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Worm Tales
The chronicles of duck

Part Two
On a small island on some distant river we can't name (we fear for our fried chicken, they threatened us with that).

And so it begins… again.
For the first time, which happens to be the second time, we come back to that mystical world with its second chapter. In this here world the grass is green but not greener on the other side and the horse does not come to the river to drink. The ducks do however, they come all the time, but not to drink per se. They come to train their tactical naval skills, which happen to be squawking real loud, and flapping their wings and then promptly swimming away. There is no better army tactic than retreat.

Sir Gander Duckalot was busy. As busy as you can get while trying out kick boxing techniques with webbed feet and wings on which the gloves are very hard to wear. Duckalot was stupid that way. Scotch tape had helped stick the gloves onto his wings, but um… I think he succeeded only in tying himself up. In dire need of help, Gander tried to walk away, and fell. Wings are necessary for balance when you're a duck.

Now, we all know that when the hero of the story is in dire need of help, there is always a savior in the form of a faithful sidekick. In Duckalot's case, it was Duckenstein. Unfortunately, in normal terms the sidekick is usually around. For Gander, he had to wait half an hour to be rescued, lying on the ground while the ants threatened eviction from their mound. And after being bitten in his tushy by the relentless invading ant army, Duckenstein came around to save the day! Or not…

Duckalot was a seasoned warrior, and when a seasoned warrior gets picked up unobtrusively the inbred defensive mechanisms kick in. What we mean to say is that Duckalot kicked, and hard.

“HEY! OW!” Duckenstein yelled out.
“Let go of me you vile villain!” Duckalot squawked in return.
“What you do that for? Now my beak's gone numb, and I only polished it a minute ago,” interjected Duckenstein.

“Umm… sorry. Can you untie me? I uh… tried to put on those boxing gloves. And uh…the Scotch tape got…um… just untie me,” said Duckalot lamely.
“What about my beak? My tongue is swelling!” Duckenstein retorted, while un-taping Duckalot.

After about five minutes in which Duckalot lost quite a few feathers and resembled a roast turkey, the tape was off.
“Okay Duckenstein, call the The Duck Squad. We are waging war with the ants! Those filthy vermin! Ah…my butt.” Gander said quite painfully, while simultaneously stroking his sore backside and his recently de-feathered wings.

“Sir we have more important matters to attend to than a few a ants. For one, I need the first kit for my tongue. And two, the Dictator wants to see you.” Duckenstein said, gravely, well as seriously as you can with a chipped beak.

“Eh, again? What for? I ain't listening to him lisp an aria no more. My ears are still recovering from the last time.”

“It's important. Something happened. Something bad.” Duckenstein said. Being the sidekick in this fine story, Duckenstein hasn't been endowed with good oratory skills, which is why he speaks in such short sentences. Also, we don't want to stretch the word limit.

“Ah okay. “ Duckalot said, dejectedly, in his mind, he was waging glorious battle with a bunch of red ants.

The island was not just a piece of land floating around on a river. No, it was a marvel of duck architecture. There were numerous mud mounds all over the place and because it was so big (or so small in human terms) it had a name. The United Ducks of Ducktopia, the small duck country. And on the highest mudball sat the mud hut of the Dictator.

And once inside, a depressive gloom settled over Duckalot. He could hear the faint lulling strains of a voice trying to sqauwk out the Ave Maria. Only, duck throats aren't equipped to imitate violins. Or any musical endeavor for that matter. Ducks can't sing, it's a fact of life, but some inordinately stupid try. And when you're the Dictator Duck, no one tells you the awful truth.

The dictatorial hut was big, very big, big enough for the parliament to advise the Dictator about snail supply policies. He was a very democratic dictator. And in that room, in front of a mirror, stood the Dictator, his beak outstretched, issuing the darndest scariest sound you'll ever hear this side of the equator (or outside of Russia). Now you know why the island was deserted. The ducks would leave too, but they liked the free snails. The ants would leave as well, if they weren't so darn deaf.

“Sir, you called?” Duckalot said, his hands in his ears, and while he did so, the mirror finally gave up and committed suicide.

“Hmm… That's the second mirror broken this week. Duckalot, what you think? Eh? Can I make the Sydney Opera? Eh? I hear they're hiring.” The Dictator said, oblivious to the pained looks on Duckenstein and Duckalot's faces.

“I wouldn't know sir, my mom told me listening to music meant going to hell.” Duckenstein said innocently. The overly religious have an advantage, they can unplug their ears and stop listening to anything, most of all reason. Even though he was sure hell hath no fury to match Dictator' Duck voice.

“Oh…right. Duckalot, why are you rubbing your butt? And what happened to your wings man?” The Dictator said, noticing Duckalot, who was hiding in Duckenstein considerable bulk. This was easy, Duckalot didn't take up much space.

“It's nothing sir, although I have to admit that the ants are becoming unruly.” Duckalot said, his mind still focused on pain.

“Forget the ants. We have bigger problems,” said the Dictator solemnly. And then he produced some pictures for Duckalot to look at.

“What are these?” Duckenstein said, looking over Duckalots wiry shoulders.

“Oh my god! It's the SS Ducky! What happened to it? Why is it beached and full of holes?” Duckalot exclaimed.

“That's the thing Gander. It's was sunk. We just salvaged the ship,” Dictator Duck said.

“It's the worms! They did it! They're trying to sabotage our snail supply! We'll starve to death now!” Duckenstein yelled, in his mind, food centered the most.

“Duckenstein, stop thinking about food. This is serious.” Dictator Duck said. “We have to worry about the worms now. They've dealt us a crippling blow.”.

Duckalot who had remained quiet and staring, spoke out now.

“It's not the worms sir.”
“What? Who else can it be man?!?” inerjected the Dictator.
“It can't be the worms sir. The holes are too big. It's something else.”

“Something else what? I need food!!!!!” Duckenstein yelled out… again.
“It's something worse. Something far more evil…” Sir Gander Duckalot said gravely…
To be continued…

By Tareq Adnan and Azmir Hussain


2 meters below

The following events took place at the school premises between two people who were 'supposedly' deeply in love.

Nawrin: Yeah I know, it's just too unbelievable! And then -
Nawrin stops talking when her boyfriend, Riyadh, turns to talk to this pretty girl in the middle of their conversation.

Nawrin: Riyadh! I'm talking to you here…Riyadh!!
Around 5 minutes later Riyadh asks Nawrin to go on. Nawrin doesn't even look at him.

R: I'm sorry! I didn't mean to hurt you. I'm listening now! Talk to me
N: why were you flirting with that girl? You like her don't you?

R: No, I just said hi to her.
N: You said HI??? H-I Hi??

R: It was only a hi! I wasn't doing anything!
N: You said the H word…I don't believe this
Nawrin shrieks pointing at Riyadh's friend Rahul. She breaks down and cries.

N: You sat beside this other girl at class yesterday, you even sang for her! Now this!
R: I can change. The other girls, they are just my friends. You are the only one for me.

N: Can you really change for me?
R: Yes, I mean it. I'll even sing you a song.

N: And why do you need friends? Am I not your everything? Your mother, father, brother, grandmother, uncle, aunty?
R: But are you my pet?

N: Yes I am. Woof woof!
R: Meow! Meow!

N: Yay! Let's go on a date!
A friend comes and says: I want to go with you guys too
N: sure
R: You're ditching me. It shows you don't want to be alone with me

N: Come on I need her!
R: You need her?

N: it's not what you're thinking. There's no other girl
R: Can I trust you? Oh well you don't have to answer, I trust you.

Nawrin's gaze drifts across the basketball court and stays there
A friend says: Look Riyadh! Nawrin's staring at other guys!
R: How could you!? You're looking at other guys with me right beside you
N: I was looking at the ball, not the players

R: Yeah right! And to think I was going to sing a song for you!
N: please forgive me

R: I don't want to see your face or talk to you anymore!!!
N: You have to or else…
Nawrin brings out an object from under her bag

N: I have your Teddy Bear at gun point
R: Noooo…not Mr. Teddy!
Riyadh tries to catch Mr. Teddy but by the time he reaches out, Nawrin panics and throws it out of the window. Mr.Teddy lands with a thud, 2m below them. He looked so dead. A tear slid down Riyadh's cheeks, his expression ghostly pale.

Will Nawrin and Riaydh ever be together again? Will Riyadh be able to forgive Nawrin after this terrible tragedy? Or will love conquer all? Only time can tell.

By Nayeema Reza and Riyadh Al Nur


 

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