Friday, 29 September 2017

And the Winner is....

It's time!

The time is here!

In the last 3 months, a few writers have written marvelous stories under the theme of summer.

And although all the stories are winners in the eyes of the judge, there can only be one writer who wins the grand prize.

Who will it be?

- - -

Well, the time is here for me to announce the grand winner of the summer story contest. The writers have waited patiently! (Even though I am SURE they are like, "JUST ANNOUNCE THE WINNER ALREADY, LOST!" XD)

There was 4 entries and although that seems small, it was a lot for me! :D

Before I announce the winner and the runner-up, I want to say my thanks and appreciation to the writers who entered this contest.

Sarahkey8, Snowlondon, Transions, and Swirlshine, thank you SO much for entering your amazing stories! They were all wonderfully written in your own unique writing styles. In my eyes, there is no one winner for you ALL are winners! You went and wrote down an adventure and sent it to me and all those adventures were great and awesome. I can't express how much I enjoyed each of them. They are so unique and different from each other! From superheros saving Jamaa to a sheep that didn't feel important. From two best friends saving the day to a group of friends helping others out.

You all are AMAZING!!! And I'm not just saying that to make you feel good. It's true. :D

But even though it pains me to pick just one, there has to be one winner and one runner-up among you.

To remind you, the winner gets 2 traditional drawings of anything they want me to draw and their story posted on this post and the runner-up gets 1 traditional drawing of anything they want me to draw.

And now, the prize ceremony will begin!

*drum roll*

Picking a winner and runner-up was really hard. But it has to be done.

So! The runner-up of AJJ's summer story contest is someone who wrote a story about friends helping others out and trying to make Jamaa a better place! The runner-up is.....

Congrats, Sarah!! You are the runner-up of this contest which means you get a traditional drawing of anything you want me to draw. (I suck at realistic humans so maybe don't ask for that. XD)

I really enjoyed your story, Sarah! :D And just comment down what you want me to draw and I'll post it on my blog in at LEAST the next month. ^.^ If you need a little time to think on what you want me to draw, that's fine!

Congrats, again, Sarah! ;D

And now! The moment you've all been waiting for!

The winner of AJJ's summer story contest is someone who wrote a tale about two friends who ended up helping a lot of people. The winner is....


Congratulations, Swirl! You are the GRAND winner of this contest which means you get two traditional drawings of anything you want me to draw! (As I said before, I suck at realistic stuff so yeah. If you WANT me to try, go ahead and ask me but it won't turn out as good as my 'cartoon' stuff. XD) Comment down what you want me to draw or if you need a little time to decide what you want me to draw then let back to me later! :D

I loved your story, Swirl! It had great characters and a great plot! I really enjoyed reading it!
And now! As promised, here is Swirl's winning story!
The information about the characters and the story is all written by Swirlshine!



Juniper- A light gray otter with a white underbelly and darker gray fiery swirls. Her eyes are a deep blue. She wears a dark gray Head Flower and dark gray Angel Wings, which match her pattern, along with a black-and-yellow Eclipse Necklace.

Blossom- A dark purple coyote with a white underbelly and greenish-blue eyes. She has a dark gray gizmo pattern, and wears a matching Head Flower, just like her friend Juniper. She also has a purple Designer Skirt, which matches her fur, a light-gray-and-purple Cosmic Necklace, and a purple Friendship Bracelet, given to her by Juniper.

Chapter 1
“Come on, Juniper!” shouted Blossom the coyote, dashing up the sandy path. She stopped for a moment to let her friend catch up.
“I’m coming!” panted a small, light gray otter, coming up behind Blossom. “What’s the rush, anyway?”
“I want to show you something”, Blossom replied, getting up and leading the way, once again not bothering to slow down.
Juniper sighed and ran as fast as she could after her friend, who had disappeared over a hill.
When Juniper reached the top, she blinked. A clearing sat in front of her, covered in sand and rock. Blossom was standing by a stone bench, wagging her tail excitedly. A large stone stretched smoothly up into the air on one side of the bench, and on the other, two unlit tiki torches sat, buried in the sandy ground. Cactuses and other plants and trees bordered the area.
“What… what is this place?” Juniper asked, coming up to Blossom.
“Canyons Pathway!”
When Juniper gave her a confused look, Blossom added, “You know, where Crystal Sands and Coral Canyons connect?”
Juniper blinked.
“You’ve never been here before?” Blossom sounded shocked.
Juniper shook her head. “No.” She gazed around. “Strange… I’ve never heard of this place before. I thought I’d seen every part of Jamaa there is!”
“There’s always something more to see, no matter where you are”, Blossom replied while climbing up onto the large rock. “And most animals don’t come here. They spend all their time in that crowded Township.” She looked down at her friend. “I figured this could be our secret spot for the summer.”
Juniper grinned. “That’s a great idea!”
“Wait. There’s one thing I haven’t shown you yet.” Blossom said. She leaped off the stone, then padded up to a rock wall, which was over both their heads.
Juniper tilted her head. “A wall? Really?”
“No, the thing over it!” Blossom scrambled up the rocks, looking over her shoulder and flicking her tail, urging Juniper to follow.
Once they were both sitting at the top, Blossom pointed downwards with her paw.
“Look! See that stream down there?”
Juniper nodded, watching the swiftly moving water.
“That leads to the rest of lands in Jamaa with water, like the Temple of Zios and Jamaa Township. It may even go beyond that!” The dark purple coyote leaped down off the rock they were sitting on, landing directly onto a ledge.
“Come on!” Blossom urged her friend, who looked anxious. “It’s not hard to make.”
Juniper gulped, but then gathered her courage and leaped. But, instead of landing in the center of the rocky surface, like she’d planned, she fell dangerously close to the edge and lost her balance. With a squeal of terror, Juniper plunged into the fast-moving water and disappeared.
“Juniper!” Blossom screeched, launching herself off the rock after her friend. “Hang on!”
Blossom held her breath as she was pushed underwater, and tried to paddle back up to the surface. But the coyote was out of practice when it came to swimming, and she flailed awkwardly, trying to turn her body in the direction she thought was up. Finally, her head broke the surface, and she gasped for air.
Blossom looked up to see Juniper floating on a log just ahead of her. Her eyes were wide with horror.
“Swim towards me and grab on!” the otter yelled over the noise of the water.
Blossom nodded weakly, then paddled towards her friend. When she was close enough, she stretched out a paw. Juniper grabbed it and pulled with all her might, until Blossom finally flopped down, exhausted, onto the log.
“Are you okay?” Juniper asked fretfully.
Blossom lifted her head. “Y-Yeah…” she panted. “I… I’m fine.”
Juniper heaved a sigh of relief.
“W-What about you?” Blossom asked, struggling to get to her paws. “You… don’t sound tired or anything! Surely you haven’t done this before!”
Juniper raised her eyebrow. “I’m an otter. I was born to swim.”
Blossom blinked, then grinned sheepishly. “Oh yeah.”
Juniper stood up on her hind paws, resting her front ones on Blossom’s shoulder for support, and looked out over the landscape.
Then her squinted eyes widened, and she dropped back down on all fours. “I… I don’t know where we are!”
Blossom gazed around at her surroundings, not recognizing a single thing. Panic rose inside of her.
“Then… that means we’re lost! And who knows how far this river will take us!?” She turned back to the light gray otter and shook her. “Juniper, what are we going to do!?”
“Calm down!” Juniper removed Blossom’s paws from her shoulders and pushed the purple coyote away. “There’s nothing we can do. We can’t swim against the current- we’re too far away from Canyons Pathway now, anyway. We just have to ride the current and hope that wherever it drops us isn’t too far from home.”
Blossom looked up at the darkening sky, then let her head droop. “Alright.” Her whole body ached, so she stretched out on the log, letting her two front paws drape down and grip either side of the log.
Juniper stared at her friend in disbelief, wondering if it was a good idea to fall asleep on a log. Then, exhaustion overwhelmed her as well, and she sank down next to Blossom and fell asleep.

Chapter 2
“What’s that?”
“What’s what?”
“On that log! There… there are animals on it!”
Juniper heard splashing, and felt the surface she was on being slowly moved. Finally, she managed to open her eyes.
Two odd, buck-toothed animals were staring down at her, concern lighting their gazes. Juniper yelped and jumped up in surprise, making the animals leap away from her.
“What… where am I?” Juniper gasped, whirling around wildly.
“Oh dear. Do you think she lost her memory?” chirped the smaller brown creature, looking at the other one.
At that same moment, Blossom stirred, and when she opened her eyes, they immediately grew wide.
“What are you?” she barked, getting to her paws and staring at the odd animals in front of her.
The two things gave each other a confused look, then tilted their heads at Blossom.
“Uh… we’re beavers.” the smaller one commented, as if it were obvious.
“Beavers!?” Blossom and Juniper replied at the same time.
The bigger animal nodded. “Yep, that’s what we are. Our tails prove it!” They turned around, showing off their dark brown tails, which looked as if they had been flattened by a rolling pin.
Juniper and Blossom both just stared.
The beavers turned around again, and the small one blinked at the two animals’ expressions.
“It’s as if they’ve never seen a beaver before”, it commented to the other beaver, shaking its head.
“We… we haven’t!” Blossom interrupted.
The beavers turned to look at her. “Really?”
Juniper nodded. “We’ve never seen any in Jamaa!”
The two brown-furred animals paused, and their eyes grew wide. “Jamaa?”
“That’s where we’re from”, Blossom explained. “We fell into a river, and it took us here.”
The beavers glanced at each other again.
“Come with us”, the bigger one ordered, turning to leave.
Blossom and Juniper stared at each other, but knew better than to argue. Shaking out their wet fur, they leaped off the log onto dry land and dashed after the two beavers.
“Wait!” Juniper gasped, slowing down when she was beside the beavers. “What… what are your names?”
The beavers turned their heads to look at her as they walked on.
“I’m Pine” replied the small one. “And this is my brother, Crunch.” He pointed his short snout toward the bigger beaver, who dipped his head.
“Pine and Crunch? You guys sure do have different names than Jamaasians like us!” Blossom commented.
“What are your names?” asked Pine, tilting his head.
“I’m Blossom” Blossom replied. “And that otter is my friend, Juniper.”
“Hm. Those names are odd to us like ours are to you.” Crunch remarked.
“Do you know what kinds of animals we are?” Juniper asked, curious to find out how much these “beavers” knew.
“Oh yes”, Crunch replied. “You are an otter, Jupiter-”
“It’s Juniper”, Juniper corrected him.
“And your friend there is a coyote.” He looked towards Blossom, who gazed back curiously.
“How come-”
“We’re here”, Crunch interrupted.
“Where’s 'here', exactly?” Juniper asked, raising an eyebrow.
“The entrance to our home. We’re taking you to speak with our leader.”
“Your… leader?” Blossom gulped.
“Yes. Now, let us do the talking, so that King Ekon won’t think you’re being rude.” Pine looked at the two for a moment, then stepped behind them and began to nudge them through the overgrown entrance.
“Hold on- King who?” Blossom protested, but then stopped and stared in awe.
In front of them sat a huge tree- bigger than any the two Jamaasians had  ever seen back home. Built into it the branches were tons of wooden huts and homes. Brightly-colored birds fluttered around everywhere, making Juniper and Blossom dizzy. At the bottom of the tree sat some more homes made of wood- Juniper guessed that the beavers lived in homes on the ground like that. She also saw holes dug into the ground, and, as the beavers led her forward, she made sure to watch her step to avoid tripping into one of them.
All around them, unfamiliar animals looked up to see what was going on. Small, rodent-like heads popped out of the holes in the ground. The bright birds in the trees stopped what they were doing and stared down at the newcomers. Beavers, like Crunch and Pine, came out and stood at the entrance to their dens. Blossom felt a hundred gazes burning into her back, but she tried to ignore the feeling as the beavers brought her and Juniper to a halt.
“King Ekon! You have visitors!” Pine called, raising his head to look at a bunch of leaves atop a low-hanging branch.
“He knows he’s talking to leaves, right?” Blossom muttered to her friend.
All of a sudden, the leaves shook, and a large bird stepped out. Its colors were different than the birds in the air- this one was mostly blue and white- and it had a different body shape as well. But the most noticeable feature was its tail feathers. They were green, with a colorful circle at the top of each one, and they  stretched out around the majestic bird, shimmering in the sunlight.
That’s King Ekon!?” Juniper gasped to Blossom.

Chapter 3
The bird gazed down at the coyote and otter, his eyes narrowed suspiciously. It had obviously heard them.
“I am. Who are you newcomers?”
Juniper gulped, then stepped forward. “I’m Juniper, and this is Blossom, my friend. We… we come from Jamaa.”
All the nearby animals gasped. King Ekon’s eyes widened. “Jamaa?”
Blossom nodded. “We fell into the river, and it led us to… wherever this is.”
King Ekon fluffed his bright tail feathers. “This is Aspen Island. If you are from Jamaa, you know this as the island next to Crystal Sands on your maps.”
Juniper gasped. “This is the island?”
“Correct. I, of course, am a peacock. There are smaller versions of my species in Jamaa, no?” Kin Ekon said, folding his wings again.
Juniper nodded. “Y-Yes… that’s right.” Now that she thought about it, this bird did look a lot like the pet peacocks back in Jamaa.
“If you truly are from Jamaa, we have much to talk about. Come.”
King Ekon hopped off the branch, then strutted away, his head held high.
Juniper and Blossom stared at each other, then sighed and trotted after the peacock.
King Ekon led the way down an overgrown path, finally stopping at a clearing, with a few stones in the center, arranged in a circle. He strutted up to one, settled down on top of it, and motioned with his wing for Blossom and Juniper to do the same. The two obeyed.
“Why did you bring us all the way out here?” Juniper wondered.
King Ekon grinned. “This is the Secret Glade- a place that few animals on my island know of. I’ve brought a few of them here to talk in private before, but I mostly use this place to think and relax.” He looked down at Juniper and Blossom, who sat side by side, blinking with huge, puzzled eyes.
“Now”, the bird began, “You say you come from Jamaa?”
“Yep”, answered Blossom, smiling.
But King Ekon suddenly narrowed his eyes. “You weren’t sent here on purpose, were you? To attempt to get rid of our home, like those other creatures?” He withdrew his head as if he’d been struck.
“What? No!” Juniper answered, wondering why he would think something like that, and who the “other creatures” were. “We fell into the river, like we said before.”
“Why would we try to get rid of your home?” Blossom asked, sounding bewildered.
King Ekon studied them suspiciously for a moment more, then lowered his head.
“Forgive me. I remember little about the animals of Jamaa. However, I believe you two are trustworthy.” He shuddered. “Far from that other species that invaded our island.”
“Other species? What do you mean?” Blossom asked, tilting her head quizzically.
The peacock sighed. “Not too long ago, a rival pack of creatures attacked our camp. We had never done anything to them- we never knew they existed- but they wouldn’t listen when I attempted to reason with them. They drove many animals off of the island, and those animals traveled to Jamaa, knowing they’d be safe from harm there. Tell me, what kinds of creatures have appeared in Jamaa recently?”
Juniper thought for a moment. “Well, flamingos did just arrive a few weeks ago.”
King Ekon nodded. “Those flamingos originally came from Aspen Island. The attacks keep happening more and more often, and the evil creatures drive away more and more of my animals. The most recent ambush caused the flamingos to set off to Jamaa.”
“What are the creatures, anyway?” Blossom asked.
King Ekon blinked, saying nothing.
“If they ambush you so often, surely you know what they look like?” Juniper pressed.
The king shook his head. “I do not. They move as fast as lightning, and they seem to melt into the shadows. The only thing I know about them is that they are round, with tentacles on either side of their bodies.” He paused, thinking. “I believe I’ve also seen them shoot some sort of dark magic from their tentacles as well.”
Blossom and Juniper exchanged a look, thinking of the exact same thing.
“What?” King Ekon looked from the otter to the coyote in shock. “You know of these creatures?”
Juniper nodded. “Unfortunately, yes. They wreak havoc on Jamaa as well, and have for many years. They normally live in some kind of base or fort.”
“Hey! That must be where the phantoms on the island are coming from!” Blossom realized, standing up. “We should try to find their fort and stop them once and for all!”
Juniper hopped up. “No!” she said quickly. “We could get captured, or worse!”
King Ekon nodded. “The otter is right. We shouldn’t risk it.”
“But don’t you want to stop them once and for all?” Blossom persisted. “Come on! We just need to find out where their hideout is! Then, we can go back and figure out how to drive them away!”
The peacock blinked. “I can’t ask you to risk your own lives for my citizens.”
“Then don’t ask”, Blossom answered. “But we’re going to help anyway. We can’t leave your island like this! Right, Juniper?”
Juniper hesitated, then nodded. “Right. We’ll do everything we can to help.”
King Ekon fluffed his feathers and stretched out his wings. “I suppose I can’t stop you. Let’s find those phantoms.”
And, with that, the coyote, otter, and peacock set off into the surrounding forest.

Chapter 4
Blossom put her nose to the ground and sniffed, drawing her head back almost immediately.
“Yep”, she reported. “That’s definitely the stench of phantoms.” She turned her head towards a grove of oak trees. “They went that way.” Without waiting for a response, she bounded off, King Ekon and Juniper trailing after her.
“We have to be careful”, Juniper warned the king, keeping one eye on Blossom. “Phantoms tend to be very protective of their borders. We have to make sure we’re out of sight, and keep quiet.”
King Ekon nodded without saying anything, and almost slammed into Blossom, who had paused with her ears pricked.
“Shhh”, she warned. “There are phantoms nearby.”
A faint buzzing sound, followed by the rustle of leaves, sounded.
“Get into the bushes!” Juniper hissed in a whisper, nudging King Ekon forward into a shrub. Juniper followed, and Blossom dived in a moment later.
Juniper peeked through the tiny gaps in the leaves. The buzzing sound grew louder and louder, until, finally, three round black creatures came into view. They each had one eye, and long tentacle-like limbs that buzzed with magic on either side of their circular bodies.
“Phantoms!” Juniper breathed.
The phantoms glanced around, as if they had heard the quiet word the otter had whispered. They turned towards the bush the animals were hiding in, glaring, and for a moment, Juniper thought they had been spotted.
Then the phantom patrol turned away and flew off, the sound of their magic growing fainter and fainter, until it disappeared altogether.
King Ekon, Blossom, and Juniper all let out a breath of relief, crawling out of the bush and shaking the leaves out of their fur and feathers.
“That was close”, the peacock king commented. “They almost found us!”
Blossom nodded. “But look on the bright side! Now we can follow their path to find where they live!”
“Brilliant!” Juniper replied. Blossom grinned, then put her nose to the ground once more and began to follow the scent of the phantoms.
Before long, the coyote stopped, turning to face Juniper and King Ekon.
“I think we’re here”, she whispered, then gulped and brushed aside a fern with her paw.
All three gasped at what they saw. A huge, black tower sat in the center of a large clearing, which Juniper realized was actually a cut-down forest. Pointed spikes rose from the top of the tower, and a bright green flag, complete with a purple phantom symbol, waved in the wind. Around the bottom of the tower, the grass was black and purple, and there was phantom goop of the same colors lying around. Juniper looked up and spotted the tower’s entrance. Two phantoms guards sat on either side of a large metal door, looking around with narrowed eyes.
“So… now what?” wondered King Ekon.
Blossom shrugged. “I was hoping we’d be able to sneak inside and listen to what they were planning, but there’s no way we’ll get past those guards.”
“What if we sneak around the back? There may be something back there”, Juniper suggested.
King Ekon nodded. “It it definitely worth a try.”
Quietly, the trio crept through the undergrowth around the back of the fort, freezing whenever a phantom turned their way. Luckily, the creatures all turned away, and Blossom warily poked her head through a bush a few moments later, finding herself behind the tower. A dark-looking phantom garden sat in front of her, and Blossom swore she saw one of the purple flowers blink at her. She shook her head.
Juniper’s head popped out beside hers. “Woah”, her friend breathed. “Who would want a garden like this?
Suddenly, Blossom heard a mutter from somewhere nearby.
“Hide!” she growled. “There are phantoms coming!”
They both withdrew their heads into the bush. Blossom flicked her ear, wanting to listen in on the phantoms’ conversation, while Juniper peered through a small hole. King Ekon sat back, looking nervous.
“Why here?” Blossom heard one of the phantoms ask as they came into range.
“Because”, another answered. “This is a secret plan, and I need to discuss it with you first before telling the entire swarm.”
“A secret plan?” Juniper gasped quietly to herself. She squinted, just making out two phantoms, one with a hat atop its head, and one that was slightly smaller, floating on the outskirts of the garden.
“What is it?” the small phantom asked, sounding excited.
“We will take Jamaa and Aspen Island for sure this time”, the one with the hat answered.
“We’re going to steal their summer.”

Chapter 5
The small phantom blinked. “Is that even possible?”
“Of course it’s possible!” the one with the hat growled. “I’ve been working on a machine that will cover the entire land of Jamaa, and this island, in snow. Once-”
“Snow? How will that do anything?” The first phantom sounded doubtful.
“You didn’t let me finish. Once the animals are trapped in the ice and snow, they’re most likely going to beg us to bring back summer. We’ll promise that we will, but, in exchange, all animals must accept the phantoms as leaders of Jamaa, or be exiled to the lands beyond.”
The first phantom’s eye widened. “Ohh, I see! Yes, that’s brilliant! When shall we take action, sir?”
“I’m thinking in about two weeks”, the one with the hat murmured. When the smaller one began to protest, it added, “I still need to finish the machine, and we want to have enough time to plan, and catch all the animals off guard.”
“Ah, yes.” The smaller one grinned menacingly. “This will be the downfall of the Jamaasians!”
“Don’t forget the Apsen Islanders”, the bigger phantom said. “We’ll be attacking them first.”
The first one nodded. “Right.”
The two creatures floated away, still muttering something inaudible. Juniper, Blossom, and King Ekon stared at each other in horror.
“They’re plotting to attack Jamaa and ruin the summer!” Juniper gasped.
“And they’ll be attacking us islanders first!” King Ekon panicked. “We don’t know how to fight- and there’s no way we could win against their magic anyway!” He paced in a tight circle. “What are we going to do?”
“Calm down, King Ekon”, Blossom soothed him. “You’re a leader, remember? You must stay strong for your subjects.”
King Ekon looked at her, wild-eyed, then took a deep breath and lowered his head.
“I know”, he murmured. Then he straightened up again, looking like a king once more.
“We must return to the village. Do you wish to stay the night?” he asked the two friends.
“Are you sure we wouldn’t be intruding?” Juniper worried.
The peacock shook his head. “Not at all! If it wasn’t for you Jamaasians, my home would have surely been destroyed!”
Blossom wagged her tail. “In that case, we’d love to stay for the night.”
“But we better get going tomorrow”, Juniper added.
King Ekon dipped his head. “If you wish.” He motioned back the way they had come with his wing.
“Let’s go.”
They walked off towards the village at a quick pace, while still being careful and quiet. When they burst through the ferns outlining the community, many animals immediately turned their heads, then relaxed when they saw the noble peacock.
“King Ekon! You’re back!” A voice sounded from the air, and a graceful, white bird with a long neck landed in front of them, a grin on her face.
“Greeings”, King Ekon greeted her respectfully. He turned to Blossom and Juniper. “This is Sienna- she’s a swan who lives here in the village. Sienna, this is Blossom the coyote and Juniper the otter.”
“Pleased to meet you”, Sienna replied, dipping her head to Juniper and Blossom.
“You must excuse us, Sienna. We have urgent news to share.” The king stepped around the swan, and, with a gesture for Blossom and Juniper to follow, walked off towards his throne. Sienna started after them, looking concerned.
King Ekon hopped onto his branch. “Apen Islanders!”
All the animals in the clearing stopped what they were doing and looked up.
“We are in grave danger! There is evil nearby!”
The Islanders began to look nervous, muttering to each other.
“Dark, magical creatures, called phantoms, are living on our land. Blossom, Juniper, and I heard two of them talking. They plan to replace the summer with winter, and refuse to take away the snow until we surrender!”
“What!?” Pine yelped as the animals broke out in yells and chaos. “But… we’ve never had snow here!”
“We can’t live in the snow!” a small, skinny, weasel-like creature chimed in. “We’ll freeze!”
“Surely there’s some way to stop this?” Sienna said, raising her voice over the noise.
“Islanders! Silence!” King Ekon shouted. The animals immediately fell silent.
“Yes, it is true that we are in danger. However, these phantoms have lost the element of surprise! We shall train and raise our defenses, and, when the evil creatures come, we’ll be ready.”
“When are they planning to attack?” cawed a brightly-colored bird.
King Ekon stared ahead at his subjects. “Two weeks.”
Gasps of horror came from the crowd, but no animal said a word.
“We have time”, the king insisted. “We shall prepare ourselves until they come, and show them that the Aspen Islanders are not easily beaten! Who is with me?”
The Islanders cheered, now looking more determined than before.
“Training begins now. Beavers, I want you to enforce our boundaries. Make sure the village is safe. Birds, keep watch from the air, and practice diving. If the phantoms try to push through the barrier, you must surprise them by dropping out of the sky and showing your talons. Meerkats, prepare hideouts, just in case, and ocelots, practice your attacks.” The king dipped his head, then hopped off the branch and walked back up to Blossom and Juniper.
“You still wish to stay the night, I presume?” he asked.
Blossom began to nod.
“Actually, King, I’ve been thinking. We really must return home to warn the Jamaasians as soon as possible.” Juniper answered quickly.
The king nodded. “I understand. Pine and Crunch will escort you home.”
“Will you be okay without us?” questioned Blossom.
King Ekon narrowed his eyes and grinned. “Oh, don’t you worry. We’ll be ready for them.”

Chapter 6
A week later, Blossom and Juniper lounged on colorful beach towels in Crystal Sands, enjoying the heat of the sun. They had been brought home by Crunch and Pine, just as King Ekon had promised, travelling along the banks of the river they’d ridden to the island in the first place. Pine assured them that they’d be just fine, and, with a wave of his paw, he and Crunch had leaped into the river and disappeared. After that, Juniper and Blossom had gone to the Alpha cabin and explained the phantom’s attack to Liza, who assured them that she’d stay on guard.
Now, Blossom wondered how the Islanders were holding up. Was their training going well? Was King Ekon keeping everything under control? Was-
“Juniper! Blossom!”
Blossom lifted her head to see Sienna the swan landing on the sand.
“Sienna?” Juniper blinked. “What are you-”
“You must come to Aspen Island! The phantoms are attacking earlier than we expected! The Islanders were all caught off guard, and the entire island is already covered in snow!” She panted, trying to catch her breath. “King Ekon sent me to find you. You must come immediately!”
Juniper leaped to her paws. “We’ll come! But I have an idea. Come on, you two”, she said, gesturing to Blossom and Sienna as she bounded off.


When Juniper, Blossom, and Sienna returned to Aspen Island, they found the village in chaos. As they peeked over the log barriers, they saw birds diving at phantoms, who merely hovered away before being struck. The weasel-like creatures scurried across the snow-covered ground in terror, diving into holes and crevices. Small, patterned cats- who Blossom assumed were ocelots- swiped at clusters of phantoms, but the creatures shot lighting from their tentacles, and the ocelots leaped backwards with yowls of surprise.
“They’ve attacked the camp!” gasped Juniper. “They weren’t prepared for that!”
Blossom shivered in the cold, lifting a paw out of the snow to keep it from growing numb. “We have to do this. Now.”
Juniper turned around, where a large group of animals lay in wait- big cats, dogs, and birds of all kinds. “Are you ready?”
They all nodded back, narrowing their eyes.
“Then… ATTACK!”
Juniper and Blossom leaped out of the undergrowth at the same time, the animals following close behind and leaping towards the phantoms. The dark creatures screeched in terror.
King Ekon ran up to them. “You came! But… who are these strange animals?”
“Don’t worry- they’re all Jamaasians”, Blossom answered. “They came to help you drive the phantoms away.”
“And we came to shut down their machine”, Juniper added.
King Ekon stared at the Jamaasians, who were chasing and swiping at phantoms.
“Then go quickly. These phantoms are stronger than you may think.”
The two friends nodded, then leaped through the deep snow in the direction of the phantom fort. When they arrived, they saw two phantoms guarding the entrance, but they seemed to be the only ones. Blossom glanced at her friend, who nodded solemnly.
Blossom gave a loud yelp, springing out of the bushes. The phantom guards stared at her.
“Come and get me! What’s the matter- are you scared?” Blossom taunted.
The phantoms began to rush towards her, but Blossom dashed away. “Can’t catch me!”
As she watched her friend lead the guards away, Juniper dashed up to the door of the fort, opened it, and raced inside.
The hallway she stepped into was dark and ominous. The only thing Juniper could hear was her own pawsteps. Shaking off her fear, she headed forward.
At the end of the hallway, a staircase spun upwards, and she climbed the steps, hoping nothing was waiting on the next floor. Luckily, it seemed all the other phantoms had been part of the attack, so nothing stirred. Juniper pushed on, something telling her that what she was looking for was very close. Finally, she stopped at a huge, metal door. Putting her ear against it, she could hear the rumble of some kind of machine.
“Exactly what I wanted”, she whispered, then opened it and burst into the room.
A phantom, wearing a blue-and-white hat, blinked at her. It sat in front of a large tank, with some kind of temperature meter on the front. The phantom narrowed its eye angrily, but Juniper raced determinedly towards it at full speed. The dark creature shrieked, and hopped out of an open window before Juniper could slam into it. Grinning triumphantly, she turned to the machine. A large red button sat by the temperature meter, and Juniper slammed her paw down on it, hoping for the best.
The machine shook. Juniper, realizing it was going to explode, raced out of the room, heading for the fort’s exit. As she finally bolted out into the open, a loud bang sounded, and smoke billowed from the top of the tower before it caught aflame.
Just then, Blossom bounded up, panting. “What’s ha-”
She broke off as the snow around her paws began to swirl upward, finally dissolving into dust. The air grew warmer, and the two friends saw the sun peeking out from behind the huge storm cloud.
Blossom sniffed the air, the gasped. “Watch out!” She leaped into Juniper, sending them both flying across the clearing. Before Juniper could say a word, shrieking phantoms began to pour through the bushes, towards the fort. The Jamaasians and King Ekon followed close behind, triumph lighting their gazes.
The phantoms stopped at their burning tower. Fear sparked in their eyes. They looked back at the animals, then fled.
King Ekon came up to Juniper and Blossom. “What did you do?”
“Destroyed their machine”, Juniper replied. “And Blossom lured the guard away so I could do it.”
The peacock suddenly bowed before them. “You have saved Aspen Island. I will make sure that no Islander ever forgets your bravery.” He looked up and smiled.
“Thank you.”

And Swirl! Here is something to put on your blog if you! :D

Well, once again, thanks to EVERYONE who wrote and participated! Without you guys, there wouldn't have been a contest. ^.^

And let's all applaud Swirlshine for winning! :D

*everyone claps and cheers* ;D

Have an amazing day annnnnd....

Jam on!!

Comment call: Did you enjoy Swirl's story?
I apologize again for being so late with this post!