Well, another week has passed, and I am continuing my terrible blogger’s block. It’s been a busy week, and this morning was the first time I thought about what I should write about. Predictably, I came up with nothing during the course of my busy day. I was starting to feel discouraged about my ability to keep this weekly posting up for a year, so I decided to look to my old writing from high school as a means of inspiration. I found many story ideas and intros that were turned down by the friends I had critique them, though now I believe I had some very good ideas, and I may one day pick them up again.
However, this post has nothing to do with the greatest ideas of my youth. Rather, I would love to introduce you to one story I have never shown anyone. I was too ashamed of my creativity and awkwardness, and I did not trust the world to receive my blunders with grace. Mind you, this was four years ago when I was a high school junior with no literary courage. Now, at a time of night when all shames have faded to a mass of giggling courage (aka: 11-something pm), I present you with…
Merpeople vs. Velocichickens
“General Bubbles, we have received dire news from the front lines,” said the Merman messenger. “The Velocichickens appear to be mobilizing along the coast. They have scores of mangoes already harvested.”
The battle-hardened general shuddered at the mention of the feared fruit. “Tell General Flippers that my platoon will be joining him for this confrontation,” he said.
“Will so, sir,” the messenger said as he turned his seahorse mount towards the front line.
General Bubbles ran his eyes over his platoon. Young Merpeople, fresh from the training water, gathered in nervous groups of around the older warriors to hear tales of the previous wars with the Velocichickens. The Mermen and maids who had seen battle with the fierce prehistoric chickens had many a scar from the teeth and claws of the beasts, as well as stories of the power of mangoes, to share with the gathered youths.
With a slow spin of his tail-fin, the general turned from the sight of his warriors and retreated to the maps in his tent made of giant clam shells to study the sea and land that would soon see yet another battle of the Merpeople and the Velocichickens.
“As our mighty mangoes fly,
The Merfolk blood spurts high!
Oh, to laugh away your breath;
To laugh yourself to death!
We’ll watch those Merfolk giggle
As our claws begin to wiggle.
Our teeth will soon shine red
And the Merfolk will be dead!”
The high-pitches voices of the Velocichickens as they prepared for battle caused a smile to lift the skin at the edges of Captain Thorn’s beak. The preparations for the final battle with the Merfolk were almost complete. The log boats had been ready weeks ago, and the mangoes were just coming into season. The Velocichickens in charge of sharpening teeth and claws had done their job well; every Velocichicken in the military was now equipped with the sharpest weapons they had ever known. The ones responsible for gathering the mangoes were almost done harvesting the fruit. Yes, thought the captain t himself, this would definitely be the last time the Merpeople ever dared contradict the word of the Velocichicken Empire.
Suddenly, a screech rose from the beast by the end of the beach. The ear-splitting call was taken up by the rest of the Velocichickens in and around the encampment. The army was ready to sail. Captain Thorn raised his voice in the highest pitch of all as he stepped into his log boat, extended his long neck, and flapped his green iridescent wings so the sun glinted off the feathers and sent inspiration coursing through the Velocichicken ranks.
“The Velocichickens have set sail!” yelled the Mermaid as she sped into the camp from her look-out position atop Fishhorn’s Rock. Her cry sent chills down the spines and tails of the other Merfolk.
“Do not panic!” boomed a voice. General Flippers emerged from the large tent at the center of the camp. “Are we going to let some over-grown chickens scare us? No! we are Merpeople, for the love of Triton! We have brought fear to the hearts of human sailors for hundreds of years! What are a few big piles of feathers compared to the harpoons we faced while defending out milk whales? Nothing!”
“But they have mangoes!” called out a scared voice belonging to one of the newest recruits.
“So?” asked the fierce general. “We laugh harder at the jokes we tell around the dinner table!”
Hesitantly, a group of veterans broke into cheers. Soon, the entire camp was alive with war cries. Even the most timid of warriors raised their weapons, hungry for victory.
Suddenly, a strong currant swept through the camp, knocking over tents and setting the seahorses into a fury. Once the water calmed, the finned creatures under General Flippers command were delighted to welcome General Bubbles’ platoon to their ranks.
“Ah, General Bubbles,” greeted General Flippers. “You have arrived just in time. We will be setting off soon to confront the Velocichickens.”
The two generals quickly finalized the plan of attack on the Velocichickens as the rest of the Merpeople prepared to meet them in the most horrific battle either race had ever known.
A calm sea. A perfectly calm and peaceful expanse of ocean spread out as far as the eye could see. Blissfully undisturbed and incredibly mesmerizing.
Perhaps, if the young Velocichicken perched on the scouting boat had been looking beneath the water, instead of at the glassy surface, she would have been able to counter the vicious attack from the Merman who suddenly landed on the boat, flopping and throwing drops of water everywhere.
The Velocichicken found herself splashing wildly in the water as she frantically tried to get into a position both to float and reach the mangoes strapped to her back with her sharp beak.
But before she could spear a mango, the Merman had dove from the boat and was attacking her with a clam-shell dagger. The sea churned and turned red around the struggling Velocichicken as she squawked loudly in pain. Only when the feathered beast sank below the surface of the water did the Merman withdraw his attack.
The scout on the nearest boat watched the gruesome scene unfold. A bellow of warning escaped from his beak only as a pale lavender fin flashed just a mere ten yards from his boat. “Help! Help!” he called. “The Merpeople are attacking! They…” his cries were ceased as he was knocked from his boat and dragged beneath the surface.
The call of warning spread quickly through the rest of the scouting boats and back to the main body of warriors. Within moments of hearing the news, every Velocichicken held a mango in his or her beak; pierced and dripping sticky juices. A tentative voice started up a war song that soon flooded the ranks.
“Never will ocean-bound being wni,
For we are wing and they are fin!
Never will our freedom fall,
For we stand not for one, but all!
Those Merfolk, they will die
As we raise our mangoes high!
‘Tis time for the Velocichicken reign
And for fishy cries of pain!”
General Bubbles watched from his mount as the battle raged just a short distance from the headquarters which had been set up in the sheltered area behind a coral reef. He watches as Merpeople dove under water in a frantic attempt to avoid the mango juice. Most of these warriors suffed the spasms of suffocating laughter before sinking to the sea floor as the life left their bodies, only a few managed to return to the surface and continue fighting.
“How are we fairing?” asked General Flippers as he steered his seahorse next to General Bubbles’.
“Not well, I’m afraid,” was the response. “The Velocichickens seem to have developed new weapons to spread the mango juice farther and faster than ever before. We are taking heavy hits.”
“I see…” said General Flippers said as he turned to look at his fellow Merman General. “Well, my friend, I believe it is time for us to join this battle.”
“And so it is, comrade. The best of luck to you, and may we meet again,” said General Bubbles as he flicked his deep green tail against his stead’s side and sped towards the swirling waters of the battle.
“May we meet again,” General Flippers echoed as he watches the other Merman charge into battle. Without another thought to the odds of the fight working out in their favor, he followed his friend into what might be the last battle of their lives.
“A general! I see a general!” the excited cry came from a young and battle-hungry Velocichicken. Suddenly, a dozen feathered raptors were leaping off their boats and swimming towards the green-tailed Merman who wore the emblem of a general across his chest. The Merperson lifted his shell-sword and prepared for a fight to the death.
A low note from a foreign instrument made the Velocichickens pause just before they launched their mangoes and dug their claws into the general. Around them, all the battle stopped as Merpeople and Velocichickens alike looked towards the horizon and the spot of land that separated the water and sky, where the horn had sounded from.
The General, whom moments before had been bravely facing inevitable death, now gasped out a single sentence before diving below the surface in terror. “The Cupids are coming.”
The few moments it took for the other fighting beings to comprehend what was happening were a few moments too long. Before any other could follow the path of General Bubbles, the Cupids were on them with poisoned arrows flying.
The heart-shaped tips of the naked, winged babies pierced both the flesh of Velocichicken and Merperson with the same horrifying effects. As one creature was shot, another poisoned being looked towards him or her… and the seed of love was planted.
Well, that explains where flying fish came from.