FFM 31 - BabylonHe closed his eyes, taking a deep, shuddering breath. He opened the file named Babylon. The maps played over his optic nerves, showing him the thousand chosen star systems and their planets. He opened his eyes and the map projected onto the screen before him. He opened another file, this one called Babylonians. He began highlighting planets and sub-files, pairing them together. Finally, he uploaded it to the Web.
Oliphant was dozing in his cradle when his power alerts started to go off. He lazily investigated the cause of the alarm. He tumbled out of his cradle in shock. It was a full Web system overload. Everything connected to the Web was in danger of instant sublimation! He executed his emergency cut-off command. It didn't work. Using a voice that hadn't spoken in years, Oliphant began to scream.
Sarah had summited Black Dome two minutes befo
FFM 30 - To His Watery GraveBlue-Cave-Husband was old. His eyes saw things in dim blurs and his fingertips were numb. Standing up from his chair was an effort he took many minutes to prepare for. He no longer ate. He barely drank for fear of the need to urinate.
Today, he accepted his age.
It took him all day, but he raised his white cloth over the top of his home.
The Death Priests came at dawn the next morning.
They lowered his white flag. They washed him and draped his cloth over his shrunken frame. He looked at his cloth as they carried him down the foggy steps of his home. Every human in the Water God's land had this cloth. The large white cloth was swaddling clothing for the infant, marriage cloak for the newly wed, and death robe for the old.
Many of his neighbors had come from their homes nearby. The House-of-Goat-Bones, Sparkling-Rocks-Dome, Weeping-Skins-Triangle and several other families approached Blue-Cave-Husban
FFM 29 - Back in the UndergroundI let go of the railing and fell. The pavement was almost ten stories down. Surprisingly, this didn't give me much time to rethink my decision. Next thing I knew, my body was splattered and snapped all over the pavement.
My blood spilled into the cracks in the concrete and I went back to the Underground.
"That wasn't very long," my sister commented. "You were human for only forty years. Don't they live longer than that?"
"Yes, they do, but I'd had enough," I grumbled.
"Had enough? It took you a century to get approval to become a changeling! All you would talk about was dancing with the humans, sleeping with the humans, this human, that human, life is so short and wonderful and blab blab blab!"
"Well, it wasn't wonderful!" I threw up my arms in frustration. I started pacing her kitchen as I raged.
"Being a baby is great. But school!
FFM 28 - Gift from a Poor BoyfriendAishe was waiting for midnight. Her boyfriend had promised to bring her the most magnificent gift he could think of, right at twelve o'clock of the new morning. She curled up on the couch, dressed in her prettiest but not quite warmest clothes. She nervously sipped at her peppermint tea. It was three minutes to midnight and no sign of Arman. Oh, the tea was just not calming her stomach. Waiting made her so nervous. And really, what present could he give her? They were both so poor and had only known each other for two months. Two wonderful months, but they were richer only in love, never in money.
She looked at the clock again. The hand struck midnight.
Her tea cup tumbled from her hand as she fell asleep.
"Oh! Oh! What happened!" Aishe exclaimed, finding herself sitting on clouds instead of her couch.
"This is the gift, Aishe!" Arman's voice
FFM 26 - Human SpiritKeye looked up between the sunflowers as she lay on the soft soil. Thick masses of white clouds wandered across the blue sky. A dragonfly whirred overhead, taking a couple dives at a butterfly before buzzing away. She sighed as she felt the clouds wander over the sun again. They definitely needed more wood.
"Keye!" Manuel called.
She sighed again and rolled to her feet, grabbing her bag as she moved.
"Coming!" she called, pulling her mask on.
The men were already standing by the gate with their partners. She winced as she trotted up to Manuel. She couldn't see his face under his mask, but she didn't need to - he was mad.
"All masks," Horatio called.
"All masks!" everyone responded, tapping their blank porcelain faces.
"All bags and axes," Horatio called.
"All bags and axes!" the women cried, holding up their embroidered sacks.
FFM 25 - Asking Lacy OutAdam's face was painted, his jeans were sparkling and his shoes were every color of the rainbow. He quickly ran the hair molder over his head and all of his hair stood completely straight off his head. He tied it together at the top with a hairband and nervously checked himself over in the mirror. His electric red sport coat clashed marvelously with his lime polka-dot cravat. He pulled on his rainbow fingerless gloves and headed to the garage.
He hit the garage door's button and strapped in. It took a few tries, but his old Firebird lit up and the engine began to roar. As the day's sunlight poured in from the opening door, he checked his gauges. Most of his friends didn't understand why he used such an old-fashioned mode of transportation. They failed to realize how much fun it was to play and fly.
Adam launched out of the garage, his jet pack grumbling as he flew to work.
Adam peeked around the edg