The Adventures of Minshee









Ezra Azra


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© Copyright 2023 by Ezra Azra
 
Photo by RODNAE Productions at Pexels.
Photo by RODNAE Productions at Pexels.

Minshee was fifteen years old. She lived in a village at the top of a very high mountain. The name of the village was Chumly.

The village of Chumly was built around a lake that filled a crater at the top of the mountain. The water in the lake was, always warm. The unscientific guess was that the warmth came from a source under the floor of the lake. The guess went unproved because nobody had ever gone to the bottom of the lake to feel the bottom for themselves.

At one end of the lake the water spilled over to make a river that flowed down the side of the mountain.

There were about two-hundred people in the village, adults, and children. Life was peaceful and comfortable and happy.

The village had never been involved in any of the many wars that were fought among people far away from the mountains in the many cities of the country. There always seemed to be a war going on somewhere in the country. They heard the news from travelers who visited the village from time to time.

A war came to the village itself, but not a war from the far away cities on Earth.

Two mighty creatures fell out of the sky one day from the stars, fighting each other. Both creatures had bodies that were human. One had the head of a donkey. The other the head of a monkey.

Nobody knew why they were fighting each other, nor where among the stars, they came from. They had superhuman strength and speed. They fought everywhere over the whole country.

Some people said those two creatures took their fighting all over the world. Those mighty creatures didn't care what or who they destroyed while they were fighting each other. When they were fighting, the people ran for cover.

What was worse than their fighting was that every time they grabbed something to throw at each other, that thing itself would turn into an ugly monster. If the creature at whom the monster was thrown, grabbed the monster, the monster would explode into dust. Sometimes, the monster would escape both creatures. Then people would have to be on guard against that monster, too.

After days and days of the fighting between the two creatures, lots of stones and trees and animals and people had been turned into monsters that escaped. There were so many monsters around that the people became more scared of the monsters than of the two fighting creatures.

In Minshee's village, children were not allowed to play out of sight of the adults in the village.

Minshee liked to play at fighting a monster with her toy wood-sword her Dad had made for her. Her Mom had made a belt and scabbard for her to sheathe her sword. Her parents had made the sword for her long before the two creatures fell fighting out of the sky.

Minshee did not have siblings. Minshee became very adept at swinging the sword in attack, and at blocking in defence.

One day when she was playing at sword-fighting all by herself, the two creatures suddenly appeared.

As usual, they were battling each other. Monkey-head was kicked ferociously by donkey-head. Monkey-head crashed against a boulder near Minshee. Minshee tried to get out of the way. She wasn't fast enough. Monkey-head grabbed her to throw at donkey-head.

As monkey-head lifted Minshee above his head to fling her at donkey-head, Minshee swung her toy sword and jabbed it twice. Once in each eye.

Monkey-head howled in pain. Minshee fell to the ground as monkey-head put its hands to its eyes. For a few seconds, monkey-head couldn't see anything. That was all the time donkey-head needed.

Donkey-head jumped on monkey-head and stomped it to death.

Donkey-head then flopped down and leaned its back against a boulder. It was so tired. It panted vigorously as it sat. Its eyes fell on Minshee.

She was still lying on the ground, terrified, where she fell when monkey-head let her go. She lay very still, playing dead so that donkey-head would not notice her. She still had her toy wood-sword in her hand, its tip stained with the blood of monkey-head's eyes on it.

Donkey-head looked at her and snapped his fingers at her. Minshee had no control over her movements. She found herself standing up and looking at donkey-head, her eyes stuck wide-open in terror. She clutched her sword.

Donkey-head made a short wave of its hand for her to come sit next to it. Minshee didn't want to do it. She was too scared to trust a donkey-head creature. Nonetheless, she found herself floating through the air towards it, her feet off the ground.

It was using its supernatural powers to bring her to its side, against her will. When she was sitting next to donkey-head, it smiled and looked at her toy sword.
"Hmh," it grunted. "So, that's the magic weapon that helped me defeat my enemy, huh?" "It's not a magic weapon." Minshee said softly. She didnít want to make donkey-head angry. So, she told the truth. "It's just a toy wood-sword Mom made for me," she said.

"A toy, huh?", it said. "Uh-huh," said Minshee, her voice trembling a little, in fear. "Not anymore," said donkey-head.

It pointed to the sword. A stream of blue fire shot out from its finger and enveloped the sword. Minshee tried to throw the sword out of her hand. She didn't want to get burned. The sword stuck to her hand. The fire did not burn her. She did not feel any pain.

The fire went out and the sword looked just as it did before. Nothing special at all.

Donkey-head said to Minshee, "As long as that sword touches any part of you, it will be indestructible. As long as it is in touch with any part of you, it will warn you when you're in danger. Whenever you use that sword to defend yourself and anyone you care for, whatever and whoever it touches will explode into dust. What you have to be careful about, little girl, is that the dust does not blow into your face. The dust will affect you in the same way that ordinary dust does. For a few seconds you won't be in control like my enemy here was not in control when you poked him in the eyes."

"But," said Minshee, "I'm not an adult, yet. I don't have the strength to use this sword in a real fight." "Don't worry," said donkey-head. "The sword will do all the fighting for you. All you have to do is hold onto it, tightly, with one hand or with both your hands. The sword will deflect and reduce to dust anything that anyone throws or shoots at you."

"There's going to be a lot of dust," said Minshee, softly to herself. "Uh-huh," said donkey-head, smiling. "Sorry about that, little girl."

"What if someone else holds my sword?", asked Minshee. Donkey-head looked at her and laughed. "Clever girl. Excellent question. In the hands of anyone else it will be only a toy wood-sword. No powers at all."

Donkey-head stood. It picked up the corpse of monkey-head, and slung it over its shoulder. "Now," donkey-head said, "I have to go home." "Where do you live?", asked Minshee, before she could stop the question coming out of her mouth.

"Up there," donkey-head said. "Among the stars. The war is still going on up there. Monkey-head here and I were fighting each other so furiously, we got lost. We fell onto your world. Thank you for your help, little one," it said. "You're welcome," said Minshee.

"I have a daughter the same age as you." "What's her name? My name is Minshee." "Bowzhong," it said. "Minshee is an unusual and pretty name." It flew up and away so fast it disappeared from Minshee's sight, even though she stared hard after it flying away with dead monkey-head on its shoulder.

Minshee thought to herself, "So is Bowzhong. An unusual and pretty name. I think I will name this sword of mine, Bowzhong." She walked home, practising swings and jabs and blocking with Bowzhong.

She told her parents of donkey-head. The three of them decided to celebrate that day, every year, forever.

Two months had passed since Minshee's toy wood-sword, Bowzhong, had been given powers by the donkey-head creature.

Already Minshee had to use those powers to turn to dust three monsters. She was beginning to think the reason that donkey-head had given her sword the powers, was for her to get rid of some of the monsters, donkey-head and monkey-head, had created in their fight against each other.

What other reason could there be? The mountain village of Chumly where Minshee lived had been peaceful for hundreds of years. Now, within a few months, the two-hundred-or-so people who lived there had to fight off three horrible monsters.

Everybody in the world knew the two animal-head creatures had created the monsters.

The people of Chumly felt they were being especially cursed. No other place in the world was being attacked by the monsters now that the two animal-heads were not around anymore.

Minshee was working on the family garden. She heard the sword vibrating in the scabbard at her side. That was one of its powers to warn her of danger. Only she could hear the hum. She slowly drew Bowzhong out of its scabbard. She looked around cautiously.

Was the danger another monster nearby? She saw a girl her age walking towards her, carrying a bucket of water.

"Hi, Minshee," said the girl. "Hi," replied Minshee. She had never seen this girl before, but the girl looked like a normal girl in Chumly.

Minshee had to be careful. Monsters could change their shapes. Minshee did not sheathe Bowzhong.

When the girl was near, she put down the bucket. From the look of the girl's eyes Minshee knew the girl had been crying.

"Can I help you?", asked Minshee. The girl began to cry, silently. She nodded. "Tell me," said Minshee. "If I can help you, I will."

The girl found it difficult to speak because she was crying. "I am a monster, Minshee. I am trying so hard to keep this shape of a girl. I don't want to be a monster. That monkey-head creature changed me into a monster. Please, Minshee, you have to use Bowzhong to turn me into dust."

Minshee was finding it hard to believe such a pretty girl could be an ugly monster.

"Why not be a girl forever? Don't let yourself turn into a monster. Live here with me. We'll be like sisters."

This was the first time Minshee had spoken to a monster in the shape of a person. The other monsters had appeared as monsters from the beginning.

The girl said, "Minshee, I was this girl before the devil changed me. All of us monsters can change back for a short while into what we were. It is exhausting because it takes a great deal of effort. It's hard work, Minshee. Very hard work. It's painful. I didn't want to come to you as a monster because as a monster I have a chance to hurt you and to kill you. I don't want to risk that, Minshee. You have to live to protect Chumly from monsters. Without you and Bowzhong, monsters will kill all the people here in Chumly first, and then all over the world. Please, Minshee, touch me with Bowzhong so that I will turn into dust and not be a monster any more. Please."

Minshee could not do it. She heard Bowzhong humming all the while. She knew there was danger. She didn't know what the danger was. She could not bring herself to believe the pretty girl in front of her was a monster.

"You have to change into a monster if you want me to turn you into dust," Minshee said sadly. "I cannot bring myself to kill a little girl. You're my age. I cannot kill you."

The girl was now crying hysterically. "Minshee, if I change into a monster I will be so much stronger and faster and bigger than you are."

"I know," said Minshee, "but we have to take the risk. I will be able to swing Bowzhong at a monster. I cannot bring myself to swing Bowzhong at a girl."

The girl tightly shut her eyes. She spoke softly through her tears. "Okay. I'm so sorry, Minshee." She turned into a monster.

A monster that had a humungous mouth full of fangs and tongues. Long sharp claws. Fiery eyes that bulged out of their sockets. Long shaggy matted fur all over its body.

"Yes!", thought Minshee as she raised Bowzhong in front of her. "This definitely is a monster."

The ugly thing jumped at Minshee. Minshee swung Bowzhong. The monster was faster. It easily evaded the sword. As it ducked Minshee's swing, it bumped against her. Minshee tumbled backwards. She could have stayed on her feet if she wanted. She had practised this maneuver many times. She twisted to the side and let herself fall to the ground.

The monster did not expect Minshee to be able to twist around like that while she was stumbling backwards to fall to the ground.

The monster jumped face down to where it thought Minshee would be on the ground. The monster took a huge bite. Instead of into Minshee, the monster bit into the ground. The mouthful of dirt made it cough. It lost its bearings. For a second or two it did not know where Minshee was.

A second or two was all Minshee needed. In a flash, she was on her feet. She swung Bowzhong at the monster. Bowzhong made contact. A second before the monster exploded into dust it turned back into the little girl. The girl smiled at Minshee, and silently said "Thank you, Minshee." Then, she was gone.

Minshee sat on the ground and watched sadly as the dust that had been the good-monster girl whooshed away in the wind.
Doctor Kaykewvee was worried. He was the cruel king's medical doctor.

Lately, the cruel king was acting dangerously weird. There were four other kings in neighboring countries.
All five did not trust one another. Every now and then a war would break out. The kings would take sides. This had been going on for many years.

At this point in time Doctor Kaykewvee's cruel king was suspicious that the four other kings were making plans to gang up against him.

He became suspicious of everyone around him in the palace. He had two of his army generals beheaded because he claimed they were making plans to betray him. One of those army generals had been Doctor Kaykewvee's close friend.

Doctor Kaykewvee was afraid that any day now the cruel king might have him beheaded because he had been a close friend of an executed general.

What made matters worse was that the cruel king had heard of a magical sword being used in a faraway village of Chumly. The cruel king wanted that sword.

The cruel king was preparing to send an army to kill everybody in Chumly to get the sword. He was not going to waste time trying to ask the people of Chumly to hand over the sword. It would be easier simply to kill everyone in Chumly and take the sword.

Doctor Kaykewvee was not happy with this idea of killing a lot of innocent people to get a sword, no matter how magical that sword was thought to be.

Doctor Kaykewvee was hoping he could find a way to run away from the cruel king. His only chance was to run to one of the other four kings.

Doctor Kaykewvee had no family. When he ran away, the cruel king would have nobody to take revenge on.

As Doctor Kaykewvee was standing at the kitchen sink washing the breakfast dishes on a sunny day, he looked out the window. He saw a pony standing in his backyard. For a second or two this meant nothing to him. Then it struck him!

A pony in his backyard? How did a pony get there? The backyard gate was locked with a big iron lock. He leaned over and he could see the big iron lock. It was in place. A more surprising thought hit him!

He had been dreaming of just such a pony in his backyard every night for the last seven nights. In his dream he walked up to the pony to chase it out of his yard. When he reached the pony in his dream, the pony lowered itself as if inviting him to jump on for a ride. Before he could climb on, in his dream, the pony would melt into the air and disappear.

Doctor Kaykewvee was a medical doctor. A scientist. Believing dreams show the way real life must go, is not scientific. As a scientist, Doctor Kaykewvee had no choice but to dismiss his pony dream as meaningless.

However, there was this pony in front of him in his backyard. And it looked identical to the pony in his dream. As a scientist, he could not ignore what was real, in front of him.

A real flesh-and-blood pony munching on flowers in his backyard garden. He was wide awake doing the breakfast dishes, on a sunny day. The pony he was looking at was no dream. He had spent a lot of time cultivating those flowers being devoured by a dream creature in his backyard.

Doctor Kaykewvee quickly went out into the backyard to chase the pony away. When he approached the pony, it lowered itself to the ground.

The next thing Doctor Kaykewvee knew, he was on the pony, riding it as it galloped away from his home. He hung on tightly. This, definitely, was not a dream creature.

Doctor Kaykewvee had many times ridden horses in battle at the king's side. He was well aware of just how fast the best horses can run. This pony was galloping many times faster than the fastest best horse in the king's army.

Doctor Kaykewvee wasn't sure how long they travelled. He found himself on the pony's back in the village of Chumly. The pony stopped, and lowered itself to the ground. Doctor Kaykewvee climbed off. He walked slowly forwards to take a closer look at the village. He did not see the pony behind him melt into the air, and disappear.

He did not know where he was. The people he met told him he was in Chumly. He now knew he had been brought here to warn the people of the cruel king's preparations to launch a surprise attack on their village, to get a magical sword.

The people of Chumly asked Doctor Kaykewvee to show them how to prepare to defend themselves against the army of the cruel king.

Doctor Kaykewvee accepted their request. He knew a lot about the tactics of war. He asked the people if they would consider running away. If they started now, they could run away in secret. The cruel king would never find them. Doctor Kaykewvee said he knew how to lead them safely to another kingdom where they would be allowed to live peacefully.

The people of Chumly did not want to leave their village. They and their ancestors had lived here for centuries. They were going to stay and fight the cruel king's army.

There were only about two-hundred-or-so people living in Chumly. The cruel king had thousands and thousands of soldiers. Doctor Kaykewvee thought it would be better for them if they just ran away, but he respected their wishes to stay and fight.

In the next few days, he went all over the village inspecting places and things to plan how best to defend the village against the cruel king's army. After examining the whole village Doctor Kaykewvee came to the conclusion the people had a good fighting chance mainly because of how high up the mountain Chumly was.

Since he was a scientist, he did not believe in magic. That is why he did not make any attempt to find out if there was a magical sword in Chumly.

He knew the cruel king's soldiers would not be able to ride up the mountain on their horses. The soldiers would not be able to wear their body armor or to carry their shields up the mountain side. The climb was too steep and too long. By the time any soldier reached Chumly at the top of the mountain, he would be so tired it would be easy for a Chumly soldier to win the fight.

The people of Chumly prepared. They practised with bows and arrows. They practised sword fighting. They practised how to use long poles to push the cruel king's soldiers down the mountain. They collected huge boulders to roll down the mountain side to bash the soldiers back as they climbed up.

It all worked. When the cruel king's army attacked, not one soldier lived long enough to enter the village.

In the battle of Chumly, Minshee and Bowzhong turned dozens and dozens of soldiers into dust. She and Bowzhong were making so much dust, she had to be extra aware of which way the wind was blowing.

There were so few defeated soldiers left to return to the cruel king, the other four kings were able to defeat the cruel king himself in a later war. The cruel king was beheaded. The people invited Doctor Kaykewvee to become their king.

Doctor Kaykewvee accepted. He ruled the kingdom for a long time afterwards in peace with the other four kings in neighboring countries.

His majesty, King Kaykewvee ordered all the people to be especially kind to ponies.

He never found out about Minshee and Bowzhong.

Long before her parents and Minshee celebrated the hundredth anniversary of Bowzhong's powers, they had become aware of one more of Bowzhong's powers; a power that had nothing to do with Bowzhong as a weapon. 



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