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17th March, 2020

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    anniej posted an update 1 year, 2 months ago

    MacGyver Short Story contest submission!
    By @anniej

    Hey guys! I asked for an extension for the deadline, but there isn’t any response yet, so I went ahead and posted this. Even if this doesn’t make it in the contest, please enjoy!

    Another sleepless night it was to be. Mara deduced that it would be a VERY long time before she got more than three hours of sleep before school started. Sure, weekends were great, but they were sooo short. And there were more monsters to fight on weekends than on weekdays. It was like the monsters were purposefully timing their attacks on the time that Mara would be asleep.
    Yes, Mara fought monsters. They were absolutely everywhere in the streets of San Francisco. She and a group of her friends would get out every time they saw a particularly large group of monsters and terminate them. You could say that they were superheroes, but they didn’t wear sparkly skintight suits and masks. It was simply too complicated, and fighting was best done in comfortable clothing. And besides, they had magic on their side and could camouflage themselves with it. This magic sometimes gave Mara and her friends an advantage, but the monsters were equally magical and way bigger, stronger, or cleverer. Or all three, which was the worst. It sometimes took days to track down and kill a group of monsters, but Mara was too determined to let exhaustion rule over her. Which was really weird how she loved to sleep and hated being torn away from it.
    “Knock knock princess. You’ve had plenty of beauty sleep.”
    Mara jolted up from her dozing to find one of her friends, Jason, perched on the windowsill outside her room grinning with all his teeth. He was currently covered with a snowstorm, but his ice blue eyes shone wickedly through the snow. That was his disguise, and. Mara was sure that it was worse than sparkly suits and masks.
    “You disgusting slug! GET OFF OF MY WINDOW!!”
    Mara roared at Jason who leaped away hurriedly. Mara’s roars were loud and intimidating and quite like a tiger’s.
    “Okay, okay. Sheesh, you were just sitting there, sleeping, and I had to do something.” Jason protested as Mara opened her window and jumped out. She slapped him in response and put on her disguise.
    Mara didn’t like complexities, and her disguise was simple, just turning into a tigress. Her sleek silver fur glistened and her yellow eyes flashed dangerously as she growled at Jason who looked impressed as always. He grinned, and flew into the air on a snow cloud as Mara bounded after him on the ground.
    They reached the meeting place which happened to be a large forest filled with gigantic trees and underbrush. It changed every time depending on where the monster(s) were first spotted. Mara could see two other teens waiting for their arrival.
    “Hey Storm and Luna! We’re just waiting for Reader. Want some marshmallows?” A short figure that was invisible all except her eyes, hands, feet and clothes waved them over with a bag of fluffy sweets. Storm was Jason and Luna was Mara. Reader was a boy named Sebastian who had telepathy and could read people’s minds. The code names were useless for the team, for they all knew each other’s real identity, but they had to be careful of eavesdropping others. The girl who had greeted them was Fade, for obvious reasons. She was really a smiley Japanese girl named Julia.
    “Okay, that is cruel of you, Fade. Look at poor Blaze! I bet he wants some marshmallows too.” Storm told Fade, taking a sweet nonetheless. He speared the marshmallow with a stick and stuck it out towards Blaze, aka Christopher, who was covered with a cool green fire that didn’t hurt living things. Candy wasn’t alive, however, and Storm was taking the job of a s’mores maker. Blaze crossed his arms, annoyed.
    “Sorry I was late guys. A dog started yapping when I reached the park, and some dude came to shush it. I couldn’t exactly move.” Reader dashed up the the group, panting heavily. “Are you making S’mores? Anyway, what’s up with tonight’s monster?” Reader’s disguise was a black cloak with the hood fastened to cast his face in shadow. His magic didn’t do much to hide him, so he used the old way.
    Mara was mighty glad that the subject turned to their job. “It looks like it was only one monster today. Do those prints look familiar to you?” Mara pointed to some tracks in the dirt that were thankfully about the size of a dog’s paw. At least it wasn’t too big. Reader was also quite a bookworm and had a photographic memory. He would know what the prints resembled.
    “Those look like leaves to me. That’s a maple leaf, and that’s an oak leaf, and that’s a sycamore leaf…. What kind of monster has leaf feet?” Reader shook his head, bemused. “I dunno, a leaf monster? That would make sense that it was in the forest, but seriously, looks like life ran out of good ideas to destroy us.” Blaze commented. He carefully stepped around the tracks lest he burn them away. “I guess we should go track it? It’ll be easier to defeat it that way. These tracks lead out of the forest and down to the sea. Let’s split up and signal each other if we find anything.”

    An hour and a half passed before anyone found anything, but Mara and Reader finally came across a low cave in the cliff by the sea that reeked of rotten vegetables. Mara padded silently into the cave, wary of whatever dwelled inside. Monster or not, a bunch of bats in her face wasn’t going to be pleasant. Mara cautiously peeked into the opening and saw the first “leaf monster” in San Francisco. Blaze and Reader were right. The gigantic leaf green monster had four leaf shaped feet, bright green triangular scales, and wings that resembled giant leaves. It was currently sleeping, it’s body rising and falling with each huge breath. It smelled terrible; like vegetables left in the refrigerator for too long. Mara quickly pulled away.
    “Reader! The monster’s in here. It looks like it’s raided the local super market for fresh greens and is asleep.” Reader nodded, looking like he was trying to swallow something. Mara ignored him and sent silver sparks off to find the rest of her friends. It seemed like an easy night after all. The monster was sleeping and looked vegetarian. Mara grinned happily, dreaming of leaping into her bed. Her illusion was scattered when she heard a violent sneeze from behind her with three more equally loud sneezes following. She turned around in horror to find Reader wiping his noes and whispering an apology.
    “Reader! Couldn’t you have held it in? Now it’s gonna wake up!”
    “I couldn’t help it! I’m allergic to reptiles!”
    “WHAT?! But you were fine when we fought that giant snake!”
    “I’m so sorry! I was running late, and I didn’t have time to get my medicine.”
    A deep grumbling stopped Mara from snarling any further. One boy and one tiger stared terrified as the monster ambled out of its den with a furious look in its grass green eyes. Apparently, vegetarian or not, being rudely awakened was a reason to squash the intruder into pulp. The monster roared and charged out of the cave and Mara had no choice then to drag Reader away behind her as she ran into the sea.
    Reader sputtered and splashed around when Mara let go, standing chest deep in the ocean. Waves tumbled around her, singing their song of freedom. Mara hissed at the approaching monster, and instead of fizzing out on the beach, the waves flew up, and into the monster’s snout. It roared in pain and fury, momentarily distracted by the seawater up his nose. This allowed Mara to again, drag Reader away and up the cliff, around the many shops and houses, and back into the forest where they had started. She deposited Reader on the ground with a thump.
    “You are the most USELESS telepath in the history of useless telepaths.” Mara panted, drained from her sprint. Reader shivered, his eyes puffy from the sea and his allergy. He nodded his head. “Yes Ma’am.”
    Just then, Blaze came running up, his green fire visible from the other side of the trees. “Luna! You sent the signal, right? The others are there, trying to corner it. What happened to you guys? Did you fall into the ocean?” Blaze crept closer, his fire turning a warm yellow and heating Mara up. “Thanks Blaze. We should go help them. Reader here has a reptile allergy that he has FORGOTTEN to tell us about, so he’s a bit useless.” Mara flicked her tail at Reader who frowned. “I do have an allergy, but that doesn’t mean that I’m totally useless. I can tell you that those caves are the best way to corner the monster, because there, it won’t be able to fly away. Also, this monster has scales, so it’ll be kinda fruitless to attack it physically like that. It’s eyes, nose, ears, wings and mouth will give you the best shot. I don’t know the anatomy of that particular monster, so that’s not much help. Maybe I could be a distraction or something?” Reader’s lecture ended in a question. Mara had to admit that he was quite smart. “We’ll let you tag along, but be extra careful.” Mara decided. Blaze nodded, and they went back to the cliffs.

    Things were NOT looking very good. Fade and Storm were trying their hardest, but the monster was too big, and it kept trying to fly. Storm was slashing ice swords at its wings, and it couldn’t rise more than a few feet. Fade was running this way and that, trying to drive the monster into its cave. She was running out of energy and her disguise had partly worn off, showing her face, and part of her torso.
    Blaze leaped forward to help Storm scorch the wings off of the creature. Poor Reader was already sniffling and sneezing, but he faithfully joined Fade, shouting at the top of his lungs. Mara roared and sent a wave of seawater over the monster and drenched everyone. Unexpectedly, the monster didn’t just shake off the rather weak wave, but shrieked and whined and shied away from the sea. Mara blinked. There was its weakness!
    Pushed forward by her discovery, Mara summoned a bigger wave, calling a warning to her friends, and totally submerged the monster. It squealed and retreated. Mara supposed that the salt from the ocean stung the monster’s wounds, but there seemed to be a totally different reason for the monster’s fear of the sea.
    The monster was swelling into twice its size, and although this could seem to be an advantage to the monster, it was plain that it was in agony. Mara and her friends stumbled back in horror as the leafy monster inflated into three times its size and began floating. It gave the impression of a terrified green hot air balloon with scared red eyes. Mara was beginning to feel sorry for it as it grew to the size of a house and went up further.
    “Um, guys? That thing can’t just keep getting bigger. It’s not possible, so…..” Reader said uncertainly. Then it dawned on Mara. “TAKE COVER!” She cried, letting the sea swallow her. Just before disaster struck, Mara saw Fade and Blaze pull Reader into the monster’s old den and Storm shoot upward in a snow flurry. And then-
    Mara was lucky she didn’t get hit by ****** monster parts.
    The leaf monster had exploded, expelling the remains of its body all over the bay. Mara thanked the heavens that she wasn’t hit by a leg or a head, or worse; actually SEE the exploding part, but later she would get a detailed report from Storm who claimed to have lost his dinner in the process.
    Mara raced out of the sea, ignoring the disgusting sights everywhere around her, and went into the old den. Fade, Blaze, and Reader were all huddled together, looking quite shocked. Mara resisted the temptation to tease them and checked its they were okay. By now, she had let her disguise fade away, revealing her athletic form and her platinum blonde hair. Her eyes stayed a piercing yellow, but calmer then before. Mara could see Julia’s dimpled cheeks and Blaze’s impish green eyes. Reader’s hood was thrown back to reveal his cocoa skin and messy brown hair. “I’m sure glad that this turned out all right. I was worried that this would take way longer.” Mara said. “I agree, but I was mostly confused and not that worried. We always succeed eventually.” Julia grinned. “Mm-hm. I think that monster had a salt allergy or something. Once, I went to the zoo and a zookeeper was showing a boa constrictor to us, and my face and hands and legs just started to swell. It was really stiff and painful, and I guess that’s what happened to that poor monster.” Sebastian said thoughtfully. “Chris gave him a face. “How come you haven’t exploded then?”
    “We got to the medic in time, and the snake wasn’t too close. I’m going to have nightmares of exploding now.” Sebastian frowned at Chris meaningly.”
    “Wow! That was DISGUSTING. You guys better do the cleaning up or else some poor citizen might have a heart attack. I can’t join you, ’cause I care about my stomach.” Jason blew in, looking green. The other four flinched away from the opening, but they did have to clean the mess.
    “C’mon guys! I’ll make you some of the best S’mores when you finish, via the Chris-fire!”
    “JASON I SWEAR STOP MAKING THOSE JOKES!” Yelled you-can-guess-who
    A bit long, yeah. I simply cannot make a story shorter than this. I hope you liked it!

        anniej replied 1 year, 2 months ago

        The starred out word is b l o o d y

        anadil777 replied 1 year, 2 months ago

        This is so much better than mine lol (I wrote mine in a rush)

        larkofwoodsbeyond replied 1 year, 2 months ago

        thanks! I’ll have the results out in a few days.

          anniej replied 1 year, 2 months ago

          @larkofwoodsbeyond? Did you post the results? Or can I just not see it or something…….?

          larkofwoodsbeyond replied 1 year, 2 months ago

          I’m so sorry, but there weren’t enough posts for me to have results.

          anniej replied 1 year, 2 months ago

          Oh that’s okay:)

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