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Literature
Strange World - Book 1 - CH07 - Envoy of the Barn
MOMENT 07: ENVOY OF THE BARN
     
The cavern shook with Ma-Burger’s deep laugh, sending pebbles raining from the ceiling.
    Pupper lifted his eyes and waved his hands before him. “I was passing through, so I’ll be leaving now if you don’t mind.”
    “Do I mind?” Ma-Burger chortled. “Do you think I mind?”
    “So, you… don’t?” the dog boy asked, crab-crawling away.
    “I mind!” she roared like a gone-ape gorilla. “Oinkomon, do you recognize this disgusting mutt?”
    “He is Pupper-Dog Boy from Pound City.” King pig nodded. “They found him trespassing in my castle, with multiple other offenses. We were about to execute him when a cockroach boy attempted a rescue.”
    My blood boiled when Oinkomon re
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Literature
Strange World - Book 1 - CH06 - He Had a Farm
MOMENT 06: HE HAD A FARM
     
Blackness again. Tingles of fear crept throughout every inch of my soul. I didn’t want to open my eyes—What if I couldn’t? If I wasn’t mistaken, my heart had stopped, and they were trying to resuscitate me. But why did I die?
    “Wake up, mister bug guy,” a voice whispered into my ear. “We gotta figure a way out of here, friend!”
    “My name is… Magna,” I muttered. “And my heart is—”
    “What about it? If we don’t hurry Ma-Burger will put your heart between bread slices and eat it!”
    “Ma… Burger?” I threw open my eyes. “Eat my heart?”
    The surrounding ground was dirt, and I laid in a thin pile of hay. I shook my, as I rubbed my chest, expecting to feel pain, but I didn’t.
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Literature
Strange World - Book 1 - CH05 - One Day Closer
MOMENT 05: ONE DAY CLOSER
     
Something shifted nearby. My head ached, so I kept my eyes closed tight. What happened? That was it—Someone knocked me out while trying to save Pupper-Dog—A pig man did it. If I stayed quiet, and pretended to stay asleep, I might get the jump on them and save us both. So I waited.
    As the moments ticked by there was a steady beeping. Every other second the high-pitched note sounded. A dozen beeps later, I became sure—A heart monitor. I hesitated but dared to peek at my surroundings.
    The plain walls, the tiled floor, the fluid bag hanging next to my bed—I was back in the hospital. I was still laying in the bed where the doctor diagnosed me. As I moved my arm, a sharp tug held me back. I glanced over to see the IV needle stuck under my skin with tape holding it in place. It’d hurt when removed—If I 
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Literature
Omega Virus: Beta Hour (Book 1--CH00)
OMEGA VIRUS — BOOK 1 — BETA HOUR
 
LISTEN.
Game Design was my dream, survival horror my genre, and video games my obsession. Naturally, I’d kick ass if the zombie apocalypse came, right?
AND THEN IT DID.
Now the virus rushes through my veins. I can smell my friends’ flesh and blood. I’m infected, and they know. It’s only a matter of time, yet they won’t let me end my crumbling existence. They think I can be saved.
MY FRIENDS ARE WRONG.
There are no extra lives, no continues, no cheat codes. One bite and it’s over. The world now belongs to the corpses.
THIS. IS. NO. GAME.
                     
 
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Omega Virus: Beta Hour (comic cover v1) by JakeAStrife Omega Virus: Beta Hour (comic cover v1) :iconjakeastrife:JakeAStrife 1 0 Wesley James - 2K18-11-03 - Color (OV1) by JakeAStrife Wesley James - 2K18-11-03 - Color (OV1) :iconjakeastrife:JakeAStrife 0 0 Wesley James - 2K18-11-03 - Linework (OV1) by JakeAStrife Wesley James - 2K18-11-03 - Linework (OV1) :iconjakeastrife:JakeAStrife 0 0 Wesley James - 2K18-10-28 - Drawing (OV1) by JakeAStrife Wesley James - 2K18-10-28 - Drawing (OV1) :iconjakeastrife:JakeAStrife 1 0 Akira Ashe - 2K18-11-01 - Color (SC5) by JakeAStrife Akira Ashe - 2K18-11-01 - Color (SC5) :iconjakeastrife:JakeAStrife 1 0 Akira Ashe - 2K18-11-01 - Linework (SC5) by JakeAStrife Akira Ashe - 2K18-11-01 - Linework (SC5) :iconjakeastrife:JakeAStrife 0 0 Akira Ashe - 2K18-11-01 - Drawing (SC5) by JakeAStrife Akira Ashe - 2K18-11-01 - Drawing (SC5) :iconjakeastrife:JakeAStrife 1 0 Kessa Brea - 2K18-10-26 - Color (OV1) by JakeAStrife Kessa Brea - 2K18-10-26 - Color (OV1) :iconjakeastrife:JakeAStrife 1 0 Kessa Brea - 2K18-10-26 - Linework (OV1) by JakeAStrife Kessa Brea - 2K18-10-26 - Linework (OV1) :iconjakeastrife:JakeAStrife 0 0 Kessa Brea - 2K18-10-26 - Drawing (OV1) by JakeAStrife Kessa Brea - 2K18-10-26 - Drawing (OV1) :iconjakeastrife:JakeAStrife 0 0 Dave Carnby - 2K18-10-25 - Color (OV1) by JakeAStrife Dave Carnby - 2K18-10-25 - Color (OV1) :iconjakeastrife:JakeAStrife 1 0 Dave Carnby - 2K18-10-25 - Linework (OV1) by JakeAStrife Dave Carnby - 2K18-10-25 - Linework (OV1) :iconjakeastrife:JakeAStrife 0 0

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This is a stunning piece of work. It's like a chupacabra or something. Lol. I have to wonder what the front hoof parts are for behind t...

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JakeAStrife
Jake A. Strife
Artist | Hobbyist | Digital Art
United States
Greetings and salutations! :)
I'm Jake A. Strife.
Currently, I'm the author of 20 books.
Also, I'm a huge anime and video game fan!

My Original Novels:
Crimson Wars - 1 - Blood Sisters
Dark Dayz - 1 - VR Dawn
Dark Dayz - 2 - Shaded Noon
GodForge - 1 - Forge of the Mind
Omega Virus - 1 - Beta Hour
Omega Virus - 2 - Gamma Hour
Omega Virus - 3 - Delta Hour
Omega Virus - 4 - Sigma Hour
Omega Virus - 5 - Psi Hour
Omega Virus - 6 - Omega Hour
Severed Chains - 1 - Fateless (3 ver.)
Severed Chains - 2 - Tribulation (2 ver.)
Severed Chains - 3 - Abyss
Severed Chains - 4 - Dark Side of a Moon
Strange World - 1 - Grimoire
Strange World - 2 - Mega-Real

My Fan Fics Include:
Earthbound - A Hero Chosen
Final Fantasy - Warriors of Light

My 2018 release schedule:
1. God Forge 2
2. Omega Virus 7
3. Dark Dayz 3
4. Strange World 3
5. Severed Chains 2 (rewrite)


Get your copy of Omega Virus: Beta Hour on Amazon! Just click the link!
www.amazon.com/Omega-Virus-Boo…

Get your copy of Dark Dayz: VR Dawn on Amazon! Just click the link!
www.amazon.com/Dark-Dayz-Book-…
Interests
Blog #41: Year-End Reflections

So, 2017 is already coming to an end. Can you believe it? I know I can't.
A lot has happened this year in my life... and with the world. The main highlight is the new addition to my family. My daughter Aeris was born this spring. Things have been a whirlwind since! Haha.

Regarding my New Year's Resolutions...
I pledged to write at least three books. And I actually wrote four and will start a fifth before year's end.
They weren't the books I expected to write, though.
I wrote:
Dark Dayz 2: Shaded Noon
Severed Chains 1: Fateless (rewrite)
Omega Virus 6: Omega Hour
Crimson Wars 1: Blood Sisters
(and I'll be starting)
God Forge 2: Forge of the Body

My second resolution was a crash and burn situation.
I wanted to edit and publish five of my books...
Strange World was published, but that's it.
Omega Virus 2, should be published by the end of this month (Dec). We'll see. I'm editing it now.
And I have to edit God Forge 1 before I write book two.

My third resolution...
Draw a lot! Well, this one went so-so.
I did around 40 pieces of work this year. Better than some years, far worse than my best.
Most of them were done in the first couple months of the year, and a few now this month.
I really would like to make a comic again, like back in high school. Maybe in 2018. We'll see.

My fourth resolution was an utter bomb.
I wanted to read three books from beginning to end. I THINK I read one... The Legend of Drizzt (book 31): Archmage.
I tried to read Diablo: The Sin War Book 1, but I fell off the rails and never picked it up again. This is in no small part that my Kindle doesn't want to stay charged anymore. I have the 2nd gen Kindle Fire... It's old now, and it often shuts down on its own. Maybe I need a new one. It's so hard trying to find time to read. I miss it...

I didn't make a resolution regarding video games, thank gosh!
Somehow I managed 10 platinum trophies... I'm not sure exactly how many Bronze, Silver, and Gold I obtained, but it was an okay year for gaming. I played 23 different games, although most I didn't make it far due to life. Not lives in the game. Life itself. The real world.

So now what?
The holidays are coming... I won't have as much time to work because of that fact, so I doubt I'll get too much more done this year. I'll be out of town, so I won't be doing any gaming the last two weeks of 2017. I hope to keep drawing and editing until Dec 31, 11:59pm. And I REALLY want to start writing God Forge 2 before 2018.

I'll write my resolutions for 2K18 in January. We'll see what I challenge myself to do. And with a daughter who has reached 7 months, I hope to get more done. I can't wait until she can play video games and watch anime... and play Dungeons and Dragons! I'd also love to take her to Anime Expo... Disneyland and Six Flags... Haunted Halloween Events at amusement parks... Oh my, there are many good times to come!

Life is never boring, I can say that much.
....
Did anyone read Crimson Wars? It was a surprise book. I really didn't think I'd write my vampire novel for at least 10 years from now. I think it came out rather well. As far as the sequel... I have no clue when I'll write it...

Next:
God Forge 2: Forge of the Body
--The next book I plan to write.

Dark Dayz 3: Fading Dusk
--Can't wait to write this one. Dark Dayz is my favorite series!

Strange World 3: Ether
--I owe you this final novel in my main Strange World trilogy.

Severed Chains 2: Tribulation (rewrite)
--I want to make this series as amazing as possible.

Omega Virus 7: Alpha Hour
--Last but not least, the end of my first major novel series!

Stay tuned everyone. Let's see where 2018 takes us!

Activity


MOMENT 07: ENVOY OF THE BARN

     

The cavern shook with Ma-Burger’s deep laugh, sending pebbles raining from the ceiling.

    Pupper lifted his eyes and waved his hands before him. “I was passing through, so I’ll be leaving now if you don’t mind.”

    “Do I mind?” Ma-Burger chortled. “Do you think I mind?”

    “So, you… don’t?” the dog boy asked, crab-crawling away.

    “I mind!” she roared like a gone-ape gorilla. “Oinkomon, do you recognize this disgusting mutt?”

    “He is Pupper-Dog Boy from Pound City.” King pig nodded. “They found him trespassing in my castle, with multiple other offenses. We were about to execute him when a cockroach boy attempted a rescue.”

    My blood boiled when Oinkomon referred to me as a dirty insect. I looked at my TACO Launcher, then back at Ma-Burger. I could knock out a horse-man with the crazy weapon, but would it affect such a huge bovine?

    “And you let the prisoner roam around Old McDonald’s farm?” Ma growled. 

    I’d never heard a cow growl.

    Oinkomon squealed and lifted his arms, defending his face. “I didn’t let the mutt out! Mr. Ed was supposed to guard them!”

    “He will be a horse sandwich soon enough.” Ma shouted. “...The cockroach must be out as well!”

    “Nope!” Pupper said. “I left him in the cell. We didn’t get along you see, so after I knocked out Eddy, I made him promise to stay put.”

    Ma-Burger looked at Pupper through narrowed eyes. “You expect me to believe that?”

    “Um… yes?” the dog whimpered.

    “How about no!” the cow shouted in his face, sending him rolling, and slamming into a large barrel.

    “Run cockroach-boy, run!” Pupper said.

    Fear thundered its way into my heart. Why was he so dumb? The pig men went on high alert, eyes darting everywhere.

    “Where is he?” one asked. “Over there?”

    “No!” Another pointed at the opposite side. “There!”

    “Up there?” One pointed to the rafters where they kept the hay.

    “Split up and find him!” Oinkomon shouted and smacked the closest on the back of his head.

    “Yes, your hamness!” the pigs shouted in unison.

    I spun, locking onto the exit. It was possible to run, and make it out of the caves, but then I’d be leaving Pupper-Dog to a dismal fate—but what did I owe him? We weren’t friends or family. Then the fortune teller’s words flashed through my mind again. “Save him from his fate. One day he’ll be very important”

    “Darn it. Oh, you stupid dog,” I muttered.

    I crawled as fast as I could away from the barrels and bales of hay, hiding behind a trough filled with stinky old muck—or a decent meal for the pigs. I watched as they converged upon my old hiding spot. They looked around, holding out their spears.

    “Not here,” one said. “Told you so.”

    “Keep looking!” another said.

    I shook my head and kept crawling. A ladder led to the second level. From there I’d have the high ground. I rushed to the rickety wooden ladder, and it wobbled as I put my hands on it. I hoped beyond hope it would hold my weight. With one foot, I climbed onto the first rung, and it held. I scurried upward and rolled over the top while the pigs yelled.

    “Not here!”

    “Not here either!”

    “Nope nope! Can’t find him!”

    Oinkomon oinked and stomped his feet. “Dog boy did you lie about your friend being in here?”

    “I never said he was.” Pupper sighed.

    I crawled to the platform’s edge—Six feet above Ma-Burger. How did a cow grow so huge?

    “You lying mutt!” King pig kicked Pupper’s side and the dog’s howl of pain echoed through the cavern.

    “Darn it,” I whispered. If I let things go on, they’d kill Pupper.

    I darted my eyes, looking for something. A bail of hay hung suspended from a steel hook. I edged forward and saw it was right above Oinkomon. If it had enough weight, it would knock out the fat jerk.

    “I grow impatient!” Ma-Burger bellowed.

    “We’re searching, we’re searching!” the pigs said.

    “Search faster idiots!” Oinkomon shouted. “Or you’re all bacon! You know how Ma-Burger loves her bacon!”

    “I do,” Ma said. Squeals of fear echoed around the room.

    With a deep breath, I held out my hand, focusing on the metal hook. It twitched, but then Oinkomon stepped away.

    “Crap monkeys!” I said.

    The pig king stepped on the dog boy’s stomach and pinned him. Pupper grabbed fatso’s leg and whimpered.

    “If you want to live, tell us where the cockroach is!” Oinkomon oinked.

    “So you can kill him too?” Pupper scowled.

    “We won’t kill him,” Ma said. “We promise.”

    “I’d never believe a heifer!” Pupper barked.

    Oh how Ma-Burger’s eyes grew wide. She expelled the angriest moo I’d ever heard and trembled. She gripped her gun and aimed at Pupper. “What. Did. You. Say?”

    “Heifer!” Pupper growled. “Heifer, heifer, heifer!”

    “That’s it!” Ma’s shout shook the cavern, this time causing stalactites to fall. She pumped the quadruple-barreled weapon.

    Oinkomon jumped between the two. “Don’t you remember who this dog is?”

    “You never told me!” said Ma.

    “Oops! He is the apprentice of the sorcerer Master Snoo. He may have the knowledge regarding the Golden Box of Hope.”

    “I thought you said you knew its location!” Ma snorted smoke.

    “W-We think we do!” Oinkomon defended his face again. “I mean this mutt may know how to open the box!”

    Ma narrowed her eyes. “You haven’t figured it out?”

    Oinkomon oinked. “H-How c-could we? We haven’t been in the box’s presence yet!”

    Ma-Burger mooed and smacked Oinkomon so hard he stumbled back—below the hanging hay bale. I focused on the hook again and bent the end straight. The bale came loose, crashing atop King Oinkomon. With a great squeal he fell flat, unmoving.

    “What’s this?” Ma turned and raised her eyes. I tried to duck back, but she grabbed the platform and with great strength, pulled. The whole level collapsed, and I fell with a cry. Pain ricocheted up my spine as I hit the ground. I arched my back, and my head spun. Still, I was coherent enough to see Ma glaring.

    I glanced back and saw the TACO launcher laying feet away. With all the speed I had, I scrambled toward it. Ma followed as I grasped the food-firing weapon. As I rolled onto my back, she descended. I snapped up the gun and targeted her face. She mooed in question, and I pulled the trigger. A huge taco blasted out, followed by red sauce. The entire attack flew into Ma’s open mouth. She stumbled back, regained her balance, and wiped her face.

    Ma chuckled. “You expect to hurt me with a food weapon?” But then the white fur around her face turned red, and her eyes teared. She held her mouth closed and ground her teeth. A whimper escaped her, followed by a screeching moo as fire exploded from her ears and mouth. The cow woman spun, crying and grabbing at her tongue.

    “Water!” she pleaded. “Water! Someone get me milk!”

    The pigs ran in circles.

    “Water, her majesty needs water!” they said. A pair slammed into each other, conking their heads. They collapsed, unconscious.

    Pupper was nowhere. Had the dog left me to fend for myself? I climbed to my feet and looked for an exit. Ma and the scrambling pig men were blocking the far path. Behind me was another tunnel, but I didn’t know where it led. Like the others, it stood more than a dozen feet tall and broad enough to fit the fat cow queen. If it was a dead end, I was screwed.

    “Water! Please, water!” Ma said.

    “Milk!” one pig shouted. “Milk makes burning go away!”

    Ma stopped, looking at the pig. The pig glanced back, cocking his head.

    “That is wrong!” Ma shouted.

    “S-Sorry!” The pig squealed as Ma pumped her shotgun and fired. A split-second and a great boom later nothing remained but a smoldering crater. Not a trace of the only intelligent pig man remained.

    “Oh, crap!” I gasped.

    Ma-Burger continued screaming for water. She turned and ran through the exit. I couldn’t go that way anymore.

    Two pig men turned, spotting me. “It’s the cockroach. Get him!” they said in unison.

    I spun on my heel and ran into the tunnel behind me as the pigs squealed, oinked, and grunted. A spear flew by and stuck into the wall. I summoned a burst of speed and got way ahead of the enemy. A few moments later I came to an intersection with four different paths.

    “Now what?” I breathed.

    The pig men’s voices were nearby. I had to choose a direction, so I ran left. Hay littered the floor in this tunnel, and the farther I walked, the higher it was piled. Thirty seconds later, the hay was to my knees, and I sank deeper with each step.

    “Crappity crap,” I said and soon after I found myself buried to my midsection. “Why is this here?”

    The good news was the pigs’ voices faded, and the bad news? I was lost. I stopped and leaned against the wall, catching my breath. My chest ached again, so I waited for my heart to stop thundering, and my pulse slowed. Further in the hay piled higher.

    “Should I keep going, or go back?” I asked.

    Something brushed my leg, making my eyes go wide. I froze in place.

    “What was that?” I whispered, my heart thundering again.

    It brushed past a second time. My heart threatened to burst. A third time it passed. I screamed and flailed, fighting my way back toward the shallow hay. Something seized my leg, and I went down, disappearing beneath the golden strands. Mid-screech, a hand covered my mouth. The monster meant to suffocate me—a hay shark or worse. I didn’t want to die.

    “Shh!” a voice whispered in my ear.

    I panicked and swung my arms. What did they say about sharks? Punch them in the nose? Or the gills?

    “Please, cockroach-boy be quiet!” the voice whispered again.

    I froze, and after a few seconds the hand left my mouth. I almost screamed again, but I turned, coming face-to-face with Pupper-Dog.

    “You’re okay!” The dog leaped and licked my face with his long floppy tongue.

    “Ew! Gross! Stop!” I pushed him away, but he kept coming. “Pupper!”

    “S-Sorry!” He backed away. “That happens when I get excited. I can’t control the urge. Sometimes I tinkle.”

    I rolled my eyes as I wiped the slobber from my face. “Don’t pee on me.”

    “Forget that. You made it away from Ma and Oinkomon!” He yipped.

    “When did you run away? I busted my butt trying to save you!”

    Pupper shrugged. “I wasn’t running. I was trying to find a weapon and ended up falling in this hay patch.”

    “Why is it piled like this? What purpose could it serve?”

    He shrugged. “Maybe they’re trying to hide something.”

    I exhaled. “Question now is which way?”

    “We can’t go the way we came,” Pupper said. “Ma-Burger, Oinkomon, and the pigs!”

    “Does the other way have an exit?”

    “Don’t know. I hope we don’t run into Old McDonald.”

    “Oh, please,” I muttered. “He doesn’t exist—like the Boogeyman or the Tooth Fairy.”

    “Are you serious? Pupper asked.

    I scrunched my face in confusion. “Wait? Does that mean the Boogeyman...is real?”

    “Um, duh.” Pupper sighed. “Number one cause of missing children throughout the six lands. Except if you look into a mirror, speaking the name—”

    “Enough!” I said as a wave of dizziness overcame me. The Boogeyman was real. My childhood nightmares were all coming true.

    Pupper-Dog’s tail hit my leg again, and I jumped.

    “Stop!” I said.

    Pupper cocked a brow. “Stop what?”

    His tail touched me, and I set my jaw. “You’re hitting me with your tail.”

    “But my tail is behind me.”

    It hit me again. “Move back!” I said.

    Pupper hopped back, and after he did something touched me again. My eyes widened. If it wasn’t him, then what?

    “We have to go,” I said.

    Pupper glanced back. “We have to risk facing them.”

    “R-Right.” I took a step and tripped, falling into the hay.

    “Cockroach!” he shouted.

    I freaked out and crawled on my hands and knees, trying to get away from whatever schlepped under the hay. Something moved in front of me, so I twisted and scrambled the other direction. When I emerged, I was on the opposite end of the tunnel.

    “What are you doing over there?” Pupper cried, jumping towards me.

    Before he could make it, a deep voice came from beneath the hay causing my blood to run cold.

    “E-I-E-I-O.”

 

MOMENT 06: HE HAD A FARM

     

Blackness again. Tingles of fear crept throughout every inch of my soul. I didn’t want to open my eyes—What if I couldn’t? If I wasn’t mistaken, my heart had stopped, and they were trying to resuscitate me. But why did I die?

    “Wake up, mister bug guy,” a voice whispered into my ear. “We gotta figure a way out of here, friend!”

    “My name is… Magna,” I muttered. “And my heart is—”

    “What about it? If we don’t hurry Ma-Burger will put your heart between bread slices and eat it!”

    “Ma… Burger?” I threw open my eyes. “Eat my heart?”

    The surrounding ground was dirt, and I laid in a thin pile of hay. I shook my, as I rubbed my chest, expecting to feel pain, but I didn’t. The walls were natural stone and a series of bars stretched from one side to the other—A prison cell.

    “Are you hurt?” the voice asked.

    I turned and found Pupper-Dog Boy squatting on the floor, drawing in the dirt with a strand of hay. I took a deep breath and several moments to compose myself.

    “I’m fine…” I shrugged. “Where are we?”

    “We’re prisoners at Old McDonald’s Farm.” Pupper lifted his big eyes to meet mine, and his brow furrowed. “We have little time to escape before Ma-Burger gets here. When she does we’re doomed, I say. Doomed!”

    “I need to go back!” I seized Pupper’s shoulders. “My heart failed, and I was dying. What if I don’t go back to my body? Am I stranded here?”

    “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Pupper said. “Go back to your body? You don’t look like your dying? Might be your brain is failing though.”

    “Yes, I am!”

    “So, your brain’s crapping it, eh? Bummer.”

    “No!” I rolled my eyes. “My heart isn’t beating anymore. I’m dying!”

    Pupper rubbed his furry temples, and opened his mouth, but before he could speak, someone screamed, “Hey, shut your trap. You’re fine! Damned silver cockroaches, thinking the own the place.”

    I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry or scream in an unbridled rage. I walked to the cell door. Outside, kneeling in a large pile of hay, I found a guy with the lower half of a man, but the torso of a horse. He held a magazine in one of his hooves—On the cover were similar figures to him, save these were female and far too curvaceous for my comfort.

    “I’m not a cockroach and I am dying!” I said. “Let me out! I have to go—”

    “You ain’t going nowhere!” the opposite-centaur said. “Now, shut up so I can read these articles!”

    “You don’t understand!” I tried to shake the bars, but they held firm.

    “I said, shut the bleep up, darn it!”

    “Bleep?” I asked. “Did you say bleep?”

    “I sure bleeping did!” He flipped the page and his eyes widened. “Now if you don’t get real quiet, real fast, I will come in there and beat the bleep outta ya!”

    “Stop saying bleep, it’s annoying.”

    “He can’t say foul words,” Pupper stood and joined me at the bars. “Few can.”

    “How does that make sense?” I asked. “I can say any bleeping word I bleeping want.”

    My jaw dropped, and I touched my lips. I’d tried to curse, but they came out as bleeps. “This is stupid! I wanna return to my world...”

    “Another world?” Pupper asked. “Not even the strongest of sorcerers acknowledge a spell exists to break the world boundaries.”

    “Sorcerers?” I faced the dog boy. “There are sorcerers here? I need to meet one. They can help me get home!”

    “Didn’t you listen?” Pupper sighed. “No one can break the world boundaries. Not. Even. A. Sorcerer.”

    “How do you know? Have you even spoken to one?”

    “Um duh.” He put his paws on his hips. “I’m the world’s best sorcerer blah.”

    I hadn’t caught the last word, but still elation rose in my chest. “You’re a sorcerer? Help me!”

    His ears flopped as he shook his head. “You don’t listen, do you?”

    “Listen to what? I’m desperate to get home. I have no time. My real body is dying.”

    Pupper cocked a furry eyebrow. “You’re real body? You’re in your real body.”

    “My real body doesn’t have antennae. I’m not silver, and I don’t resemble a cockroach!”

    “We can only enter the dream world when sleeping,” Pupper said. “This is the real world.”

    I stared through slanted eyes. “You’re a crazy dream puppy.”

    Pupper crossed his arms. “I’m no dream.”

    “Prove it! Do magic and make me a believer.”

    “Get me my wand and I will!” He grinned.

    I faced the cell bars. The half-horse still read his magazine. Past him, the cave turned into a tunnel and curved out of sight. It was the only way.

    “Whoa, Nelly!” The guard whistled.

    I tried to block out what he might be reading.

    “Do you think we can escape?” I asked.

    Pupper nodded quickly. “Just need my wand.”

    “Where is it?” I feared the answer.

    “In the guard’s deep bag,” he said with a definitive nod.

    I looked outside and on the horse-man’s shoulder hung a small satchel. “How are we going to get it?”

    “Well, I have a plan!” He lifted a furry digit. “You pretend to be dying, and the guard will come in, and we beat him with his magazine!”

    “Great, let’s do it.” I opened my mouth to call out but then I remembered. “I already said I was dying, and he didn’t believe me.”

    “Maybe he will this time?” Pupper shrugged.

    I rolled my eyes, then turned to the bars again. The guard flipped a page now and then, but most of the time his eyes were full, and he would occasionally whistle and cry, “Whoa, Nelly!”

    Other than the guard, and the hay on the ground, we were empty-handed.

    “I can knock him out somehow,” I whispered. “But where’s the key?”

    “What key?” Pupper tilted his head.

    I sighed. “The key to our cell?”

    “Oh, it’s unlocked.”

    “What?” I cried.

    “Shut up in there!” The opposite-centaur snapped. Then whistled, lifting the magazine to his face.

    “The door doesn’t have a lock,” Pupper said. “Why would it be?”

    “Because they want to keep us here!” I said. “We’re prisoners.”

    “But there’s a guard.”

    “Are you too afraid to fight back? Are you a fraidy-cat?”

    Pupper-Dog Boy narrowed his eyes, and a growl escaped his throat. I grinned.

    “Fraidy-cat.” His growl grew.

    “Gosh bleeping darn it!” the guard said. “I’m gonna teach you two a lesson.”

    He opened the cell and pushed me aside. He stood before Pupper-Dog and rolled up his magazine and lifted it to smack him.

    “Fraidy. Cat,” I said.

    Pupper-Dog’s eyes caught fire, and he leaped, snarling and snapping. He landed on the horse-man’s back and grabbed his long mane. Rabid as a wild raccoon, he pulled and punched the guard’s head like a jackhammer.

    “Get him off me! Get him off me!” the guard pleaded.

    As the pair struggled, I stepped behind them and reached for the deep bag. I undid the buckle, and the satchel fell, but I caught it. Reaching inside, I pulled out an unimpressive stick. I shook my head and dropped it to the ground. Reaching again, I found steel. I withdrew part of a cylinder, but it got stuck. Whatever it was, it didn’t classify as a wand. I pulled harder, and it came loose, sending me rolling into the back wall. My head spun as I stared at what looked like a silver barreled rocket launcher. On the side was the word TACO.

    “Oh, yeah!” I lifted the weapon and backed to the wall. “Pupper-Dog, come here, boy!”

    The manic mutt leaped from the guard and rushed to my side, his tongue hanging out, panting.

    Our opposite-centaur guard turned in time to see the launcher aimed at him. I pulled the trigger, and the gun made an echoing pop. Something wide and yellow blasted forth, striking him in the face, and shattering. With a grunt, he collapsed onto his side.

    “You found a TACO Launcher?” Pupper asked, eyes wide. “Wicked cool!”

    I approached the opposite-centaur. He was out cold. On the ground were pieces of shredded lettuce, tomato, ground beef, and a taco shell.

    “This thing literally shoots tacos,” I said, incredulous.

    “Did you find my wand?” Pupper’s tail wagged.

    I walked back to him, and stepped on the stick, which gave a loud snap, and a puff of smoke wafted away from it.

    “Oh, no!” Pupper gasped.

    I swallowed hard and stared at the stick. “Don’t tell me…”

    “It was my first wand! It was from Master Snoo!” Pupper whimpered, and then lifted his head back and gave a long, mournful howl.

    “Shh!” I slapped my hand over his snout. “Can’t we get you a new one after we escape?”

    “N-No,” Pupper whined. “Only a master sorcerer can craft one.”

    “I thought you are a master?” I screwed up my face.

    “Ah heh, haha, um, I’m a master... apprentice.” He looked to the side. I imagine if he could have blushed, he would have.

    “What spells can you cast?” I crossed my arms.

    “The kind that do things.”

    “Like what?”

    “This and that.”

    “What’s this and that?” I rolled my eyes.

    He smiled his big canine grin. “The ones everyone should know.”

    “You don’t know a single spell, do you?”

    “I do too!”

    “How many?”

    “One,” he murmured.

    “A gateway spell to my world?” I asked.

    It was his turn to roll his eyes. “I told you no one can do it!”

    “It didn’t hurt to ask.” I shrugged.

    “The only spell I know is how to summon water,” he said. “But without my wand, I can’t even do that!”

    “It wouldn’t help much anyhow,” I told him.

    “It would! I’m thirsty.”

    I spun on my heel and started for the tunnels. “Let’s get out of here.”

    “W-Wait!” Pupper whimpered and trotted after me.

    I put the TACO Launcher over my shoulder and used my magnetic pull to stick it to my back. We walked past the unconscious guard and my toe nudged his magazine. I glanced down—the title read, Wild Stallions.

    “The articles...” I said. “Yeah right. My grandpa claimed so too.”

    “What?” Pupper asked.

    “Nothing!” I chuckled, and we marched into the tunnels. We followed the path until we came to an intersection leading off to five other paths.

    “Which way?” I asked.

    “My nose knows!” Pupper sang. “We follow the smell of pig men. They should be towards the front of McDonald’s Farm.”

    “McDonald? As in Old McDonald?” I asked as Pupper sniffed the air.

    “Yes, him. I could have sworn I said so already.” His face took on a grim frown. “We must avoid the farmer at all costs.”

    “What’s so scary about a farmer?” I laughed.

    “You’d tinkle if you saw him,” he said.

    “The nursery rhyme isn’t scary. I’m not afraid of some guy saying the letters E-I-E-I-O.”

    “He says it to his victims.” The dog trembled. “When you hear those letters, death is inevitable.”

    “Right,” I muttered as Pupper turned to a tunnel and walked. I followed, but looked back and for a moment, almost thought I heard a voice saying, E-I-E-I-O, but I must have imagined it.

    “Too old for ghost stories,” I said.

    As we went, I felt a tightening pain in my chest. What of my real body? What would happen if I died? Would I stay in Strange World forever? Or did nothing exist after death? An empty black void for all of eternity. I shuddered at the thought.

    Pupper halted, and I slammed into his back. He whimpered and stumbled forward, falling flat on his face.

    “Why did you stop?” I reached to lift him, but he grabbed my wrist and pulled me to the ground behind some bails of hay.

    “Why are we hiding?” I whispered.

    “Because she’s here,” Pupper whimpered.

    “Who?”

    The ground shook as something huge passed across from our hiding place. The thuds continued until echoing somewhere far away.

    “What was that?” I asked.

    Pupper pointed. “That was Ma-Burger. Since she’s walking that way, we go the other.”

    “Who is this Ma-Burger anyhow?”

    “The meanest cow this side of Strange. Now let’s get out of here!”

    Something inside me wanted to see this mad cow woman for myself.

    “Let’s follow her,” I said.

    “Are you insane?” Pupper grabbed my shoulders and glared into my eyes.

    “Maybe, but she’s bad news, right?”

    “The worst kind.”

    “And she wants to rule Strange World?”

    “Yes, including every pebble.”

    “Do you want her as your supreme ruler?” I asked.

    “No!”

    “Then let’s follow her and see what we can learn,” I said, unsure of where my sudden concern for Strange World came from, but I didn’t like an evil overlord ruling anywhere. Most Strange World denizens felt like Pupper-Dog and didn’t want oppression.

    “I am not following Ma-Burger!” Pupper stomped his foot in the hay.

    “Well, it was nice meeting you,” I said. “So, you go your way. I’ll go mine.”

    I followed the cow. Only a dozen strides later I heard Pupper padding after me. We followed the heavy thudding footfalls. A few minutes passed in silence, and we came to a large chamber with a high ceiling. Barrels piled around the room, and above were rafters with bails of hay.

    In a circle in the middle of the cavern were twelve pig men, and in the center of them stood King Oinkomon. As if not bad enough, from the shadows emerged the hugest, fattest, cow I’d ever seen. She stood on two legs and had the shape of a pear. The cow-woman’s fur was black and white, and she was at least twelve feet tall. In her arms, she held a quadruple-barreled shotgun. If Pupper-Dog feared Old McDonald, then he was peeing himself over this.

    I glanced back, and Pupper crouched, his eyes wide with horror. I hid behind a barrel and beckoned for him to follow me into the room, but he shook his head and stayed in the tunnel.

    “Oh, Ma-Burger!” Oinkomon lifted his into the air. “You’re looking beautiful as usual.”

    “I don’t need your compliments, Oinkomon!” she bellowed. “You called me to this disgusting farm cave for a reason.”

    “Yes, your majesty.” Oinkomon bowed. “I must tell you of our findings on the Golden Box of Hope.”

    “You found it?” Her cry shook the cavern.

    “No, but we have its location,” he said. “Or at least, we think we do.”

    Before he could say anything else, Pupper-Dog gave a loud wailing howl. I turned back to see him roll past the barrels, and down the slope followed by two pig men wielding spears.

    Ma-Burger turned and stood above my companion, her stomach growling. “Why Oinkomon, you’ve brought me a hotdog.”

     

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:icongrace-zed:
Grace-Zed Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Hi. Thank you kindly for the watch. I appreciate it. Bunny Emoticon 
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JakeAStrife Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
No problem~!
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WereKatt Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2018
Thanks for watching me :)
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JakeAStrife Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You're quite welcome.
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KittySib Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
:iconllama-plz:Thank you for the llama!:D
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JakeAStrife Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You're quite welcome
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3wyl Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Hello! :wave:

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Narnise Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for the watch! :) Hug 
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M-Hadley Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2018  Professional Writer
WELCOME TO THE GENTLE READERS!!!
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Brysfine Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2018   Digital Artist
Thank you for the watch! :happybounce: 
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