| X | O |
| O | X |
| X | O |
"Well," said Fred, "it's your turn, Velus. Remember, you're playing the X's."
Velus was getting sick of hearing Fred say that. Of course he was playing the X's! What other shape could he draw in the dirt without opposable thumbs? However, the thought of winning calmed him down, and he played in the bottom-right corner.
"Curses, Velus! You won again! I can't beleive I'm being beaten by a dog!"
Velus growled. He was also getting sick of being called a dog.
Fred surveyed the ground; they had played eleven games since Astra had descended, and hadn't heard from her. "I wonder what she's up to?" said Fred aloud. Velus looked at him puzzled.
Just then, a glowing light came down from the ceiling and stopped behind Fred. Velus recoiled in fear.
"What is it, boy? It looks like you've just seen a ghost!"
"That isn't far from the truth," came Astra's voice from behind Fred.
The shock knocked Fred off his feet.
"Watch your step," said Astra ironically. "If you fall over the cliff, there's no rope to pull you back up."
"Don't... ever... do... that... again!" said Fred, clutching the chestplate of his armor as if he'd just had a heart attack.
"Do what? Die?"
Fred seemed not to hear her. "When did you come back out of the pit?"
"What do you mean you didn't? How the hell did you get back up here?"
"I fell into the water and drowned. What you see here is my ghost."
"Oh very funny."
"I'm not being funny. Can't you see I'm now wearing a robe?"
"Well, if you say you fell into the water, this 'robe' of yours is obviously a towel."
"Oh, for the love of..! What about the fact that I'm floating two feet off the ground?"
"Well... that is pretty... unsettling... but the dragon has cast an even wierder spell on our friend Velus here, hasn't he?"
Astra couldn't take it anymore! She had been right to be a bitch to Fred!
She went straight towards him, and gave him a good, strong slap!
Fred felt a bitter cold going throughout his face, his teeth, his nostrils. He clutched his head, trying to regain warmth.
"Well?" said Astra rather sassily, "What do you say to that?"
"H... how did you do that?"
"I told you, I'm a ghost!"
"I fell into the water and drowned. Haven't we gone through this already?"
Fred seemed genuinley frightened now. He fell on his knees and implored, "Forgive me, oh forgive me, great spirit of Astra! For I have wronged thee in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and in what I have failed to do..."
"Fred," interrupted Astra, "this is pathetic. Get up."
"But, great spirit, I fear..."
"And stop the 'great spirit' nonsense, all right? I'm Astra, the same Astra I was before I climbed down into the pit... except for the robe... You don't need to fear me."
"Yes, oh great spi..."
"Yes, Astra." Fred paused, and got up. "Wow, that feels so much better! I can even insult you again!"
Before Astra could retort...
1/4/2010 7:26:17 PM
The Never Ending Quest Home
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