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Ducky123

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The Final Adventure
« on: March 12, 2018, 03:56:08 PM »
The Final Adventure

Life in the Great Valley was truly great. Food and water more than you could ever drink or gobble up, a wall protecting the valley from sharpteeth and harsh weather, a (mostly) harmonious coexistence of many many species of dinosaurs. However, Grandpa Longneck couldn’t brighten up on the prospect of how peaceful their home truly was.

Not in times like these anyway.

On the bright side of things, their grandson was prospering in his years of youth - now a young teenage longneck about two thirds his height, growing and learning in an exceptional way. Grandpa was very proud of the grandson his daughter left him with and he certainly made their last years here in the valley an adventure through and through.

However that was an adventure about to find an unhappy end.

Grandpa sighed heavily as he feasted on a few treestars without any appetite whatsoever. Littlefoot hadn’t been around much in recent weeks, having taken on a few duties around the valley every now and then and starting some training with Bron who happened to be visiting with his herd at the time though they would leave very soon. And whenever he wasn’t busy he would just be hanging out with the usual bunch of friends, sometimes late into the night. Occasionally, they would just sleep together on their own wherever their games and explorations led them. Though, as Grandpa reflected, regarding the current situation, that was probably a good thing. It would make things so much easier if what he feared to happen would turn out to be reality.

Which it would, inevitably.

Oh Littlefoot…

He hadn’t noticed the signs and Grandpa still wasn’t sure if he should let him in on what was going on or not. Grandma and him had decided to label it as a sign of her high age that Grandma hadn’t been as agile as she used to be, staying at home and not getting up for days. He would bring her food and water each day but little did she eat of it. There were no immediate signs of sickness but both of them knew that the signs weren’t lying.

“Hey Longneck, what are you doing?!”

The old longneck had been so lost in thought that he didn’t notice Topps approaching him, giving him an awkward gawk as Grandpa seemed to be frozen in the midst of eating. He sighed heavily.

“Topps, old friend... “

“Something the matter, longneck? You look troubled,” Topps spoke as he surveyed his friend with concern. “Also, you’ve been absent from the recent meeting!”

“Time is slowly running out, my friend…” the old dinosaur mumbled cryptically, Topps taking a while before he caught the meaning of this.

“I told you long ago to step down and enjoy your last years peacefully, longneck, but you wouldn’t listen,” Topps retorted though there was no force behind his words, merely a slight tease if anything. The time they were considering themselves as opponents in the Rock Circle had long since passed and while their opinions still varied a lot, both had learned to listen to each other and keep disagreements civil if they occurred.

“Well, it indeed looks like it is my time to step down,” Grandpa replied, regret vibrating in his every word. “Grandma is unwell and I feel it is not her old bones that keep her down this time...”

“Haven’t you consulted the representative for sicknesses yet?” Topps wondered. In order to prevent the spread of diseases if they occurred and in order to keep the more common healing herbs and plant in stock for whenever they were needed, they had appointed a representative - Ducky’s mother, a while ago. If Grandma was feeling ill as the old longneck reported, surely he’d have told her?

“No, I haven’t. I have seen this sickness many times in my life. There is no cure. The signs are too obvious to ignore yet… yet I am trying to think - no, hoping that I am wrong…”

Topps’ concern grew by a few magnitudes as he saw his old pal, the most composed dinosaur he had gotten to know, who would keep his head even in the face of danger and despair when he had long since lost his cool, slowly decompose in front of him as tears streamed down his face.

“Is… are you sure about this?” Topps asked with a tactful voice like he rarely used it. “Also… d-do you know if it’s contagious? If it is, you... need to report it.”

“There is no worry about this aspect, Topps,” Grandpa reassured and explained as best as he could. “When a longneck gets too old, their heart… it is starting to fail.”

“Oh…” Topps had a blank expression. “And you-you believe it is…that her circle is about to end? Are you sure there’s not a thing you could do?!”

“The Circle of Life only runs so long, old friend,” the old longneck sighed. “I am grateful that it gives both of us the chance to prepare for the inevitable.”

“S… sorry about that…” Topps spoke as tactful as he could muster, regret evident in his expression. Despite all the misgiving he sometimes still had towards longnecks, they were a little bit like part of an extended family. “I-if you ever need me for anything, longneck, just consult me. That…” he sighed heavily. “It’s the least I can offer… and it goes for Tria as well.”

“Thank you for the offer, Topps, but, at this point, I do not think I am ever going to need your help again…” A single tear left the old dinosaur’s eyes as his gaze wandered to a point far in the distance, far beyond the walls of the valley.

“Wait, what do you mean?” Those gruff words slipped from his mind before he knew it. Just what was the old fool implying? Topps noticed his faraway gaze that didn’t seem as if he was still fully present in this world and he caught the implementation of it rather quickly to his horror and shock.

“Wait a second, longneck, you-you’re not going…”

“I am…” Grandpa replied with a sad, tearful smile.

“B-but that’s nonsense!” The outrage was clear in the elder threehorn’s voice but how could he understand?

“Topps, you have not lived nearly as long and you did not spent nearly as much time with your mate as I did,” Grandpa explained in a grave voice. “You see, our journey had always been the same and same it will stay for better… or for worse.”

“A-are you absolutely sure about this? What about your grandson?!” Topps inquired. It wasn’t in his nature to care much for other’s well-being but did the old longneck really think things through?

“He is currently unaware of Grandma’s true sickness,” Grandpa Longneck explained in a tired voice. “And, to be honest with you, old friend, I’d rather have him learn about it from someone else than me. He would not allow us to go on our final adventure so we tried to be secretive as of late. I’m sure you understand… Topps.”

“I see. So who shall be the unlucky dinosaur to teach him about it?” Topps anticipated the answer already but part of his mind was hoping the old fool would choose someone more tactful than him.

“Well… Topps, would you? It is all I could ask of you at this point…”

The threehorn shortly considered his options, however he didn’t really need to think about his decision, not really anyway.

“Go on your last adventure, longneck, and worry not. This place, the valley, our community, even me and my very own daughter… all wouldn’t be what and who they are today if it weren’t for you. I will never forget that you saved my foolhardy head and Cera as well. Littlefoot is in good hands and I’m sure he’ll soon be stepping up to be just as great a longneck as you and Grandma taught him to become.” A single tear left the old threehorn’s eye as he finished his emotional speech.

“That is one less weight for my old bones to carry around,” Grandpa responded gratefully, bowing slightly to the threehorn in mutual respect.

“Littlefoot will be sleeping over at Bron’s so your duty won’t be before tomorrow, Topps.”

“That’s good to know,” the threehorn spoke quietly to himself, shifting around uncomfortably for he knew what was coming now. “So… I guess it is farewell then?”

“Old friend, my best regards to you and your family, may the Bright Circle continue to shine bright upon us and our beautiful valley. It is now in your guidance. Prepare my grandson so the valley will have another great and passionate leader to look up to once your time has come…” A single sob escaped the usually well-composed elder. “Thanks… for everything, Topps…”

“May the Bright Circle shine bright upon you wherever... your journey will lead you…” Topps’ composure was also breaking at this point. With sad eyes, the old threehorn watched as Grandpa Longneck, formerly his greatest fiend and now his most loyal friend, slowly turned away, trotting back towards his nest to prepare for their departure. It was only when the old longneck had long since disappeared from view that Topps finally turned around to rejoin his family, his mind blank.

*

“Are you ready, dear?”

“As ready as you are.”

The Night Circle was just beginning to ascend onto the night sky, many small, sparkling lights decorating it with grace; they would be their guardians on this trek to their final destination.

The old female groaned and panted heavily as her mate helped her to her feet one last time, supporting her with his massive body for both knew that whenever this old body fell, it would be to never rise again. The journey to the outskirts of the valley would be very demanding but Grandma knew that a greater world was awaiting her. Soon, all suffering would be all over and her long life, full of misery, joy and everything inbetween, would eventually find its conclusion at his comforting side.



It took the two old longnecks several hours to get clear of the valley. Finally, as dawn slowly engulfed the lands, Grandma Longneck fell. They had reached the top of a mountain not far from the valley and it would only be moments before the Bright Circle would once again show itself to introduce another day.

“I always knew it would be undying love between us…” the old female whispered with the faintest of a smile as her eyes caught a last glimpse of her mate.

Grandpa Longneck nuzzled her just as loving as always and maybe a bit more than that.

“And I always knew that we would never be apart…”

As the first rays of the Bright Circle illuminated their faces, the old mates put their necks next to each other, watching this sunrise together. Grandma never knew when her eyes shut down for her eternal sleep and Grandpa never knew how long it’d be before sharpteeth would find them but one thing he did know; that they would meet again at the other side for this was just the beginning of a new circle of life. Wherever it’d be, he’d join her on their next adventure. With that knowledge on his mind, he finally allowed himself to sleep… eternally.

**********

Well, I'm not quite sure what to put into my author's note this time. I started writing this in late February but then took a break. It was only today that I finished the story in a 90 minute sitting. While I didn't follow my original concept today, I feel I was just in the right mood  - when the words are simply flowing and the good stylistic patterns just evolve without much of a thought whatsoever. I am not quite sure about the effect and wording of some paragraphs but I doubt I'd find much fault with it if I waited another three days so I just uploaded this as soon as it was done :D

The idea probably evolved in early February. I was brainstorming ideas while in the car on my way home from school and this was what I felt most inspired to write. The relationship of Grandpa and Grandma is something very special and it was a delight to shine some light on their undying love :P

The focus on the relationship between Topps and Grandpa seems to be taking the focus away from the main theme of this short story but, as I cut some of the planned scenes today, it just felt right to extend it a little. I hope that does not bother anyone. From a proffessional writer's perspective... probably not smart but it feels right and I love how it evolved so I guess it's fine? :P

Feel free to let me know what you think about this short story and feel even more free to correct me if you feel something's off. :)
Note to self: finally create that signature lazy bum! :P

DiddyKF1

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The Final Adventure
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2018, 07:23:04 PM »
This was quite an emotional read. I wasn't really worried about the last conversation between Grandpa and Topps being somewhat overshadowing. I was very intrigued by how you portrayed the Longnecks as calm and not afraid to accept their fate. Just as they are in the actual series, they are still among the bravest of all the valley dinosaurs, even in their final steps.  I could only wonder how Littlefoot would react, but in my opinion he would try to stay strong for his friends ... and all the Great Valley. It seems that the valley will always be in good hands.

Once again, nice job!
Suddenly, I've written so many fanfics that I can't possibly list them all! :P


Ducky123

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The Final Adventure
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2018, 07:46:44 PM »
Thank you very much! :D

At first I had planned to include a few scenes including Littlefoot and his friends discovering the truth and catching the longnecks  prior to their death but I dropped that idea today and I think it was a good decision. I actually managed to write a *short* story for once and not turn my prompt response into a multi-chaptered fanfic :P

Anyway, I'm really happy that you enjoyed my story. :)littlefoot

Cancerian Tiger

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The Final Adventure
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2018, 08:01:13 PM »
This reminded me of Peter Meinke's "The Cranes".  Have you ever read that story?  It sounds so familiar, only that there was no murder-suicide implied in your story ;).  Hmm...a crossover of "The Cranes" and LBT...that would be rather dark and also rather interesting :yes.

Nice story you wrote here.  Death and dying is a subject people tend to be uncomfortable with, but you captured it well :yes.

rhombus

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The Final Adventure
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2018, 09:48:18 PM »
This was a story that was as powerful as it was short.  Considering the wisdom of the two longnecks and their undying love for one another, it is very in-character for them to go on one final walk and for Grandpa Longneck to join her in death.  One can only imagine what Littlefoot will feel when he is told of their passing, and the resulting guilt for being mostly absent, but Grandpa's reasoning is sound on the need for them to go on their own terms, as Littlefoot would fight against fate even when a victory is not possible.  The poignant conversation between Grandpa Longneck and Topps was also well-done as the threehorn shows his respect for the sometimes-adversary in the valley and then resolves to honor Grandpa Longneck's final request.

Very nicely done.  :) I have added this to the February Prompt masterlist, though I will need a fanfiction.net link at some point.  :yes


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

Sovereign

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The Final Adventure
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2018, 03:54:08 PM »
This was a rather dark ficlet but it managed, as others have said, to deliver an emotional take to the eventual deaths of the two longnecks. I liked Grandpa's initial thoughts as they showed that he indeed was ready to make his last journey and it also emphasized his respect to Littlefoot. It was also rather nice to see Grandpa and Topps' respect to each other portrayed this faithfully and in a believable way. The latter's reactions and the longneck's slow reveal of his plan were emotionally rich and the impact of this decision on them both was more than clear. However, there were a few things that bothered me. Unless this is a common occurrence among longnecks, I could see Grandma having some problems with her mate practically getting himself killed for her sake. Also, the final part of this story seemed rather brief and it opened (perhaps more descriptions could have been used) and ended abruptly. While the short sequence of the duo's final moments together was well done indeed, the final word of the story seemed a bit unfitting as forever or something could have perhaps sounded better. While the final scene could have been longer and more in-depth, this story was a really good read! :yes

Littlefoot fan 1990

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The Final Adventure
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2018, 04:24:31 PM »
This story was so good that I read it more than once in one day. I liked how to portrayed the emotions of Grandpa and Topsy while they had their final conversation before they went their separate ways for good. Good job, that was an emotional read for me.

Ducky123

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The Final Adventure
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2018, 08:37:43 PM »
story is now on fanfiction link

Quote
This reminded me of Peter Meinke's "The Cranes". Have you ever read that story? It sounds so familiar, only that there was no murder-suicide implied in your story ;). Hmm...a crossover of "The Cranes" and LBT...that would be rather dark and also rather interesting :yes.
Sadly I have not heard of that story before. However, I think it is rather refreshing to have your work compared to actual authors  :lol

Quote
Nice story you wrote here. Death and dying is a subject people tend to be uncomfortable with, but you captured it well :yes.
True, it is a very uncomfortable subject, one I am personally quite conflicted with but that didn't influence my story here :) I'm glad you liked my short story! Also nice hearing from you again :)

Quote
This was a story that was as powerful as it was short. Considering the wisdom of the two longnecks and their undying love for one another, it is very in-character for them to go on one final walk and for Grandpa Longneck to join her in death. One can only imagine what Littlefoot will feel when he is told of their passing, and the resulting guilt for being mostly absent, but Grandpa's reasoning is sound on the need for them to go on their own terms, as Littlefoot would fight against fate even when a victory is not possible. The poignant conversation between Grandpa Longneck and Topps was also well-done as the threehorn shows his respect for the sometimes-adversary in the valley and then resolves to honor Grandpa Longneck's final request.

Very nicely done.  :) I have added this to the February Prompt masterlist, though I will need a fanfiction.net link at some point.  :yes
Thanks for the review, I'm glad it did not disappoint :D I have sent you the fanfiction link on discord, almost forgot to put it up there  :oops

Quote
This was a rather dark ficlet but it managed, as others have said, to deliver an emotional take to the eventual deaths of the two longnecks. I liked Grandpa's initial thoughts as they showed that he indeed was ready to make his last journey and it also emphasized his respect to Littlefoot. It was also rather nice to see Grandpa and Topps' respect to each other portrayed this faithfully and in a believable way. The latter's reactions and the longneck's slow reveal of his plan were emotionally rich and the impact of this decision on them both was more than clear.
Thank you very much! :)

Quote
However, there were a few things that bothered me. Unless this is a common occurrence among longnecks, I could see Grandma having some problems with her mate practically getting himself killed for her sake. Also, the final part of this story seemed rather brief and it opened (perhaps more descriptions could have been used) and ended abruptly. While the short sequence of the duo's final moments together was well done indeed, the final word of the story seemed a bit unfitting as forever or something could have perhaps sounded better. While the final scene could have been longer and more in-depth, this story was a really good read! :yes
I'll admit that I was a little unsure on how to end it. There were many possible lines to end the story on and I'm not sure if the one I decided to go for had the best possible effect  :unsure: Indeed one could argue that Grandma wouldn't want Grandpa to die as well and it is a good point that you brought up. I didn't think about it before but now than I do I believe it is reasonable that they'd go on their last journey together. Besides, if I wouldn't have assumed that they'd do that, then the whole story wouldn't have worked out. Call it plot device if you wish :P

Either way, thank you for the constructive feedback as well!  :yes

Quote
This story was so good that I read it more than once in one day. I liked how to portrayed the emotions of Grandpa and Topsy while they had their final conversation before they went their separate ways for good. Good job, that was an emotional read for me.
Thanks and you're welcome :)

I had a feeling you would enjoy this a lot since you like the Grandparents and Topps a lot :)