[Story] Story a Week 3

[[ Prompt: Unreliable Narrator

I chose a “naif” unreliable narrator, which is one without a full understanding of the situation. In this case, a pet cat. I guess this one could also be classed as a horror story! Warning for: Animal death ]]

Here is what happened. It’s possible you haven’t heard of me before — though unlikely. I am the most skilled hunter and most handsome in all the countryside. Until the thing happened, my considerable talents were squandered as an Inside Cat in the care of my two humans and their horrid offspring. That is what they would always say, “No no, you’re an Inside Cat.” Through persistence and cleverness, sometimes I would manage to find some time to hunt, or simply reflect in solitude, but it never lasted long. Most days I had to be content to observe through the large window at the front of the house, watching passers-by. I knew all of the regulars well; the female with her bright-colored legs and the wires on her ears — she always went by very early in the morning. A mother pushing her useless infant in a rolling chair — if you don’t know, human offspring are completely useless when they are born. It takes a very long time for them to master simple tasks like walking and communicating. Later in the morning I would see humans taking their dogs out on those humiliating leashes. I don’t know how they can abide it, but they are dogs after all, and servitude is in their blood. Did I ever feel a twinge of jealousy at their freedom? Freedom at the end of a rope doesn’t sound very appealing to me. Most of the dogs are harmless fools; the long-haired yellow one, the muscular brown one, and the spotted one. But there is one that has murder in his eyes. I know if he were able, he would relish tearing me apart. When he passes each day, he looks to the window and sees me there, his glaring eyes boring into me. That look has the promise of blood written on it. Sometimes he barks, and I can see his jagged, awful teeth. What an ignoble way to die! I ignore his taunts, not wanting to give him the satisfaction of a response. In the evening, the cars start to return home, bearing their humans within. Sometimes there are unusual visitors. The large truck that brings packages, or the loud one that attracts children. But for the most part, it is quiet, ordinary, and predictable.

The day that it happened started normally. The humans woke up and prepared their food. I asked, politely of course, for my share. They ignored me. The offspring were roused and put on their clothes, as always they tried to grab and bother me. I retreated to my perch high in the kitchen, where I repeated my request for my breakfast. Perhaps they just didn’t hear me over all of the noise. Some mornings they forget entirely, and I’m forced to suffer until the evening when they return. I can only guess this is some punishment I am meant to endure, though for what crime I have yet to figure out. Humans can be so capricious. As it happened, that day they neglected to fill my bowl, so I was  in a sour mood to begin with. I sought out some prey within the house — some naive mouse or plump bird, perhaps, but there were none to be found. I went to my perch to contemplate my revenge upon the humans, or perhaps to have a nap first.

The usual visitors to the street didn’t come. I didn’t notice, at first, in part because I was asleep. But as the morning grew later I realized that none of them had come. What was happening? This was highly irregular. Even the murderous dog had not come, and I knew he would not pass up an opportunity to taunt me. Unsettled, I decided to sleep on the matter in hopes of reaching clarity. When I awoke, it was approaching dark and the cars had not returned to the street. Neither had my humans, not even the offspring who usually returned in the afternoon before the adults. Hunger howled within my belly, did they not realize that I was starving? But it seemed it wasn’t only my humans who had failed to return, no, all of them were away. Somewhere else, but where?

I slept fitfully, my hunger constantly making itself known. I had never gone so long without food, and I was uncertain how much longer I could hold out. Surely they would return again in the morning and fill my bowl. I recalled this had happened once before, they had gone for a drive and not returned until the following morning. I had survived that, I assured myself I could do it again — though it was not pleasant. It would take more than an empty belly to bring me down! I went to the front window to watch. I saw people this time, but not the ordinary ones that I was used to. I didn’t recognize any of these ones at all. And there was something fundamentally wrong about them, in the way they looked and moved and smelled. Many were smeared with blood, especially around their mouths, as if they had hunted and fed recently. There was a lingering odor of death about them, it was apparent even through the glass. There were several of them, I wasn’t sure how many, but much more than the usual morning visitors. They moved as a pack, with no apparent leader. One would see or smell something and begin moving toward it, and the others would gradually follow. One of the dogs, the long-haired yellow one, jogged down the road toward them, his tail wagging. Was one of them his human? I couldn’t tell.

In a moment, they were upon him. They clawed and grabbed with their hands at the dog, who rapidly disappeared beneath the clump of humans. I could not see what happened, but I think I am thankful for that. When they moved on, there was nothing but a red spot upon the road, some tufts of golden fur drifting away on the breeze. Had they eaten him? My mind could not fathom such a thing. Dogs were sacred to humans, they took them everywhere. What could have caused them to react in such a way toward one? And worse, how would they treat me? Fortunately the throng had not seemed to notice me. Perhaps it was the glass that kept me safe. I thought of the dog who hated me so, and wished that they might find him. Was that wrong of me? Maybe so.

In the still of the night, I heard the clattering of glass breaking. Alarmed, I raced down the stairs to see what it was. The strange humans were still there, and they had broken the window — my window! There were more of them now, milling aimlessly about in the darkness. I knew I had an advantage here; humans could not see well in the dark. I was much faster than they, as well, and knew many good hiding places. They would not do to me what they had done to that dog! I leapt through the open window and dashed away, hiding under the porch across the street. Curiosity got the better of me and I looked back to watch them. They clamored through the window into the house, I am not sure what they were seeking, but it would not be me they found.

I didn’t know where to go. I found food left out on porches and doorsteps, but that did not last long. I soon found others like myself, the ones wary enough to escape. As much as I disliked the idea, we were safer in a group. We could hunt larger prey and defend against dogs and wild things like coyotes and raccoons. While the adventure of it was fun for a time, I admit that I miss the simpler life sometimes. I miss waking to have my bowl full of food, a soft place to sleep, shelter from the rain and snow. I miss the reliability of it all. And I wonder, sometimes, what became of my humans. Are they part of the roaming pack? Or did they fight back? Did they think of me at all?

I do not know the answers, nor do I know what tomorrow will bring.

[Story] Fairsong Academy – Sorelle’s Diary

Dear Diary,

Orledin came to the school again, he baked some little cookies for the baby that looked like a baby head. That sounds weird, but they were cute. I wish I could have eaten one, I bet they were really good. As soon as he arrived, he went right into the kitchen again. I don’t really think he wants to talk. The other death knight came too though, he was out in the sitting room while I was studying. I’m trying to get better at arcane, especially portals, so I’ve been doing extra studying in my free time. I think it would be great to be able to just go anywhere I like. Well, anywhere I’ve seen before, but that’s still a lot of freedom. It’s not that I don’t like it here, just sometimes it would be nice to go somewhere on my own.

He asked what I was reading about and I explained, he also wanted to know what I do when I’m not studying. I said that I like sewing, it’s fun to be able to make something out of just some cloth and thread. I’m not an expert or anything, but I’m pretty good and I can make some nice things. It’s handy when I can’t get to any shops, which I can’t here. I could ask Tik or the headmaster to buy fabric for me I suppose, but they won’t know exactly what I want. I like to be able to see and touch it before choosing. When I lived in the tower I never got fabric so I just had to use whatever was there, those dresses weren’t very nice. Since they’re going to build a greenhouse, I thought I might try gardening as well. I don’t think it would be too difficult and I like the idea of being able to grow something, make something pretty where it wasn’t there before. Plants won’t care that I’m not alive.

From what he said, being a ranger is pretty good. He said he likes that Sunashe yells at him, which I thought was pretty weird, but then he explained that he meant because he’s treated like a regular elf, and not an undead one. That makes sense, though I still don’t think I’d like getting yelled at. There are three undead rangers, they’re all elves but one is a girl too. Plus the one outside. I don’t like that they call him the “lawn ornament”, even if he’s lost his memory it’s still not very nice. I think I’d be upset seeing him there every day and reminding me of what’s going to happen. I hope it doesn’t for a long time. There must be mages working on stopping it, right? If that’s even possible. I’m the first undead person allowed here, and that’s only because Magister Raleth vouched for me. Otherwise I’d still be banned, and so would the undead rangers. I told the death knight that it still feels weird sometimes, like they’re trying to be friendly but they don’t really know how. Which might be true.

I am looking forward to Shattrath though. Salenicus said there’s a market there, and undead aren’t banned, unlike Silvermoon, so I’ll be able to buy things. I have some money saved up so I hope they have some nice fabric. It’ll give me something to do at night that’s not loud. I don’t want to disturb anyone. I also want to get some more journals for writing in. I don’t know what else, maybe some garden tools, but I think Terellion might already have those. But it would be good to have my own.

[Story] Fairsong Academy – Terellion’s Journal

I got Hethurin the best present this year! Technically I didn’t get it for him, but he says I did because I agreed to it. I didn’t have anything to do with them having one available though. A couple of weeks ago he said he wanted to get another baby. Narise is still pretty small, so I thought it might be kind of soon, but my sisters are close together and they get along okay. Actually, he said he wanted to get like fifteen total. I think that might be too many. I don’t think I could even remember fifteen names, let alone give them all enough attention so they’d feel close to us. I don’t know anyone with fifteen kids! The closest I know would be his father, and even that’s less than half. How could anyone do that? But I did agree that one would be okay, or two if they had twins. I said I’d like a boy because we already have two girls, I think it would be good to have both.

Hethurin made portals to both the Silvermoon and Shattrath orphanages, but they didn’t have any really little ones, they had one who was a little over a year old but she was a girl. Hethurin wanted to take her right there! But he also wants to be able to carry the new baby while he teaches, and she would already be almost too big for that. I honestly think he would have taken every kid there, even the weird troll and orc ones. But since they already knew us there — we’d got both Malwen and Narise, and we bring toys and clothes by pretty often — the matron put our names down on a list if they got any more. And then yesterday we got a letter saying they had a new baby boy, and we could come and look at him!

I was really excited, but also worried because I realized that we didn’t have any things for a boy baby. I mean, we have a crib and blankets and diapers, but no boy clothes. Hethurin said we could go to the shops in the morning and get some for him. Or maybe his sister has some extra or something. I mean, I don’t want to force him to wear boy things if he doesn’t want to, but he’s just a baby and I don’t think he really cares too much either way as long as he’s warm. We also didn’t have any names ready. Hethurin suggested that we could name him for my father, which kind of surprised me. I like his name though, so I agreed, but I said we should see the baby first to see if it fits. It wouldn’t be good to have a baby with no name, even if it’s just a short time.

He’s so tiny!! I kind of forgot because Narise has got so much bigger, but she was the same size when we got her. The matron said that the mother had brought him in because she couldn’t keep him. The priest there has been trying to get women to bring their babies here instead of just leaving them outside. I think that’s a really good idea, and I’m really glad he didn’t have to be cold outside in a pile of garbage. I hope the matron can tell the mother that he got adopted and he’s going to have a good life now. I really hope the girls like him. I’m not too worried about Malwen, she was really excited when we talked to her about it. He’ll pretty much be like a real life doll to her and I bet she’ll enjoy taking care of him. Narise I’m not so sure, but they’ll be closer in age so hopefully they get along well. She poked at him a little but didn’t seem too interested other than that.

It’s a little weird adjusting to having a small baby again, getting up to make bottles and changes and things like that, but I don’t mind. I guess we’ll have to have the builders add on another room in the spring. I suggested putting it on the back of the house, but Hethurin didn’t like the idea of having to clear the trees down, so he wants to go up. That’s a lot of floors! I don’t know how we’d go up and down the stairs fast in the middle of the night. He suggested a portal, which might work, but maybe one of those pole things would be good. We’ll have to see what the builders say.

Hopefully Hethurin will let me hold him sometimes too!

[Story] Story a Week 2

[[ Prompt: People as Animals

I already write tons of stories about animals acting like people so this one was pretty vague! And a person acting like an animal would just be an animal… ]]

The buildings of Jaharria were formed and shaped by the ancient forest itself, trunks and boughs intertwined with specks of sunlight filtering through. The asenji had reclaimed it, ages ago, from the wild forest kiraal after they had lost the favor of Tuhlmarrok, the ancient dragon of the forest. Within the great meeting chamber, the asenji gathered like brightly colored butterflies within. Their robes were of the finest cloth, laboriously stitched with elaborate patterns and reinforced with magical thread. Some glowed faintly within the heart of the meeting chamber, lending a soft light. The chamber itself was composed of small trees that had grown in a circle, their trunks bent and laced with their neighbors — the result, a firm and enduring natural wall. In the boughs overhead, more rooms were formed by the branches, connected by footbridges that swayed in the breeze. Though asenji are not tree-dwelling by nature, they are able to escape forest kiraal and long-ear raids by retreating into the boughs above.

On this day the council had gathered, the wisest and most accomplished mages among the asenji. Murmurs ran among them as they took their seats on the worn roots and stumps. Mirren stepped out into the center of the gathering, his robes the bright white of new-fallen snow. White hairs frosted his muzzle and the ends of his paws. He raised a hand for silence, and all eyes turned to him.

“You all know why I called you here today,” he began, and some of the asenji chittered in assent. Mirren waited for the noise to die down before he spoke again. “Our brother, Harvian.” His hand traced the air, forming a map of glowing light. The asenji looked on, intently. “He has been reported here,” he touched a spot on the illusory map, leaving a small point of light. “Here, where he antagonized a drehl kiraal,” Mirren said, and small gasps ran through the assembly. “And here, in a small farming village near the outskirts of the Temple of the Moon.”

Sullivan stood. He was far younger than most of the council, and he had dark markings about his eyes that lent him a severe look. “Harvian has no connection with us,” he said, addressing first Mirren and then the rest of the gathering. “Whatever trouble he has got into, it isn’t our responsibility.”

Mirren sat back on his root, resting his feet. “Does anyone else wish to speak?”

“Others won’t see it that way,” Sorcha protested. “We are all the same to them.”

Sullivan’s expression hardened. “Then he should be stopped. He will bring his trouble back onto us, that’s the last thing we–”

Sorcha scoffed. “How? You know what he’s capable of. Harvian sat on this very council until he was exiled.”

The younger asenji frowned and took his seat again. Yes, he knew, as did they all.

“There is no need for that,” Mirren declared. “While we may disavow Harvian’s actions, I find it highly unlikely that he is working alone. He is strong, but not strong enough to alter history on his own. He must have help from an outside source. But we do not know who that might be.”

“If he stays in the south,” said Sorcha, “it might not affect us at all. Let him do what he wishes there, far away from us.”

“And if he does not?” Sullivan demanded. “We’re not even sure what he’s doing. But I doubt that it’s good.”

“To leap blindly or to wait and see,” Mirren mused. “That seems to be our dilemma. While Harvian’s methods can be unconventional, sometimes that is what is required. What says the council, then?”

Each asenji dropped his or her voting stone into the bowl. Carefully, Mirren sorted them into two piles — white and black. The asenji leaned forward, watching the number of stones in each pile grow.

“The council has spoken,” Mirren announced. “The rogue wizard Harvian is to be captured. Assemble the hunters and they will leave at dawn.”

[Story] Imralion’s Journal

Lin’s going to have her baby pretty soon. She’s getting really big! I don’t know she can even walk around, let alone go on her patrol. Lin said that she’ll keep going for now, but probably not too much longer, because I guess it’s uncomfortable. I told her I didn’t need all the details but she told me anyway. I guess now I know. She’s also worried about getting the crib and everything set up before he or she gets there. Just while I was there she kept trying to move things around and I said she shouldn’t and did it for her, but then she’d change her mind and want me to move it back again. I tried not to be too excited, but I kind of am. I’m going to be an uncle, and I can play with the baby whenever I want to. I’ve tried not to act too excited around Aeramin because I know he’s probably not too happy about it. If I’m excited about my niece or nephew, couldn’t I have been excited for Lyorri too? I guess I could have. It’s different though, there’s no bad feelings associated with this one.

Our mother’s already come back from Tanaris to help Lin take care of the baby. She’s staying at the inn right now, but since it’s not very nice I expect they’ll just let her stay at their house for a while. Maybe she could sleep at the ranger building with the female rangers, that would be something. I hope she has some names in mind. Lin said she’s still thinking about it, but I’m still afraid my niece or nephew is going to be named Lizard or something.

To make matters worse, it’s Lyorri’s birthday so I think Aeramin is extra grumpy about that. I guess I can’t blame him. He wasn’t sure whether he should go to her party or not. I had wanted to buy something for Lin’s baby so I suggested he could at least bring a gift for Lyorri, even if he didn’t plan to stay. He surprised me by saying yes to that. I was afraid of bringing the subject up, but he says he’s not upset about it, and I can even watch it for them at our house. Then again, he might just be saying that, I know sometimes he says things to cover his feelings up. Like he brought up the subject of people marrying mages and I made a joke about him being a good catch because he’s good at cooking and he got all weird about it. Obviously I’ve thought about it before, but it’s never really been that important because things are okay. Things have been going pretty well lately so I guess I’ve thought about it a little more. But then other times I think about wanting to have our own kids or whatever, though I guess we could adopt some like Hethurin and Terellion did. Or just borrow Lin’s kid. Anyway, he seemed really weirded out by the subject so I guess I won’t bring it up again. He said he’d been engaged three times before and they never worked out. I knew about Hethurin and I think he’s mentioned the other one, but I didn’t know who the third was. Apparently it was a girl that he worked with or something. No one’s ever asked me at all!

I wasn’t sure what to get for Lin’s baby, without knowing if it’s a boy or a girl especially. Aeramin said I should get them something useful, like diapers, but that’s not a very exciting gift. I mean, who wants to be the uncle who gives you diapers? Not me. I thought about getting a soft toy lizard but they didn’t have any lizards. Maybe they’re not popular for babies, someone should tell Sunashe. I did find a frog though, I know a frog’s not a lizard but it’s kind of close, and it’s really cute. The baby can cuddle it or chew on it or whatever. Aeramin got Lyorri some dresses, and a cloth doll with yarn hair.

[Story] Korbas

[[ My RP buddy and I did a prompt thing we saw to create two characters blind and then make them meet. It was pretty fun! ]]

Korbas Whitehall brought the horses their oats, setting the bucket down between them. He’d already removed their tack and would need to brush them out before putting them into the stable. It was cold enough tonight that they’d want blankets, too.

“Excuse me,” someone said behind him. It wasn’t Lord Bradford, nor any of his guests. The girl with the muddy boots and thick glasses looked decidedly out of place here. She held a piece of paper out toward him. “There’s a bake sale at the Cathedral this weekend. The proceeds go to the orphans.” Korbas took the paper and studied it for a moment. He knew of the bake sales; they had them four times a year or so, but he couldn’t remember ever seeing this person at the Cathedral despite visiting every week — sometimes more than once.

He picked up the brush and began to brush the dirt and sweat from Snowfoot, the paint horse. Due to his quiet nature, he was usually ridden by ladies or children. The girl looked him over admiringly. “They’re lovely animals, aren’t they? I wish I knew how to ride.”

Snowfoot ducked his head into the bucket of oats, and Korbas regarded the stranger over his back. “Don’t you? It’s not difficult really. Horses are expensive to feed and keep though.” He considered, then discarded, the idea of offering to let her take Snowfoot around the ring. For one thing, he’d already been untacked, and for another he wouldn’t want to explain to Lord Bradford why a stranger was on his horse. She explained that she didn’t have a horse, she’d hired a wagon to come all the way from Stormwind.

Korbas frowned. That was a long way to be sending someone out to pass out flyers, and the daylight was already nearly gone, being winter. The roads weren’t safe to travel at night due to bandits, especially for a young woman alone. The girl said that she did in fact work at the Cathedral, but usually in the library downstairs or fetching supplies. She’d been there since the dragon had attacked the city, but she still wasn’t assisting with services due to some scandal — the woman who had been her previous teacher was found to be associated with cultists. Still, it wasn’t her crime, and the woman hadn’t even been related. It seemed unfair to be punished for the deeds of others. Korbas was sure the Cathedral in Lordaeron hadn’t been like that. His mother would never have stood for it.

She did say that she was allowed to take out books, but had trouble reading them due to the small print. He probably shouldn’t have, but Korbas offered to help read them. He usually had time in the evenings, after supper and before nightfall. Did he live in Stormwind? She wanted to know. Lord Bradford’s estate was in the northern part of the city, large enough to keep horses and a few other animals to give it the pastoral appearance, though he rarely used them for anything other than decoration. They were here in the countryside this evening for a hunt, though it was winter and there was few game on the ground. Hunts were really an excuse to socialize and ride, which Korbas could certainly understand. Admittedly he enjoyed them too, giving his horse the freedom to run and carry him over the fields and streams. Though he’d lived in cities all of his life, he could see the appeal that the country held.

Maybe the church expected her to walk back alone at night, but Korbas wouldn’t stand for it. He dropped some coins into her palm and told her to get a room at the inn. She could ride back in the morning with the rest of Lord Bradford’s party, who would be both numerous and armed. There were a few extra coins for the orphans, as well. She studied the coins and seemed to consider it for a long time, before she finally agreed. Korbas suspected it was his mention of the free breakfast in the morning that was the deciding factor.

She paused as she headed toward the inn. “Don’t forget the bake sale,” she said.

“I won’t.”

[Story] Tathariel’s Journal

We don’t often get visitors in the glade. Father and Kelanori used to come now and then, but they’ve been away aiding the war effort. I’m not sure how I even knew he was there, I just had an odd feeling, I suppose. Everyone must have been staring, because he wasn’t very subtle. It was a death knight — a blood elf one — and he was riding on a skeletal raptor. I wonder if he animated it himself, like Jaellynn did for his gryphon. He must have. I was afraid at first, because I was alone. I knew the tauren would act if he tried to attack me, and I could always change into my bear form, but I didn’t want to have to do that.

I asked why he had come, and he said that he was looking for Jaellynn. Then I was more worried. Was he here on behalf of the blood elves he had killed? Or had he come from the death knight stronghold, and they were here to take him back, or worse? Though he had armor on, I didn’t see any weapon, and he wasn’t making any motions to attack. Of course it can be difficult to tell what a death knight is thinking. Believe me, I know. He explained that he’d spoken to Jaellynn before, at the stronghold. I found that a bit unbelievable, because I know how much he dislikes blood elves. But I suppose he would have to get along there, at least temporarily. The death knight said that he was really a baker, not a death knight, and he’d brought cookies for Relanos and I. Well, he said for Jaellynn’s mate and son. So either he really did speak to Jaellynn, or he’d spoken to someone who knew him. That didn’t explain how he found our house. Evidently they have records of all of the death knights there, and he’d just looked it up. That’s a little unsettling.

Finally he told me the real reason he’d come: there was an elf he liked and he is living. He wanted Jaellynn’s advice in that area, I am guessing. I am not sure if he’s the best person to ask. For one, I don’t think he even considered the idea before I brought it up, and even then I think it took some convincing. The fact that this blood elf is interested at all is a good sign though, I think. I didn’t know how to explain the strange people in Darnassus. I told the blood elf that we’d met in Darnassus and we were studying together. I also told him about the orcs. I don’t think he’d be allowed to kill orcs, and it probably wouldn’t impress a blood elf so much. Maybe trolls though, I don’t really know how blood elves think. Mostly I said he should just get to know him as a person, do ordinary things like ordinary people do — as much as he can, at least. It will help him see the death knight as just a person and not a dead person. It does take time though. I hope it works out for him. I’ll have to ask Jaellynn if he knows him and can check up on him later.

I also asked about Sakia. I haven’t seen her for a long time, and I don’t know if she was sent to fight or not. I don’t think she would enjoy it very much if she was. I enjoyed going to the shops with her, and I wonder about her sometimes. Unfortunately, the blood elf didn’t know her. I also think about talking to that alive blood elf in case he wants some advice or something. There must be others out there in my situation.

The cookies were very good. I ate a few, and let Relanos have the rest. He was delighted.