The following story was written by ~not-really-living for the story contest a while back. The picture is his prize. Please give proper credit to the author.
“...And whatever you do,” continued Marbles, “don't say anything negative about her body. She is very critical about insults. She's spent a lot of time being looked down because of her size, and because of the resulting rumors.”
“Let's just say that she's been on the wrong end of an accusation a few times.”
“Okay, I'll be on my best behavior.”
“Good girl,” Marbles said, teasingly.
“Hey, just because you're like 200 years older than me doesn't mean you can treat me like that.”
“I'm just pokin' at ya again, Jumps.” She gestured poking my belly. “Seriously, you need to lighten up.”
“Ha, coming from you, Ms. 'I'm Arch-Mage, Nerevarine, Guildmaster of the Fighters Guild.”
“That's the sister I know. Anyways, she's going to be here soon, so I'll need you to stay out of the way. It takes concentration to learn how to use magic when you're not magicka sensitive.”
“Tell me. Why does she want to learn how to use magicka? It's not like she needs it where she's from.”
“It's easy to know what she wants to use it for by the kinds I'm going to teach her in.”
“Well, whatever she wants to learn, I hope that she doesn't kill someone with it.”
“How do you kill someone with charm? Make them like you to death?”
“Good point,” I said. I really wanted to know what she even looked like. Being the first 'person' to ever learn how to use magicka artificially, she was exciting me to the point where it was the only thing I thought about.
“Okay,” Marbles spoke up, “It's time for me to get her. Promise me you won't die when I'm gone.”
“I promise mother,” I said sarcastically. She went into the basement of the hall, Rosethorn Hall specifically, and I heard a low rumble, indicating she went through the portal. I really wanted to go, but Marbles said that it would be next to impossible to transport three entities through the portal at once. This confused me a little, seeing that Marbles would be transporting a very large being.
I spent what I thought was a whole day just sitting and waiting in anticipation for this mysterious being to arrive. I finally heard a low rumble from the basement, and I knew that she was finally here. I rushed downstairs with a huge smile on my face. The basement door was still closed, but I could hear voices coming from the other side, first faint, then stronger. One voice I knew was Marbles, but the other was foreign. “...also be sure to focus purely on that subtle feeling in the back of your head.”
“But how will I know what that feeling is?”
“I'll show you when we get started” The door opened. First came marbles, in her Arch-Mage's glass armor and carrying a staff. The next figure came through slowly. She was tall, very tall. I looked in amazement, as she wasn't walking, but slithering. Her humanoid body was only a small portion of her actual body. She was a naga. Her body came through the door, and kept coming through. She seemed to never end. All I could do was stand there. “Jumps!” Marbles said. “I would like for you to meet Ms. Marie Validus. She is going to learn how to use magicka.
“I'm so excited about this!” She said. Her voice was very soft, and the serpentine features came out with the slightly lengthened 's' sounds, but only slightly. It was actually a bit soothing listening to her talk.
“Well, hello Ms. Validus,” I said to her. “It's a pleasure to finally meet you.” I was having a bit of trouble talking normally. My throat was tensed up in excitement.
“Call me Marie. Anyways I'm not into formalities, so can we get this started?”
“Well, I thought you'd be hungry after such a long trip,” said Marbles.
She laughed a little. “It took about 3 seconds. It wasn't that big of a deal. I just want to get this whole magicka thing going.”
“You're quite eager, it seems. Well, if there isn't anything else we need to do here, then I guess we can just head out.”
“We aren't doing it here?” She asked.
“This manor is old, and I never experiment or cast magic in here. There's a nice spot near the vineyards with plenty of shade for us to work. I also told the guards not to bother us.”
“Well, okay then. I guess that means we can start?”
“Yes, it does. Lemme just grab a few scrolls from upstairs, and we can head out.” Marbles walked over Marie's massive body, still partially inside the basement. I heard the door click shut behind her, and so Marie then looked at me.
“So, you're the sister of Found-Her-Marbles?”
“That's me, and you can just call her Marbles.”
“She doesn't mind?”
“She doesn't really like it when friends call her by her formal name. She says it's so stuck up, and it feels like she's in a meeting with the Mages council.”
“I see. She didn't mention your name when she was there. Might I ask what it is?” She seemed very friendly. I liked her.
“My name is Jumps-In-Water, but you can call me Jumps.” I reached out my hand. She shook it, and I could feel her strength.
“Well, it's a pleasure to meet you Jumps. As Marbles said, my name is Marie Validus, but you can call me Marie.”
“It's equally a pleasure to meet you Marie. I was always thinking that nagas were mean creatures, or at least that's how they come across in lore.”
“Do I look mean to you?” she asked, sarcastically.
“You're surely putting a good impression on me.” I kept looking at her massive snake-like body. She noticed that.
“You wanna ride?” I thought she was joking, but then she twisted her body around as to beckon me on.
“It's fun. Trust me.”
“Okay,” I said, walking over and trying to find a place to sit. “Is there any specific way to?”
“Just plop yourself down anywhere.” I reached over with one leg, and sat down on her thick, muscular, scaly body. She felt very warm, unusual for a reptilian.
I heard the door from upstairs open and close again, then I heard Marbles clanking down the wooden steps in her boots. She had a satchel with a bunch of scrolls in it. She looked a me, then said “Jumps! Get off the client!”
“Aww,” I replied, “But it's so comfy. Besides, she let me on her.”
“Marie?” Marbles looked at Marie, with her mother look.
“No, it's fine,” she said. “I do it all the time.”
“Well, okay, but I warn you. She's a squirmer.”
She lifted her arms in the air innocently. “Hey, I'm joking, Jumps.” I sighed. Marie laughed.
“Are we ready to go?” She asked.
“I got everything I need. These scrolls will help you greatly. Let's head out.” She looked at me again. “Jumps, behave yourself.”
“Okay mom,” I said, with a sort of pouting puppy-dog face. Marbles sighed in my direction, then shook her head a bit.
Marbles walked over to the door to open it, then she let Marie out first. She seemed to crawl slowly as she went through the door. Her body barely made it through the comparatively narrow doorway. I had to lift my legs so they didn't get squished between her and the door. The sun was shining, and its heat was powerful. I saw Marie close her eyes and breath for a few seconds, then she continued on. She was halfway out, but her tail was still partly down in the basement. “Hey Marie?”
“I know this is a weird question, but how long are you?”
“Um, the last time I was measured, the fifty foot measuring tape was a little too short to completely stretch to my tail.”
“Wow, that's big,” I said under my breath. I just nodded at her and said “Cool!” We were almost to the clock near the statue in the middle of Skingrad when the last of her tail finally went through the door. Marbles was still holding the door. She closed it, locked it, then ran to catch up with me and Marie. There were a few people out of their houses, talking near the West Weald Inn. They stopped and looked at Marie. I waved to them, sitting proudly atop my new favorite steed. The bystanders then looked at me. They laughed a little upon seeing me, then went back to talking. I turned to see Marbles giving them a sort of death stare. I knew what that look meant. 'Behave, or you'll be in pain.'
The doors to Skingrad were all ready open when we reached them, so we just went through. I could feel the sun at its peak. The walls of Skingrad blocked the sunlight a lot. I reclined some upon my proud seat. Marie twisted her head around. “Enjoying the ride?”
“Yes, I am.” She laughed, then turned her head back. We walked and slithered past the two vineyards, Tamika and Surilie Brothers. Marbles ran ahead and put her staff and satchel of scrolls down in the grass. Marie sped up a bit, looking very excited to finally start. I hopped off when we got there. Marie formed a few coils with her serpentine body, and sat down on them. Marbles took a few scrolls out of the satchel and handed them to Marie. “Well,” I said, “this is fun.”
“Hey Jumps,” Marbles said without looking up, “can you go find something to do? Marie and I need intent focus on this. There's a cave just east of here. Why don't you go explore it?”
“Ugh, I didn't bring my equipment.”
“I have my sword with me, if you'd like to use that.”
“It's one-handed. You know I can't use those very well.”
“Well, find something to do while we work, or just sit quietly.”
“Okay, okay, geez.” I found a place in the shade of a large maple, and pulled out a book I brought. I proceeded to read The Argonian Account Book 1.
About an hour went by, and they still seemed to be doing nothing. I was about halfway through the book. Marie and Marbles were very quiet. It looked like they were meditating. Occasionally, there would be a faint flash of a scroll, and then things would get quiet again. Then, out of nowhere, there was a fireball from Marie's direction. I looked up to see her with a huge smile on her face. “Was that Marie?” I asked, standing up.
“I do believe it was me,” She said ecstatically.
“Very good Marie. Did you feel the magicka surge up when it released?”
“Yeah, and it felt amazing, unlike anything else I've ever felt.”
“Now, try doing it again. Search for the essence again. Concentrate for it.” Marie closed her eyes, and scrunched her face some, then pointed in front of her. There was a glow around her, then there was a blast of heat. The fireball struck a tree, leaving a singe and char on the bark. She opened here eyes, then squealed.
“That's incredible!” Marie said out of excitement.
“I'll say,” Marbles replied. “This is astounding. You're the first person to ever cast spells without being previously magicka-sensitive.” She started scrawling in a journal her findings.
I was so excited, that I ran up to Marie and pounced her, hugging her tightly. She hugged back, squeezing extremely tightly. “Can't... breathe...”
“Oh,” Marie realized. “Sorry Jumps.” She loosened her grip, letting me down.
“Jumps,” Marbles spoke up, “what did I tell you about harassing the clients?”
“I'm not harassing her. She's just happy, and I'm happy that it actually works.” Marbles sighed. “What?”
“You! You're just so cute when you try.” She gave me a very puzzling look. I couldn't decide whether or not I should be happy or creeped out. “I'm joking again Jumps. You really need to lighten up.” Marie was sitting there, giggling.
“Anyways,” Marbles said, changing the subject, “you should continue to practice that spell. The easier you can cast a fireball, the better you'll be able to start working on other types of magicka. Oh, and try doing it with your eyes open. I'd hate to lose a good sister.”
“Marbles,” I said.
“Okay,” Marie said. “Do you have any targets or anything?”
“Those trees are fine. You could also try those bandits spying on us from behind those bushes.”
“Bandits? What bandits?” Marbles cast a fireball into some shrubs a few hundred feet to the north. Two Khajiits ran out, screaming, fur smoking.
“Hit those. Practicing on moving targets should help with your aim.”
“But they're people, er... cats.”
“They're fugitives, runners from the law. They deserve death, but I think they can live another day. Besides, the spell I taught you isn't enough to kill. It'll cause some discomfort.”
“Okay,” Marie said. She reluctantly pointed her hand in the direction of the screaming Khajiits, who were still smoking a little. A fireball went off in their direction, missing by a less than a foot, then another, then another. There was a good stream of fireballs being shot in the cats' direction, none hitting, then it stopped. I looked at Marie and saw her breathing a little heavily, exhausted from the constant casting. The Khajiits stopped finally, looking at themselves. They then took out their weapons, a sword and dagger, and began rushing towards us. I grabbed Marbles' sword out of the sheath and braced for the attack. There was a sudden flash of blue as Marie whipped her tail around, striking one of the bandits. The other was then pinned down by Marie's massive coils, arms at his side. She hissed at him menacingly, then he fainted, going limp in her grip. The other was lying on the ground, staring at the massive snake. She turned her head and looked at the bandit directly. The Khajiit got up more quickly than anyone I have ever seen, and ran off in the opposite direction. Marbles ran up to Marie. “You can let go of the cat now. Okay?”
“Oh,” she said, acting like she just came out of a daze. She lifted the bandit out of her coils and put him on the ground. “Did I kill him?”
“No,” I spoke up, “he's just unconscious. The coward must've fainted.” I poked him. He didn't move, though he was still breathing. I grabbed the sword, straining to get it out of the unconscious Khajiits iron grip.
“So are we just gonna leave him here?” Marie looked very sad. She must have felt sorry for scaring him that much.
“Don't worry. I'm sure the guards will take care of him when they come by. Let's just hope they get here before he wakes up.”
“Yeah, but I still don't feel good about doing that to him in the first place.”
“You did well Marie,” Marbles said to her. “It was going to happen to him one way or another. I'm just glad it was this way.” There was a minutes of silence, then Marbles spoke up again. “I think we should get out of here, before that bandit comes back with friends.
“Yeah,” I said, “that's a good idea.” Marbles went over and grabbed the scrolls left over and put them in her satchel. Marie still looked a little sad, but was better. “You want another ride Jumps?”
“Sure!” I climbed on her, more gracefully than before, and we began heading back. The sun was still shining, although it had moved across the sky quite a bit since we first came out.
The doors to Skingrad were still open, so entering was easy. There were quite a few more people out, although they paid little attention to us. They seemed to not care about a fifty-foot naga happily slithering through the city. Marbles would give a nasty look to anyone who stared at Marie too long, though.
We made it to Rosethorn Hall, and Marbles opened the door for Marie again. “Thank you,” she said. It was a little harder getting her completely inside than it was before. The foyer wasn't very large, so she had to put portions of her body in the dining room. I got off Marie.
“Thanks for the ride.”
“You're welcome.” She looked down at her belly, and began rubbing it. “Not to be abrupt, but I'm hungry. You got anything to eat?”
“Well, for you, there's some meat in the cupboard. I got it today, so it's fresh. Would you like for me to cook it?”
“Nah, I can eat it how it is. Thank you.”
“Anything for a new friend.”
“Aww, thank you. I've made new friends as well.” Marbles took a few large pieces of venison out and put it on a platter. Marie swallowed each large piece fairly easily, not chewing at all. She licked her scaly lips and smiled. “Once again, thank you.”
“You're quite welcome,” said Marbles. “I couldn't let you go on an empty stomach. Besides, I wasn't going to eat that much anyways.”
“Well,” Marie spoke up, “I guess it's time for me to be going. It's been a pleasure learning from you Marbles. I'll be sure to practice everyday.”
“That's good. It's been a pleasure working with you as well, Marie.”
“It's great to have met you Jumps.” She grabbed me and gave me a big hug, though not so tightly as before.
“It's nice to have met you Marie,” I said.
“If there's nothing else to do here, then I should go.”
“Nope, let's get you home.” Marbles led Marie back downstairs. Marie turned around to look at me.
“Hey Jumps, why don't you come and say a last goodbye before I go?”
“Okay!” I wormed my way past her body, still partly in the doorway, and sat down on a crate. Marbles was holding her staff, and she began muttering the spell. The room began to grow dark, and a small glow began emanating from the center of the room. As it grew larger, the outline of the other side of the portal began to appear. The other side soon became clearer. I could see a large room with outlines of furniture. “Okay, it's ready.”
“Goodbye Marbles. Goodbye Jumps.” She waved at us before finally went through. The rest of her body followed behind her as she entered the room on the other side. When the last of her tail was on the opposite end of the portal, it began closing. We could see her waving before the portal disappeared completely. The room was quiet. Marbles and I were once again alone.
“Marbles, how did you find her in the first place, and how did you end up convincing her to being taught how to use magicka?”
“Oh, that? That's a long story.”
Fin...Finally, after much work and more waiting, the winner of the Story Contest! Congratulations ~not-really-living! I hope you like your prize. :3 This entry was amusing, and had me wanting the longer story at the end as well. Bravo!