Since today is the five-year anniversary of the day that ‘Harahpin’ was published, I decided to share something special with you all (and ‘special’ could be taken in multiple senses in this case xD). I can’t believe that I’m doing this, but I hereby present to you ‘Trouble in Untopia’, the tiny short story I wrote over a decade ago in seventh grade and earliest ancestor of Harahpin itself! Despite the ACHING, GNAWING desire to edit and improve, I am giving this to you as it was originally written, nary a word fudged (okay so I maaay have added an Oxford Comma here and there but nothing else is touched, not even the tense errors xD). Get ready to not know if you’re laughing or crying. :’D
WARNING! Contained herein is some of the very oldest and most under-practiced written material that This Author (me) has on record. Therefore, by continuing on to read these Seventh-Grade Scrawlings, you agree to (a) NOT judge the quality of This Author’s present-day work, in writing OR world-building, based upon this Pre-Pubescent Prose, and (b) NOT to hold This Author liable for any personal damages including, but not limited to: Lost brain cells; reduced IQ; brain lesions; eye bleeding; epileptic fits; PTSD (Post Terrible Storytelling Disorder); The Inability to Un-See; or Disability caused by the overwhelming desire to curl into a fetal position and weep in despair, solemnly swearing never to eat a root read a book again.
This Author shall now hide her head in the sand as you proceed. xD
Trouble in Untopia
The vortex came so suddenly. So suddenly that everyone in Paratopia hardly had a chance to save themselves. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Ganymede, the firefly bat, was the only one in the meadow that morning, doing his yoga stretches. A firefly bat is a medium-sized bat with wings that glow when flapped. When flying at night, they look like fireflies with one-foot wingspans.
Ganymede was in the treeless meadow which was right outside a vast forest. There was nothing in between the meadow and some huge, incredible mountains, which surround Paratopia and are its border. The sun was barely up and giving a slight glow over the mountains. The rest of the sky was misty, pastel blue-gray. It was so peaceful that Ganymede had no idea what would follow.
I bet you’re wondering what the heck is outside those border mountains. It’s the dreaded Untopia, called so because it’s not a topia. It’s one of the most undesired places imaginable. No plants, and there’s monsters, living skeletons, zombies, pollution, and frying heat. And the worst part was that, at that time, the people there were finding a way to break into Paratopia.
Right outside the impressive mountains, an Untopian man was screwing a huge bolt onto a big machine he’d created. The thing looked somewhat like a huge pistol, only more alien-like. And it had a base with wheels that it perfectly fit onto.
“Okay, let’s see if you work,” the man said when he’d finished fastening the bolt. He turned the shooter part so that it pointed over the mountains, and touched a switch. With an evil grin, he surveyed his creation with glee. It worked! So long, Paratopia, he thought.
Meanwhile in the meadow, Ganymede was looking at the horizon. The sun was in the midst of rising, but something wasn’t right. A large, glowing circle was forming over the mountains. It looked nothing like the sun. Since when does the sun swirl in place?
Next thing, the circle shot right through the huge, invisible force field that protected Paratopia. Ganymede was being pulled.
All of the paradise was engulfed in glow. Everyone grabbed something… everyone but Ganymede. There was only grass to grab in that meadow, which snapped out of the ground as Ganymede frantically clutched it.
The vortex was so bright that Ganymede couldn’t see anything as he was sucked through it. He tried to flap his wings to gain control, but the vortex persisted in swirling him around. He suddenly felt a sharp pain in his left wing.
Just when Ganymede thought he would be sick, the glow died down and he landed with a smack on hard concrete. He found himself before a man with an evil expression on his face.
“Where am I?” Ganymede asked in a small voice.
“You, my friend, are in Untopia,” the man chuckled. “Where are the rest of you Paratopians?”
“What? There are none here.”
“There were no others in the vortex with you?” the man inquired.
“Not that I could see.”
“ONE FIREFLY BAT!” the man bellowed. He looked back at the very man who had caused the vortex. “Is that all you could nab with that contraption of yours, Satan?”
“I-I don’t understand how my machine could have failed, Despot,” Satan stuttered.
“It’s faulty,” Despot said. “Paratopians are weak. We need all of them to enslave.”
Ganymede gasped in silent horror.
“We’ll throw this bat out. I guess we don’t need him. He won’t survive a millisecond in Untopia.”
Next thing he knew, Ganymede was seized and chucked right out into squishy mud. The mud sucked on him, as if it had a mind of its own.
Ganymede managed to get himself out of the mud. He was suddenly aware that his left wing was hurt. It had hit a tall rock while he was in the vortex.
He couldn’t fly. He had to find shelter, to rest for a few minutes. Ganymede did find a cave, but as soon as he entered, he saw the bone-chilling grin of a bloodviper.
Bloodvipers are large, black-scaled lizards that live in Untopian caves. When in the dark, all one can see is their eyes and evil smiles, lined with stained, razor teeth. Next thing you know, you’re food.
Well, Ganymede ran out as fast as he could. He would have flown, but couldn’t because of his damaged wing. The bloodviper chased him, but amazingly, he got away.
The heat was beginning to fry Gany. He saw a river, and it looked red with clay. No matter, he thought. I can still swim in it. But when Ganymede got closer, he discovered the true reason of its ruddiness.
The whole river was made up of blood. Ganymede had heard of the Untopian Bloodriver. Whenever an Untopian dies, his or her blood is given to the river. Every day, more is added.
Disgusted, Ganymede turned away, remembering that water was very rare in Untopia. As he walked away, he heard a loud growl behind him. He looked back and in terror, found that it was a homing gator. A huge, long-legged, large-headed reptile, almost matching a triceratops in size, that hunted and ate humans as its main diet.
But Ganymede knew that it would eat anything, including him. He stayed put, not knowing if it could cross the wide Bloodriver. But to Gany’s astonishment, the homing gator leapt right across the river of death, despite its bulk and size.
Gany ran, but he knew that on the ground, he was no match in speed for the huge croc. Flying, maybe, he could escape, but his wing was still sore. The last thing he saw before tripping and hitting his head was the enormous reptile closing in on him.
Gany was awoken by a loud, rumbling din. He was disgusted to find himself on a slimy, throbbing surface. It was dark, but Gany could dimly make out a veiny, red, enclosed wall all around him.
He’d been eaten by the homing gator! He was in the stomach, but he hadn’t yet been digested. Thank Zephyr, he thought, that I am small enough to be swallowed whole. If he’d been chewed, he’d really be in trouble.
He scanned for an escape. He thought of one, but he’d have to wait a while, and he wasn’t sure he wanted to go that way anyway. He looked up and saw the esophagus. His wing felt well enough to fly.
He flapped his wings and lifted to the hole. But when he did, he wished that his wings didn’t light up when he flew. The whole stomach lit, and Gany could see all sorts of bloody things that the homing gator had eaten.
Nauseated, Gany kept his eyes on the hole. When he reached it, he stopped flying and started crawling. The light died and he was glad. He worked his way up the esophagus, holding his nose, for the stench was awful.
Luckily, the homing gator was asleep. And luckier still, it was sleeping with its mouth open. Gany ran out as quietly as possible and stopped holding his nose. He was glad to be out of the damp stomach.
It was night time. The homing gator had walked a while and gone to sleep after eating him. Then Gany noticed something. He could see the Paratopian mountains! He was closer to home.
Had the homing gator helped him on purpose? No. Nothing in Untopia is helpful. But Gany silently thanked the gator.
Even though Gany could see the mountains, they were still a distance away. He could fly, but dangerous things would notice him, and he could not be noticed by anything.
So he walked, keeping his wings close to him, so they wouldn’t glow. It wasn’t long before he ran into a rock that was… HAIRY?! A breathing, hairy rock! Gany thought. He stood stock still.
Then the “rock” lifted its shaggy head and looked at him with bloodshot, orange eyes. It bared its jagged teeth and growled. A deathwolf.
Deathwolves are evil cousins of the Paratopian pyne*. Gany knew that if one was bitten by a deathwolf, they would be victims of the black plague. And Gany didn’t want to be eaten again.
“Oh, um, sorry,” Gany said weakly. “Is this your spot? Sorry, I’ll just be go…”
But as Gany started to walk away, the hyena planted her paw on Gany’s tail, stopping him.
“You’re not going nowhere, bat,” the deathwolf said. Gany wanted to say that that meant he could go, but he decided that it wasn’t the best time to be a smart alec, or to correct the hyena’s grammar. The deathwolf continued, “Me and my friends will rip you apart and share you!” Just then, ten more deathwolves appeared behind her, fangs dripping and cackling with hunger.
Think, Ganymede, think! Gany racked his brain. Then he had something. He kept his back to the hyenas, but turned his face toward them with a sly look. Deathwolves aren’t very smart, and he knew he could trick them.
“I wouldn’t eat me if I were you. If you do your insides will catch fire.”
The hyenas stopped laughing.
“And why is that?” one asked.
“It’s magic,” Gany replied.
“Magic…” A whispering conversation went between the deathwolves.
Suddenly, Gany whirled around and flapped as hard as he could. He shrieked as his wings blazed with light.
The deathwolves’ expressions turned to fear as they were lit with the glow of Ganymede’s wings and heard his terrible screams. Gany’s captor released his tail. She ran, and the others followed, thinking it a good idea.
Gany rocketed into the sky and flew straight for Paratopia. It wasn’t until later that he realized with horror he was flying, and his wings ablaze. Just as this thought sunk in, a huge, winged shape descended upon him, almost knocking him down. It nearly deafened him with a screech. It was a pterodactyl bat.
The giant bat chased him toward Paratopia, and the chase seemed to last forever. They were very close to the massive mountains. Ganymede saw something below that made his tummy lurch.
Satan, the man who had been the cause of all this, was at the base of the mountains with his machine, ready to try and capture the Paratopians again. Gany couldn’t let that happen. He flew right over the machine. His giant cousin crashed right into it, shattering it. Satan took a while to figure out what was going on. Then he saw the firefly bat that he and Despot were sure wouldn’t last. Then he saw, in terror, the pterodactyl bat.
To make sure that Satan wouldn’t repair the machine, Gany flew over Satan. And the big bat, right behind him, grabbed Satan in its mouth and swallowed.
Satisfied, the bat no longer chased Gany. His heart racing, he flew over the mountains, which no Untopian could pass over. Gany’s breathing slowed and so did his pulse. And now it wasn’t so hot anymore. Below him, he could see grass and water. Trees everywhere and a deep canyon. He was in Paratopia. He was home. He couldn’t wait to tell his sisters, Luna and Charon, about the day he would never forget.
Takeaways! (and shortcuts for those who can’t bear to read it all directly, lawl)
- Bats can do yoga apparently
- Giant Weapons of Mass Abduction specifically designed to capture everyone in a community only work if no one has something solid to hold onto at the moment of activation
- Baby-Untoria had humans, who apparently named their children things like ‘Satan’ and ‘Despot’, because EEEEEVIIIIILLLL!!! Also, skeletons and ZAMBIES, because… IDK, Spoopy Halloween Thrills?? x’D
- The humans made not only machines shaped like giant pistols, but also poured concrete
- They uncreatively planned to enslave all Paratopians and destroy their world, for no real evident reason, except… EEEEEEEVIIIIIILLLLL!!!
- Even the MUD in Baby-Untoria was evil.
- Untorian ‘Moglasks’ were once ‘Bloodvipers’, big evil Cheshire-lizards that would shoot you a creepy grin from the darkness before devouring your face. Also, no explanation is needed as to how tiny, injured, inexperienced Ganymede ‘amazingly’ outran one. Suspend your disbelief, I command you D:<
- The bloody rivers were originally NOT the result of a Curse but of people dying so damn much that all that blood had to go somewhere… evidently.
- Dispordils used to be called ‘homing gators’ (and apparently did not possess gag reflexes since any prey that they happened to swallow whole could just crawl back out through their esophagi without even waking them up)
- Someone who has been swallowed whole and is soon to be slowly digested alive is somehow in LESS trouble than someone who has been chewed up and thus quickly killed. Also, if you have an injured wing, being thusly swallowed apparently miraculously heals it. How convenient!
- Penamogs were ‘deathwolves’ once (they aren’t even WOLVES wtf). Also… the black plague. I’mma say no more about that. >_>
- *Paratopian pyne: Ancestral Gizdimon, pronounced, I think, like ‘pena’ (current Untorian word for any hyena-like creature), even though the spelling looks like ‘pine’ (don’t ask me I dunno)
- ‘Pterodactyl bat’. I don’… I jus… xD Look here, seventh-grade-me, if you MUST insist upon that kind of a dumb name, ‘pteranodon bat’ or even ‘quetzalcoatlus bat’ would have been more appropriate… pteranodon and quetzalcoatlus were the big pterosaurs; a pterodactyl was actually smaller, ha
- Ganymede originally had two sisters. … ….What ever became of them? õ_ô