Check and Mate (Beta Draft)Check and Mate (Beta Draft)
Contests / 2013 / Beta Match-Making Contest / Phase Two
Shikamaru continued signing the after action reports, ignoring the loud music and the raucous laughter outside. Parties just weren’t his thing, even a blowout to celebrate the end of the Fourth Great War.
Even after he had dismissed them, his squad mates had tried their best to convince him to join them in the festivities. Ino had practically danced back into the tent, her long blonde hair flowing behind her, giving him a forced, flirtatious wink from under her long bangs. “Come with us Shikamaru!” she had teased, smiling through her sorrow and loss, but it didn’t reach her eyes. “The war’s over! We won! Surely we can forget the paperwork and live a little!”
Ino had been drowning in her grief; she desperately needed an escape from the reality of things dragging her down. She had held them all together. Tiles moved on his mental bo
Feral Rapunzel's First ChristmasA Tangled Christmas SpecialFeral Rapunzel's First Christmas3 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
~ Flynn Rider and the Feral Princess
- Chapter 1
Flynn Rider slammed the shutters closed, finally safe from that stupid (okay, not so stupid) horse.
"Alone at last." Flynn said as he opened the satchel and pulled out the crown. He moved to a tall thin window and held it in the light, the jewels sparkling in the light. The three huge jewels that were most prominent on the crown were amazing. He found himself counting and categorizing all the lesser jewels that encrusted the crown as well. He had a buyer all ready and after ditching the Stabbington brothers he was going to take their cuts as well, more then enough for his island.
Soon enough though the excitement over the crown wore off and he looked around. The room was plain, there were a couple of chairs (the red one looked comfy enough), a wardrobe (he'd want to check that out for valuables), a spinning wheel (big deal), a neat little kitchen (he'd rummage through that, he was beginning to get hungry), a h
Raided: 1 The RaidRaided - A Mericup StoryRaided: 1 The Raid2 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
~ The Raid
Aibhlinn was gutting fish in the early morning fog with her family. It had been a terrific catch and the entire village had been working hard all night to prepare the fish for preservation. They had run out of salt already, so mum was building up the fire to smoke the rest of the fish.
The smoke smelled heavy in the still air, which covered the stink of the fish guts a little.
Struan and some of his friends had gone out to the forest to get more wood, mainly branches to set the fish on. Aibhlinn liked Struan. He was a strapping lad, he made her feel a little funny inside and she tended to giggle for no reason whenever he looked at her. She was almost of age to start walking out with him. She was hoping so hard he would ask her, she tried to be near him as much as she could. He looked at her sometimes with such a gentle look on his face. Her pretty brown braids were falling apart from all the work, but she would make herself look extra good after a go
Raided: 2 Bows~ Raided: Chapter 2: BowsRaided: 2 Bows2 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
Fergus placed a bow on the dinner table by his wife’s plate.
“Fergus, no weapons on the table,” Queen Elinor said out of habit not looking up from the letter she was reading.
“You know lass, I keep wondering why you say that.”
“Oh, my mum always made us do that so we would take the time to talk instead of fiddle with our weapons,” said Elinor.
Fergus thought for a moment. “If it is so important to talk, why do you read so much at the table?”
Elinor blinked. She looked up and looked at her husband, daughter and sons. Then she looked back at the letter and folded it up and put it away. “You’re right, I should spend my time with you and not with some letters.”
“Have there been anymore raids?” asked Merida.
“Not so far this week, there have been three so far this summer but putting extra men to the coastal towns aren’t stopping them. We need to do something different.
Raided 15: The WeddingRaided: Chapter 15: The WeddingRaided 15: The Wedding2 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
The door shut behind Hiccup and the room went dark. He heard the bar slide into place, and his heart began to race again.
Elinor had told him that all he had to do was retrieve Merida from the dungeon during a mock raid. The idea seemed a bit odd, but it made a weird kind of sense, most of the interactions between the Viking and the Highlands had been raids and they were acknowledging that.
Hiccup was hoping that there wouldn’t be too many injuries. Elinor had confided in him that she was hoping this would also tire everyone so the new couple could have a quiet night together.
Elinor had just locked him into this dark room. Merida was in here somewhere, but how to find her. He waited as his eyes tried to adjust to the darkness. The slave chain on his belt clanked gently.
He started as he heard some rocks start rolling nearby. There was a thump and a window opened. There in the beam of sunlight was a white cocoon topped with wild red hair.
Raided 13: The Althing~ Raided: A Mericcup Story: Chapter 13: The AlthingRaided 13: The Althing2 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
“So how will the Althing help with the woman problem and the raiding of Scotland?” asked Hiccup.
“Well, son. At the very least we would be able to buy slave wives for the men.” said Stoic.
“Dad, that’s not a good solution and doesn’t help with the Scots.”
“No, but it is an option and is a simple answer to the most pressing problem.” Stoic held up a hand to keep Hiccup from butting in. “But there should be unattached women from other tribes available that might consider marrying into the tribe.”
“Okay, but what about protecting the Scots?”
“I am not exactly sure. I don’t really have a good understanding of the law and other nations. That’s why I want to talk to the lawspeaker and introduce you to him as well.”
“Yes, you. I don’t exactly have a plan yet. There are too many things I just don’t kn
Eugene Frees the Feral Princess- Chapter 2Eugene Frees the Feral Princess3 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
~ Eugene Fitzherbert Frees the Feral Princess
Eugene worked his lock-picks into the shackles. He could feel the rust in the mechanism. How many years had it been since they were last opened?
Solara whimpered as his face screwed up in anger.
"It's okay. I'm sorry, it's just a bit rusty. I'll get you out in just a minute." Eugene said trying to reassure the Lost Princess and calm himself. Then the lock clicked and the shackled fell free.
Solara just stared at her free wrist for a long moment while Eugene got to work on the other. She started moving her free wrist around, a look of wonder on her face as her arm felt so weightless without the heavy shackle on it or having to move her other arm with it.
"There you go. You're finally free," said Eugene, smiling, as the other lock clicked open.
Solara turned and jumped around the room, her arms flailing wildly as she felt so free. Eugene smiled, as he caught the crown, that flew off her head. She was sure taking delight in her new
Raided : 12 Joinings~ Raided: A Mericcup Story: Chapter 12: JoiningsRaided : 12 Joinings2 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
“Her hair is like a fully enflamed Monstrous Nightmare. Her eyes are blue like the clear sky after a blizzard. Her hands are strong and callused but her touch is gentle like pussywillows. She smelled of apple. Her skin is like warm cream. Her face is round like a bowl you cup in your hands before drinking in her wonderful goodness.” Hiccup had his hands cupped before him.
“And her lips.” Ruffnut cooed.
“H-her lips....” Hiccup licked his own.
“sNerk.” A slightly muffled laugh came from Tuffnut.
Hiccup snapped out his revere. He looked around at the other teens and dashed away into the darkness beyond the bonfire on the observation deck, blushing bright red.
“Aw, you had to ruin it, didn’t you.” Ruffnut complained hitting her brother.
“Stop it! Won’t you ever stop it?” shouted Astrid, rising and spinning her ax in her hand.
Everyone stared at her.
Raided 15: One Last TimeRaided: Chapter 15: One Last TimeRaided 15: One Last Time2 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
Merida tottered out of the meeting that she and her mother had had with Astrid. Mum was arranging a room for the girl and a place for her dragon.
Merida had a hand on the stone wall guiding her, because she wasn’t sure how she was feeling. Hiccup had sent Astrid, the girl she thought Hiccup liked, to ask Merida to marry him. It would be a political marriage, the way to stop the raids on Scotland.
Merida stumbled down the stairs, grabbing the handrail. Her eyes didn’t seem to want to focus, her ears couldn’t hear. Part of her was raging, she didn’t want to give up her freedom. The freedom she had fought so hard for and hurt her mum over. Another part of her liked Hiccup, and held out the hope that maybe she could love him like Mum loved Da. The princess part of her knew what had to be done for the sake of her people.
Her feet carried her out of the castle and into the woods. There was a comforting presence next to her, Kevin MacG
~ Raided: 11 The Scotland Question~ Raided: A Mericcup Story: Chapter 11: The Scotland Question~ Raided: 11 The Scotland Question2 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
# # #
Merida came tearing out of the castle. Maudie had told her a dragon had been sighted.
She looked into the sunset. It was Toothless. She ran to wait in the big field as he got closer. Her parents and others came to see. The trees were covered in the bright green of new spring growth now.
She had figured out that Hiccup was trying to get away from her once Astrid had shown up. As her parents had talked to Astrid, Hiccup had cupped her cheek in his hand and looked into her eyes, then he had gathered his things and left without a word. She figured that it was somehow too dangerous for him to say something. It was obvious that Astrid was jealous, and dangerous. But it had left her feeling devastated for him to leave without actually saying good-bye to her and she didn’t know why.
She knew that Astrid was dangerous, but so was she. Hiccup had said Astrid had basically claimed him after he recovered from their adventure
Rapunzel Goes HomeAfter a long wonderful kiss, Rapunzel broke off the kiss and hit Eugene with her fist, "Why did you do that!? Why did you leave me!?" she cried.Rapunzel Goes Home4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
He caught her arm, the shackle clanking, "Ouch, That wasn't my idea. The Stabbington brothers knocked me out, tied me to the boat and shoved me off. They knew about you and your hair. I tried to warn you but they hit almost as hard as you do." He rubbed his head with his free hand.
"I didn't mean that, why did you cut my hair? I couldn't heal you. You were dying and I couldn't do anything about it!. You died!" Rapunzel was crying hard now.
Taking her in his arms. "I'm sorry, death was better then seeing you enslave yourself to your mother. If you were free I knew you'd be okay, I saw how wonderful you became when you were free. You are too amazing to leave trapped in a tower forever. I love you too much to let you do that even to save my own life."
Rapunzel looked somewhat mollified, "And why did you come back?"
"At first, because I thought th
Raided 7: Questions~ Raided: A Mericcup Story: Chapter 07: QuestionsRaided 7: Questions2 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
Hiccup woke up to the sound of Toothless’ teeth extending, which made him sit up and look around really quickly. It was really early in the morning, a torch was guttering low on the wall by the kitchen. The windows were covered with wooden shudders and furs to keep out the cold but there were still drafts making the torch waver.
In front of Toothless were four young children. Three were redheads, Merida had introduced them as Harris, Hubert and Hammish, but he had no idea who was whom. Merida seemed to have no problem with it though.
There was another child, a little blonde girl about the same age as the boys. She had a halo of messy blonde hair, that told Hiccup that she must be related to Lord MacGuffin. He knew that Lord MacGuffin had some other children besides Kevin, his firstborn. There was a son about Hiccup’s age that he had seen, but hadn’t been introduced to. As well as a preteen girl, who he had seen rush up
Raided: 10 Back to Berk~ Raided: A Mericcup Story: Chapter 10 : Back to BerkRaided: 10 Back to Berk2 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
Hiccup and Astrid glided into Berk. Hiccup was amazed as it looked like the whole village turned out as they came in. Everyone was shouting questions, and crowding around him. Astrid was glaring at everyone as they dismounted. Hiccup was looking for his father, but so many women were so close to him, touching him. Astrid and Ruffnut elbowed their way right next to him as Stoic came barreling through the crowd.
“Hiccup, son!” called Stoic as he caught his son up in a hug. “You’re alright. What happened? When you didn’t come back in time we sent out search parties.”
“Oh, ah, good. Did anyone find the message I left at Nest 5?”
“Yes, but saying you went looking for it didn’t exactly help. I found him in Scotland.” grumbled Astrid.
“Scotland?” Whispers wandered through the crowd.
“I found the dragons feeding off Scotland and I helped them deal with
Raided: 4 Getting to Know You~ Raided: Chapter 04: Getting to Know YouRaided: 4 Getting to Know You2 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
The black dragon stood and began limping its way behind the humans. It could not close one wing completely because of the injury. Fergus had MacGuffin’s son and the Dingwall hunk flank the dragon, ready to take it down if it tried anything as the rest of the warriors surrounded the dragon and the Viking.
As they entered the lit great hall, the thump of Fergus’ peg leg and the squeak of Hiccup’s artificial leg resounded in the empty space. Their eyes met, the question was obvious.
“A demon bear. It attacked my wife and daughter,” said Fergus.
“A dragon. To defend my tribe,” said Hiccup.
Fergus nodded, a slight respect grew between them.
Once inside the Great Hall, Elinor ordered space made for the dragon to lie down, and extra candles and torches brought for light so they could care of the wounded. The servants were giving the dragon a wide berth and many warriors stayed nearby to guard the dragon and th
Raided: 6 Friendship~ Raided: A Mericcup Story: Chapter 06: FriendshipRaided: 6 Friendship2 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
“We have a new problem. A really big problem,” warned Hiccup, leaning on his fists on the table.
“We already have a problem, are you saying there is a bigger problem out there we have to deal with? We took out a lot of dragons, finally.” asked Fergus. He had one of the boys on his lap. He was feeling pretty good, they had taken out a large number of dragons and the rest had fled. They had lost only a few sheep.
“Yes. Admittedly, you did really well out there today, taking down so many dragons so quickly is impressive, but you lost a lot of people,” explained Hiccup.
After the battle, they began treating the wounded in the Great Hall. Hiccup showed them that the best way to deal with a Nadder quill was to push it through rather then pull since it was barbed. There was the man with the charred stump of a hand--it looked like Gronkle burns--who they were plying with strong ale as two burly guys and a ma
The Feral Princess Reaches the Palace- Chapter 3The Feral Princess Reaches the Palace3 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
~ The Feral Princess Reaches the Palace
Eugene Fitzherbert was trudging though the dark forest of the night. He couldn't stop. Something inside him pushed him to keep going.
He was carrying the Lost Princess now, she had fallen asleep long ago. She wasn't waking up, but she was breathing. The long golden hair trailed along behind them, at least it wasn't getting in the way. He had no way to carry that too, but it scared him deeply how light she was. The cloak she was wearing was the heaviest thing on her.
A lost child needed to be with her parents again. He had lost his own parents to the darkness of death, but he knew her parents still lived and where. She had to be returned home. Nothing else mattered to him anymore. A family deserved to be together.
How many times could his heart be broken? His emotions churned. Why did the kidnapper treat the princess like an animal? Worse than an animal!
She had been chained up, naked, in a dark room. As far as he could tell she had ne
Raided 8: Flying~ Raided: A Mericcup Story: Chapter 08 : FlyingRaided 8: Flying2 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
“So what was your first flight like?” asked Merida casually, as she and Hiccup sat down near the fire, watching Toothless curl up for a nap. The thought of riding a dragon was so very interesting.
Toothless could fully extend his wings now. They were settling down after taking him outside to flap his wings to stretch them out. He had thrown up quite the flurry of snow from the snowstorm the previous day. It was getting a little bit warmer; at least it was warm enough to snow now.
Merida was unprepared for the reaction she got from Hiccup’s face. He smiled, not just a little awkward smile but a real all the way to the eyes smile. She knew she was seeing the real Hiccup, like when she had seen her real mum in her room just before the introduction of the suitors.
“It was amazing. Our first flight didn’t go so well, because I hadn’t figured everything out yet, hardly anything actually. I had created a new t
Raided: 9 Goodbyes~ Raided: A Mericcup Story: Chapter 09 : GoodbyesRaided: 9 Goodbyes2 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
Toothless landed by a sheltered outcropping of rock. He used the last of his flame to heat the ground. Together Hiccup and Merida curled up in Toothless’ protective embrace.
“Hiccup, are we going to be okay? We aren’t really prepared for a blizzard,” asked Merida, drawing her cloak close, it was a little charred on the edge but she had ducked behind Hiccup as they flew through the fire. They didn’t have any food or water; they were only supposed to take an hour to look around. Eating the snow was too dangerous, it was so cold it would chill them faster and kill them. She knew they could last a day or two without food and water, but lack of shelter was a serious problem in a blizzard. However, the blizzard felt relatively warm after the terrible cold of this winter.
“We’ll be okay, Toothless can keep us warm. Here, lay on me and cover us with your cloak.”
“Hiccup that leaves you with
Raided: 3 Dragons~ Raided: A Mericcup Story: Chapter 03: DragonsRaided: 3 Dragons2 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
“Mum, can I talk to you?” Asked Merida to the woman in a glittery green dress sitting at the table reading through some letters.
Queen Elinor glanced up regally and said, “Yes, dear. What is it?” but her eyes returned to the letter she was reading.
Merida glanced up at the crown sitting on her mother’s head and then tried again. “Queen Elinor. I’d like to speak with my mum, please.”
Elinor blinked and glanced at her daughter. Then she nodded, put down the letter, took off her crown and turned to face her daughter. “I’m sorry, what was it you wanted to talk to me about?”
“I was going over the harvest reports like you asked and this year’s crop was very good, but there are a lot of people saying it’s going to be a cold winter, and are looking to stockpile firewood. How can they know that?”
Elinor paused for a moment, frowning slightly, that seemed more
Raided: 14 The Challenge~ Raided: Chapter 14: The ChallengeRaided: 14 The Challenge2 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
The tribe kept an eye on the Skivvy Scroungers while dragons stayed close to Hiccup as he trained with his father. Everyone could see a few of BigEars’ men loitering near Stoic’s campsite. Stoic had some men keep watch.
The Althing still had quite a bit of business to take care of, and since it was traditional for a holmgang to have a cool down period between the acceptance of the challenge and the fight itself, it would be several days before the fight. That allowed the ship bringing Toothless to arrive.
Fishlegs dumped an armload of bread onto the table. Gobber and the teens dug in, as they sat in Stoic’s tent after another day of watching and training.
“Hiccup, you had to go mess up a good thing.” complained Snotlout as they met around a table in Stoic’s tent.
“What do you mean?” asked Hiccup.
“I had all those girls swarming me.” said Snotlout.
“Hey, it’s not that bad.”
The Feral Princess and Prince Eugene- Chapter 10The Feral Princess and Prince Eugene3 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
~ The Feral Princess and Prince Eugene
The queen and Solara found Eugene in the music room where an elderly harpist was playing carols.
"Solara, dear. Stay with Eugene. Papa and I need to finish a few things before the ceremony," said Queen Rebecca.
"Yes, Mama." Solara said, as her face bloomed into a magical smile and she rushed over to him to hug him.
Eugene stood in time to catch Solara and hold her tight, he could see the gentle smile on the queen's face before she turned and left. He liked that smile. It was so much better then her tranquil fury face. That face scared men and nations.
He remembered standing there as the queen came to stand between him and her husband as the body of the kidnapper was being taken down to be burned, her face smeared with the blood of the woman who had stolen her child. Everyone remained silent in terrified awe of the queen. He had wanted to be a lot further away than right next to her, like the far side of the planet, but he was certain
The Crowns of DunBroch - FergusThe Crowns of DunBroch - King FergusThe Crowns of DunBroch - Fergus3 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
Fergus turned the key to his strongroom and took the torch with him inside as he closed the door behind him. He lit the other torches already in the room. Putting the torch in the holder by the door he went to the small chest in the niche in the middle of the wall.
He carried it to the heavy table in the center of the room, put it down near the end of the table and sat with a sigh. He pulled out another smaller key and opened this chest. He reached in and placed the object inside on the table at the center of the table.
Fergus sighed again. He was looking at his crown. He hated that thing.
It was round, as a crown should be. There were four large emeralds around the intricately engraved band, surrounded by diamonds, pearls and other precious gems. It was as silly as it was heavy.
But it was his.
He was the king.
He was in charge.
The clan lords had raised him to be king after he joined the clans together to fight the northern invaders. Clan DunBroc
The Return of the Feral Princess- Chapter 5The Return of the Feral Princess3 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
Author's Notes: I don't have enough time before Christmas to put these in their own chapters, so they are all together here. The first chapter is how Margaret is feeling about the Lost Princess as she is getting the broth. Then how the lantern ceremony went down this time and finally the King and Eugene have a little talk.
~ To Save the Feral Princess
Margaret the Lock Maid was running down the cream-colored corridor as fast as she could. She couldn't cry yet. She had to get to the kitchen, the doctor needed broth for the Lost Princess. They were depending on her to save the princess.
She slid through the corners. She threw all propriety to the wind and slid down the banister. She had pledged her life to protect the princess, but right now the princess just needed broth to live.
The Worst Case Scenario was that the princess returned as an evil apprentice to Maleficent with the intent of ruling the world, not that it would be that obvious, of course. Most everything that wou
The Feral Princess And Her Friends- Chapter 8The Feral Princess And Her Friends3 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
~ The Feral Princess And Her Friends
The queen went into the solarium where Solara and the others were having a lesson with the Headmistress of the Orphanage, Elsbeth Hildegard. Solara was slowly reading a book out loud, with Elsbeth gently correcting her on the more difficult words. They were all facing the cheery fire that burned in the central fireplace.
The Little Braid Girls were finishing up Solara's braid for the day. They had such fun creating a new style every day. Today had an intricate pattern that reminded the queen of the tail of a fish and her daughter looked like a mermaid as they draped it behind her and spread the hair a little to form a tail.
The girls gave themselves applause since it looked so beautiful. Solara turned to see it, smiled and said, "Thank."
"Ah, ah, dear. Use a complete sentence, please." Rebecca said as she approached. They were trying to encourage the princess to speak and use more words then just grunts and gestures. They had to be quite