Hey there, lovely! I found you some free reads!
Scifi, fantasy, superhero, romance...drop me your e-mail and I'll send 'em with love! ^_^

What can I do for you?........Free Fic…....Writing_Tips
...Interviews…............Interactive Resumebyjenfinelli.com

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Journey of the Soul-Linker, Part 5: Your First Talents Quest

You came from here
Beginning here

Image courtesy of emaze.com

You're not sure where the hole in the earth came from, but suddenly the air's cool, then cold, then damp and freezing as you plummet. You look up--Melly's face disappears, the hole closes, and darkness closes over you.

You land in warm, bouncy jello before you have a chance to scream. Good thing, too--it splashes all over your face as you sink a good meter or two into it, and who wants mystery jello in their mouth? You flail, and find it's not sticky, and with some climbing and some splashing you wade or waddle your way to the top and flounder out onto a cool dirt floor.

It's cool because of its low temperature, but also, you notice, cool in that social sense because of elaborate arabesques tracing it in thin ditches. A squelch sounds behind you, and you see the jello melt in its crater, and trickle into the arabesques, lighting up the floor with neon-green designs. 

The designs glow as the jello flows towards a center, a bubbling pool in the distance. A smell like lime wafts into the air from the pool's steam. You step forward, following the designs--

When you look back, the swirls behind you have dried, empty of their shimmering liquid. Thick darkness hugs your back. Oof, that's ominous. You scurry forward to stay in the light, following the designs as their pouring glow leads you toward the pool.

"Am I alone?" you ask the cave.

No one answers. You take that as a yes. You take a moment to remind yourself why you're standing here in sticky lime-scented steam: you'll discover your talents, use them to unravel the mystery of the black goo disease, and in the process discover who your mystery lover is. You're a little iffy on that last part, but hey, you clicked this link because deep down, you know you need to be loved.

You don't want to admit that to yourself, because that sounds wimpy. 

Does it? Has Melly rubbed off on you?

Anyway, you're now standing in front of the bubbling green pool. You walk around it--

And the floor tilts with your weight. "Whoa!" You stumble backwards as a whole plate of ground shifts. You fall--you tumble as liquid splashes out of the green pool towards you, into another series of designs under your feet, all arrows, pointing to three dirt mounds in the distance. 

You stop rolling at the three dirt mounds. The light flows around them, as if someone literally drew a circle in the floor for you to say, "Here." 

Oh, look, it even says "here" on the ground. Kind of a tacky touch.

So...you're supposed to do something with these dirt mounds.

You step on one. Nothing happens. You sit on another. Well, these aren't buttons.

Gosh, are you supposed to dig into them? What could be in there? Bones? Rotten stuff? Mmm, you'd rather not. You stand, looking around, but now everything's dark except the ring around the mounds. This is where you're supposed to be, alright.

The longer you stare at these lumps of earth, the more certain you become that you'll have to dig them up with your bare hands. You check in your pockets--nope, you've got folded dinosaurs in there. Nothing else. No shovel or anything. Oh man! You don't want to do this! Who would bring you here? What a gross and silly story! This is boring and dumb anyway!

Well, the longer you stand here, the more boring it's going to get.

Ugh, alright, you think. You begin to paw through the center mound--and suddenly your chest hurts.

You stop pawing. Your chest stops hurting.


Now you definitely don't want to do this. That's uncomfortable! It's like you're digging into yourself! Who wants to--

Oh, you get it. It's a metaphor. You have to sit, alone, and really dig into yourself sometimes, to find out what your talents are.

"Hey, that's total cheeseballs," you say into the darkness. "Cheesy!"

No one answers you, because you're alone. With a grumbling murmuring like a wimpy little baby, you--


Okay, fine, I'll stop calling you a baby if you stop calling me cheesy.


Before you can reprimand yourself for talking to the narrator, which is a crazy-person thing to do, you dive back into the task ahead and dig through the center mound. The tenseness in your chest aches, but the dirt's cool, and soft, moist, and soothing in your fingers, and for a moment you remember why grubby two-year-old you liked to make a mess. Fingertips in your cheerios and milk, the cold and the mush and the hard textures all swishing together over your tiny palms...smearing pudding on your high chair, the smoothness, the frictionless rub...why don't you touch more things anymore? You rub your forefingers together, and dirt granulates between them, falling softly. Gritty, not sticky but mushy. Dirt is pretty great. And you know, ever since you were little, people said you were good at...remember? Remember what you were good at?

Aha! The dirt comes away to reveal five gold coins. They're old, and heavy, with faces on them that make you think of museums, archeologists, and Zeus. You brush away the dirt on the other two mounds, and find one coin, and ten coins. 

As the last bit of dirt is displaced the room jerks--the liquid light splashes out of the circle around you into a trough on the wall, and when everything stops shaking you see three switches. The first switch, in front of the mound with one coin, has one slot in it. The second, in front of you and the center mound, has five slots, and the third switch, to your right, in front of the ten-coin mound, has ten slots in it.

It's like a little kid's math book or something when the words "how much" light up on the trough.

It's clear the talents from each mound go into the slots from each switch. Well, which one will you flip? Will you get a chance to flip a second one after a first one? Should you go with one, or ten? Are these ten horrors you're picking, or ten rewards?

You play it safe, right in between, and pick the five-token game. Clink--clunk--drrrrr--cleenk--dunk--each coin falls into its slot with a different noise, and then you pull the switch.

All three switches recede into the wall with a great rumbling noise, and then a stone door pops open before you. You step into the next room with the flow of green light; the door screeches and then thuds shut behind you. Your five coins tinkle and clink through the door to spin on the floor.

As you bend to pick them up, you find yourself kneeling before a pair of sandals.

Sandals with a guy in them. You look up, and he disappears.

He was beautiful.

(Wait, what?)

You stand as the room lights up. It's enormous--so cavernous you can't see where it ends, and filled with golden boxes! Two huge craters of shining jello dissolve next to you as you rise; shining liquid rushes along the room, filling jade curlicues and flowers and stars stretching off into infinity, and in the reflection of the shimmering, racing rivulets of light the golden boxes sparkle as if the room's on fire.

"Welcome," says a booming male voice. "To the Cave of Gifts."

Choose your gifts HERE next week! In the spirit of group participation, please @ me on twitter about your favorite abilities! Jumping high? Drawing beautiful art? A smooth tongue? Powerful axe-wielding? Gifted sword-swinging? Amazing dance moves? What are you good at, and what do you wish you were good at? What might come in handy questing? Feel free to post in the comments, too! Your answers will slightly affect the action in the next section.

1 comment:

  1. I think our fearless protag would like the ability to select the correct option. Or at least sense the relative goodness of the choices. But that's just me. No, really, that's what I'd like, too.