Owlhaven Round Robin: The Fantastic World

  • This is the second story that was started on the ORR board. Once again, the "chapter" titles are taken from the original message headers.
    (If you came straight here for some reason, this is the way back.)

    Skitty: Chapter1

    This is the story of 3 children and a door. Not a normal door, one made of wood and metal set into a wall and opening into a room, but a special door. One constructed of time and space and set into the universe, a door that led... well you will see.
    Bryan was bored. School was out, it was the middle of the summer, and he had been sent to his grandparents to help on the farm. It sounded like a lot of fun when he volunteered, but the labor was hard and went on day, after day. Long hours feeding the cattle, then the pigs, then mucking the dairy... and on and on.
    Still it wasn't all work, he was able to get away at noon, when the sun was hottest and work ground to a halt, and slip down to the river to swim. In fact that is where he met Krista and her brother Tim. He had shucked down to his bare skin and dove in one day... only to discover two other skinny-dippers in the pool with him. After their initial embarrassment and a little staring they all became good friends. Krista and Bryan soon started to explore the woods as well as swim. Tim, being the youngest, would of course tag along... so as not to get left out.
    It was this exploration that led to the discovery of the door. The children had started exploring along the base of the cliff, where the water tumbled from above into a deep pool, when they noticed a shallow cave behind the waterfall. Bryan led the way into the hole... slowly feeling his way along moss covered walls when he rounded the bend and had to stop. For there, in front of him, was a pool that stretched from wall to wall, a pool that glowed with a faint silvery light. He had just bent over to take a closer look when Tim blundered into him from the rear. He fell forward but instead of splashing into the pool he continued to fall, whirling dizzily until he landed -thump!- in the middle of a field of sweet smelling grass. As he looked around he saw he was in a meadow in a strange wood, and was utterly at a loss to say where the wood was, for the trees looked nothing like those at home.
    He turned quickly at the sound of two more loud thuds, and found Krista and Tim standing up and looking round, as mystified as he was.

    Anette: Chapter 1, part 2

    Bryan picked himself up from the grass and looked around. A faint wind caught his hair and rustled it, he stroked it away from his eyes with one hand as he tried to see where he was. He was standing on top of a hill, gazing out over a grass covered landscape. Krista came up next to him, holding little Tim by his hand and asked, "Where are we?" But all Bryan could do was shrug. Then he spotted a road nearby. Or maybe not so much a road as a place frequently traveled. He took Krista by the hand and said "Let us go down there and see where it leads." Krista was a little hesitant at first, but soon she and Tim followed Bryan down the hillside.
    It didn't take long until they reached the path. Now the question was, wich way should they go, left or right. Bryan had no idea. But Krista tossed a coin, deciding their route. "Heads, that means left." she said. And so they started their journey along this path to the left.
    They had not walked for a long time when they suddenly heard someone singing, not far away either. Deciding quickly, the jumped into a hiding place behind some bushes not far from the road. Just in time before someone passed the nearest hill.

    Yip: A stranger approaches

    As the sweet lilting voice approached the other side of the bushes, the three children noticed something strange. Even though the song was in some kind of foreign language neither of them could remember hearing before, they could still understand - not exactly every word, but the general meaning was clear. They felt safe. They felt welcome. And most of all, they felt like meeting the singer face to face. But was what they were feeling the truth, or what the singer wanted them to believe...?
    Before they had time to make a decision, the voice stopped with a little gasp right on the other side of the bushes. A moment's silence, and then they heard a faint sniffing sound, like an animal trying to pick up a scent.
    They looked silently at each other, apparently all coming to the same conclusion: Humans don't act like that. Whoever, or whatever, was on the other side of the bushes had to be... something different.
    Remembering how they had come here, Krista looked at the boys and silently mouthed a wellknown sentence. They nodded. Even though not a word had been spoken, they had seen the movie several times and had no trouble recognizing the line:

    "Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Kansas any more!"

    Skitty: Meeting the stranger

    At that moment the bushes shook as the singer poked her head through. The children gasped in shock, for looking at them - just as shocked as they were - was a face that was a mixture of human and animal. Large blue eyes blinked, and a high lilting voice stuttered, "Y-you w-w-won't h-h-hurt me? W-w-will you?"
    Bryan blinked, and the stranger giggled as she realized that the children were as scared of her as she was of them. She smiled a friendly smile, and crawled the rest of the way out of the concealing bushes. Brian was surprised to find that the stranger was no taller than him! She was definately standing on two legs, but seemed to be a mixture of human and cat. She was wearing jeans and a blouse, but she didn't wear shoes... balancing on her toes and the balls of her feet. Her arms and face were covered with short white fur, and two pointed ears stuck up through her long white hair. She smiled shyly and stuck out a long-fingered hand, "Hi, I'm Skitty, and you are?"
    Krista bumped Bryan out of the way, and shook hands with the young fur. "I'm Krista, and these are my brothers Bryan and Tim."
    Bryan rubbed his ribs, and glared at Krista. Tim smiled but still remained silent.

    Arisen_Winds: A new stranger approaches...

    Skitty's ears perked up quickly, and she looked at the bushes where she came from. "There's someone back there, y'know?"
    The bushes behind Skitty rustled a bit more, and a 2'1" moogle appeared from the bushes. This creature was covered from head to toe in fur. It had perky ears like Skitty's, but between those ears hovered a golden sphere, which bobbed up and down according to the moogle's movements.
    "Kupoppo!" exclaimed the creature. "I'm Mog. Who are you?" Skitty sent a confused look at Mog, "Ummm, I'm Skitty. These're Krista, Tim and Bryan. You seem like a nice fellow."
    Krista lifted one eyebrow and looked at Skitty, "How'd you know our names?"

    Skunkie: Confusion

    Skitty looked at Krista with a puzzled expression.
    "Anything wrong, dear?" she mewed. "You just told me, remember!"
    "Oh yes." Krista grinned. "While I'm being foolish anyway, what kind of place is this exactly?"
    The boys looked at each other and grinned. Krista being foolish - and admitting it! Now that was a first...
    "I don't know about 'exactly'," the moogle interjected. "But would you settle for a rough estimate?" Seeing that they were about to laugh, he added hastily, "I'm serious! I have been walking all day and lost track of how far I have come. I could tell you about this road, though."

    Blackears: The Fantastic World

    "Road?" blinked Bryan. "You mean the one that we're on?"
    "Exactly!" cried the moogle, clapping its paws and wrinkling its nose. "There's a kind old man who lives in a tiny tent not more than a mile down. And it's crammed full of tarts and cabbages and lemon cordial in glasses of ice and pretty well anything you could want. He had me in to sup this morning. I'm sure he'd love to see you too."
    Skitty and Krysta exchanged puzzled glances, but Bryan unwittingly patted his stomach and grinned as wide as his cheeks would let him. "Cool! He doesn't have video games, does he?"
    "You bet!" winked the moogle.
    "All right! Last one there's a rotten egg!" And with that, Bryan seized a startled Tim by the hand and bounded down the dusty track to the east.
    Skitty hesitated, her eyes watching Bryan disappear behind the swell of a hill and her hand searching the air behind her for Krysta.
    Skitty bit her lip. "C'mon", she said turning, "we'd better catch up with your brother."
    Skitty was mildly surprised to see Krysta staring into the empty clearing before her. Skitty set her hand on her shoulder. "C'mon, let's go. Where's Mog?"
    Krysta stammered. "It just climbed up into that sphere that was floating above its head."
    Skitty furrowed her brow.
    "And then - pop - it was gone."
    'What a curious creature', thought Skitty to herself. But her maternal instincts were getting the better of her. With one more urging, she and Krysta hurried off down the road.

    And that's where the story ended for now. I have made a couple of small corrections (?) here too, including some untangling. Skunkie's chapter was originally flanked by two parts of an "obligatory bar scene" we shall return to later, and started with the words "Back in the forest", but I left them out after eliminating the interlude.
    This does not necessarily explain some of the confusion in this plot (names remembered and forgotten, family ties changing)... Just part of the game I guess.