Dragon Quest Diaries #1

Image Credit: Yisrawayl G., Philadelphia, PA The author's comments: So this might be the dorkiest thing ever... lol but the story that went along with the DS game, DragonQuest IX was so interesting that when I beat the game, I didn't want to stop xD I started over and decided to start writing diary entries as the main character to get the story from her point of view =) A warning: You may only enjoy this or understand it if you've played the game lol and the main characters brave, but kind of quirky and blonde xD Dearest Journal, The day has finally come that I shall take full responsibility for Angel Falls. As a Celestrian and their guardian, it is all too important that I do well and make Aquila proud to have had me as his apprentice. Early this morning, on our last trip together down to the mortal world, we ended up saving two mortals from a wicked Cruelcumber and two Slimes. I think it was my utter amazingness that managed to bring it down. Ha, only kidding, Aquila did the most of the attacking himself. He is much stronger than me at this day and time, but maybe one day I’ll be able to match his great strength. Anyways, after defeating these three monsters, one of the mortals named Erin prayed in thanks for hers and her grandfather’s safe trip and I was rewarded with some of the crystalized formation of human thanks, called benevolessence. All benevolessence we Celestrians collect must be used to nurture the great world tree, Yggdrasil. In this knowledge, Aquila and I spread our white feathered wings and flew into the sky towards our great observary to offer the benevolessence to the great tree. Upon returning, I looked around at our great observary in wonder. I’d seen it nearly every day of my life, but sometimes you have to stop and take in the beauty of things. It looked somewhat like a palace, with tan walls and beautiful blue tinges in the doors and ceilings. It was heavenly. Fitting, I suppose, since some humans would refer to us as angels. As we always do when we have collected benevolessence, I reported to Apus Major, the ruler of the Celestrians. He is a kind and wise man who today told me that I am now mature enough to take the full responsibility of looking after Angel Falls and becoming their guardian. I was so proud to be a Celestrian at that moment, I could’ve very well flown in cartwheels. In the midst of my giddiness, Apus Major told me to proceed in offering the benevolessence to the world tree. It feels like such the long walk up to Yggdrasil, but I made it there in a matter of minutes with my growing wings. I bowed slightly, and offered the benevolessence to the great tree, and as it took the crystalized gratitude, the tree shimmered brightly. Yggdrasil growing is possibly one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen in my life. It is certainly one to behold, but silly me, I was so distracted beholding the tree that I didn’t notice Aquila coming up behind me. “Arabella,” he said sternly. I jumped, sure that I was to be scolded for something by my strict teacher. “I want you to know that I think you’re ready for this,” he said slowly, studying something on the ground. “Also… that I’m very proud to have had you as an apprentice. You have become a great Celestrian.” I looked at up at him in awe. It nearly brought me to tears knowing that I meant so much to him. I nodded softly and told him that it was only because he was a great teacher. He snickered softly and shook his head. “Go and see what Apus Major wants you to do now… and good luck down in the mortal world.” “Thank you,” I smiled as I skipped down the steps to report again to Apus. “Arabella,” Apus smiled when he saw me. “You bring myself and all around you such great joy. You’re never seen without a smile on your face and kindness in your heart. Go, young Celestrian, and gather more benevolessence for our beloved tree to grow. Soon, she shall be producing the fruit we’ve all been awaiting. We must help in any way we can.” I bowed slightly and ran to my quarters in happiness, gathering what few things I had. Who knew how long I’d be helping those humans, after all? That’s where I am now, but before I leave for my first trip on my own, I just had to tell you, dear journal, what a day it has been. Wish me luck, although hopefully I shall not need it. Love, Arabella


A man wrote a song and died. Trembling, the song tried to sing herself. Each day she practised, flexing melodic limbs, strengthening pale notes, until she came to understand discordant beauty. That day, her song spilled into rivers and comet trails, spread throughout galaxies. The universe leaned in to listen. Lisa Alletson is an emerging … Continue reading LISA ALLETSON: Discordant →

RAN WALKER: How to Train a Beast

The first time the beast came to the village was by accident. He had simply lost his way. However, once he learned the townspeople were willing to feed him one of their own each year, gradually incorporating more festivities and rituals into his visits, the beast vowed to keep returning. Ran Walker is the award-winning … Continue reading RAN WALKER: How to Train a Beast →


Evening. I lie in bed, absorbing the hum of the fan. Shadows spill through, lavender and pink cheer bathing me. For this moment, I put aside father’s lectures, bad son, too artistic, not living in the real world. Darkness deepens. For a moment, I can almost forget. Almost. Close enough. Mir-Yashar Seyedbagheri is a graduate … Continue reading MIR-YASHAR SEYEDBAGHERI: Evening →

OWEN YAGER: Back Before We Knew the World

Sani and I stood in a hotel parking lot once and watched two children who were standing silently, holding each other’s hands and looking at the ground, while their parents fought. That night we promised each other we’d always talk gently. Those were hopeful days, before we knew the world. Owen Yager is a senior … Continue reading OWEN YAGER: Back Before We Knew the World →

SHAW CHEN: Reintegration

The livestream of his daughter’s birth crawled; he didn’t recognize himself in the black flicker. Just earlier he shot a child who had pointed a gun at him. Watched the hate and fear fade from his eyes. She’s now the only part of him that still belongs in this world. Shaw Chen is a USAF … Continue reading SHAW CHEN: Reintegration →