The Doctor And Thales – Part 1

Being a huge Whovian, I look for lots of way to sneak Doctor Who into my writing and daily life. I was handed a golden opportunity when, for the philosophy curriculum we were using, I was supposed to write a story using the philosopher we were currently studying. What better way to sneak the Doctor into a story! So, take a trip in the TARDIS with the Eleventh Doctor and my OC, Arley (also a Time Lord), to meet Thales, an ancient Greek philosopher!

“So, where are we going this time?” I asked, jumping up onto the platform where the controls of the TARDIS were. Amy and Rory were gone for a week, leaving just the Doctor and me.

“Two Time Lords, one TARDIS, and all of time and space,” the Doctor flicked a lever. “Where do you want to go? The future, the past?”

“The past,” I told him, pressing one of the blue buttons he’d forgotten. “Let’s go somewhere ancient.”

“You want ancient? How about the beginning of Carsus?” The Doctor’s hand was on the lever.

“Naaaa…too ancient,” I told him. “How about…” I looked down at a book Amy had left on the floor of the TARDIS. “Rome?”

“Wibbly, wobbly, timey, wimey. The timeline is way to wibbly. Pompeii with Donna…you remember? And you know…Rory the Roman?”

I had to admit he was right. “Fine. Greece?”

“Greece it is! There’s a lovely solar eclipse in 585!” He yanked the lever. The TARDIS groaned and shook.

“Did you forget the stabilizers again?” I hollered.

“Who are you, River Song? Of course I didn’t!” he shouted back.

I found the blue stabilizers and pressed them down. The TARDIS was instantly quiet.

“See? I told you I didn’t forget the stabilizers!” he said, tapping my nose as he walked by.

I rolled my eyes, not bothering to mention it’d been me who’d turned them on.

“I’ve a friend in ancient Greece you know. His name’s Thales! Great guy, a little distracted.” The Doctor skipped down the steps and under the platform of the TARDIS.

I sat on the edge and watched him. “Thales? Isn’t he the Greek guy who said ‘Know thyself’ or something like that?”

“Yes, he did. Well, actually I said that, and he shamelessly stole it,” he assured me. The TARDIS suddenly jolted to a halt. “There’s your beautiful Greece! Lovely view. Parked the TARDIS right by the Halys River.”

I skipped over to the door, opened it, expecting lovely river views. Instead, I got a battlefield. I slammed the TARDIS door shut just as a large spear went splintering into the side.

The Doctor looked up. “I wasn’t expecting that.”

I moved out of the way. “You landed us in the middle of a war!”

“Sorry ‘bout that. We should be off in a min- ”

Just then the doors opened again, and in stumbled a man. He tripped over the door frame and papers went everywhere, causing me to jump backwards.

The Doctor looked down. “Hello, there, Thales, my old friend!”

Thales looked up. Splinters of blue wood were stuck in his large curly beard. “Doctor?”

Part 2 is next week. Thanks for reading!

~ Kayla

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The Silence – Part 4

Today I’m posting part 4 of my Doctor Who fanfiction about the Silence. Last week, Karen and Anthony were running away from whatever was following them. This week we find out what is following them and meet Anthony’s parents. I mentioned last week that Anthony is the adopted son of Amy and Rory Pond (Williams), the Eleventh Doctor’s companions. This week, Amy makes a guest appearance in my fanfiction. Those who watch the show know that Amy is typically referred to as Amy or Amelia Pond by the Doctor, but her married name is actually Amy Williams, which is how Karen knows her. 🙂

Our pounding feet on the metal stairs echoed through the apartment building’s hallway. We came to a halt outside Anthony’s front door. Pulling the key from his jean pocket, his fingers fumbled as he inserted the key into the lock and twisted it. We burst through the door and slammed it shut behind us with a loud bang.

“Is that you, Anthony?” called a voice.

“Mom, I’m home, and I brought Karen,” Anthony said as we walked into his warm, bright kitchen filled with the smell of baked muffins that Anthony’s mother was pulling out of the oven.

His mother turned around with a smile. “Karen, it’s always good to see you.” I smiled back despite my anxiety. Mrs. Williams was always so nice and had the prettiest smile and red hair. And I loved her Scottish accent.

“Karen has a question for you,” Anthony explained with an encouraging nod towards me.

I took a deep breath. “I think I’m being followed.”

“In fact, we were followed here, ” Anthony added.

Mrs. Williams stopped filling the muffin tin. “Followed? By whom?”

“I don’t know. There are gaps in my memory that I just don’t understand. I thought there was this shadow following me the other day.” I stopped for a moment, trying to gauge Mrs. Williams’s reaction. She didn’t say anything. “I know you must think I’m crazy,” I started to say.

“I’ve seen some strange things, kid. Trust me. I don’t think you’re crazy.” She leaned against the kitchen counter and pushed her flame colored hair back with her red painted nails.

“Mom, I found this on my hand. I don’t remember how it got here.” Anthony held out his hand towards Mrs. Williams.

What happened next was fuzzy. I remembered turning towards Anthony, about to ask him something, and then the next thing I knew, I was huddled on the kitchen floor with Mrs. Williams beside me and Anthony on the other side.

“What’s happening? Why am I here?” I asked, my head spinning. I looked over at Mrs. Williams and covered my mouth with my hand to keep from screaming. Her face and arms were covered with black lines. “What’s going on? What’s happened to you?”

Mrs. Williams looked down at her arms. “Listen to me, Karen. You haven’t got much time. There’s something out there called the Silence. They’re an alien race that controls humanity. When you look away from them, the memory of your encounter with them is erased. That’s what the gaps in your memory are from. The only way to remember that you’ve seen a Silence is to draw a tally mark on your arm for each one you encounter. They won’t hesitate to kill you if they perceive you as a threat. The only way to escape is to listen to me closely.” Mrs. Williams grabbed my arm. “Find a man called the Doctor. Tell him Amelia Pond sent you. Tell him the Silence are here. And tell him he better rescue us all.”

A scream shatters the stillness of the room. I look up from the diary, my heart pounding. I put the book down on the bed and stand up, the floor creaking slightly. It’s deathly silent in the house, and even though it’s not cold, I have goose bumps on my arms.

“Mom?” I ask, cautiously taking shaky steps down the first two or three stairs, but the only answer is my own voice echoing back. “Mom?” I call, a little louder this time. My answer is a loud banging, and the whistle of the wind. I wrap my arms around myself, climbing down the stairs, forcing my feet to move. The wind bangs the front door against the battered wall, the rain pouring in onto the floor. I slam the door shut and lock it tightly. The rain is running down into my eyes as I turn away from the door. I shut my eyes for a moment, drying my face off with the edge of my shirt. When I open my eyes, I’m not downstairs. My back is against the heavy wooden door to the bedroom, and the diary is open in my hands. “What happened? Where am I?” My head is spinning. I look down at the diary in my hands, and flinch, my heart starting to race again. My hands are covered in tally marks. The Silence. I’d seen Karen’s shadows. They are following me, too. I flip open the diary, the pages making a slight rustle as I turn them. There seems to be only one thing to do. Find out if Karen escaped and how, if possible, I can as well.

Thanks for reading! Part 5 will be up next week.

~ Kayla

The Silence – Part 2

Last week, I posted the first part of a Doctor Who fanfiction about the Silence. We left off just as Bree opened the diary she had found and read the first sentence from a girl named Karen Helms who claimed she was being followed. I chose the name Karen as a bit of an Easter egg. The actress who plays Amy Pond, the Eleventh Doctor’s companion who also meets the Silence, is named Karen Gillan. I decided it’d be fun to name my character after Ms. Gillan and make the subtle connection back to the show! 🙂

I don’t know by what, and I don’t know by whom. I just know there is someone – or something – following me. I feel like I should write everything down in case something happens to me. It’s a strange feeling, like there’s something over my shoulder, something always watching me. I can’t escape the feeling, even now, in my room, with the door locked.

It started today when I was walking down one of the back streets on my way home. I never use the main sidewalks, if I can help it, since they’re so crowded. It was wet and rainy, and I could see my reflection in the rainwater pooled in the dips of the black asphalt street. Only when I looked down did I realize there was more than just my face and the brick buildings reflected in those puddles. I stopped, staring at the rippling water. Behind, me there was a murky black shape, like a shadow. I looked up quickly, but there was no one there. Nothing was casting that shadow. I started to walk again, much more quickly, staring down into the puddles on the road. From broken reflection to broken reflection, I could see the shadow following me. My stomach twisted into knots as I dashed across the road, and stepped onto the busy New York City sidewalk, pushing through the crowds. I bumped into a few people, who shouted at me angrily, but I didn’t care. I just wanted to get away from whatever was behind me. I caught a glimpse of a puddle beside me, but there were too many shadows and reflections for me to tell if the shape was still following me. I jogged up the first couple steps to my front door, glancing over my shoulder quickly as I did so. There was nothing behind me. I breathed a sigh of relief as I inserted the key into the hole and twisted it, opened the door, and relocked it behind me. There. Now no shadows could get in.

I sat my textbooks down on the coffee table. As I did, I caught sight of my reflection in the mirror hanging above the fireplace. Looking at the mirror, I had the strangest feeling, like there was something I’d forgotten. Something important, but I couldn’t remember what. I stepped closer to the mirror, putting my hand on the cool glass, trying to remember what I’d forgotten. Suddenly, my stomach twisted in fear, and I felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. I knew I had to get out of there, but I didn’t know why. Not even thinking about my decision, I raced up the stairs and flung open the door to my room, shutting it and locking it. I slid down onto the floor, the feeling of terror overwhelming me.

That’s where I am now. My back still against the solid wooden door, writing in this diary. I want to tell someone, but I’m afraid Mom and Dad will only think I’m being silly or playing a prank on them. Maybe I’ll tell Anthony tomorrow. Anthony is one of my closest friends. Most of the others avoid him since his family is …different. No one has ever forgotten the day in seventh grade when he proudly told the class that his parents once met a man from space. Of course, after today, I’d being willing to believe that.

The writing abruptly stops. I flip the page over and find another entry, but it doesn’t pick up where the previous page left off. I’m about to begin reading again, but then I realize my hands are gripping the edge of the book so tightly my knuckles are white. I can almost feel someone’s eyes on me as I sit here, the diary open in my lap. I can’t help but think of Karen as I glance behind me only to find nothing. I’m being followed.

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for part 3 next week.

~Kayla

The Silence – Part 1

I’ve been taking a teen writing class at the library. Every month, I have a new writing prompt about which I’m supposed to write a short story. In October, the prompt was to write a spooky story. Well, one of the spookiest things I can think of is from Doctor Who. The Silence are one of the only Doctor Who monsters that I have been honest-to-goodness scared of. So, I knew my spooky story would have to be about the Silence. Today I’m sharing the first part of that story. I hope you aren’t too scared! 😉

My mom sits the supplies down on the floor and runs her fingers through her hair. “Where to begin?” she sighs.

I look around me at the peeling, ancient wallpaper, the beat up floor, and the cobweb filled curtains and wrinkle my nose at the musty smell. I can easily think of a dozen other things I would rather be doing on this Saturday afternoon than clean out my grandfather’s old house.

“Bree, can you start upstairs to see if there are any boxes we’ve missed?” Mom pulls on yellow rubber gloves. “I’m going to get started in the kitchen.”

“Sure.” The stairs squeak under my weight as I climb the grand staircase to the second floor. The house is being sold soon, and it’s our job to clean and fix it up before it’s put on the market. At the top of the stairs, I stop suddenly. The hairs on the back of my neck stand straight up, my stomach clenches, my heart pounds. I happily visited my grandfather’s house many times in the past, but standing here now, I’m so scared it’s hard to even breathe. I can’t control the urge to look at what’s behind me. I slowly turn my head, glancing back, heart pounding. The only thing I see are the stairs spiraling down. I can’t shake the feeling that there is something behind me, though.

It’s nothing. Just this creepy old house, I tell myself. I’m probably just jumpy because of that scary sci-fi movie I watched last night. Mom always says I have too much imagination.

I can hear Mom’s voice in the kitchen, singing along to one of her favorite songs. My body relaxes, and I feel embarrassed at my reaction. I’m glad nobody saw me, I think. I walk forward, the floors creaking under my feet. The carpet under my brown boots is a faded red color and a style from a bygone age. Hand on the doorknob, I’m about to turn it, when I see a black shape out of the corner of my eye. I turn my head quickly, but there’s nothing there again.

“It’s just an old house. Nothing more. Nothing is living in here,” I tell myself under my breath, but my hands shake as I push the door open. I half expect something to jump out at me, but nothing does to my relief. It’s just a bedroom. I look around, examining the sagging floral wallpaper and the grimy carpet. The meager light from the rainy day makes the four poster bed’s shadows look like monsters climbing the walls. I run my hand over the dust-covered carved wood of the footboard, brushing some of the dirt off onto the floor. Someone must have already cleared this room, because there are no boxes in here. There’s only the bed and a small three drawer chest next to it.

Better check to make sure there’s nothing in there, I think. I kneel down on the floor, and my hands grip the delicate gold handles of the carved cherry wood nightstand, sliding open the first drawer. I reach my hand inside the dark hole, my fingertips brushing the smooth wood. There’s nothing in there. My hands move to the next drawer, and slowly slide it open. I reach my hand in again, and feel something slightly rough. I grip it and pull it out of the darkness to the light. It’s a little book. I run my hands over it, feeling the soft leather of the cover, examining the embossed flowers and birds. I carefully pull back the leather cover, revealing a faded, yellowed page. Like a delicate spider web, the swirly handwriting spirals across the page.

April 22, 1960

My name is Karen Helms. And I am being followed.

Thanks for reading!

~ Kayla

Fireflies – Part 5

Last week, my two Owl City fanfiction characters, Arden and Ben, had just captured Queen Titania, the firefly that will help Ben cure his insomnia and fall asleep. Join me for the last part of their adventure!

“Are you ready for the potion?” Arden asked, looking very serious. “I can’t give it to you if you’re not ready.”

“I’m ready,” I told her. I knew there were no such things as potions. Then what was she planning on giving me? Maybe her “sleeping potion” was some sort of alien beverage. Maybe she was going to use it to knock me out and carry me off in her mother ship to her home planet. Maybe I wasn’t so ready for this drink after all. “Wait!”

“Here you go!” She cut off my protest as she unclipped the red thermos from her backpack.

I didn’t reach out for it right away, suspicious of alien intentions. “Arden, that’s the thermos you’ve been carrying around all night,” I pointed out. “Titania didn’t give you that.” Unless Titania was actually one of her alien agents, and the firefly was just a cover story.

“It was empty before. As soon as we caught Titania, it filled with her sleeping potion.” Arden explained, twisting off the lid and handing me the bottle.

I smelled it warily. I didn’t know what alien potions were supposed to smell like, but this certainly reminded me of something with earthly origins. I slowly lifted the thermos up to my mouth.

“Go on!” Arden said with a smile on her face.

I looked down into the thermos. If I took a sip, I might be kidnapped by aliens, but on the other hand, I might be able to fall asleep. The desire for sleep overcame my fear of aliens. With that thought in mind, I took a sip. “This isn’t sleeping potion at all. Just warm milk.”

“The potion tastes like whatever the person drinking it likes. It just tastes like warm milk to you.” Arden sat down on the grass and patted the space next to her.

I sat down still wondering if it was truly warm milk I was drinking.

“Now that Titania’s given you the sleeping potion, we have to let her go.” Arden gently picked up the jar. “I’m weird ‘cause I hate goodbyes.” She handed the jar to me. “You caught her Ben, you get to let her go.”

I peered into the jar and stared at the fireflies we collected. The funny thing was, I actually felt a little sad letting them go. I twisted open the lid, and they flew out blinking.

“They’re saying farewell, Ben!” Arden started waving to them. “Bye, fireflies! Bye!”

We watched them fly off and join the rest of their firefly friends. “I got misty eyes as they said farewell, didn’t you, Ben?” Arden asked. A couple tears fell from her eyes, and she brushed them away.

I looked down into the jar I was still holding. “Look, there are still several fireflies in here.”

“Quick! Put the lid back on!” Arden instructed. “Fireflies prevent bad dreams, did you know that, Ben? It’s from the Legend of the Firefly. Now if your dreams get real bizarre you’ll know where several are ‘cause you saved a few and kept them in a jar!”

“Arden, we’ve been over your legend,” I began, but stopped. Even if the legend wasn’t real, it was still a nice thought.

“Did you know that fireflies flash in a pattern, Ben? You can tell the species of firefly just by the way they flash.” Arden began instructing me in the science of fireflies. I just watched the fireflies lighting up the lake. My eyelids soon felt heavy, and I could feel my head nodding forward. I just needed to lean back in the cool grass while Arden lectured on. The potion must be working.

“Isn’t that great, Ben?” asked Arden. “Ben?” I didn’t bother to answer her. I was too tired. My eyes shut completely, and I fell asleep.

“Ben? Ben?” I groaned and felt someone shaking me. “Ben, wake up! We have to leave before the sun comes up, or Titania will curse us.”

“Leave me alone,” I mumbled. “I want to sleep.”

“Ben, you’ll be turned to stone if you sleep here! Come on!” Arden grabbed my hand and tried to yank me to my feet. She tugged and pulled at my arm, until I finally struggled up to my feet so she’d stop. My vision was all blurry, and I could barely see anything.

“Hurry, hurry! Queen Titania will curse us if we stay by her palace after dawn.” Arden yanked on my arm again, trying to pull me down the path.

I stumbled forward, tripping over one of the tree roots. I fell on my face for the second time that night.

“Are you okay, Ben?” Arden asked.

“Just leave me here,” I moaned. “I’ll risk the curse. I’ll stay right here in this nice comfy bed of leaves.”

Above me, I heard a scream. “AHHH! I’m turning into stone! SAVE YOURSELF!”

I looked up to see Arden frozen in place with a terrified look on her face. “I know you’re not stone, Arden,” I told her, about to put my head back down in the leaves.

Arden didn’t respond.

“Arden?”

She didn’t say anything. She just stood perfectly still with that look on her face. I knew she hadn’t been turned to stone. She couldn’t really be a statue. “Ohhhhhh. C’mon, Arden.”She was so frustrating sometimes. I couldn’t stand it. I had to check. Pulling myself up, I walked slowly over to her. “Arden?” Still, she didn’t move. She certainly didn’t look like stone. I thought I saw her breathing, but I wasn’t sure. I bet her skin would feel cold if she were really a statue. I reached out to touch her arm to test my theory.

“Boo!” The statue cried.

“AHHHH!” I screamed as the Arden statue came to life, making a face at me.

“Ha, ha! I got you, Ben!” Arden doubled over with laughter. “You…should…have…seen…your face…ha….ha!”

I just glared at her. Arden kept laughing.

Waiting for her to finish, I looked around me and realized the sky above the lake was lightening. I guessed I had been asleep for a while. “Arden, are you done yet?”

“I’m sorry, Ben. Your reaction was so funny, and I’m pretty sleep deprived. I always get silly when I haven’t had enough sleep. You were just going to sleep there unless I did something to make you get up. It worked. You’re up! Now, onward, brave knights, onto our gallant steeds, and we shall ride off into the dawn!” Arden pretended to mount a horse, and then “galloped” off. I just stood there, shaking my head, wondering how sleep-deprived Arden was any different than normal Arden and wondering how she still had any energy left. I know I didn’t.

We “galloped” up to the stairs of my front porch thirty minutes later. Arden chattered on about quests, fair ladies, and brave knights, but all I could think about was crawling into bed.

“Let’s go pretend it’s winter and welcome it back, put on warm fuzzy sweaters, and watch the snowflakes fall gently to the ground!” Arden announced, skipping up my front porch steps.

I looked up at the sky. The sun had risen over the horizon, and it was already hot out. It was going to be a scorching August day, and there was no way I was going to wear a sweater in this heat. Besides, I had no energy left whatsoever. If the stair railing hadn’t been there, I probably would have fallen over. “Arden, I think I need to go to bed. I’m exhausted,” I told her.

“Oh.” She actually sounded disappointed. “Do you think you’re tired enough to go to sleep?”

Was I tired enough to go to sleep? I had only been chasing fireflies all night, tracking down dragons, and galloping through the forest. Yep, I was tired. I yawned and nodded, my eyes already half-shutting.

“See, Ben? I told you I’d put you to sleep!”

I groaned and nodded. I was so tired I could barely keep my eyes open. Arden yanked open the door, and skipped inside, pulling me along with her. “Good-morning, Mrs. Sweet!” she called cheerfully.

“Hello, Arden. My, aren’t you cheerful this morning. What are you doing here so early?” Mom looked at me. “Benjamin, are you feeling okay? You look sick.”

“I’m fine, Mom. Just tired,” I mumbled.

“I was helping him fall asleep by catching fireflies and finding Queen Titania, the lightning bug that will help him not feel like such an insomniac,” Arden told my mom, who nodded politely. I was sure she was thinking that Arden was crazy.

“Good-night, Ben! Or should I say good-morning?” She giggled at the thought, following me down the hall to my room.

“Whatever you’d prefer,” I grumbled falling into bed.

Arden switched off my light.

“Leave my door open just a crack,” I muttered, shutting my eyes. In a moment, I was fast asleep.

Thanks for reading!

~ Kayla

Fireflies – Part 4

Over the past three weeks, Arden has been trying her hardest to help her friend Ben overcome his insomnia. Will she succeed? Find out in this week’s installment of my Owl City fanfiction, Fireflies!

“Arden!” I shouted. She didn’t respond. I ran as fast as I could through the underbrush of the woods. I dipped, dodged, and fought my way through the scrub. Stopping to untangle a branch from my shirt, I realized I wasn’t even sure I was running in the right direction. In my panic for Arden’s safety, I had just run. I should have looked for clues, like some broken branches or footprints. I pulled out my cell phone and using the flash light app, I started to examine the ground. Focused on my investigation, I forgot to look where I was going. My foot caught on a tree root, and I tumbled forward.

I groaned into the leaves. I wondered if I was paralyzed. I’d never be able to call for help now. I would never find Arden, and my body would just decompose into the ground, and I would never be found again. My thoughts were interrupted as I felt something touch the back of my neck. A triumphant roar followed. “I will slay you foul beast!! The victory is mine! …Oh, Ben, it’s you. Good thing I recognized you! I could have cut off your head with my sword.”

I looked up to see Arden, a long stick in her hand. I didn’t see any swords. “What happened to you?”

“What happened to me?” Arden giggled. “I was chasing a dragon, remember?”

“I heard your phone go dead when I was talking to you. I thought something had happened,” I explained, starting to become irritated. She had really scared me. Who knew what horrible things were lurking in the woods?

“My phone battery just died. Forgot to charge it.”

I stood up, my heart still pounding. Nothing had happened. Her phone battery had just died. No dragons, no kidnappers. Nothing. All my panic and paralyzation for nothing.

“Look, Ben, it’s the lake! Are you coming?” Arden called. “You’ve got to see this!” Blissfully unaware of my distress, Arden skipped away through the treeline.

I realized I had better follow her before I lost her again. I found her standing on the bank of the lake twirling around and around. When she saw me, she stopped. “Isn’t it amazing, Ben? It’s like there are ten thousand lightning bugs, and they are all giving me hugs. I can’t believe my eyes!” cried Arden. One of the little bugs landed on her finger. “Hello there!” she said, peering at it. “What’s that? Did you say you want to teach me how to dance?”

“Arden, fireflies don’t dance,” I told her. Not to mention they couldn’t talk either.

“Well, it certainly looks like they’re dancing. Use your imagination, Ben! I can see them doing a foxtrot above my head.”

I squinted my eyes and tried to see it, but I really, really couldn’t. “Arden, I don’t see them -”

Arden cut me off. “Oh, I bet the moon is their disco ball. It looks like it’s just hanging by a thread! Of course, it isn’t. The Earth’s gravity pulls on the moon and keeps it in its orbit. But I can always pretend it’s hanging by a thread. I’m going to check my room as soon as I get home. I bet those fireflies have sockhops beneath my bed.”

Fireflies flew about me, their lights glowing. I wasn’t sure if there were ten million fireflies or ten thousand, but there sure were a lot of them. If I really thought about it, I guess they did look like they were dancing.

“Oh! Oh!” Arden started hopping up and down. “I see her!”

“See who?” I asked blankly.

“Queen Titania, silly! See? She’s right there. The firefly with the little crown on her head.”

I looked in the direction her finger was pointing, but I could not see a royal lightning bug.

“Catch her, quick, Ben! Where’s your net? Oh, good. you have it. Swing your net!”

I swung my net and caught a few fireflies.

“Those aren’t Titania. They’re her ladies-in-waiting,” Arden told me, looking into my net.

I wasn’t sure how she could tell the difference. They all looked like the same glowing bugs.

“There she is! She’s right beside you!” Arden pointed to a firefly, and I swung again. She peered into my net. “Hmmm … ” she pretended to adjust imaginary glasses on her nose. “I’m the fireflyologist, and I believe that none of these fireflies are in fact the Queen. Swing again!”

I must have run from one end of the lake to the other, Arden running behind me, shouting that the Queen was here or there. Then after I swung, Arden would peer into my net and tell me I hadn’t caught the Queen yet. I handed her my net for the umpteenth time.

“Did I catch her?” I panted.

“There she is!” Arden gently cradled a glowing firefly. “Queen Titania.”

She placed the firefly in the jar and twisted on the lid. “Now that you’ve caught her, she can give you her sleeping potion!”

Thanks for reading! Part 5 is next week.

~ Kayla

Fireflies – Part 3

*Fireflies by Owl City plays* Welcome to this week’s installment of Fireflies, my Owl City fanfiction! Last time, Arden and Ben were setting off on their adventure to help Ben beat his insomnia by catching a special firefly. Will poor Ben ever get to sleep? Stay tuned!

Arden started marching off in the direction of the lake. “Queen Titania’s palace is right on the shores of the lake, Ben. It’s so beautiful! To get there we have to brave the cold mountains, the enchanted forest, and the hungry dragons. The fireflies will light the way for us. Come on, Ben! We must continue on!”

“The lake is about a mile and a half walk,” I protested trudging along behind her. “And the last time I looked there were no mountains, forest, or dragons in our town.” Not to mention fairies or fireflies named Titania.

“We’ll be back by morning, Ben, don’t worry,” Arden assured me. “Besides, it’s not like you can sleep.”

I swished my net in front of me making the air whistle around it. I wondered why I told her about my insomnia problem, and why I ever thought she would have a “normal” solution. Still it was a nice night for a walk, and Arden was right. I couldn’t sleep. “Okay, Arden. Are we getting close to the golden mountains yet?”

“They’re the cold mountains, and they aren’t too far away. We need a song to sing while we walk. Maybe an ol’ sea shanty, mate! Argh.” She did her best pirate impression. “Or maybe a song about fireflies! I’d get a thousand hugs from ten thousand lightning bugs …” she started to sing.

“I feel like I’ve heard that somewhere,” I told her.

“Me, too,” Arden said. “What else could we sing?”

“How about we don’t sing?” I suggested.

“You’re no fun, Ben! But, oh, if we don’t sing we can pretend we’re creeping through the forest, looking for the dragons so we can arrest them. Officer Hart calling Officer Sweet.” She said the words into her hand and made a clicking sound with her tongue like a radio clicking on and off. I stared at her, wondering how one girl could have so many strange ideas mixed up in her head.

“But, Arden. Police officers and dragons don’t have anything to do with each other.” This crossing of storylines was too much for me.

“Pst! You have to talk back in your radio, Ben!” Arden whispered, holding up her hand.

“Arden, really.”

“I can’t hear you.”

“C’mon, Arden.”

“I can’t hear you.”

“Officer Sweet calling Officer Hart,” I said, giving in to her demands.

“Officer Sweet, I think I see our dragon. I’m going in after him,” Arden said through her “radio.”

“Umm…Arden?”

“You mean Officer Hart. I can’t hear you if you don’t talk through your radio. You should have learned proper radio procedure in the academy.”

I sighed, looking up into the night sky, and held my hand up to my mouth. “Police don’t track down dragons. Dragons aren’t real. So you couldn’t possibly have seen a dragon. Right, Arden?” There was no answer. Looking around me, I realized Arden was nowhere to be seen. “Arden?” I called again. Still, there was no answer. It was just me and the fireflies. Maybe she’d gotten distracted and was chasing down another imaginary creature. “Arden!” I called, hoping she would appear. After a few more minutes of silence, I started getting worried. There was only one thing to do. I pulled out my cell phone and dialed Arden’s number.

“Hello, Ben! Where are you?” she answered, then yelled, “Back foul beast!”

“I’m where I was when you left me. Where are you, Arden? I thought I lost you,” I told her.

“I’m fighting a dragon and oh, look!” Arden squealed on the other end of the phone.

Then the phone went dead. “Arden?” I cried. “Arden?” Immediately, my mind flooded with a million horrible things that could have happened to her. Maybe a kidnapper got her, or she fell into a hole, or a bear attacked her. Maybe she could have even run into a dragon. If there really was a dragon, I decided I couldn’t leave her to fight it alone. With that thought, I dashed forward, calling her name.

Thanks for reading!

~ Kayla

Fireflies – Part 2

Last week, I posted the first part of Fireflies, my Owl City fanfiction. It’s a story based on the lyrics of the song “Fireflies.” You can read the first part here if you missed it last week. Enjoy!

11:00pm, Tuesday, August 6th – I was watching an episode of Star Trek, hoping to drift off to sleep to the familiar, soothing voice of Captain Picard. Arden had already called at 10:30pm and wished me a good night’s sleep. I didn’t think she really meant it, though. I knew she was standing by, ready to implement “The Plan.” If I couldn’t sleep, I was supposed to contact her immediately. How could I possibly relax knowing Arden was waiting for me to call. It was too much pressure. My ringing phone broke into my thoughts. I didn’t even have to look at the name. I knew who was calling.

“Are you asleep yet, Ben?” whispered Arden.

“No, I’m not,” I said. “Why are you whispering?”

“That way if you were asleep, I wouldn’t wake you up.”

“I answered your call. I’m awake. And even if I wasn’t, your call would have woken me up.”

“Oh. Right. Remember to call me if you can’t sleep, okay? Bye, Ben!”

I sat my phone back down on the nightstand and turned back to Star Trek. Commander Riker looked terrible. In this episode he couldn’t sleep either. Of course, he was being kidnapped and experimented on by aliens. I hadn’t considered alien interference before. Maybe aliens had been doing experiments on me my whole life by interrupting my sleep patterns. Perhaps, they had planted an alien observer just next door. I always had suspected Arden’s unearthly origins. My phone rang again. “Hello, Arden. No, I’m not asleep.”

“How did you know what I was going to ask? Are you psychic, Ben?”

“No. Are you an alien?”

She didn’t deny it, and just laughed. “Well, call me if you can’t sleep!” I hung up the phone and seriously thought about blocking her number. If she were an alien, though, it wouldn’t do any good.

12:00am, Wednesday, August 7th I couldn’t sleep. It had been an hour and a half since I climbed into bed, and the most I’d done was stare up at my ceiling. And answer the phone. The aliens had won. With a sigh, I grabbed my phone.

It only had a chance to ring once. Arden’s cheerful voice came on the other end. “Hello, Ben! You can’t sleep, can you?” She sounded way too happy about my problem.

“No, I can’t,” I said a bit sadly.

“Time for ‘The Plan.’ Grab your shoes and come outside.”

“I’ll be out in a few.”

“I can’t wait! You will not believe your eyes, Ben!”

I got dressed and slipped on my shoes. I crept through my house, careful not to wake any of my family. I left a note just in case my mom or dad noticed I wasn’t there. I opened the door and stepped out onto my porch. There was Arden with a large thermos, two nets, and a jar. She was wearing a safari hat.

“Isn’t it beautiful out here, Ben. Look at the fireflies!” Arden started spinning around, her safari hat flying off her head. “They fill the open air and leave their teardrops everywhere.” She stopped spinning, and looked concerned. “I hope they aren’t sad.” She stooped down and picked up her hat.

Maybe it was rude, but all I could do was stop and stare. Arden and I had been friends for a while now, but I still didn’t get her many times. “I think the fireflies are fine, Arden. I’m the one with the problem.”

Refocused on her mission, she smiled. “We’re going on a quest, Ben.” She handed me a net. “Take ye trusty ol’ net, and let us commence!” She ran out into the grass and followed one of the little yellow lights around, and swiped with her net. “Got it!” Arden let it go in her jar and put the top on. “That’s one! There are so many out here. I bet there are ten million fireflies lighting up the world when I fall asleep, and I never realized it. Isn’t that amazing, Ben?”

I didn’t answer. I was busy swinging my trusty ol’ net. I nabbed three fireflies in one swing.

“Good one!” Arden opened the jar and placed them inside. “That’s four! These are just our practice bugs. What we need to catch is Queen Titania, according to the Legend of the Firefly!”

“The Legend of the Firefly? I’ve never heard of that.”

“Well, you know, Ben, legends have to start somewhere. And I’ve decided this legend starts with me!”

“It doesn’t work like that Arden,” I told her.

“Why not? Just listen. Long ago … well, five minutes ago, there was a boy, and he couldn’t sleep. He was you, Ben! Isn’t that exciting? You’re part of a legend now!”

“But Arden, it isn’t a real -”

She cut me off, continuing her legend. “One night, a fairy came to him – I’m the fairy, by the way – and told him she could help him to fall asleep.”

Fairy? I knew Arden couldn’t be human. I hadn’t considered the possibility of a fairy, though.

“And then the fairy told him that if he wanted to fall asleep, he had to go on an epic quest.”

“Epic quest? It’s too late for epic quests.” I sighed, sure at this point I’d never get to sleep.

“But you’ll never fall asleep unless you go! See, you have to catch a very special firefly down by the lake. It’s Queen Titania, the ruler of the fireflies, and once you catch her, she’ll give you a potion to make you fall asleep! C’mon Ben! Let’s go!”

Well, I thought, what did I have to lose.

Thanks for reading!

~Kayla

Fireflies – Part 1

Where I live, every summer starting in June, the fireflies come out. Just as the sun goes down, these little beetles emerge from where they hid during the day and start blinking. Their yellow lights turn on and off as the flying males try to attract the females below in the grass.  I used to catch them when I was younger and stick them in a jar, though I always let them go at the end of the night. What I didn’t realize then was that there is another reason for catching fireflies other than just for fun. Apparently, it also helps you fall asleep. At least, according to Arden. In case you haven’t met them, Arden and Ben are my two Owl City fanfiction characters who first made an appearance on my blog last summer in a story based on Owl City’s song “Hot Air Balloon.” Today, they’re back for some more fun in another fanfiction I wrote based on the song “Fireflies.”

8:00am, Tuesday, August 6th  _ I dragged my eyes open. I moaned and reached for my cell phone and squinted at the bright screen. The name and phone number were so blurred I couldn’t even read who was calling. Not really caring, but wanting to stop the ringing, I slid the green icon across the screen and held the cold phone to my ear. “Hagrow?” My lips and tongue weren’t quite awake.

“Ben? You wouldn’t believe my totally awesome day yesterday!”

I dropped the phone on the bed and pulled the pillow over my head.

“Ben? Ben?”

I could still hear the voice calling. Why, oh why did she have to call, I grumbled to myself.

“Ben, I know you’re there. Ben. Ben. Ben. Ben.”

I knew she wouldn’t stop. Surrendering, I picked the phone up again.“Hello, Arden.”

“You sound tired.”

“Do I? I didn’t sleep well last night.” Didn’t sleep well? That was an understatement. I hadn’t fallen asleep until almost 6am.

Unaffected by my response, Arden started talking, telling me about something her family did yesterday, but I wasn’t listening. I was dozing off, lulled to sleep by the white noise of her chatter.

“Ben? Did you hear anything I just said?”

“Uhhh …” The break in her one-sided conversation pulled me out of my light sleep.

“Ben, are you listening to me?”

I paused for a moment and decided to confess. “Not really.”

“Can I come over?” I debated with myself. What I really wanted was to go back to sleep for a while. I was so tired. I was definitely not up for an Arden visit. But before I could say anything, Arden answered her own question. “Great! I’ll be over in a few.”

“What? Hold on! I didn’t say anything.” My protests didn’t matter because Arden had hung up. I groaned, knowing a knock was imminent. I pulled my feet from the tangled, barely-slept-in sheets. I wonder if she’d notice if I wore my pajamas, I thought. I ran my fingers through my dark blonde hair, trying to comb my crazy bangs into some sort of order and threw on my clothes. I quickly straightened the sheets and spread. I couldn’t start my day without making my bed.

I heard a knock downstairs and then, “Beeeeeen!” I turned around as Arden dashed into my room and dove onto my bed, undoing all my work.  Her flip flops toppled from her feet and now lay on my previously neat floor. Trying to ignore the disorder, I smiled slightly as she turned her green eyes on me.

“Hey,” I said lamely, and sat down on the corner of the bed. She glanced up and giggled when she saw my hair. I turned red. “I just woke up, Arden. Give me a break!”

“It’s not just your hair,” Arden noted, leaning close to me to peer at my face. “You are really pale. Your eyes are all red, and you have really dark circles under them. Ben, you look awful!”

I looked down, embarrassed. “Haven’t been sleeping well,” I mumbled.

“What did you say?”

“I haven’t been sleeping well,” I said more clearly this time. I leaned back on the messed up bed and shut my eyes. “And I am miserable. I haven’t really slept in five days. Most nights, I’m far too tired to fall asleep.” I never really liked telling people about my insomnia. My mom told me I once went through a stage when I was seven where I didn’t sleep at night for weeks. “I feel like such an insomniac,” I admitted.

“Mmmm. I’ve never really had too much trouble sleeping. Except on Christmas morning. You know how much I love Christmas! And, of course, my birthday. Then I’m too excited to sleep. And then sometimes I wish I could stay awake when I’m asleep ‘cause everything is never as it seems, and my dreams are bursting at the seams. Sometimes, too, when I’m falling asleep, I like to make myself believe that planet Earth turns slowly, but did you know it really spins at about 1000 miles per hour? My mom told me about that. Jupiter actually is the fastest spinning planet.”

I didn’t know how Arden could keep talking and never take a breath. Why didn’t she just pass out? I’d always thought she was an alien, and perhaps now I had proof. She didn’t need oxygen.

“Have you tried counting sheep?” Arden still hadn’t taken a breath. “I always count greater prairie chickens to fall asleep – you know my dad studies them – but I’ve heard sheep work pretty well, too. So, have you tried counting sheep?” She finally paused, waiting for my answer.

I looked over at her. “I am tired of counting sheep,” I sighed. “And I don’t think prairie chickens would make a difference.”

“I don’t know. The prairie chickens really help me.” Arden continued, “Why are you tired of counting sheep, Ben? Sheep and prairie chickens are fun to count! You can make them any color in your head. And they can jump over things like sliding boards and hot air balloons.”

“Why do I tire of counting sheep? Why? Because I count them every night!” I was really getting irritated at this point just thinking about all the hours of sleep I’d lost.

For a moment we were quiet, each of us contemplating my sleeplessness. “That’s it!” Arden burst out. “I’m going to help you get over your insomnia! You know, Ben, friends help each other out, and I’m going to help you through this bad time in your life!”

I groaned. Somehow, I just didn’t think energetic Arden would help me with my sleep problem. “I’m fine, really, Arden. Insomnia comes and goes. It’ll go away in a while.”

“I’m going to make sure it does!” Arden looked down at the clock. “What time do you usually go to bed, Ben?”

I figured three wasn’t an acceptable answer. “Around 10:30 most nights.”

“I better get started then!” Arden jumped up.

“Started with what?”

“Research! I have an idea, but I need some more information and supplies. And I have to get that recipe from my mom for warm milk. It’s from Iceland, you know.” Arden continued ticking off her to-do list. “I have to find my bug-catching jar and my net, and I have to check about the fireflies …”

Thanks for reading!

~ Kayla

Trolls! – Part 7

Last week, I left Nerissa (my Hobbit OC) in a bag on the ground, trying to get free, and Bilbo had just convinced the trolls to skin their prisoners first before eating them. How will the dwarves and she ever get out of this mess? Well, read on to find out in the final part of my OC Hobbit fanfiction, Trolls!

We were done for. Bert the troll seemed pretty taken with Bilbo’s idea of skinning the dwarves. “Tom, get me the filleting knife,” Bert said, looking pleased.

The idea of skinning the dwarves made me want to get sick again, but I resisted the urge and instead focused on wriggling my hand up through the hole at the top of the sack. Almost got it free, I thought. I froze in place when I saw Bert’s eyes on me. If I moved now, he’d catch me.

“What a load of rubbish! I’ve eaten plenty with their skins on. Scuff them, I say, boots and all,” Tom the troll protested.

“e’s right! Nothing wrong with a bit of raw dwarf! Nice and crunchy!” Bill ran over to where we were laying, and his huge hand swept right in front of my face. I was shaking with terror, sure I would be the one he’d pick to eat. His hand lingered for a second near my feet, but then the huge hand moved, and instead grabbed Bombur’s legs and hauled him up off the ground. All the trolls’ attention was suddenly on the fat dwarf held by his feet over the gaping mouth of the troll.

Shaking but more motivated than ever, I slipped my hand out of the bag and frantically bit, tugged, ripped, pulled, and picked at the knot that kept the bag tight. I had almost worked it loose when Bilbo shouted, “Not—not that one, he—he’s infected!”

With that shout, the troll’s attention was turned back towards the group, and I was forced to stop working.

“Yeah, he’s got worms in his…tubes,” Bilbo explained to Tom. “In—in fact they all have, they’re in—infested with parasites. It’s a terrible business; I wouldn’t risk it, I really wouldn’t.”

Repulsed by this information, the troll flung Bombur back into the pile of dwarves. Bombur was saved for the moment, but the dwarves were outraged and began shouting angrily.

“Parasites, did he say parasites?” cried Oin.

“We don’t have parasites! You have parasites!” Kili shouted angrily.

I was suddenly jostled as Thorin kicked the dwarves into silence. He didn’t say anything only glared at them. Understanding dawned on the dwarves, and they all began to agree with Bilbo. “Mine are the biggest parasites, I’ve got huge parasites!” Kili yelled at the trolls, along with the rest of the dwarves as they all proclaimed their infectious conditions at the top of their lungs.

While the others were shouting, Thorin leaned back to me. “Are you free?”

“Almost,” I whispered.

“Go along with Bilbo’s plan. When you’re free, grab our weapons,” he instructed.

I gave him a nod so that he knew I understood.

“What would you have us do, then, let ‘em all go?” asked Tom.

“Well…” began Bilbo.

“You think I don’t know what you’re up to? This little ferret is taking us for fools!” Tom knocked Bilbo with the back of his hand.

“Ferret?” Bilbo asked offended.

“Fools?” Tom spat back.

The trolls’ attention was suddenly diverted to a shadowy figure on top of a rock. I didn’t care who it was, only used the opportunity to yank the knot free, scramble out of the bag, and make a mad dash and slide for the weapons before the trolls saw I was loose. As my hands grasped the hilt of a sword, I heard a loud, commanding voice shout, “The dawn will take you all!”

I looked up, and there was Gandalf. He lifted his arms high above his head, and brought the end of his staff smashing down against the rock. It split in two, and the first rays of golden sunlight, filled the valley. The trolls shrieked and pulled away as the sunlight hit their eyes, and turned their brown skin into cold grey stone. Their screams were suddenly gone, and the trolls were frozen in place. Realizing that the danger had passed, we let out a cheer. We were saved!

Thanks for reading all seven parts! 🙂

~ Kayla