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General Chatter / [F + Somewhat Mature] Is this werewolf going to sneeze?
« on: February 15, 2017, 10:04:46 PM »
You be the judge.  She certainly looks that way to me . . . I suppose this is what happens when she transforms in pollen season.  ;)

Just something I found while browsing the internet, I take no credit for the art.

General Chatter / Dragon Sneeze Trigger Poll
« on: January 04, 2017, 08:47:08 PM »
Doing these right this time, to allow for multiple votes. 

I'd love to hear your reasons for voting the way you do!

General Chatter / Feline Sneeze Trigger Poll
« on: January 04, 2017, 08:46:34 PM »
Doing these right this time, to allow for multiple votes. 

I'd love to hear your reasons for voting the way you do!

General Chatter / Canine Sneeze Trigger Poll
« on: January 04, 2017, 08:45:07 PM »
Doing these right this time, to allow for multiple votes. 

I'd love to hear your reasons for voting the way you do!

Art, Art, and Art! / Comic:. Fur Will Fly [F + Flowers]
« on: December 17, 2016, 03:14:24 PM »

Hi, everyone.

I was going over my profile the other day, and I had a thought.  For the "favorite part of sneeze" section, there's a multiple-choice section, and then there's a box that you can use to elaborate.  This makes sense, since sneeze preferences can be complicated.  But in my case (and I think for a fair number of other members as well), my species preferences are as detailed, if not more. 

My suggestion is simple:  I'd like to see a "Sneeze Species Preference Continued" box added to the forum profile options, so that we can share our favorite critter tastes better. 

Now, I admit that I'm not a coder and have no real concept of how easy or hard this would be to add.  So I apologize if this idea is ridiculous for being very work-intensive.  If that's the case, please let me know.  Otherwise, thanks for considering my idea.

Writer's Den / [F + Mature] A Day at the Beach
« on: November 23, 2016, 02:12:42 PM »
So there's a bit of a story associated with this one.

About a week ago, FS was discussing his latest commission in chat, which involves a vixen as always (don't want to say anything more, since he hasn't posted it here yet).  I might have ribbed him a little bit for always choosing his trusty foxes over other species (::)) and I asked him what some of his picks for his second favorite were.  He told me, and I decided to write a story with a similar plot to his commission but starring one of his other choices, to see how he likes it. 

So, I hope you in particular like this, FS, since it's for you (don't worry, there's a fox in there too, just in case  ;)),  and that the rest of you find it enjoyable.  Comments are encouraged as always, I live off of them.  ;D

   With a smile on her face and a spring in her step, the perky otter girl crosses the beach.  It’s a beautiful, warm sunny day outside, perfect for relaxing on the sand or going for a swim.  She plans to do both, as the two towels slung over her shoulder attest: one to lay on, one to dry herself. 
   The otter is fully enjoying herself, and it shows.  Her shapely figure and ample bosom are held in a deep blue string bikini, the color matching that of her welcoming eyes.  The dark hue also matches her fur well—it’s deeper than most otters’, a rich chocolate brown. 
   She isn’t the only one planning on visiting the beach today—as she gets closer, she notices it’s fairly crowded.  But not so much so that she couldn’t find a semi-private place out there if she wanted to.  Her smile widens.  She feels confident in herself and excited about the day before her.  Still with a bit of a spring in her step, she prances out onto the sand. 
   Before too long she finds a place to spread out her larger towel.  The smaller one gets folded and set to the side for later; for now, the ocean beckons.  She walks the short distance to the edge of the sea and, with a gleeful shout, she launches herself into the waves.
   The water feels wonderful in her short, soft fur, giving her an almost sensual pleasure.  In no time at all she’s cutting to and fro, sometimes aiming for speed, sometimes agility, and sometimes just to frolic in the shallow water.  She has a natural advantage here over most species, and she cuts through the ocean like a furry torpedo, moving far quicker than one would expect from someone with her curvy frame.  The otter tries to be considerate and avoid hitting anybody else in the water, but occasionally she just has to shoot by another swimmer by a narrow margin, just to prove that she can.
   After about half an hour, the otter is starting to feel a little tired.  She still has plenty of swimming left in her, but it wouldn’t hurt to rest for a little while before going back for some more.  Smoothly she shifts from her swimming pose to a standing position, the water lapping just below her shoulders, and starts walking to shore.
   The otter has surfaced near another swimmer, a red vixen with a slim figure and moderate bust wearing a bikini that’s similar to hers, except for its yellow color.  She offers a quick wave, which the vixen returns with a warm smile.  An instant later the vixen’s eyes track behind the otter and widen, and an instant after that a rather larger wave than the ones that have been coming in all day strikes the otter in the back of the head and the unfortunate vixen in the face. 
   It’s surprising and a little disorienting, but not to bothersome for the otter, except for a bit of saltwater getting forced up her nose.  After a few seconds of floating, she’s able to regain her footing and bring her head fully out of the water again.  She shakes her head to dry it a little at the same time the vixen breaks the surface of the water.  Still blinking a bit in surprise, the otter turns towards her, trying to make small talk.  “Quite a wave, wasn’t that?” she asks, every bit as friendly as her species’ stereotype.
   It takes her a second to realize that the vixen isn’t particularly paying attention to her, but rather is crossing her eyes to examine the small black nose capping her delicate muzzle.  Or at least, it should be black.  Currently it’s more of a purple color, with a touch of pink running around each of her twitching nostrils.  The vixen’s mouth hangs partway open, her eyes hang slightly closed, and her ears lazily begin to flatten as she slowly raises a hand toward her face.  It’s about halfway there, just out of the water, when her eyes slam shut, her ears flip firmly down, and her head lurches forwards.
   The slender fox lets out a high-pitched squeak of a sneeze.  Her muzzle completely misses the hand that was trying to catch the blast, sending a light mist out over the water instead, and her sensitive nose ends up sticking directly into the seawater.  The vixen reels back with a sudden gasp, her nose now definitely pinker.  She opens her mouth to speak, but doesn’t get any farther than, “Oh, no . . . I’m gonnehhh . . . Ehk’tchiew! Hik’tchiew! Hak’TCHIEW!”  Luckily for her, these sneezes are all caught in her cupped hands.
   “Bless you.  Are you okay?” the otter asks, a definite note of concern in her voice.
   The vixen sniffles, rubbing her temperamental canine nose with a finger.  “Yeah, I just got a little bit of water up my—Hit’chiew!—up my nose,” she replies, a sudden sneeze overtaking her in the middle of her sentence.  “What about you?”
   It’s now the otter’s turn to sniffle a bit, her large, oval nose giving a good twitch as she does so.  “Me too, I think, but I’ll be fine.”
   “Lucky you,” says the vixen, who’s traded off rubbing her nose for pinching it between her thumb and forefinger.  “If I get any of this up my muzzle I start to sneeze.  Happens at the pool, too.  But I like swimming, so I have to manage.”
   “That can’t be pleasant when you have such a *sniff* sensitive nose,” coos the otter.  The sniffle that interrupts her sentence is followed by several harsher sniffles after its completion. 
   “Are you sure you’ll be okay?” asks the vixen.  “You sound a little congested.”
   “I’ll be fine,” the otter insists politely.  A second later, her nose betrays her with another violent twitch, making the otter’s breath catch.  She brings herself back under control quickly, only to find the vixen giving her a knowing look.
   “You could really use a good sneeze, dear,” she insists.  “Hek’kttch!  . . . just like I could, heh.”
   The otter gives an experimental sniff.  The tingling sensation in her muzzle becomes a low-level burning itch as air rushes through her nasal passages.  It hurts, it makes her eyes water, and it’s definitely not enough of a tickle to make her sneeze.  She’s confused—she usually doesn’t have trouble sneezing.  Either her nose feels fine or it tickles and makes her blast out one of her typical powerful explosions.  This teasing burn is entirely new to her.
   “I think it’s stuhh . . . stuck,” she gasps, a tear running down each of her cheeks.
   “Let me help,” the vixen offers.  “I know a theh-hih!-thing or two about dealing with muzzles that just don’t want to sneeze.  Like mine.”
   The otter leads her over to her rolled-out towel, and the two girls sit down together, lounging back a bit, their tails sticking out between their legs.  The vixen, still alternately pinching or rubbing at her nose, smiles. 
   “If you need a little bit of help getting over the edge, I find that looking at the sun is just the trick.”  She turns toward the sun slowly as she speaks, raising her cupped hands into the perfect position to catch the sneezes when they come.  Once she’s fully facing the hot sun, she carefully brings her head up, but by bit.  Every slight tilt makes her eyes slide just a little more shut, her mouth crack open a little wider, and her ears flatten just a touch more.  The otter finds herself somewhat mesmerized; she knows what’s coming, but she doesn’t know exactly when it will happen.  The anticipation builds until finally the vixen lurches forward with another squeaky sneezing fit.
   “Ihk’tchiew!  Hek’tchiew!  Nit’tchiew!  AHK’SHIEEW!”  The final sneeze is forceful enough to bring the vixen into a sitting position.  She rests her forearms on her knees, and gives her sensitive nose a quick pull before letting out a sigh of relief. 
   “Ahh, much better.”  The vixen basks in the feeling of a clean muzzle for a moment before seeming to remember the sniffly, gaspy otter sitting next to her.  “Oh, right.  Why don’t you give it a shot?  Just don’t be too fast, you need to ease yourself into it.” 
   The otter tries the same slow movements that she just saw the vixen perform, turning her face to the sun and then slowly lifting her chin to bring her eyes more into the light.  The tingling in her nose grows more intense and tears flow from her eyes as the bright light makes her squint, but it isn’t enough to make her sneeze.  After about thirty seconds of this, the otter lowers her head, dejected.  “Dod edough,” she mumbles with a sniffle, becoming more congested by the second. 
   The vixen frowns for a moment in thought before her amber eyes light up.  “Don’t worry, I have an idea!”  Suddenly she glances around furtively and lowers her voice.  “There’s nobody watching us too closely, is there?” 
   The otter really isn’t the one to ask that question, half-blinded with tears as she is, but she pans the immediate area anyway.  “I dode thig so.  Why?” 
   In fact, a few of the other beachgoers had glanced over at the vixen’s sudden sneezing fit, but now that the moment is passed they have turned their attention to other matters.  Confident that they aren’t drawing too much attention, the vixen turns back to the otter.  “My idea is just . . . a little weird.  Stay there for a second, would you?”  She props herself up on one elbow, dropping her other hand to examine her tail.  The sun works fast—it’s almost completely dry, only a tiny bit still damp.  Perfect. 
   “I think I’ll try tickling your nose with my tail.”
   The sniffling otter cocked an eyebrow curiously but said nothing.
   “It’s another good option for a troublesome muzzle.  When I have a stuck sneeze and I can’t sleep, I find a few swipes over my nose is enough to set me straight.  What do you think?”
   “Worth a shod,” says the congested otter, her twitchy nose now a definite shade of purple-pink.
   The vixen shifts her weight a bit and twists, angling her tail off of the towel.  She swishes it back and forth a few times in the same way that foxes do to indicate a happy mood, making sure that it runs through an area of loose, fine sand.  The tiny grains cling to her damp fur, giving her tail a definite tan tinge when she finishes. 
   “For good measure,” explains the vixen.  She shifts her weight to the opposite side and flips her tail around, letting it hang near the otter’s face.  “Ready?”
   The sniffling, weary otter nods weakly, and the vixen begins to swish her tail again.  Back and forth, back and forth, the fluffy tip brushing against the otter’s wide nose with each motion.  Fox hairs drag across her flared nostrils over and over, each tickly swipe depositing a few grains of fine sand that either stick to the moist surface of her nose or get sniffled up into her nostrils.  The otter can feel the itch grow slowly.  She can’t be sure, but she thinks that this will finally do the trick. 
   All of a sudden, her breaking point is reached; the fur and sand pushes the otter over the point of no return.  An irresistible tickle blossoms in the depths of her muzzle, and she knows that she wouldn’t be able to stop the sneeze now even if she wanted to.  On some level, she even finds the tickle comforting; this is the sort of sneeze that she’s familiar with.  The otter’s eyes squeeze shut, she takes in a lungful of air, and . . .
   “Aaaaahhhhh . . . AAAAHHHHHH . . . YAAAHHTCCHHHOOOOOOO!!”
   Now it’s the otter’s turn to sneeze herself into a sitting-up position; she has to plant her hands on her thighs for fear of doing a full forward roll.  Unfortunately, this means she doesn’t even try to cover her massive sneeze.  Her bleary eyes open to show her a faceful of red-orange tail, dusted with tiny tan specks.  The part of the vixen’s tail that got sneezed on is now a sticky mess; most of the last third is at least somewhat wet.  The otter groans a bit and sniffles, then her eyes pop open and she reels back as the sniffle sucks sand and fur back up into her nostrils.  A thin line of mucous trails from each of her nostrils to the tail as she gears up for another mighty sneeze.  She tries to stand, but has barely started when . . .
   The otter opens her eyes this time to find herself on her hands and knees, breasts hanging beneath her, and a thick, splattery mess over a large part of her towel.  For a second it looks like she’s finished, then the residual fur, sand, and maybe a hint of leftover seawater still irritating her nose sets her on the path for another sneeze. 
   The otter is in a tickly, sneezy haze.  Some part of her is convinced that standing up will help her get the tickle out of her nose, maybe a sort of half-baked plan by her brain to try to walk back to the ocean and snort out the irritation underwater, forgetting how this whole mess started.  Regardless, as she hitches and gasps and gears up for another explosion, she tries to get to her feet.  Her knees lock at the exact same instant her eyes close completely, and after holding her pre-sneeze expression for one precious moment, the explosion building up in her nasal passages is finally released.
   The otter doubles over completely with a titanic, uncovered sneeze, spraying out a huge cloud of mist that hangs in the air.  All eyes are on her now after her two previous explosions, and those behind her, including the vixen, are treated to a wonderfully framed view of her shapely rear as her thick, heavy tail whips up towards the sky.  Those in front of her get an even better show as the strings of her bikini top, not meant to withstand such energetic reactions, break, freeing the otter girl’s ample breasts to independently bounce up and down and to the sides as they follow the motion of their owner’s body.
   All is silent as the dark-furred otter straightens up except for the sound of a single long, thick sniffle.  She brings a finger up to rub at her large, pink nose, and pauses as she sees everyone staring at her.  A moment later the feeling of the breeze on her chest alerts her to her toplessness, and she quickly uses her other arm to collect her jiggly assets.  The second one takes two tries for her hand to catch it, but she manages.  The usually confident otter girl feels herself blushing slightly, and tries to ease the tension with the first thing that comes to mind.
   “Umm . . . *sniffle* . . . excuse me?” she offers, her voice soft but not quavering.
   That breaks the spell, triggering a long round of bless yous and gesundheits from the other beachgoers.  From somewhere in the crowd comes a shout of “Yeah!  Bless ya, hot stuff!” that the otter tries to ignore, although she feels her blush deepen.
   It takes quite a while for things to settle down, much longer than it did after the vixen’s sneezes, but after a while most everybody has moved on, except for a few guys that are still leering at her.  The otter gathers up her bikini top and presses it over her chest, tying the broken strings into a knot over the back of her neck that should hopefully hold long enough for her to get home.  Still sniffling irregularly, she begins to fold up her towels.  She’s had enough fun for the day. 
   “I’m sorry about your tail,” she offers as she gathers her belongings.
   The vixen dismisses her concern with a wave.  “Don’t be.  It’s seen worse.  Besides, I was going to have to wash the sand out of it anyway.  I feel like I should apologize to you, if I’d known you were that . . . energetic, I would have left out the sand.”
   The otter finds enough good humor in the situation to chuckle.  “I’ve always had a big sneeze, but never anything quite like that, heh.” 
   The vixen smiles back.  “Well, that makes me feel better, thanks.”
   They say their goodbyes and the otter heads for home, wanting a shower and a change of clothes.  Despite everything, she finds herself smiling.  Sure, she’s lost some dignity, but she’s gained a friend, and that seems like a pretty good trade.

Writer's Den / [F] Thyla-sneeze
« on: August 13, 2016, 05:12:34 AM »
This is an idea that's been knocking around in my skull for a while.  I thought I'd try writing a species that we haven't seen around here yet (as far as I know).  I originally planned for this to be longer, but the rest didn't seem to materialize.  Maybe I'll write a sequel sometime, if I feel so inspired.

Daedalus and Playstation Man can consider this my thank-you for bringing an old request of mine to life, and in the process motivating me to turn my idea into text.  I hope you two in particular find this tale enjoyable; I was thinking of you both with every keystroke!

As always, I appreciate feedback.  Please don't be shy!

Kathleen really hated being a thylacine. 
   Life as one of only a few hundred of your kind left on the planet is every bit as lonely as it sounds, and she found it appalling just how few people even seemed aware of her species’ existence.  Over the years she’d been mistaken for an opossum, a kangaroo, and an abnormally large and deformed rat, just to name some of the more humiliating cases. 
Not that those who recognized her for what she was were much better.  There was an international committee with the goal of furthering her species’ survival, and whose policies forced each thylacine to go through weekly medical checkups to ensure he or she stayed physically and sexually healthy at all times.  Heaven help her if she ever did so much as catch a cold.  Then there was the matter of how those same doctors and bureaucrats were always trying to pair her off with one of the few male thylacines her age.  All the prodding, both literally and figuratively, was enough to drive a girl mad.  At least they didn’t force her to walk around in one of those plastic bubbles . . .
   She also hated how her first name and species name rhymed.  It might seem trivial compared to everything else, but any mention of “Kathleen the Thylacine” grated on her nerves.  Given the choice, she would have referred to herself as a Tasmanian tigress, but her parents would have none of it and she’d learned the hard way that that term tended to irritate actual tigers. 

   It was a lovely fall afternoon as Kathleen left the doctor’s office, grumbling and growling under her breath in annoyance.  She’d checked out fine, except for her usual autumn hay fever.  Despite working on her for years, the doctors always felt the need to run the same tests when her symptoms began to kick in.  She wasn’t sure why.  The only explanation she could think of was worry that her reaction might inexplicably worsen to the level of anaphylactic shock, but she was fairly certain that was impossible.  Not to mention, if that did happen, she’d never survive the walk to see them anyway.
   One of the few good things Kathleen could say about leading such a medically scoured life was that she was keenly aware of everything she was allergic to.  Most things didn’t bother her too much, but ragweed and a few kinds of flowers sent the poor thylacine into nasty sneezing fits.  The crisp breeze blowing down the street brought plenty of pollen from the former plant into her sensitive nostrils, immediately triggering an uncovered, messy sneeze. 
   “Bless you!” replied a very familiar voice.  She sniffled and despite her situation allowed herself a faint smile.  The pollen wasn’t the only thing she knew would be greeting her.
   Connor was a weasel, and a friend of hers going back all the way to fourth grade.  He was a clever, cheery fellow who always seemed to know how to put a smile on her muzzle and a swish in her tail.  She’d been bringing him along as moral support on her weekly doctor’s trips for years now—he wasn’t allowed in the exam room with her, of course, but he liked to walk her there and back and usually looked around in the bookstore next door while he waited for her to finish. 
   “Healthy except for the allergies?” he asked her. 
   “What do you think?” she responded in a biting tone.  Immediately she regretted it; she wasn’t upset with him, after all.
   But Connor was used to his friend’s post-examination hostility.  He came closer, bringing his head even with hers.  “I think,” he began, a mischievous grin on his face, “that someone looks like she needs to sneeze again.  Bless you in advance, Kathy!”
   She tried to grit her teeth at his teasing, but the tickle from the ragweed was overpowering.  She felt it creep farther back into her tender muzzle, forcing her to throw back her head and drop her jaw quite dramatically as she took a deep, desperate breath.
   Kathleen had never had a ladylike sneeze.  They were loud, powerful, and came blasting out of her at such a vicious pace that she barely had time to breathe.  Her bad habit of not covering herself also led to her splattering thick, clear slime all over the sidewalk in front of her and forming a large cloud of slowly dissipating mist in front of her face.  The thylacine gasped at the end of her fit and took a moment to recover.  A sniffle failed to deal with the tendrils of mucous hanging from her bright pink nostrils and she had to wipe them away with her hand.
   Connor’s finely honed weasel reflexes let him dart to the side just ahead of the disaster.  As Kathleen finished wiping her nose and turned to pinching her raw nose closed, Connor found the item he was looking for and fished it out of his pocket. 
   “Five in a row!  Good show, Kathy!”  He winked.  “You look like you could use a few of these.”  With that, he passed her a fresh package of tissues. 
   She snatched them out of his grasp, bringing a handful to her face quickly both to attend to her runny nose and cover the blush she felt quickly spreading over her cheeks.  Damn him for being able to embarrass her and make it impossible to be upset with him at the same time!  The thylacine let out a long, gurgling blow into the mass of tissue, then felt something spike deep in her left nostril.
   “HHCHMMMMMPPPFFF!”  The muffled sneeze finished clearing out her nasal passages.  With a sigh of relief, she tossed the soaked wad into the nearest trash can. 
   “Thank you,” she offered, her voice quavering just a tiny bit from relief.  The frustration with her doctors, the misery of her allergies, and all of her pent-up anger began to fade, and she felt her lips part in a real smile. 
   Connor noticed, and gave her a playful pat on the back.  “Just doing my job, Kathy.  Now come on, let’s get you home before you’re a sneezy mess again, for your sake and the sidewalk’s.”
   With shared chuckle, they started off.

EDIT:. Fixed some minor grammatical and continuity errors.

Writer's Den / [F + Mature] Dueling Dragonesses
« on: June 27, 2016, 06:55:48 AM »
Here's a story I've been working on for a couple of days now, for you F-lovers.  It has mythic creatures in it and it's a little naughty, neither of which are things I've tried before.  I'll probably go back to PG-rated mammals for my next story, honestly. 

Hope you like it!  Comments are welcome!

   For centuries have the dragons of fire and the dragons of ice inhabited the far reaches of the world, neither group pleased at the other’s presence.  The fire dragons, brash and fierce, have struck many times at their collected and calculating brethren, but never have gained more than a fleeting advantage.  When the ice dragons strike, an occurrence with barely a tenth the frequency of their hotheaded foes, the attacks are planned and precise, but can only be imposed upon the indomitable will of the fire dragons with great difficulty.  As both sides know that they are at a severe disadvantage in their enemy’s home climate, they bicker over the more temperate regions that lie between.  So it was that two young dragons met a match in each other. 
   Seraphina was everything that a dragoness fresh to adulthood could aspire to be.  She was strong, quick, keen of senses, and possessing both an unbreakable spirit and a most pleasing appearance.  Her scales were the brilliant red of fresh blood, and her crest was a fiery orange shot through with yellow, proud coloring displaying her heritage as one of the hotbreaths.  Her eyes were slit-pupiled and almond in shape, their color a shimmering violet, and she had a powerful snout, longer than the draconic average and somewhat broader as well for most of its length.  From above, it clearly narrowed, like a stretched cone, as one proceeded flush from her face down toward her nose and mouth.  Like all dragons, it was smooth except near the tip, where her almond-shaped nostrils protruded partially above the surface, two humps of soft nasal tissue that were the rims of the entrances to her nasal cavity.  Her nostrils were large enough for her to inhale an acorn easily, and flared wider at each inhale.  Large for a dragon, she stood ten feet tall, with a wingspan to match if she let the appendages on her back stretch out.  But she was not just muscle; the dragoness boasted wide, swaying hips and a generous bust beneath her suit of form-fitting chainmail armor.  With a longbow and a broadsword crossed over her back, Seraphina was, to all appearances, a force to be reckoned with as she swooped low over the forest treetops, searching for intruders.
   As her wings carried her over the trees, Seraphina felt a faint, ticklish twinge dance around the edges of her cavernous nostrils.  A quick twitch of her snout killed the sensation, but it was replaced by a twinge of irritation in her gut.  Loath as she was to admit it, some of the plants in this forest triggered a terrible reaction in her snout if she got too close to them, and to make matters worse, she still hadn’t nailed down which they were.  The slight tickle returned as her labored breathing drew a few grains of offending pollen into her nasal passages; she reached up with her hand to rub the itch away.
In the clutter below, another dragoness was preparing in a rather different way.  Gwyneth was likewise considered an individual of talent beyond her years by her fellow ice dragons, but instead of the art of war, her abilities lay in the art of magic.  Although she disliked being away from the comforting cold of her mountain home, the importance of regular sojourns into the wilds was not lost on her.  The ice dragons were not ones for long, tiring patrol schedules, but rather fortified the wilderness by building hidden outposts and supply caches deep in the forests, canyons, and swamps.  Gwyneth was in the latter environment, tending to a magical workshop and laboratory she had built in a small cave.  She carefully catalogued her potions and reagents, and then readied her cauldron to a brew.  Lacking the ability to breathe fire, she had to create the heat source in a more typical fashion, but before too long the stage was set for some magical experimentation. 
    Gwyneth cut a very different image compared to the draconic amazon in the skies above.  At only eight and a half feet tall, she was on the shorter size of dragons, and much lighter in frame.  This climate was far too warm for her liking, which was reflected in her choice of clothing—like any self-respecting mage, she wore robes, but her current white set was much thinner and shorter than most.  Her scales were a combination of blue and slate gray, dark, but not deep in hue, and speaking to the chill that defined her species.  Her crest was a stunning whitish silver, and her eyes, also slit-pupiled and almond-shaped, were a blue so light as to seem ethereal, the color of the purest ice.  Her snout was of average length and quite narrow, with a more cylindrical profile for most of its length, and while like all dragons her nostrils rose above the otherwise smooth curve of her snout, they were average in size.  She could fit an acorn into one, but only just. 
   Said nostrils flared noticeably as a tiny bit of smoke danced across them.  Gwyneth meant to sniffle at the irritation but it came out as a snort, drawing in far more air than she had intended.  Unfortunately, this caused the whole tendril of smoke from her little fire to get sucked up her right nostril. 
   Most ice dragons were sensitive to smoke, but a wisp of the black vapor was not usually enough to cause a sneeze on its own.  Unfortunately for Gwyneth, she was one of the few ice dragons whose sensitivity to smoke was far more severe, equivalent to a serious allergy.  Too late she realized she should have built her fire closer to the entrance for better ventilation.  Her eyes watered and squeezed shut, her reddened nostrils flared, her mouth opened, and her head craned back as she took in a deep breath. 
   By ice dragon standards it was an average sneeze.  A gust of icy wind exploded out of Gwyneth, quenching her fire, and a shower of tiny, needle-sharp shards of frozen mucous scoured her cauldron and the ground in front of her.  Not as flashy as a sneeze from the rival species of dragons, but almost as lethal to anything lacking in armored scales. 
   But Gwyneth wasn’t finished.  Her eyes cracked open for just a second before the rest of her sneezing fit overcame her.
   Sharp, tiny ice crystals covered everything in one half of the cave, and the materials she was about to brew into a potion were ruined.  Gwyneth muttered an ancient, universal draconic curse and began to tidy up her mess.
Seraphina could have sworn she heard something down below, and headed down to investigate.  The fire dragoness landed with a surprising amount of silence and grace for her size, hoping to find it on the ground.  It might have been nothing, sure, but it could have easily been just what she was looking for. 
   The entrance to a small, dark cavern caught Seraphina’s eye.  She crept closer.  As she did so, her ears picked up new sounds.  There were wisps of what she soon recognized as draconic, and . . . sniffling?  She ignored the latter sound, and a predatory grin spread across her face at the former.  There weren’t supposed to be any fire dragons around here, and this coldbreath had no idea she was coming.  The better to take him or her back for interrogation to find out just what they were up to around here. 
   Soon she was but a few steps from the entrance.  Wanting to be sure of her quarry, she took a slow, deep breath in through her nose.  The tactic let her pick up even faint scents without an audible sniff, and it worked.  Her sharp senses picked up a female ice dragon, as well as what could only be magical supplies. 
   However, she could also smell something else, something stronger than any of that.  A calm, sweet odor filled her nose.  Seraphina opened her eyes, looked down, and saw a large bunch of white flowers at her feet.  Simultaneously, a ferocious tickle dug into her nasal passages, causing her to stiffen and her eyes widen in shock and alarm. 
   No!  Not now!  Seraphina gritted her teeth and began to massage her wide nostrils with her hands, desperately trying to quell the sneeze.  It was a losing battle, but she fought it will all of her will, holding out hope that she would be able to hold it back.  Despite the fact that she was sucking in air to prepare for a mighty sneeze, her build-up was almost completely silent. 
   The fire dragoness was quite the sight to see, rearing back in a series of jerky motions, frantically rubbing, squeezing, and scratching at her snout as she slowly succumbed to a sneeze, and yet barely making a sound.  Unfortunately for Seraphina, the volume of the release was something she had never been able to dampen, much less muffle.
   A thunderous “RRRRAAAAAAAKKKSSSHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!” shook the swamp.  Seraphina’s powerful body bent double, and the ground at her feet—including the offending blooms—was turned to ash by the jets of flame that shot from her mouth and nostrils, flame hot enough to heat her metal armor to a glow.  A large gout of smoke follows, expanding in all directions.  The tickle in her nose was gone—a benefit of being a fire dragon is that sneezes almost always clean one’s nasal passages out—but she knew that the damage was done.

   Gwyneth was stunned by the sudden noise, and the rush of fire.  She’d been discovered!  Quickly she sprang to her feet, ready to do battle with the intruder, only to have a thick, smoky wind strike her dead in the face.  Again the ice dragoness’s eyes watered, her nostrils flared, and she gasped with equal parts dismay and need to sneeze.  Through her teary eyes, she made out the shape of a massive figure appear in the entrance and begin walking towards her. 

   Seraphina’s nose earned a bit of redemption as she caught sight of her quarry.  Definitely an ice dragon, definitely a mage.  The smoke coupled with the relative darkness of the cave would normally have made it hard to see in here, but her heated armor gave off plenty of light to counteract those factors.  Sword drawn, Seraphina moved carefully closer.  She expected any of a half-dozen spells the mage could use to try and block her path, and was surprised when she encountered none.  What was this ice dragon doing?  Seraphina moved closer, getting a better view of her quarry’s face.  She felt another bolt of surprise, but also understanding, as she recognized the mage’s expression.  It was one that had been on the fire dragon’s face just a few seconds before.  Grinning again, Seraphina got in close.

   It just wasn’t fair, Gwyneth lamented mentally as her body prepared for another sneezing fit.  Why did such a promising wizard as herself have to have an allergy to a substance so closely related to her enemies?  Even this dragon’s mistake wouldn’t be enough to save her.  That she didn’t fancy being a prisoner in a raging volcano was the last thought that went through her mind before more sneezes wracked her frame.
   Again, thousands of tiny frozen needles were ejected from Gwyneth’s nostrils, hitting the fire dragon before her and scattering off of her scales and armor.  But the maelstrom of ice coupled with the burst of flame from earlier was too much thermal stress for the rings in the chainmail to take.  One by one, they shattered, sending little metal shards in all directions to join the tiny fragments of ice.  By the time Gwyneth was finished sneezing, Seraphina’s armor had been completely destroyed.

   The fury of this little wizard’s sneezing fit caught Seraphina off-guard, making her drop her sword.  She closed her eyes and held up her hands to try and block the flurry of darts, but this did little to block the stinging pain that she felt all over her frontside, including more than a few stings in her nose.  As the wind died down, she felt something slide off her shoulders.  Upon opening her eyes, she was stunned to see that it was the last of her armor, which appeared to have exploded.  Tiny bits of metal were all around her, and she was immediately both grateful than no metal or ice hit her in the eyes and mortified at her sudden nudity. 
   Suddenly, an all-too-familiar sensation called her attention forward.  Sure, nothing had gotten into her eyes, but Seraphina quickly became aware that a fair amount of ice and metal had been deflected into her regrettably large nostrils, and it was going to make her sneeze.  Again.  She felt a rush of panic as for the second time since she landed she began to inhale deeply, over and over again.

   Gwyneth felt a sense of smug satisfaction as she saw the results of her sneezes on her enemy’s armor.  It certainly showed that arrogant hotbreath!  Then she saw the fire dragoness flare her nostrils and throw her head back.  Her feeling of vindication disappeared as she realized her back was against the wall, she couldn’t get around the intruder on either side, and she had no time to cast a protection spell. 
   This was not going to be a pleasant experience.

   White-hot flames burst from Seraphina’s face in all directions.  The ice dragon mage took the brunt of the blast, and the remainder went into the magical supplies to either side.  Both the supplies and her quarry’s clothes were incinerated by the heat, barely leaving behind any ash or smoke.  She sniffled and after a second pulled herself up from her doubled-over position.  The ice dragoness didn’t appear to be hurt, but Seraphina could tell she was just as embarrassed as she herself felt.  For a moment, the two of them locked eyes, in silent acknowledgement of what had just taken place.
   After an indeterminate amount of time, the mage broke the silence.  “Let’s make a deal.”
   “What?”  Seraphina didn’t know what she had expected to hear, but that was not it.
   “Look, you’re out what I can only imagine was quite an expensive suit of armor, and I’ve just lost all of the supplies I’ve been stockpiling here for the last three weeks.  So let’s call each other even, go home, and never speak of this again.  What do you say?” 
   Seraphina was stunned.  This went against everything she had been taught—everything that they both had been trained for!  She knew she should apprehend this wizard and take her home; as the stronger one, she was confident she would be able to do so.  And yet, if she decided to take that option, she would have to give a full report to her superiors, detailing exactly what had happened here.
   No.  She was embarrassed enough as it was—there was no way she would let this incident go on the record.  Better to sneak home, get some clothes, and figure out a lie later. 
   “Alright,” she said simply.  And not knowing what else to do, she grabbed her sword, backed out of the cave, leapt into the air, and set course for the southern volcanoes.

   Gwyneth poked her head out of the cave enough to be sure that her foe was really leaving before allowing herself a sigh of relief.  She had talked a powerful hotbreath warrior into not taking her hostage.  She was still a free dragon!
   A faint odor of char in the cave tickled her snout, and she let out a final “RAAAAHHTCHOOOO!”, this time catching it a hand.  The sneeze served as a reminder that she really should get out of here.  At least it wasn’t a total loss, despite what she had told the fire dragon; she still had her cauldron.  Taking it in her arms, she too took to the sky, heading in the opposite direction, toward the northern mountains.  If anyone asked what had happened to her, she would just claim a spell went wrong.  Certainly such things happened to mages often enough.
   With a final sigh of relief, she headed for home.

Writer's Den / The Premiere [F]--Now Complete!
« on: October 11, 2015, 05:14:15 PM »
Just a little something I wrote based on one of Paws's ideas from this thread: 

I'm busy and suffering from writer's block right now, but I hope to put up part 2 eventually. 

Here's the prompt I started with: 

-A pair of journalists -- female/female, male/male, male/female -- are invited to an exclusively private viewing of the latest and greatest show of some sort (be it opera, musical, movie, or something of a similarly intimate nature) in order to get information for the latest column they are writing. However, while Character A is faring well, Character B is in the throes of a bad head cold. Character A tries their best to keep them quiet -- offering them tissues, quietly shushing them, perhaps even teasing them about their situation -- while trying not to let the interruptions disrupt the show.

Please comment and let me know what you all think!

Damn, it’s cold, Ryan thought. 

The raccoon did a better job of hiding his discomfort then most, though.  While other city-dwellers shuffled through the streets and alleys grumpily, occasionally pausing to adjust scarves, mittens, tail socks, and jackets, Ryan moved at a faster pace, his hands in his pockets, sometimes whistling a few notes just to watch his breath condense in the icy air.  Most people ignored him; others stole glances as he passed, clearly wondering if he was completely insane.  None of this bothered Ryan, however.  Not many young men go into journalism, and fewer still have known that they wanted to write for the newspaper since they were six years old.  He was okay with being considered a bit of a wierdo by the general public; it was certainly nothing new.  The raccoon barely gave most passerby a second thought, his mind focused on the task at hand.  He came to the front of a typical apartment complex, stopped to glance around, and then proceeded up a flight of stairs, finally coming to rest as he rang the bell on a particular door. 

“Damn this cold,” Lydia muttered. 

At least, that’s what she wanted to say, but her heavily congested muzzle corrupted the words into something closer to “Dab dis gode.”  She then proceeded to cough harshly several times, before being quite surprised by the sound of her doorbell ringing.  The rather small and scrawny hyena-girl jumped at the sound, her little yelp of fear morphing into a surprised screech as she slid off of her comfortable place on the couch, accompanied by her wrap of blankets, pillow, and tissue box, hitting the floor with a dull thump.  A second later she scrambled to her feet, kicked off a stubborn coil of blankets clinging to her leg, and half hopped, half fell the rest of the short distance from her sofa to the door.  With a slight adjustment to her bathrobe, she undid the lock and partially opened the door, poking her head out through the crack.

“Hello, Lyd, are you ready to—oh my, are you all right?”

Ryan noticed his co-writer’s bright pink nose, matching the color of her fluffy bathrobe, almost immediately. 

“I thought you would be ready to leave by now.  We have to be at the theatre in an hour, remember?” 

Lydia furrowed her eyebrows and frowned slightly, not breaking eye contact. 

“We . . . have special tickets to the premiere of that new musical?  I sent you a text message.  Don’t tell me you forgot.”

“Ryad, I’b sigk.  I dode thig I cad cub alog.  Besides, I’b tode you a hudred tibes dad you hab to e-bail be.”  Lydia sniffled, rubbing her itchy, running nose with a hand.

Normally, Ryan would take the opportunity presented to lightly tease his friend about her dislike of any technology that didn’t exist in the 20th century, but in this case he was more concerned with the first half of her statement. 

“When did you get sick?  Come on, Lydia, we’re a team.  We write our column together.  People read our work to see us bounce back and forth off of each other, and we can’t do that if only one of us sees this musical.”

“Baybe you could regord id for be ad I’d loog ad id lader?”, the hyena asked hopefully.

Ryan sighed.  “That’s illegal.” 

“Cad you jusd *sniff* brig a sigk bersod lige be indo the theader?”

The raccoon considered that for a moment.  “Well, this is the special preliminary showing we’re going to.  There should only be a few people there besides us.  You’ll do just fine.”  His voice became more desperate.  “Please, Lydia.  I need your help.”

The hyena did nothing but sniffle sharply, meeting his gaze.

Ryan decided that it was time to change tactics.  Putting on a pleasant smile, he began.

“If I were sick, I know that a particular friend and co-worker of mine would still drag me off to wherever we needed to be, because I know that this individual has a great respect for the concept of deadlines and the importance of putting out a weekly column every week.” 

Lydia rolled her eyes and sighed deeply.  “Fide, I’ll cub with you, bud odly begause you asged dicely.”  *sniff*

Ryan’s smile doubled in size.  “Great!  Why don’t you change into some clothes and while you’re doing that I’ll run down to the corner store and pick up some tissue packs for you, does that sound all right?”

The hyena merely nodded slowly, rubbing her nose again.  This time, the tickle in her muzzle rose out of her control, and her body lurched forward with a sudden, loud “Hap’TISH!”

“Bless you!” Ryan called over his shoulder, already halfway down the first flight of stairs.

With another sigh, Lydia shut the door and began to change into her nice, dark blue dress, stopping to use a few more tissues and sneeze a couple more times. 

“Ap’TISH!  Hep-Hap-HAP’TISSHH!!”

She could feel herself growing sicker by the minute, but she reminded herself that her co-writer had a point and, in any case, a promise is a promise.

Writer's Den / [F] On Ice
« on: March 18, 2015, 12:24:51 AM »
So, I know that the free raffle I hosted was forever ago, but I had more difficulty writing than I thought I would.  I hate to go back on my promises, but I'm not sure that I'll ever get around to doing the other two stories.  I'm sorry.

With that said, here's my contribution for Megacycle, who asked for a sick female superhero story: 

On Ice:

Jeanette Wilder slowly came through the automatic doors of the office building in which she worked.  The snow leopard knew that she wasn’t late—at least, not yet—and was surely taking her time.  She showed her company ID card to the clerk at the front desk and then set off toward the elevators with a sniffle.  With a slight pause, she ran a hand across her nose, murmuring something unpleasant about the cold she knew she was getting.

   Most people wouldn’t have given Jeanette a second glance as she walked by—just another person minding her own business on the sidewalk, in a restaurant, or here at work.  But she was different.  She was one of a group of individuals with special abilities who worked day and night to defend the city and keep its occupants safe, whether they knew it or not.  There was Skyrocket, the bat who could take to the air at near-supersonic speed and had enhanced echolocation that could stun opponents; Shockwave, an unbelievably strong rhino who could stomp out earthquakes if he felt so inclined; Firebolt and Flamejet, twin fox sisters who could ignite most things with a touch and hurl their namesakes if necessary, and finally Jeanette, with the ability to freeze objects and launch icy rays, who went by the name Blizzard. 

   Of course, these were not the sort of powers that came naturally to most individuals, and all of them had to do their best to keep their abilities hidden from the “ordinary” people of the world.  Jeanette and her allies worked for nobody, kept in contact in only the most clandestine ways, and generally tried to do nothing that would compromise their identities in their day-to-day lives.  Unfortunately, there are some times when it is all too easy to slip up and be caught—and Jeanette was worried that she might be edging closer to one of those now.  Another rub of her nose dulled the annoying tingling making itself known in her nasal passages, and she hoped against hope that that would be the end of it. 

   The elevator stopped, its doors opening smoothly thanks to a dedicated maintenance staff.  It nearly reminded Jeanette of a hotel elevator, only lacking the faint *ding* sound those made.  She stepped out onto her floor, took a right turn, and headed for her desk.  The feline woman stole a glance at the wall clock as she walked.  8:29, still on time if only by the smallest amount.  Her near-lateness did not worry Jeanette; she had been almost struck by far worse things than a lecture from her supervisor. 

   Her curved ears gave a minute twitch as she passed by some other employees, catching fragments of their conversations.  There was always something to talk about the day after one of her sojourns as “Blizzard”, and she found it advantageous to get the layperson’s view as to what happened—the better to be able to repeat it if she were asked herself if she had heard the news. 

   “They were at it again, yesterday.  I can’t believe it!  How could . . .”

   “I heard Blizzard was lucky; those thugs would have hurt her bad if she hadn’t iced ‘em.”

   A faint shiver ran down Jeanette’s spine.  She did not want to think about that again.  The group she had been up against the previous night had had much better equipment than anything her force had met before, and only through a monumentally powerful blast of her icy powers had they been able to win.  Now that survival was no longer an immediate need, Jeanette was noting her suspicions as to the source of the powerful gear, but another twitch of her triangular nose reminded her of the strain her maneuver yesterday had placed on her body.  Apparently, she was not completely immune to her own control of the subzero.  The snow leopard knew she should be grateful that she only had caught a cold, but that thought did not improve her mood. 

   At long last, she reached her desk.  As she slid into her chair, Jeanette let out a small sigh, drawing the attention of her two closest co-workers:  a neat, orderly skunk named Brianna, and Devin, a small, glasses-wearing mouse.  Both noticed her lethargic posture and dulled eyes. 

   “You alright?” Brianna asked.

   Jeanette made a dismissive wave with one hand.  “Think I’m getting sick, but I’m not too bad yet, and I remembered what the boss said about how I was needed today.” 

   “Oh.  Well, let us know if you need anything,” the skunk offered.

“Thanks, but I’ll be fine,” Jeanette replied, sounding slightly congested.  Her companions returned to their own work, and Jeanette reflected that she should do the same.  Doing her best to put the steadily-increasing tickle in her muzzle out of her mind, she signed into her computer and turned to the stack of paperwork next to her. 

Ten minutes later, Jeanette was finally resigned that her attempts to tame her nose with willpower would not succeed.  What had started as an annoying tingling around the rims of her black nostrils had been slowly working its way backwards into her muzzle.  The tickle itself wasn’t terrible, but its coverage was still threatening to trigger a sneeze soon, and Jeanette knew that letting one of those out in front of her co-workers—or anyone, for that matter—was simply not an option.  Hoping for a moment of solace, she pulled a tissue out of the travel pack in her purse and blew.  It left behind a film of slightly yellow mucous, which she wiped away with another tissue, but it did nothing to alleviate the burning sensation inside her nostrils.  There was no way around it—Jeanette was going to sneeze soon, and she would rather do so on her own terms. 

With a harsh sniffle, she pushed herself out of her chair and began to make her way to the women’s restroom, trying to ignore the sideways glance Brianna gave her.  The feline carefully pushed open the door, silently praying for no one else to be present.  A quick glance at the stalls confirmed a lack of any feet.  With a sigh of relief, Jeanette made her way toward the furthest stall from the door. 
The extra space of the handicapped stall was a small blessing for Jeanette.  The snow leopard carefully closed the door behind her and turned the lock, just in case.  Then she brought her attention forward, to the steadily intensifying itch in her nasal passages. 
A few quick, sharp sniffs sent dense puffs of air through her nose, causing the tickling to spike.  She gasped, her eyes tearing up and closing almost completely.

“uh . . . Heh . . . HEHh . . .”

Suddenly the urge receded just slightly, granting Jeanette no relief and denying her the release she wanted.  With a growl and a clench of her teeth, she tried sniffing again, but barely felt any difference. 

Getting irritated with her stubborn nose, Jeanette brought her tail up between her legs and grasped it in her hands.  She brought the flexible appendage up to her face, touching the fluffiest fur at the end of her tail to the tip of her irritated nose.  Then she took a deep sniff.

The effect was immediate.  Jeanette felt the individual hairs pulled into her nostrils, and the inhale caused them to sway, brushing the inside of her nose.  Immediately the tickle became irresistible.  Her eyes squeezed tightly shut, tears pushed out to run down her cheeks.  Her head and torso craned back as she took in a deep breath, her ears flattened, and her hands came up to catch the impending explosion. 


Jeanette’s spotted tail spiked out behind her, striking the door roughly.  The snow leopard threw herself forward, trying to catch as much of the icy spray she knew was coming in her hands as she sneezed.  There was a pause as the long release ended before Jeanette dared to open her eyes and look around, the monster sneeze having, for the moment, satisfied her nose. 

A coating of yellow slime had frozen to each of her hands, and she stuck out her tongue in disgust at the sight.  A flex of her fingers shattered most of it, but she knew she would need to wash them soon.  Despite her best efforts, the frosty air from her lungs had deposited a coating of ice crystals on the walls, floor, and toilet in front of her.  She groaned inwardly, thinking of the water it would create when it melted.  Hopefully the janitor wouldn’t be too suspicious.

Suddenly, her sensitive ears picked up a sound that caused her heart to sink with dread:  that of a clearing throat.  Jeanette slowly turned around and undid the lock on the door, opening it to reveal Brianna, the skunk standing before her with crossed arms and a knowing smile on her face.  The feline woman felt the blood drain from her face.

“So, is there something you’d like to tell me, Blizzard?

I hope you all enjoy!


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