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What is Going On Here? 
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Post What is Going On Here?
“HoneywakeupwakeupyougottawakeupHoneyHoneyHoney—”

“Huh?” said Honey, who was feeling groggy.

“Honey, you’ve gotta get up!” cried Vanilla, jumping up and down and squealing. It was entirely unlike Vanilla.

“Who are you and what have you done with my little sister?” said Honey, smirking. Vanilla sometimes joked around, but this kind of prank wasn’t her brand of humor.

Vanilla laughed. “You’re such a tease, Honey!” she said, playfully punching Honey in the shoulder.

“Okay, ow,” said Honey. “What’s gotten you in such a perky mood, Vanilla?”

“It’s a beautiful day!” said Vanilla, spreading her arms like Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music. “The sun is shining, the air is sweet, and I’m with my family, who I love so much! C’mon, breakfast will be starting soon!”

Wagging her tail, Vanilla charged out of Honey’s room, then poked her head back in. “Well? C’mon!”

“I’m coming, I’m coming,” said Honey, wondering what was in the water Vanilla had drunk the previous night, and wondering where she could get some of it. Honey was still groggy—she didn’t know why. She let out a long yawn that resembled a snake devouring an invisible deer.

She looked outside. What was so special about today? It was just another day, just like any other—no different from yesterday, no different from tomorrow. What was there to be so cheerful about?

“Okay, what was in the water I drink last night? I’m not my usual cheerful self.”

Honey chuckled once, mirthlessly.

“Did a mad scientist give us a personality transplant, or something? Heh…at least I still remember being Honey, and she still remembers being Vanilla, so it’s not like our brains have been exchanged. That’d be cool, though.”

She yawned again as she went to splash some water in her face before it was time for breakfast.

* * * * *

“Piggyback!”

“OOF! What did you eat for breakfast, lead?!” cried Honey after Vanilla jumped on her.

Vanilla laughed. “I ain’t heavy, I’m your sister!”

“You’re BOTH, Vanilla!” said Honey, wobbling back and forth.

“Come on, gimme a piggyback ride!” said Vanilla.

“All right, all right, don’t have a cow—I don’t think there’s enough room left in you for one.”

Vanilla laughed. “You’re so funny, Honey!” Then she chortled and said, “Hey, I made a rhyme! About time!”

Honey rolled her eyes. “Am I really this obnoxious?”

“Huh?”

“Never mind,” said Honey. “Giddyup.”

“Hey, I’m supposed to say that!”

Honey rolled her eyes and made an exasperated horse noise.

“Giddyup, horsie!”

Honey made a half-hearted whinnying noise and did her best to give Vanilla a piggyback ride.

“Oink, oink!” said Vanilla.

* * * * *

“Okay, what is with you?” said Honey later that day.

“What?” said Vanilla, smiling.

“You’re not usually this…cheerful.”

“I know.”

“You do?”

Vanilla made a raspberry. “I think I know what I’m usually like at least as well as you do.”

“Then why are you being cheerful today when you’re usually in more of a…grouchy mood?” She winced. She meant to be a little more tactful, but she still used the “G” word.

“I don’t know—why are you being grouchy today when you’re usually in more of a cheerful mood?” said Vanilla.

Honey opened her mouth…then closed it. “Touche.”

Vanilla chortled. “I don’t know. Everything just seems so…beautiful today.”

Honey raised her eyebrow. “If you’re your usual self again tomorrow, forgive me for asking this, but I just have to ask while it’s on my mind: have you met someone?”

“Met someone?” said Vanilla, honestly sounding confused.

“You know what I mean. A boy. As in a boyfriend.”

Vanilla doubled over with laughter. “You’re too funny for words, Honey!”

“What did I say that was funny?”

“Who could I have met since last night? And how? Besides, is that the only explanation for being in a cheerful mood? You don’t have a boyfriend and until today you’ve ALWAYS been in a cheerful mood!”

“Don’t remind me….” muttered Honey.

“Remind you of what, Honey?” said Vanilla.

“Never mind,” said Honey, going to her room to brood.

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Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:38 am
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Post Re: What is Going On Here?
Well, something is off in the Cake household. Let us find out what....

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Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:46 am
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Post Re: What is Going On Here?
And now for something completely different--*explosion*

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Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:26 pm
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Post Re: What is Going On Here?
do I sense a cosmic hand in this personality switch?

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Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:37 pm
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Post Re: What is Going On Here?
Here's Chapter 2. Hope you like it.







Honey had moped in her room for a full minute before Vanilla opened the door slightly.

“Did I say something to upset you, Honey?” said Vanilla.

“No. Yes. I—I don’t know…. I just….”

“What is it?”

“I wish you’d give me my personality back!” said Honey, trying to make it a joke and failing miserably.

Vanilla looked confused. “I don’t know what you’re talking about, Honey. I would never want you to be anyone but yourself.”

Honey sighed. “I know…and me either—although I do want you to be happier than you usually are. Not THIS happy, though.”

Vanilla shrugged.

“I’m sorry,” sighed Honey again. “I know you didn’t mean it on purpose, I’m not blaming you.”

“For what?”

“You said that I didn’t have a boyfriend.”

Vanilla cocked her head. “That upsets you? It’s never upset you before.”

“I know it hasn’t…. I always thought it would be something I’d like, but that I didn’t need right at the moment. I have a good life as it is even without that. Besides, I’m still young, there’s still a possibility I might meet someone.”

“So…has anything changed?”

Honey shrugged. “I still can’t write off the possibility that I might meet someone, but it hasn’t happened yet. I guess I’m just…lonely.”

Vanilla put a comforting paw on Honey’s shoulder. “You’re too nice not to meet anyone, Honey,” she said, smiling.

Honey rolled her eyes. “If I get my personality back.” Then her ears perked up. “Hey, wait a minute, I thought you didn’t believe in romantic love.”

Vanilla looked her sister in the eye. “You know that was my coping mechanism, don’t you?”

“Yeah. You were afraid to fall in love again, so you said you didn’t believe in it. And whenever someone you were close to, like Strawberry, fell in love, it messed things up for you and you got upset.”

Vanilla shook her head. “Not quite right.”

“No?”

“It wasn’t that I was afraid to fall in love again. It was that I was afraid of being heartbroken again. I didn’t expect to fall in love the first time. That was stupid of me, and I was mad at myself. I hate not being able to control emotions.”

Honey was very interested now, but didn’t smile. “What are you saying, Vanilla?”

Vanilla sighed. “I might as well say it while I’m still feeling like this, because this is something I would never have said ordinarily….”

“Yes?”

“I’m not afraid of falling in love—if it’s with the right guy. Wort might have been the right guy if he wasn’t so busy—but the fact that he is so busy meant he was the wrong guy. I honestly think that, if there weren’t problems, I might like that…very much.”

Honey’s eyes got wider and wider.

“Really?” she said. “You, Vanilla Cake…would like a boyfriend?”

Vanilla nodded. “Don’t get me wrong, I have standards—high standards—but yes, if they can be met, I would.”

“Wow…I didn’t think I’d ever get to talk to you about this topic,” said Honey, who was almost back to her normal self again—not quite.

“Heh, maybe this personality transplant turned out to be a good thing overall, then,” said Vanilla. “Of course, I’ll probably be too embarrassed to bring it up again if we switch back.”

“Well…I can promise you I won’t tease you about it.”

There was a long pause.

“Do you want me to play matchmaker for you?”

“Honey!” said Vanilla, throwing a pillow at her sister.

“Yeah, you probably won’t, not once you’re back to normal. Still…probably no harm in looking around, is there?”

Vanilla blushed, and turned her head. “You do what you want, but I don’t know when our personalities are going to switch back—or how.”

Honey nodded. “You’re right—we need to focus on that. How did this happen, and how might it change back?”

Vanilla shrugged. “I’ve never understood emotions, I wouldn’t know where to begin.”

Honey thought. “We need an outside observer, someone who can be objective.”

Vanilla nodded. “Strawberry.”

“Unless her personality’s been switched too,” said Honey.

“Dad’s isn’t,” Vanilla pointed out. “It may just be the two of us.”

Honey nodded. “Let’s go ask if we can visit Strawberry.”

* * * * *

“That’s…quite a story,” said Strawberry after she had heard all the facts. Even this late in the game she wasn’t 100% sure that the Cake sisters weren’t just playing an elaborate practical joke on her, but she was close to it.

“Do you have any idea of how this might have happened, or how we might get back to normal?” asked Vanilla.

“I…have no clue,” said Strawberry.

Honey rolled her eyes. “That’s helpful….”

“Honey,” said Vanilla.

“I’m sorry. I’m just frustrated.”

“I’m trying to think,” said Strawberry. “Okay, you both first noticed it when you woke up, right? What was different from how it usually is? I need specific details.”

“Well,” said Vanilla, “I just…felt like smiling, for once. I felt good to be alive, happy to be in my home, and with my family, and it being a beautiful day. I don’t know why—it wouldn’t have made me any happier if birds had flown in and joined me in a duet.”

Strawberry’s ears perked up. “You mean like in a Disney animated fairy tale?”

“I guess,” said Vanilla, blushing.

“And you don’t know why? You weren’t trying to think like that, you weren’t thinking about Honey, nothing like that?”

“Not that I recall,” said Vanilla.

“I see. And Honey? What was it like for you?”

Honey sighed, and rolled her eyes. “Honestly I thought I was just groggy from not getting much sleep. Except that I DID get plenty of sleep. It just felt like another day, no different from any other, and I didn’t see why Vanilla was so happy. And then we had our conversation about how I still don’t have a boyfriend.”

“And you said that never bothered you before,” said Strawberry.

Honey shrugged. “I’m still young, I always figured there was plenty of time for me to meet someone, and start something. Besides, I wasn’t exactly lonely—I have friends, I have my dad, and I have Vanilla.”

“So what’s changed, then?”

Honey groaned. “I don’t KNOW. I guess the point’s just been driven home to me now, that it hasn’t happened yet. And I guess….”

“Yes?”

Honey shifted in her seat, looking very uncomfortable.

“Vanilla, please forgive me for saying this if we ever go back to normal….”

“Okay,” said Vanilla.

“I guess I kind of resented Vanilla for not believing in romantic love, especially when I knew she didn’t really mean it—it was just her coping mechanism against heartbreak for herself.”

Vanilla’s ears perked up. “I’m sorry, Honey, I didn’t know it was going to upset you that much. I guess I was just thinking about myself.”

Honey hung her head. “I know—and that’s why I never confronted you about it. I didn’t want to upset you even more.”

Vanilla gave Honey a hug.

Strawberry waited for several seconds, then cleared her throat. “I don’t mean to interrupt, but this isn’t explaining anything. Your talk about your not having a boyfriend came only after you were feeling grouchy, so that doesn’t explain why you felt that way.”

“Well….” said Vanilla, “…you did jump to the conclusion that I had found a boyfriend when you saw how happy I was, right, Honey? Are you sure that wasn’t on your mind from the beginning?”

“Positive,” said Honey. “The thought only occurred to me when I’d seen how happy you were, for no reason at all. I didn’t know how to explain it without something like that. It took awhile for me to ask because the ‘perfect boyfriend’ of yours I built up in my mind was making me jealous that I didn’t have that myself.”

“So now we’re back to square one,” said Strawberry. “Let’s think about this some more, and if we exhaust the logical explanations, then I think we may need to segue into the ridiculous.”

The Cake sisters’ ears perked up. “The ridiculous?”

“You have to admit, this whole thing is ridiculous. Therefore it stands to reason that there is a good possibility the explanation is similarly ridiculous.”

Honey and Vanilla looked at each other in confusion.

“Mad science?” thought Honey.

Strawberry shrugged. “Don’t know. Let’s just ponder this for awhile….”

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Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:57 am
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Post Re: What is Going On Here?
wow. Quite an insight...and very cerebral. Different from usual, but still very very enjoyable

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Post Re: What is Going On Here?
Glad you're still finding it enjoyable! :D Here's Chapter 3.







“Okay, we’ve exhausted all rational explanations,” said Strawberry, “and we can rule out mad science since only one night passed between the time you were normal and the time when you were like this. That being the case, I can only think of one possible explanation.”

She paused for dramatic emphasis.

“Yes?” said Honey and Vanilla, who were on the edge of their seats.

“The supernatural.”

Honey made a raspberry. “You think the supernatural caused Vanilla’s and my personalities to switch?”

“Well, you both have come to insights about each other that you wouldn’t have otherwise, that would certainly serve as the reasoning behind such a thing.”

“But who would have done it, and why would they be interested in us?” said Vanilla.

“If I knew that, I’d tell you, and I’d confront whoever it was on the matter.”

“You’re very brave, Strawberry,” said Vanilla.

Strawberry smiled at the compliment. “You kind of have to be when your dad’s a police officer. Anyway, I guess this is as far as I can take you. You’ll have to work out the rest on your own. Sorry I couldn’t be more help.”

“That’s okay,” said Vanilla. “You’ve been plenty help as it is.”

“Speak for yourself,” muttered Honey.

* * * * *

The Cake sisters were silent for a good portion of the way home.

“How are we supposed to deal with a supernatural source?” said Honey at last.

Vanilla shrugged. “I suppose we could either try to come to a closer understanding of each other, or else….”

“Or else what?”

“Or else go into the forest and hope this supernatural entity that’s messing with us will reveal himself, or herself, to us.”

Honey pulled her sweater up—whether she was consciously imitating Vanilla’s usual gesture of pulling her hood over her head was impossible to tell. “I hope just coming to a closer understanding of each other will be enough.”

“Well, we’ve already done that,” said Vanilla.

“We’re not back to normal,” said Honey. “Is there anything else we need to do in understanding each other?”

“Well….” said Vanilla, “maybe we need to role-play a little bit.”

“At a time like this?”

“Not like that. I mean, you role-play as me, and I’ll role-play as you. That is, you be me as I usually am, and I’ll be you as you usually are.”

“Heh…that could be fun. Let’s do it when we get home, though.”

“That was my original plan,” said Vanilla.

“Heh…the old me would be jumping up and down and squealing with excitement about this.”

“Yeah, I know,” said Vanilla, smiling.

Honey stopped. “I said, the old me would be jumping up and down and squealing with excitement about this.”

Getting the hint, Vanilla lowered her hood and started to jump up and down, shaking her fists.

“EEEEEE, I’m so excited, I’m so excited!”

“Much better,” said Honey.

* * * * *

For the role-playing game, Honey and Vanilla switched clothes. Honey put on Vanilla’s green hoodie and kept the hood up, hiding her ponytail. Vanilla put on Honey’s sweater and skirt, and she put a coonskin cap on her head to resemble Honey’s ponytail. Vanilla even put on Honey’s sunglasses, and the two switched collars and tags.

“Now, you remember the rules. You be me as I used to be—as you saw me—and I’ll be you as you used to be—as I saw you. It doesn’t matter if we get it wrong, so don’t stop and say ‘I am NOT like that’, and I won’t do it either, okay? We’re trying to learn how the other sees us.”

“Got it,” said Honey.

“Okay, go!”

Honey nodded and hung her head.

“VanillaVanillaVanilla, you gotta get up! Spencer what’s-his-name’s coming to town and he’s going to take a lucky young girl dog out on a date!”

“Gyro,” said Honey, out of character.

“Spencer Gyro’s coming to town! EEEEEE! I’m so excited, what if he picks me?!”

Honey sighed, rolling her eyes. “I don’t believe in romantic love, even though I used to experience it myself with Strawberry’s brother.”

“Oh, Vanilla, that wasn’t real love—that was just a crush. Anyway, I’ll make sure you find a boyfriend to get you out of your shell, since that’s the solution to everything!”

Honey squinted her eyes. “It is not—I’ll never be happy again unless everyone agrees with me, including my sister and my best friend. I want them to be mopey and miserable and boyfriend-less because I can’t find a boyfriend myself.”

“Well, I’ll be happy no matter what, but I won’t rest until my little sister likes all the same things I do and is a normal girl like me!”

“I’m plenty normal, it’s everyone else in the whole world who isn’t,” said Honey.

“No, you’re the only one in the world who isn’t normal, and I wish more than anything that you were!”

Honey frowned. “That’s enough, Vanilla.”

“Huh?”

“I know what you said, but that really hurt. I do NOT wish you were like me, and you know it. I do wish you were happier sometimes, but I love you as you are, with all your own interests. Yes, sometimes I don’t like being unable to share mine with you but I don’t resent you for that.”

Vanilla broke character. “I’m sorry, Honey….”

Honey laughed once, mirthlessly. “This worked like a charm. We’re still not back to normal.”

“Well…let’s make up. I’m sorry I accused you of thinking that about me.”

“Apology accepted. And I’m sorry I said what I did about you. This probably wasn’t a good idea anyway.”

“Maybe not,” said Vanilla, taking off the coonskin cap and sunglasses. “So…are you up for Plan B?”

“When did you get so brave?”

“The same time I got so perky,” said Vanilla.

Honey looked anxious. “I guess there really isn’t much choice, but I don’t see what good it’ll do.”

Vanilla knew Honey was covering for the fact that she was scared—she had done that herself many times. “I’m right here, Honey,” said Vanilla, holding her sister’s paw.

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Mon Oct 15, 2012 1:40 pm
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Post Re: What is Going On Here?
Mmm, tough challenge...
I know the solution: embrace the change! *brick'd*

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Mon Oct 15, 2012 3:49 pm
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Post Re: What is Going On Here?
Nice call back to previous characters.

It's been awhile before we remember how their usual attires look like.

A real mystery to this personality swap.

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Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:12 pm
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Post Re: What is Going On Here?
Here's Chapter 4!







Honey and Vanilla went into the woods, not too far from their house, but far enough that Honey was worried. It wasn’t that large of a forest—it was possible to see and hear the signs of civilization well into it—but it seemed almost to be closing around them. At least it did to Honey. She kept looking at the sky, as that was the only place that didn’t seem to be encaging them—although after a time there were fewer and fewer airplanes flying overhead as well, and Honey missed them.

“I’m still not sure about this, Vanilla. What good is this going to do?”

Vanilla held Honey’s paw and smiled reassuringly at her. “Do you have a better idea that we haven’t already tried?”

“Yes,” said Honey. “We haven’t tried ramming into each other at forty miles per hour.”

Vanilla stifled a laugh. “I highly doubt that would work.”

“It would seem to have as much chance of working as what we’re doing.”

Suddenly Honey felt herself BUMPED onto the ground.

“See, it didn’t work,” said Vanilla.

“Very funny,” muttered Honey as she stood up and brushed herself off.

“Come on, let’s go deeper, into the dream world,” said Vanilla, taking Honey by the paw and leader her further into the forest.

“When did you become such an expert on the dream world?” said Honey.

“It’s a staple of fairy tales and mythologies,” said Vanilla.

“Didn’t know you were interested in those.”

“There’s a lot about me you don’t know.”

There was silence for quite awhile afterward.

* * * * *

“We’re lost,” said Honey.

“We’ve been walking in a straight line, how can we be lost?”

“We can’t, I was just getting back at you for all the times you said that,” said Honey.

Vanilla playfully elbowed her sister.

Honey’s stomach growled. Her ears perked up as she felt her stomach. “Haven’t eaten since breakfast.”

“Sorry,” said Vanilla. “If we don’t accomplish anything soon we’ll go home.”

Suddenly Honey noticed something strange. Some kind of small animal seemed to be moving in an unnatural manner. It moved too quickly for her to see what it was exactly, but it didn’t seem to be moving on its own steam.

“What the hey…?”

“Careful, Honey, you don’t know where that’s been.”

“I didn’t say I was gonna EAT it….” Honey meant this but her stomach was growling to the point where she wondered how it would taste nevertheless.

The animal moved again, towards what appeared to be a large bush. Honey followed.

“Honey, wait a minute—”

Too late. With a “Yip!” Honey felt her foot go out from under her as she approached the bush. A snare had tightened around her ankle and now Honey found herself suspended from the tree, hanging upside down.

“Are you okay?!” cried Vanilla.

“Okay?” muttered Honey. “I’m making a dollar a minute here!”

“She’s okay,” said Vanilla. “Hang on, I’ll try to get you down!”

But before she could try, she heard whisperings. They were behind her—to her left—to her right—in front of her.

They were surrounded.

By a pack of wolves.

* * * * *

Honey and Vanilla were surrounded by fearsome-looking wolves. They were dressed in animal skins and had camouflage on their faces and bodies, sporting primitive spears.

Vanilla gulped, then grinned sheepishly and attempted a wave. “Uh…hiya. Are you…friendly?”

The wolves looked at each other when Vanilla addressed them.

“Anglisk?” said one to another.

“Anglisk,” said the other.

They spoke in a language neither Honey nor Vanilla understood as they motioned towards yet a third wolf, who was not armed. Somehow, he seemed more terrible than the others, such that he could hold his own without needing to be armed.

Vanilla shifted her weight from one foot to another, unsure of what the wolves would do to them. Oddly, though, while this wolf seemed to be one of the fiercest of all, she didn’t fear so much that he would hurt them—she couldn’t quite describe it but the closest she could approximate to how she was feeling now was how she felt when Mr. Cake got mad and she was in trouble.

This wolf was young, not much older than Honey, but being a wolf he was larger. He was very handsome, with arm muscles that indicated he did a lot of physical activity. Vanilla didn’t dare ask what kind of physical activity, although it wouldn’t surprise her if he wrestled alligators for his breakfast. He had long headfur which he wore in two braids, and was sporting a headdress made of some kind of feathers, which made him seem to be a figure of some importance among this pack. He was not wearing any camouflage.

Finally the wolf raised his paw. “Peace,” he said.

Somehow Vanilla found herself able to relax. “Uh…peace,” she said back.

The wolf beat his chest and said, “Tobias.”

“Tobias? Is that your name?”

The wolf nodded.

“Uh…I’m Vanilla. Vanilla Cake. And that’s my sister Honey.”

“Charmed,” said Honey somewhat sarcastically.

Tobias looked up. “Here Cake sisters are for reason. Warrior tribe help.”

He made a whistling noise and two other wolves rushed to climb a thick tree close to where Honey was, carrying knives in their mouths.

“H-Hey, what are you doing?” said Honey, but she needn’t have worried. The wolves gently pulled her up to the branch where they were lying, and made sure she was secure on it before they cut her free.

“Uh…thanks,” said Honey.

Tobias translated for the other wolves, who said: “Ogerp.”

“Say they welcome,” said Tobias. “Cake sisters come. Much to learn, and for Cake sisters only not.”

Honey and Vanilla didn’t know what to say, but they followed the wolves, somehow wanting to stay close to Tobias. He seemed the most dangerous of the wolves they met, yet somehow…it wasn’t just the fact that he spoke English (if only broken English) that made them want to stay close to him, nor the fact that he was likely the best in a fight. They couldn’t explain it, but they kept silent.

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Sat Oct 20, 2012 10:22 am
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Post Re: What is Going On Here?
Good story so far! :D

Why do I imagine the wolf speaking with a Slavic accent, of all things? :roll:


Sat Oct 20, 2012 10:20 pm
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Post Re: What is Going On Here?
Interesting turn here. Seems these wolves are a bit of a throw back, like a dream..... I hate to say it, but kind of stereotypical. Seems as if someone is playing a trick on them. I mean, it did say that the forest was not big... :|

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Post Re: What is Going On Here?
Here's Chapter 5, hope you like it! (And when did it say the forest wasn't big? :? )







As they walked further into the forest, it began to seem more and more like the forest was the entire world. Honey and Vanilla began to really notice the forest for the first time now, looking at all the trees. And somehow, how they felt about it…was too complex for words.

On the one hand, the forest now seemed to be more beautiful and wonderful than it had been before, like the kind of place they would have wanted to live if they were wolves.

On the other hand, it seemed more forbidding than ever, as though they felt they didn’t even deserve to be in it, and that their mere presence there was diminishing the greatness of it—like they were unwelcome.

“Come, sisters Cake,” said Tobias.

Honey and Vanilla caught up, not saying a word.

At length they came to a clearing. Although there were fewer trees in this spot, there was also a thicker canopy, which really made it feel as though they were cut off from the rest of the world. And it was here that the Cake sisters discovered the Chief and his wife. The Chief was seated before a fire. The fire was so large, with the Chief on the other side of it, that he almost seemed like a ghost, almost as though he came from the fire. Honey and Vanilla felt awkward and underdressed to be in his presence. The Chief didn’t move, nor speak, but his presence was enough to make them strongly desire not to cross him.

The Chief’s wife was standing next to him—in fact, the only real clues that she was his wife were that she was closer to him than any other female, and her headdress was only dwarfed by that of the Chief, and that of Tobias. Looking at them now, both in terms of headdresses and in terms of faces, it now seemed clear that Tobias was the Chief’s son, perhaps the heir to the title.

Perhaps on instinct, Honey and Vanilla genuflected and bowed their heads. The Chief nodded in response, and then Tobias said:

“Now may stand sisters Cake.”

The Cake sisters had heard nothing but the fire crackling for so long that his voice startled them. But they obeyed.

Tobias went over to sit next to the Chief, and placed some dirt on the fire. Although he didn’t outright ask for silence, it seemed an unspoken given, so the Cake sisters didn’t speak. For a long time. It was longer than they had ever been silent, and yet it seemed almost to take no time at all.

* * * * *

“Warrior tribe sisters Cake expected. Foretold of,” said Tobias at last.

“You knew we were coming?” said Honey.

Tobias put up his paw. “Prophecies always vague. Meant not look for fulfillment—into inaction paralyzes.”

“So, no then.”

Tobias put up his paw again. “Certain of this one we are. Personalities Cake sisters reversed to teach lesson.”

Honey didn’t say anything this time, nor did Vanilla.

“To understand each other usually lesson is. Understood each other sisters Cake have not, or sisters Cake normal would be.”

“So what do we do?” said Vanilla.

Tobias didn’t put up his paw this time. “Sisters Cake have tried and failed, or to Warrior Tribe have come would not. Warrior Tribe stealthy, easily hide from world. Can help only Warrior Tribe.”

Vanilla was about to repeat her question, but felt she didn’t need to, and so said nothing.

“Sisters Cake must join Warrior Tribe.”

The Cake sisters’ ears perked up. “What?!”

“Only way is.”

“But we can’t join your tribe! What about our home? What about our dad?”

“Home stays same. Father stays same. Need not abandon home and father to enter tribe. Only rituals go through and promises keep. Then will normal be sisters Cake.”

“So…we could still live with Dad, in the same house?”

Tobias nodded. “Can choose no, but will not normal be.”

Honey and Vanilla looked at each other and shrugged.

“What would the rituals entail?” asked Honey.

“Three are,” said Tobias. “First ritual bath. Then brands of Warrior Tribe on foreheads and of right paws backs. Then share ritual meal with Warrior Tribe.”

Honey and Vanilla cringed at the branding part. “Well…I guess that’s not too bad, maybe except the brands.”

“Only for second brands hurt,” said Tobias. “But must also make promise.”

“What kind of promise?” said Honey.

“Promise to Tribe to loyal be—to her enemies reject—and to believe in power of healing and do as Warrior Tribe.”

“…Exactly what does that entail?” said Vanilla.

“Not in words. Will know.”

Honey and Vanilla shrugged at each other again. “Okay, I guess.”

“No guess. Yes or no. Can say no—no going back if yes.”

The Cake sisters took deep breaths, then sighed. “Yes.”

* * * * *

Honey and Vanilla went with the Chief’s wife and the other females, in the absence of the males. There, they were fitted for animal skins to wear, akin to what the other females were wearing, but the wolves made it clear that the Cake sisters were not to wear them until after they took their baths. Not with words, though: without Tobias as translator the Cake sisters couldn’t understand a word the wolves were saying.

The Cake sisters took their baths, which didn’t last very long, and were soon dried off. It hardly seemed like a bath at all, more like a dip and it was done. They were dressed in their animal skins, and the Chief’s wife said:

“Members of the Warrior Tribe you are now. But two more rituals there are.”

“Hey…I understood what you said!” said Honey.

“So did I,” said Vanilla. “Are you speaking English?”

“No,” said the Chief’s wife. “But understand each other we can on a higher level. With each ritual, better you will understand.”

“How do you feel, Honey?” said Vanilla.

“I don’t know,” said Honey. “I don’t feel grumpy anymore, but…I don’t really feel cheerful either.”

“Same here,” said Vanilla. “I feel like a blank.”

“But…I guess we’re members now. And don’t we look good?”

“Heh, I guess,” said Vanilla. “Well, let’s go…get branded….”

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Sat Oct 27, 2012 11:55 am
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Post Re: What is Going On Here?
love the native setting! :D 8-)
Though it seems weird for a thick furred wolf to wear skins... :?

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Sat Oct 27, 2012 2:03 pm
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Post Re: What is Going On Here?
Very interesting indeed. I suspect the furs and skins are more for hierarchy/decoration than any actual function...


Quote:
It wasn’t that large of a forest—it was possible to see and hear the signs of civilization well into it—but it seemed almost to be closing around them.


That is what I took to mean it was not a large forest. :?

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Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:29 pm
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Post Re: What is Going On Here?
Here's Chapter 6!








“Promise ye not to aid or comfort Warrior Tribe enemies?” said the Chief, whose booming voice almost sounded like thunder.

“I do,” said Honey, feeling relatively confident she could keep such a promise, especially if she was going home after this.

“I do,” said Vanilla, feeling the same.

“Promise ye the Warrior Tribe Chief to obey if commands he gives you?”

“I do,” said Honey and Vanilla at the same time, hoping that this would not conflict with what their dad said. Yet somehow they felt they could trust the Chief, that he would not make unreasonable demands on them. Would they even ever see him again? They had no desire to take such a promise lightly, however.

“Promise ye to look to the example of Tobias, son of the Chief and heir to all his power, and regard him as a trusted brother?”

“I do.” Somehow saying this made the Cake sisters smile, as Tobias did seem like the brotherly type—they wouldn’t have minded if he came to live with them, even with the fact that they still felt a little guilty being in his presence.

“Promise ye to adhere to all Warrior Tribe traditions?”

“I do,” said Honey and Vanilla, who had been briefed on this before the ritual.

Now it was Tobias’s turn. “Sealed is the promise, in the Warrior Tribe signs.”

He placed the brand into the bonfire until the end glowed with the heat. Honey and Vanilla were both nervous, but they knew this was coming when they made their promises, and they knew there was no going back. Repeatedly they told themselves that this would protect them and help them return to their true personalities—that was surely worth some pain.

Honey and Vanilla closed their eyes, wincing.

“AAH—” they both cried at the same time, feeling the brand on their foreheads. The heat stung very briefly, then the pain went away and it only felt warm. Before the warmth dissipated entirely it occurred to them to wonder how it was possible that they felt the branding at the same time when there was only one brand.

They didn’t open their eyes, but kept them tightly shut as they felt their right paws being gently taken.

“AAH—”

Once again they felt the brand on their hands at the same time. Once again the heat only stung briefly, then the pain went away and their paws only felt warm. Once again they wondered how they were both branded at the same time.

Before the warmth on their paws went away they opened their eyes and looked at their paws. There was the symbol, which looked something like an eye. And then—

“Where’d it go?” said Honey.

“We don’t have to do it again, do we?” said Vanilla. Honey thought Vanilla was starting to sound like her old self again—maybe not quite there, but close.

“No,” said Tobias. “It’s still there, you just can’t see it, there or on your forehead. But it won’t go away, nor will the protection that comes with it.”

“Hey…I understood what you said!” said Honey, her tail starting to wag.

“Of course,” said Tobias. “I’m your brother now.”

“We’ve never had a brother before,” said Honey shyly.

Vanilla rolled her eyes. It was clear to her that Honey was nearly back to normal now too.

* * * * *

“We thank the Great One for the meal before us,” said the Chief, “and for our two new sisters, Honey and Vanilla. Be it so.”

“Be it so,” said the rest of the tribe, and Honey and Vanilla followed suit, as it seemed the thing to do.

The meal was a fresh kill, cooked and served by the Chief’s wife. Somehow the Tribe didn’t seem quite so forbidding anymore, but really like family. The Chief was like their father, his wife was like their mother, and their son Tobias was like their brother. And they could all understand each other perfectly now.

Besides the meat, Honey and Vanilla also had to wash it down with a strange drink the Warrior Tribe gave them. They didn’t ask what was in it, but it tasted delicious.

Once each Cake sister swallowed a bite of the meat and a sip of the drink, they were really starting to feel like their old selves again.

“Thank you very much for the meal,” said Honey. “It was like nothing I’ve ever tasted before.”

“Me neither,” said Vanilla. “I hardly feel worthy to it after eating dog food all my life.”

“We always share what we have,” said the Chief’s wife kindly.

“Do you understand each other better now?” asked Tobias.

“Well….” said Honey, looking at Vanilla. Vanilla looked back. “Well, I guess I understand now why she’s the way she is, and…I guess I can be a little more understanding and try to console her more.”

Vanilla’s eyes widened. She kind of smiled with her eyes, but not with her mouth, such that her expression suggested surprise, but pleasant surprise.

“Well…” said Vanilla, “I guess now I see why Honey’s so happy all the time, seeing the good in everything. I guess…I can try to be a little more optimistic about things. I can’t promise I’ll succeed.”

“It is enough,” said Tobias.

“Is this how you’ve elected to end the story?” said Vanilla after she finished reading Honey’s story.

“That’s it, what do you think?” said Honey.

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Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:53 pm
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Post Re: What is Going On Here?
I think that I enjoyed this development, ya ya ya! :D :D :D

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Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:22 pm
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Post Re: What is Going On Here?
The story thing again, eh? So Honey wrote another one? It was nice.

I hope that was an open question to the readership. :lol:

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Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:44 pm
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Post Re: What is Going On Here?
"Another" one? :? I don't recall her writing a first one, only Vanilla's....

I honestly was afraid of how that little twist would be taken.

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Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:47 pm
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Post Re: What is Going On Here?
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was not expecting it.

also, I've changed my head canon voice for Honey to Pinkie Pie. So now it's Pinkie Pie and Raven.

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Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:42 am
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Post Re: What is Going On Here?
It is NOT Pinkie Pie! :P

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Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:44 am
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Post Re: What is Going On Here?
well not her personality exactly, but her voice. Andrea Libman's also Fluttershy, so about half way between those two. a calmer Pinkie

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Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:49 am
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Post Re: What is Going On Here?
So that is what is going on here after all! :o

I kinda expect this to be real since the brand, fortunately, is magically invisible.

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Post Re: What is Going On Here?
Vanilla frowned.

“Am I really that…grouchy?” she said, looking sorry.

Honey was a little surprised—she was glad Vanilla wasn’t offended, in a “Is THAT what you think of me?!” way, but she didn’t want Vanilla to feel bad.

“No, Vanilla, that’s not you, that’s me—if I had a different personality.”

“I see…. Still…. I don’t want to be…grouchy.”

“You’re not grouchy, Vanilla, you just…are what you are. You’re the best little sister I could have hoped for.”

Vanilla frowned. “Don’t patronize me.”

“I’m not, Vanilla. You’re so smart, you can play chess in your head! You know so much, you’re a lot of fun to role-play with, and you’re funny when you want to be! I think all you need is to make some more friends, besides Strawberry, is all. If you could hang out with other dogs like you, I think you could be a lot happier.”

Vanilla turned to Honey, and smiled, though it was with sad eyes.

“Write a story like that.”

“Huh?”

Vanilla turned to face Honey entirely. “Write a story where I have friends, and I’m not so grouchy. Write what you imagine my real personality to be like. Where I’m not YOU, but me.”

Honey’s ears perked up. “You really think I write that well?”

“Yeah. Too dialoguey, and not enough description of the scenery, but the characters rang true. Write a story where my personality elements that you like aren’t stunted by my worries and doubts and insecurities. Write about the turtle coming out of her shell.”

“Wow…I’m flattered, Vanilla, but I don’t know how well I can do that. This came from a dream.”

“So have another dream.”

Honey would have done a spit take if she had been drinking anything. “I don’t control my DREAMS, Vanilla!”

Vanilla smirked.

“But IF I dream about that, I’ll write it down. Promise.”

“I look forward to critiquing that story,” said Vanilla.

Honey rolled her eyes, giggling.

Neither dog noticed as a certain white rabbit hopped away, satisfied that his work was done for the moment.

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Sat Nov 03, 2012 1:18 pm
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Post Re: What is Going On Here?
a certain white rabbit...oHO! So you brought back our ol' friend? Nice touch that! :D

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Sat Nov 03, 2012 1:50 pm
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Post Re: What is Going On Here?
Surprise 7th Chapter. You thought the story was over, didn't you? ;)

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Sat Nov 03, 2012 1:53 pm
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Post Re: What is Going On Here?
you know how to treat us, CC! :D

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Sat Nov 03, 2012 2:03 pm
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Post Re: What is Going On Here?
Didn't she eat him? Silly rabbit, trix are for kids! :lol:

Why must every supernatural being use sleeping dreams? Day dreams are just as nice. :|

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