Category Archives: Fantasy

The Jungle

Jungle

Never ending story of The Jungle started by Teresa Grabs….
Sweat dripped from the tip of Matthew’s nose as he paused under a kapok tree, scanning the thick jungle floor for ants. He didn’t want to go through that experience again.
“Come along, Mr. Howard,” the guide called, waving his arms. “Camp is just a few more kilometers.”
Matthew sighed and wiped his face with his sleeve. Go find yourself, they said. Travel the world, they said. You’ll have a great time, they said. He groaned as a howler monkey sounded in the distance setting off a cacophony. Sudden movement by his foot startled him. “What in the devil is that?”
Crawling out from under a large fern, a small creature with long brown and white fur paused and looked up at Matthew.
“Hey, Carlos!” He waited for a response. “Carlos! Guide! Hey!” No response. The jungle that engulfed him had suddenly become very quiet. Nothing stirred except his imagination and growing concern that he was now lost in the rain forest, surely to be eaten by a stray jaguar or wayward tiger. “This isn’t a movie, man.” He chuckled and glanced back toward the ground where the creature was only to gasp when he saw …

Sadje continued
when he saw that it had grown quite a bit in that short time. It was looking inquiringly at him. It’s large anime type eyes giving him the feeling as if it was understanding what was going through Mathew’s mind at that moment. Mathew started to feel as if he was in a dream world. It cannot happen in real life, he thought. This is a jungle, not a Hollywood movie set. Just then the creature started blinking its eyes in a rapid, Morse code-like manner while pointing towards a clearing in the vegetation. “What the hell!” He thought and started following the creature. The guide was nowhere to be seen anyway.
In a while, they reached a circular clearing in the jungle, over-hung with thick rope-like tree vines. The creature gestured with its eyes and limbs for Mathew to climb up the tree, using one of the vines. When he reached the thick branches, he found a platform had been built there and more of the creatures roaming about there.
Tentatively he landed on the platform testing its strength. It felt solid enough to bear his weight. Mathew was not sure that he was in a dream or reality and made another crazy decision.
Using gestures and simple words he asked his new guide what was happening and where he was. To his intense astonishment……..

Melanie’s bit
….astonishment the being spoke in crisp English tones. “You are in a place. A place of sights and sounds…” the being recited the entire opening spiel to “Twilight Zone” (the retro TV version with Rod Serling). Matthew stared and wondered about the efficacy of that sketchy burrito he’d had for lunch. It was all the economy fare airline offered and he had been hungry, but really? What had they laced that thing with? A little LSD? The striped creature’s eyes boggled. It shook its head, a little sadly. He could almost hear it thinking “What a sad thing man is. No trust. No imagination..” Maybe this WAS the ‘Twilight Zone’. Except with humidity. And a lot of lush plant life.
Matthew started for the vine ladder to exit this surreal castle in the sky. The brown and white furry creature with the googly eyes moved swiftly in front of him and the rest of the herd (?) surrounded him in a tightly knit circle. They all shook their heads in a NO! gesture. Synchronized. Matthew almost expected them to leap into an intricate ballet and Esther Williams to appear, water dancing her way …………….
Matthew shook his head vigorously, causing a small ripple of dismay in the creatures and a widening of the tight circle that surrounded him. “Okay then, I’ll stay!” he exclaimed, “But you have to tell me WHAT YOU WANT! Can you take me to your leader at least?!” The beasts/creatures all pointed at the first googly eye that Matthew had encountered. It smiled, which was creepy, given it had a snout instead of a mouth exactly… There was a loud CRASH and all the heads turned (in synchronized motion obviously)…Matthew leapt up and turned around rapidly to see…

This is where Di picked up the story………….
a huge hand snaking into the tree top from above where he and his new companions were situated.
The creatures bolted leaving him alone to face the music. Those searching fingertips were getting dangerously close.
Matthew had no weapons and did the only thing he could think of when the hand closed around him.
He opened his mouth as wide as he could and brought his teeth down hard.
The bellow was like nothing he had ever heard in his life as he was immediately released. He slid awkwardly down the vine to the relative safety of the jungle floor and out of reach, even if it was only likely to be temporary.
He had an audience as he tried to catch his breath and slow his rampant heartbeat. The creatures stood in awe and started to bow at their saviour, chanting something which he hoped was his name in their native language.
Matthew was both embarrassed and pleased at his new status, but knew there was more to this scenario than met the eye. His jaw hurt and he could taste blood, but wasn’t sure if he’d jarred a tooth loose or it was that of the hand he’d bitten. Either way his head started to spin and he felt himself falling.
The creatures gathered around him and before he knew it, he was lifted up on hundreds of shoulders like some kind of Gulliver and carried further into the jungle where…………………

Now it became Jim Adams‘ turn…..
the googly eyed creatures placed Matthew on a fire ant mound and told him that if he could spend the night there that they would follow him forever. Matthew said, “I am not looking for any stinking followers and how the hell did I get talked into visiting the jungle. I feel like John McClane when he went out to the coast to have a good time and he ran into Hans Gruber. I feel like Indiana Jones when he was thrown into that pit with all the snakes and I told Carlos that I hate ants and fire ants are the worst.” Just then Carlos the guide showed up with bug spray and said, “You are a very good sport Mr. Howard, thanks for going along with this and if you have to blame anybody, your brother told me to do this.”
Matthew said, “That dirty rat bastard, I should have known he was pranking me back for what I had done to him in Tahiti last year with those men I paid to dress up like cannibals. I am not done with him yet and revenge is a dish best served cold, so I will get back at him no matter how long it takes and he will regret ever messing with me. Carlos, did you bring any ointment with you for the fire ant bites?” Carlos said, “Yes but while it will help with your itching, it also contains fermions that attract wild monkeys.” Matthew said, “Just give it to me” and then…..

Paula Light continues the story from here.

Matthew was feeling much better the next day after sleeping most of it, ordering room service, and taking three cold showers. He’d applied a double dose of the ointment Carlos had given him, and the bites had almost disappeared. A couple monkeys had howled outside his window off and on, but hotel staff shooed them away. Matthew put on clean clothes and headed down to the bar for a drink.

He was sipping his second green volcano when the band appeared on stage. There were five men dressed in shiny orange suits and all were very tall and very thin. They were wearing masks and playing strange pulsating music. A sexy woman in a purple dress sat down next to him. She smelled of coconut and orchids. “We must leave at once,” she whispered. “It is not safe here.”

Matthew laughed. “Tell my brother that I’m done with his tricks for this vacation. I need to relax for the next couple days.”

“No, you don’t understand.” She put her hand on his bare arm. It was cold as a popsicle. “Those men are not musicians. They are–”

The lights went out and the music stopped. “Get down!” someone screamed.

Matthew reached for the woman’s hand, but instead he found himself grasping a handful of……….

Now let’s see where MsJadeli can take this!

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Elevator Pitch [fiction 357]

Adorable unicorn

God was inspecting the various heavenly sectors, as he did from time to time, to make sure all was running smoothly, which of course it was. This was heaven, after all, not some mismanaged junkyard. But it was a big place, and his knees were getting tired from schlepping up and down all the stairs. He was older than, well, God. He laughed at his circular logic, ignoring the side eye from a passing angel.

He pushed the button for the elevator. What was taking so long? He’d have to file another complaint. Finally, the car stopped and he got on. But he wasn’t alone.

“Hey, God. How are you?” the youngish male occupant said.

God searched his memory, which took longer than it used to. But there were more things in there, so that was okay! “Zack,” he said. “The inventor who choked to death on a beyond burger. I’m good, and you?”

“Fantastic actually!” Zack beamed. “I’ve come up with a great idea for you.”

Oh no, God thought. Halp! “What?”

“I know you love horses, so I’ve invented a small white one with a golden horn. It’s very pretty and will remind people of your awesomeness.”

God frowned. “Why? I don’t have a horn.”

“Because it’s gold and points to heaven, showing people the way to eternal life if they stay good and stuff.” Zack gestured upward, though they were already up, and the car had stopped.

“And stuff,” God muttered, rolling his eyes.

“Fine. Show me the little horse,” he said as they exited. “But make it quick. I don’t have all day to look at everyone’s cockamamie–”

God came to an abrupt halt and pointed to an adorable creature frolicking on the grass. “Is that him? He’s so cute! Look how his mane sparkles! Oh my me, I love him!”

“Yay,” Zack said. “I’m so happy I’ve pleased you.”

“Give me a hundred and I’ll put them back on Atlantis,” God commanded. “Can you make some in different colors?”

“Sure! I’ll get to work right away.”

God trundled off to inspect billionaires’ row. Haha, just kidding. There are no billionaires in heaven! 😜

~*~

Written for Sadje’s What Do You See?

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

The Magical Garden of Immortality [fiction 587]

Beautiful garden

The diner looked like any other, and Mitch was skeptical he’d come to the right place. He opened the door a crack and peered inside, expecting to see a dimly lit room full of candles and woo, but instead the light was bright and people were drinking their coffees and eating sandwiches.

A gruff voice behind him said, “You going in, buddy, or what?”

Mitch stepped inside. A waitress told him to take any seat, so he found a small booth for two and sat facing the door. A menu stood in a silver holder with a picture of a lush fruit bowl in the South Seas on the cover, and he picked it up. There were the usual salads and burgers, shakes and pies, on offer.

“You ready?” the waitress said, appearing in front of the booth with pencil and pad.

“I, um, heard that this place was a portal,” Mitch said. “But all I see on the menu is lunch.”

She rolled her eyes. “Check the back.”

Mitch turned the menu over. On the back was a list titled “Infinity Realms.” It was a double column and his eyes began to glaze over reading through the small curly font.

“Usually people know the one they want before they get here,” the waitress said. “And they just tell me the code. We’re kinda busy today and portals close at one.”

“Okay okay.” Mitch had made his decision this morning, after months of agonizing, and he wanted it done. “I found it. The code is XB8720A75.”

“A popular one.” She smiled. “Do you want fries with that?”

“No thanks. Just coffee, black.”

She returned in a minute with his coffee. “I’ll let you know when your portal is ready. You can pay now though.”

He handed her a cashier’s check. It was all he had; that was the deal.

As he waited, he imagined his realm. It would be full of natural beauty… leafy trees, a riot of vivid blooming flowers, butterflies and birds, a sparkling waterfall, lovely warm sunshine… a meadow to lie in, woods to wander in… but also people to admire his works, unlike here. They’d read his poetry and appreciate it. Women would respect his intelligence and deep thoughts instead of brushing him off as an oddball. They’d all compete to date him, but he’d only spend his time with the nicest ones who had tender temperaments.

“Okay.” The waitress reappeared. “Go to the men’s room.”

Mitch walked to the back of the diner and opened the door to the men’s restroom.

Swirling colors

It worked!

Mitch was no longer in the diner, but in a gorgeous garden where he’d live forever and be loved and appreciated. He bent down to sniff a fat yellow rose, but was disappointed when he couldn’t pick up a scent.

“Hi honey, welcome home!”

Mitch turned to find a naked redheaded woman slinking toward him. She reminded him of his third grade teacher. “Hi,” he said, embarrassed. “Would you like to hear some of my poetry?”

She wrinkled her nose. “Poetry? Ew. I want to devour you in a wild frenzy of lust! How does that sound for your last moment of consciousness ?”

“Not great.” Mitch backed away. “I don’t want to be devoured. This is the Garden of Immortality, remember?”

“Oh honey!” She laughed. “You must have put in the wrong code. This is the Garden of Immorality, and I’m the chief cannibal. Meet my friends…”

Mitch stared in horror as hungry naked women emerged from the trees.

~*~

Written for MLM’s Magical Garden Prompt.

Written for Teresa’s Immortality Prompt.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Moonglow [socs]

When shadows fall on the meadow

And snowflakes powder the willows,

She hears the owl call to the crows.

Behind her window she vows

To leave this town when the wind slows.

But deep in her marrow she knows

She is but a ghost in a gown,

Doomed to prowl in moonglow forever.

~*~

Image from Pixabay.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

The Sprawling Legend [fiction 220]

The tale began in a secluded glade. An angel was said to have fallen from heaven and become tangled in a weeping willow, which turned its branches to gold. Centuries later, an impoverished baron named Dean was awarded the land and gated off the entire forest for hunting, yet that didn’t stop many a curious lad from sneaking in to view the golden tree.

Over tea one afternoon, a distraught young wife thought she heard that praying under the willow would help her conceive, so she snuck onto the estate late one night… and lo… nine months later that gal had a baby. No one seemed to notice the aged baron had a gleam in his eye when he went down to his favorite pub to mooch ale and eat kidney pie.

But word was out, and soon infertile couples from all over the country were flocking to the estate, knocking at the gate, and begging for a date to visit the glade. Baron Dean soon realized he could charge a fee and replenish his gambling losses from this new venture. He happily led the couples to the weeping willow after they paid and even let them stay overnight in a guest room for an exorbitant rate. Many did conceive and thus the Legend of the Golden Tree kept sprawling.

~*~

Written for Rory’s What’s Your Story Then?

Words made from tangled: aged, ale, an, and, angel, date, dean, eat, gal, gate, gated, glade, lad, land, later, led, tale, tangled, tea

Image from Pixabay.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

One for the Road! [fiction 261]

Liquor cabinet

“Are you sure this will work?” Bran said to Littlefinger.

The older man nodded. “I saw it in a movie. I think it was one a them Tom Cruise flicks.”

“Oh, he’s great!” Bran said, unlocking the door with the key he’d stolen earlier during his illness ruse.

“Keep your voice down,” Littlefinger warned. “Else we’ll have the guards over here.”

The two convicts snuck into the warden’s private office, where Littlefinger had figured out there was a back door out to the parking lot and freedom. He hadn’t known about the liquor cabinet though. “Let’s have a quick drink, Bran. A cure for what ails us, eh?”

Bran frowned. “But I wasn’t really sick. It was just a trick, remember? Don’t you think we should stick to our plan and escape quick down to the cove?”

“Mmm rice wine!” Littlefinger exclaimed. “Love this stuff. Try it, Bran. It’s midnight and we have lots of time.”

“Okay.” Bran tasted the wine. “It is good. A bit sour though. I’d rather have a slug of whiskey.”

“I can’t stand whiskey without ice,” the other man said. “Look, he has Courvoisier. Our warden sure has fancy tastes. I wonder how much he gets paid?”

“Can we try it?” Bran asked eagerly after he sampled the warden’s apricot brandy. “We might get sore heads though.”

“Just a small sip,” Littlefinger said. “One for the road!”

But one led to another and the warden found them both passed out on the floor of his office when he got to work the next day at 7am.

~*~

Written for Rory’s Word Story

Words used from Courvoisier: cove, cruise, cure, ice, is, our, over, rice, ruse, sore, sour, sure, us, voice

Image from Pexels

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

The Final Offering

Offering

“What have you brought me tonight?” asked the demon of the maiden.

“I bring you all the stars in the sky, and I humbly beg you to spare my beloved,” said the maiden to the demon with tears flowing down her translucent misty gown.

“It is not enough,” growled the demon.

The maiden departed and returned in a thousand years with another gift to present in trade.

“What have you bought me tonight?” asked the demon of the maiden.

“I bring you all the music from the spheres, and I humbly beg you to spare my beloved,” said the maiden to the demon with tears flowing down her translucent misty gown.

“It is not enough,” growled the demon.

The maiden departed and returned in ten thousand years with another gift to present in trade.

“What have you bought me tonight?” asked the demon of the maiden.

“I bring you myself, my final offering, all I have left, and I humbly beg you to spare my beloved,” said the maiden to the demon with tears flowing down her translucent misty gown.

“I accept,” said the demon, “for I am your beloved. Welcome home.”

~*~

Written for Sue’s Daily Echo

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Someone Else

Blonde in black feather mask

Cyranny asked… if we snoop in other people’s medicine cabinets when we visit their homes. I don’t now, but 40+ years ago I did this and more. I had lots of babysitting jobs around our Illinois neighborhood and after the children were sleeping, I would poke around. It was very interesting what folks had hidden in the backs of drawers and closets.

I often found naughty magazines and books… and would read them. I’d be very careful to put everything back the way it was just in case. These were not my father’s Playboys, but Hustler and Penthouse, which were quite different. 😳 I read The Happy Hooker at one house… it took me the whole weekend, but the mom (single mom) was off at a horse show, so I had lots of time during naps and such.

My favorite thing to do however was to try on the mom’s clothes, especially if she had anything really sparkly. 💖 I was a plain girl with plain clothes, but I read romance novels and secretly dreamed of being a vibrant heroine in a glittering ball gown. Or a damsel in distress in a dark gothic castle. There was one house I loved ~ the dad worked for my dad, so these people were super nice to me. The mom was incredibly pretty and had tons of beautiful clothes. I loved going there.

Blonde in ball gown at dragon gates

I never got caught doing anything. No one used cameras back then, in the 1970s. Or, if they did, they must have thought it was fun to watch me, right? I was taking good care of the kid/s all along, so it was only a mere privacy issue not neglect. 🙃 In any event, I liked to pretend to be someone else for a little while… to immerse in a life that was not mine. I still like that idea… float in and then slip away… without letting anything really affect me.

Now I’m single again… have been single (“self-partnered”) for several years and I am enjoying my life this way. I can’t even imagine entangling my life with another person’s again to any great extent. But I do still enjoy reading romances and fantasy literature, watching romcoms, and even writing a bit of it myself at times. Romance is theater, masks, and costumes. It’s the slide into another life, being someone else. Thinking back… I guess I was never fully comfortable with taking on that role in a drama off the stage.

Woman in billowing red dress at sunset

~*~

Images from Pixabay and Pexels

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

One Last Afternoon [fiction 742]

[This is a multi-part story. We previously read that the Queen wanted to make Liana’s son the heir to her throne..

If you’d like to read the chapters in order, please follow this list. Thanks!

The Murmuration
Liana’s Journey Continues
Captured
The Shark’s Tooth
An Honored Guest
Miko’s Plan
A Cup of Tea?
Liana’s House
Strange News
Waves
The Monkey Jungle
Betrayal
Drama at the Royal Court]
The Boy Who Would Be King

Ten years had passed since that fateful day when the Queen told Liana of her plans for Kenju. Liana had felt a mixture of joyful pride and fluttering fears during the ceremony in which the Queen adopted Kenju as her own Royal Prince and Heir.

“He will always be your son,” the Queen had reassured Liana at the celebratory feast. “This was just a formality so I can have a worthy heir. I find it fitting he should be one created by the Storm God.”

And it was true: Kenju had remained the son of Liana, and the Queen had not usurped her role. Except now that he was heir to the throne, Kenju needed to be educated properly, at good schools, first in Fiji, and now in Japan. His guards were always with him to ensure his safety, but discreetly. It was best the other students perceived him as a normal boy. Kenju was brilliant though, skipping grades, and would soon start university at age 16. Then he might return only once a year until he finished the Masters program the Queen had in mind for him.

Liana missed him so much! She led a lonely life on the beautiful isle, as a companion to the Queen, more than a servant, less than a friend. And she hadn’t allowed herself to love a man again, despite the Queen’s encouragement. Liana couldn’t imagine being with anyone but Kenju’s real father, and the more time passed, the more determined she became to wait until they met again in the land beyond. Maybe it would not be that long…

Liana hadn’t been well, despite her usual robust constitution. Another virus had hit the island, passed to the people from a trading ship, and this time Liana had fallen desperately ill. None of the usual remedies had helped, and she’d been in a weakened state for months, only managing to rally a bit when the time for her son’s visit had approached. She was so happy to have him here in her pretty apartment at the Royal Court. Other women had been attending the Queen since Liana’s illness, but her position was secure as the mother of the future ruler.

“Mama, you should come to Japan and see a proper doctor,” Kenju told her as they relaxed in her lounge. “These backward island people don’t know what they’re doing. Did you even get an X-ray for your cough?”

Liana didn’t know what an X-ray was. “I’m much better now. The body sometimes needs to take its time to heal slowly. I’ve been resting. Have some mango?” She pointed to the tray a servant had set on the table.

Her son shook his head. “I don’t think you get enough protein. Why do you only eat fruit? You are not a monkey!”

She laughed. “Oh, my clever son! How I’ve missed you. Your smile, your eyes… an exact image of your father.”

“My father?” Kenju frowned. “Tell me about him. And not the Storm God nonsense. I learned how babies are made a long time ago.”

Feeling reckless, Liana told him the truth. She recounted the story of the other island, his father Ken, the prophet Benji, the volcano, and her narrow escape from the fiery death that claimed the lives of her family. And she also told him of her capture by the people with whom they lived now, the Queen’s subjects. Liana was exhausted when she finished talking and collapsed on a pile of pillows, coughing and gasping for breath.

“Wow!” Kenju stared at her. “I’m not sure what to make of this tale. A disappearing island, pirates, a crazy plot to kill you…”

“And now,” Liana waved her hand weakly. “Look. You’re heir. To the throne. The Queen would… like you to choose a bride.”

“What?” Kenju appeared horrified. “I’m starting at university next month. I can’t get married now. It would be–”

“Not now.” Liana interrupted. “Not a wedding now, just choose a girl for later, so the people… can have a celebration. That makes them happy.”

“Bread and circuses,” Kenju muttered. “Forget having jobs and decent medical care. You need to see a real doctor!”

Liana didn’t understand what he meant by all that, but she was so tired and her eyes were closing. These cushions were so soft and comfortable, there was a lovely breeze outside the window, and the afternoon was perfect, now that Kenju had returned.

[the end]

~*~

Images from Pexels and Pixabay.

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

My Visitor [flash 300]

Bare trees in fog

The first time he visited I immediately recognized him. I was here because of him, and yet I had done him worse. The area surrounding me was vacant, so I figured he’d strayed too far on his dog walk. But the next morning he appeared again, strolling around as if this were a park instead of barren land at the end of an ancient railroad line.

When he came the third time, I knew it was not a coincidence. He walked past the leafless trees to where the crumbled stones rested.

“Hello, friend,” he said.

I of course said nothing. I waited.

His dog seemed disinclined to explore and stood by the man as he spoke again. “I’m sorry I did not come before. I wasn’t sure where you were. But I know you’re here. I can feel it. A kind of… electricity.”

He pulled a penlight from his pocket and directed it at the stones, but none had names. He switched off the light. The dog made an anxious whimper.

“It doesn’t matter. I know you’re here,” he repeated. “And I wanted to tell you, if it makes any difference now, that I forgive you. That’s my purpose in tracking you down.”

I didn’t do anything, not that there was much I could do.

He made a noise, possibly a laugh or a sob. “Anyway, I just wanted to say that, odd as it may sound with me still alive and you… well, whatever. If you need that to be free or something, you have it.”

Maybe I did need it. I felt even lighter as he walked away, the dog trotting briskly ahead. My last ties to this place felt as if they were dissolving in a pool of mist and I could float up to the stars…

~*~

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge 44

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.