fantasy, On-going Stories, Short Story, World Weavers

Deviant

Chapter: Innocent Fox

The hunt is on. I leap from tree to tree as my first prey scampers unawares in the foliage.

The scent of her is divine.

Father would approve. He has collected thousands of souls and I will exceed him. I must. Just like Lucius.

My first kill will be my emblem.

A worthy creature, she is a beautiful, lonely and dangerous creature.

My Father has given me only a hundred souls while my brothers reek of so much more.

Just because I am a woman meant for procreation and multiplication. Denied the thrill of the hunt but served with the cold carcass from the hunts leftovers.

Never again.

I descend slowly from branch to branch. The fox is distracted with something underneath the foliage. It smells of earth and decay. I jump across and land upon the branch above her.

She perks up and looks around, listening. I keep my body still, stop my breathing and slow my heart.

The trees rustle and in the distance, the wind howls as it goes up the mountain.

The fox senses nothing and continues digging. I take my chance and lunge. She sees me too late. My canines pierce through her skin. She howls in pain. I taste her life entering me. She struggles valiantly but I dig my canines deeper and tear her muscles.

Yes!

Thrill bolts through my blood, the fox’s life force flowing fast through me. I’m a soul eater. A nightmare to humans and all living things.

At the corner of my eyes, I see what she was digging for. It’s a body of another fox mouldy and decaying.

I panic and withdraw immediately; apprehensive I’d poisoned myself.

The fox could be diseased. She had smelled healthy. No scent of death perhaps it was an old mate killed by the cold and hunger.

The fox bares her teeth at me. I sit back astounded. She is alive. She should be limp and dying. Only a physical shell.

At that moment I could not help but admire her. Her fierceness. The fox is a perfect mark.

Lost in a daze I did not hear the arrival of my Father until too late.

I’m lifted into the air and thrown towards the trees. Destroying them as I slam from one tree bark to another bringing them down and sending the animals into a scurry.

“You foolish child. You have no idea what you have done!” My Father roars.

He picks me up by my hair and slams me against the ground like an angry child with a broken toy.

“Father, we should at least keep Cateline alive to rectify her mistake.” Says my brother Lucius smugly, his lips curling into a half grin.

I, feeling barely in pieces look up. Blood oozing down my face blocking my vision.

Strands of my hair clumps together with the blood on my head but I could already feel the ripped skin healing instantly.

My father looks down at me disdainfully; the wrinkles on his face deepening as he scowls down at me.

“ A disgrace to our kind.”

He shoves me to the ground and my head slams hard against it knocking me out.

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I wake up to a presence beside me.

“You should have stayed in your room and kept your fantasies in your head.”

I groan as I feel all the aches of newly grown muscles and the ghost remnants of the pain.

“Be forced to bear children like a pig? Is that how you want me to be like Lucius?”

“You got yourself into this trouble by doing something you have no understanding of.”

“I freed myself and claimed my first kill. Just like you and our brothers did once.”

I stand to stretch my aching muscles slamming my head against a branch. I had not realised we were still in the forest. My body was still healing and my energy diluted. My senses were weakened.

I would have thought I’d be locked up in my room by now with the cage spells placed around my doors and windows.

“Have I been exiled, Lucius?” I knew the answer but I wanted to hear what my loving father has asked of me now.

“Yes and no little sister. Here have a drink.” He hands me his personal flask with the engraving of his name. It was a gift from our mother, who I killed at birth.

Lucius was fathers favourite and the third oldest. He was a mighty warrior and well loved by our people for his ruthlessness. However, I knew Lucius well, under all that cold marble like exterior he was soft.

He sets the young animals free from the traps. Heals them and drops them in the forest.

If he killed, he killed with finesse.

At precise points and punctures that killed the target instantly or painlessly. They see it as expert precision but Lucius sees it as mercy.

“I’m fine. What is my punishment now?”

He remains quiet, still with the flask held out to me.

I take the flask from his hand and drink.

“Well?” I gurgle impatiently.

“Kill the fox. Without trying to eat her soul. That is only for sacred hunts. What you did today is blasphemy. You have given what is not yours to give.”

Give?

“What are you speaking of, I consumed that Fox’s soul. She is mine.” I throw his flask back to him hard. He catches it easily with ease.

“That is the difference between a male and female soul eater. Men take while the women give. Father did not give you a hundred souls to spite you. He gave it as your dowry. What you have is a gift.”

Fire blazes through my blood. My skin begins to blister and flames soon erupt on the tips of my fingers.

“A gift? I must lay on a bed willingly with a man who will only want me for the souls inside of me? How flattering brother, It is no wonder you have yet to find a mate yourself.”

“You will see it your way no matter how I explain it you Cateline. Just know the fox you bit this morning is wandering this forest with a wounded leg. An easy target for any lone soul eater, hunter or ghoul.”

I clench my fist in frustration. He was not wrong.

“So I must kill her and ease her pain. Is that the best solution?”

“You will understand when you find her and it better be you who finds her first for she will be weak and innocent of this world.”

“What?” I grab my brother and look into his eyes. There is genuine worry wrinkling his forehead looking more and more like our father. A kinder variation.

“Go, find her scent again and do what you must or you will never be welcome at home again.”

He cups my face and in a blink he’s gone, his scent a mile away. He was getting faster each day soon reaching his prime. He could fight to claim father’s rule one day.

Perhaps being a lone soul eater could not hurt. It would save him from my troubles.

Although I am curious, he spoke as if the fox had evolved into something else.

We were a clan amongst many of soul eaters with the ability to harbour specific elements since birth.

I had the element fire burning inside me, always roiling and eager to rise up and burn.

It has taken me years to master it without fully going ablaze. While on the other hand, Lucius had the steady earth element and father as clan leader; the only exception had control of all elements.

One could become the leader through battle or through divine intervention. This is when a soul eater is given the gift of all the elements by the will of the gods not creature. This has not happened for centuries.

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I shut off my other senses but olfaction. I could sniff a living being from miles away. It was a lesson we all had to harness.

I could smell the cold wet earth under my feet, the stench of defecation by a ghoul a mile away and her. Her scent was different, more familiar and huskier but she was not alone.

A hunter has discovered her hiding under a tree an acre away. I bound towards her instantly. In a few breaths, I have the hunter slammed against the ground my hand an inch deep in his chest.

“Disgusting creature only able to hunt what is weak.” I lick the blood leaking out of his chest. His heart is fighting against my hand ready to take flight.

“I thought she was dead!” he begs. I take a glance towards the scent of the fox but I don’t see it. I see a woman lying nearby but she looks dead.

I feel a sudden sharp pain in my chest. The idiot had stabbed me with his metallic jewellery.

I take a deep breath and press down harder on his chest. He screams in agony.

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His skin starts to melt off turning into liquid sinking into the earth. His bones start to crack as I rise. Turning into black dust and blown away with the wind.

Nothing is left behind but a mark, a swirl of a fox’s tail blazing; like it was drawn with fire. My mark! I have a mark but what does that mean if I am not meant to be a huntress?

A moan escapes from the woman. I go to her to find she is naked on top of a large fox fur blanket.

Uncomfortable I avoid looking too closely. “Are you alright human lady?”

“You bit me, creature. Now I have become a monster and dying.”

“You’re a naked human on a fur blanket. I think a powerful man has left you for dead. He was kind enough to let you die in fox fur.”

“That is not a blanket, that is my tail!” growls the woman fighting some kind of pain. Her body shakes but she finally sits up and looks at me. It was then I see her eyes. She was the fox.

Is this what my brother meant? I had shifted a fox into a human shifter?

“I’m sorry, I had no idea. Let me heal you, I just need to touch-“ The human fox bites my hand while transforming into a fox. She was no longer an average size red fox but much larger and slimmer and she had more than just one tail. She had nine.

I had instinctively turned off my senses when she bit me. Dumbstruck by her transformation I had forgotten my hand.

It was just bone, with barely any flesh hanging on. The human fox moves back ready to pounce but she too becomes astounded and starts to whimper as my hand slowly regrows.

The human fox faints.

Due to my hands healing or because of her death minutes away. I don’t know.

“Stubborn aren’t you.” I lift her up using the last few bursts of my energy.

“Well, so am I.”

I streak into a nearby cave. A secret haunt I go to when my father and brothers go far for a hunt.

I lay her on an old worn mattress covered with blankets.

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I light a candle with my fingers and sense that my energy is depleting so I light only a few more and return to the human fox.

Her wound from my bite was deep. From her waist and down her left leg. I had bitten deep and moved away to fast slashing her.

I could have healed her instantly but I had used too much of my energy to burn the hunter down to embers.

I had barely any energy left.

I lick my forefinger and trail the cut from her leg to her waist. I could have used my blood but that would have been messy.

As long as any part of me willingly touched her or anyone that needed healing; my Essence was capable of healing anything it comes in contact with. That was why we were hunted.

The world grows foggy and I too fall exhausted beside her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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fantasy, Short Story

Forever a Twinkle

The wheels of the plane screech as it bounces against the ground. Voices grow hushed while some reach higher pitches. The fight against gravity becomes intense. There I sit by the window feeling my heart leap at each bound. While fear or nonchalance spreads through the passengers, I grow excited. I was on my way home.

The plane takes its final leap and rises high. Below, the city lights are a cobweb of glowing orbs all holding different secrets, stories and dreams. Mine no longer theirs to find.

On the ground, a few look up and see a rising plane soaring through the sky. A single window blinking brightly.

Looking away from the openness outside my window I move my attention to the human, her name was Kara. She had an abusive husband, but as she walks down the plane’s aisle, she beams at everyone but hiding under powder was a bruise on her chin.

She was about to perform the manoeuvres that remind the humans in case of an emergency.  I take no heed. However, I think of how I would love for a final taste of a cup of coffee.

With some help from Tabitha, a human I befriended from down on earth I was able to purchase this ticket after working a few months at a café. That was when I had the first taste of the coffee.

They came in many different styles and flavours. I loved my coffee black with a few tablespoons of cream and sugar. Deliciously sweet, although Tabitha found it disgusting. It was best consumed with a cake of a sort off course.

I had been introduced to many different types of delicacies, but my favourite was a chewy square block of soft brownie. It was divine, and I had sneaked one aboard. The last piece baked by Tabitha. She had laughed and called me cute at my first bite. She was a colourful soul. One I enjoyed the company of.

She had found me walking the streets in barely any clothes, she had just finished work and had no energy to be taking in a “Drunk psycho” as she had called me. However, her heart was full of guilt so taking me under her wing was her way to make herself feel better.

It was all-new for me, the strange sounds, the way humans spoke but I learnt enough to adapt quickly. Tabitha happened to have lost a roommate and helped me find a job which helped her pay the rent.

Being with humans is very different on earth compared to my usual viewpoint. It was painful but beautiful. I shudder as I recall my time below.

It was hard to be human but…every moment was magic. Every second we laughed the bond solidified. When she cried, I found myself crying randomly a mile away at work dripping tears in someone else’s coffee. When she got her dream promotion, the joy in her was brimming in me. Bursting out by sending me skipping home although my feet were weary.

I soon learnt with every scent of light; there was a shadow. A balance in the universe.

In her oblivious joy and many years of hard work she soon discovers too late that she has a sickness that was beyond healing. Her time had come.

Looking back out the window, the clouds drift past, I could begin to see the other stars sparkling in reach. My heart leaps, and tears slip down my cheeks.

“Excuse me, would you like anything to drink?” says the stewardess politely.

I quickly wipe the tears away and turn to smile at her.

“Yes please, I would love a cup of coffee Kara.”

“Sure, no problem,” says Kara looking at me oddly, “How did you know my name?” she asks. I laugh and scratch my head forgetting again about my bad habit of saying people’s names when not introduced. Then I see her name tag.

“Nametag!” I say, and Kara laughs as she hands me the cup of coffee. “Yes, of course, any sugar and cream?”

I nod my head. As she places the cup of cream and a packet of sugar on my table, I could see outside through the window the world beginning to change.

The sky turns from light pastel blue to a dark midnight hue, and the stars come alive. They begin to form a ring, and as the massive metal bird flies through it, passengers halt in the middle of their actions. Time has frozen.

Passengers with cups halfway up to their lips, couples secretly kissing in the shadows frozen in their embrace, while some frozen in time digging their nose.

Symbols begin to form on every forehead, each symbol glowing, representing a part of them that was part of my home. A piece of the skies and stars the remnant of them that was always searching for something.

Each symbol, if I touched it, would render them to speak their deepest secret, and with each utter of their secret they would be free, but it was not their time.

I took the last sip of my coffee and spoke my secret.

“I of the midnight blue sky, the star in the corner of the universe between earth and sky, protector of wishes and dreams. Fallen but now risen.”

Light begins to seep out my skin, and I explode into a vortex of light, free from my restraints and willingly fall into the embrace of the night.

On the seat beside me, Tabitha’s figure wakes from a dream. She calls out my name as I turn into a bright silhouette.

She stares at me amazed, but I could sense her fear.

“Are you sure you want to know your secret Tabitha?” I ask her barely a murmur in the silence between time and space.

Tabitha sits up and nods, “I want to be free.”

I gently touch the symbol on her forehead.

“I Tabitha Dawn Green, the soul of a hundred and thirty-two lives has reached her end of returns. To become the guardian of the star in the corner of the universe between earth and sky, protector of wishes and dreams.”

Tabitha disintegrates into a cloud of shimmering dust. Swirling around me, giving me an embrace.

The plane flies on, two passengers less and no one to know. Forgotten but never lost and forever a twinkle.

 

Photo by Cristian Escobar on Unsplash

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dreams, Short Story

Arcade You Not, Arcade You

I never imagined I would ever wonder what the lips of another girl would taste or feel like. However, at that moment when our eyes met, I felt the strangest discomfort. I think you felt it too. We did not dare look at each other again. Our transaction became the bridge. Our fingers touched and I felt guilty. I had a boyfriend. I took the receipt and quickly rushed away. I had to get away as fast as possible. I mean what was this feeling?

I had 60 dollars to pass time in that arcade. I’m sure I could survive that. You at that counter, I just had to avoid you right?

I threw some balls but that heavy bursting feeling in my chest kept expanding. My head lost in the clouds. I missed most of my shots. Then I felt you looking, I turned and there you were looking away. Why was it so hard to love someone in this time? Why must I love only one?

I looked away, feeling like a deflating balloon. I had someone who loved me so deeply and with his whole heart who would never hurt me but here I was mesmerized with dreams of lips, not his. Hands on me that weren’t his and I falling deep into the eyes that were not his.

I did try to brush the dreams away but as soon as I returned to earth you were suddenly beside me. Fixing the machine just next door. I could feel your existence just steps away. Hearts racing, eyes avoiding our guilty pleasure.

You know I have someone, you saw him once before, he brought me to this world of the arcade. I loved the old games and the new. There was something about the old merging with the new that felt comforting, that there was hope.

A million miles away we ride with friends getting lost in the wilderness. My hair blown around me by the wind and your arms are around my waist pulling me down, back into our seat. I fall onto your lap and you wrap your arms around me. Nuzzling my ears like no one was watching. I catch sight of our guy friends grinning like buffoons on the mirror reflection. I roll my eyes and snuggle deeper into your chest, comforted by your warmth and smell.

We stop at the top of a hill, we run down like wild spirits falling then rolling on top of each other laughing like maniacs. You look down at me, heat rising between us as our bodies mould into each other. Your lips inch closer to mine, as my hand rises up your waist while yours slide under my shirt. I feel myself stop breathing as your breathing increases. I close my eyes waiting to feel your lips.

The crash of the arcade machine jolts me back to reality. I’m down to my last throw and did not realize. Why do I feel so afraid?

Photo by Carl Raw on Unsplash

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