Submission (#5018) Approved
Bonus 1: 919 words (+2EC)
Bonus 2: includes a pomu lantern (+1EC)
Ismeria swung the smooth branch, grasping firmly with her paws. The branch swished through the air, nearly throwing her off balance as it sailed past its mark. The burgundy and gold kittom paused to regain her bearings and took a sly peek over her blindfold. The piñata bobbed up and down in front of her, its prizes jostling inside. So far nobody had managed to hit it, so the cardboard frame and tissue paper covering were still pristine. It was shaped like a pomu - Rhapsody’s pomu, Sneak, to be exact. The likeness was uncanny, with its blue and red eyes, horns and diamond-shaped markings on its mask. The artisan had even managed to replicate the creature’s classic smirk.
“Hey, no cheating!” Rhapsody scolded, adjusting his grip on the rope.
Ismeria felt paws reach up behind her to tighten the black cloth tied across her eyes.
“Vask, that’s too tight” she yelped, shaking her head in an attempt to loosen her brother’s hold.
Vask snickered but said nothing.
Ismeria straightened herself up and prepared for her second swing. She closed her eyes and listened to the sound of the rope rubbing against the branch overhead. She tried her best to isolate the sound of the tissue paper and piñata’s contents from the rustling pink leaves. Ismeria held her breath, adjusted her aim and… WHACK! The stick hit right on target, sending shockwaves through her forelegs. She felt a rush of air as the piñata whipped past her face, twirling along its path. She heard a few candies fall onto the cobblestone pathway, but she must not have broken all the way through.
Ismeria removed the blindfold and inspected her handiwork. One of the pomu-shaped arms was hanging off at a strange angle and some of the tissue paper had peeled back on that side. At least it was a start.
She handed the blindfold to Vask and waited for him to securely fasten it. While the dark purple kittom fussed with the knot, Ismeria glanced around at her surroundings. Behind her stood the lovely fairytale cottage where she, Rhapsody and a few of her siblings had taken refuge for miasma season. Its rosy wooden shingles melded well into its pastel setting, matching the foliage of trees around it. Vibrant faerie shrouds draped down from the branches, swaying gently in the breeze. Their cascading blooms released a sweet, delicate aroma that reminded her of her mom’s perfume. The cottage sat at the crest of a hill, but the dense forest blocked her view of the surrounding landscape. The cobblestone path that they were standing on continued down into the heart of the village and was bordered by bright green grass and colorful wildflowers. If one continued down the opposite side of the hill, they would reach an ethereal meadow. Unfortunately, it fell just outside of the village’s wards. Ismeria couldn’t wait to visit it again when the miasma cleared up. Faerindell might not feel like home, but she could see why so many nins were drawn to this land.
Having finally secured his mask, Vask thrust his paw out impatiently for the branch. Ismeria handed it over and took three big steps back, stifling a giggle as her foolhardy brother swung the stick back and forth violently. After he quickly exhausted his five swings, he pushed his nose up in the air and dropped the branch in disgust.
Next up was Itri, then Sidra. Both landed glancing blows to the piñata, but Rhapsody’s skillful maneuvering had kept his pomu’s likeness largely intact.
After a few more rounds, the little band of nins were getting impatient. It was already past noon, their legs were getting sore, and their bellies were starting to rumble. Itri, ever diplomatic, suggested that they put the game on hold until tomorrow morning.
Vask shook his head, scraping the stones with the end of the stick. With little warning, he flicked the branch upwards and took a swing so quick and so strong that it cracked cleanly through the piñata’s center, sending wrapped sweets clattering to the ground.
Rhapsody stumbled back as the rope went slack and Ismeria instinctively rushed forward to steady him. The kittoms turned to survey the ruins of the cardboard pomu. The bottom half lay on the cobblestones, while the top portion was still secured to the rope. Of course, Rhapsody’s real pomu, in crystal form, was bobbing safely in the lantern tied to one of his tails. The other kittoms hadn’t met their pomus yet, so all of Ismeria’s energy went toward perfecting Rhapsody’s lantern. She and Rhapsody had fashioned it to look like a lotus flower with overlapping petals. It was hand-painted to match Rhapsody’s red, blue and gold markings. Ismeria missed Sneak’s mischievous antics, but at least they could still have a bit of fun in the pomu’s honor. Sneak would love this, after all.
“Well, that was a blast!” Sidra exclaimed merrily as she popped a sour apple hard candy into her mouth. The starry blue kittom wrinkled her nose as the tart flavor hit her taste buds.
After sampling the piñata’s contents, the kittoms spent a few minutes gathering the remaining candies into a basket and picking up the pieces of the piñata. After lunch, Ismeria would patch it up and set it up inside as a decoration. Then it would be time for the next group activity. Maybe board games? The kittoms might be stuck here, far away from home, but at least they had each other.
These items have been removed from the submitter's inventory and will be refunded if the request is rejected or consumed if it is approved.