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Heather stood outside her tower and tapped at her panel as it glowed over her left arm.

 

“So do I make the tower taller? Do I make it wider? Or do I buy things for the inside?”

 

The skeletons stood silently by and had nothing to offer but blank stares.

 

“Well, you're no use,” she groaned as she looked at her options again.

 

Inside the tower, she heard a crash followed by a groan

 

“Be careful with my tub!” she yelled from outside as she looked at the options again.

 

“You could come in here and help us,” Frank called from inside.

 

“You two are both stronger than I am,” she replied.

 

“Just put it down,” Frank said from inside. A moment later, he and Quinny walked out.”

 

“We got it upstairs finally,” he sighed.

 

“what about the rug?” Heather asked.

 

“That’s in your bedroom,” Quinny gasped. “It was so hard to twist that up the stairs.”

 

“I gave you the howl from the grave,” Heather pointed out.

 

Frank shook his head and walked over to look at her panel screen.

 

“So, what are you trying to choose?”

 

“I can make the tower a floor taller, or I can make the existing floors wider, or I can buy things for the inside.”

 

“Can you buy an elevator?” he asked.

 

“I don't think so,” she said as she looked through her options. “I can get a ladder, and a, oh, wait! I can get an elevator!”

 

“What?” Frank asked as he looked at the screen.

 

“See!” she said excitedly as she showed him a round shaft that would fill with water and lift a floating platform level by level.”

 

Frank scratched the top of his head as he looked at it. “It's powered by water. I wonder how fast it is?”

 

“I don’t care how fast it is,” Quinny said. “So long as I don’t have to carry something that heavy up the stairs again.

 

“It’s nearly twenty thousand points,” Frank remarked. “She won’t be able to buy it until she’s level fifty.”

 

“I will be dead by then,” Quinny joked.

 

Heather smirked and went back to the choice to make. “So, which one do I pick?”

 

“Which one means the most to you?” Frank asked.

 

“Can’t you just tell me what to pick?”

“Why so you can not pick it?” he asked.

 

“You make me sound horrible,” Heather said with a toss of her hair. “Maybe what I need is some time to think about it.”

 

“We could decide where Quinny's forest will go,” he suggested.

 

“That’s a good idea,” Heather agreed as she rubbed her tattoo and dismissed the panel. She looked around the graveyard and considered the options.

 

“Well, the stream is our southern border. So it's pointless to build over there.”

 

“I do want to expand over it,” Frank reminded her. “I want to build my obelisk on the other side.”

 

“I know you told me all about it, but for right now, it acts as a clean line,” she suggested as she turned to Quinny. “Can you create a shape for your forest?

 

“I can designate any shape I want. It measures total volume,” Quinny said.

 

“Well then, let's make it an adventure,” Heather said. “Put the forest between the front gate and the road. Make people walk through it to get to the graveyard.”

 

“That's only about half a mile of room,” Frank said. “It won't be a very long walk.”

 

“I didn’t want to give her a huge area to fill,” Heather replied.

 

“My forest is bigger than the graveyard,” Quinny said. I could fill that space and go all the way to the stream and wrap around the north edge of the graveyard.”

 

“You can?” Heather said, surprised.

 

Quinny nodded. “I build a big area and then add points of interest to it.”

 

“What’s a point of interest?” Heather asked.

 

Quinny shrugged. “Like a statue, an open grave, an abandoned shack, a tall dead tree, a hangman's tree, a stagnant pond, a pumpkin patch, a brier patch, that sort of thing.”

 

“You can make paths, can't you?” Frank asked.

 

Quinny nodded. “I cam make paths through the forest and upgrade them at higher levels. I can turn them into stone paths and eventually into roads. I can also choose how overgrown it is. I can even move the paths around or choke them off with plants at any time.”

 

“Why would you want to do that?” Heather asked.

 

“It's to make the paths vanish, so people get lost,” Frank said.

 

“Oh,” Heather nodded. “So, you can play with them when they are in the forest.”

 

“Yeah, I can even cause small atmospheric effects. Like a light mist or a wind, or make a frog croak or even a moaning noise.”

 

“It’s like a haunted house,” Heather laughed.

 

“It is a lot like that,” Quinny said.

 

“What kind of things can you spawn in it?” Frank asked.

 

Quinny thought about it. “I think it will spawn bats in the dark areas on its own. It will spawn wolves if I add a lair for them at level three.”

 

“Only bats?” Frank asked.

 

“If I put in an open grave, it will spawn a few normal zombies. I can put down a mass grave to spawn skeletons. The abandoned shack starts with a zombie in it, but I can upgrade it to have more powerful undead. If I place a ghost orchid patch, it will spawn creeper zombies.”

 

“Whats a creeper zombie?” Heather asked.

 

“The ghost orchid is a plant that has thorny tendrils and white flowers. It will spawn three zombies that have the vines of the plant growing on them. Sometimes they even have white flowers. The zombies are animated by the plant, and if they kill a player or NPC, they will drag the body back to the flower patch. The plant will then grow into it and raise it as another creeper zombie.”

 

“So it's a plant-based zombie?” Frank asked.

 

Quinny nodded.

 

“Then, where do you live?” Heather asked.

 

“I have a chamber in a burial mound,” Quinny said.

 

Heather looked at Frank for an explanation.

 

“It's a type of lair built into a hill. They are man-made, and inside will be several rooms for her to lair in,” he said.

 

“It's underground, then?” Heather asked. “Can you connect it to Franks tunnels?”

 

Quinny shrugged. “I don’t see why not. I can give him permission to build into or under the forest.”

 

“That will be perfect!” Heather said. “You can connect my cellar room and her burial mound to your tunnels, and we can use that to move around.”

 

“I suppose I can,” Frank said as he thought about it. “But that’s giving people more ways into the tunnels.”

 

“Oh, people will love exploring the tunnels,” Heather said.

 

“Can you spread some of your trees into the graveyard?” Frank asked.

 

Quinny shrugged. “I think I can if you give me permission to build here. The forest generates somewhat randomly, but I can place specific trees if I want.”

 

“Why would you want to spread it into the graveyard?” Heather asked.

 

“So people have more to see than the dead ones, and because I want her living trees to cast that gloom on the ground in places.”

 

“Oh,” Heather said. “So could I place a tomb in the forest to spawn more skeletons?”

 

“If you had permission,” Frank said.

 

Heather smiled. “We could do all sorts of things with this. This will be a lot of fun.”

 

“Now, you're starting to see why I wanted to play this,” Frank said. “I wanted to make a big haunted area, but I could never get anybody to work with me.”

 

“Well, Quinny and I are going to work with you, and we’re going to make this fun! Maybe other players will hear about it and want to come to build with us, and it will get bigger and bigger.”

 

“So, I should build the forest between the graveyard and the road?” Quinny asked.

 

“Start by the stream and wrap around the fence as far as you can,” Frank said.

 

“I can’t wait to start!” she said excitedly. “I will have to place my burial mound first. Can I put it next to the graveyard?”

 

“Go right ahead,” Frank said.

 

Quinny clapped her hands and shambled off to start her building project.

 

“You’re a softy,” Heather said to Frank.

 

“I just want her to have fun building,” he said.

 

“You’re as excited as she is. You are finally getting the graveyard you always wanted.”

 

He shrugged. “I guess so. It’s fun to know things are growing instead of being ruined for a change.”

 

“Speaking of growing,” Heather said as she dragged a finger over her wrist. “I really can’t decide what to add to my tower.”

 

“Just pick something useful,” Frank suggested.

 

Heather nodded as she looked at what her current level offered her.

 

“Make it taller or make what I have bigger?” she said to herself. “If I make it taller, do I add the floor on top?

 

“You should be able to put the empty floor wherever you want it. You could push your two upper levels up one more floor,” he suggested.

 

She sighed and dismissed it again, unwilling to make the decision.

 

“Oh, I have an idea! Let's go to the roof and watch the forest grow.”

 

Frank nodded, and they went to the top of the tower. From here, they looked out over the graveyard and the land beyond.

 

“It’s already starting!” Heather said as she pointed.

 

All along the stream, trees with thick trunks were already grown. Their leaves were dark green and grew in thick canopies. The canopies overlapped one another, forming a ceiling over the ground below. Even from here, Heather could see the land underneath was shrouded in darkness like Franks tunnels. As they watched, the forest spread across the ground, moving along the front of the graveyard fence. It grew over Heather's path and thickened to reach the road.

 

“This is cool to watch,” Frank said as trees grew rapidly before their eyes.

 

“I can't believe how strange this world is,” Heather said as the forest rounded the corner of the graveyard and began to grow down the other side. She noticed a strange oblong hill that wasn't there before with a large gnarled tree growing out of the top.

 

“Was that hill always there?” Heather asked.

 

Frank looked over and shook his head.

 

“No, that must be her burial mound. She is probably inside it, directing the growth of the forest.”

 

“It’s not a very big hill,” Heather said as she squinted in the sunlight.

 

“I think it has one large internal room. I bet she can make a lower level, but most of her options will be in the forest.”

 

“I like how she can place things in the forest for people to find,” Heather said.

 

“I can do the same with my graveyard,” he said. “It randomly grows graves like she grows trees, but I can place specific things to add interest.”

 

“I can’t do any of that with my tower. All my options are inside of it.”

 

Frank nodded as the burial mound was covered over by trees. He walked to the edge of the tower and looked over the side.

 

“The ring of your yard expands when you make the tower bigger,” he pointed out.

 

“But I have no control over that, and all I can do is place skeleton things.”

 

“I bet you have more options at a higher level,” he said. “Why don't you upgrade it now, and we can watch the yard change from here.”

 

“But we're on top? What happens to us?”

 

“I have to change my tunnels while I am inside them,” he pointed out. “I am sure it will safely move us or build around us.”

 

“This is so strange,” Heather said with a shake of her head. She pulled up the panel and began to tap at the air. “This is strange too. I know the panel isn't real, but it feels like I am pushing buttons. It has a very surreal quality to it.”

 

“If you make your tower taller, we will see more of the forest,” Frank said.

 

Heather tapped at the options and looked at the new level.

 

“It’s just a single large empty room,” she said.

 

“I bet you can pick entire builds for levels once you make them bigger,” he suggested.

 

“So just put it on the top?” she asked.

 

“See if you can add it as the second level and push your bedroom higher.”

 

Heather shrugged and dragged the level, and sure enough, it placed as the second floor. So now she had two lower floors that were single empty rooms, and two higher floors that were two divided rooms. With a tap of the submit button, she felt nothing.

 

“Did it work?”

 

“It did, look we can see a little more,” Frank said. “And I was watching your yard. It definitely got wide. I can even see a little roof down there now.”

 

Heather walked closer to the edge but felt her stomach twist to look over it.

 

“How can you stand being on the edge like that?”

 

He shrugged. “If I fell, I would respawn in my graveyard.”

 

“Still,” Heather groaned as she struggled to look over the lip. Sure enough, there was a small wood shingle roof below in the yard. The yard itself was perhaps ten feet wider and even had two new trees.

 

“I think that’s a well,” Frank suggested as they looked down.

 

“A well in a graveyard? Would you want to drink that water?”

 

“I bet it's fine,” he said. “I don't think the visitors have contamination programmed in. I am pretty sure there is a spell to sour water, though.”

 

Heather tried to get a better look, but vertigo swept through her. She had to step away from the edge to settle her stomach.

 

“Let’s go down and take a closer look,” Frank suggested. “I think Quinny is done laying out her forest anyway.

 

“She was right. It really was a lot of trees,” Heather said. “I would love to explore it and see what it looks like.”

 

“Then let’s go down,” he suggested again.

 

They dropped down the ladder and descended the stairs. As Frank went to go down the next level, Heather stopped.

 

“Where is the tub?” she asked.

 

Frank turned around and pointed through a doorway into an empty room. He was quiet a long moment and then turned to glare at Heather.

 

“Please don't tell me you had your tower in edit mode this whole time?”

 

“Why?” Heather squeaked.

 

Frank went down the stairs to the second level, and sure enough in the middle of the new room was the tub.

 

“Oh, there it is,” she said as she followed him down. “I thought you said you put it in the side room. Why is it here?”

 

“Because we placed it in that room on the second floor while your tower was still being edited. You made the changes later and locked down the tower's new profile. It didn't record that the tub was in that specific room. All it knows is the tub is on the second floor.

 

 

Heather chewed on a lip and looked at Frank as she dragged a toe on the floor.

 

“So, can you move it upstairs for me?”

 

Crows took to the air as the graveyard filled with the sound of Franks cry of frustration.

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A note from omnixius

Thank you all so much for reading my story. If you haven't already please consider a follow. If you really like it please consider a rating. And I must make this appeal because I am struggling to turn writing into a career and I am failing. If you have the means please consider my patreon. I made an audio log talking about myself that gives some info into how and why I started writing these books. But it is very much an appeal for donations. If you are interested and you have twenty minutes please give it a listen.

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About the author

omnixius

  • Eastern United States- Thats all your getting.
  • newbie writer, wise old story teller.
  • https://omnixius.enjin.com/

Bio: About me.
I am a fan of fantasy and romance stories. I have been writing from a very early age and love to tell stories. I lack a good education in grammar however and I have been struggling to teach myself.

I love dragons and have for years been working on a story where they featured heavily. This is the culmination of that work. I hope it measures up to some kind of standard and that you the reader deeply enjoy it.

I have no awards to brag about. I have no education to brag about. I haven’t written any award-winning books or articles in major publications. I am just an obscure storyteller shouting his story from the void in the hopes that somebody will hear it.

Thank you so much for reading my story. Sharing what I have and finding a way to focus on it for the future is all I ever wanted to do.

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