My Ranking Points
Not Your Stereotypical Group
Chapter 29: The Trial by Tale (Part 1.1)
What are the connotations of that word?
Maybe something like this: A challenge in which the person partaking in it is pushed to the max, testing all their abilities.
But what about a denotation?
I recalled that a dictionary once read, Denotation ‘dēnō’tāSHen noun – the literal or primary meaning of a word, in contrast to the feelings or ideas that the word suggests.
So, what did that dictionary say about trials?
Trial ‘trī(e)l noun – a test of the performance, qualities or suitability of someone or something.
I liked the connotation much better. Made more sense. To me, at least.
But what about a Trial by Tale?
That was a whole new type of Trial.
Evers lined up in front of the gates to the Blue Forest.
The gates were covered in snakes and spiders as to not let anyone in, but nobody cared about the venomous creatures.
The tension was too high.
I was the fourth in line from the back. That meant I entered pretty late, but that was a good thing. Right…?
Suddenly, the gates swung open.
The Trial had begun.
The extremely nervous Wild Card student trembled as she walked in.
Then the gates creaked… and slammed shut. The girl jumped a foot and darted away.
It was very dark. Darker than a starless night. Darker than a deep, black void that had no end, no beginning.
That’s how it felt.
A void. A dark, endless void that ****** you in. That you could never escape from.
That’s how dark it was, that was the feeling. That was how it felt when I got sent into the Trial by Tale.
The Tale of Sophie and Agatha states that it’s not a house of horrors as soon as you enter, but I don’t recall it specifying the lighting.
Sophie and Agatha weren’t right about everything.
But, hadn’t I been in the Trial before?
Yes, in my real first year. Back when I was twelve. Naïve, unaware of the thing called reality.
Hmm. I’ve changed more than I thought.
Still, I wasn’t as unexperienced as the majority of Evers, but I was twelve. I hadn’t seen harsh reality. Mother was still alive then, and that made me more optimistic.
But now, I’ll admit, I’m as pessimistic as Nightmare.
Trying not to dwell on the past too much, I pulled my cloak tighter around myself. I searched for some sort of landmark.
It was too dark.
I walked around, feeling my surroundings. I heard high-pitched screams and shouts in the background.
And that’s when I tripped over a tree stump.
I almost cursed. Halfway through the word. But I shut myself up, knowing I had perfectly appropriate substitutes.
“Gosh darn it,” I muttered.
I pulled my right leg over my left one, keeping my ankle perfectly still. I tried to move it. I winced and inhaled sharply. It throbbed painfully. It was sprained.
Great. Just great.
Carry on, my wayward son,
There’ll be peace when you are done.
Lay your weary head to rest.
Don’t you cry no more.
Once I rose above the noise and confusion
Just to get a glimpse beyond this illusion.
I was soaring ever higher, but I flew too high.
Though my eyes could see I still was a blind man,
Though my mind could think I still was a mad man,
I hear the voices when I’m dreamin’,
I can hear them say:
Carry on, my wayward son,
There’ll be peace when you are done.
Lay your weary head to rest.
Don’t you cry no more…
I couldn’t get that song out of my head. For some reason, it meant something to me. I knew the whole thing by heart, but I couldn’t remember where I learned it from.
I sang it quietly to myself even when I entered the Trial for some reason. Why was I singing in a deathmatch?
That’s how bad it was. That’s how much it stuck.
I turned my attention to my siblings and friends. I knew Nightmare was ranked eight, so she was already somewhere in this void. Moonshine had just entered five minutes ago, so she was somewhere out here too. Jane was six, and Jonathan seven.
My thoughts drifted again, but this time to my Never acquaintances. Lucinda was most likely super high on the leaderboard, and Thorn probably was too. Michaelangelo may be as well.
I tried to find my way through the dark, deep blackness.
Then I bumped into a tree.
“What the- ow!” I mumbled.
I felt the rough bark in front of me.
Deciding to try to figure out how to climb it, I reached high, looking for a solid branch. Once I got a firm grip on one, I heaved myself up. My climb continued like this, except I placed my feet on less sturdy branches.
Soon, I was up at the top of the tree. It was actually a little brighter up there.
Then I set to work.
I bent branches and twigs. I snapped them when I needed to, in case something wasn’t supporting itself.
Soon enough, my trap was done.
I had experience already from doing pranks on my sisters, and I wasn’t exactly an amateur, so I was pretty confident I’d get someone to drop their flag.
Lots of time passed as I crouched in the tree. My legs ached and I grew tired, but I had to make sure no one was coming.
Then I heard a crack.
Rustling of the leaves.
Someone was coming now.
I hid myself deeper in the tree’s leaves, making sure the person wouldn’t spot me.
The figure bolted into sight… and into my trap.
I jumped right off the tree, grinning. Maybe I wasn’t as much as a loser as I thought.
I took a peek at the person I caught.
“Um, hi Bluemoon. Would you mind getting me out?” she said, almost nervously.
“Uh, yeah,” I said.
But I didn’t know how.
I tried to focus on my moons surrounding me. I saw them starting to spin, faster and faster. I walked nearer to the cage, and the moons cut it. It dissolved into powder.
Lorelei started wiping the dust from her eyes. “Woah, that was a little off-target.”
“Sorry,” I apologized.
“It’s okay,” she said in her soft way. “Um, so would you like to team up or something?”
“Yeah, sure,” I agreed.
We were on our way to the Tulip Field or whatever it’s called when I started humming Carry On Wayward Son again. Again.
“Hey, what’s that song you’re humming,” Lorelei asked.
“Carry On Wayward Son,” I replied.
“How does it go?” she questioned.
I smiled. “Carry on, my wayward son. There’ll be peace when you are done. Lay your weary head to rest. Don’t you cry no more. Once I rose above the noise and confusion just to get a glimpse beyond this illusion. I was soaring ever higher, but I flew too high. Though my eyes could see I still was a blind man, though my mind could think I still was a mad man, I hear the voices when I’m dreamin’, I can hear them say:.”
“Carry on my wayward son!” we said in unison.
She continued singing. “There’ll be peace when you are done. Lay your weary head to rest…”
I felt my mind going blank as she continued singing.
She turned and saw me. “Oops. I’m so sorry. I guess I shouldn’t really sing, being a siren.” She then used magic, and I felt normal again.
“Oh, yeah. Makes sense,” I said.
“That song really fits with the current situation if you think about it,” Lorelei said thoughtfully.
“It does. We’re quite ‘wayward’ if you think about it,” I said.
“We are. You’re right. Oh, we should probably pick up the pace. We’re easy targets,” she remembered.
So we rushed off at a much faster pace.
“Carry on, my wayward son,” I heard Lorelei say softly. “Carry on, my wayward daughter.”
We enjoy it while we can,
We enjoy it while we’re kids.
We enjoy it while there’s still time
To make the most of it!
Enjoy it while I can? That doesn’t sound possible. And really, there’s no time left. We’ve got to grow up and mature. Something’s waiting for me. I know it.
People may think I’m pessimistic, but I just can figure out the obvious.
People may say I’m a downer, but I’m just realistic.
People may look at me and think, “She’s growing up too fast,” but I’m mature for my age.
And so that’s why I was the only one not panicking.
Everboys paced, faster and faster with each step. Evergirls cracked under pressure crying and hesitantly picked at perfectly polished, painted and glossed nails. Nevers, both boy and girl, threw daggers, practiced talents even more or took their anger out on others.
But I sat there calmly, barely even thinking about some kind of strategy.
For there was no point.
No point in worrying.
No point in killing ourselves with concerns before we even get hurt in the Trial.
Once I entered the forsaken Trial by Tale, I was submerged in an endless void of darkness. I couldn’t give more detail than that if I had to tell anyone. It was a plain, deep black void. So much for the Tale of Sophie and Agatha being accurate.
I figured out a fire spell, and soon the flickering light lit up the area. Only what was directly in front of me was visible, however. The void probably ****** most of it up. It was better than nothing, though. I guess.
I walked around for maybe five minutes? I wasn’t sure. I could never keep track of time.
Then I heard twigs crack.
I turned around faster than you can blink. A shadow emerged from nowhere.
I blew out the fire and my finger started glowing right away.
The figure was a Neverboy that I didn’t recognize.
I shot a blast of light at him. He shot lightning at me, and I ducked. He mogrified into a snake, and slithered between my legs. I turned around again and shot lightning of my own at him. He hissed and slowly morphed back into a boy. Then, I searched his pockets and shoes for a red handkerchief. I found the silk cloth in one heavy-duty boot. I dropped it to the ground, and he was gone.
I continued on, alert and finger glowing. Until a fluffy white bunny came sprinting to me.
Kneeling down, I looked for a swan crest on its stomach. A white swan crest was there, glinting in the light of my fingerglow. Its eyes were a blue that a bunny could never have, and it had a trademark mischievous look to it that could only belong to Bluemoon or Jonathan. Bluemoon didn’t like mogrifiying, but turning into animals was Jonathan’s talent…
“Jonathan Hood. I know it’s you,” I said.
Suddenly, the fluffy white bunny in front of me slowly morphed into the familiar figure of a human boy with blue eyes and ***** brown hair. “All right, you got me,” he sighed. “You blew my cover though.”
“What kind of cover is a white bunny?” I asked sarcastically.
“A bat didn’t work for some reason, so I thought a bunny would make an Evergirl help me.”
“You thought a pretty, prissy, pink-loving Evergirl would help you?” I raised an eyebrow.
“Okay, fine, it wasn’t the best idea. I’ll admit. But we shouldn’t stand around here. We’ll get attacked.” He raised his hands up in defense.
“True.” I shrugged.
So then we walked off, still alert and ready to attack. After a while, we heard voices. We came nearer to them, and hid behind a bush to spy.
“I purposely got lower ranks for this moment. To enter right after you, so we could carry out our plan,” said a harsh male voice. It couldn’t have been a man’s voice though. It had to be a student.
“I told you. I’m not working for you, I’m not working with you. You’re working for me. I’m not doing this otherwise,” said a female voice.
I recognized both voices, but I couldn’t put my finger on where from.
“You’re not going to succeed without me.”
“Well, I have access to the Undead Kingdom, and my mother is very feared,” the female insisted. “Your dad huffed and puffed, and gave that useless kid Jonathan shape-shifting powers. Whenever anyone hears my mother’s name they tremble in fear, especially in the ocean. And the Undead Kingdom! You have no idea how much power we’d have with that place. Vampires, werewolves, ghosts, demons, skeletons, mummies, zombies, you name it. I’m related to the princess, so I’ve got… more respect than you will ever have.”
The Undead Kingdom? It couldn’t be Lucinda. It wasn’t her voice, and the voice who said all that mentioned she was related to the princess. But Lucinda never really talked about family, apart from that kid Nick and the little werewolf kid named Daniel. But what if that was all from only one side of the family?
“Just shut up already,” the male said. “I don’t care how much ‘power'”—he paused there and I assumed he was putting quotation marks around his head—”you have. You could be ruler of the world and I wouldn’t give a darn. You bail, you’re as good as dead.”
It sounded like someone was kicking a tree stump. “Fine,” the female voice said, “but the same goes for you, Michael.”
“You call me Michael, you’ll find your dead body in a closet and your spirit floating around in that little Undead Kingdom of yours.”
It sounded like someone muttered something.
I peeked over the bush to see who this Michael was and who was talking to him.
This Michael kid was Michaelangelo. I could tell right away. With his wolf ears, sharp nails, and impossibly messy brown hair, it was hard not to tell. His dark skin was quite hard to see in the darkness.
But the girl had amber-golden eyes, auburn hair, an ivory complexion, and a short stature.
I decided I would do part 1 of the Trial by Tale into even smaller parts just so it would come out faster. This story really needed an update. So the triplets will come out in threes per Trial chapter part, then Jane, Jonathan, and Lorelei, and finally Lucinda, Thorn, and Michaelangelo. But a question before I finish: What do you think Thorn and Michaelangelo’s plan is?
OOOOH IS KALI GONNA SHOW UP IN THE TRIAL!! -rubs face against glass, acting like a weirdo-
JUST SO YOU KNOW READ THE NEW BIO IN LEVEL TWO. IT’S KALI NEW AND IMPROVED. MERMANDO, MY LONG DISTANCE FISH BOYFRIEND WANTS TO MEET YOU!! (Gravity Falls reference)