Semifinalist in the Totem Head's Story Contest 2014 
- 86 semi-finalists out of ~1000 submissions.
So there I was, sitting on a tree swing in my backyard and trying to study for a geography test. I found it surprisingly difficult to concentrate. The sun was shining and the adorable baby squirrels were chasing each other up the trunk of an elm tree. I absentmindedly kicked the ground, watching the fluffy little creatures play, when my foot hit something hard.

I set my atlas on the ground and dismounted from the swing. I scrabbled around in the dirt until I unearthed the hard object. It was not a rock, nor was it any kind of crystal. What I didn’t know was that it would turn out to be more amazing than any kind of treasure.

It seemed to be a small velvet-covered box. I opened the box and discovered an ancient watch. It dangled on a thin golden chain and was still working.

However, it was set at the wrong time, so I carefully turned the dial on its side. Suddenly, everything around me started spinning as if in a vortex and I was falling through a blue tunnel! I had no idea of what had just happened. I screamed as I fell through, and the tunnel twisted and turned.

A few seconds later, I fell out of the tunnel and onto a hard, wooden floor. I looked around myself in bewilderment.

I seemed to be on some kind of ship. I was sitting on the ground behind a barrel that smelled vaguely of apples. I looked through small holes in the side of the ship and saw the ocean, which looked almost angry as it tossed the ship around on its turbulent waters.

I could hear people talking around me. Peering discreetly around the apple barrel, I saw two middle-aged men deeply engaged in conversation. They were talking in a foreign language and were dressed like the people of centuries ago, in formal-looking black coats and breeches. To my horror, one of them stepped closer to the apple barrel I was hiding behind. I shrank back against the ship’s wall, frightened.

The man reached into the enormous barrel and took out a brownish apple that was extremely overripe—in fact, way beyond overripe. Without looking very closely at the squishy, moldy fruit, the man took a big bite. His disgust was obvious.

Aargh! Bleah!” he exclaimed, and then shouted something in a foreign language. He tossed the rest of the revolting apple back towards the barrel.

Except, he missed.

The putrid apple sailed through the air in a slow, graceful arc before landing directly on my head.

Yeah. A disgusting, revolting, putrid, sickening, repulsive, and TERRIFYING moldy apple had just gone splat on my head.

How was this my life?!

I screamed shrilly as vile-smelling apple juice flowed down into my face from my hair.

All at once, the apple barrel was flung away from in front of me. I found myself gaping wordlessly at the furious face of a fifteenth-century sailor.

He shouted something loudly in the same unknown language. It could only have meant, “We have a stowaway!”

Upon hearing this statement, several more sailors came rushing over to the site of the stowaway spectacle. Many of them pointed at me excitedly and discussed in very loud voices the mysterious girl who had unwittingly stowed away aboard their ship. Some of them seemed to be more interested in my clothes and “odd” hairstyle. One man even pinched some of my Forever XVI shirt’s fabric between his fingers and called his comrades over to examine it.

The man who had discovered me, who seemed to be the captain, called for silence above the deafening din. Everyone immediately quieted.

The captain pried my fingers away from the atlas I was still holding. I hadn’t remembered bringing it along. Only then did I notice that I was wearing the golden watch. I didn’t remember putting that on either. But then again, what had ever made sense about this highly unprecedented adventure?

The captain’s expression changed suddenly as he flipped through the pages of my atlas. He looked VERY interested in the atlas. He stopped at one of the pages, studied it very carefully and traced around the shape of an island with his finger. I held my breath.

And then the captain barked out an order.

Several sailors rushed to find a thick rope. The realization hit me all at once—I was going to be tied up! Two sailors marched towards me carrying the rope. They took away my watch and atlas and then used the rope to tie me up very tightly.

I was marched down to the ship’s cabin. The walk to the cabin was difficult, mainly because my ankles were bound together tightly and I was being half-dragged down the steps. I was locked in a plain room (a prison cell, I thought) containing nothing but a jug of water and a pallet on the floor. I felt exhausted from all the stress and grew sleepy. When I woke up, one of the sailors got me some fruit and a strange kind of bread, which I devoured hungrily. Over the next few days, nothing changed much. I was generally treated kindly, given adequate food and drink but was not allowed to leave my cell. I was often sea sick and nauseous, since I was not accustomed to sailing for so many days on end. I tried in vain to explain to the sailors that I meant no harm but they didn’t seem to understand anything I said; so I gave up and prayed hard for some help.

One day, after what seemed like an eternity, I heard heavy footsteps and the captain entered my cell. He no longer seemed furious; instead, he had an excited expression.

He untied me (what a relief), chattering in what sounded a bit like Spanish. Through his frenzied hand gestures, I gathered that the ship had finally reached land.

He led me onto the deck, where many people were already disembarking. I stepped onto dry land for the first time in approximately forever.

I took in my surroundings. I was on a beach. There were a few people around who weren’t from the ship; they looked like they were from India. The crew was gathered around me. Many of the sailors had expressions of reverence and admiration on their faces.

“What?” I asked. When nobody answered, I asked again, a little louder. “WHAT?”

The captain smiled at me and handed me a scroll. It was rolled up and tied with a long strand of red ribbon. I considered opening the scroll but then frowned. I’d had enough of this nonsense; I just wanted to get home!

The watch was probably the key to getting home. I needed that back more than I needed this scroll. I tapped my wrist, gestured madly that I wanted what had been on my wrist and glared at the captain.

He suddenly seemed to understand. He took the watch out from his pocket and handed it back to me. I immediately started to turn the dial. Just as before, I fell into the endless blue tunnel, which twisted and turned…until…

PLONK. I landed face first onto the weed-filled flowerbed at Proxy High School.

I looked around at my surroundings. They were familiar and comforting. Momentarily, I wondered if my adventure had been a dream.

And then I saw the watch on my wrist, its gold chain glinting in the sun.

On August 3rd, 1492, the captain of a ship and his crew looked around themselves in great bewilderment as the girl they had wrongfully held captive miraculously vanished.

The captain slowly unrolled the yellow scroll sitting on the ground. A ruby-encrusted, beautiful, gold bracelet fell out. He picked it up.

The captain fervently wished the girl had read the scroll. It said:

Estimada niña,

 Lamento mucho el haberte capturado y amarrado como lo hice, fue un grave error de mi parte. No me percate de que poseias la informacion para poder navegar mi barco de regreso a la India. Tu libro de mapas nos ayudo a entender nuestro posicionamiento para poder asi emprender nuestro camino. Por favor acepta este tesoro como muestra de mi arrepentimiento. Te deseo un retorno exitoso.

Atentamente,

Cristonal Colon

Which, translated into English, meant:

Dear girl,

I am very sorry about capturing you and tying you up. It was a grave mistake on my part. I did not realize that you had the key to getting my ship back on track to India. Your book of maps showed us exactly where we were and where we needed to be. Please accept this treasure as my apology. May you have a safe journey back to your homeland.

Sincerely,

Christopher Columbus

Columbus had arrived in India like he meant to, not the Americas.

Without knowing it, the stowaway girl had changed the course of history.

 
 
1st Prize for Literature at the School Level - PTA Reflections 2014-15
The beautiful vase lay on the floor in pieces, shattered. Images of dark blue waves licking sandy beaches were no more; instead, they had become shards of intricately painted glass. Isabelle Hollister looked in dismay at the sharp slivers of the landscape. Two feet away, her wyvern, Starflower, gazed up at her innocently and then smoothly trotted out of the open door. The culprit, slithering away.

Isabelle scowled at the miniature dragon’s retreating back and then turned her attention back to the vase. She called upon her magic and the colors of her room faded in and out of focus as she struggled to recall a spell that would fix the vase.

Isabelle finally thought of the perfect incantation. “Reparalia et immadia leviosa,” she murmured. The pieces of the vase seemed to be vibrating, getting ready to go back together. “Arenosa vibrato fixa,” she continued.

Suddenly, Isabelle noticed that the shards of glass weren’t the only things that were vibrating. So was her dresser…and her chair…and her bed…and pretty much everything else in her room. She continued to mutter incantations, but they didn’t seem to be working; she was losing focus rapidly.

The vibrations gradually got stronger. Isabelle’s jewelry case toppled over along with several bottles of color-changing nail polish. Isabelle was genuinely alarmed now. She wasn’t sure what was happening, but it seemed to be a minor earthquake.

Risa reparos--OW! THAT HURT!” Isabelle exclaimed loudly as the floor of her room began to shake, bringing her sharply to her knees. She tried to stand up but found that she couldn’t. The shaking was too strong. Isabelle couldn’t process what was going on.

“If I die today, I’m blaming it on you, Starflower,” she grumbled darkly. “If you hadn’t broken that vase I wouldn’t be stuck here trying to fix it, and I might be near enough to the phone to dial 911.”

A loud crashing sound emanated from somewhere downstairs. Isabelle got the impression that several more household artifacts might need to be repaired, provided that she survived this…earthquake, or whatever it was.

And then, as suddenly as it had begun, the vibrations and shaking stopped. Isabelle stood up dizzily and surveyed the mess in her room. Oh God, she thought, the nail polish. The carpet. Everything.

Most of the nail polish bottles had cracked, sending multicolored streams of lacquer oozing into the fluffy pink carpet. As Isabelle wondered how in the world she was EVER going to clean all that up, her mind wandered back to the spell she’d been attempting. She hadn’t been able to finish it. In fact, the spell had been split into two parts by the earthquake and she had exclaimed loudly at the end. She knew that things could go horribly wrong when spells were done incorrectly, even with just a tiny mistake.

However, no serious damage seemed to have occurred, and Isabelle put the incident out of her mind. She turned her full attention to cleaning up her room instead.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

That night, CNN newsroom’s main news report was about a certain earthquake, measuring 3.2 on the Richter scale that had taken place in Sycamore City.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Isabelle completely forgot about the mis-spell for the next few weeks. She went about her regular life, which mainly revolved around helping her parents out at their private wildlife reserve. Mr. and Mrs. Hollister had started a wildlife preservation program a few years ago and it was Isabelle’s life’s ambition to make it even better….using her magical abilities, of course.

Even though the entire Hollister family had been given the gift of magic, the Hollister Wildlife Preservation Center, otherwise known as the HWPC, was run in a mundane and utterly unmagical manner. Although it had rehabilitated hundreds of lost, hurt, and injured animals, Isabelle thought it would be a lot more useful if she could have a say in how it was run.

On a bright sunny day a few weeks later, Isabelle was sorting through some paperwork for HWPC and watching a news broadcast at the same time when she saw something rather odd. The 20-20 news anchor was speaking into the microphone with a baffled expression, not at all composed and “ready for anything” like a proper newscaster should be.

“We have just received intelligence that a large group of lions and cheetahs on the African savannah, which were tagged as part of a research program and were being tracked by a central computer system, have seemingly stayed stationary for the last six weeks,” the news anchor way saying. “The latest update to this story is that the lions and cheetahs have all been sleeping.”

“What?” Isabelle asked, suddenly alert and forgetting that the person on the TV couldn’t hear her.

“Yes, that’s right,” the newscaster continued. He leaned closer into the camera. “A group of biologists, led by Dr. Monica Smith, have visited the site and confirmed that several hundred lions and cheetahs are lying down in a region of grassland and are sleeping. The strangest thing about this case is that they have been sleeping for six weeks straight without any food, yet they are still very much alive and continue to maintain a normal heart rate. Tracking data indicates that the lions and cheetahs have been asleep for exactly forty-two days.”

Isabelle gasped. She switched off the TV and then ran to the calendar in the kitchen. The earthquake had happened exactly forty-two days ago. Her bungled spell had taken place exactly forty-two days ago. Could her botched spell possibly have something to do with this whole sleeping-lion and sleeping-cheetah episode?

She dashed upstairs, taking the stairs two at a time, and then burst into her parents’ bedroom. They had gone out for a few hours and would be back later. Isabelle was supposed to ask their permission before she borrowed any of their things, but this time, it couldn't be helped.

She found their cherry wood bookshelf and ran her finger along the spines of thirty-six magiclopedia volumes. She took down one of the last magiclopedias, which was labeled “W,” and began to page through it until she found the page with the heading “Wildlife Spells.”

Sure enough, the very first spell listed began with “Risa reparos” and continued with several lines of complex chants. Next to the spell, in the Effects column, “long-term slumber of apex predators, esp. lions and cheetahs”, said the first item.

Isabelle groaned. Lions and cheetahs were the apex predators of the African savannah. Since they were all fast asleep, other parts of the food chain must also have been affected by her misspell. The whole world’s natural balance could be seriously disrupted if she didn't act fast enough!

Isabelle flipped forward a few pages and found the list of Undoing spells. The one she needed was incredibly complex; Isabelle wondered how she would ever memorize it in time……

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Two hours later, Isabelle opened her eyes and found herself lying face-down on the bed, drooling all over the Magiclopedia. Somewhere in the process of memorizing the spell, she had fallen asleep.

She could hear the sounds of dishes being washed and dried downstairs. Clearly, her parents were home.

The good thing was, Isabelle had the spell entirely memorized. The only thing she needed now was a dilated unicorn horn, which was necessary to strengthen the Awakening spell she had to perform. However, the unicorn horns were kept in a drawer in the kitchen. There was no way she could get hold of one without having to tell her parents what she had done.

There was no way out of it. Isabelle trudged forlornly down the stairs and opened the kitchen door, startling her mom.

“Oh, hi. I see you’re awake,” Mrs. Hollister said. She was directing a knife above a cutting board as it magically brought itself down on a pair of tomatoes, chopping them into quarters.

Isabelle nodded and squeezed past her mom. “Um,” she said nervously. “I have to tell you something.”

“What is it?”

“Did you see the news last night?”

“About the great cats of the savannah falling asleep? It’s all very mysterious,” Mrs. Hollister answered. “I was wondering if it might have anything to do with the magically gifted….”

“It has to do with me, actually,” Isabelle said. “I was trying to fix something Starflower broke the other day, and the earthquake really messed up my spell.”

Mrs. Hollister gasped. “Oh no.”

“The good news is, I can fix it. I just need one little unicorn horn from this drawer.”

“You can take it,” Mrs. Hollister answered, “but keep in mind that this may be a harder fix than you think.”

“What do you mean?” Isabelle asked nervously.

“Wait and see. Just wait and see.” She seemed to be ominously suggesting that my bungled spell may have had a deeper impact than I had realized.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

With that cryptic warning, Isabelle lugged an enormous forty-pound unicorn up the stairs. It was striped silver and lavender and was about three feet long. Unfortunately, the only unicorn horns that were left in the drawer had been of the gigantic variety.

Once in her room, Isabelle began to recite the spell with her left hand resting on the horn.

“Reversa somnia restic predatoria, somnia est tresa mauvaise…fella bojour somnic fixa…”

When she was done, she looked around.

Nothing much seemed to have changed.

The room looked just like it had minutes before.

Isabelle logged onto her computer and spent the next fifty minutes examining CNN updates on the great cats’ case. The ripple effects of the African savannah’s main predators’ prolonged somnia were just beginning to show, and they weren’t good at all.

Buffalo, gazelle, zebra, giraffe, kudu and impala populations had seen a rapid increase in only the last month. Grass was disappearing at an alarming pace, and the food supply for herbivores was running dangerously low. In desperation, kudus were stripping acacia trees of their leaves. In response to overgrazing, acacia trees had massively increased the tannin content of their leaves, upsetting the fermentation processes in the stomachs of the kudus and causing several sudden kudu deaths. Other, more minor populations of animals were also suffering.

Suddenly, Isabelle’s browser was overwhelmed by a huge volley of updates coming in from every newsroom across the world. The great cats that were being continuously monitored by the scientists, were slowly waking up! Not surprisingly, they were incredibly hungry and thirsty after having not eaten for weeks, but they were alive.

Isabelle sighed with relief.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Over the next few weeks, constant Internet and TV updates showed that the ecosystem of the savannah was gradually returning to normal. Of course, it would be a very long time before all was fixed for good, but that time would come and balance would be restored.

Isabelle was currently working to establish the magic control center of HWPC. Her parents had finally agreed to add a magical sector to their company, which would increase the efficiency of wildlife rehabilitation by the use of…slightly unorthodox transportation methods.

Of course, the whole operation would need to be entirely controlled, because modern society might not like the idea of intercontinental dolphin teleportation.

On the whole, Isabelle realized that what she wanted more than anything was to use her powers to help preserve the fragile balance in nature. She started researching and writing a regular blog on issues related to wildlife conservation and management around the world. With her work at HWPC and the increasing popularity of her blog, she was taking her first step. She knew that the world would indeed be a better place if everyone respected and worked to preserve the balanced relationship of the plants, animals, and other living organisms that make up natural communities.

Francis Thompson was certainly correct when he said, "One could not pluck a flower without troubling a star."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 
 
Featuring the Hooshes, Schrewrs, Zhawaswhans, Hoodahans, Fafabous, Corinnas, Conocos, Kittennas, Moushies, Dudladooshes, Foosh, and other utter absurdities!!!!!!

Dedicated to my little sisters

Our First Rescue
The sirens blared loudly as they relayed to us the bad news. We were about to be involved in the violent rescue of the Schrewrs from the evil hands of the Zhawaswhans and Fafabous. Schrewrs were little, cute, sweet elephant-like aliens who lived on purple, pink, sparkly Planet Bunbun. My team of Hooshes and I were very excited to save the lives of thousands of baby Schrewrs. 

I began to wonder why the Fafabous had suddenly turned evil, really. After all, they weren’t generally mean – just neutral, mildly cute, quite pretty, and nice. Well, we’d figure that out when we got there!

When we got to our destination, Planet Layr, where the Zhawaswhans and their sidekicks, the Dudladooshes, live, we realized that the place was in utter chaos. Mother Schrewrs ran out of their houses, crying, and Schrawrnas (extraterrestrial police cars) were everywhere. How would we make the rescue in the middle of all this hullaballoo? We decided to meet with the Zhawaswhans and Fafabous and see what it was that they wanted. Perhaps we could bargain with them. Besides, it was better to solve the problem in peace instead of letting a war break out among us. 

Once I began talking, I saw how bad the situation actually was. It was simply, utterly beyond belief! The Zhawaswhans had hypnotized the Fafabous into thinking of revenge as the top priority. How terrible! Well, now I had two problems on my hands – the highly urgent one of rescuing the Schrewrs, and undoing the Fafabous’ trances.

We soon realized that the kidnappers were only holding the Schrewrs for ransom. They thought that since everyone loved their baby Schrewrs so much, they would offer large sums of Quafas (the Bunbun currency) to get them back. Then the Zhawaswhans and Fafabous would take the money and return the baby Schrewrs! But the sum of Quafas they were asking for almost made our entire team fall flat onto our poor faces. §6,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000! We most certainly didn’t have the money for that, even if it meant saving the whole Schrewr race! 

Together, my team of Hooshes and I devised our ingenious plan. Actually the Hoosh team leader thought of it. The team told it to me in excited giggles, and we knew exactly what we each had to do.

With a laser beam I made the blueprints for the counterfeiting machines. The build was so complex, the notes really did look real. Then I welded together our first model with some scrap steel. After a while, we had an entire army of machines!

We stacked the notes neatly into a small black-leather suitcase, rich-guy style. And then we showed it to the Zhawaswhans and Fafabous. 

When they saw the money, their greedy, beady little eyes gleamed. Their ugly mouths drooled bright green spit. Their turquoise tongues hung out and curled into grotesque little balls. 

During that time, we happily loaded the baby Schrewrs into our spaceship, Endeavour Hooshry. (I thought of that name randomly.) Though all of them had survived, they were starving, so we fed them analans, which are small sandwiches filled with ashushwans (appatwan-flavored candy). When we got back to Planet Bunbun, we installed hi-tech security systems in each Schrewr household, just in case. Not that the Zhawaswhans and their gangs will be back anytime soon, because it takes 666,666,666,666,666,666,666,666,666,666,666 light years plus 666,666 astronomical units of space for them to reach Planet Bunbun! J

Now, of course, I had, unfortunately, not yet undone the Fafabous’ trances. I apprehensively and forcefully pushed the entire gang, with my team’s help, into the confines of our ship. They rubbed their greedy little hands together and stared up at us mischievously. I scowled at them fiercely and then ordered one of my gang to bring in a case of special makeup – where eye shadow, eyeliner, lip liner, mascara, nail polish, overcoat, foundation, concealer, glow blush, regular blush, lipstick, lip gloss, facial cream, and other cool cosmetics were contained. Fafabous like makeup, but it wasn’t that I wanted them to notice. It was the makeup brand names.

Estee Lauder, Revlon, Clinique, Avon, L’Oreal, Maybelline New York, Lancôme Paris, and a hundred other tantalizing words were inscribed on the various cosmetics. It was just so tormenting for the poor Fafabous to have to sit there while I waved the makeup in front of their incidentally hideous, deformed, drooly faces. 

One by one, the wretched creatures fell asleep, lulled and done in by the sweet sight of the makeup brand names. 

Then, I ordered the band in.

You see, when a person (or rather, creature), is hypnotized, it takes quite a bit of work to wake them. I tried absolutely everything with the Fafabous. I opera-sang. I had the band perform a Handel sonata. I had them perform Bach, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Clementi, and so many others. Still to no avail! It was ever so aggravating.

Then, as a last remedy, I resorted to rather puerile and annoying tactics. I called over the Corinnas. The Corinnas are charming, beautiful anime characters that live on their own planet in the Fa ’n Ba Galaxy. This planet revolves around the beloved star we all share, Andwea, named for the Schrewrs’ bad phonics skills, but it’s called Planet Cashuana. It’s a peaceful, windy place, with gorgeous girls in satin dresses, eating cupcakes and icecream sundaes, hanging around on rocks by the seaside. Oh yeah, and the sound of the wind rustling through the fir trees is also amazingly dreamy.

Anyway, enough of talking about Planet Cashuana, no matter how wonderful it is. Let’s get back to what we did with the Fafabous. 

The Corinnas’ awesome fashion senses and lovely Hooshris Hilton (Paris Hilton in English) perfume lured the Fafabous to wake up. Their faces morphed back to the normal, rather attractive look they’d had before. They had no idea whatsoever of what had happened.

I stared at the Fafabous, all sixteen of them. I felt way better. They looked pretty now, with long pink-and-blue hair down their backs and neon green punk dresses. I shook my own neon green bangs out of my face and stared at the creatures pityingly.

And as fate would have decreed, after the famous rescue, an allergic reaction to my mascara made both my eyes swell tightly shut so that I couldn’t open them at all.

Opera-Singing Match
Oh, no! We couldn’t believe the news. It made us scream furiously and beat our heels against the walls of the Endeavour Hooshry in anger and frustration, causing severe destruction to her anatomy. How could we have ever been so incredibly forgetful?! My rescue team of Hooshes and I were devastated. I was almost unconscious, it was such a bad eruption of absolute hysteria. I’m allergic to anything related to panic, and that only made it worse.

The Zhawaswhans had come back, and they had made very significant scientific improvements in their space shuttle that enabled them to get to us quicker. Oh, you don’t know what I’m talking about, do you? Well, about a month ago the Zhawaswhans and another evil group, the Fafabous, had kidnapped hundreds – no, thousands – of baby Schrewrs (baby elephant-shaped aliens living on Planet Bunbun). Being a sensible rescue group, the Hooshes and I decided to resolve the absurd situation peacefully and comfortably. After a long and strenuous argument, the Zhawaswhans and Fafabous eventually decided to return the Schrewrs if we paid them a mathematically indescribable amount of Quafas (the currency we use). So we made counterfeiting machines that print out fake Quafa bills, and we got all of the baby Schrewrs – yes, all of them, safely back home. It was an unforgettable moment. The techniques we used were highly questionable, but we didn’t mind that. In fact, the whole thing was rather enjoyable. Mission accomplished!

We had even installed hi-tech security systems in the Schrewr homes. But the Zhawaswhans had destroyed them! And instead of Fafabous, they had brought with them the cruel Dudladooshes!  Whatever were we to DO?! Seriously! The cheek of these idiotic creatures! 

Did I mention we were sensible? Anyway, being the sensible people we were, my team and I tried similar tactics to the ones that we had tried before. But it turned out that the Dudladooshes were microscopic, aquatic creatures that could not talk but had evil intentions. What bad luck! And the Zhawaswhans would not speak for them.

I soon realized that the only thing that would work for this case would be a brave escapade. Without any real plan and no super supplies except atomic bombs, laser beams, blades, extra-speed body suits, sparkly cannons, landmines, semiautomatic weapons, and maybe…well…a few other things, we set out.

I directed my fleet of supersonic fighter-jets straight into the middle of Planet Layr, which is where the Zhawaswhans live. Unfortunately, we flew out of space and straight into trouble! Immediately, the enemies spotted us and tied the entire team up. It was useless to try to get free. Only then did I spot a strange-looking creature hidden in a tree – well, if you could call it a tree. It was more like a bright orange trunk with a hot pink-and-purple-sparkly tuft of fluffy, fuzzy material. I called to the strange creature and when I had it safely sitting in my hand, I shoved some chocolate at it and asked it if it knew how to set us free. The creature stared at me for a moment, then slowly shook its purple head and scampered away.

We stayed there until nightfall. Then suddenly, I saw hundreds of luminescent red eyes staring at me! I couldn’t help it. I screamed bloodcurdlingly. The owners of the eyes, who appeared to be mini-duplicates of the Strange Creature I saw earlier, jumped off the tree and began to crawl all over me! But I soon quieted down, for they patiently gnawed through my ropes on command. 

We planned a secret night attack on the enemies in hushed voices. The details of the war I should really keep behind closed doors, for it was a disturbing sight. There was no real fighting, but I used my magical destructive voice-opera-singing-powers to set the Schrewrs free. That is to say, I opera-sang to shatter the glass on the Zhawaswhan’s windows. Zhawaswhans are very sound sleepers, and amazingly, they didn’t even stir! Within a few minutes, we had carefully driven the baby aliens who had been taken captive in ambulances during the dead of night. As soon as we had gotten them a safe distance from the evil hands of the Zhawaswhans, Fafabous, and Dudladooshes, we transported them home and tucked them in bed. The Schrewr mothers would have a pleasant surprise the next morning! I had left a note for each of them written in an ink made from some kind of unheard-of substance on their dressing-tables. Hopefully, the aliens were safe now. But who knows what might happen next? Stay tuned! 

Nikki Drives Me to Distraction
It was an unbelievably hot day in the month of January. Foosh, the chief justice in the Hoosheme Court, fanned herself using a parasol. Her fashion fairy-type clothes only added to the inconceivable heat.

I was one of the associate justices. I was also dressed like a Hoosh princess, but I was on a secret undercover mission. 

While that fashion-obsessed diva of a Foosh fanned herself and muttered “OMG!” over and over, I snuck out of the office. The case I was working on, Schrewranda vs. Hooshwright (Miranda vs. Wainright in English), could be postponed. I needed to save the Schrewrs from the evil underhand ways and techniques of the Zhawaswhans. Again!

The Schrewrs had been kidnapped from their homeland, Planet Bunbun. It had happened twice already, and the insistent hijacking was just beginning to instigate my fury. After a quick snack of ashushwan-flavored cereal, I called my fellow Hooshes and loaded them into the gracious interior of my gigantic, universe-traversing space shuttle, the Endeavour Hooshry. It was time to completely stop the inhumane invasion of the Schrewr territory for once and for all. Civilly. My team and I put our fuzzy, hooshy paws over each other and sang the Hooshnal Anthem, just like they do at the Olympics in London. My teammates saluted, and then we set off.

It didn’t take long for us to reach our destination. Most indubitably, our loot (albeit live loot) had been hidden somewhere in the deep, terribly dark, spooky, gloomy, remote corners of Planet Layr, where beetles, cockroaches, Dudladooshes (another species of minute, hideous, evil creatures), mosquitoes, June bugs, worst of all ANTS, and who knows what else might be hidden?

I stood on a horribly worn-down terrace and conversed shortly and stiffly with one of the Zhawaswhans. It was a great mercy that the rotten creature had let me discuss the matter. We always start our wars off courteously, except sometimes they get a little too out of hand! Anyway, we did get a little information out of them: Apparently the Schrewrs were hidden in the deep ocean that followed a most nauseating slime path. The Dudladooshes lived there, but I had no doubt that my team and I would defeat them. Still, we were mortal (unfortunately)! There was no telling what would happen to us.

I calmed myself by listening to the steady echo of Hoosh footsteps in the distance. One of my team members was inspecting my atlas. She walked towards me and showed me what she had found out.

Oh, no! The Dudladoosh Ocean was located on the other side of the planet. Time was running out rapidly. There was no telling what sort of maltreatment those innocent, adorable, elephant-shaped, fuzzy little babies were going through. I loaded up my detachable rocket immediately and had my crew get on.

I thought about the case as I stayed on the rocket. The kidnappings were a seemingly endless cycle. Kidnap, rescue, security system installation, destroying of the security systems, and then kidnapping all over again! It was enough to make any venerable Hoosh become so absolutely furious that they turn summersaults in the air multiple times. It’s a little-known fact that Hooshes do such inexplicable things when irked badly.

When we got to the ocean, we realized how deep it was. The Schrewrs would drown and die! But they must be in some sort of hospitality under the sea, for the Zhawaswhans only wanted them for their ransom.

I unleashed the super-speeding submarine from under my team’s rocket. Named the Survival Hooshility, it could go through any amount of atmospheric pressure.

Or so we thought.

When we first plunged in, the submarine cut through the water like a cyclone. My team was altogether very jovial, and we couldn’t believe our good fortune. But soon I found myself suspecting something, for the motor began to play Bach. This was ridiculously abnormal. Never in my whole hooshy life as a private rescuer had I seen something like this happen to any of my equipment.

Feeling thoroughly alarmed, I stopped the submarine, put on my Hoosh princess punk scuba gear, and stepped out to investigate. Now the Bach interlude had finished and Beethoven had begun. Almost instantly the Beethoven stopped, and to my amazement Mariah Carey hits blasted out from the speakers! I couldn’t believe my velvety little ears. After the Mariah Carey came Alicia Keys. And then along came Nikki Minaj.

Well, I just about jumped out of my fuzzy skin. The song, or actually noise, was so incredibly loud that it awoke all the pretty little mermaids up and caused them to cover their dainty ears with diamond earmuffs. I have never in my hooshy life enjoyed Nikki Minaj. As a matter of fact, I hate her so much she makes me get fly off the handle and go up in smoke! Quite literally!

My tight grip on the Survival Hooshility went totally slack. The submarine ricocheted up to the surface as the ocean simultaneously went hot, bright pink. Splashes of lavender ink amongst the blinding pink swirls indicated that I was about to get a coma even though they smelled like raspberries. Did I mention that hooshy smoke is a very pleasant sight and smell? A great tool to awaken the senses.

It must have awakened the Schrewrs’ senses, too, for suddenly they managed to break through their ropes and swim over to me. Sweet, shy mermaids came with them, and I realized that the Schrewrs had never been maltreated in the first place. They had been under the hospitable care of the mermaids all along.

After the smoke cleared, I took my cute and highly attractive gang up to my submarine and brought them with me to Planet Bunbun and back to their houses. It was an extremely enZoyable (enjoyable in English, except adapted to my sister’s name) reunion.

But really, it’s about time we completed the new and improved security systems, don’t you think? I guess that will be our next job!