WHEN SUDDENLY...! Add the Next Line - A story written by Our Community 📖

“Now that we’re here, let’s cross that beautiful bridge!” @sft1965 clapped.

The group moved to the bridge, chatting eagerly. “I’m gonna get drunk on the Tokaj region wines!” Sleepyhead grinned.

But when they got to the bridge, they saw a sign…

“75 games for 5 minutes of crossing! If you don’t cross within 5 minutes, pay 75 more gems to continue!”

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Oh s***. Budapest must have really changed since I was there last time. So many gems for a crossing? Inflation???!! :crazy_face:

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@nevarmaor and @sleepyhead looked around wildly. “There HAS to be a F2P bridge around here somewhere.”

And there, in the distance …

“Come on!” yelled @sft1965 . “It’s no worse than some of the bridges back home.”

Proteus looked ashen. “Umm, umm …” He waved his hands helplessly. “Anybody have a spare hanky?”

Hu Tao pulled a pink polkadot strip of fabric from his pocket and handed it to his friend. “I think a rope might be more useful.”

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I went to Worms once. Austria I think. Didn’t see one but it was -16 C. Maybe the ice was holding them away.

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“Oh, I know!” Proteus clapped his hands. “Bera can help us!” Proteus quickly grabbed his phone from his little pouch and began typing.

Moments later, Bera sighed as she descended with her moth minions. “Queen of the Disirs, reduced to an Uber service…”

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Bera continues. “Uber is a prepaid paid service however and I will require 40 gems up font. Gratuities are not compulsory, but are appreciated. I also expect a 5 star rating for my service”

Hu Tao smacks Proteus. “This was your good idea?”…

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“My ideas are a bit better.” Photon said coming in. “Where have you been?” Everone asked, in the tone of Mama Weasley from the 2nd Harry Potter movie.

“Work.” Photon replied.

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“Work?” @nevarmaor asked. “You’ve been grinding 8-7 non-stop?”

“Nevermind” @sft1965 added, pointing to the rickety f2p bridge. “We can save the gems. I promise it’s safe. Come on.”

@nevarmaor looked at @akionna, who looked at @sleepyhead. They shrugged their shoulders :man_shrugging: :woman_shrugging: :man_shrugging: and followed @sft1965 towards the bridge.

“Wait, my idea …” yelled @Photon.

“Alright, let’s do this.” And @sft1965 stepped onto the bridge. The rest clambered on close behind him, pushing and elbowing their way. “Wait, not all at once” yelled @sft1965 but it was too late. No one wanted to be on that bridge any longer than necessary.

Suddenly …

Hu Tao turned to Proteus. “See? Rope would have been more useful.”

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“Ok,” Pike said to @Photon while looking from the edge into the abyss. “what kind of idea was that?”

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Meanwhile, Bera and her minions flew down alongside the falling Sleepyhead, @nevarmaor , @sft1965 , @akionna , Hu Tao and Proteus.

"“Ready to pay now cheapskates?” Bera grinned.

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“By the way” she added with a wolfish grin, “it’s 40 gems EACH.”

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Everyone threw gems at Bera.

“Ow!” she growled. “Stop hitting my minions!”

“Save us before we go splat!” snapped @nevarmaor.

“The rate of falling objects is 9.8 meters per second squared …” murmured @sft1965.

“Not helping!” hissed @sleepyhead.

“Oh hanky, dear hanky …” Proteus howled. “You would have made a great parachute.”

“I’m coming back for you sweet @Tea!” Hu Tao hollered.

“It’s going to be close!” @Pike pointed to the tangle of arms and legs … falling, falling …

“I can’t look!” @Photon sniffed. “I have to work. I’m going to do some massive pulls for Black Friday.”

Bera and minions scooped up most everyone. But one person kept falling. One person paid only 39 gems.

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Suddenly …

A floating, umm, jewel case(?) appeared overhead, attached to a giant green and white bladder. In the bow of the jewel case(?) stood a majestic figure, arrow cocked and pulled back to her ear, pointed unerringly at Bera.

“Save him” she said, indicating the still-falling @nevarmaor.

“But Sharan, he didn’t pay the full price. Besides, you’re a healer not a sniper.”

“My name is Mila. Save him.” And one arrow went whizzing within millimetres of Bera’s delicate left ear, replaced instantly by a second loaded and cocked to Mila’s ear.

“But, but … ok.”

And @nevarmaor’s headlong dive was halted at the very last instant as two of Bera’s minions grabbed him by the waistband.

“Ow, ow, ow, wedgie!” @nevarmaor screamed.

“That was worth a diamond” Bera commented, smiling catlike.

Soon all the rescued heroes were deposited on the far bank of the Danube, only a little the worse for wear. Mila floated down in the balloon and delicately stepped onto solid ground, the bow and arrows stowed away, umm, somewhere. “I am going to have to keep that in mind” thought @nevarmaor. “No telling when they will suddenly appear again.”

Mila walked up to Proteus and handed him a brand new hanky. “I heard you lost yours recently.”

The bedraggled heroes looked around at …

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… a trio of executive-types.

“Did you pay tax on those gems, hmmm?” One jabbed a pen at Bera. “We charge VAT you know!”

“What?!” Bera’s minions began to swarm around. “I don’t pay taxes! I’m a queen!”

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At this point @Pike turned at her and showed her a glare that scared even the likes of @SamMe and growled “nobody is above the rules, you winged monstrosity”

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“The rules don’t apply to a Queen,” Bera smirked.

“Anyway I’ve collected gems, and I’ll leave you all now. Good bye.” With that, Bera and her minions fluttered away.

The trio of executive-types tried but failed to follow Bera.

The bedraggled team took another break. @Mistress_of_Shadows kindly offered freshly popped :popcorn: and cold :beers: to the entire group. Hu Tao broke out his emergency smoothies supply for the non-drinkers.

Everyone was too busy enjoying themselves to take any notice that…

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@Photon was still on the other side of the river.

“I am NOT paying all those gems to cross that p2w bridge, and the f2p bridge is now rubble. Time to break out my idea.”

With that, he turned to the lovely Toxicandra. “My dear, you know what to do.”

And with that, Toxi spread her arms wide and began her Accelerated Growth.

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Someone accidentally getting left behind made me laugh. It reminded me of a time it happened to an acquaintance IRL. Thankfully she wasn’t left behind for too long. :see_no_evil:

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Plants and vines began growing across the chasm!

“Wow, to think we could have gotten across for free!” Sleepyhead stamped his foot. He began thinking…

He snapped his fingers, and Bera reappeared! “I want our gems back!” he growled.

“You dare command a queen?” Bera laughed haughtily.

“I dare… because you’re in my roster,” Sleepyhead grinned evilly. Then he snapped again, and Seshat, Domitia and Sartana all appeared, aiming their weapons at Bera.

Bera began to tremble a bit. Her minions could tank one snipe, but three?

Sleepyhead grinned again. “And if this still doesn’t convince you… I will strip your emblems… and give them to Aeron.”

Bera blanched.

“No, no, wait, I can think of someone else who needs them…” Sleepy’s eyes twinkled. “Gan Ju.”

“No! Stripping me for a 3*?!” Bera fell to her knees. “Here, take ALL my gems!”

Sleepyhead gleefully grabbed the bag. “Okay, everyone gets a portion!”

@nevarmaor whispered into @SamMe 's ear, “Remind me never to get on Sleepyhead’s bad side…”

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