Fiction: Punctuatia

Note: This is a story that I wrote when I was in high school. My English teacher made us read a short story about dots and lines, and she asked us to write our own short stories using dots and lines as characters.

In the east coast of Papearth 1,000,000,000 years ago, a land called Punctuatia thrived in richness. Punctuatia was known as the land where dots and lines live together in peace. Sadly and inevitably envy and greed seized the hearts of the punctuations of this kingdom.

“I am your origin. I was the first one to come to this land; therefore, you must bow down to me!” commanded the arrogant dot.

“I agree that you are our origin, but by that fact you also become ancient, primitive and obsolete,” replied the line, “I am the one who holds more power since I am unlimited. I can stretch to both directions indefinitely—an ability that you can only dream of!”

War soon broke out and Punctuatia was divided. The land of the dots was called Dotstuatia and the land of the lines was called Linestuatia. Slowly the two countries fell into the clutches of poverty. They both knew that they were better off as one but pride stood in the way. After many centuries of ceaseless chaos, two rays of hope were born. In Dotstuatia, a princess named Exlaly was born, and, in Linestuatia, a prince christened as Mationuous came into the world. Little did the punctuations know that the fate of these two would affect them all.

Exlaly grew up as a fine young dot. She was humble, warm and sweet. Her only flaw was her curiosity. She was too nosey for a young dot. She explored forbidden places, eavesdropped on adults’ conversations and the like.

One day she heard about an eerie scribbles terrain.

“Don’t go there Exlaly,” begged Periodia, one of her dot friends, “I heard that lines come there and hunt. They might see you and kill you instead!”

But Exclaly didn’t listen. Soon she found an opportunity to journey to the gloomy scribbles. Coincidentally, Prince Mationuous was hunting in the same place.

“What’s that?” the prince asked upon hearing a faint rustle of scrawls.

“It may be a ferocious blot, my prince! Pray it is the yellow one that has healing powers. I desperately need it as I’ve been a bit off-colored these days,” said his friend Linneus Carolius.

“Soften your voice, my friend, or else you might scare it away.”

“There!” Linneus said pointing to a moving shadow. The prince shot it with his favorite quill-nib arrow, but it wasn’t a blot for it was Exclaly.

“Look, my prince! It’s a hideous dot!”

“My…I’ve never seen…such a being!” the prince said, marveled by Exclaly’s beauty.

“Let’s leave her to die.”

“No, I won’t allow it!”

“Why not, my sire?”

Mationuos gave Linneus an unfathomable expression and proceeded to dress the wounds of Exclaly while Linneus muttered about how traitors were the ones most severely punished in hell. However, when Linneus saw how Mationuous lovingly took care of Exclaly, Linneus became deafeningly silent.

After this Exclaly went back to the kingdom. Her father, King Dot, had bought his daughter’s story of having visited her other dot friend named Pointyus Pilayae. The king was equally oblivious to the fact that Exclaly continued to secretly meet Mationuous in that eerie scribble terrain.

One day, when Exclaly went to meet Mationuous, she did not notice that Perioda followed her. When Perioda learned about her friend’s traitorous secret, she immediately reported it to the king.

“This is a grave accusation, my lady. Forgive me but I will not believe you until I, myself, see such treachery.”

“But, your majesty, I am telling the truth!”

“Of course you are, my dear, but in case evidence proves you wrong, you shall now be temporarily or permanently locked in jail and shall be released only when I find enough evidence to believe in you.”

When the sun rose the next day, the king immediately went to the said scribbles area with fifteen of his personal guards. He waited until he saw his daughter wrap her arms around the line.

“How dare you get mixed up with such worms!” the king said bursting out from behind a blue speck. Exclaly was at first surprised but then she was too angry that she did not have time to feel fear.

“He is not a worm!” Exclaly fumed.

“Then he must be a sorcerer for he bewitched you with an unruly spell!”

“The only spell that I’m under is love, father. Why are you so angry at him? Why is your disapproval so great when you do not even know him? You are judging him just because he’s a line and that is not fair! Father, not all lines are terrible, just as not all dots are angels!”

“What do you mean by that?”

“What I’m saying is that I’m sick of this silly war between dots and lines. Why are we fighting each other when there is no problem except our foolish pride? Why can’t we harmoniously exist in one country instead of being in a world of anarchy? I mean, Asterisca has referred our lands to the Undivided Punctunations to try to arrange a peace deal but our country refused to send a representative. We’re not just ruining the lives of the punctuations in Dotstuatia and Linestuatia; we are also ruining the lives of the other punctuations in different countries in Papearth. Neighboring countries like Parentheysis feel that they are enclosed in chaos as illegal quill dealing continue to flourish in their country because of our conflict. Questionnines doesn’t have a clue on how to get enough charcoal to set up new refugee camps for the hundreds of punctuations displaced by our war. Everyone is burdened by our war. I can’t stand it any longer. It has to end.”

All the guards of the king secretly agreed but they wouldn’t speak up.

“I don’t agree with you,” said King Dot.

“But I do,” said a voice and everyone turned around and saw the father of Mationuous, the king of the lines.

“Father! How did you know—?” the prince asked.

“I’m…so…sorry, my sire,” wailed Linneus.

“How dare you! I trusted you!”

“Forgive him, my son, for I was curious about your frequent wanderings that seemed to trigger your appalling singing and involuntary dancing. I decided that the only way to discover the secret behind your new behavior was to give your dim friend all the healing yellow blots that he needed. So overjoyed that he got his color back, he chirped loudly about your wanderings into this scribbles terrain, your failure to find any yellow blots, and, unwittingly, he let slip that you found a dot instead of a blot,” said King Line in a very nonchalant, even jovial, manner, “Anyway, I think his confession will play a big part in my long awaited dream of bringing back Punctuatia, the paradise of peace.”

“You will not attain it,” the dot king said stubbornly.

“Dots, dots, dots, so self-centered and narrow minded. Do you even care about your daughter’s happiness?”

“Of course I care!’

“Then what are you doing now?”

“Saving her.”

“From what? From love? Oh that is insane! My friend, for long years, we have suffered from the shallowness of our ancestors. The question is: do we want to keep on suffering? Now it is time to push pride away and let harmony come in. You will not regret it, dot king, for living in paradise can never be hell.”

Hail the wits of the line king for he soon brought peace back.

Exclaly and Mationuos married and named their first baby Exclamation. Excla was taken from Exclaly and Mation from Mationuous. Thus came the Exclamation point. So did they live happily ever after? Try to guess…

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Note: For some entries in this blog, a few names and details have been deliberately and willingly changed by the author. This is a personal decision made by the author for specific reasons known to her and is not an endorsement for censorship.

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