[Story] Story a Week 29

[[ Prompt: A story opening with the words “F*** you!”

This was kind of tough, none of my characters curse very much! As this is part of the Brambles storyline, it also has that tag! ]]

“Fuck you then,” The Harrier muttered under his breath as the old landlady shut the door abruptly. He’d expected that Nash’s belongings might be gone — accepted it, even — but he hadn’t expected her to lie about it. During the time they’d been in the Ghostlands tracking down that mage’s book, Nash hadn’t kept the rent on his room paid up, and she’d every right to toss his things out. Nash had told him there wasn’t anything too valuable, except for a necklace, a last reminder of his mother. It gave Harrier a little stab of jealousy that Nash had even that, a physical thing he could hold — and lose. He had nothing, not even a memory of a scent or a snippet of a song. He’d promised Nash that he’d do his best to get it back. The misadventure with the book had been his decision, after all, and they’d had to stay longer because the headmaster of the magic school had hired him on to make some clocks. A lot of clocks, actually. It was good money, so Harrier hadn’t minded, but he hadn’t given much thought to what might be happening back in Stormwind. The old landlady was nearly blind, which was one reason Nash had chosen that house to rent in. If she’d ever noticed his green eyes, she’d never said anything about it. She claimed she’d left Nash’s things out in the alley behind the house, but she couldn’t remember how long ago. As he’d expected, there wasn’t a thread of anything out there when Harrier looked; anything left out there had vanished within minutes, picked over by the street scavengers. That part he could believe, but he knew she must have gone through and found the necklace. She could have sold it — to who, The Harrier hadn’t the first clue — or kept it. He had a mind to simply come later that night to look for it among her belongings, but if it was missing she’d know for certain who had taken it. She’d seen him — well, sort of.

But he had a back-up plan. Coins jingling in his pocket, he made his way to the market district to one of the jewelry shops. There he picked out a pendant that sounded similar to Nash’s description; it was a silver filigree design, suggesting something perhaps floral but abstract enough that it wasn’t really. Nash said his had gems set into it, but this one didn’t. Still, maybe later on he could add some, if he wanted. Harrier knew it wasn’t the same as having the old one back, but he hoped that Nash would be pleased with the gift anyway. It looked sort of similar, it could remind him of the old one.

Nash’s refusal surprised him. Usually so quiet and compliant, Harrier could see that the sin’dorei was troubled by the loss of his necklace — and perhaps moreso by the attempt to replace it. He didn’t want it, he told Harrier. He wanted the old one back. Nash insisted that he could find it. The Harrier didn’t know if he intended to check every neck and jewelry box in the city. Perhaps he did. But it was far too dangerous, especially given that Nash was here in hiding. All it would take was one person seeing him when they shouldn’t, then the guard would arrest him and the whole thing would unravel. Him, Rose, Josie, Pup, the shop — it would all be gone once they tracked down where he’d been staying. They’d ask questions, and figure things out. The guard weren’t always quick at figuring things out, but they got there eventually. He wanted to tell Nash to forget it, to give up the idea, but his mind was already set. They’d all have to deny knowing him if something happened, Nash had to know that, but he didn’t say it aloud.

Nash’s refusal stung, though he told himself he should be used to it by now. No one wants you around, or your stupid gifts. He dropped it back into his pocket, the delicate chain falling like water over it. Nash had said he could give it to Rose instead. He didn’t want to do that, because he was afraid she wouldn’t want it either. And what would he say? I got this for Nash, but he didn’t want it, so it’s yours now. No, that wouldn’t do. She’d see right through him, she always did. Finally Nash said he did want it, but only if it wasn’t a replacement. Why did he have to be so confusing? Things weren’t supposed to get confusing with him. Harrier said he’d leave it on the table beside his bed. Nash wouldn’t be there either. But he wanted Harrier to wait up in case he felt like returning later.

Like that was going to happen. The Harrier laid his ears back and frowned. He had somewhere else to be tonight, too.

 

[Story] Story a Week 28

[[ Prompt: A story that ends at sunrise ]]

Tamazi was frozen in place by fear, held fast to the muddy ground by the skeletal hands that clawed up from it. For a moment, even if she was free, she could not have run, stunned by the sight of the strange creature before her. His eyes, like pools of bright fresh blood, seemed to hold her there. But he turned his long head to look upon Harvian, and then the spell was broken. She could hear him chattering something beneath his breath, some spell perhaps? But his hands were held tight by the bones, he couldn’t reach his pack full of herbs and vials. But maybe Tamazi could. As much as she pulled, she could not free herself from their bony grasp; it had to be some kind of magic that held them to her.

In her mind, like an echo, she heard the strange creature’s words and could understand them. It startled her at first. How could he do that? Or had it been Harvian’s doing? For now, it didn’t matter. She had an idea.  If she could only find a branch upon the ground — her eyes searched the dark ground for one within reach.

“You must be lost,” said the strange black grass-deer, in Tamazi’s head. When he spoke, his ears swiveled around, as if he had heard the echo too. Tamazi paused, waiting, to see what he would do, but he continued on. She spotted a branch just behind her, on the left side. If she could get to it…

“I don’t know what you are doing here,” the strange creature said. “But I don’t like it. And you are poking your pointed nose around my home.”

Tamazi could almost reach it. If she could just stretch a little further, maybe. She glanced at Harvian. He was not struggling anymore, he was still and silent on the ground. Was he resigned to his fate, or simply planning? Tamazi wasn’t going to give up. Not yet. Her teeth brushed the bark of the branch. Almost there.

The black creature moved then, between herself and Harvian. That was bad, because she couldn’t see him anymore, but it also meant the creature couldn’t see her. Just a little further. Tamazi could see the creature’s feet when he moved; he had large, strong hooves that could kick. If she got free — when she got free — she would have to be careful to avoid them. The horn on his head was sharp, too. Like a grass-deer, the safest place would be to leap onto his back. If she could leap that high. He was much bigger than any grass-deer she’d ever seen.

“Who sent you, asenji? If you mean to stop my work, you’re too late.” He had moved around now to Harvian’s other side. “And why,” he said, looking directly at Tamazi. “Have you dragged this unfortunate savage along with you?” Tamazi froze under the creature’s bloody gaze. But his attention turned back to Harvian, watching him intently. Waiting for a reply.

“I don’t know,” Harvian panted, his tongue protruding from his muzzle. He looked exhausted from trying to free himself. Or had he been casting a spell? Tamazi remembered that Harvian had to rest after that, too. She stretched again, this time her jaws closing around the branch. It was stuck fast in the mud, so she had to tug it free. “This isn’t about you, Naxitarius. It’s much bigger.”

The black creature snorted suddenly, startling Tamazi, and she dropped the branch. Was that the creature’s name? How did Harvian know it? She would ask him later, if they got free. When they got free. She moved the branch between her front paws, and nudged it toward the skeletal hands. One tapped it with a bony finger, exploring. Yes, Tamazi thought. Grasp onto it!

“So short-sighted,” sighed the creature called Naxitarius. “I wouldn’t expect you to understand. But you can help, after all. I do so hate to waste valuable materials.”

The fingers of one bony hand curled around the branch, then another followed. Her leg was free! Only one, but that was more than had been a few moments ago. If she could find another —

Her thoughts were broken by a sharp, loud cry of pain. Harvian! Naxitarius stepped away from where the asenji lay crumpled in the mud, his long bony horn tipped in blood. There was no more time, she had to act now. Tamazi gathered her strength and strained forward, her claws digging into the earth for leverage. She heard a dry pop as some of the bones in the hands gave way. Almost there! But Naxitarius had heard her struggling, and now turned his attention to her. He reared back upon his hind legs, bringing his sharp hooves down where Tamazi had been just a half a moment ago. Fortunately, Kamara had taught her well how to avoid being trampled by prey. That’s how she had to think of him. Very large and dangerous prey, but prey all the same. She was the huntress, not him.

Tamazi darted forward, underneath the creature’s belly, and out the other side. The remains of the skeletal hands still clung to her legs, but all at once they dropped away. She had time to notice that Harvian’s had too. He was free! But he didn’t get up. He remained there, unmoving.

Naxitarius snorted something, but she could no longer hear the echo of his words in her head. It didn’t matter. She felt more focused now, less distracted. He was only prey. She might not be able to reach his back, but she could reach his belly, and hopefully, his neck. He lowered his head and charged at her with that horn, still wet with blood. Harvian’s blood. Tamazi circled around to his rear. She was quicker and more agile, could anticipate his moves. Though larger and more frightening, he acted the same when threatened. She ducked as one of his rear legs kicked out at her. Even better, he was getting scared. She could tell by his rapid breathing, see the rim of white around his eyes. It emboldened her, made her more determined. Tamazi darted beneath his belly, slashing with her claws before moving again. The key was to stay moving. Naxitarius squealed in pain, though it was not a serious wound, it had startled him. Tamazi doubted that she could bring him down alone, but she guessed that she could scare him off. Sooner or later, even the biggest prey will try to run. That was the difference between her and them.

His nostrils flared, Naxitarius tossed his head and said something else. She didn’t know what. Was he giving up already? Tamazi paced around him, just outside of range of his hooves. She hoped that he was afraid of her. She hoped that she looked fierce and dangerous. “Run away!” she roared back, though she knew he couldn’t understand the words, maybe the sound would be enough. She saw his eyes move to the cover of the woods, and then back to her. Was he judging his chances? Tamazi stood near Harvian, wanting to see if he was all right, but she could not take her eyes off Naxitarius. Her prey, she reminded herself.

Maybe her gaze was enough. The black grass-deer turned on his heels and broke for the nearby forest, not stopping to look back at her. Tamazi was flooded with relief and pride. But it lasted only a moment, remembering Harvian. She could smell the blood, flooding the muddy ground. She would get a closer look once they were somewhere safe. Gingerly, she picked him up in her jaws, carrying him like a new-born. She wanted to run, felt the itch in her heels, but she did not want to jostle him until she had seen the extent of his injury. She ran at a low trot, up the hill out of the muddy hollow. At the top of the hill she paused to get her bearings. They had been going south before, so she continued that way. Tamazi had to put distance between them and Naxitarius. He was not badly wounded, and he likely had a herd of his own kind. More than that, he knew magic, and that frightened her. She wanted to get far away from him before they stopped to rest.

She followed a small river, winding between the hills. She wanted to stop and check on Harvian. She could feel him breathing, very slow and shallow, but he had not spoken since she had picked him up, nor had he moved. He was like a dead thing in her jaws, and the longer they traveled the more worried she became. Even when she paused to drink, he did not stir. She needed help. As the sun began to rise, painting the sky with streaks of pink and orange, she found it: smoke rose lazily from a cluster of buildings along the river’s banks. She didn’t know how she would ask for help, but she had to try.

[Art] Shrinky Dinks

Shrinky Dinks were these plastic sheets with cartoon characters printed on them that you colored and then baked in the oven. The plastic would shrink and thicken making a little charm or whatever. They also sell blank sheets so you can draw whatever you like on them. I totally loved making them as a kid. I recently found some in the craft store and bought a pack, so I’ve been making them in between other projects. They are pretty quick to do and only take about 3 minutes to bake.

Here are the ones I’ve done so far from the past couple of days. I’m going to look for cell phone straps so I can attach them to those, so they can be hung or whatever. I might throw them in my Etsy shop, I don’t know if people would want to buy them or not.

alldinks

 

[Art] Pocket Werewolf Plush

I decided to make a tiny version of the werewolf that would be easier to carry around the convention. I finished him today! This one does not have an armature, so he can’t be posed, it’s more a beanie style body. But he does have a tail! He’s a little chubby, I guess he’s been eating too many people!


I think if I could cast the head and paws I could make these really quickly. Still working out the body pattern too though.

[OOC] The End of an Alt Era

The Legion pre-patch is downloading on the launcher, which means it’s time to face facts: my alts will be extinct in a couple of weeks. Having played (or rather, not played, given how un-fun it is) the beta, really killed my desire to play a lot of my favorite classes. Whether it’s changes to the way they play, the artifact they’re stuck with for 2+ years, the “fantasy” that’s being forced on them, or a combination of all three, there are a lot of classes I don’t even want to touch when the patch arrives. Sadly, one of these is hunter, a class that I’ve played and enjoyed for 10 years. I’m also really not on board with grinding all expansion for more than one time-sinky legendary artifact. I only got one ring all of WoD; every time I thought about starting another there was just too much nonsense and hoops to jump through — such as having to do proving grounds to even do the heroics, and getting a level 3 garrison and shipyard on every alt. I know some people think they’re neat, but I have no attachment at all to any of the artifacts, so I have no desire to grind out all the steps to get them. The resto druid one is one of the super-generic ones, so most likely I’ll transmog it anyway.

Now, they won’t be deleted — my alts will still be around for RP and storylines. I may do old raids on some of them for transmog stuff, at least the ones I can stand playing. I will keep my main, of course, and I think my worgen Warlock as well, because I did like playing Demonology lock. Maybe a Holy priest, because I’ve waited for years for them to be useful again, but given the grindy nature of the artifacts that’s less likely. The rest of them will be stuck in their garrisons forever — or at least until the end of the expansion. It makes me sad and I’ll surely miss them. It’s also strange being down to only one account. My second one had, until WoD, been subscribed for almost as long as my first, about 9 years.

At least I still have all my space babies, so I won’t have to change the name of my blog😉

[Art] Werewolf Plush

Finally done! I had a minor disaster yesterday with the sealant, I guess it got too thick in some parts and lifted paint off so I had to go back and do repairs. I think if I do any more plush using Apoxie, I will have to make the head smaller because it is quite heavy and I couldn’t attach it the way I had originally planned. So his head cannot turn, but all of his limbs and spine can bend, he has a plastic armature inside.


As you can see from the photos on my bed he is quite big! Originally I had planned to take him with me to the horror convention but I’m worried he might get bumped around and scratch his paint. I still need to think about that. He also needs a name!

 

[Story] Story a Week 27

[[ Sorry I haven’t been writing much, between my summer projects and cleaning/yard work/car hassles I have not had much free time. The werewolf should be done today though I hope!

Prompt: A story that features a song or a poem

I ended up using the poem for inspiration, rather than actually putting it into the story. I just picked one that I liked and felt I could apply to one of my characters! ]]

Winter Heavens
George Meredith

Sharp is the night, but stars with frost alive
Leap off the rim of earth across the dome.
It is a night to make the heavens our home
More than the nest whereto apace we strive.
Lengths down our road each fir-tree seems a hive,
In swarms outrushing from the golden comb.
They waken waves of thoughts that burst to foam:
The living throb in me, the dead revive.
Yon mantle clothes us: there, past mortal breath,
Life glistens on the river of the death.
It folds us, flesh and dust; and have we knelt,
Or never knelt, or eyed as kine the springs
Of radiance, the radiance enrings:
And this is the soul’s haven to have felt.

A cold winter wind blew over the crusted snow, flinging tiny specks of ice into the air, which caught the meager light and sparkled there. Stormpelt had always loved the winter, the feels and smells of it — the soft, fluffy snow and the hard, slippery ice. The rich sap of the pines and the way your breath hung in the air like a cloud. She loved the crunch beneath her paws of old snow and brittle branches, the sound of the wind rattling the bare branches at night. But most of all she loved the feeling of being warm and safe in their den together, knowing even the most bitter wind would not reach them there.

This winter was different. Wintermoon was gone. She could still see the image in her head, his gentle eyes wide in surprise and — she hated to believe it — perhaps fear, the bright blood seeping into the ground. She hadn’t meant to, hadn’t wanted to. But it had happened, all the same. Her master must have known how it would hurt her, that’s why he had chosen Wintermoon for her prey. There could be no other reason.

She walked down the long road, the one that led to the towns. Normally, she would avoid them, but no one was traveling now. The people there were snug inside their own dens, within the thick stone walls. They probably had their families with them as well. Stormpelt felt her stomach turn, and she  knew it was not hunger, for she had not felt hunger since the day she died. She went to a ridge where they had often sat to watch the stars as they emerged from behind the mountains, a secret place hidden by the trees.

Had he forgiven her? She liked to believe that he had, it was his nature. He had never growled or nipped her in earnest, though he was much larger and stronger than she. She had betrayed him twice, once in death and again in undeath. Was his heart soft enough to love her in spite of that? It was somehow worse if he had, made her feel even more guilty. He didn’t deserve what had happened. It was still light, so Stormpelt could not see the stars yet, but they would come in time. They always did.

When she was there with her master, some of them said they didn’t feel anything at all. She envied them that sometimes, it must be so much easier. They were not burdened as she was with the guilt of what they had done, the memories of what they had lost. They didn’t think back to cozy winter nights in their dens, to the thrill of the hunt through the woods, to watching the stars on a summer evening. They didn’t have the pain that seemed to crush their hearts within their breast at a scent, or a word, or a place. They had nothing at all. Stormpelt had at least the faint echo of her life, and though it hurt, it was something. Feeling something, even hurt, made her feel a little more alive. And memories were better than nothing at all. She vowed to keep them safe, one last promise — he would never be forgotten.

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