What are Ozlandish Writings?

From July 2010 to December 2014 we ran OZLAND PICTURE STORIES as described below. Sadly though the number of writers reduced over the years and we decided to call it a day. We leave these as a record of the good times we had.

Are "You" ready to challenge your writing skills? Then participate in our OZLAND Picture Stories writing series at The Ozland Art Gallery.

Each month a new picture will be picked, from our OZLAND Artist of the Month collection, with different themes. Your goal is to write a 500-1000 word... poem... essay... or story about the picture picked. This is a chance for you to challenge your writing skills each month. Story can be written in ANY genre... sci fi... romance... ghost... fantasy... fiction... non-fiction... biography... mystery... historical... whatever your writing genre... feel free to experiment. Send your writing inworld to Sven Pertelson as a notecard to have it included on the web site. We meet at the The Ozland Art Gallery each Wednesday at Noon and 6pm SLT to read the latest submissions on voice. More Information

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Caterpillars - by lillian Morpork

All of the insects, birds and small creatures in the forest were hurrying to find shelter. They knew that a big storm was coming, and it would be very dangerous for small things to be out in it. The two furry caterpillars, Tic and Tac, were slowly working their way along the branch of a Jimson weed, trying their best to hurry. But they had been nibbling at the plant as they went, and it was great! They were having a grand time.

First, they were on a plant with white flowers, and it didn’t really taste all that good, but it made them feel relaxed and calm. They moved on to another plant, this one had light purple flowers. Still didn’t taste great, but Wow! They felt wonderful.

“Hey, Tac!” Tic cried. “look at that beeootiful catypilah! Ain’t she a knockout?”

Tac looked around, confused. “I don’t see no catypilah – you dunce, it’s a rainbow flutter…a….butterfly!”

“Really, that’s what you see? How odd. “

They moved on, the storm forgotten. Then they were on a plant with deep purple flowers. It tasted worse than the others, and they stopped moving for a while. The wind had picked up, and the branch they were on was moving up, down and sideways, and they were getting very dizzy.

“Uh, Tac,“ Tic mumbled, “I don’t feel too good. I’m dizzy, and I think I’m going to throw up!”

“Yeah, Tic, me too,”

Tic started to move, and his back end fell off the branch. “Oh, help!” he cried, and clung on for dear life. Tac tried to go and help him, but he couldn’t move in a straight line either, and his front end slipped off. He screamed, and started to cry. They hung like that for a few moments, then he made a great effort, and managed to get his front legs on the branch again. “Hold on, Tic, I’m coming,” he called, and very carefully moved toward his friend.

Just then, it started to rain, and in moments it was like a cataract of water. The wind rose, so that the rain was almost horizontal, and Tic lost his grip and fell. Tac stared for a moment at the empty spot. Where was Tic?

“Hey, Tic,” he said, “how’d you do that? You disappeared into thin air!” A voice called from below “Wow, Tac, you should try that – I flew like a bird! The landing wasn’t so good though.”

Tac humped forward a bit, and peered drunkenly over the branch. There, on a toadstool surrounded by water, was Tic, staring up, trying to focus on the branch. With the effects of the Jimson weed, the strong wind moving the branch, and the rain teeming down, neither could see the other clearly. Tac moved a little farther forward just as the branch bounced in a strong gust and he fell off. Next thing he knew, he was sitting beside Tic on the toadstool. But it didn’t last. The rain was making the rounded top of the toadstool very slippery, and they had nothing to grab on to. They began to slide, slowly at first, then faster and faster, until they went off the edge and landed with a splash in the puddle.

Caterpillars don’t do well in puddles, even when they are sober. And Tic and Tac were far from sober, even after the fall, and landing in the cold water. They started trying to crawl forward, but to do so, they had to put their heads down. This put their heads partly under water, and made it even harder to move. They stopped, raised their heads, and started yelling.

“Help, help!” they shouted as loudly as they could, for as long as they could, but soon were too tired to continue. Tac had an idea. “Let’s try taking turns shouting. I’ll go first, and shout as long as I can. Then, while I rest, you shout. We can keep shouting a lot longer that way.” And so they did, while getting colder and colder, and soberer and soberer. It seemed to take forever, but wasn’t more than half an hour when two fairies is special wet weather gear came, flying not too far away. They were having a bit of trouble keeping to the direction they wanted to go, because of the wind, but the storm was dying out, so when they heard Tac shouting, they were able to fly to the scene of the accident.

The storm had almost died out, and the fairies had no trouble landing beside the puddle. “Oh, my!” Bluebell cried. “You poor things, however did you get down here?” She started laughing, and laughed so hard she almost fell into the puddle with them.
Tac looked embarrassed. “We were heading for shelter on those plants up there, and got a bit hungry. So we nibbled a bit. They didn’t taste too good, but they made us feel more relaxed. We went from plant to plant, nibbling a bit from each, till we were seeing things that weren’t there. The Tic suddenly disappeared, and when I looked for him he called from on the toadstool. I was moving so I could look down better, and the wind whipped the branch, and I fell, too. Then we started sliding, and couldn’t hold on, and – well, you can see where we ended up.”

“Ho ho ho!” Bluebell laughed again. “Don’t you know Jimson weed when you see it? It gives you hallucinations, and makes you drunk. And if you eat enough, it will kill you!”

“Oh – we didn’t know. Can you help us? This water is very cold.” Tac was very contrite.

“Never mind that, and this isn’t at all funny!” Buttercup scolded. “We need to get them out of the water quickly, and someplace where they can dry out. And yes,” she added. “We can help you. Come on, Bluebell, let’s take this one first, he’s deeper in the water. You take his head and I’ll take his tail. Got a good grip? Ok then, lift!” They lifted Tic and carried him up to a branch of a small sapling, not too high off the ground. Carefully, they attached his head and tail to the branch, and left him hanging there, swinging in the now calm breeze. In a very short time, both Tic and Tac were hanging on the branch, water dripping off them.The fairies flew off, heading home to their supper.

“Tac,” Tic whispered.

“Yes, Tic?”

“Remind me never to eat Jimson weed ever again!”

“I sure will!” Tac assured him. “I’ll remind myself too. I never want to go through something like that again.”

“Yeah,” Tic said. “But weren’t those hallucinations beautiful?” He sighed at the memory. Tac didn’t reply, but he thought of that beautiful rainbow butterfly, and sighed, too

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