Disclaimer: Xanth is not mine... Dot-on-the-wall Talents are not mine, either. Biether is the Nextwave. But the plot is. And the characters. Woohoo.

o°o° Dot on the Wall °o°o


Ked threw poisonous spiders at unaware targets. Makenal translated human speech into the language of dragons. Talmus was a were-flying frog.

Kamora made blue dots appear on walls.

There were other dot-on-the-wall Talents, sometimes with only the color differing to make them separate Talents. But these talents usually were prominent in certain families. So if you had a dot-on-the-wall Talent, it was more than likely one of your siblings had a similarly pitiful talent.

Kamora's siblings, Ked, Makenal, and Talmus had exciting talents. Her parents had talents just below magician-caliber. Her mother could look at a picture of something and make it appear half-real in front of her, which was a form of illusion. Her father knew exactly when any of his children were using their talents.

Kamora hated her talent. It made her want to scream and throw things at the walls. Except that she'd look at the wall and a blue dot would appear. She'd throw the something at the dot and it would move. And if she tried to hit it again it would move again. And again and again and again.

Her father had tried to use this to assure her that she had a good talent. He'd said, "Look, honey, you don't have a normal dot-on-the wall talent. Your dot moves before it can ever be hit. I'd say that's just as good as Ked's. His spiders can be hit, after all." Kamora had locked herself in her room and hated her dot. Whoops-her moving dot.


Kamora was walking down a path slightly outside her village. She didn't particularly care that this was the Nextwave and Kings were disappearing too fast. [1] She wasn't on the lookout for Mundanes. Who would want to raid her village? It was hardly big enough to be called a village. It was in the center of the small section of Xanth called Pencil Vein Yah, and it was the kind of place no one in their right mind would have heard of.

So when Kamora saw the large, brutish man following a deflating inflatable nymph, she was very surprised. Her first instinct was to run and hide, but it seemed that the Mundane had sighted her. The nymph was floating towards her, anyway, and the Mundane's gaze was now in her direction.

She was hit by sudden Talent-hate. If only she had poisonous spiders or could turn into a flying frog. Even dragon-speech would be nice, though there were no nearby dragons. She could at least bluff with that. As it were, she was helpless. She ducked and the next bout of Talent-hate flew harmlessly above her head.

"So, I follow a floating lady and find a pretty girl. And I like her," the Mundane said. He was obviously in something of a daze from the fake nymph, because he was not acting like a conqueror.

"So, do you like me?" the Mundane asked stupidly.

Kamora knew she had to do something. Of course, just what she was supposed to do wasn't very clear. She supposed she should do something that would take up time. Maybe someone would find her here and save her. She would be missed soon enough.

"Hmm, I don't know, are you strong?" she asked. Maybe he would do something to prove his strength that would take up time.

"Yes, and I'm an expert with the bow and arrow. I'm an archer in the Punic army."

And inkling of an idea was coming to Kamora, and she reached out and grabbed it. "Really? Would you show me?"

"Sure." The Mundane produced a bow from his back and drew an arrow. "I'll hit that tree right there," he informed Kamora.

"Okay. Show me." The inkling seemed to be waiting to explode, and Kamora knew she only had to wait a little while before it did.

The Mundane hit the tree he had pointed out right in the center. The inkling exploded, but Kamora ignored the ink that was now in her hair.

"That was a whole tree-- a pretty big target," she said, "But do you think you could hit a dot on a tree?"

"Of course," the Mundane boasted. The inflatable nymph had gotten caught in a tree, and was still staring down at the Mundane, making him stupid. "But where's the dot?"

Kamora picked the broadest tree she could see, for it looked more like a wall that way. A small blue dot appeared. "Do you think you could hit that? It will move, so you'll have to be quick."

"Of course," the Mundane said again. "I'm quick as a fox. Er, you do know what a fox is, right?"

Though Kamora didn't know, she said, "Yes, of course."

The Mundane shot an arrow at the blue dot. It quickly jumped to the side.

"Will it always move?" the Mundane asked.

"Oh, it moves, but you're such a good archer that you should be able to hit it anyway."

The deflating nymph and the compliment made him try again. The dot, of course, moved.

The Mundane tried again, and again. And again. Soon the tree was moaning because of the many arrows embedded in its bark.

Then, without warning, the Mundane slumped and fell over. Kamora, surprised, looked around. The woods were darkening, but there was a Night- Light coming from one of the trees, illuminating that area.

Kamora's brother Ked and her father stepping into the light. Her father carried a flying frog, her other brother Talmus.

"Oh, yes, thank you!" Kamora said. It made sense now. The Mundane had been unaware that Ked was about to magically create and throw a spider at him, so the poisonous arachnid had landed on him and done away with him.

"But..." Kamora said, "How did you find me?"

"Well, I knew that you were using you talent," her father began, "And that, in itself, was odd. So I asked Talmus to fly in and check this out, and he saw the Mundane and reported back to me. We walked over here, and then--"

"--Ked got him with the spider. Wow. I don't know what I would have done without my Talent. I don't want to think of what that Mundane would've done if he hadn't been trying to hit my dot."

The flying frog that Kamora's father had been holding suddenly dropped to the ground and became her brother. "You mean you actually like your Talent now?" he asked.

"No!" Kamora said reflexively.

"But you wouldn't have escaped otherwise!" Ked exclaimed. "If you'd had my talent, it wouldn't have worked, because the Mundane would have known you were there. He wouldn't have been unaware. If you'd had Talmus' talent--"

"--You would have been shot before you could fly away. That man is a good shot," Talmus finished.

"And if you'd had Makenal's Talent, it wouldn't have helped, because there are no dragons around here," Ked concluded. "You're lucky to have a moving dot."

Kamora found herself agreeing. It looked as if her encounter with the Mundane had done her some good. She was hit by sudden Talent-love, but this didn't hurt like the Talent-hate had. This, in fact, felt quite nice. Her talent had been useful. It had saved her. How wonderful...

"Let's go home," her father said.

Kamora, Ked, and Talmus agreed. They started back to their little village, situated in the middle of Pencil Vein Yah.




[1] The book Night Mare (Very good-- read it if you haven't!)


Okay, that was my first piece of Xanth fanfiction. I hoped you liked it. Please review and let me know!