I don't own any of the Xanth stories.  This is a fan fiction. There is the copyright stuff this story was written when I was younger for a school project I've redone I and here it is I hope you enjoy

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The Passport

By Robert Rubin

          Lash still couldn't figure out how he got into this mission. I have the talent of making any kind of whip (elemental, magic, ext.). Next to me was Raven humming with her pet, Blackwing, who was swaying back and forth. Raven can summon, control and speak with ravens, thus her name. Accura started to scowl with annoyance. She can throw anything (usually daggers, she likes daggers) and hit the target. 

          It all started when the town's food started going bad. The stored food and the daily harvested food were rotting very rapidly. The town mayor wanted to send the best adventurers in the town, but they had to protect the town from monsters. So, the mayor sent us.

          We decided to go find the traveler desk and ask for advice, but the traveler desk really travels so we have to find traveler's checks to check out where the traveler desk is. Unfortunately for us the traveler's checks are guarded by the passport where you have to pass all sorts of weird stuff. The passport is on the northwest coast of Xanth when we live in the mid south we have to pass the Gap Chasm. It's guarded by the treacherous Gap Dragon (you get all that?).

          These thoughts ran through Lash's head continuous. Suddenly we all heard the wail of a wounded animal in the distance. Raven said, "Oh no, the animal could be in trouble!" "And it could be a trap," Accura said smugly. They both looked at me. I sighed and said; "It might be a trap but it sounded like a real wounded animal." I'm often the deciding vote when my two friends quarrel.  We went off the road to find the source of the wail and we found a wherewolf caught in a tangle tree. A tangle tree is a very fierce plant that has tentacles to grab its prey and (for those who don't know) a wherewolf is a wolf that doesn't know where it's going or where it is.

          "Oh, let's help it, please please pleeeeeaaaase," Raven pleaded. Accura said annoyed, "Fine, just no humming for a day."  Accura started throwing knives, Raven summoned ravens and told them and Blackwing to attack the tentacles, and I conjured a fire whip and lashed the tentacles to ashes. When the tangle tree tried to get a hold on us I just lashed the reaching tentacle. The tangle tree finally gave up before it lost too many tentacles and we dragged the wherewolf away from the tree. The wherewolf finally got up, looked around, walked away. "So much for gratitude," I said.

          We walked back to the path and continued our journey. We fended off the occasional griffin and fought off a dragon over two days and at the end of the 2nd day we found the Gap Chasm. It's sort of like the mundane Grand Canyon with no river. Mundania is a horrible place without magic. Before we tried to cross the gap we slept.

          The next morning Raven asked, "Well, how are we going to get across?" We stood thinking when a few windgliders glided by. "There's your answer," I said. We each grabbed one and started gliding across, but the one I grabbed was air sick and couldn't hold my weight. I was dropping slowly, but I wasn't going to make it across the gap. I couldn't help thinking as I fell, "I'm in deep trouble now." I really was far down in the Gap Chasm.

          Fifteen minutes later I landed in the chasm bottom without too many problems [yet]. I was looking around when I heard whomping sound [a sort mix between a gallop and a jump but with all your weight into it]. The Gap Dragon! I looked around for a place to hide. I saw none. The sound was getting louder and I could see a monstrous thing to the east. Then I realized: I had to fight and all my selections of whips went through my head. A hypnotic whip! Every time I hit an animal it goes into a trance for a short time. I hope my friends will get here soon.

          The plan was going to be more difficult than I thought because the Gap Dragon was a steamer and if I try to whip him he'd boil my skin. He was 50 feet away when I heard, "Don't worry, we're coming." I thought, "The Gap dragon is the 25 feet away and you're telling me not to worry!!!!!" My whip is ten feet long so I have a good reach...I hope. I was pulling my whip forward when the dragon inhaled. My whip came up short because I had to roll away from the steam. I came up closer and hit him with the whip. He was hypnotized momentarily and I wasted no time. I kept whipping him until my arm got tired. I slowed down and the dragon quickly revived. He slashed my arm and I fell down with the force. It jumped over me and looked happy it was about bite off my head when a knife went into the ridge surrounding its eye. He looked up angrily at Accura and was about to attack her when some ravens started pecking his back and another knife penetrated the area around the same eye threatening to blind him. Now the Gap Dragon wasn't a genius but it knew when it was in extreme danger of losing a major sense. It whomped away.

          "Thanks, you guys…… uh...… girls," I said. "No problem," Accura smiled. They got down using a queue line. We all climbed up after we patched up my arm and decided to eat lunch. Later that day Blackwing started crowing and pulling Raven back. "What is it boy, a dragon?" Raven asked. Blackwing shook his head no. "A griffin?" Blackwing shook his head.

"A ballisk?" He nodded.

          A ballisk is a small ugly lizard that at one look can kill. They were almost wiped out when humans and centaurs made mirror shields and turned their own deadly gaze against them.

          "What should we do?" asked Raven. "We should go around," I said. So we got off the path and walked through forest. After one mile I asked, "Blackwing, have we passed the ballisk yet?" He listened and then nodded. So we walked back to where the path was supposed to be, but it wasn't there. I commented "Huh, that's interesting; maybe we veered off course."

After awhile Blackwing started crowing and pulling again. The ballisk must be approaching us. "Darn it, how are we going to find the path again and get away from that ballisk?" Accura asked angrily. We thought and…. "Duh, Lash how stupid are you?" I asked. Blackwing squawked his opinion and Raven said trying to hold back a giggle, "Blackwing, shame on you!" I laughed and said," Accura, use your knives as mirrors and look behind you. When we see the ballisk Accura can through a dagger backwards and kill it."

 "One problem, what if other creatures attack while we look back?" Raven asked. "I'll watch out for other animals while you guys," they glared at me, "girls look back" I said. They agreed to this plan and we started our trek. At first, the plan went well but later we found a hole in the ground and nickelpedes swarmed out. Nickelpedes are small metallic bugs that bite disk shaped gouges out of your skin.

We took one look at them and ran but our way was blocked by a ballisk facing the other way. Accura was too surprised that she just stopped. I thought quickly and ran up, kicked the ballisk and told the others to come on. The ballisk hit a nearby tree. We until the nickelpedes gave up and went to their burrow. I asked if that was the ballisk and Blackwing nodded.

We finally found the road at dark and setup camp. In the morning we continued our journey and by noon we could smell the ocean. When we reached the ocean we played around in the water for a few minutes and finally I said, "Come on, we have to continue. The passport is farther north so we have to go off the path." Later we encountered a sand dune. Sand dunes like to collect skeletons and often gobble up living creatures to make them skeletons. I knew how to stop them I just couldn't remember. Accura and Raven started fighting it while I just stood there. A light bulb flashed over my head and I said, "Back up you girls." I made an earthquake whip and hit the ground. The ground started shaking and a ditch formed filling with water. When the sand dune hit, it screamed, "Nooooooooooo," and started sinking.

          "Good Job, Lash" Raven said. We walked the rest of the day. The next morning we got up and continued. In late morning we found the passport and we walked up the front. There we saw a man he said, "Sorry you need a ticket." "Where do we get a ticket," I asked. He pointed to a near by clock. We walked over and as we got closer we could hear a 'tic toc tic toc.' Well at least we know where we get the ticket. We were looking at the clock when I suddenly asked, "How can we tell the difference between a boy tic and a girl tic?" Maybe I should clarify; a young female goblin is a goblette so a female tic is a ticket.  "Girl tics are higher pitched than boys," Accura said knowingly.  We took apart the clock and tics and tocs started walking out I grabbed a hand full and put them in a bag. We slowly separated the tocs out. Accura took the bag of tics and pitched them at me until we found three tickets. We let the other tics free and went to the guard showed him our tickets. He let us pass.

 The passport looked like a dock with a box at the far end. We started to walk to it when suddenly we were on a very large table. We could barely see the edge of the table. Raven said, "What happened to," there were six of us, "the passport?" "There are six of us!" Accura exclaimed. Actually there were thirty-six of us now. "No, there are," Raven started counting. I said, "No, don't say it." "Thirty-six of us," she concluded, "don't say what?" Now there were one thousand two hundred ninety-six. "Don't say any number. Not one," I said. "But you just said the first number," said Raven. "One multiplied by any number is always the same. This is a multiplication table," I said.

They both shut their mouths. I said, "Do either of you have any reverse wood?" Neither of them did. "Can Blackwing get some?" He nodded and flapped away. An hour later he came back with a piece of a twig in his mouth and dropped it in my hand. I put on a ground and said, "Four hundred thirty two." All the clones disappeared and we teleported back to the passport.

          "How did the clones disappear?" Raven asked. I said "Reverse wood makes magic do the opposite so the table became a division table." "Multiplication tables, a kids worst nightmare," Accura commented.

          We continued toward the box more carefully. We got closer and teleported to a big room with a mound in the middle. We stood there looking around when four ant lions came out of the mound. They're a lot like giant ants except they have heads like lions. They came at us and Accura pulled out two daggers. I said, "Wait, I have an idea." I made a regular whip and snapped at the nearest one. It roared and backed away. I kept doing this until all four of them were back in the mound.  I always wanted to be a lion tamer.

We teleported back to the passport and I got sick because of the teleporting. After I got better we continued toward the box when we teleported again. The room was small with targets, a railing, and us in it. We stood there for a second then Raven said, "I can't speak to Blackwing!" I said, "Accura try to do your magic." She posted a target on the wall and she threw a dagger and missed the target entirely.

          "OK. So we can't use magic here," I said. "Accura hit the targets with your daggers. At first she failed to get close to the target she got better. She threw her daggers at the targets. The last one hit dead center and glowed. "You're supposed to hit the targets dead center," I said. "I'm not stupid," she said. She kept throwing until all the targets glowed then the wall and targets slid aside and in the new passage came a rushing dragon. Accura thought quickly and threw her daggers. Most hit scales but one went down the dragons throat as it was about to toast us. It started to cough and we were teleported next to the box at the end of the passport.

We opened the box and inside were pieces of paper with arrows pointing east (the traveler's checks). We took one and left the passport gratefully. It was dark so we set camp.

The next morning we headed east where the arrow pointed. There wasn't a path so we went through the dangerous wilderness. But strangely everything was very peaceful. I knew something was wrong but couldn't put finger on it. I saw a human skeleton and remembered. "Stop, WE MUST go back," I demanded. This was the peaceful forest. Nothing survived except the smart or one with an enemy. Anything that goes to sleep doesn't wake up. "Why? It is so peaceful," Raven said. I thought, smiled, and said, "Raven, your birds are so stupid but it doesn't surprise me. They hang out with you, don't they? And Accura you can hit anything if you throw something but I bet you couldn't bruise a tomato with your hands." I was now running away from two rampaging girls and a raven but I got them out of the peaceful forest.

          After I got the beating of my life I explained why I was mean. They said our sorrys and we went around the forest. We set up camp and the next day we found the travelers desk. It was walking slowly examining the flora. We walked toward it but once we were five feet away it galloped away. I made a freezing whip and froze the desk's legs. I said, "We have a traveler check and we want an answer." It nodded the best it could without a head. We asked it what was rotting our town's food and it opened a drawer and on a piece of paper was the name: Tor. Tor is mad because he wasn't invited it a party. Another drawer opened and the paper said: Now unfreeze my legs and leave me alone.

          Tor was an insane madman that had the talent of rot, thus his name backwards implies. He was kicked out of town a year ago because he kept running into walls saying, "My pants are falling, my pant are falling."

          On the way back town we heard a stomping. I said, "It's an invisible giant. Run!" we found a near by cave and went in. Near the back of the cave we saw a square box that said "Welcome. I am P.C." I said, "Let's leave." "Lash changes his mind" was typed on the computer's screen (P.C. can change his surroundings by typing it on his screen). "Never mind" I said. "P.C. let us go please," Raven said. "Ha ha ha" it typed. "Let's make a deal. How about we play a game? If we lose we will serve you for a year. If we win we get to leave. What do you think?" I said. It thought with a "…"and then typed "OK. How about chess as the game?" I agreed. We played chess and I won. "You're good. You may go but first, Accura decides to dance like a chicken." Accura started to dance like a chicken and everyone laughed but Accura.

Then we went back to our town without further mishap and told them who was rotting the food. They asked us to go stop him and told us were he lived. We accepted, but decided to rest a day.

So the next day we went to were Tor live. It was a very nice house. That seemed odd for a madman to me. We walked to the door when the door step floor fell away. We slid down the chute and hit a bed bug. In the room were a door and some barrels. We didn't want to fall down another hole so we decided roll a barrel across the floor. It fell through a small gap hidden by illusion. We calculated the gap distance and jumped across. We opened the door.We saw Tor reading a book. He said "Finally you got here." He snapped his fingers and a dragon broke through the ceiling. It was a large one but I made a vanishing whip and made it disappear.  Tor stood up and said "You'll never catch me." He ran but didn't get very far. He hit a wall. We carried him back to the town and let the other town people take care of him. We took naps. The next morning I asked, "Couldn't we have just gone to Magician Humphrey, who answers questions for a price, and faced three non-lethal challenges instead of risking our lives? How ironic that we had to go through all that trouble." At this point Accura hit me in the face for not suggesting that in the first place.

The End

                          Or is it?

Yes it is.