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E - Everyone

Tree War

by Marshall2

Once there was a peaceful small island with a huge tree in the middle of it. The birds lived on the giant tree, and the fishmen lived on the ground and the water. The island was very small, and the tree took up a lot of space, so the birds had lots of space on the tree. There were a lot of different types of birds, and a lot of different kinds of houses and nests. There were also different kinds of fishmen like: shark men, octopus men, and even starfish men. They built their houses mostly on the beach or in the water.

One day a small, orange bird kid named Bido was on the tree looking around the island for food, when he saw a lot of fishmen ripping wood off the tree. Even though they were neighbors on a very small island, Bido didn’t know much about the fishmen. The two species mostly kept to their own kind, and Bido was more interested in what went on in the tree than what went on in the water and down on the ground, anyway. But he was sure that he’d never seen anything like what the fishmen were doing now. He kept watching as they tore big strips of bark the size of surfboards off the base of his tree. He looked around for one of the elder birds, but no one was around, and no one else seemed to notice what was happening. Am I seeing things? Bido wondered. Isn’t this really bad? Shouldn’t there be someone stopping them? But since no one was doing that, Bido decided that even though he was young, he would have to take it upon himself. He looked down again at the fishmen stripping the tree. They didn’t ever look up. They didn’t say much to each other. They were completely focused on their task. Bido drew a deep breath and made his way down towards the base of the tree.

“Hey you, fishman with the big long nose, why are you ripping wood off our tree? Do you need something?”

The fishman did not respond. Instead, he ripped another big chunk of wood off the tree and swung at Bido. The next thing Bido knew, he’d been wacked all the way up back into the treetop. His head was pounding and he had to ruffle his feathers and regain his balance. When he had shaken off the cobwebs, he knew the fishmen were declaring war. He didn’t know what to do, so he went to tell all the other birds. They listened to him with worry, but there was a problem. The birds did not know how to fight; they had never fought before.

The next day, when Bido was sleeping, he thought of an idea to fight back. Fishmen are strong and can breathe underwater, but birds can do something they can't. Bird’s can fly! The birds could use bombs! Early in the morning, Bido went to each of the bird's houses and made loud sounds with pots and pans to wake everyone up. Everyone was grumpy and mad at Bido for waking them up at 4am.

“What are you doing! Be quiet!” said many of the birds.

But Bido said, “Wake up, it’s really important,” so a lot of the birds slowly walked out of their houses, into the big meeting area. Bido was ready, standing on a stump, so he wasn't the shortest one; he had a small wood slab with his speech. A lot of the birds still had their pajamas on.

“Who is that kid? Why did he wake us up?” one of the birds asked.

“I think that’s Frido’s kid? I don’t know. I can’t see that far without my glasses.”

“I was having a great dream,” the first one muttered. “I was flying over a field of worms.” He scowled and looked back towards Bido.

Bido said to all of the birds, “I found a way to fight the fishmen! Combining the flammable sap from the tree with popping flowers would make explosions... and we could make bombs!”

Bido’s old classmate, Ooluk said “No, don’t listen to Bido, he wants to make us make the bombs, so he can give it to the fishmen,” but everyone ignored Ooluk.

“That's a good idea, Bido,” said the crowd.

“I didn’t know Bido was smart.”

“I want to go to sleep, let's make bombs later today.”

“Good night everyone.”

Six hours after getting some sleep, they started making bombs. The first bomb they made did not work; when they dropped it down the tree, it just made a pop sound. “Not enough sap,” the birds thought. The second one did not work either; it just caught on fire. “Not enough flowers,” they thought.

It took many more tries until they got a perfect one. That day they started celebrating by making fireworks with the bombs, and throwing some bombs off the tree.

Meanwhile under the tree, some fishmen were arguing about how to attack the birds.

“We need to dig a hole in the ground, so we can hide.”

“No, we need to run away, then they won't be able to hit us.”

“No! None of those are good Ideas, we need to make a catapult to launch us up.”

The leader of the fishmen, Jader said, “No, all three of you have the worst ideas. We have to climb the tree or else we can’t attack them, so they will blow us up and they will win,” but the leader's brother Sader disagreed.

“If we climb the tree then it will be very easy for the birds to hit us with the bombs.” So the fishmen split into two groups. One group climbed the tree with Jader, and the other group stayed on the ground with Sader throwing rocks at the birds. While trying to dodge the bombs the birds threw, the first group of fishmen climbed the tree, but the birds had so many bombs, and they could fly which made hitting the fishmen easier. But the fishmen could also rip wood off the tree and throw it at the birds.

As the fishmen slowly made their way towards the tree top, the birds were panicking because they were only good at long range, so if the fishmen got onto the tree they could not fight. Everyone clouded Bido and asked, “What are we going to do, Bido?”

“I don’t know, we need to discuss,” responded Bido, so all the birds gathered to start discussing. The leader of the birds, Frido, said, “We could make more bombs?”

Then one bird suggested slime bombs, another bird suggested stink bombs, a third bird suggested more powerful, bigger bombs. So they all flew away to different parts of the tree to gather materials. This time it was a lot easier than the first time they made it because they already knew what to do and how to do it. For the slime bombs they just used the giant tree slugs which were crawling everywhere on the tree. Then for the stink bombs they used rotten eggs, but could not use bird eggs because they had babies in them, so they used tree turtle eggs. For the very explosive bombs they got the biggest popping flowers they could find and a lot of sap.

While the birds were making bombs, the fishmen on the ground were also thinking of something they could use against the bombs. Sader said, “We need to make something that will protect us from the bombs, maybe something that can reflect them.”

Another fishman said, “Maybe we could use some of the stretch kelp that is in the water.” Sader said, “That's a good Idea, we could put the stretchy kelp on some wood, and make a portable trampoline!” These portable trampolines worked perfectly. When a bomb came down to Sader, it hit the stretchy kelp on his portable trampoline, and bounced away.

The tree where the fishmen were climbing was filled with slime, rotten egg smell, and explosions. All the fishmen were being knocked off, or fainting from the smell. So Sader and the other fishmen on the ground yelled, “Come back! We need to give you something!” A lot of the fishmen came down, but a lot of fishmen also stayed on the tree because they were close to the top, but soon they got knocked off. When the fishmen came down, Sader gave each of them a portable trampoline, and they climbed back up. Eventually they started running out of trampolines and the supplies to make them, so Sader sent the rest of the fishmen to gather materials.

When Jader came down, he said to Sader, “Why are all of the fishmen just collecting wood and stretchy kelp instead of attacking!”

“Because if they go up without a portable trampoline they are going to die!”

“They don't need a portable trampoline, they can just dodge the bombs.''

Sader walked away angrily and started making trampolines again, and Jader started climbing the tree again without a portable trampoline.

Back on the tree the birds were not very happy about the bigger bombs because they were extremely heavy, but only a little bit more explosive than the normal bombs. They tried a lot of different ways of making them efficient but realized the only way to make the bomb better would be to make the stuff inside more explosive. Bido asked, “Where will we find something more explosive than popping flowers and the tree sap?” The leader of the birds, Frido, said, “There is much more explosive sap in the roots of the tree, and much more explosive flowers at the very top of the tree.” But when Bido looked down from the tree, it was swarming with fishmen and explosions, and when he looked up, he couldn't even see the top.

Frido sent Bido and a few other birds down to get the roots first, but there were fishmen all around the tree. When they were going down, one of them got hit and fell to the ground. Bido said, “I know how to get down now! We need to play dead, and then we can drop to the ground.” So the birds stopped flying and dropped down. When they woke up and looked around, there was a gigantic root right next to them. The root was way too big for them to carry, and they had no way to cut a small piece off or take some sap out of it, but the much stronger fishmen could. So Bido woke up a fishman who just got knocked off the tree by throwing a rock at him, then Bido lay down on the giant root. Then the fishman charged towards Bido and punched, but Bido quickly moved, and the fishman made a big hole in the root. and he was knocked out by one of the other falling fishmen. “Perfect!” Bido smiled. He got his bag and collected some of the sap from the hole. To get up, the birds each stole a portable trampoline and flew to the top.

At the top of the tree the other birds that Frido sent to the top also just returned with the giant flower, so they started making the bomb. But when they dropped a tiny piece of the flower with a little bit of sap, it created an explosion 5x the size of a normal bomb. The birds knew that if they dropped the bomb, there would be a very big explosion, so they put it in a safe place for emergency use because it was very explosive and they only had one.

On the tree, the fishmen were doing really well. With the trampolines, only the stink bombs were effective, but the stink also affected some birds. Jader was also doing well even though he didn’t have a portable trampoline; he was much stronger than any of the other fishmen, so he could easily dodge the bombs. Jader was the fastest fishman, so he was very close to the top. Jader thought, “If I get to the top, they won’t be able to fight me any more. They can beat me at long range, but we will win if it is close range.”

On top of the tree the birds were panicking because Jader was very close, and the bombs were not hitting him. Bido thought, “If that fishman gets up here then we lose.” All the birds were panicking because Jader was too fast, so they couldn't hit him even with the stink bombs because his sense of smell was gone. All the birds were throwing all of their bombs at Jader, but suddenly, his hand reached up onto the tree platform.

All the birds started screaming and saying, “Get the big bomb! He’s here!” But Bido said “No, we can’t use the big bomb, we still don't know how powerful it is. But there is still something that we can use to beat him. In the middle of the tree there is an impenetrable shield and a super sharp sword. If we use it against him, he won’t be able to get through the shield, then we can use some bombs or the sword to defeat him.” The bird's eyes widened, and it quickly turned very loud because all started discussing with the people around them at the same time.

“What! Why didn't we get that earlier?”

“What if he gives our bombs to the fishmen?” said Ooluk.

“What if he runs away from the battle?”

“What if he is a fishman spy?”

“And Bido is only a child, how can we trust him?”

“We should get a better leader.”

“We don't have time to argue, the fishmen are almost here!”

Bido didn’t know how to respond; he has never been accused of so many things before. If they know I am nervous, then they will trust me even less. I need to act like I am completely calm, so they will think I am a good leader. Bido was shaking, so he straightened his back and stood up tall.Bido said, “Calm down, if we keep arguing, the fishmen are going to kill us. If you don’t trust me you don't have to follow me!"

After that, the birds calmed down a little bit, and made a big pile of slime to slow Jader down, but Ooluk snuck away towards the bomb storage. Ooluk and Bido had always been rivals ever since they were in school together. Back then, Ooluk hated Bido, and would always try to get him in trouble, but in the end Ooluk would always be the one to get in trouble. In class when the teacher asked a question, Bido always got it right, so everyone liked him. Ooluk had no friends and Bido was friends with everyone, so he was very jealous, but the more he tried to hurt Bido, the more he was disliked by other people. Eventually no one liked Ooluk, even his parents. Now, Ooluk and all his jealousy of Bido were sneaking off to the giant bomb that Bido didn’t want used.

Bido and a very big group of other birds went to get the sword and shield. They brought a big group because they thought it would be pretty heavy because it is so powerful. On the way, there was a big spooky tunnel. The tunnel kept going down, and they couldn't see the bottom. They didn't think there was going to be a bottom for a while, so they stopped flapping their wings and dropped down until they could see a light. They started gliding towards the light, wondering what it was. When they reached it, they saw that it was the bottom, and there they were: the sword and shield, glowing with a bright golden light. Bido slowly approached the bright light; he had to be careful because he knew nothing about it. It looked like it was going to shock him. He picked up a stick to touch it to make sure it was safe. He had to hurry up because Jader was almost at the top, so he picked them up. Suddenly he felt power flowing into him like electricity. They were not very heavy because they were made for a bird and birds are weak, so they have to be light. Bido and his group went back up carrying the sword and shield. Bido could fly very fast, so he left his group behind.

When Bido got back up the tunnel to where everyone else was, he saw a familiar bird slowly walking towards the edge where Jader was, with a very big bomb. He was about to drop it.

That bird said, “I’m going to be a hero!” Bido dashed towards him as fast as he could, and figured out who it was. Wait, that’s Ooluk, the guy that no one liked. Bido yelled, “Don’t drop it, Ooluk. It will destroy everything, including you!” Ooluk saw Bido, and stopped to remember a little bit about him, but all Ooluk remembered was that Bido got the credit for everything. Ooluk’s smile turned into a frown, and he started running towards the edge as fast as he could.

“Stop! Don’t try to steal my credit, Bido!”

Inside of the slime, Jader was listening to the conversation. Oh, there’s someone going to destroy the tree for me. I can just relax, and let him do all the work.

Bido was horrified. He began to remember more about Ooluk from their school days. Ooluk used to get in trouble all the time because he ruined a lot of peoples projects by scribbling on their posters, putting stuff in their science projects to make them explode, etc. That's why no one liked him. He tried to steal other people's credit, and make them look bad, but that never worked; he would always get caught. Nobody believed him either because he always lied. Bido realized that Ooluk might be trying to make people like him by getting credit for defeating the fishmen! Suddenly, Bido realized what he needed to do.

Bido said, “If you put the bomb away, I can let you use the sword and shield, so you can defeat the fishman yourself. If you don’t want to use them, I can tell everyone that you were the one that defeated the fishmen.”

Ooluk said, “Why would I listen to you – you are lying so you can get all the credit!” and started running again. When Bido got to Ooluk, he tried to snach the bomb away, but he accidentally ran into Ooluk’s arm, and it flew into the air.

Ooluk barely caught the bomb and said, “No, Bido don’t try to drop the bomb, you're going to steal all my credit again!”

Ooluk pushed Bido off the tree with one hand and threw the bomb up with the other. Bido watched the bomb in the air, and said, “NOOOO!”

Ooluk smiled as Bido and the bomb fell towards the ground. Bido panicked, but he knew he had to do something to try and stop the bomb. Energy built up in Bido’s ancient sword as he sliced the air, creating a flying slash which cut the bomb in half. He hoped that would stop the bomb. One half fell to the ground, one half landed on the tree. But slicing it only made it worse, the two halves exploded and created two giant explosions instead of one.

As Bido fell he saw two orange balls slowly getting bigger, incinerating everything that they touched. Right before the explosions were about to hit Bido, he pulled out the ancient shield, but he knew one shield would not be able to block two explosions coming from opposite sides. When the explosions were about to hit Bido, the shield started to glow, and light surrounded him, making a big bubble-like force field which protected him and a few other birds that were with him from both explosions. Right outside of the bubble was Jader and Ooluk. Ooluk said, “Help, Bido!” But he turned to ash as the explosion surrounded them. Jader also turned into ash, and he just smiled. Bido and the other birds got knocked away to the edge of the island, and when Bido opened his eyes he only saw a giant pile of ash where the tree used to be, and some fishmen in the water staring at the ash. Then Bido fainted again.

When Bido woke up again, he felt wet, slimy stuff on his back. When he looked to his side, he saw another bird laying on some kelp on wood. He looked around a little bit more, and saw some fishmen walking around, but there weren't very many; there were about 5 or 6. One fishman noticed Bido was awake, so Bido tried to fly away, but his wing got injured from the fall so he fell onto the ground.

The fishman yelled, “You can't move yet, your wing is not fully healed.”

Then Bido asked, “Why aren't you attacking us?”

The fishman responded, “We never wanted to fight, but Jader forced us to, and if we didn’t, then he would attack us.”

“But our home and our tree just got blown up because of the war, so we will not keep fighting unless you attack us again,” Bido responded. The fishman said, “We could combine our people to rebuild faster and make a bigger, better home. If you don't trust us, you can carry bombs on you until you do.” Bido thought this was a good idea and accepted. The fishmen and birds made a big peaceful home again on the island. This is also where flying fish came from.

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63 Reviews

Points: 199
Reviews: 63

Thu Sep 16, 2021 3:01 pm
vampricone6783 wrote a review...

This was a very interesting story.I could see this as a Disney animation.I loved how you humanized the birds,it really makes the story more fun,to imagine them wearing pajamas and having the military strategy in making bombs.One of my favorite parts in the story were these last few lines:”This is also where flying fish came from.” I thought you were talking about fishermen,but when you mention “flying fish” it brings to mind that the fishermen are actually part fish and they got together with the birds and made flying fish.I think this part of the story was very amusing.Good Job and have a wonderful day!

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12 Reviews

Points: 937
Reviews: 12

Thu Sep 16, 2021 4:57 am
Ichthys wrote a review...

Your story reads like an epic, Marshall. I quite enjoyed Bido's combination of pluck and reflection, and how he is able to respond dynamically to all the situations he is placed in. I also liked the characters of the birds - they always doubted Bido, and were piqued by his suggestions, but managed to follow his leadership to victory. The fishermen also were intriging. Men who can breathe underwater and use the ability to fish... Why do they not conquer the entire ocean?

As for critiques, the story's phrasing could be better throughout. For example, in the first paragraph, you wrote "There were also different kinds of fishmen like: shark men, octopus men, and even starfish men," when removing the word "like" would improve the sentence vastly, and you overused the phrase "a lot," for a total tally of four times in a row.

Most characters or groups of characters are introduced suddenly, in a manner which seems jagged and broken, and the worldbuilding is a bit disorderly in spots. One doesn't understand that the tree's flowers explode for quite some time despite a full meeting on the construction of bombs in which they are mentioned as a component. Another problem is the pacing and lack of segmentation, although this could be remedied with just a few changes in transitions and perhaps some form of indication that a scene has concluded.

Great job on the story, Marshall, and welcome to YWS! I look forward to reading more of your work.

I want to see people turn and writhe; make them feel things they cannot see and sometimes do not know.
— Anna Held