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Chapter 4: From the Apple Grove to the Knoll – Rescuing Cubby the Terrier Pup (Part II)

<<<Chapter 4: From the Apple Grove to the Knoll – Becoming Anon (Part I)<<<

Continued…

He ran through the apple grove and came out in a small clearing that had a knoll in the middle. Trees surrounded the knoll, but the only vegetation upon it was a few shrubs, some wild-plants, and thick grass. The sound of howling continued to fill the clearing. It was louder now, and it certainly came from the knoll.

The boy ran up the shallow slope of the knoll. Even though his shoes were uncomfortably huge, he was nimble on his feet. When he reached the top of the knoll, the ground ahead of him opened into a deep hole. Anyone else would’ve fallen in, but he understood the woods and had learned to expect the unexpected, so he stopped a few steps short of it.

He fell to his knees and crawled ahead cautiously, testing the ground with one of his hands before moving forward. He knew something about these holes. The edges were crumbling all the time, and it was best to approach a hole cautiously, so just before peering down into it, he lowered himself down and spread-eagled himself on the ground, digging his toes into the dirt. When he felt secure, he pulled himself a little over the edge and looked down.

There was indeed a creature down there. The kind he had never seen before. It looked more like a piece of rag with its dirty threads hanging matted and loose. Yet, because it was the thing that was producing the howling sound, he was sure that it was actually a creature.

“Shhhh,” he made a sound – the kind he whenever he hurt himself; it always soothed him, so perhaps it would soothe this creature too.

He was right. The tiny dirty bundle of fur stopped wailing almost immediately.

The next thing that happened was certainly very odd. It had never happened to the boy before! He heard a voice penetrate his mind and speak to him.

“Hey, I am Cubby,” said the voice, “please help. Take me out of here.”

What was odder still was that the boy understood the meaning of what he heard. Seven years of silence could make anyone believe that he was deaf and dumb.

But what the boy didn’t know was that he wasn’t supposed to hear and understand Cubby, because Cubby was a pup, and pups and humans don’t usually hold conversations.

“Hey, boy! Are you going to help me or not?” He heard the creature again.

Sure, but I need to think of a way to get you out, the boy thought.

The oddest of all things hadn’t happened yet, which was that the creature heard his thought and barked back.

“OK boy, don’t take too long. These quarters are awfully cramped, even for a tiny pup!”

The boy heard it – but he wasn’t shocked by it. He came across a new oddity every few days. So what if he had never spoken to any animal in the past – there was always a first time. Later, after he had saved it, he would also find out what kind of creature a “pup” was.

Right now, he had a problem to solve. If only he could build a sort of bucket, which he could hang in the hole, the creature could climb into the bucket and he would pull it out.

What can I use to make a bucket? He thought.

“Are you dense? Use your hat!” the pup barked back.

So the creature can actually hear my thoughts, another thought unwittingly popped up in the boy’s mind.

“Sure I can. Now can we cap the small talk and get me out of here,” said the pup in a voice that sounded gruff and more in command now. Cubby was back in his element.

The boy removed his hat and inspected its rim. It was already full of holes. He could actually use a couple of creepers, twist them into a rope and run the rope through the holes to make a sling and save this poor creature.

The boy acted on his plan, and in a few minutes Cubby was out of the hole.

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Pet Rescue Stories - Cubby the Terrier pup is rescued by the nameless boy - Adventures, children's literature, pups, dogs, heroes.

After the cold and wet dirt at the base of the hole, Cubby found the hat soft and warm, so he didn’t hurry out. Instead, he held out a paw.

“Thank you Mister, you saved my life.” he said, and then introduced himself to his savior in a low dignified bark trying to imitate the older dogs that he had met prior to zooming down the hole.

“I’m Cubby. I am a three-month old terrier who has lost its family,” he said.

For a moment the boy wondered about the words “terrier” and “family,” then he took the offered paw in his hand and thought, Cubby, I live here. It’s getting dark now, and it’s best I leave. So please get out of the hat.

Cubby gave him the soulful look that only a pup can muster, but he didn’t leave the hat.

He had nowhere to go.

So the boy carefully took him out of the hat and sat him down on the ground. Then he picked his hat, removed the creepers from the hole and put the hat on his head.

Cubby still sat there.

Why don’t you go somewhere? He looked at the pup and thought.

“Where?” whined the pup, his voice soft – the kind that melts people’s hearts!

The boy had no answer.

The pup barked again, softly. The boy was odd. He’d have to change his tactic.

“What’s your name, boy?”

Name? What is a name? The boy thought.

“A name is a way to identify you, to call you. For example, my name is Cubby, so when someone says Cubby, I know they are talking to me,” said the pup, slightly puzzled because he had never met anyone without a name.

I don’t have one, the boy mused, an old musty feeling of sadness creeping upon him.

“No name? I see,” said the pup wondering whether he indeed saw anything, but he wanted to keep the conversation going, so he continued, “Someone who keeps his name secret is called Anonymous. How about this – lest us give you a name! Let us call you Anon.”

And who is going to call me Anon? I live alone, thought the boy.

“I will, if you take me along,” the pup looked into his eyes and made a promise of forever friendship and loyalty – the promise that had been made between a human and his dog for centuries, and which had stood all tests of time.

The boy didn’t know about promises and stuff, but when he heard the pup and looked into those innocent eyes, his heart melted. He smiled and picked up the dirty little rag doll and put him into the pocket of his oversized overcoat. A feeling of soft warmth spread through the boy’s body, as the pup laid his chin over the boy’s sleeve.

For the first time in his little life the pup had imprinted upon someone, and his canine senses told him that now he would forever be Anon’s dog.

For the first time since he could remember, the boy had talked to someone – and although he didn’t know anything about pups and dogs and their loyalty towards their human companions, he knew that he had found a forever friend!

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Chapter 4 - Part 2 - A Story of Superheroes - Pets, Dogs, Cats, and time-travel - Adventures.

That evening when the boy returned to the cave, he was no longer lonely or nameless – he had Cubby and he had a name.

When he moved the creepers aside, entered his cave, and threw the switch on, he remembered – he now had a purpose too. He was going to uncover every secret that lay buried in the room that he had discovered in the morning!

Anon had no idea that a saga of never-heard-or-seen-before adventures was about to begin.

Outside the cave, it had started to rain again.

Twenty miles southeast of the cave, Zoe was still alone.

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Chapter 4: From the Apple Grove to the Knoll – Becoming Anon (Part I)

<<<Chapter 3: The Nameless Boy and the Cave that Wasn’t (Part II)<<<

When the boy left the cave, the sky was already starting to darken. This meant that in a little more than an hour, it would be pitch black in the woods. He looked up. The clouds gray and heavy were racing across the northern sky and then slowing down in the center. He knew it was going to rain again.

The boy quickened his pace.

He was wearing high-ankle leather boots that were a few sizes larger, an overcoat that fell down to his ankles, and a hat that had covered half his face. The hat was old and torn, and around the rim were many holes. If one looked closer, they could see that the overcoat and the boots were no better off, but in the last seven years nobody had ever come into the woods so what he wore really didn’t matter. He had outgrown his clothes long ago. His father’s clothes big, but they were comfortable.

He took the gravelly path that went around the hill of his cave. Only he knew about the existence of the path – others would have seen nothing but the undergrowth and the bushes that camouflaged it. The path took him halfway around the hill to the grove of the apple trees. His hill was one of the many that surrounded the mountain that he thought of as the Big Mountain. The grove of the apple trees was in the valley between by his hill and the big mountain.

He was sure he would find some apples there. They would keep him going until morning. All he wanted to do now was collect the apples and run back to his cave, so that he could spend the whole night in the secret room that he had discovered this morning.

He decided to take a shortcut and veered right. The shortcut was his way of sliding down the side of the hill to the grove. The hillside wasn’t smooth and grassy, so his first shortcut had left him with a pair of seat-less trousers.

After that terrible failure, he had invented the Wruff, which was a plank of wood with a handle in front. All he had to do was hang on to the handle tight. He got on it and as the Wruff flew down the hillside, he let out a happy yell…wheeeeee. It took him half a minute to reach the grove.

The grove looked exactly as he had imagined it. The storm they had last night had shook the apples off the branches.

Chapter 4 Part 1 - The nameless boy - apple grove - dog rescue - pet stories, dog stories, superheroes etc.

Several apples were lying in the grass, and many looked good to eat. He picked them up, checked them, sniffed them, and after tossing five of them away, he selected three. He deposited them into the pocket of his overcoat and prepared to leave.

Just then, the air around him filled with a strange sound. He had never heard that kind of sound before. It sounded a little like a wolf howling, but he knew for sure that this wasn’t really a wolf.

The sound was soaked in loneliness. It was a plea for help.

——— ¤¤¤ ———

Part II reveals our hero. Shhhh…! (A secret: If you love dogs…you are going to love Chapter 4 – Part II)

 
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Posted by on May 12, 2014 in Chapters, Super-heroes

 

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From the Hideout: Why Publish a Book on a Blog?

I don’t know about all the other writers out there, but I am an obsessive storyteller who accidentally discovered writing as a medium to tell stories. A few years ago, I just happened to write a few stories, and discovered that writing stories could be a very interesting thing to do. As the written stories are immortal, I found writing to be a substantially more satisfying experience too. Since my serendipitous discovery, I’ve written short stories, adventure-serials, two novels, and two novellas. Have I published any? None. Why? Because of the perceived tedium involved in the publishing process.

I did check out Amazon, but I realized that unless you promote your stuff (or in other words, blow your own trumpet,) your book has near about zero chance of finding a buyer. I also read a lot of stories about reviews being bought (and sold) or swapped, and it all made me realize that I had neither the strength nor the resources to do any of it. I reflected on the situation and I concluded that I’d rather spend my time writing stories than trying to publish them.

I don’t know how much time I’ll be spending here in this iron-box that I euphemistically call “my hideout,” but until I am able to get out of this place, I’ll continue to publish the Adventures of the Heroes on my blog: Chapter-wise.

You’ve met Zoe, Cubby, and the Nameless Boy who lives in a Cave that isn’t a cave. Soon they will come together, with a couple of other equally disparate characters – and they’ll form a team, that will beat all other Super-Heroes of the world.

If you want to follow them on their adventures, follow this blog by clicking/tapping the Follow button in the right sidebar. The only condition for following is that you must think and believe that you are below 18. Those older-in-their-hearts could recommend it to the young in their families. I’d truly appreciate it.

I must now return to the story that I am writing for a competition. Cheer me on, please!

 

 
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Posted by on May 9, 2014 in At the Hideout, The Heroes

 

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Chapter 3 (Continued): The Nameless Boy and the Cave that wasn’t (Part II)

<<<Chapter 3: The Nameless Boy and the Cave that Wasn’t (Part I)<<<

(Continued from Chapter 3 – Part I)

But it would be dark inside, he thought.

There were a few candles somewhere in the cave, perhaps in the kitchen – he remembered how his mother used the lighter to light them up. Fortunately, the light-lever always worked and he never had to use them, so they must still be there.

He found the candles in one of the drawers near the sink. He took one, lighted it, and carried it back into the bedroom. Then he pulled out the brass key that he wore around his neck, and pushed it in the keyhole of the door that had tormented him for the last seven years.

He tried to turn the key in the lock, but it refused to budge. He tried again, clockwise and counter-clockwise both, but it nothing happened.

His heart sank. Perhaps it was the wrong key, but he couldn’t give up without trying, could he? The need to look at what lay behind the door gained strength from his inability to open the door.

He placed the candle on the desk to free his other hand.

He tried again, but failed. Either the key didn’t belong to this lock, or it didn’t open the lock the regular way.

Not the regular way?

His parents never did anything the regular way. Perhaps there was another way. The boy was uneducated but smart. He checked the space around the lock. Sure enough, this wasn’t a regular lock. There were twelve tiny holes around the keyhole.

He had an idea.

He ran back into the kitchen and brought back a small screwdriver. He inserted the screwdriver into one of the holes. It touched something, perhaps a disk that got pushed back by a few millimeters. He held the screwdriver in position, tried turning the key again. The key didn’t demand any effort from him this time, and he heard the lock open with a soft click.

He smiled to laud his own victory.

He pushed the door open. It was a heavy door made of metal. It opened into total darkness. The boy had no idea how deep this room, or recess, or whatever it was, was.

He was glad that he had thought of the candle. He picked it up and entered.

His heart beat faster as he looked around. The room was about thirty feet deep, and there were things that he had never seen before. Wooden shelves lined with books cast scary looking shadows on the walls, a huge table that was almost treble the size of the kitchen table stood in the middle, overflowing with books, parchment, lamps, and other objects that he could barely recognize.

Gingerly he walked around the table and reached his father’s chair. He placed the candle down upon the surface of the table. Oddly enough, there was no dust on the surface.

Then he lowered himself into his father’s seat.

Open in front of him was a handwritten, leather-bound notebook. He looked at it mesmerized. He couldn’t read, but he knew that it belonged to his father, and that made him feel sad and happy at the same time. He reached out and touched the pages of the notebook. Then he whispered one of the few words that he knew.

“Papa,” he said, his throat parched and his eyes stinging.

chapter 3 - pen and ink artwork - father's leather-bound notebook that the boy finds behind the locked door - artwork, illustrations.

He sat there for a long time, turning the pages of the notebook, looking at the drawings and the writing of his father. He wished he knew how to read and write. Faint images of his mother teaching him how to write faded in and out of his mind.

He pulled himself away from the notebook, leaving it where it was. Then he got up and walked around the table, trying to peer through the glass-doors of the cabinets. He wished there was light in there.

Perhaps there was, perhaps there was a lever somewhere. The way there was a lever outside for lighting up rest of the cave.

He came back to the table, picked up the candle, and starting checking the walls.

There it was, right next to one of the cabinets. It was smaller than the one outside. He pushed it down, and the place flooded with light.

He stayed in the room for a long time. He looked at the objects – glass containers, metal-strips, an extendible metal tube with glass at one end; he looked at the books and diaries, most leather-bound, some monogramed with an eagle.

He didn’t realize how long he had been there until he heard a rumbling sound. It took him a moment to recognize it as the sound that he stomach made when he was hungry.

There won’t be fish for dinner, but he could find something else – perhaps collect some berries or find some fallen fruits.

He knew that he wouldn’t sleep that night. His fear of the unknown room had disappeared completely. Now he didn’t want to leave it. With a heavy heart, he switched the light off and left the room.

——— ¤¤¤ ———

The nameless boy had no idea that his destiny was about to change, and that he was also going to get a name…very soon.

 
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Posted by on May 7, 2014 in Chapters, Super-heroes, The Heroes

 

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