Yet Another Feste 
Picture!Ha! I bet you expected a link to something witty and wonderful, with semi-clad dancing girls and a polar bear. Well I sure did! Instead, you get this! The Untitled semi-fantasy story!

Here is a story I told someone one night in "whispers", which are like IRC /msgs. I think it was not too shabby for off-the-cuff, so I am inflicting it upon you now:


Once there was a small village which was home to a very strange young lady named Fiona.

She was strange because she could talk to the animals. None of the other people of the village believed that she really could do this

They tormented her and mocked her, such that she despaired, and fled into the woods. She knew she would be able to get help from the aminals.

All the aminals were her friends, and they helped her to survive. They helped her build a shelter from the rain. And in return she did what she could for them, mediating disputes, removing thorns from paws, and the like

She went on in this happy way for a long time. Many months passed, then many seasons, many years. She came to forget the small village and people in general

But then trouble came to the village. The winters had been hard for many years, and a number of bears began to attack in search of food. Try as they might, the hunters of the village could do nothing to overcome the bears, which would grab children as they played, or oldsters as they strolled.

In desperation, they thought back to Fiona, who said she could talk to the aminals. Was it possible what she said was true?

So they sent a pair of the hunters to see Fiona and plead for her assistance. One of the hunters was Roget, the most skilled and handsome of them all

They searched many days in the woods, but could find no sign of Fiona. As they went deeper into the woods than they had gone before, they were attacked by a pack of coyotes

The coyotes circled them round, howling and snarling. Roget's partner went mad with fear, and tried to break out of the circle, only to die in the attempt. With only Roget left, the coyotes began to close in....

Just when things looked darkest for Roget, a voice called out to the coyotes, a human voice but not speaking as humans do... The coyotes looked behind Roget, and began to howl the louder, pacing back and forth. Roget summoned the courage to see this new threat, prepared to die fighting, when he beheld a beautiful young lady, with wild hair and glittering black eyes.

It was Fiona. She spoke to the coyotes again, and they howled once more, then vanished into the woods. Roget stood alone facing Fiona. "Fiona" he said, knowing this to be her that he sought, and that her talent was real.

Fiona had, of course, heard from the aminals that Roget and Shalart were seaking her, and had kept out of sight. But once she glimpsed Roget, she was suddenly lonely as she had never been before...

She wanted to be near Roget, and had followed them, and had witnessed the coyote attack, but could not get there in time to save Shalart. Now she was at a loss as to what to do.

Roget said her name again, struck by her beauty, entranced by her wildness. "I thank you. For my life," he said. She seemed confused, as though she didn't quite remember how to speak as humans do. But she understood.

Then Roget remembered the village, and his purpose. His expression must have changed, for she said "Why have you come?" He told her about the attacking bears, and asked for her help, as she had helped him just now. She became stern and said "What are they to me? All they did was taunt me, and drive me out. I care not of their plight."

Then her look softened and she said "But stay here with me... We will be safe from bears, or coyotes, and all other threats." Roget became angry, and told her that he would go back to defend the village as best he could.

Poor Fiona! For she was distraught when he had left. She tried to go back to the way she had been, but it was of no avail. There was a part missing from her life, and now its loss was known, she felt it.

Roget returned to the village, feeling a similar loss, but knowing his duty lay there. He had to try, though the attempt had been futile before. He returned to find things still the same, the bears becoming, if anything, more aggressive.

Roget lead the other hunters in setting traps, in keeping watch, in hunting the bears, but nothing helped. They were too many, too fierce, and too hungry. Children still died. People still lived in fear.

Finally, the village elders decided to make a final stand against the bears, and rallied the people. They would try to lure the bears into town, and trap them all there. So they gathered meat and left it in the open square, and lured the bears in.

But the bears were smart! They didn't get trapped as planned, and now there were many bears in the town all at once. This was worse than before! All might die!

Just as things were beginning to look bleak for the town, Fiona appeared at the end of main street, and told the bears to be still. They looked up at her, and just then a volley of arrows took most of them! The rest fled in terror.

Roget had prepared a final ambush, a do-or-die attack, just as Fiona had arrived, and so they leaped forth at just the right moment

So the town was restored to some order, and they could begin to greive over their great loss. Roget came to Fiona and said "Have you decided to live among humans?"

She said she could not, she is not like them. But she would live closer, and offer her help and her talent, if he would be with her, and help her to fit in. She said that maybe some day she could move back.

He was overcome with joy, and said yes, he would be with her. And they lived fairly happy till the end of their days.