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Author Archives: jambareeqi

“Rugrats” – Candy Bar Creep Show EPISODE REVIEW

It’s Halloween in the Pickles household, so the adults have setup a haunted house for trick or treaters, and the babies don’t understand what’s going on? Angelica then boasts to the little tykes about getting Reptar bars, telling them that they won’t get any, but Tommy realises that kids going into the haunted house, come out screaming while holding Reptar bars, so he knows what to do!

The endearing charm to this Rugrats episodes, is seeing how the babies react to Halloween traditions, each wondering what is going on, while none of the adults explain the reasons behind the spooky decorations or why they’re dressing up as monsters. This is the kind of innocent curiosity that I love about this show, throwing Halloween into the mix makes it even more fascinating, because I understand that it’s the weirdest holiday to introduce to babies.

That’s something which the episode does tap into, as the grown ups ponder whether the babies are ready for their haunted house, because it might give them nightmares. The Protective Deedee being against them coming in, and old fashioned Lou insisting that kids their age are brave enough. It did make me think, when SHOULD you introduce Halloween to infants? But I guess it depends on the child, only their parent will know them well enough to decide.

Angelica’s bratty boasting, makes us root for the babies, because her mean spirited “You can’t have this” attitude is so harsh, and we also know much the babies love the Reptar bars. We cheer them on, in hopes that they’ll get to have green tongues too, putting Angelica’s selfishness to shame.

The grown ups seem to be having lots of fun building their haunted house (which is really just a tent in the garden), each adult being very proud of their contributions, it’s cute seeing people this age getting so into the Halloween spirit; especially for the sake making many kids’ Halloweens special. They could have just waited at the door with a bowl of candy, but the Pickles went the extra mile, taking creative pleasure in pulling it all off.

Although, I do wish that someone made sure an adult was looking after the kids, seeing as everyone is outside distracted with the haunted house gimmicks, particularly if Deedee doesn’t want the kids to come into the haunted house. Heck, the garden is open to the public, all the adults are busy scaring kids, AND it’s obvious that the backdoor isn’t locked, doesn’t that seem risky? Even if they are close. However, maybe I’m being overcautious after watching creepy true story videos on Youtube all week haha!

I get that the episode wants to setup a chance for the babies to get out, but why make it so easy? It takes away tension, and portrays the adults as irresponsible. Here’s my idea for how this could have been done better:

Grandpa Lou seemed to have the least input for the haunted house, surely he could have babysat the babies? He could have accidentally fell asleep, the babies would have then crawled towards the backdoor, noticed it was locked, inspiring Tommy to make a tower to reach the keys on a hook, giving Tommy and friends a chance to get into the garden. Yeah, it would have made Lou look a little bad, but at least it could have showed that the grown ups at least tried.

Putting all that aside though, the haunted house itself is really fun, you can tell that a lot of imagination went into it, I would have loved if my parents had a tent like this in our back yard at Halloween. Things take a comical turn too, when the babies’ antics in the haunted house create scary illusions for everyone, making Grandpa claim that the haunted house is REALLY haunted. After all the talk of the babies being too afraid of the adults’ tent project, it’s the rugrats themselves that end up scaring the adults, that’s pretty funny.

As far as I know too, this episode was the debut of the Reptar bar, a candy that became synonymous with this show, to the point where a company recently tried to sell them as real products, even including the novelty of it being able to turn your tongue green. I’ll confess, the episode does make Reptar bars look great, so maybe I’ll order a pack someday haha!

To Conclude, this is a cute Halloween special, with the heart of it’s charm coming from the babies’ reactions to spooky traditions, surprisingly sparking me to think about the ethics of introducing Halloween to babies. Not to mention, it makes a dinosaur shaped chocolate bar look like the coolest thing ever, helping us to see WHY the babies want one so much.

However, the adults’ lack of precaution for protecting the babies, doesn’t make them look very responsible, and the show already has common criticism against it’s adults characters’ poor parenting. This maybe a childrens’ show, but mums and dads will sometimes watch it with their kids, and the grown ups are the characters they are going to relate to. Despite that setback, it’s still an adorable wholesome take on Halloween, one that’s perfect for kids that are too young for scary movies in October.

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“The Emerald Banana” Chapter 6: The Cursed Town

< CHAPTER 5: A BATTLE OF DECEPTION

Sephita pondered over Hambridge’s offer for a few seconds, then nodded at the old wizard, which made Hambridge do a giddy child like cheer. As the evening went on, everyone put aside their differences, the wagon riders forgot their pride, and Sephita joined the tavern patrons in songs & games.

It was getting dark, so Sephita decided to stay the night in a room at the tavern, knowing that she had a long wagon ride ahead of her the next day. The room she booked was cosy, with a simple well made bed, a gorgeously crafted wardrobe, and a book shelf containing a variety of novels. Sephita picked a book, lit a candle, then read until she felt sleepy.

The next day, Sephita and Hambridge climbed onto Yunkel’s wagon, both men were suffering from severe hangovers. Yunkel commanded the horses to start trotting, off the three of them went, on a road trip to Zorkastan. After a few days, the dessert landscape started to become cold, as the wagon arrived in the snowy town of Ikacle, the frosty air made Hambridge shiver in discomfort.

Yunkel, feeling somewhat sorry for his passenger, suggested to Hambridge “Mate, there’s a winter jacket in the wagon, help yourself”, and the old wizard scrambled to find the warm clothing. Ikacle was much quieter than Willawessa, almost baron in comparison, as if they had arrived in a ghost town. There wasn’t many houses, mainly sticks tied in an “X” shape planted in the snow, and a couple wonky trees without any leaves.

Even Hambridge felt uneasy about this place, but Yunkel was calmly composed, and Sephita retained her stoic abrasiveness. Then, suddenly, Yunkel halted the the wagon, he froze still, Hambridge and Sephita looked ahead to see what was up, only to see a misty dark figure.

Sephita turned to Yunkel, she asked him “Who is that? And why are there so many crosses planted everywhere?”, Yunkel nervously replied “This town is said to be cursed, I thought we’d be safe because these X marks are supposed to ward off evil spirits, but… that’s one right ahead of us..”

Hambridge covered his mouth to stop himself from screaming, even the brave Sephita gulped, then Yunkel asked the two “Should we keep going? Or find a different route to Zorkastan?”, and Sephita bravely pointed ahead. Yunkel reluctantly signaled his horses to move forward, but at a steady pace, as the dark figure became clearer, and Hambridge covered his eyes with his pointy hat.

After a few minutes, the wagon came face to face with the spirit, Yunkel stuttered “H-h-hey! Spirit, be gone with you, these markings are here to protect this town, go away!”, but the spirit just kept floating there, like it didn’t hear a word of what Yunkel said, and the wagon rider boldly shouted “If you don’t get out of our way, we WILL use brute force, my passengers have very strong powers!”

Hambridge stared in repulsed shock at Yunkel, Hambridge snapped “Don’t force me into combat with that thing!! You know that I don’t that many spells!!”, Yunkel rubbed his head in annoyance, then told the old wizard “I’m bluffing you stupid geezer! He doesn’t know that”, and suddenly the figure began hovering towards the wagon.

Sephita got ready to defend everyone, not even knowing if her telekinesis could overpower an evil spirit, while Hambridge started fumbling through his pockets for his wand, and Yunkel whipped his horses into trotting in a fit of panic. As the wagon started racing away, Sephita looked back to see that the evil spirit was now charging after them, looking like it was angry, and Yunkel urged his horses to trot even faster.

The spirit opened it’s mouth, revealing a long snake like tongue, it was now gliding faster towards the wagon, Hambridge screamed in a high frightened pitch at this. Sephita was trying to hold tightly onto the rails, knowing that staying on the wagon was what was most important right now, she closed her eyes as the falling snow rushed into her face.

The spirit unfortunately caught up with our heroes, only for it to literally pick up the wagon, it then tossed the wagon off the road, and the wagon landed with a crash on the snowy ground. The wagon was now in pieces, Yunkel was fuming at this, but the bigger problem was facing the evil spirit, so Sephita stood up to face this demonic ghostly creature.

“It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” (1966) TV SPECIAL REVIEW

It’s Halloween for Charlie Brown and his friends, but while most kids want to celebrate with the usual traditions, Linus decides to wait for “The Great Pumpkin” in a pumpkin patch, with only Sally willing to keep him company. Meanwhile, Snoopy is getting into his Halloween fancy dress costume of “The Flying Ace”, by imagining he is in a dog fight.

This is a Halloween special that doesn’t aim for scares or spectacles, but simple dry humour and the spirit of spooky festivities. It’s a slice of life cartoon that perfectly illustrates the mood of Fall, you can really feel the atmosphere of the season, from the fallen crisp brown leaves to the gorgeous watercolour backdrops. The kids’ discussions about varied topics are highly amusing, each dead pan setup penned with clever wit by Charles M. Schulz himself, it’s a delightful script.

But this is also a special about one kids’ loyalty towards what he believes in, the legend of the Great Pumpkin! Did Linus make up this character? Or does he truly exist? That doesn’t really matter, because it’s own belief that makes this running plot endearing, as Linus refuses to give up waiting, even while Sally grumbles about missing out on trick or treating. On the one hand, we understand why Sally might feel betrayed, but on the other hand, it’s hard to get mad at Linus’ sheer faith.

Watching these children going trick or treating is simple enough, but little things make it kind of funny, like the fact that most of them are dressed in the same ghost costume, or how Charlie Brown keeps getting rocks instead of candy each house. I’d even say that all this trick or treating, made me suddenly crave sweet confectionery myself, even though the candy doesn’t even look that appealing, and I guess that’s because the kids themselves made the candy sound fun.

I’ll admit that Snoopy’s subplot does slightly detract from the main focus, as the short suddenly centres on his imaginary war game, it’s quite a stretch to say how relevant this gag is to the Halloween atmosphere, but it’s still cute seeing the Beagle playing soldier. Not to mention, Snoopy does later end up at the Halloween party, plus he fools Linus and Sally into thinking that he’s the Great Pumpkin too, so he has his purpose in the special.

To Conclude, this is a lovely relaxing Halloween cartoon, a charming special that will get you into the spirit of the season without needing to frighten, and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a laid back Halloween atmosphere this month.

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THE EMERALD BANANA Chapter 5: A Battle of Deception

< CHAPTER 4: A FUN WAGER

Sephita made her choice, she declared “Let’s play two truths and a lie”, the wagon riders hummed in amusement at this, Yunkel replied “But how can we tell when someone is telling a lie? This needs to be a fair game”, Sephita replied “Do you have a local wizard? One who knows a lie detection spell? They can be our referee”, and the wagon riders looked at each other in agreement.

So, Yunkel and the wagon riders led Sephita into a tavern called “The Twisted Elephant”, they walked up to a wizard guzzling beer, then Yunkel asked the wizard “Hey Hambridge, we’re playing a game of two truths and a lie, we need your lie detection spell!”, and Hambridge groaned “Why am I always only asked for meaningless tasks?! See, this is why I drink!”. Hambridge finished his pint, then drunkenly got up from his seat, rolled up his sleeves, and stood between the two opposing teams.

Hambridge explained “In order for this to work, I’ll have to cast the spell after a team has decided which statement is the lie, or you fartbags will end up cheating!”, and everyone nodded in agreement. Yunkel got a coin out of his pocket, deciding “Heads we go first, tails you go first”, he flipped the coin, and the coin landed on heads. By now, all the tavern patrons had gathered around this game in the shape of a circle, each spectator having an interest in the duel of guessing the lie.

Yunkel stepped into the circle, cracked his knuckles, then bellowed “I once killed a troll with my pinky finger, I have rode a wagon for the famous minstrel Issac Flattey, and I can do 100 press ups without rest!”, these statements sent the other wagon riders into a loud cheer. Hambridge meanwhile, was ordering another pint from the bar, while rubbing his hands in excitement. 

Sephita stroked her chin, stepped into the ring, then asked “So, how did you kill the troll with your pinky finger?”, Yunkel replied “It was actually quite easy, I shoved my little pinky fingers into his nostrils, swung him around, and threw him against the cave wall!”, but Sephita just smiled at this claim. She then questioned him about meeting Isaac, Yunkel explained “Isaac had come to this town for a gig, it was a a huge hit, but all his fangirls started chasing him, and I offered him a ride to the next city over”. 

This claim seemed to add up, as Sephita saw an old tattered poster for Isaac’s recent performance at this very tavern, so it was hard for her to immediately see this statement as lie, but what about the press ups? Sephita asked Yunkel to prove that he could do this, so the cocky wagon rider got into position, and started doing press ups while his friends encouraged him with barking chants. “99… 100..” said Yunkel, he then smugly stood back up, did a flirty point to some girls in the crowd, and folded his arms. 

Sephita clapped, then announced “Right, I know which is the lie!”, Yunkel rolled his eyes, Sephita confidently said “The troll one, why? Because you said you only used one pinky finger, but went on to say that you used both”, this turned Yunkel’s face white, and Hambridge, who was now almost finished with his newest pint, cast the lie detection spell to reveal… she was right! Yunkel threw his hat on the ground in annoyance, while his friends patted his back for comfort. 

Hambridge warbled “Okay, so, the scary lady in armor wins this round, good on the lass, but if she loses the second round, then we’ll have a tiebreaker of some sort, I don’t bloody know!”. Sephita took centre stage of the ring, held her hips with pride, then loudly stated “I can shoot an arrow through an apple on top someone’s head without missing, I once accidentally started a fire in a barn, and I am the legendary warrior known as the Devil Witch”. 

Yunkel laughed mockingly, stroked his beard, then boastfully said “I know which is the lie right away, there’s no way that you’re the devil witch! The woman who defeated an entire fleet of ships by herself! Pfft! That’s just an urban myth! Haha! Okay, I pick the Devil Witch one as the lie”, so Hambridge cast his lie detection spell, as the spectators watched in anticipation, and Hambridge revealed “Nope, that was true, you lose you greasy wagon pushing plonker!” 

Everyone stared at Sephita in shock, now knowing that she was the legendary Devil Witch, some responded with intrigue, while others stepped back in fear. Sephita went up to Yunkel, smirked, and reminded him “Remember our little wager? It’s time you took me to Zorkstan”. Yunkel pulled up his belt, started muttering under his breath, then went up to the bar to get a drink, while the the other wagon riders took off their hats in shame. 

Hambridge wiped the foamy beer from his mouth, coughed loudly, shuffled himself closer to Sephita, and asked “So, do you need any companions on your quest?”. Sephita turned to the old drunk wizard, folded her arms, and Hambridge stuttered “L-l-look I have no purpose in this town! People just use my spells for pub games, but you are on a special adventure, maybe I could use my magic to help you?”

CHAPTER 6: THE CURSED TOWN>

“Spongebob Squarepants” – Scaredy Pants EPISODE REVIEW

Spongebob has gained a reputation for being easily scared, which has coined him the nickname “Spongebob Scaredypants”, but Spongebob wants to prove that he can be frightening this Halloween, and so he dresses as a ghost of the Flying Dutchman with Patrick’s help. However, Spongebob’s costume is so tacky, that it offends the Flying Dutchman himself, who threatens to steal the souls of everyone at Mr. Krabs’ Halloween party.

The Strength of the best Spongebob episodes, is their ability to take a simple setup in fun directions, by treating the premise as a spring board for lots of creative gags, and this Halloween special is no exception. We go from Spongebob feeling insecure about his skills as a trick or treater, to finding ways to make him scary, and all this sparks the attention of a supernatural entity.

The comedy comes from Spongebob assuming that he’s genuinely scary, when really, he’s just running away in a fit of giggles before seeing people’s reactions, with Patrick naively assuring him that he was spooky. I do like how much Patrick cares about Spongebob’s need to scare too, doing everything he can to support his friend, going as far as shaving his spongey flesh to make him rounder for a ghostly shape.

The episode does have a great Halloween theme too! There’s pumpkins everywhere, kids are trick or treating, Krabs is having a fun Halloween party with guests in fancy dress, and the episode is set entirely at night. The Flying Dutchman himself is also quite an imposing villain, being a misty green spirit towering over Bikini Bottom residents, with Brian Doyle Murray’s gravelly booming voice adding to his menace perfectly, but he’s got enough self aware charm to prevent him from being too horrifying for kids.

I’d have to say that the creepiest part of the episode, isn’t actually the Flying Dutchman, but what’s underneath Spongebob’s costume, because it’s revealed that Patrick shaved him down to his insides, it’s quite unsettling actually, and Spongebob’s nonchalant reaction makes it all the more disturbing haha. I remember being pretty grossed out by this episode’s ending, because it’s just really weird seeing Spongebob’s brain being exposed like this, and I still find it kind of repulsive to this day haha!

To conclude, Scaredy Pants is a terrific Halloween special cartoon, one of the best even, a basic setup that inspires a string of funny gags and entertaining child friendly horror. If you’re after a wholesome take on Halloween, with scares that don’t go too far (minus maybe Spongebob’s brain being exposed), then pick this episode of Spongebob, because you won’t be let down.

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“Hey Arnold!” – Arnold’s Halloween EPISODE REVIEW

Written by Jambareeqi

When the grown ups don’t let Arnold and Gerald join their Halloween party meeting, the two boys hatch a plan for revenge, by pranking the adults into thinking that aliens have invaded, by creating a fake radio broadcast, and they rely on the other kids coincidental alien costumes to play into their trick. However, the radio transmission was caught by UFO investigator Douglas Cain, who reports what he hears on his TV show, causing the whole city to go into a panic, and an angry mob chases after Arnold’s costumed friends.

This episode is an obvious tribute to Orson Welles’ radio reading of “The War of the Worlds”, which sparked the public into thinking that a real alien invasion was happening. Even Douglas Cain has an Orson Welles inspired voice, provided by Maurice LaMarche – who frequently voices Orson in movies & cartoons. A similar incident happened in the UK, in which a staged ghost hunting show tried to trick British viewers, resulting in an effective prank that offended folks.

What makes this Halloween special unique, is that it’s going down a sci-fi route, an underexplored aspect of Hallow’s eve, even though this is a genre renowned for it’s horror stories. That’s not to say that the aliens cloud over any seasonal atmosphere, because that’s not the case, there’s still a trick or treat spirit throughout the episode, and I did get that fun Halloween feeling from it.

The episode’s conflict and humour, mainly derives from the adult characters’ reactions to the alien invasion prank! Some consider themselves soldiers in a war against invaders, others are ready to surrender to a supposed leader, and some just want to stay indoors. It’s a great way to develop the grown ups, demonstrating their instincts in a dangerous situation, even though we know that this is all fake.

I did also find some charm to Arnold and Gerald’s radio broadcast, as they clearly put a lot of work into preparing it, fueled by a determination to get back at the grown ups for condescending them. Gerald’s charismatic personality helps him pull off the reporter act (he’s aided by a deep pitch filter), Arnold’s sound effects are endearingly creative, and the technical setup is pretty clever for something put together by kids. I can imagine this episode inspiring kids to make their own radio productions maybe? Wanting to try their hand at foley art or voice announcing, because Gerald and Arnold are having such a blast.

If you want to see this episode for some scares, you maybe disappointed, as this isn’t meant to be a story to curdle your blood, it’s more of a comical hi jink, but there are episodes of this show that are about creepy ghost stories. Although, there is something kind of unsettling about trick or treaters being chased by an angry mob, a fear that may tap into children’s imagination at Halloween, even though it’s mainly played for laughs.

To Conclude, this is a very enjoyable Halloween special, one that captures the spirit of the season while telling a funny plot. If you want a harmless spooky cartoon this month, then this is the one for you, because it mainly plays things safe, with an emphasis on comedy more than horror. Adults will also enjoy the reference to the Orson Welles radio controversy, as well as the episode’s commentary on media influence on the public, so consider making this episode into a family viewing.

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THE EMERALD BANANA Chapter 4: A Fun Wager

< CHAPTER 3: WELCOME TO WILLAWESA

“Screw it” thought Sephita, as she yanked the coachman out of his carriage, hopped into the seat, and started to drive away. The coachmen were all angered by this, the knocked off coachman jumped onto another carriage, and six carriages started racing after Sephita.

Luckily, for Sephita, a map was kept in the front seat of the carriage, she started reading where to go next, only to hear gunsots, the coachmen had caught up with her, so she urged her horses to go faster. The six carriages chased Sephita into the desert, continuing to fire their pistols at the warrior’s stolen carriage, but Sephita could only keep driving.

Suddenly, one bullet hit Sephita’s carriage wheel, the carriage began falling apart, but Sephita refused to give up, she commanded her horses to go even faster, but the coachmen then managed to shoot the other wheel of Sephita’s carriage. Sephita’s carriage started to wobble, the wheels collapsed off, leaving Sephita stranded, as the coachmen halted their horses.

Sephita stepped away from the carriage, she put the map in her pocket, then the coachmen circled around her, all armed with pistols, each one wearing a smile of victory. Before any coachmen could pull their triggers though, Sephita bent every pistol upwards with her telekinesis, then she used her mind to also empty every gun’s ammo, and the coachmen gasped in frustrated confusion.

Sephita cracked her knuckles, spat at the ground, then confidently said “Look, I’m on my way to Zorkstan for a reason, the Zorkstas have stolen a magic gem that powers the whole of Elkspara, I have been hired to retrieve it”, but the coachmen just groaned at her explanation.

One coachman replied “We don’t care, you forced us to shoot apart Jeff’s carriage, how is he going to make a living now?!”. Sephita rolled her eyes, recalling that Jeff was the coachman who asked her to steal the Sheriff’s badge for him, he didn’t exactly have a moral high ground when it came to thieving himself, but Sephita brushed that thought aside.

Another coachman chimed in saying “All you warriors are the same, thinking that your heroic quest entitles you to do whatever you want, as if good intentions trump possible casualties!”, Sephita sighed and then used her telekinesis to build Jeff’s carriage back together. Jeff was ecstatic, he ran up to his carriage to embrace it, kissed it all over, and the other coachmen were surprised by her kind gesture.

Sephita then pulled out Jeff’s map, she proposed “Look, my map got destroyed, perhaps we can make some kind of deal? I agree that it was wrong of me to resort to stealing, but I can’t give you much gold for a ride to Zorkstan”, she waved the map at Jeff, and the coachmen huddled around to discuss an answer.

Yunkel, the leader of this band of coachmen, coughed loudly, pulled his belt line up, and suggested “How about a game? You can decide which one, we coachmen like our wagers to be fun. If you win, you keep the map, but if we win? You have to work for us!”. Sephita started pacing up and down the sand, the sun scorching over her, as the coachmen laughed and mocked her.

Sephita tried to think of games to play, ones that she knew that she was good at, she needed to have the advantage here. There was Ark Dee Ko? A card game that she played in her youth! Or maybe Skullywonk? A game in which players wrestle blindfolded, but she couldn’t forget that she was a pro at Two truths and a lie. However, she did also remember that she won a pie eating contest a few years ago, could this be the game she should offer to play?

CHAPTER 5: A BATTLE OF DECEPTION >

THE EMERALD BANANA Chapter 3: Welcome to Willawesa

< CHAPTER 2: THE STINKY SWAMP

Without a map, Sephita knew that the best path to take, would be the one leading to the nearby town, because maybe someone there would be able to tell her where she is. So, she followed this path, arriving in a quiet little town, with charming simple houses, it all seemed so lovely, and Sephita felt at ease walking through each street.

Before anything, she knew she would need something to eat, so she stepped into a restaurant, ordered a salmon fillet with salad, then sat down at a table. She noticed that the restaurant didn’t have many customers, just an old man smoking a piper in the corner and a mother feeding her baby by the window. The waitress had gone into the kitchen, to announce Sephita’s order, the chef growled back to confirm he had heard, and Sephita gave an awkward slanted smile to the waitress.

The walls were a patchily painted creamy white, small cracks could be seen in the ceiling, the furniture looked worn out, and the floor was covered in sawdust. The counter had a full display of homemade cakes for sale, which made Sephita lick her lips, but she knew that all those calories wouldn’t be good for her long walks ahead, she had to eat healthily, as tasty as that chocolate fudge cake appeared.

After a while, a waitress gave Sephita her salmon, the telekinetic warrior chowed down happily, starving after trudging through the swamp, savoring the salty chewy fish in her mouth. She then ordered a glass of mango juice to quench her first, the tropical fruity flavour tingled her tongue, with her dry throat soothed by much needed liquid, and she felt fully refreshed.

She then stepped away from her table, went up to the counter, paid 140 gold, and collected her change. Before leaving though, she forwardly asked the waitress “Excuse me, but can you tell me the name of this town?”, Sephita retained her intimidating serious look while saying this though, and the waitress nervously replied “Oh… erm… It’s… You’re in Willawesa”.

Sephita left the restaurant, she tried to recall where Willawesa was on the map, but her memory was a blur, how could she go anywhere if she didn’t even know where she was? So, she looked around for a map shop, but no such thing seemed to be in Willawesa! There was a book shop that only had books about feta cheese, a store that sold wooden sporks that looked more like spoons, a cafe full of elderly ladies arguing about the best kind of sand, but no map shop.

She checked her wallet, counted her gold, then thought about hiring a carriage to take her to Zorksta, but could she afford it? She approached a coachman, offered him 200 gold, asked “Can you take me to Zorkstan?”, but he looked back at her in disgust, like she had just offered him a dead bird with a missing eye. The coachman snarled, spat at Sephita’s feet, shook his fist, and shouted “You dare give me your chump change for a ride all the way to Zorkstan?!”

So, she asked another coachman for a ride to Zorkstan, offering 210 gold this time, the coachman stroked his beard, and proposed “I’ll take you to Zorkstan, for 230 gold, but I also want you to steal me the Sheriff’s badge, because then people would respect me more!”. Could Sephita steal a sheriff’s badge? Heck, if she had the cheek to do that, she could steal the carriage itself! Or maybe she could offer a higher price to the other coachman?

THE EMERALD BANANA Chapter 2: The Stinky Swamp

< CHAPTER 1: BLUE FEATHER

After careful consideration, Queen Merosa knew who would be most ideal for this quest, the telekinetic Sephita, because her supernatural powers would give her an advantage over most enemies, it was a choice that the Queen was very certain about. Sephita had long bright purple hair, a mysterious jagged scar across her face, bright green eyes, a piece of her ear was missing, and her body’s muscles were bulked up from years of strenuous physical training. Unlike the other warriors, she had a serious look to her expression, almost deadpan, this look even scared the other warriors who auditioned.

Sephita packed her bag with resources, from healing potions to nutritious snacks, knowing what kind of adventure she’d be facing. She then put on her Armour, which looked very scratched up, but was still good enough to wear, she was confident that the metal was strong enough to withstand her journey ahead. After getting herself ready, Sephita did a brief little practice with her powers, by waving her hand in the direction of a chair, using her mind to lift the furniture high into the air, only to smash it into wooden pieces against the wall.

As she left her house, Sephita was greeted by a crowd of cheering Elksparans, many throwing flowers at her feet, but this celebratory praise washed over Sephita, who retained her blank expression, she didn’t even bat an eye when an old man threw his underwear at her in smitten gratitude. At the end of this crowd, was the Queen herself, who smiled warmly at Sephita, shaking the warrior’s hand with a jolly thankfulness, but Sephita’s just stared back coldly.

Sephita began walking out of Elkspara, with the aid of the continent’s map in her right hand, her adventure had finally started. At the edge of Elkspara, was a foggy swamp, Sephita had to trudge through this bog in order to reach her next stop, even if it meant taking in a strong horrible stench of wet frogs and putrid sludge. Sephita pinched her nose, while trapsing through sloppy mud with the grace of a gangly flamingo, even this stoic warrior found such a terrain to be difficult to travel through, she kept pushing on through though.

Now, she had no choice but to walk through the swamp’s river, to cross to other side, she reluctantly stepped into the water, still holding her nose with clenched fingers, but then she noticed something bubbling, the bubbles grew bigger, and up popped a snarling jaw! It was a Grozuck, a beastly creature that looked like an alligator from hell, with glowing red eyes that even sent shivers down Sephita’s spine. While Sephita was telekinetic, she could only control objects with her mind, not living things, so she had to use something nearby for defence.

Sephita looked around, the Grozuck snapped maniacally at her, she then spotted a boulder that she could use, she reached her hand towards the boulder, straining to lift it’s immense weight, as the Grozuck’s jaws started biting nearer towards her, could she lift the boulder in time to save her life? Slowly, but surely, the boulder began to wobble into the air, Sephita directed the floating big rock closer to her, and dropped it on the Grozuck.

The boulder landed with a thump on the Grozuck, which had thick hard skin, the monster wasn’t killed, but it fainted from the intense impact of the boulder. Sephita knew that she had to start running through the river, fearful that the Grozuck would wake up soon, and she safely climbed onto the other side of the bank. Once on the other side, she inspected her surroundings, spotting an exit from the swamp, a bright gap of light between two vine wrapped trees, and ran towards it.

Now out of the swamp, Sephita stopped pinching her nose, she took in the fresh air with a deep breath of relief, noticed that she was now in a green valley, and saw that she had three paths to choose from. She checked her map, but realised that the Grozuck had snapped a bite out of it, with her current location now missing from the paper, she scrunched it up in frustration, and looked at her choices. One path spiraled into a dark forest, another path stretched towards a nearby quaint town, and the last path went towards a tall rocky mountain.

CHAPTER 3: WELCOME TO WILLWESA>

THE EMERALD BANANA Chapter 1: Blue Feather

In the land of Elkspara, things were peacefully calm, with the kindly Queen Merosa overlooking everything, so no one really ever lived in fear, and each day passed by with a breeze. One day though, there was a disturbance in the harmony, when the Queen’s special emerald banana was stolen, not even her trusted guards could track down the thief, but why was this emerald banana so important? Well, it was the life source of Elkspara, the energy that powered everything and everyone.

Merosa paced up and down her thrown room, puzzled by the idea of someone breaking into her palace, when she knew that her security had always been very tight, it was a peculiar mystery that deeply upset her. She went out of her to way to investigate herself, tracking down potential clues that would expose the culprit, but it was like the thief had flown in and out without leaving any evidence behind.

Then, Merosa found a very strong clue, she discovered a blue feather in the room that kept the emerald banana safe, only one kind of creature would be behind all this, a Zorksta! These devilish humanoid birds have always wanted power, frequently attempting to overthrow many kingdoms across the world, but they always failed, their frustration must have led them to desperate measures, which means bad news for Elkspara.

To make things worse, the guards of Elkspara suddenly developed a terrible disease, with no known cure available to save them, meaning that her majesty had no army to retrieve the emerald banana from the Zorkstas, who could take their place? Well, Merosa made a decision, she would hold auditions for a warrior, someone who could be courageous enough to brave their way to Zorksta, to rescue the emerald banana, thus saving Elkspara from losing their power.

Many Elksparan people tried out, each one displaying an impressive skill! Roberta the archer, with her slick use of a bow and arrow, Kunk the huge wrestler, who could squash boulders with his pinky finger, Sephita the psychic, a woman with amazing telekinetic abilities, and finally, there was Jastro, an elf that blew spectators away with his swordsmanship. Unfortunately, Merosa could only hire ONE warrior, due to most of the royal budget going towards finding a cure for the guards’ disease, but who?

CHAPTER 2: THE STINKY SWAMP >