Book 1.5: Side Tales – Koko: The Puppet Asylum (Part 7B)
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Eh! Where Did My Pen... Pen... Go!?!

Book 1.5: Amaranthe Guild – Side Stories

Koko's Tale

The Puppet Asylum (Part 7B)

[“Yes! The coast is clear... no one is heading our way so feel free to explore and see what there is to find.”] Demora mindspoke as she shut and locked the storage room's door.

As for me, time for a change of outfits. Not that I would call what I'm wearing right now an outfit. She thought to herself as she looked down at the worn and torn t-shirt which she had on since the start of this whole crazy adventure.

With a target in sight, Demora stepped with a light hop, wending her way around the mess strewn floor heading towards the pitch-black door in the center of the wall of mismatched wardrobes. I can't wait to see what's waiting for me in there...

[“Yay! Anancy, let's gather parts for our vessels!”] Pinkili flew towards the doll and puppet laden shelves; Not forgetting to search the floor below along the way since many had fallen during the back to back battles.

[“Ooh, good idea. I can hardly wait until Dea puts them together for us...”] Anancy mindspoke, smiling as she flew past Demora towards the other wall of shelves. She then stopped to look at Demora's retreating back, [“By the way Dea... where did your Soul Lantern go?”]

Stopping after realizing what had just been asked, Demora turned to look at the bright-eyed Anancy. [“Huh? You want me to make your vessels? But I don't know how to do that... I mean, I've done some sewing and patching up of my dollie and plushie friends at home before but isn't that... different?

As for my lantern, I was afraid it might get damaged during the fight so I sent it to our dollhouse when the polterdolls started attacking. It's the only one I was able to get so I didn't want it to break...”]

[“Oh, you don't have to worry about your Soul Lantern breaking so easily Dea. Depending on who they're bound to they can take quite the pounding you know. And even if they do break or shatter, as long as you're alive, they will repair themselves over time or faster if you have the materials needed for the mending.

Actually, you can even make them from scratch with the right materials, tools, and know-how.”] Kukoey happily informed her using mindspeak chat for the very first time.

[“But I don't know how to do that either. Making a Soul Lantern from scratch that is... where would I even begin?”] Demora asked.

[“Hmm, how about your grimoire Dea? Maybe it has a 'how-to' section on making vessels and Soul Lanterns and everything else you need.”]

[“That's a great idea Pinkili! I'll give it a look right after I find something new to wear since this t-shirt is quite... drafty. The rest of you have fun looting; Just place the things you like over on that metal crafting cart Kresh rolled in.”]

“Yes! Gonna find us some dollies...” “Gonna find us some puppet parts...” “We'll put them all together...” “On Dea's vessel making cart...” Anancy and Pinkili started to playfully sing as they began their search in earnest.

As for Kukoey, she headed to sift through the remains of the nethbadons to gather their dropped belongings.

Having reached her destination, Demora stood in front of the ornate door. Her eyes drawn to the wonderful web design tracing the path of the amethyst and strawberry pink threads towards the center in which a spidery spirit emblem was embedded; Tilting her head, she pondered, “Now what?... I don't see any handles or knobs that I can use to open this up. Maybe if I push the door in it'll pop open?”

Demora raised her hand and pushed on the emblem but the door remained closed. This spidery spirit emblem is truly stunning; The surface looks like dark frosty crystal and is cool to the touch. It even thrums with nethryn energy that I can see scuttling within... so maybe by accessing that energy the door will open? If so then how do I access it...

Demora's eyes scanned all around the edges and sides of the door spotting what appeared to be 6 vertical slit-shaped holes. (Four on the corners of the door and a pair to the sides of the spidery spirit emblem.)

Tilting her head as her arachneth legs bobbed up and down, her eyes came to rest on their plum hued bladed tips. “Oh, I wonder if... well, only one way to find out.”

Demora raised her fluffy arachneth legs up to the top corners of the spidery door and carefully glided the bladed tips into the slits; She heard a soft “psht” as something moved within the slits, clamping onto the tips of her arachneth legs. “So those slits really are... keyholes. Good, good. Now to key in the other 4 holes which means I need to summon the rest of my Angorai Arachneth Legs.”

[“Umm, Anancy, can you come and assist me for a bit. In order for me to open this door I need to summon all of my arachneth legs so if you could help that would be great.”]

[“Sure thing Dea! On my way...”]

Anancy flew across the room to hover by Demora's side where they spent the next 10 minutes or so safely summoning the other 4 fluffy arachneth legs from her back.

After thanking Anancy for her guidance, Demora turned her attention back to the door and one by one inserted the bladed tips of her fluffy spider legs into the remaining keyholes.

“PSHT”

She felt strings of energy flow up into her spidery legs from the keyholes connecting to her trinity core; The energy then spun about within her chest for several breathes before flowing back along the same path returning to the door. The spidery spirit emblem softly pulsed with ethereal light, then turned upside down with a 'click' as the door softly opened, revealing a magical gothic victorian dress within.

“Wow...” Demora whispered, eyes wide open, transfixed on the beautiful dress. It was just hanging there on a pair of silvery webs waiting to be claimed. Her eyes traveled down the length of the white silken dress admiring the wonderful web designs on the ends of the sleeves, across the midsection of the lightly ruffled skirt, and wrapped around the stomach area like a corset. “It's so pretty and... huh? What's that down below?”

She reached out, moving the bottom of the skirt aside, smiling as her eyes landed on a pair of matching shoes and gothic victorian umbrella. Sweet! I can't wait to put it on... oh, but first some undergarments.

“Let's see if these drawers down here have what I need.” Demora began to rifle through the drawers below, pulling them out one by one, searching for the proper undergarments that would match the accent colors of her new dress (which were the same colors as her hair... in addition to silver).

“Yes. These are perfect. Not only are they threaded with nethryn energy but there are even holes in the back for my arachneth legs.” Demora said, inspecting the back of the silk undergarment top. “Oh, I wonder if the dress does as well? I'll check right after I put these on... which will be a lot easier if I just unsummon my fluffy spider legs.”

Sending her Angorai Arachneth Legs back into her body, Demora stripped off her t-shirt, tossed it aside onto the floor, and put on her new silken undergarments finding the thrum of their energy comfortable.

She then climbed up the wardrobe, reached out, and removed the threads holding the dress up catching it before it could fall. Ah, I was so captivated by this dress that I didn't even notice that I'm much too small to wear it...

:giggles: Silly Itsy Bitsy Bunny girl... Simply put the dress on and bind to fit and fit to bind... :giggles:

She felt the dress shift about in her arms as she jumped down onto the floor. Oh, so that will make it change size then... Okay, let's give it a try. She held her new dress up over her head and lowered it onto her body as she scooched about to put it on.

“Now for the binding... just like I did my bell,” she muttered as her hands released her energy into the corset webbings causing the dress to shrink to fit. Yes. It feels cool, smooth, and soft. I've never felt anything like this before.

“I wish there was a mirror in here,” She whispered as her eyes finished roaming the room.

Guess I'll have to look for one later elsewhere... after I bind my shoes and new umbrella...

“Wow Dea, you look amazing!” “You really do! Just like a beautiful spidery angel...” “Twirl for us, Dea...” Her friends all chatted excitedly, circling around her now twirling body.

“It really, really suits you to a tee Dea... so breathtaking.” Pinkili praised, eyes gleaming.

“It truly is but how does it feel? Is it easy to move in? Especially if you have to fight...” Kukoey wondered with concern for its durability.

“Will it get in the way of your fluffy spider legs and how about those shoes? Will they make it hard to run, hop, and spider climb?” Anancy asked, gazing at her new low heel shoes. “Although, there are loads of clothes here so you can always get another outfit to wear for everyday use and save that beautiful dress for special occasions.”

“It should be fine I think, after all, my guides said bind to fit and fit to bind so let's give it a try.” Demora turned her back to the trio and summoned forth her Angorai Arachneth Legs. The back of the dress shifted about creating form-fitting holes for each leg to go through.

“Ooh, that's great Dea. Your dress changed to fit your fluffy spider legs perfectly.” A very impressed Pinkili smiled.

“Now, try moving about like you would in battle!” Kukoey called out, as she thrust her butterfly net towards Demora at half-speed which she dodged to the side; Thrusting faster and faster as Demora continued to dodge and evade, the duo danced about the room until her new dress caught on a sharp-clawed puppet hand sticking out from one of the low shelves causing the skirt to rip.

Kukoey stopped thrusting her butterfly net staff, her eyes filled with remorse as Demora held her skirt up to stare at the tear, eyes glassy and lower lip lightly trembling. “I'm so sorry Dea... I didn't mean for that to happen. I feel just terrible...”

“I-it's okay Koey. I know you didn't mean for anything bad to happen...”

:gigglings: Silly Itsy Bitsy Hare your dress is trinity bound so just use your energy to mend the rend... mend the rend... mend the rend...” :gigglings:

“Oh, really? Okay then...” The trio was just about to ask her what she was talking about but stopped as they watched the tear softly glow and mend. In less than a breath, the dress was good as new again without a trace of damage to be found.

“How did you do that Dea?” Kukoey asked as the guilt and heartache she had been feeling just a moment ago faded away.

“Hmm, it seems that since this dress is now bound to me that I can mend it using my energy... which means it should be fine to wear even in battles. Actually, I feel like I have more energy now and am more agile.”

“I wouldn't doubt it, Dea. Your dress is clearly magical and looks to be tailor-made for you so I wouldn't be surprised if it enhanced you in multiple ways. Still, I'm curious about whether you can climb around in it... especially with those shoes.” Anancy said, eyeing the shoes on her feet once again.

“Let's find out then since I need to climb up those shelves to retrieve my bell. I left it behind up there during the fight. I should have sent it to our dollhouse along with my Soul Lantern but it just slipped my mind at the time. Guess I was too worried about my lantern since it looks so fragile...

Anyways, that bell would be perfect for hanging on this silver thread chain wrapped around my waist.” Demora walked across the room and then jumped, nearly reaching the top of the shelves with her double hop. Scurrying up the rest of the way. She found her bell waiting for her, picked it up, and attached it to her chain belt.

Satisfied, she jumped up, grabbing onto the ceiling, then scurried on over to her waiting friends. Seeing them below, she let go and dropped to the floor easily landing with knees bent and a smile on her face.

“Amazing. My shoes... they become ethereal with just a thought allowing my feet to stick. I really wish I had some type of appraisal skill to see what else they could do... just like my new umbrella which I left.. where?” Demora asked, eyes searching as she felt the energy within her chest begin to spin and release from the tips of her top arachneth legs...

“Look, look... Dea's new umbrella is haunted!” Pinkili called out.

“Oooh, it's floating this way,” Anancy said.

Demora turned her head, easily spotting her new umbrella bobbing through the air. It was indeed floating her way; Her eyes shined, focusing on the ethereal nethryn energy threading out of her spidery legs attached to the umbrellas hook-shaped handle.

Lifting her hand while desiring the umbrella she muttered, “Come play with me...” With a flick of her arachneth legs, the umbrella jumped through the air into her open hand as the dollheads laughed and Kukoey clapped.

Turning to face them, Demora said with a smile, ”Yes. Now that I found what I was hoping for how did you all fare? Any good loot?”

Nodding her head, Kukoey spoke, “I did. I found 2 more badges which I sent for credits. I also looted these 3 blood-red collars that enhance not only nethryn magic but also one's agility... so I was wondering if it would be okay for me to keep one of them?”

“Yes. Please do. You've earned it. I wouldn't mind keeping one too but ugh, the thought of wearing that around my neck is really...” Dea said, eyeing the collars in Kukoey's ghostly white hands.

“Then why not just wear it like this?” Kukoey asked as she wrapped one of the collars round her wrist, wearing it as a bracelet. “Or you can wear it around your ankle...”

“Oh, that's a great idea!” Demora said, walking up to Koey and claiming one of the two remaining collars for herself. After some thought, she decided to wear it as a bracelet as well; The moment she secured it in place, their energies mingled and the color of the collar turned bracelet changed from blood-red to plum hued, binding with her. “This is great... I can see its energy adding to my own. I wonder if I can wear two of them and get double the benefits...”

“Sorry Dea, that's not possible. Only one per wearer according to what I learned as a Soul Fetcher of the Gray.” Kukoey explained.

“Ah, that's a bit of a bummer but still, I'm grateful for the one I have. As for that last one, just hold on to it for now.” Seeing Kukoey nod, Demora turned her attention to her happy little dollheads. “How about you two? Did you find what you were hoping for?”

“Yes! We found quite a bit of doll and puppet parts that are perfect to use when making our vessels.” Pinkili eagerly said, eyeing the nearby cart.

“What makes those parts perfect and not the others?” Demora asked.

“These are not only infused with energy but energy which resonates with our own,” Anancy stated the importance.

“As such, we placed them on the metal cart,” Pinkili said, hovering over to the cart.

Demora turned to see all that they had looted and muttered, “Oh wow, that's quite the pile... so how are we suppose to carry all of that with us? Plus the clothes and tools I'll need for making vessels...

Hmm, what we need is a bag! A really big bag or a magic sack like Santa but where would one be...”

Demora's eyes roamed the room as her cute friends also looked about but all came up empty-handed.

“What if... I make a big bag using those?” Demora pondered aloud as she walked over to the shelves; Kneeling, she carefully looked over the half dozen or so large plushies being stored down there. These two seem to be big enough and are brimming with energy so let's go ahead and use them to make a bag.

She pulled out a pair of big fluffy plushies from off the bottom shelf and set them aside on the floor. “Now I just need some scissors, a sharp cutting blade, sewing needles, and thread...”

“You can just use your own threads, Dea! They're many times better than any thread you'll find within this metal cart.” Anancy said, bobbing up and down over the side of the cart which held a variety of built-in compartments and small drawers.

“Indeed. As for the other tools they should be in one of these crafting drawers.” Pinkili said, floating beside Anancy.

“And if you can't find any needles just look down.” Kukoey smiled, pointing at the floor.

Looking down, Demora spotted quite a few large and small nethbadon quills. Ooh, those look sharp but I'm not sure I can use those to sew.

Still, if I can't use them for sewing then maybe I can use them for my Nethrika Ghostfrost Needles spell... that is if I can bind them. And I think my best chance at binding would come from the dire nethbadon's quills so let's find and gather those while I ask the others to...

“Umm, would you mind helping me by clearing off the top of the metal cart? I'd like to use it as a worktable to turn these plushies into a carrying bag.”

“Will do Dea” All three responded as the group quickly got to work clearing the table while Demora searched for and gathered quills.

By the time the cart had been cleared off, Demora was standing near with a smile on her face as 5 soulbound quills floated and danced about around her: Each needle controlled by the beautiful threads of her fluffy spidery legs.

Well then, looks like binding and controlling 5 needles is my current limit so I'll just hold on to these other 7 quills for when my magic increases... or maybe just give them to Pinkili since sooner or later she'll have a vessel of her own to move around in...

“Your new needles look wonderful Dea! They match the tips of your spidery legs and hair perfectly. I can't wait until I get some of my own.” Pinkili happily (and a bit enviously) praised. Anancy and Kukoey nodded along in agreement.

“Thanks, Pinkili. I'll save these and give them to you once I make your vessel,” Demora said, holding up the rest of the quills in her hand which made Pinkili's smile widen. “First though, I need to make a big plushie bag so we can carry all our loot in case someone or things come our way...”

Yes! Demora has geared up, increasing her powers, and more importantly getting a beautiful new (battle) dress. Unsure of how much time she has before morning comes and the Asylum awakens she seeks to craft a big fluffy bag to carry around all the wonderful loot she earned before heading out to explore her surroundings. Coming up next Demora gets to crafting before finding a safe place to study her grimoire and then moving out to explore The Puppet Asylum (Part 7C).

Side Note: My niece has re-sent me the sketch of Demora with the changes she made to her Angorai Arachneth Legs, chain belt, and bell (which may be a little hard to see until it's colored in). The next step is the coloring of the sketch. Furthermore, I added a pair of awesome colored illustrations of Big Sister Cara (aka The Spectacular Stardust) to the second page of Our Illustrator's Box over at Storymask.com for those of you interested in taking an early look.

Storymask dot com Presents Demora Eona Wyckersin of the short story The Puppet Asylum

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