Thank you all for the great prompts! Here they all are in order they were requested in; they were all really fun to write! c: I've just posted two for now, starkittens's "drifting away" and Cocoa's "mint and lilac." Euphoria and PossessedFae, I'll post your responses as soon as I have them completed; they're taking longer than I expected, ha ha. In the meantime, enjoy these! =]
It happens so slow, like water freezing over.
Who could notice the gentle sweep of ice breathing deeply of the edges?
Who could defend September from February's biting jaws?
She might be buried in lake waves,
Spine pressed against sand and thick muck to better watch the waves,
And yet she will miss the splashing ice and cold.
There is no defense for these creeping dangers.
The drifting catches her by surprise every time, with each lover.
Sudden in its slowness, he drifts away from her,
An ice floe, a stranger by the time spring arrives.
"Little Red and the Big Bad Wolf Meet Two Fairies"
Nina sighed and held her hand out. "Job. Give them to me."
Job made a low whining noise. He wasn't so hot at talking in his Wolfskin, but somehow he managed to mutter, "Butter aystee." Really a pretty impressive feat with two-inch fangs, a snout, and two six-inch fairies jammed under his tongue.
"I know they're tasty, but we're trying to negotiate with them. They can't tell us anything if they're halfway down your digestive tract, can they?" A muffled squeaking suspiciously like a protest came from Job's snout.
With a Wolfish sigh, Job opened his jaws and out fell two soggy lumps of shrieking green into Nina's palm. She resisted the urge to fling them away and wipe her hands clean on her tunic.
us!" one of the fairies squealed indignantly, lifting his head from Nina's palm to look at his companion, who was pinned by the thighs by Nina's thumb. The female fairy sat up and started trying to wipe the Wolf spit from her larger set of wings.
"Was that really necessary, siccing your Wolf on us?" she asked primly, turning her tiny chin up to Nina, raising an eyebrow.
"Well, you weren't being very cooperative, were you?" Nina replied. The male, the small of his back pressed down by Nina's finger just above his lower wings, squeaked, "That's hardly any reason to throw a fairy to a Wolf! Do you have no respect for the way humans and magical beings interact?"
There was a bones-squealing-muscles-snapping sounds as Job shed his Wolfskin and stood beside Nina in his human form, looking down at the fairies in her hand. He popped the joints of his jaw and knuckles. "Yes, well, my dear human companion has her own ideas about human-magic relations. She can tell which of us are actually decent blokes and which are just sparkly attention hogs." He grinned at Nina, then said to the fairies, "Besides, fairies are hard for Wolves to catch on our own." He licked his lips for good measure. "Mint and lilacs, you taste like."
The male gave a wail but the female was unimpressed and tossed her slimy purple hair over a pale green shoulder. "What are a Wolf and a human doing working together anyway? I thought all Wolves ate humans and stole their young, and all humans hunted Wolves and skinned their packs."
Job and Nina exchanged a look, his knowing and mischievous (as always), hers a bit more...dubious. It was true, most humans and Wolves didn't get along, to put it mildly. Despite the fact that Wolves only were "born" from being bitten as human babies, the two races saw each other as entirely different, enemies, opposites. And yes, Nina and Job didn't always
get along, but since their meeting about a year ago, when a man known as the Huntsman had murdered Job's pack and Nina's village, they'd stuck together. Orphans in a world where lone wolves got killed, they'd hunted down and stopped the Huntsman, and staying together after that just seemed...right. They'd been through a lot together.
For that, Nina was willing to look past Job's impishness and occasional drooling fuzziness.
"Not all," Nina said simply in response to the fairy. She pressed down a little harder as the female tried to squirm free. "In fact, we work quite well together. So unless we want to see if mint and lilac breath fresheners can't do something for that dog breath..."
"Hey!" Job protested good-naturedly. "I think my breath is fine!" He grinned maliciously at the fairies.
The threat worked. Though the female remained resolutely stubborn, her minute jaw set, the male gave a pitiful whimper. "All right, all right, I'll tell you what I know!"
"Jabber!" the female yelped. Nina handed her to Job, who allowed his snout to lengthen and grinned at her. Despite her earlier braveness, she fell silent, and Nina turned her attention to the male, gently but firmly pinching his waist between her fingers. He writhed and wriggled but couldn't break free as Nina brought him to her eye level.
"Tell us about the Candy Witch and you and your friend can go on your merry way."
"All right, just don't feed us to the Wolf, please! She lives by the Central Lake, in a house made of gingerbread and candy, and she lets us fairies have some if we lead human young there. I don't know what she does with them, no one does, I vow it, I vow it!"
Nina and Job exchanged eye contact, his dark brown eyes serious for once. They had a pretty good guess what happened to the children, if the rumors from the goblins were true. Sugary bones found in the dredges of creeks and streams, children wandering the woods who suddenly disappeared altogether without anyone finding their tracks. Whispers of someone who called herself the Candy Witch had frightened one mother enough to hire Job and Nina after her ex-husband "lost" their son and daughter. "More like that evil hag he married sent them out to the forest to die," she'd growled.
Well, Nina and Job were known in the surrounding area for their strange partnership, their ability to traverse the dangerous Manhattan Forest. They'd even become known enough that though they were given strange looks for their alliance, they would occasionally be paid to investigate disappearances and such...like this one.
Nina nodded. Job grinned. They let their fairies go, and the pair of them short away into the dark of the trees.
"She'll be warned of us, you know," Nina sighed.
"Yeah." Job's grin didn't falter. He palmed back the shaggy dark hair that always spoke of a messy pelt, no matter how he tried to groom it. It flopped back in his face again. "But we do like a challenge, don't we, Little Red?"
Nina couldn't hold back a grin and flipped her long red hair over her shoulder. "That we do, Big Bad Wolf. That we do."
And they set off for the Witch's cottage.