A Myriad of Stories

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Surprise

Postby ghostyghost » May 29th, 2018, 6:22:45 pm

Three things stuck out instantly as I walked into my living room: a large (and dead) lizard-thing laying haphazardly on my favorite couch, the weird, probably permanent stains coating everything, and, finally, the non-human stranger standing with an odd, sword-like weapon on top of my coffee table.

"What the hell is going on?" I whisper as I stand at the very edge of my living room. I would have screamed, but something seems to be ball up in my throat and prevents me from shouting. You know, a little something I like to call sheer fucking terror, just that normal feeling that everyone gets, right?

Oh, fuck, what's going on? A hysterical laugh bubbles in my throat, and before the strange thing can skewer me on its weird sword, I collapse to the ground in a fit of laughter that dances dangerously close to crying.

"Oh, shit! Uh, is there anything in the manual for this?" a masculine voice, high-pitched and panic-filled, comes out of the form just as I begin to calm down, and I set off in hyena-like laughter once again. After a few minutes of laughing/crying from me and paper rustling from the possibly male thing, I calm down enough to actually manage to speak.

"What the fuck is going on?" I ask; my voice starts out calm but soon turns into a loud, angry, panicked shout. The male starts back in surprise, and the thick book that he had been flipping through falls to the floor with a heavy thud. His eyes, which were shadowed and hard to see, follow me intently as I begin pacing.

"Calm down! Uh… oh, screw it!" the male sighs in frustration and rips his helmet off, minding his horns, and I'm bewildered by his relatively young appearance. That bewilderment only increases as he begins telling me, frantically, about how he had been sent on a mission, which was to eradicate the lizayns from my realm before they took over, and managed to get lost and separated from his group. Now, he's almost one hundred percent sure all of his other mission members had been killed, and the lizayns still roam around and are getting ready to attack.

"So my world, Earth, is about to be attacked by those lizard people, who would steal our males, trash our cities, and kill off our women and children, right? And your group, the Realm Defenders, was supposed to stop it, but you guys fucked up, right? So now you're our only hope, right? I'm on drugs, right? Like I just randomly dropped acid, and now I'm hallucinating. Somebody drugged me, didn't they?" I parrot Calzuren's story, and he nods frantically along until I start talking about drugs. Then his face distorts into confusion and concern as I start laughing again.

"W-well, yeah. What's your name?" Calzuren questions, obviously trying to calm me down, and I run my hands harshly through my hair. He crouches down in front of me, his lower arms quickly working to undo his weird armor while his upper ones tenderly caresses my hair. That's weird, okay, what am I supplied to do? I scrunch up against the wall and try to ignore his effort to comfort me.

"H-Heath," I mumble, suddenly feeling incredibly small and scared. Calzuren seems to get this as he backs off, and I quickly stumble to my feet. Everything crashes down around me as I stare at the dead lizard, lizayn, thing.

It's fucking real. The scream from before bursts out of my throat, and I can't fucking stop even when I'm out of breath. They're coming, I almost died, I'm going to die! My thoughts rush through my head, and, soon enough, I'm on the floor gasping for breath. Calzuren kneels beside me, and his really pretty indigo eyes are the last thing I see before I pass out.

When I come to, they're also the first thing I see. He's carefully kneeling over my limp form, peering down at me with a concerned expression, and I crack a smile up at him.

"Hey, Cal, buddy, what're you doing?" I ask in that kind of fake calm that parents use when they see their child misbehaving. Cal, as I'm going to call him, quickly clambers off of me. As I sit up, I notice that my living room is now completely clean, and a wave of guilt rushes over me. This non-human stranger, who is nice enough to clean my living and merely came to save us, probably hasn't eaten or had anything to drink in a long time… right?

With a sigh, I heave myself up off the floor and set to work on making dinner while Cal does whatever. Soon enough, though, the scent of homemade pizza draws him into the area with me, and he sits himself on a bar stool, which barely holds him, to watch me intently as I cook.

"What are you making? Can I help?" Cal questions. I blink and stare at the big battle monster in complete surprise; he likes cooking? Really? Oddly enough, the fact that he has a life beyond fighting doesn't come as much of a surprise. After all, even big, bad alien fighters are three dimensional… I guess.

"Pizza, and, uh, sure. Here, you can make your own," I scoot to the side to give him room, and the blue man doesn't hesitate to shove himself right beside me in the small space. With a delayed sense of shock, I notice that he changed into casual clothing, consisting of plain black plants and a silver tank-top, but when? Oh, whatever. I shake the question off and begin instructing him on how to make his pizza.

"This is so fun!" Cal giggles—yes he fucking giggles, oh my Lord it's adorable—as he forms the dough into a pizza like shape. Despite the fact that I don't even know what species he is or where he comes from, I find myself laughing along with him.

"So I assume you like cooking, huh? What other things do you like?" I question after we both calm down. Cal hums happily as he makes his pizza, and I find myself fascinated by the way his arms work as a team to make food quicker than I ever could.

"Really? Studying. I like my job, and I like learning how to do it better. Although… I mean, I guess I won't really have much of a chance to do that anymore if I'm stuck here," Cal admits. His shoulders slump as tears fill his eyes, and I begin freaking out. What do you do when an alien cries? Uh… hug him? Awkwardly, I weave my arms around his body and just envelop him in a hug, which he slowly reciprocates.

"I-I guess I'll help you get home, no matter what it takes. If we find the lizayns' base, we'll find your people, right? Because they'll be there fighting those nasty lizards," I hesitantly mumble against his admittedly warm chest, and I feel a few tears splash against my shoulder.

Wow. I'm hugging an alien after I just offered to help him find his home. I, Heath, the boy who literally went an entire summer without going outside his house or even talking to people, am going to go find an aggressive alien base with another alien, probably get slaughtered, and all for this weirdo I only just met and don't really know. As these thoughts swirl around my head, I begin to freak out and almost back out before I look up and see the pure joyous and grateful on his face.

"Thank you so much," Cal whispers as he, gently, squeezes me even tighter than before. Standing there, in a kitchen with this strange, four-armed, horned being, I feel more at home than I've felt with anyone of my own species.

Well, I've never been particularly fond of the human race anyways, so it's alright. With a small sigh, I squirm out of the embrace and inform Cal that we're going to start our mission tomorrow, but first comes pizza. With another adorable giggle, he sets back to making his pizza, and, for the first time in forever, I actually feel excited for tomorrow.

Saving the world, here we come.
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Running Away

Postby ghostyghost » June 1st, 2018, 9:31:10 pm

Esilleo scurries right beside me, faithful as always even when my weak body threatens to bring us both down. The man chasing us doesn't slow down at all, and finally my legs collapse.

"Can't run anymore, can you?" he growls as slows down to a stop. Panting wildly, I just try to keep myself from passing out as he flips my limp body over. Esilleo cries out in concern from the roughness of the person, and before long, we're both tied up and resting against a boulder.

"Why, Airatio? I thought we were friends," I softly question. The hybrid scoffs, his vibrantly dyed hair plastered to his forehead, and tears begin to form. Elisseo nuzzles my neck in an attempt to comfort me, which Airatio surprisingly enough allows.

"You wouldn't understand," the person I thought was my friend hisses, his stormy eyes dark from anger. I shrink against the rock in fear, but a wave of anger and frustration washes over me. I wouldn't understand? What wouldn't I understand?

"Oh, really? Are you doing this to prove yourself to them, Ai? Prove you're strong enough, you're not your parents, prove you're your own person and not your past?" I spit, all of my stress coming out in one comment. My tears force their way out, and I bite back the sobs as I stare down at the ground.

How could he do this? Why would he do this? How is Esilleo so important? The lizayn in question tries his best to comfort me, making soft noises around the muzzle and curling against me as much as possible, but they don't help. If anything, they just make it worse. He should be free right now, away from this, yet here he is, trapped, all because of me. 

"You're pathetic," Airatio voices my exact thoughts with a venomous tone. "You think you're like me? What happened to you, huh? A few people picked on you? Mommy didn't love you enough to keep you? You're a freak of nature, Elizire, and you deserve to be treated like one," Airatio mutters harshly, pacing back and forth. He doesn't seem to hear my sobs, or he just doesn't care. Esilleo, however, seems agitated, a state I've rarely seen him in, and after a few minutes of frantic struggling, he manages to free himself from the rope.

"Run!" I shout at him, but he completely ignores me and heads straight for Airatio. Before he can even get close, the hybrid mutters a few words under his breath. As my best friend falls to the ground, I cry out in worry. Is he dead?

"Relax, he's just sleeping. Why do you care about him so much anyways? He's just an overgrown lizard," Airatio snaps, and I stare at him in horror. Just an overgrown lizard? No! Esilleo is… he's my partner, my best-friend, my brother. The only person who ever really stuck by me. I open my mouth to inform my captor of this fact, but the scathing look he gives me makes me scrunch up and remain silent.

Really, Elizire? You're that pathetic, huh? You'll let one look keep you from defending Esilleo? Good job, maybe this is why everyone always told you that you'd never make it. Look at you now, captured by a person you thought you could trust. Once again, tears flood my eyes, and I'm sobbing against the rock.

"Eli–" Airatio starts, but he's cut off by my harsh scream. Shocked, he stares at me with eyes, and I pant harshly for breath. Oh, man, that feels great. If I'm going to die anyways, I may as well just get everything off of my chest, right?

"Shut up! Don't call me by my name; you don't deserve to! You made me trust you just to snatch Esilleo, the only person who ever believed in me or even stayed by my side because he likes me for me. And screw you! My mother didn't leave me; she assaulted me for years, refused to let me go to school because she knew she'd get caught, and then when I managed to actually tell somebody, she blamed me and killed herself right in front of me!" I burst out, struggling for breath after letting it all out. Airatio stares, flabbergasted, at my trembling form as I begin to gasp for breath.

Oh, that's great. I would laugh at my luck, but I'm too busy dying! Tears continue to stream my face as I shake and gasp for breath, the rope digging into my skin from the harshness of my trembles. Blood quickly rises to the surface and drips down my hands, and before I can really register the fact that this is all happening with Airatio in sight, I'm being enveloped in a warm, distinctly masculine embrace.

"Sh, Elizire, calm down. I'm here. I'm so sorry, I guess we're just both running away from our pasts, but I'm here, now. I'll let Esilleo go, I'll do whatever, just please don't cry, it hurts so much to see you cry," Airatio whispers as he rocks me side to side, soothingly petting my hair. Slowly, I calm down, and, finally, my breath begins to come easier. Airatio mumbles something inaudible, and as my eyes droop, I begin to fall asleep.

"D-don't leave me, Ai. I… I really like you," I sleepily mumble as I cuddle against his warm body. Sleep overtakes me before Airatio can answer, but that's okay. I didn't really want to hear his answer anyways. I already know what he's going to say; there's no need for him to verbally confirm it.

His lack of a presence when I wake up, warm and cozy in an inn bed, answers me well enough. Just like I thought, Airatio is running away from his problems. From me. With a sigh, I stroke Esilleo's smooth head and curl up against him in an attempt to forget about the boy trying so desperately to escape me and everyone else.

Am I any different, though? I'm running away from home as well, aren't I? Biting my lip, I carefully disentangle myself from Esilleo and sit in the window instead. It's snowing heavily outside, the white flakes falling down in a flurry that reminds me of my first home, and slow, heavy tears start dripping down my face.

"We're all just running away, aren't we?" I sigh, pressing my hand against the cold glass. Sometimes, our wild paths to anywhere but where we've been before cross in a wild blaze of emotions, and occasionally you gain a new companion to run with. More often, though, you just gain a new reason to rocket off on the same old wild path.

I'm so sick and tired of running away like a coward. Scowling, I open the window and slip out onto the snowy ground, and after I securely shut it, I slowly walk around in the silent, frozen night. As I stalk around to the front of the inn, a semi-familiar voice strikes my curiosity.

"I told you, we're not lost! Chill, Zyran, the cold just matches your personality better," Droenix, a partial friend from the Academy, shouts somewhere to the left of me. Curious, I quietly pad over to them and peer through the snow. Droenix and a small group of people are huddled only a few yards away from the inn's entrance. 

"Uh, g-guys, follow me," I stutter as I step into the middle of their camp. Some of them stare at me in surprise, but Droenix immediately stands up and follows me gratefully. The rest follow soon enough. As they check into their room, I wonder what they're all running away from.

"Thank you! Hey, Eli, do you want to join us? We could use somebody that can actually navigate in the snow," Droenix offers as they all walk to their rooms. Hesitantly, I nod. Anything to get further away, right? The hybrid smiles softly and informs me that he'll wake me up when they leave, and we all leave for our separate rooms.

After explaining everything to Esilleo, I curl up against him and try my hardest to fall asleep, the thought of Airatio still on my mind. Maybe one day he'll just be a shadow in my past, the mark of a time our paths collided, just like everyone else.

If I run away far enough, right? Right. Nodding sleepily, I doze off against Esilleo and dream of running away so far that nobody will find me and hurt me again.
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Eternity

Postby ghostyghost » June 11th, 2018, 10:21:59 am

The afterlife. Most people dream of it, slave through life just for it, and yet it's their worst nightmare when they get here. I narrow my eyes and look around at all the living people walking around me, unable to see the horrors lurking just a few inches away from them, and sigh.

To be so oblivious once again… I shove my hands in my pockets and turn away from them, continuing on my original path. Most of the monsters don't both looking my way and instead search around for weaker prey, one of the only solaces of being dead for three years.

Of course, I also am in the weakest area where most monsters are too fat and lazy to go after anyone but the weakest and freshest, and even then they don't have much motivation. I snicker as I watch a fresh face freaking out as a curious cat, scary because of the fact that its eyes are pits of electric green fire, wraps itself around the kid's leg and paws at the strings hanging from his shorts.

"Calm down," I mutter as I carefully pick the cat up, and it purrs as I stroke its neon blue, yellow, and white fur. The kid gives me an awed look that I brush off, and I continue going on my way, cat nestled in my bag and already dozing off. It'll make a good gift to the person I'm going to see… I sigh and adjust the shoulder bag, which now digs uncomfortably into me. Damn, how much does this cat weigh?

While I'm busy adjusting my bag, the kid I "saved" comes rushing up to me. At first glance, he's a normal human, soul relatively unchanged, but I soon spot the abnormalities that are just beginning. Tiny spots of color clump around his eyes, neck, and hands, and curiosity bubbles up. I've never seen such markings in all three years of being around Soul-People, but they could fade and be replaced by an entirely different thing by the end of the week.

Nothing worth getting excited over, especially not excited enough to keep him around. I banish the thought of allowed such a fresh face to stick around me and continue walking, rainbow kid trotting beside me with that same stupid look on his face.

"W-why do you have one wing?" the kid questions. Of all the fucking questions… a laugh escapes me before I can help it, startling the poor kid, and I reach a hand back to the thing attached to my back. It flutters under my touch, and within a few seconds, a head pokes out over my shoulder curiously. The kid shrieks and stumbles back while Zeritha nuzzles my neck and disappears back into my hoodie, feathered wing tucking itself closer to my body. He stands up from his new position on the ground, and his dark brown eyes scan over my form intensely.

"You won't find what you're looking for. They're hidden," I inform the kid, referencing to my own oddities. Three years of being in this place will lead to you learning various tricks, one of which just so happens to be hiding my Soul markings. That fact seems to stun the kid, based off of his wide-as-hell eyes and gaping mouth.

"H-hidden!" he squawks. The cat sleeping in my bags starts and gives a disgruntled meow in response to the interruption, and I glare at him. If he makes me lose this cat… my hand clenches into a fist at the thought, and I walk even faster.

"Yes. Hidden. Now scram, kid, I have to be somewhere, and you're not invited," I push him out of my way harshly and prepare to flash ahead, but a hand wraps around my wrist and stops me. Growling, I yank my hand away. The kid looks up at me with somewhat hurt eyes, but I merely pull my lips back into a snarl, letting down the barrier enough to allow my teeth to length and sharpen. I growl one word: "Scram."

"M-my name isn't 'kid,' it's Rain! And no, I won't scram. I want to know just what the hell is going on, and you're my best shot," the kid starts out shaky and scared, but he finds his courage soon enough and stands tall. With a growl, I snatch his hand and turn it over. Seeing no number, I whirl the kid around and yank his shirt down. Aha. When I see the number, I burst into loud, raucous laughter. 

Two days. He's been here two days, and he's trying to force information out of me? "Look, kid," I pause to calm down and continue on with a completely serious face, "you're not going to get information for a long while, but I will tell you one thing. You're dead, and everyone's your enemy." He opens his mouth to say something, but before he can even blink, I flash off down the street. At the end of it, I turn back and give one last look at the kid slumped just where I used to stand a few seconds ago.

There's no place in the afterlife for the weak, the needy, the cocky. You need to be paranoid, strong, independent… everything Rain isn't. He's a sure target for the next Race. They like to go ahead and weed out the fresh faces, a guaranteed five or so every Race. He'll be one, I'd be willing to bet my second chance on it… damn it. I sigh, flash back, and grab his collar. He gives me a startled look and starts to say something, but I shut him up by muttering, "Don't say a word and hang on for dear life." He, oddly enough, obeys, and I flash off to the end of the street and beyond, only stopping when I'm in an almost pitch-black alleyway. 

As soon as we stop, my body trembles from the effort of transporting two people through the very thin area between the two realms of living and dead, and I fall to my knees. My hands brace against the wall as I lean over and heave, coughing and spluttering between waves of sickness. What hurls itself out of my body isn't the normal stomach contents but a murky, multicolored liquid, the base of a Soul's power and ability to manipulate the world mixed with the force keeping a Soul "alive" in this realm. 

Wow, that's something I haven't done in a while. I pant for breath, stroking Zeritha's head as she attempts to comfort me. "I'm fine, Zeritha," I reassure her as I carefully find my my feet, and Rain looks downright terrified. 

"A-are you okay? And, uh, what is Zeritha?" Rain questions. I take a few moments to collect myself; damn, I really have to be careful. I'm still not at one hundred percent from… I throw the thought away and stride towards the only door in this grungy place.

"I'm fine, Zeritha is my companion, and don't say a word unless you feel like dying a second time," I inform Rain as we walk inside the dark, intimidating store. He scrunches against my side and whimpers as light suddenly floods the room, and the monstrous owner rises from behind his mahogany desk while several Soul creatures poke their heads out from various hiding places, mainly cats of all kinds and sizes. They hiss at the newcomer attempting to fuse with me, and I wrap a protective arm around him.

"Oh, Kai, bringing me a little snack, are you?" Lucan purrs as he slinks over towards me, his furred tail waving behind him. Rain cowers further against my side, but I pick the cat in my bag up and shove it towards Lucan. His black eyes shine with happiness and adoration as he cradles the cat against his naked chest, and both cat and holder purr. 

"You said there was a way to partner with somebody, an inseparable bond that combines our souls into one, and you also said that partners can Race," I state. Lucan pauses in his adoration of the cat and turns to face me, ears twitching on the sides of his head. His slit pupil eyes narrow at me while his lips pull back into a snarl, and Rain once again whimpers as he hides behind me.

"I also told you that I never wanted you to speak of that again! I can't help you in that department, so if that's all you wanted…" Lucan trails off as he strides towards the back room. I don't answer for a few seconds, too focused on keeping my cool, and the hands currently clenching my hoodie don't help. A growl rises in my throat; the only fucking solution gone? My own lips pull into a snarl, an animalistic expression that shows its face often in Soularia (the joking, unofficial, but widespread name for the first stage of the afterlife). 

"Forget why I came," I hiss at Lucan. Rain, at my urging, flees out the door, and with one last glare aimed at the monstrous feline Keeper, I follow slowly. Rain huddles against the wall, light brown hair covering his neon green eyes. For the first time, the slightest hint of concern pulls at my insides, but I brush it off.

He's useless now. Without bothering to anything, I begin walking off. Loud footsteps behind me alert me to the incoming presence of Rain. "Hey," he yells behind me, "what's the big fucking deal? You don't get what you want, so you abandon me?" I don't stop walking and pull myself up a rickety ladder, small bits and pieces falling off as I climb. Something thuds against the back of my head, though, and I stop for a few seconds.

Breathe, Kai. Don't get too riled up now. I carefully clamber back down and slowly saunter up to the now-cowering kid. "The big deal, punk," I spit at him as I walk closer, "is that I've been here for three years without once being in a Race. They ignore me, you see? They won't give me a second chance, so I'll just have to pry it from their cold fingers." I stop in front of the kid, who shakes and seems an inch away from breaking down. Zeritha chatters in my ear and reminds me to not lose my cool, and I take a deep breath again.

"B-but what does that have to with m-me?" Rain stutters as he slowly tries to stand, but I don't let him rise to his feet. Instead, I crouch down as well to be face-to-face with him so he can clearly see the hatred and desperation burning in my eyes.

"They're going to pick you for the Race. If I bond with you at the right time, they have no choice but to let us both race, and I know I will win. But it's useless now, Lucan won't help us. You're useless now," I snarl. Emotions threaten to erupt, dangerous emotions that lead to me getting killed, and I quickly back away before Rain can see that. After a few seconds of tense silence, I climb my way back up the ladder.

There's no other option left. I sigh and push open the rotting wood that I call a door, and as I look around the bare room behind it, all that earlier frustration and anger disappears and leaves me wallowing in despair. My only chance at a second chance, at going back and making things right, is just gone?

Life may suck, but death absolutely blows. Sighing, I plop down on my makeshift bed and close my eyes. Zeritha curls up with me, and like always, she falls asleep while I just stare at the wall. Thoughts swirl around my head, plans and failures and dreams, and as I just lay there, it becomes even more obvious to me that there's no option. 

With a soft sigh, I slowly disengage myself from Zeritha and walk outside. I carefully sit down, leaning against the wall, and stare up at the stars. The exact same ones as in life. I wonder if she's looking at them too, the person I unwillingly left, and as I watch them move, I reluctantly accept the fact that I'll never see her again, see any of them again. 

Here's to an eternity of loneliness, regret, and self-loathing, right? 
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All That Matters

Postby ghostyghost » June 13th, 2018, 11:08:27 am

"Mr. Eik, can you please describe the differences between fire animation and animation magic?" my specialization teacher, Mr. Halkz, questions. With a sigh, I prattle off the correct answer, much to his surprise and pleasure, and he returns to his lecture while I continue to dutifully take down notes. 

Finally, the dragon's growl sounds and lets us out of school for the week, but I take my time putting my things in my bag as opposed to sprinting out the classroom with the rest of the mob. Once I'm sure the halls are relatively clear, I saunter out of the classroom and force myself to slowly walk back to my dorms despite my excitement to see a certain someone.

"Alexio!" my hyperactive roommate, Kal, chirps loudly as I open the door, and I hide a smile at his energy. I step inside and allow the heavy slab of wood to swing shut behind me before tossing my bag onto my bed, adding to it my robes and shirt. Kal blushes like always, and I resist the urge to roll my eyes.

"Do you have all your dirty clothes together?" I question him as I pull on a dark grey hoodie, and he hums in agreement. Yawning, I simply flop on my bed and stare up at the ceiling. Like the weirdo he is, Kal manages to squirm his way under and around me until he's almost surrounding me, his fingers gently combing through my hair. Even though I should do the laundry, I quickly find myself falling asleep in his comforting hold. 

When I wake up the next morning, the room, which is normally messy, is actually clean, the clothes are washed, and there's food on my desk, but Kal is nowhere to be seen. For some reason, that fact saddens me, and I hunch over my desk moodily while slowly eating my admittedly delicious breakfast.

I miss that big dork already. Wow, that's pathetic, Alexio. Grumbling under my breath, I push the empty plate to the side and pull out a sheet of blank paper, a pencil, and my idea book. The little bother must have already gone home for the weekend… I hate it when he does that. 

"Are you going to make a new comic?" a familiar voice questions right in my ear. I shriek and jump, almost falling out of my chair, but Kal quickly stabilizes my tiny frame. As I turn around to scold him, I quickly lose the urge as he flinches back, almost cowering before me despite being an entire foot taller.

"Come here, you weirdo," I mumble, sarcastically patting my lap. He almost immediately perks up and, delicately, drapes himself over my lap, much to my surprise. Rolling my eyes, I caress his hair and back, exactly like when petting a dog, and after a little bit, he squirms off of my lap and pulls up a chair behind me instead. Usually, the thought of somebody so large looming behind me would be unsettling, but it's Kal, the least scary person I know.

"You can be very scary," he mumbles childishly as he begins playing with my hair, probably braiding it. How could anyone be afraid of him? Once again, the juxtaposition of terrifying but adorable gives me an idea, and I begin scribbling down some character trait ideas. After a few minutes, Kal shifts even closer to me.

"What are you doing?" I tiredly ask as I feel his arms winding their way around my chest. Instead of answering, he curls his tail, made purely of bone and magic, around me, and he finishes it off by wrapping his long ass legs around my waist.

Essentially, Kal is now koala-hugging me around a chair. Holding back a smile, I continue to work on my ideas even as he nuzzles my neck affectionately. As soon as Kal notices that I'm not reacting, he begins to poke me. After some time of this, I sigh.

"Yes, Kal?" I finally give in to the incessant beast that is my roommate, who deftly swings himself around to sit directly in my lap. This quickly and easily forces all of my attention on him, and, thankfully, my desk is cleared off (for once), meaning that he has nothing to accidentally swipe off.

"I want brownies," Kal states, looking rather serious and demanding. I raise an eyebrow, and his face automagically drops into an adorable begging expression. "Please?" he adds, and I resist the urge to laugh at how cute he is despite looking like the spawn of Satan.

"Let me take a shower first. If I'm not out in half an hour, you can come get me," I inform Kal. He squeals and jumps off of me immediately, acting exactly like a child. Shaking my head, I pick out a short-sleeved hoodie and some jeans. As I'm about to exit my closet, I look down at my arm and, after a few seconds of thought, also pick out a long-sleeved shirt.

Not today. With a sigh, I toss a towel on top of the pile and leave for the showers. On my way out, I grab the key to my personal shower, not wanting to have to use the stupid communal showers. Unlocking the door, I quickly step inside my small but personal bathroom and place my clean clothes and towel on the counter.

Don't look in the mirror. I repeat that in my head as I undress with my back turned to the devil itself, and I place the dirty clothes off to the side. Taking a deep breath, I release all of my stress before turning the water on and adjusting it to the correct temperature before stepping in. 

Thankfully, the Academy's water never gets cold. Honestly, it's the only constant thing I rely on at this point, and I sigh in content as I lean against the shower wall for a few seconds, just relishing the warmth of the water, before beginning to wash up. Humming to myself, I thoroughly scrub down every part of my body and rinse off. As my fingers glide over the marks that make me stand out, my mind slowly drifts back to this past weekend home.

Why do people, my family specifically, have to be so… ignorant and judging? The thought makes me frown as I carefully sift my fingers through the fur at my neck. Part of me hates the soft, fluffy fur that marks me as part glitzeri (as if the antlers and skin weren't obvious enough) and certified freak, but another part of me adores how unique it is, even though it attracts other people's unwanted attention.

So perhaps the problem isn't with other people but with my indecisiveness. With a dry chuckle, I quickly turn the water off and push aside the curtain. A blast of cold air hits me, and I grab the towel from the counter before drying myself off well enough.

"Stupid thick stuff," I huff to myself as I step out of the shower. People just look at my soft fur and hair and think "oh he's so cute," but they don't know the hell I go through with this stuff, like it takes a lot of effort to dry without damaging it. Grumbling under my breath, I plug in a blow dryer, set it on low, grab a comb, and begin the process.

As I dry my hair/fur and stare into the mirror, naked, my mind drifts back to the previous weekend once again, my yearly trip back home, and my mood plummets. Sighing, I turn off the hair dryer and put all the stuff away. My hands begins to shake slightly as the thoughts continue to invade my mind despite my greatest efforts to push them out, and I try to stop the trembling by tightly clenching my hands into fists.

"Fucking freak," I hiss under my breath, parroting the words of my family, and I tighten my grip on the counter. My breath begins to become erratic as the emotions I've tried to hold back suddenly surge forward, and I can't keep them in anymore as I huddle against the wall, still naked. Tears flow, fast and furious, down my cheeks and into the almost-dry fur at my neck, and I just let them go, knowing that there's no stopping them at this point.

After a few pathetic minutes of muffled crying, Kal knocks on the door and, when I don't answer, unlocks it. As he walks in, I try to quit crying, but it doesn't work. Soon enough, he's kneeling on the floor beside me and whispering reassuring words in my ear. In a few minutes, I begin to calm down. I'm not alone, I'm not a freak, it' okay… all of Kal's words drift into my mind and drown out the other, harsher thoughts, and as I begin to think clearly, I blush, just now realizing I'm still naked.

"S-sorry, Kal," I mumble as he stands up. With a smile, Kal tells me that it's no problem and reminds me to get dressed quickly, and as he leaves, I allow myself a small smile. Nobody else but Kal matters, right? Screw my family, they don't care about me. They never have, never will, and I don't need them. 

I just need Kal; he's the only person whose thoughts really matters. Nodding to myself, I quickly (but carefully) pull on my clothes and hurry to the room I share with Kal. He's waiting by the door, and as I approach, he rushes towards me. My eyes widen as I realize exactly what he's planning; before I can run away, Kal scoops me up in his arms and rockets off to the kitchen. Laughing, I just hold on for dear life and go along with the ride.

Who cares if our appearances don't match our personalities, if we "deceive" all around us? We know the truth about each other, and at the end of the day, that's all we need: just one truth-seer.
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Dreamed a Dream so Sweet

Postby ghostyghost » June 18th, 2018, 9:09:49 am

There are a few facts of life. The sun rises every morning and sets every night, for example. What goes up will come down. Cheaters never prosper.

Of course, in this godless land of death and despair, the facts of life don't really apply. The sun rarely ever shows its face, instead hiding behind layers of dark clouds and nightmares, and things don't go up. They just fall. Finally, the only way to win is to cheat.

Then again, can you even cheat if there are no rules? Erinio smirks as he looks over his empire, a lawless land full of the sort of creatures you'd only see in nightmares, and to him, it seems like every piece of the puzzle falls directly into place. Finally he'll have the power, the respect, the adoration he deserves. 

"Do you know how long a thousand years is, my dear?" Erinio questions the air. He knows she is always listening, even when she doesn't show her face, and as he paces his office, he can feel her presence. After a few seconds, she appears, the goddess of creation, and he smiles sinisterly. 

"I've lived much longer than you, Erinio. Don't forget how long us deities exist," she purrs. He smirks as he takes a few moments to revel in the fact that here he is, Erinio, the illegitimate son casted aside despite his infinite potential, with a goddess willing to come to this unnatural place full of destruction, her opposite, just for him.

"Well, my dear, soon I will be among you, and then I will have all of eternity to discover just how long life can truly be," Erinio informs her, his voice dripping with a sweetness that contrasts his dark form. A thousand years rotting in this dark magic broth of a realm tends to warp one's physique, and Erinio certainly seems warped in an oddly (demonically) beautiful way. The darkness doesn't seem to touch his voice, though, or even his mind, which is exactly why Kismus continues to come.

She knows that Erinio is smart, incredibly smart. Smarter than most others, for sure, and that intelligence only seems to increase with time. She also knows how genuinely thirsty for power he is. Erinio will do anything to achieve his dreams with any of the pesky problems dark magic contains, such as over-aggression or guilt. Because of his drive, ruthlessness, and intelligence, Kismus continues to mingle with the mortal, stroke his ego, and maybe get him to complete a few tasks for her, such as retrieving her son before he figures out the truth.

"Speaking of your plans… the little brat ran off with my son. I would be able to track them, but they seem to be cloaked. How, may I ask, did that peasant end up with my previous son?" Kismus suddenly hisses, anger flooding through her at the thought of a mistake ruining her carefully crafted plan, and Erinio hides his look of shock and concern at the sudden eruption of emotion behind a cocky and sly smirk. One little bump won't ruin his plans, he'll get that little brat and summon the ultimate beast anyways. It'll all work out, he reassures himself.

"My sweet goddess, don't worry. Your son probably summoned Droenix himself, you know how he is. As far as not being able to track them, well, my own son is with Droenix, and he is a force that I can always feel," Erinio reassures the upset goddess and himself, and with a sigh, Kismus nods. With a smile, she disappears and leaves Erinio alone to his thoughts once again.

He doesn't really mind being alone, of course. It reminds him of when he used to dream, and despite all the other horrendous things in that time, he enjoys remembering when he dreamed a dream so sweet that the taste still lingers on his tongue. 

How do dreams taste? Why, they taste like the sweetest nectar from the rarest of flowers… Erinio allows himself a small, genuine smile as he takes a seat in his office chair. Looking out the window at his empire, he allows the memories of the dream to wash over him.

Power, he remembers. Ultimate power, the power that he knew lay beneath his surface if someone would just let it rise, dances in his mind. Adoration, the loving gazes of everyone as they realize how amazing he really is, how much better than his legitimate brother, and respect, the respect someone of his caliber deserves. He is every bit as elegant and graceful as his brother, damn it! 

As Erinio's mind travels beyond his dream and to the results of his dream, the sweet taste dissolves into revolting bitterness, and his breathing shortens as rage begins to trickle through his veins. He tries to calm himself by envisioning the twisted and bloody body of his family, broken by his hands and his hands alone. Slowly, the sea of hatred recedes back to the original shoreline, and Erinio's eyes focus on his distorted reflection in the glass. 

Pitch black hair carefully styled, not a strand out of place. Eyes pits of empty blackness. Snow white skin marred by black lines. Almost too perfect a structure, some would say. Sinfully perfect. Gone are the dorky glasses, the imperfections of mortality, the bumbling peasantry of his old self. All of it is replaced by this better self: beyond perfect, smooth, graceful, regal. 

He is a better king than his father ever was, a king so great as to be a god. Him, a god! His family, dead. His dreams, reality. 

Yes, Erinio dreams a dream so sweet, and now that it's almost reality, the sweetness threatens to overwhelm him. He will stand strong, though. What's the use of having a dream if you can't follow through, after all? 
With a confident smirk, Erinio closes his eyes and searches for Zyran's magic force. After a few minutes, he feels a faint hum in a distant realm that matches his adoptive son, and, laughing to himself, the soon-to-be god reopens his eyes.

"Found them," Erinio whispers. With a snap, he summons a small group of loyal soldiers and gives them their orders: find and retrieve Zyran, Droenix, and Terion, alive but preferably incapacitated. The rest can be killed however they prefer; he just wants those three. Only those three matter at this point, the last three pieces of the puzzle, the sweet puzzle.

Fact of life: you must be willing to do whatever it takes to achieve your dreams. Thankfully, Erinio will do anything and everything to succeed; nothing will stand in his way. He's too close, the sweet taste too tantalizing, for him to give up now, not after a thousand years of dreaming. 
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Creation

Postby ghostyghost » June 19th, 2018, 2:38:07 pm

"Today, we celebrate the works of our very own Thomas Greene! At 25 years young, he's published a six-part series that is globally successful, along with several other independent novels that are almost just as successful, and he's working on another one! Can he be stopped?" my drunken brother shouts as if celebrating a battle victory or something, and the entire room, all drunk, cheers in response.

Idiots. I sigh and look around, trying to spot an opening for me to leave through, but they all clump together in one big swaying mass, the music providing the beat for their wild flailing. Not for the first time, I wish I could just vanish on the spot, leave forever, and not have to ever come back.

"Thomas!" they roar my name in unison. I grimace at the loudness and try to work my way from the corner to my balcony, where it should be nice and quiet, but hands push me back and up onto the table that now serves as a stage of sorts. Bloodshot, expectant eyes stare at me, trying to pry the secrets of my success from my head, and I resist the urge to flinch and run away.

"I wrote," I answer their silent questions as simply as possible. Thankfully, the crowd is in such a drunken haze that they roar in agreement anyways, and, sweating nervously, I force my way through the crowd and into my room. Locking the door behind me, I collapse to the ground and try to stop the shaking that overtakes me.

Stupid Derek, throwing this stupid party! I squeeze my eyes shut and huddle against the door, and after a few minutes, I stumble to my feet and make my way across the room. Taking a few seconds to calm down, I rest by the doors of my balcony to let the shaking die down even more. 

"Times like these make me wish I drank," I mumble under my breath as I shakily stand up, more steady than before but still resembling a new-born deer. That shakiness fades as I step out onto my balcony, the one and only benefit of having a multi-storied house.

Sometimes I look down and wonder just how far it is to the ground. If I toppled over the edge, would I die? If I died, would anyone care? Or would I just become another young tragedy, a warning story of what too much success too soon will do? 

Not that anyone would listen. The only way people listen is if it's in some pop culture item, and even then, they don't absorb the information. They just move on to the next thing without even pausing to think about what they just heard, what it was trying to say! Those people act like they're so righteous, so great, so… so… so godly for listening to artists, allowing their souls to intertwine for a pure moment, but they don't know anything! They don't listen, they don't—

"Tommy? Are you okay?" a familiar voice questions. Blinking, I realize that I must have looked like I was about to jump, standing at the edge of the balcony with a white-knuckled grip on the railing and an intense gaze on the ground below. Sighing, I step back from the edge and run a hand through my already wild hair.

"Yeah, I am. Sorry if I worried you, Eliza. Go back to the party," I softly tell the female standing in the doorway to my balcony. The moon provides the only light, but I don't need light to know that she's looking at me with worry-filled brown eyes. 

Why does she have to care so much? I watch as she hesitantly walks back to the party going on downstairs without saying anything, and as my door shuts, I sigh and turn back to lean against the railing for support. Sighing, I stare up at the moon, bright and cold and distant, and wonder if that's how people see me: an emotionless wonder-boy so lost in his own creations that he's lost the ability to connect with reality. 

Or is that just how I see myself? Which version of me is the truth? Is there even a truth, or do we all live our own individual lies? Does reality exist, or is life just a collection of individual delusions? 

"You think too much, Tommy boy," a voice whispers in my ear. My muscles stiffen as everything in my body freezes. My thoughts come to a screeching halt. My breath stops in my throat. Even my heart stops beating.
 
That voice. That sinful voice, that treacherous, beautiful voice… the same voice that haunts me at night. A voice that isn't real. "Go away," I whisper harshly under my breath. The voice laughs, hands ghost against my sides, I can feel the warm weight of a body pressing against my back—but there's nobody there.

I know that. It can't be real because he's not real. The breath gently puffing against the back of my neck isn't real, but it feels so real. "Thomas," the voice chuckles, "if you didn't want me around, you shouldn't have created me." He finishes his sentence with a gentle kiss to the base of my neck, a fake feeling that sends shivers through my body.

Thomas, the cold and distant man more turned on by his own imagination than his girlfriend. I grip the railing even tighter and squeeze my eyes shut. It isn't real, I tell myself. It's just a creation of my overly vivid imagination. You know how to deal with this, Thomas! You've been dealing with this type of stuff since you started writing.

So why is it so different this time around?

"I need some sleep," I mumble. I'm not sure if I'm telling this to the imaginary figure standing behind me or not, but that's fine, right? I'm just tired, it'll all blow over in the morning. Nodding, I stand up straight and feel the presence behind me fade, a faint laugh echoing in my ears even after it's gone.

I'm just tired. Sighing, I walk into my room and give one last glance to the moon before I shut the balcony doors. Even though it's pitch black, I easily navigate the maze of messiness that is my room and collapse on my bed without undressing. Almost as soon as my head hits the pillow, my eyes close, and I fall into a deep sleep.

Not even the deepest sleep can save me from the nightmares, though. Bizarre creations claw their way out of my head and feast upon my festering body; they grow to monstrous sizes and move on to destroy humanity. At the same time, my lifeless body is metamorphosing into a monster, the true form lurking in the back of my mind.

People wonder where I get my creativity from. Every time I get interviewed, the first question out of their mouth always includes the subject of my creativity. I always spout some stupid answer about the tragedies of my life or something, but the true answer lays beyond the physical realm.

I get my creativity from the demons and monsters that no one else sees. I've always had nightmares, and no matter how many pills they shove down my throat, they won't stop. The only way to get any solace is to write, but is it creating?

Am I creating? Or am I merely… bringing to life the things that were always there? Is that my job, my reason for being? Do I exist to give life to others? Are authors merely the earthly mothers of otherworldly beings, or are we their slaves? 

As always, nothing answers me as I float in the infinite blackness. Vague shapes are barely perceivable as I stare upwards, floating adrift on a raft of my own imagination. As I float, my mind slowly comes about to the ungrateful people of the world too stupid to realize the beauty of creation.

They don't listen. Why won't they listen? Frustration pulses through me as I begin thinking about all the ungrateful people in this world, and a familiar wish to just leave them all behind arises.

My brother, the moocher, who always pressures me to write to keep the money flowing in. He doesn't care about me unless it endangers his well-being, but he can't take the time to absorb the meaning of my creations.
 
Eliza, the pryer, who can't leave me alone. She doesn't understand the importance of being alone, can't comprehend the idea that I don't want her around, that I'm not okay but that's the only way I can write.

Where would I get my creativity if I was okay? Even if nobody listens to me, the only thing I have about myself is creating. If I can't create, I am not myself. I am… I am a creator. An author. But what is an author, a creator, what is their true role?

Are my creations myself? Or am I them? Who am I? Is there even a me left, or have I been absorbed into the unknown blackness of creating? Am I real? Is anything real? Or do we all drift in unreality disguised as truth?

As I wonder, a figure appears in the black. The same figure as always. He grins at me, teeth glowing white in the darkness, and I smile back. Old friend, welcome back! Will you answer my questions? He approaches slowly, a light from behind me glinting off the claws he wields.

"Thomas," he sings, "we have to take you now." Take me? Take me where? "You're one of us." One of them? Who are they? "You belong with me." With him? Why do I belong with him? Why does the thought feel so… right? "You're too special for this world." Special? Me? What is he talking about? I glance around, trying to find who else he could be talking about, but a sudden burst pain blooms in my chest, like the petals of a flower spreading in the sunlight.

Suddenly, sunlight floods my world and showcases everything. Reality slowly settles in as I realize that I am neither creator nor slave, myself nor them, real or unreal.

I am Creation.

Just as I arrive to this conclusion, blurry shapes crowd me, each of them painted with worry, and a flood of noise assaults me.

"Thomas! Come on, get up, we have to take you to the hospital!"

Hospital? Why do I need a hospital? I'm better than I've ever been. I feel great, it feels great, I love it. I don't want it to end.

"You're bleeding!"

Bleeding? I vaguely become aware of a pain pulsing in my chest, warmth spreading steadily. It feels nice, like a blanket coming to comfort me.

"Are you okay?"

The voice sounds distant, like it's coming from the end of a long tunnel, and a female figure flashes in my mind. Okay? I'm more than okay. I'm perfect. I feel fantastic, so fantastic that I actually laugh. It's wet and gurgling, an odd but beautiful sound.

"Create."

A voice pounds in my head. It drowns everything else out and sends a surge of electricity pulsing through my veins. I will create, that is my job. Creation.

"You look pale, are you sure you're okay?"

Another tunnel voice, another flash of a figure, this one male. My brother. Always the worrier when it benefits him. If I'm not okay, he loses his money. A sudden rush of anger flows through me, but it quickly fades as I remember that I'm leaving.

About time.

"Feed."

The same pounding voice as before. It tells me to feed, but feed on what? An image pushes its way through my mind, and I grin, warmth trickling down my face at the movement. Feed by creating, of course.

"Oh my God! Someone call 911!"

Screaming. Why scream? My vision fades to black as the warmth begins to turn cold, but I'm not worried. The truth, arms wide open, welcomes me in the blackness, teeth and claws shining a pretty white. As the lovely blackness fully encompasses me, the truth of the world pulses in my head.

One cannot truly create until one is destroyed.
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