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Ducky123

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Not Supposed To Be
« on: November 23, 2017, 12:35:49 pm »
Not Supposed To Be:

The cold wind blew into the swimmer’s face with unhindered force. Ducky didn’t mind the cold, not at the moment at least. The Cold Time hadn’t fully arrived just yet but the first snowfall of the previous night determined that it was just around the corner.

Sigh…

The young adolescent swimmer cast a view over the hostile, rocky landscape in front of her - The Mysterious Beyond. Standing just at the edge of the Great Valley at one of its many hidden entrances, her gaze scanned the distant horizon yearningly, her heart aching. Nothing, just nothing but rock, mountains… and hopelessness. Before Ducky knew it, her arms were embracing her legs, tears welling up. No matter how long she stared at that one spot where she saw him disappear… deep inside she knew that she’d never see him again. Never…

The previous day:

Ducky looked at Petrie sadly as they stood at the hidden entry into the Great Valley, unshed tears in her eyes.

"Are you sure that this is the right thing to do?" All her instincts told her was to pull the flyer into an ever-lasting hug, never letting go again but things were not this easy.

"You know me have to do this..." the flyer spoke in an unusually emotionless voice, sounding tired and exhausted above everything else.

"Yep, yep... yep..." tears finally erupted all across the young swimmer's face as the realm of the situation was ultimately hitting her. “I am what I am and you are... what you are... we are just... not supposed to..." Ducky never finished her sentence as her knees gave in, her limp body falling flat onto the cold, snow-covered ground, wailing like the child she used to be... and still was in a way.

"Me sad too but this be circle of life," Petrie spoke with a wisdom seldom heard from the clumsy flyer as he approached his friend a last time to help her back to her feet, holding her hands with shaking arms, his eyes almost losing themselves in the sparkly light that got reflected from the blue, tear-stained eyes of the swimmer. "Me may be far away but me never forget the feelings me have... for Ducky..." A single tear left the flyer's eyes as his mind switched off completely, all he felt being empty, sad... and lonely.

"I will not ever forget you either, oh no no no!" Ducky cried out as her vision blurred, their hands finally detaching. "Farewell… Petrie" THen she erupted into painful, cramp-like weeping.
"This not good-bye forever, Ć«member? Maybe me come back one day but... "Petrie sighed.  "Maybe when me find girl flyer like you one day... until then it be farewell..."

"I love you... Petrie." Ducky wailed.

"Me too..." Petrie whispered with ever so much regret in his hoarse voice. Only after nuzzling his friend one last time, he took off towards the horizon. Ducky kept watching him fly away until he was long out of sight, wailing on the snowy ground regardless of the icy cold until way after the Bright Circle had gone to sleep.

Back to the present:

In the end, all that the swimmer was left with was the feeling of loss, emptiness… and sorrow. There had only been one time in her life when she had been feeling this lonely - right after the big earthshake struck, separating her from her family. Back then, hope came in the form of Littlefoot, providing just the company she needed to keep going and survive. While survival clearly wasn’t on the line this time, the swimmer had her doubts whether she would get used to the hole in her heart anytime soon for it was filled with nothing but grief and despair.

“I miss you so much, Petrie… so so much…” For what felt like the hundredth time that day, the girl completely collapsed into a heap of misery, the frosty air chilling her to the bottom of her heart yet she wouldn’t have it any other way. The numbness caused by the icy wind that came blowing ever so intensely from the mountains felt strangely comforting, wrapping around the shaking dinosaur like a blanket, albeit one that ripped every bit of warmth from you.

“Please come back… oh Petrie!”

*

So cold…

Petrie retreated deeper into the cave. He barely had any time to react before the first blizzard of the season grabbed him with an iron grip, almost succeeding in taking him down. If it hadn’t been for the small opening in the rock wall that turned out to be a cavern just about big enough to provide him shelter from the wind, it’d have more than likely meant certain death in the icy winds of the Beyond.

Shaking like a hatchling, he tried to regain some of the warmth he had lost during the short exposure to the wrath of the Cold Time. It was still agonizingly cold in his cave but at least no winds would further accelerate the process of cooling down.

Ducky…

What was she doing now? Petrie knew it was a choice that had to be made but it wasn’t an easy one to be made nonetheless. The Flyer knew trying to prolong their time together would only make the final parting the more painful. It was just this that drove him to leave the Great Valley prematurely in order to live a life of his own, find a mate, start a family… and forget about the laws of nature not working the way they should in their case. Why he’d developed a romantical interest in a dinosaur so different from his species, Petrie did not know but one thing the poor flyer was too well aware of - that his heart was not deceiving him. It had taken him a whole Cold and Warm Time to figure out all of that stuff and tell the swimmer about his innermost feelings, only to find out Ducky was feeling just the same about him. They had been a couple for a good amount of Moon Cycles but, as they grew, The Time Of Great Growing hitting both of them harder than ever, the size difference growing ever so fast… Well, at some point logic had won the raging battle in the flyer’s head. As soon as the storm was over, he’d continue his journey towards a place where fliers were said to gather for courtship every cold time. As much as he hated it, he knew he had to leave his previous life behind to live the life of a flyer or else he’d always stay the odd one.

Nonetheless, as night overwhelmed the storm soon, the wind dying down to a gentle snowfall, Petrie allowed himself  to rock himself into an uneasy sleep. It’d still take a long time until he’d be over leaving his love behind after all...

------------

Whelp! What started as a pretty random something I wrote on the discord chat to prove my on the spot writing ability, turned into a solid idea for the prompt challenge :D

I always liked the relationship between Ducky and Petrie. For the sake of this story, I will have them fall in love with each other despite the species barrier, and they will have to deal with the impossibility of their feelings for themselves now (and I'll admit I kind of got inspired by Sovereign's "Separate Ways" there, you will see that soon I hope :))

Hope you like this little introduction. I'll be sure to add another chapter soon :)
« Last Edit: November 23, 2017, 01:00:53 pm by Ducky123 »
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Sneak

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Not Supposed To Be
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2017, 01:30:13 pm »
what about other abandoned stories?
Petrie and ducky could wait!  :angel
 :sducky  :(petrie

---

Well, this story is not for me, because... well, you know. :P
« Last Edit: November 23, 2017, 01:34:42 pm by Sneak »
ask me thread: http://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=15601

dinosaur in the bushes: http://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=15412

------------------



---------


rhombus

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« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2017, 02:33:03 pm »
This is an excellent introduction to what is proving to me, even at this early juncture, an emotional story.  We can feel the anguish of both the young swimmer and flyer as the realities of their situation come crashing down upon their romantic feelings.  Additionally, the act that Petrie has taken on - to prematurely leave the valley to spare his loved one unnecessary pain - is a very touching one. I will keep my eye on this one to see where it goes from here.  :yes


Go ahead and check out my fanfictions, The Seven Hunters, Songs of the Hunters, and Mender's Tale.

Sovereign

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« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2017, 04:30:06 pm »
It's great to see you participate in the Prompt challenge again! I just hope you'll be able to finish the story in time. :p Anyway, this certainly was a solid start filled with believable and deeply emotional atmosphere. The scene of the separation worked really and the finality and the eventual lack of it were tied nicely together. I'm not sure if Ducky's quest is a smart one but love can twist one's thoughts greatly. It's great to hear my fic inspired you to do this story and I'll look forward to seeing what happens next! :smile

Ducky123

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« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2017, 08:07:59 pm »
Thanks guys! I'll do my best! :D

@Snik (Sneak?) : SDP and LBT 1 novellization are still in progress. As a matter of fact, I have finished a chapter of the latter just last sunday. Just didn't find the time to upload it yet :)

Any other ongoing story of mine is likely not going to be continued but I won't say never, I may revisit them.
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Ducky123

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« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2017, 11:43:25 am »
It was only late afternoon when Ducky was finally devoid of any tears to shed, lying flat on the hard, cold ground, her breath going slow and heavy, disrupted by the occasional hiccup - a reminder of the hours of mourning. To an outsider, it looked as if the swimmer was simply sleeping - Ducky wished nothing more than to do so lest she had to suffer like this any longer, but sleep would not come that easily. There was still a good hour of daylight left before the cold night would befall her world, causing her to turn around and head back home. Until then, she would stay where she was.
 
After all the mourning for her friend, all that was left was an empty, hollow feeling, numbness having taken hold of her body and mind equally. She was freezing, all warmth seemingly taken from her heart as the hopelessness of not seeing Petrie again was beginning to claim her body, the icy cold wind blowing from the mountains ever so forcefully, doing their part of the deal. Ducky was severely undercooled but it did not bother the swimmer just slightly. After the sadness, after the mourning came indifference about everything that didn't involve her friend in some way or another. If anything, the freeze seemed strangely welcoming, matching her mindstate and, additionally, the numbness caused by her hypothermia helped eliminating the pain as well as the constant longing for the flyer. Now, she just felt... nothing, neither sad nor lonely, nor did she have any thoughts on her mind. Simply lying on the ground without caring about anything around her, time slowly passed. Slower than usual for sure.
 
*
 
"It sure is lonesome without Petrie, you know?"
 
"Yeah... it is..." Littlefoot dropped to the ground in sadness as the threehorn reminded him once more of the huge changes that his circle of friends had had to go through as of late. The two friends were hanging out in a secluded forest at the edge of the valley, not particularly feeling up to holding any conversations with curious residents who'd already heard the news, wondering whether the rumours were true.
 
"He could have told us first though..." Cera grumbled weakly, not even feeling the bravado to get all worked up as she usually would. Petrie had permanently left their circle of friends with little warning to live a life of his own. Even if she did enter full vent mode, it would do little more than upset Littlefoot even more thus she refused to.
 
"Do you blame him?" Littlefoot responded after some moments of mutual silence, both caught in their own cascade of thoughts.
 
"Course I do!" Cera retorted though it was of short-lived nature. "I mean... isn't there some other way to fix it?"
 
"I don't know, Cera," Littlefoot sighed. "We’ve never even had a friendship like that so how are we supposed to know? How it feels like to like another dinosaur with all your heart, to be lovelings..."
 
"Oh what about Ali?" Cera remarked with her usual sarcasm. "Don't tell me you don't like her like that too!"
 
"Ali lives far far away though..." Littlefoot spoke sadly. The longneck had been able to meet his childhood crush for a few days in the Warm Time when her herd came for their annual visit and, while his crush still hadn't faded, there was simply no point in dating her when they wouldn't be together anyway.
 
"What about it, Littlefoot?" Cera wondered, starting to pace around in order to keep warm as gusts of wind found their way into the forest. "Now they live far away from each other too!”
 
"It hurts not being able to see someone you love," Littlefoot spoke distant-mindedly, thoughts of his long-gone mother flooding his mind for a moment. "And... it hurts not being able to love someone... that you do love..."
 
"Oh come on, Ducky and Petrie were doing just fine before that beakbrain decided to leave her alone!" Cera reasoned fiercely, ultimately going on a rant after all.
 
"But, Cera, I think Petrie has finally realised that it's not working that way," the longneck explained, getting back to his feet as the cold wind began chilling him as well. "You know you can't lie to yourself about your feelings forever, no matter if they're right or wrong. Their mutual feelings are true, Cera, you are right but... it's not that easy... They used to be very similar but the Time of Great Growing changed us all. They're no longer the same size and their instincts tell them to do some things unique to their kind. At least that's what my folks said when they told me about this stuff..." Littlefoot sighed. "Petrie must have felt the natural call to fly to one of the places flyer go to when they..."
 
"Alright alright, I get it!" Cera snorted in annoyance. "It's kind of stupid anyway... who would mate with another kind?!"
 
"We don't know why Ducky and Petrie developed such affection for each other. We just know they did," the adolescent Longneck sighed as he took a glimpse at the skies above them.
 
"Looking like the Cold Time has arrived already..." he noted, seeing that a snow storm was brewing beyond the walls. It would be another rough night for him though this time not because of his friend's departure.
 
"Urgh!" Cera gave the nearest tree a formidable headbutt, shaking the last remaining leaves that hadn't been gathered and stored yet to the ground. "This makes me so mad! Why can't they just stick to their own kind?!"
 
Littlefoot gave his friend an understanding glance, non-verbally urging her to calm down.
 
"What?!" She puffed.
 
"Cera... it's actually not unheard of that dinosaurs had such feelings towards a dinosaur of a different kind," the longneck began uneasily, unsure about how the threehorn would react to the information he was about to share. "While it is frowned upon by most dinosaurs there are stories and rumours about dinosaurs who decided to live with a mate of another kind. And one thing even more common which is just as weird is dinosaurs mating with dinosaurs their own gender."
 
"Eww, that's so wrong!" Cera exclaimed as soon as her friend had finished talking, responding just as expected by the boy.
 
"Yes it is but isn't that somewhat similar to Ducky and Petrie? It's just as unnormal but it exists in some."
 
"Wait a second, Littlefoot!" Cera demanded, staring up at the longneck. "How can I tell you're not telling nonsense?! Sure don't believe you..."
 
“Well, that was to be expected…” Littlefoot sighed as he tried to explain.
 
"Those are stories and rumours my grandpa told me back when I was asking him about Ducky and Petrie when they... became lovers."
 
The threehorn rolled her eyes as he said this.
 
"Well, I found it hard to believe but I know now that he's right! Not everything is always black or white, you see? When Ali's herd visited back then, I decided to investigate a little, knowing there are very few males in that herd. Turns out some females live with other females... and others shared males. There's more than just the common same-kind female-male relationship in this world, you see?"
 
"And your point is?" Cera asked, sounding annoyed and bored.
 
"Well, that's why Ducky and Petrie ended up loving each other," the longneck shrugged.
 
"But MY point is how do we fix it? How do we get that stupid flyer back here into the valley!?" Cera gave another tree a rather rough push to release her frustration.
 
"Well, there is one way to get Petrie back but..." Littlefoot hesitated as his glance once more met the stormy sky that was only getting less and less inviting by the minute. "Not while there's this type of weather around though..."
 
A particularly strong gust of wind suddenly tore through the barren trees, blowing dried leaves and small branches into their faces.
 
"Good point..." Cera sighed, rolling her eyes. "Even if we were to retrieve him again though, that wouldn't fix the situation at all! We need to make sure he stays with us!"
 
"Don't be too hopeful, Cera..." Littlefoot advised downheartedly, as the first small White Sparkles were blown into their faces. "There's nothing we can do about his relationship with Ducky. My grandpa told me that not many of these inter-kind relationships worked out in the long run. Maybe it's better for both of them after all..."
 
"Oh whatever!" Cera screamed in a sudden outburst, finally knocking a small tree down completely. Only after her breath had somewhat calmed, she piped up meekly.
 
"I miss him, you know?"
 
Littlefoot did the first reasonable thing that came to his mind - nuzzling Cera to which his friend didn't object.
 
"So do I, Cera..." he said quietly, in need of consolation just as well though the threehorn made sure to keep the moment of weakness short.
 
"Well, have you seen Ducky recently?" Cera eventually spoke up in clear annoyance,  maybe also in order to change the topic, though she did not succeed at hiding her concern.
 
"I haven't," the boy responded truthfully. "Can't really blame her if she needs some time to get over the parting though I do wonder where she is as well..."
 
"Wherever she is, she’d better be home before dark because of that blizzard about to hit the Valley!" As if on cue, a gust of wind blew another branch right into Cera's face.
 
"Yeah, let's get going home before the White Sparkles start falling in masses," Littlefoot agreed.
 
-----

Didn't expect to get another one up this soon but I was bored at school today and drawing didn't seem to work well so I went for a bit of writing instead. Got some scenes for another chapter done as well so chances are I'll finish that one by tomorrow too ^^spike

I'll admit when I started writing the first chapter, I only knew what to do with Petrie's side of the story but now I have a good idea for Ducky as well. Originally didn't want to include the gang that much but it seems like they'll play a part after all :)

Hope you like it! :smile
Inactive until further notice. Don't feel at home here anymore.

Sovereign

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« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2017, 05:06:57 pm »
Well, this certainly was a conversation that shed some light to our main characters' dilemma and it was composed quite well, the examples about Ali's herd working very nicely here. :) The good situation building and the characterizations opened Littlefoot and Cera's part in this story intruguingly and it'll be interesting to see what role they're going to have in this fic. After all, as Littlefoot said, even if they find the flyer, there's not much they can do about the situation. It'll be interesting to see which road you'll take even if there's a risk that the possible premise (Gang searching for Petrie) won't be completely original. However, I trust you have something cool in mind! :DD

Ducky123

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« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2017, 08:23:11 pm »
Thank you :)

Oh, don't worry. Them going after Petrie would probably end up with a story too long to finish in time again :P
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Ducky123

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« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2017, 06:01:07 pm »
"Where are they?"

Spike ran on unusually fast legs as he tried to find Littlefoot and Cera before the storm would make any tracking attempt a futile one. He knew that he would need them in order to get Ducky to go home before the storm would get her into trouble. Spike knew Ducky wasn't stupid but what he did know was that the recent events had made her act extremely unreasonable. It was because she wouldn't go home with him at the end of the previous day, returning only in the middle of the night, that he was showing such a level of concern in the first place.

If Ducky got caught in the storm...

Spike had experienced first hand how chilling the icy winds could be when he and his friends got caught by a strong one in the middle of the Cold Time in the previous year during an expedition into the outskirts of the Valley. In the end, due to being caught in a dead end without any cavern to hide, the winds too strong to journey on, the visibility non-existent, their only option was to huddle close together for warmth.

And due to my big size, I got the worst of it...

Spike sighed. If he wouldn't find his friends in this huge forest their scent lead him to, he'd have to check on his sister on his own... At least he knew her exact position if the previous day was any indication...

*

Oh Petrie...

Occasionally, the girl would lift her head ever so slightly to peek over to the mountains she last saw Petrie flying over. Dark clouds were gathering there, sending gust after gust of wind blowing into her face mercilessly, getting colder by the minute. Ducky expected to see Petrie being blown over the mountains back to her any minute but all that came blowing over to her were more and more snowflakes. At this point, the dark clouds had organized themselves into a pitch-black wall of doom, spawning lightning here and there, approaching fast.

Sigh.

As much as she preferred to stay where she was, Ducky's burdened mind finally came to the realization that there was no point in staying where she was lest she'd get herself killed in the storm. She still had hope Petrie would return one day after all so she could not succumb to her despair. Not yet anyway.

*

"This one's gonna be a bad storm..."

As they made for their homes at a quick pace, the wind getting a real nuisance, Littlefoot bent his neck back to validate Cera's statement. A black curtain of clouds met his eye quickly advancing, the icy wind hurting his eyes, forcing him to turn away from it almost instantly.

"We're lucky the wind is not coming from the other direction," he exclaimed against the increasing noise of wind rushing past his ears and the creaking of the trees. Walking home against the wind would have been even more of a struggle than it already was.

"Yeah, but we're not lucky to have this storm strike us so early!" the threehorn retorted in annoyance as she picked up speed. "It's approaching faster than I thought, we have to hurry!"

"Agreed!" the longneck replied, redoubling his efforts to break through the underbrush. Though he could advance much faster this way, his increased speed also reduced his attention and his sense for his surroundings... Littlefoot didn't see the obstacle coming until it stood right in front of him.

*crash*

With a resounding thud, flesh met flesh as the two dinosaurs met in their respective sprints, Cera barely managing to jump over the resulting chaos.

"Urgh, what the hell did I just..." Littlefoot mumbled drowsily until a very familiar, although slightly annoyed, grunt met his ears.

"Spike! What are you doing here?"

The Spiketail freed himself from the longneck's extremities as he rose back to his feed, regaining his breath from his previous sprint that had found its end so suddenly. Despite the pain of the collision, Spike couldn’t help but show his trademark grin. After all, this situation was kind of hilarious.

“Great, so can be go home now before we’ll get snowed in?” Cera urged, gesturing to the sky with her frilled head.

Right…

“Hey Spike, where’s Ducky by the way?” Littlefoot wondered as he rose back to his feet as well, dusting himself off. “The storm coming is gonna be a bad one and she’d better be home by the time it arrives.”

“Which should be anytime now!” Cera pointed out sarcastically. “Come on!”

Ducky, we need to get her…

“uuuuurrghh…” Just as his two friends began to walk towards the shelter of their respective nests, Spike suddenly uttered an urgent grunt. They had to understand…

“You know it’d be easier if you just spoke, Spike?” Cera rolled her eyes, unable to understand the spiketails unintelligible grunting.

“Something wrong with Ducky, Spike?” Littlefoot attempted to guess though his understanding of the spiketail was by far inferior to Ducky’s.

“Uh-huh!” Spike nodded frantically, jumping from his hind legs to his front legs to further indicate the urgency of the situation. His gaze went up to the mountain walls, over where the storm was approaching quick.

“So… you think Ducky’s somewhere over there?!” Littlefoot interrogated further, a suspicion rising within his mind quickly.

Again, Spike nodded hectically.

“Okay, you know where she is? Or might be?” Now the longneck began to show the first signs of hurry as well, not only because of the snowfall really getting started. If Ducky went after Petrie…

Spike quickly considered before he affirmed.

“Lead the way then!” Littlefoot ordered, following Spike without hesitation. I have a bad feeling about this…

“Wait, what?!”

*

The swimmer girl may have made up her mind about leaving for home at last, however actually doing so was trickier than she anticipated. After hours of resting at the same spot in the same position, exposed to the cold, her junctions were extremely stiff and wouldn't move on command. Many parts of her body had gotten numb, devoid of any sensual detection up to the point where she wouldn't even feel the cold anymore. But now she needed to shake out of that.

Come on, I must not stay here, oh no no no!

The dark wall was approaching fast, snowfall beginning to obscure her vision as it quickly grew in intensity. Thunder rolled across the landscape, scaring the swimmer a little as the option of being stuck out there became a real option.

Come on legs, move...

Only when the dark wall of doom was directly above her, the wind increasing by another few magnitudes, Ducky's extremities began regaining their ability of coordinated movement, replacing the numbness just enough to get into a kneeling position...

...only to be toppled over by the storm, landing with her face flat in the thin layer of snow that was growing quickly now.

Hurts... so much...

Only as the swimmer tried to move, crucial pain erupting everywhere in her body, from the tips of her toes to her spine and shoulders, she began to realize just how much of a mistake she had made...

-----

Yup, hypothermia is a real bitch and I happened to have a lesson about the effects of freezing only last week so I implemented that into this chapter. Poor Ducky was so heart-broken, that she didn't realize how badly she was suffering from the cold until her movements cause her limb limps to be supplied with blood and nutrients again... which is a painful, painful process (just some lvl 1 frozen fingertips are enough of an experience to be aware of its consequences :P )

Before you leave, I have a question to ask.

Do you think I should have made Petrie's part longer? I didn't think too much about him facing the storm since he'll have a considerably thicker plot in the chapters that come after the storm... :unsure:
« Last Edit: December 04, 2017, 04:08:15 pm by Ducky123 »
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Sovereign

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« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2017, 11:54:27 am »
These were some intense developments in this installment and the chilly atmosphere was quite tangible. Especially Ducky's scenes nicely fleshed out her slowly awakening doubts about her trip. Also, I liked the Littlefoot/Spike "conversation" due to his line of thought communicating with the spiketail was quite well done. It's quite probable that the two group will find Ducky soon enough but even then, the journey is far from over. On a side note, there were three uses of "wall of doom" in this chapter. It's nothing serious but it caught my eye.  :p As for Petrie, I don't believe his absence in this chapter was a major problem, especially if he'll have a major role soon enough. :)

rhombus

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« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2017, 02:23:13 pm »
I seem to have missed the last two installments when they were posted.  :sducky The interactions between the teen-aged gang are quite believable, showing their default personalities tinged with the wisdom of additional life experience.  The interactions between Littlefoot and Cera was particularly interesting, with her blaming of the flyer for leaving the valley (and causing Ducky's emotional anguish) and our favorite Apatosaurus being a bit more empathic to the flyer's plight.  The does make me wonder how everyone reacted when Petrie and Ducky first official became a thing though...

The latest chapter is quite well done with the coming of the storm appearing to foretell future hardships. The 'discussion' between Littlefoot and Spike was done nicely, clearing showing the importance of Ducky in allow Spike to more easily interact with his friends. As for Ducky, the current hardships do not bode well for her journey.  We can only hope that her friends will find her soon.  :yes

As for Petrie's small part thus far, I think that is perfectly acceptable if he has a larger role later on.  These initial chapters have allowed us to get a feel for the current situation, and to get in touch with the thoughts of Ducky and her friends.  Showing us more of Petrie later on, to see his thoughts and actions in contrast to that of his friends, might be more impactful than including large scenes with him early on.  :)


Go ahead and check out my fanfictions, The Seven Hunters, Songs of the Hunters, and Mender's Tale.

Cancerian Tiger

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« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2017, 02:58:45 am »
Oh yes, I can definitely relate: hypothermia is indeed a b****.  And the thing is, hypothermia sneaks up on you faster than you realize :unsure:.

I like your story thus far, and I can't wait to see what happens next :yes.

Ducky123

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« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2017, 12:24:14 pm »
thanks for the feedback guys! Unfortunately, procrastination is a real b**** as well :sducky but at least I managed to write some bits and pieces inbetween during school breaks :P Have fun with this one!

-----

“Guys!? You're not seriously going out during THIS storm to search for Ducky?! That’s suicidal!”

Cera didn’t like where this was going. She, too, remembered the last time her group had gotten stuck during a storm like this and it wasn’t an experience she’d like to make again.

“Cera, she may have gone after Petrie! She’s in real danger!” Littlefoot retorted fiercely.

“Unlike us?” came the threehorn’s quick and pointy response.

“I for one don’t feel like our gang losing even more members!” the longneck roared against the force of the storm picking up in intensity now, distant thunder rolling across the Valley.

“If we go after her, we might just all get lost in the storm though!”

She has a point…

Littlefoot quickly considered this as they continued to follow Spike, however the Spiketail suddenly stopped, shaking his head.

“Huh? We’re not having another fight, Spike, don’t wor…” Littlefoot began when Spike again shook his head violently.

It’s something else he means uhh… oh right!

“Ducky is not going after Petrie?” Littlefoot took another guess to which Spike answered with an affirming grunt.

“Then why do we have to search for her?!” Cera asked the obvious question. “Spike seems to know where to go! He could just go get her himself!”

Or maybe not..

“Cera, I overheard my folks talking to her mother this morning,” Littlefoot mentioned. “Apparently, Ducky didn’t come home yesterday until very late in the night and she is suspected to have gone to the edge of the valley where they said farewell to each other yesterday… that’s all I know…”

“A-hum, a-hum!” Spike confirmed hectically.

“And now you suspect she won’t go home despite the storm? Gee even Ducky is not this stupid!” Cera rolled her eyes.

“We have to make sure, don’t we?”

“Whatever happens, I’ll blame you first and Ducky second, you got that?!” Cera gave in, marching on after Spike who set into motion again.

“Come on, Spiky, lead the way fast!”

*

What is going on?

Ducky didn't understand. Why was her whole body suddenly giving her a hellish pain that hindered her from moving? And why did it have to happen now? She was in the path of the storm, the outer edges already beating her with a force that made standing a challenge, not to mention walking. It was only now that the swimmer realized just how cold her body must have gotten. All of a sudden, as she felt a little warmth creeping into some parts of her body due to her constant movements to regain more feeling in arms and legs as well as her tail, the pain and sudden freeze took hold of her whole body as her body temperature dropped rapidly making her regret that instantly.

Is this what dying feels like?

Pain and cold rendering her incapable of moving, thus unable to escape the fierce storm, all Ducky could do was crawling over to the nearest rocks to take a little shelter from the unforgiving wind where she crouched down in a fetal position, trying to preserve the little warmth she had left, shaking heavily, tears falling before they froze right on her face.

Please... somebody help me...

*

"Say Littlefoot, could it be this year simply sucks!?" Cera ranted as the group ascended the walls of the Valley against the roar of the storm, trying to keep the masses of snow out of their faces. As a matter of fact, Cera's - or any of her friends' lifes for that matter, hadn't been as happy-go-lucky as in the previous years and some events throughout the year had greatly attributed to that.

Like Chomper and Ruby leaving...

"Yeah, I know, Cera, but this is not the time!" the longneck shouted against the noise around them. "Let's find Ducky!" Littlefoot had to admit that Cera was right - after Chomper and Ruby had to leave, now their gang was reduced by another member, the Time of Great Growing contributing a lot to their predicaments throughout the year. In addition to the unique challenges of growing up, the Valley hadn’t had the best of weather conditions in the recent time… and it seemed like that trend was continuing. Right now, they had other priorities though. Ducky was possibly in danger.

"Spike, you still know where to go?" he asked. If they had gotten lost... visibility had long since gone so low they barely saw the path in front of them anymore.

The Spiketail nodded although he seemed far from self-confident about his tracking abilities in this crazy weather, his sniffer being too cold to function properly.

"He'd better know where he's leading us..." Cera muttered under her breath though her words were carried far away by the storm. With grim determination, the threehorn picked up speed, literally shoving her two friends up the hill. "We'll be frozen rocks before we up there if you don't move it!"

She has a point...

"Let's hurry, if I'm not mistaken we should reach the top of the walls really soon!" Littlefoot agreed, pushing onward with renewed strength, and so did Spike. After two minutes of running upslope against the wind, they finally reached what they believed to be the outer edge of the Valley - one of many possible entries. Panting heavily, their breaths formed misty clouds that were torn apart by the blizzard the moment they formed. At the very least, the exertion kept their bodies warm.

"What now?" Cera shouted questioningly, facing her two other friends, wondering what the best course of action might be now.

"Spike, can you smell her?" Littlefoot inquired, looking at the Spiketail expectantly. The Spiketail flinched as the icy air flooded his nostrils but he knew what was at stake. Either he would sniff his sister out now, discovering her current whereabouts, or their whole expedition would be a failure and Cera would rant at him for months to come, not to mention the possibility of Ducky being in serious problems in this maelstrom of snow. The spiketail concentrated on his sense of smell with every ounce of his mind, various faint smells, overlayed by the smell of snow that got into his nostrils, barely being noticable but, just as he had hoped, Spike caught the one smell he would never miss no matter what...

"Iiiiiieeeeee," Spike exclaimed in a mixture of fear and anticipation though he could not hide his joy of having caught Ducky's scent. Even though it was ever so faint, he knew about where to go...

Just a short sprint somewhere to the right...

Spike didn't show any hesitation whatsoever, darting off towards the left without another word. Littlefoot and Cera exchanged a few questioning glances, Littlefoot barely gesturing towards the direction Spike went off to.

"He better have found her…”

*  

Is this the end? Ducky shivered, whether out of fear or due to the frost didn't really make a difference at this point. The numbness had returned two-fold, but this time it didn't stick to her extremities and outer skin, extending all the way through her body. The only thing the poor swimmer still felt was the heavy, panicked and quick beating of her heart. On the bright side, she didn't feel much pain anymore, but her vision and consciousness was blurring more and more, dizziness spreading through her mind.

What is this?

As futile as it seemed, the swimmer scanned her surroundings, looking for help since her voice wouldn't stand a chance against the deafening storm, noticing something strangely familiar - a vague shape against the monotone whiteout.

A Spiketail?

The thin layer of ice that had formed from her tears didn't help to tell what her eyes were seeing and her condition rendered her highly incapable of processing information anymore. The swimmer didn't know whether she could trust her senses anymore so she refrained from making any bold assumptions. However, Ducky soon began questioning that decision as an all too familiar cry reached her frozen ears...

*

"Iiiiiiieeeeeeeeeehhhhhhhhhh!!!"

Spike exploded in joy as he finally saw what his sniffer was telling him all along through the snowstorm. Ducky was out there just as he had assumed, however in what state would she be? Despite the exertion, the spiketail was suffering from the cold. Now considering that Ducky was smaller and probably not exercising as much as he did on his quest to find his sister...

"I need to get to her quick!"

*

"S-spike?" Ducky didn't know what was happening anymore, her senses failing, her conscience blurring. Did she really just hear Spike calling for her or was she just hallucinating in the face of death? Ducky really couldn't tell anymore, her mind a mess, unable to think, unable to reason or react, her sense of balance failing her at last as she toppled over from her crouched position, her world spinning as if she had been hit by a large boulder.

Suddenly, Ducky felt her little vision fading almost completely, only a tiny window remaining, and she lost the last bit of feeling in the rest of her body, hardly hearing her brother call her name anymore, the storm a mere whisper. It was only a few seconds before she lost her conscience that she caught a glimpse of Spike.

"Help... me..."

Her head dropped to the ground.

-----

Things are getting serious, huh?  :smile

on a related note: I am submitting this story to the december prompt instead since it just happens to meet the theme as well :D
Inactive until further notice. Don't feel at home here anymore.

Sovereign

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« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2017, 03:47:31 pm »
The action certainly started to heat up in this chapter. The descriptions of the storm as well as Littlefoot and Cera's conversation were executed quite nicely as they managed to create more feeling around the current events. Spike's role is quite strong here and the way he now leads the Gang is quite interesting. The ending was quite dramatic and it'll be intruguing to see how things continue from this point, even if I'm quite sure Ducky will survive. However, the swimmer's thoughts in the storm, like Is this what dying feels like?, weren't the chapter's strongest point imo as they seemed somewhat cliched. And concerning the backstory, maybe it isn't a good idea to expand it too far as this is just a monthly prompt response. :smile Even then, it'll be interesting to see how the reunited remnants of the Gang will move on from this point. :)

Ducky123

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« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2017, 08:26:24 am »
Thanks for the feedback again, Sovereign! :smile

I actually have much more written than posted ugh writing is more fun than uploading  :bang  :D

-----

"Spike, what's wrong?!" Littlefoot entered the scene panting as he had finally fought his way through the harsh weather conditions, Cera in his toll, catching up on the spiketail to see a dreadful expression on his face. As he joined Spike's side, he soon discovered what caused him such distress.

"Oh no, is she..." Cera spoke fearfully as she joined the boys. In front of them, cowered behind a rock formation that sheltered her from the wind a little, lay the green swimmer motionless, her skin pale and blue, covered in snow and ice. "Please tell me she's breathing!" Panic began to rise in Cera and her friends as the possibility of losing another friend became ever so likely. Spike, being too worried sick to think straight, frantically cried her name in his unique language while nudging her repeatedly... to no avail.

"Spike, it's no use!" Littlefoot ordered, composing himself and remembering some lessons of old Mr. Thicknose that would prove to be valuable in this situation...

Check on her breath, make sure her throat is clear...

The longneck didn't hesitate, lowering his neck, placing himself directly in front of the swimmer's mouth. Looking for a possible sign of breathing was incredibly difficult under these conditions because neither hearing nor feeling the breeze of the breath would work in the storm but he tried anyway. Due to her lying position it was likewise difficult to determine if her chest was moving or not so Littlefoot decided to shove her onto her back carefully.

"What are you doing?!" Cera demanded but Littlefoot non-verbally signalled her to be quiet.

Her chest should still be moving if she's breathing...

For about a minute, the Longneck observed with maximum concentration, ignoring Cera's outrage about the swimmer even freezing faster, until he could finally tell...

She's breathing, but barely...

"So what is it now, Littlefoot?!" Cera almost begged as the tension tore her nerves apart, Spike merely watching with tears in his eyes, standing on wobbly legs.

"She's alive but it's looking bad. If we want her to survive the night, we either need to get her out of here quick..."

"...No way Littlefoot, we'll meet the same fate before we get back to somewhere safe!"

"... or protect her with our bodies," Littlefoot finished.

"That may have worked last time we got stuck in a bloody blizzard but we were seven and we could take turns. Now we're three and this storm is absolutely chilling  me to the bone already!"

"Then what do you suggest? Ducky's not gonna survive this!" Littlefoot argued, the fear of losing her nagging on his composure.

"Don't we always somehow stumble upon some goddamn caves when we're deep in shit like right now?!" the threehorn ranted, pacing around to keep warm.

"Actually..." Suddenly, the longneck came to an important realization. "We've been exploring around here in the past. There should be a large cave on the left side of the path to the left We did go to the left, didn't we?!" Excitement, hope... maybe there was a way to get Ducky to safer territory after all.

"You mean that weird one with the stone teeth that reach all the way to the bottom? That exits in the middle of nowhere on a rock cliff facing towards the Valley?!"

"Yep, that one Cera!" Littlefoot exclaimed, his spirit renewed. "Spike, you remember if we took a turn to the right or left after reaching the exit?"

As if on cue, Spike nodded and cried, he too realising that there was something they could do after all.

"Can you find it, Spiky? Cera and I are going go carry Ducky then!"

The Spiketail confirmed.

"Great, we'd better hurry then!" Cera shouted as the storm picked up more and more strength, threatening to catch the threehorn off balance.

"Cera, you help me lift her onto my back, then make sure the wind doesn't push her back down!" Littlefoot instructed, grabbing the swimmer with his tail though she was too big and heavy to lift her on his own.

"Got'cha!" Cera replied.

As soon as Ducky was safely positioned on top of the longneck, the group fought their way through the snow storm, the wind luckily in their back. Littlefoot had been correct about the cavern indeed. After a few longneck lengths, though hard to see in the misty grey of dawn, Spike tracked down the narrow entrance (Littlefoot barely managed to crawl in with Ducky on top) and, with great relief, dropped to the ground, completely worn out.

"We need to go deeper, the wind is still going on here because this is just a tunnel back go the valley!" Littlefoot urged them on.

"Yeah, I'm sick of the wind..." Cera frowned, taking the lead until a secluded chamber came into her view. "In there!"

Finally, Littlefoot was able to drop the swimmer who was by far not as light as in their younger years with the help of Spike who immediately rushed to her side glancing up at the longneck worriedly.

"She's still breathing, although just barely," Littlefoot explained, a thin cloud of fog forming in front of the swimmer's beak every now and then. "Gee, she must have spent all day up there in the cold wind until the storm surprised her, otherwise she should have been able to make it back safely..."

"Even Spike saw it coming, has Ducky seriously lost her mind now?!" Cera lamented. Her being love-struck, thus obscuring her perception in more than a few cases, clearly had been subject to critism from the threehorn's end before.

"Maybe she just fell asleep?" Littlefoot pondered, the mysterious stone teeth that were growing not only from the ceiling but also from the floor, joining together at some places, entering his field of view as he look into the distance thoughtfully. Though he was promptly interrupted by a cold snout nudging him with urge.

"I know, Spiky, I should stop thinking and help heating her up..." The longneck put a remorseful expression on as he signalled Cera and Spike to join him. “Let’s spend the night here. While we try to sleep, we can help Ducky regain a healthy temperature. Let’s just hope she’ll make it through the night. Nothing we can do but to keep her warm at this point…”

“Yeah… I’m done anyway, let’s sleep…” Cera mumbled groggily, placing herself next to Ducky’s ice-cold body, joined by Spike while Littlefoot placed himself on the swimmer’s other flank, wrapping his long neck and tail around her as best as he could.

Please wake up tomorrow...

-----

I'll leave you hanging a little longer  :sducky
« Last Edit: February 18, 2018, 02:21:12 pm by Ducky123 »
Inactive until further notice. Don't feel at home here anymore.

Sovereign

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« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2017, 12:57:34 pm »
Quote
I actually have much more written than posted ugh writing is more fun than uploading  :bang  :D

I second that but it's best to release your new chapters as soon as possible to avoid the work with the writing/publishing process from accumulating too badly. :p

As for the chapter, it had a nice atmosphere and the way Littlefoot and Cera faced Ducky's situation was done very well and it showed the characters' fear and confusion about her condition. The details about the Gang's efforts to save the swimmer were pleasant to read while still preserving the moment's fears and the prospect of loosing another member of the Gang. However, Cera's comment about Ducky being "a piece of junk" was on odd one as I don't see even her saying something like that about her friends. Otherwise, this was a short but enjoyable chapter and it'll certainly intriguing to hear what Ducky will make of her situation if (or rather when) she wakes up. :)

rhombus

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« Reply #16 on: December 29, 2017, 11:52:58 pm »
It is long past time that I get caught up on this story.  :yes  The last two chapters have certainly been eventful ones.  I like how in the previous chapter Spike has a chance to shine in directing the others towards Ducky in a thrilling and dramatic conclusion.  In the most recent installment I think that you have captured the interactions between Littlefoot and Cera superbly as they struggle to find out Ducky's condition and to save the poor swimemr's life.  The reference to them already having experienced Chomper and Ruby leaving the valley, and of course the flight of Petrie from the valley, just goes to highlight how much they do not want to experience the loss of another childhood friend.

Overall these were quite good chapters.  :) The main critique that I would offer is that some of the word choices might need some reconsideration.  The "a piece of junk" line that Sovereign noted is also one that caught my eye, but another would be the line that goes "help getting some temperature back into Ducky..." which should probably be revised into something like "help heating Ducky back up."  But other than those few instances of odd word choices, these two installments were quite a joy to read.  :)


Go ahead and check out my fanfictions, The Seven Hunters, Songs of the Hunters, and Mender's Tale.

Ducky123

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« Reply #17 on: December 31, 2017, 12:32:55 pm »
Thanks for the reviews! :)

I'll reconsider the word choices you pinpointed, yep yep yep!

As for the future of this story, despite not being able to finish it in time, I am going to continue working on it (however I'm a bit writer's blocked atm :P )
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Ducky123

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« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2018, 02:18:12 pm »
Oh boy, I've been working on Petrie's and Ducky's storyline every now and then but it never occurred to me that I already had more than enough for a new chapter  :bang

Well, here ya go :lol

-----

Two weeks later:

Me see Mountains of Courtship!

With joy, the adolescent flyer picked up speed as the destination of his journey - the Mountains of Courtship, a place for flyers to find a mate during the cold time, came into view. It was a small aggregation of cone-shaped mountains - volcanoes that hadn't been smoking for as long as flyer tales were remembered, surrounded by a lush forest rich in fruit-holding trees and bushes and a somewhat larger lake that was rich in wildlife as well, attracting carnivorous species of flyers as well. Although his kind was part of their diet, herbivorous flyers typically weren't targeted for food during the cold time. The sharptooth flyers were outnumbered badly, only getting to court on one of the mountains - the one overlooking the lake, while the flatteeth held the remaining peaks. In total the place consisted of eleven of them, varying in heigth, steepness and even vegetation.

Uncle right about this place... it just as he say.

The young flyer had been able to reconnect with his uncle after his banishment was finally over, however Pterano had grown used to his life of migration, the fact that he still wasn't quite welcome contributing to his decision. Still, Petrie had learned a lot from him during his stay, things he wouldn't have understood back when he was still a child.

First me need to figure out where flyers my age be, then me need to find mountain where males be...

Catching some of the updrafts, Petrie gained height as he approached.

-

"Morning guys..."

"Good morning, Ducky!"

As the weakening form of the Bright Circle slowly creeped along the walls of the Valley, still undecided whether to rise or proceed to hide, Ducky joined her friends at their usual meeting spot, looking groggy but otherwise alright. Spike soon emerged behind some bushes as well.

"How's your tail doing?" Littlefoot asked neutrally, not sure how his friend was feeling this morning. Luckily, the swimmer had recovered pretty well from severe hypothermia, however the frost burn that covered most of the skin and, in particular, the tip of her tail was causing her quite some pain, some days being worse than others. The blizzard had been kind to them. As fierce as it hit their home, as short-lived it had been, the storm having ceased completely by the time they had woken up in their cave. Ducky's body had still been limp and cold back then but their body warmth had heated her just enough to slowly regain a low but unproblematic core temperature, allowing Littlefoot to head back to the valley to inform their folks of the situation to return with Ducky's mother in toll, worried but happy to see her daughter alive.

It had taken two days for the swimmer to regain full consciousness and feeling in her extremities and another week for the frost burn to heal, allowing her to move again. However, things were still far from even okay.

"It hurts," Ducky responded rather bluntly, not even in the spirit to add her triple yep.

"Sorry 'bout that," the longneck replied, giving his friend a quick nuzzle. "You got any sleep tonight? You look terrible..."

"Hardly..." came her instant response. Unfortunately, akin to a bad sunburn, a frost burn, although healing much slower, caused pain when being touched which had the effect that Ducky frowned slightly while being nuzzled though she appreciated the gesture nonetheless. She had been sleeping terrible due to the fact that lying down was still painful, making it close to impossible to find sleep, especially in her current mind state.

"Well, it's your fault for all of this to have happened!" Cera shouted in annoyance, kicking some left-over snow in frustration. It hadn't been snowing ever since and temperature soon recovered significantly, however it took a long while for such masses of Ground Sparkles to melt completely. Wherever the storm had piled it up, some of it still remained.

"It's your fault that you went up there where the wind is freezing cold as it is! Forget the beakbrain!"

"Cera!" Littlefoot chimed in, sensing an argument in the bowel but it was already too late.

"Fine, talk to me again once you have had your heart broken!" the swimmer exclaimed in outrage, tears welling up in her eyes. "Nobody understands me!"

"Nobody understands you either, geez!"

"Cera, that's enough!" Littlefoot yelled fiercely, stepping inbetween, flanked by Spike whose glare at Cera was at least as grim as Littlefoot's. "Instead of yelling at her, how about trying to understand her feelings?!"

"Oh, don't you too! Leave me alone with that love crap!"

"For the record, Ducky didn't even talk about Pe.."

"DON'T mention that name while I'm around!" The threehorn entered an aggressive pose, her horns aimed towards her friend.

"Hey, what's this fuzz all about now Cera?! Get a grip and stop being unreasonable! He'll always be our friend no matter what! Or did you forget about the vow we made so long ago?"

Cera didn't immediately respond, appearing to be pondering about her next words.

"I thought we're old enough to know nothing good ever comes out of the fights we have..." Disappointment rang in the longneck's voice as his gaze wandered over to Spike who had joined his side in mute support.

"Oh fine whatever!" Cera grunted, giving in this time for she wasn't angry at Littlefoot in particular nor did she want to. Although the sticky feeling of being misunderstood remained. "I'm just tired of her whining, okay? She's not a little hatchling anymore and she should know she alone is responsible for all of this! And as for the beakbrain, I just don't see why he needs to leave!"

Well, at least she did see reason...

"Well, I don't exactly know about him," Littlefoot begun, respecting the threehorn's request not to mention Petrie's name lest to fire up the tension again. "However, if I were to guess, he didn't fly to that place looking for a mate as he claimed but he might simply need some distance. Ducky doesn't really care about the issues that him being a flyer and her being a swimmer cause them but he was able to make a tough decision that caused Ducky much grief.”

Because she couldn’t make that decision…

“I think he simply needs some distance for the feelings to calm down so he can see her as a friend and not as a love interest again..." Littlefoot sighed. "My guess anyway. I'm correct on your part, am I not Ducky? Ducky?" Littlefoot turned around only to see that Ducky wasn't with them anymore, Spike merely gesturing to a spot behind them.

She left, oh great...

"Let's go after her, Spike..." the longneck sighed. "I think I know where she's headed to..."

*

The closer the flyer got, the bigger grew his anticipation but, even more so, anxiety and a distinct feeling of uneasiness. Pterano may have told him about how courtship worked and how to behave, however it was clear that he was, at most, a rookie in the community of the mountains and far from having the self-confidence to talk to another girl flyer, not to mention standing up to challengers. As he reached the first outskirts, he felt the judging looks of other males on his back penetrating him already and those were just feeding grounds he was trespassing, stopping here and there to feed on some treestars that were still on the trees there in the warmer weather. Most flyers seemed to be adult but he spotted the occasional adolescent too.

As he reached the first of the eleven peaks, his observation began.

This mountain full of old flyers, it no have plant life and it look pretty crooked. This not right.

As he passed over the pretty gloomy-looking mountain, soon another presented itself to the flyer, looking much more inviting with its rather smooth surface only consisting of smaller cascades, rocks and cliffs.

This be girl flyer only mountain.

Petrie quickly amended of course of flight upon that realization, receiving some odd looks from the females.

Yep, Petrie not s'pposed to be here...

Looking around himself, the brown flyer decided to aim for the tallest of all mountains to his right which also seemed to be the center of the whole place, soon realizing that this was not his place either.

“Grown-up males here, me move on…”

After trespassing the sharptooth flyer’s mountain and two more mountains where both genders seemed to meet for courtship and chit-chat, he finally discovered the mountain where the young males gathered. Reluctantly, Petrie moved over there…

-----

Well, what do you think? I don't think I'm particularly good at describing locations tbh :sducky

Also I seem to like writing arguments stirred by Cera lately, huh? :P Well, I think the next chapter is probably going to reveal what direction we're taking here. Since I, technically, merely have to merge what I have together into a coherent story line, that might not be too far into the future but, knowing me, I won't promise anything :P
Inactive until further notice. Don't feel at home here anymore.

Sovereign

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« Reply #19 on: February 20, 2018, 04:24:00 pm »
Well, this chapter offered us a glimpse about which direction this story is going next. At long last, Petrie's story moves on again and it seems like he won't be having an easy time trying to blend into the flyer mating traditions. :p As for the the rest of the Gang, it's good to see that Ducky is on her way to recovery but Cera's behavior was quite surprising. It seems like she has something on her mind and it seems like we're up for some drama in the Valley too. However, I wonder how these two stories are going to converge as Ducky's was hardly successful. However, I've got the feeling that our two heroes haven't met each other for the last time. :OhYou