Here are the elements for March:
- A drunk named Lilac
- A bloodstained weapon (whether sword, dagger, horns, fangs, etc)
- changing one's mind completely
- A hug
All works must be related to Elfquest, whether canon-based, original character, alternate universe, or whatever. Writings must contain all the above elements. Art can either contain all the elements, or illustrate one of the writings.
Have at it!
Ha! I'm the first now! Enjoy!
Pike had been there. Had seen it all happening. How the newly orphaned cub had taken the lead of the tribe, organising a bear-hunt for a not-so-bearlike creature.
He had gladly helped gather the sticky fluid they would use to cover the net with, and made a game of applying it as quickly as possible. He tried to be as fast as he could, so he could cover the parts of the net his tribemates were still working on tying stones in the sides of the net with stickyness, the poor wolfrider included.
Pike always tried to make things into games, he did not like seriousness much.
When the net was finished, the Wolfriders took to the trees. Tall, sturdy trees, more then strong enough to support the small elves and their net. And they waited. Waited until their newfound Chief lured Madcoil after him, waited till he ran for his life... Then, on his mark, they all jumped down, capturing the beast in the net.
Cutter himself had delivered the final blow, getting himself and New Moon covered in Madcoils blood and gore. Treestump had hugged his cousin hard, glad it was all over. "You did it, lad! Right through the eye!!"
And after dragging the monstrous head to the human village, they had celebrated their victory and howled for the dead. Pike had told stories of them then, and had told many more stories for the rest of his life.
*hic!* Yes, his great-great-great-great-greatgrandfather was indeed an elf to be proud of, he shouldn't be ashamed that he took after him, Lilac thought. *hic!*
I'm sure this story may not sit well in some ways, but if it bothers you, I blame the Captian (Xiu) for proposing such a, ahem, creative element for this month!
Home to Voll and his clan of Gliders and Rock Shapers, among others, the lofty peaks and Shaper sealed entrances kept the outside world at bay, and provided the perfect protection for the perfect beings inside.
Lord Voll walked the stately passages, a few of his Preservers hovering around him waiting to serve. Petalwing and Musing were among them, chattering about the past. Musing was the aptly named memory of the Preservers, the keeper of their past. Petalwing was more of the spokes-person for the clan, and each of the other Preservers each had their specialty. As usual, the talkative Petalwing was coaxing tales from Musing, and the others refreshed their own memories by listening to the two.
Voll himself was hardly listening to the pair. He was feeling as though he were in a dream. His world was perfect in every way; all the rough scrapes in life had been smoothed and soothed by the members of his highly prized society. Even the younger Elves, like Winnowil, had worked so diligently in years past to make things work smoothly, and the Mountain was even beginning to feel a little like… Home. It was really quite an amusing thought; this concept of ‘home’ that he’d decided to attribute this longing he felt inside. His parents had gone to great lengths describing the Palace to him when he was little, and though he knew it was forbidden, he wished to see it for himself.
He paused in his stroll, and turned to Musing, “My dear friend, tell me again of the Palace, and its wonders! My heart cries out for its beauty and its comfort! Ease my longing, if you please, dear friend Musing.”
The miniscule bug like creature pushed out ahead of Voll, and sang with outstretched arms: “Story-time, Remember-time! High-high toppy-tops and shine-shine paths! It fly-high here-there…” Musing spoke of the great wonders the Palace held, the travels to other worlds, the great betrayal of the nasty dig-digs. He would go on for hours, Voll knew, as this was a request he made quite often. It wasn’t that he couldn’t remember, he just liked hearing about it.
Musing would have gone on for hours, but the group bumped into Winnowil just around a bend in the hall. She was hardly seen these days, and it seemed as though something had happened several seasons ago that had changed her. She had not just become reclusive, but gloomy as well. Voll silenced Musing and addressed her. “Young Winnowil, how are you doing this fine day?” He hoped he could get her to respond.
Winnowil had been sitting, leaned up against the wall sideways, rocking. She slowly turned to look up at Voll and his cloud of Preservers, and glared at them. She had the look of a severely wounded animal whose injuries weren’t healing properly. Her gaze was broken for a moment, a wash of various emotions that seemed to imply she wished to take the image of what was before her and shatter it violently, or crush the Preservers with her bare hands. The wild look faded after a moment, and she went back to staring off in the distance. She did finally reply, however, “The same as every day, and the same as I’ll be tomorrow, and the day after that. Nothing ever changes, so why would I be any different?” Her weak protest dissolved into mumblings.
Voll thought for a moment, trying to consider the thought that his bliss could be another’s boredom. “Perhaps… you would like a new task? Coordinating the work of the Rock Shapers must not be of much interest to a Healer, I suppose. Perhaps I should have one of the Eight bring you a pet?”
Winnowil’s mind’s eye nearly blacked out from the sheer audacity of the Lord, living in his fantasy world. She muttered “…a Pet? Well, for that matter, why don’t you just have them go get the Palace and get us out of this shell of a mountain? Oh, wait, that’s right, you wouldn’t want anyone to actually risk hurting themselves doing something so ‘dangerous’ as leaving for anything other than food gathering! It’s not like you have a healer around to help keep your servants healthy!”
Lord Voll was not about to let her rain on his parade. She had given him an idea, though. “Hmm… It is true that the Palace is lost, and we cannot go back for it, but perhaps we can bring the Palace back to us? Could the Rock Shapers recreate it here, out of the stone of Blue Mountain itself?”
This distracted Winnowil from her depressive attitude long enough to consider the implications. Still, she sent the quip at her lord: *If they knew what it looked like*
Voll clapped his hands together with a resounding ‘smack!’ “Then we have just the thing! A blueprint of the Palace in the perfect recall of Musing here! Take Musing with you and set forth on your new task, perhaps this will dredge you up from your doldrums!”
‘Great’ she thought to herself, ‘now I’m stuck with one of the bugs!’
She sighed as she strolled into her ‘playroom’, Nutbonnet and Musing in tow. There hadn’t been much for the Rock-Shapers to do for quite some time, but they had to be ever vigilant for when their services were required. Winnowil had even assigned them individual tasks, quite specific ones at that, such as guarding a single stone doorway. They listlessly lolled in the cavern, ready to dodge over to whatever task had been assigned them, but complacent in the fact that their services would never be needed. There was no need to go outdoors when the Eight did everything for their society from the heights! They hardly even talked anymore, as there was not much to talk about after ages of sitting around together doing nothing. At least Aurek had come up with something to do, playing with his orb by himself after the upset seasons ago.
Winnowil strode across the chamber and sat on a bench formed out of the wall. Her mouth had gotten her into trouble again, and now the loony Voll wanted some sort of the impossible. Sure, rebuild something she’d never seen or even felt a draw to! Well, at least she didn’t really have to deal with it! “Aurek! I have a job for you! Are you feeling like putting your skills to the test? This twitter-bug will describe how Lord Voll wishes to change Blue Mountain into a place even more suited to our kind!”
Aurek set himself back from his work and stretched, shaking off the stupor of staring at his floating form. He blinked, and turned to Winnowil and her flying ‘escorts’. He sent to her that he was ready to take on such a task, as he had grown used to not speaking at this point. Winnowil simply motioned to Musing to go to him.
The rock shaper set back in his chair and listened to the chitter-chirp of the keeper of Preserver memory. Winnowil laid down on the bench and tried to sleep, but the Preserver’s high-pitched sing-song precluded any chance of it. The best she could do was get into a sort of mindless daydream state which ended up getting overwritten by the tale spilling out of the mouth of Musing. Pictures she could care less about played in her mind. Crystal spires, shining halls and other structures scrolled passed her inner eyes and she felt as though the boredom of the scene was nearly putting her to sleep….
“Push-pull thing make open, High-thing sit-sit and make pretty-color spin-spin go! See all, know all! Pretty-color spin-spin hold all that was, all that is, all that becoming! Pretty-color spin-spin make Palace go! Go here-there, now-then! High-thing sit-sit do all, make Home-place sing, make Home-place change, or change other things…”
A thought stirred in Winnowil’s mind. If the one who masters the scrolls masters the Palace, and the master of the Palace wields such great power, that master could do anything, or go anywhere! Boredom would never be an issue again, and there would be no one to decide that person’s fate but themselves! Such a place of power would rid her of so many of her troubles…. She realized that she may be dreaming all this, and shook herself back alert. “Musing, my friend, could you please repeat the last little bit you told him?” she said sweetly.
The diminutive creature retold all it had just said, recounting what the Palace could do thought this control center. Winnowil’s eyes widened as her fully alert mind assimilated the information completely. She restrained her excitement, which was quite profound for not having had anything to be excited about for quite some time. “All but Aurek, go to your posts, make yourselves comfortable and await further instructions! Leave us now!” The lethargic group of rock shapers meandered off to their respective posts. When the room was clear, she turned with a glimmer of purpose in her eyes that Aurek had not seen in quite some time, and he was pleased he had been chosen to aid her in putting a smile on that face. He welcomed the forcible lock-send she seized him with and absorbed her new instructions….
“Nasty-bad! Nasty-bad!” Nutbonnet screeched at Winnowil as she grabbed hold of Musing and plied her sending powers on the small creature. No one had tried to send to the Preservers for as long as she could remember, but if it were possible, she would wrest the full image of the Palace from the small mind in her hand.
She struggled with Musing for some time as it resisted her. She sunk in with her flesh-shaping powers and felt the history in the creatures cells, how the information was not just in its mind, but had become a part of the very essence of its body! She could also feel that to pull the image of the Palace from this creature would destroy it if it was even possible. But if the creature could be duplicated she could try and not have to worry about destroying the original…
Nutbonnet spit wrapstuff at Winnowil as she reach for it, but she was determined and seized the Preserver. She placed both Preservers in a death-grip in one hand, and pulled the webbing from her face, shaking her hand to get it off. She then gripped the pair together and held them to her chest and fell into a warped version of a healer trance. The forced mating of the two sexless beings as her goal, she nearly squeezed the life out of them as she molded a portion of the flesh of the two into a third, smaller form. The miniature Preserver finally popped free from the other two after several hours of concentration by the dark healer.
Exhausted, Winnowil finally released the other two, and though they were bewildered and fatigued by the experience themselves, they instinctively went to care for the new Preserver mite. Winnowil succumbed to unconsciousness on the floor, which Aurek molded to a more comforting shape from his chair. He had given up a portion of himself in the exchange earlier between him and Winnowil, and otherwise sat while the events transpired in front of him. His Winnowil had a plan, and it was good enough for him, but he would ease her sleep if he could.
The Preservers were too drained to fly. The pair carried their unnatural offspring out into the hall and tried to find the others, “Others will help! Others will know!”
The trio hadn’t made it far before Petalwing came across them. “Why friends Nutbonnet and Musing down-down and not fly-high…?” Petalwing then noticed the small one between them. “Small friend? What have friends been doing?” He swooped down and landed. They chattered a bit before Petalwing flew off to gather the others to help them.
They gathered up at one of the many small passages only they could use to reach the outside. The small one was still not awake, but otherwise seemed to be fine. They chattered among themselves to try to figure out what it all meant, if it was a good thing or not, and what they should do.
Eventually, they settled on the thought that it was a good thing, that Winnowil was not one of the original ones from the Palace, and may not know the proper way of doing things, but wished them to have more in their group. It had hurt, but Nutbonnet and Musing seemed to be ok, and the little one seemed to be waking up.
The newcomer finally did awaken, but was not like any youngling the rest had ever seen. Instead it seemed to be some strange mix of the two parents in personality, and acted about the same age, with one major difference: It seemed to have been born silly. From the moment it had opened its eyes it had laughed and joked about everything going on around it. Not only that, but it was clumsy when it walked and couldn’t fly. Musing seemed to feel that it was because it was old in a youngling’s body and couldn’t get coordinated because of the small size. It worried Musing.
The small one found out it couldn’t fly when it tried to follow the others out of the opening in the side of the mountain. A lilac bush broke its fall, and it tumbled out of the bottom covered with several blossoms. The others came down to try and help it, but as they came down it was laughing again and pulling the petals from its head.
“No, no! Is gooood! Leave on, is good!” Petalwing tipped its own head to show the adornment on top. “We call you Lilac now! Is good!” And they all laughed with Lilac as they carried it back up to the inlet. They played for a few hours and tried to figure out why Lilac couldn’t fly. Petalwing asked “Lilac need eat-stuffs? We get eat-stuffs for Lilac! We come back.” And with that, Petalwing and Musing flew off into the forest to gather something nutritious.
When they came back, though, they found that Lilac had even worse troubles! Lilac indeed needed nourishment to fly, but the usual nectar that the Preservers preferred made him even sillier! After just a few gulps of the nectar, poor Lilac burst into flight and crashed from wall to ceiling all the way back down the airshaft!
When the nectar finally wore off, the smaller Preserver landed in middle of a hallway, laughing its fool head off. One of the Rock shapers in charge of one of the doors almost stepped on Lilac as they snuck through these back tunnels where they thought no one could see. They heard the high-pitched laughter, but Preservers were never found on the floor! Lilac screeched at him to get him to stop in time. The Elf looked down to see a seemingly drunken and shrunken Preserver, staggering and weaving as it tried to walk along the floor in no particular direction. The Elf could smell traces of Winnowil’s magic.
Scooping up the addled Lilac, the sneaking elf made off with his prize.
Winnowil awoke with a headache, a bad attitude, and a feeling of foolishness that she was so weak. The small creatures took far too much energy from her, betrayed a weakness of hers. She was a master of healing, but this flesh-shaping took far too much work!
She looked around, noticed that Aurek had formed the floor into a sort of litter to make her comfortable. At least his loyalty was not in question! She noticed that the Preservers had left, and apparently taken the small one with them. She got up and started looking for them.
She had never had any interest in the Preservers before then, and hadn’t noticed where they went when they weren’t annoying her. She simply wandered the halls in her usual route she’d wander when she was bored, and examined every point of the walls and ceilings.
This was how she found one of the Rock Shapers missing from his post. Not that it was any major crisis as they never used the doors, and only rock shapers could get through them anyway, but it was the idea that he had disobeyed her! She went and checked on the others, and found that they had indeed formed chairs or beds near whatever point they needed to be, just this one door elf….
In a flash of anger, she reached out with her mind and pictured the others, the feel of this one rebel when he had been at his post, and sought out the same feeling… searched through the mountain level by level, and found him!
*Deserter, are you? What excuse do you offer me for leaving your post?!?* she lock-sent.
*Winnowil!* the surprised Rock shaper replied, thinking quickly, *I found a pet of yours, I think!* He had wanted to keep the creature for himself, but he would rather give it back to her than to displease her, or Lord Voll.
She had located him and was on her way. She sent to him, *I will learn the truth of what you say for myself!* Beyond displeased, she discovered that, in her rage, she could produce a sending that had much the same effect on soft minds that her flesh-shaping powers could exert on yielding flesh, perhaps even to the point of destroying that mind. Through that, she wrested the Elf’s soul name from him and lock-sent pure pain! A small matter more, and she had over-written the Elf’s soul name with a single word:
*From now on, you shall be known as Door, and you will never leave your post! You will never defy me again, or I will destroy what little of your mind is left!* By that time, she had reached the hapless ‘Door’ and had secured her prize from him.
*As far as the rest of you are concerned* she opened the sending to the others in her ‘security force’, *Let this be a lesson! From now on you will be known by your post, and you will also never leave your posts again! Lord Voll has left the security of Blue Mountain to me, and as its guards you answer to me! Do as you are told, and I will reward you. Fail me…* With that, she forced Door to open his mind to the others, revealing the torment she had put him through without her having to exert herself on each one. “When you have recovered, go observe what the other Door has done and do the same!”
The ravaged elf could only hiss a breath of silent whine in response.
Winnowil entered the main chambers with the helpless Lilac in her grasp. The small Preserver’s giggles had quieted by now and only a snicker would slip out now and then. Even Lilac’s addled brain knew that there was something not quite right, something dangerous. Lilac wondered where his friends were.
“Winnowil, if I may ask, what shall I be known as now? Am I Palace-shaper? Home? What will please you?”
This one was rapidly becoming Winnowil’s favorite. She looked at his floating orb, and in her mind looked at the shell of Blue Mountain as a whole, with its infantile, soft inhabitants inside. “No, you will be known as Egg, and you will be responsible for recreating our former home without its flaws! Lock-send with me now and know how it is to be!”
With that, she stepped behind Egg and held the vulnerable Lilac over his head, seeking out the limits of her power to pull the required memory from this Preserver. Lilac screamed as black lightning crackled between Winnowil’s hands and engulfed the winged form. The crackling noise quickly drowned out Lilac’s protests as all light seemed to be absorbed by her. Only the floating orb in front of Egg glowed slightly as he narrowed it at one end. The black bolts flowed from Winnowil’s hands, down her arms, and from her chest into the back of Egg’s skull. Curled runes began to form in the surface of the Egg, with more and more layers beginning to form underneath. The room itself seemed to flow in eddies around the small group, and the benches, chairs, beds, and other ornamentation disappeared.
Abruptly, the lightning cut off, and Winnowil staggered back from Egg, her hands empty. Weaving, she grabbed for the back of Egg’s throne. She blinked, looking around her. It had started to work! The stone had begun to form itself into the control room she had envisioned it should be! *Egg, why did you stop? It was working!*
Egg’s head lolled to one side, devoid of much presence of mind to reply. *EGG* she tried again.
She staggered back, realizing that she was only reeling from the flow of power, not of exhaustion! The power had come from the small one, and had consumed it! There was nothing left of the creature. If she were to use the parent, however, the transformation would be complete!
A shrill sound echoed around the chamber. It seemed to come in from all sides at first, and was quite indistinctive. Whatever it was, it was getting closer.
Out of the corner of her eye, Winnowil could see Musing for a brief moment, carrying one of the Chosen’s spears, before the point of the spear pierced her eye and she could see nothing. The momentum of the spear knocked her back onto the floor, and as she ripped the bloody hunting tool from her eye socket she used it to knock the enraged Musing against the wall. She screamed out and cradled her injured eye socket. Musing continued to attack, grasping her yielding flesh in its claws and tearing it, pulling strips of skin painfully away from her flesh. She grabbed at Musing and finally got hold of a limb. She swung her hand against the floor hard enough to break her own knuckles.
Egg watched all this in his stupor, and he felt that he should do something, anything to help his Winnowil, though he also felt that she had done this small creature harm and was wrong in doing so. He hadn’t seen what she had done, didn’t know of Lilac’s demise. He was still trying to figure out what had happened in his own mind! There were new memories that had sprung up from nowhere, yet it seemed like they had always been there, that a light had been show to reveal that they were there. The strangest part was that these memories were not his or anyone else’s experiences, but more of a record of everyone’s lives! There was too much to take in, too much to make sense of, and as these memories had bloomed forth his power had carved them into the stone before him, or tied the foundation of Blue Mountain itself to the egg hovering in front of him. It had happened so fast, so very fast! Bewildered, and uncertain of what part to play in the battle in front of him, he set down the egg in its cradle and summoned his powers once more. Careful not to disrupt the important matrix around him, he formed walls between the combatants and sectioned them off so they could do each other no more harm.
As it was, they had nearly killed each other. Winnowil had lost an eye, some of her hair, and was bleeding from the many places that Musing had torn strips from her skin. Musing had lost half a wing and couldn’t fly well, and it appeared that one leg had been twisted backward out of its socket, and it hung at a very strange angle. Part of Musing’s skin appeared to have been melted or boiled away, exposing bone and flesh underneath.
“Egg! Lower these walls NOW!” Winnowil screamed madly, throwing herself against the stone surface in an attempt to knock it down by herself. She was not in any frame of mind to force Egg to do anything at the moment, as she was quite near death. One of the tears had opened an artery in her neck, and she was growing weaker by the moment.
She would have to decide quickly if she would rather heal herself and survive, or continue to thrash against the wall in an attempt to enact vengeance. Finally, she staggered back holding the wound on her neck shut, and slumped against the bench Egg formed behind her. He was so confused, not knowing if he should send for aid, try to help her himself, or allow Musing to finish her off, as it was clear that the enraged Preserver clearly intended to kill Winnowil regardless of the pain it cost. The Preserver painfully hovered, staring at the wall with intent focus, as though it could form a hole in it by will alone.
It occurred to Egg, watching the small, injured Musing, that in all his own memory, or in all the memory he had had dumped into his mind: He could not remember a time that he had ever seen a Preserver cry.
Musing wept in silence for a while longer, turned and left.
Winnowil sat in the darkness, unable to face anyone until all traces of the battle had been eradicated. She spent every waking moment between rest periods trying to remember what it was like to actually heal someone, to learn how to heal herself. The life-threatening injuries were closed, most of the tears and breaks mended, and she had worked hard to smooth over all the rest of the injuries as painlessly and without blemish as possible. Disfigurement was not an option! Little remained to be repaired except for her eye, which had been utterly destroyed.
Once more she dove deeply into a healing trance, felt out the tattered ends of the pieces of eye, and attempted to put the puzzle back together again. Most of the rest had been simply a form of flesh shaping, but this was a whole new level of healing, and as she painfully and slowly reformed the eye over the next few days, she came to understand something about herself: She must either become more powerful than anything else out there, or learn to choose her battles more carefully. She may be as close to a High-One as she could imagine being without having been in the crash, but she was far from immortal!
Blue Mountain would be her vessel.
And she would claim more victory than any she had ever achieved.
All would bow before her, server her, or die!
As I said over on your story thread, Faerygirl, it's good to see a brighter view of such a grisly day in the history of the Wolfriders! Good Job!
Great stories Faeriegirl and TrollHammer
Glad it's liked, Trollhammer, G0lden and Embala!
And now, my piece(s)......... NOTE: Takes place in universe of Kings Cross, crosses over into Soul Calibur series as well as majorly into Ancient history and some of my own mind....
'I must be dreaming' Pike thought, finding himself walking, unhindered and unhunted, through a good sized city, it had been ten and fifteen yearrs since the fall of the Junn, things had gone better then the elves had thought. Lord Cutter had killed the Black Snake. Two days after arrival at the Citadel Mound the Junn was found dead in his chambers, most likely poisioned. And here Pike was, wandering the streets.
What amazed him more was the number of ale places, two had signs in their windows, signs he could read easy, "WE SERVE FOUR FINGERED FRIENDS!!" One tavern said proudly in its window, another had written, "FOUR FINGER FREE WITH FIVE FINGER DINNER PERCHASE", but what caught his attention first and formost was the third one he came across that read.
TOURNAMENT! LAST STANDING RECIVES FREE BERRY WINE KEG!! INQUIRE WITHIN
Pike couldn't resist such a think, thinknig the berry wine meant dreamberries he went into the building to see what and who could partake in the tournament, and what was also required. What he saw amazed him, the fight was already going on. Peiople were taking bets on someone, someone named Lilac. But who of rthe fighters, Pike was unable as yet ot see, though he did spot Strongbow.
#Find anything worth noting?# Pike locksent to the archer
#Yes, follow# Came the reply, rather curt, a space had been made, clearly Strongbow was expecting Pike to arrive and had a seat ready for the other elf. Pike arrived nearer the front and finally saw the gagthered men, and who they were fighting.
Apparently so far ten men had been knocked off the ring with out scratches nor serious injury. other then to their prid. The other on the ring, was a woman, not exaclty an elf, yet not entirely human either. She had longish brown hair, tied back at the sides in two dark lavander and gold clasps. in one hand she held a blade of some kind, it was long, clearly a meter or more in length, too long for him to hold and clearly not of troll make or metal.
#It is, that woman is Lilac the Men are betting on to win the tournament, she fights well, yet rarely uses the blade. She openely challenges, and accepts any fighters, be they one of us, or a Man.# Strongbow explaned what he knew and could understand. Pike spotted Treestump nearby, keeping an eye out for trouble.
Pikes attention was then drawn to the woman on the ring, She was speaking as another man picked himself up from the floor holding his nose. "Your face is hard, you wear helmet too much." Her voice sounded chlidesh. That made the man angered. The woman smiled as the man left the ring. heading for the door to leave.
Only to stop as the woman spoke anew. "Ten men I have beaten, yet it seems unfair for each man, without weapons, my blade never used. What then say you Tavern keep. To a fight of weaponskill against another?" It took only a second for the tavern keeper to nod with agreement. Weapons could be used.
That was when Pike felt two sets of eyes on him. One from the woman and the other from Treestump. and a gentle (yeah sure) prodding of a sending from strongbow. Apparently the woman wanted to face him. But what surprized him was that this woman, reeked of dreamberries!! He was to fight a drunk? Were they nuts? But then again, he was drunk most of the time himself so, it rarely mattered,.... much.
With a smile he pointed towards where he left his spear. The six foot ashwood weapon with a two floot blade of brightmetal was passed through the crowd to him as he stepped into the ring. The woman picked up the sword, a blade that had seen no blood for quite some time. yet shone brightly.
#Are you ready?# Came a sending, clearly not from strongbow, but from the woman before him. She stood shy of six feet. her large purple eyes watched Pike. Who nodded and replied.
#When you are ready, I am ready.#
#Then it is set.........# Without another thought to the elf Lilac smirked as the crowd gathered begain placing their bets, Treestump placing a bet that both wiould last a while. Others begain placing bets of who would fall first as both reeked of berry wine.
After about a minute, or two what seemed to pike, as several minutes the crowd quieted. He had no time to think, just react as the twin points of the silver blade headed his way amazingly fast. The spear caught the blade, within a half minute the two fighters were in the thick of battle, and oddly, Pike found it more of a sparring match then a fight to the death.
Spinning on his feet Pike sent the point of his spear forwards. the woman knocked it aside and swung at him, he ducked and rolled to the side, bets were made as the two circled the other trading blows and strikes.
Then it happened.
Everyone went quiet as they saw it. Both fighters were skilled to the point of nither finding a move ot defate or dislevel the other. So Lilac made the strangest of moves. She allowed herself to be hit.
In the hand, Pikes spearshaft had blasted right through it! it poked out the back. But when he looked at her way, expecting ot see anger, she was smiling. She stabbed her bladeto the grown, and with her freehand now free of the silvertine weapon, reached to Pikjes spear, and removed it from her right hand. Speaking as she did so.
"Behold, the winner against me! Long has it been that one so skilled as I could test me so long." She looked to him and bowed, the men cheered, the Tavern keeper spoke up quickly saying that both fighrters had won. The match so well evened it was as if watching a show of arms between friends. and thus offered another deal. both fighters against others, if they so wished
To that Pike simply said, "Whatever she wishes to do, I will help, to a point" He was looking at her as he said it.
Lilac instead shook her head. turning to the tavern keeper, she said simply. "You say we are similar in skill, yet we are not similar in appearance. For this, a man shorter then I. Has bested me in combat. had I not been bested, still fighting in this ring for ere come the dawn we had to most surely be. Instead I made my move and thus allow for this one, the Spear Fighter, to be the winner against me."
The tavern keeper and those watching shook their heads, bringing out two kegs of the dreamberry wine (known to the Men as Berry Wine) for both fighters, they were so well skilled, the tavern keeper even paid the Men that made the bets, both those who bet against Lilac, and those who bet for her. and same for Pike.
The men feeling that they had been well entertained, bid their good nights/days and left the tavern, some of them going back to their tables, others leaving. Apperently the Tavern Keeper had changed his mind, several times.
Now all she had to do was try and get out of town as soon as she could. Returning ot her table where she had first been seated, Lilac grabbed a rag, and coiled it tightly about her wounded hand, which was fast closing and rapidly showing something of golden coins, but hoping to look more human then was appeared, anyone would have screamed like a stark raving skeet shat!!
Pike handed his spear to Treestump and went over ot the woman. Sitting across from her he said simply, "How did you do that?"
"Mental speak or the spear holding?"
"The first" Pike said.
"It is not what is on the outside that counts, but is what instead what is within." Lilac replied, taking the keg and draining it into a odd type of bag which seemed to not spill, some of the dreamberry wine went onto her wounded hand, which flared dark gold for but a instant before looking normal again.
She made ready to go. OK things were odd, Pike watched her ready her things, the long silvertine blade, soul calibur, it was said to be called he recalled later. wielded by a woman of strength and purity of heart. Strength only given to the firedens to the far east. a world said to be filled with dragons and dangers unheard of or seen. She stood to leave. "It was a good fight, you have skill." She then headed out of the tavern. One last look towards Pike as she stood in the door she left.
Pike sat at the table, it had been a victory yes, but what kind? hand or heart? He felt lost. Treestump and Strongbow came to the table. #You seem troubled Pike# Strongbow sent.
#She is a Man, not one of us, you remember what we went through once already with Bearclaw and the Junns wife, I plan not to do it again#
#She is not human. I think she is from the East, across the white mountains#
#A dragonite?# Treestump asked watching where Pike was looking. it appeared a crowd was gathering again. Pike noticed it too.
#Trouble# was all Strongbow sent.
The man who had left the tavern holding his nose before Pike faced the wom,an, was making trouble. Trouble in the sense of, more wounds.
Pike got up and took his spear, Stongbow and Treestump followed the spear user outside. The went to the crowd near an alley between two buildings. A loud scream was heard, one that made the three Elves stare at the other before pushing aside the crowd. What they saw made Pikes heart jump to his throat. He had seen it once before, a long time ago.
The Man stood over Lilac, holding something in his hand, his noce was broken, in his hand he held both gold and purple clasps. "You relish the skill you have in besting Men, yet let a Elf best you in skill! No Daughter, you lost your last fight!" He picked up her sword, which was now bloodstained, and was about to drive it through the woman on the grown when Pike poked the man in the tail.
"Drop the weapon, and the items you took. Or I'll skerwer you like a roast pig!" Pike hissed.
With one look at Pike, and the anger in the Elf's eyes. The man did as told, the thought of killing the dragonite before him now gone as he backed away, shortly bolting for the south side of town, and for his own safety.
The crowd parted, the woman started to waken. She pulled herself to her feet. noticing the three elves, whom she towered over by an easy two or more heads, she noticed what Pike was holding, the dropped clasps, from her hair. he held them out to her, a kindly smile on his face.
She took them, and without thinking of what she was doing hugged Pike. #Thank you# She sent to him, and to him alone. #You have shown me what it truly means to be victorius#
#But what victory is this then? skill with a weapon, or something else?# Lilac did not answer, instead, she headed off into the night, singing softly to herself, happy once again, making friends was sort of a victory....
The road goes ever on,
down from the door where it began
I must follow if I can
The song solowly faded as the woman left their eyesight, and shortly thereafter, their hearing. Then just before the sun had set fully, something large and winged, liek a giant bird, was seen briefly heading overhead as a mental call, #We will meet again soon# passed the three before the dragonite disappeared towards the eastern mountains...
The end.......... Maybe?
I like it alot. Great story.
Right... this is really weird! I blame Xiu!
Defiantly Drunk, Dude!
A drunken dude this Lilac is,
he’s drunken day and night.
When the morning comes,
this was the last!
The last time I got so horribly drunk.
His determination last for just
‘Till he sees a bottle filled
with purple drops
of sweet dreamberry wine.
Then his mind is turned around,
he takes another sip.
Drunken, still, he goes to fight.
Were he sober he’d fail.
blood dripping from his sword.
Thousand creatures Winnie sends,
he fights them with delight.
For he is Lilac,
the only elf who ever did
make Pike appear un-drunk!
He howls his howl of victory towards the lighted moons,
and those who hear it knows at once
that Lilac victorious was.
For though he wanders all alone
he is a splendid friend;
he sings with you when joy is clear,
gives you a hug if you are sad.
This is something of a song, slightly, (ok mostly) stolen from Drunken Sailor, though does ont mention anything of bloodied weapons, a vistory or a hug... though your imagination could do just that at some points in the song.......
Drunken Elves (sung to the tune of Drunken Sailor)
What will we do with a drunken Elf?
What will we do with a drunken Elf?
What will we do with a drunken Elf?
Early in the morning!
Way hay and up she rises,
Way hay and up she rises,
Way hay and up she rises,
Early in the morning!
Shave his belly with a rusty razor,
Shave his belly with a rusty razor,
Shave his belly with a rusty razor,
Early in the morning!
Way hay and up she rises,
Way hay and up she rises,
Way hay and up she rises,
Early in the morning!
Put him in a long boat till his sober,
Put him in a long boat till his sober,
Put him in a long boat till his sober,
Early in the morning!
Way hay and up she rises,
Way hay and up she rises,
Way hay and up she rises,
Early in the morning!
Put him in the bed with the captains daughter,
Put him in the bed with the captains daughter,
Put him in the bed with the captains daughter,
Early in the morning!
Way hay and up she rises,
Way hay and up she rises,
Way hay and up she rises,
Early in the morning!
That's what we do with a drunken Elf,
That's what we do with a drunken Elf,
That's what we do with a drunken Elf,
Early in the morning!
Way hay and up she rises,
Way hay and up she rises,
Way hay and up she rises,
Early in the morning!
Way hay and up she rises,
Way hay and up she rises,
Way hay and up she rises,
Early in the morning!
Now let me point out a few things within this song....
1) the drunken Elf is Lilac, yet he is not mentioned spieficially here
2) the rusty razor could be blood covered instead of rust, (take your pick, I thought it fit!)
3) The captains daughter (Fan stopit!!) could very well be the hug and changings of ones mind
4) The victory, well, that's alcohol over brains
Yay! Finally got the time to read up!
Like your story, Xiu!
LOL @ Redhead's song!
and nice adaptation of a well-known song, Xiu...
Now Embala... let's see how you'll manage to make collages this time!
*big grin* LOL! Indeed!
Love the poem Ember. Xiu gotta hand it to you the song was quite funny.
Great story, TrollHammer, you created a very unique view on the beginning of Blue Mountain like we get to know it. It's strange to see a society bored to death ... yet not breaking out of this cage. Wonder whether this is due to respect and love for Voll, fear of the outside ... or just lethargie. Bored to death - in Winnowill's case this must be revised ... bored to crazyness or malignity - just ato the reader's decision.
Her relationship to the stoneshapers is interesting - but her relationship to Voll takes getting used to. Winnowill and Voll are supposed to be lovers before she drifted in her manipulative madness. In your story there seems no place for innocent love between those two. Well, this need not be totally canon ... we said this earlier.
Lilac could be anyone - making him a cloned Preserver was a big surprise! Poor silly unlucky creature. I'm so understanding his parent's rage! And ... I know what happened to Musings - more or less!
*tackle glomps Embala* OMG!!! It's AWESOME!!! Love it!!!! *gives crush hugs* You rock!!! Awesome!!!
Gonna copy-paste this one right into the writings thread!! And then I'm gonna stare at it and love it some more!!!
And Lilac is cool!!! Where'd you get him from? :D
... love it when a plan is functioning! Take a close look on Skywise's hands!
Well Lilac - he's an unknown future elf ... from a Small World
Wow, Pike's popular this month. ^___^
Faeriegirl: that was very cute! Love the ending.
Trollhammer: It's interesting that evil can come just from being bored. I was shocked at the disregard for Preservers Winnowill had, just so she could make Voll's paradise. And the Preservers were so forgiving too. (sniff).
Xiu: Love it when Pike shows his prowess in something other than drinking. ^_^
Redhead Ember: Cute poem! I loved drunken dude line.
Embala: Gorgeous work! As always.
Well, whaddaya think, with a drunk elf as element
and at Skywise's hands!! omg I hadn't even seen that yet!!
Small world... fitting!!! Looks great!
*drools more at the beautiful collage*
Nice collage, Embala! Did you mean for Pike to be holding Cutter's arm? Seems too well done to be accidental.
Staring in amazement at the many, many components fitted together, as well as how well they fit together.
How do you do it? It is a wonderment...
uhm.... a beer in the hands of an Elf, what more could Lilac want?.... simple, more beer!!! :D lovein it Em! great job!
Aw I love the new collage Embala. Its so beautifull and that drunken elf LOL
Luvonda collage Embala!
Nice story, Xiu I always liked Kings Cross - basing an AU on it where elf and human can interact without freely. Pike has already proved to be a warrior if nessecary and his spear is not a toothpick. I can easily imagine him standing this challenge - especially for this prize! Like how it worked out.
What's a "dragonite"? Seems to be a defined term ... but all I get on Google is a Pokemon
*lol* at the song - and particularly your interpretation in the end!
This one is weird indeed, Redhead, for obvious reason ( Xiu) but you managed to make it feel right. Lilac could have been a lonesome Go-Back stumbling in the monsters' territory during the Big Sleep. Being drunk IS a possible reaction to this fate and task. I love your solution for this month challenge!
Love the collage Embala.
Nicely done, Embala! Very fitting!
I'll post soon as I can Embala, but... I have some problems to write my story now.
*goes to try to write story*
Well, me and my muse need to sleep ... regulary ... all that remains is effort or luck.
So she's actually a shapechanging dragon-people-girl ... wasn't quite sure whether she's just a dragon rider ...
*bows* I hope to live up to your expectations further on!
Oh you always do better. ^_^ And I love your new collage. At first, I thought it looked pretty grim, but on a second notice, it's quite funny. Where'd you get the picture?
And Cleopatra, don't worry about getting your story out quick. ^_^ We all can wait for you to make it right.
Love your background pic Embala!
Aaaah... Xiu... you really got our minds working this time!
Note: I have read only one of the other entries... will read the others next...
Note II: This is a Futurequest fanfic. But it's been a while since I read any of that... so forgive me if I make mistakes. Also, I was heavily influence by a comic I read once, but I can't remember its name or who it was by...
Lilac held the dagger in her hand. There was blood on it. She remembered the big stranger hitting her…
Admittedly, she’d been very drunk. Lilac Merrin was always drunk. Ever since she got fired from the Skyward… and admittedly, she shouldn’t have insulted the stranger. But the joke had crawled to her tongue and she’d been unable to shut up once again…
And of course she should have realized he was from Ice. The colonists were so physical, so literal-minded, compared to Abodeans. And they thought nothing of hitting a woman, if the woman was as ugly as Lilac Merrin. She was no beauty, no, not after years of heavy drinking…
But still… it all seemed so unfair… he’d been the one who’d followed her to a dark alley… no one would ever know which crime he’d attempted to commit on her… what counted was that she’d been in possession of a strange knife, sold to her by a mysterious merchant… a knife believed by many to have belonged to the Sojourners, once… and that she’d stabbed him with said knife, let’s see, in court they’d call it Exhibit A… it had been the only weapon she had…
Lilac couldn’t afford an attorney. And the justices would ask her questions… they’d want to know why she’d been in that part of town, and walking down such alleys, with none of the normal non-lethal weapons women were encouraged to use for self-defence… the old Skyward mess would come out again, no doubt… and they still thought Lilac was the criminal in that, she’d been the one who got the blame, the Black Snakes had made sure of that…
And the truth was, Lilac couldn’t remember why she’d been there or what had happened to her purse, or any other details of the previous night… she did remember the knife merchant, who seemed to have been in a hurry to be rid of this particular weapon… no doubt it was stolen, and no doubt they’d blame that on Lilac, too… at that point Lilac had still had her purse, she’d gotten a receipt even… lost now, like the purse… why couldn’t the knife be lost instead? And why did she have to retain the memories of killing the man from Ice?
Lilac looked around in her cheap rented room. No one had seen her escape the crime scene. But the corpse would be found. And some camera would show her, no doubt… they’d come asking questions…
The question Lilac wanted to ask was how to conceal the evidence, but she didn’t have anyone to ask it from. They’d search the garbage chute first, and then the canal… they’d search everywhere… the Black Snakes would pry the hiding place from her mind… Lilac wished she could have her old boring life back, with its old boring problems such as unpaid rent…
Suddenly, Lilac began to hallucinate. She was sure that was what it was. Women, especially gorgeous young white-haired ones, didn’t suddenly appear from nowhere inside a locked room.
The hallucination hugged Lilac, and felt like flesh…
The next thing Lilac knew, she was lying on her bed. She had no memories of the past 12 hours, but this was nothing unusual. No doubt she had gone drinking again, brought someone home… she seemed to remember a beautiful woman with white hair, but this seemed unlikely, probably just someone she’d met at the bar… perhaps she’d come home alone again, she was getting too old to be single… Lilac sighed. Just for once it would be nice for something interesting to happen to her…
The knife was never again seen by any human being. The murder remained unsolved, which wasn’t uncommon in that part of the city.
Jink considered it all another victory for justice, true justice rather than what among the humans passed for it.
Awsome!! I love this chapter
Oooohhh!!! Like it very much, Leanan!
Thank you! WolfMoon, it's not a chapter... there won't be any more. A chapter is part of a longer story. This is the whole story.
Oh and I got distracted arguing with a facebook quizmaking thingy, so now I don't feel like reading anything... >.<
Oh, sorry. I love this STORY!!
*hugs* Thank you. ^^ Just wanted to make the term clear, so no one would expect another chapter... High Ones know I have enough unfinished stuff already...
NO please, you have to go on with the stories today!!
Not all of them! There's too many! *dies* Anyways, this isn't one I'm planning to continue. But if you want more to read, I suppose I should fix the links in the fanfiction index... they link to the old forum which no longer exists but is still somehow readable... then you can read my old stories... and post demands for more chapters when you're done reading them all...
Ok, thanks. I will give you the time you need!!
*hugs* Fixed links in the table of contents topic... and seems I unstickied it in the progress... do we know any preservers?
Great to see you here, Leanan - great story ... nice twist at the end! And another plausible solution for Lilac. The end? - hoping for a sequel ... at least as far as your grab-bag participation is concerned
Most probably the comic (in case it's EQ) you are looking for is "Proof Positive"?
No, the comic I meant wasn't an ElfQuest comic... it was about a man who might or might not have committed a triple murder, and about a character he met in a park after this happened. This character told him a story about a crime in Heaven at the time of creation, and how Lucifer's investigation of the crime led to his rebellion, and how this character believed Lucifer didn't have any choice in the matter - God wanted him to rebel, so he did. This character was in fact one of the angels present at the investigation in heaven, and he caused the murderer to forget everything about the crime he'd committed (if he indeed committed it, but I think he did).
I thought it was a Neil Gaiman comic but I couldn't find it on any list of the comics he's scripted...
Anyways, thanks for the feedback, and yes, I plan to write for more grab-bags if my muses inspire me to. *glares at elves* Grab bags are a lot harder than monthly themes...
Personally, I like the grab bags a lot... The elements make a particular story pop up in my head, which my muses then make me write... Would be harder with a theme, methinks!
I guess it's a question of preferences.
@Leanan: Oo! It's always nice to see a FutureQuest fic! Especially with Jink, since I liked her.
Thanks! Oh, and ElfPop fixed the table of contents topic, so that's sorted out now.
Leanan has started the wheels turning in my head.... or whatever passes for them in Futurequest....
Great job! As has been mentioned, it seems to imply more will happen, some sort of vendetta of justice and possibly vengence that has put Jink in the relatively laid back position of vigilate. Perhaps we will see a 'J' story someday, along the lines of 'V', explaining what Jink's goal is, if she can remember?
Intriguing idea! As I said, I intended this to be a one-off storyline, leaving Jink's goals mysterious, other than the simple goal of acquiring the knife that had indeed belonged to an elf once. But if you feel like writing about 'J' feel free to - or I may do it if I ever have time.
I'd intended Hail's Cliffhanger to be a one off, too... it's already got a prequil and half, and he's gonna show up a few more times too.
In fact, it seems like every story I write generates two more. It's getting overwhelming in some ways, so I guess it may be good to put some stories to bed some times...
Finally done. Now you will see if the war is going well, or will it get worse? You will get the answer by reading it. And I have to start the April Grab bag.
The Last Battle part 3
“Oh, my kittling,” Lilac cried and held Xin-Jing close to her after she was healed by Sunshine and opened her eyes groaning. Xin-Jing tried to solve herself from her mother’s grip after a while. One thing was to almost be killed by a monster, but now she almost loses her breath again, by her own mother.
“Emergency can’t breathe,” Xin-Jing said.
Alborn almost began to laugh at the sight of his mate and their daughter. Just moments ago, he had been afraid to lose some of the most precious he had in the world, including the unborn twins that Xin-Jing and Hawkeye one day would bring to the world.
But thank to the High Ones that it had been worse with the armor instead of her and that Hawkeye had acted quickly to save her. He looked thoughtful over to Hawkeye while Sunshine healed his broken ribs. He hadn’t thought, he just did something without fear of what else that possibly could happen. He had acted like a wolf, the animal who lived in the now.
Alborn would never forget this as he smiled. At the same time he thought that if something similar had happened to his own Lilac, he would also do something like to save her.
The wind howled as if it was wounded, heavy raindrops fell and the sky were shining of the skyfire and the powerful thunderstorm made the ground to shake.
Deep in the shadows of the forest the elves were fighting against The Dark Ones. Every tribe who now was united was fighting side by side as equals. Optarh cried a battle cry and swung his sword at the ninja in front of him. The ninja blocked his blow and tried to kick Optarh in the stomach. He grabbed the ninja’s foot and tossed him aside. Optarh could hardly catch his breath before a powerful kick in front of him and from behind. He swung his sword against four ninjas who surrounded him.
A new skyfire lit up the dark sky, and again followed by the deafening sound of the thunder.
Toron twirled his Bo Staff, waiting for the ninja in front of him to make a wrong move. He waited for the ninja to come forward and attack him. Finally the ninja took one step and lifted his katana, ready to injure the elf. Toron ducked nd rolled up behind the ninja, leaving him with a puzzled look in the face behind the black mask as he had just brought his sword down right where Toron had been and then discovered there was no elf there. Toron beat the ninja in the back of his head with his Bo Staff and then began to fight against another ninja.
“Ha, don’t mess with the master,” Sturkas teased in front of a ninja. He ducked from a swing of the Bo Staff from the ninja.
The ninja swung the Bo Staff, Sturkas ducked again and the ninja got frustrated.
“Missed me again.”
Now the ninja really got frustrated and swung with the Bo Staff again. This time Sturkas ducked and rolled, coming up on the ninja’s right side and before the ninja could turn around properly, Sturkas kicked him in the face and whirled his Sais.
“Nah-nah-nah-nah-nah,” Sturkas teased at the ninja who were on the ground, and then he saw more ninjas. Even that he previously had been beaten and almost had died, there was nothing that could stop Sturkas. He was a fighter, and no one could deny him for that.
He blocked from a Yari and kicked the ninja in the stomach. Then he blocked from a katana and jumped in the air and kicked the ninja in the head and blocked again from a Bo Staff from the third ninja after he had landed and kicked him away too. But the three ninjas were soon at their feet again and tried to attack Sturkas at the same time. He blocked the attacks and was forced backwards. When they tried a new attack, Sturkas jumped on a big rock and lifted his face toward them as he grinned. He placed his thumbs at each side of his head and wiggled his fingers.
“Boogah boogah boogah!”
His teasing against the ninjas wouldn’t be long as he felt a nunchacu ensnare around his ankle. Slowly he looked down at his ankle and the nunchaku.
With a powerful jerk Sturkas fell backward and landed on the ground and looked up at the sky and then the three ninjas ready to beat him up.
Toron had seen his friend fall and was on his way to help him, but even if couldn’t see Sturkas and the ninja’s behind the rocks; he could hear that Sturkas didn’t need his help anyway.
Following that the ninjas one by one were thrown over the rock and lay groaning and tenderized on the ground. Then Sturkas jumped forward, whirling his Sais and looked down at the ninjas and grinned at the sight.
With more archers from the seven tribes who had come to help gathered together with Topaz and the other archers. Together, they were now on the top of the gate where they saw the fight between the elves and the ninjas.
“Be ready,” Topaz shouted as she nock an arrow and sighted at the dark sky. If it went as it should, then the arrows would harm the enemy and not the family. While she waited to give the signal, old memories went over to her. To the time her father were teaching her how to shoot with a bow and arrow.
It was like she had returned from the war to the happy childhood again. Only fourteen years old, and trained to shoot with bow and arrow, on a warm summer day. Karel had stood behind her and kept her arms while he explained with a calm voice what she should do.
“Higher, Topaz. Keep your bow arm and firm, and your drawing arm supple.”
“Now,” Topaz screamed once she returned from the past.
And the arrows flew easy and elegant like a bird into the sky. Topaz was right that the arrows only hit the enemy, it was easy to hear. Again she gave the order to buckle the arrows and noticed that her voice was commanding, like a chief. What would her father have thought about her if he had seen her now? Would he have been proud of her? Would he have seen her as a true chief like he was?
Arthel swung with the big sword. For younger elves it looked like his sword was too heavy, but for him it was light like a feather. He fought his way against the ninjas, helped the elves who needed it and killed the ninjas he fought against. Every time he hit one, a another replaced the lost.
As soon he had more space around himself, he saw Optarh fight alone against four ninjas. Four against one. That wasn’t fair. He didn’t hestitat as he began to run against his friend, slaughtered more ninjas along the way and soon he stood back against back with Optarh.
“Hey, save some for me Optarh,” Arthel said with a little teasing voice, but at the same time he was serious. Optarh turned his head. It wasn’t much time to talk. Not when they’re in a fight.
“I can finish this, Arthel,” Optarh said panting, trying to catch his breath again.
“I know,” Arthel shouted as he blocked from a Kama, then he turned his head to Optarh again.
“But we’ll finish this together. Don’t you remember what you said, once upon a time? United we stand and we will win!”
Optarh remembered it all too well. While he was fighting with Arthel, his memories from the first battle gathered together in his head.
War. Blood that had run free, and the death. Many elves had died while they’re in fight; it had been a great loss of the dead and those of the elves who disappeared.
But none one than Optarh had experienced to be betrayed after the war. And all those years he had feel so hollow inside.
Although it was a long time ago, Optarh couldn’t deny that his ‘old friend’ still was a part of him. And especially not their bond that held them together, no matter what. In all these years he had tried to change his mind, denied it and tried to play for the other elves that he was all right, but he couldn’t deny it anymore.
You are still close to me, yet you are far away, Optarh thought.
No matter how much I have tried to change my mind, I can’t deny it much longer. You are and will forever be a part of me.
Optarh lifted his sword; his eyes stared at the ninjas in front of him like a wolf. They could see at his eyes that something had changed. And for the first time, the ninjas shivered at him. They could hear that growled quietly. He was like a wolf that had tasted blood and now he could smell that were frightened.
**Brothers and sisters!** he sent in a open sending so all the elves could hear the message.
**United we stand and we will win this war, once and for all. Are you with me?**
**We’re with you my brother!** Sharika sent as she held her sword ready.
**All of us!** Erakhal sent.
The skyfire lit up the dark sky, followed by the sound of thunder. But it didn’t stop the elves as they ran towards the enemy with their weapons and screamed their battle cries and fighted as they hadn’t done anything else. The skyfire continued to lit up the sky and the sound of the thunder made the ground to shake more than it had done previously and almost made everyone o lose their balance.
“How did you break your ribs, Hawkeye?” Sunshine asked and looked at him when she was done to heal him.
“Uhm… I… fell off the roof,” Hawkeye said hesitating.
“What?” Sunshine cried and stared at him with widened eyes.
“How did it happen?”
Hawkeye didn’t respond before the room suddenly started to shake and all the elves lost their balance. The Wise Council fell on top of each other; Lilac almost fell on Xin-Jing and Alborn tried to keep his balance by holding fast to the door. Erla fell to the floor and tried to get up while the room still was shaking, the kids screamed and tried to cling to eachother and Himerish wailed in the hammock. And finally after a long while, it stopped to shake.
“By the High Ones name. What happened?” Alborn asked as slowly rose up from the floor.
“Only the High Ones know,” Erla muttered while she tried to get up again.
“Do you think that was thundering?” Hawkeye asked with a trembling voice. Soon he felt that everyone from The Wise Council, expect from Lilac stared at him. He looked at them and their eyes told him what they thought.
“I guarantee that I didn’t do anything now.”
It was silent for a moment, and then they heard running feet down the stairs and someone panting on the way down. And before they had time to blink, Blinkeye stood by the door while was panting.
“We won!” he shouted and ran toward Sunshine, gave her a hug and swung her around in his arms.
“It’s over. We won.”
“What!?” Erla asked confused.
“Is it true?”
The happy howling from Blindeye was enough as he cheered and swung Sunshine in his arms still without dropping. Lilac immediately began to cry and laugh at once, and Erla began to run from the basement to see with her own eyes if it was true. Soon the Wise Council, the children and the rest of the elves ran after her.
It had stopped raining and Optarh looked up at the sky while he was panting. The moons lit up the sky with the blinking stars; they had fought for several hours. He sunk to his knees and tried to regain his breath as he leaned on his sword. It felt as is chest was about to explode. He couldn’t what had happened. He bowed his head, still regain his breath and let the tears fall on the ground.
The rest of the elves had started to help those who had been wounded and bring them to the healers. It was almost unreal. All the nine tribes were gathered again after fifteen years. Topaz wondered as she looked out to all the other elves, especially the chiefs. After all these years where they were separated and that her father had died in an accident. Would they look at her as a leader? Was she worthy of it at all? Would they respect her as a chief or look at her like a cub?
One of them turned to her, she was tall and slender. Her silverhair were gathered together in a braid and had a scar on her left cheek. She began to walk toward Topaz with qiet steps and soon she stood in front of Topaz.
“You fought well, my sister,” Sharika said and smiled to her.
“Your father would be proud of you.”
Topaz didn’t reply at first, just looked confused against her. Sharika just smiled at her, and then she gave her hand to her.
“Come my sister. It’s time we all celebrate the victory.”
Topaz waited a little while, and then she smiled against Sharika and took her hand and walked toward the other chiefs.
That night the elves celebrated the victory as the moons shone and the stars blinked. Music filled the village and dancing elves. Others who felt tired went different places with lovemates or the lifemates. Laughter could be heard everywhere, but Optarh ignored it while Erla massage his shoulders. He made faces of pain and almost was near to ask for mercy.
“It will take days before your muscles aren’t so sore again,” Erla said and sighed against Optarh.
“No more fight for you in a while.”
I hope that there will be no more fighting for a while, Optarh thought and got a cup with wine from Erla.
“My poor warrior,” Erla said and kissed him. He responded by hugging her until he could hear someone approaching.
I don’t believe it, Optarh thought when he saw what he never would have dared to see.
“Alborn. Do I dare to think about what you’ve done with lifemate?” Optarh asked confused and stared at him while Alborn held around the waist to a giggling Lilac beside him.
“The war and everything was a bit much for her,” Alborn said slowly.
“So I just tried to calm her nerves!”
“I can see that,” Optarh said slowly for a while and took a sip of dreamberrywine.
“You’ve got her drunk.”
“I’m not drunk,” Lilac protested giggling as she nuzzled Alborns hair.
“I think I’ll get her in bed now,” Alborn said while he smiled and tried to get Lilac home. The result only ended with that Lilac stumbled and got Alborn on the ground. Optarh used all he had of self-control to not laugh at the sight.
“See?” Lilac asked giggling.
“You’re the one who can’t stand up.”
Alborn sighed and raised an eyebrow and lifted Lilac up in his arms and carried her home.
Poor Lilac is going to get a headache in the morning, Optarh chuckled as he shook his head and held Erla closer to him.
What is Xin-Jing doing? Hawkeye thought as he waited for her outside.
It didn’t take so long time to replace the armor with the clothes?
He turned his head when he heard steps behind him and soon the door opened slowly.
“What took so…” Hawkeye said half a bit teasing, but once he saw Xin-Jing his eyes widened.
“By the Nina Chiefs,” he cried.
Hawkeye blinked his eyes and rubbed them before he looked at Xin-Jing again. Could he really believe what he saw? He gaped as he realized that he didn’t saw visions. Xin-Jing, his beloved Xin-Jing, his though warrior in a dress?
“Is something wrong?” Xin-Jing asked calm and looked at him. Hawkeye looked at her from her toes to her head. She had flowers in her hair, her dress a blend from red and pink that almost sparkled from the moonlight. She didn’t look like a warrior any more, but an innocent girl. He shook his head and looked at her again.
“It’s just that…” Hawkeye began.
“I’ve never seen you in a dress before.”
Xin_jing laughed and kissed Hawkeye on his cheek.
“I just thought that I should try. And besides, we’re celebrating the victory after all, aren’t we?”
“Now that the war is over, we don’t have to worry about for what happens anymore,” Arthel said and turned his head to Optarh.
“Or what do you say, Optarh?”
“Huh?” Optarh asked and looked like he had been torn out from deep thoughts.
“Forget it,” Erakhal said and looked at Arthel.
“You will not make him to speak right now. He’s tired after all these years with war.”
“Yeah,” Optarh murmured and took a sip of wine. As he drank he saw a couple on their way to the celebration and not long after his eyes widened and spitted the wine.
“Heeey,” Erakhal cried once the wine hit him right in his face.
Optarh looked with big and confused eyes on Xin-Jing. Blinking his eyes and looked down at the wine he had in the cup and again looked at Xin-Jing while he still blinked.
“Arthel. Erakhal. I’m disappointed that you two have allowed me, to find myself all too drunk. I appear to be hallucinating,” Optarh said shooked, staring at Xin-Jing, who stared confused back at him.
“One of my warriors looks like a innocent girl. No more wine for me, thank you.”
“Relax my chief. You’re not drunk,” Xin-Jing said serious and placed her hands on her hips.
Thank the High Ones for that, Optarh thought and looked confused at her.
“Xin-Jing. Why in the High Ones name are you wearing a dress?” Optarh asked after a while.
“I thought I’d try,” Xin-Jing said slowly.
“I can’t hunt when I’m with cubs, so I don’t what else I can do.”
Optarh sighed and shook his head.
“It does not necessarily mean that you have to change your clothes when you’re not heavy yet,” Optarh said after a while.
Xin-Jings eyes lit up and almost jumped in front of Optarh.
“So that means that you will stop nagging to say what I can and can’t do?”
“Only if you don’t show yourself like that to Toron and Sturkas,” Optarh replied with a smile to her.
“None of us are used to see you in a dress.”
“It’s a deal,” Xin-Jing cheered and stormed over to Hawkeye and pulled at him somewhere.
“Is that why you’re wearing a dress? To make him stop nagging at you?” Hawkeye asked confused.
“No. To see how you reacted,” Xin-Jing said teasing and looked at Hawkeye in a while.
“But if you don’t like it…” she whispered slowly to him. Her eyes said what she wanted. Hawkeye smiled and kissed her. She began to caress him from the neck to his shoulders. Whatever happened, nothing could separate them from each other. Never.
Like the new chapter
I don't believe that it was the last part of the battle, tho. It ended all of a sudden - with a BIG BANG that wasn't explained. I'm sure there will come more.
*lol* about Xin-Jing in a dress ... and the elders' reaction in special. You'll have to draw her now - definitely!
Can't wait to learn about Optarh's old friend !!! ... and the other chief's daughter ... and the elves at the Dark One's place
It's unfair - you already had a character named Lilac ... just had to make her drunk
now if only someone could DRAW Lilac (male or female it doesn't matter)
Actually there are not many picture artists around in this thread ...
And which Lilic do you mean? Yours? Would like to see her getting a face .. Or others?
Maybe Cleopatra will draw her elf - she makes pictures, too.
To some degree faeriegirl's Lilac was drawn by the artist of Small World ... and Wendy might have done another one
pretty much both versions of her really, in fact any story, hey, we got a drawing that needs doing
In fact I had two versions of Lilac, both a male and a female version, both were drunk, but the main differeance was that the male was orinally from modern day Two Moons (using our time for us on planet earth), so yeah, a drunken fellow who's friends with a one eyed guy (born blind in one eye in fact, (*nudge nudge* think think)), stoned out of his mind but looking similar to Jackie Chans character of Yu Lan the drunken monk......
Now the female version, I'm thinking either asian like, but not exactly tall or pointed ears mind you, she's a Dragonite, which can appear perfectly human, yet when ionjured colored scales (due to family bloodline, in Lilacs case, gold) appear over the wounds and etc.
Though their ages were relatively the same to a Wolfriders..
I guess just seeing either version drawn would be cool; consdier it a challegne not related to the grab bags if you will
I'm not a picture artist of that kind, Xiu ... all I can do is making collages. But with this description there's at least a chance that someone sneaks in, reads it and gets inspired. Would be great!
And you do so well at them, too! It took me a while, myself, to realize that you weren't drawing them by hand. Yours flow so well, and the few times I've tried doing anything like it, it was far too poor of work for the time I spent on it, so I appriciate your work so much more!
I'm having a hard time waiting the last few days for April to get here, but It appears that there's more stories that have been done for previous months lately that I have to catch up on, including Cleo's...
I loved this chapter!!
LOL about Xin-Jing in a dress ... and then the elders' reaction You have to draw that!! seriously!!
phew! Finally got around to reading this! Love the chappie! "I'm not drunk, I'm wonderful!" and Xin-Jing in a dress...
Wanna see pics too!!!
Awsome story Tymber!!! Stonehowl holt!!! Awsome!!
I am so very sorry for not replying to any answers, reviewing stories or post anything, but I have really been busy and struggled alot with both school and real life. I've suffered from a bad case of writer's block, so I decided to just let my mind flow and write strange things instead. Funny thing is that the following was so much easier to write than the 'real' Grab Bag. And it's even funny.
So much for help
I had everything planned. I knew exactly when to strike, when to let things happen. Everything was lined up, I was ready. Nothing could go wrong. Except for one thing.
I didn't know where to start.
Everything seemed to easy at first. Others could do it, then I could too. But the days went by and I saw everyone else finish up their parts. I was soon left alone with nothing but me, myself and I...
“Are you ever gonna finish that?”
… and two very noisy companions. I allowed myself to shoot a glare over my shoulder before I returned to my unfinished task.
“'cause if you are, you better hurry up. Time's almost up and you're the only one left.”
I gave no answer as I yet again turned all concentration to the problem in front of me. Where to start? I had no idea. Everyone expected so much of me, wanted me to succeed in everything. This was the only thing I had left, my haven. Would this be taken from me too? No. I shook this feeling off. Now was not the time for self-doubt. Now was the time for finishing this. But how? My beginning was short and, according to my “helpful advisors”, boring. Next, I had a few moves. They were brief and hurried, but at least it was something. But where should I go from here? Should I choose action? Dialogue? Poetry? Perhaps a flashback, thoughts or descriptions? Or I could just make them do something.
“Are you trying to kill it?”
I tore my eyes from the screen and glanced over my shoulder, blue eyes met blue, and I frowned slightly.
“'cause it looks like you're doing this on purpose.”
I gave no answer. Just turned around again, re-read what I had written so far. My face fell with each word, my shoulders slumped and I was sure my pout grew bigger and bigger. I winced. The next moment, my head connected with hard wood as I banged it into my desk.
“This sucks,” I moaned.
Silence followed and I took the time to curse myself for my stupidity. Why did I ever start this?
“I don't think it's that bad,” a voice suddenly said right next to my ear.
I gave a shriek of surprise, jumped and spun half around in my chair to find Toron leaning over my shoulder, squinting at the screen.
“Don't do that,” I whined, moving my hand up to my head where I rubbed it in small circles.
Damn ninjas. Toron moved away from the computer, leaning back while speaking.
“I think your beginning is okay,” he said.
I stared at him, let my hands fall. How could he know? He couldn't read. I opened my mouth to state this fact, when my eyes fell upon the sharp weapons by his side. He would have no qualms about using them, should I anger him. I could almost see them coated in blood. My blood. My mouth closed and I blinked, swallowed. I would rather live without that experience, thanks. I turned to the screen again, willing the words to pop out like before.
“What exactly is the problem?”
I sighed and turned around, my eyes falling upon Sturkas. The warrior had taken seat on my bed, seemingly claimed it as his territory.
“The problem is,” I said and crossed my arms in front of my chest.
“That there is none.
Two pairs of eyes stared at me, blinked.
“The problem is me.”
I sighed again and let my fingers run over the keyboard, slowly.
“I know what to write, but I can't get myself to do it. It's like the words are stuck inside my head.”
I pointed a finger at the side of my head. The two elves shared glances before Toron nodded and gave me a pitiful look. Sturkas frowned slightly and rubbed the back of his head, seemingly thoughtful. He looked from the screen to me, to the screen, to me and back to the screen again. He opened his mouth, but I cut him off before he got the chance to utter a word.
“And no! I can't just crack my head open so the words will pop out and onto the paper.”
Then, as an afterthought, I added with a small glare, “It doesn't work like that.”
Sturkas' eyes locked with mine and for a moment, I thought I could see past that tough-guy-act of his. For a second, I imagined that his eyes were not only reflecting the water in a crystal clear lake, but that they were water. Then he scowled and all thoughts of water were frozen to ice, like the icicles he seemed to be glaring at me.
“Wasn't what I was going to say,” he muttered and turned his head.
I bit my lip and reverted my eyes to the floor, my face burning. Why did I say that? He hadn't said anything stupid, neither he nor Toron had gone against my rules. They were even trying to help me. And how did I thank them? By biting them off. I sighed silently and hid my face behind my hand.
“I'm sorry,” I mumbled.
“I didn't mean-”
I stopped upon feeling a hand on my head.
“It's fine,” someone said from above me.
I looked up and found Sturkas looking down at me, a wry smile tugging at his lips. I carefully smiled back and opened my mouth to apologize again, when my eyes widened. Toron and Sturkas stared at me like I was mad when I spun around in my chair and quickly re-read the last paragraph I wrote. My eyes narrowed ever-so-slightly and my fingers started twitching.
“Of course,” I said.
“How could I be so stupid? Why didn't I think of it before?”
With my back turned towards them, I didn't see Sturkas about to give a reply he would regret he ever voiced, or Toron stopping him just in time with a nudge and a frown. I was too busy with erasing the last lines before I re-wrote them. But I could hear them mumbling as they watched me write, though I paid no attention to it.
“Told you,” Sturkas said in a sing-song manner.
“Yeah, yeah, I know,” Toron replied, more coldly.
“Don't pretend you don't know.”
“I can't hear you.”
“Fine!” Toron snapped, turning to his 'brother'.
“You won! Happy now?”
“What more do you want?”
“For winning our bet.”
Toron lifted his hands and held them up to the roof, as if it would magically hold the answer to his question.
“Why, High Ones? Why do I have a brother like this?”
Of course there was no answer. Instead Toron grumbled and pulled out a little bag with dreamberries and handed them over to Sturkas, who grinned widely as he accepted the prize.
“Told you I would be more of help.”
“Ugh, not again!” I groaned and banged my head against the wooden desk.
“Rish shucks big dime!”
The last came out as a muffled mumble, but from under all my hair, I wasn't sure if anyone had heard me.
Then again, I proved to be wrong a lot these days. Must be some kind of spreading decease, like the flu. I slowly lifted my head, letting it hover a few centimeters over the desk, and glared at the redhead beside me.
“I said; this sucks big time!”
Toron only blinked at me with those dark green eyes of his, and when I saw that they sparkled, I thought I could see that trademark smile of his tugging at his lips. I could literally feel my eyes narrow to a scowl.
“It's not funny!” I snapped, which only caused the elf to smile wider.
Oh, how dare he. He even leaned backwards and let his shoulders rest on a pillow- wait, that's MY pillow!
“I didn't say it was,” Toron smiled.
“You didn't say it wasn't,” I retorted.
Toron held up his hands like he did when lifting his bõ-staff (Okay, now, that's just a stupid way of thinking) and shrugged.
“I didn't say anything.”
“Then continue with it!” I snapped.
I re-read the last three paragraphs again. I winced. Then there was a loud BANG as my head connected with the desk yet again, and I continued banging my head against it.
“You're gonna get a bump if you continue like that,” Sturkas said in the background.
I answered with a raised middle finger. The elf shrugged, then continued with... whatever it was he was doing.
“What about a scene with friendship?”
I turned to glare at Toron and gestured at the computer with both hands.
“Hello! Deadly thingies! Blood loss! Sick baby! What the heck do they have to be happy for?”
“You don't need them to be happy,” Toron shrugged.
“No time for that,” I replied dryly.
“What about the treatment?”
“Already working on that.”
“The little girl's bad health?”
“Her waking up?”
“The doctor's not even there yet!”
Toron leaned backwards and crossed his arms in front of his chest.
“Include a fight, then,” he said.
“You're good at writing them.”
“No room for one,” I muttered darkly.
I placed my hand on my shoulder, slowly rubbing it.
“My shoulder still hurts from that last battle.”
I threw a glare at Sturkas, who lifted his hands and shrugged.
“I didn't hit you that hard.”
“It looks like Madagascar in Bearnaise-sauce!”
A hand on my shoulder made me turn around and I found Toron smiling at me.
“It's not that bad.”
“Yes, it its!” I snapped, then “Ow!”
I spun around and, with my hand glued to my bruised and battered shoulder, directed my Death glare of Doom at the source of pain – Sturkas.
“Quit poking it!” I yelled and smacked his hand away.
“Leave her alone, Sturkas,” Toron said said, his eyebrows furrowed.
I cast a glance at him, debating whether to thank him or stuff his words down his throat for butting into my fight with Sturkas. My fingers twitched, they needed to feed off something. But before I could agree and let them decide on the latter, I found that Sturkas had ignored his 'brother' and poked me again.
“But it's funny to tease her! Besides, I'm not annoying her that mu-hey!”
He quickly drew his hand back as I angrily punched it.
“You should add a little description here.”
“What's up with long paragraphs?”
“Maybe this can be added later...”
“That's not what pain's like!”
“This part is a little short.”
“And here you could describe it with less details. Kids are reading too, you now?”
“You really should add another paragraph first.”
“Mhm, better, but...”
“...should be more of...”
“...and of course there's...”
“...not to mention the extra details...”
“That's not logical.”
“When will there be some action?”
“What about the self-doubt?”
“I didn't know the darkness had hands.”
“Maybe you should add a little scene with...”
“...fight would be...”
“...and what about...”
“Headache, help with everything...”
“...journey and 'rescue' and...”
“...not to forget the weapon...”
“...and you really should re-write that last part.”
“And maybe add a struggle...”
“...and the feeling of loss...”
“Why capital letters?”
“...secrets and prejudices...”
“Ever noticed it looks like little bug tracks?”
“And here you should explain a bit more...”
“QUIET!” I screamed at the the top of my voice, clutching my back-tilted head.
It worked, effectively shutting up the two elves and leaving them dumbstruck. I knew I should feel bad about my outburst, but right now, I wanted nothing more than to complete the story. Which was currently impossible when I was stuck with two of my sister's elves who both have chronic mouth diarrhea!
“You're not helping!” I sneered, but my voice faltered and ended up squeaky.
Toron and Sturkas stared at me with wide eyes and slightly opened mouths. Deep, dark green and soft, light blue orbs seemed to melt together into a water mosaic of reflections. Frustrated, I blinked the veil away, the veil that was covering my eyes. My own blue orbs scanned the pages and I took a shaky breath. I was on the verge of crying, but no way in Hell would I let the elves see it. God, they must think of me as a real monster bitch. The screen in front of me was blurry, the words melted and spread across the page.
“Only one day left,” I whispered.
The veil covered my eyes again, a veil of tears. Why, God? Why? Why...?
“One day for what?” someone suddenly asked from right next to me.
I gave a shriek and jumped about three feet in the air before spinning around in my chair, my heart beating rapidly, and I looked up to meet the golden gaze of the person opposite me.
Then the accession of air was cut off. My throat suddenly closed and with a strangled squeak, I started clawing at my neck, desperately trying to open the airways and force more air in. Stupid asthma! My left hand shot out and I dragged it across the shelves on my desk. Where was it? Where was it!? Then my fingers touched a well-known surface (Hah!), curled around it and tore it forth. I brought it to my mouth, now beginning to see stars (and that wasn't those in the sky!). Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Cough. Sweet, sweet air traveled into my throat again. Breathe.
The relief of being able to breathe again was short and I dropped the discus, standing up with a snarl. Then my very belated and very, very pissed off self-defense kicked in and I swept Eros' feet out from under him, watching him go down. I placed my socked foot on his chest and sneered.
“Don't. You. Ever. Do. That. Again!” I growled.
Wide-eyed and muted, Eros nodded. I released him and he quickly moved up on his elbows, but not before was he back up in a sitting position, Toron and Sturkas fell off the bed, clutching their stomachs in guffaws.
“Nice... move...” Sturkas chuckled as he sat up a few minutes later, wiping away tears.
I bent down again and grabbed a hold of Eros' shirt, hauling him to his feet while I glared at him.
“How the Hell did you get into my house!?”
“I woke up here,” Eros answered with a trembling voice (what?).
My eyes narrowed. Eros blinked. I squinted at him. He grinned nervously. I scowled. Then I let go.
“Aompfh!” (Hm, so that's the sound of elf meeting floor)
Eros fell to the floor again with a thud, causing Toron and Sturkas to erupt in laughter yet again. Poor guys, they had just been able to breathe again. I stood back with arms crossed, glaring at them. Sturkas was up and wiping away tears again, Toron was still trying to get his laughter under control and Eros... well, he was back to his grumpy old self, glaring at nothing and no one in particular.
“Why are you here, anyway?” I asked.
Eros held up his hands, shrugged.
“Cleopatra was wondering how long Toron and Sturkas would be gone, and I thought I could help. Then I woke up here.”
I raised an eyebrow, blinked. Continued to glare.
I pointed to my chair.
He did as told, still pouting. Toron and Sturkas snickered from where they sat on the floor next to my bed. I pointed my finger at them.
“Not a word.”
Eros grinned as both Toron and Sturkas struggled to put on innocent faces. My glare now turned to a scowl, I faced my wardrobe and rummaged through it, wondering if I had enough food for three elves (Yes, I hide food in my closet, don't you? I have books in there too). I pulled my hand back out and stared at the contents. Four old caramels. Wasn't that much left. I would soon need to sneak down more food from the kitchen. God, I could only hope mom and dad wouldn't notice. It was bad enough when they caught me last week with my arms loaded with apples. I don't need them thinking I have Bulimia or something in addition. Oh, well. I stuck one in my mouth (mm, creamy!) and threw the rest to the boys.
Three hands eagerly caught the sweets and hungrily bit into them. While I chewed on mine, I cast a glance at my watch and 'hmmd' softly.
“I'm gonna go take a shower,” I said as I turned and opened my drawer and pulled out a towel.
Then I turned and stared at the three elves in front of me; Toron seated on my shelf, Sturkas sitting cross-legged on my bed and Eros standing next to it, his back leaned against the wall. So innocent... not.
I pointed to the chair by my desk. Said elf quickly sat.
“Sturkas, no fighting while I'm away, or I will kill you.”
My threat seemed to work. The blue-eyed elf grinned sheepishly. Then I turned to the leader of this little band of devils- err, I mean elves.
“Toron... umm, try to control your friends?”
The redhead nodded from his place up on the wall. I gave a brief nod and turned again, walking over to the door, reached for the doorknob. Then, “Guys, NO TOUCHING MY COMPUTER!”
Said elves blushed and slowly drew their hands back, scratching their heads nervously. I waited. Then, seeing their fingers and hands begin to twitch, I quickly decided that my sisters' room would be a safer place for my computer. With the digital rough book under my arm, I stomped over to the door and opened it, stepping through. Then I glared at them.
“And no peeking!”
The door closed behind me, leaving three not-so-innocent elves alone in my room. Said elves sat still for a minute or so, then shared looks.
And with that they quickly climbed through my window.
Three shadows darted in through the window, pushing each other to move faster. Once inside, they searched for a place to hide, finding there was none. They pressed themselves against the wall, swallowing as loud tramping could be heard from the outside.
The door was slammed open and there I stood, wrapped in a bathrobe and dripping wet, my eyes glinting with the want to kill, set upon the three cowering elves.
“Oh, you did so not just do that!”
Sturkas whined softly, literally shrinking beneath my glare, and Toron swallowed hard while blinking rapidly. Eros tried to press himself backwards, but with his back pressed to the wall, he would have to go through it to get away from me. He actually seemed to be trying to melt into the wall, with the way he was pressing his head and back up against it. They stood completely still, awaiting my next move. I was frozen in glaring position, and if looks could kill, they would all be long dead. Green, golden and double blue eyes locked. Silence stretched between us, only the rapid heartbeats of the three elves could be heard. Then I growled.
“You three are so screwed!”
With a girly shriek, Eros made a leap for the window.
“Oh, no, you don't!” I said and jumped after him, falling to the floor and collecting him on the way.
The dark skinned elf screamed in despair, but his two friends did no good, as they were still cowering by the wall. They were just glad it weren't them. Eros gave another shriek and raised his hands, holding them out to stop me from hitting him.
“No! Please! I'll be good, I promise!” he begged, practically on his knees (which was currently impossible, considering that I was sitting on his legs).
I growled again, but upon hearing a soft whine from my right, I turned. Then I remembered that the remaining elves were on my left and turned to face Eros again, only to find an empty spot beneath me. Looking up, I saw him hiding behind Toron, his head barely visible. I growled, quickly standing up again.
“You guys are so dead!”
Half-whimpering, all three stood to face the temper and wrath of an authoress scorned.
Oh, I was gonna enjoy this!
Okay, actually, I didn't really want to beat them up. For all their lunkhead moments, they were actually pretty cool guys to talk to. Especially Sturkas.
“Nice boobies?” said elf offered with a nervous smile.
They was also jerks who were gonna get their asses handed to them.
“Dudette, watch the desk!”
I deliberately shoved shoved all my feelings and sudden ideas up in a ball and locked them away in my mind. There would be enough time for story writing after I had pounded the crap out of these elves.
“That's a great way of describing the darkness,” Toron said to my right.
“But maybe you should add a sentence or two about the cold feeling.”
I glanced over my shoulder and met his green gaze. The redhead was sitting on my bed, chin in hand, but if he was just resting his head or propping it up, I didn't know. It could very well be that he was just favoring it after my fist connected with his chin. Perhaps I should feel bad, but I didn't. It actually felt really good. They deserved it, after all. Their fault.
I gave a nod and returned to writing, let my fingers run over the keyboard. Sturkas was on my left, reading over my shoulder (if elves could read). If I turned my head slightly, I could make out the bruise forming right over his right eye. An abrasion on his left cheek was not caused by me; he fell face-first into my desk. Also, he now had two blue and one black eye. And somewhere behind me, Eros was rubbing his head while studying the things in my room. My cellphone, for example. He was still trying to figure how I could talk with someone over a great distance, just by talking into a tiny hole. When I tried to explain it to him, he had asked if it was like sending. Now he was trying to understand why the human way of sending could include lies too. Dejected, I shook my head while continuing with writing. Then a finger covered my vision and I blinked, confused. Following the finger and an arm, I turned to see Sturkas pointing at the screen.
“It looks stupid with a short paragraph before a long one.”
I frowned and batted his finger away.
“It's not long,” I said.
“It's a novel.”
“Do you even know what a novel is?”
“Of course I know!”
“Have you ever read one?”
“Then shut up!”
“Sturkas is actually right, you know,” Toron said.
I turned to glare at him.
“How it looks have nothing to say! It's how it's written that's important.”
“I'm just offering my opinion.”
“Well, no one asked you!” I retorted, reaching forward.
“And don't eat all the popcorn!”
I snatched the bowl out of his lap and held it out on my left side, scowling at him. CRUNCH. I blinked. Then slowly, very slowly, I turned to the bowl and glanced wide-eyed at its contents, clearly less than when I took it from Toron. Turning my head, I stared at Sturkas, who was throwing the puffy corns up in the air before catching them with his mouth. I glared.
“Thanks for saving me some,” I spat before handing the bowl back to Toron, who happily accepted it.
Sturkas gave me a thumb up, grinning while chewing. I scowled at him, debating if I should smack him up the head or not, when I felt air move over my head and heard a soft WOOSH. I blinked, then caught movement out the corner of my eye. Turning, I looked up to see Eros examining four sticks, chained together with two ropes, closely while spinning them around. My eyes widened.
“Hey, that's my nunchakus!”
I dove for the elf and my weapons, but instead of getting my hands on them, Eros moved out of my way in that last second and I crashed into the wall beneath my window, head first. Spinning around, I saw the dark skinned elf standing at the other side of my room, still looking intently at my nunchakus.
“How do you fight with these?” he asked and gave them a spin.
“They're not hard enough to cause any damage.”
I made another leap for them, but again he seemed to just disappear right in front of my eyes, only to appear at my side yet again.
“They're just for practice,” I panted.
“And I'm not fighting with them! I do freestyle!”
He spun them and I jumped, arms stretched out. Again he moved and again I jumped, my arms flailing wildly. We continued this dance for awhile. How long, I didn't know, but in the end I stood by my wardrobe, bending over my thighs and breathing heavily. Okay, asking did not help, and it did no good for my asthma. Damn elf! Time for my favorite plan!
“Plan T it is, then!”
Toron and Sturkas shared glances, eyebrows raised.
“What's plan- Tenderfoot!”
The two elves hollered as I, with an evil grin, made a mighty leap. But my nunchakus were not what I had set my eyes upon. No, this time my goal was Eros, the thief. Surprised and shocked beyond belief, the elf could do nothing but shriek as I leaped onto him and the two of us fell to the floor, me struggling to stay on top. I reached for my nunchakus, but Eros recognized my move and lifted them, holding them just out of my reach.
“You want them?” he asked with a grin.
I growled. Damn, since when did he get so long arms? I reached for them again, but they were lifted higher. They were lowered. I reached out. And up they went. He lowered them. I reached out. He lifted them. My pout grew. Down. Reach. Up. Pout. Up. Down. Up. Down. Up and down. And I continued batting at them. Eros grinned and glanced over at the two other elves.
“Hey, this is fun! Like playing with her yo-yo!”
I frowned and with a growl, I suddenly changed tactic and instead of trying to take the nunchakus, I grabbed his arm and then snatched one of the nunchakus away from his curious eyes. Eros blinked, his shoulders slumping.
I raised my fist to knock him into next week, when Toron called out and stopped me.
“Don't waste your time on him. Continue the story instead.”
I cast a glare over my shoulder and didn't see Eros smile thankfully at the leader. I just rolled my eyes and stole the other nunchaku back too, spinning them a few times before putting them in my wardrobe. On my way back to the computer, I paused next to Eros and stared at him. I growled. He jumped and suddenly found himself next to Toron. I smirked, then sat down on my chair and continued writing.
“That Lilac dude is sure causing you trouble,” the redhead said while rubbing his chin.
“Where should you put him in?”
“No idea,” I sighed, then leaned in closer and squinted at the screen.
“Great, now I don't know what more to write.”
“You have plenty of written pages all over your room,” Sturkas said somewhere behind me.
The brunette knelt next to my bed and poked my books, counting them. He frowned.
“What do you need five rough books for?”
“Writing,” I called back.
Sturkas picked up one of my books, examining it. He opened it and scanned the first page, then flipped several more.
“Seriously, how many books have you actually out-written?”
I paused and tilted my head upwards slightly, thinking.
“This year; three,” I finally said.
Toron and Eros raised their eyebrows, but I chose to ignore them. Sturkas dropped the book he was holding and picked up a piece of paper instead.
“This one's good,” he said after reading it.
“Why don't you use it?”
I didn't bother to turn around as I was busy trying to force more ideas into my head. Next I heard Sturkas' voice as he read out loud the words scribbled down on the paper. I froze, recognizing them instantly.
“The small child was crouched down behind a dumpster, hands on the cold metal, and it leaned slightly forward, letting out a breath in wonder. Its brothers would have-”
He was abruptly cut off by me snatching the paper away from him.
“That's private!” I sneered, hugging the paper to my chest.
“No one's supposed to read that!”
“Then why do you have it out in the open?” Toron asked from the bed.
I scowled at him.
“I wrote it last night, but fell asleep before I could put it in my desk.”
“There's more in your desk?” Eros asked, his curiosity instantly lit, and he leaned forward, eying my desk with interest.
“Stuff it!” I snapped and shoved him backwards.
The paper was placed in a drawer in my desk and locked before I turned to stare at the elves. I pointed a finger at the floor and all three quickly sat. With my bed now free for any unwanted 'guests', I sunk down on it (my simple statement for “shut up or you'll never see the daylight again” and groaned.
“This is gonna be a long night...”
“It's day, act-”
“I DON'T CARE! SHUT UP!”
The sound of someone being punched really hard could be heard, followed by a loud CRASH and curses and insults. Toron and Sturkas stared at their 'fallen' friend, then turned to me, wide-eyed, before the redhead spoke up.
“I thought you liked Eros...?”
“You wanna be next!?”
Things were yet again back to normal – well, as normal as it can be with three elves and a human girl in a bedroom – and I was trying to finish the last pages of the story. Toron was seated on top of my desk and now and then coming up with good advices. Eros and Sturkas were in the background, playing around with the leftover paint after my poor attempt at 'arting'. The brunette once swung his paintbrush around, waving it happily around his head and over mine. I had to duck and with one hand glued to my hair, I spun around in my chair, staying low.
“Hey, if that has paint on it next time, you're dead!” I threatened.
The elf just smiled. I frowned. Oh yeah, I would get back on him if he tried anything. But for now, I was busy with writing. Then, a few minutes later and with a large smile, I leaned back and crossed my arms behind my head.
“It's finished!” I grinned.
“I thought you missed deadline,” Toron chose to ask while sitting on top of my desk, looking down at me.
“Sure, but I have more than just a deadline, Toron,” I said and eyed him.
“I have to finish many things, like the next story. I've gotta continue with “Missing” and God, I haven't updated it in a year and last time someone poked me about it was back in September, and I've gotta start “Dealing with life” and seven other stories I haven't named yet, and I've gotta study for a test, I must keep you three a secret, wash the Do-Jang, study for the Korean theory test, plan the April Grab Bag, continue with and finish “Willow Creek” and “Reason” and “Ease” and “Innocence” and “Fire, Fire, bur-”
My ranting was rudely stopped by Eros waving his paintbrush at me.
“Just shuddup and get going, then!”
There were two sharp intakes of breath in the room and Eros suddenly turned five shades paler. I looked down at my top, now with a massive splash of green paint on it (Okay, it wasn't that much, but hey! I bought that top yesterday! Half prize!). Blinking and shocked beyond relief, I raised my head to glare at the dark skinned elf, my eyes twitching.
“Did you just do what I thought you did?” I asked slowly, my voice literally dripping with venom (or it could be the paint I was splashed with, who knows).
“Uh... I think I just did what you think I just did,” he said, just as slowly.
“Well, in that case...”
I held out my arms, smiling.
“Want a hug?”
The dark skinned elf was suddenly not dark skinned anymore.
“Hey, no beating up on the defenceless guy!”
“Defenceless my ass!” I spat.
“You're a ninja, Eros. You'll live!”
I took a step closer and the elf held up his hands.
“Stay away,” he begged.
“Or I'll.... I'll...”
His eyes flashed for a brief moment and he suddenly smiled.
“Or I'll throw paint at you again!”
I just glared at him, knowing he would never finish that threat (or live through it), but before I could smash his face in, Toron stopped me (Damn it! Saved by the leader again!) by picking me up (when did he grow so tall? I thought elves were shorter than me!) and the next thing I knew, he tossed me over his shoulder.
“Please, no fighting! Your shoulder still isn't fully healed!”
“Put me down!” I yelled and wriggled, trying to get free.
“Puuut meeeee doooooown!” I hollered.
But Toron just shook his head.
A simple answer. A simple statement. With a not-so-simple consequence.
I reached for the wooden spoon I had left on my desk the night before (I ate there, I think, don't remember) and began whacking his back, his shoulders and his head with it.
“Put me down so I can kill 'im!”
I must have hit a sensitive spot, because he suddenly dumped me on the bed.
“High Ones, you're worse than Sturkas sometimes! It's obvious that you and Cleopatra are sisters! No wonder we get bruised and battered in her stories!”
I snorted, sitting back up while glaring at him.
“Well, ain't that her problem!”
Then, behind Toron and Eros, I saw that Sturkas was poking my wardrobe and eying his paintbrush, both actions with too much interest.
“Don't you dare!”
I jumped up and shook my fist at him.
“Don't you f*cking dare! You touch that wardrobe, and I'll kick your butt into next week! I'll kick it so hard you won't be able to sit for days!”
Toron, now sitting on my bed and seemingly tired by my anger problems, shifted.
“You better stop that right now, or I'll delete your story.”
The threat didn't work, sadly.
“Hah! You don't dare!”
He raised an eyebrow.
“No,” I said and crossed my arms while turning around.
“You don't even know which button to press! I doubt you even know how to-”
I froze, instantly recognizing that sound. I only had one button that made such a sound, the most used button I had, one that was loose because of the many times I had used it. Used it for killing off stories and other crap writings that I wasn't happy with. With a strangled cry that caught in a gasp, I whirled around.
“You deleted my story!?”
Sure enough, Toron's finger was on the button, his eyes fixed on me.
“You threatened my little brother.”
That didn't go in.
“You deleted my story!?”
“You asked for it.”
“You deleted my story!?”
“You made me do it.”
“You deleted my story!?”
“You gave me no choice.”
“You deleted my story!?”
Eros raised an eyebrow.
“Is that all you have to say?”
“You deleted my story!” I cried.
“And it was just finished!”
Tears welled up in my eyes, but they refused to fall. I wanted to scream, break things, kill the elves, save my story... but found I could do nothing. Instead I heard someone clear their throat behind me.
“Hey, it's okay.”
I spun around to glare at the owner of the voice, only to find that it was Sturkas and that he was right behind me, a bucket with paint in his hands. Of course I didn't see he was that close before it was too late, of course I didn't see him before we bumped into each other and he dropped the bucket, completely drenching me with a full tin of... red paint.
When I now looked down at my (originally) white top, I just wanted to cry. But instead I glared up at Sturkas, my eyes ablaze. That just did it.
“Did you just throw paint at me!?”
No answer. My eyes narrowed.
“Oh, now you're in big trouble.”
Sturkas tried to smile, nervously.
“So? What are you gonna do about it, girlie?”
Oh, no, he didn't. That was a mistake on his part, a big no-no.
Sturkas continued smiling at me, probably hoping that it would calm me down. Then his eyes widened. I think he must have realized the mistake, that no one, and I mean no one, calls me 'girlie' and gets away with it, because he started backing away from me. Then:
He ran and I chased after him, a bucket full of black paint raised above my head.
“This is WAR!!!”
Now, my room isn't that big, so we only ended up running around in circles. But I've gotta give Sturkas credit for his speed. Damn, he can outrun any enemy if he would just move his lazy butt more than he needed to! But of course I wouldn't tell him this, not while I was busy trying to breathe. He then stopped by my window, maybe considering to escape through it, but by that point I had caught up to him. With a mighty “Rrawr!” I threw myself forward and then I was on top of Sturkas, doing my best to pummel his face in.
“No one deletes my story!” I cried, tugging at his bandanna.
“And I'm not a flippin' girle!”
“That's my bandanna you've got there!”
“Let go of my bandanna, you little runt!”
I locked eyes with him, which I noticed was a very nice shade of blue- wait, my objective is to kill Sturkas, not admire his eyes, for God's sake!
“I ain't a runt!”
“Not that either!”
“That that back!” I growled.
“It's on you, then!”
I released his bandanna, causing it to collide with the back of his head with a painful slap. Then we rolled around on the floor, screaming curses and insults at each other while getting in decent punches.
Toron and Eros stood still, watching our battle, when the latter suddenly leaned in closer and whispered to his leader.
“When are you gonna tell her that you have a backup file?”
“She'll find out when she sees the comments.”
Nice story, Tymber!! Awesome 'comeback'! I've missed you around here!!
*giggles* ooohhhh, Tenderfoot... That was hilarious!!! Love it!!
Tymber! *deep sigh of relieve* You mustn't disapear for so long ... I'm missing something when you are not around here - at least in the grab-bags. And that's not only Stonehowl! How about looking in two or three times a month ... would be good for suggesting an element, too
Love how you started ... how you let Shadow return to the living! He'll not have much time for recovering, I'm afraid.
Stillbreeze wanting to stay is a nice twist - this element gave you the possibility to lead the story in different directions. They might stay indeed - just like Woodlock and Rainsong - at least for some time. Provided staying with the Pride is secure, then ...
... and Spearclaw could join the war for the Palace
Vineweaver being jelous is cute somehow - like it! But I'm still thinking that Branchsnapper left his tree hide too soon. Vineweaver doesn't consider Stillbreeze as his possession - cannot imagine that he will react as the expected by the plotters!
How you took care of Lilac is brilliant - the shortest possible solution for an "irritating" element. And it works nice storywise, too - now we can guess til the sequel what's planned for the Wolfriders
*must hurry for work ... will return for Tenderfoots story as soon as possible*
Awsome story Tenderfoot!! love it!!
*chokes on drink* Wha? Excuse me, you dare to think your stories aren't worth reading? Pfft! Please, if you want to check out brain-killing stories, then go back to page 5. Last story.
Now that's what you can call a serious brain damage!
And seriously, pop in more often. I miss you *puppy dog and kitten eyes* Pwease?
*notices thread* O.O Oh, shit! *runs into next thread*
And so do we, sweetie... so do we.
*kicks Tymber's ass* So don't you DARE, EVER AGAIN, to say your stories are bad!!! They're awesome!!!
Guess it was even MORE fun reading this AFTER your February contribution, Tenderfoot.
*wonders how big her room might be*
But I suggest you will put a pillow on your desk to prevent of serious damage in future - your head is needed safe and clear-minded for sooo many things! ... not to mention that your funiture might take damage
*shuffles in* Umm, since my contribution for March was kinda... weird, I thought that perhaps a weird... illustration, may be suited too. So... I just tried my hand at it. It's one of the last scenes, where I chase after Sturkas with a bucket of black paint over my head. Chibi style. I have permission from Cleopatra to show her elves in a... not-so-good-looking way. *blushes*
(Somewhere off in the distance a voice can be heard)
Beyond: Tenderfoot, you're doing it wrong! You need a much bigger bucket!With much more paint!
... that's hilarious, Tenderfoot! You should do this more often ... illustrating, I mean!
What ... who ... Beyond!?
Beyond!!! Stop that! Nooo, that's a big enough bucket she's got there! No need to get her that 100-gallon one you're dragging now!! Especially not with that sticky black stuff! That's not paint!!!
Beyond: Oh and you need a bucket with another colour too!
(Looks through a bunch of paint buckets he has laying around for some odd reason. Picks up one and flashes everybody a evil looking smile)
Beyond: Ohhhh! How. About. This. One??
(Smiles gleefully and holds up one that contains the ugliest pink colour you can imagine)
*sneaks up on Beyond*
*tips the bucket over so Beyond himself is now covered in pink*
*RUNS AWAY AS FAST AS SHE CAN!!!*
Beyond keeps smiling, spites out some of the paint, shakes his head, making the bells on his hat ring.
Beyond: faaaaaeriegirl! (claps his hands, grinning)
Beyond: Hoooow's your day beeeen? 8D
Beyond bends down and picks up 3 or 4 buckets of paints with horrible horrible horrible colours and starts looking for one of forum threads.
Beyond: Let's seeeeeeeeeeee...There's Embala's, Nightsea's, Leanan's...nope, where did it go? OH! There it is!
Beyond jumps into the 'Faeriegirl's writings '-thread aaaaand...starts painting every single character in the stories with the horrible horrible horrible colours
Beyond can be hear giggling his head off as he goes back (still covered in paint and smiling) to Vojira's thread and proceeds to colour the IMVU Beyond and the giga bear.
Vojira:...O__O...You want some hot cocoa,Faeriegirl?
*laughs her ass off*
Seriously, there's people sending me crazy looks here at school now.
Some hot cocoa would be nice, yes
*carefully walks over to her writings tread, peeks in*
OMG that's horrible colours!!!!
*installs a super-mega-ultrasized shower* Here guys... get that stuff off, instead of chasing Beyond! You'll be quicker without that paint anyway!
Vojira picks up one of the empty paint buckets and reads the almost unreadable text on the label.
Vojira: Eh...oh-oh. The shower isn't gonna work. It's instadent dry paint and it needs to be scrubbed off.
Vojira thinks for one second and remembers that Bearclaw was in one of those stories. Looks over and sees Bearclaw covered in bright 'seeing this will make you queasy'-pink and bright 'can be seen from space '-blue colours.
Vojira: ...Oh dear.
*stand in a corner looking at all the mess between disapproval and grinning*
... good thing the old shield projector is still working!
Darnit! I KNEW I should've set that thing up!
*deep sigh* Instadent dry? omg... now HOW am I supposed to explain this to the elves, huh??
*wipes brow* Phew! Finally, finally finished! That took quite some time! Now, over to the April Grab Bag!
Every cloud has a silver light – part 3
Rainsong dipped the cloth in the water bowl by her side, wrenched it and gently laid it across Woodlock's fever-hot forehead. Then she leaned back on the stool and just watched him. Dark wet stripes ran through the wheaten hair, rivulets cascaded down his face. His eyes were closed, like they had been ever since the lance was pulled out of his leg. There was still no answer to where the lance came from and who had left it in the stables, but to Rainsong, that didn't matter. At least not now. A picture of the bloodied metal object found its way into her mind, but she pushed it away. When Woodlock showed signs of recovery and woke up, perhaps then would she start thinking of it, wondering. But not now. Now was the time for waiting.
She blinked, watched his chest slowly rise and fall. At least there was no change there; his breathing was slow and even, never ceasing, never slowing. His heartbeats were faint, but steady. Sometimes his hands would twitch, he would lift his arm to lay it across his torso. Other times his healthy leg moved, barely kicking out in a weak protest. Rainsong smiled, traced his smooth jaw with a soft finger.
“If only you knew how cute you are in your sleep,” she whispered.
She gasped for breath as she cramped in pain, her legs kicking nerveless. She breathed awkward.
No, she was breathless.
The air felt thin, as if the wind had stripped it of all nourishment.
Her eyes slid close as another wave of nausea hit her and she faintly registered that her head fell to the side, her mouth opening in a choked retch. Silent pain filled cries echoed in the dark sphere of nothing.
“Please lay down, Lilac Basilson,” one of the nurses said as she gently, but firmly held a rather large man down in his bed.
“You need the rest.”
“Hey, I'm not tired,” the man said and tried to sit up again.
“So why should I stay in bed?”
“Because we say so.”
The nurse gave a firm shove and the man rolled backwards onto the bed again. Rainsong held up her hand, hiding the small smile that was spreading in her face. The man propped himself up on his elbows and blew bangs out of his eyes.
“So what? I'm fully capable of taking care of myself!”
The nurse snorted and lifted her hand, swaying it back and forth in front of her face while wrinkling her nose, her head turned a bit.
“You are drunk,” she said.
“I'm not drunk,” Lilac retorted.
He threw his arms out as if, in some strange way, wanting to prove himself, but only ended up on his back on the bed. The nurse snorted again, rolling her eyes.
“At least we agree on something,” she muttered.
“Now, would you please behave? Your sister and daughter will arrive very soon, and I doubt they will like finding you in this state.”
The man lifted his head and blinked, staring at the nurse in front of him.
“Yeah, that would be something,” he slurred.
“My little Crocus will know what I need.”
“Unlikely,” Rainsong heard the oldest nurse mumble from the other side of the room.
“That poor girl is barely six summers old.”
The youngest nurse giggled and earned a sharp glance from the older one, but her stern look quickly melted into a soft one instead. Rainsong just smiled before she turned back to Woodlock with a sigh. When would he wake up?
He stumbled forward, blinked, brows furrowed. Both hands out, plowing through black fog.
Darkness all around, clawing at him. Pulling at him, dragging him down. He kicked out, forced himself free of the tight grip. He would not fall. He had a promise to fulfill.
He watched as dark hands of nothing drew back, wheezed. Watched as he was left alone, watched as they formed to an even darker mass of nothing.
This place held no life.
He turned, but caught movement out the corner of his eye, the sound of cries reached his sensitive ears. He glanced at the dark sphere. Nothing. His brows furrowed.
A cry. A soundless plead for help.
He glared brown murder at the thick fog of nothing. Balled his fists, fought his way through everything and nothing. He would not go away, not be defeated, not give up. He would not stop.
But when he stepped through the fog, entering the core of death, he did. He stopped.
The darkness found her collapsed in a black pool of nothing, an imaginary wind slowly whipping her short, blonde hair. So lost, so weak, so very... gone. He could no longer stand still and watch her, the prone figure, but he found himself unable to move. He was unwilling to wake the sleeping mind, knowing it must emerge into this reality as into new life. Perhaps it would be better to leave her, submerged in the deep womb of ignorance. But he was a healer, a life-saver, and saving lives was what he did. Who was he to choose life? Who was he to choose death? Who was he to pick whether the girl lived or not? She was weak, but still a fighter. And he had not touched her yet. How could he know it was too late?
Can I really leave this girl who did nothing but being born? Can I really judge one when I am not a judge? Can I spare a life when I am not the one to decide her fate?
When she woke, the sleep and haze would fade into nothingness. Could he cause her that pain?
Can I kill her?
Life was about taking chances, he had learned. About living the day he was in to the fullest. Yet he had no guarantee of the next day.
But leaving this girl sealed her fate.
Who was he to even have a say in this matter? He had the power to grant the girl a chance at life.
Life was about taking chances – and he took one now.
He half ran, half stumbled to her side, and pulled her cold form to his chest. Why he had hesitated? He feared to loose a life, even if he could do nothing about it. He felt sadness every time he lost a patient, even if he had saved dozens of others. He feared he would not be strong enough. But if he did not even try, he would never know if the girl could be saved. And that was why he now pulled the small form from the dark pool, the half-alive presence, who let herself be dragged in a steady silence. She was mute and obedient and gone into distant lands.
But still alive.
While his hand lay on her arm, he felt a stirring of the tiny muscles, a ripple beneath his fingers. He righted himself slightly, and watched the slice of blue make itself known between reluctant eyelids. He swallowed. Her eyes were no longer bright with a strange luminosity, but covered over in a mist of cobwebs, retracted and dull.
He knelt in front of her still form and looked into her blank stare, waiting for recognition. It did not come. She sat up, looking fearfully around, but showed no sign of wanting his help. She let out a choking gasp as her eyes darted around, suddenly awake again, but still lost. He frowned. Reached forward for her, intending to take her in his arms, but froze before he was halfway as realization dawned on him.
She could not see him.
Rainsong carefully slipped two fingers underneath the bandage wrapped around Woodlock's leg, held her thumb over them and clenched the cloth between. She gently pulled at it, unwrapped it with her other hand and took it off. Then she began removing the cloths and herbs that coated his skin, intending to replace them with fresh ones. Halfway through the task, she stopped in mid-move, in mid-air.
She blinked, tilted her head slightly. Blinked again. The black spot on the left side of the knee... wasn't there. Her eyes wandered over his leg, slowly. Could it be...?
He wet his lips and knelt in front of her, tried to catch her eyes with his own.
“Little one,” he whispered.
“I am here.”
The girl's ears twitched; she had heard him. Her large eyes widened slightly and started darting to and fro, unseeing. Rain swallowed. How hard must it not be for her to look around in the darkness... without sight?
“Little one,” he tried again.
“Reach out for me. Please, I need you to.”
A sound scratched at the back of the girl's throat, sounding much like a soft whine. She seemed lost, a tinge of sadness among the fear in her eyes.
“You will find me here. I promise.”
The girl blinked away unfallen tears, moved her head slightly. It could easily have been a shake.
“Trust me,” Rain urged.
“I am here.”
Determined to break the fear that had her imprisoned, he held a steady hand out for her.
He had done everything he could. Now the rest was up to her.
She had to take his hand.
A shadow fell on the girl's face. A slight widening of her eyes, a twitch of her hand. Then slowly, hesitating, she lifted it.
One of the clouds outside, a snowy white one, was shaped exactly like an outstretched hand.
Rain held his hand out and at the same time, outside the manor, another snowy white cloud began to change form.
He reached out for her.
The cloud began to take the shape of a hand, grew fingers.
The girl's eyes seemed to rest on him, as if she could vaguely make out the form of him. Instantly instantly her little chubby arm shot out, her tiny hand outstretched.
The other cloud hand's fingers spread, desperately trying to grab something before they melted away in the soft wind.
Their hands came closer, closer, closer.
Winds blew the clouds closer to each other.
Four fingers touched, entwined.
The two clouds melted together.
And the tiny girl stumbled into his waiting arms.
With one swift movement, the remaining cloths were dumped into the basket by her side and she scratched at the herbs, peeling them off with the tip of her fingers. She watched as they fell, her eyes darted across the wound and for the first time in many days, she felt a smile form and her heart made a joyous leap.
There were no traces of black or red spots, nor was there any yellow-white pus oozing out. Only warmth rolled off in small waves, indicating the swelling. But the wound held no signs of infection. Rainsong swallowed, leaned forward and let her head rest on the rising chest. Smiled.
“Thank you,” she whispered.
The infection was gone. He was out of life-threatening danger.
She stumbled into his arms, clung to him, hanging onto him for dear life. Leaped into his chest, engulfed him in a tight hug. She snuggled into him, buried her face in his shoulder. Cried softly. At last she saw him. Recognition came, a spark at first, then brightening the eyes, until they emerged from their misty prisons. Her voice was choked with this black fog surrounding them, heavy and incomplete.
“I want to go home,” she whispered, and a cold wind blew past them, whipped her soft hair.
“But no one is there.”
Her tears fell like rain, washed away every bit of strength. Rain hugged her hard, his eyes lit with a deep burning need to protect this child from the dangers that surrounded her. He saw flashes of lightning, but heard no thunder. The sound was silent in his ears. He stroked her blond hair, met her eyes. She was so lost, but still refused to let go of that stubborn look she was known for. The one that said she would not give up, that she would hold on for as long as she could. Until ungrateful fate tore her soul from her body, leaving it in this dark sphere of nothing, laid it to rest with the darkness.
Rain's eyes lit again, flashed with deep burning rage. He would never let this girl down.
Uhh... High Ones... He didn't feel so good.
He was floating through the vast silence of space, darkness all around him. Surrounding him, suffocating him.
He couldn't breathe properly. Was someone sitting on his chest? It was so tight, like his lungs had been tied to a knot. Every breath was an effort, and each one he managed was short and pained. His breath was wheezy and nosey.
Then, in the midst of all the silence, he heard a distant thump. Then another. Heartbeats, they were. His heartbeats. He hadn't realized until that moment they had been absent.
His head swam and he did not feel like moving, not that he could. His body would not let him. It felt like a thick and heavy blanket covered him, kept him from moving. He trembled. So cold, everything was so cold. And yet sweat covered his body.
Then there was the pain. His lungs burned with every breath, daring him to breathe deep enough in to breathe normally. When he did, there was a stabbing pain in his lungs that caused him to hurt even more. He coughed, something came up. A lung? Unlikely, but that's what it felt like.
His whole body was aching, his head pounding. And then there was his leg. It felt dead, refusing to move at all, yet sheer pain ripped through it if he so much as dared to think about moving it. He jerked. What had hit him? A horse? Two horses?
He cracked his eyes open, but soon closed them. The effort was too great. An almost impossible task. He tried again, his eyes opened. And he shut them quickly. Lights... blinding white. His eyes couldn't tolerate that now.
Then a soft hand touched his face and Woodlock opened his eyes.
Rain dragged his fingers through soft hair, took in the smell of the child. Watched as she girl pulled back slightly, craned her neck to look up at him. Clenched his tunic between her tiny fists.
“Stay with me. Please!” she begged, tears falling from her weary and blank eyes.
“Do not leave me!
Rain cupped the little face within his hands.
“I will not!” he said.
The girl tilted her head to the side, leaning into the touch and closing her eyes. Tears filled Rain's eyes and he blinked them away. The little girl looked so lost, so free from the life that made her whole. He could only guess how she must have felt the illness, how she must have fought the pain. What she felt like when she lost, when she fell into this black pool of nothing.
And now she was about to again.
He slowly lifted his hands, catching the crystallized droplets that fell from the girl's eyes. In turn, she wrapped her arms around the doctor's neck, who put his strong arms around the little body. The girl gave him a fierce hug which Rain returned, hugging her hard while whispering softly. He hugged the child dearly, closed his eyes hard as he felt her slip away. Rain tightened his grip on her, letting his hand run through her hair.
Her face pressed into the shoulder of his tunic as she wept, her small frame shivering in his arms.
“I am scared,” she cried.
A jolt of pain shook her body, threatened to tear her soul away.
The girl gasped, embattling the sound as it fought its way out of her throat, and Rain kissed the drop of salt water leaking down her cheek. Her eyes burned, clear and smooth, blue flecked with white fire, in the chill sphere. The child was clinging to him, letting herself be held and hugged. She nuzzled against his neck and buried her face under his chin. She seemed to be trying to melt into him, with the way she was pressing her head against him. He felt his fingers go through her, felt her leave this place. His fingers dug into the soft hair and he hugged even harder as the girl clung to him.
For one long moment, their eyes locked. Soft brown and light blue. One tear fell from her eyes, one single crystallized drop rolled down her cheek, hung onto her cheek... then fell.
And then she was gone.
A bloodcurdling scream rolled off of the walls, thrown back and through the manor.
Running footsteps came closer, hands gripped the door and tore it open.
“Sir!” a man called as he ran inside.
“What is it?!”
Then he and the others stopped short, frozen in place.
Right inside the door, the two oldest girls were clinging to each other, eyes large and filled with terror, glued to the scene in front of them. The doctor and the lord were kneeling by the bed where the sick little one was laying. Their mistress was by her husband's side, leaning over her youngest child with a frozen expression as she listened for breath, heartbeat, anything. The little girl lay still, her skin a sickly shade of almost pale gray. No sound or movement came from her.
“Mistress?” the man said, his voice drained of all strength.
The girl's face was ashen, her eyes large and empty, blank as white noise.
Finally at peace.
Rainsong bit back a gasp when Woodlock stirred and she pulled back her hand, staring in awe as he slowly opened his eyes. Weary, but alive. Burning with determination, a will to live. She felt a smile spread across her face and when Woodlock looked around the room, she moved in closer. He frowned slightly.
“Wha?” he croaked, cleared his throat and tried again.
“Wh's... wh'r m'I?”
Rainsong silenced him with the soft touch of a finger on his lips.
“Shh,” she whispered.
“It is okay. You are safe.”
Woodlock looked directly at her, brown eyes locking with blue. He blinked, his face brightening as recognition flashed in his eyes.
“Rainsong?” he asked.
“What... what happened?”
He looked around the room, taking in the many beds.
“Where am I?”
A hand on his shoulder brought his eyes back to the young woman by his side, a small smile playing around her rosy lips.
“You are in the nurse room,” she said.
“Mr. Treestump brought you here. You were badly hurt.”
A confused look.
“Do you not remember?”
Woodlock looked down at his chest, opened his mouth and breathed.
Rainsong reached out, patted his hand. Smiled as he looked up at her.
“It is normal to not remember,” she said.
“You saved Miss Crescent's life.”
His brows raised. Images passed through his mind and he grasped at them, studying them closely. Recognized them, took them in. Did not allow a single one to pass.
Fax. Free horse, wild. A cat, running. Crescent, little Crescent, in the horse's way. Hooves over her head, about to be crushed.
Woodlock locked eyes with Rainsong, the day coming back to him.
Woodlock felt himself freeze as the might horse pulled free, but it was nothing compared to the cold claw that curled around his heart when the stable cat scuttled out from the stable with Crescent following close behind. The little cat made a break for the horse, bolting between its legs. The horse neighed and stepped backwards.
Crescent's laughter hitched and she came to an abrupt halt as the horse stood up on its hind legs, staling with its hooves hovering dangerously close to her head. All blood drained from her face, leaving only large violet eyes and a mouth rounded in terror. A highpitched shriek wrenched itself from her throat and she threw her arms up, trying to shield her head as best she could.
Strongbow and Moonshade, coming out from the castle. Moonshade's heartrending cry, Strongbow's desperate movements to get to his daughter. Fax about to crush the king's granddaughter. Before he could even think about what to do, his body acted on its own accord. Woodlock dropped the yoke and the buckets of water fell to the ground as he dived forward, arms stretched out. Crescent screamed and closed her eyes and the hooves came closer.
He felt his hands on the girl, heard her gasp in surprise as he pushed her out of the way. But the instant relief for her being safe was quickly replaced with blinding white-hot pain as Fax's hooves struck him across his chest. He cried out in pain, was thrown backwards and sent flying. His back connected with something hard and he grunted. Wood burst, broke into splinters and planks as he impacted with it. The wall behind him exploded, covering everything like waves in the sea. He fell to the ground, felt something in his leg twist. He opened his eyes and saw.
Crimson was sprayed across the stones, painting a ghastly scene on the dirty floor. The red liquid relentlessly trickled from the gaping hole in his leg and the sharp lance piercing it.
First then did he feel the pain rip through him, as if his soul had been torn from his body.
Woodlock's eyes widened. The leg! His head snapped downwards and he eyed the bandage with a mix of curiosity and fear. But before he could reach out and remove it, or ask Rainsong to, her soft voice stopped him.
“Your leg has healed nicely,” she said.
“It will in the end be nothing but a scar.”
Woodlock just nodded, accepting it more quickly than he thought he would. He blinked, felt his eyelids droop. Tired. Wait! His head snapped up again.
“How long have I been out?” he asked, not looking at Rainsong.
“For many days,” she said.
“And who... who...”
Her hand on his. A small smile. He glanced at her, cautiously.
“You?” he asked.
Silence. A small nod. Woodlock's eyes widened ever-so-slightly and he fell back against the bed, suppressing a groan, sick and tired. High Ones, Rainsong? Why, above all else, did it have to be her? He moved a hand over his eyes, let out a shaky breath. So stupid, he felt so stupid. What must she be thinking of him now, having seen him so small and frail? He looked at her through his fingers. She looked so young, so helpless. Yet she had saved his life. And not said anything about it. Perhaps... it wasn't so bad, after all? It was nice to know that she had been the one to take care of him, especially since he knew she was not a nurse. She must have done it freely. He removed his hand.
She smiled, and he felt himself smile back.
Rain opened his eyes to a sight he knew he would never forget, one that would always hide away in the back of his mind and come forth when need be. He was going to see this for the rest of his life. His friend, father of these three little girls, had let go of his hands, his own clenched over his legs as he tried to keep from breaking down. It was hard. He shook, trembled, tears streaming down his face and dripping onto his hands, shattering like his own daughter just had.
“My baby!” the woman cried and threw herself over her child.
The girl stirred, her long eyelashes quivered and she blinked, large weary eyes on her mother.
Her voice was thin, weak and stripped of all nourishment. But it was hers. The voice of their daughter, whom they thought they had lost. Her father reached up with one hand, rubbed his eyes free of tears.
“Thank the High Ones,” he choked.
The girl turned her head to look at her father, eyes widening slightly.
“Dad?” she whispered.
Then, with great effort, she managed to push herself up from the bed and sat weakly up, blinking while glancing around the room, her eyes growing larger with each person. They landed on the guards, nurses, her sisters, mother, father... her family. Everything she had always known, what she had learned to love... they were here. With her. Tears sprang from her eyes, she reached up.
“Mom!” she cried, flinging her arms around her parents' necks.
The two parents embraced their woken child, sobbing and laughing and hugging at the same time. Two blurs of orange and red bolted past the guards and two small girls were added to the family hug, crying and shrieking with joy for their sister's return. The smallest's weak protest of being squeezed too hard was drowned in the loud cries and laughs, although she really didn't mind being the center of attention right now. Her father pulled slightly back, allowing his two oldest daughters to get a better grip on their little sister. Their loud joyous voices and laughs filled the sleeping chamber, and even though there was no dry eye in the room, no one could keep from smiling at the scene. The littlest girl turned and touched each and everyone of her family to reassure herself that they really were present. Her father sobbed, turning his eyes on Rain and smiling through tears.
“Thank you!” he whispered.
“How can I ever thank you for saving my daughter?”
Rain just smiled, brushing dust off his tunic.
“Your daughter is the one you should thank,” he said.
“She did all the work. I only gave her a little shove back into life.”
He met her sparkling blue gaze, winked and smiled wider, matching hers. It was almost too large for her little face, close to being split in the middle. The doctor reached out one hand, ruffled the soft blond hair.
She giggled, a soft and melodious laugh and now Rain knew for sure that life was brought back to this corner of Two Moons.
A leaf fell from the sky, slowly dancing as it headed towards earth. Cool green in deep shades of forest. Of life. It was still spring. The sun was up in its usual spot in the sky. And a girl stood outside a door, knocking gently on it.
“Will she be okay?”
Pike looked down at the young prince by his side.
“Can you remember the last time she smiled?” Cutter asked, tugging at his hand.
Large blue eyes looked curiously up at him and the boy blinked. His hair, long and blond, traveled just across his shoulders. Pike smiled at him.
“You will soon see your cousin smile again,” he said. Words have no meaning, only actions will help.
And just as he said that, the door opened.
Their small chat was disrupted by someone knocking on the door and Woodlock watched as Rainsong stood up. She smiled at him, walked over to the door and opened it.
“Good eve, Miss Crescent,” she said with a small smile.
“Is there anything I can do for you?”
The little girl stood just outside the door, arms by her side. Her large violet eyes held a look of guilt and she looked uneasy as she spoke.
“Is Woodlock okay?” she asked, her voice thick with unshed tears.
Rainsong blinked, feeling her smile widen. She glanced over her shoulder.
“Why do you not ask him yourself?”
Crescent looked past her, eyes growing to the size of saucers. A blur of purple bolted across the room and Rainsong chuckled, about to close the door when she noticed two others stand outside. Her brother Pike and young prince Cutter, a few feet away from the opposite wall. Pike winked at her and Cutter beamed with joy, glad that his cousin had gotten inside. Rainsong smiled before gently closed the door and turned to find Crescent stand by the bed. The little girl had a serious look on her face, one that did not match her age at all.
“Thank you for saving my life,” she said.
“And I am sorry that you got hurt.”
Woodlock just smiled, reached out and cupped her face with one hand.
“Hey, it is okay, little one,” he said.
“Look, no damage.”
He moved to sit up and Rainsong hurried to the bedside, a terrified look on her face.
“You must not move!” she gently scolded.
“You are still hurt and must rest.”
Woodlock met her eyes.
“I am fine,” he said and pushed up from the bed to prove it.
He barely moved his leg at all, but even the slightest twitch sent painful reminders to his mind and he bit back a cry, letting out a pained grunt as he sank backwards again. He met Rainsong's gaze, saw her raised eyebrows, and blinked.
“I take that back,” he said.
Rainsong just smiled and Crescent let out a soft giggle, her first smile in days.
Woodlock had fallen asleep again. It was no wonder, exhausted as he had been. Little Crescent had refused to leave before the stable boy could prove he was okay. That had taken a while and now, days after, he still had problems with staying awake. Even Strongbow had come to visit, thanking Woodlock in his own silent way for saving his daughter's life. Rainsong smiled. Absentmindedly, she reached out to brush away a few strands of wheaten hair that had fallen across his forehead. The touch lingered for a second.
“What am I doing?!” she scolded herself.
Unable to draw her hand away.
“I am... monopolizing,” she reasoned with herself. “When, in the High Ones' names, will I ever get a chance like this again?”
She let her fingers trail along the edge of his face, his chin, his jaw, his soft lips... that was going too far. She moved to pull her hand away, only for Woodlock to reach up and catch it, using his own hold it there. Her face lit up. Was this a dream? She did not know, but it was certainly one of the best ones she had ever had. At any rate she wasn't ready to end this just yet.
“I wish I knew what to do,” she sighed.
“Maybe I can answer that?”
Rainsong jerked and pulled her hand back as she turned around. The owner of the familiar and very welcomed voice stood in the doorway, arms by his side and with a small smile around his lips. Soft brown eyes locked with hers.
“Father!” she gasped.
And a fraction of a second later, Rain's arms were full of Rainsong.
“My daughter,” he said.
From behind he could hear the soft footsteps of another presence and looking up, he locked eyes with the young man standing behind him. He smiled, held out one arm and allowed Pike to come in in the embrace. His arms closed around his two children and his nose was finally full of the scents he had been missing for so many days.
“My son,” he whispered and tightened the hug.
“My beloved children.”
Although he didn't want to, he slackened his grip just a little, so he could look at his two children that were clinging to his chest. He smiled, taking in their looks and ruffling their hair. Orange and golden blonde locks slipped through his fingers. Purple and blue eyes locked with his. Pike's usual broad grin. Rainsong's curvy lips forming a smile. But there was something different about their eyes, the way they looked at him...
“Are you hurt?” he asked, suddenly afraid he had missed something while he was gone.
Pike shook his head vehemently.
“Nuh-uh,” he said, then frowned.
“Though I do not know about Rainsong.”
Rain raised his eyebrows slightly, then turned to his daughter.
“I am fine,” she reassured.
“It is not me who is hurt.”
She cast a glance over her shoulder and her father followed her gaze, his eyes falling upon the young man in bed. A shadow fell over his face.
“Yes, I heard about the terrible accident as soon as I came inside the castle walls,” he said, and his face lit up again.
“And I also heard that you did a wonderful job.”
Rainsong blushed, scratched her arm and studied the ground very closely.
“I only did what you have taught me to,” she mumbled.
“Sure you did,” Pike said, earning a playful smack from his sister.
“What about the little girl?”
Both looked at him with large curious eyes, blinked. Rain felt himself smile to widely that for a moment he was afraid his face might split.
“The tender little angel has recovered and is as healthy as never before!” he grinned.
“She was on death's edge, but is now back with her family. It would not surprise me if she is outside running and playing again.”
The happy expressions on his children's faces could never match the family he had helped, he thought. But this was his family, and now he was home again. There was only a few things that needed to be done. Rain moved past his children to stand by the bed, eying the sleeping man up and down. Pike and Rainsong came to stand beside him, one on each side.
“He woke up a few days ago,” he heard Rainsong say.
“But I do not know if he is out of danger yet.”
Glancing at his daughter out the corner of his eye, he saw the worried frown she had inherited after her mother. He smiled.
“I am sure you have done everything right,” he said, then moved to sit down.
“Now, would you please get me some fresh water and your mother's herbal mixture? I would like to do a check-up just to make sure his sleep is natural.”
He was alone before he had even thought of finishing the last sentence. Chuckling, he quickly moved his hands across the still body in bed, 'hmm'ing' softly now and then. He peeled the cloth that covered his leg off, eying the gaping hole with critical eyes. His daughter had done a wonderful job with treating both Woodlock and his wound, but she was no healer. Even with all her skills, she would never be able to get the stable boy onto his legs again. He looked around the room. No one was watching. Smiling, he covered the wound with his hands and closed his eyes for a brief moment. Rainsong couldn't heal Woodlock completely, but that didn't mean he was to be confined to bed for the rest of his life. He would just help a bit. And when he unclosed his eyes again and removed his hands, both Pike and Rainsong came running back inside with the requested items.
Somewhere during the examination, Woodlock opened his eyes to find an entire family leaning over him. No wonder he was surprised, Rain thought, but surprise or not, it didn't stop him from letting his eyes rest on his daughter's curvacious glory. He had noticed long ago how his eyes seemed to drift over to Rainsong, and he was not blind to the looks they shared. Although they seemed to be... he would just have to help them a little here too. Finishing his 'check-up', he dried his hand off on a clean cloth that hung over the chair and turned to his children.
“Well, I cannot find anything wrong with him, but he needs rest,” he said and locked eyes with Rainsong.
“And since you have done such a good job, I cannot find a reason for why you should not continue to treat him.”
The last was added with a little wink and he had to restrain himself from laughing out lout at the expressions he faced. Instead he took a hold of Pike's tunic and pulled gently at it.
“And you come with me. Let us leave the young ones alone.”
Pike followed his father out of the room, only pausing to shoot a playful glance at his sister.
“Nice shot, Rainsong!” he said teasingly, before he was pulled out the door and disappeared from sight, leaving his sister alone with her patient.
“I am... sorry,” she mumbled.
She sat on the chair by his bed, hands in her lap and eyes cast downwards.
“I saw what was about to happen, yet I did nothing to prevent it.”
Woodlock was silent, allowing her to speak. She lifted her gaze and locked eyes with him, serious.
“Have you ever felt like time is slowing?” she asked.
The stable boy just blinked, slight confusion etching his face. Rainsong reverted her eyes again, looked at her hands.
“It felt like that,” she mumbled.
“Like time was slowing. I have wondered about it afterward, if I could have done anything.”
Woodlock frowned slightly, not liking where the one-sided conversation was heading, but he could not find the words to speak.
“I wondered if the slow motion was there to tell me something. That I in fact could have done something.”
She choked on a sob.
“But I did not. I did not act quick enough, I did not act at all. Did not lift a finger. I did not to anything at all, and now...”
She dared to lock eyes with Woodlock, afraid she would find judgment there.
“And now you are hurt.”
It came as a whisper. She felt the breath catch in her throat. She bit her lip to prevent her unshed tears from falling.
“I am so sorry,” she whispered, then turned her face away.
She closed her eyes, felt tears find their way out and roll down her cheek. She sobbed, clutched the cloth in her hand, wrenched it, wrenched it like her own soul was torn. A single tear rolled down her cheekbone... and stopped. A soft, warm finger rested on her cheek, caught the tear. A hand reached up, touched her face, caressed her. She opened her eyes, stared at him through a veil of tears.
“Do not be,” he said, smiled.
“I would rather feel pain than nothing at all.”
She stared at him through tears and, for the first time the incident, she let them fall.
*wipes brow* YAYAYAYAYAYYYYY!!!! More medieval story!!!!
*tackle hugs everyone* AWESOME!!! The little girl... gone... but gone to the living, not to the dead! Yay!! And nice twist of getting the drunk element in! *giggles*
and Rainsong&Woodlock... cuteness!! Love it!!
Love it all!!!! *glomps Tenderfoot* Yay!
I agree with faeriegirl on that!!! Awesome story Tenderfoot!!!
I really liked this Startear!!