Roathus Lagoon? Even the Brushers stopped going there. Didn’t like being eaten.
Many a tale folks used to scare their children straight originated here. Anklegators weren’t the only trouble though. All kinds of beasts what don’t know up from down still lurking about. These beasts… they don’t like company. Only the City’s Brushers knew their way around the Lagoon. They used to think that Anklegators were extinct. Well… they ain’t. One of them has been living in the tall grass. They called her… Queen Anne. Remember those stories I mentioned? Queen Anne is most of them. They say she was bigger than the Rippling Walls, could break through a Bullhead Shield like hammer through wood. And she could pop out of nowhere and eat you if you weren’t behaving well. That ain’t all…exactly lies. Exaggerated, to keep the bad kids in line, but still based off the truth. Turns out Queen Anne got a hold of a Shard. Anklegators love shiny things. A lot of Brushers say that’s why she’s the Queen, and not just another Anklegator. The Lagoon’s got plenty of other dangers of course. Know what smells worse than an Anklegator’s breath? A Stinkweed. Big ol’ fat plant that blocks your path and chokes your air. Kid pops it right away though. Ain’t time for Pecker hunting but the Kid can’t resist.
Can’t fight Queen Anne without the proper tools. Anklegators stay underground until they’re ready to strike. And they love doing it in the tall grass. Kid’s gotta find something nice, long, and sharp. The Brushers used their pikes to keep their distance around here. Now the Kid can do the same. Sharp sticks make Queen Anne nervous so she backs off a bit. Queen Anne can’t fit down some of these narrow paths. Gives the Kid some time to breath, before going back out to chase her. Queenie leads the Kid into some kind of twisted trap. One bad step in that tall grass, and he’s Queen Anne’s lunch. He holds his ground. He ain’t about to let an Anklegator stop him from getting that Shard. Seems the Queen’s running out of options. She runs for taller grass. He takes off after her. Fast as he can. The closer you get to an Anklegator’s lair, the thicker the tall grass grows. Kid knows he’s getting close. Those leaping Lunkheads don’t like Queen Anne any better than the Kid. They make a tasty snack. Kid slips by without a word. Queenie must have scared a bunch of Peckers out of hiding. All distractions for the Queen, and help the Kid get to the Shard even faster. Seems even Stinkweeds know to stay away from the Queen. That don’t protect it from the Kid, though.
On his way to the Shard, Kid stumbles upon a lone egg. An Anklegator egg. Anklegators don’t much care for their young. That’s why there ain’t many around. Kid takes it with him.
Want to know how to find an Anklegator lair? You use a Kid as bait. The Shard’s sitting in plain view. And he’s got it! Now she’s coming for him. She’s got nowhere else to go. Kid waits for her to stick her head out, then rolls and pokes her side. She’s starting to get annoyed. He keeps poking her. And now he’s made her mad. Kid keeps rolling and dodging the Queen’s movements, until his final stab. Rest in peace, Queen Anne. That was for the Brushers. Kid’s done what needed to be done.
Queen Anne’s reign is over. We even got her crown jewel. All that trouble for a single Shard. But you know what? It was worth it.
They said Queen Anne was just a folk tale. Now, with that egg, there’s living proof she ain’t. Kid shows Zia the egg. She cracks it open, lets out the little one. That gator’s a crazy gal, but same goes for the gal who promised to look after her. Kid notices the mailbox off to the side, spends some time opening and closing it. Still no mail. Go figure.
Kid feels like he needs a new upgrade. Ain’t saying much, but that’s the greatest Forge in all the City. Then I catch the Kid stopping by the Memorial. Half of the Vigils are completed. I’ve asked a lot of the Kid. But this is something he’s done on his own.
The next Shard should be farther out there in the Wilds.
So, I went back and added forward/backward links to every single page. It’s for convenience, in case you want to compare each day’s shitty writing, see the difference.
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- June 22, 2012 / 3:00 am