Monday, December 16, 2013

Stupid White Hart

One of the biggest challenges this summer has been keeping the magical animals a secret from their parents. Whether it be unexplained scorch marks or missing gold jewelry, the kids have to think quickly to keep things under wraps. Such is the case with the White Hart who doesn’t seem to understand the word subtle.

* * * * * * *

"Sophie! Bree! Trouble!" shouted Shiloh. He threw open the door to Sophie’s room and stood in the doorway. "Move it!"

"What? Mom or Dad issue?" asked Sophie. Sitting up on her bed, she caught the stuffed unicorn Bree was tossing and dropped it behind her.

"More like a ‘That stupid White Hart just appeared in the backyard when Dad was taking out the trash’ issue," he answered. Turning around, he started for the stairs. "Move it!"

"Alright! It’s mission time!" Bree threw her hands in the air excitedly.

"More like busted time!" Sophie raced after her brother. Once outside, she could see that Shiloh was right: the White Hart was just grazing on the lawn as their dad banged on a trash can lid. "Oh, no."

"Get going! Come on, now!" Samson Talbot crept closer to the deer, but it didn’t seem to mind the noise. "Move on already!"

"Uh, what’s going on, Dad?" asked Sophie.

"Stay back, Sophie." He moved between the deer and the kids. "Not sure it’s from around here, but it’s not staying."

"Oh, ummm...that could...totally be from around here," Sophie stammered. "I’ve read about those before. White crows, white tigers, white...rabbits. Totally believable."

"Nice save," whispered Bree. She gave Mr. Talbot a thumbs up. "Totally believable!"

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Some Serious Focus

It isn’t just the animals doing all the work this summer. The kids are doing whatever they can to help on these risky missions and as time goes by, they find themselves getting better and better at it. In this scene, Bree is making use of a special talent of hers to find one of those ever elusive keystones.

* * * * * * *

"Ughh...they’re everywhere!" shouted Shiloh. He tried swatting at the purple beetles, but they kept zipping by from every direction. The Haetae didn’t seem to mind. She kept leaping into the air, trying to catch one of them in her mouth. "How are we supposed to catch just one?"

"It has to be a specific one," said Sophie. She was desperately trying to hold on to the Lightning Bird who struggled against her hold on him. "And stop complaining. At least you don’t have to cuddle the flying bug zapper."

"Shhhh," prompted Bree.

"People standing around doing nothing don’t get to shush," remarked Sophie. "Do something already!"

"I am. Do you not see the game face? There is some serious focus going on here." Bree was carefully scanning the area, watching for that one beetle that was just a little bit different. The Jaculus was curled up around her waist, head resting on Bree’s shoulder.

"Anytime, Bree," said Shiloh. "I’m getting–"

"There!" An arm shot out, pointing at one of the many beetles zooming around them. "Fetch, Jaculus!" On command, the snake extended her wings and took off. Ignoring all others, the Jaculus kept after her target, a lone beetle with noticeably sparkly wings.

"Alright! Way to–" A stray shock from the Lightning Bird startled Sophie. "Good work, Bree, but you!" She glared down at the bird in her arms. "Knock it off. Sheesh!"

Monday, September 2, 2013

Jaclus and Gagana

Sometimes the kids need some airborne help and that’s where the Jaculus and the Gagana come in handy. These two fliers have proven invaluable on a number of missions even though both animals occasionally choose not to listen to their human friends.

The Gagana is a large, eagle-like bird spoken of in Russian legends. Said to have lived on Bunyan Island, the Gagana possesses an iron beak and copper claws, both of which can be pretty destructive when he puts his mind to it. Something of a temperamental bird, the Gagana is prone to lashing out and acting extremely aggressive against anything he views as a threat. He has an infuriating habit of using hard surfaces as a scratching post (such as fences and automobiles). In Bree’s mind, however, the biggest problem is Gagana’s constant refusal to crack nuts open for her; "That beak was made for it!"

From Arabian folklore, the Jaculus was usually found hiding in trees in order to ambush unsuspecting prey with a sudden dive attack. Possessing large, leathery wings on her back, this snake was an agile and quick flier able to keep up with just about any bird in the sky. She seems like a pretty lazy animal, but that’s usually just her way of conserving energy (she is cold-blooded, after all). The Jaculus can usually be found curled up somewhere warm and on missions, has a tendency to wrap around one of the kids if it’s a little too cold for her.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Throw Yarn At It?

Some missions are more dangerous than others and the Amazon mission is as dangerous as they come. The kids meet the not-so-friendly Cait Sith, a mythical creature with a deep connection to Faelan. What can Sophie, Bree and Shiloh do when a kind word and extended hand doesn’t amount to much?

* * * * * * *

The large black cat landed in the middle of the group, hissing loudly. "Crazy cat’s back! Do something!" shouted Bree.

"Like what?" asked Shiloh. He kept his eyes on the cat. He didn’t like the way the cat’s gaze darted back and forth between them. "Throw yarn at it?"

"I don’t...Just try..." Bree stammered. Without thinking, she rushed forward and raised her arms threateningly. "Aaghh! Raarrww! Rrrarrrww!!"

The cat acted immediately, lunging straight towards Bree. Bree stumbled backwards, tripping over a root and fell to the ground just as the cat’s claws shredded one of her sleeves. Eyes wide in shock, Bree said, "Scary!"

"Super scary! I told you!" shouted Sophie. She frantically looked around, searching the trees.

"We’re not arguing!" said Shiloh.

The cat whirled around at the sound of his voice. The creature took a few steps and pounced, claws outstretched. Luckily, Arrow intercepted the black cat and hit it with a solid headbutt. As the cat retreated, Arrow blasted a couple fireballs at it, missing each time.

"This is getting way too real, guys," said Sophie.

"Yeah, if not for Arrow I’d be a human scratching post. Thanks, buddy." Arrow sidled up close to Shiloh and watched the black cat. It was staring at them from the safety of a large branch. Its’ glowing, yellow eyes followed their every movement.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Sophie and Reina

There are many reasons for the animals of Meurum to choose a partner. Some do so out of friendships formed. Some become drawn to a kind, caring heart. Others may find a kindred spirit that share the same goals. Then there are situations like Sophie and her partner, Reina the Ramidreju. While some may laugh at the idea of bribing a magical ferret-like creature, the resulting bond is no less strong and devoted between these two. And all it cost Sophie was a simple gold coin.

Rumored to be born once every hundred years, legends of the Ramidreju were spread around parts of Spain. They are described as being similar to a marten with green fur, yellow eyes, and a very long body and tail. Their distinctive hog-like nose is used to dig expertly through the earth. It is also believed that the Ramidreju’s fur possesses the ability to heal any sickness, a talent that comes in handy when things take a turn for the worse. Like all Ramidrejus, Reina has a weakness for gold and will become mesmerized by the shiny metal. Sophie will tell anyone who’ll listen how stubborn and spoiled Reina can be, but it will always be told with a smile.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Total Happy Mode

Though Bree wouldn’t mind if it were, this is more than just a summer of fun for the kids. It’s a chance for all of them to grow as individuals and learn just what they’re made of. In this scene, we see Sophie do just that as she finally figures out what she can do.

* * * * * * *

"What’s the cord for, So-So?" asked Bree. She was propped up against Sophie’s giant stuffed bear, her usual spot in Sophie’s room.

"It’s for the furry one here," answered Sophie. She finished tying the cord and held the coin up for inspection, all the while aware of the small, yellow eyes glued to her every movement. "I promised her something special and this is it."

"For this little gold fiend?" Bree playfully swatted the animals long, green tail. "She gets in enough trouble swiping your mom’s stuff!"

"And now she has her own that no one will try to take back." She leaned forward and put the necklace around the Ramidreju’s neck. Using her little paws, the animal inspected the gold and sniffed at it thoroughly. "It’s yours. I promised, remember?"

The yellow eyes lit up and the Ramidreju stared lovingly at her new possession. "Ha ha! Look at her. The furball’s in total happy mode." Bree turned towards her friend. "And you, too. You’re looking much better."

"Yeah, guess I am," said Sophie. She brushed back her hair and watched the ecstatic creature at her feet. "All I can do is my best and hope it’s enough." She met her best friend’s eyes. "If it’s not, at least I know it was my best."

"Good answer!" Bree’s arm shot out with thumb raised "On behalf of all animal lovers–both magical and not magical–I approve!" The Ramidreju started chirping as she played with her coin. "And so does the furball."

Saturday, March 16, 2013

It's a Sophie Thing

The mythical creatures found in Mythic Summer are anything but ordinary. They all have their own unique talents and even more unique personalities. The Farasi Bahari is no exception and Sophie finds this out in a most heartbreaking fashion.

* * * * * * *

"I’m...just going home. Okay?" Sophie turned away from the others and headed back to the Pet Shack. "Later."

When she was out of earshot, Bree smacked Shiloh’s arm with a fist. "Seriously?" Shiloh snapped.

"Well?" Bree waited for a response, but only received a blank stare. "Go after her! You’re the brother."

"Don’t think so." Shiloh dropped his backpack and absently rubbed his arm. "Dad lost the home. Grandma’s in the hospital. Those are brother things." He wiggled his fingers in the air and rolled his eyes. "Magical green horse throws a hissy fit? That’s a B.F.F. thing."

"Bro thing!"

"B.F.F. thing!"

"You’re both wrong," piped in Callum. "It’s a Sophie thing."

"But look at her," said Bree, pointing at her friend. "She’s really bummed out."

"She’s some learning to do," he replied. "Farasi left for a reason. Sophie has to figure what that means to her."

Shiloh picked up his black bag and slung it over his shoulder. "So what? Put up with mopey Sophie for a while?"

"If that’s what she needs." Callum planted a large hand on Shiloh’s shoulder. "But if she wants to talk, listen. That’s what brothers and friends are for."