Scene Challenge (finished)

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60

Postby TheSongOfTheStars » Wed Oct 21, 2015 1:03 pm

“Uh, she’s gunna punch you, man.”
Words: 904
Callie, Townly, Roland

Callie smiled, viewing the sweetly satisfying scene.
Oh they had caught him. hey had finally caught him. She didn't suppose they'd ever know why exactly he'd been lying unconscious in the mud. But it didn't really matter either.
She sighed, heady with exaltation. Suppressing a grin at his humiliation.
His wrists were tied over his head to a branch that protruded from the canyon wall, with no kindness to the tightness of the rope. His paws dangled over the sandy earth, limp and swollen. His cloak and hood had been thrown back, the only thing between Callie and The Shade's identity was a thin scrap of silk that still obscured his features.
Her crew was as anxious as she was, excited but silently restrained. Eager to see the face of the one who had caused them such grief in the past months.
Callie's footsteps where loud as the crumbling earth cracked beneath her boots, every step sounding out like a thunder snap. Slowly she made her way down the slight incline and across the bed of the dead river until she stood directly in front of him.
His coalfire eyes burned steadily into hers, a dying flame of deep but hidden feelings.
Callie smiled haughtily at him. Revenge was sweet, why hurry it? There was a long intense silence as the Captain choose her words with malicious care.
"You're a fool, Shade," she sneered at long last "No one does what you did to my crew and my ship."
There was no response, but the fire seemed to dim a little.
"You thought you could get away with so much. You never thought you'd have to pay. Pay for all the pain you caused. Your blood will be spilled, drop for drop a repayment to all the others you've killed. Revenge for the named and nameless. Recompense to me and my crew and Wesley for killing Townly."
The dying light in the coalfire eyes rekindled and the harsh, unnatural voice spoke in its deep coarse tone "Townly was an idiot. I didn't even have to draw a blade to kill him. He wasn't what you thought he was y'know. Where is that little brother of his anyway? Shouldn't he be sharing in your sweet, sweet victory?"
The poison words curdled her sense of enjoyableness "None of your care, Shade. You hated him more than anything didn't you? Why was that?"
The coalfire eyes dimmed a little, but there was no answer
"Fine," Callie smiled at him "Let the philosophers try to guess. All I care is about what lies beneath that mask."
His eyes locked with hers, the fire dying, leaving only blank coal.
For a second, the captain wavered, but she swiftly brushed the uncertainty off.
Her paw darted up, hovering for an instant before yanking the silk thing away from his face.
It twisted and writhed like a dying butterfly, before landing in the dry dust at the captain's boots. But her eyes where fixed in horror at the face in front of her.
The crew murmured in shock and confusion. This couldn't be right. There was something terribly wrong. A mistake.
"Townly," the name felt like a bitter oil slipping across Callie's tongue. It was no mistake.
The weasel sighed and nodded.
Anger swelled in the captain. This slime had been a welcome guest aboard her ship for two weeks and she hadn't guessed, hadn't even suspected him.
Her paw closed around the hilt of her sword. The rasp as she freed it from the sheath was as loud as thunder.
Slowly she whirled it over her head.
The weasel watched her impassively.
No fear. No fight left to live.
Just a flicker of pain, drowning in the dark eyes. Barely concealed.
A second before the captain brought the steel down to strike, Townly blurted "Tell Wesley I'm sorry."
"I'll do no such thing," Callie snarled and brought the sword down with all her might.
Townly's head sank down as he prepared for the blow.
Crack!
The blade severed the ropes that held the weasel's paws above his head. He fell to the ground with a thud, landing on his knees.
Callie slammed her sword back into the sheath. Then clamped her paws on Townly's collar and drug him back to his feet.
He stared at her, stunned "Wha-"
She cut him by ramming her fist into his eye.
He stumbled back half a step. Swaying slightly.
She swung again. He could have easily ducked beneath the blow. But let it come.
This one connected with his lip and blood trickled out from his mouth.
After several more vicious blows to his head, The Shade slowly crumpled to the ground.
Callie didn't seem to notice that he had fallen, or care. She started to kick him. Each time her heavy boots connecting with flesh, a satisfying, sickening thunk rang out.
Finally Roland intervened.
"Callie! That's enough!" He shouted, catching his sister by her wrists and pulling her back "He's got it. Stop ok?"
She wrenched herself out his grip and glaring hatefully at him.
"Listen, we still need him. Let me attend him."
She let out a terse sigh "Fine. Go ahead."
The captain turned around.
Her crew stared at her, uncertain whether or not to speak.
She didn't bother to explain herself. Just began to snap out orders.
"Mr. Harrison, when Roland is done. Throw it in the brig."
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Postby TheSongOfTheStars » Sun Oct 25, 2015 2:45 am

“Wait for me!”
801


I watched Dawn lightfoot her way around the pools of sizzling black water. She could've ridden on my shoulders if she had wanted to, or even in my arms.
But the little cat wanted to walk and that was the end of it.

Daintily she picked a path through the thickets of thorns on the steep bank while I simply gathered them up with my pant legs.
With fewer thorns on the path, it was should've been easier, but the little orange cat took the opportunity of stable ground to wind herself around my boots and try to trip me up.

"What are you trying to accomplish, dumb cat?" I asked as I scooped her up in my arms.
She squeaked in reply and clawed her way onto my shoulders.
"Well, all you had to do was ask," I retorted, shifted the stack of wood on my back to accommodate her better.

I wondered why Dawn always went to such trouble to get such a small thing, such as a belly rub or a scratch behind the ears. She received those thing often without needing to ask, but sometimes she simply had to have them. I wondered if all cats where like that.
I wondered if dogs where like that. Most of the stories in my mom's bookcase said dogs where loyal and loving, even to death but that cats where unfaithful creatures who did as they pleased.

Those fairytales where my least favorites. They didn't make sense.

The vibrations from a pleased purr ran down my back and brightened my face.

I began to whistle, loud as I could and the purring increased.

We filled the grey old forest with sounds that it hadn't heard since the days my fairytale books had been written.
But I fell silent when sound I had never heard before broke through my cheerful whistling.

It was a cough. A weird, back of the throat, dying of dehydration, cough.

Dawn heard it too. Without hesitation she was down from my shoulders and picking her way through the tangled underbrush.

I dropped my sack of wood. "Dawn, don't! Come back! You'll get hurt you stupid cat!"

Rushing through the thick underbrush fast as I could, I nearly fell over her hunched body into the tiny clearing.

There was another cough.

I scrambled to regain my balance and stared down at the shaking body. My first thought was deer. But when I saw the head I realized it couldn't be.

Too big, too rounded out.
Nervously I edged my fingers over the dusty, tangled coat and a shudder ran through the poor creature.

Two questions sprang to mind immediately: what was this thing and what did I do with it?
I certainly couldn't leave it laying there on the ground gasping and coughing.
But if I brought it home, what would Father say? He had quite a bit to tell me when Dawn turned up.

On the other hand, he never had liked small things, this creature was definitely not small.

Three short uneasy meows interrupted my decision making, caused my heart to miss a beat, and made my mouth go dry.

Dawn had puffed up into a nervous bundle of quivering orange fur. She was reacting to the weather.
A severe storm was coming. An acid rain.

I had to decide.

Now.

I took one last look at the forlorn critter stretched out at my feet.

The only protest as I lifted it onto my shoulders was another weird cough.

Head bowed I staggered to my feet, with Dawn weaving erratic circles around my legs.

Branches caught at my face and clothes, scratching and tearing until I stumbled back to the path.

The sky overhead had gone from pale blue to filled with sickly orange and purple clouds. The air was thick, stifling, and still.
I began to run as fast as I could, but only managed to stumble forwards a little quicker.

Dawn was doubling back on herself as she anxiously urged me to hurry by yowling at the top of her lungs.
I knew I only had seconds.

I cleared the forest when the winds hit.
Exposed I was nearly thrown off my face and onto my face, but I just barely caught myself before pitching over.

Dawn bolted away from me, the wind threatening to sweep the little cat off her feet.
She made it to the first fence of the farm, where she then disappeared from my sight as tears began to pool in my eyes from the blasting dry wind.

I kicked the gate open, mentally ticking it up onto a to-do list. That list grew every time a storm hit. So annoying.

Staggering past the house and barn, I found my father standing over the hatch to the underground emergency bunkers.
Last edited by TheSongOfTheStars on Tue Aug 02, 2016 2:28 pm, edited 24 times in total.
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62

Postby TheSongOfTheStars » Thu Oct 29, 2015 2:15 am

“Like a hole in the head.”
934 words
Viper shivered as the thunder rumbled. It was distant, but approaching. It had hung a heavy threat for the past few days, but now was preparing to fall.

She closed her eyes and pulled in a deep breath, trying to forced her paws to stop shaking.
It was all in her head. This fear was irrational.

More thunder vibrated and she could taste the humidity on the air.

Her ears began ringing, the internal sound overwhelming her voice as she tried to call for help.
Her chest constricted and her eyes flew open in a panic as air refused to cycle through her body.

No... No...
She had to relax! It was all in her head.
It was all in her head!

She could feel the world reeling around her and see the floor spinning up to meet her.

Her arms flailed and the tips of her claws caught something stable.

She dug into the flat surface, clinging to it as her vision blurred.

It... was... all... in... her... head.

Suddenly something brushed against her shoulder. A real touch, warm and comforting.

Strong paws slipped around her and slowly pulled her upright.

She grabbed their shoulders, desperately afraid of them leaving.

Quiet calm words helped to ease the ringing in her head and slowly she realized who was holding her.

She was too scared to push away from him. Too afraid she'd lose it again if she let go.

He continued murmuring soothing words as he scooped her into his arms.

Vaguely, Viper felt him straining as he walked up the stairs, and clung tighter to him.

She was set down on the bed and her favorite shawl settled down around her shoulders.

Then he turned to leave.

"Wait! Where are you going?!?"

She didn't receive a reply.

Thunder rumbled again, louder.

With a startled whimper she yanked the shawl over her head and curled into a shivering ball.

The door opening inturupted her panicking, but the soft thump that followed confused her.

Forcing her breathing to even out, she sat up.

Her mate was standing in a pile of oversized cushions, looking slightly pleased with himself.
"What...are you doing?" she with a breathy voice.

"I want to try something that might help."

"Like what? Redecorate?" She laughed. Then winced. Her laugh sounded like a mad beast's giggle.

"Not exactly," Townly pulled the closet door open and began dragging the pillows into the enclosed space.
"Oh, woodchips, you're not... You are."

He looked up at her, just the faintest twinkle in his eye "What?"

"You're building a pillow fort, Whisk."

"Well, something along those lines."
"Why on-"

She pulled the shawl back over her ears as a loud snap of thunder shook the very air.

"Hey," he placed a paw on her back "You'll be alright."

"No, no, no..." She began to lose it again, began to slip backwards "It's never going to stop. It'll never end!"

"Hey!" He pulled the shawl away from her face and forced her to sit upright. "Teresa!"

The sudden use of her real name startled her just enough to take her mind away from the noise.

"It's alright. Come on, help me build this thing," he pulled her to her paws and over to the closet.

"This is ridiculous."

"Good. Focus on how stupid this is and not the storm."

"Fine," she muttered and sat down in the closet and began stuffing the pillows in.

"Good," Townly began arranging the pillows to form the clumsy shape of a room.

"It looks dumb."
"You get to sit in there."

"Oh, no," she scoffed "I'm not going-"

It was like an explosion of giant snapping sticks. Horrible, grating, sickening.

She dove between the cushions, shaking and gasping.

Townly spread the shawl back over her shoulders "Easy there."
"Thank...you.."

He stood up and turned.
"Don't leave!"

"You really want me here?" Surprise tinged his voice.

"Just... stay."
She hated the desperation in her voice, but the terror of facing the storm alone made her forget any terms of self-sufficiency.

"Ok."
He pulled the door shut, then set down a small tubular object.
"What is that?" She squinted to make it out in the deceptive light.

Something scratched against the ground, then a tiny pinpoint of light burst up, illuminating Townly's scarred features.
"It's a lamp."
"Well, I can see that now."

He chuckled a little.

They both stared at the little flame, watching it wave back and forth tepidly.

She could still hear the thunder. She still flinched, but in the coziness of the closet and the pillows surrounding her, it wasn't quite as horrible.

"Feeling better?" Townly asked after a few minutes passed.

"Yes... How'd you know?"

He shrugged as best he could, considering his hunched position "I didn't. It just seemed worth a try."

"Oh," she looked up from the lamp and into his face "Well... thank you."
"It's fine... Tess."

He glanced into her face with a question for permission in his eyes.
She nodded.

"So... Was it this bad when you were little?"

She dropped her gaze back down to the lamp "Yes... and no."

"What does that mean?" He asked softly.

Viper pulled in a deep breath and let it out slowly "My...fear started when I was eight. Mother was visiting her parents and my father was in one of his... moods. I displeased him, somehow. I don't remember what I did. But he wouldn't let me come inside all night. It began raining and... Well, I never got over it."

Townly didn't reply with words, but slipped his paw over her shoulder and squeezed silently.
Last edited by TheSongOfTheStars on Fri Aug 26, 2016 11:31 am, edited 7 times in total.
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63

Postby TheSongOfTheStars » Fri Oct 30, 2015 11:59 am

“Let go of me!”
808 words


"Well," I said as the last wisps of the strange light bled away "That was underwhelming."

I had expected some dramatic sensation of falling or maybe floating. Possibly of being yanked through time and space.
But it been just a bit of a breeze and I was here...

I paused to look around me.
It seemed I had landed in the typical creepy forest, tangled branches above let a splotchy green light in and the ground was thick with tangled black brambles. There was no path that I could see, just a tiny patch of grass beneath my feet.

Restle curled against the back of my leg and I sighed, scooped him up, and set him around my neck.
"How did you get here, boy? Is Meemee here?"

A fluffy white ball crawled out from one of the thick brushes, quivering.

Well. Now I not only had to figure out what to do with myself, but I had to make sure my cats got fed too.
Suppose it was better than having them make a mess in the bedroom while I tried to figure out how to get back.

"So, Restle, what do you think we should do now?"

He rumbled quietly, rubbing his head under my chin, but offered no answers.

"Great, MeeMee, I guess you're walking."

I began to pick my way through the crowded underbrush carefully as I could, but despite my best effort thorns roughly the size of toothbrushes clung to every part of my pants and the lower hem of my shirt.

It took ages to get anywhere at all and there didn't seem to be anywhere I really could go, it was just an annoying thorny forest and I was alone.

Until I started hearing whispers. And hearing whispers in never good.

MeeMee began crying, tripping around my ankles and making it even harder to wade through the weeds and clinging thorns. Restle bunched his body around my face and dug his claws through my thin clothing into my poor skin.
"Hey, stop it!" I shouted through his fur, trying to pull him down into my arms "let go you stupid cat!"
I managed to clutch him to my chest, immobilizing his scratching abilities, but also leaving me without a free hand to scoop up MeeMee and stop her from acting as though she'd gone insane. Which it really did seem she had.
Giving up on simply trying to trip me she'd begun to climb up my jeans, her claws digging deep and her tail sweeping wildly, spreading blood and long white hairs up and down my legs. I was forced to drop Restle as I franticly tried to disengaged MeeMee from my pants before her clawing turned completely unbearable. But no sooner had I brought her up into my grip then Restle started began to reenact her madness. I couldn't put MeeMee down to sooth him or she would begin to claw me as well, so I ended up with two longhaired doofuses huddled against my chest, seriously ripped jeans, and lots of blood running down my legs and soaking through the ripped jeans.

Then the whispers got louder. Filling the air with freakish, disembodied words of a language I couldn't understand. The voices came from everywhere, weaving through the tangle mess of branches above me, seeping out through the thorns to cloy about my feet in imagined threats.

Swallowing against my tightening throat, I steeled myself and with as steady a voice as I could manage shouted "Hey, who's there?"

The only answer was the continuation of the whispers.
"Hey. Hey! I don't have anything you want and I don't want to hurt any of you. If someone could bother themselves on how to get me back to my own reality... I'd really appreciate it!"

Abruptly they stopped and soft crackles and snaps of twigs and brittle grass being snapped underfoot took the whispers place.

And suddenly I could see them. A horde.
Two or three feet tall, skin the color of dank marsh water, thin lanky hair spilling out over domed foreheads and parting around sharp tall ears, eyes sunken deep into the rounded faces surrounded by dried wrinkles burned with a bright light that all seemed to be focused on me.

Goblins.
Hundreds of little staring goblins.

"H-h-hey," I gasped out "So, this your neck of the woods?"

The reaction to my words was immediate. One of the tiny warriors bounded down from the trees and landed in front of me, a short stick with a curved fishbone hook at the end of it gripped in his frog like hands.
He swept it upwards, letting the honed end rest against my knees and chuffed something in the whispery language.
"I don't understand," I said, maintaining as even a voice as I possibly could "I don't want to hurt you."
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64

Postby TheSongOfTheStars » Thu Dec 10, 2015 2:20 am

      “I thought those were poisonous.”
Words 859

Hadrian smiled and paused in his report to look out the window at the giggling pair playing on the lawn.
Had it really only been a few months since they had been brought over from the Firstrealm? It felt as if the human girl Bryony had been in his life so much longer.

Times before her wide innocent smile brightened his day hardly seemed worth remembering. But yet indeed, it seemed like such a miracle that she could still smile after everything that had disrupted her short life.

The ghakraptors had murdered a mother heagon in her bedroom. She had called them monster dinosaurs- it had confused him until he looked up several drawings of dinosaurs in the archives, a particular flying variety did resemble the ghakraptors closely.

Yet, somehow Bryony had managed to save the chick's life.

Another smile stretched the elf's features: while heagons were such majestic creatures: a hybrid between two of the most fantastic beasts, the dragon and the eagle, their chicks were just the sweetest little things, eyes, beaks, and paws too big, wings too tiny, and voices so squeaky, no one resisted their hopelessly adorable appearance.
No one, save the ghakraptors.

Despite his attachment to the tiny human, Hadrian still thought it a shame she had to be taken from her home.
But there had been sign of her parents when the Elven Guard searched the house and though they had closely monitored local and national Firstrealm news, they had never surfaced, nor had any other family members.

So, regarding the fact the mother heagon had chosen her to look after the chick and that two horrific ghakraptors where hunting her, the Guard thought it safest to bring her and the baby heagon to the secluded Fountain House.

At first Hadrian chafed at being assigned to care for two youngsters, but after just a week in her presence, he never wanted to be assigned anywhere else.

He reminded himself there was a report to write and dipped his quill back into the inkwell, continuing the sentence he had left off on when he'd first been distracted.

He was just pressing the seal into the clump of warm wax when a terrified scream tore through the air from the courtyard.
Bryony's scream.

Hadrian sent papers flying and chair tumbling over on its back as he yanked his staff off the wall and leapt out the window.

His leather boots scraped out a frantic rhythm as every fiber in his body lunged forwards in fear.

As he rounded the corner of the building, he nearly knocked Bryony to the ground as she ran towards him, but a quick twist of his ankles and he grounded to a sudden stop, knelt, and wrapped her in her arms.

"What happened? Are you hurt? Byrony?"

"They're back," she sobbed into his shoulder "The monster dinosaurs... They're back."

Hadrian's arms tightened as anger and fear ran through him.

There was the tiny squeal of utter terror and the baby heagon came bumbling around the corner at the top of her speed, straight into Hardian's knees.

"Hadrian!" Shouted Karlin, Hadrian's companion in the Guard "What's going on?"

Hadrian's answer was lost in a windstorm of dark forgetfulness kicked up by wings of terrible night as the ghakraptors landed on the grass, spoiling the pristine green with their unclean shadows.

Karlin whipped out his staff and pressed the button to open it. The rapid clank- clank- clank- of the segments extending reverberated across the trees, like a steady heartbeat.

"You are not wanted here," Karlin said with unmovable sternness "So leave before we make you."

The smaller ghakraptor hopped forwards and an unintelligible babble spilled over from her beak.

"I do not understand, but we wish for no parley."

It looked back at its companion, who bobbed its head.

Another storm rose, a swarm of obsidian chips that whirled around their bodies, that seemed to morph and shrink.

Then the storm disappeared, leaving a small sprinkling of black specks across the ground, and in the place of the ghakraptors where two perfectly normal looking Firstrealm humans, a male and a female.

A scream pierced Hadrian's ears, but it did not come from the shape shifting ghakraptors, but from Byrony.

The female human stepped forwards at the sound, her eyes fastened on the child in shock.

"Byrony?"

"No, no, no." the girl gasped "It's not you. You're not my mommy. You're the monster."

The woman's mouth slowly dropped open and the man's eyes widened.

"No, Byrony-" she took a faltering step closer "Baby."

"Don't touch me!"

Her arms flung around Hadrian and he put one arm around her back, using his other hand to press gently against her head.

The woman tried to take another step, but Karlin's staff blocked her.

For a moment they all stared silently at eachother. Then at the same minute, the man and woman began to transform back into ghakraptors and with a mightily shriek they flew away.

Hadrian could feel Byrony's sobs running through her body.

He rocked her back and forth, trying to soothe her, but in truth he was just as shocked as she was.
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65

Postby TheSongOfTheStars » Tue Feb 02, 2016 2:02 am

“STOP TALKING.”
874
Remembering hurt, as if she hadn't endured enough. Every memory seared her conscience.
She saw faces, faces filled with terror and agony. Terror of her. And the agony as she killed them.
There was no distinction between whom she murdered, children, elders, sick and lame, in the bloodbath of battle it mattered not.
And she had enjoyed it. Lived for it.
She was a monster.

Her eyes flew open as she heaved for air. Her body curled in on itself as she fought the daggers of pain that pierced her chest.
A warm touch at her back and a concerned voice drove back the ringing in her ears.
Slowly she forced herself to sit up straight and her gaze met with Lionel's.
His eyes wide with fear and concern, his voice soft "What... what is it?"
Freeta shook her head and buried her face against his tunic. She couldn't explain to him. Not to Lionel.
She couldn't tell him she was a monster, never ever.

Rhythmic footsteps caught her ears and she pulled back from him to see the dark vixen looking down at her with the utmost disgust.
"Well, are you recovered?"
Freeta shivered; she had a name for that unloving voice and cold countenance.
"You're Terra, my sister.'"

Terra nodded "I see you have."

"Freeta, what's she saying?" Lionel asked, eyes flashing with greater concern as his friend spoke a language he had never heard before.

Terra tipped one ear slightly "He is so concerned, it is amusing."

"Leave him out of this," Freeta snapped, her tired body tensing out of instinct.

The dark vixen nodded "I intend to. If you will, I would have you walk with me. Alone. We can review what you remember and I can tell you what happened after."

"Freeta. What. is. she. saying?!?" Lionel said each word with a desperate emphasis.

The white fox stood up, using his shoulder to lean on "What are you going to do with him?"

"I did have him tied in a holding cell," Terra paused "I believe I will put the otter back there."

Freeta's ear tipped back fiercely "Don't you dare."

Terra eyed her sister with a mix of admiration and pity "You are hardly in the position to be making threats. But if it will ease your mind I will not have him tied. He will also be provided with a mat to lie on, food and water."

Freeta deflated as exhaustion and confusion began to tug harder at her limbs while the threat to her friend diminished "A-alright. Fair enough."
"Fair?" Terra looked at her quizzically "I never thought to hear that word from your lips."

Freeta shivered "I've changed."

"That is quite apparent." The dark vixen turned and snapped out several orders to the guards who instantly surrounded Lionel and began to pull him away.

He shrugged them off angrily and grabbed Freeta by her thin shoulders, forcing her to look at him "What is going on?!?

She stared at him, stunned by his unexpected outburst. She took a second to compose herself, then replied slowly in a shaking voice, careful to speak in the common language "I-I have to talk to h-her. L-Lionel, p-p-please just go w-w-with them."

The otter stared at her in total disbelief "Freeta??"

"Just go."

He allowed himself to dragged off, his eyes stayed on her, filled with confusion; but she didn't look at him.

She was afraid he'd somehow read the memories in her eyes.

She couldn't bear that.

"Come on." Terra motioned slightly for her sister to follow "What do you remember?"

Freeta shuddered, there seemed too much to process.

Cold yellow eyes searched questioningly into the green and blue ones "Freeta?"

"I killed." Freeta gasped out "I was a killer."

"For the most part," Terra nodded, looking slightly pleased. Of course she would be pleased.

Killing had been Freeta's job since age three.

"Do you remember why you forgot?"

The small fox's eyes narrowed. That was a bit dimmer, not wrapped in mist. But... smudged. "Sick.... there was some sickness."
"Right, there was a plague. You caught one of the worser strains."

Freeta nodded, digging through the swirling mess. There was something. She was trying to pull it out and brush it off. It was important.
Really important.

Terra was talking, Freeta wasn't listening.

Kobren!

His name came out like a heart attack.

Terra paused and sighed softly "He's dead. So are your kits. They survived the plague. But Kobren and your sons where killed in a battle. Claria took a mate and had a she-kit. But she and her mate where taken in another plague a few years ago. The she-kit lives still."

The floor seemed to be a whole lot closer than it had a few minutes ago.
Terra's voice became distance.

The guilt over the deaths was pale in comparison to the lacerating grief. Her mate was dead. Her children where dead. It was deeper than even when Shift had died.

Her lungs screamed for air, but even a small breath threatened to crack her chest with pressure.

They had died and she hadn't known. Hadn't even know they existed. Didn't see their faces as she did now. Couldn't remember the touch of their fur.
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Postby TheSongOfTheStars » Wed Feb 03, 2016 1:33 am

“Marry me?”
898 words

Roland looked back and forth between the two cells. One Viper. The other Townly.

Neither of them looked up at him, neither acknowledged his presence in any way.
The hopelessness that seemed to rise off their hunched backs made him sick. Made him forget who they were, what they'd done.
It broke his heart and called out to the part of him that desired to help all unfortunates, no matter their deeds.

"What do you want, Doctor?" Townly growled in a hoarse voice.

Rolland looked down at the weasel, willing him to look back "I want to help, Whisk."

Townly laughed a little, a rough unpleasant sound "That's against the law Doctor."

"Not necessarily."

The assassin looked up, his eyes blank, but his brows creased.

Across from them, Viper lifted her head, a deep frown crossing her face as understanding lit her eyes.

"Have you ever heard of the Dell-Amri Amendment?"

"Doctor, I never bothered learning the rules, I was only going to break them," Townly snorted.

Viper made a noise that sounded more like a choke than a laugh.
Rolland glanced over at her. Clearly she knew what he was speaking of.

"It's a rule that you could perhaps you could work to your advantage."

"It's the rules that say I've got to die. You're talking backwards Doctor."

Viper muttered things under her breath that Rolland didn't care to hear.
"You see, Whisk, there's a loophole-"

"Really?" The weasel pulled himself upright, a bit of spark rekindling in the coal eyes "What game are you trying to play, Doctor?"

"No game," Rolland held his palms out in a soothing gesture "I want to help."
"Shut up and go play with your sister."

"The Dell-Amri amendment states that a criminal cannot be executed if they're married and their spouse refuses to testify against them."

The unfathomable eyes peered into Rolland's, then moved to meet Viper's gaze, then returned to Rolland's.

"Just think about it. Callie is... Unable to protest at the moment and Mr. Harrison is in command of The Vent. If you want to take this chance, it will have to be now."

The doctor turned to leave "Just think about it."


Townly stared across his cell into Viper's.
Eventually one of them would have to speak.

He hoped it would be her.

Several times the vaporous green eyes met with his, then darted away to focus on some dim corner.

Finally he let out a sigh and walked to the barred door of his cell. She mirrored his action.

"Well?"

She shook her head "You first, Shade."

He shrugged "What do I say? One a scale of one to marrying me, how much do you not want to die?"

She let out a soft hiss "Not funny."
"Who's laughing?"

"The captain."
"Didn't you hear him? Sounds to me that the only laughing the cap is doing is along the lines of mental."

"Well, if we are going to do something then, now would be..." she trailed off.

"Then you're seriously considering this?"
She didn't answer for a moment "There is no certainty to this, even if we do decided to do it. There have been exceptions to this amendment before."

"But in all cases, it's our best bet then, isn't it?"

She ran her claws along a bar, focusing on the scratch marks left behind "In the shortest terms possible: yes. But there are... other things that factor into play. We won't be cleared of charges; they simply won't be able to execute us."

"So...?"

"Labor farms, prison camps, the dankest cell in the darkest dungeon; you get the idea. The gimmick is that if the pair have both committed crimes, they have to be held in the same place at least one-third of the year."

"Misery loves company."

His cold, dry humor elicited a cold dry smile from her.
"True. I could think of fewer more miserable creatures to spend my life with."

"Fantastic. If you were hoping for a forcedly romantic proposal, you just lost it."

She scoffed "I don't think I could stomach that anyways."

They were quiet for a second.

"So, we're actually going to go through with this?" Viper's voice dropped to a whisper.

"If you... If you want to try," Townly tensed every muscle in his body, preparing himself for her answer.

"I... Don't know."

"You... Don't know how much you value your life?"

"Will you stop it?! Stop making stupid jokes and cracking sarcastic remarks?! It's not helping my decision making process!"

He had his mouth open to make another observation, then realized it probably would only make things worse.

Viper wrapped her paws around the bars and pressed her head against them.

Townly could sense the inner struggle, hear the doubts bouncing around the inside of her skull. It was the same struggle, same doubts inside of him.

How would this ever come to a resolution?

"I will."
Her voice was raspy and dry. "But I want you to ask."

"You want me... to ask? You mean... Propose?"

She nodded.

"Really? You want me to propose??"

"Please?"

He growled softly "Fine...."

There was a silence that stretched across several minutes as he tried to arrange the words in his mine.

"Well?"

"I'm thinking!" He said through gritted teeth.
He pulled in a deep breath and forced the muscles in his back to release.

"Will you... marry me?"

"Yes."
Last edited by TheSongOfTheStars on Wed Aug 24, 2016 12:15 pm, edited 10 times in total.
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Postby TheSongOfTheStars » Thu Feb 04, 2016 2:31 pm

“Liar!”
1,415 words
Nervously, Martin dipped the reed into the tiny pool of yellow paint, then held it over the scrap of paper.
Wait.
What was he supposed to paint?

No one had told him what he was supposed to do with the paint. How was he supposed to make it so it was a picture?

He set the reed down as he began to grow hot under his fur.
Seriously. What was he supposed to do?

What was he supposed to paint?

He had only had a couple tiny puddles of different colors of paint, what if he wasted some?

What if it didn't come out how he wanted it? How was he even supposed to know what he wanted?

"Are you going to paint?"

He flinched at the unexpected sound of his sister's voice. Then sighed "No."

Yvette sat down cross-legged next to him "Why not?"
"I don't know what to paint. Or how."

Yvette laughed a little "You don't need to know."

"Yes I do!" Martin protested "How can I paint if I don't know how?"

"Listen, sillyhead, all you have to do to paint is to put a brush in paint and smear it on a surface. It's no more complicated than that!"

"But... I want it to look good!"

"Oh, forget about it looking good. Nothing looks good right away."

"But-"
"No. Not 'but', say 'Ok, big sister, I believe you.'"

He rolled his eyes "Fine. I'll try."
"Say it."
"No."
"Come on....Say it..."
"No!"
She snatched the hat off his head and bounded away "Say it!"
He dashed after her "Give me my hat back!"
"Say it!"
"OK! Big sister I believe you!"

She stopped running and tossed him back the hat "Good! Now go paint!"
"Alright! Just leave me alone!"

She laughed and nodded "But you have to show it to me. Whatever you paint."
"Maybe," he growled sitting back down and picking up the reed brush.

She shrugged. Good enough.

Martin stared at the flecks of yellow paint died to his brush.
So. He was going to paint.
But what was he going to paint?

He stared down over the small fishing village. It was mostly grey and brown with a bit of pale blue for the sky and ocean. He didn't have any of those colors.

Anyway, he only had a small scrap of paper. He couldn't paint the whole town.
He'd have to find something much smaller.

He stood up, gathered his small utensils and began to walk down the hill. Maybe he could find something interesting enough to paint.

Without a second glance he passed through the rundown village. He'd seen it his entire life and there was nothing worth painting.

He wandered around a few racks of drying fish and down to the driftwood dotted shore.
It was nice here. He liked it here. When he was younger, he and Wiljkes used to make forts out of the wood and pretend they were under attack by humans.

Today, he wasn't interested in a fort and sat down with his back against one of the bigger pieces of drift.
For a while he just stared at the rising and receding of the waves.
He had no blue, or else there would have been no question to what he would paint.

A tiny piece of yellow seemed to detach itself from the waves and fluttered up the beach from the spray.

Martin blinked several times to assure himself his eyes hadn't gone off.
The yellow continued towards him, until it was close enough for him to see it as it was.

A pale winter dawn yellow butterfly.

He watched it with a smile as it circled his head a few times before settling down on the log with its glorious wings spread out.

"Perfect."

He breathed as he reached for his reed bush and paper.

It was pure joy, smearing a resemblance of the small insect onto the scrap of dirty paper. He used all the yellow paint in a painstaking attempt to translate the quivering fragile life of the butterfly onto paper.

As he studied the wings he saw tiny splashes of red, a color he also had in his small pallet.

Using a broken tip from the reed, he scratched the pattern onto his painting.

He worked on making it as perfect as he knew, until a stabbing pain developed between his shoulders and his eyes began to water from focusing so long.

Finally he stopped when the butterfly left.

He leaned back and stared down at the scrap of paper in his paws.

It wasn't half-bad.

He stood up, shaking sand from his clothes and remembered his promise to show it to Yvette.

Excitement burst in his mind for no real reason other than he actually was a little proud of the painting. he sped up and began running up the shore towards his house.

He ducked into the door, avoided the nearest siblings, and made straight for the kitchen.

His mother and Yvette were there amidst a mess of pots and pans.

"Mum?"
"Not now, Martin, mum's busy."

Martin nodded and scampered off into the corner to wait.

After a few minutes, Yvette finished with her work and approached him.

With a shy grin he held out the scrap of paper to her.

Her eyes bugged a little as she stared at it. "Wow... Mum, look at this!"


"Yvette, please don't stop stirring."
"But Mum! Look at what Martin-"

"Sweetheart, we're making dinner. You don't want someone to go hungry because you weren't working, do you?"

Yvette sighed "No, Mum." she turned back to her brother "It's amazing Martin. I'm sure Mum'll look at it after dinner."

Martin nodded "Okay."

He was about to leave before his mother put him to work, when a heavy tromp of boots startled all of them.
Instinctively, Martin pressed himself harder against the wall, but there was no time for an escape.

"Marion, there should be another two coin in the jar. Why isn't there?"

Martin watched as his mother shrank away from her mate "I... used it for a present for Martin's-"
"Listen," his father's harsh voice made all of them flinch "That money. The money that I earn, is for food. What's left over from feeding these useless brats, is mine. Do you hear me? It's mine!"

"It was just two coin-"
"Two coins that my sweat and breaking back earned! Who did you even waste it on?"

When she didn't answer right away, he grabbed her shoulder and began to shake her "Who was it?!"
"Martin!" she burst out crying and ran out of the kitchen.

Martin tried to be invisible in the corner, but his father's rough paws drug him away from the wall.

The horrid scent of stale beer and dead seaweed fouled Martin's face as his father's breath washed down on him. "Well, boy. It seems you owe me two coin."

Martin didn't dare reply.

"I don't care how you get it. But you're not eating until you pay me back what's mine. You understand?"

Dry mouthed and sick to his stomach, Martin nodded.

"Good. Now get out."

His father released him with a shove and Martin went flying into the wall.


Dazed, he watched his father leave in a storm of muttered curses.

"Are you alright?" Yvette whispered from under the small kitchen table.
Martin rubbed at the back of his neck where most of the pain was centered.
"Yeah."

Yvette crept across the floor until she was next to her younger brother "He's so mean."

Martin blinked "But he's our dad."

"Yeah." Yvette crossed her arms "I want a new dad."
Martin shook his head then staggered to his feet "I have to go find two coin."

Yvette picked something off the floor and held it out to him. It was his painting.
He looked at it in disgust. "I hate it."
"No you don't! You like it! You're so proud of it!"

He had been. Until his father crushed the feeling.
"No. I hate it. I never want to paint again."
"Liar!" Yvette nearly shouted "You're good at it, Martin! You have to paint more!"
"I don't even have any more paints."
"We'll find more paints, but you're going to keep painting. I promise."

Martin glared at her "Its painting that got me into trouble!"
"Doesn't mean you can't like it," Yvette said as she tucked the scrap into his pocket "Come on. I'll help you earn the coin."
Last edited by TheSongOfTheStars on Sat Aug 20, 2016 12:51 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Postby TheSongOfTheStars » Sat Feb 06, 2016 2:14 am

“You have got to be kidding me.”
812
Dalia moved the sword up and down in a cutting stroke. She didn't know much about swords, never having owned anything bigger than her fishing knife, but having something sharp could be helpful.
And the cutlass was sharp, even after years, possibly centuries of laying unused in the great dripping hall.

But the floor was smooth and slick with water. A fact she didn't take into account as she attempted a more fanciful swish.

With a yelp, she flung her arms out trying to catch her balance as her paws lost their grip on the ground.
She flung her weight forwards and slammed into the wall.

Slime molds stuck to her face and the nose-wrinkling scent clung even after she rub the ick away.

She leaned with one paw against the wall, not trusting her own balance for the time.

After a second she realized that the surface was uneven beneath her touch.
Squinting hard against the uncertain light she could see a dim outline of an image scrawled on the stone.


Tem was done for and somewhere in his near-delirious mind, he knew it.

It felt as if he'd been on the ocean for eternity. Always going where the waves pushed him and getting absolutely nowhere.

But he couldn't go on anymore. Even the tiny movements just keeping him afloat were too much to sustain.

He managed to turn his head up, trying to catch one last glimpse of the sky, but there was a looming shadow obstructing it.

With one last weak exhalation, he dipped his head down and gave up.


He really didn't expect to ever wake up again. Especially with Dalia pounding on his chest.

But when he opened his eyes, there she was.

He tried to gasp out his surprise, but instead of words, salt water came pouring from his lungs.

Dalia pulled him into a sitting position, helping stay up until he could breath again. And for a good while all he wanted to do was breath and take in the fact he wasn't dead...yet.

"Where.. Are we?" He coughed out, looking around the stone walled room with moisture raining down the sides.

Dalia didn't answer but pulled him upright and began leading towards a dark slit in the wall.

He paused "Dali? Answer me!"

She didn't look him in the eyes, her shoulders seemed to want to fall off her back.
"I'm going to show you."

Her voice was hoarse and trembling, fearful almost. But he couldn't recall ever seeing that quality in her. At least not openly.
"Dal. Just tell me."

"I... don't... I don't have the words," She tugged at his wrist "Just let me show you."

Face carved into a deep frown he let her pull him through the darkness, but not before slipping his fingers between hers.

Through many long passages and up steep dripping stairs until his legs ached, but Dalia showed no sign of slowing.

Finally they reached a room that opened into a sprawling dimness.
She nearly stopped as she entered the hall, but as Tem turned to look at her, she pulled forwards again. But this time it was only a few paces before she stopped and gestured to the wall.

Squinting hard, Tem reached out to touch the mosaic. It spread out across the entire wall in a massive story, but it was one he knew already.

The first image showed two monsters rising from the depths of the ocean, massive snake-like creatures with long fins each side of their head and jagged teeth that didn't fit inside their mouths. Then depicted how they began to devour Navoire. Terror and panic spread across the tiles, then the story went on, showing the hero squirrel, Evre, as he journeyed to the seven kingdoms to plead with the elvish smiths to make him a sword strong enough to defeat the sea serpents.

His triumph over the beasts took up the entirety of the furthest wall, glorious and in the brightest colors. Then in the end was the massive cage at the bottom of the ocean, marked by a massive building as a warning, with the elvish sword on a pedestal in the center, if it should ever be needed again."

"It's real," he whispered, stepping away, clenching his fists.

"Yeah," Dalia choked out "And guess where we are?"

He traced the image of the caged serpents "No."

They were silent for a minute, both staring down at the floor.

"Have... Have you seen the sword?" Tem asked softly, brushing up the fur on his arm the wrong way.

Dalia stooped down and picked up the cutlass off the ground "I found it on the pedestal. But I forgot when I.... When I found this."
"Wow."

He reached for the hilt and Dalia released it.

"Tem. We need to put it back and leave."



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Postby TheSongOfTheStars » Sat Feb 06, 2016 3:11 am

"I can't believe you talked me into this"
794
The soft crunch of claws on the crisp stone woke Lionel.

Struggling against the thick bonds around his wrists and ankles, he managed to sit up, then froze.

The Queen Griffon's blazing yellow eyes locked on his body, slowly edging closer.

His voice caught in his throat, but a shout would've saved him no more than a whisper.

"Please."

Her voice was hoarse with fear as she hunkered down beside him, her wings swept out to shield them from other nightly eyes.

"I need your help."

The otter's mouth hung open in dumb shock.

Massive tears formed at the edges of her eagle eyes and threatened to drench him.
"I've seen you. I don't trust you. But I've seen you helping. You care."

"W-w-what?" Lionel managed to stutter out, leaning away from the shivering beak.
"I'm sorry. I need you. I have... no other choice."

It was something about the eyes, wide and full of fear as any little child who had awoken from a nightmare, begging for help.

"How can I- I mean, what can I do?"

"You'll do it?"

He bobbed his head "Yes... I think... What is it I'm doing?"


The wind rushed around his head, adding to the nauseous churning in his stomach every time the dark feathered wings dipped down.

She dropped him gently on the grass before landing herself.

Gasping and gagging, clutching his stick, Lionel desperately tried to regain any sense of balance or control over his stomach.

He felt the Queen's forehead pressed against his back, urging him up.

Digging his stick into the ground for support, he staggered to his paws, and let her push him forwards.

"This. This is what I need you for."

Wiping the sweat from his face he could dimly see the faint white outline of something spherical.

"Is this an... Egg? This is an egg.... Is this... Your egg?"

She let her feathers drip over the pale gleaming shell "Yes."
"And you want me to...?"

Lionel sat down hard, staring up at her in distinct confusion.

"Just for a few days. I cannot do this myself, yet. But if you can... somehow, shelter him until then, then I will do what you ask, if it be in my power."

For a long moment, Lionel stared silently at her liquid yellow eyes, just about to overflow with tears.

Then he slipped off his tunic and wrapped it around the egg.

"Get the prisoners out of there," he said quietly, gathering the tunic into his arms "That's all I ask."

Her beak nearly touched the ground "I will try. I cannot promise they will all escape, but I will try."

He nodded, then frowned.

"Wait. Why? Why, why, why are you dong this? This doesn't make sense."

A large tear rolled down her face and hit the ground with an audible splash.
"He's insane. My mate. He's gone mad. Its the wyvern that's influenced him, but he's gone utterly mad!"

"The wyvern? There's a wyvern behind all of this?"

She nodded "He is horrible. Fire leaks out from his scales. No one can stand his presence for more than a few minutes. But that is more than enough time for him to make others do as he wants."

"But the egg?"

The tears began to fall in a torrent " The wyvern promised that if my mate obeyed his wishes that he would...would-"
she had to stop and brush away the tears with her wing before she could continue
"He promised that he could make our children bigger, stronger, and..."
She scratched at the ground, uncertain of how the express the next part. Then looked up at Lionel, fear deep in her gaze
"Full of fire."

Swallowing hard, Lionel shook his head in disbelief "What happened?"

"They died."

Lionel's grip tightened around the egg in his arms.

"I will not let them have him. He is the last."
"And you'd do anything to keep him safe."

She drew herself up, trying to assume some of her queenliness "You are not the ones in the wrong, Lionel. I know they will not show mercy, but they have been wronged and justice is within their rights."

"They will kill him if they find him. You know that, right?"
"He will die if he stays. It will only be a few days."

"Wait, how are you going to find me?"

Her eyes sparkled with something besides tears "I do not have the time to explain, but I will find you. Now you must go."

She left in a massive rush of air and Lionel turned and realized he was above the camp.
Holding the egg best he could while clutching at his stick, he began to pick his way down the hill towards the burning lights.
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