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Mini Battle: CommittedHinata never claimed to be better than Sakura.
Ever since their academy days, Naruto had harbored a crush on Haruno Sakura. Bright, shining green eyes, exotic, luscious pink hair, creamy, blemish-free pale skin, and – most of all – a sassy, no-nonsense attitude that totally exuded confidence, even from such a young age. Best friend of beautiful, blonde Ino, the most popular girl, Sakura stood high above the other girls, an untouchable idol, meant to be looked upon and envied. Even when her friendship with Ino broke, Sakura was still kept high on this pedestal by the boys in the class, most notably Naruto, who practically worshiped the ground she walked on. Sakura's intelligence more than made up for her barely-acceptable taijutsu, and she became top of the class when it came to written and oral exams.
No. Pale, frail, timid little Hinata never claimed to be better than Sakura.
After all, it was Sakura who was chosen in the end to be part of Naruto's team. Sakura was the per
NaruFest: Kissing BoothThe weather had been awful the previous day. The ground was still muddy and soggy, mushy from the hard downpour the thunderstorm had let loose upon Konoha. The winds had managed to uproot several electricity poles throughout the city, and tree limbs dotted the streets like decorations.
So it was with great difficulty that Hinata managed to maneuver her way through the wreckage to
The only happy ones about this are the plants, Hinata thought somewhat begrudgingly. It was no easy feat, getting around numerous fallen branches and splashing through tons of puddles. Hinata's feet were soaked, and as she parked her bike y the side of the school and walked in, they squished and squelched against the ground with every step she took. And she took a lot of steps. Because, you know, short people need to.
Hinata, needless to say, was not in the most pleasant of moods that morning.
But once she walked inside the building, she felt her edginess ease slightly. The almost-re
Icewater: The ProphecyIcewater
Chapter 1: The Prophecy
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto. Kishimoto does. Also, this is loosely based off of The Little Mermaid, so that's not mine, either. Enjoy!
The sunlight streamed through the water, shimmering above and illuminating the sea floor below. A clam lay, relaxing, covered in moss.
It was that poor little clam's misfortune to be within the range of a flipping tail.
A pink and green blur zoomed past, and the clam was knocked over by the mermaid's tail. Sakura turned, not stopping, and watched the shell settle back down on the sand.
"Oops," she mumbled sheepishly, and then called out so it would hear her retreating form, "Sorry about that!" And then Haruno Sakura flipped back towards the front, swimming speedily along.
What am I even doing? she wondered. I've got no reason, really, to be away from the castle.
You're out and about because you
Courage TestTogether, Squad 1 stood just outside the doors to the Kage building, where the Gyokukage had just given them a new mission.
"So... Let's debrief again real fast," said the team leader Myomi, squatting down and using a chip of zircon metal to scratch into the ground beneath their feet. "For about a month now, people have been disappearing." She tapped the ground. "Gyokukage-sama said that the rumors about children missing are partially true; their mothers were the ones who actually disappeared, leading to the children wandering alone around the village." She drew a circle. "This is the Hidden Gem Village," she said. "Some people started here." She moved and poked at the lower left corner of the circle. "But they all ended up over here, without a clue as to how they got there. Blank memories. Completely erased." Myomi circled the dot she had made.
"This is by the hotsprings," she said. "Gyokukage-sama says we are to report there, investigate, and return with a full report of why these my
:.: t o m o r r o w :.:"No."
"Aww, c'mon, Sakura-chan."
"I said NO!!"
Uzumaki Naruto went bouncing across the water, not unlike a skipping stone. Uchiha Sasuke looked on, an amused expression on his face, as Haruno Sakura huffed, turning away from where she had just launched her blonde companion. Beyond, the lake rippled and splashed; waves caused by the strong winds blowing over them gently pulled and pushed at their feet along the bank. The sky was a deep blue, and thin clouds dotted the horizon. Around them, a forest grew, branches swaying and creaking, leaves rustling and falling lazily to the forest floor. Birds chirped and fluttered about happily.
All was calm and peaceful for a moment.
And then Uzumaki Naruto resurfaced.
"Gaaaaaaah!" he yelled, dripping as he splashed back to where Sakura and Sasuke stood. Sand and dirt clung to his legs and feet as he stumbled towards them. "Sakura-chan, that hurt!"
Sakura ignored him, her atte
Odyssey into 2012: A Poem
A paper for a pocket
Holding numbers and an hour;
A whisper of knowledge
And the nothingness of power.
A prism on a train,
The destination a gate:
The key, and the girl
bearing light and her fate.
chapter 4: Where the end begins The breeze brought the scent of pine needles to her before she got off the train. She touched the bark of a tree.
The breeze suddenly picked up. Her eyes did not widen in surprise this time-- they stayed solidly open as she saw a shadow form in front of her. She had time only to jump to the side before the tree whose bark she had touched was impaled by a sword-- his sword. The tree quivered, sighed, and then there was nothing where it once stood.
His eyes met hers.
She knew how he fought. Everything about Darus-- the timbre of his voice, his unforgiving eyes, his majestic fighting style, his laugh-- everything came flying to the front of her mind. He would cut her down, but not if if she kept moving. Speed was her forte, her game to play, the only one she was sure she could win.
Hunted, panting, determined, moving. The endless circle of predator and prey continued, but she knew it had to end. Eventually, one
Chapter 3The spiraling is sickening. The ground is almost welcome. She stands. Beside her lays the book, covered in a dead man's blood, sprawled open. She picks it up. She doesn't have to look at her calender. It's right there. December 14, in bold black. Already it feels like she's been through too many gates, seen too much for just one life.
This time it's different. No people, just empty buildings covered in ivy. What happened here? She wonders how Darus made them die. Poison, disease, starvation... so many to choose from, and the people are so dependent, so naïve, so fragile...
She looks at the book. Jackson... He has been here. It's right there in the book. A picture, taken down using a method lost to everyone, now that he's gone. She realizes two things simultaneously: one, that now that Jackson is dead, she remembers more about him; and two, that something is shaking the ground. Violently. She strains to keep standing. The buildings are not a shelter now; they could fa
Techno-Colored PsychosisPaul's eyes came into focus just as Maya walked into the room, but something was different about her. Her face looked sunken and her eyes seemed glazed and black. The whole of the roomed looked as though it was changing color, flipping from one monochromatic scheme to a neon rainbow and back again. Paul began to pant and panic as she drew near him, he'd never been so terrified. He crawled away into the corner of the room, shivering, barely catching his breath, twisting his head back and forth as he flinched at every shadow.
“Paul? What's wro-” Maya 's jaw dropped at the sight of Paul's transformation.
Large glossy scales crept up from his thigh across his torso, they flicker in the dim light and changed color. They were iridescent, bright, shimmering with all the hues of the rainbow. The eight new arm-length tentacles creeping out from behind his back matched his new scales in color. They almost seemed to glow as they thrashed from side to side.
Maya held her mouth in shock
Sea and Starshine"Well now...aren't you just full of surprises?" Maya's flippant remark could not disguise her irritation or apprehension at Paul's sudden transformation.
Paul seemed frozen in time as he stared at Maya - not knowing if she was addressing him or the creature within. It was then that Paul realized that Maya might never have been been speaking to him. In his own self-righteousness he never considered that whatever these things were they may place no more significance upon humans than humans would a slug or an amoeba.
His senses dull and feeble - smothered by exhaustion and the remnants of the Proxitol - Paul could feel Tal'Shen pressing into his consciousness.
If We Are To Survive We Must Work Together.
Paul had not the faculty nor the motivation to resist.
"What can I do?"
The Mind And The Body Are One But Your Mind And Body Are No Longer Aligned. You Cannot Control What You Are Becoming.
Paul's mind lost all distinction between truth and deception. Tal'Shen's prese
Approaching Paul with calm, Maya, bent down onto one knee. A fresh syringe of Proxitol in her fist.
Recoiling, Paul brought his knee's into his chest. He shook his head and screamed, "No More!"
"Honey, this is a stronger dose. We have tested it, and it works. It will kill the parasite in you, and you will be free." Maya said.
She went to spread Paul's knees. Grabbed them and forced them apart. He fought back, pushing the opaque substance away from insertion.
"I said No More!" The childlike tentacles on his back raised, up, from behind him. Messes of pulsating colors lit the cell up. They began to shake and feel about. Feeling, suctioning, for the first time, like the newly blind. Popping sounds could be heard as it removed a cup from an object. Each new found object would jerk the host from side to side. Forcing Paul to move with it's outward growth. One particularly large tentacle reached up to the ceiling and leeched on. Lifting him off the ground.
"It's to late...." Maya yell
To Conquer Land and SeaMaya gasped. She was too late. The transmutation had already begun.
At the sight of her, Paul's eyes rolled back and his mouth opened in a high-pitched wail. The tentacles at his shoulders suddenly burst forth, growing and lengthening to the floor. Thick, black and coated in a sheer, iridescent mucus, the new appendages continued to grow until Paul's body was lifted into the air. They continued to multiply, reaching around the walls and ceiling, engulfing the sterile white in writhing, dark madness.
Paul's body hung suspended and lifeless, dangling at the epicenter of his new form. His eyes, now shimmering with that same rainbow of colors Maya knew too well, centered on her. The voice coming from him was not Paul's, but also one Maya recognized. "Ma'Yenneth. Cease this. You know there is nothing you can do now."
"So is this how you seek immortality, dear sister?" Maya shouted. "Ruling the greater part of the Mariana was
Truth or ConsequencesMaya gasped in disgust and pulled out her knife.
Paul, still huddled before the toilet, felt his tentacles wrap themselves around his waist as if to protect him.
"Maya?" Paul asked. Maya didn't lower her knife.
"Jesus, Paul, what--"
"--I was hoping you'd know," Paul said. "I just woke up and...they were there."
Without taking her eyes off Paul, Maya moved over toward his bed and pulled off the thin blanket. She tossed it to him, and he covered himself with it.
"I don't know what this is," Maya said. "I've never seen anything like this before."
Paul stared into her eyes. Maya averted her gaze and lowered her knife slightly.
His dream. Something
had warned him about Maya.
But it had just been a dream. Hadn't it?
"The Proxitol isn't working on you anymore," Maya finally said.
"Tell me something I don't bloody well know!" Paul said, his tentacles unwrapping themselves from around his waist. They moved up, spreading ab
Slip of a Girl"Jesus," said Maya.
Before she could say anything more, the tentacles on Paul's back thrust out toward Maya. The right wrapped itself around Maya's arms before she could draw her knife. The left wrapped itself around her neck, winding up and across her mouth before she could scream out.
Paul hadn't willed any of this. The tentacles had moved by themselves.
Maya wriggled, trying to free herself from her bonds. Paul, firmly anchored to her by his tentacles, stood up and moved toward her.
He'd never noticed her smell before. Actually, he had always noticed a slightly sour smell, but he'd assumed it was just his own stale body. It hurt to shower now; anytime water touched his skin it felt as if he were being sliced by cold, tiny knives. Moving closer to Maya, he realized she was the source of the smell.
He breathed in deeply. Maya continued squirming in the tentacles' grasp.
Looking closely, Paul noticed something else. He'd thou
Odyssey 2 chapter 5''What…''
Was the only thing Maya said as she looked horrified at Paul's new situation…
She couldn't understand the Proxitol should have worked on him…
…like it did on the others…
Is this a trick of her sister of some sort?
…or a new way to mock her?
Oh how many times has she tried to reason her sister…
…but Lysanna was stubborn…
…well so was she…
Maya eyed Paul trying to hide all her emotions about this situation right now
…her mind calculating trying desperately to find the answer to this new riddle
…but in her mind there were no answers only millions of questions…
''Why didn't the poison work?''
That question was spinning in her mind
She looked at his face in his eyes she read only confusion and desire for answers
…then suddenly it hit her…what if?
…no it can't be…that's impossible…
When she snapped out of her thoughts she saw that Paul was gone and she panicked and ran after him. Luckily for her he hadn't gone far.
She took her gun and shot a dart that hit him the sleeping
Queen of the UnderwaterShe sneered the moment she saw him. “You’re really something, aren’t you. I was hoping to spare your life, Paul, but the time for being merciful is past. I assume it’s contacted you finally.” She pulled out a nasty looking knife.
Paul backed up slowly, stumbling over his unsure feet. The tentacles on his shoulder writhed as panic swept through his body.
She continued on, and took a step forward. “Your body is becoming like my sister’s. She can barely control her form, and it seems you can’t either. You’re going to become her mindless slave as soon as the rest of your body transforms. I can’t have her interfering with my plans for our realm any longer.”
The knife was suddenly against Paul’s throat, sharp and cold. A small trickle of his blood wound its way down his neck, no longer a pure red. It gleamed with a silver light, and he could feel Maya’s disgust. “I am going to be Queen of Fo-Uisce. Not her!!!
All That Will Never Come AgainShe moved like lightning; before her footfalls reached his ears, Paul had been yanked to a standing position. The tentacles writhed along with him as he yelled in surprise and pain.
"It's immune." Maya pursed her lips. "This is... Unexpected."
He felt the tentacles tense, rearing back.
In one smooth movement, Maya unsheathed the curved blade from its scabbard and sliced through a tentacle.
What Paul assumed should be blood splattered across the bathroom floor, broken rainbows splayed haphazardly atop cold tiles. Reeling in agony, Paul fell backwards; the tentacles caught him, pushing against the toilet. He rolled to the side.
Go! The spawn's voice echoed in his mind. We must escape!
Maya flung the blade at him; Paul ducked, then scrambled to his feet when he saw her reaching for a gun. He rounded the doorway just as he heard the weapon go off. The tentacles pressed close to his skin, and Paul realized through the haze left by the Proxitol that the spawn was shielding him.
PetalsThe grass tickled between her toes as her father toiled away with the roses by the letterbox. She watched his fingers weave between the thorns to pat the soil around each bush, humming to some John Lennon song she couldn't put a name to. Despite the sun just tipping the horizon, she saw sweat prickling his brow and his eyes squinting against the light. The fine lines on his face were suddenly accentuated by shadow, and for a moment, she swelled with wonder.
'Maria, come here,' he said, waving her over. 'You're not going to learn anything sitting all the way over there.'
Excitement sparked her limbs into motion, and she crawled over to sit next to him, careful to tuck her skirt beneath her thighs to avoid the dirt.
He picked up a pair of clippers from beside him. 'Now, you need to snipe back these diseased parts here and there from the base of the plant. It helps it grow better.'
Snipping off two pieces of wood with ease, he deposited them in Maria's outstretched hand. Their rough textu
Dreams of realityA pair of eyes;
Open and stare through the lights,
Into the darkness of doom.
And yet they smile,
Yet they smile.
A drop of tear;
Seeps through the garden of death;
Falls to the mortal soil.
Dreams and desires will blend again,
To render the roses alive.
I am floating through a vision.
Like ripples, floating through the pond of life.
Can reality be so real?
Let me drown again,
Into the silence of familiar noise.
As I wander through the lanes of reason and passion.
The flame of hope burns bright,
Drenched in the colors of freedom.
So let my dreams unravel my soul,
As darkness fades away;
And let mortality draw me closer to destiny.
As these pair of eyes,
Open to stare through the lights again.
Is this reality?
Can reality be so real?
Time passes by, as the eyes keep staring;
Staring at the distant lights;
Staring beyond the distant skies.
What do they see?
What do they long?
What do they desire?
Then the skies will break down;
White lightning striking the dreamy clouds.
Moments will tur
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