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Author Topic: Shorty's Dark Past 2.0  (Read 1210 times)

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Ducky123

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Re: Shorty's Dark Past 2.0
« Reply #40 on: January 05, 2019, 08:05:02 pm »
okay I think I'll break my new habit and reply right away. Feeling a late night writing mood coming too :)littlefoot

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Now, this is the perfect example of signs of mental turmoil. I know mostly because my nephew has a mental illness and keeps having these random screaming episodes as if he's schizophrenic or something. To me, it really does seem that Ali is on the verge of going insane unless she gathers up the courage to run away from this "miserable life" she's been trapped in. You have a great skill of expressing character emotions in situations like these, and I'm excited yet dreading what will happen in the next part of her story. She knows it will be a perilous one, but she just wants to be with those she knows will care about her, and she will do whatever it takes to start another chapter in her young life.

Short, but good chapter, and BTW, Happy New Year! :smile

Happy New Year to you as well!  :^^spike

Ah, I am glad that I was able to picture Ali believingly. I fortunately (I must say) did not have any experiences with such behavior and mental turmoil but, trying to understand the characters, I think I can get behind these a little bit (btw sorry to hear about your nephew, must be awful for them  :opetrie). Personally, if I were in Ali's position I'd go mad myself and Ali is certainly at a breaking point here. It is a little hard to understand without knowing what her daily herd life is like but including that would have been too much of a spin-off from the story so I merely explained it while doing the little worldbuilding that was required to set this scene up. :) Thanks for your review!  :)littlefoot

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This was a rather quick look into Ali’s thoughts and showed very well just how difficult her situation is. I’m not sure if her mental anguish was even more profound this time around but still, you did a fine job in portraying her frustrations about her herd and her inability to be with Littlefoot. That conflict is shown quite deeply which is vital in portraying a character make decisions like these.

Yet, again, you aren’t making Ali especially likable to me in this fic.  :p “Why can’t she acknowledge my feelings?” is the kind of stuff that often makes kind of shun a character and later in the chapter, her planned journey is, as in the original fic, a complete folly. Though, it was a good idea to show her try to argue with herself about her situation as it showed how torn she is between her wishful thoughts and reality. In any case, it’ll be interesting to see just how you’ll change the next parts of Ali’s story.  :)

Thank you very much for your review as always :)

I certainly changed a lot about her mental breakdown from the old fic. The old chapter was between 700-800 words and half of it was more or less a recap of LBT 4. This chapter still wasn't too huge (slightly above 2k) but after rereading my old chapter I must say it dwindles against this in detail and logic. Certainly, it was more profound :) In the old version she just cried a little and complained. This goes much deeper I think and I hope it helped understanding Ali a little better and why she is so torn (in the old chapter she wasn't torn at all, she just decided to "buzz off" and off she ran :P She'll get an entire additional chapter after this before that happens here. Should be chapter 10.  :^^spike)

To be perfectly honest, Ali is hardly the Ali we know from the movies here. I did place her in an environment which is strikingly different from what we know of her and under the circumstances she cannot express that side of hers which we've seen in he Great Valley. Ali's herd always struck a nerve whenever I saw LBT 4 and it came across to me as strange and simply a herd I would not like to be part of. It must be how I got the idea in the first place many years ago... Ali was happy in the Valley, she had a playmate (who knows if she had anyone to play with in her herd, she certainly doesn't in SDP), she had fun, she was free. None of that applies to her in this chapter. She is alone, bored, contained by the strict rules of the herd and her mother who follows them. It's almost like she's a prisoner and she's desperately trying to escape. That is just how I see her as the author here, I'm not sure how much of that is showing through the words I write but anyway excuse this wall of text :P

Out of curiosity, what is wrong with the statement you quoted? What else could I have done? It's a bit cliche perhaps but I wouldn't know how else to express her utter frustration at the situation.  :thinking

Yes, her journey is going to be quite a folly although I can tell you it'll go a bit different and make a little more sense this time :P Also, this folly is absolutely necessary to get her to that place or would you have done it differently? Her herd is hardly coming along and do you think her mother would listen if she asked? Personally, I doubt but please do share your thoughts, Sovereign :yes

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Though this chapter was a bit on the short side it did present us with a good inner view of Ali's thought process and inner turmoil.  We get to see how the small taste of relative freedom and happiness in the valley has put her herd life into a very unflattering light.  With this being combined with a lack of companionship from many kids her age, hormones, and what looks like a budding mental breakdown, it really puts her motivations into perspective and into a much more sympathetic light than what we were presented with in the previous incarnation of this tale.  Though in this case her youthful and hopeful dreams have overpowered her logical mind, we do see that she is thinking about things with some sense of rationality as shown by her stocking up on food for the long journey ahead.  I eagerly look forward to what the coming confrontation will lead to, and how Ali's journey will proceed.  :yes

Thank you very much, rhombus :)

As I already said before, making sure to emphasize her inner turmoil was my primary goal and it's what the previous adaption lacked so terribly :P And yes good point hormones might very well play a small role here too although the Time of Great Growing is still but a mysterious phenomenon to the main characters of this story :P

Although I did make sure to show that she isn't chasing her dreams blindly and without questioning, her mind could not give in to the opportunity. Under normal circumstances, she may have been able to resist (I'm guessing this hasn't been the first time Ali has been pondering about how to escape her poor life) but with the strain of the instincts the sleepstories have bestowed upon all longnecks, she is unable to resist the adventure :P

There'll be a new chapter of the novellization tomorrow btw :)
Note to self: finally create that signature lazy bum! :P

Sovereign

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Re: Shorty's Dark Past 2.0
« Reply #41 on: January 06, 2019, 10:34:11 am »
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Out of curiosity, what is wrong with the statement you quoted? What else could I have done? It's a bit cliche perhaps but I wouldn't know how else to express her utter frustration at the situation.  :thinking

The line itself was fine, it's just that I seldom like characters that make such a fuss about themselves in certain kinds of situations. The wording did its job, it's just my preferences regarding certain character types. As for the other question, nope, I don't think that either but it's just that I feel she personally demonizes the Old One and her mother a bit too much within her mind, even after your comparison between her time in the Valley and in her herd. In any case, none of this makes me like the fic any less, only certain elements within Ali's character in it so no worries. :^^spike

OwlsCantRead

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Re: Shorty's Dark Past 2.0
« Reply #42 on: January 10, 2019, 12:12:59 pm »
Forgive me for snickering, but that "talk to own reflection in body of water" was so Disney-esque I laughed.

In all seriousness, mirror-Ali (and Littlefoot) is basically her inner rebellious consciousnesses telling her to rebel in a angel-and-devil-on-shoulder scenario. In by the end, it's pretty clear which side won out. :P
A quaint creature who soars when the Night Circle is highest in the dark sky, messing up his circadian rhythm in the process. Truly, a tragic flyer.

In terms of LBT, love to write stories! :)
Current Fics: Waves Crashing Upon the Sky, Five Stages of Grief, Scrambled Eggs, and Our Safe Haven.



What is a signature? A miserable pile of secrets! Enough talk... scroll down already!

Ducky123

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Re: Shorty's Dark Past 2.0
« Reply #43 on: January 16, 2019, 12:37:22 pm »
Ah okay, thanks for clearing that up, Sovereign. Everyone is seeing characters in a different light after all. My new proofreader for example thinks I absolutely nailed Ali's character given the situation she's in but then again he may be a little biased :smile Glad it's just a minor thing which doesn't impact the way you see the story :)

Glad you liked it Owls, it was one of those spontaneous ideas which just came up suddenly and I thought "Yes, I've gotta do this!" Sometimes it backfires to rely on spontaneous ideas but I think in this case it was okay :D


New chapter either today or tomorrow :)


Ducky123

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Re: Shorty's Dark Past 2.0
« Reply #44 on: January 16, 2019, 06:06:15 pm »
Chapter 8: A new adventure awaits!

Many years later.

Bron was overlooking a lush and green land, speckled with gentle hills and occasional mountains, with vegetation that was much different than further north in the land where deserts reigned, in the land where he used to live. He had found this place eventually on his search for Littlefoot and his family. It had been several months after he had decided to look after Shorty and the little ones. The children had begun to trust him and soon they weren’t the only ones who did. Their life was dangerous and Bron had to fight countless times to protect their lives as he passed through an area literally infested with sharpteeth of all kinds as well as the lives of some other longnecks he happened to come across. The scattered survivors of drought and predation quickly gathered around him and others decided to join soon.

Back when they had discovered the warm and rainy lands that stretched further than the eye could see, Bron had decided to settle down there and officially organize what had been a loose group of longnecks, merely following him out of the need for protection and guidance, both of which Bron was able to provide thanks to his combat abilities and the experience that travelling for years had taught him, into a permanent herd - with him as their indisputed leader.

These lands turned out to be very vast and evergreen. Seasons existed only in that during certain times of the year the rain was more frequent and more likely to cause flooding but neither was there a Cold Time or a hot and dry season - it was simply warm and wet all the time. They never had to worry about food and water and sharpteeth were at a significant disadvantage in such lands so they could be relatively careless, migrating through these lands at their own leasure, merging with many families and smaller herds over time which lead him to the situation as it was right now, over 200 longnecks following his gentle command, which was not even counting the numerous children.

Bron sighed. Even though his new life had been everything but terrible, the fact that he hadn’t been able to find his family never ceased to cause utmost regret and pain during his lonely hours. No matter how nice his current life was, if he had to choose between now and 10 years ago, he’d choose his old life without a second worth of thought; a life with his mate; a life with Littlefoot…

“Perhaps I should have never agreed to Papa Longneck’s idea…” he reflected as his thoughts lingered on that conversation so long ago…

*

It was in the middle of the night when Bron was woken up by an old longneck who looked like he had aged a lot in recent months. The ongoing drought was paying their everyone’s tributes but specially from his parents in law whose bones had had to carry their bodies for much longer than his young and strong body did.

“Is it my turn for night duty?” Bron wondered sleepily as his heavy body raised.

“Yes, it is indeed, Bron, but before I join Grandma in her sleep, could I speak to you for a moment?”

“Sure, what’s on your mind? Anything we need to worry about?”

Grandpa Longneck didn’t reply but lead them a little distance away, away from the sleeping forms of his mate and Grandma Longneck resting underneath a single lone rotten tree in the middle of a deserted area which had likely been a lush grassland many years ago… before the drought had changed everything…

“Bron, I need to have your opinion on the idea that your mate - my daughter offered recently,” the old longneck spoke with a tired voice that came from all the stress having to survive day after day brought along.

“About those rumors that are spreading far and wide?” Bron questioned while tilting his head.

“Indeed…” Grandpa sighed deeply. “Grandma and I aren’t sure if those rumors are to be believed. Too much they sound like the voices of terrified souls such as ourselves who seek for the light in dark times like these; too much they sound like a mere rumor, a mere hope, a mere fantasy to help everyone keep moving, keep striving to survive no matter how hard these times are… because there might be this place, far far away… where there is still hope, where there is still food… I am honestly doubtful whether such a place still exists in our decaying world…”

Bron listened to his father in law intently. His great wisdom never failed to astonish him and he had helped him to finetune his combat skills over the last few years. It was this wisdom gained through many hardships in life that he was hearing most in his message. Bron could understand the appeal of such a rumor but he too had his doubts.

“I’m not sure what to make of these rumors myself, “ he answered slowly. “There is no evidence of the existence of the Great Valley that everyone is trying to find now and there has never been to my knowledge.”

“If it is such an amazing place as the legend describes it, then why has it not been known by anyone until recently?” Grandpa expanded his thoughts. "You do know how far I’ve come around in my life; how many dinosaurs I’ve had the pleasure to meet, to teach and to learn from… never in my life has anyone mentioned to me a place called “Great Valley”. I have been to more places that own a name then I can recall and yet a “Great Valley” has never been among them.”

“She is tempted to take us all there now that she’s heard about it,” Bron spoke uncomfortably.

“Yes, yes… I cannot blame her. In times like these you cling on to any good news. But one must try to keep a level head and look at a situation with rational thought.”

“Yes, I agree.” Bron looked into the distance thoughtfully, pondering.

“That being said, raising the eggs that she will have very soon in a land so poor… I’m not sure if we can raise any of them to the Time of Great Growing if things aren’t changing for the better soon…”

“So what are you suggesting, Papa Longneck?” Bron prompted. “If both staying here and going on a journey completely blind is out of option, then what should we do? We might as well go anywhere if we’re trying to find a new home…”

There was a lot of truth about Bron’s words but Grandpa Longneck had spent the whole night thinking in search of a solution that ensured their survival best… and found something.

“Bron, there is no way of knowing what is the right decision here. Famine might get worse or the rain might return, making the food grow again. But either way, going on a perilous journey to find a place we don’t even know if it exists is something you just cannot do with little hatchlings. They cannot go without food nearly as long as we can, it is a risk we must only take if there is no food left at all.” Grandpa halted for a moment, drawing a big breath in. “Therefore, I have another favor to ask of you, Bron, a favor I can only ask for. Too grave and too perilous it is to demand you to do it…”

“What is it, Papa Longneck?” Bron inquired, agitated. “Do you want me to search for it?”

“That…” the old longneck let out a long sigh,” that is precisely what I believe to be our best bet here. Bron, you are strong, much stronger than most I’ve ever known. If anyone can do it, then it is you!”

Bron looked around, unsure what to think of the request. Certainly, he was the only one of their small herd capable of shouldering such a perilous journey. It’d mean he’d be gone for many cycles of the Night Circle, if not longer; it’d mean he’d be separated from his family for a very long time… it’d mean he mightn’t even witness the hatching of their offspring… if even one of the eggs survived the perilous time of hatching, that was…

“Could you allow me some time to think it through? I’d love to do it but… it is not an easy decision and-and a great responsibility!”

“We cannot blame you if you fail to find it for we know not if it exists at all!” Grandpa spoke soothingly. “Take as much time as you need to prepare your mind and body, Bron. If your answer to that request happens to be a decline, I completely understand. I, too, preferred that you stayed here with us - we’d lack our strongest to defend against sharpteeth for a long while and that is a serious risk by all means! However, if on your journey you happen to find this rumoured paradise or a similar place where it is safe to raise the hatchlings, we would have gained a lot and I figured that, considering the current magnification of the famine, there is more to gain than there is to lose!”

“I can’t see any fault in that logic, Papa Longneck.” Bron gave a slightly sheepish smile. “Alright, I’ll do it. As soon as I’ve talked to my mate about it, I’ll be off on a great adventure!”

“I knew that I could count on you!” Grandpa gave a light chuckle, clearly a huge weight had just fallen from his chest. “Some things just never change, huh?”

“Yeah, seems like it,” Bron said, joining the chuckle of his father in law.

“Well, for now I wish you a good and quiet night, Bron,” the old longneck spoke as light-hearted as he was rarely seen these days.

“Goodnight,” Bron replied, his thoughts already in distant places, exploring deep valleys and endless caves filled with beautiful shiny stones…”


*

“Some things never change indeed, huh?” Bron mumbled to himself as his thoughts returned from the problems of the past to the problems of the present time. Did he do the right thing after all? He just didn’t know. Too many things could have gone very wrong without doubt either way. As it was, Bron concluded, it was probably best to be grateful that he had survived many years of solitary travel and managed to acquire a life worth living even if it wasn’t without regret.

A sudden rattle of leaves behind him alerted Bron for a moment but the suspected danger soon unveiled to be no less than Shorty emerging from the thick undergrowth which dominated much of the land. Bron gave a curt nod, inviting the boy to join him. The relationship between Shorty and him was a very healthy one although he had never formally adopted him as one of his own which made things complicated occasionally, part of which probably had to do with the unknown whereabouts of Littlefoot. Either way, nobody had taken it upon themselves to look after the green longneck with the bumpy head so Bron had always assumed some sort of responsibility for the boy which went beyond his responsibilities as a herd leader. Of course it hadn’t quite been easy. Shorty, turned out, could be quite the troublemaker and bully but Bron found it very hard to be strict with him because of the complicated relationship between them and quite possibly because of how much he hated being lectured as a kid himself. Some things never changed after all, even after such a long time, Bron mused.

“Hey Bron, I’m bored,” Shorty declared bluntly as he halted in his movement next to the huge grown-up. Shorty had evolved to be a very fine and strong boy, boasting and pretending to be cool a lot when really he was a big goof. His antics hadn’t really been received well by the other kids in the herd (and the fact that Shorty liked to bully those weaker than him hardly helped) so Bron had to put up with the boy more often than he’d like to sometimes. Although he had just been pondering about a lot of things, having Shorty around might just be the respite that he needed right now to get his thoughts back on track, back to the matter which actually needed to be addressed.

“I can tell,” Bron chuckled, mildly amused.

“What’cha been doing up here, Bron?” Shorty inquired.” Making some important decisions, are we?”

“Sort of…” Bron hesitated. “Shorty, while you’re here, you might as well hear me out, right?”

“Yeah, sure,” the boy replied with a shrug. Bron decided to lay down so their heads would be on eye level.

“I don’t think we’ve ever spoken much about it but I’m sure that you’ve noticed it too, Shorty…”

“Noticed what?”

“The sleepstories…”

Lately, his whole herd had suddenly seen itself confronted with recurring nightmares and a highly strange and unusual feeling of restlessness and wanderlust which even Bron, perhaps the most passionate adventurer there was,  couldn’t explain.

“Oh… yeah those! They are bloody annoying!” Shorty yelled in a burst of outrage. “Every damn night they wake me up, what’s up with that?!”

Bron had to stifle a laughter at the rant Shorty was performing; after all it coincided with how he felt about them quite well.

“Ever since the recent cycle of the Night Circle concluded with its fully illuminated version, I’ve been having this same sleepstory night after night and when I wake up I feel like I need to go somewhere immediately, or otherwise I’d go mad. I thought this was simply a relict of my adventures when I was your age but it seems my lust for adventure isn’t the cause… you can affirm, right? You’ve been feeling the same, Shorty.”

“Yeah, it’s mighty weird, like something is messing with us…” the child offered, which made Bron laugh for real this time.

“Haha, well who knows?” Though his light moment didn’t last very long. “That being said, Shorty, this is a situation I need to act on as the leader of this herd. It’s not just the two of us but everyone here who suffers from the recent night terror. I thoroughly believe that it’s a message. What kind of message? No idea! But it tells us to go somewhere. There’ll be a great event, a once-in-a-lifetime event which our whole herd, maybe even all dinosaurs get to see if they go to the place where it happens.”

“Isn’t that a bit of a gamble, Bron?” Shorty argued and Bron nodded approvingly.

“Everyone I’ve talked to in recent days confessed to me that they feel the same, Shorty. I don’t think I can ignore this yearning to go into the unknown any longer than I did. I’ll call a meeting before the Great Circle goes beyond the great mountains in the west. Make sure to be there, okay?”

Shorty nodded, he didn’t have anything better to do anyway and a quick look at the sky confirmed that the meeting would be soon.

“I’ll see you around then!” Bron called before getting back to his feet and walking off the scene.

*

About an hour later, Bron found himself standing in midst of a crowd of longnecks as far as the eye could see. It was a pain to find a place in these lands where such meetings could be held and that being said, Bron tried to keep them to a minimum, relying on the spread of word by mouth whenever possible.

“Well, looks like we’re all gathered here!” Bron opened the meeting, raising his deep voice over the last scattered conversations that hadn’t died down when he had entered the center of the crowd in order to speak what he had to announce.

“As you all know, I hate these meetings so let’s make it brief so we can all sleep with our loved ones, alright?” This seemed to resonate well with the herd. It had always been his utmost priority to address the needs of his followers and make sure that a fair solution for everyone could be found. He didn’t make a lot of rules because there was frankly no need to. Dinosaurs followed him because he was such a fair and kind leader yet he was strong when times were rough. One could hardly find a leader better suited than someone like Bron who never asked for such a position in the first place yet he had taken it with honour and lived up to the expectations and responsibilities masterfully.

“Speaking of sleep, I’m sure I’ve talked to a lot of you already but I figured this needed to be addressed publically after all. The sleepstories.”

Just mentioning that, a ruckus broke out which took a moment to silence down. It was a fine indicator of how right Bron was to address the matter at last.

“Let’s be frank, this has been very annoying. It’s making us restless at night as well as during daylight and it has disturbed our sleep and peace! It is not in my realm of power to stop sleepstories from occurring but I believe that quite a few of us already know what they are trying to tell us. I thoroughly believe that they’re trying to guide us. We all feel it if we listen to this feeling, if we dedicate ourselves to it. I can feel a rough direction; I feel that we should follow it and go on an adventure!” Bron took a short break in order for the dramatic effect of his speech to fully reach everyone. “I’ve thought a lot about the meaning of these sleepstories and what I keep thinking is that something great is going to happen. Far, far away, who knows where. Something that happens only once… something special. Maybe it has to do with the Night Circle who keeps appearing to me and many others in their sleepstories but, really, we will only truly know if we go on a journey!”

“Here comes the tedious part…” Bron mused as the meeting moved into the next stage… voting.

“Alright, it’s that time! Those who would like to follow their instincts to go on a great adventure may rest their legs for a moment, those who would rather stay here please make sure your long necks are being seen!”

The herd didn’t take long to perform the vote and it was strikingly obvious. Hardly a minute had passed and everyone but a handful of longnecks was crouching down on the floor. It was decided.

“I shall take on the challenge as your leader to get you all there well fed and in one piece!” Bron announced enthusiastically, quickly meeting Shorty’s gaze who was sitting on an elevated rock - he too had voted to go on the adventure. “Well, at least in one piece, who knows what lands we’ll have to cross…”

A few dinosaurs laughed at that. When they were travelling with Bron, anything seemed possible as long as he was leading them with the confidence that they trusted him without a doubt.

“Those who voted against going, will you accept the voice of the majority?” Bron asked for fairness sake but he already knew that the herd was acting as one unit, as one big family who was helping each other wherever possible. No objections were being made, many seemed excited and happy about the coming drastic change in their rather dull everyday lives.

“Alright everyone, now that this is settled it’s time to rest with our loved ones and feed ourselves as much food as we can, while we can. In two days at dawn, we’ll be leaving the Land of Many Skywater for a destination unknown. I’m thrilled to find out where the journey is going to take us! Well, goodnight!”

With that, Bron closed the meeting which had gone just as smooth and quick as he’d hoped it would. A childlike surge of excitement overcame him - they’d really go on a big adventure, the whole herd. A dream of his childhood finally coming true! Some things never changed after all…

*

Soon, Bron found himself back on that hill where he’d talked to Shorty earlier.

“Are you excited, Shorty?”

“You bet!” the boy answered immediately. “I bet it’ll be cool, nothing like the journey back then…”

“Count on it,” Bron said with a smile, giving Shorty a rare nuzzle which the boy endured with a bit of embarrassment. “How about we sleep up here tonight?”

“I don’t mind it, if it happens to rain tonight we can still run for the forest,” Shorty deduced, shrugging. There was always a possibility that it rained - at any time of the day. Though that night they would remain dry.

“Sounds like a plan!” Bron agreed, both sounding and looking like children about to explore an unknown cavern. And in a way it wasn’t much different than that, was it?

“Night Shorty!”

“G’night!”

They were asleep before they knew it, it had been a rather eventful day after all and also a certain event had made sure that they hadn’t been getting a good night rest for a while.

That night, both Shorty and Bron slept with a smile on their faces, that was until the sleepstories came to pay them a visit of course but both of them knew that they’d be getting closer to the core of these soon… when their great adventure would finally commence!


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

So... it ended up being today after all :)

I'm really happy with how this turned out. My plan for this chapter had been very vague so I had to improvise more than usual while writing this (and the chapter in the old story wasn't of much use so I didn't rely on it at all!). I'm most happy about the flashback, I must admit. It just came to me as I introduced Bron and the new situation he found himself in and now the things revealed in this flashback actually contain a lot of information which would have done LBT 10 a good deal if it had included them! Attempting to write grandpa in very formal speech was also a lot of fun and in a way a great practice to hone my style and vocabulary  :^^spike

I'm not sure if you notice it but I have tried to distinguish Bron's leadership from that of Old One for good reasons.

So Bron's group is soon to be headed off, being the second party now to make the decision of embarking on a big adventure. The pieces are slowly coming together, yep yep yep :)

Please tell me what you think about the new developments and about this chapter!  ;)

PS: The next upload will be my december prompt and let me tell you one thing:
Spoiler: ShowHide
It'll be set in this universe and possibly end up being a chapter in this story one day, far far in the future  :Mo

Sovereign

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Re: Shorty's Dark Past 2.0
« Reply #45 on: January 17, 2019, 03:05:03 pm »
Now this was a rather interesting chapter. We saw here certain scenes that really deepened Bron and Shorty’s backgrounds. I especially liked the flashback as we have seldom seen any scenes of Bron’s old life. His conversation with Grandpa was nicely written and it was a really good way to show how deeply he regrets the choices he made in those days. Also, his talk with Shorty and the beginning of his herd’s journey to the crater is one that showed just what kind of relationship they had had prior to the Bron’s reunion with his real son.

However, the beginning of the chapter really caught my eye. :sducky You don’t start with “Many years later” in case there have been several chapters since we last saw the plotline move forward. Also, the way you told what had happened was quite closely drawn from the film but it seemed to be too simple for this fic. Still, those are minor issues and I liked your characterizations of Bron and Shorty more than Ali’s, for example. In any case, nice job with this one. :)

DiddyKF1

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Re: Shorty's Dark Past 2.0
« Reply #46 on: January 18, 2019, 10:46:55 am »
This chapter has really gotten me excited for what's to come for Bron and Shorty's herd. You've really done a great job portraying him as a very effective leader who can protect and calm his herd whenever he needs to.

The flashback was very nicely done, too. It's too bad very few have written about what drove Bron to go on that journey that ultimately cost him his family life. Your version of the journey has left a lasting impression on me, and it clearly illustrates the remorse Bron feels about letting his family down and leaving him unsure if any of them are still alive, let alone his son.

I must agree with Sovereign in pointing out that the "Many years later" was very confusing. Furthermore, a few lines later, you said that it had been several months since the previous events of Bron and Shorty's story. Still, that didn't stop this chapter from hyping up the excitement and anticipation of future events. Good chapter. :)
My fanfics:
Love is an Adventure
Waters Rise, Illness Flies
A Swim of Silence
A Swimmer's Sad Secret
A Swimmer's Sad Secret
A Broken Family
The Hurting of Desire
Secret Love

"It is not our abilities that show what we truly are. It is our choices." -Albus Dumbledore


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Re: Shorty's Dark Past 2.0
« Reply #47 on: January 20, 2019, 03:01:34 am »
This was quite a lovely chapter that elaborated upon not only Bron and Shorty's relationship, but also on the history of Bron's initial quest. With regards to Shorty and Bron we have caught sight in this chapter of Shorty's budding bullying and mischievousness, but also of Bron's ability to (thus far) keep him in line and to understand some of his misbehavior. 

What really caught my attention, however, was the contrast between Bron's style of leadership and that of the Old One.  In Bron's leadership we see a more dynamic leadership style with distinct votes and an attempt to reconcile those who voted against the consensus once the vote is done.  I wonder how much of this is due to how his herd developed organically over time based upon his leadership as opposed to the Old One's more ossified leadership from (as of right now) unknown origins.  I suspect this dichotomy is going to be important going forward.

As for what the others said about the "many years later" beginning, I do have to agree that it was confusing at first.  Generally it is best to describe the timing of a scene relative to the prior one, even if the prior scene in question involved other characters.  That being said, in stories such as this where there are quite a few flashbacks and several instances of shifting back in forth it is sometimes difficult to avoid some confusion. This did not stop me from enjoying this chapter however. I look forward to seeing how things go from here.  :)


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

OwlsCantRead

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Re: Shorty's Dark Past 2.0
« Reply #48 on: January 22, 2019, 10:12:42 pm »
I have to agree with the others regarding the "many years later" timeskip being confusing, because the last chapter was from Ali's POV and thus present day, which made the relative timeskip seem off. But once I remembered where Bron's segment left off, all was good anyway. :P

That said, the way that Bron left his family to hunt for the valley because of Littlefoot's grandparents is harsh and ironic in hindsight. I really did like it.

Ducky123

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Re: Shorty's Dark Past 2.0
« Reply #49 on: February 26, 2019, 06:59:45 pm »
Thanks for the feedback everyone. I haven't yet gotten around to rephrasing the troublesome paragraphs but I will update them whenever I get some extra time. Right now though just meeting my schedule is a hell of a job and it surely wasn't supposed to be a month later that I finally upload the next chapter. That being said, here it is :)


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Chapter 9: Adventuring

It didn’t take Littlefoot long to get to the meeting place they had agreed on for that day. Although it was fairly close to his home, he was still the last to arrive.

“Hey guys!” the longneck called as his four best friends came into view, waiting or helping themselves to a snack in Spike’s case.

“Took ya long enough, Sleepyneck!” To his utmost surprise, Cera was present as well in spite of getting rebuked and teased for her boldness the previous day. Whatever damage her pride had taken, the bossy threehorn wasn’t showing it at all. If anything, she was about as normal as always. He could only guess that she didn’t want to be reminded of her embarrassment and thus had decided to move on and act as if it had never happened - which was probably for the best.

“Hello, hello, hello!” Ducky chirped happily as his long neck came into view, Spike quickly looking up from his meal to nod and smile in his direction before picking up and finishing the large fern he was feeding on.

“Oh, there you be! Petrie already wonder if you wake up late, ehehe.” Upon saying these words, the small flyer descended from his perch on a nearby tree to glide down and take a seat on his friend. Littlefoot giggled.

“Hehehe, nice to see y’all!” he answered happily. Yes, as expected seeing his friends was washing the last remainders of the nightly dream away like a refreshing downpour during the hot season. With much brighter spirits, he caught up to the rest of them.

“I haven’t slept in, I’ve just been thinking about a sleepstory I had, that’s all,” the boy explained when he realized that Cera was about to reinforce what Petrie had asked him.

“That nonsense again, huh?” Cera deadpanned. “Oh well, you’re not that late anyway, Petrie only turned up here a moment ago.

“Not me problem if you too early, Cera,” Petrie chuckled from his new perch atop the longneck.

“Oh, what was your sleepstory about?” Ducky piped up curiously, walking a few steps towards Littlefoot.

“Oh, remember about yesterday?” Littlefoot began though then he remembered that he hadn’t really told them about things after all.

“How could I forget?” The sarcasm in Cera’s voice couldn’t be more profound. “I only hit a rock because of the shit your mind is brewing when you sleep. Gee, I wonder if it’s some ridiculous nonsense again?”

Littlefoot frowned for a moment, Cera’s passive-aggressive comment momentarily concerning him, however Cera didn’t show any real anger which reassured him soon.

“Well, I only got to tell you half of it the other day because a certain threehorn decided to prompt a small lie…”

“W-wait! So I didn’t break that bloody rock after all?!” Cera shouted in slight panic which made everyone laugh immediately.

“Nope, actually, I’ve been having a certain sleep story each night for a while now, and it’s the same for my grandparents.” And so the boy recited the usual contents of his every-night horror. Needless to say, his friends were more than surprised.

“Oh, that too spooky for Petrie!”

“Uh-huh.”

“Oh yes yes yes… Littlefoot, does it not bother you?”

“S...slightly,” the longneck admitted hesitantly as his gaze wandered from Ducky to Spike to Petrie who had since changed his perch to the spiketail where Ducky was also sitting. “It sure is annoying! What’s worse though is…” Wait, should he really tell his friends about that? Would they even believe him?

“What be worse?” Petrie prompted, tilting his head.

“Well, the thing is, my grandparents and I believe that there’s more to those sudden night terrors that keep bothering us,” Littlefoot began explaining with slight uneasiness. “It’s making us feel restless… like… something deep inside me is sorta telling me to go somewhere…” Littlefoot stopped dead in his tracks. Just then, as his grandfather’s word flashed up in his mind again, a horrible realization dawned on the longneck.

“We might be leaving tomorrow.”

“Crap, how did I not think about this before?!” He would be going on an adventure but what about his friends? Surely they couldn’t tag along?

“I suppose I’d better just tell them…” With that in mind, the boy picked up his explanation.

“Well, my grandparents told me tonight that we might be going on a journey soon… because we feel that something great is going to happen far away and-and we definitely don’t want to miss it out. We believe that our sleep stories are guiding us.”

This certainly was more than enough to get Ducky and Petrie to get up from their seats and walk right up to him, thrilled.

“What kind of journey?” Ducky asked.

“You mean like a trip?” Petrie wondered.

“Yeah, I guess so,” Littlefoot confirmed. “Sort of like… like an adventure!” As he said this, Ducky gasped in amazement and a “wow” slipped from Petrie’s beak, however there was one dinosaur not quite joining the hype.

“So let me get this straight…” Cera, who had been silent thus far, perching on a rock, finally spoke up. “You’ve been having sleepstories so you’re going on an adventure but you don’t know when and you don’t know where and you don’t know why but you just sorta feel when it’s time to leave and then you and your grandparents will just sorta wander off.” The words came in such quick succession that Littlefoot had a hard time keeping up with them. “Is that it?”

“Y-eah, that about sums it up,” the longneck confirmed with a slight smile.

Cera gave a confused look which bordered an expression of stupidity but then she changed it in a whim.

“Ha! I’m glad threehorns don’t have adventures like that!” With these words, she turned around and left the rock she had been sitting on.

Littlefoot was slightly downcast, however that changed when Spike, Ducky and Petrie exchanged a few glances.

“Well, me think it sound fun!” Petrie spoke up merrily.

“Uh-huh!” Spike nodded firmly.

“What kind of adventure do you think it will be?” Ducky questioned kindly.

Littlefoot remained thoughtful for a moment before he gave his reply.

“I… I just don’t know.”

“A trip down the deepest caves?” Ducky hypothesized in excitement.

“A climb into the highest mountains?” Petrie wondered, flying a looping in front of Spike and Ducky.

“A swim across the biggest waters?” Ducky added, even more hyped.

That was, when Littlefoot had a sudden idea.

“You know, guys, I really have no idea what to expect other than that this adventure is definitely going to happen! It’ll be the first time I’ll go on an adventure with uhh well… permission.”

“Hahahahah,” Petrie burst out laughing when he saw the slightly awkward and embarrassed face Littlefoot was making. Ducky and Spike exchanged glances meanwhile and Cera gave her famous “Humpf!” again.

“It is true that we never did go on an adventure with permission, oh yep yep yep!” Ducky giggled as Spike nodded beside her. “You are really lucky, yes you are.”

“Actually, Ducky… I’ve just been thinking…” Littlefoot said thoughtfully, his gaze wandering from one friend to the other.

“That’s dangerous,” Cera mocked but Littlefoot knew better than to react to the stab.

“You know, what if we… if we all… go? I mean…”

“You take us on adventure too?” Petrie wondered.

“Well… yeah I’d be sad to leave you guys behind,” Littlefoot declared eventually. “No fair going adventuring on my own, is it?”

“Uh-huh!” Spike nodded fiercely and the expressions of the others couldn’t be clearer. Save for Cera.

“For once, Littlefoot, this is something completely different than our usual adventures!” the threehorn exclaimed loudly with clear anger. “Do you honestly think I’ll readily tag along with your grandparents? There’s no fun going on an adventure with grown-ups, they’re so stuck up! Longnecks in particular!”

“Cera, I’m not so sure…” Littlefoot tried to soothe the growing argument but Cera simply rampaged on.

“Second, you may not have thought about it but we’ve always been super lucky on our trips! Just thinking how many sharpteeth almost ate me or spit on me makes me so ill! Sorry, I’d much rather keep my tail attached to my behind and not have some sharptooth nibble on it!”

“Is she still in a foul mood because Chomper bit her back in the days?” Littlefoot wondered as he puzzled about the threehorn’s sudden anger. “Or is she salty because of what happened the other day? No, it doesn’t seem like it…” Harsh as they might be, Cera’s words weren’t just aggressive but Littlefoot could tell that a small part of her actually genuinely cared about their wellbeing - he didn’t want to deny it completely, dangers were just as much part of adventures as the unlimited fun of exploration, but still he didn’t want to give up this easily.

“W-well, you got a point Cera but think of all the fun we could be having!” he replied with a genuine smile.

“Oh like your grandparents will allow us to have any of it! Wake up!” the threehorn shouted angrily.

“Well, at least they’d keep us safe, you know?” Littlefoot reasoned.

“Littlefoot, I am not so sure if they can… they are already quite old, yes they are…” Ducky spoke up, voicing her worries. “I would really really like to go on adventures but it is like Cera said… we could have been eaten a bunch of times before…”

“Me still get bad sleepstory about swimming sharptooth from Big Water sometimes, me no need to see any more sharpteeth!” Petrie said angstily as images of past sharpteeth floated through his mind.

“Even then, wouldn’t it be cool to see more of the world?” the longneck tempted his friends. “The Great Valley is amazing and I wouldn’t ever want to leave it but… the world is so full of amazing things yet to be uncovered and seen! I don’t wanna be like old Thicknose, you know?”

“You raise a fair point, Littlefoot, but we have a whole life to do that!” Cera reminded him a little harsher than was necessary. “We can do all of that when we’re grown-ups and able to deal with dangers ourselves!”

“You admitting you no can beat sharptooth?” Petrie teased the threehorn much to her dismay. “Petrie thought Cera always brag about how strong she is?”

“Bloody be realistic, rock-for-brains!” Cera grunted. “I’m amazing for my age, now shut up!” The resulting giggle from everyone helped improve the mood a little. Soon, the discussion returned to the matter at hand.

“Well, I know all of that, Cera, but… you don’t understand the current situation,” Littlefoot reasoned with a sigh. “Neither do I, nor my grandparents. We don’t know why we are burdened with these sleepstories, or the urge to leave the valley for no apparent reason other than a faint promise… But those are instincts and you should know how hard it is to ignore them…”

“Well, maybe…” Cera sighed, tired of the argument as well. “But what are you gonna do now, Littlefoot? Leave the Valley just like that? It’s your home!”

“I’m sure we’ll be back,” Littlefoot quickly assured though a grain of doubt remained. “One thing’s for sure, I’m going to go no matter what. Can’t help that, my grandparents are gonna drag me along even if I decided to stay here. Rather, why aren’t we all going? I’d be missing you guys…”

“Me would miss Littlefoot too,” Petrie quickly declared, the nods of Ducky and Spike backing him up.

“Uh-huh!”

“Yep yep yep!”

Littlefoot smiled. Maybe he still had a chance to convince them?

“Well I wouldn’t miss you!” Cera declared proudly but her expression wavered soon. “Still… it’d be slightly boring without you…”

“I know, right?” Littlefoot said with a grin. “So why not tag along? I’m sure my grandparents wouldn’t say no to that.”

“You sure about that?” Cera deadpanned. “Remember that we need our parents’ consent too! My dad would never agree to such a ludicrous thing!”

“That’s right, me Mama no like Petrie being away from home!” Petrie reasoned.

“Oh yes, oh yes…” Ducky sighed.

“Oh, come on, don’t be so negative, I’m sure it’ll work out!”

That was when the nearby trees rattled with heavy steps approaching the group. Littlefoot and his friends whirled around to see a familiar face poke out of the trees.

“Littlefoot, it’s time to go.”

________________________________________________________________________________________________

It might not sound like it but this chapter has given me a terrible time. You have no idea how hard it is to try include a song into the narrative. Since after several attempts I couldn't figure it out, I simply decided to cut the song from the story. I hope you don't mind. "Me and my Dad" certainly won't have a place in this story either though "bestest friends" just might because it is so impactful haha. Though I guess I'd have to write another 100 chapters first before we even get there  :wacko

So Littlefoot wants the others to tag along actively despite the obvious obstacles. Out of the gang, he sure is the most adventurous I guess and he's the one who's usually been initializing adventures in the movies, taking the lead. I feel this aspect fell a little short in the movie.

Cera is obviously against going, she just wouldn't be Cera if she readily agreed to something  :rolleye Unlike at the end of the adventuring song, I have no clear line in my narrative that suggests her readiness to tag along directly though her saying that it'd be boring with him hopefully is enough to indicate that. Cera can be a little unwilling to admit things openly as we all know after all  ;)Cera

Ducky's and Petrie's concerns from the song fell a little short in the narrative. I came up with the discussion quite spontaneously and the flow of dialogue just worked so I think all I'd have achieved by adding more lines indicating their concerns about the dangers of adventuring is a worse flow of the conversation.  :sducky Either way, I think they got their point across and despite that they do want to go.

And Spike is just Spike  :^^spike

But now Littlefoot's grandparents are calling Littlefoot in anticipation of their departure. Unlike in the movie, I will not cut directly to the departure but I'll have another scene there but... you'll see all of it in chapter 12 whenever that's out. The next chapter will feature Ali's storyline again. It's already been written a while ago so I hope I can get it posted by the end of the week.


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Now this was a rather interesting chapter. We saw here certain scenes that really deepened Bron and Shorty’s backgrounds. I especially liked the flashback as we have seldom seen any scenes of Bron’s old life. His conversation with Grandpa was nicely written and it was a really good way to show how deeply he regrets the choices he made in those days. Also, his talk with Shorty and the beginning of his herd’s journey to the crater is one that showed just what kind of relationship they had had prior to the Bron’s reunion with his real son.

However, the beginning of the chapter really caught my eye. :sducky You don’t start with “Many years later” in case there have been several chapters since we last saw the plotline move forward. Also, the way you told what had happened was quite closely drawn from the film but it seemed to be too simple for this fic. Still, those are minor issues and I liked your characterizations of Bron and Shorty more than Ali’s, for example. In any case, nice job with this one. :)

The issue with the beginning is noted, thank you :)

I'm glad that my characterization of Bron and Shorty was convincing and that you liked the flashback.  :^^spike


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This chapter has really gotten me excited for what's to come for Bron and Shorty's herd. You've really done a great job portraying him as a very effective leader who can protect and calm his herd whenever he needs to.

The flashback was very nicely done, too. It's too bad very few have written about what drove Bron to go on that journey that ultimately cost him his family life. Your version of the journey has left a lasting impression on me, and it clearly illustrates the remorse Bron feels about letting his family down and leaving him unsure if any of them are still alive, let alone his son.

I must agree with Sovereign in pointing out that the "Many years later" was very confusing. Furthermore, a few lines later, you said that it had been several months since the previous events of Bron and Shorty's story. Still, that didn't stop this chapter from hyping up the excitement and anticipation of future events. Good chapter. :)

Thank you very much! I'm glad you liked my version of these events  :^^spike

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This was quite a lovely chapter that elaborated upon not only Bron and Shorty's relationship, but also on the history of Bron's initial quest. With regards to Shorty and Bron we have caught sight in this chapter of Shorty's budding bullying and mischievousness, but also of Bron's ability to (thus far) keep him in line and to understand some of his misbehavior. 

What really caught my attention, however, was the contrast between Bron's style of leadership and that of the Old One.  In Bron's leadership we see a more dynamic leadership style with distinct votes and an attempt to reconcile those who voted against the consensus once the vote is done.  I wonder how much of this is due to how his herd developed organically over time based upon his leadership as opposed to the Old One's more ossified leadership from (as of right now) unknown origins.  I suspect this dichotomy is going to be important going forward.

As for what the others said about the "many years later" beginning, I do have to agree that it was confusing at first.  Generally it is best to describe the timing of a scene relative to the prior one, even if the prior scene in question involved other characters.  That being said, in stories such as this where there are quite a few flashbacks and several instances of shifting back in forth it is sometimes difficult to avoid some confusion. This did not stop me from enjoying this chapter however. I look forward to seeing how things go from here.  :)

Thank you very much! I'm glad that you've enjoyed the chapter!

About the leadership comparison, it has little relevance to the events of the story but it is just part of my characterization of Old One and Bron and their respective herds. Also, I guess you could say it shines a little light on the characters of Ali and Shorty and how they developed within their respective environments  :olittlefoot


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I have to agree with the others regarding the "many years later" timeskip being confusing, because the last chapter was from Ali's POV and thus present day, which made the relative timeskip seem off. But once I remembered where Bron's segment left off, all was good anyway. :P

That said, the way that Bron left his family to hunt for the valley because of Littlefoot's grandparents is harsh and ironic in hindsight. I really did like it.

Thanks for the review, I'm glad that you liked the developments :D As I've already said, the issue you and the others have mentioned will be fixed eventually when I have some time on my hands.  :^^spike

Sovereign

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Re: Shorty's Dark Past 2.0
« Reply #50 on: February 27, 2019, 03:10:59 pm »
This was a pretty good retelling of this scene as it, as usual, deepened the conversation and the characters’ thoughts nicely. The slow buildup to this scene was handled well and it helped establish a rather good feeling in this offering. In terms of the plot, there is really not too much for me to add as it kinda is quite closely following the film. I must admit, it felt rather weird for the song to be simply skipped, even if you used a few lines from it. I understand that trying to incorporate it into the narrative would have been difficult but it felt like this scene lacked something. In any case, this chapter advanced the plot solidly which is the most important thing. :)

DiddyKF1

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Re: Shorty's Dark Past 2.0
« Reply #51 on: March 01, 2019, 09:27:01 am »
So, we have Littlefoot being the typical Littlefoot he is, trying so hard to get his friends to join him while they have no idea what to anticipate on this journey just ahead. To me, this simply felt just like a very common way of how he always tries to bring his friends along. Just another day ahead becomes one of excitement (for most of them), but now the cliffhanger is leaving us wondering if they're really going to tag along or stay behind.

You know, I think you did an okay job trying to make the scene as loyal to the movie as possible without using the song. I have to admit, "Adventuring," wasn't quite my favorite, especially after they began overusing that in the TV series. It does seem a bit strange reading how Littlefoot tries to encourage his friends to come along without breaking into song like they did in the movie, but I can't fault you for that. I'm not sure I could have been able to pull that off, either. This was quite a good effort in avoiding the use of the song.

This chapter honestly felt like it did a great job at building the excitement at the possibilities for the Gang. It'll be interesting to see where they go from here. :)

rhombus

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Re: Shorty's Dark Past 2.0
« Reply #52 on: March 01, 2019, 01:22:21 pm »
I actually think the omission of the song worked rather well here.  The interactions between the gang were handled effectively and I think their concerns about Littlefoot's upcoming journey were well-conveyed.  One part in particular made me laugh out loud though:

Quote
“So let me get this straight…” Cera, who had been silent thus far, perching on a rock, finally spoke up. “You’ve been having sleepstories so you’re going on an adventure but you don’t know when and you don’t know where and you don’t know why but you just sorta feel when it’s time to leave and then you and your grandparents will just sorta wander off.” The words came in such quick succession that Littlefoot had a hard time keeping up with them. “Is that it?”

This is classic Cera and, to be honest from a rational point of view, she has a very good point.  Most of us in the modern world would not consider wandering off to a place unknown due to a dream would be a good idea.  :p I do like how she does, in her own way, wishes him well however.  I don't really have much else to say about this chapter but I think it treated the source material quite well considering the necessity of either working in or removing a song.  Keep up the good work!

Ducky123

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Re: Shorty's Dark Past 2.0
« Reply #53 on: March 12, 2019, 12:26:59 pm »
Chapter 10: Ali vs Mother

At the break of dusk, the young longneck couldn’t hold it back any longer. No matter how much she hated to, she’d have to return to her nest. Of course her mother would be waiting, stern words, questioning, another fight approaching with the fierceness of a winter storm. Ali could already anticipate the outcome of this and it was frankly depressing. No matter what the girl appealed with, be it promises, an innocent look or her heartfelt and truest desires of her heart, her mother wouldn’t have an open ear for her daughter’s problems, all in the pretense of safety and those stuck up rules!

Ali kicked a tree angrily to make room for the anger which was gathering inside of her, ready to blow at any given point in time. It didn’t really help but the short pain from the impact momentarily helped to keep her thoughts in line.

As she headed back, she tried to remember the good times she once had. The first day at the Great Valley had been the best she’d ever had. She had gotten to explore such a wonderful place with such a friendly and funny longneck, for the first time having someone to play with. Ali still remembered what kind of joy she had felt that day, how it literally overwhelmed her, almost made her explode in happiness and excitement. She still remembered how hard it had been to fall asleep that day and how downcast she was to hear about her new friend’s grandfather falling sick. Though, in hindsight, their adventure following this event had strengthened their loose friendship. If anything forged and shaped friendships, it’s going through a lot of hardship together and succeeding through the fruits of collaboration and teamwork.

“How nice it would be going on an adventure with Littlefoot again, no the whole gang! Cera, Ducky, Petrie… and Spike. They all have become my friends as well!” It was true. While at first it had been just the duo of them, Littlefoot’s absence had called his bunch of unlikely friends to follow them and track them down, helping Littlefoot out of a tight situation with combined efforts (and Cera’s hardheadedness, Ali mused). It had been an amazing adventure overall and Ali would give so much to have another one. She’d cross the Big Water or a whole desert if it meant seeing them again… seeing him again…

Finally, her nest came into sight and of course her mother was waiting for her there, pacing up and down and clearly looking angry. Ali knew what was about to come but she’d had a whole afternoon to prepare for the inevitable continuation of this mornings’ quarrel…

“Here we go…” she thought gloomily, rolling her eyes one last time, taking another deep breath to calm her nerves… and then she stepped out of the foliage…

*

Ali’s mother couldn’t rest. Ali hadn’t returned to the nest and a quick glimpse at the orange skies told her that it was already nest time for the girl. It wasn’t unusual for Ali going off to who knows where for the whole day but rarely did she return this late. It was particularly frustrating having to wait for the girl, considering that there were a lot of unresolved matters left to address…

*

“I’m hooome!”

Ali didn’t even attempt to sneak back into the nest. She knew that she was in big trouble and she had a lot on her mind; she knew that she had nothing to lose and a lot to win here; she definitely was going to get what she wanted tonight and there was no giving in, not tonight…. not tonight.

“First you skip an important meeting, then you return late at home!”

There wasn’t even a greeting, her mother had gotten started right away, not giving her any space, but Ali knew how to proceed from here on.

“Welcome home, Ali…” she mumbled, rolling her eyes. Ali hated acting sassy but the current situation required unusual approaches… and, certainly, her mother had it coming after all she’d done to her. Tonight, she wouldn’t hold back, not tonight. She would speak her most honest mind regardless of the trouble she would get herself into… because Ali knew that whatever happened from now on, one way or another she would be going to meet Littlefoot. With- or without the herd… with- or without her mother.

“Ali this is inexcusable!”

“Did you hear me excuse? I certainly didn’t!” Ali’s voice was bitter when she said that. “It’s you who should apologize.”

“For making sure you’re growing up nice and safe? Don’t you dare change the topic, you will listen to me right now!”

“Like I can go anywhere…” Ali muttered. “Looks like I have no choice.” A bored look on her face, Ali grabbed some more treestars off a nearby tree regardless of how stuffed she already was and stoically endured the flood of words that were being shot at her though dodging them would be easy for the girl.

“Do you not know what a shame you are, Ali? It is your right and your duty to attend meetings! Don’t give me that look, there are a number of reasons why you have to attend these and we’ve discussed them all plenty of times! Old One is going to give me a lesson for it for sure when it is entirely not my fault when you are acting like a stupid rock! And now returning late too, what has gotten into you?! I think I should put an end to your mysterious adventures lest they take you somewhere it isn’t safe!”

Ali didn’t look up from her meal.

“ARE YOU EVEN LISTENING?!”

“I don’t know how to shut out what I hear so… yes I heard everything. Loud and clear.” Ali could see that her mother was slowly yelling herself into a mad rage while she herself forced herself to act cold and sassy. It was an act - much rather she’d yell back with everything she got but that wouldn’t get her anywhere, that much she knew. She didn’t like performing but an act was necessary to follow her dreams and get the information she wanted. Ali already knew that her mother wouldn’t tell her straightaway what was being discussed on the meeting (albeit she had a terrific guess) and what had been decided but if she talked her into a rage, she would become careless and let it slip. Or so she had calculated on the way. Besides, she had another ace in store… before her mother had collected any words to reply, the girl slowly added.

“Soooo, what did I miss anyway?”

“I am not telling!” Her mother shouted with a strict face on. “It’s not my fault that you didn’t go!”

“It must have been about this stupid sleepstory thing, right?” The twitch in her mother’s expression told her that she’d hit the mark. “So you’ve been discussing…”

“Don’t change the topic Ali…”

“I didn’t see any preparations to move out of here. Does that mean we’re not…”

“NO WE ARE NOT GOING!” Ali’s mother roared angrily. “And you are not going anywhere either until you learn to respect your mother and our herd’s rules!!!”

“Oh, so I was right,” Ali stated, shrugging. “I knew Old One wasn’t gutsy but even I thought she’d give in to that sense of adventure we are all feeling all the time. Lame…”

“It is not lame, young lady, it’s ensuring our safety...  IT IS ENSURING YOUR SAFETY!!!”

“Whatever you say…” Ali had heard all of these arguments many times over and they had long since lost their power. Safety here, herd there, what really mattered was that she was suffering and that her mother was too blind to see that. But it wasn’t the right moment yet to blow up, not yet…

“You’re not trying to change my mind? Oh that’s amusing! Did Miss Snarky finally regain her senses?!”

“Now!” Ali had waited for a provocation like this. It was finally time to reveal the full extend of what she was feeling deep down inside. Emotions had been seething and swirling inside her and now they had heated her enough for them to spray out like a geysir of ultra hot steam and water. There was nothing holding Ali back anymore.

“I’VE BEEN TRYING TO CHANGE YOUR MIND, MANY TIMES!!!” Ali screamed all of a sudden, making a perfect switch from calm and indifferent to uncontained anger. “HAVE YOU EVER. TRULY. LISTENED TO ME MUM? HAVE YOU?”

“Oh you mean all that nonsense about meeting that boy? Please spare me with such irrelevant childish stuff, it’s about time you start to learn some maturity and learn to listen to your brain, your elders and your common sense and not what your gut is telling you!”

Ali panted. Tears, tears of rage, tears of disappointment were flowing from her blue eyes. How dare she insult her on such a level? Ali had never intended for the argument to become this personal but now there was no turning back. Ali would be fighting for what she believed to be right!

“You do not understand…” Ali said ever so quietly.

“Oh, I think I understand plenty young lady! Get that boy out of your bulky head right now!”

“YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND!!!” A shower of leaves was raining down onto them as Ali raised her voice above that of her mother. “YOU!!! You don’t know ANYTHING about me!!! NOTHING!!! You are blinded by Old One and her crappy nonsense!!!” Ali toned down her voice significantly for her next words as sobs were breaking through her screams of anger. “You have NO idea how I feel, are you too blind to see that I am suffering?!”

“Don’t yell at me like that!”

“YOU YELLED AT ME FIRST!!!”

“ALI BEHAVE YOURSELF!!!”

“Oh forget about it, you’re too stupid to understand what it means to be lonely…”

“E-EXCUSE ME?!”

“Don’t you know how much it hurts t-to be all alone all day with n-n-no one to play with, to have FUN with? Don’t you know how TERRIBLE I feel?!”

“Frankly Ali, you’re well advised to stop complaining about every whimsical little thing you don’t agree with! That’s not how life works; life is never in your favor, remember that!”

“OH WHAT DO YOU UNDERSTAND!?” Ali couldn’t decide whether to collapse in her misery or whether to keep up with the stupidity and blatant ignorance she was tasked to endure, however hard it was. There wasn’t a single part of her face not covered in her thick tears and it was becoming harder and harder by the second to keep her anger fueled stronger than the abysmal disappointment which was growing like cancer inside of her, choking her like the thick smoke from a forest fire. Just how much more could she take? Maybe she should just run away! But to leave things unresolved? At least she wanted to try convincing her however unlikely it was.

“Just once would you listen to me?! Just once would you care about me!?”

“I do listen to your idiocy right now, is that not enough? I care enough to try and lecture you about it. You need to get the picture, young lady, that this is not how you achieve things in life! You don’t survive with this attitude!”

“SEE!? SEE!?” Ali was boiling. “YOU ARE NOT LISTENING AT ALL!!! ALL YOU DO IS…”

“Hold it right there young lady or you’ll regret it!”

Ali glared at the grown-up with tear-stained eyes. “All you d-do is r-r-ruin my l-l-life!!! You d-don’t…. understand!!!”

“I do understand what sadness and loneliness feels like, Ali…” suddenly the voice of the adult became strangely distant and almost soft. “Do you not think it makes me lonely everyday to raise you all alone? Without your father who died so tragically because we weren’t safe? Would that perhaps change your mindset a little bit? I couldn’t bear losing you too so I took every measure to ensure that you are always well protected.”

“Liar.” Ali’s composure steadied somewhat. “You’re just stubborn, trying to get your point across and you’re trying to ruin my life!”

“That. Is. Not. True!” the grown-up panted. “I am trying to teach you the mindset you need to survive, you stupid girl! What good does it do if you live nicely and then a sharptooth eats you!?”

“AT LEAST I WOULD HAVE HAD A GOOD LIFE THEN!!!” Ali screamed, her rage refueled to the max, words flowing without much of a thought. “I’D RATHER DIE TRYING TO FOLLOW THE SLEEPSTORIES THAN TO CONTINUE LIVING HERE!!!” A little quieter but still  screaming, she continued to elaborate. “Living here is like being a scaly swimmer in a small pond that’s slowly drying up!!! It SUCKS!!! It sucks all life out of me and that’s not how I want to live my life okay?!”

“This just proves that your thinking is still that of a little child, Ali. I just cannot take that idiotic thinking serious.”

“ARE YOU STUPID?!”

“I’D RATHER NOT BE DEAD JUST BECAUSE I’VE GOT A RANDOM FEELING INSIDE OF ME!!! DON’T you realize how SILLY that even is!?”

“YOU’RE FEELING IT TOO! You and Old One… No, EVERYONE in this stinking herd, you are all just stinking cowards, THAT’S what you are!!!”

“Leave Old One out of this or you will regret this, young lady!”

“You KNOW what this feeling means! EVERYONE is feeling it and EVERYONE has to go to that place from our sleepstories!!!”

“YOU only want to go because of your childish fantasies! Thinking that you’ll meet that Littlefoot boy… DO YOU NOT REALIZE HOW RIDICULOUS THAT IS!?”

Ali’s eyes twitched. Her mother had just ventured on another level of personal attack entirely, one that's hurting like the stab of a knife.

“Do you not know how ridiculous you all are?” Ali’s voice was suddenly calm but deep inside she was falling apart. “He had the answer, the answer how to be safe! There is only so much safety the herd can give me, we still lose members to sharpteeth despite our numbers no matter how hard everyone is trying! The Valley has high numbers as well but it has other defenses which keep sharpteeth from attacking!”

“Oh, you don’t say?” There was an obvious mocking undertone to her voice now; Ali wanted to kick her mother but she knew it would achieve nothing.

“The Great Valley has walls that protect them but even more so the reputation it has! There, dinosaurs of all kinds are living together in harmony! No sharptooth has managed to kill inside the Valley for as long as we remember because they are working together, because they don’t have a freak as leader and plenty of dumb idiots who don’t see the forest behind all those trees!!!”

“Ali that’s enough, one more insult and I will…”

“Call Old One? Go ahead, it won’t change anything.”

“ALI!!!”

“You can’t keep me locked up while we’re not moving around and you know it,” Ali said quietly, trying to calm down in the hope that it’d help convincing her mother just a little bit. “As I said, the Valley is where it is safe for me. This herd doesn’t give me a future, nor a childhood I can enjoy. During the brief time we were there, for the first time ever I was happy, I had friends! Why are you trying so hard to take all of that away from me!?”

“Girl, do you honestly believe we would share this Valley with those disgusting non-longnecks? Do you honestly believe some walls keep a sharptooth away? Do you honestly think we’d allow you to play with someone who lured you on an adventure to the Land of Mists which should have killed you if it weren’t for blatant luck?! How stupid do you think I am?!”

“Very.” Ali said that out loud.

“ALI, YOU BAD-MANNERED GIRL!!!”

“You know nothing about them, you don’t know what they’re even like and yet you judge them badly? How idiotic!”

“They’re different and dangerous!!!”

“Dangerous? They’re eating leaves too! Just because they look different and have other traditions doesn’t mean they’ll kill you on sight!”

“It’s pointless to change my mind, you’re biased and too young to understand this!”

“And you’re too old to understand me!!!” Rage was slowing mingling with her words again.

“This Littlefoot boy has been a terrible influence on you, I wish we’d never set foot on that stupid Great V…”

Something inside Ali snapped at that moment. She didn’t know whether she was crying harder than she was yelling but either way her mother had crossed a line she should have never crossed and at that moment Ali gave up.

“SHUT UP!!! YOU KNOW NOTHING!!! NOTHING!!!”

“THAT’S ENOUGH!!!”

“NO!!!”

“YOU ARE NOT TO LEAVE THE NEST ANYMORE, YOU HEAR ME?!”

“I DON’T STINKING CARE!!!”

“FINE!!!”

Both mother and daughter were facing each other and the tension between them was more than tangible; one could literally see the air around them glimmer from their emotions.

“I will report this inexcusable behavior of yours, don’t even think you are getting away with this crap, Ali.”

“DO WHAT YOU WANT, I’M NOT LISTENING TO YOUR NONSENSE ANYMORE!!!”

“ALIIIII!!!!”

“BLA BLA BLA!!!”

“QUIT THIS ATTITUDE OF YOURS RIGHT HERE!!!”

“NO!!!” Ali wasn’t thinking anymore, she had never been this angry in her life. Her mind was full of hate and before she knew it, words slipped from her mouth, words she should have never said.

“I WILL NO LONGER LISTEN TO YOU!!! YOU ARE CONTROLLING ME; THE HERD IS CONTROLLING ME; I’M NOT YOUR STINKING PUPPET, YOU HEAR THAT?! I’M DONE WITH YOU!!! FROM NOW ON I’LL DO WHAT I WANT!!!”

“YOU WON’T!!! YOU ARE STAYING RIGHT HERE!!!”

Ali made attempts to walk away but her mother blocked her path.

“I’M NOT!!! TRY MAKING ME!!!”

“ALI YOU INSUFFERABLE GIRL!!!”

“WHY SHOULD I STAY?! YOU DON’T LOVE ME LIKE A MOTHER WOULD!!! YOU ARE NOT MY MOTHER, I HATE YOU!!! I HATE YOU SO MUCH!!! YOU HEAR THAT, I HAAAAAAAAATTEEEEEEEEE YOOOOOOUUUUUUUUU!!!”

Suddenly, Ali’s mother stopped resisting. The girl swiftly passed under her mother’s legs and ran for the forest.

“I DO NOT EVER WANT TO SEE YOU AGAIN, NEVER EVER!!!!” she cried and no sooner than she had said these words, Ali had disappeared in the darkness...

________________________________________________________________________________________________

Take a deep breath, this was intense after all :P

So... snap. That argument completely escalated huh? If you think Ali is out of character here, just try to get into her mindset and take the circumstances in this story into consideration. What Ali is facing may not seem too bad to an outsider but the girl is breaking apart from loneliness and the stiff and rigid herd she lives with which also influences her mother to a point where she cares more about the herd than her own daughter, a mistake she is going to regret very soon. I hope you enjoyed the intense fight :)

Oh and one more thing before I forget. I deliberately didn't break up the dialogue more than absolutely necessary since it is rather obvious who is speaking at all times here. Also, feelings during this fight needn't any further explanation I think, their words speak loud enough :D


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This was a pretty good retelling of this scene as it, as usual, deepened the conversation and the characters’ thoughts nicely. The slow buildup to this scene was handled well and it helped establish a rather good feeling in this offering. In terms of the plot, there is really not too much for me to add as it kinda is quite closely following the film. I must admit, it felt rather weird for the song to be simply skipped, even if you used a few lines from it. I understand that trying to incorporate it into the narrative would have been difficult but it felt like this scene lacked something. In any case, this chapter advanced the plot solidly which is the most important thing. :)
Thank you very much :)

I too would have liked to include it but I just couldn't make it work in a way that I felt confident with. I couldn't have uploaded any of my attempts at writing this, I have a certain expectation of myself by now, at least the writing needs to be decent enough that it doesn't make me cringe reading through it again  :^^spike

I'm glad that the rest of the narrative convinced, hope you'll like what I have planned for Littlefoot's story which is not quite just a retelling of the movie either though it will obviously include those scenes. :)


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So, we have Littlefoot being the typical Littlefoot he is, trying so hard to get his friends to join him while they have no idea what to anticipate on this journey just ahead. To me, this simply felt just like a very common way of how he always tries to bring his friends along. Just another day ahead becomes one of excitement (for most of them), but now the cliffhanger is leaving us wondering if they're really going to tag along or stay behind.

You know, I think you did an okay job trying to make the scene as loyal to the movie as possible without using the song. I have to admit, "Adventuring," wasn't quite my favorite, especially after they began overusing that in the TV series. It does seem a bit strange reading how Littlefoot tries to encourage his friends to come along without breaking into song like they did in the movie, but I can't fault you for that. I'm not sure I could have been able to pull that off, either. This was quite a good effort in avoiding the use of the song.

This chapter honestly felt like it did a great job at building the excitement at the possibilities for the Gang. It'll be interesting to see where they go from here. :)

Thank you very much!

Yeah, Littlefoot is being Littlefoot here indeed, couldn't have said it better and you know me: Rarely a chapter without a good cliffhanger :) Glad you didn't mind the lack of the song too much, was a little worried about that  :sducky


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I actually think the omission of the song worked rather well here.  The interactions between the gang were handled effectively and I think their concerns about Littlefoot's upcoming journey were well-conveyed.  One part in particular made me laugh out loud though:

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“So let me get this straight…” Cera, who had been silent thus far, perching on a rock, finally spoke up. “You’ve been having sleepstories so you’re going on an adventure but you don’t know when and you don’t know where and you don’t know why but you just sorta feel when it’s time to leave and then you and your grandparents will just sorta wander off.” The words came in such quick succession that Littlefoot had a hard time keeping up with them. “Is that it?”

This is classic Cera and, to be honest from a rational point of view, she has a very good point.  Most of us in the modern world would not consider wandering off to a place unknown due to a dream would be a good idea.  :p I do like how she does, in her own way, wishes him well however.  I don't really have much else to say about this chapter but I think it treated the source material quite well considering the necessity of either working in or removing a song.  Keep up the good work!

Thank you! :)

That quote you mentioned is actually taken straight from the movie, maybe that is why it feels so Cera-esque? :P Either way, I'm really glad you liked my version if this scene, yep yep yep!

Sovereign

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Re: Shorty's Dark Past 2.0
« Reply #54 on: March 14, 2019, 04:06:10 pm »
Ali, you’re seriously getting on my nerves. :anger Not only is her case here extremely weak but pretty much every part of her comments and behavior is really inexcusable. Yes, she might miss Littlefoot and her mother might not be too understanding or caring of her worries but even then, the latter’s behavior is borderline maddening. Not only does she show complete disregard to those who have helped her and kept her safe but she also doesn’t seem to understand the threats of the world at all and why she shouldn’t disregard her kind’s wisdoms. I really despised her in this chapter which isn’t something I often do while reading fics.

But even after that rant, my reactions are most likely a testament to the way you’ve portrayed the emotions here and the way you’ve managed to make them believable to the reader. As far as I can remember, these scenes weren’t nearly as elaborated in the original story so this is a welcome change. However, I wonder if my opinion of Ali will recover anytime soon. :p

DiddyKF1

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Re: Shorty's Dark Past 2.0
« Reply #55 on: March 14, 2019, 07:50:22 pm »
OMG! :opetrie Ali must be completely out of her mind! This whole chapter was just complete outrage (not in a way that upset me or anything, but seriously, the character interactions just completely boiled over). You almost can't help but feel sorry for Ali because of how, in her mind, her mother just doesn't understand her troubles, but she has taken a big gamble. She has no idea what's coming to her, and she doesn't seem to care. I don't even know who I'd side with in this situation. If I were one of those Longnecks overhearing that dreadful conversation, I wouldn't know what to do. I'd feel completely lost. Part of me wants to lash out at Ali for her disregard for the world around her, but part of me wants to hold back, as if that's going to do any good since no one is going to take her seriously, it seems.

So, just as I predicted, Ali has reached her boiling point, and I can't even begin to describe how I feel about her in this story right now. She has become quite a nuisance in the eyes of those who know her, and I don't even know where her gamble is going to take her next ...

rhombus

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Re: Shorty's Dark Past 2.0
« Reply #56 on: March 22, 2019, 02:50:15 am »
And now what has been building for quite some time has finally manifested itself into quite an emotional argument.  Though not entirely rational, when the usual excesses of young hormones combines with a home life that can hardly be called optimal, an irrational outburst is the inevitable result. That being said I do believe that Ali will be in for a rude awakening if she parts from those who have provided her protection and security for all of these years.  Though, having seen the original fic, I think we all know that this is a lesson she will have to learn the hard way. In fact, that is kind of the plot.  :p

I will not say this was the easiest read, and it certainly did not portray Ali in the most sympathetic light in my perspective, but you did capture of the emotions of the moment very well.  This was the eruption of the building tsunami, emotionally speaking, and a point of no return. From here Ali's situation is certainly going to pivot.  :yes