Abby - The Serpent's Den 3 TG
The Serpent's Den of Buried Secrets (cont.)
After she explained the message to him, Marcus sat up clenching the arms of his chair.
"Covaley University? You're sure?"
Abby nodded quietly and asked, "Why?" She knew the university well enough. It was where Demetrius and Marcus both worked for a time. Abby found it nice enough but the areas cut deep into the watery bedrock always seemed to unsettle her for some reason.
Marcus thrust himself out of the chair and rushed over to his phone. Abby followed. As Marcus waited for the operator, he said, "I find it very strange that not only did this happen now but at that place. You see, I was about to mention Covaley University."
Before he could continue, there was a voice on the other end. Marcus stressed that there was a danger to the university in B4. The operator connected him to security, which "took down the information". Marcus glared into the phone and soon hung it up.
Brushing his hands together, Marcus looked at Abby. "Demetr
Abby - The Serpent's Den 2 TGAbby - The Serpent's Den 2 TG4 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
The Serpent's Den of Buried Secrets (cont.)
Abby unbuttoned her jacket and let it flutter in the breeze as she walked along the sidewalk. The bottoms hung like they were starched because of the weight inside.
This was Layola Court. She paused a moment to think about her route, wondering if she could avoid taking Rizale Avenue. However, it led into Geronimo Street and she loved that one. It was like flying on the way down and a massive mountain climb on the way up.
Layola Court went on for a while with the same houses. A few bots, like large hummingbirds, hovered into windows and darted between old willow trees. At the corner, she looked across the street to Arjuna Park. The trees seemed a little taller than she remembered and the vast swath of grass, which used to loom before her like a strange wilderness, felt smaller. She remembered stalking through the grass and exploring while Demetrius sat on one of the stone benches and jotted "random idea" notes in his notebook.
Abby - The Serpent's Den 4 TGAbby - The Serpent's Den 4 TG4 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
The Serpent's Den of Buried Secrets (cont.)
Abby slipped on a pair of gray gloves from her pocket and consulted the campus map. She considered saving a picture of it but worried about Vivian's "tracking". So she just took a long look. She noted sections B-10 through B-12 were "indefinitely-closed".
The central hub of the campus had wide, carpeted stairways. Abby was terrified of them when she was younger. They would vibrate with every step she took. She climbed one with some of her old caution and surveyed the area. She was the only person in sight.
According to the map, there were several possible routes. The second main floor had a large central heating and cooling area. Unfortunately, she doubted that the ducts were human-sized and probably hadn't been cleaned in months. The elevators were the obvious route. Same with the stairs. Abby frowned and tried to think of other options. No sub-levels to crawl around this time.
Abby also pondered whether to leave anything she had
Lanuleta University Part 7 TGLanuleta University Psychology ClassLanuleta University Part 7 TG5 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Where The Truth Is Revealed
I shook my head and told myself that any giant bugs I remembered from dreams were probably just false memories. I sipped my soda and moved closer to the front of the café where things weren't quite so lonely.
Still, I felt an unnerving sensation that something was there just over my shoulder, though I didn't see anything. I plopped my head on table. I'd read about the psychology computers in the library and they only gave users a few minutes of the symptoms of an abnormal condition and only when you were there. I knew from the last class with safety protocol not to mix more than three conditions without standing up and looking away from the magical field around the computer.
But I couldn't really remember much about what I'd done with the computer. I really hoped that wasn't a sign of amnesia. If Professor Kellemann was still around, then I knew I could stop by and ask about this. If nothing else, there
Lanuleta University Part 6 TGLanuleta University - PsychologyLanuleta University Part 6 TG5 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Where Memory Is Concerned
I wrote all I could about memory till my left hand seized up into a ragged claw of Absolute Suffering. Then I dragged it across the page again.
*I think you have enough.*
Maybe. But there was this line right at the edge of my thoughts. Even if it took all hour, I probably wouldn't get it but it seemed to taunt me. So I wrote some more just to show that I didn't need it.
And then I still had time. Rats!
I tried to corral my wild imagination with possibilities for my abnormal psych paper and then connect that with the subjects which were coming up in my organic biology and chemistry classes. But I kept wandering to the idea of "gratuitous boy-on-boy butt-secks", which Andrea wrote on the dorm marker board.
But I almost had to smack myself because I was getting into that idea to the point it was like my skin was about to launch itself like a rocket.
And then it was time to stop being Crazy-Nasira and time to listen t
Lanuleta University Part 5 TGLanuleta University Psychology ClassLanuleta University Part 5 TG5 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Where I Get To Know More
After a lovely lunch with Nasira, she followed me back to my room. Both Berns were cooking some kind of pasta. Shawn was practicing something resembling tai chi. And Quinn was away.
It was just Nasira and me in my room. Despite how small it was, we sat together on my bed and Nasira's gentle hands traced all over me. Her body around me made me shiver despite its warmth.
Her hands clutched so close to mine that I couldn't tell where my hands ended and hers began. Her breath around my cheek flowed into my breath and mingled with it. It was wonderful and so strange.
To be loved like this, all cares about my body and this world flew away. I could be Michelle for this Nasira forever if she wished it.
But I felt a tickle in my stomach. I sighed and leaned from Nasira's embrace.
She bent forward, her hair curling in dark colors. "What's wrong, Michelle?"
Looking at her face, twisted in concern, I lost my word
Lanuleta University Part 4 TGLanuleta University - PsychologyLanuleta University Part 4 TG5 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Where Everyone Is Female
The absence of the voice worried me as much as my sudden change of gender. Movement felt so disconcerting because my body impression in my head didn't match what I was feeling. I was grateful for the small breasts on my chest. They were still rather sensitive though.
I tried calling out loud to the voice and paused. The more I heard it, the more this voice resembled 'the voice'. It wasn't a perfect match but it felt very similar.
I tightened my broad lips, scratched at my elbow, and figured I couldn't hide out in the bathroom forever in the hope this would just pass.
Walking around didn't help the disconcerting feeling, so I tried to focus on the world around me and not trip.
I tightened my bag and noticed a little toy frog dangling on the end of it which wasn't there before. I brushed back a bit of hair. I really didn't like it this long. I searched my bag for an elastic hair band and found one near the bottom. I al
Our House TG - Part 2 of 2Our House (continued from Part 1)Our House TG - Part 2 of 24 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
I could tell she was serious. Her hand trembled a little with her grip. Slowly, she looked away and said, "So you don't go into black doors. That's the end. No more of it."
She turned away from the door and cleared her throat. "We can go back and find the beach. It's nice. You don't even need a swimsuit. You dry instantly anyway." She gave a little laugh and started walking away from the black door. I followed her around a corner. She stopped fast and panted in front of me. I looked ahead.
There was another black door right next to the white one we'd entered through. Only this one was open a crack. Just a crack. It shifted a little. The door undulated like how the bathroom door used to do when it was really windy and it was just barely open. It moved out and back. The latch clicked a little when it touched. The sound was like crunching something brittle under foot.
Maggie took a long breath and bent her head around to me. "Stop thinking about bl
Invalid Login TGInvalid LoginInvalid Login TG5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
I finally got home from my new job after an hour of different buses.
After kicking off my shoes and cracking my back, I set my bags on the kitchen table. I heated up some day-old pasta with cheddar chunks melted in a bowl for supper and slid my laptop out of its bag after I'd had a few bites.
I thought for a moment on the third bus that I'd lost my laptop but it had just slid a ways underneath. As soon as I moved to open my laptop, I paused and rubbed my hands over the top. It felt different. I had a flash of prickly terror where I feared that I'd accidentally swapped laptops with someone else. Turning it on, I got a sudden zap of static electricity from the keyboard. I had a moment of strange wooziness but it soon passed.
My heart raced and thoughts of how screwed I might be swelled through my head. But all the fear went away when my wallpaper was there and everything was in the right place.
Easing back in my chair, I made sure to backup my work files to the flash
Lanuleta University Part 3 TGLanuleta University - PsychologyLanuleta University Part 3 TG5 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Where Things Start To Get Complicated
I didn't actually slack off that night. I read a good bit of the assigned reading after dragging myself back from my later classes. Then, I went with both Berns to dinner in the cafeteria and drowned my confusion and anxieties in several glasses of root beer.
Neither probed about my first day. Both ate ravenously. Mostly they just talked about the game. I nodded at points but I was mostly curious if Nasira would make another appearance.
I thought I saw her a few times. One girl actually had a reflect ability to present what others wanted to see. I could tell because her Nasira-like skin was see-through.
The two Berns did give me a look at my searching gaze. They shared a couple looks between themselves but didn't pry.
*The Berns are really cute together. Two for one deal too.*
I imagined music drowning out the girlish musings of my voice and that kept her at bay for a while.
Back at the roo
TG - Kevins in BikinisKevins in BikinisTG - Kevins in Bikinis5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
All her life Kevin Jo Starkel had wished for two things: a little sister and a first name that she wasn't forced to share with her older brother. Through an odd clause in the will of her great-uncle Mendel, Kevin's parents had to name their first two children 'Kevin' after Mendel's father to inherit college annuities for all their children from his estate. They were given the right to choose a different middle name for each.
Miss Kevin Starkel had long loathed her great-uncle for assuming she would be born a boy. When it came to school, her parents made sure that the teachers and principal knew that her name was always to be "Kaye" or "Jo" for the sake of anything around her peers. For years, she kept the secret of her real first name from most friends and would always tense up when there was a substitute. Oftentimes, she just skipped those classes.
Once, she was chosen to get an award and a fill-in speaker spoke the "hated" name. While she tried to show no rea
Lanuleta University Part 2 TGLanuleta University - PsychologyLanuleta University Part 2 TG5 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Where I Have Plenty To Think About
Fortunately, Psychology was my only class in Longbloom Hall. This was good because it was on the far side of the campus from the dorms. My other classes were in the much closer Dixon Hall.
Once outside, I grabbed a coffee from the nearest cart vendor. Aside from being the furthest, Psychology was also the earliest for me and it let out too late for breakfast and too early for a decent lunch.
Still, as I stood there and sipped, I considered whether to head back to my room for noodles or to wait on the cafeteria or the café serving anything that wouldn't require I use actual money.
After some thought and the voice going on about needing to "learn the layout", I took a walk around the center of the campus. There were about five main roads that divided things up and it was about a square kilometer in size (according to the info on their website and including land to grow).
The new athletics center had just been
Our House TG - Part 1 of 2Our HouseOur House TG - Part 1 of 24 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
It had been three weeks since my mother died and one week since my dad moved into an assisted living manor due to advancing dementia. The family home was my responsibility now. I had good, older memories there.
When I was a little boy, I could remember riding atop my medium-sized, battery-powered toy train. I laid the tracks in the den and up the steps and around into the hallway. The darkness of the hall with the lights off made it like a tunnel. Then the train moved down to the living room and off to my bedroom. After a certain age, I was too big to ride, so I would put my toys and stuffed animals atop it and play conductor.
It was a beautiful time. My mother was a life-long head librarian for the county library and my father edited reference texts, so there was no shortage of books about the house. Sadly, neither had the mind or eyes to read for years.
I was a happy child but routinely sickly. No matter though. A day home from school meant another day on the railroa
The Artwork TGThe ArtworkThe Artwork TG4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
I began life as a line, only vaguely-aware of the pencil and artist above me and the paper beneath me. The line, soon to be my arm, wobbled a bit. The wobble was soon corrected by the eraser and a touch of the pencil.
With time, the rounded outline of my head, marked by a light X, emerged from simple, supporting lines underneath. I could feel where the pencil touched. It was electric, like a slight, stimulating shock. Like directed pins and needles. Each touch brought more and more into me, like the guiding hand was giving of itself. I felt a sliver of that presence far above me, distant but still connected.
From the nebulous presence of my form, sketched in basic bubbles, came slow solidity. The sticks which were my arms fleshed out with broad, muscular texture. Tense, spread fingers extended from my bulky hands. I was strong.
The strength of my arms spread out to a muscular chest. The lines of hard muscles asserted themselves. The form of a rough tunic traced those
Abby -The Serpent's Den End TGAbby -The Serpent's Den End TG4 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
The Serpent's Den of Buried Secrets (conclusion)
In the quiet, Abby could hear a number of far-off footsteps. Some were small and quick. She asked Moira, "Is there anything you can do?"
"Yes. There are many things I can do. But few of them I wish to do anymore. She is here to destroy me. I deserve it."
Abby grimaced. "Then I'll talk to her. I'll convince her."
"If you wish "
Taking a few steps away from Moira and back towards the stairs, Abby set her feet. Vivian didn't take long to come down. The Aiborae hugged close to Vivian as they looked up at the giant bug. Dora shut her eyes and stuck her tongue out to the side like she was grossed out. Cora glanced at Abby with a faint smile, clutching a bit of candy wrapper in her hands.
Vivian brushed their hair as she spoke, "So .what's the plan this time? You convince me to see the error of my ways like so many others and we hold hands and it ends happily ever after?"
Abby took a breath and gestured to the Aiborae. "E
You Are Me - TGYou Are MeYou Are Me - TG5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"You are me. Embrace me. Embrace us."
I willed myself not shiver at the sound. They wouldn't find me, I told myself. They were still just scanning, getting rid of the easy ones first. Digging into closets would be a last resort. I was sure of it.
"We will be one, together. There is no escape."
They spoke as a singular presence in a stereo of identical, womanly voices. Each word perfectly in sync. Before my buddy Ethan was one of them, he used the analogy of the Borg. Big Star Trek fan. He got assimilated too.
Shutting my eyes only helped me to hear them better and I didn't have the balls to try covering my ears. Too much of a chance I might noisily scuff something.
"You will be perfection. You will be one of us. You will be beautiful, always."
I tried to find a comfortable position where I was in the closet. Their icy-blue vision slipped into flashes behind my tired, twitching eyes.
Four days ago. At least. Maybe a week. Maybe longer. That was when it started. I didn'
No Bails TGNo BailsNo Bails TG4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Ashley landed flat on his back with his Razor scooter tumbling away from him on the sidewalk. He muttered a quiet, "Shit " to himself and rested there a moment.
As he hopped up and picked up his scooter, Josh came out of the Carroll & Pearton Books coffee shop with a heavy bag poised at his slender elbow and a small cup of hot green tea in his hands. He gave a nod to Ashley and said, "They didn't have cinnamon-apple tea."
Arching a thin eyebrow, Ashley shrugged. "Sokay. Almost nailed that trick."
Josh pulled one of the metal outdoor chairs over and sat down. "Yeah I saw some of it. Toby back yet?" Ashley shook his head and turned to the eye the small wall he'd just leapt off with his scooter. It was about six feet, pale brown, and had a great, flat top to ride across. It sheltered the carts for the small specialty market next to the bookstore.
Ashley made a move towards the other end but turned around when the white-shirted manager of th
The Quest TG - Chapter 2The Quest TG - Chapter 24 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Chapter 2 Tasks and Classes
As Koral walked, the wind was persistent across the grassland and always at her back. That was a good nudge forward but it meant her hair kept flying over her eyes with the larger gusts. She stopped a moment to search her changed items and decided to use the twine from the folder to hold her hair back. It worked well enough. While she had her stuff out, Koral nibbled on the bread of her sandwich. It was dry but good.
She scanned the horizon quietly till she noticed something had changed in the monotony of the landscape. A section ahead of her was lighter than the other sections and there was the faintest, brown bump, like a flaw in the undulating grass.
Securing her load, Koral hurried along towards the bump. It took her longer than she expected before the bump became recognizable as a structure. A long, double line of a wooden fence traced in front of it.
Koral restrained herself from running the rest of the distance. A metal
TG Boys vs. GirlsBoys vs. Girls Water FightTG Boys vs. Girls4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Runt's quivering, shrill voice echoed, "What are we gonna do?! They just got our commander with a water balloon assault! We're doomed!"
Flannel flashed his large hand, which looked more like a high schooler's than someone in sixth grade, over Runt's mouth. It completely muffled all but a faint, fearful murmur from Runt. Leaning close to Runt, Flannel said, syllable by methodical syllable, "Shut up."
With a loud swallow, Runt clenched his mouth closed and barely seemed to breathe as Flannel slowly released him from his grip.
I, "Tuna" by codename, looked to Flannel and wondered if I should take this as a gesture that he wanted to lead the group. Unfortunately, Flannel glanced over at me and asked, "Orders?"
The balloon assault which that had claimed Krait, our commander, came out of nowhere. I shuddered about how close I had been to the action.
The battle began fairly. We were properly-equipped and ready to set up our initial def
The Suit TGThe SuitThe Suit TG4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"Mr. Gardener? I am the representative from Nuhaizi Global. A pleasure to meet you."
I looked up from my desk at the young, Chinese woman who stood in the doorway of my office. She had long, perfectly-black hair which fell in a seamless curtain on her neck. Her suit was lean and black as well, with only the even collar edges of a light-red top showing at her neck. Her expression was neither inviting nor abrasive. It looked clinical. Her eyes avoided mine and her voice was without accent.
I stood from my chair and reached out my hand to her. She took it calmly with a sedate shake and a slight bow. I gestured to the chair in front of my desk. Before sitting, she reached into a pocket, retrieved an immaculate business card, and handed it to me.
The card gave her name as "Miss Lin Xiumei" on one side and in Chinese on the opposite. The Nuhaizi logo and name was right after that, followed by "International Representative in Matters of Legal Concern" and "Fluent in English, C
Abby - The Serpent's Den 1 TGAbby - The Serpent's Den 1 TG4 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
An Abby Longbloom Tale: The Serpent's Den of Buried Secrets - Part 1
Previously on The Abby Longbloom Tales...
Abby Longbloom, young explorer of parallel worlds, has been searching. Ever since the sudden disappearance of her father many years ago, she has sought clues in the reality-altering 'anomalies' he used to research. Despite her long travels, she knows she will find him again some day.
On her journeys, she brings a jacket with impossibly-deep pockets, a temperamental, shape-shifting blue scanner, and black goggles which allow her to discover anomalies and travel between universes. Upon her father's wishes long ago, she has vowed never to remove the goggles from her presence.
Her quest takes her to a world consumed by a massive, endlessly-growing Library. She searches for a strange book but finds so much more and the dangers of a library out of control because of one little girl's desperate wish to restore what has been lost.
Racing to change the Library's fate, Ab
The Quest TG - Chapter 1The Quest TG - Chapter 14 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Chapter 1 Four Directions
Koral's scream echoed in her head as she passed out. Slowly, like falling night, the hot light faded. She woke when the last of the burning behind her eyes had gone. Her mouth tasted full of bitter weeds. Coughing them back, she tilted her head up. More and more grass. Koral groaned and rubbed at her eyes. She really wanted that cigarette now.
Picking away at remnants of weeds, she tried to look around further. From her perspective, she should've been able to see at least a couple backstops and some portable buildings. But all she could see was endless grass. She turned a bit, figuring she was just facing the wrong way.
As much as she turned, all was grass. Koral gave a serious squint and murmured, "What the hell stupid grass " When she tried to get up, the grass had a bit of revenge for that comment, as she slipped on a moist, slick patch and plopped on her back.
Huffing, her second effort was successful as she stood t
The Quest TG - Chapter 3The Quest TG - Chapter 34 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Chapter 3 Mirrors
Gwen Chow gave a long cough and sat up. Her nose was running. Her ears were ringing. And it felt like every single vein in her body was throbbing in tune with her heart. But, overriding all else, she had the violent need to pee.
As her bladder nearly went to war against her, Gwen made a swift roll out of bed, somehow landing on her feet. Adrenaline kicked in and she scanned for the first sign of a bathroom. It was even closer than she hoped.
In a narrow opening mere feet away was a friendly-looking latrine. She dove for it even as her legs left her loose pants behind. She stretched her arms out and twisted her body as she tried to stick her landing.
She barely made it, bracing herself against the wall as the cascade came. With the release, even the sharpest other pains seemed tolerable. She had the luxury of grumbling about a dull headache.
Sitting there, she wiped at her nose with a roll of strange, darkly-colored paper set to the side
The Quest TG - IntroductionThe Quest TG - Introduction4 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Introduction Wind-Swept Strands of Fate
Koral Strener lingered at the very edge of Brookmoore High School. One more step and she would technically be on campus. She scuffed her boot across the weed-tangled broken pavement and set her black backpack against the fence for the moment. The lesser-used baseball fields loomed beyond the high grasses and wooden fence separating the field from 4-H. An echoing, harsh moo carried on a sudden burst of breeze.
Past the baseball fields, with their muddy ovals instead of diamonds and lumps instead of mounds, the portable buildings spread out across the grass like pale mushrooms. It was more of a walk to Koral's first class from this entrance but she preferred it.
She leaned back on her leathery, black boots, pivoting on the broad platform heel. From the pocket of her tight, charcoal pants, she pulled out a red carton of Poker cigarettes. Koral shut her eyes and sighed. She considered just putting them back.
Project Tan TeaserProject Tan TeaserProject Tan Teaser5 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
My eye gave that involuntary twitch again as I heard the security guard tell me, "I'm afraid you'll need use the line like everyone else, ma'am."
I swallowed that little bit of pride which remained and assured him, "I'm a man. My name is Dr. Andrew Wiler. I'm part of this lecture series. I was invited." I gestured to the posters under my arm for effect. I tried to keep the not-dry glue from seeping around my tweed jacket sleeve. I failed.
The guard gave an exaggerated cock of his head and squinted. He was probably channeling some TV-grade criminal investigator. I just smiled the best I could.
Eventually, he remarked, "You sure look and sound like a woman. Have any ID?"
I let slip a little wince and noted, "Afraid not " It was a lie. I had an ID but it had long ago been misprinted with an "F" for gender and wouldn't help my case. I had to give him that my black hair was past my shoulders and all my facial hair had long ago entered into a suicide pact.