31 July 2015 at 12:55:36 MDT
The noonday sun beat down heavily upon the emerald green jungle and its occupants. While much of the tree canopy did help shade somewhat, the muggy atmosphere still sapped a lot of energy of the local wildlife. For Sophia Tarson, however, it was only a mild irritant. Currently, her focus was on navigating the treacherous pitfalls of the jungle as well as finding her next treasure spot: the hidden temple of Zaso. It had been several weeks of searching already, not to mention all the time spent preparing beforehand. Although, the adventuress had a feeling that they were near their destination.
“Phiiiiia!” a maturing voice called out, causing Sophia to groan and pause her calculations. Soon after, a tall and slightly gangly young man emerged from a nearby bush, grunting angrily. “You said we were gonna find this Zablows temple by now!”
Sophia rolled her eyes, a tad frustrated. “We would have been there by now if you hadn’t stopped to complain every five minutes. Plus, it’s ‘Zaso’, Egon, the ‘Zaso’ temple. Not ‘Zablows’.”
Egon shook his head, bits of branches flying free from his shaggy black hair. “‘Zastinks’ if you ask me, we’ve been in this jungle foreeevvveerrr. It’s hot, I’m tired, and even though you say we’re not, we’re lost!” the lad complained, plopping down onto a large rock. He leaned back, relaxing his shoulders from his heavy pack.
“We’re not lost, hun,” Sophia replied, returning her focus to her journal. She rolled her neck side to side, emitting a few faint clicking sounds. “Besides, it’s not that hot. Remember that week we spent in the Sahara?”
“It was a month, Phia, not a week. Unless you’re forgetting more, you didn’t catch on fire like me!” Egon retorted, the seventeen year old’s mood growing more sour. Sweat beaded from his forehead, exhaustion clearly evident.
Sophia had done her best to prep her friend in shape with daily exercise and balanced meals, but there was only so much she could work with how stubborn he was at times with journeys. The adventuress brushed a strand of her short blond hair past her ear, loosening the lid on her canteen simultaneously. She gently poured a small stream of water upon Egon’s forehead for relief, then handed the canteen to him.
“It’s all in the details, Egon. It may have felt like a month with that cursed amulet, but it was only a week. As for ‘catching fire’, that was part of your hallucination, remember?” the adventuress said, smiling as her assistant took a sip of the refreshing liquid. While Sophia was only 4 years older than the boy, she still had a great deal more experience. Her own stark blue colored eyes met with Egon’s amber irises.
The younger adventurer sighed, admitting defeat at his friend’s validity. “Sorry, Sophia, I’m letting this jungle get the better of me. I just wish we had found the darn temple by now,” Egon muttered, splashing a bit of water from the canteen on his face. He felt bad for complaining, especially in fact of someone he really admired. Not that he would admit that too quickly for fear of wrong impressions.
“It’s okay, hun. Tell ya what- why don’t you lift that branch there just to your right?” Sophia asked teasingly.
Egon blinked, confused at first. Reaching over, he lifted the leafy appendage away whil still looking at his friend. “What does lifting this branch have to do with finding the tem-” the boy paused in mid-sentence, now noticing the view just past the treeline. Nestled in a gulley not too far from them, lay the hidden temple of Zaso. “Whoooaaaaa,” Egon uttered, his mouth open in awe from the incredible sight. Its formidable size and stone texture seemed to shine from the overhead sun.
“Last one there has to carry all the treasure back!” Sophia shouted, running past the bewildered lad. She laughed lively and hooted, breaking Egon from his stupor to finally give chase.
“Maybe this was a bad idea,” Egon murmured, straining to look down the dark hallway. The pair had breached through the temple’s outer walls, now inside the ancient structure. Sophia scanned through her journal, aided by the light of the torch that her assistant held. “After all, the locals said it was dangerous and that there wasn’t any real treasure in here,” he continued. The adventuress scoffed. “They just said that to scare us off and keep the treasure for themselves,” Sophia replied, scrutinizing the symbols she had scribed in her journal. “You remember all the research we did. The ancient tribe that lived here was peaceful and didn’t construct anything like the temples we’ve been in before. There won’t be any traps in here.” Even so, the pair carried on carefully through the dark tunnel. A few ridges and raised platforms hindered their progress somewhat, but Egon was able to help lift Sophia over and then follow after her. It seemed the farther they went, the darkness became impossibly darker with how little difference the torch made. At last, they reached a rather sizable, yet empty chamber. There seemed to be a faint glow about the walls though that somewhat helped illuminate the surroundings. “Dead end? What do you suppose this is?” Egon asked, noticing how closed off the room was around them. Smooth walls surrounded with not a single exit save the one they had just came from prior. On the opposite wall, however, two stone protrusions jutted out like buttons. “No traps, huh?” Sophia examined the two ‘buttons’, analyzing the minute differences. “We didn’t come here for nothing if that’s what you mean, Egon. I think these unlock another chamber,” the adventuress replied confidently. “Sooo, we push these at the same time?” Egon guessed. He raised his hand closer to one of the buttons, but Sophia quickly grabbed his wrist. She let her held breath, gently lowering her assistant’s arm. “I think we have to choose one of them. Which one though I’m not sure, the riddle doesn’t make any sense,” the blond answered. Her younger counterpart glanced over at the journal, not as familiar with the foreign text. “What’s the riddle?” he inquired, eager to help Sophia in any way. “Etched in stone, lie two options. Two treasures await, neither bad nor good. Trust must be placed in either or, as everything will change no matter the choice,” the adventuress read aloud. She glanced at Egon, curious about his interpretation. The lad’s eyes narrowed at the two stone buttons. “That sounds more like a warning than anything, Phia. I think we should turn back.” Sophia shook her head. “If we give up now, Salator might sneak in and get the treasure. We can’t let him get whatever’s in here,” she replied. At the mention of their rival’s name, Egon stiffened angrily. “That dirty rat,” the lad muttered. He regained his composure however and looked questioningly at Sophia. “Even so, is this really worth the chance? What if something dangerous happens?” Smiling back, the kind beauty rested her hand gently on Egon’s shoulder. “Do you trust me?” she asked. Her friend balked a bit. “C’mon, Phia, you know that I do, I just worr-” “Egon,” Sophia interrupted. She locked eyes with his and asked again. “Do you trust me?” Egon kept her gaze. He was concerned, yet knew that Sophia wouldn’t steer him wrong. After a few moments, he nodded and softly replied, “I trust you.” Sophia grinned and immediately pushed in the left button. A loud crack resonated through the chamber, Egon’s eyes widening at the sudden course of action. Barely a split second after, the section of flooring that Sophia stood upon gave out and sent her falling straight down a hole. “Phia!” the young man shouted, reacting too late to try and grab her. He dropped the torch and fell onto his belly just over the hole’s outcropping. Like the tunnel earlier, it was completely dark and Egon couldn’t see where or how fall his friend had fallen. “Phia!” Almost in response, a loud grinding echoed around him. He jerked his head back up to notice the wall with the buttons was sliding back. Another hole, this one much larger than the previous, was soon revealed from the movement. Egon’s eyes widened even more when he saw..- tentacles emerging from the large chasm. “Phia!” he yelled again, unsure of what to do. Before he could jump to his feet, a long and skinny tentacle looped around his ankles. The lad panicked, reaching down to pry the slippery appendage from his legs. However, a much thicker tentacle wrapped around his chest and secured his arms to straighten him out. “No!” Struggling futilely, the tentacles coiled around him more and proceeded to drag him back down the chasm from where they came. Egon fidgeted defiantly against them, but his fighting seemed to be absorbing by the cushioning tentacles. Three more tentacles had joined the other two, restraining his body easily. As the lad was carried away deeper, he noticed a light beneath them in the chasm. At last, the tentacles brought him down into a somehow illuminated cavern. It was a bit smaller than the chamber above them, but rounded down into a sizable pit. Egon’s eyes soon adjusted and noticed an innumerable amount of tentacles writhing about below him. He had stopped struggling now, knowing that he was fully caught. Aware of that, he took time to note that the tentacles weren’t painful or too tight. The five around him were all different colors surprisingly: red, orange, green, blue, and purple. Egon raised his eyebrows in confusion, never seeing anything like this before in his life. Eventually, the tentacles brought him into the center of the pit of even more tentacles. More of the squishy things surrounded him, almost like a soft embrace. Looking around, Egon’s gaze finally caught sight of Sophia smiling right next to him. She also was coiled up completely, a vivid pink tentacle framing her face. “Hey, hun,” she cooed. “Phia.. what’s going on?” Egon asked, almost distracted by the tentacles softly vibrating against his body. The pit seemed alive with cuddly tentacles, all of them focused on the pair. The adventuress giggled. “You know, it still surprises me that you didn’t ask about the name?” Egon tilted his head. “What are you talking about? What name? Zazo?” Sophia nodded. “‘Zazo’, translated from the ancient language here, means tentacle. Kinda makes sense now, huh?” “But-” the young man paused, trying to wrap his head about it all. Meanwhile, the tentacles wrapped more around him, slowly and almost massage-like in their motions. “You knew this was gonna happen?” Sophia tried to shrug, but it was barely noticeable with all the tentacles around her. The chubby coils continued moving, reasserting their soft grip. “Not exactly this, but I had a good idea of what. I made up all that mumbo jumbo because you had been stressing too much. Nothing seemed to be working and I thought this would be a nice relaxing change,” she replied. “Taking me on a wild goose chance to get stuck in a giant tentacle pit?” Egon questioned skeptically. His blond friend smiled. “Call it inspiration.” She nodded around at the coiling appendages. “These little guys are ‘Fruit Tentacles’, flavored just like the fruit their color matches to.” At that, Sophia licked a passing yellow tentacle. “Mmm! Pineapple!” Egon squinted his eyes, still trying to process it all in. Curiously, he licked the orange tentacle wrapped snugly around his neck. Sure enough, it tasted just like an orange. In response, the tentacle shuddered slightly and seemed to kiss against the lad’s cheek. Egon blushed while Sophia giggled. “Then, what do we do now?” he asked his mentor. Almost immediately, another set of tentacles hovered near the pair, each holding some broken up mangos. Sophia eagerly ate the offered fruit, taking care not to bite the tentacle. She smiled and replied, “Now? We relax.” Egon blinked, confused how Sophia was so at ease with the tentacles. Deciding to go with the flow though, the lad relaxed his muscles and let the tentacles press closer into him. Following her advice, he felt at peace as the fruity things soothed his body. Soon, not an inch of him was spared from the gentle tentacles squishing snugly around. It might have been one of the strangest things in his life, but Egon didn’t complain as the tentacles cuddled him.
One week later, Sophia and Egon were back home in their loft, setting together a large patch of soil in the living room. The lad was still unsure how it was supposed to work, but his mentor claimed to know exactly what to do.
The tentacles had reluctantly let the pair go not long after being captured, but not before giving them a strange set of spiral-shaped seeds. It wouldn’t be long until the two adventurers would have their own cuddly patch of fruit tentacles in their own home. It was only a matter of time, and Sophia was more than anxious for their growth.
Woo! This was a delightful commission, I definitely had a great time writing this ^^ Daddydead (http://www.furaffinity.net/user/daddydead/ ) gave the wonderful prompt and I kinda ran away with it XD I hope you all enjoy, cover art here: http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee283/rogernikks/commissions%20x3/skittlessquish_zps1cfbbc5c.png and credit goes to SnakeGuyJack on that :)
[Side note, guess I'm kinda open for commissions ^^; Feel free to note me on details, I'm generally free for whatever, short stories at a reasonable price.]