9th January: Switching

Based on a crossover fanfiction between Wicked, the musical, and Disney’s Descendants.

Switching from Glinda the Good to Maleficent the evil fairy hadn’t been very easy. In fact, it hadn’t been her choice at all. As ever the Wizard and Madam Morrible made a chilling couple. Glinda had taken Elphaba’s death very hard, and she found it far too difficult to continue the charade that the duo had thought up for her, however they also seemed to believe that Glinda had signed her life away to them, in blood. Now not even Fieyero was there to help her.

Once they had realised that Glinda was serious about no longer performing her ‘duties’ as the good witch nasty rumours began to spread about her true involvement with the wicked witch of the west. Then, one day the wizard disappeared and that was when Glinda knew she was really in trouble. news spread quickly that Glinda was somehow responsible for the wizard vanishing. So she did the only thing she could, she ran.

She spent a lot of time on the run, many years passed without her truly noticing. This time allowed her to get to grips with some of the more difficult spells in the Grimmorie. Most of them were defensive, but she would have been stupid to ignore the dangerous ones, and many of them saved her life more times than she would care to admit. Still, some nights she found herself wishing that she had even a singular speck of the easy talent that Elphaba had shown.

Years later found a blonde woman on the streets of an unfamiliar kingdom, far far from the Emerald City and those that once sang the name of Glinda the Good. So too were the pink frills and glittering gowns gone, now she was dressed in rags, bitter and twisted against the world and those who had cursed her to this life.

In this kingdom she head of a new king and his new bride, along side tales of their goodness and kindness. Intrigued and slightly hopeful she slipped into the castle, but inside she was enraged to find the Wizard, sat comfortable and plush on the throne. Once more he had wormed his way into a position of power where he could ruin more lived. Glinda tried in vain to warn the kingdom of the danger he posed but the King or the Wizard had prepared for this moment. He rose with a shout and warned them all that she was an evil fairy who had hunted him since childhood. The local fairies rose against her and branded her Maleficent, for the malice they thought she contained.

Branded with this new name Glinda found herself banished to the edges of the kingdom, where she once more felt the sting of rejection and came to truly understand the treatment Elphaba had endured all her life. This time, though, Glinda was ready, and she was angry. So she patiently waited until the time was right.

An announcement for the newborn princess was called all though out the land, the king had been blessed with a child. Maleficent came to the castle, ready to give her blessing upon the child, despite not receiving any invitation, for it was customary in this kingdom to invite anyone of power, and she certainly had power.

‘You’re not upset?’ the new queen asked. Beside her the Wizard glared, untrusting of Glinda’s kind smile. And he was right too, for Glinda was here to exact her revenge, for Elephaba and herself. She saw her chance, and she took it, laying upon the baby a curse. As she looked into the Wizard’s eyes she knew he understood, he had used them as puppets, tiny creatures to dance to his whim. Now his child would be her puppet, dancing on the strings she played, ones that would lead to her death, just as it had lead to Elphaba’s and Glinda the Good’s.

Then she left, and she believed that finally she would have the peace that had been denied to her.

 

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9th January: Switching

Jumbled Words.

A note: I’m writing this just as a train of thought. I had some bad news today. That’s what this is about, it might not make sense, it might make perfect sense. It might be exactly what you’re feeling right now, it might not be. But if you do take the time to read it, I hope it does something for you, even if it just wastes five minutes of your time.

In the end, there were no jumbled words. No tilting world or shifting view of perspective. No tears either, but they would come.

It’s always supposed to happen that bad news hits you like a train. You collapse, you sob, maybe you even punch something. Or maybe you’re stoic, firm shoulder and head held high, the only outward sign; a clenching fist.

In real life, there’s all sorts of actions and reactions. You smile, you cry, you wait until you get home and then your curl in a ball around the cat and stare at the TV for five hours. Movies never get it right because there are so many ways to say something with actions.

Bad news always comes with one thing. Words. A sympathetic voice, a hand on your shoulder, a ‘is there anyone we can call?’

Not this time.

The worst part is when you knew. The doctor is just confirming what your body has already known. That gut feeling when you open the door and the police are there, hat in hand. You answer the phone and you already know what they’re going to say.

There are so many signs in this world, many of them that we don’t even know we’re reading, from other people, from the universe itself.

Bad news is just jumbled words. And sometimes, you’ve already worked out the meaning.

Jumbled Words.

Z is for Zebu

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Well, I didn’t make the deadline, and I’m posting on a sunday. But at least I’ve wrote it and at least I can say, “I finished!”

This is the final instalment of the A to Z blogging challenge. More information can be found here.

He had grown around the animals, a fact of life as common as a dog or a cat in any other family. But to others they were wild creatures, to some they were no more than a cow, and to another group they were holy. All his life had been spent with the animals, his father had them on his land and now he had them on his own.

So you can imagine his surprise when a man knocked at his door in a business suit, with a lanyard around his neck and a letter that told him he was no longer allowed to keep his animals.

“I’m sorry sir,” the man had said, “new government decree. They’re going extinct in the wild, and this is their way of saving the animals.”

“I don’t understand. The land where the wild Zebu’s live is miles away! Most of it was cut down for that new building project, where will they live?”

“That’s not for you to worry about, sir.”

“It damn well is!” he had replied, “These are my animals! They’ve been in my family for generations. I was there when they were calves and I’m gonna be there this spring when the new mothers have their calves.”

“I’m sorry sir,” the man repeated, “government decree. They’ll be gone by the end of the month.”

It had taken all of his will power not to slam the door in the man’s face. Instead he took the letter and immediately went to his computer. Surely he had rights? These animals were a part of his farm, they were part of his livelihood.

It took him nearly all month, even with help from his family, to get the evidence he needed. When the truck pulled into his farm he was ready. In one hand he had the original letter, in the other he had a folder, full of information and evidence. And by his side stood his lawyer.

He wasn’t going down without a fight.

These were his animals, and they depended on him.

They were his Zebu, and he was their farmer.

Z is for Zebu

Y is for Yak

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The penultimate A to Z blog entry! This has been written for part of the A to Z April blogging challenge, if you’re only just hearing about it please visit their website to find out more!

The snow had fallen deeply this year. It filled the fields below and covered every mountain path. It was only through instinct and ingrained knowledge of the hills around that the heard was still trudging safely through the region.

Leading the heard were the older yak, mothers and grandmothers that had grown into their leadership roles. Their horns had grown long and sharp, with them they sliced through the snow drifts, clearing the path for the others. Far behind, at the back, were the young ones, still in their first years their horns were small and soft. They each nudged each other, shuffling and murmuring.

One in particular surged forward, driving their horns into the snow. It wiggled for a second, its hooves digging in. It was stuck.

“Maaa! Jebs is stuck!” called one of the yaks watching the struggling Jebs. There was a sigh from further in front. One of the Yaks at the back of the group turned around heading straight for the squirming kid.

“Jebs! How many times have I told you not to try this until you’re Merta’s age?” she asked. Her hooves dug into the trampled snow, and with a mighty shove pushed him free of the snow.

“Yeah Jebs! You’re too young!” trumpeted Merta, she danced circles around him laughing. The baby yaks behind laughed with her. It took only a second but with a good push Jebs saw to it that Merta was introduced to a snow float bottom first. The others laughed all the louder as she struggled to push herself back up. Their mother tutted, helping her to stand.

“Merta,” she chided, “what have I told you about teasing your brother? And Jebs, no pushing!” She stood them side by side and made them march in front of her. The others continued to frolic behind, carefree until their mothers came for them too.

Y is for Yak

X is for Xenops

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One of the last letters to be written for the A to Z blogging challenge. Please visit the website in the link to support every blogger who is still posting! This post is about a type of bird called a Xenops, while it’s not endangered, it’s certainly not well known so I hope I will be forgiven for including this in my list.

It happened slowly, with no real distinction between the river band and the forest proper it was difficult to tell when the river finally overflowed. But they had thought of that. A few yards back from the churning water brave pixies stood waiting for it. Then as soon as it swirled around their ankles they were jumping onto their steeds. Small brown birds with dappled feathers than spun and twisted through the air.

The xenops’ calls were distinctive and loud in the quiet night air. Almost immediately there was a flurry of movement below. All types of animals mixed together, lizards riding on monkeys and birds swooping to pick up mice. No thought of prey or hunger. Under the pixies watch everyone was equal and all were saved. Even the Xenops carried animals. The pixies had made tiny baskets for small animals like ants to climb into, ensuring that they wouldn’t be left behind as the murky water covered the forest floor.

The teams worked all night, no pixie nor bird pausing to rest until all that could be saved had been. By the time dawn broke on the horizon much of the forest had been lost to the river and its streams. But many animals had been saved too, placed on high land or in trees. Finally they could stop.

The birds landed heavily on branches, taking time to put feathers to right and rest their wings. Meanwhile the pixies jumped back and forth between trees, trading stories of the most daring rescues and the fastest birds.

It was easy to see that the plans had been successful, and that a partnership between the two creatures was as successful as ever.

X is for Xenops

W is for Water Dragon

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Written for part of the A to Z blogging challenge. I’m also, once more, a day late, but don’t worry, I’m still striving to finish on time! This one is short but hopefully amusing.

Huge amber eyes peered down at the small, trembling lizard below it. The creature snorted, and plumes of thick black smoke flared from its nostrils, spiralling lazily upwards in the afternoon sun. Cautiously the lizard flicked out its tongue, tasting the air. There was the sharp scrape of claw on fragile stone as the creature adjusted itself.

“So this is what the great dragon name has become? My ancestor’s legacy has been reduced to a tiny reptile that can hold its breath for a while,” said the creature.

“Ah, don’t worry about it, Martuse,” replied a small human, patting the beefy leg he was leaning against. The dragon’s giant head swung round so that he could see the human out of one eye.

“At least your descendants have learnt how to think,” Its head swung back to the lizard, which was hastily scampering off the rock, “That creature has yet to realise it is a being.”

There was silence, disturbed only by the sounds of the forest and the water as it gurgled past them. Then, with a plop, the lizard vanished into the river to hide.

This seemed to be the undoing of the man as he burst into giggles, heedless of the angry glare being sent his way. Deep in the river the lizard swam as fast as it could from the giant paws that churned the riverbed.

W is for Water Dragon

V is for Vulture

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Part of the A to Z blogging challenge.

Did you know that there are nearly 30 different species of Vulture? I did not. Did you know that 16 of them are endangered? I did not. I was quite surprised to find this out. I always thought of vultures as those mean looking creatures that circle the Evil Queen’s body at the end of Snow White. But this challenge has really opened my eyes to them. They feed on animal carcases, ew yes, but they provide a really important part of the food chain. Imagine if there were rotting animal carcases everywhere! They also kill the bacteria and viruses that are spread by the rotting meat thanks to the acids in their stomach.

Thanks to humans, through deforestation, poisoning, poaching and habitat loss, many vultures are now facing a crisis. So if this story moves you, or you want to find out more, visit this website, which lists the 16 species that are most endangered, and has links to the various organisations that are trying to protect vultures. I have one last thing to say, and that is that this is nothing like what I have previously wrote in that it has a more serious tone and is also not really a story. However I hope it is enjoyable and informative, and helps save at least one vulture.

An open letter from the vultures to the humans.

We the vulture would like the humans to rethink their view on our species. We may not look pretty, and you haven’t done us any favours in your portrayal of us in media, but we serve a very important purpose in your world. One that humans themselves cannot, or will not, do.

Think about this: if we go extinct who will clean your roads of animal carcasses? Who will take care of your wild animals rotting on the planes? Who will protect humans from the spread of diseases caused by such deaths?

Will it be you, humans? Will you spend your precious paper money on animal and human carcass removal? Even for those small and unimportant villages that survive in the wilderness?

No, probably not. Like many other things humans do not stop to think of the devastation they spread on Mother Earth.

You are the killers, the poisoners; the destructive species that grew thought and believed yourselves above the animals. And we are the caretakers, the cleaners, the waste disposal group.

So the next time you, the poacher, puts a lead bullet into a wild animal, think of the one who will be eating your waste, hiding the evidence that you were ever hunting there. Change the bullet if you most poach, and do not leave us to suffer an agonising death of lead poisoning.

The next time you, the veterinarian, use Diclofenac to help relieve the livestock’s pain, burn the carcass, bury it, just do not leave it in the open. We smell the meal you have left for us, we see the body but we cannot sense the poison you have left in its veins, we cannot protect ourselves from this strange medicine you have spread throughout its body. It is not a pain killer to us, it is simply the killer.

The next time you, the farmer, uses any chemical to help protect your farm, think beyond the animal you are protecting to the animal you are killing. You protect your farm by killing the wild animals that have lived there for centuries. You take their land, their habitat, their home, and you put a fence up and believe they will stay away. But why should they, it is still their land. Just because you are human does not mean you own the land. You cause agonising, painful deaths with your poisons, and think that this is just because it means you have one more cow. And we think we have a meal, only to suffer again, we are punished for the actions of a hungry animal and a greedy farmer.

We recognise that we are not the prettiest of creature, but who would be in our position. Feathers on the head can cause all sorts of problems when eating. But we are worshipped in some cultures. Does that stand for nothing? That some of you humans can recognise that the deeds we do and the food we eat provide you a service? That the bodies of animal and human alike carry disease and more death within them, but we prevent it from spreading.

The next time you watch your media and see us as cruel and cunning, scavenger and circling death, remember what we are doing and what it means for you. We eat what you will one day be, and we do it because that is what we were born for.
Were humans born to destroy the earth and every animal, or have you evolved to be the ones who save it?

V is for Vulture