Shari and Drayvar heaved and sweated under the weight of the strange new monolith. Twice, Shari almost fell but Drayvar, with his formidable strength, saved her from being crushed."How much longer do we have to go?", she asked as he helped her to her feet the second time. "Not much longer, I can see the cavern just up ahead," he replied.Shari stretched out her petite wings and fluttered them gently, making sure she had not torn any fibers. She couldn't help noticing the hint of a sparkle in Drayvar's eyes as he admired the way her translucent wings glittered in the sunlight. She took hold of the front of the strange object and began to slowly move forward again. Neither of them were excited about this duty which was assigned to them, though some saw it as a great privilege. Every few years, a new large object, which could not be identified, would appear outside of the cavern which all the pixies called home. None knew what these objects were, and they confounded even the most prominent of their scientists. Most of the time, the objects would appear in the mornings. The periods of day and night were always random. Sometimes they were equal, though sometimes the dark would last for days on end. Often, when the light came, another monolith, (The name the scientists gave them), would appear. When science failed to explain, religion took over. Most of the pixies now worshipped the great white God, which could be seen far in the distance. Shari herself was frightened by the dark, cold black eyes which stared out from it, accented by the smug, evil grin on it's face. The god lived far to the north, and none had ventured out to it and came back alive. Once, a fanatic named Gaylen had made it almost halfway, and then came back, panting and delirious, telling tales of some giant colossus that would try to crush anyone that came close to the God. 'The Order of the White Being' declared that the monoliths were in fact gifts and treasures sent by their God, and were to be placed on display as a sign of his greatness. The monoliths were all gathered to the back of the cavern where they were cared for and studied, as well as worshipped. "We're just about there, they'll be out to help us any minute," said Drayvar. Shari could see about a hundred or so of her fellow pixies gathered under the long flat opening of the cave, all struggling to get a look at what was being brought back his time. There was a lot of pushing and shoving as everyone tried to get a distant glimpse, while some of the mothers hovered above the crowd, fluttering their wings and holding their children so that they could see, also. Groups of about twenty used to be sent out to collect the monoliths, but after Gaylen and his tales of the Giant, it was decided that no more than two should be sent out at a time. A list of all the pixies was made, and names were randomly picked and marked off as for whose turn it would be to go. Shari wasn't sure if she believed in the great white God or not, for all it ever did was just sit there, staring....grinning, but she wanted to find out. She had secretly rigged the drawing so that she and Drayvar could go. She had hoped that when she ventured out, she could get a better look, or maybe even see a giant, but she had no such luck. All she had accomplished was almost getting crushed to death by this giant thing she was dragging. Close to collapse, she noticed that the mouth of the cave was just a few yards away, and now some of the people were coming out to help. She relinquished the weight gladly, and Drayvar caught her as she almost passed out. "Careful there, little one," he said as he held her steady. "If I ever have any more bright ideas, tear my wings off," she said, half smiling. Then she passed out.
When she awoke, she was in the back of the cavern, laying far to the side of the large crowd that had come to see the new gift from the White God. It was about the length of four grown pixie males, laying end to end, and about one and a half high. It was a strange silver color all over, and was made of three layers. The bottom layer was flat, then curved upwards at one end, where it came to a sharp edge. The next layer was connected to the opposite end of the object, where it then gently curved upwards, then downwards, ending a few feet above the bottom layer. This edge was also sharpened. The third layer lay flat against the top layer,connected at the front, but some of the scientists had discovered that it could be swiveled in a complete circle. She looked around at the other monoliths collected here. One was in the shape of a long black cylinder which came to a silver point. There was a large ball stuck in the end of the point, which could be rotated, but would not come out. Soon after this one was discovered, one of the scientists started to rotate it, when all of a sudden a vile, thick black substance shot out and covered his hands. When it would not come off after two weeks, it was decided that he was chosen, and was sent out to see the God. He never came back. "You feeling better?" Shari jumped. She had not heard Drayvar sneak up behind her. "Yeah, thanks for the help. Did you bring me here?" She asked. "I did. I thought you might like to see what our so-called scientists make of this one." He sat down beside her, carefully folding his wings to the side so as not to sit on them. "Hey, look over there, what's all that commotion about?" She pointed to a group of White God priests who were yelling and pushing their way through the crowd. "I don't know, let's go and have a look." When they arrived, the priest and his loyal followers were screaming at the scientists who were still crawling all over the new silver monolith. " I demand you get down from there at once!" yelled Vax, the high priest. Shari smiled to herself at the site of the fat pixie. Part of his beliefs was that all the pixies should pay resects by eating plentiful, so that they could grow to the more jolly shape of the great God. None of the pixies could fly very high anyway, but Shari guessed that Vax would have trouble getting off of the ground. " What's all the trouble about?" asked Yavin, a small, wiry pixie scientist who was perched on the top of the silver monolith, trying to keep his balance as three others continued to turn the top layer round and round. "The gifts of the great God are not to be played with!" Vax screamed. Yavin climbed down from his perch and looked up into the red face of the high priest. "Why not?" Yavin demanded,"We have gotten a chance to study the other monoliths." Vax turned to face the crowd. "I have great news to tell to you all," he said in his booming voice. "Last night I had a revelation while I was praying." He paused, making sure he had the attention of all the pixies. "I know what the monoliths are for." he said. There was a gasp from the crowd, and all turned their full attention to him. He continued, "The Great White God of the North wants a wife." This caused murmurs and whispers to break out all through the pixie ranks until Yavin spoke up. "How did you come to this conclusion?" "It was easy, all so easy," he said, "The answer was staring us all right in the face" "Well, I for one, would like to hear it," Drayvar said from the back of the crowd. Shari looked at him in suprise. She had not really known if Drayvar was one of the believers or not, but she could see the skepticism in his face. "I would be more than happy to explain my vision," Vax replied. "You see, the God of the north has been sending us these monoliths for some time now, but no one has known why. Now, if you look at them all symbolically, in the order they were received, you will see what I mean. The first monolith, if you look closely, resembles the shears we clip the tips of a new bride's wings with, to show her devotion to her new husband. The next one has strange writing on it, but one of the symbols resembles the symbol of blessing we place on the wings of a newborn babe. That other one, over there, could be seen as a symbol of two pixies intertwined as one,as in marriage." "What about the other ones, then," Yavin asked, "What about this new one?" "I have not made them out yet, but they come from an intellect and presence far too great for us to completely understand." Vax said with reverence. "Well, if they are too complex for us to understand, how do we know that you have understood them correctly?" Yavin asked. "Because," Vax continued, "Two days ago, on an exploration, another monolith was found on the far east of the cave. It was brought to me personally and I ordered secrecy until I could understand it's meaning. If you do not believe my interpretation of these monoliths already here, then think of my explanation as you look upon the new monolith." He gestured to some of his followers, who parted and stood the new monolith upon it's feet. The crowd gasped and backed away as they stared at a giant statue of a female pixie. "Now do you all see?" Vax yelled. "One of you will be chosen, I don't know how as of yet, but,," "It's her!", someone screamed, and pointed at Shari. The crowd backed away in a circle, with Shari at it's center. Vax strode forward, and was amazed at the resemblance between her and the monolith. "There is no doubt!", he boomed, "She is the one and must be sent immediately!" The crowd of pixies roared and crowded around her, pushing her towards the cave mouth as she struggled defiantly. Drayvar tried desperately to reach her, but was lost in the tidal mass of bodies. "Shari!!!", he screamed, but she could not hear him. She was practically thrown from the cave mouth, where she sat bewildered, staring at all the raving pixies that had done this to her. What had just happened, she thought. She had always wanted to know the truth about the White God, but she didn't look forward to the prospect of dying to find out. Someone at the mouth of the cave threw her a bag. She crawled forward and opened it. Inside were food rations, a container of water, and the traditional dyes that new brides colored their wings with. She sat back and tried to gather her thoughts. Did these crazy fanatical pixies really think she was going to venture the immense distance to the God, and then...marry it? She shook her head, got to her feet, ignoring the bag, and strode back to the cave entrance, only to come face to face with Vax. "You have been chosen, and must go forth. We do not want to anger the God." "I don't care if he is angry," she steamed, " I don't want to go." "You must go. You will not be allowed back into the cave." "You let me back in this instant!" Vax looked her in the eyes, "If you set foot back inside this cave you will be sacrificed, and your body will be taken to the great God, where he can work his magic and bring you back to life. You can either go of your own free will, or by other means. Shari wanted to reply, to convince him that she was not the one, but she found she could not speak. Tears came to her eyes as she turned away from her home, picked up the bag, and strode away, not looking back.
She walked for three days, the Great White God never seeming to get any closer. She was tired now, almost exhausted. She still had plenty of food and water, but she was not used to walking this far, especially just after collapsing from dragging that giant silver thing for so long. She has been in a forest for days, navigating the tangled trees constantly. She hoped if she came out of this alive, she would never have to walk again. Suddenly, the tree line broke, and she came out upon a large flat plateau, which seemed to stretch on forever. "Thank the God for small miracles," she murmured. for the next two days she walked upon the plateau, sometimes feeling it shake under her feet. This scared her, for she remembered the words of Gaylen and his tales of the giant, but she saw no sign of anything and continued on her way. At the end of the third day, she saw she was nearing the end of the plateau, and stopped to rest and eat before once more entering the trees on the other side. The God was closer now, and she could see him more clearly. His cold, dark eyes still scared her,as did his grin, but she could now also see that he was hairy...really hairy. His entire body, from his feet to his rounded ears was covered in a dense, white fur. She shuddered whenever she looked at him. She tried to think of ways to get out of this situation. She hoped the God would listen to her prayers when she got there, and would let her go back to her people. She also shuddered at the thought of returning. What if the priests thought the god wasn't pleased with her? She supposed there was nothing she could do anyway until she met the God face to face. She sat down and started to eat, all the while thinking, and she did not notice the wind, or the soft rhythmic thumping on the ground, which was growing steadily stronger.
Shari had finished eating, and had started to doze off, when the ground beneath her shook violently. She sprang to her feet, almost knocked off balance by the strong wind. To the east, she looked up in terror as she saw the giant. A horrible, ugly wingless creature, it towered beyond imagination. It was so tall she could not see the top of it, just gigantic mountains of legs and feet coming towards her. In front of the giant, a gigantic monstrosity was rolling towards her as well, roaring with the most incredible noise she had ever heard. On top of the noise, there was a great wind which seemed to be blowing towards it, and getting stronger as it approached. Shari ran towards the tree line, batting her wings as fast as she could to give her more speed. The giant and the thing were almost on top of her now, and she dived for the safety of the forest. The wind was incredible, and started to lift her off of her feet, and she grabbed a nearby tree. She looked up to see the thing coming over her now, and was lifted into the air. She clung to the tree with all her might as her feet went above her head. She risked another look up to see a big black blur, thousands of long spikes, whirling round and round faster than she could fathom. She felt her grip loosen, and thought she was going to die, when the thing passed over completely. She fell back to the ground, but still clung to the tree, for the wind was still strong. Shari looked up once more to see the giant upon her, but was too exhausted to move. "I'm going to die", she thought as the massive foot came into the air above her. She closed her eyes and waited for the inevitable, but was thrown into the air as the foot landed beside her. Then it lifted again and receded into the west. Shari couldn't believe she was alive. She wanted to scream for joy, but as she opened her mouth, her vision went black and her legs gave out. When she awoke, she ran back onto the plateau and looked for signs of the giant, but he seemed to be gone for the time being. Her bag was gone, along with her food and water, sucked into the maw of the massive thing. Shari , turned away from the plateau, and , fixing her eyes on the now close God, started once again on her journey.
Two days later, exhausted, weary, and hungry, Shari finally arrived at the God's foot. She peered up at him, wondering why he didn't notice her. "I'm here!" she screamed. "What do you want of me?!" But there was no answer. For the rest of the day she tried to get his attention. She screamed at him until her throat ached, and even tried climbing up his foot, but no matter what she tried, the God was silent. All hope now lost, not having enough food to return home, she cried herself to sleep. About an hour passed when she was awaked by a loud thumping. She slowly got to her feet and watched the giant come. Once again it was heading right for her, but now without the giant thing which had almost sucked her into it. She watched as the mammoth legs came closer, and the ground rumbled violently. "I will die facing this thing" she thought, and stood her ground. She watched as the giant's foot came up above her, and without any energy to scream, she closed her eyes and waited for the end to come. All of a sudden, she was hit hard from the side, and went rolling, the giant's foot narrowly missing her. After the shockwave that followed, she turned to see Drayven standing up and coming towards her. He picked her up and held her as they watched the giant reach down and lift the Great White God off of the ground, and then stride into the distance. "How...why?" she asked. " Because I love you, Shari," he said. Then he kissed her.
The next day, Shari was feeling stronger, thanks to the food Drayven had brought with him. Now that the Great White God had been taken by the giant, they decided to wander to the east. Drayven had explained how he had went at night to the black cylinder monolith, and let the point mark his hands. He had then shown it to Vax, who had in turn sent him out as well. "I couldn't live without you, Shari," he told her, "I was planning to ask you to marry me when we got back with the silver monolith, but then everything happened so quickly. I know that we can't go back home, but whatever happens, I want to be with you." Shari had kissed him then, and the next morning had snuck out and used some dirt she found with some water, and made mud and dyed intricate patterns on her wings. When Drayven saw her, he was in awe at her beauty. "It'll have to do for now, until I can get some real dye," she said. "It's perfect," he whispered to his new wife.
Two days later, and almost out of food, Shari suddenly came running from the woods to their camp. "Drayven, come quickly!" she yelled, barely containing her glee. "What is it?" "Something wonderful, something unbelievable!" Drayven took her hand and Shari led him through a thick tangle of trees. On the other side, Drayven's mouth fell agape as he looked upon the cave. It was virtually identical to the home they had both left, but the mouth was not as long. Inside could be seen hundreds of pixies, staring back at them. "Are they...real?" he asked. "Very real... and nice," she smiled, "I found them about an hour ago. They have invited us to stay." Shari took Drayven's hand again and led him towards their new home.
Mark Austin looked around at his now clean apartment. He had been putting off cleaning for some time. He had done everything, even vacuum his shag carpet and that old flat rug in the middle of the floor. He hadn't located his pen, scissors, nail clippers as well as a few other things, and he hoped his niece wouldn't be upset because he couldn't find her little fairy doll. Anyway, he decided to give her that old little stuffed white teddy bear with the black button eyes, and he hoped she would like it. All in all, he was proud of himself. He had cleaned everywhere. Everywhere, that is, except for underneath the couch and chair on the opposite sides of the room. He had started to, but then changed his mind before putting his hand underneath. "Who knows what might be living under there," he had thought to himself.