep. He looked very similar to the current monarch before him, save for the somnolent gaze - he had the same russet coat, the same slick raven tuft at his tail, the same piercing green eyes. These similarities, Shetani was sure, were not unnoticed.

“I have high standards, Shetani,” the king spoke up finally. “Very high standards.”

“I understand.” And then, after a moment: “I believe he will live up to them with ease.”

“He will not inherit anything of mine if he does not.”

“Well, I wouldn’t worry.” She showed her teeth in a simper, trying to project her confidence that she was making the right choice. It was convincing enough to hide her doubts, she hoped. “I can tell you’ve given this much thought - I know you’ll make the right choice.”

“Yes, and it must be done soon.” He shut his jaws, unable to hide another glint of emotion that suggested he was deeply troubled. The royal lion’s gaze drifted outwards at his lands; they were awash in variegated, earthy shades, like reams of tanned buckskin stretched before him. Despite the pleasant view, she found his eyes cold and glassy in these waning, crepuscular hours. “... It needs no explanation that of course I would prefer a flesh-and-blood heir of my own, but... I realize that the time has come for compromise. As you know, sometimes life foils our best-kept plans. Even mine.”

“Well, I would agree that life has a meddling way of doing that.” She just suppressed a smirking twinge of her lips, amazed to notice that - despite the gravid nature of their conversation - she felt the most at ease that she had been since arriving at Pride Rock. In return she saw a rare, small half-smile. Sincere, as far as she could tell, but tainted by an ironic sadness that, though subtle, was not lost on her.

It faded almost as soon as it had appeared, his visage relapsing once again into a pose of contained stoicism that contradicted his shifting moodiness. She struggled to assume the same expression amidst the faint thrill of excitement she was now feeling. Her son - her son - was being weighed as a potential heir to the throne. A throne that had been out of reach for generations since the initial splitting of the prides in her great-great-grandfather’s time. The possibility left her reeling. A few of her cousins remained at Pride Rock - her aunt had even been betrothed to a prince - but for her the land had mostly been out of reach, and ruling her own pride had distracted from any furthering of her position. She cleared her throat softly, a faint prickle of sweat streaking her pelt in the balmy evening air.

“Do you expect you’ll have made a decision soon?”

“Well, it would not be fitting of me to delay such an important matter,” he murmured. “But it is something will require more thought from me.”

“And when you decide?”

“You’ll know of it,” he finished simply, not divulging a smidgen more as he turned away, svelt form taking measured steps towards through the dim cavern, tail lashing as he moved. The faint outline of his spine, its creases like pinched mountains, contoured his thin silhouette, and his claws clicked against the stone with every footstep. Finally, she saw his mane-framed head gaze back over his shoulder at her, face ruffed with glossy locks of hair and his eyes equally striking in the dark. “You are dismissed, Shetani.”

The low rumble of his voice faded quickly, snuffed by the increasing darkness, and after it only silence remained.


Story 3:
An Ending: show
An Ending


Listening to the echoes of his roar cross the Pride Lands, Simba closed his maw, allowing himself a small, satisfied grin as he stared at the land below him – his land now. While it was true that he had gotten help in reclaiming it, there was no denying the fact that he was now king, and will be able to start bringing his home back to its former glory.

Enjoying the view of his lands before him, Simba knew at the back of his mind that he couldn’t actually stay up here for too long. He hadn’t won the fight for his homeland on his own, and the fight didn’t end without anyone else getting hurt. While there wasn’t much the lion could do, Simba hardly knew how to deal with a simple splinter, let alone serious wounds, but he still felt rather guilty staying up here while his friends, even after the actual fight, still had to struggle for their lives.

With the roaring around him having died down, Simba turned and briskly made his way back down Pride Rock, carefully avoiding the left overs of the fight scattered all over the place, many of them sharp and just waiting for someone to carelessly step on them, while others were on fire and many still burned furiously. Navigating around the obstacles, he soon made his way to where he wanted to be: Nala, with whom winning the fight would have been impossible, sitting close to Rafiki, the mandrill who was never around, except for when he was needed the most, fussing over the other feline who allowed the lions to retake their home.

“How is he?” Simba asked quietly, not wanting to startle anyone and make things worse by causing an accident. “Ratchet, how are you holding up?” The lion gave a nervous look to the lombax, fearing the worst, only to let out a sigh of relief when he saw two green eyes staring back at him, albeit rather unfocused.

“...Did ya stay up there for a very long time, or was I out for not much?” Ratchet wore a rather goofy grin on his face, a stark contrast to the strain in his voice that betrayed the pain he must have been in. “...Coulda swore I passed out-”

“You did,” Nala interrupted, but in a gentle tone. “Try not to talk too much, Rafiki’s helping you, but you still need to save your strength.” She got a hand waved in front of her muzzle in response.

“I’m fine!” Ratchet retorted, “don’t feel any pain at all! Watch!” He grinned at the lions, and attempted to stand up before any of the other three could stop him. For his effort, he was rewarded with his legs failing immediately, and the only thing preventing him from falling flat on his face were the swift arms of Rafiki, who managed to stabilize him just in time.

“Stay still, foolish one!” the shaman chastised his patient, “I do not help you just to have you walk over to your grave!” As he said this, the monkey pressed some more medication into a wound in Ratchet’s side, causing the lombax to yelp in pain.

“Hey, what was that for?” Ratchet demanded angrily, attempting to get away from Rafiki, only to be held in place by Nala and Simba.

“Please, Ratchet!” Nala begged, “Just because you can’t feel the pain doesn’t mean you’re not hurt. Don’t move. For us.” She stared intently into his eyes, mentally willing him to try and argue with her. It didn’t take long for Ratchet to admit defeat with a heavy sigh, turning his head to look away.

“Can’t say I am used to being like this,” Ratchet admitted quietly, “I normally rely on nanotech. Amazing stuff, can heal a wound as it’s still being created. Can save you from being beheaded.” He turned back to Nala, inspecting her over. “How you feeling, Nala? Did it do it’s job?”

The lioness smiled back. “It did, Ratchet,” she answered, the gratefulness in her voice very clear, “itches like crazy, but, well, I also can’t feel a thing.” She chuckled, “and not because I am full of Rafiki’s medicine, either.” Her grin faded. “You know, you really didn’t have to do that,” she muttered, “should have saved it for yourself. I mean, look at you!”

“Like I said, amazing stuff.” Ratchet glanced down at his body. “What?” he asked, confused. Next to him, Simba lifted one of the lombaxe’s hands, arm all covered in red blood. “Oh… That’s… that’s not good,” Ratchet admitted. “I really can’t feel that? That’s a lotta blood there-” He tilted his head back, leaning it against what felt like Simba’s side. “Man, this sucks!” he finally growled out. His hand feeling around some more, he was heard muttering beneath his breath as he seemed to be looking for something, releasing a tired but victorious grin as he pulled out something. It was his nav unit. “Found it!” Ratchet breathed out, fingers fumbling with the device. It fell out of his grip, dropping to the ground with a quiet thud, though he didn’t seem to notice as he stared at his empty hand.

Rafiki picked it up, returning it to the lombax’s grip without saying a word, returning to his word as soon as the monkey was satisfied that the device won’t be dropped a second time.

This time successfully turning the device on, Ratchet lowered his arm back down, hand gripping the nav unit like his life depended on it. “Aphelion, come in,” he muttered quietly towards it, his tone a mixture of fatigue, and was it guilt? “Where are you at? Come in! Please...”

“ETA momentarily!” Came the reply, causing everyone to wince as the volume somehow turned too high up only serving to amplify the scolding tone of the ship. “I may be your ship, Ratchet, but doesn’t mean you can simply cut me off like that in the middle of combat!” There was a slight pause. “Your vitals are coming in low, Ratchet. Are you all right? What’s the status of Tachyon?”

Ratchet only seemed to remember the cragmite upon hearing the ex-emperor’s name, glaring at the body still dumped where Simba had left it. “He’s gone, we got him!” he replied proudly, only to to be interrupted by a set of coughs from speaking too loudly, “But he got me too,” he added with remorse. “Simba and Nala are helping me, they brought some monkey who knows his stuff, Aphelion.” It was clear that he was trying to calm his ship down, perhaps in order to avoid having her overshoot a landing spot and crash into them, ending what Tachyon failed to do. “Can’t feel a thing, so don’t worry about it. Just, when you do show up...”

He cursed rather loudly as Rafiki caused him to again feel a stab of pain. “Son of a quark, I wish I had some nanotech on me!” Ratchet glared at the monkey, “Are you done yet?” he demanded angrily, only to look guilty immediately afterwards. “I- I’m not usually like this,” he explained half heartedly.

This earned him some laughter from Simba. “No kidding! Not used to having to heal up the old fashioned way?” This earned him another angry glare from the lombax. “Don’t look at me like that!” Simba countered, “for what it’s worth, I am also not used to being this useless. Leading the pride, making rather difficult decisions? Yeah, I had my share of that, but when it comes to taking care of someone split open after a fight?” the lion shook his head, “there’s a reason why Rafiki is so well respected. He knows what to do, and also, how to do it. Don’t listen to Ratchet’s complaining, Rafiki, I know that stuff you’re using, and several things that I might or might have not said when I was the one on the receiving end of it.” The shaman simply waved the lion off, allowing Simba to return his attention to Ratchet. “But Nala’s right, if it was between her or you, she would have taken the hit. If only because Rafiki knows how to treat us lions, unlike well, whatever you are, I forgot already...”

“A lombax,” Ratchet replied almost in a whisper. “Wow, I feel tired,” he then said, leaning his head back and closing his eyes. They opened up soon after as the sound of Aphelion’s engines grew louder, signaling the return of his ship. “Hey, Aphelion,” he greeted, though not using his nav unit, still resting on his lap where he last left it. He once again sported a goofy grin as he watched his ship fly closer to them.

Aphelion didn’t reply, flying around a small circle over the felines and monkey. “Unless you have plans for the body of that cragmite,” she announced through her speakers now that she was close enough to use them, “he’s occupying the best landing location.”

Ratchet removed his gaze from his ship, glancing down at Tachyon’s body. “I don’t care what you do with it,” he hissed, “I don’t want to see him ever again!”

“Normally we bury our dead,” Simba then started to explain, “but I am not having anyone dig a hole for that creep. Toss him off the side and let the vultures take care of the rest. What do you say, Nala?”

“Sounds like a plan to me,” Nala agreed, “He doesn’t deserve anything better.”

Aphelion didn’t seem to agree with that, though, as she tilted down and with a short burst from her guns, vaporized most of the body, leaving the remains a small burning pile.

Ratchet groaned as all sorts of warnings from his ship relayed themselves to him through the nav unit. There was a reason why he didn’t want to use her guns in the fight, after all. “That also works,” he relented as Aphelion proceeded to land, bowing away what was left of Tachyon and parts of his broken throne in her downdraft. “But he wasn’t worth overheating your systems for,” the lombax added.

“Speak for yourself,” his ship scolded in reply. “Help is on its way. I was about to inform you when you decided it was a smart idea to close communications on me.”

Watching the exchange between the lombax and his ship, Simba could have sworn that had Aphelion been able to breath, the ship would have released a very frustrated sigh.

“I am proud to have you as my pilot,” Aphelion continued, “but lombaxes have always had a tendency to bite off more than they can chew. I would know, they built me.”

Ratchet didn’t seem to be paying attention, all of his attention occupied by the news that someone else were on their way. “Someone got the signal? Who’s coming? When?”

“Unknown,” Aphelion replied simply. “Simply received a signal acknowledged reply.”

The lombax continued to stare at his ship, his gaze unfocused. “Hope they get here soon enough,” he whispered, though loudly enough for the lions next to him to hear. “Aphelion… I- I’m scared. Really tired, but… what if I don’t wake up?” He felt a paw place itself gently on one of his shoulders.

“Rafiki’s here, and so are we,” Simba explained, “we are not going to let anything happen to you. We owe you that much.”

Ratchet didn’t reply, continuing to stare at his ship. “Aphelion, when he shows up, tell Clank… Tell him I’m sorry. It shouldn’t have been like this.” By now, his voice was indeed very weak, but he still found the strength to lift up his nav unit. “Tell him!” For how he felt, he was shouting as loudly as he could, but in actuality, his voice was not much louder than very quiet.

Instead of replying directly, the nav unit beeped as Aphelion transmitted a confirmation signal. Dropping his hand back down, Ratchet again looked down at himself, “wow,” he whispered, “what a mess.” This time, he closed his eyes, and kept them closed.

With Simba, Nala, and Rafiki all keeping a clsoe eye on him, and Aphelion protecting the whole group, he drifted off to sleep, unable to fight against it any longer.

-----------------------------TLK-R&C-----------------------------


The sound of talking woke Ratchet up from his slumber. Since the noise didn’t sound threatening, he kept his eyes closed as he tried to grab some more rest. Adjusting himself, he let his head rest against the soft cushioning of Aphelion’s pilot seat.

Green eyes snapped open. Since when did he get inside Aphelion? Sitting up, he almost missed a cheerful greeting from his ship, which he haphazardly returned in his rush to get outside to regain his bearings. It was only when he hopped out of the ship did he realize that something else was also unexpected: not only was he not feeling any pain, he wasn’t feeling anything unusual at all. In fact, he felt absolutely fine, apart from his eyes still adjusting to the brightness of the day. How long had he been out? Glancing down to look over himself, he could see the telltale signs of dried blood all over his suit, so his whole mess with Tachyon and the lions was not some strange dream he had. Plus, as he glanced around, no, that was for a fact Pride Rock, with Aphelion still parked where she had landed during the night, though all signs of Tachyon and his throne were now gone. So were everyone else for that matter.

But as there were voices coming from inside the large cave in the rock formation, Ratchet decided he couldn’t think of anything better than to cautiously walk towards the source of the voices, and hope that he wasn’t about to get jumped. His hands gripped his trusty oniwrench, just in case. Walking inside, he could swear that one of the voices was familiar. Too familiar, and not in a good way.

“...now of course it was Ratchet who went in with the big guns, that’s his style after all, and not mine. But if it wasn’t for me, how would he have known where to go at all? I’m telling you, he really doesn’t know how to appreciate old fashioned under cover work!”

Ratchet froze. “Qwark?

Sure enough, the large green man stood on a rocky podium, surrounded by the lion pride in what appeared to be a session of storytelling for the self-proclaimed superhero. The man glanced over at the cave’s entrance upon hearing Ratchet’s voice. “Why if it isn't sleeping beauty himself, Cadet!” Hopping down off the podium, he rushed over to the lombax and effortlessly lifted him up off the ground, not listening to the immediate protesting from Ratchet and being lifted up like a child. “It’s so good to see you up and walking again! Do you know how scary Talwyn can be when she calls you in the middle of the night to tell you that she received a distress transmission from you?”

Ratchet was squirming from beneath Qwark’s grip, trying to release himself, but found his limbs to all be out of range of anything he can grab onto. His anger at being so carelessly manhandled abated temporarily when he heard his friend’s name. “Talwyn?” he asked, “she’s here?”

Qwark finally let Ratchet go, dropping the lombax to the ground like a ragdoll. “Well, no,” he replied nervously, “you know that the Polaris Defence Force doesn’t allow her to just up and leave like that. That’s why she sent me. But hey, good thing I was there to save you, eh? You really need to be more careful, cadet, I almost ran out of all the naonetch I brought along with me. Do you know what Talwyn would have done to me if I didn’t bring enough? I’m too pretty to die!”

Ratchet grumbled beneath his breath as he swatted Qwark’s hand away, but didn’t actually feel too much anger at the man. Sure, Qwark could be annoying, but he had his uses… “It’s fine,” he said, “I guess what I really should be saying is, well, thanks.” As grateful as he was for Qwark for being of actual help for a change, having to actually thank the man still left Ratchet feeling rather dirty. “How did you find me, anyways? I didn’t know Aphelion was able to send a signal out that far.”

Qwark shrugged. “Beats me. Clank contacted me as soon as he lost you and your ship, but failed to specify how he managed to do it. But as soon as I got the call, I had to pick him up first, of course. Speaking of which, wh-”

Ratchet felt numb. “Clank’s here?” His eyes scanned around the cave, only finding lions and more lions. But- there! There was no mistaking the blinking red light, even if the rest was hidden from behind more lions from the pride. “Clank!” Stumbling through limbs and tails, Ratchet rushed towards the antenna, not even bothering to slow down as he scooped up his robotic friend into a hug mid stride. “It’s so good to see you again, pal!”

“It’s good to see you too, Ratchet.”

Realizing that just about every eye in the pride was now watching the two of them, Ratchet set his friend down, hurriedly trying to look like nothing was out of the ordinary. “Well, I um, I really wanted to say that I missed you, Clank,” he added hurriedly, nervously rubbing his arm.

Simba’s voice from behind them interrupted the awkward moment. “When you kept mentioning Clank, this was the last thing I expected,” the lion mentioned as he walked over, “but when it comes to you, I really should have known not to expect anything that, well, I might expect.” he smiled at the lombax and robot. “It’s good to see you walking around once more, Ratchet.”

Ratchet shrugged in response. “What can I say? I’m a lombax. No one knows how to react to us.” He turned his attention back to the robot. “Clank, now that I’m awake, and you and Qwark are here, I am guessing that we have a ride out of here? When do you think it would be a good time to leave?” He glanced at Simba. “No offense, but I really wouldn’t mind getting home soon. I hope you don’t take it personally when I say that while you had plenty of hospitality for me, this isn’t the right location for me.”

Simba grinned, pretending to look offended. “And miss out on more of Qwark’s stories? We’d love for you to stay a bit longer,” he glanced back at the pride. “But you’re right. We also have a lot of things we need to do now that we have our home back. If you need to go, I perfectly understand.”

The lion was joined by Nala and a third lioness whom Ratchet recognized as Sarabi. “We are all very grateful for what you did for us,” the elder lioness added, “you had no reason to help us out like you did, let alone risk your life for us. For that, we thank you, and would be most grateful if you stayed for a bit longer.”

Ratchet glanced down at Clank, feeling torn. On one had, he did enjoy staying with the lion pride, no matter how different they lived compared to him, but at the same time, he was also really starting to feel rather homesick. “What do you think, pal? Think we can stick around for a bit?”

The robot’s eyes lit up brighter. “I would be most delighted to stay around for a little longer,” he replied, “I do enjoy having wonderful conversations with them!”

“Nerd,” Ratchet muttered in reply, but relented anyways. “Oh, what the heck? Five or six minutes never hurt anyone, did they?”

For some reason, his rhetorical question seemed to grab Clank’s attention far more than it should, but the robot returned to normal before Ratchet could figure out why that might be. “No, they never have,” the robot said in reply, a hint of sadness in his vocal processors.

Ratchet stared at his friend in confusion. What was it that he said that might cause Clank to get all worried like that? “Anyways, Clank, serious question… How did you find me?”

This time Clank really did start to act nervous. “Oh, um, well, we did receive Aphelion’s distress signal and all...” The robot trailed off, failing to hide that he didn’t answer the question fully. Very odd behavior for the robot.

Next to them, Simba stared with his own confusion at the exchange. “Well, ironically enough, I think I can answer that,” he added with some uncertainty. “So you know Rafiki, that monkey who helped you out after the battle? Well, he somehow, and don’t ask me how, because I don’t know-”

“Huh? Don’t know what?” Ratchet was starting to feel his head start to spin. Since when did the lions have a better clue as to what was going on compared to him? About something that they weren’t even supposed to know?

“Well, as I was saying,” Simba didn’t actually appear to be too angered at being interrupted, “somehow, Rafiki knows someone who well, knows you.”

“Who?” Ratchet rubbed his temples in frustration. This was just getting stranger and stranger.

“Well, the last I saw, the two of them were out back, behind your ship, actually. This way.”

Following the lions, Ratchet and Clank left the rest of the pride behind, once more engrossed by an energetic Qwark, no doubt telling yet another story about his great heroics, out of the cave and around Aphelion to back where her engines were.

And sitting there, next to a small fire, enjoying a warm pot of tea, was Rafiki, along with-

“The plumber? How did the plumber get here?” Ratcher could hardly believe his eyes. “Clank! Simba! Come on, this is just getting ridiculous!”

The lion stared back with wide eyes, as though caught trying to sneak into the ration pile. “Don’t look at me like that, I’m as clueless about this one as you are.”

The commotion gained the attention of the two tea-drinkers. “Well hello there, my furry friend!” The plumber greeted Ratchet. “I just happened to be heading this way when I got the distress beacon from your ship, so I relayed it back to your home. Speaking of your ship, while you were out, I went and fixed ‘er up for you! Good as new! Though that is going to cost you a fair bolt, considering how far away this is, and when you add on all the travel time and cost...”

Ratchet hardly payed attention as his eyes were diverted to Aphelion’s engines, and sure enough, she looked good as new. Well, as new as he had ever seen her. “Naw, don’t worry about it, we can afford it,” he hesitated, “can we?” he asked Clank quickly, who simply gave an uncertain shrug as a reply. “But why were you out here anyways? Where is this system located at anyways?”

“Beats me,” the plumber answered, “I just go to where there’s a plumber in need. I don’t ask too many questions about why or where. Pipes break, and I fix them.”

The lombax simply figured it was just another one of those strange quirks the plumber had when it came to being at the right place and time, and somehow knowing strange advice that would normally be way out of his occupation’s knowledge base. “What about Aphelion? How did you know how to fix her?”

The plumber looked insulted. “Sewage lines, cooling lines. You really think there is that much difference? Just a matter of scale and materials, but it’s all pipes and hoses when you get down to it.” His attention was diverted by a data pad that started to beep angrily at him. “Looks like a leakage emergency is requiring my attention. As much as I would love to stay and chat some more, gotta rush, as I’m on the clock! Toodles!” Quickly gathering his things, the plumber grabbed his metal box of tools and… proceeded to walk straight off the side of Pride Rock. Lion and lombax rushed over to look, but stared in amazement as no sign of the plumber having ever even been there in the first place.

“What just happened?” A bewildered Ratchet asked.

“Now that’s a good question if there ever was one, isn’t it?” Came Rafiki’s reply from behind them.

“Now wait a minute! You know him! How?”

Rafiki ignored the agitated lombax as he casually gathered up the remaining things for himself. Walking stick, tea pot, package that was unmistakably marked with Solanian postage stamps all over it, and all. “Do you always get this nosy when someone meets a longtime friend?” he retorted, “now, I’ll be off to place these all back in my tree.” The monkey placed a hand on Ratchet’s shoulder. “Take care of yourself, I would hate to see my efforts at keeping you alive go to waste.” Making his way over to Simba, he gave the lion a one-armed hug, which looked rather awkward. “We have much more to do still, my boy. Stick around until I come back and I have much to show you!”

The shaman turned and walked down Pride Rock, leaving the others behind.

Oddly enough, there was one other object still left unclaimed on the ground. “Uh, Clank?” Ratchet asked, recognizing the object, “why’s the dimentionator on the ground?”

Once more, the robot looked nervous. “Well, I did say that we needed to get to you,” he said, “the dimentionator offered the fastest way here.”

Ratchet sighed in frustration. “I thought I recognized that energy signature before I woke up all alone here,” he muttered, thinking back to what got him into this whole mess in the first place. “Clank, tell me where I am wrong here, because I am just guessing, but here it goes: You convince me that the dimentionator is too dangerous to use, so I get rid of it. But clearly, somehow we still have it, so I am guessing you are responsible for that, which explains a lot as to how I found myself here in the middle of what was supposed to be a simple shopping trip!”

The robot looked straight up horrified. “That may be the situation. There, um, might have been a slight malfunction with it caused by the energy of the jump drive between systems.” He tapped his robotic fingers together nervously. “And the dimentionator might have been in my possession at the time of the malfunction.”

The lombax sighed, then pointed a finger at the cave, giving his friend a death glare. “Clank? Wall. Corner. Go!” The robot tried to object, but Ratchet’s glare only deepened, so Clank shook his head sadly and walked off inside the cave. Lowing his hand, Ratchet reached over and picked up the bulky metal ‘hat’ up, closely inspecting it.

“What was that all about?” Simba asked, peaking over to look at the device.

“The dimentionator,” Ratchet answered, “don’t really know how to explain it, especially because even I don’t know how it works. But what I do know is that it’s of Lombax make, and I could have sworn it was broken. Maybe Clank tried fixing it behind my back. Figured he was the one who told me never to use this thing in the first place.”

Simba seemed to grasp at least enough to have an idea. “Is that why you appeared out of nowhere and was unable to explain where you came from?”

“Pretty much,” Ratchet replied, “ironically enough, the dimentionator was what started the whole mess with Tachyon in the first place. Figures it was involved all the way to the end.”

Simba grinned. “Interesting device. If you don’t like it, maybe we’ll keep it? Looks rather useful.”

“Simba!” Nala’s horrified retort came from behind them. While she was content to only stay in the sidelines for now, it didn’t mean that she didn’t pay attention to what was happening. “You heard Ratchet! It’s dangerous!”

The lion tried to defend himself. “I was only joking, Nala! I don’t even know how to use it, even if I wanted to, which I don’t! I don’t want to show up in a place that isn’t well, anywhere but here!”

Ratchet lowered the dimentionator. “Honestly, I might even consider leaving it here, where it can do no more harm,” he replied, “but most likely, I’ll need it to get home, so looks like it’s going with us.” Walking over to Aphelion’s side, he tossed the dimentionator inside, hopping into the pilot’s seat after it. He breathed a sigh of relief as he ran his hands over the controls, feeling much more at home than he had ever in a while. Letting out a sigh, he glanced down at Simba and Nala. “Look, I would really like to get going, if it’s all right with you all, I would love to be heading back, to my own home.” Despite the debris all being cleaned up already, Ratchet couldn’t help but notice the slight scorching of the stone right next to where the lions were standing, where Tachyon’s blast had caused him so much recent pain. Sure, the nanotech healed the wound, but perhaps its late delivery was why he subconsciously recalled the intense pain of the attack. “This really isn’t a good place for me at the moment,” he added quietly, feeling rather stupid.

Once again, Simba simply brushed him off. “We already said it: it’s not a big deal. We understand. Go on!” While he did wish to himself that Ratchet would stick around for longer, he also more than understood wanting to leave. The Pride Lands were the home of lions, not lombaxes after all. “We wouldn’t mind if you found a way to come back and visit time to time though!” he called up suddenly. Who said that Ratchet leaving had to be final?

Ratchet hesitated before leaning over Aphelion’s side to get a better look. “That’s… actually not bad,” he answered, “something might be worked out.” He didn’t want to make any promises: there was no guarantee that he would be able to return here after making his way back to Solana. But if Qwark and Clank found their way the first time, who said they can’t a second? Still, he did feel slightly guilty as he turned towards the entrance of the cave. “Clank! Qwark!” he called out, “Come on! We’re going home!” Starting the startup procedures for Aphelion, he felt relieved as everything started up as it should, with no strange errors or noises. It really did feel more like home already, which also unfortunately only increased his wished to get going and leave.

Clank hopped in as the low whine of the engines increased in volume as they spooled up. “Qwark is taking his own ship back. We better follow him for now,” the robot instructed. “At least until he will remember to transmit over the required coordinates.”

With a push of a button, Ratchet closed Aphelion’s cockpit, but not before glancing one last time outside. The rest of the pride must have followed Qwark and Clank outside, and they were all gathered to see him off. Raising a hand, he waved goodbye to them, suddenly feeling unsure if he did actually want to leave or not. But he was already committed, and he still felt like he rather hated this place… Since when did he feel so conflicted about a random location he found himself in on an adventure? Never before did he feel so strongly to a place that wasn’t Veldin, no matter whom he met there.

Well, no, that was a lie. There was a reason why he never returned to Torren IV. But that was different. Or was it?

Ratchet’s thoughts were interrupted when the large green behemoth of a ship that was clearly Qwark’s took off from somewhere behind Pride Rock and began to ascend into the atmosphere. “Well Clank, shall we?”

“Let us go home, Ratchet.”

Aphelion took off, but before pitching her up to leave the planet they were on, Ratchet felt compelled to fly one last loop around the peak of Pride Rock, waving down at the pride as he did. Sure, he helped them take back their homelands, and while that was no small feat to scoff at, it was true that they also all helped him as much as they could, despite their lack of any sort of technology. Committing his mind, he pulled back on the yokes, and gunned the throttle, blasting up into the heavens.

Back down below, the pride of lions watched in awe as the two ships climbed up and effortlessly flew off so quickly that they were far too soon too far away to see.

“Wow,” Simba breathed, breaking the silence, “that really was something, wasn’t it?” He didn’t get a reply. But he also didn’t need one.

One by one, the lions decided that they had enough staring up at the sky and walked back into the den, until it was just Simba and Nala outside alone, still not saying much yet.

After his gaze lingered back down to the ground and back up to the sky a few times, Simba grinned as he thought of an idea. “Hey, dad?” he asked, staring up, and despite it being the daytime, knowing that Mufasa was up there and listening. “You watch over Ratchet and take care of him for us, will you?”

From behind him, he could hear Rafiki’s chuckle, which compared to the prior silence, was loud enough to startle the lion. “Oh, I’m sure he would. But!” Showing Simba something in his hand, the shaman had a twinkle in his eyes, “it is not a job Muafasa would need to do alone!”

In his hand, very out of place compared to his usual assortment of squashes and gourdes, was a very eletro-mechanical looking device. In fact, it looked like…

“Is that one of those, uh, how was it called, ‘nav’ units?” Without waiting for an answer, Simba grinned and glanced up at the sky again. “You can forget about it, dad!” he called out again, “I got it!”

Mufasa didn’t answer – he didn’t need to. Rafiki’s and Nala’s laughter was an answer more than enough.



Voting will run until Friday, August 3rd!

Usual voting rules apply: Don't vote for yourself, and don't vote for a story that you simply know was written by a friend. Don't ask others to vote for your story either. Read each one carefully and give all the stories the same consideration before you make your decision.

Good luck authors!
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Re: MLK Writing Contest #43! [Voting!]

Postby Gemini » August 2nd, 2018, 7:03 am

Voted! Interesting set this round. :)
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Re: MLK Writing Contest #43! [Voting!]

Postby DGFone » August 3rd, 2018, 8:22 pm

Votings ends in nine hours! Let's get more votes than stories in, after all, there's only three of them. :P
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Re: MLK Writing Contest #43! [Voting!]

Postby Azdgari » August 6th, 2018, 1:25 am

What a great crop this time! Seriously, the level of writing in these three was super high. I enjoyed reading every one of them. They all had distinct flairs and qualities to them, but were all clearly full of good ideas that were well realized. For me, tough choice, but the first one was too much fun for me to say no to. Despite my own complete inability to be precise, I always appreciate writers that can communicate a lot through strong dialogue and sparse description, which that story definitely did. Fun character, goofy idea, and even a nice little moral on top of it. Kudos.

I missed the voting deadline, but... i can just reopen that poll real quick mmhmm watcha gonna do bout it
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Re: MLK Writing Contest #43! [Voting!]

Postby Regulus » August 11th, 2018, 12:47 am

Any chance we're going to see the winner announced soon?

Since voting is over, mine was the first one.
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Re: MLK Writing Contest #43! [Voting!]

Postby DGFone » August 13th, 2018, 6:27 am

Tomorrow - I am flying back home, and will post the winner topic on my computer.
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