Songs of the Otherworld

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Contest entry #2

Postby TheSongOfTheStars » Sun Apr 03, 2016 2:29 pm

I watched as she hung on the warm summer air, her tawny feathers gripping the very essence of the sky.
My lips pursed as I let out a shrill command whistle. With perfect power control her wings tilted and she slowly glided down towards my glove.

The people behind us gasped in awe as her talons wrapped gently around my protected hand.

"How was that?" She whispered in a soft fluttery voice.

"Perfect," I murmured back. Then turned to spout a few more facts about hawks to the crowd and the show was over.

Glyph perched on my shoulder while we walked down to the aviary, giving off the impression of noble perfection of a hunting hawk. But when we entered my aviary/office, the façade disintegrated.

She wobbled down from my shoulder and flopped on her tail feathers in front of the TV, next to Soren the barn owl.

I shook my head. Never would I get used to the sight of an owl and a hawk, sitting like people in front of television. Much less an owl with a Circle K slushie gripped in his talons, red straw clamped in his amber beak.

"Soren, where did you get that?" I asked, tugged the protective leather glove off my hands.

"MMrmmph."

I knew I wouldn't get any clearer answer than that.

"Ok. guys. We need to pack, cause we're going soon."

Soren and Glyph sighed as one and slowly morphed into separate version of griffins. Soren little bigger than a house cat, while Glyph topped him by being the size of a German Shepard.

I nodded my thanks as they began to clear away the mess on the counters. I, myself began to tidying out the aviary cages.

We worked for several minutes in silence.

"Ok. Done." Soren sighed and began to fly around the room "Lets go!"

I laughed and pulled the stones out from my pocket "You said it brother!"

I set the runestones in a circled and lit the match. Both Soren and Glyph morphed back into birds and clung to my shoulders.

"Ready?"

"Yes."
"You bet."

I closed my eyes and tossed the match down.
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Hazard Cats Challenge.

Postby TheSongOfTheStars » Mon May 02, 2016 9:31 am

Writing Challenge!

Username: FiveSecondsToFly
Cats included: Emilio
Story:

Emilio crouched low as she scanned the ruins, her ears straining to catch any sound, but the whistle of the wind obscured any sound that a cat in distress might have made.

She let out a huff of annoyance. This whole thing was silly. Looking for cats who may possibly be lost? Cats that she had no connection whatsoever to?

Who knew if they where even out here? Talk about an exercise in futility.

Before she could go on mentally grumbling to herself her ears caught a slight rasp.

All common sense aside, Emilio found her curiosity suffocating and her legs went to obey the urge before her head could convince them otherwise.

Leaping out from the window she had perched in, Emilio landed on the group with a soft thump.
She locked her muscles and listened for the rasping.

It was coming down an alleyway.
A dark, breezy, overgrown with weeds, alleyway.

Well, she had come this far. A little further couldn't hurt her too much.

Well, it could hurt her. A lot. But she was going anyway.

Every muscle spring loaded to run for dear life, Emilio pranced around the opening to the alley, some deep sense of caution warning her to take this slow.

Deep breath in, deep breath out, she was walking into the jungle of weeds and trailing plants.

Deep breath in, deep breath out, she felt her pupils expand to make up for the lack of light.

Deep breath in, deep breath out, the rasping was becoming louder as she walked further.

Deep breath in, deep breath out, she pushed away a thicker mass of greens and literally stumbled over the source of the noise.

It hissed at her in surprise and she nearly went dashing back out of the alley.

"H-Hey!" She managed "You're a cat!"

"Well, duh, what else would I be?" He snapped back at her.

Her only response was to shrug, then tip her head at his conundrum.

He had a small traveling bag strapped to his leg, that wasn't the problem. The problem was that the bag was caught against a large sheet of rusty metal.

Every time he tugged at it, the metal rasped, but otherwise refused to move.

"Hey, if you stop moving, I think I can maybe counter balance the metal and get it off your bag."

He tipped his ears back and squinted at her "Worth a try."
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Contest Entry

Postby TheSongOfTheStars » Sun Aug 28, 2016 10:07 am

Tershia watched her brother struggling over the cyan flames.

Rogroth shifted underneath her, impatient from standing still in the chill wind.

She snatched at the reigns to still the griffin and crooned a soft command.

"I've almost got it," Cordin called over his shoulder as the blue wisps around his hands brightened and churned quicker.

"Rogroth is getting antsy."

"He's just cold."

Tershia felt a tightness beneath the saddle as the huge avian-feline shifted from one massive paw to the other. "He's not happy Cordin."

There was a crackle as the small twigs caught the blue flame and instantly melted the snow around Coridin's boots.

"There we go!" He laughed. "Let's get settled then."

He pulled on Rogroth's halter, trying to lead the griffon closer to the fire. But Rogroth braced his legs and refused to move.
"Come on, why... won't.. you...move?!"

Tershia slipped off from Rogroth's back and tried to push him towards the fire. She was rewarded with a raspy growl.

"Alright, leave him be," Cordin said, releasing the halter "He's not going to move."

Tershia pulled her cloak tighter and stepped away from the griffon "What's wrong with him?"
"I don't know. He's never gotten like this on me before," Cordin stepped back and frowned at the beast.

Tershia stepped behind her brother "Do you think he'll hurt us?"

"No, he's probably just hungry."

"Hungry?!?"

Cordin placed a hand over her shoulder "He won't hurt us. He might just grumble a little tonight."

"Are you sure?"
"Yes," Cordin didn't sound at all positive. "Hey, let's get some food, alright?"

She sighed and nodded, eyeing the griffon warily.

Suddenly the creature crouched low to the ground and spread its wings out. Tershia yelped and jumped backwards. Cordin shouted and lunged for the halter.

But Rogroth shot into the air before the elf could stop him.

Tershia stared up at the rapidly diminishing figure.

Cordin struggled to his feet and shouted for Rogroth to come back.

"What do we do now?"

Cordin sighed "Well. Maybe he'll come back. Until then, we camp out here."
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20 random things

Postby TheSongOfTheStars » Wed Jan 25, 2017 4:16 pm

-Journal entry
433
Through the short time allotted to me in the great span of forever, I have seen that history over and over again makes villains of the truest heroes and turns the basest monsters into creatures of great renown. Though we all strive with the greatest difficulty to be seen through a golden light in its eyes, that striving so often turns us into the very villains we will be remembered as.
But yet if we take no heeding of those who inscribe her fancies, history would make fools of us all. For though history demands fact, the true course is ever painted by opinion. Even so that two creatures at the same incident at the same time, one may have ever so slightly been standing towards the left and so seen an somewhat different happening, leaving them with somewhat different tales, leading the future generations to argue endlessly over whether the incident had ever happened at all. There is value for the person acting to think if their choice is correct or right, as long as they do not create a genocide or any life taking, they are more often than not to find some praise in the future minds, who cannot understand the emotional torment that their ancestors endured.
So, if on these pages of I should contradict the accepted view of these times, do not taking it seriously, for I cannot wholly separate my heart from fact. I lived through these things, watched as my crew, my ship, my friends were subjected to horrors best left alone and terrible monsters that should have surely consumed us. We did, in fact, loose a number of creatures who, now knowing how I could've avoided the tragedies, cause me to lose more than a healthy amount of sleep at night.
Therefore, heavily biased by the tides of my emotion, I write these pages. Mainly for myself to remember. But also for whomever should come looking afterwards. Those, who are not looking to perhaps spice the dry facts for a history book, but those who are looking for a bit of adventure and cannot find it in the present world or are looking for a safer route than most adventures offer.
If you want hard dry facts, read my reports, if you can find them. I endeavored to separate myself entirely from the situation to give a fair recording of whatever trouble I got into, as well as the ship's daily records. But here is how I saw it happen, in my own head, in my own mind.
Take from it what you will.

-Martin Trevoiant.
Last edited by TheSongOfTheStars on Sat Jan 28, 2017 12:14 am, edited 2 times in total.
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The Ultimate challenge

Postby TheSongOfTheStars » Wed Jan 25, 2017 4:21 pm

just dialogue
1,441 words
It felt as if his body had been turned to coal and was slowly being burned away. He tried to open his eyes, but his sight seemed to have gone permanently unfocused.
"Coe?"
"His eyes are open."
"I'm going to get Darkmoon."

Two voices, both familiar, floated above him in a haze of light and color, but he could place neither of them.
Footsteps receded and a door creaked on its hinges.
"Can you see me, Coe?"

He squinted, trying to bring the face into a recognizable form. A few features became clear, the shape of the face, the eyes, the nose, and the hat.
"Captain?"
There was a breathy sigh and the features rearranged into a pained smile.
"Hey, Coe. How're you feeling?"

The fire was still crawling around beneath his fur, like a swarm of insects flowing through his blood "I.... Don't know. I don't know what happened."

"Uh, it got you. The phoenix worm, it bit you on the paw."
That explained the raging heat pumping through his body. But it also presented a stark reality that even through the haze he could grasp.
"I'm dying, then?"

Before Martin could answer, the door opened again and familiar heels clicked on the floor.
"He's awake?"
His cousin's voice asked quietly.
"Yeah."

Two suns floating in darkness, overshadowed by a red crescent moon, came into his gaze and it took a moment for him to realize that the suns where her eyes, the darkness her fur, and the red moon the scar.
"Hey, stuffed shirt."
"Darkmoon," he acknowledged breathlessly "You're here."
"Yeah, I'm here. I'm here Stepstone."
"I'd better go."
"Captain," Coe struggled to lift his head as he heard the heavy steps retreating "Wait."
The steps stopped "What is it Coe?"
"The crew. Was anyone else...?
"Everyone else is fine," there was a slight crack in Martin's voice "Thanks to you."
Coe sank back into the pillows with a sigh of relief "Good."
Martin passed through the door, leaving the cousins alone.
"Have my parents been told?"
"I sent a letter soon as I could. You've been keeping us busy." There was a false cheerfulness in her voice. She'd never been good at falsifying untrue hope, despite her flair for lying.
"I'm dying."

She sighed heavily "Coe..."
"I got bitten by one of the most venomous creatures ever known. I shouldn't even be able to speak right now."
"I know."
Though he couldn't see her face clearly, he could make out the grimace that contorted it while she swallowed back her emotions.
"But we're not sure."
"How can you not be sure?" he wanted to shake his head at her stubbornness, he could feel his body burning away beneath the slow venom.
"Do you remember anything after you got bit?"
"I barely remember getting bitten."
"Think about it for a minute."

His eyes slipped close once more as he dug through fire and darkness back to the final moments before his world went hazy with smoke and pain.
"I was standing on the deck. Close to the railing. We thought we were out of danger. Then I saw smoke in the water... I know I'm in the wrong place, but I cannot move quick enough. Its head rises up, its coming towards me, but I might as well be made of wood. It bits me. On the paw. It drags me into the water. It hurts. So much. I'm drowning, but I'm on fire. I can't breath. I see its eyes. It means to eat me. Means to slowly suck the life from my veins. Its all going dark. Slowly. Like I'm losing myself, piece by piece. I'm gone," he began to pant, his chest heaving as he relived the horrible few seconds before he passed through a barrier that held back the pain through oblivion.
"Easy, stuffed shirt. After that. Is there anything after that?" Darkmoon pressed harder, her gloved fingers coming down in a tight grip on his shoulder.
His eyelids pressed together harder and his breathing turned to short gasps.
"I... I'm out of the water.... I can see the sky. And my hand.... Ohhh," he pulled the heavily bandaged appendage to his chest "There is blood everywhere and... and..."
Darkmoon forced her gaze away from the injured paw "And what?"
"The selkie. She's there. Bending over me in human form. I don't... I don't know what she's done. It's so cold," he whispered the last words with a weak finality.
"The selkie..."
Darkmoon had other words, but they spun off like burning pinwheels in his mind as he slipped back into the deep folds of cool darkness.

Later. He didn't know how long, only that some of the fire had abated, he opened his eyes again. This time his sight was clearer.
"I'm alive?"
"Son?"
He moved his eyes towards the side and found his father's face.
"You're here?"
"Yes, yes Stepstone, I'm here."
The eagerness in his parent's voice brought bile to Coe's mouth. He knew what came next.
"You're here. You're going to say it, aren't you?"
The silver tabby's face turned confused "What do you mean, son?"
"The I told you so," Coe said through weak breaths "That I never should've joined the Navy. That this was bound to happen, what an idiot I am."
"No. I'm not. I'm not going to say it," there was a weariness in his parent's tone "You acted like an adult and chose your own path. How can I blame you for it?"
Coe stared up at his father, brow working downwards into a knot.
"So this is what it takes? I have to die before I can have reconciliation? You waited until it was too late," his breathing increased to rapid gasps "I don't want an apology now. I want... I want..."
"Stepstone, calm down," Alarmed his father stood up "Please, you're going to hurt yourself."
"I'm dying!" Coe shrieked, his back arching against the wild pain that shot through his body at the sudden exertion of sound "I can't possible hurt myself any further!"
"Son-"
"In fact, it seems the only time I ever get to see you is if I've sustained a serious injury!"
"Coe!"
Footsteps pounded in the hall and the door slammed, letting in a flood of voices sweeping away his father's protests and forcing Stepstone back into darkness by sheer presence.

Hours and days wheeled past on meaningless wings, voices and faces fluttered overhead in senseless circles. Nothing to anchor him to reality, nothing to bring him back. Just pain.

"I'm really dying," a tiny part of his conscious mind whispered "Do I regret it?"
"No," he answered himself "Not in the least. But I'm afraid."
"I'm afraid of dying."
The words formed in the physical world as sounds, movement on his lips.
"It's ok. Coe. It's ok."
Martin's voice, cracked but steady answered him.
"You'll pull through, mate. It'll be ok."

Slowly Stepstone pried his eyes open, forced him mind back to reality, and found that the agony had ebbed away from his chest and left all of his body save his paw.
"Captain?"
"Yeah, I'm here Coe."
The world around him had returned to its normal clarity and he could see Martin sitting beside him, his hat on his knee.
"How am I...?"
"Not dead?" Martin asked with a slight laugh "It was thanks to the selkie."
"How do you mean?"
Martin lowered his head "You... you uh, haven't noticed?"
Slowly Coe raised his injured paw before him, his jaw locking as he took it in.
"The bitten fingers..."
"Yeah," the otter's voice went slightly choked "We think that she cut them off before the poison could spread to the rest of your system."
It was the two furthest away from his thumb on his right paw.
"So, I'm not going to die?"
"Probably not," Martin offered him a watery smile "Apparently you're as tough as you look."
Coe did not return the smile, instead keeping his gaze fixed on where his missing fingers had been.
"I did not realize... That she'd..."
Martin nodded a little, trying to be sympathetic all the while trying to not be sick.
"Do you want a minute by yourself?"
"No." He'd spent far than a good amount of time chained alone in pain and fear.
"Are you hungry? You really haven't eaten anything since... well."
"Before?"
"Yeah, since then."
"No, not right now."
"Should I get Darkmoon or your dad?"
"No... Captain I would appreciate it if you... simply kept me company. If you don't mind?"
"Not at all," Martin leaned back in his chair, donning the hat "It'll be my pleasure."
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20 One-Shot

Postby TheSongOfTheStars » Sat Jan 28, 2017 3:07 pm

1- Wanting more
798 words
Galvic listened with satisfaction to the weak gurgles of the hare beneath his grip.
"You're so late Nados, I can't even remember how much you owe me," the wolf crooned "Near five hundred coin was it?"
"N-no, please," Nados paws, tiny against Galvic's massive fingers, beat in helpless and weak circles "Only... only one hundred."
"Really?" Mercilessly Galvic tightened his grip for a second, testing the hare's limits.
"I'll have it by tomorrow!" Nados screamed, his voice splintering as there was no air to support the intensity.
"Tomorrow?" Galvic slowly raised a dubious eyebrow "Last time I asked, you said no sooner than a month, now- tomorrow?"
"Please, I promise," the hare sobbed over a cough "Please."

With a long sigh that gave the implication that Galvic had to make a long and draining decision, he released the hapless hare, who crumpled immediately into a wheezing pile of fur.
"Thank you... thank you."
The wolf shrugged his massive shoulders "Be here and have that coin or you'll wish death came quick."
With a whimper, Nados staggered to his paws and with a lurching step made his way out of the alley, stumbling over every other piece of trash in his way.
Galvic shook his head in disgust. Nados would like to never show his puny whiskers tomorrow, then there'd be the real fun.

Dropping to all fours and striding out the dark narrow alley, he emerged into the typical stormy grey of the Tworan City Delvos.
Some creatures ignored his hulking form patrolling down the street, but most went scurrying away from his path, eyes averted breaths held.

The citizens' attitude continued for good reason, not only that the wolf could crush them easily, but that he wielded a power beyond the iron sinews in his body. It was connection. Threads that ran not only through the darkness into some of the most violent and feared gangs that ran the city, but also up into the weak spires of the government.
It was the reason he dared to so boldly walk the streets, though he was so entrenched in crime. He had stripped creatures of wealth and title, through seemingly legal scandals.

He turned off the main road down another alley, this one perfectly deserted and for good reason as it led directly to his place of residence.
His paw scuffled against the garbage and filth that lined the walls, his nose wrinkling slightly as waves of decay and refuse rose upwards.
The whole city seemed to embody perfectly the entire mess that Twora herself was embroiled in.
But his mind really wasn't on the finical issues of his country, Galvic was simply wondering how far Nados would be able to run, before Galvic caught up with him.
----
To his surprise, the next day, Nados was standing there in the alley, shuffling uncomfortably while pressing a tiny shadow behind him.
"Nados..."
The hare flung his paws up, his eyes begging for mercy "I couldn't find pure coin, so... so I got something that maybe you could-"
"That wasn't our deal, Nados," Galvic rumbled "But I'm in a good mood. What is it?"
Gaining a fraction of confidence, the hare perked his ears slightly "You know the Sykans will pay... they'll pay for young specimens and..." he shoved the tiny shadow forwards "Here"
The little bundle of fur tripped and with a weak grunt fell to her stomach. The light showed her to be an impossibly young badger, with huge eyes brimming over with tears.
"I-"
Galvic began to protest, but before he could finish, Nados dashed past him, ears flattening back as he whipped through the alley and out of sight.
Uncertain how to react, the wolf stared after him until a whimper at his paws redirected his attention to the baby scratching at the dirt by his paws.
"Mummy!" she squeaked, looking up at him, the tears spilling over her cheeks.
With a snort, he took a step back, his eyes darting around as if he could magically spot the child's parents in the darkness.
But there was no apparent solution to the little problem struggling to sit up by using his leg as a prop.
Stepping back with a growl of disgust, he decided to leave her as she was, but as he began to exit the alley, she let out a thin wail that struck at his ears sharply.
"Mummy!!"

He paused mid step, his tongue darting out nervously as something small and still inside began pricking at him. Something he'd pushed down many times before.
But this time it was insistent. Different from when blood spilled over his paws, when anger filled his head.
It was tired of being ignored.
"Mummy," her wails descended into tearful sniffles.

With a long groan he turned around and-
Last edited by TheSongOfTheStars on Mon Jan 30, 2017 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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20 One-Shot

Postby TheSongOfTheStars » Sun Jan 29, 2017 8:11 am

2- Enchanting and Magical
1,017 words
What does the Ocean Princess wear?

A song, clear and old as the ocean waves broke over the shore, like the tide against the stones. It reached through the darkness to play against Martin's ears like the notes of a silver flute.
His arms hung down by his sides as he stared over the dark green water, the voice bringing up a deep, inexplicable nostalgia as well as breaking loose a spring of frantic excitement.

She wears a watery gown

Again, stronger, the song welled up from the whispering edge of the curling waters, plucking on strings inside of him, calling him down.
He kicked his shoes off, shrugged away his jacket, undid his sword belt and drew the old cutlass to find that the runes had lit up in the electric star blue.
As a last thought before succumbing totally to the song's call, he tossed his hat to the ground. Then with arms wide for balance he went sliding through the silvery yellow sand to down the wet place where the waves frolicked up to caress the land.

With seaweed silk

The song was louder, the humming, thrumming of a harp strung with starlight joined the tone of the silver flute.
Martin's eyes darted about, searching for the singer.
A soft splash interrupted the music and brought his gaze towards the center of the horizon where a beam of moonlight had gone astray to illuminate a form in the water. She raised a flipper beckoning to him and the opened her mouth to let the song fill the spaces between them.

and salty satin

He dove into the water, the darkness pierced over and over again by the strengthening stars. But there was one stream of light brighter and more chaste than the rest, it followed the seal's body as she dove deeper.
Her tail flashed silver through the light and Martin followed after, ignoring the danger of going too far.
As they descended through the waters, he felt no pressure on his chest, nor did the burning need for air start to fill his lungs.

Upon her head is a silver crown
Time hung perfectly suspended on the layers of cold water while the two creatures passed through them, the separate beams of starlight ending on every stratum, fading until the last light was the moonbeam that the seal had seemed to have attached to herself as it bent and curled to follow her body through the maze of currents that she guided Martin through.

Set with pearls from the deep

Distantly, somewhere still on the shore, Martin's thoughts wondered where she was asking him to, why his sword had decided to begin glowing, though there where no Numoraldean settlements near the shore where they'd been. But it was far off and seemed little relevant in the cold currents.
They came to a kelp forest, the long stipes slowly swaying in time to the seal's song. In long rows, their blades bent backwards to clear a path for them.
About her neck
Tiny fishes, like small pieces of sand touched by the lights of long ago, flittered like living silver through the marine canopy, their curious eyes peeking out at them curiously while they passed through the tunnel of darkness and living water.
The light from his sword began to grow sporadic, going off in violent sparky bursts and he could feel the waters about his paw growing warmer, but it didn't concern him, only made him grow tenser with anticipation.

Is a vial of starlight in seawater

The seal's song became stronger, sending invisible ripples through the water and causing the seaweed's dance to quicken until it was a storm of long green fingers flowing around them, but never did the tunnel threaten to dissipate.
Abruptly the music ceased and the current stopped flowing, the kelp immediately halted as if frozen.
The moon beam stretched past the seal's grey body down towards the seafloor, touching on a thin metallic glint.
hung upon a strand of golden sand
Slowly, her elegant, smooth body turned downwards and dove towards the dull glitter.
He reached the column of light and hesitated for as long as a thought before entering it. The blue light from his sword died away as he followed her down.
She was hovering over a small chest, bound with thick bands of old, but not corroded iron.
For the first time, he met her eyes, dark and still, and she nodded.
Letting his sword fall into the soft bed of sea moss, Martin gripped the edge of the chest and slowly raised it up.
And in her hand is a thing of power
Inside it, on a bed of crimson velvet was laid a disc, carved ornately with interconnecting symbols and glyphs. Some of them intriguingly similar to the three runes along the center of his sword and the markings on the beads of Shyshie's bracelet.
Slowly his fingers curled beneath the fine edges and raised it upwards to level with his eyes.

A thing of power

Uncertain he looked up at the seal.
For the first time a warning stab ran through his chest, but he ignored it as his eyes slowly grew so wide that the moonlight was nearly blinding.
The seal had changed. Her marine adapted body had been shed and before him in the water hung a human girl. Her skin pale and cold looking as frozen stars, her hair spreading out through the water like gold turned to light.
She met his stunned gaze with the same eyes, dark and still.
His heart knocking against the confines of his chest, Martin held the disc out to her, averting his gaze.
A smile touched her young red lips and with fingers like living icicles she pressed the disc back towards him.
Surprised he looked up at her.

Power

He was standing back on the beach, coat over shoulders, boots over paws, sword sheathed, and hat firmly upon head. But still in his paw he clutched the disc.
Last edited by TheSongOfTheStars on Mon Jan 30, 2017 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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20 One-Shot

Postby TheSongOfTheStars » Sun Jan 29, 2017 1:07 pm

3- Sad and Gloomy
767 words

Torrents of water swept through the streets, turning Port Capitale into more sea than had originally been intended.
Refuse floated down out through the tight alleys like tiny helpless rafts through the swirling eddies of dirty run-off, bobbing beneath the surface until they reached the docks where the filth of the streets ran down to the restless grey waves chopping at the moorings of the ships.
Brown droplets ran off rooftops, streamed down windows and left a grimy trail behind them, like bars to a cell.

Rolland's breath fogged on the glass, for a moment hiding the cold storm, but the steam faded, again leaving him staring out at the empty face of the two houses opposite his.
Battered and old, they sagged empty from their residents who had once upon a time laughed and smiled on days like these, fires burning brightly and gold glimmering at the windows.
But now there was only cold currents of air creeping up old staircases and tearstains on pages left open, reminisces of the tragedies that had struck like a merciless serpent. There where more gravestones bearing the names of those who had lived there than there where those living.

Rolland imagined the rain dripping down on the stones in the cemetery like the tears the left behind family had shed, before they themselves where thrown from their homes, evicted from the places that held the memories of loved ones.

His own home had little fewer struggles hidden in the warped wood, little less pain folded up between the dusty curtains. Perhaps a cry or two of grief more wandered the abandoned buildings that had once held a soul within them, but there was enough in the house that was so large that nearly an entire family, extended relations, offspring, and mates had lived there in ease.
Now there was just him.
He felt like he was becoming just another sad sigh drifting down from the attic. His paws just creating another pained creak from the arthritic stairs, the only paws to tread the tired carpets and rugs.
He might as well only be another memory, another tear, someone who would slowly be forgotten, while the neighborhood fell to pieces beneath the leaning strain of time.

With a long breath that again fogged the window he turned away and looked around at the room he stood in.
It perhaps brought back the heaviest emotions.
Filled with instruments of every kind from every known country, Grandfather had insisted on training up a small orchestra for the personal benefit of the family. Daily practice had been chaotic, but encouraged a camaraderie that had felt unbreakable, as pure as the strains of music that had once poured throughout the long hallways of the house.
But, as Rolland had found, not even the bonds of family could be depended upon in trying times. After his mother's death and father's desertion, he and Callie had been looked on with nervous distaste. The children of a mad female and an untrustworthy male. Callie had taken it worse than he had, growing into a bitter young woman who didn't understand and wasn't understood. Rolland had been driven by a personal insanity, he'd pursued his doctor's career with a fanatic drive that his aunts, uncles, and cousins simply couldn't wrap their heads around.
Why would he ever need to work? When Grandfather died surely he'd receive more than enough money to live comfortably without ever getting his paws dirty.
But no one expected that when the old ring-tailed cat died that he would leave the totality of his riches to Rolland and Rolland alone.
They screamed and railed at him for injuries he had not perpetrated, for slights and grievances that a young medical student did not understand.
Then worse. They left.
Callie stayed for a while, but she was restless in a huge house that should've been bustling with life but was as still as a river in winter.
Then he was really alone.
The last whisper of a legacy that fell apart like old plaster.
Last edited by TheSongOfTheStars on Wed Feb 08, 2017 2:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby TheSongOfTheStars » Sun Jan 29, 2017 4:52 pm

4- want to smile
895 words
The fire crackled and roared merrily in the grate, casting playful shadows across the room in a hopeful contrast against the night that pressed in against the windows.
Though the light was uncertain it was more than enough for the sharp eyes of the young cat to easily pick out the words of the book she held within an inch of her face.
Her eyes, bluer than the ocean and the sky and more intense than lightening, were focused on the pages, emotions swirling within them as she allowed herself to be entirely absorbed into the story. So totally was she lost to an ancient time beyond any of her experience, that she was completely oblivious when her mother entered the room.
Not that it would've been obvious when the shadow of a cat came drifting through the door, her paws barely seeming to brush against the floor.
Yet, not even when the slim dark form sat down on the cushion next to Shyshie, did the girl stir. Only when the light chink of ceramic on wood sounded gently against the crackle of the fire was her mind brought back to the present time and world.
"Oh, thanks Mama," she said setting the book down, its open face pressed against the table to keep her place.
"You'll wreck the book if you do that to it," Darkmoon replied, flipping the book over and inserting the tasseled bookmark.
"I know. But I always loose the bookmark."
"Except for that one that was right there?"
"Yeah, except that one," Shyshie's tongue dipped down, flicking at the steaming surface of her tea "Thanks."
"You're welcome. What book are you reading by the way?"
"It's called "Selkies: an informative guide to an elusive yet principle contributor in Navorine History"
"Sounds like a thriller," Darkmoon's voice held a sing-song sarcasm "How long is it?"
"Only three-hundred."
"Only."
"Mama."
"What?"
With a flick of her wrist and a tilt of her head, the girl adopted a look that her mother often pulled on.
"Oh, what am I to do with you?"
Darkmoon snorted softly "I wouldn't know love, I haven't figured out what's to be done with you."
"Oh, I suppose the usual. Let me read until my head explodes, only allow me to have a minimum amount of outside contact until I decide that I want to learn how to use the sword."
"Then what? Release you on the world with no previous social contact?"
"Sure, why not? Sounds like fun."
Before Darkmoon could release a satirical reply a

heavy knock sounded at the door.
Their ears simultaneously pricked upwards, mother and daughter left tea and books to hurry to the front door.
Darkmoon paused to tug on her gloves, and buckle on her sword, then opened the door slowly until the face of their unexpected visitor was lit up in the lamp light.
Tiredly Coe stared at them, his shoulders slumped in a tired mound of defeat.
Instinctively a sardonic smile played on Darkmoon's lips, but it was replaced with a sympathetic curving of the corners of her eyes as she realized that this was one of the times her cousin needed a break.
Silently she widened the door and with a flourish, ushered him inside.
"Thank you, Vale," he said, his voice between a sigh and a groan as he leaned his banshaw staff against the inside of the wall.
"Hi Stepstone!" Shyshie chirped, throwing her arms around his shoulders as he bent over.
He laughed weakly and wrapped his paws around her waist, lifting the young cat into the air "Hello Starwalk. How're you doing?"
She let go and slipped back to the floor "M fine. You look beat."
"An accurate description," he said, shrugging off his naval jacket and with a deft fold setting it on the small stool near the door "It's been a rather trying day."
"Hey, you want some tea?" Darkmoon asked over her shoulder, already on her way to the kitchen "I just made a pot."
"N-"
"Good. Shyshie take him to sit by the fire, he looks half drowned and near froze."

Grabbing his three-fingered right paw, Shyshie pulled him into the parlour, chattering about things of no great importance. Her breakfast, the colors of the sky that evening, what she thought of the weather.
Normally stone-faced, Coe managed a weary smile for his young cousin as she talked, the drain of a job that took but never gave and a captain who frustrated him endlessly showing plainly in the creases beneath his eyes.
"Here's the tea," Darkmoon said as she entered, interrupting her daughter's conversation "I hope you don't mind raspberry."
"Raspberry is fine," Coe said, accepting the cup with a grateful nod.
"So," The black cat sat herself down on the side of Coe opposite her daughter "Is it really that bad?"
"Is what really that bad?"
"Your day. Is it really that bad that you can't walk home or is this one of the rare instances that you've starved yourself for conversation so long you actually have to talk?"
"Mama," Shyshie sighed "Do you have to?"
For a moment Darkmoon squinted down at her daughter, expression unreadable.
Then she shrugged and sank down into the cushions "Oh, alright, I'll bother you later Stepstone. Enjoy the silence while you can."

With eyes full of gratefulness, Coe nodded "I will."
Last edited by TheSongOfTheStars on Mon Jan 30, 2017 4:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby TheSongOfTheStars » Mon Jan 30, 2017 4:47 pm

5- Chilling
755 words

The wind wailed with a thousand soulless voices lost to the grey abysses of winter. Fingers, cold and lifeless, tapped at the windows with nails bitten to the quick, asking to be admitted into the tiny dark cabin.
But there was no one within to open the doors to them. No one to shiver at the wind's crying while its hands slipped through the cracks in the wall.
Dust had formed over the rough split wood floors, hiding the old dark stains that had dried in uneven circles, a final testament to the residents' departure.

Old cobwebs loosened by the breezes fluttered at the edges of chairs and walls, their creators long since succumbed to the cold, curling up and turning to husks, then slowly disintegrated to join the dust.

Outside the snowflakes drifted restlessly, kicked up by invisible feet marching along with the wind, never once letting the anxious white down touch the earth to settle. Never letting them cover the nakedness of the barren ground with their fractals of distant and unremarkable beauty.

Rigid lines of impenetrable white shadows fell in sheeted battalions, only to be whipped about by the scourges of the wind, blow against every surface, then pulled away. Only at cold black whiskers did the crusty flakes stick, weighing them down like the antennae of a bizarre and lost insect.
So many times had the wind turned course only to laugh with a voice of a screaming eagle as the gloved fingers tried to clear the heavy snow from whiskers and eyelashes.

The lost wanderer in the storm had long given up on trying to brush them away, simply giving in to the defeat that nature foisted upon her with harsh incessancy. Beating on her narrow shoulders with no sympathy, seeming to take a great joy in her downcast face and the tears that hovered like silent banshee screams on the edges of her eyes.
As the wind rose to a deafening pitch, she began to hear voices.
No.
Just one voice.
His voice.
His voice screaming amidst the snow, agony infusing every drop of sound.
The sound that her tired, grief-worn thoughts taunted her with, the sound that infected her sleep, the sound she imagined that he had made as the cold thirsty iron pierced his chest, letting loose a long flow of heart's blood go spilling like a long river out from his crumpled body.
The wind twisted the imagined voice into a final shriek for help, her help.

But she had been days and miles too late, her mind languishing on the minor illness that had held her from his side as they betrayed him, murdered him.

She stopped, letting the wind buffet her shaking body as the tears, hot as fire, began to pour down her face in long torrents of endless pain, pain that would forever reach through her life, like dark roots of rot running through the wood of a strong tree.

Bowed against the endless, power wind, the branches of a brittle tree gave to the weight of winter and cracked, the sound breaking against the eternal howling of the wind.
The old fingers swept downwards, reaching for the dark figure as she leapt out of the way.
Regaining her balance, she saw a figure through the sweeping particles of the wind's indecency.

She saw the figure step towards her, paws outstretched and her name came pouring from its lips, a plea breaking the barriers in her mind and in her world.

Gasping she turned away from the dark figure and with every drop of energy left in her frost-bitten, wind sucked body, ran through the snow, ignoring how the wind pushed her back towards the ghost of her grief.

Another shape loomed ahead of her, not the shape of her fear but the regular lines of the house.
Without looking at the jagged glass glaring out of the eyeless windows or the roof that sagged against its fading supports she ran to the door and threw her entire weight against it.
Unlatched it swung inwards and she landed on splayed palms, letting the wind in to scatter the dust into swirling little bodies of specters.
She didn't see the cobwebs come loose from their anchors or the dark stains across the floor, she was fighting the wind to slam the door close. Terror won against the forces of air and she pressed her back against the old wood and buried her head against her knees as she gasped in the stale air.
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