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A Horse With No Name

Dragon Warrior

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This is a story I thought up where it's actually not a comedy. I took a strange group of characters and shuffled them into a storyline which seemed to work out in the end. It's about a ranger named Matthias endlessly searching for a way to revive his wife since she died years ago. Magic is his answer, but no one knows if it's real. He's soon loosing hope that magic is nothing, but legend until his beliefs are revived when he meets a horse who can talk. The horse doesn't know much about who he is or where he is, just that the reason why he's a horse...

Though, he does not tell Matthias this, he may just help Matthias get his wish at the same time of helping himself... even if he can't remember his own name.

I'll post chapters. Here's a short chapter to start it off.

[center][SIZE=4][b]Chapter 1[/b][/SIZE] [/center]

The sheer will to see her again seemed to give Matthias strength to enter the towering tomb of his beloved lost wife, the one true love he ever had vanished within the realms of the afterlife. It?s large white walls marked with age and wear, the tapestries that hung in a spherical pattern around the large, open room giving it some sort of representation that this tomb was here for a reason. He approached the significant stone coffin that cradled his love.

He looked up from the beautiful handcrafted designs on the cover of the sarcophagus to admire the book on a pedestal. It was like a bible to Matthias? world, Gordenlok. Its pages were leafed through recently. Matthias often came here to regain hope. You see, he wishes to bring her back. He wishes to bring her back--with magic!

Magic: the powerful tool known to man as legend, known to the superstitious as the Apocalypse, and known to people with lost hope, like Matthias, as the only key to bringing their pain to an end. Untrue scandals only bring this wretched type of weapon into the minds of the people. They believe it to be a true thing. But is it really? Matthias believes it is and it?s his ticket to getting his wife back in his arms once more.

Taking his eyes off the book of gods, he knelt down on one knee before the great coffin and revealed a simple rose from his cloak. It was white, like the tomb walls and almost everything else around. He laid it gently on the coffin top next to her name, which was carved in with chisel and hammer. ?Your favorite,? he said to her as though she could hear. ?I feel I?m getting closer.? He paused often between what he said to her, as if to take in air before diving into deep waters. ?I?m also having troubles. A man in a town called Forgendane told me of a magic creature called the Haslox, but it was never true. I searched and searched and did everything he said. I know he was just pulling my leg.? He began to wring his cloak in his sweaty hands, anger rising. ?I should?ve been smarter than that! More wise! Time is of the essence and I can?t keep allowing myself to fall into untrue gossip and folklore. In good time, you will be with me again. I promise.?

He stood up and dusted off his pants. The tomb floor was dirty, after all the years of maturing. His constant attempts to find some form of magic to revive his wife were often trashed by laughing patrons of pubs and travelers who got kicks out of killing a poor ranger?s dreams. Constant objections to his journeys have been placed before him, but he disregards them and continues forth, determined to find a way. Though, he has had no luck.

Battling creatures from the lesser depths of Gordendok has been one of his greater obstacles. Like any world, there are dangers and the dangers of Gordendok outmatch any of our world. He has faced Komodos, the archer lizards of the forests. He?s had countless attacks by the Rutarikans, which are nasty ogre-like creatures that wield deadly, long blades. He often is facing these monsters in combat, his two blades and his bow the only things from keeping him from ending up at the tip of a sword.

Putting aside his misadventures, he stood back up, still keeping his gaze on the white rose. Then he made a swift turn, not knowing his cape knocked the rose to the floor. Strangely enough, the quiet sound--No! Almost impossible to hear sound of the rose hitting the floor made him turn. Noting it fell, he returned to where he once stood and placed it back on its cradle, making sure it didn?t fall again. He then left the tomb.

It was still quite early in the afternoon and the sun was at its peak, shining its brilliant rays through the trees? canopy. It made him forget all worries to see such peace and beauty in one place, especially in the world of Gordendok, which some folk wish to rename it the World of the Damned. ?It?s crumbling apart,? some would say. Others would rave on about how the Lords and Ladies were all fools for doing what they?ve done. But what they?ve done is what keeps Gordendok from sheer destruction. It?s the ranting fools that may lead to the extinction of this world.

Matthias saddled up and mounted his horse. In the world of Gordendok, horses were sacred. Some humans even treated them better than themselves. Horses were very unique and special and ministered close to royalty. Matthias took great care of his horse, Karoweon. It?s name means lightning fast and that it was. It took Matthias quite some time to learn to ride at such a pace. He didn?t believe there was a faster horse out there than Karoweon.

And so, he rode off away from his love?s dreary tomb on Karoweon, not sure where he?d go next to find a way to bring her back. Unfortunately, he?s not alone. For in the shadows of the leaves and where the sun doesn?t break the canopy, an arrow is pulled back across a wooden bow, the tip with Matthias? name on it.
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[color=blue][size=1]Nice job Dragon Warrior. Just one thing... where is the setting? Earth? Or.. someplace you created just for this story. *re-reads it*

I'm confuzed.... (like always). Well, I can't wait until Chapter 2!! *does a happy dance*

~A Fan Of Your Writing~[/color][/size]
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[color=indigo][i][size=1]Beautiful DW. Very unusual compared to everything else I have read from you, but it is just amazing in my opinion. When you were talking to me on AIM, I wasn't expecting this. This is, like I said, beautiful. I cannot wait to read your next chapter. Very happy for you, doing a great job.

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[color=silver]Gavynn, I know you stole it. I know he stole it. I'll have to hand cuff you now.

No in all seriousness, I'm very impressed, 'Gordendok'. Heh, the title made me laugh even though it wasn't supposed to. But yes, I understand the morals of it and you should pat yourself on the back. Well try to once I've unlocked your handcuffs.

Just in chapter two, so I can [i]feel[/i] the presence of the characters, possibly put a tad more description in the setting. I like that in stories. I will follow the storyline though.[/color]
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Yeah. I didn't put too much description in chapter 1 because I wanted it to fly by and just show what Matthias was like and maybe some details about Gordendok. I was planning on writing way more in my next chapters, which I'll probably post today.

Handcuffs? ;_;

Thanks, Annie ^_^ I will not fail to please you again, then.
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[size=1]Good gosh, A serious story by DW... I'll never here the end of it...

I think it is really good, a heck lot better than me (I can't write worth crap). I thought it was decribed OK, but a few parts in there didn't really seem to have anything to do with the story, like the part when the rose fell off the stomb, I was like: oO Nirr?

Hehe, I caught that little stolen line that was just reworded slightly. "It's the deep breath before the plunge". Sound familar?

Well, I can't wait to read the next chapter, I always hate it when people leave it when someone is about to meet sertain death >:l [/size]
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Well then, wait no more! I have the 2nd chapter and a special treat! But, no, K.K.C., I have no idea where that line is from O.o This is all original work of mine.

[center][SIZE=4][b]Insert from the Bestiary of Gordendok[/b][/SIZE] [/center]


[b]Species:[/b] Komodo
[b]Description:[/b] A Komodo is an archer lizard of the woodland areas, mostly in the Northern part of Gordendok. They have very distinct ways of living and their style of bows and arrows prove that factor. Upon seeing one, you?d find they don?t travel alone, but instead, in very large groups. They are not the strongest creatures of Gordendok and what they lack in strength, they make up in agility and accuracy. Their archery skills are more superb than most beasts.

Their bows and arrows are handcrafted and made from the jorkala boochtree, which is a common type of tree found in the deep parts of Gordendok forests. As for their niche, they camp in deeper parts of woods where the jorkala boochtrees grow. This gives them a chance to be able to make as much ammunition as possible and quickly. Humans are a satisfying treat, but are rare for the Komodos to eat. They usually feast upon the Maramattas, a large rodent the size of a very small pony. Maramattas are found burrowing in the ground near jorkala boochtrees, so once again the Komodos prosper.

They?re not the friendliest of folk in Gordendok, but can be kind at times when helped. They never break a promise and always are true to their word. But double-cross them and there will be hell to pay. As such, the only way to get through the passages of their woods would be to do them a favor first. There?s no reason to kill off one Komodo when the next moment you?re going to be assailed by the two hundred traveling with it.

[center][size=4][b]Chapter 2[/b][/size][/center]

Matthias continued riding through the graveled trails of the Pineworth Forest, the deepness of it seeming endless. It was eerily quiet, the silence almost as deadly as what it protects. The only sound to his ear that came would be the hooves of his noble horse as it trotted along, crunching twigs and gravel with it?s mighty legs. Matthias kept his eyes ahead, awhile strange beasts formed around his path, unnoticed by the wandering ranger.

His horse?s ears perked as the creatures in the brush moved quickly and astutely. It let out a simple sound as though it were warning Matthias. But unwise to it?s neigh, he continued on, complimenting the beauteous wilderness with his thoughts. Arrows, unobserved, were being readied and aimed for his head. Some were directed for the horse, for if it fell, he would as well and it?d be a simpler shot to kill him. Matthias was in grave danger and he didn?t notice.

The monsters, with their reptilian looks and slimy skin, slid their clawed hands across their bow strings, licking their lips for the grand taste of human flesh. Terrible and misguided thoughts unraveled in their sick minds and impertinent thoughts only a foul creature of the depths of Gordendok could ponder. Once all the bows were set and the arrows were ready to fire, they moved in for the kill. Some slipped through the brush, some over rock, and some leaped from branch to branch, all the while, Matthias not aware of their exploits.

They marched forth, getting ever closer, and were about to take fire when one of them tripped and fell. It tumbled down the earthy hill, soil and gravel kicked up into the air and dust blinding the sight of his companions nearby. Others of him just looked on in disgust and regret. It finally stopped when it landed right in front of Matthias? horse on the road. Matthias and the horse were startled and jumped back a few spaces.

?Komodos!? Matthias said under his breath, eyes widened with fear and revelation. He turned his head around and noted all the lineups of them. There were hundreds, each with a bow and arrow, ready to take fire on his body and curse it to the afterlife. Cold sweat ran down his face. He took a gloved hand to it and wiped it off furiously. Without another thought about it, he lashed the reins and shouted for the horse to go. They rode off at top speed through the winding forest, any arrow shot at them barely missing them and colliding with the ground or a tree.

He looked back only a few times, but mostly kept his eyes up ahead. Most arrows came from there or the sides. He laid low on the horse?s back as if he believed it would blend him in like camouflage. The lizard men made their way through the trees, trying to keep up with the speed of Matthias? horse. Fortunately, Komodos were known for their speed and were experts of the woodland areas of Gordendok. Matthias had no chance of escape on horseback and he knew it.

There is no way I?m staying to fight, he told himself in his head, dodging a speeding arrow aimed for the left side of his torso. I?d be a fool to fight them. This is a full-fledged army of warriors here and with their bow and arrow skills, I wouldn?t stand a ghost of a chance. He agreed with himself and instead made wild zigzag moves through and in between the trees to keep, not only the Komodos at bay, but to keep the arrows from actually scoring their target.

Matthias seemed to be in the clearing when an arrow zipped past his face, it?s sharp arrowhead tip slicing a small cut on his cheek. He put a hand to his face and looked at it, distinguishing the blood that spilled onto it. There was no doubt about it. These Komodos were getting closer to hitting their objective. He ended up unsheathing his sword and raising it high into the air, letting out a horrible war cry that frightened even some of the larger and more stronger-built Komodos.

Any Komodo that even dared to approach Matthias while he was on horseback took a nasty slash from his severe blade. Matthias even severed one Komodo to it?s bloody death, one that did return to Matthias? mind as a brutal act of unneeded violence. But then again, he must protect himself. If he didn?t kill that Komodo, it may of took aim and shot him in the back when he rode by. As such, he continued slaying the defenseless Komodos that defied to run out and fight at the roadside.

It was all looking up for Matthias. Most of the Komodos grew weary or were too injured to chase him anymore. He might actually escape their rampage before he was taken down by arrows. This thought bore into his mind and stayed there until he turned to look forward only to meet a branch that hung low. He took it to the face, falling backward off his horse, who continued galloping away. Matthias landed roughly onto the hard ground, his sword scattering off to the bushes. He was open target and it wouldn?t be long before the Komodos rejoined him for another go. That?s when he heard a voice that seemed to be in his head, but yet very realistic.

?Wake up!? he heard the voice say a dozen times before he actually heard it outside of his head. ?Wake up, fool! Or be killed. I don?t care!? Matthias? eyes slowly opened, everything still bleary like the sight one has under water. He saw mixes of green and yellow, most likely the colors of the trees and sunlight. Then there was a big brown blur. It took on the shape of an animal, slowly morphing into what seemed to be a large dog. Then finally, a horse was seen. The image was still not clear, probably from some sort of concussion, but he was sure that his visitor was a horse. But where did the voice come from? Did he imagine it? Was it from a dream? Wherever it came from, it led him to wakefulness, which he greeted with a grunt and a minor stir.

The horse gently kicked his leg and once again, he heard the voice. ?Get up and get on my back. The lizard men are coming!? Not making an attempt to flee the mysterious voice, he gradually crawled onto the back of the steed that seemed to appear out of nowhere. What did he have to lose if he followed this voice? His eyes were mostly closed as the horse began it?s run. His vision was still blurred so it didn?t make a difference if he opened his eyes or not. It was a rough ride and he felt as if he were traveling at the speed of light. He could feel the wind of passing trees and the bumps of the rocky roads.

And slowly the voices of charging Komodos faded into his unconscious thought as did all other sounds of the reality he knew so well.
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Good work, Gavynn ^_^

I think the story is very well written so far. I like your use of detail without making it too extraneous and I'm enjoying the whole story so far.

As has been said already, this is more unusual from you, seeing as I'm more used to reading humorous stories from you, but this is just as good as any of the humor stuff you've written, heh.

I'm looking forward to the next chapter.
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Yes, well, meh, Shinmaru. Wait no more :<

[center][size=4][b]Insert from the Gordendok Bestiary[/b][/size][/center]


[b]Species:[/b] Maramatta
[b]Description:[/b] Maramattas are large rodents that find refuge in the forests of Gordendok. They burrow underground and only the soils next to jorkala boochtrees. Here, they are often hunted by hungry Komodos so it?s not always the best life for them. If they can get deep enough underground, they are safe.

They?re not pitiful above ground, though. They have sharp teeth to fight, as well as razor claws to scratch their foes and predators. They?re the size of a small pony so usually that can count for something. Humans often do not bug these, for they find them as just rodents. Nothing else. They also tend to have a foul smell about them. It?s a defense system to keep away predators, but over the years, the Komodos have adapted and become immune to it.

Some experts are saying the Maramatta should be extinct in another 100 years and the Komodos shall follow.

[center][size=4][b]Chapter 3[/b][/size][/center]

Matthias awoke with the worst of headaches. He slowly opened his eyes, even if he was wincing from the pain, and the first thing he noticed was the sun setting and dusk was upon him. Nightfall would soon follow.

His vision was back to normal, he had no doubt. It was getting too dark to see much, but a small fire was going to his right side, it?s warmth bringing heat back to his bone-chilled body. He moved his long, silky hair away from his chapped lips and turned his worn eyes to a horse lying on the other side of the fire across from him. He was curious where it came from, then memories of a voice came back to him.

[I]Wake up!,[/I] it had said. [I]Get up and get on my back. The lizard men are coming![/I]

He wasn?t sure if he imagined the voice or not, but the horse sure seemed real. Sweat covered the animal?s body and made it?s brown fur coat glisten in the light of the fire. Then, it slowly lifted it?s head and peered at it?s accompanying person across the fire. Both of them stared a long time at one another. Matthias wasn?t about to believe the horse didn?t have an owner. And wild horses never did such acts of kindness and courageousness. No, this horse was different, he could see. It glinted in it?s eyes that it was. It?s strongly built muscles showed it could run quite quickly, and no doubt, was how they escaped the raging Komodos. This was the horse that saved him when he lost his own.

?So, you have woken up,? said the voice again. Matthias was staring at the horse when he heard it, but he didn?t believe where it came from. The horse?s mouth moved at the same time the voice came, but it was just too crazy to believe that a horse spoke. He shook his head and cleared his throat.

?Excuse me??

?I said, so you have woken up,? the horse seemed to repeat itself. At first, Matthias believed the horse was nibbling some delicious grass as the owner of it spoke from nearby bushes, but that wasn?t the case anymore in his head. It?s mouth only moved when the voice arose. ?You were out cold for hours after we set camp here. We escaped the Komodos with ease.?

Matthias? eye began to twitch as disbelief engulfed him and his atmosphere became quite delusional. This horse talking was madness, but it seemed so real. So Matthias finally got himself to ask the question that was on his mind ever since he heard the horse talk. ?Is this a dream??

?Only if, ranger,? the horse said with a bit of a neigh in his speech.

Matthias began to sweat even more, but as each and every moment passed, his disbelief of what he was seeing and hearing was fading away like the blue skies of daytime and certainty was entering like the night. He tried standing up, but felt a bit shaky. He was able to stand, but he wasn?t sure if walking was such a good idea yet. Then the horse stood up, it?s massive legs pushing against the ground and heaving it?s considerable body up. Matthias was mesmerized as the horse approached him.

?You, sir ranger, were going to die. Lucky I came across you.?

?Yeah,? was all Matthias managed to spat out. He was still awestruck by the great beast before him. It was larger than any horse he?d ever seen. Though, it?s colors were natural, it just appeared to be of another world.

?What do you have business doing in Komodo country? It?s a dangerous place, ya know.? The horse sounded friendly enough, but a dash of worry and sternness was mixed in with his voice. Matthias peered back up at the long snout of the animal that was almost close enough for him to touch, which he wanted to badly, to see if it was all real.

?My? wife? my wife??

?Yes? Your wife?? The horse didn?t appear very patient, but Matthias didn?t notice. He stuttered, for he was still amazed at the animal.

?My wife?s tomb? was in? there??

?Oh, I see,? the horse said, turning around to go back to his grassy spot across the fire. ?Not a very good place to keep it. It could be made into the Komodo habitat, for all we know. They?re smart ones.?

Matthias? next question may of answered many of his others so he asked it. ?Who are you??

?Who am I?? the horse repeated the question, lifting his head as if it was an absurd thing to ask another being. ?I am a horse, can you not see that??

?Yes, but? I?ve just? never--?

?Never heard a horse talk before? Of course you haven?t. It?s not a real thing.?

?But you talk.?

?Yes. I talk like the sun rises, for sure, but I?m gifted.?

?How did you learn to talk? It seems--?

?Impossible, I know.?

?Stop interrupting me,? Matthias seemed to burst out.

?Shhh! Quiet, now. No need to get angry. I?m just a horse, after all.?

?A talking horse!? Matthias seemed to be back to his normal self, even if he were still a bit dazed from the rush of new events.

?Yes, well, like I said before, I?m gifted.?

?But you didn?t answer me from before. How did you learn how to talk??

?Oh, I didn?t so much as learn how to talk than to already know.?

?What? I don?t understand.?

?Most don?t. But then again, you?re one of the few who know I can talk. Makes a difference, hm?? The horse began tearing at the grass that sprouted under his nose. For some reason, he was half enjoying it, half not. It was pictured in his face.

?Do you have a name??

?Nope. I?m the horse with no name, sir ranger. I can?t recall my name or if I even ever had one.?

?Oh, that?s sad,? Matthias said, feeling a little guilty of yelling at the horse. Though, it was just a name, the fact that no one was ever around for it to be named just seemed terrible. ?I?m Matthias, the ranger.?

?Yes, by your clothing, I could note you were a ranger, Matthias. Your name, I could not.?

Matthias began to walk around the fire toward the horse so he could stand before it. He seemed to be able to amble now. ?Earlier you said I would?ve died if you didn?t save me. So it was you who did save me then.?

?If that?s what I said, then I must?ve,? the horse said between mouthfuls of grass.

?Yes, but how was a regular horse able to escape hundreds of Komodos? There was no way-?

?Am I a regular horse??

?No, I guess not,? Matthias said mournfully, withdrawing all further questions on the matter.

?I can talk, I am the fastest horse in the world, and I can build a campfire. I?m unique, I?d have to say.?

?You?re the fastest horse in the world? How do you know??

?No horse can run as fast as me. Trust me on that one. If you saw how fast I go, you?d know. But you fell unconscious on the ride here so you never really felt the experience.?

?Yeah, that?s true,? Matthias said, pacing back to his spot across the fire. The horse continued to nibble the grass and there was a long, aching silence between the two. Matthias was still captivated by the horse and the horse didn?t seem to have a care in the world.

[I]A horse with no name?,[/I] Matthias questioned his own mind. [I]Sounds very peculiar, and yet, so right. I wonder what this horse has to do with me? And what business does it have saving me?[/I] Matthias peered back over at the horse, who seemed to be just finishing his meal. The horse noticed this and met Matthias? eyes.


?Oh,? Matthias broke out of his trance. ?Nothing. Just thinking.?

?Oh, I see,? the horse said grumpily and went back to the end of his feast. He certainly had an eventful day, no doubt. He laid back and stared up at the tree tops. Where they were camping was right outside the forest edge so where he stared, only half was trees. He rolled his head slightly in the direction of the horse only to notice a lake for the first time. It seemed to just appear out of nowhere, like the clouds above teemed a big, silent raindrop into a hole in the earth, creating a lake. The moon, which was now showing clearly in the night sky, glistened across it?s waters giving it a haunting, yet peaceful look that calmed Matthias. He took a hand to his chin and rubbed it as he thought. It wasn?t before long that the serene sounds of the night drifted him off to slumber.
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Yes. I probably did get out of tense. And the bad part is I don't catch them when proof reading. The excitement of wanting to post it gets the best of me.

[center][size=4][b]Chapter 4[/b][/size][/center]

Smez and Spaz made a mad dash through the bushes and off a small cliff down a grassy hill and finally onto a gravel path. Having just stole food from the Komodos, they were being chased for the crime. Smez and Spaz are not your ordinary thieves, neither. They aren?t human and aren?t exactly the craftiest of the class. But they can run! Their speed was about the only thing that allowed their ludicrous exploits of robbery to actually be successful.

To describe what they are is difficult, for no one is certain what species they thrive from, not even themselves. Their feet are webbed like a duck?s, but their hands are round with long, skinny rods for their fingers emerging out. Smez, being the born leader of the two brothers, was the taller, more handsomer one, if you could even call either of them handsome. They were both hideous to any eye and probably will never create a family of their own, which is actually quite sad. But that was never on their minds. It was food, which they thieved for.

But as said, Smez was the leader. He had the brains of the outfit, he had hair unlike his shorter brother, and he wore a raggedy shirt that was long enough to look like a woman?s dress on him, except it didn?t appear as such. Spaz was much different. Being the underling to his older brother, he was not as intelligent and as tall as Smez. He was bald and never seemed to grow any hair at all except for the batch growing on spots on his back. Of course, Smez had some of that too. It appeared they had plains of weeds and grass on their reverse. Since Spaz was not as smart as Smez (though, they both would fail a 1st grade test if they were given one), Smez told Spaz that he was the one to wear the shirt. Spaz had to wear the loincloth. These were the only two pieces of clothing they could rob off someone and they had to make bargains with one another to figure out who wore what. And as said before, Smez had the honor of cloaking himself in the dirty shirt. At first, Spaz felt naked running around in just a loincloth, but he decided it wasn?t as important as getting something good in his tummy.

In fact, the two of them haven?t searched for new clothes since because they were so intent on getting a hearty meal. Bugs and stolen moldy bread was beginning to not sound so appetizing, even for them. They?ve lived hard lives ever since they could remember and spent most of it outside of towns in forests where they found a decent and safe place to sleep at night. Of course, with all the Komodos and Rutarikans running around, what place is safe in the forests of Gordendok?

Smez and Spaz were never someone to pass on the streets and not do an instant double-take. They had long, hanging snouts like a prehistoric elephant. It was stubby, but they obviously had control over it?s movements since they could lift it up to sniff the air around them. And since they were constantly looking for good food and weren?t successful, they were almost wasting away to nothingness. For all they know, they could be [I]dead[/I]!

Smez and Spaz were two characters you couldn?t help, but want to figure out their past, and no one wanted to figure out their past more than they did. Not only did they not know what in the name of the Gordokian Gods they were, but they never knew their parents or any family or friend. They only had one another, which, was a relationship that could often sour. Brothers usually do not get along, but they?ve figured to survive, they have to.

Their long, skinny legs carried them through the thick brush of the forests, leaping over dead roots of the angry and misguided trees that wanted to snag a traveler in their hurry. These long legs of theirs were what kept them speedy in their escapes from whomever they thieved in the past. Komodos were quick, but Smez and Spaz were quicker. Smez, being the head as said many times before, was the one to plan the route of escape through the forest so they could lose the Komodos if outrunning them failed. He put Spaz in charge of carrying the bag of food. The food was, of course, stolen from the Komodos. Though it wasn?t much, it was a decent meal for them. They pilfered five loaves of bread, about three apples, a couple of fish, and a bottle of fine cordial, no doubt, the Komodos stole from a human village.

It was like a delicacy compared to the warped and mangy meals Smez and Spaz had to dig up. In fact, drool flooded from their mouths as they ran, the wind catching Smez?s and whipping it back into Spaz?s face. One drop went into his eyes and he steered a bit awkward for a moment, but returned to following Smez safely in short time.

Yes, it seemed the two of them were finally going to have a good meal and the thought of it could make anyone in their shoes giddy, unless they were a Coopadorfu, which was an exotic bird of the West that never ate.

Though everything was going according to plan, something always rained on their parade. The two were still running furiously since the howls of Komodo warriors pursuing them was still heard. Spaz began to panic and run faster, almost up to where he was in front of Smez, which knowing that Smez likes to be the leader, was a bad idea. So Spaz slowly backed down, but didn?t even notice how the bag of food snagged on a tree branch reaching out in the road and tore the cloth until a hole was big enough for the food to fall to the ground. So as they ran for their pathetic lives, what they worked so hard to get was being tossed along the gravel.

Finally, it was getting dark and the Komodos seemed to give up on their quarry and return home to their jorkala boochtree campsites. The two brothers were able to relax and feast. Smez had a wide grin across his face and sat down on a rock in thought of the splendor they gained from all this.

?Ah yes,? Smez said, in his awkward way of talking, ?We can finallyses feast uponses what we stole!? Spaz was drooling and nodding, as if Smez was the grand dinner they were about to have. If you hadn?t noticed yet, notice now. Spaz and Smez have a peculiar speech problem. They have a [I]ses[/I] at the end of several random words in the sentences that they say, which often makes it difficult to understand them. They could put the [I]ses[/I] at the end of a noun and make it sound plural when they really mean singular. Once again, a social problem they possess. ?Spaz, my brother, we canses now eatses. Open the bagses.?

Spaz grinned as much as Smez until he looked down to their utter dismay. It appeared there was no more food left in their bag. ?It?s emptyses,? Spaz mumbled, not intending for Smez to hear, though he did.

?Whatses did you sayses??

?Uh?? Spaz shivered. ?Nothingses, brother. Nothingses. I must go washses the food down by the riverses now. Be rightses back!? He took the empty sack and rushed away, but didn?t get far before Smez jumped his scrawny body.

?Tryingses to escape with all the foodses and not share it with your ownses kin?!? The furious Smez boxed Spaz?s ears and Spaz let out a wicked cry, then crawled away and whimpered as Smez snatched the sack off the dusty ground. He was in awe when he saw the empty parcel. ?Whatses is this? An empty bagses??

?I don?t knowses what happened to it allses.?

Smez glared at his brother. ?I doses. You ate it all, didn?tses you??

?No. I swearses! I didn?t!?

?I don?t believeses you!?

?But it?s trueses. I?d never insultses the leaderses.? This seemed to stop Smez?s approach on Spaz. He rubbed his naked, bumpy chin and thought about this.

?Yes, I supposeses you wouldn?tses.?

Spaz nodded, agreeing with his brother and trying to get on his good side however he could. ?Yes. I?m not a thiefses to my own kindses.? Smez arched an eyebrow, one that was almost as bald as Spaz?s head.

?Then one questionses remains.?


?What happenedses to the food??

This put Spaz into silence and when he didn?t speak for a full three minutes, Smez got fed up. ?You carried the foodses! You lost the foodses or ate it yourselfses. It?s all your faultses, Spaz! You?re a foolses!?

?But Smez, I didn?t knowses it was all goneses ?til now!?

?So it seemses,? Smez glared, calming down and allowing his tone to drop to normal pitch. He examined the bag and noticed the tear for the first time. ?Hmmses??

?What is it, brotherses?? Spaz dared to question.

?It seemses that this bagses was already torn when we gotses it! It wasn?t your faultses at all. We just chose a lousy bagses.? Spaz sighed with relief that his brother didn?t know the truth because Spaz knew that tear was not there when they first got the sack. But he dare not tell Smez what he knew.

Smez laid down on the ground and grunted, his stubby snout floating up for a quick moment. ?Lookses like itses time to sleep, brotherses.?

Spaz looked up at the night sky coming through the canopy and he laid back, staring at those stars that shined so brightly. ?Smez??

?Whatses, Spaz?? came a grumpy voice from Spaz?s left.

?I?m hungryses.?

?I am tooses. Seemses we?ll have another nightses of sleep with an empty stomachses."
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