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Ducky123

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The Great Day of the Swimmers
« on: February 22, 2014, 09:16:53 am »
Character list:
Narrator: Ducky123
Ducky: Rocky
Spike: jansenov
Mama Swimmer: Ducky123
Lilly: Ducky123
Diver: Kor
Ruddy: jansenov
Lamby: Ducky123
Edmont: Pterano
Tooele: LoyfeCycleProtector
Sonar: Rocky
Mara: Cancerian Tiger
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ducky and Spike were walking towards their nest on a beautiful, yet chilly day in late season of changing leaves. The Cold Time was just about to strike, many trees had already got rid of their leaves and those who still kept some of theirs had only ones that were of a colourful yellow, orange, red or brown colour.

Mama Swimmer was counting her little ones who weren't as little as they used to. They had grown a lot since the last Cold Time had finally ended, now reaching about a sixth of her size. She was happy that they were slowly becoming bigger and more mature but she knew that the time of great growing also meant trouble sometimes. One thing in particular, she was worried about as the young ones had reached the age and size that would require them to take a certain task...
"Tooele, Mara, Sonar, Lilly, Edmont, Ruddy, Lamby, Diver..." she counted. "... And Ducky and Spike are late as always..." The two could really get on her nerves sometimes... It wasn't unusual for them to return to the nest after it had become dark in the Great Valley... but sometimes they didn't return at all...
The grown-up hadrosaur gave a mighty sigh. It just happened at that very moment, that she saw the two troublemakers making their way towards the nest.
hmm, a signature? I'll think of something.

jansenov

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The Great Day of the Swimmers
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2014, 12:14:32 pm »
(not sure how much do you have in mind, so I'm playing it safe in the following post)

"What a day", thought Spike as he lumbered forward, tuned out to the thud of his thick feet.  Now that the ache of his muscles had waned a bit, a pleasant tiredness accompanied his rewinding of the memories of the day. He wondered if today he had slowed down or the had world sped up. His siblings had been munching their food much faster than before, almost causing Spike to snort with laughter, and his friends had been such tryhards in games of catch that he had protested sadly a few times, which nobody, not even his sister, had actually noticed. But what amused him the most today was that he hadn't been the first to stop the game to grab a bite. It had been Cera, and the others had followed soon. Afterwards, Spike had been pleased to see that the gang had now been following his schedule, stoping every now and then to eat, something the hapless spiketail had looked very much forward to.

His chain of thoughts breaking, he glanced at Ducky, and noticed that his sister was visibly animated and moving more lively than usuall, which was, he thought, kind of a feat in itself.  Spike then felt the pleasant touch of cold air on his nostrils, and listened to the sounds of distant treestars, which could only be heard during this time of cold. Then he paid more attention to what was ahead, when his eyes met the slightly annoyed eyes of his mother, pairs of other eyes, from rolling, to inquisitive, to cheerful, to sleepy, popping out in the semi-dark behind her.

Pterano

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« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2014, 02:45:50 pm »
Edmont yawned and splayed his arms out over his head and stretched his tail out behind him as well. It had been a particularly long day, as his mother had given him a new job as part of his expanding responsibilities as he grew up. In addition to helping keep their living spaces clean, Edmont was tasked with showing migrating herds around to the major sites of the Great Valley, a job he was beginning to thoroughly enjoy. But he knew he wasn't an adult yet, and also knew there was some sort of coming-of-age ritual that was required for all swimmers to participate in before adulthood.

Hearing the approaching pair of Spike and Ducky, the swimmer inclined his head towards the both of them, and a soft sigh escaped his bill. Typical... always late. But he couldn't really stay annoyed at Ducky for too long. He placed his hands on his hips, and gave her an "again?" type look as the barest hints of a smile spread across his features.

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Kor

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« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2014, 05:17:58 pm »
Diver swam back to as close to the nest as she could before she got out of the water the walk the rest of the way.    She had been swimming & playing with some friends as well as diving deep for the water plants she liked and sharing some with her friends and some younger dinosaurs.  

She walked at her usual pace, seeing no reason to hurry at this time.  She also didn't want to arrive at their nest to tired.

jansenov

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« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2014, 05:18:46 pm »
(I've given myself some more liberty here, but not too much. Please PM me for any complaints or advices.)

Ruddy was lying on his right elbow on the ground slightly outside the nest in thoughts, his eyes not really focused on anything. In a moment he regained focus, this time on the nest in front of him. It was a pretty big structure, a round shape with a layer of rocks and sand covered with a layer of hard beaten dirt . Though swimmers were used to rain, they appreaciated dry sleeping ground just as much as the flyers, and this ground dried pretty fast. And when the family was on it, it was a very warm and cozy place indeed. They had expanded it several times during the years, but it was quickly becoming small still. Some of his siblings had asked to have nests of their own nearby in hte past, but mother didn't want to hear about it. There would be time for nests, she said. For now, they all slept together. What he found very annoying about the nest, but also understandable now when he was older, is that every time the siblings had a fight, not only were they not allowed to sleep at opposite ends of the nest, but mother forced them to sleep right by each other. Similarly, when the mother noticed some siblings were forming groups where they would always sleep together, she would break them up. Only Ducky and Spike were allowed some leeway, though even they had to separate once in a while. He didn't get why some of his more squeamish sisters avoided to sleep with Spike. He remembered he had spent quite a few awkward nights with Edmont as a punishment, each staring to the other side deep into the night. Both of them would doze off at some point, however, or at least Ruddy would, and in the morning they would never feel mad at each other anymore. He couldn't figure out why it was exactly so. Probably one of those ancient lores gathered through painstaking trail and error, he thought.

Thinking about the past Edmont brought his attention to the present one. Watching him rest in the nest after his day and after they had chatted about it a bit, he was glad his brother had been spending so much time around herds of all kinds, giving Ruddy the excuse to pester him with all kinds of questions about them, and sometimes Ruddy would even accompany Edmont and assist him in understanding the questions put forward in broken speech of other heards. He would listen to members of the other herds speak, where he would hear all kinds of dialects and sometimes even a wholly different language might appear, and intriguing sayings and phrases, over which meanings he ruminated a lot. Ruddy was somewhat annoyed with Edmont's respect for schedule. He prefered the arrangement where he would help out at one time, and be helped out at some other time. Edmont would sometimes accept this, but he would also point that you could clean an existing nest that way, but you needed more order to build a new one. And he was right. Something about undertaking such long works as building a proper nest freaked Ruddy out. Ruddy would always help others with their stuff or do small stuff of his own, but making a something that's worth a life's work put him off.

Soon he saw Edmont and mom looking somewhere, and there he noticed Ducky and Spike. Ducky seemed a bit cold, while Spike was apparently impervious to his environment. He noticed Spike was cooling himself with his wide strides and opened in the fresh air. They both seemed happy, if mom's look dampened their mood somewhat. He looked at them with curiosity and understanding. He let a small smile on his lips. He was prone to crazy adventures himself, though he would always have to make them himself, unlike Ducky and Spike, whom the hand of fate itself guided to new adventures, it seemed. He was eager to find out what they had been doing at the first opportunity.

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« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2014, 09:39:11 am »
Lamby and Lilly sat on a rotten treetrunk that was close to their nest. Being cold and exhausted from the games they had been playing all day with their sister Mara - something they hardly did since Mara usually prefered to hang around with the boys - they just relaxed a bit and tried to get warm again.
"Boy, it's getting really chilly. Won't be long 'till we'll have snow battles again," Lamby chattered.
"Oh yes, I do look forward to playing the Cold Time games again," Lilly responded, smiling at her sister. Her favourite sibling was Ducky but since was usually gone to play with her gang of mixed kinds, she often spend her time with Lamby. The two girls couldn't be more different. Lilly was more of a calm soul while Lamby was the very opposite. Maybe, Lilly's calm nature was the actual reason as for why they hardly ever had arguments despite Lamby's naughty nature that often got herself into trouble.
"Of course I will be the loser again..." Lilly sighed, being born weak for reasons beyond anybody's knowledge.
"Aww, don't worry so much, sis," Lamby spoke, pulling her sister closer. "Where's a will, there's a way, y'know."
"I know..."
"As long as you enjoy the games..." Lamby said thoughtfully.
"You are right, I believe..." Lilly replied, smiling weakly.
They were watching Tooele who seemed to be lost in thoughts...
hmm, a signature? I'll think of something.

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« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2014, 06:01:17 pm »
Sonar sat by his mother for warmth. The young blind Swimmer HATED the cold. "Stupid cold." He hissed. Out of all his siblings, he was most sensitive to the cold due to his more sensitive sense of touch.

"Sorry we're late Mama, we werejust playing with our friends yep yep yep." Ducky said to her mother.

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« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2014, 11:17:00 pm »
Mara had found herself a patch of grass to sit down on.  Although she had been playing with Lamby and Lilly all day, she felt she could play more.  She was used to playing like male threehorns in a dominance match, rather than her sisters' calmer approach to playtime.  Mara could not help but chuckle at Lamby and Lilly's comments about the Cold Times.

"Oh, yeah.  Snow battles kick sharptooth butt!  I can't wait for those again," Mara said before she noticed Ducky and Spike.  "Especially the part where the last one to the nest gets ALL the snow bombs!" Mara stated as she plucked at the grass and took nibbles off the blades.

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« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2014, 04:27:23 pm »
Diver nodded, "Snow can be fun, but I don't like how it's cold all the time and a lot of the water gets cold and hard.  I would prefer it if it were warm here and we could go to a place with some snow now and then." She said, thinking over how she felt about the cold times and the non cold times.   She would greatly prefer being in a place that was always warm and could visit cold areas with snow when she wanted.  That would be nice.  Especially if the area wasn't to far away.

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« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2014, 03:08:23 pm »
Edmont decided to pester Ruddy a bit, since Ruddy had been pestering him earlier today. It wasn't done with any malice however, and perhaps pestering was the wrong word to use. He was showing subdued enthusiasm when he walked over, tapping his brother's arm lightly as he spoke. "I think something's up... what do you think? Mom's been acting like the whole family's gonna be going somewhere or doing something together soon. Always making sure we're around much more so than usual... I dunno. I just seems... different." he commented. "Like something big is coming."

Edmont was trying to hide his underlying unease over a recent development he'd discovered in his life... it was a big secret he'd kept from every one of his siblings, and he still wasn't sure how he would deal with it. It made him slightly afraid but... he kept his face mellow and what he considered "the usual", or calm, collected, and confident in himself and the path he trod, betraying none of the nervousness he sometimes felt whenever it entered his mind.

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« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2014, 05:11:13 pm »
Tooele's attention teeter-tottered between listening politely to what the others were saying and getting caught (Diver's got a point, why here and not elsewhere? Why does it even get colder at all? The days are shorter now, and the nights are longer, but it can't just be that; the nights in the warm times aren't nearly as cold as the ones in the cold times. Maybe--) in his own thoughts.
Sometimes he'd nod to what Lilly and Lamby were saying, and sometimes he'd give a distracted 'right' (which came out as as a slightly lilted 'raight'), but he didn't try to speak up too much. He picked up Sonar's grumble, and debated a moment wether to spin a pretty little word of sympathy for him. He thought of something Samuel had told him a few days ago:
'The happiest men in the world are born sick and tired.'
Besides... He was a bit occupied in his own thoughts at the moment.
He was sitting cross legged on the ground with his back curled forward and his eyes slightly upward. One of his feet jittered around in nervous comfort, massaging a little crevice into the grass.
As he picked up a leaf, realizing how strange it'd look to just sit there without eating, he saw Ducky and Spike come in.
"Hey you two. Did ya have fun with yoar friends out theyuh?" he asked more out of politeness than anything else. His accent, which had only begun to develop within the past two or three months, still didn't sound different to his own ears. He rolled the leaf around in his hands, his brow slightly furrowed. His mind was locked on two people: Ruddy, and his mother. Both seemed to be acting very strangely lately, but in a furtive way that suggested neither would tell him until the time is right. He looked up, noticing Lilly and Lamby were looking at him.

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« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2014, 03:21:38 pm »
"Hey Tooele!" Lamby called over at the absentmindedly boy. "Mind a talk?" Simply assuming he would be fine with that offer, Lamby hopped off the treetrunk and waddled towards Tooele. With a gesture she told Lilly to follow. Lilly did so, knowing that Lamby had probably an idea in mind.

Lilly then spotted Ducky and Spike and a kind of warmth immediately spread inside her. Family was really important being a hadrosaur thus Lilly was very happy to see the family together.

"Hello Ducky, hey Spike!" She called. "Did you have fun, heh?"

Simultaneously, Lamby approached Tooele. She was sometimes gawking at him in a strange way because she couldn't quite understand his occasional absentmindedness, such as now. However, he was always a great source of information for his observative nature. Her thoughts anyway...
hmm, a signature? I'll think of something.

jansenov

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« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2014, 05:13:09 pm »
Ruddy stood up as he saw Edmont approach.

"Oh come on, when does mom not act weird?", Ruddy feigned irritation, but as he saw that Edmont was not in the mood for the joke he took a more serious posture.

"Maybe you'll think I'm crazy, but perhaps we eat too much? Remember when we were just little tailbutts", Ruddy referred the short baby tails, "and when all sixteen of us went grazing with our parents? Everybody was saying "Hey, look who's coming", "Aren't they so cute", "What a beautiful family" and things like that. Now when we go grazing, I swear, brother, I sometimes get the feeling they have faces like swarming leafgobblers are paying them a visit. Maybe mom is upset because someone, like another mom, said something very rude in passing? You know how protective mom is."

Ruddy then looked a bit to the side, scratched his head and continued, his hands on his hips:

"And then there's that swimmer who's been caught by sharpteeth just outside of the Valley you recently told me about. A really weird accident, if everything you heard is true. Mother always gets upset by such things. She becomes silent and pays less attention for a while, then sighes and everything is back to normal. Now it's different. But it's unlikely that particular story is going to repeat time soon, so, even tough I'm only a second-clutcher, " Ruddy paid deference to his brother from the first clutch of eggs, "I don't see what's much there to worry about. So it can only be part of the story. There must be something else on her mind."

 
Ruddy silenced for a bit, then looked Edmont in the eyes and said:
"It looks like we're going to try out the good old Beyond's hospitality, aren't we?"


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« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2014, 11:21:11 pm »
Edmont listened to his brother with a mixture of amusement and seriousness. He knew it wasn't about the swimmer that had been gobbled by sharpteeth in the Mysterious Beyond. Maybe it was about how they ate, and while he certainly knew about the annoyances, he wasn't sure they bothered his mother to the extent they most likely could. It was a fair point, but what Ruddy suggested last was exactly what Edmont had been thinking.

His face morphed into weathered stone, and his amusement was gone as he gave a solemn nod. "I think... you're spot on." It was quite the change that had come over Ruddy's brother. "For what purpose I wish I could say... but I have heard of such coming of age rituals and ceremonies, but I also know that not all families practice them. You don't think... that's what this is all about, do you? It's rather cold now, and I can't imagine traveling... ah, but I think I worry too much." he quickly corrected himself here.

Edmont had stolen out to the Mysterious Beyond a few times lately, as he was just too curious to suppress his urges to explore; he had never gone very far, however. His self-preservation was always stronger than his sense of adventure, and he'd come slinking back in, sneaky enough not to get caught before he'd start his next tour of the valley with another group.

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« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2014, 01:16:06 pm »
Tooele blinked himself out of his thoughts and stuffed a leaf in his mouth for a moment to answer.
"Uh... Sure thang, Lamb. What's on yoar mind?" He already had an idea. He premptively looked over at mom to judge wether she was in earshot. She didn't seem to be.

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« Reply #15 on: February 28, 2014, 01:30:47 pm »
Taking a quick look at her mother who wasn't paying them any attention Lamby started to tell him what was on her mind.

"Well, y'know... It's Mum," Lamby told Tooele, trying to keep her voice at a quiet level. "She's acting weird lately, It's almost embarrassing!" She gave her mother who appeared to be absentminded a quick look before paying Tooele her full attention again. "You know any reason for it? You're usually realising such things pretty quick so I asked ya." She grinned, awaiting an answer with keenness.
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« Reply #16 on: February 28, 2014, 09:49:01 pm »
"That would be a good reason to go travelling, but where to? The place the old herd visited for those purposes dried up in the middle of a cold time just a while after our parents became adults themselves. And you know that a lot of nasty things happened to the old herd since then, and that's why were here in the Valley and all the remaining swimmers have strong feelings for our new mixed herd. I heard some other swimmers have coming of age rituals, but they come from herds from the side of the world without the bright circle and their ways are different. There's nothing but sand and rocks back in our folks' old place, in the land of the high bright circle. And you know how practical mom is. She would not risk getting us in trouble for some dead tradition."

Ruddy then looked over to Lamby and Tooele, two of the younger siblings for which he had a soft spot for,  for a moment, then continued: "Something unusual must have happened recently. Far more unusual than a swimmer  getting smacked by a disentangling branch in a gorge. Lamby told me she noticed mom was excited while chewing on some branch with half dried leaves four days ago. She asked me what do I make of it, but I just shrugged."

And Ruddy then shrugged like before, though he couldn't hide the look on his face speaking he could say more, but does not yet feel comfortable enough to do so. He usually had a flurry of chaotic thoughts which he mostly kept for himself, and let out only when it all just clicked and he thought about it actively no longer.

He then looked over to Mara and Lily. Those two couldn't be more different, and it was quite a task to find a game they both would enjoy at the same time. He would often be taught a lesson by Lily or be surprised with a punch or poke from Mara, and would get back at them in only in jest, especially now that he was leaving them behind in size and strength. Though when things were serious he would always be the obedient little brother to his elder sisters. It simply spared him some trouble.

He now got a hold of himself when seing a slight protest in Edmont's eyes.



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« Reply #17 on: February 28, 2014, 10:25:12 pm »
"Why travel anywhere.  We could do any such things here, like the flyers do.  They don't go elsewhere to do their special ritual that they did." Diver said, though she was wondering if the next one would be the same or if it would change as a result of what Petrie did that made the other flyers change what they do as well.   Though, hopefully, not needing to stop part way through to rescue someone who had fallen into the water.

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« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2014, 03:25:27 pm »
"Fair enough point." Edmont conceded. "I haven't heard of any other places to go, and the ones who come from the places without the Bright Circle can keep their habits. That'd be too far to travel for such a thing, and I've never known mom to be that serious about anything."

Edmont caught the look of angst on his brother's face however, and narrowed his eyes, smirking knowingly. It was hard for Ruddy to hide it, and Edmont raised his brows now. "Something more you want to add? Come on!" he teased now, breaking his bill out into a wider smile. "I know that look... there's something on your mind, and you aren't sure you can relate it well enough but go on... I'm listening." Edmont's turn came now to place his hands on his hips, and he shifted his weight over to his right foot, leaning a bit as he allowed his brother to speak.

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« Reply #19 on: March 01, 2014, 07:12:47 pm »


Tooele nodded his head. "Well thank you for saying so. I've noticed, alright. It's been a bit of a project of mine this week to try to reason my way through why mom is actin' the way she is. Well... I cheated." Tooele tipped his sister a sly wink. "Mom isn't the only swimmuh in the valley. So I asked around--every swimmuh I knew to ask-- and sure enough, I did get a few hints and a few said 'it's our time' when I told them how momma was. Now, they wouldn't tell me any more than that: when I asked around what they meant by that , they jus' told me 'you'll see'."
He watched as Lamby looked at him. "I have nevuh known mom to keep secrets without good reason, but I'm pretty sure she's keepin one from us. I may not've asked her myself, but I don't need to: I asked every grown-up swimmuh I knew, and with how word travels round here, I'd be floored if word hadn't reached her by now. It's happened befoar; when I was askin' around about where eggs come from, nobody would tell me. But word reached mom that I was out askin people that question,and she took me aside and told me."
He clasped his hands around one of his knees, smiling a little at Lamby. His eyes were the oaky, mellow color of green seaweed that was just beginning to dry in the sun, and they rarely ever met Lamby's own gaze for more that a few moments at a time.
"So it stands to reason," he continued, "That if word reached mom-- and I'm pretteh sure it has-- that I've been going around tellin' people I've been worried about her and she hasn't said anything by now, that there is something she is not telling us."
 "Now, what kind of secret? Well, some kind of event-- 'our time' usually means, 'our turn', and 'our turn' implies somethin' everyone goes through at one point or anothuh. They call those kinds of things 'rites of passage'. Not 'rights', mind you: 'rites'. I think that's one possibility that would explain why mom's acting funny."
A thought suddenly crossed his mind, once he realised how long he had just talked.
"One moment."
He brought his foot down onto the grass in two equally spaced thumps with two fast ones at the end. Thump-thump-thumpthump. 'Are you list-ning?' He kept a side ear on Sonar to see if he'd reply. With his hearing, he wouldn't be suprised if he had overheard them. He returned to speaking to Lamby.
"What do you think?"