Cassy image
Cassy
by
Ani-Man

Far Otherland

By

Joe Broome

Plant Boy Image
Plant Boy
by
Prolee

Cassy and I fell to sleep on the front porch in the middle of the day. It's almost Fall and both of us are looking forward to school. That's what we were talking about before we drifted off, but when I woke she was obviously dreaming of something very different. Her moans and groans wakened me and I looked through the wood strips of the porch swing at Cassy squirming on the cool floor. Her bellybutton stomach was sticking up as her back arched and lifted her light blue crape shirt almost to her chest. She was thinking of something really good because she made bubbles with her mouth and sounds like a motor boat. She is so funny. But she's pretty too. She has long smooth muscles and she was stretching them while she bent back and finally squealed and fell still.

Cassy is my best friend even though I don't hang around with her at school. I live next door and I'm kind of a lot older than she is but we know about some important things so we have to be together as much as possible. We don't always have to talk to understand each other but I couldn't figure out why she had been squirming on the porch.

I said, "What happened?" and she said, "I helped someone." She seemed like she was tired but she was still explaining what happened.

Cassy tells me the story.
Cassy tells me the whole story.
by
Joe Broome
Colored By Animan

She said that when I wouldn't let her on the swing she decided to wait till I went to sleep so she could flip me on to the floor. She went behind the swing and lay down on the edge of the porch and was feeling the waxy leaves of the shrubbery and smelling the tiny sweat olive flowers when she looked up at the sky. She said she was thinking how high the sky was and she thought, "Space is so big that probably all the time there is someone who is trying to talk to me." "Mmmm" she heard in her thoughts. She was used to her imagination answering herself, so she continued thinking about how big the universe is and how she might not even notice most of the time that people from all over that gigantic space might be trying to reach out to her. "Mmmmm!" she heard in her thoughts as clearly as if I said it to her. She started to think, "I think to myself every minute. Am I.?" "Mmmm!" she heard in her thoughts with more urgency this time.

She liked this idea she was having and though she played little games like this with herself before, she felt like she wasn't really answering herself this time. She thought a series of questions like; "You are talking to me?" "Do you want to tell me something." "Is this my imagination?" Each question was answered in her thoughts with the same urgent and clear sound until she realized she was only asking questions which could be answered with yes or no answers. So she looked up at the darkest blue part of the sky and thought, "What do you want to tell me?"

"Then I think I went to sleep because I saw pictures like I was dreaming." She said.

The pictures were not perfectly clear at first. There was a big figure with a flower on top in front and figures running across behind. She could see the one in front had a long dark green face with no mouth or nose. There were two darker green oval eyes and a big rubbery yellow and pink wilted flower instead of hair. The flower was laying sort of back on the head. She could see the plant man was looking in a mirror at himself so Cassy could see him through his eyes as he saw himself. "I was looking through his eyes." She said. Others dashed around lifting and carrying each other. Off to one side Cassy could see down into a technology filled room where plant people were being shot down as they made attempts to enter. On the other side she could see huge vents in the ceiling which were partially opened because of the bodies of plant people trapped in them. Those who were pulling the bodies from the vents were also being shot and were falling to the ground.

Cassy could see through the eyes of the plant man as he stood up away from the mirror and ran through the city. There was no place where she could see the sky except where the bodies held the giant vents slightly open. Where she could see out, the sky was dark and the stars were shining. In some parts of the city it was obvious that the ceiling was thousands of years old and it was carved and painted with beautiful pictures. The plant man stopped running and let Cassy look at one wall for a long time. It was made of orange stone that was almost clear so it glowed from the lights behind it. All around the sides it was carved with little designs and she could see many layers of the designs through the millions of tiny hand carved shapes and openings.

There were rows pictures in the center of the wall which were not painted. They were made of tiny colored stones patched together like a puzzle. The ancient pictures told a story. The pictures at the top showed plant people dancing and doing everyday things with the light rays pouring down on everything. Below the happy scene was a hellish row of images of winged creatures coming from off the planet, swooping down and tearing plant people apart. Plant people were all over the ground with their flowers ripped from them.

The next row of images showed the construction of stone ceilings and lookout posts. The plant people are lighter colored and more wilted but some of them are dancing and rubbing their flowers together under the ceilings. Next the plant man unrolled a large chart and held it against the beautiful wall. It took a while to figure out what the chart was, but when it did come clear Cassy knew almost the whole story.

The chart showed that the whole planet was now covered by high tech metal ceilings, giant vents that open like blinds to let the light in, that close to keep the seed eaters out. The chart also showed close ups of automated stun gun towers located at regular distances from each other on the surface of the planet. Under each tower were control rooms that are also protected by stun guns and the whole thing is powered by enormous solar panels on the metal surface. The chart had a picture of one of the stun guns shooting down one of the seedeaters.

Then the plant man scratched a big X across the underground control rooms. There had obviously been some malfunction in the control rooms. Cassy was crying when she thought that must have been how the people outside were stunned and why the vents were shut on people trying to get back in.

The Wall of Storys
The Wall of Storys
by
Prolee

Before the plant man rolled up the chart and started running again he pointed at the sun on one side of the chart. Then he pointed at the solar panel on the dayside of the planet. Gesturing wildly he then pointed at the solar panels on the night side of the planet. With his finger he circled the planet many times indicating the rotation of the planet. He was letting Cassy know that the solar panels start to run out of power when the light is off of them all night.

Then he was running through the chaotic streets again. Pale plant people were leaned against the walls. Some were being carried and some were beyond help.

Before long the plant man was back outside the control room where bodies were being pulled from the vents. But this time Cassy saw the stadium sized vent room was full of infants. Every cute little plant kid was reaching up toward the ceiling with their multicolored flowers open and facing the slightly opened vents. There seemed to be a mist growing just above their heads as some of the thousands of kids were bouncing excitedly and others stood perfectly still. It was a colorful and awesome sight that suddenly crashed to the ground.

The sea of infants fell like a sea of leaves, curling in shuddering heaps as the vents snapped shut snipping off parts of the older bodies still trapped in them. As the body parts fell to the floor adults sprang from their knees and scooped up the kids. They were rocking the kids in their long arms when fin-like shapes spread out of the parent's arms and enclosed the little stunned plants. Cassy's host plant man moved close to one of the parents and petted the face of the little one in her arms. The plant man opened the child's flower to reveal a partially coiled gelatinous thread-like mass coming from the center. Then the plant man pointed at the vents and walked back to the mirror where Cassy first saw him.

At the mirror Cassy could see her host making himself comfortable and gathering objects that included the rolled up chart, some kind of pen or marker and a small round metal disk. The plant man unrolled the chart on the table in front of him and used the marker to draw directly on the mirror. He drew three planets and a star all in a row. The star was on one end and a little cartoon of Cassy was on the planet on the other end. On the planet closest to the star he drew the towers, the solar panels and little lines coming out of the vents toward the middle planet. Some of the lines had both ends in the space and some of the lines were landing on planet that was in the middle between Cassy and the plant people's planet.

I asked Cassy, "What did all the pictures mean?" She said that she didn't get it at first but she said the plant man kept pointing at the solar panels on the night side of the planet and pointing to the pile of stringy stuff in the kids flowers. She said, "Then the plant man pointed into the mirror and I knew that I had some part in all this." She finally realized that the plant man needed her help.

The plant man's gestures were becoming more jittery and desperate and he unrolled the chart again and pointed at the solar panels on the night side of the planet. Cassy started thinking of the picture on the mirror. The sun was on one side and the strings were coming out the opposite side. At that moment the plant man became very excited and began pointing wildly at the stringy stuff in the kid's flowers. He stretched the string out and pointed toward the vents. Cassy then thought that maybe the stun guns on the night side of the planet might have less sensitivity so the kids could stream out of little cracks of the vents. At that moment the vents cracked open again and the kids flowers started popping open in their parent's arms. The parents sat back down on the floor, as the children stood as tall as they could. The misty looking strings started rising from the kid's flowers. The plant man began jumping out of control and pointing at the vents and the drawing of the empty middle planet on the mirror. Cassy said, "I was trying to guess what he wanted me to know about the planet between his planet and earth and right when I thought about the middle planet the kids behind the plant man started unraveling and turning into the mist that was growing above their heads. Their flowers disappeared first and then their heads and the plant man went wild."

She told me, " The kids looked like they were unraveling into a stream of cells that were flowing out of the vents. The kids became headless and were jumping up and down and every time I thought about the middle planet a burst of their bodies would disappear out of the vents." She said, "I could feel them coming toward me through space in tiny streams, so I got really excited like I was having the best dream I ever had."

I told her that I saw her and how she was squirming all around.

Then she started telling me about the parents. She said, "The parents looked really sad and some of them reached to touch the last bit of their kids before they shot up and through the ceiling. Some of them fell to the ground as if they fainted from sadness. The host plant man was running to pet some of the parents and then back to the mirror. He pointed to the middle planet and then back to assist the parents." Cassy said, "I could tell he wanted me to keep thinking about the kids going to the middle planet. I could feel it when the majority of the kid's body weight was outside their home planets gravity and then I could tell when the first ones started to touch down and reassemble themselves on the middle planet." She said, "The parents could tell when their kids landed too because their sad postures turned happy and they bounded all over each other."

She said, "I could feel that all the parents were happy with me and then I heard you talking to me." She looked at me and I asked if she could still hear them. She was quiet for a few seconds and then she said, "I don't see anything, but I feel like they are alright."

Plant People Image
Plant People
by
Prolee

Cassy Tests
Cassy Tests
by
Prolee