( These are still really long, folks )
( These are still really long, folks )
I should probably also mention that this fan character is from a pre-Empire, very pre-industrial period of Alternian history. Thus, the culture has no mention of the Empire, or space travel, or conquering things to death. It's rather medieval-ish, actually.
Copyright © 1996, Patricia C. Wrede
( Warning: this is long! )
Tomatoes (regular): We were drowning in these for a while, but they're dwindling down early. A little weird, but not too so.
Tomatoes (cherry): Absolutely ridiculous growth. One plant gave us baskets and baskets of thumb-sized tomatoes, and though it's slowing down we're still getting a bunch. It's had to be trimmed back so it doesn't crowd out one of our miniature rose bushes.
Tomatoes (grape): Didn't do very well. It was probably stymied by the regular tomato plants growing next to it.
Cucumbers: Haven't gotten one yet, which is fairly irritating. It didn't help that bugs kept eating the leaves.
Peppers (bell): Few, but big. The red bell pepper we'd picked was both enormous and very sweet.
Peppers (Anaheim): Growing. The plant seems to have somewhat recovered from a partial break of the stem caused by me being careless while checking the cucumber plant.
Pumpkins: We had no intention of actually planting it, and were surprised when it popped up. The lack of heating of the compost pile is probably to blame. It's flourishing, but not fruiting yet.
Green beans: Early summer crop was good and is starting to die off. Late summer crop is doing well and in bloom.
Yellow bush beans: Decent amount in the first crop, second crop isn't showing signs of fruiting yet.
Onions: First few are ready to be picked, but the rest are refusing to go brown and wither. Those are going to be good-sized onions when they're ready. We also have a mutant plant that's sprouting root bulbs where the seed pods are supposed to be. I'm tempted to plant one of the top bulbs to see what happens.
Broccoli: We had an enormous plant with lots of secondary and tertiary growth, but it's long been replaced with the second green bean crop.
Potatoes: Lots of them. Five plants gave us dozens of small potatoes, and they were delicious. A few were downright huge for the type. The spot they were in was given to the cucumbers that refuse to grow.
Lemons: Has been in its full growth for years and even several bags and a pair of clippers aren't enough to stop it being heavy with fruit. This tree fruits year-round.
Oranges: Had a good crop early in the summer, but it stopped producing for this year a while ago.
Blueberries: We had a fair-to-middling crop size for a couple of months, but they're only a couple years old yet.
Figs: Fruited late, had to be cut back. I don't pay much attention to the fig tree except to watch June bugs eat the fruit.
Deep in the headquarters of the PPC, there was a Response Center. Well, there were many Response Centers, but this one lacked burn marks or noticeable stains. It silently bided its time, knowing that one day it would have a collection of battle-scars to rival that of any room in the entire labyrinth! Perhaps its first would be from a fire, or an explosion! Perhaps a great battle would be fought within its very walls! Perhaps-
A plastic container bumped against the door frame, leaving a slight scratch on the Generic Grey material.
Well, that would probably do. The owner of the container carefully balanced it on her knee so she could get a better grip. “New home!” Agent Chalk called out to the bare walls as she wrestled the container through the doorway. “Jenka, hurry up! We might get a mission any second now!” With a grunt, she set the container onto the ground and kicked it into a corner. She could set up her consoles later.
A rather grey man slipped in behind the excitable girl, balancing two such containers over his shoulders. “I doubt it. The Console isn't plugged in,” he said in a rasping voice. His frame would have towered over the girl's if he weren't slouched over so much. He set down the containers and began to search through one of them. “Why did you even pack a raccoon-tail hat, anyway?” he asked before retrieving a pill case and shaking out some of its contents into a stitched-up hand.
“I might need it in the future,” Chalk explained as if that were the most obvious thing in the world. At some point she had climbed up onto the top of the bunk bed (the only piece of furniture other than the Console) and was beating the pillows into a state resembling fluffiness. “When you find the pens, will you toss one up to me? My Charizard got smudged.” She let one arm dangle over the edge of the bed and used the other to point out the deficiency.
“As did the unicorn it's toasting, I see.” Jenka sat down on the unclaimed bunk and stared suspiciously at the Console. He had heard stories about the infamous device, though he felt the one about sentience was exaggerated. Surely it wasn't a disguised robot hell-bent on destroying the sanity of unaware Agents. He only believed the one about explosions because the Agent who told him it had showed him an impressive scar to go with it. And the one about it being a secret eavesdropping device for the Flowers had to be false, but even so... Bah, what was he worrying about? It wasn't even plugged in!
No sooner had he thought that than an earsplitting [BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!] rang out, followed shortly by a thump and a yelp from the top bunk. Apparently, the stories weren't all false.
Guess who joined the PPC? Here's hoping I won't screw everything up with my very presence.
1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 4 sentences on your LJ along with these instructions.
5. Don't you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest.
6. Tag five people.
But the appalling old crone was as transparent as a lump of coal. And the humming was ... insistent. You found yourself trying to follow the tune. It made your teeth tingle.
I do not know five people to tag, so I won't. The book is Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett.
What I'm getting at is this: About how many seven to nine year-old girls would be required to tackle and kill a grown man while armed with assorted gardening tools? Assume the grown man is distracted (he's shouting demands to the girls' parents, and has his back to them), and the girls are restricted by neither fear nor squeamishness.