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Original Fiction Archives:
Other than Fiction Press? Are there any? Fiction Press is not letting me upload stuff.
edited 13th May '11 8:01:52 PM by JewelyJ
listenIt's not letting you upload stuff? What file format are you using?
The normal one. Ah a note. It's doing repairs. Well shit....
listenOh. By 'normal one', do you mean .doc? To avoid any and all potential problems with file formats, I use .txt files. It's just easier that way, and even the shittiest computers and websites and read them. And, no, I do not know of any original fiction archives aside from that one.
The PuzzlerYou could probably upload it to deviant art, but fiction writers don't seem to get much press on there.
So now I know that my lack of success in college is due to ADD — or sleep apnea. I need to do a sleep study some time.
Try putting it on the forums. I'll read.
Writer's Welcome WagonIt would be good to know other original fiction communities to post stories on. The more websites you post a story, a wider audience you get.
^^Oh? Okay Thanks.
The Great Reversal By Jewely J Summary: A little bit of magic sends two boys into an alternate world where gender roles are reversed. Now they both have to adjust and survive with the hope that someday they will find the way back home. Prologue To whomever it may concern, If you are reading this book, then hopefully you will be comforted in the knowledge that we are alive and well. When my cousin and I disappeared, we were cursed into another reality by a booth keeper at the festival. The blood left behind was part of the ritual that sent us through and we were not injured too badly. Unfortunately we were separated soon after. Contained in this journal are the accounts of our experience during this time. We are very sorry that we left you all for so long. To our families we wish to say that we miss you. Hopefully one day we may get the chance to see you again. With Love to Our Friends and Family, Skylar Weevily (nee Stryke) & Taroku Talavi(nee Toyaka)
edited 13th May '11 8:38:08 PM by JewelyJ
Sorry to double post but feel free to give constructive crit.
Your introduction to this story sounds alluring. I can think of little else to say for this brief snippet. I wonder what happened to Stryke and Toyoka? Did they have some fun while they were gone?
Thank you and to answer your question I give you part 1 of chapter 1:
Chapter 1 Cursed Skye Stryke May 15, 2006 In the last twenty six hours so much has happened and I’m trying to process it all. I’m pretty sure it started with the incident at the field trip. Some traveling culture festival came to our town and the sophomore history and literature classes planned a field trip to attend it for multiculturalism week. We had gotten the notice a week in advance. When my two friends and I came home with the permission slips, my foster guardian was swamped and sent us all outside while she filled them out. My parents had died just last year while I was at school. My brother and I were shifted from my English grandparents to old friends of the family. This morning-or yesterday morning I guess I was woken up early to the sound of my phone going off. Probably my cousin’s idea of a joke. He didn’t even live with me anymore but that didn’t stop him from playing jokes. I yawned and put a pillow over my ears, trying to tune it out. It lit up and started vibrating again, making an ear-grating noise against the wooden nightstand. I just my closed eyes and tried to think of things like scoring goals , nice cars but the buzzing just broke through them. With a frustrated grunt and a few choice words of Italian I learned from my grandfather, I picked up the cellphone and tossed it across the room. “Thank God!” I huffed, flopping back on the bed. I had stolen a glance at the clock as I got up, it was five o’clock. The bus might be coming in a few hours. I put the pillow over my head again and tried to slip back into sleep. I tried practicing some of the meditation tricks I learned over winter break to calm myself and slip back to into sleep for only a few more minutes. I imagined rejoining the soccer team. I had somehow gotten the grudging respect of my old teammates and we were ranking up wins. After our latest victory our coach told us we had a new opponent from some private school. Gem and Rusty showed up to support me. Before the game Gem kissed me on the cheek and told me she knew I could do it. When my opponents showed up the figure in the front row smirked at me. It was that rich jerk from back in England, Taroku, who was apparently the kid of my dad’s estranged aunt. He taunted me and then when he caught Gem’s eye he winked at her and tried to act cool. Seeing him hit on her made me angry and I kicked the ball at him. The game started and all throughout it was a near tie but in the last portion of the game my team destroyed his. The final score was called and the winner announced. Gem and Rusty ran over to congratulate me. But in a moment Rusty and everything around Gem I and melted. Gem’s face reddened as she brushed back her wavy blonde hair. “I love you, Skye.” She said. “Me?” I looked at her in astonishment, “you mean it?” She smiles and then kisses me on the lips and-wait what? I snapped out of my daydream. Gem was the kid I had played with as a little boy while our moms were having coffee. She was practically my housemate now. I went through my dream again and everything was wrong. First of all Taroku hated sports, especially soccer and made fun of me for playing them. I wasn’t even on the team anymore and after my fall out with my old teammates I highly doubted that many of them would listen to anything I said, let alone give me the ball. And Rusty…why did Rusty just disappear like that? He was my best friend and Gem’s brother! I just sat there trying to calm myself down. “Some friend you are, ” a voice in the back of my head hissed, “Imagine if he saw you making out with his sister, hands all over. You’d love it if he was out of the way wouldn’t you?” I shook my head. It was just a dumb dream, nothing to get all worked up over. I couldn’t sleep anymore so I got up and started getting ready. When I got out of the shower I stopped to take a look at myself in the mirror. The freckles on my face were barely even visible. My grandparents would be disappointed at that. My grandmother always liked my freckles, mostly because without them I looked a lot like my dad. They never really liked my dad much and had been upset enough that I was named after him. It was at my grandmother’s insistence that I go by my middle name, Skylar. With my hair wet it was almost the same shade as Dad’s. It almost looked a bit eerie. All I needed was to grow it out a bit more and grow a mini goatee, maybe grow about a half a foot more. I dismissed the thought. It was a bit creepy to try and look exactly like your deceased father and it would probably cause unwanted drama around town as my father wasn’t exactly popular. I tried to avoid looking too closely at my eyes. One of my classmates once jokingly told me that they were kind of mesmerizing. I found out later, much to my dismay, that it was true. One of my eyes was a bright blue and the other was a light green. It was some kind of genetic disorder (though on which side I couldn’t be sure). Maybe if I just didn’t get near people they wouldn’t notice. A thud on the door made me jump a little bit. “Hey! I need to go like right now!” Rusty said. I opened the door and let him in, set to get to my room as fast as possible. As I left the bathroom I realized just how chilly the house was and started to wish I had brought a shirt. When I finally got to my room I noticed Gem laying some clothes down for me. Her face reddened and she ran out very quickly mumbling apologies. I didn’t get my voice back until a few minutes after she left. It took only two minutes to get the ready but then seven more to look for my lost permission slip. My little brother poked in my room as I climbed out from under my bed. His hair was a mess but he looked wide awake and bouncy as always. He had gotten a promise from ‘Uncle’ Duane that he could go to the festival this weekend after hearing that I got to go. “Breakfast is ready and Aunt Teresa wants to know how much money you’ll need for lunch.” “Tell her I’ll be there in a sec Tim. I’ll use my allowance, ” I said, going through my bag again. As I went through my papers, my brother picked up one of them. “You missed one of the questions.” He pointed out. I didn’t look up for more than a second. Just a history paper. “I’ll do it on the way there.” I said. Crap, like I needed another thing to remember when I got to school. I continued shuffling through the papers as Timmy looked over the worksheet. “Hey can I have that back?” When I glanced back at him, he handed over the paper. “The answer is Industrial Revolution” he said handing it back, “It fits the puzzle at the bottom.” I looked down at the paper in surprise and then back at him. The clue had only given a set of dates and the mention of some combustible engine. “How did you know that?” I asked. He just shrugged and bit into his poptart. “I read it somewhere when we were studying for a project” he said. I was a little surprised in the past, my younger brother always had trouble with his homework. He only seemed to remember videogame codes and Pokémon evolutions. “You should probably check the book though. “ “Okay” I put the paper in my bag and went to search another folder as he walked out. I finally found the form lying on the floor. “Finally, ” I muttered cramming it into the bag. “Skye, you’re going to be late!” Aunt Teresa called. I got up and slung my bag over my shoulder. “Coming” Before I left I grabbed my wallet and stuffed it in my pocket. The kitchen was pretty full. Rusty was stuffing his face with French toast while Gem was helping Uncle Duane clean up the kitchen. I noticed another housemate, Tasi sitting on the couch blasting her ears with music. I gave her wide berth because from my experience with her, she didn’t seem to like people at all and had quite a temper. “Tasi, turn that down you’re going to go deaf” Aunt Teresa said. “I don’t care” Tasi snapped back. I wondered how she could hear herself think. I could hear the lyrics of her music from here. She glared at me as I passed and I just moved along. No use trying to argue with her. Uncle Duane handed me a plate of French toast. “Skye are you sure you don’t want to save your allowance for something nice?” Aunt Teresa asked. “I’m sure” I said, “I have enough money, I don’t think food will cost that much.” We got all packed up but Uncle Duane offered to drive us instead of taking the bus. On the way there I filled in some of the missing questions on my worksheet. When we got to the school I heard a weird sort of squeak from Rusty. “Charter buses!” He exclaimed, “I have never been on a charter bus before. Ever” “It’s a bus” I told him, “not really that exciting.” “It has a TV” he said. We all headed to the history room early. I felt my stomach squirm at the crowd of students, both the literature and the history classes were all squeezed in one room. I hated crowds; they made me feel sick and nervous. Gem squeezed my hand and we made our seats. The teachers gave us a lecture on rules and Gem and I poked Rusty every now and then to make sure he was listening. We handed in our permissions slips and then after the announcements we started going out into the bus. Rus was bouncing on the balls of his feet all the way there. “It’s a bus” I repeated. He just gave me an annoyed look and kept on bouncing. “Don’t let it bother you too much” Gem said, “I’m sure the novelty will wear off in an hour or so.” It actually took forty five minutes of loading before he was sitting back in his chair bending the cap off his pen. The trip finally got started. I don’t actually remember most of the trip. We watched Disney movies most of the way there. Or more specifically the other kids chatted, yelled and roughhoused while a few of us tried to tune it out. A few of the guys in the front row thought themselves the amateur version of Mystery Science Theater 3000. We got all the way through Beauty and the Beast and we were just starting Lion King when we arrived in the parking lot. That was certainly a relief to me because I certainly did not look forward to watching a whole movie about a kid feeling guilty over his father’s death. The TV was shut off and the teacher started leading people out in a neat and orderly fashion. As we got up to leave, Rusty pointed a thumb out the window at a row of private school buses. “Hey look, we have company” he said. I suddenly noticed the insignia and felt my stomach plummet. “Please tell me that isn’t the private school I think it is.” I said. Remember my jerk relative Taroku? Well, he and his sister were sent overseas to attend a private school in Williamsburg. “Looks like. He might have skipped out today” Rusty and I watched the people come out until the teacher hollered at us to “get a move on!” We moved along and as we left the bus I noticed Taroku chatting with some girls. I shrugged it off, deciding to just avoid him. We followed the other students until they got to an open field of attractions. I gasped as I took in the sights. I was honestly expecting some small rinky dink wannabe tourist trap. I had learned in the past not to overestimate a school field trip. But this festival was impressive. There were decorative booths in the style of different countries. A few booths had food, others had games and some (the ones Gem had her eyes on) had things like art, pieces of clothing and jewelry. There were a few people who were performing for small crowds. Each booth had a pamphlet. One of the chaperones handed out tags while a teacher gave us some last minute instructions. At first it was the usual “stick to the buddy system” speech and then he told us that he expected a project on at least one country/people group. “WHAT?” Rusty exclaimed, ”wh-what? This is supposed to be fun!” “It still can be.”Gem said, “It’s a free form project meaning we can do any format as long as we provide information about our topic. Do something you enjoy.” “It’s homework, Gemmy. Once something becomes required by a teacher it immediately stops being enjoyable. It’s like a law.” he said, ‘homework will always be a drag.” “You want us to write that down for you” I asked. “We’ll call it Rusty’s law and when we post it online you will be forever immortalized.” “Sounds good” Rusty said. Gem and I just exchanged looks. “Where should we go first?” “How about the caravans, ” Gem said, pointing over at a section of the grounds where some large caravans were arranged. “Nah how about the Native American section near the tents” Rusty said, “Or over there.” He pointed to a section where two people were jousting with what looked like huge toothpicks. We walked around for a little bit (stopping at a few informative booths) when I heard Rusty “whoa…check it out.” In one section of the there were some women who were demonstrating how the belly-dance was done. I could almost feel myself blushing but still watched. I really meant to look away but after three minutes I felt someone poking me repeatedly and I could faintly hear my name being said. “Fine!” I snapped out of it when I heard Gem’s voice, “go I don’t care. I’m going to find things myself!” She gave me a hurt look and then stormed off. Something about that look stayed in my memory. “GEM! Wait!” I called; she just kept walking and disappeared into the crowds. “…I’m sorry. What did I do?” “Geez what’s her problem?” Rusty said, he sniffed the air and then started pulling me toward a booth, “Come on! I smell fried dough!” I was still worried but I followed Rus so I wouldn’t get left behind in this crowd. We didn’t need a repeat of the County Fair Incident. If I hadn’t been so preoccupied over Gem I might have noticed a woman watching us. The woman with the gold eye necklace. He led me to the booth and ordered a large cake thing with whipped cream, sugar and syrup. When he was done he nudged me. “You want anything, man?” “Oh uh…I’ll just have uh whatever that is” I said pointing to one of the display items. He told me what the name is but I think I forgot it. As we waited for our food Rusty pointed out all the places he wanted to go. A woman followed behind and placed her order, I still didn’t recognize her. I was looking around at other booths, I saw Taroku surrounded by some other prep school students at the Japanese food booth, drinking something. After a moment he set the bottle down, looking sick and asked the booth keeper for something. “Where’d your friend go?” I looked up and saw this booth’s keep holding two plates. I turned to my side, but Rusty was gone. “He was here a minute ago” I said. The woman waiting near me chuckled and I finally noticed her. She was wearing what looked like a Renaissance era red dress with a low neckline. She had a gold necklace with a small eerie looking golden eye shape. “He seems lively” she said. “He’s just excited, ” I said. She smiled and made an order. “You seem like the sensible one” she said. I looked at her very surprised. My face felt hot again. “…I dunno…I try to be responsible, ” I said shrugging my shoulders. She gave what sort of looked like a weird smirk. It made me a little uncomfortable but I was hesitant to go into the crowd. “It shows.” She said. She looked over at the Japanese booth where Taroku was guzzling a water bottle. “You know that boy?” “He’s an idiot” I said without hesitation. She just smiled. “I’m sure, ” she took out a small card and handed it to me, “so you know where to find me. I would love to read your future.” She left leaving me a little confused. I looked down at the card expecting a name. It only gave me a number and location. “6 on the corner of Renaissance and Middle East” “We have a booth there?” one of the booth keepers said , surprised. “Guess so, ” I shrugged and put the card away. As I sorted through the crowd trying to concentrate on soccer, good memories and video games. “Where are you Rusty?” I started to feel the anxiety from the crowd around me until I heard a voice. “You look like you’re going to be sick” Rusty stood in front of me with a….something on a stick and a boomerang I glared at him, he knew I hated crowds. “Yeah, imagine that” I said. He just gave me a nervous grin and changed the subject. “Hey look at this stuff I found.” He held up his boomerang and a small bag. “Arrowheads!” “Great, ” I said, “Look. We need to find Gem.” “Really…? I kinda-” he looked behind him, “I think she went thataway” “Fine look there, I’ll take the other side.” I said. As I wandered around I noticed my palms sweating and started getting memories of wandering that huge mall when I was little, calling brothers’ names. One booth keeper, a blonde girl with multiple piercings in her ears and a bandana noticed me. “Hey, kiddo are you lost?” She asked. I looked up surprised. She looked a lot older than me, probably in college. “N-no” I said. I tried not to look like I was nervous or anything, hoping she hadn’t seen me start to freak out. “I-I’m fine. “ I went over to the booth. It had some huge mechanical thing on it, and the girl was holding a screwdriver. “What is it?” “It’s a model of a steam engine” she started explaining how it worked and I nodded and asked about a few of the parts. She then started explaining about how the steam engine faded out of use after the internal combustion engine was introduced. I reached out to get a pamphlet for Rusty and noticed a book. “What’s this?” I asked? “Oh that’s a really cool book. It’s a comic and a guide to Steampunk, ” she said, “$5 if you want it.” “Sure!” I handed her one of my dollar bills, “It’s something my best friend Rusty will like.” She handed me the book and then her phone rang. As I thanked her and walked away I heard her talking to someone named Eddy. Probably a boyfriend. I flipped through the book, a few of the illustrations catching my eye. I got so caught up looking at the book I didn’t notice myself bumping into someone. “What the-Stryke?” The accent and voice caught my eye and I looked up. “Oh it’s you, ” I said coolly.Taroku eyed the book in my hand. “Hmm didn’t peg you for someone who was into that stuff, ” he smirked pushing up his glasses a bit. “What’s it to you?” I asked. “Touchy” he said, “So where are your buddies?” “uh…we…split up” I said, “I’m looking for Gem.” “Ooooh “ he grinned, “Pissed her off did you?” “Shut up!” I said, aiming a fist at him. He only sidestepped it. I could feel my heartbeat speed up. How did he know unless he spoke with her? The thought of him being around her made me shudder. Taroku was a notorious playboy-a pervert-one of my cousins in England had told me. He only sighed and shook his head. “You’re way too easy, ” he said. He adjusted his glasses a bit and looked around. “You know if you’re looking for the belly-dancers they’re in the other direction” I said. He just stared at me for a moment sputtering and then cleared his throat “I-“ “Ohhhhhh” I nodded, “that must be where you came from.” I just watched as he gave me a look of deep loathing. He says I’m too easy. “N-no I was ah” I reached over to his pocket, pulled out the pamphlet for the Middle East area and held it up with a smirk. His face reddened as he snatched it back. “Shut it, okay? It’s for school. Besides I bet you and your mates took a look too.” I stopped for a moment and he snatched back the pamphlet. Seeing the look in my eyes he laughed. “You did, didn’t you?” he said. I glared at him and tried to say something but he just laughed. “You didn’t do it in front of your girlfriend did you? Bet that’s why she’s gone. Did she get mad at you, Stryke?” “Shut up, okay! I didn’t mean to!” I almost yelled, “I’m not like you!” Taroku gave me a nasty glare. “Don’t act like you know anything about me, you little git.” he said. I was about to say something when I heard a voice behind us. “Boys….boys. Calm down” the woman with the eye necklace came over to us. She was now dressed in a midriff that looked similar to the belly dancers and a short skirt with beads hanging off of it. Her wrists had some sort of weird hand jewelry with many bangle bracelets. She was still wearing her eye necklace. “We don’t need you two getting in trouble.” Taroku’s eyes seemed to be traveling down slowly and his face reddened a bit. “No ma’am” he said, suddenly looking away. I rolled my eyes at him. “What are your names my dears?” she asked. “Skye Stryke” I said, “and that’s Taroku-“ “It’s Blade” he said cutting me off. She smirked. “Well I sense a curious aura about you two.” She said, “If you’d please allow me to read your futures, I’ll give you a discount.” Taroku nodded, dazed. “Yeah” I said giving him a suspicious look, “I wouldn’t mind.” She started leading us somewhere. This woman gave me a weird vibe. I watched her trying to figure out what it was about her. My face heated up as I noticed how pretty she looked. As we kept on walking a part of me was uneasy about this. It seemed a little far from the rest of the festival. But she’s nice and she just wants to tell our fortunes, no harm in that right? She finally led us to a somewhat large and somewhat intricate system of tents It was at an angle where we could see the dancers in the distance. Taroku started to look at them but the woman just made a “come here” motion with her finger. She led us into the tent’s center. There was a small table with four lawn chairs around it and dusty books everywhere. From the top of the tent an eye charm made of chicken bones and a coin hung from the top. “Sit down” she said. Taroku and I exchanged glances. “Sit; really I just need to do something.” We both sat down and waited for her. I heard the sound of something being zipped and felt a little nervous. “Aren’t you a little suspicious?” I hissed. He just shrugged and sat back in his chair. When she returned there was something different about her. She had something in one hand and a weird painted stick in the other. “Why did you two come here today?” she asked. Taroku looked up a little confused, “Did you not see the signs…did you not ever think it might be odd?” “I….” I didn’t know what to say. She held up the object in her hand and then I felt a horrible tug at my stomach as I saw what it was. A knife. “Just what I thought. You were too busy looking at my skirt and panting” she sneered at us. The both of us gulped and Taroku backed up in his chair. I opened my mouth but she pointed her painted stick at me. “A shame, I actually expected you to have some sense.” She gave a little mock pout. “I-I just wanted to make sure he didn’t try anything” I said. She just scoffed. “Oh I’m sure.” She said, walking around tapping her painted stick “I saw the way you looked at the dancers. Proof that this society is intent on producing as many little pigs as it can.” Taroku made a noise of indignance and I stomped on his foot. “You two are clueless, idiotic and controlled by your lust. Do I blame you, my little ones? Of course not. It is merely poor raising-” “I was raised just fine!” I snapped rising up. I hated when people criticized my parents. The woman only held her knife closer to me. She slowly moved it down my body until I sat down again. Taroku opened his mouth to say something. “I am not going to kill you boys.” She said as if reading his mind, “But I think you need a little lesson in respect. “ She waved the painted stick at us and with a few words we were bound with a strange glowing rope. After she left Taroku looked down at it with a raised eyebrow. “Kinky” he muttered. “You’re not helping your case, boy” she said from the other room. He stared after her astonished. She came back with a scroll and her knife and laid the scroll out on the table. She went over to me and lifted my chin up with a hand and cupped my face in her hand. “What pity. You are quite a lovely one.” I felt a sudden pain in a part of my neck and held the bloody knife over the scroll and let a few drops fall. The scroll glowed as the drops fell. She took her business card out of my front pocket and wiped the knife on it. Taroku shrank back as she went over to him and whimpered-actually whimpered-as she did the same to him. The scroll glowed even more as his drops fell on it. The two drops started moving towards each other. We watched in awe and revulsion as they mixed and gleamed. The witch woman tapped her stick on it and started chanting. As she chanted a white dot on the scroll slowly grew bigger and almost blindingly white. Once she stopped chanting a picture formed in it, of an old fashioned English city with smog-dense skies. “You see that dearies? It’s a perfect society where the right people are in charge and your sort are put in their rightful place. I myself can never enter it, but it’s just as good that I put it to some use.” She pointed her wand at us and then jerked it down to the portal. “Say hello to your new homes!” We both felt ourselves being pulled in and the more I struggled the stronger the pull got. As I was brought into the new world I heard a bunch of yelling and swore I heard someone calling for me.
edited 16th May '11 7:04:39 AM by JewelyJ
and part 2 of chapter 1
We were only falling for few minutes when we crashed on the ground stomach first. Taroku fell on top of me. I gave him an elbow to the face and he scrambled away. I looked up and the portal in the sky was closed up. “DAMN IT” I kicked the wall nearest to me over. “What the hell is wrong with you?” “You are not blaming all of this on me” he said. “Well you could have at least noticed something was up” I said, “or do you normally follow women in short skirts to secluded tents. If that’s the case it’s a wonder you’re still alive.“ “You followed her too!” he said. He was scanning the floor for something. “To make sure you didn’t do anything, “I said. “Hah you’re not fooling anyone; I saw that look in your eyes. “He looked up to smirk at me. “She had you going too.” He kneeled close to the ground and started feeling around and I noticed something missing from his face. I jabbed my thumb over at something gleaming in a street a ways away. “Missing something?” He looked up and just as he noticed them a car drove by and there was a small crunch. “OH COME ON!” He exclaimed. I was busy looking around. There was something different about this place. The cars were spouting out steam. I recalled the girl from the festival mentioning the steam engine. I reached my hand into my pocket, pulled out the comic and held it up. The pictures were slightly different yet still close enough. “Hey Taroku, come here” I said. “Look at this.” He gave me a weird look but came over. I pointed out the similarities and he just stared at me like I had lost my mind. “You’re trying to tell me that we’ve landed in a comic?” he said with a perfectly straight face. “No…but the world is very similar-“Taroku burst out laughing loudly. “It’s not funny! I’m serious.” “You’re serious?” he asked with a snort, “Learn to tell the difference between fiction and reality. And how is it fair that you get to keep your little book and I don’t get my glasses?” “My book was safely in my pocket” I said. I made a grab for it and I jerked away. “Give me that!” I tried to keep it away and he kept reaching for it and eventually shoved me down. After that I’m not sure what happened but our frustrations over the situation led to aggression and within minutes the book lay on the floor and the both of us were fighting. “Ohhh my, my” a voice said. I didn’t notice it but Taroku froze and I aimed a punch at his face “Stop it you idiot!” he said. I started to say something but a shotgun was suddenly shoved in my face. I slowly looked up to see two figures standing above us with creepy lipstick stained grins. Their clothes were like something I had never imagined I’d see in the Victorian era. One of the women was wearing a skinny tube shirt around her chest, with bit of silver in her navel and cargo pants with a holster belt. The other was wearing a bloodstained lacy midriff with spiky armbands, a leather skirt with suspenders and fishnet stockings. “Tsk Tsk. Men fighting, how improper” the woman in the skirt asked holding a knife at Taroku’s throat. She sounded positively cheerful which made her even scarier. “Tch men?” The other said, poking her gun at my nose, “don’t make me laugh Vivi. They’re stupid little boys.” The both of us opened our mouths to say something but the two women only pointed their weapons at our mouths. “Ah –ah-ah” Vivi said. She reached over and tapped me on the lips. “What should we do with them Jo Jo?” The other girl was holding up Taroku’s face and looking at him. “Mm well” she said thoughtfully, “I don’t want old Jill to come carve them up on our territory. But if they’re stupid enough to come wandering in times like these….” “Who’s Jill?” Taroku asked hesitantly. Jojo leaned close to him and whispered something in his ear that made him go several shades paler, whimper and cross his legs. “Carve them up?” Vivi pouted. “But then they wouldn’t be pretty anymore.” “I suppose” Jojo (was that even her real name or just a nickname Bouncy Skirt Girl gave her?) backed up and adjusted her gun. “Mm maaaybe we should teach them a lesson about why they should be more careful. “ “I’ll take the blonde one” Vivi said getting close to me. She smelled like blood. “He looks like he’s pretty big.” As I realized what she was implying I sputtered a bit my face suddenly growing red hot all at once. “I can handle this one” Jojo smirked at Taroku. I gulped. So this was how we were going to go. I thought of Gem and started to see why she had been so hurt earlier. She was always insecure about how she looked (and everything else) and worried that she wasn’t good enough. I felt Vivi slip her hand underneath my shirt. As she giggled and licked my face I felt like dying. I thought of Gem and how she cried over her weight and worried so much about hurting me after my parents died. She and Rusty stood by when I did something stupid and dangerous on a hunch and waited in the hospital room till I was okay. They even took the punishment with me afterward. She stood by me all the way and the last thing I ever did was hurt her. Perhaps I was as stupid as the witch woman said. I heard a gunshot go off and wondered why I wasn’t dead. “Put your hands in the air and step away from the boys” a voice hollered. I opened my eyes and saw two women in uniform (and one on horseback) pointing the weapons at the two punks. “They were fighting in our alleyway” Jojo said. Two of the…constable women I guess…went over and cuffed them. The women on horseback looked down at us. “Did they do anything?” She asked concerned I was about to say something and then started coughing. One of the women handcuffing the punks looked at me closer. “Ooh! Oh, you’re Lady Eleanor Fletcher’s boy” She said. “What?” the other said looking at me, “But he was away for his health in the Isles. He had diphtheria.” The constable on horseback looked at me. I wheezed for breath and then started coughing again. “Somebody get him inside” she ordered. “wha-?’ I sputtered. I took a few deep breaths and coughed again as one of the constables came over with a fur trimmed coat and wrapped it around me. She noticed a book at her feet. “What’s this” she asked, picking it up. Oh crap if they saw that- “The boy’s book. The dark one was trying to steal it, and beat the sickie up” Vivi giggled, pointing to Taroku. “wha-no I was just-“Taroku started. Most of his uniform had been slashed open and his pants ripped. Must have been Jo Jo’s doing. “Well you were” I said coldly. He hissed something at me and I glared back and leaned forward. “It’s your fault we’re here” I whispered before breaking out into coughing. Unfortunately the police took that as some kind of accusation and turned their weapons on Taroku. “He-hey that’s a lie!” he said, “I-I-I..Uh..” One of them got behind him and started apprehending him. “Oi…I it’s not my fault” “He’s probably a pickpocket or a nomadic thief, ” the constable said, “bring him in to the station and we’ll have him caned.” I was about to say something but I broke into a heavy coughing fit. Damn this smog. “That’s…not…I meant”-Not only was her assumption about Taroku incorrect but it was wrong and very rude to assume nomads were thieves. Gem would have my head for not pointing that out. “Fuck you, Stryke” he hissed. One of the constable women tried to cuff him but after a moment of hesitance he stomped on her foot and took off running. The woman on horseback-the chief-I think shook her head and made a tsking noise. Vivi giggled again. “Ooooh Spicy” she said. The other constable woman flipped through my comic. I froze worrying that she would confiscate it for being sexist or something. “This is an interesting fiction” she said with a chuckle before handing it back to me. “Uh…yeah.” I said, clearing my throat. The other two constables started leading the punks off. I put the comic in my pocket and noticed the chief giving me a warning look. “I let you off this time, boyo, but don’t let me catch you out fighting again” she said. “Y-yes ma’am.” I said. I coughed a little bit and felt my chest aching. The constables at my side fastened the cloak around me and I heard one of them comment on odd clothing. They didn’t say anything to me though except asking me if I was alright. They murmured something about consumption. They rounded me into a steam car and coughed a bit more as the car took off. I gasped for breath and pulled the cloak over my face. I watched the scenery as I passed. There was a thick cloud of smoke over the city. But the city itself was amazing. The machinery looked similar to the engine the girl at the festival showed me. I noticed a large Zeppelin floating over the city. The sky was slowly getting darker as afternoon turned to evening. They drove into a large estate with ivy covered fences and a great fountain in the yard. There were fields out back with servants in straw hats collecting something on a vine. I gave a few weak raspy coughs and the two constables looked at me concerned. “Are you sure you’re well Young Master Fletcher?” one asked. “Uh…yeah-yes, ” I nodded. They helped me out of the car all the way up to the front door. After the second knock the door was opened by a man with a monocle and vest. He looked at me in astonishment and then called for someone. A short, plump looking man followed as well as a woman with glasses and a tight bun. Behind them a woman with brown wavy hair came out. When she saw me she rushed over. As she got closer I felt something familiar about her. Her eyes were the same shade of brown as my father’s had been and her hair was the same color. “Skyler?” She said quietly, before wrapping me in a hug and holding me close. The chief addressed her for a moment and spoke to her and she just nodded. The chief gave a small smile. “I’m glad your child has been returned to you, ” she said, “Keep an eye on him.” They left and the woman continued to hold me close. “Skyler…” she said quietly. I figured she must be my mother and this would be the best bet I had. “Mother….”I said quietly. “Those scoundrels didn’t hurt you, did they” she asked, “They didn’t -“ “No Mother” I said. She led me in the house. She asked one of the servants to get ‘Morgan’ and another to call a doctor. The short plump man studied me closely. “Good heavens….it’s a miracle, ” he said quietly. I heard the sounded of footsteps going quickly down the stairs. A short redheaded man in a vest in collared shirt looked at me and gasped. “Is that him?” He asked. Seemingly overcome with emotion Mother nodded. He rushed over and held me close. A woman that sort of resembled a nun (except for the headwear) was after him. “Oh my gracious” she said, “That’s him!” Two boys with auburn hair poked out and a little girl with strawberry blonde hair rushed over and hugged my legs. “Skylar!” She cried out. I looked down for a moment, stunned. I’ve only had experience with brothers as I’ve had three of them in my life. She looked up at me and then started to seem a little hurt. “Skylar…you remember me don’t you?” “uh….” I said. “Roxanne, he’s just been away so long. Give him some time” Mother said. The little girl nodded and backed away. I looked up at the two small boys and my eyes fixed on the second boy. He looked just like him. Timmy’s twin brother had gone missing in a mall when he was two. We never found him again but the memory never left me. “He doesn’t remember me but he remembers Gillian? That’s just not fair!” Roxanne huffed. I looked down at her. “Sorry Roxy” I said quietly. She gasped and the nun lady looked over me. “What a queer accent” she said quietly. I gave her a look but then remembered that queer once had a different meaning. “It must be from the Isles” Roxanne said, she gasped, “Oh you’ve gained an accent. How lucky.” I gave her a shocked look and the nun lady gave her a reproachful look. Lucky, is that what she calls it? “He’s been ill with diphtheria!” She said. “But he survived. Or perhaps” She gave me a good look-over, “perhaps another soul was put into his body and that’s why he’s acting so odd.” I gave a surprised laugh but a few people gasped. “What a thing to suggest!” the nun lady said, “such a wicked child.” “Roxanne, your brother is fine” Mother said, “enough nonsense. Now go get washed up for supper.” Roxanne pouted but left and the nun lady still looked affronted. “It was just a joke” I shrugged. The lady shook her head and muttered something about more academics and less fiction books. The plump man led me off to another room. As he led me up the stairs I looked around at the house. The floor was polished and the walls were painted but most of all, the house was huge. I mean my grandparents’ house in England was impressive but this…this was amazing. “A-are you perfectly certain you’re all right, Skyler?” he asked. “Yeah….I’m fine, ” I said. He led me into a room with blue walls and toy tools. He pushed me towards the bed telling me that a doctor would be coming to look over me. He noticed my torn sweaty shirt and jeans. “Take those strange things off and let me get something more appropriate” he said. “But….” I started. I was reluctant to give up my clothes. They were the only link I had left to my home. He gave me a reproachful look and I just sighed and started taking them off. I carefully took out my comic when no one was looking and hit it in the nightstand drawer. He came back with a pair of tan pants and a white button up shirt. “Do you need help?” he asked. “Nah I’m fine.” I said, pulling on the pants and buttoning them up. He was looking up at me frowning. “What?” “Where did you learn to speak so oddly?” He said. Uh-oh. I sputtered and stammered a bit. “You’ve been away for so long, I suppose. Did the diphtheria affect your voice perchance?” I just shrugged. He sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. “Never mind …just wait in bed.” I just nodded and climbed in the bed. As I laid there I started feeling a bit hot so I unbuttoned the collar and rolled back the sleeves. This kind of thing was really impractical for summer. I got out the book and started reading the bits on culture of the 1880s. As I read I mentally replaced men with women. After all it seemed that this society was mostly woman run. I wondered if I should try faking an English accent and avoid American terms. I heard the sound of footsteps on the stairs and quickly stashed my book away in the nightstand and lied down. There was a knock at the door. “Are you decent, Skylar?” Mother asked. “Yes” I said. The door opened Mother and Father as well as a woman in a white coat came in. The nun lady followed after going on about how she had nursed me and my siblings since birth and breastfed us all. Uh….TMI lady. I propped myself up in the bed and the doctor sat next to me with a black leather bag on her lap. “Well, you look very healthy for someone recovering from diphtheria” she said. I just nodded. She asked me to lift my shirt and then started doing a basic checkup. She gave me one of those old fashioned thermometers with mercury and I tried very hard not to bite it. “Well his temperature is normal” she said, “and besides some minor bruises he’s as healthy as a horse.” “Bruises?” Mother asked. “I-uh-got in a scuffle with a boy” I said, trying to sound British. Nun-lady gave a disapproving tsk, “and then we ran into a couple of criminals. They just pointed their weapons at me…and one licked me.” A few people gasped and I heard the nun-lady say “Good heavens!” She went over to the bathroom that was next to my room and came back with a wet, soapy washcloth and started cleaning my face. I winced a little bit at her scrubbing. “They could have some terrible disease, ” She said “we don’t need you getting sick again.” The doctor nodded in agreement and then cleared her throat. “She didn’t touch your ah…” she motioned down at my legs. “Wha-what?” I sputtered, completely losing my fake British accent, “No!” She gave me a shrewd look. “Son, I need you to be completely honest. She could pass on some bacteria that could lead to infertility.” The doctor said. “She didn’t” I said. The nun-lady sighed. “We should still have him take a bath tomorrow.” she said. Her doctor nodded. “Good idea. But for now he needs his rest, ” she said. “He was coughing up a storm when they brought him” Mother said. The doctor opened her bag and took out a small bag of powder and told her to give it to me in a broth. They left and I lied down again. I felt a little guilty. Chances are this family’s real kid was probably dead. I was hoping that one of them would notice the difference but I guess they were just so desperate to have their loved one back. It was night by now and I was starting to get tired. And hungry, my stomach reminded me, as I it let out a large growl. I surveyed the room. There was a small telescope, some art supplies and a cricket mallet. I wondered how Taroku was faring out there. I felt a stab of guilt at that thought. “You didn’t like the guy so you left him out there to die, ” the horrible voice in the back of my head hissed. I tried convincing myself that I didn’t mean it but the feeling still remained. I looked up to the ceiling and sighed. “Please…just let him be all right and not do anything too dumb” I prayed. The short plump guy came up again with a tray of soup and bread. “Still awake?” He said, “I expect that you must be sick of lying in a bed.” I shrugged. “Eh…. I guess. Been a busy day, ” I said. “Impressive accent but I know you’re faking, ” he said. I sighed and rolled my eyes. “Mm that’s the Skylar I know.” He set the tray on my lap. “Now, you need to drink all of the broth or the Miss Manda will have my hide.” “Mhm” I said. “Are you sure you’re all right?” he asked. “Yeah” I said, “I’m fine.” I hesitantly stuck my spoon in the soup and tried a little bit. It wasn’t too bad but it certainly had a strange aftertaste. I tried a little bit more of it and still had a hard time placing the taste. “Thanks uh…” “Nathaniel” he said. “Right” I said. I continued to try and gulp it down but I had to take little breaths in between. I considered stopping but I didn’t want to chance Nathaniel getting in trouble on my account. I had already caused enough trouble to these poor people. I took a deep breath and gulped down the rest. Once I was done I set the bowl aside and laid back in the bed. The door creaked open and two pairs of brown eyes watched through the doorway. “…I can see you, you know, ” I said through another yawn, “Just come in, ” The two boys exchanged glances and then quietly tiptoed in. “Are you all right?” Gillian (I think it was. Damn I forgot how identical a pair of identical twins could be) asked, “That cough isn’t the sickness coming back is it?” “Nah….I reckon my lungs are just not used to the air after being shut away so long” I said, “I might need some getting used to.” The other boy rand over and hugged part of me while Gillian still looked unsure. “You’ve changed, ” he said. The other boy shot him a glare. “Gillian! He’s been sick!” he said. Gillian just crossed his arms. “There’s something different about him though!” he insisted. He pointed to his twin and looked up at me. “What’s his name?” Oh crap. No one had said it out loud. I was sunk now, surely the fact that I couldn’t remember my own brother’s name would tip them off, and then what would I do? I couldn’t stand the thought of telling Mother-Lady Fletcher-that I had lied to her. Just looking in her eyes, something felt familiar. Just like my father. ‘Wait’ I thought. Lady Fletcher is like my father, but as a girl. Her husband, Morgan I think it was, is short with dark red hair and freckles, like mom. They have a kid who looks exactly like me and a pair of twins just like my parents. This was sort of like an algebraic equation. I just need to use what I know and solve for X. One of the twins is named Gillian; my missing twin brother is named Gilbert. So the other brother must be…. “Timmy? Ah… Tim?” I asked hesitantly. The other boy made a sort of excited squealy noise. “It’s Artemis” he said, “But Gil and Father always called me Tim.” Gil just sighed. Someone called for them and then both ran out. That was close. I flopped back onto my bed. Gillian had every right to distrust me. I was lying about who I was and taking their hospitality when I didn’t deserve it. But I was too cowardly to admit this. I yawned again and lay down. I heard the door creak and the light turned off. Probably the Nun Lady. I started to sleep but I felt my body heat rise up and finally I sat up and pulled my shirt off. After that II managed to drift to sleep, into dreams full of dark magic, bloodstained grins and pistols. Gem was always watching close enough to see but too far to reach.
edited 19th May '11 9:09:54 AM by JewelyJ
An accurate depictionI'd also recommend Figment. Rather basic, but it's a tolerable site.
This is this.
Ah cool.Thanks. Alright...I have this feeling that something is wrong with the last chapter. Could anyone tell me if there's any Unfortunate Implications? Anyone?
edited 20th May '11 11:01:10 AM by JewelyJ
While I see little wrong with the first chapter, in the gender-reversed society (I giggled at "Son, I need you to be completely honest. She could pass on some bacteria that could lead to infertility."), I would point out how there are some people who like taking offense at anything remotely touching gender issues. But so long as you are not implying one gender really is inferior to the other, I think it should be fine. I like your story so far, by the way.
edited 21st May '11 10:53:35 AM by QQQQQ
Ahr riverX_x. dude, too many characters at once. I mean, really, pace yourself. You don't need to have everything happen in the first chapter.
^^Yeah that's why I was worried. ^Mmm good point. I think I might just split the first chapter into two. Thanks
edited 21st May '11 1:57:35 PM by JewelyJ
Next chapter time!
Chapter 2 Taroku Toyaka May 15-16, 2006/Eighteen Eighty Something This has been probably the second or third worst day of my life. Don’t ask about my first because you do not want to know. Trust me. Anyway it started off well enough. School trip to the festival and a dinky essay that would only take a day at the library. But then we ran into some crazy witch and got banished into another world. Worse than that-I was stuck with that little git Stryke. His relatives had filled his head with stories about how I was an irredeemingly evil pervert. First of all I may be well…kind of a slut, honestly and I’m sort of allergic to commitment. Yes I like looking at girls and yes if a female between the ages of sixteen and twenty seven wears a miniskirt I will stare and get excited. But I would never NEVER use and discard a girl for sex nor would I force myself on them. Second, I am not evil. A least not intentionally. Yeah, I’m a lousy guy honestly speaking; my dad was a lousy guy too. But I’m not evil. Naturally Stryke blamed me for everything and then I lost my glasses (He broke my last pair when we met last year. He owes me two pairs now.) He waved his stupid little comic in my face and tried to convince me it was “omg so ~real~”. I got fed up with him and tried to grab his silly little ‘manga’ and beat some sense into his thick head with it. Thus the two of us got into a scuffle. I had him up against a wall when I heard someone. “Oh my my” I stopped but Stryke punched me in the face. That was a dirty move, and he says I’m the bad one. “Stop it you idiot” I snapped. He stopped and then we found two weapons shoved in our faces. Behind the weapons was a pair of interestingly dressed ladies. (Maybe, my eyesight was a little bit fuzzy). One girl would have been rather attractive if she didn’t reek of blood. I remembered the witch woman’s words: “It’s a perfect society where the right people are in charge and your sort are put in their rightful place.” Looking at these two I put the pieces together and realized what was going on. We were in deep shit. “Tsk Tsk, men fighting how improper” the girl who smelled like blood said, holding her knife at my throat. She sounded like the Victorian English variant of a valley girl. The other one just scoffed and spat on the ground. Eeww. “Tch , men?” she said prodding Skye in the face with a gun. “Don’t make me laugh, Vivi they’re stupid little boys.” Without thinking I opened my mouth to protest, as did Stryke. The one girl in pants(who looked and acted like a frat boy) pointed her gun at my mouth with Vivi silenced Stryke with a finger. “Ah-ah-ah” Vivi said , “what should we do with them, Jojo” Oh damn…she was a nicknamer. I almost felt sorry for her cohort (the fact that she was holding a gun to my face kind of made it hard to completely pity her however). I had dated nicknamers before. How anyone got Toto out of Taroku was beyond me (but that was still the last time I had told a girl I was going with my name). “Mmm, well” Jo said thoughtfully (I was just going on a hunch here) backing up and adjusting her gun. “I don’t want old Jill to carve them up on our territory. But if they’re stupid enough to be out wandering in times like these.” Jill? I had a sneaking suspicion on who Jill could be. “Who’s Jill?” I asked, not sure if I wanted to know whether my theory was correct. Jo gave an almost fang bearing grin and leaned in close. “Jill the Ripper. She finds men of …ah…ill repute and carves up their bodies, starting with their little buddy.” She hissed. I involuntarily winced at the thought. Stryke only gave me a questioning look. “Carve them up?” Vivi pouted “But then they won’t be pretty anymore.” Jo looked down at her gun thoughtfully. “I suppose” she said, adjusting it and rubbing it clean. I started to get an idea of what she was like, tough sort of girl who was in love with her weapons. Sort of like those girls that tried to be “one of the boys”. “Mmm maaaybe we should teach them a lesson about why they should be more careful. She shot a hungry, lustful look at both of us. The look gave me shivers because I the only other time I’ve seen that look is my crazy aunt Kagami when she was talking about her ex. And considering her ex fled the country to escape her….well you get the idea. For the first time since we got her I really started to realize how different the world we were stuck in was-and what deep trouble we were in. “I’ll take the blonde one” Vivi said going over to Stryke. Her gaze zeroed in on his legs. “He looks like he’s really big!” Stryke’s face suddenly went red and he sputtered in-humiliation, maybe denial. I don’t know. Maybe in his sheltered little life he had never encountered anyone so forward. “I can handle this one” Jo gave me a huge toothy grin and got out her knife. I gulped a little bit as she slashed at my shirt and slowly slid her hand down my stomach. I shivered and stepped back as her knife shifted downward and she ripped a snag in my dress pants. Great, she was crazy too. Just our luck. She pulled the knife back and held her gun to my chin while putting away her knife and sliding her hand downward. Just as it started to get above-PG-rated I heard a gunshot go off and heard another gun fall to the ground. I held my breath for a second waiting for the pain but it never came. I hesitantly opened an eye as she let go of me and stepped back. Three constable-women, one on horseback stood in front of us. Bloody hell, they were lucky Jo didn’t blow my head off. “Put your hands in the air and step away from the boys, ” the one on horseback said. She had a noticeable Irish accent. “They were fighting in our alleyway, ” Jo said. Two of the constable women went over to Jo and Vivi and started cuffing them. These women had surprisingly short skirts for the Victorian Era. I figured this must be part of the whole “women are in charge” deal. The woman on horseback looked at us. “Did they do anything?” she asked. I shook my head and Stryke started coughing. I figured it must be the smog in the air. There was a pretty thick layer. I had been smoking off and on since the age of fourteen so it was merely an irritating scratch in my throat. One of the constable women holding Vivi’s handcuffs looked at him closer. “Oh” she said, “ohhh You’re Lady Eleanor Fletcher’s boy” she said. I gave her a momentary look of puzzlement. “What” the other one said, “but he was away for his health in the Isles. He had diphtheria.” She took another look at Stryke. I can’t believe this! Does the world revolve around that sorry little prat? I mean God, what are the odds? Of course he just kept on coughing. “Somebody get him inside, ” the woman on horseback-probably the chief-said. “wha-“ he said between coughs. Another constable came over and put a cloak around him. I narrowed my eyes. That little git was milking this for all it was worth. One of the women noticed a book on the ground. “What’s this?” she asked picking it up. “The boy’s book” Vivi said, “the dark one was trying to steal it and beat the sickie up.” She pointed to me. Oh no. Hell no, this was not on! “Wha- no I was just….” I started trying to find the right words to explain. I looked down at my clothes. They were all ripped up and my vest was lying on the floor beneath me. I was sweaty and I’m pretty sure my hair was ruffled. “Well you were” Stryke said coldly leaning close. I gave him a glare and whispered to him in Italian. “You’d better shut up” “It’s your fault we’re here” he whispered back. The chief and one of the other constable women pointed weapons at me. “h-hey that’s a lie” I said. “I-I-I-uh” I faltered seeing the chief’s musket pointed at me. One of the other constables got behind me and held my wrist. The chief looked down at me. “He’s probably a pickpocket or a nomadic thief” she said. I stared at her mouth agape. Not only did this really suck for me but I’m pretty sure my history professor would have had a go at her for calling anyone a ‘nomadic thief’. “Bring him into the station and we’ll have him caned.” I gulped. I read about caning, I think they still did it in Singapore. From what my professor told me it was utterly humiliating and hurt like hell. Stryke opened his mouth to say something and started coughing. That little rat bastard! I didn’t care at the moment if his lungs were burning and half hoped for a moment that they were. “Fuck you Stryke” I said giving him a look of disgust. May he never claim that he is more honorable again after this. I heard the sound of jangling metal as the constable woman behind me got ready to cuff me. I looked down at her boot. If it were a man I would have stomped it and ran without hesitation. But the idea of doing it to a lady made me uneasy. I had seen my drunkard father smack around my mum a few times and the idea of being anything like him sickened me. But then as the cold metal touched my skin, I pictured myself bent over something in front of a crowd of hot female officers with my pants at my ankles and shuddered. Hell no. Finally I stomped on her foot, jerked away my arm and took off running as fast as I could. As I ran off I noticed a few more constables and picked up speed. I’ve probably already made things worse for myself, if they caught me now who knows what they might do. But I was not going to take a punishment for trouble that Stryke got me into. My chest was burning but I made myself keep running. Up ahead there was a crowd of people watching a performer. Just what I needed. I slowed down a bit and weaved my way through the crowd. As I brushed by a few people gasped and muttered words of judgment at my ‘shamelessness” and “indecency”. “Young man!” Someone called behind me. I took a few seconds to catch my breath and kept on running. As I passed by more people I heard one woman complain to her husband that I was groping her. I am on the run from the bloody law, madam; I haven’t the time or the lack of intelligence to be groping people right now. I sped up and took a few turns down alleyways to throw them off. I stopped in a deserted alleyway to catch my breath. I looked up at the sky and noted that evening would be soon. I should be careful traveling at night. Hopefully I could find a place to stay. Jill the Ripper could be out at night and I liked my parts where they were especially those parts. The smog finally started to catch up with me and I coughed a little bit. My chest was burning right now and I needed a drink. I noticed many vendors were closed up and I couldn’t chance going into any of the restaurants looking like this. I was pretty much screwed. I waited a bit more and checked the streets. The constables weren’t out anymore. I guess I must not have been that important. It was getting a little darker as I wandered out and started making my way as far from the constable’s station as possible. As I passed I noticed a few people giving me shifty looks. There were some whispers. I heard a few people whispering about the ‘Orient’ and tradeships. I opened my mouth to say something but the two women turned and stared me down. One of them smacked me in the ankles with her umbrella. “Learn some respect boy!” she said. Her friends shook her head as they went on talking about what a filthy child I was. I stopped at a store window and looked at my reflection in the mirror. I was a mess. My hair looked like a sweaty grease pit with more strands than usual hanging in my eyes and my face was dripping with sweat. My shirt was ripped down the front and the buttons undone to show my bare front. My dress pants were ripped in several places and a little undone in the front. I quickly zipped up the front of my pants when a squat man in a collar shirt and suspenders came out and grabbed me by the scruff of the neck. “What are yeh doing out here yeh little vagrant” he said, holding me up above the ground. “I wasn’t doing anything!” I said. “Damn right yeh weren’t . I could see yeh adjusting yerself-“he said, “its improper is what it is. ‘aven’t yeh got any decency?” “I was zipping up my pants” I said as levelly as possible. “Certainly walking round with unzipped pants would be even more indecent.” He squinted at me. “How do I know you weren’t trying to peek at some skirts you little slut?” He said shaking me. I flushed a bit and sputtered a bit before getting control of my voice. “I wasn’t!” I said loudly. He slammed me against the wall. “Do yeh know what they do to boys who do that?” he said. Before he said anything else I heard someone else yell. “DICK!” A woman with bifocal spectacles came over and the man turned to face her. “Madam! I caught this little vagrant peeping into the windows” he said, jerking me up again. Oh hell, I was done for. I winced awaiting her reaction but all she did was give a long suffering sigh. “Let him go Dick” she said, “He’s just a lost foreign boy.” The man grumbled something but let me drop to the ground. She went over to me looking concerned. “Do you speak Saxon?” She asked. I gave her a confused look. “What?’ I asked. She sighed and shook her head. “Could speak just fine wit’ me” Dick grumbled, “He’s a dirty little peeping tom.” I glared at him and he waved a hand at me. “See, he understands what I’m saying!” “Dick, really, ” she said. She dismissed him and I could hear him mutter ‘a good beating is what he really needs’. She only shook her head. “What’s your name, dear? Are you hungry or thirsty?” I opened my mouth to say something but only a small croak came out. My throat was aching, all that running and raising my voice killed it. “Hungry? Thirsty?” She asked. I nodded at the second one. She led me to a door behind the shop. “Wait there, I’ll get you a drink” She came out with a cup of water and handed it to me. Oh thank God. I took it and gulped it down. At the moment I didn’t care that the water was lukewarm, it was water. “Thanks” I said. Then I paused. Oh damn, now she knew I could speak English or Saxon or whatever the hell they called it. “You’re welcome, dear” she said, “Do your parents know you’re out here?” I faltered a little trying to think of what to say, I felt like a git lying to her, honestly. I looked down at the ground trying to think of one of those half truths I was good at. She interpreted my lack of silence completely differently, perhaps assuming I was an orphan. “Oh! Oh, you poor thing. I’ll ring up Mother Annabel then.” I looked up and shook my head. It was a bit of a knee jerk reaction. Churches always gave me a sick guilty feeling. Like someone like me doesn’t belong there. Growing up my mother had dragged me to the confession for the most minor of trespasses. I quickly blurted out something about how I had to go thanked her again and ran off again. I started to regret it a little but I was already far gone. I continued wandering as night fell, trying to stay out of sight. I ran into a few more people and got reactions ranging from dismissal to derision. As I got farther down near the docks I noticed a street leading down to an inn. I began to walk towards it when I heard the clip-clopping of a horse and noticed a constable woman on night patrol. Oh hell! I started towards the ports hoping she wouldn’t see me. A little ways down I noticed a dodgy looking pub. The clipclopping got nearer and in desperation, I went in. It was a bit grimy but not as bad as some of the places I had seen in downtown London. There was a fairly large barmaid-er barkeep cleaning the cups and talking to a woman in patched clothes and a bandanna. There was a sword strapped to her side and when I noted the glimmer near her ears I realized what she must be. A pirate. There were a few more in small huddles and some sailorwomen who I couldn’t be sure were pirates. Multiple heads turned to look at me. I backed up a bit sucking in air. I was trapped. Constable outside and pirates inside. However many of the sailors just went back to chatting. “You want anything boy?” the barkeep asked. “uh…” I started. A guy in the corner who was downing drinks rose up an arm. “I’ll pay fer the little feller.” I looked at him unsure but he insisted. “Order anything you want.” Oh well , don’t look a gift horse in the mouth I suppose. I looked up at the menu but it was like reading Greek. The longer I stared the more my head hurt. “Surprise me, ” I said. I sat down next to him and he started talking about his days working at port. The barmaid passed me a huge mug of what looked like beer. I hesitantly tried it and although at first it tasted weird, I liked the taste. I got another glass and then another. After that my memory gets sort of fuzzy but I recall trying to chat up a bunch of pirates. I had a good round of drinks and I was starting to feel a little woozy I noticed the barkeep go over to my new drinking buddy. “Alright pay up, ” she said. He just hiccupped and gave her a confused look. “You do have money, don’t you?” He laughed and reached into his coat pocket. “Mmmm that’s funny” he muttered. “coulda sworn I had it wit’ me. “ “what?’ I asked him. “You have -hic- money right?” “uh…can’t remember” he slurred, “sorry kiddo.” He got up surprisingly fast and tried to make a run for it but the barkeep was faster. She cut him off at the door and plunged a sword into him. My entire body seemed to freeze as I watched his body fall to the floor. She kicked the body aside and went over to me. Several others got up and watched as she held her sword up to my neck. Just my luck, they all had to be pirates. “Now boy, ” she said “Are you going to pay me my money or am I going to have ta slice you open too?” “I-I don’t have any. I just came to hide out from the constables, ” I said. She pressed the sword harder against my neck. “Well then you’re out of luck, ” she said, “I don’t take to thieves kindly” Her sword was starting to draw blood and I gasped for air. Oh great. My cousin always told my habits were going to be the death of me someday, don’t you just hate irony? I clenched my eyes shut hoping my death would be quick. “Aggie, step back” I heard the sound of something being unsheathed and the barkeep loosened her grip on me. I tried to steady myself –a hard task when you’re completely smashed. “He owes me a half dozen drinks’ worth” Aggie complained. “Yes he does” I felt my stomach clench a bit, “but there is no need to kill him.” I heard the sound of jangling coins and hesitantly opened my eyes. A dark haired pirate woman wearing black beads on her neck, an ornate hat and purple coat and boots, handed Aggie a sack of money. Then she turned back to me, and lifted my chin up. "I have saved your life. If you're an honorable man, you'd see each second longer you have is all thanks to me. You are therefore forever in my debt.” I just nodded not trusting myself to say a word. “Good. You shall address me as Captain or Mistress in the future. What is your name?” I swallowed a few times. “Takuro Takoya…er..Taruko Toyako-” I stopped for a moment, “Blade.” I never liked my real name anyway. Blade was a nickname my best friend gave me when I was young. He died in an accident and I’ve held onto it ever since. “Appropriate choice” she said. She turned to another pirate. “Yasmin! We have to be off.” A blonde woman with a jacket that resembled something from the Navy. I felt my stomach churn but I ignored it. The Captain put an arm around my shoulders and led me out. As they led me down the docks my stomach made another noise and I started to feel as if I was going to be sick. “Wait until we get to the ship” the captain said. “Yeah…I’ll try” I said. Before we got into the ship I took the first opportunity to empty my stomach in the water. I went a little far off so the two wouldn’t see me. When I started back I overheard a conversation between the captain and Yasmin, who I guess must be her first mate. “He’s a kid” I heard Yasmin say , “Just let him go, he won’t survive the life of a pirate.” Excuse me? I was seventeen, only a year away from adulthood. “He will be taught. It might take time, but he can learn to adjust, ” the Captain said, “besides there have been grooms younger than him married off. It’s not as if he’ll be fighting up front anyway.” Yasmin didn’t say anything but looked unsure. I stayed back for a moment hoping the captain wouldn’t hear. “Blade?” the captain called, I coughed a bit, “Are you well?” “uh….I’m fine” I said “uh..Mistress” I got up and went over to where they stood. “I’m sorry about that. “ She patted me on the cheek. “No worry. You’ll learn. ” It kind of made me feel like a child but I didn’t show my annoyance. I caught Yasmin’s eye and she gave me an emotionless almost icy look. Just a kid, eh? I held myself up with a bit more confidence and determined I would prove her wrong. They led me up onto the ship. It was like something out of a pirate story, canons and all. “Cass! Maggie!” the Captain called, “Front and center!” Two pirates rushed over and faced her. One was a redheaded woman with multiple piercings in her ears, a shirt/corset with a tattered red skirt and fishnet stockings. She had a wrench in one hand and a dagger tucked in her belt. The other had a piercing on her eyebrow (did these pirates have a big piercing party or something?) auburn hair in cornrows and had a leather weapons sash across her shirt and vest and a necklace with a bloody tooth. Her trousers had a few weapon handles poking out. “Have this young man bathed and properly clothed” the Captain pushed me forward. “Yes ma’am!” The pirate in the tattered skirt said excitedly pulling me over by the arm. “Any special requests?” The other asked. “Just one. He shall be mine first and foremost” the captain said. I felt a little shiver at that. What did she mean by mine? The two women nodded in comprehension and I just looked confused. The Captain left to her quarters and the two women dragged me off into a cabin. I couldn’t help staring at the machinery around the room. There was one mechanism thing that pumped out steam and there were gears everywhere. “Maggie, you pump the water while I take care of him, ” The pirate in trousers gave her cohort a warning look. “Remember what Captain said” she warned. Cass rolled her eyes. “I know, ” she said, “Don’t worry I’m not fool enough to upset the captain.” She turned to me looking expectant. “Are you going to take it off or should I.” “I-I..in front of you?” I sputtered. I had already been hollered at once for being indecent and was trying to wrap my mind around this world’s ‘decency and propriety’ rules. This did not make it easy. “Of course” she said, “We’re pirates, boy, we’re not exactly civilized folk.” I sighed and pulled my shirt off and then hesitantly started pushing down my pants. I could almost feel her gaze on me and my face felt a little warm. I tried to push the feeling away, it was not as if I hadn’t undressed in front of a girl before. When I was finished I noticed Cass smirking down at me she grabbed my arm again and turned to Maggie. “Is it ready?” I heard the sound of water pouring and the cranking of something. Maggie was standing at a somewhat oversized device pumping water-steaming hot water- into a barrel. Cass pushed me over to it. Something in the back of my mind told me this was a little weird but I ignored it. “It’s ready” Maggie eyed me and I flushed a little bit as her gaze slowly went downward. “Mmmm the boy’s rather scrawny, it’s a wonder he can hold it up.” I sputtered a little bit at that and Cass snickered. “Dunno , he looks pretty nice to me” I perked up and gave her a grin, showing them just how charming I could be. Cass giggled and seemed to be flirting back until Maggie came up behind me and pushed me in the ‘tub’. I winced as I hit my leg and heard Cass shriek “be careful!” She went over to check on me. I wondered if I should point out that my injured area was a little lower than where she was checking. “Are you okay?” “Y-yeah” I said. She helped me into the tub shooting a dirty look at Maggie (who only shrugged and went to get soap). I pulled back in alarm when I felt how hot it was and Cass caught me. I poked my toe in and then slowly got in. I felt a pinch somewhere. “Cass!” Maggie snapped. “Hey I don’t mind” I said, shrugging. I winced a bit as I lowered myself into the tub. “Damn are you trying to boil me or something?” “I hear from the island people that man tastes good” Maggie said. She laughed at my expression and came over with a rag and bar of soap. Cass ran her fingers through my hair. “Ye Gods…you’re a greaseball” she said. “Hey, it’s styling gel” I said, “…and maybe some sweat”. I barely had a chance to breathe as she dunked my head underwater and tousled my hair. My eyes stung, my sinuses hurt and I felt as if my lungs were going to burst as tried to get a gasp of air. After a few moments she pushed me in again. She pushed down on my head and tousled my hair again until I managed to push myself up again. Honestly this not what I had in mind when I imagined being bathed by two attractive older women. “Let him breath, ” Maggie said. Cassie backed up and I took several deep breaths. Oxygen, sweet oxygen! As I reacquainted my lungs with the air, Maggie came up behind me and started scrubbing my back. Mmmhmmm, now this was more like it. Cass took a scrub brush and started on my arms and legs while I relaxed. I could feel the steam surrounding me. This deal wasn’t half bad. I wasn’t in danger of death anymore, and spa treatment was nice. I could certainly learn to agree with the ocean if it gave me such a nice place to stay. The annoying nagging voice in the back of my head warned me that this was too good to last. I pushed it away again. “I think he’s enjoying this.” Cass commented. “That he is.” After a few more minutes of heaven, I was poked in the back and ordered to get up. One of them took my legs while the other took my arms. As a scrub brush went farther up my leg and near my thighs I tried not to squirm and twitch. I heard a snickering and felt the sensation again and again. Maggie reached over and prodded Cass with her scrub brush. “Cut it out” Thank goodness. I was pushed down again, and then Maggie filled a bucket of the water and poured in ontop of me. She waited until I was done coughing and sputtering and did it again. “Get up, lad.” Still coughing and feeling a sharp pain in my sinuses, I got up and climbed out. I stood by the barrel, shivering until Maggie tossed me a towel. She and Cass went to a closet and I heard them arguing as they shuffled through clothing. They came back with a jacket, pants and a belt. “I think you’re missing something” I said. “Do you think we keep men’s unmentionables on a ship full of women?” Maggie said, tossing the pants at me. “With Cannonball here you should be lucky you’re wearing anything at all.” Looking at the smug grin on the other woman’s face I could believe it. It almost reminded me of myself after a fun night. “All right” I said as she handed me the jacket. I had to drop my towel to start putting the clothes on and as I pulled the pants on I could almost feel two pairs of eyes watching me. It was unnerving really. I mean I was used to a quick rendezvous during a party but having multiple people watching me dress myself was a bit odd. I picked up the belt and almost shuddered at the feeling. I didn’t like belts for the same reason I didn’t like golf. My Dad, used to punish me with belts and golf clubs. When he was drunk and got set off, it hurt like hell when used either to wallop on my sorry skinny arse. I brushed aside the feeling and started fastening it. It felt weird too. No matter how tight I fastened the belt I still felt sort of underdressed. I pulled on the jacket and started buttoning it when Cass came over and stopped me. “Don’t” she said, you look better this way. She and Maggie pulled me off to the Captain’s cabin. “So where are you from? You look exotic” “Really? Well” I just chuckled somewhat nervously. “I’ve been raised here in E-erm…uh…” Oh hell what was this place again. “Saxland?” Maggie asked, “You know after years of living here you think you’d know the name” “Right. I ..ah forgot” I said. Maggie just muttered something about me being dim so I focused my charms on Cass. “You speak Saxon pretty well” she said, “for someone who doesn’t know what it is.” “I do I just…..my mind skipped I suppose, ” I said, “I do know some other languages, caro mio” “Ohh you speak Stivalian!” Cass said, “But you look like you are from the Orient. By any chance was your mother a seafarer?” I hesitated. It was bad enough that I was dressing in a way that would make my mother gasp and clutch her pearls (“Vulgar” would be the nicest thing she would have to say) but to call her a pirate? I would be six feet under if she knew. “Ah, you were from a tradeship weren’t you?” “I guess?” I shrugged. I would have to find a book about this place and learn its countries so I don’t sound like a total idiot. Thankfully the conversation turned to other things. They led me to a door with a skull hanging on it. I had to hold back from vomiting. Maggie knocked on the door. “Captain” she said. After a moment the door opened and the Captain was at the door. I quickly pulled my arms back at my sides and Cass stepped away from me. She gave her an annoyed glance and then a disapproving look to me. “Thank you” she said, “Back to your posts.” She grabbed me by the arm and yanked me inside. She pointed to the bed, and I walked over there as she closed the door. I felt like a disobedient child sitting outside the Headmaster’s office. Was this it? Was she going to rip out my innards like Aggie did to that drunken man? She came over and then slapped my face. "After I put my neck out to keep you out of trouble, this is how you repay me?” she said, “You work under me, boy. That means you represent me. Do you think I'm a licentious whore?" I rubbed the spot where she slapped me flinching at the insult. No one had ever called me a whore before. “N-no ma’am” I said. She stood over me and I shrank back a little more. “Then reflect it in your behavior as my representative” she said, “or perhaps I’ll rethink my kindness.” As she said that I could just see her hand wrapping around a weapon at her side. “Sorry ma’am-er mistress” I said. She looked down at me, perhaps deciding whether I was sincere enough. Then she lifted my chin up and stroked my face with her thumb. “Good, now we won’t let it happen again shall we?” she asked. I faltered, not sure if I could promise that. It’s not that I wasn’t thankful but…..I don’t know. I’m a teenage male on a ship full of women. It was impossible to expect me to not bat an eye at any of them. “Or do you need to learn.. “ She unsheathed a whip from her belt and snapped it taut. “…..physically?” That sent a shiver through me and I sat up straighter. “No ma’am!” I said. The thought of that whip hitting me would keep me awake all night and rested my fears about not being able to help flirting. “I’m sorry I won’t do it again” “Good, now go out there and apologize for your unbecoming behavior” I nodded and quickly got up. Bloody hell, I was literally whipped. When I left the cabin I took a deep breath and scoped around until I saw Cass and Maggie chatting with another woman. I went over, not thinking about how nice the other woman looked. She was wearing a long skirt which was seemed to be rare on the ship. “Miss…um-Miss Cass” I gave a polite bow searching for the right words. “I-I uh apologize for m-my, ” what was the word she used before “improper behavior”. Maggie raised her pierced eyebrow and whistled while the new pirate gasped. “Obedient little puppy” “Oh, my” Cass just rolled her eyes at both of them. “Don’t sweat it kid” she said. After an awkward few minutes of staring I left barely hearing the pirate in the long skirt question Cass about what happened. I stopped at the captain’s door looking away from the skull as I knocked. Then, realizing I had left it unlocked I turned the doorknob and hesitantly poked in. The Captain sat at her desk, whip still in hand. “I did as you said, ma’am” I said, coming in closing the door behind me. “Good, now sit” she pointed to a chair set right in front of her. I sat down keeping a nervous eye on her whip. She rested the handle on my thigh. “Now, as part of the crew and experienced male, ” I tried not to snicker at that “you are in charge of the galley. You will cook the food, and you have the small responsibility of budgeting for food supplies, so long as you don't get too extravagant." I just nodded. I knew little about cooking, my dad had always said it was ‘women’s work’. Shoe’s on the other foot now, eh dad? I just thought of one little troubling bit. Meat. Since I was very young I had been vegetarian partly influenced by my mother and her hatred of calories. I did make an exception for seafood however because of the health benefits. I never could give that up anyway. “Uh ma'am" I almost flinched beneath her gaze. She looked at me expectedly which made it even harder to spit my question out.” “Do I have to cook meat and uh…touch it?” I knew as I asked that it was a foolish question but the idea of touching meats made me sick. Especially pork. Instead of yelling or reprimanding me , she gave me a questioning look. “Are you Jewish?” she asked. Technically some of my dad’s side of the family was Jewish but the rest of it was Catholic. Our family followed religion very loosely, cherry picking what it liked and discarding the rest. As a result I wasn’t quite sure I had any right saying I was any religion. But you try explaining to a 19th century pirate that you’re a vegetarian. “Um sort of” I said. She looked thoughtful at that, tapping her whip on my thigh. It was giving me a weird feeling I felt flustered but I didn’t dare move. "Hmm. Well, as long as you can keep us in good condition to do our job and keep off the scurvy, you have your own discretion to keep it kosher." She said. “What’s scurvy?” I asked. She gave me a sort of exasperated look. "You really are a landlubber, aren’t you? Don’t worry we’ll cure you of that” she said, “Scurvy's a common job hazard, and best guess people have is it's tied to nutrition." “Right” I said hesitantly. That didn’t tell me much but I wasn’t going to press the issue. “Anything else, mistress?” "You'll also be in charge of the laundry- and don't get any bright ideas, we keep inventory, ” I gave her a confused look for a moment. I’m not a crossdresser. Then as realization dawned on me I shuddered. I was many things; a panty snatcher was not one of them. “ - as well as petty repairs around the ship, which of course you can always ask for a hand in if they involve things too big for a little man like you to handle." I held back my annoyance at the ’little man’ comment. Now I wasn’t exactly a muscle builder and let’s be honest I probably couldn’t handle a lot of ship duties. But the way she made it sound just annoyed me. I noted the whip tapping on my thigh however, and kept it to myself. “Yes ma’am, ” I said I noticed her smirk and rest a hand on my leg” "Also. You will have more... personal responsibilities, " she said with a cat's grin. "You might've noticed you're the only man on the ship. It makes you a rather hot commodity, when we sail, if you get my drift..." I did catch it and I shifted in my seat, biting my lip. "Do as they wish." The Captain grabbed me by the jacket and pulled me close to her. "But remember who owns you..." “Y-yes ma’am, ” I said weakly. "That's a good boy." She kissed me on the cheek, letting her grip loosen a bit. "Now... They've been told I get first go at you. You can start your other duties in the morning, but first... I think I'll christen you." I felt a shiver go down my spine as she stood up and pulled me over to the bed, leaving little room to what christening meant. She pushed me on the bed and yanked off my jacket. She stopped for a moment and let go, looking over me calmly. It was an almost frightening sort of calm as I couldn’t be sure what she was capable of. “You’re not reluctant are you?” She held her whip handle at my chin. “The way I figure things I just bought your life, boy. I paid good money and you’re not dead.” “guh…I-no” I said. “Good then. Let it never be said of me that I didn’t give you a choice.” She moved the handle away and started removing the only article of clothing I had left-the pants. She slowly pulled off her jacket and then took off her shirt while holding down my chest. My internal body temperature must have shot up a whole ten degrees. She climbed on to the bed over me and pulled off her skirt tauntingly slowly with a smirk. I don’t think I have to spell out what happened next. Hours later I found myself entangled in bed sheets and smelling of perfume with the Captain’s arms wrapped around me. So after all this mess I wound up being a pirate woman’s bed buddy. Um…yay?Once again I am really really nervous about this , and if you see any major Unfortunate Implications please please tell me.
edited 24th May '11 8:12:53 AM by JewelyJ
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