Still going with the story of Fred Johnson, Paragon of Virtue. Here are links to the previous episodes. If you need/want to catch up, click here for the 1st installment, 2nd installment, 3rd installment, 4th installment, 5th installment, 6th installment, 7th installment., 8th installment, 9th installment, 10th installment, 11th installment, 12th installment... Sorry I never finished last week. Rough week and I forgot the last one. Will post my first two paragraphs, as it's almost 8:00 pm and add the last shortly. These words REALLY don't lend themselves the Fred Johnson story. I work so hard at not cheating that I tend to eliminate words that I think might automatically plug into Fred's story, but I think perhaps I am over doing it. That is the downside of continuing stories when you are also the word and phrase maker... the war between the impulse to cheat and one's better angels.
Word for this week's 10-word challenge were: practice, essential, pen, victim, allegory, straw, bear, go west young man, fingertips, hunch And for the mini: keen, swan, organ, champ, brush
As if his life weren't complicated enough, Fred Johnson, Paragon of Virtue now had to deal with the keenly painful awareness that his heart was apparently a more fickle organ than he had thought and had transferred it's allegiance from Wizard Spark's beautiful daughter, Flashlight, to the mysterious Bubbles, who became more complexly paradoxical with each encounter. She had transformed from toad at his first meeting to a stunningly gorgeous swan, from a victim to a talented artist, savior and guide, from a slave to the bearer of some kind of long awaited wonder child, and from an ordinary woman adept at the practice of healing and magic. Although protecting Bubbles was now an essential part of his mission, Fred had a rather rueful hunch that she was more likely to be protecting him than the reverse and found himself blushing again as he remembered the slight brush of her fingertips against his when she handed him the magic lotion. These thoughts were interrupted by unwelcome sound of Count Psycho's increasingly irritating voice. "Well, there you are, Paragon. Couldn't resist Bubble's charms, eh?" he asked little knowing the truth behind what was intended to be a barb aimed at the aforementioned Bubbles, whose magic he had been unable to penetrate with his own. "Ah, McFlash," he continued turning the healer. "Is the toad's time near?" The healer smiled politely. "Oh no, sire," he replied smoothly, "she is some time off. I was just coming by to check on her and ran into the Paragon on a muffin delivery mission from Bubble's Cousin Confetti.: I was telling him about the Hall of Shadow Boxing and the concept of playing a game that is also an allegory for life. He seems positively champing at the bit to see it. I hope you don't mind my suggesting it. I got rather caught up in bragging about your skill," the physician lied with bald-faced charm. It was apparent that Psycho was not thrilled with the idea so Bubbles quickly chimed in with a straw dog suggestion she was pretty sure the Count would hate even more. "Or maybe you could show him the Dragon pens," she offered quietly, knowing that if there was one thing the Count actually feared it was dragons. "Splendid idea," healer McFlash chimed in, taking his cue from Bubbles. "Western dragons are the best, so I say, go west, young man," he laughed. "Dragons? You have dragons here?" Fred blurted out, rather forgetting himself and his mission in his surprise and excitement. "Not good weather for dragons," Psycho retorted grumpily. Shadow boxing it is. Come along," and turning on his heal made it clear that the Paragon should follow. Glancing back, Bubbles radiant smile took away a bit of his fear. "I'm not cut out for this," he thought to himself. "I wonder if tree stumps can make mistakes...."'
It didn't take a keen eye to see that Count Psycho was in a foul mood. If they had been in a movie, it would be a horror film, he mused and there would be spooky organ music playing and building to a climax. In an effort to distract the Count from his brooding and to brush away his own anxiety, Fred asked, "So how does shadow boxing work? Do your people call you Champ? They would where I come from." It turned out that Shadow Boxing in the Kingdom of Sunday was significantly different that what the term meant on Earth. Her in Sunday, one did battle with shadow selves, beings identical in physical form but representing aspect of the self one needed to tame or strengthen. Doing battle with one's inner demons (or perhaps inner Angels in the Count's case) seemed an intriguing idea to Fred. He wondered if he would get a chance to give it a try and then wondered whether it would be wise to let his enemy - for want of a better word - obtain knowledge of his inner weaknesses... and with that thought he perhaps he understood Psycho's reluctance to share this particular experience with one sent to bring his better self - if possible - into the light. Was it possible, he wondered, that Psycho had an inner swan seeking birth into the real world? A new excitement woke in the Paragon's heart and he began to look forward to their visit to the Shadow Boxing Room.
As they entered the Hall of Shadow Boxing, the healer's words, "Go west young man," flashed through his mind as though there was perhaps a secret message contained in them. Fred decided to bear them in mind as they progressed into the huge hall. He was surprised to see that the room was divided into huge pens, floors covered with straw and the walls hung with huge mirrors. He wished he could have a chance to practice in private (he dreaded Psycho seeing how weak he perceived himself to be) so as to avoid completely shaming himself in this allegorical battle with whatever essential part of himself stepped forward to do battle. Sensing that his beloved human was about to fall victim to his penchant for self doubt, Fred's loyal and wise dog Cane - who had managed to keep such a low profile that Fred had completely forgotten his presence - gently kissed the Paragon's fingertips. Gratefully pulled back from the brink, Fred hunched down with a both a hug and a treat for his 4-legged friend and whispered, "Cane, you are the best shadow self a man could ask for. You must be the wisest, kindest dog in the known Universe. I quite wish you could talk. What do you think "go west young man means?" And as though he understood the question perfectly, Cane bounded off to the far left corner of the huge room, followed by an astonished Paragon who thought the Kingdom of Sunday and it's inhabitants would never cease to amaze him astonish him.
Words for next week's 10-word challenge: pelican, patch, pendulum, poodle, puddle, paddle, parched, Pegasus, petunia, pig
And for the mini: flaw, filling, filter, flattery, fashionable
Thanks you for playing. Newcomers can check here for some guidelines to make the game more fun. There are no rules, just some general guidelines and tricks.