King’s Scepter Option Aa2: Arrest the Pikas

Let’s go arrest some pikas!

King’s Scepter Option Aa2: Arrest the Pika

You watch Alfred the squirrel while you’re trying to decide which option sounds best. He scrambles up a tree and then races back fox-squirrel-1404967-mdown to stand at your feet with his palms out, asking silently for more trail mix.

With just enough to fill his tiny palms, he stuffs the treat into his cheeks and races back up the tree. In seconds, he scampers down to stare at you with his palms out again.

It occurs to you any plan involving trail mix could be a bust simply because Alfred will try to eat it all.

“Let’s go in and arrest them,” you say to the Law Keeper.

The lion huffs a heavy breath in what you think might be approval. “Cabin’s this way,” he says and leads you farther into the trees.

You consider briefly calling to Alfred to let him know you’re leaving but then you see him jumping from one tree to the next in pursuit of the Law Keeper.

“Surprise is out best bet,” the Law Keeper says, “you take the front door and I’ll take the back. Just be sure to say ‘In the name of the King’ when you tell them to freeze.”

Before you can ask any questions, the lion’s gone with barely a sound.

You wait for only a moment before pushing into the cabin. The sight before you makes your stomach roll with unease. There are so many pikas the place seems to crawl with them.

“In the name of the King freeze!” Roars the Law Keeper as he barrels in from the back door.

The entire place goes still and all tiny paws rise into the air. The four pikas on the back of the couch drop the scepter as they move to comply.

You jump for it but the golden rod drops past your fingers to hit the floor. Light like the beam of a spot light shoots from it, hitting the Law Keeper and Alfred, who just rushed in to see what was happening. Both creatures drop to the floor, stunned and then, in the after glow of the light, you loose sight of them for a moment. When you regain focus, you blink in shock.

Alfred sits on his haunches staring at his human sized paws. The Law Keeper pushes up to stand and his head barely reaches the squirrel’s elbow.

The pikas scatter, giving off a sound like all of them are laughing. Several leap onto the scepter and start to drag it across the floor.

You clamp down on the end of it before they get too far and pull it back toward you. Angry hisses come from the tiny fur balls but when you tug at it, they all let go, rather suddenly.

The head of the staff hits the wall and it explodes with light again. Your body tingles like you’ve stepped into a too hot bath tub of water. Blinking furiously, you finally regain focus to see Alfred and the Law Keeper are back to their normal sizes…but what’s that smell?

chocolate-swirl-1158067-mIt reminds you of chocolate and cheerios. Your tongue salivates for the tasty treat. You reach into your pocket to eat some trail mix only to find the bag’s empty. When you look up to scold Alfred for eating it all, you see he and the Law Keeper have most of the pikas in hand.

Perhaps it’s not the best time to distract them but you still really want some trail mix.

Scampering out the door, you head out to see if you can find some more. It’s only after you’ve checked your broken car and headed back to the cabin to check the kitchen that you realize you’re running on four paws and the world’s huge.

When you reach the cabin, you take two seconds to peek in an unbroken window.

Huh, you look like Alfred except, well, maybe you look a little less scattered.

Oh well, you still want trail mix, so you head into the kitchen to see what you can find.

The End

Blessings and have a wonderful weekend,

Jennifer

King’s Scepter Option Aa: Find the Law Keeper

Welcome back! We’re headed into the woods with Mr. Squirrel to find the Law Keeper. Let’s see what we find=)

King’s Scepter Option Aa: Find the Law Keeper

You’ve taken a look into the cabin and from the looks of it, there’re no answers in the trashed place.gray-squirrel-on-a-log-1446406-m

“Let’s find this Law Keeper,” you say.

Mr. Squirrel takes off again after the prints. You question for a moment what you’re doing because those are some very large prints but then you look at your poor car and remind yourself you’d like some answers.

So you follow Mr. Squirrel as he scurries along the ground and sometimes through the trees. A few times you almost lose him but he keeps a constant chatter going so even when you can’t see him, you know the general direction to follow.

He stops on a branch. “Maybe he doubled back or he could’ve crossed the rocks which means…” he continues chattering but it’s clear he’s lost the trail.

You stare at him, hopeful he’ll figure it out because, if he doesn’t, you’re back to square one.

“He chatters so much, I could’ve eaten him a dozen times without him seeing me coming.”

You jump and your heart nearly leaves your skin.

Beside you stands a mountain lion with paws the size of frisbees. On his chest is emblazoned a pure white patch that resembles a star.

“Law Keeper?”

“That would be me.”

“We were looking for you.”

“I know. Alfred there,” he’s looking at Mr. Squirrel, “has asked to be a deputy for years. I keep telling him when he can be quiet, I’ll consider it but he just can’t do it. So I know he’s looking for me because he keeps saying it as he’s looking.”

“You broke into my car,” you accuse.

The lion turns gold eyes on you. “I did not. I investigated your car because whoever did break into it also stole the King’s Scepter. Your car reeks of him just as the cabin does.”

“Ha! Found him. Knew you had to be around here somewhere.” Alfred scurries down the tree to stand in front of the mountain lion. He bows. “At your service.”

“I’d refuse but I need assistance on this one,” the lion says. “I’ve found the culprit and he’s not alone.”

“Who is it? Who is it?” Alfred jumps from one foot to another.

The mountain lion eyes Alfred. If you didn’t know better you’d think he was considering eating him but you do know better so he’s probably just questioning if Alfred can stay quiet.

You help the poor squirrel out by handing him some peanuts. He crams his cheeks full and is quiet except for the slight crunching of him chewing.

Photo courtesy of Art Rousseau with Hope for Haiti.

Photo courtesy of Art Rousseau with Hope for Haiti.

“It’s the pika family,” the lion finally answers.

“Th—“ Alfred tries to exclaim but just sprays bits of peanut. He slaps a paw over his mouth and, if he could blush, he would’ve judging from the way he slumps and looks away.

“Why would they take the scepter and break into my car?” you ask.

“The King’s scepter has many capabilities, one of which is to change a creature’s size. When I spied them, they were attempting to make themselves bigger. At the time they’d managed to change their fur to green but it won’t take them long to figure it out.”

“And my car?”

“They’re mode of escape. If you hadn’t noticed, a few of the family stayed in the undercarriage of your car to fix the leak. I could hear their claws on the mettle when I was there.”

“Their mode of escape? So they’re going to make themselves big and go drive around.”

“They know little beyond our home. They won’t be welcome here, so they assume they’ll find somewhere new to live out there.”

“Great,” you grumble, picturing giant pika’s driving around in your car. “So what do we do?”

“We could lure them out and into a cage with your trail mix. I’d walk right into it if it were me.” Alfred grins, finished with his mouthful of peanuts.

“That’s one option,” the lion admits. “Or we can go in and arrest them. The three of us might be enough to intimidate them into surrendering.”

“Oh, I get to be deputized.” Alfred jumps up and down clapping his paws.

Do you…

Aa1. Lure them out?

Or

Aa2 Arrest them?

Blessings and see you Thursday for the end of the adventure!

Jennifer

King’s Scepter Option A: Leave

Let’s see if you find a way to save your car and leave the ransacked cabin behind.

Hope you enjoy the adventure =)

Kings Scepter Option A: Leave

The place seems still. You figure is there was someone around, they’re long gone now.

Plus, you need to get somewhere so you can call a tow for your car and you don’t feel like going farther inside the cabin to see if there’s a landline. You assume if there is one, it’s probably been cut.

You leave the porch with barely a glance back and head up the road. When you come in sight of your car again, you stop. Glass cabin-in-the-snow-2-950299-mfrom the windows sparkle on the ground like dew on the gravel.

The cabin wasn’t that far up the road, you would think something this destructive would’ve made enough noise for you to notice, but you heard nothing.

Approaching with more caution, you get close enough to peek inside.

There’s a squirrel sitting on the driver’s seat with his front paws up on the steering wheel. He’s making a ‘rrrr vroom vroom’ kind of noise.

Shock keeps you in place long enough for the squirrel to notice you.

“Uh-oh,” he says, “I didn’t do it.”

“Didn’t—“ you clear your throat. Maybe you’ve gone crazy. “Didn’t do it?”

“Nope, nope. Found the car this way. Thought it’dbefuntotestdrive.” He speaks so fast you have to decipher the jumble before you understand.

“Then who did?” you finally ask.

“Don’t knowbutthere’sprints—“

“Slow down!”

“Oh. Paw prints,” he scrambles onto the windowsill and points at the ground below.

Coming around the hood of the car, you spot paw prints as big as a frisbee.

“What’s that big?”

“Smells like cat. Gotta peanut? I smell peanuts too.”

You do a double take at him. This can’t be happening, surely.

But you can’t deny the condition of your car or the fact that Mr. Squirrel is staring at your pocket, where, sure enough, you have a bag of trail mix with peanuts.

Pulling out the bag, you hand him a hand full.

“Awesome!” he exclaims, cramming his cheeks full.

“Why would a cat break into my car?”

He shrugs while he chews. “That cat,” he points at the prints again. “He’s the Law Keeper. So what’d you do?”

“Law Keeper?”

“Yup. What’d you do? Ha?”

“Nothing but break down in the middle of no where,” you grumble.

cougar-on-the-prowl-1253662-mLaw Keeper? Really?

“Let’s go ask him then. Can I drive?”

“Car’s broken, didn’t you hear?”

“Oh, then I’ll lead. Let’s go.”

He takes off after the direction of the prints but scurries back when you don’t immediately follow.

“What’s up?”

“Ask him?” you repeat.

“Yeah,” he says, “or head back to the cabin. As I recall it looks bad too. Maybe the culprit’s there.”

At this point you’re not sure you can head to the main road without always wondering what happened here. You are, after all, talking to a squirrel.

So do you…

Aa. Find the Law Keeper?

Or

Ab. Head Back to the Cabin?

Blessings and see you Tuesday =)

Jennifer

King’s Scepter 2

It’s been awhile since we ran an adventure a second time. Seems about time for it. And this adventure was just too fun not to explore again.

So let’s go get lost and see what we find.

King’s Scepter

cropped-dsc_0557.jpgPerhaps it’s curiosity or maybe just a desire to find new things but whatever the reason, you’re now driving down a dirt, four-wheel drive road in your tiny box of a car.

You were out for a drive to enjoy the changing leaves in all their glorious reds and golds when you spotted this side road leading up to a ridge.

It occurred to you, the ridge would be the perfect place to get a view of the entire valley, which would be spectacular to see. So you took the turn even though the condition of the road begs for a higher clearance than your car has.

You’ve driven such roads before, though. If you drive carefully, it shouldn’t be a problem…or so you tell yourself. The car shudders around you as the washboards in the road attempt to rattle the frame to pieces.

You give an ‘ahhhhh’ that comes out like someone’s pounding on your back just for the fun of it.

Your car doesn’t agree with the beating. You veer left to avoid a large rut, then cut right because of a boulder. Your car emits a grinding screech as something drags across the under carriage.

You make it a little farther before it starts to stutter. Just to be on the safe side, you stop the car and pull the e-brake.

Then you get out to peek underneath. Something that looks like oil is leaking onto the ground.

“Great,” you mutter as you sit back onto your heels to consider your situation.

Something catches your eye through the trees. A flash of light like sunlight on glass. Glass equals something human like another car or a house. Perhaps someone’s there who can help you out.

You pull out your cell phone to make sure but there’s no signal. You haven’t had a signal for most of the drive. Pocketing the phone, you head up the road on foot.

You round the turn ahead to find a cabin with large picture windows, wooden beams the size of trees holding up a covered porch and rockers occupying the entrance.

A vacation cabin perhaps. Maybe someone’s home although you don’t see a car.

You climb the front steps and knock on the door.

Knock, creek.

The door swings open. From where you stand, you see glass shattered on the hardwood floor and drapes pulled from their brackets.

“Hello?” you call.

No answer comes back. Apprehension makes your breath tight.

You could leave. The main road’s a ways back, probably a half a day hike to reach it but you’ve got good shoes on and it’s only noon.

Or you could investigate. Someone might be inside hurt…or someone might be inside stealing things.

Do you…

A.Leave?

Or

B.Investigate?

Hope to see you Thursday!

Blessings,

Jennifer

Emma Option Aa2: Help Cooper

The giant Roc is now after Travis and Cooper. You’ve decided to help them instead of racing up the hill to find Emma. Let’s see how the adventure ends. =)

Emma Option Aa2: Help Cooper

Before your eyes Cooper’s feet leave the ground as he continues to hold onto Travis. He kicks wildly, making the giant Roc waver in its attempt to fly upward.

You hesitate only for a second before sliding back down the hill to reach him before the Roc lifts too far into the air for you to help.

In your mind all you can picture is Travis’ attempt to grab Megan before she disappeared into the treetops.

Your feet slide out from under you on the slick ground and you end up tumbling past Cooper instead of stopping in time to catch his feet.

Photo courtesy of Sebring's Snapshots.

Photo courtesy of Sebring’s Snapshots. his feet.

Throwing your arms out, you manage to stop, but end up loosing your grip on the knife in the process. It clatters down the hill and disappears into the darkness.

You wonder briefly where Kevin got to but, considering he led you here to be eaten, you push the thought aside, glad his bad legs keep him from climbing the hillside to help the Roc.

Scrambling back up to where Cooper’s still kicking wildly, you jump to catch his legs.

The added weight brings your feet back to the ground briefly. It’s enough for you to wrap your legs around the bare trunk of a tamarack.

Your legs scream in protest as the Roc regains the rhythmic beating of its wings. The buffet of wind from its movement brings water to your eyes but, even without clear sight, you see Cooper’s losing his grip on Travis’ ankles.

“Hold tight!” you encourage at the same time as you pull with all your might.

The Roc screeches and the tamarack bows and then cracks.

You pull again, hoping the dead tree will hold on a bit longer.

broken-tree-1022052-mIt snaps just as the Roc’s claws lose their hold on Travis’ shoulders.

Everyone tumbles to the ground. The boys roll head over heels down the hillside but your leg is pinned beneath the fallen tamarack. When the Roc circles and dives back to retrieve its prey, you’re the only one there for it to attack.

You scramble against the ground, trying to free yourself, but all you manage is to bloody your hands on the cold ground.

The giant bird grasps your torso in her claws and lifts into the air with ease, making the tree slide painfully off your leg.

You flail against her grip and below you, you hear the shouts of Travis and Cooper. When you look down, though, all you see are tiny dots on the ground. Only Cooper’s bright hair tells you which one’s which.

There’s a third figure down there too. It seems to bounce down the trail back toward the lake. You feel a small amount of satisfaction as you realize Kevin’s headed straight into the other search party.

***

You are never seen by the villagers again. They tell stories about how you drove the Roc away, saving your companions and, some of the more optimistic tales say, you wander the hills, keeping the bird from snatching more people but these tales are always accompanied by saddened smiles.

Your legend lives on, though, becoming larger and more extravagant with each telling until, eventually, you become known as the Roc Fighter who saved the whole village.

The End

Blessings and thanks for joining in the adventure!

Jennifer

Emma Option Aa: Follow Kevin

Emma Option Aa: Follow Kevin

The village men seem to have a large enough search party without you joining them. You look to Kevin and say, “show us this bird.”

He grins and whistles delightedly through his teeth.

Before heading back into the forest, you grab several lanterns from the tavern keeper. He hands you a few knives as well. Just in case, he says, you actually find Kevin’s bird.

The knives make your stomach roll. What if Kevin’s right?saber-knife-1067468-m

But you put a confident face on for Travis and Cooper because they keep looking at you like they’re dubious about the whole situation. Their looks mimic your own doubts perfectly.

The slushy snow on the trail’s turned to ice now that the sun’s set. It crunches under your steps, echoing hollowly in the quiet.

Up ahead, you hear the searchers calling Emma’s name but before you reach the lake, Kevin leads you down a trail that heads up into the canyon. It’s not an area you visit often, particularly when there’s snow, because the canyon walls are perfectly slanted for avalanches.

But it’s almost spring and you hope the snow’s melted enough not to be a problem.

Kevin starts to whistle softly ahead of you. In the lantern light, his hunched form looks almost trollish. His shadow swings with the lantern’s motion, distorted even more than his twisted form by the trees and uneven ground the shadow passes over.

You hold in a shiver and glance back at the other two to reassure yourself.

“Won’t the Roc hear you whistling?” you ask as the sound starts to grate on your nerves.

“Oh, it hears all sorts of things. The other’s hollering, our steps in the snow. Won’t make a lick of difference if it hears me whistling.” Then he cackles under his breath like he made a joke.

But thankfully he stops whistling. Not long after, though, he starts humming, then kind of skipping down the trail.

“Emma and Megan are lost. What are you doing?” Travis finally speaks up.

Kevin just keeps on skipping. Travis growls behind you but doesn’t ask again.

Eventually, Kevin stops and points up toward a ledge on the canyon wall to your right.

“There,” he says, “the ledge recesses into the wall making a shallow cave. The Roc likes it for its nest.”
“How many chicks does it usually have?” you ask.

Kevin shrugs. “Couple, maybe. Don’t know.”

That’s helpful. Travis gives the man a dark glare.

“Well, let’s go.” You say.

Kevin doesn’t move. “My legs don’t work well enough to get up there.” He says.

You frown. “Then how do you know about the nest?”

“Climbed it once in nice weather. About cracked my noggin when I tumbled back down to the trail. Tricky business.” He skips in place and starts whistling again.

“Hush,” Cooper says before Travis can yell at the man. “Let’s not warn it we’re here if we can help it.”

Kevin stops the sound but keeps bouncing on his toes.

lantern-1165222-mYou give Travis a knife and keep one for yourself. Then you look Kevin in the eye as you hand him your lantern. “Stay here.”

He nods. “Of course.”

The climb’s slick with half frozen ground but thankfully there isn’t enough snow for an avalanche.

A screech ricochets off the canyon walls. Your ears ring in the silence afterwards and, when you glance over your shoulder, you spot a dark shape so large it blacks out the full moon’s light.

Above you, on the ledge, comes several answering screeches. They’re not as loud but there’s an insistence to them that reminds you of hungry children.

Then, just barely audible under the ringing in your ears, you catch a familiar voice.

“Help!” screams Emma.

You’re about to bolt up the hill to get to her when Cooper shouts behind you.

He’s holding Travis’ feet as the Roc tries to pick the boy off the hillside. The bird’s wings beat at you with their wind.

A cackling fills the air. “Feed my pretties!” Kevin cackles below. The lantern he’s holding bounces like he’s skipping again.

“Help!” Emma’s voice barely reaches you over the chicks screeching.

Do you…

Aa1: Help Emma?

or

Aa2: Help Cooper?

Blessings and see you Thursday for the end of the adventure!

Jennifer

Emma Option A: Head for Help

The adventure continues as you head back to the village to get help in searching for Emma. Let’s see what happens!

Emma Option A: Head for Help

You’ve already looked for about an hour with nothing to show for the effort. A more in depth search would be better conducted with the aid of the other villagers.

“Let’s head back,” you tell everyone.

They agree silently, perhaps feeling the same struggle you are. Leaving without Emma feels wrong. She’s the carefree one, the one that bounces down the street with enthusiasm, but she’s also the one who needs a hand finding the lake even though you visit it weekly during the warmer season. If she’s lost wandering the forest, she probably doesn’t know north from south, much less the way back to the village.

Picture courtesy of Arthur Rousseau

Picture courtesy of Arthur Rousseau with Hope for Haiti

It feels wrong leaving but you can’t think of a better option. Your feet trudge down the snowy, muddy trail back toward the village.

No one says a word, lost in his or her own thoughts or still looking around in hopes of spotting your lost companion as the light slowly fades.

Megan screeches at the back of the line and you spin just in time to see her booted feet disappear into the heavy pine branches above.

Travis jumps, trying to catch her ankles, but all he gets is needles in the face as whatever grabbed Megan cracks several large branches off the trees with its passage.

You stand in stunned silence.

“Any…anyone see what happened?” you ask, pulling it together.

Travis and Cooper shake their heads, still staring up into the treetops.

A small trickle of blood runs down Travis’ temple from where a branch smacked him.

“Then let’s run,” you say. Whatever grabbed Megan had to have been big and the three of you may not be able to fight it on your own. You desperately want the protection of the village.

You reach the village puffing for breath and immediately head for the tavern. It’s where half the village men stop before heading home for the night.

Bursting through the doors, all eyes swing your way but you’re breathing too hard to explain.

Travis blurts everything out instead. At first, everyone stares at him but then the room breaks out in a commotion as Emma’s father pushes toward the door.

You’re so focused on Emma’s father and the bright red tint to his face that you don’t see old Kevin until he taps you on the shoulder.

You look over and down to meet his light eyes. He stands no taller than your shoulder, so hunched that his already diminutive stature is gnarled like an old tree.

“Megan disappeared into the tree tops?” He whistles the question through his teeth.

You nod.

“Hmmm,” he scratches his stomach and nods. “Sounds like the Roc. It’d have chicks this time of year.”

“What?” Cooper leans over your shoulder to hear. Old Kevin’s considered kind of insane but after everything you just saw, you don’t want to discount anything off hand.

“The Roc,” Kevin whistles, “a gigantic bird that hides up in the mountains. Think it got lost and never found its way back to the east. Young Emma would be a perfect snack for its young.”

“You’ve seen this bird?” Travis asks, his brows low in a deep frown. Oddly enough, the three of you are the only ones listening to the old man. The others in the tavern are all talking, setting up a regular search party.

“Ah, yes, I’ve seen it. Even know where it lives.”

You all look at each other.

The rest of the villagers will never follow old Kevin. He has proven in the past to be rather cracked.

As before, Travis and Cooper look to you for direction. You stomach clenches.

Do you…

Aa. Follow Kevin?

Or

Ab. Join the Search Party?

Blessings and see you Tuesday for the next part in the adventure =)

Jennifer