Seven hurried back through the cornfield. Approximately 5 minutes later she admitted to herself that she was lost.She kept passing the same big stone etched with the words ‘I love Nevada.’

The stone had just come into view AGAIN…when she heard crying. Surprised, she followed the sound until she came upon a little boy.  He couldn’t have been more than seven, with floppy brown hair and troubled, hazel eyes. He wore sneakers (whose laces had long ago come undone) and jeans with a sweatshirt that looked like it may once have been orange. His cheeks were streaked with tears, and he was huddled on the ground looking miserable.

He looked up at Seven at her approach, “Wh-who are you?”

Seven smiled, “My friends call me Seven.”

A small smile crept over the little boy’s face, “That’s a funny name.”

Seven laughed, “Well, I suppose it depends on your point of view. Are you lost?”

The smile disappeared, “Well, you see, I found this key and my older sister really likes keys so I thought I’d give it to her for her birthday. But then I heard her coming down the hall so I hid the key in a book. It was my favorite book, The Scrambled States of America. Well, later I went to look at my book and WAMPO! I was in this cornfield, and I can’t find my way out! I don’t know if I’ll ever find my way home!”

Tears pricked the little boy’s eyes.

“Oh, don’t worry! We’ll get you home,” Seven said as she sat down beside him.

Seven felt a sinking sensation in the pit of her stomach. Getting this little guy home would be no problem, but what might happen after that could be.

Back in her world, everyone knew about the magical keys Stories made. In fact, finding one was considered good luck. The keys had a special power. Stories were known for going into Story Worlds. In fact, they were the ones who made sure tales had happy endings. Story worlds were built off of imagination, and so were a little crazy. But whenever a Story went into a World, and started a new adventure; what happened would pop into some writer’s head, from a real world. Those writers usually wrote the ideas down and sold them, and a new tale was born! That was why Stories had to be so careful. They didn’t want people reading books with sad and horrible endings (which had happened more than once).

Sometimes the original tale was marred by editors’ ideas or the writer didn’t grasp the full truth of what happened. The Stories decided they wanted others to be able to experience the stories for themselves, and in doing so, keep the adventure alive. So they made the keys.

Put one into a book, begin to read, and BAM — you were in the story, living it! In keeping with their love for the unexpected, Stories began circulating keys randomly, casually losing them as they went about their day.

Occasionally, Stories hung out in the human world, and though technically they didn’t want to leave keys behind there, it could happen. Humans, or Earthlanders, as they were known in her world, had no knowledge of the keys. When found, there was nothing that indicated the key was magic. It seemed only a decorative key; the kind people want to find and keep as a treasure. Sometimes, Earthlanders, keys, and books mixed, as needed. So Seven was fairly certain this little boy was an Earthlander, and that could be a problem. However, she kept this all to herself.

“We’ll help you get home,” she repeated encouragingly, “but right now let’s get out of this corn maze. By the way, what’s your name?”

“Oliver,” he answered, “Whose we?”

“My friend, Cale and I,” she answered cheerfully as Seven helped Oliver up. “Cale isn’t with me right now, but once we find her, I’m sure she’ll be able to get you home.”

“Do you know the way out of here?”

“Nooo… but I’m sure we can find it.”

Oliver smiled and took Seven’s hand, “Yeah,” he said “And then once we’re home, I can show you my dinosaur collection!”

Seven smiled and the two walked off through the corn.


The Next Mission


Notayu was waiting for Cale and Seven, “Ready for the next mission?”

“Now?” Cale was surprised.

“Yes, I need you to take Nevada and Idaho back to  The Scrambled States Of America.”

“All right, but I would think you’d at least give us a break first,” Cale said, with mock disappointment.

Notayu shook her head, “Spring and Chase are in Lord of the Rings. The situation is a little out of hands,” she smiled. “You know Spring! Anyway, I’m going in to assist them. I need all creatures out of the house. Elaine took Dos Ham, and Grace got the giant pelican. Now I need you to take these states.”

Cale nodded, “What are we waiting for?”

Notayu smiled, “I have the book right here with me.”

Soon Cale and Seven were on their way with the states. When they arrived, it seemed a little strange to see states getting groceries, reading books, and enjoying the spring day. Seven noticed that the states were all roughly about her size. Idaho and Nevada joined the throng, eager to do whatever it is states do.

“Well, that was easy,” Seven said, “All we do is go home, I suppose.”

Before Cale could answer, a lively man wearing a red, white, and blue suit and top hat boisterously announced, “Hello there, I’m Sam, the official state keeper of the United States of America.” Sam smiled widely at them, and held out his hand.

“Oh, uh…hello,” Cale said, as she shook the man’s hand.

“Of course, there was a time when they weren’t united,” he chuckled.

“Weren’t united?” Seven was confused.

“Well, here! I’ll tell you the story,” Sam said, “Now you just sit down and get comfortable. Ready? Ok, let’s began. It all started with…”

“Let me tell it!” a voice interrupted.

“Oh, oh! Let me! Let me!”

“No, no, you two,” the old man laughed, “That part is my job. Now get back in your places. We’re about to start the story.”

Looking a little disappointed, the two states hurried away.

“Aren’t they cute?” Sam asked. “Now! Let’s start the story.”

Seven’s curiosity was aroused and waiting to hear the story was a bit agonizing.

“We should give them a couple of seconds to get ready,” Sam spoke slowly, “One thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three…”

I star walked by grumbling, “I could’ve told it!”

“Ok,” Sam said, “Let’s begin…”


Seven cried out in surprise as there was a flash of colors, and she felt herself falling through an empty space. Then, it was morning. Cale and Sam were nowhere to be seen. Seven found herself by the sleepy-eyed state of Ohio, who was spooning sugar into his cup.

“I don’t know if I’ll ever to used to that! I guess I better go see what’s going on,” Seven muttered to herself as she looked around, and headed toward a field of sunflowers.

As Seven rounded a corner of the field, she was surprised to hear an angry voice.

“I’m not feeling happy at all!”

Another voice, full of concern, asked, “What’s wrong, Kansas?”

Seven creeped behind a nearby tree to listen.

“I don’t know. I just feel bored. All we ever do is sit here in the middle of the country. We never go anywhere; we never do anything, and we never meet any new states! Don’t get me wrong, Nebraska, you’re the best friend a state could have. But I want to see something new! Don’t you want to see what else is out there?”

Nebraska thought for a moment, “Yes, I do!” she exclaimed, “And now that you mention it,  I’m sick and tired of hearing our neighbors bicker all the time!”

“I have an idea!” cried Kansas, “Let’s throw a party and invite all the other states. Everyone can bring a favorite dish. There will be music and dancing . . .”

“That’s a great idea!” shrieked Nebraska, “I wish I had thought of it myself!”

“The states are throwing a party?” Seven mused, “I have to tell Cale! If only I knew how to find her.”














The Prisoners



Sadly, at the end of the day , prisoners were herded into the cell. Seven looked up in surprise. There were two boys and a little girl. The older boy seemed to be about twelve while the other two (whom she assumed to be his siblings) seemed to somewhere around eleven and nine. The Fangs snickered at them.

As soon as they were alone, Cale got up, “Hi,” she said.

The boy started. Obviously, he hadn’t thought the two humps in the dark corner of the cell were people.

“Uh . . . hi,” he said.

“We had an unfortunate run-in with a fat Fang,” Cale said smiling. “What happened with you guys?”

Seven noticed that the two boys looked rather beat up. One had a big bruise, while the other had a swelling goose egg.

“Looks like you had it worse than us,” she added.

“We attacked some Fangs,” the younger boy said mildly, “because they were hurting our sister.”

“Tink!” the older boy snapped.

“What, they asked.”

Cale grinned, “Well, I had to attack a Fang cause Seven insulted it.”

“I didn’t mean to, it just kind-of came out!” Seven protested, “He was hard.”

The older boy gave a half-hearted smile, “You don’t seem too worried about it,” he said.

“We’re not from around here,” Cale explained, “and we won’t be staying long.”

The boy shook his head, “All those Fangs? That’s impossible! You’re right, you’re not from around here if you think you can get through fangs!”

Cale grinned, “You’d be surprised.”

Just then two Fangs came in. The bigger and fatter one seemed to be scoffing at the other who was referred to as Slarb. They had a heated conversation over the children’s fate. At last the bigger one decided the black carriage. Even though she didn’t know what this black carriage thing was, Seven was pretty sure it wasn’t good.

When the two lizard-men left, Seven asked, “What’s the black carriage?”

“The black carriage?” The boy looked at her like he was crazy, “It’s what takes people away, forever…”

Cale quickly changed the subject. “I guess we’ll be traveling together, so I should probably introduce myself. I’m Cale, and you are?”

“Janner, and this is Tink and Leeli.”

Seven smiled at them, “It’s nice to meet you. Company is always nice to have.”

The three kids seemed cheered at this, however Seven noticed that the Janner still seemed to carry the burden of guilt. “What would make him feel like a failure?” she wondered. The five kids sat on the floor and waited for dawn.

They were surprised when that big fat Fang came in. He let the children out and Seven noticed several new rings and bracelets adorned his hands. He was about to shut the gate when Cale flicked her fingers.

The Fang seemed to freeze for a minute before he growled, “Well, are you coming or are you going in the carriage?” Seven quickly slipped out followed by Cale, and the ugly creature laughed at them.

As Janner passed the Fang, it yanked the boy up by the collar of his shirt, and growled something threatening. Janner’s face went white and the Fang threw him to the ground. He scrambled to his feet, and followed the others. As they neared the door, Seven stepped closer to Cale.

Keeping her head low, she asked, “What happened back there?”

“I might have used a little magic to change the fang’s thoughts to all the children rather than just three of them.”

Seven smiled, “I guess it’s a good thing you still have a little magic.”

At last they were outside the jail. A woman stood there waiting. She herded the children away; Seven and Cale followed them. As soon as they were far enough away, the woman knelt down and began examining the children’s wounds and hugging them. “She must be their mother,” Seven thought.

Cale broke into her thoughts, “Seven, it’s time to leave.”

“Oh, right.” Seven smiled at the three children, “Well, good-bye!”

Janner grinned at them, “Thanks for your company.”

“Keep up with the ‘protecting-younger-sisters-from-fangs’ work,” Cale told him, grinning.

Janner flushed, “Uh, thanks.”

After waving farewell, Seven and Cale slipped into a near-by crowd. People were listening to a man playing a whistle harp. The two girls hid in a dark corner, and Cale twirled her hand in the air. Things became blurry and they were caught up in the midst of swirling colors. For a few minutes they were in the shapeless space before finding themselves back in the house where the adventure had started.

Back to…..Seven and Cale


Seven found herself back-to-back with Cale. The Toothy Cow pawed the ground and the Horned Hounds growled ferociously.

“What are we gonna do now?” Seven asked Cale, as she kept her eyes on the Horned Hounds in front of her.

“The only thing we can,” Cale answered, “Ride the Toothy Cow.”

“Are you crazy?” Seven began, but she got no further.

Cale hurled herself at the cow, landing on it’s back. It bellowed and began bucking, stomping on Horned Hounds as it did. Seven backed away from the whirling creature until she heard growling behind her. She was suddenly aware that several Horned Hounds were standing there, ready to pounce. Cale managed to steady the angry cow for a few seconds, and offered Seven her hand. Without hesitation Seven took hold of it and swung herself up behind Cale. Then she grabbed hold of her shoulders just before the Toothy Cow charged. The two girls found themselves riding recklessly through the woods. Anything in their path was completely destroyed. Seven held onto Cale for dear life and ducked under branches. Cale’s body was tense as she rode the cow. She knew her business and that included a firm grip. At last she saw a sturdy branch up ahead. “Ah ha!” she thought.



“See that branch?


“Do you think you could grab it?”




[photo credit to Andrew Peterson, 2008]

Cale dug her heals into the cow’s sides. As she had hoped the Toothy Cow threw it’s rear end in the air, and Seven went flying. Her arms flailed as she fell forward and grabbed the branch. She hung there a moment before scrambling into the tree. Without waiting, Cale jumped off the back of the crazy creature and latched onto the branch. The Toothy Cow went on running madly. Cale joined Seven and leaned against the trunk. The girls gave each other tentative smiles and at that moment they were friends. They looked down and saw the Toothy Cow had disappeared.

“He’s probably realized he’s passenger-less by now,” Cale said, “Might as well see Glipwood while we’re here.”

The two girls scrambled down the tree and ran. They ran faster when they heard the howling of Horned Hounds. At last they reached the township. That was the good thing; the bad thing was they ran straight into a Fang.

Seven rubbed her head, “Man, you are hard.”

The words were out before Seven could stop herself. She gasped and her hand flew to her mouth. “I’m becoming more and more like a Story,” she thought miserably.

The Fang growled, “Hard eh? We’ll see how hard you think I am when I’ve pummeled you to the ground!”

Most of the near by people had disappeared by now, Seven noticed. Those that were there looked scared and nervous. The Fang raised his fist but Cale was too fast for him. She flung herself at the unwholesome creature, hitting him directly in the stomach. The Fang grunted with surprise and stumbled backward. Before he could recover himself Cale flicked magic at him and he disintegrated into a pile of ash.

Cale and Seven zipped away. The unfortunate thing was that all this commotion attracted several other Fangs. Cale and Seven ran right into them. They grabbed the girls and dragged them off to the Glipwood jail. They were there for several days. Cale was able to use her magic to make food, but it was scanty.

At last Seven asked, “Cale, why don’t we just leave? We got the animals back to Glipwood forest.”

Cale sighed, “Seven, you know all Stories have a weakness. Something that makes it so they can’t do magic.” Seven nodded and Cale continued, “Well, mine is stone, like what this cell is made of. Being near it makes my magic considerably less strong. I can do food spells, but I’m certainly not strong enough to take us to another world. Touching metal takes my magic go completely away, so until we get out of here I can’t do much magic.”

“Oh… I’m sorry.”

“It’s not your fault.”

Cale plunked herself down on the floor and leaned her head against the wall. Seven sighed and joined her, wishing there was more that she could do. The next day a lot of noise drifted into the cell window.

“What’s going on?” Cale asked the first Fang who came in.

The ugly creature bared it’s fangs, letting venom drop from them. “Stop drooling, and just tell me,” Cale said, sounding bored, “Maybe it’ll give me something to think about.”

“How about I come in there and bite you,” the Fang hissed, “It’ll give you sssomething to think about.”

“Try and catch me,” Cale said.

The Fang growled, as it toyed with the keys. It was a tempting offer Cale had made. Seven watched nervously. Cale wasn’t afraid of the Fang but that didn’t mean it couldn’t hurt her. Appearing to reconsider, the Fang stuck its face near the bars, it’s bottomless black eyes looking like empty wells. Cale met its gaze unflinchingly.

“It’s the Dragon’sss Day Fessstival. The only good thing about isss we might get sssome new prisssonersss. Now clossse your mouth, or we’ll gladly do it for you.”

The Fang snapped it’s jaws hungrily, and Seven winced. However, the movement didn’t go unnoticed, and the Fang turned to her.

“We’ll gladly do it for either of you,” it amended, then it hung the keys on their hook and left the room.


{For more Back Story on Seven and Cale, see the Previous Adventures section –specifically the blog entitled, On the Edge of the Dark Sea…}

Mother Goose


Mother Goose 2

Grace urged Glow forward. She had to find Fang! So occupied with her own thoughts, Grace didn’t see the little girl in front of her. Glow did though. The Pegasus reared on her hind legs, spreading her wings for balance as the little girl screamed. Glow halted inches from the girl.

“Are you alright?” Grace asked, feeling horrible.

“Is that a Pegasus?” the little girl asked in an awed voice, as Grace slid off Glow’s back.

“Uh, yes it is,” Grace answered. Then she worriedly repeated, “Are you alright?”

“Oh, I’m fine!” the girl laughed. “I’m going off to my granny’s to give her some goodies. Would you like to come with me?”

Grace smiled. The girl was about her age, with brown curls, and almond eyes. She wore a light, patterned dress with a cherry-red cape and hood.

“Now I know what story I’m in!” she thought. Aloud she answered, “I’d love to! But I need to find a Warg.”

“A what?” Little Red Riding Hood asked.

“Oh, something like a huge wolf.”

“I did see a wolf a ways back on the path, but it wandered off. Maybe my Grandma would know . . .”

So the two went down the path, and Glow followed close behind. As the girls talked, Grace learned the girl’s name was Lena, but she was often called Little Red Riding Hood, on account of her cape. Grace found her to be friendly and trusting and was soon talking just as freely as the girl.

At Mother Goose’s house, Fang and Ashay were finishing off another chocolate cake. Ashay found the sweet delicacy much to her liking. Mother Goose sat knitting in a rocking chair telling stories.

She was just saying, “And so this egg, Humpty Dumpty, was very clumsy and if I do say so myself, he never should have been on that wall. It is no more than he deserved when . . .” suddenly there was a knock on the door.

“Oh, I’ll get it,” Mother Goose said and she shuffled off.

When she was gone, Ashay sighed, “I was going to force her into the closet and steal the goodies from her granddaughter when she came. But then I met you,” she lifted her eyes to Fang’s, “And you’re all I’ve ever dreamed of. As it turns out, Mother Goose is happy to share goodies and I’ll never go hungry!”

Just then,  Mother Goose returned with two figures behind her.

“Fang, Ashay, I want you to meet my granddaughter and her friend. She stepped aside revealing Grace and another girl about her age. Their smiles disappeared when they saw the wolves. Grace’s jaw dropped and the little girl gasped.

Wargs in the Woods


Elaine was finding it hard to breathe with the weight of the warg stepping on her chest.

There was a terrific BANG, and the warg fell heavily upon her. Elaine grimaced. The thing was heavy and smelled terrible! Another shot rang out. Either it didn’t hit its mark or the mysterious gunman was warning the wargs.

“What was that?” one growled.

“I’ll go find out,” another answered, and it loped off.

Elaine felt her heart beat quicken. She had to get out of here but her hands were trapped behind her back, and the dead warg was just too heavy.

One of the remaining wargs growled, “Guard the she-girl. I wouldn’t want to loose her. We’ll need her help later.”

“Bad grammar,” Elaine thought as a particularly ugly warg snickered at her. It stood over her, drool hanging from it’s opened jaws. She tried to move but couldn’t. This was not going well.


Little Red Riding Hood


Elaine and Grace trudged doggedly through a forest. One of the three little pigs, a pegasus called Glow, and several wargs followed them. One of the weird things about transporting animals from one world to another was how they changed. In their own story they might be evil and dangerous, yet in a different place, they’d become less ferocious, attracted to different things, or gain the ability to talk. In other cases, the creature might be mischievous in its own world, but in a different world,  evil. Some of the time they didn’t change at all. You could never tell.

Anyway, because of this strange phenomenon all these creatures acted differently. The wargs were more sneaky, agitated, and could talk. They kept threatening to eat the little pig, whose name just happened to be Uno Ham. Uno Ham was squealing, which was becoming unbearable. Glow was graceful and gentle, just as she had been on the earth world. Elaine had to admit Spring had done a good job in making her up.

As they trudged through the woods, Elaine noticed the wargs looking more and more dangerous. Then one warg, called Fang, ran off. Everyone (except Glow) went into a complete frenzy. The remaining wargs started howling, and Uno Ham started squealing louder than ever! Grace was knocked down and Elaine honestly wasn’t sure what to do.

Meanwhile, Fang ran through woods until he came to a cottage. When he nosed at the door, a little, old lady opened it.

“Oh!” she cried in her grandma voice, “A lost little puppy! Poor thing!”

Fang looked at her indignantly, “I am not a puppy. I’m a warg,” he growled.

“A whale, you say!” the little old lady said, surprised. “Well, you must be hungry from the sounds your tummy is making.”

“That was not my stomach, that was me growl . . .” Fang began.

“The kitchen is this way,” the little old lady interrupted, “I just made a chocolate cake.”

With that she shuffled back into the cottage. Fang followed her, noticing for the first time that something smelled strangely good. “I wonder if chocolate cake is a kind of animal?” he thought as he followed the little woman.

He spent a delightful evening with her, and learned she was called Mother Goose. He also learned that chocolate cake is very yummy!

Fang was napping on the couch when there was a terrific crash, and a female wolf tumbled in. Fang looked up and their eyes met. The sleek, gray wolf gasped at the almost black wolf before her, his fur gleaming and fangs slightly showing. His dark, alert eyes made her heart skip a beat. For a moment neither spoke, being too overcome by love. They ran to each other. There was no doubt in either wolf’s mind; they were meant to be together!

“What is your name, dearest?” Fang asked as the light gray wolf rested her head on his neck.

“Ashay,” she answered.

For some time the two embraced, heedless of anything else. Then Fang noticed Mother Goose watching them. He coughed and stood a little straighter, embarrassed. Ashay looked up and startled, realizing she was being watched.

“I’ll go get some more chocolate cake,” Mother Goose said, and she hurried off.


“Go find Fang!” Elaine called to her sister over the chaos.

Grace nodded as she mounted Glow and rode off. Elaine sighed. How was she ever going to fix this? Then she realized that the wargs were looking at her, and looking, mean. They took on the look of a gang of big bad wolves about to pounce. Then the biggest one did, and Elaine screamed.

In a flash a warg had Elaine pinned to the ground with its huge paw.

“What are you doing?” Elaine cried, “Don’t you want to get back to your books?”

The warg growled. Then Elaine understood. These beasts were still evil, and now their shock was over and they were going to eat her! How could she have ever underestimated them!