Category Archives: Stories

Guppy Story 1 (a challenge of writing)

With a sudden start, Geoff twitched his tail, and the day began. It began like all the days had before, when the GlowStar above flicked on with a loud CLICK, and light shone down into the waters, driving darkness into only the small recesses of the ClawRuins.

Around him, Geoff’s family, brothers, sisters, aunts, cousins, and kin, schooled around in their usual groupings.  The youngest confined to the quiet waters of the Greenery, while the most daring swam directly against The Flow. Most, however were content to idle and float in the sheltered overhang of ClawRuins, since light meant they were safe for another day. They nibbled at the algae, and waited for the sprinkling of mana from the Dry Heavens to arrive for their breakfast.

Today, however, there was no breakfast. The Dry Heavens were silent, save that first Click of light, and the low rumble of great somethings moving in the distance.

Geoff did not feel concerned though.  Some days, the food did not arrive until later, when the Dry Heavens grew brighter, and then dimmed again.  Food would arrive for dinner, before the Click of night, when the GlowStar extinguished itself again.  Until then, there was ample algae, and the possibility of weaker fry if he was truly hungry.

So Geoff did what he always did, on days like this.  He swam into the current, frolicked against the filter, letting it’s intake tease and tug his tail.   None of the other guppies understood this habit, but it did not bother Geoff too much.  Their loss, right?

Of course, none of the other guppies had Geoff’s long and elegant orange tail either.   Geoff was unique in the school, for being one of two special guppies.  Born with vibrant colors and twice the size of the others, Geoff and Geordi ruled the tank, and it’s otherwise unassuming grey denizens. No one knew why those two were so different, or why such size was not more common, but for most guppies, they didn’t care.

Geoff was the largest, his tail warm reds and fiery orange, with glittering gold streaks down his flank.  But Geoff was a bit strange, so not nearly as popular as he might have been. His habit of sitting against the filter, letting his tail get sucked against it’s ridges was disturbing, since so many small fry had been lost to that same suction every birthing.  His careless attitude and dismissal of the ClawBeast went against instinct.
That was the lesson Geoff was about to learn that day….

* * *
Midday came silent and serene, like most days.  The Dry Heavens were at their brightest, and while no food had fallen, Geoff was content.  He had found a particularly tasty scrap of algae, nestled in the cracks of the ruins, and was nibbling away, as his tail flicked in the gentle current. Beside him, two nameless cousins ate, their size enabling them to get the lusher green in the deep recesses, when suddenly one of them was gone.

Too fast for logic, too swift for thought, and far too quick to react, a blur of white and rust-red flashed out into the crevice and one guppy was gone, leaving only two small scales that hung in that moment, suspended where it once was.

In a panic, as that split-second stretched out to eternity, Geoff looked up.  The other small cousin was turned tail and vanishing with distance, but the one who first vanished was there.  There, the guppy-who-was, hung above him, pierced by a giant claw, which itself was attached to a rust-red monstrosity larger than Geoff had ever imagined something living to be.

It’s eye stalks gleamed darkly, staring at the small guppy it held, as it’s claws pulled its catch towards the beast’s horrible mandibles.  Geoff’s eyes turned then from the claw that held his once-cousin, to a second claw.  Twice, no, three times larger, and gleaming white, that claw was raised in idleness, but so close that the orange ripples of Geoff’s fin were brushing against it. The crab was intent on it’s catch for now, but that wouldn’t last long.

Geoff snapped out of his inaction, and flicked his tail Hard. His gills working overtime as he swam away in panic.  Then in fear.  Then in concern.  Then, finally in irritation.
The crab existed, now undeniable fact, instead of myth.  Geoff had escaped, but his cousin was not as lucky, and that angered the fiery-tailed guppy.  He was the biggest fish in this tank.
but now he had a nemesis to counter.

Life would never be the same.


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The Saga of the Undead Crab

When I moved into the apartment, I got mysefl a 15 gallon (~58 Litre) tank and a “Baker’s Dozen Plus One” collection of humble ‘breeder guppies’.  (they are grey and do not have fancy tails, but are still nice fish.)  I also picked up two male FancyTail guppies, in order to do a bit of genetic experimentation to see how the progeny of these fish start looknig after a few generations.  FOR SCIENCE!   🙂

After a few weeks, I realized guppies prefer to be top feeders, so I wanted something for the bottom of the tank.  Since it was winter and starting to glaze over every pond and stream, I couldn’t use my usual go-to tiny crayfish/crawdad from the nearby swimming hole.    The Sprogling chose Crabs instead.  Fiddler Crabs, to be specific, from the pet store that is within walknig distance, on the same block as the apartment.

The first two crabs we got, died within two days.   Lesson learned.  They need a heater in the tank.  63F is far too chilly for these semi-tropical crustaceans.

We gathered the bodies of the deceased, and tried to position them in as natural a pose as possible, since rigor had set in.  The goal (of the sprogling) is to preserve and glaze these tiny quarter-sized shells for strength and stability, then use them as GIANT CRAB tokens/miniatures for our D&D game.   ❤

After culturing the water, conditioning the water, and letting the newly topped off water sit for a few days with no apparent effect on the fish, we went to get three more crabs.  Two males with big Claws, and one female.  (Sprogling has a dream to be breeding crabs in the tank to sell to his friends, hehehe)  We named them Crabby, Crabette, and Kay-rab.

Ten hours later, both male crabs were sitting upside down on the bottom of the tank, drifting in the current of the filter.   The female was wedged under a the castle-decoration, but upright.  GRRRR!!!!

I carefully reached in to collect the next set of bodies, when I realized one was still alive.  Feeble, and not very responsive, but alive.  I placed it carefully on the top of the rock they climb out on, and it settled slooowly, feebly at the water’s edge, partially sibmerged, but ‘breathing’ and moving it’s little claw around.  The other flopped havily in my hand, loose as an empty sack of grain.   That one got positioned with the first two corpses to dry and prepare in a few days.  (The female is alive, running around in the evenings, they appear to be mainly nocternal)

A full day goes by, and sprogling comes over to play, and checks out the crabs.  I went to pick up the most recent and most dramatic of the corpses (perfectly positioned for display, and huge claw!).   It twitched!

I picked it up again and it tried to crawl off my hand slowly.   So, we put it back in the water’s edge where it remains as of this morning before work.  If you reach towards it, the legs move. The eye-stalks vaguely lean away.   The thig’s still alive, against the odds, but not really “active” in any sense of the word. 

So, we’ve decided it’s either  *folds hand across tummy in beatific choir pose and in soft child-like voice* …A holiday miracle…   Or, more enjoyably:    “The Zombie KRAB!”     

Time will tell if the thing survives for a few more days. 

The other male/female seem to have made it over the hump and are scuttling along nicely again.

…  ZOMBIE   KRAB!      😉

(yes, I had contacted the pet store, they are stumped, suggesting either check the temp of the water, or PH, or make sure I let any tap water sit for 24-48 hours to leech any chlorine… I do that, have had aquariums and reptiles and critters for years… but if the fish are fine, they don’t know why it would hurt the crabs,  they use the same water in their tanks.  Sadly, they do not have a 3-day alive guarentee or such.  alas.)

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Filed under Silly, Stories

The budding comic-artist

Recently, my son has been drawing short 4-page comic books in his spare time, and is planning on a large 8-page one featuring Bulldogs playing Baseball (The Bulldogs are the school mascot/team name).

Here is a rare glimpse into the creative process involved in bringing these works of art to life.

I present to you,  “Electro-Charles versus Hairy Potty!”

Enjoy!   Transcript as follows:

Maebius: Here is the master comic, hard at work.

The Artist: Oh hi!   I’ll start with the face… Then draw the rest of the hair… The eyes, the nose, and the mouth…

The body, his legs, his arms…  I added spears since he’s in battle.  Facing a Hairy Toilet.

Maebius: Could you read the comic for us quickly before you finish the artwork?  So that the read… viewers of this video can see the comic?

The Artist(affecting his ‘erudite’ accent):   Alright, I’ll finish it later.

Electro-Charles versus…

Electro-Charles versus Hairy…

Electro-Charles  (points to picture) versus Hairy potty (points to picture).

(turns page) Zaaaaap!

(third page) Hairy potty is terrorizing the city with his henchmen.

(while pointing out features of the illustration) Henchmen… city people…  (Maebius mumbles something in the background to acknowledge the contents of the illustration)

(turns to final page) Electro-Charles defeated Hairy potty and saved the world.

Maebius: Excellent!  We’ll have pictures when the comic is finished and coloured.   Good bye.


Filed under Games, School, Silly, sprogling, Stories

Hot Coals and Horses

Quick blog post as there’s lots swirling in my head that needs to filter down, but for now, I wanted to post and get in the habit of posting regularly here again…

This past weekend has been interesting, and rather tiring, but all in a good way.

Saturday, I drove to Rochester for another fire-walk, which was a smaller group than the one at my own house, but was nice. More intimate, and seemed to connect better with each person, probably due to the smaller numbers.
The fire was great, and I was chuckling with the hostess about how the coals seemed “colder” as they glowed under our feet. This of course was most likely due to my own energies being much higher.

Before the walk, I also bent a 6ft length of 1/2 inch Rebar (steel rod). Similar to this video. It was absolutely scary, but so inspiring after I had done it. Truly a sense of “you can do anything if you put your mind to it.” I can simply not put into the proper words right now how frightening it was to look down the length of cold metal sticking in my throat… and again how absolutely Amazing it felt when it bent and I hugged David (the man on the other end of the rebar).

Since I was not distracted by playing host, like I had been when the walk was on my property, I was able to let go a little more, and really focus on the fire, our Intentions, and all that. Thus, the coals seemed not hot at all.

At one point, I even made an effort to walk immediately after they were re-raked, along a little trail of piled extra-glowing coals. Never felt a spot of heat, no “kisses” from the coals, and quite amazingly un-phased other than the heat revving up my Joy even further. I was In The Zone, and it felt wonderful.

After the walk, I got to spin my fire-poi a bit, with hand-drumming accompaniment, which was AWESOME! I’m finding that spinning really is a moving meditation, if I get my mind in the groove for it. Similar to drumming all night around a bonfire. It’s Prayer-on-fire. AWoo!

Pretty serious intense work, that stuff though. I was wiped out afterwards and was a tough 3-hour drive home afterwards. Whereas drummnig all night is energizing, Firewalking seems to be really “Transformative Work”, instead of “Sacred Play”. They both have their benefits, but it’s kinda neat to notice the differences and shifted focus required for each activity

* * *

As for the horses portion of the title, Sunday, after the firewalk, we stopped by to visit a nearby stable.

One of the people I know at work had mentioned to me late last week that she had a horse which needed a good home. She was well kept, and very trained, but the price of the stable had gone up, winter was coming (so more $$ for grain, etc), and she had not had time to even visit her Equine much in the past few months due to other family priorities. She knew my wife had horses on our property, and since auctions would just sell off her horse to the highest bidder, she’d rather ask around for a local place to visit and know the horse would be loved.

I, myself, am still really nervous around horses. I can feed them, and brush them, and such, but the thought of actually riding them makes me nervous and tense. Still, learning to ride a horse was something on my “bucket list” when I met my wife, which sadly is still on my list. So I offered to go meet “Jackie”.

When we arrived, she was saddled up, and My wife put the horse through the paces, trotting, running, steering around the open field, and such. Then she asked me to hop on and walk around a bit.

Surprisingly, I learned really quickly that this horse would listen to me. (I’ve never ridden a REALLY trained horse, which may contribute to my fears.) I’d drift the reigns to one side, and the horse turned to that side. No “yanking their head around” needed, like our still-in-training horses. Wow!

I’d touch my heel to her side, and the horse began to trot. I’d say “Woah” and without even pulling back, she’d slow to a walk. double-wow! (At this point, I’m sure you folks who know horses are jsut shaking your head with a smile, laughing at how silly it sounds to hear a trained riding horse actually follows instructions, but it was new to ME.)

Long story short, I actually kicked her into a fast lope. That scared me, so it didn’t last long.

However, the surprising thing, and main reason why we are taking this horse home with us soon, is that the fear I had moving fast was not directed at the Horse. All my past fears were concern that this wild animal I’m sitting on was going to hurt me, even accidentally. With Jackie, I wasn’t afraid of her at all. I was worried that my untrained riding skills would make me fall or lose my balance, but it was totally directed inward, rather than externally.

For a few second there, in the middle of “EEEK! I’m gonna fall off!” was a grinning Joy. I was riding! Same joy I felt after walking coals unscathed. This was awesome!

Click the little thumbnails for larger pictures!

…So now I’ll be learning to ride a horse properly. Firewalking really does Transform the walker.

SEA / AHO! ❤

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Filed under Esoteric, Festivals, firewalk, Random, Stories