Summer Pool Fool – Derek, Peter, and James

“Wahoo!” Peter cried of joy after jumping off of the highest diving board and making a perfect sploosh.

“Told you it was awesome!” Derek said vigorously.

They gave a high five which only served to splash water in both of their eyes. They both shouted and desperately tried to rub the chlorine out.

“That’s why I wear goggles.” James said, floating next to them.

“James, you gotta try the highest diving board, it’s insane.” Peter said.

“I won’t even do the shortest diving board, what makes you think I’d do the highest?” James questioned.

“Come on Mr. Goggles. If you won’t go, we’ll take you there.” Derek said.

James protested non stop as his two older brothers took him by the arms and literally dragged him to the ladders and carried him up to the highest diving board.

They blocked the ladder so he was forced to jump if he wanted to get down.

“Only one way down, bro!” Peter laughed.

“I hate you guys.” James deadpanned.

“Love you too.” Derek said.

James gulped and peered down the edge of the diving board. He figured he shouldn’t be seeing three of the same pool.

“Do it before the sun burns you, we all know how sensitive your pale skin is!” Peter teased loudly.

“I hate you guys so much.” James repeated.

Standing with knobbly legs, James took a deep breath and loosened himself for a jump.

3, 2, 1…!

After only one jump, James lost his footing on the board and slid off, landing on the board below it which knocked the air out of him. He slid off that one and fell in the pool with a splash so small a sick chihuahua could’ve achieved greater than it.

The entire public pool erupted in laughter as James climbed out of the pool, wrapped a towel around his waist, and stormed toward his house.

Derek was still laughing even after Peter had settled.

“How long do you think it’ll take before he realizes he forgot something?” Derek asked Peter as he held up James’ sopping wet blue and white swim trunks.

“He’ll never swim again!” Peter laughed.

Slicing for Dummies – Guild Training II

“Swordsman,” Said Cedric, a rather small built man. He’s not short, his overall body mass is only small. “Give me your undivided attention, if you will.”

Every first year Swordsman brought their attention to Cedric, and through their initial expectation of him, they were sorely surprised. Most figured he’d be big and bulky, full of muscle and girth. Others thought him to be rugged and mean, like a pirate of the seas.

“That’s the legendary Captain Cedric we’ve been told about?” Questioned Anthony of Gem Guild. “Kind of a let down.”

“I kinda expected him to be, I dunno…more buff and handsome.” Shrugged Tina of Stone Guild.

“Guys, they do say big gifts come in small boxes.” Said Cole, a bit more optimistic than the rest of the first years.

“It’s packages, not boxes.” a second year named Gabe mentioned. “Nevertheless you three shouldn’t question Captain Cedric.”

“I wasn’t questioning him, merely a misconception of what I had thought he would be like.” Anthony said.

“Behold the practice dummies,” Cedric said, holding out his arm toward a line of wooden and stone practice dummies. “Using these bad boys you’ll practice some basic sword skills.”

A third year stepped up to one of the stone dummies, readied his stance, and within the blink of an eye he sliced across the dummy, effectively cutting clean through it’s left shoulder to its right leg.

Scattered applause sounded (as well as some female Swordsman giggling lovingly at his performance).

“And as Steven just demonstrated, with much practice, a swordsman can accomplish great things.” Said Cedric. “First and second years follow me.”

He led the group to an area surrounded with cloth dummies, each has a unique face drawn on their heads. Cedric chuckled. “Oh, Emmie.”

He turned to the group. “Your task is simple. Use the blade of your sword to cleanly remove the head of the dummy in one stroke.”

“That’s child’s play.” scoffed Anthony.

Cedric raised an amused brow. “Care to offer us a demonstration?” he asked.

Anthony, feeling big and proud, approached the cloth dummy and unsheathed his short bronze short sword. With all of his might he swung his blade toward the dummy.

The impact through Anthony off balance and he fell to the ground. His blade bounded after the first and second years. They all gasped, Tina cowered. The tip of the blade dug into the earth only a foot from Bay, to which he sighed of relief and passed out.

Cedric shook his head. “Moxie can only get you so far, Anthony. Who would like to try next?”

Tina had a swing at it. She was able to keep control of her stance as well as the sword, but the blade became lodged in the wooden neck of the dummy. “Oh, well that’s not good…”

“I just have to hit it hard…” Cole thought to himself. He approached the wooden dummy, which was staring at him with it’s crooked smile and badly drawn eyeballs.

It looked kind of freaky.

Grunting loudly, Cole swung at full force and whacked the dummy as hard as he could. After the neck remained intact he swung again. And again. And finally after the fourth swing, the neck tumbled to the ground.

“I-I did it!” Cole huffed.

“Nope.” Cedric said plainly.

“Whaddyou mean? I cut his head off!” Cole said, confused.

“No, you butchered his head off.” Cedric held the head of the dummy up. It’s wooden neck was as frayed as one could get a wooden neck to be. “Secondly, I said to do it in one stroke. It took you four.”

Cedric unsheathed his glorious silver blade. He came unto a group of dummies, and after a deep breath, cleanly cut all four of the dummies heads off swiftly. The cut was so clean that the wooden necks looked like they had been sanded.

“Wooow.” Said Tina with sparkles in her eyes.

Cole didn’t say anything. He was both astonished and felt out played.

“Big whoop. With that fancy blade of yours it shouldn’t be too tough to do it.” Anthony said.

With a motion of Cedric’s hand, all of the second years came unto a cloth dummy. All but one of the second years (the one being Bay,) cleanly and quickly cut the heads off of the dummies. They used bronze swords, just as the first years.

“I hit it as hard as I could,” Said Cole defensively, “but I wasn’t strong enough. It’s impossible.”

“Not if you do it right.” Cedric said. “You’re all relying on power too much. It’s about speed and precision, not how hard you can swing a blade.”

Tina finally freed her blade from the dummy. “But if you don’t hit it hard, than how could it possibly cut through?”

“Just trust me.” Cedric said.

Heeding his advice, Cole took his blade and approached another dummy. He swung fast and cut the arm off of it. “I got the arm!” he excitedly said, jumping up for joy.

“But he said cut the head off.” Anthony mentioned, giving it another try. Only he cut the lower half of the dummy, which made the entire thing fall on top of him.

Cole laughed and Tina giggled.

Tina tried once more and she cut the other arm off.

“Between the three of you, you’ve successfully cut everything except for the neck.” Cedric said, rather humored.

After many tried attempts, Cole was the first to successfully cut the head off of a dummy in one stroke. While not as clean of a cut, still a successful attempt.

“Very nice, Cole. Cut ninety-nine more heads off and you’ll be finished with practice.”

The three first years gasped in shock and surprise.

“NINETY-NINE? Are you mad?!” Tina suddenly shouted out.

Everybody except for Cole, Tina, and Anthony erupted in laughter.

“Just jesting,” laughed Cedric. “It’s recommended you fell five heads each, but regardless our training will be over in thirty minutes.

After recovering from the shock, the three began trying to fell dummy heads as quickly as they could.

By the thirty minute time up, Tina actually made it to the top with eight felled heads. Cole barely passed with five heads, while steamy Anthony only managed two heads.

Cedric blew into his whistle and said, “Excellent work, everyone! First years, be ready for more later today. Hey Bay, thank you for not mistaking anybody for a dummy this time.” He clapped his hands. “Training over!”

Welcome to Guild Camp – Guild Training I

Five groups of guild warriors in-training are bundled together as they listen to the camp Chieftain, Mason Sledge, make some pre-quest announcements.

Most of the trainees are bored to death, fiddling with their weapons as they wait for the boring announcements to end.

“Always exercise caution when dealing with monsters.” Said Mason cautiously. “Being a Guild Warrior isn’t a game. If you die, you are dead. No coming back.”

A particular black haired member of the Carbon Guild scoffed and whispered, “You don’t say, old man.”

His four colleagues laughed out loud to purposefully disrupt the announcements.

They hushed after a devilish look from Mason.

“This year we have five new guilds ready for training. I’ll go over the guild names, their leaders, and then Kathryn will explain your training schedules and class captains.” Mason unrolled a parchment and began to read off the newbie guild names as is;

Quartz Guild, Leader Thomas,
Carbon 
Guild, Leader Barrett,
Gem 
Guild, Leader Courtney,
Stone Guild, Leader Ashton,
Mineral Guild, Leader Cole.

As Cole’s name was spoken out, he grew a cheesy grin and scratched the back of his neck. A girl with pink pigtails began to bounce in excitement.

“We’re gonna be the best guild there ever was, right guys?” Said Cole, turning to his team. On his back is a bronze sword and shield which makes him part of the guild class, Swordsman.

Every team member of any guild is part of one of the twelve guild classes. Each member trains in their class through specialized training programs designed with their class in mind.

“That’s a motivating mindset.” Said Aaron Hawks with a nod of his head. He’s the guild’s Archer, who specializes in bows and nature survival.

“We’ll have to give it our all to accomplish that.” Said Kelsey. She’s a petite woman and the guild’s Medic, so she obviously trains in medicines, medical assistance and herbs.

Gray didn’t speak a word, merely giving out a cold stare. He’s the secluded member. His class is the Chemist, which is a class where users manipulate magical power such as fire (this power is called the “Forsis of Nature”) using a mechanical wrist device named a Castor.

“Sounds good to me, chief. When can I pummel something with my axe?” Said Nella the Axe Wielder. An Axe Wielders only goal is to annihilate their foes. Nella in particular has an appetite as strong as her axe.

“Yay, that’ll be so awesome, I can’t wait!” Shouted Melanie as she still continued to bounce in sheer excitement, her pink pigtails bouncing with her. She’s a Troubadour which is a unique class that mixes magical singing abilities and dangerous physical combat with whips.

That’s the entirety of Mineral Guild. A fledgling group of hopefuls (and one less-than-hopeful) who want to one day graduate guild camp and become an official guild who will be sent off to protect those in need.

“How pathetic, those Mineral’s.” Said the black haired man from before. His name is Barrett and he’s of Carbon Guild. On his back is a semi-auto rifle, and strapped to his belt is an assortment of grenade bombs. This makes him of the Gunner class.

“But wouldn’t that be a good thing? It’ll make things easier for us.” Said Xeyla with folded arms. She’s a Jinx, a class that specializes in crippling hexes and curses that are to be used on opposing forces.

The other members of Carbon nodded in agreement.

Barrett growled as he stared at Mineral guild.

After camp Chieftain Mason finished his announcements, he stepped off the wooden platform and Kathryn, the keeper of Kathryn’s Shoppe, took his place.

“Hello, nice to see this years new bunch of guilds!” She said cheerfully, her chubby cheeks smiling wide. “I’m Kathryn, the owner of Kathryn’s Shoppe. But I also oversee the request board, which is located outside of my shop.”

She continued, “Every class has their own training schedules and class captains, who will teach you all you need to know. Training is required every day of the week, except Sunday, and you will train twice a day.” She pulled out a worn parchment and began to read off the schedules.

“Swordsman, Medic, and Axe Wielder class, training begins directly after breakfast at nine o’clock. Your captains are Cedric, Mary, and Reggie respectively. At ten…” she continued to list off the schedules of the remaining nine classes.

After the mention of Medic Captain Mary, Kelsey “Squeee’d!” and stood on the balls of her feet. “I’ve read so much about Captain Mary! I heard one time she saved a man who was fatally ill, and they were lost in a forest so all she could use was a stick, a couple of herbs, a parchment of her coat, and her bare hands…” she half whispered. “In the end, once they escaped the forest, they got married. It’s so touching and romantic.”

“That’s…uh, nice?” Cole responded.

“Training will began tomorrow!” Kathryn concluded, rolling up the parchment. “Additionally, any guild who proves capable during the first week of training will be allowed to partake in the initiation quest. More details on that next week!”

The five guilds began conversating with their own team, most expressing concern or pride.

One rather pudgy member of Quartz guild shared, “Just warning you guys, I get extreme gas when I’m feeling pressured.” Which led to the rest of the team groaning loudly.

“I’m ready to take on this measly initiation test, what’s the hold up?” Said Nella loud, clear, and with pride.

“I can’t wait either, it’ll be a blast!” Said Melanie hyper-actively.

“I can’t believe I’m going to be trained under Captain Mary’s own teaching and ways. Maybe one day I’ll save a man’s life with only a stick, herbs, parchment and my own hands. Then we’ll get married and live happily ever after.” Said Kelsey all aflutter, hearts replacing the pupils in her eyes.

“Aren’t you a bit young to be thinking about marriage, you have like ten years before you even can.” Said Cole, an eyebrow raised.

“A bit young?! How old do you think I am?” Questioned Kelsey furiously, pointing an index finger.

Cole blinked and frowned. “Ten? Twelve?”

Kelsey’s face turned pink and her eyes narrowed on Cole. “I’m sixteen, I’m as old as the rest of you!”

Nella laughed. “Sixteen? No way, look at you compared to me or Melanie.” she said teasingly.

Kelsey looked very upset, angry and humiliated.

Cole began to wave his arms defensively and said, “No worries, Kelsey. An honest mistake, you look just fine!”

Gray’s face practically said, ‘These guy are a bunch or morons.’

“Your only saying that because you feel bad.” Kelsey said.

Nella was still laughing, and Melanie joined her as she was innocently unaware how it made Kelsey feel.

“Okay everybody, settle down!” Aaron said, unimpressed with the behavior of his team members. “This isn’t reassuring progress of team work.”

“We’re just playing around.” Said Melanie.

“Playing around at the expense of Kelsey’s feelings.” Cole stated.

“Huh?” Melanie frowned, confused.

“Please. You did it first.” Nella folded her arms.

“I didn’t know any better. You did so on purpose.”

“Guys. Please, let’s just drop it. You’re acting like children.” Aaron said firmly yet collected.

Chieftain Mason returned to the wooden platform to make one last announcement. “Those are all the rules and guidelines to this camp. You can always consult your guild guide booklet if you have any questions. Dinner will be an in hour, and until then you should go to your designated cabin and make yourself at home.”

Each guild set off for their cabins. There was at least twenty-five cabins in the area, built to form a circle and each cabin face inward to the circle. A dirt trail from each of the cabin’s main door leads to the center of the circle where a stone wall holding a flower bed full of pink and yellow flowers, and a flag pole resides. The official camp flag waves valiantly in the breeze.

 

This was only the first of many cabin areas.

Each occupied cabin has a sign hanging over the wooden deck that has the guild’s name carved into it. At least fifty percent of the cabins are owned by guilds who are into their second year of camp or more.

Each cabin has four rooms. The main room which holds a two three person couches, a small table for six, a coffee table for the couches, and a small cooling cabinet (which could only preserve food for up to three days.) The left and right rooms are lodging for the boys and girls respectively, and each hold as many beds and dressers needed by the guild occupying it. The last room is a small bathroom.

After securing their things and beds in their cabins, meeting up with the other guilds (including those who are up to their final fourth year,) and enjoying a delicious chicken and bread dinner, every guild returned to their cabins to sleep and prepare for their very first day of training.

There were some complications doing so for some, as Melanie found it suitable to talk to Nella and Kelsey all night, Gray and Hawk had difficulty due to Cole’s snoring, and of course everybody at the Quartz cabin were holding their noses and coughing due to the pudgy one’s gas.

Stuck in Elevation – Derek and the Dorks

Derek is fast walking his way towards the mall, his backpack latched onto his back. His mother told him that he needed to drop by the mall to pick Stella’s tennis uniform she had ordered. And that he needed to go immediately after school.

But he wasn’t fast walking cause he needed to hurry. He was fast walking because of who was trailing him.

Nigel and Maurice, aka the school dorks.

“Derek,” heave, “you sure are fast!” said Maurice as he tried to keep up.

“We can’t show you our new playing cards from the Arc Wizards vs The Goblin Empire expansion pack if you keep up that pace!” Said Nigel.

Maurice nodded vigorously. “They even added a new a new type; Light!

“As tempting as that sounds,” Derek began, his tone of voice as least caring as it could ever be, “I’m gonna have to miss out. I need to pick up my sister’s outfit, and—”

“We’ll wait outside, then!” Both dorks said in unison with equal enthusiasm.

Derek cringed. “No, don’t do that.” he said.

“We’ll go in with you, then!”

Before Derek could express is utter distaste for their statement, they followed him into the overcrowded mall.

There were hundreds of people and dozens of stores. Derek tried to make a run in attempt to lose the dorks, but they kept right on his tail, telling him all about their new expansion pack.

In and out of stores, under and around crowds of people, and he even tried to hide in the bathroom.

Finally he ran as fast as he could into an elevator that leads him to the clothes store he needed to pick up Stella’s outfit from.

The dorks were nowhere to be found. Derek quickly selected to go up one floor and the doors closed.

With a sigh of relief, Derek leaned against the wall and patiently waited for his stop.

“Why are you picking up Stella’s outfit anyway?” Asked Nigel.

Derek exclaimed and turned around. Both Nigel and Maurice are now in the elevator with him.

“But—you—how did you—what?!” Derek rambled.

“He’s acting awful suspicious.” said Maurice. “You sure you’re not just trying to avoid us?”

Then the elevator stopped and the lights went out. The doors never opened.

“You’ve got to be kidding me!!” Derek shouted out in frustration.

The dorks proceeded to enthuse Derek about their dorky fantasy card game, oblivious to his anger.

Fountain – Poem for Taking Action

The gentle splish and splosh of the local cemetery fountain is enough to sooth any troubled soul.

Be they who come by to pay respects to those gone before them, or even those like me who finds tranquility and ease from the simple sound of a fountain in a manmade pond.

The serene atmosphere is ideal for those with a pen in hand—or as of today’s age—an app for writing.

Even still, the sounds of traffic on the nearby street may ruin the beautiful, calming effect for most people. Tires rolling against the asphalt, engines revving…

For me?

I enjoy that as well. It’s a constant reminder to me that time is always racing by, like those scrambling to and from work, school, or what be it in their motor vehicles.

It gives me a sense of urgency. Most people wouldn’t like that, but it motivates me to act in the now. For example, have to write now, as I may not get the chance to write ever again.

Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed for everybody. Our days are numbered.

So I have to accomplish my goals before my time is up.

Odd to gather that kind of mindset over silly nearby traffic, isn’t it?

On the same faucet, the fountains remind me that I don’t have to rush, I can go about it in my own pace.

Allow my words to flow onto the page in sync with the ripples of water that dance across the sun speckled pond.

If I sit down and write a six thousand word story in a matter of minutes, chances are it wasn’t very well written.

Great things take time. As long as I’m getting it accomplished at a reasonable pace, I’m fulfilling my goal.

At least that’s what my peculiar mind conjures up from a simple cemetery fountain and the nearby street.

Fetch! – Day of Dog

“Okay everybody, line up!” I called out for the dogs.

Buster, Cookie and Jack all lined up in front of me. However, Buddy wouldn’t come within ten feet of me as usual. He simply barked his head off. Annie, a white Cockapoo and partner of Buster, sat beside me.

Jack is the only offspring of Buster and Annie who didn’t find a new home.

“We’re going to play fetch today!” I held up a green tennis ball. Cookie became excited and couldn’t keep her rear on the ground, tail wagging fifty miles per hour.

Oh boy! Fetch! I love fetch! Cookie expressed.

“Cookie will show all of you how this works…” I tossed the ball across the yard, and Cookie shot after it.

She took the ball into her mouth and began her run back to me, snorting like a pig the entire way. Once returned, she dropped the ball at my foot.

“Simple, isn’t it?” I said, picking up the slightly slobbery ball. “You’re up next, Buster.” I threw the ball as far as I could.

Buster watched the ball fly over his head, but didn’t bother chasing it down.

Oh boy, I love fetch! Cookie chased after it again.

“Okay then…” I took the ball again. “Go get it, Jack!” I tossed the ball once more.

Jack, unlike Buster who enjoys an ear scratch more than fetch, chased after the ball with all of his speed. I clapped as he brought me the ball, but as I reached for it he ran off. Apparently he thinks this is a game of chase.

I grabbed a new ball from the five gallon bucket I have with me. “Fetch, Buddy!” I threw it. To my utter shock, Buddy chased it. He barked at it five times before nudging it with his nose. He grabbed the ball and walked opposite of me, never returning with it.

“I don’t know what I expected.”

Grabbing another new ball, I tossed it out, saying, “Go fetch, Annie!”

Annie, only slightly slower than Jack, chased after the ball. However, she merely circled around the ball and returned without it.

“You’re supposed to get the ball and bring it back…”

Cookie chased after it and brought it back.

After an hour, Cookie was the only one who ever played properly. It took twenty minutes to get the ball back from buddy, and Jack destroyed the one he had, so I threw it away. But even after all of this time, Cookie still wants to play fetch.

I chuckled. “One more time, Cookie.” I said. Instead of throwing it, I faked the throw and laughed, dropping the ball in the bucket. If she can’t find the ball she can’t return it, which means I can take a much desired break.

I doubled over when I realized she STILL somehow returned with a ball even though they were all in the bucket.

 


 

If you enjoyed my flash fiction, please let me know in the comments. I love to hear what you have to say, even if it’s constructive criticism.

While you’re at it, why not check out my other flash fictions? There’s many more that features the dogs of Day of Dog, and so much more!

Thanks for Reading!