The Nutcracker RevisitedThe Nutcracker Revisited
An Original Fiction by Dark Puck
As a child, Claire Simmons had always loved her Grandma Clara's story about how she had received a nutcracker as a Christmas present from her eccentric uncle, how the nutcracker had come to life to fight off an army of enormous rats, how she had saved him by distracting the Rat King when all had seemed lost, how the victory had broken the curse that had trapped a prince inside the nutcracker figurine, and how the prince had taken her to the Land of Sweets out of gratitude.
Now sixteen, Claire thought the tale was so much bull and was probably just an embellished dream Grandma Clara had had as a child. However, Claire made sure to keep her opinions to herself, as her multitude of little cousins still adored every word of the story. It was Christmas Eve, and Grandma Clara had finished her own story. As one, the cousins flocked to Claire, begging her to read them The Night Before Chri
Special DeliverySpecial DeliverySpecial Delivery8 years ago in Fan Fiction More Like This
Hot Spot groaned and buried his head into his folded arms. He was officially ten years old today. Ten -Earth- years old. The older mechs had, of course, poked fun at the fact that he was only one decade old while most of them were thousands of decades old.
Even by human standards he wasn't even old enough to drive; which was something he had been doing since his creation. Never mind the fact that his four brothers were the same age as he was. Down to hours apart even. He was the one who got teased about his age more than all of them put together.
In his quarters, ridiculous balloons with Big Bird and Garfield bounced around the ceiling; all of which sported the The Big 1-0! bubble text across them. Childrens birthday cards lined his desktop, and a large, Autobot size fire truck piñata was hung in the corner nearby. Nearly all of his so called
Father FigureHakoda watches for a moment while his son speaks to a man clad in ivory and indigo. It's not different to what many of the Lotus wear, nothing indicates his rank among his brethren nor obvious signs of his nationality. His skin is dark as men of the Water Tribe and his eyes are cool as iron, yet his hair is pulled into Fire Nation style. The man's face is serene and aged, wise and pleasant.Father Figure5 years ago in Fan Fiction More Like This
There's admiration in his son's eyes. Even from a distance away, Hakoda can see that.
Shining and bright, Sokka hovers eagerly with the man who might be Fire. The man smiles to the boy, a tried but delighted smile that relishes the story that Sokka babbles. The man's hand falls upon the boy's shoulder and squeezes tightly as they step away from the General, the Admiral, the King, and the Water Master. The step is easy and light and Sokka near bounces, showing moves with a figment of a sword. The man just adjusts the position that Sokka holds.
Like a father-warrior should do for his son. Like Hakoda
Let GoThey tell me it's up to me to end this.Let Go5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Maybe they don't say it outright, but I can tell by the way they keep looking at me as they pass me by. 'It's your responsibility', their eyes keep telling me, 'and if you don't end it it ain't never gonna end.'
How dare they. How dare they put this all on my shoulders, not just my team, but his team as well.
But it's up to me to end it, says popular opinion. They tell me these kind of things and they wonder why I go through Scrumpy like water. If they had this kind of pressure on them, I'd like to see any of those lads stay sober.
It's got to end somehow, though. He can't win this fight. There's no way. As strong as he is, as ironheaded, as fierce, and as brave... he can't win. The best he can do is this cruel stalemate, where nobody's gaining any ground, there ain't no end, just more suffering. But he won't stop. Not 'till someone he'll listen to tells him to, which I suppose would be me.
Funny how that works out, isn't it. We fought like mad,
Will O' The WispWill O' The WispWill O' The Wisp8 years ago in Fan Fiction More Like This
Continuity: G1 S3 with a dash of Marvel comic
Summary: Red Alert matches his wits against a murderer as subtle as a ghost and destructive as wildfire. Can Red Alert catch the murderer before the death total spirals out of control? Meanwhile, an old friend asks Red Alert a favour in finding a missing person.
- - -
Red Alert swore he was the only Autobot who actually took standing watch seriously. Well, someone had to. He saw them nodding off or daydreaming. Maybe they thought they could get away with it, that what they did didn't matter, but they'd be haunted enough if it was their laxity that led to the death of their comrades. Why couldn't they see that he just wanted to spare them that burden when he set off their car alarms?
Sideswipe came to with a shake and snort. He glanced left and right, half-panicked, and he eventually moaned, "Sunstreaker, you slagging son of a... Sunstreaker?" he squinted at Red Alert, bewildered.
PushTitle: PushPush6 years ago in Fan Fiction More Like This
Fandom: Avatar: The Last Airbender
Characters: Hyo [OC], Xin Wan [OC], Long Feng
Summary: Hyo, newly appointed Commander of the Dai Li, faces off against the Chief Mindbender, who delights in pushing any button he can find.
Notes: Xin Wan and Jae are the brainchildren of Bex and are used with permission and input from her.
Do I attract you?
Do I repulse you with my queasy smile?
The Dai Li had changed vastly in the near-two decades since Hyo had been invited to join them. His joining had predated Long Feng's directorship and regency for King Kuei by two years - and thus had predated the change in city policy regarding the war. Unlike some of the older Dai Li, by the time Hyo had finished his training, the new policy had gone into effect, so he didn't have as much trouble adjusting
TF2CV: Jordi+Anton Shorts Medic was glad the Spy had taken his hand.TF2CV: Jordi+Anton Shorts5 years ago in Fan Fiction More Like This
Ever since their encounter on the train, Medic had been mildly terrified of the Spy, who seemed to be able to do anything he wanted to, without being killed. It had taken him a while to realize that the Spy had no intention of killing REDs, and when he had, suddenly the Spy seemed even more courageous.
The Spy was even friends with (some) of Medic's teammates, and accepted Medic into his confidence without question. And though the Spy knew so much more about the small world inside the bases than Medic, he had helped Medic along the way.
It was nice.
(Translated out of German for your reading pleasure.)
Well, today was my first day at RED Base, where I'll be working as their Medic for the next six months. I rode a train here, with my team's Sniper and Spy. They both seem nice enough.
TF IDW Continuity - Regrets"Regrets"TF IDW Continuity - Regrets9 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
"Hunter, I don't see the point in debating the issue. I already told you--"
"You don't get it, do you? Or is it just that you don't WANT to get it, Ratchet? You can't do anything about this because Prowl's got a tree limb up his tailpipe, so you're refusing to acknowledge how you really feel about this."
The Autobot medic rubbed the back of his helm with one hand, the holomatter image of his "human self" mimicking the motions where it stood in front of Hunter. Nearby, Verity and Jimmy sat on their borrowed beds, watching and listening while their companion put forth what was sure to be yet another futile effort to make their alien hosts understand.
"It's a waste of words at this point, Hunter," Jimmy commented before lying back on the sheets, his hands clasped behind his head. "Don't bother. They don't get it."
Verity said nothing, shifting her gaze to the floor by her feet.
"I don't k
Dance - Urzai Title DanceDance - Urzai5 years ago in Fan Fiction More Like This
Characters Ursa, Ozai; mentions of the Royal Family
Summary Princess Ursa dances during a Fire Festival; Prince Ozai approves in his own way.
Dancing, of course, is forbidden within the Fire Nation and it's colonies.
Dancing, Fire Lord Azulon decided decades ago, wasted precious energy; energy that should be spent on strengthening the will of the Nation. The law began sweeping peasant festivals and dances and slowly stripped away dance from the regalia of the Nation's upper crust of nobility and upper echelon of it's military might.
There is only one key exception to public dance, and that came about as the result of the only bitter argument between the Firelord as his fanatically loyal Fire Sages. The Shrine Maidens are allowed to dance in slow shuffling steps to the low droning horns and strings of ritual appeasement to the Spirits that echo from temples.
From commoner girl to Princess; dance is not allowe
DarlingTitle: DarlingDarling6 years ago in Fan Fiction More Like This
Fandom: Avatar: The Last Airbender
Characters: The Dai Li (Bae [OC], Jae [OC], Liu [OC]), Mi-Cha [OC]
Summary: During the Occupation of Ba Sing Se, the Dai Li discover that one of their treasures has been stolen and abused.
Notes: Bae, Jae, and Liu are all the property of Bex and are used with her permission; Mi-Cha and her father are mine.
If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
- Matthew 7:11
Bae is out shopping for treats.
Unusual for an agent of the Dai Li, but Bae once worked under Lake Laogai, under the command of Xin Wan and Captain Liu, and he knows the workings of the mind. If he is to talk to the Fire Nation men left behind in Ba Sing Se, he needs to have something to set them
RecruitmentSo, what exactly is wrong with the subject?Recruitment7 years ago in Fan Fiction More Like This
The doctor shifted through his datapads entries, found what he was looking for and handed it to the visitor. As far as we can tell, it seems to be an extreme case of Multiple Personality Disorder resulting from well, you probably know.
The visitor nodded. The so-called Triple Changer process.
Yes, the doctor said, struggling to keep pace with the visitor as they walked to the interview room. The theory is that the physical trauma from undergoing the process shattered his mind into the state its in now. Its a shame, really. From what Ive heard of him, he was a real high-flier in the Elite Guard.
The visitor nodded but didnt add to the conversation. After a few seconds of uneasy silence the doctor tried again. Can I just say what an honor it is to have you here, Professor Mindwipe. We-
There is no need f
Nussknacker SampleThis is a sample chapter the rest has been removed now that the work has been published.Nussknacker Sample10 years ago in Fantasy More Like This
Despite the cacophony of a myriad of ticking clocks, Drosselmeier, the much sought-after clock-and-toy-maker, heard the unmistakable tinkling of his front bell telling him that someone had just entered his shop. He quickly flipped his eye patch down; it wouldn't do for anyone to know that a perfectly healthy eye lay beneath it. Wiping his greased fingers on a towel, he left his task on the workbench and stepped into the shop proper.
"Herr Drosselmeier!" came a hearty greeting from the equally hearty man standing just inside his doorway. The newcomer courteously tapped the tips of each if his boots on the welcome mat, knocking off the snow, then stepped up to the counter.
"Herr Stahlbaum," Drosselmeier returned with a smile and a bow of his head.
Stahlbaum's smile faded, his eyes haunted. "I haven't heard from your nephew Christoph in nearly a month. You're still visiting him every week, yes?
I'll Always Come Back to YouI'll Always Come Back to You8 years ago in Fan Fiction More Like This
Ill Always Come Back to You
Synopsis: It had been fifteen years since twelve year-old Clara freed Hans, the Nutcracker Prince, from his spell. And though the two loved each other very much, both went their separate ways; Hans to his clock making and Clara to her ballet. And sadly, over time, Clara had forgotten Hans and had become a wonderful dancer. But what became of Hans? And would he and Clara ever meet again?
It was a snowy day in Russia, when the lights died down at the old theater, which echoed with booming applause. Another ballet well done, Clara thought as she stood happily behind the curtain, breathless and excited. Quickly, she rushed to her dressing room.
She sat on the small stool and stared at her reflection, and sighed. Im still as plain as ever She thought, staring at her red hair and long nose. It feels strange being in Russia again. She thought as
Pumpkin King, Charlie BrownIt's The Great Pumpkin King, Charlie Brown!Pumpkin King, Charlie Brown7 years ago in Fan Fiction More Like This
by Kim McFarland
Dedicated to the memory of Charles "Sparky" Schulz
It was a dark and cloudy night. The moon, full and bright, shone onto a pumpkin patch, gleaming off the orange pumpkins and green vines. It also shone down on a small group of children. All but one - a boy with stringy hair - were wearing costumes.
"Come on, Linus," a black-haired girl dressed as a witch said to the uncostumed boy. "Every Halloween you sit out here all night and miss tricks or treats!"
"This year The Great Pumpkin'll come. I can feel it," Linus said confidently.
Lucy, the witch, rolled her eyes. "You don't even have a costume. But you don't need one. You could always go trick or treating as a blockhead!"
The other children laughed and walked off with Lucy. All but one, a boy in what was supposed to be a ghost costume. However, his clumsiness with the scissors had resulted in extra eyeholes in the bedsheet, making him look like the ghost of a pota
Saints of San AxolotlEcho birds are as common as muck, and about the same color. Theyre found only in San Axolotl, where they scurry along the paving stones and under the tables of the street cafes, through trash-clogged back alleys and down the walks of rooftop gardens, looking for scraps and seeds. Once you leave the city, though, the echo bird population tapers off within five miles, and the only specimens anywhere else in the world have glass eyes and are wired to their perches.Saints of San Axolotl6 years ago in Fantasy More Like This
Echo birds are not mimics. There are all kinds of mimics in the bird kingdom, from the pygmy mynah to the rare and savage Cassowary Macaw, whose repertoire generally consists of the screams and curses of its last unfortunate victim. Mimicry is no longer a particularly impressive trick. Any old parrot, with time and patience, can learn to whistle the national anthem and make obscene comments, or both at the same time.
The echo bird, however, does something quite beyond mimicry. If you encounter an echo bird, all you will s
DollmakerTitle: DollmakerDollmaker6 years ago in Fan Fiction More Like This
Author: Rebecca Hb.
Characters: Xin Wan (OC), Kiet (OC), a Joo Dee, and assorted unnamed extras
Word Count: 1500+
Summary: A typical day in the life of the Dai Li's Chief Mindbender.
The clock began to play.
The music brought Xin Wan slowly up from sleep. He lay in bed, listening until the end. Opening his eyes felt like too much work. His joints ached. His bedlinens were comfortable, and the bed was soft. The only two reasons to actually get up were the sun shining straight into his bedroom, and the brunch he had arranged with one of his Joo Dees.
Xin Wan considered telling her it was off when she arrived at the house. No. She would listen if he did.
He got up. He washed his hands and face in the washbasin, used the water to feed the bonsai trees, and went to find his clothes. He ignored the wardrobes of handsome robes and jackets for the trunk at the foot of his bed. That was filled with simple tunic and pants, clothing with no
Pay the Price of CommandTitle: Pay the Price of CommandPay the Price of Command6 years ago in Fan Fiction More Like This
Author: Dark Puck
Fandom: Avatar: The Last Airbender (Hyo [OC], Long Feng, Azula, Iroh, Mi-Cha [OC])
Summary: The tale of the man who unwittingly halted the seige on Ba Sing Se.
Notes: Written with the assistence of Bex; the character of Jae belongs to her and is used with permission. Partly written using a theme set from 7_Chakras on LJ.
There is fighting going on in the distance. Hyo can still hear it, and can only wonder when the fight will finally reach him.
He'd sent the others on ahead to help turn back the invaders, but had split away to follow a group of three Fire soldiers making their way through the Agrarian Zone. He'd attacked when the time was right but one of them had been a master firebender, and a surprising match for the Dai Li agent.
It had been a hard fight, but Hyo had triumphed in the end, killing the fi
It Has Come To My AttentionIt has come to my attentionIt Has Come To My Attention4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
that people like me
are generally not welcome in fairy tales.
It's the talking birds that do it.
The minute a sparrow shows up to pipe a direful warning
it's all over
down at the first hurdle
The body in the fifty-fathom well
will have to wait
the old woman turned into a hare
the murdered mother in the juniper tree
as I whip out my Sibley guide and look for the entry
with the fieldmark labeled capable of human speech.
For this crime
I have been accused of a failure of wonder
of having chained up my inner child and sent her
to work in the salt mines.
But the truth
(if you really want to know)
is that I have read too many fairy tales
and lived a bit too long
to be surprised by anything that happens in
the cottages of lonely woodcutters.
I can even venture a guess
to why the bear speaks with the voice of a maiden
(my heart goes out to her)
and why, when the animal has saved your life,
you will be required to make a harp out of its bones.
These are o
The Way to the EndTitle: The Way to the EndThe Way to the End6 years ago in Fan Fiction More Like This
Author: Rebecca Hb.
Characters: Long Feng, Hyo (OC), Xin Wan (OC), Jae (OC), Qin (OC), Xiang (OC), Liu (OC), assorted supporting role named Dai Li agents, Mi-Cha (OC), Jet, Joo Dees, and Iroh
Word Count: 2300+
Summary: Snapshots of seven Dai Li during the events of "City of Walls and Secrets".
Author's Notes: I'm assuming there's actually a week or two between the beginning and end of "City of Walls and Secrets", as well as slotting Aang's Tale from "Tales of Ba Sing Se" into there.
a fine line
"This is for his own good," Tai argues, and it takes very little of Xiang's self-restraint not to send the other Dai Li hurtling towards the wall. He's used to the slow roil of anger and contempt for his fellows.
Too used to it, really. Part of him, the part that doesn't want to smash Hyo's face in, thinks he should request an extended leave until the lava eating away at him has solidified. But there