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Author Topic: [Apr 2015] - Plot Twist! Werewolf, Vampire, Goat - Submission Thread  (Read 10040 times)

Offline Rukaio_Alter

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Re: [Apr 2015] - Plot Twist! Werewolf, Vampire, Goat - Submission Thread
« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2015, 07:05:27 PM »
Finally got around to finishing mine off. And, for the first time, I didn't have to try and shave it down to fit the word limit!

Anyway,coming in at 1333 words is A Twist too Far.

Spoiler for Hiden:
The warehouse was dark. Gloomy. Silent. The only sign of life was the occasional rat or cockroach scattering across the floor, dodging between the many stacked crates littering the room.

A loud clank cut through the silence. The warehouse door creaked open and Welshy Simmons crept in, a flashlight in one hand and a crowbar in the other. He scanned the shadowy room carefully before creeping over to a crate surreptitiously tucked away in a corner. He quietly placed the flashlight down before beginning to pry the crate open.

His heart was beating fast. The detective must’ve been lying. There was no way he could’ve seen Michelle walking around. But if he wasn’t… If that blow to the head hadn’t been fatal…

He finally managed to rip the lid off the crate and peek at the contents. He let out a relieved sigh. She was still there.

“So this is where you hid the body then?”

Welshy spun around at the sound of the voice. Behind him stood Tex Taylor, the private detective who had so rudely stuck his nose into Welshy’s business. The detective had a flashlight of his own and a gun aimed directly at Welshy.

“Put the crowbar down.” Tex said. “It’s all over.”

Welshy did as he was told with a resigned tone.

“This was all a trap wasn’t it?” He said. “You never actually saw Michelle alive.”

Tex nodded. “And I know all about the smuggling operation you ran behind the books. The only thing I needed was for you to expose yourself and show me where you hid her.”

Welshy gave a weary smile. “Looks like you worked it all out then.”

“Almost.” Tex smiled back. “The only thing I couldn’t work out was ‘why?’ What made you decide to kill Michelle? Did she stumble over part of your operation?”

Welshy began to chuckle. “That’s not something I can so easily tell you.” He took a step to the side and gestured to the crate with Michelle’s body in. “Perhaps it would be better to show you instead…”

Suspicious, Tex took a step forward and shined his flashlight into the crate. What he saw shocked him. A mess of slimy purple tentacles. Six black, lifeless eyes. A humanoid form that absolutely could not be human.

"Wha... What is this?"

“I could tell as soon as I saw her.” Welshy slowly let out a low laugh. “That so-called Michelle was none other than a Venusian spy, sent her to foil my dirty deeds! My internal mecha-scanner confirmed she was wearing a fleshsuit!”

Tex could scarcely believe the words coming out his mouth. “She’s an… alien?”

“Not just she…” Welshy reached up to his neck and began to tear away his own skin, revealing a horrific green fleshy substance beneath. “For today, detective, you deal not with a mortal human vagabond.” In a single smooth motion, he ripped off his fleshy outside to reveal a mound of wriggling inhuman tendrils that vaguely consisted a face. “I AM GLARTOK, THE DEVASTATOR!!! VWAHAHAHA!!!!!”

Glartok’s eight glassy eyes focused on the stunned detective as his laugh turned guttural and grating. 

“WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SAY NOW, TINY HUMAN!!! YOU FACE A BEING FAR BEYOND ANYTHING YOU CAN COMPREHEND!!!”

Tex stared up with his jaw dropped at the humanoid monstrosity, a creature far beyond his own lifespan and comprehending. Then he asked one simple question.

“What the hell do you think you’re playing at?”

Glartok laughed at this. “I AM HERE TO LAY WASTE TO YOUR PALTRY-“

“No, not you.” Tex interrupted. “You. The writer. What do you think you’re playing at?”

Glartok looked confused at the simple human detective. Obviously the shock of meeting a being from another world far beyond his own had-

“Hey, don’t ignore me! I want an answer!”

Wait, are you talking to me?

“Yeah, you.” Tex nodded. He gestured at the confused Glartok. “What the hell is this?”

He’s Glartok the Devastator. A member of an intergalactic race bent on world domination and-

“No, I don’t care about that. What I want to know is what the hell is he doing here?” Tex asked. “This is a detective story, not Battlestar Galactica! Admittedly, it’s not the most original detective story, but at least it was vaguely consistent. Why did you introduce aliens out of nowhere?”

“FOOLISH MORTAL!! GLARTOK COMES WHEREVER HE PLEASES!!”

“Shut up, Glartok!” Tex snapped. “I want an answer!”

Um… I thought it would make a neat twist.

“A neat twist?” Tex gestured to the giant alien. “This guy? Really?”

Well, you didn’t see it coming.

“True, but that doesn’t make it a good twist. If everyone in the world suddenly turned into gummy bears, I wouldn’t have seen that coming. And it would’ve been equally stupid.”

Now you’re just exaggerating. It’s not that bad.

“Really?” Tex raised an eyebrow. “Name one piece of adequate foreshadowing you laid for this scene.”

Er… Well, when you investigated Welshy’s room, he did have that space planet mobile hanging from his chandelier.

“So?” Tex said. “My 5-year old nephew has stars painted on the ceiling of his bedroom! That doesn’t mean I’m expecting him to turn into a crazed Martian in Act 3!”

“ACTUALLY, I’M FROM A SMALLISH PLANETOID ROTATING THE LESSER MOON OF-“

“Nobody cares, Glartok!”

All right, look, you may have a point. But what do you want me to do about it? It’s already happened.

“That’s not my problem.” Tex said. “But you need to fix it and fast.”

“IF IT’S ANY CONSOLATION, I THOUGHT IT WAS A GOOD TWIST.”

Shut up, Glartok. Okay, how about this? He’s not an alien, he’s a demon king or ghost or something supernatural. We had some weird cult elements in the first third as a red herring remember?

“OOH! A DEMON KING! I LIKE THE SOUND OF THAT!”

“Hmmm.” Tex thought on this. “It’s better, but it’s still a fairly big shift in tone. We didn’t really have any kind of supernatural elements before.”

How about some kind of powerful hallucinogenic gas?

“What would a petty smuggler be doing with powerful hallucinogenic gas?”

He was… smuggling it?

Tex scratched his chin. “I suppose it could work. The whole Glartok thing still seems a little on the nose, though. Even as a hallucination, it’s impossible to take that walking cliché depository seriously.”

“SNIFF. YOU GUYS ARE HURTING MY FEELINGS.”

Maybe if I made him like an internal reflection of your own latent personality traits? If I throw in some psychology-sounding mumbo-jumbo, people will probably praise it as ‘deep’.

“Do you actually know anything about psychology?”

No.

“Are you just going to use the word ‘Freudian’ a bunch of times?”

A little.

“Then I’m going to pass.”

“WHAT ABOUT A COMPLEX ANALYSIS AND COMPARISON OF BOTH THE ENVIROMENTAL AND BIOLOGICAL FACTORS THAT LED TEX TO BE THE MAN HE WAS TODAY AS A WAY OF EXPLORING THE IDEA OF NATURE VS NURTURE.”

“…”

...

“WHAT? I TOOK AMATEUR PSYCHOLOGY ON GLOVOK IV.”

Okay, this is all getting to be too much of a pain. I know exactly how to sort this.

“Why do I have a bad feeling about-“



Tex woke with a start. He sat up and looked around. He was on his apartment couch. The entire place was quiet except for the dull chatter of the TV in front of him.

“And that concludes this week’s adventures of Glartok the Galactic Conquerer.” The announcer blared. “Please tune in next week where Glartok will-“

Tex switched the TV off and sighed. Obviously he must’ve accidentally fallen asleep on the couch and accidentally dreamt about that TV show. After all, the idea of aliens existing was just silly. Absolutely ridiculous.

But there was no point dwelling on it. For now he was going to have to put his mind back to solving that important case. He lay back on his couch, deep in thought.

Finally, he spoke.

“You know, this is still a fairly cheap twist.”

Bite me.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2015, 04:05:20 AM by Rukaio Alter »
5 Times Winner of the Forum Writing Contest who Totally Hasn't Let it All go to his Head.

Spoiler for Hiden:
Also, <Insert GOD EMPEROR OF THE WRITING CONTEST joke here>

Offline Carter

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Re: [Apr 2015] - Plot Twist! Werewolf, Vampire, Goat - Submission Thread
« Reply #16 on: April 28, 2015, 10:01:02 PM »
Here's mine for the month, coming in at 1500 words all told.  Enjoy. 

Spoiler for Hiden:
A Masquerade in Three Acts

Act One

He smiled within his vulpine mask as he surveyed the ball.  The colours of House Cultator hung from the rafters of the Guildhall, every decoration drawing on its azure and eagle for inspiration.  From flower arrangements to frosted windows, all was resplendent in the cerulean-tinted alchemical lighting.  A string quartet played mellow, lilting refrains for the gathering of the great, the good and the corrupt of the Bruanic League.  The eddying, swirling current of humanity swept him through the throng as he exchanged pleasantries with each wealthy, influential, bestialised individual.  Porcine tusks and ursine claws ushered him towards the waiting podium.
 
Four years ago they had shunned his advances.  Three months ago each family had clamoured for his attention.  And two hours ago he, Captain Oric, owner of a ship and a new spice route, had married into their illustrious company.  All his hopes and bribes, all his scheming and his luck, had brought him to the cusp of his dreams.  Arms spread wide in welcome, the giant, lupine figure of Merchant Cultator drew him into an embrace.  His new father’s grey muzzle matched the bristles beneath and his dark eyes glittered with devious intelligence and burning ambition. 

“Oric, my boy,” Cultator said.  “Isn’t this the finest celebration you ever saw?”

The jovial tone hid the knife thrust but he felt it all the same. 

On my journeys I dined with chiefs and kings, you oaf.  I witnessed marvels and miracles your land-bound mind cannot imagine.

“You have outdone even your own standards, father,” he said. 

The honorific was as deliberate as wearing a canine mask to highlight their new familial bonds. He imagined the riposte striking home.  It reminded Merchant Cultator that, however much his House gained in exclusive trading rights, it was humble Captain Oric who had climbed furthest and emerged victorious.  The grin stretching his lips strained his cheeks. 

The musicians fell silent and a hush spread across the room.  Lucretia’s entrance spared him further conversational sparring as all eyes turned to get a glimpse of the bride.  Atop the stairs, she had abandoned the traditional, virginal tabard she had worn to the ceremony in favour of a sumptuous lapis lazuli gown.  Graceful, elegant hemming created the illusion of feathered wings as she held the flowing split skirt apart to ease a fluid descent.  An aquiline beak was studded with sparkling, frosted glass beads, her necklace dazzling with sapphires.  Her mask and headdress were constructed of real, dyed down, stitched so tightly together and so close to the skin, it looked melded to her skull. 

Suddenly she stumbled.  A caprine-masked man dashed from the crowd as she toppled.  The crowd gasped in unison as he swept Lucretia into his arms.  A high, piercing scream tore the air.  Oric’s heart stopped.  He could only watch as his future dripped scarlet down the stairs. 

Act Two

Friedrich’s heart ached as he waited for the sight of his beloved.  The waiting grated at his nerves.  The need to remain constantly civil and courteous was becoming increasingly unbearable as others celebrated Lucretia’s marriage to seaborn scum.  Thinking about the captain enraged him beyond belief.  All he had done was sail around until he stumbled upon an island or two and it had somehow been enough to snatch Lucretia from his arms. 

Only one thought warmed him.  By the end of the night Oric would know just what it felt like to have his world cruelly ripped away. 

Someone bumped into him, jostling him out of position at the foot of the grand, sweeping staircase.  He spun around, hand clenching involuntarily into a fist.  A splotched, skewbald, equine woman stumbled backwards, reaching out a steadying arm.  A hand covered in a stretched, hoof-like cuff covered her mouth. 

“I’m sorry, my lord,” she said, granting him the deference he deserved. 

“It is forgotten,” he said through gritted teeth, banishing the woman from his mind as she retreated into the crowd. 

He turned back just in time.  Full of harsh, aquiline magnificence, Lucretia glided down the stairs.  Beautiful and perfect, her stitched wings spread wide; she descended with the innate grace of the landborn.  Something the base Captain with his rolling swagger and coarse breeding could never hope to emulate.  The very fact that he tried to ape Merchant Cultator’s outfit made him squirm. 

Almost he missed his moment.  He cursed Oric for the distracting thoughts as, partway down the stairs, a poised foot slipped across polished oak.  His muscles, aching with suppressed nerves, reacted.  Within a heartbeat he caught her, the small knife drawn from within his costume and gripped carefully in nervous fingers.  As Lucretia fell into his arms, he punched the blade through the folds of her dress and into her stomach, a smile creeping across his face for the first time that day. 

Her scream was shrill and pained, musical and perfect.  Blood flowed between his fingers; slick, pungent.  Warm. 
Panic flared.  His heart stopped, paralysed in his chest.  This wasn’t part of the plan.  A bladder she had a told him, a nick from the trick blade and pig’s blood would flow.  A tragic accident, a quick, straightforward charade and they could be together far from the machinations of their families. 

Lucretia’s life fluttered beneath his fingertips and she slipped away from him.  The crowd screamed and cursed.  Hands hauled him away. 

“No!  Lucretia!  Lucretia!”

Act Three

Like most daughters from the merchant houses, she had spent much of her youth planning her wedding day.  Every aspect had been carefully plotted in meticulous detail.  The guest list, her outfit, the music, the decoration, everything within her control she arranged so that the moment her father announced the date and the groom, she would be prepared.  And now, with the ball underway excitement threatened to spill out of every pore.  Only deep, roiling anger held it in check. 

A seaborn captain.

The thought still made her skin crawl.  Despite always knowing her life was nothing but a pawn in her family’s games, trying to marry her off to some pathetic explorer infuriated her more than she could express.  Seeing him move through the crowd as if he could possibly belong among the Houses made her want to scream.  If not for her preparations, she might have railed against the decision like so many merchant women before her. 

The first act of the evening had been simple.  Sneaking into the party with a cheap, forgettable equine mask was laughably effortless.  Careful placement of servants and heralds and her unannounced entrance caused barely a ripple, everyone keen to ignore a seemingly poverty-stricken young woman.  Now, she slid through the packed room, twisting her way unrecognised between her father’s contacts, family members and merchants towards where Friedrich waited in eager readiness.  Long hours practising in front of a mirror, coaxing her fingers into dextrous precision ensured the second act went unnoticed.  A bump with her shoulder and she swiftly removed the trick dagger at his hip and concealed it within the folds of her cuff.  A carefully placed, steadying hand and she replaced it with one of her blades. 

“I’m sorry, my lord,” she said, the mask muffling her distinctive, throaty voice. 

“It is forgotten,” he said, every muscular line of him tense. 

A meek, hasty retreat as befitted someone of low station and she blended once more with the faceless crowd.  Her heart fluttered with exhilaration, any residual guilt at Friedrich’s inevitable fate quashed beneath pragmatism.  For everything to work, to sever her ties to her family and gain the freedom she craved and deserved, sacrifices were essential.  What was one lovesick fool in comparison?  After all, the kisses and trysts had only been a means to an end. 

Silence fell but she moved on.  She did not need to watch Anabella’s glorious moment.  The memories were enough; the clandestine rehearsals preparing her maid for the ruse, Anabella’s flushed cheeks as she mastered each step, the surprising ache as Lucretia realised she would never wear the magnificent gown.  The hush, the gasp, the sudden scream that sent shivers down her spine assured her of success.  Hot, sweaty bodies surged against her as she threaded her way to the exit, Friedrich’s desperate cries ringing in her ears. 

The night’s chill crept along her arms as she breathed in heady, damp scent of freedom.  Lysander waited for her, unconcerned and bathed in the soft magenta glow of a lamppost, the alchemical liquid within splaying distorted shadows across the cobbles. 

“Done?”

His voice was bland but she saw his slight smile, the smuggler’s stony façade cracking.  Because of his knowledge of the city’s secret routes, she had carefully cultivated his friendship, winning him with promises, bribes and the frisson of forbidden romance. 

“Once we get out of the city.”

As she followed him into darkness, her fingers caressed the filigree handle of the stiletto at her hip, the familiar tracery emboldening her for the final act to come. 

Offline Saraband

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Re: [Apr 2015] - Plot Twist! Werewolf, Vampire, Goat - Submission Thread
« Reply #17 on: April 29, 2015, 04:20:16 PM »
Yay, I actually made it!  :)

After much thought, and having thought of actually giving up this month, I ended up with an idea. I took a well-known story and gave it a twist, hope you enjoy it.

Innocence Lost (900 words)

Spoiler for Hiden:
It is not in our nature to trust outsiders. Each clan has its own affairs, each clan should look to its own. However, on this occasion, all the wolf clans of Brynjar howled together when it was time to make a decision.

The huntsman would have to pay the ultimate price for his crimes against the infants of our species, and I, Silver-Shadow, was the one chosen to do it.

***

Men and wolves had respected each other for millennia. Our worlds met at the border of Brynjar Forest, where the darkness of the woods opened up to a sea of green grass and golden pastures. But the sea kept growing wider, and even before my own father was a cub, men had stolen land from us. They came with claws of iron and took down our trees, some of them as old as the northern mountains.

The clans tried to adapt as our world shrunk, but there was fewer game for each generation, and hunger made us turn into kinslayers.

Father Blue-Brown-Eye told us the forest itself twitched in pain each time a wolf killed another. When the woods slept under the embrace of the moon, we could hear the wind crying for the dead. But how could we stop? Our children cried too, their bellies empty and their bodies too slim to keep warm. To feed our own, the cubs of the other clans had to go hungry.

But Brynjar kept growing smaller. Half of the old clans were left alive after our own wars, before Three-Legged was able to bring together the leaders for a peace agreement. But peace, like war, had a price.

“The claws of the two-legged ones never become blunt, nor does their greed”, Three-Legged announced. “They have no fur, and so they must turn our wood into fire, and the skins of our children into their shelter. We are pack, but the humans do not understand what that means. We must end the life of their leader, and they will run in fear.”

And then Three-Legged came to me, touching the end of my muzzle with hers.

“Silver-Shadow has hunted the cunning fox and the sapient owl,” she said. “He has kept his clan safe, and provided for them. He has met all challenges with guile and strength, and with the moon’s blessing he shall accomplish this task.”

There was silence. And then White-Eye howled, and so did his clan. Blue-Tongue, the proudest of all the clan leaders, was the last one to howl in favor of Silver-Shadow’s decision, but when he did, the clans became one. We were pack once more.

The hour of the wolf had come.

***

No other wolf knew the woods of Brynjar like I did. I stayed for days near the border, hidden, watching the humans. Their leader was very different from the heads of our clans. To lead a pack was to go first. But the leader of the humans stood back, howling, forcing his kin to do his work for him. He was smaller, weaker, yet the others seemed to obey without baring their teeth at him. They respected something other than strength, for the huntsman leader seemed to have none of it.

From the shadows, my eyes met his, but he did not see it. He wore a strange fur, all covered in the color of blood. No one else had such color, and I saw how it made him feel powerful.

The moon grew thinner as the nights went by. I did not leave my cover to eat or drink water. The blooded huntsman would have to die, or my kin would die. That was no choice for me. This was a prey I could not fail to capture.

Chance finally presented itself to me. On the morning of the thinnest moon, before all the humans came to sharpen their claws on our wood, I saw the blooded cape moving towards the forest.

My muzzle was dry, my paws ached, and my sight had lost its edge. But it was impossible to miss the huntsman and his fur, stained with the blood of the pack.

The human carried something in his hands, a hollow stone made of hundreds of small strips of wood tied together, and I could smell human food inside. But never had I seen the huntsman coming this close to the edge of Brynjar, and my muzzle kept telling me something was wrong.

Fear, I thought. I’m afraid. I never killed a human before. If I do this, I will never have to kill another. The pack needs it.

The huntsman entered the woods, and I prowled behind him, silent as a shadow. He kept to a straight path, howling a tune similar to that of birds. Even clad in his bloodstained fur, it was as if he went unburdened by the lives of my kin. As if he was innocent.

It was time. I got closer, nauseated by the human smell clawing at my nostrils. And, just before I jumped on him, I howled one last time.

I was halfway through the air, with my jaws opened, when I noticed that beneath the blooded fur was not the pack leader of the humans, but a small cub. The huntsman’s cub. In that moment, much like a human, my innocence was lost.
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Re: [Apr 2015] - Plot Twist! Werewolf, Vampire, Goat - Submission Thread
« Reply #18 on: May 01, 2015, 03:18:22 PM »
Just in time!  :P

The Race (1441 words)

Spoiler for The Race:
Adrenaline pulsed through Ayatton's veins as he soared ahead of the pack, whooping with joy.

The landscape below him surged and rolled, the valleys flushed with green and the hills splashed with a riot of colour. Creatures dived for cover, betrayed by flashes of silver and gold where the sunlight glanced off their polished backs.

Aya focused on the cliffs that rose in the distance, searching for a glimpse of the gorge. He had to reach it first. Most of his opponents flew on smaller wings, and once they were in the canyons they would be able to outmaneuver him--but first they had to catch him.

This time. This time I'm going to win.

Aya looked back, taking a moment to check how much breathing space he had gained. The light glinted off the wings of his adversaries, marking their positions like gems strewn across the faded horizon. With his superior speed he had left the pack far behind, although a few others were scattered in the space between.

The undulating hills gave way to rougher terrain as Aya headed toward the cliffs. He still couldn't see the gorge. Navigation had never been his strong suit, which was probably why he hadn't won a race yet. If he had picked the wrong bearing he'd lose his lead while he searched for the right spot.

Shit.

Aya climbed a little higher, giving up some speed in exchange for a better view. No luck--he was still too far from the cliffs to see their details through the haze. He growled, then took a deep breath and unleashed the fire in his heart.

The flames became an inferno that raged and swirled through his body. He stilled his mind and waited as the pain sharpened into exquisite agony, the power building into a tempest within. The world seemed to fade, his senses wavering under the onslaught, then he channeled the fire and bent it to his will.

At once the world brightened again, thrown into vivid detail while the fire fuelled his senses. His peripheral vision blurred, but straight ahead he could see every gully, every tuft of grass, every piece of rubble strewn across the tops of the cliffs.

He could see the gorge. His aim had been good, but not perfect. Shifting his trajectory, he accelerated again, calming his fire now that he knew the right heading.

Judging by the faint sounds of their flight the others were still far behind, but they had closed the gap. He chanced another look back, his vision still sharpened by the dying embers. Halfway through a swift count of his competitors, a shape in the sky drew his attention.

A dark bulge loomed above the vista, the long blade at its center piercing the roof of the world. Aya faltered, disbelieving. As his senses returned to normal the vision faded behind a silky veil, making him wonder if the thrill of the race was playing tricks on his mind.

Concentrate on the race, idiot. Forget the bloody ghost stories.

The last of the greenery quivered in his wake as he sailed into the gorge at last. Speckled walls loomed on either side, a river of blue flowed overhead, and the ground was lost in shadow. After a brief straight section, the canyon split and became a dizzying labyrinth of passageways.

Aya dived and corkscrewed around the jagged outcrops that threatened to knock him out of the race. His instincts took over as he jinked and swerved through the winding alleys, always taking the straightest path, letting the shortcuts and side routes fly past in a blur. He clenched his jaw, aware that every turn brought the others closer to his tail.

A patch of colour to one side flitted in and out of view, hidden by the walls and revealed by the gaps. Someone had caught up.

Aya snarled and sped up recklessly, flying through the maze in a blur, trusting to the lords of luck that he would make it through unscathed. His opponent kept pace, falling behind on the straights, clawing back in the turns, refusing to give him a moment's respite.

After a sharp corner their paths converged. Their wings clashed, and Aya's rival darted in front and took the lead. Aya yelled in frustration, his face a furious mask as he fought to avoid the looming walls, desperately trying to keep his speed. The other flyer took advantage, clipping Aya's wing again to keep him off balance before disappearing down another branch of the canyon.

A chorus of shrieks rose up from behind. A chill ran down Aya's spine, and the fire in his heart swelled into readiness. He chanced a glance backwards, but couldn't see a thing. Whatever was panicking the others was far behind him now. He saw no reason to turn and help--the race was more important. The pack could defend itself from the horrors that skulked in the caverns.

They were dragons, after all.

A patch of colour darted through the maze ahead of him. Aya chose a passage that angled to one side, aiming to overtake his adversary and reclaim the lead.

Their paths merged and they collided with a crunch, cannoning into the wall in a tangle. Aya dodged the falling rocks, kicking out at the other dragon and launching himself off the cliff to take flight once more.

A deep shadow blocked out the light.

The dragons froze in the midst of their fight, terror driving all thoughts of the race from their minds. They cowered, desperately wishing for the hunters to pass over and leave them alone.

Sharp impacts peppered the cliffs above them, the loud cracks echoing through the gorge.

Aya recovered first, diving just before the darts found their target.

The other dragon let out a furious roar, heat pouring off her as she thrashed about. Her struggles lasted mere moments before she stilled.

Aya watched in a state of panic as her silhouette floated upwards.

Oh shit. They're real. Ohshitohshitohshit.

More impacts pelted the cliff around Aya. He lurched into motion, weaving through the maze at breakneck speed. The shadow followed, a dark shape sliding across the surface of the sky.

Aya dived, hiding in the depths. Following the twisting passages by touch more than sight, he almost didn't notice the markers--he was close to the end of the labyrinth. Ignoring the urge to break for the finish line, he concentrated on the threat from above.

They were still following. Aya trembled, holding still in the hope that they couldn't see him in the gloom.

A spark of light flashed next to the hunters' ship. Aya sprang to one side, narrowly evading the darts. One of them dealt him a glancing blow, its tip snagging on his scales before its momentum carried it away.

A ripple of poison spread from the wound, sharp and icy, leaving paralysis in its wake. It petered out quickly, the dose too small.

Aya's fire surged, purging the poison, the pain fuelling his anger. He let it grow, building its heat, until he felt like a creature of molten wrath. His rage lent him strength against the pain, sustaining him past his limits as he refused to let the raw power tear him apart.

Aya launched upwards in a wave of heat, scorching the walls as he passed. He dodged the hissing darts and arrows, the fire lending him speed, aiming to one side of the hunters.

He breached the surface with a roar, a fountain of water following him as he flew into the air. The new sky above was impossibly vast, and the surface of his world spread out beneath him in all directions.

A shout below snagged his attention. The hunters swarmed atop their ship, a whirl of chaos and noise, scrambling for boxes containing strange sticks and packs of darts. Smaller boats tended to a dark mass that floated behind the ship--the other dragons, frozen by the poison, their bodies gathered into a huge net.

Aya attacked, releasing the full force of his fury onto the evil creatures, bellowing flames, teaching them to fear the wrath of the timeless. Irked that the ship still floated, he tucked his wings and plummeted, crashing into the flimsy metal and tearing it to shreds.

His rage began to cool, his lust for vengeance satisfied. He freed the frozen dragons from the net, lending his heat to help them burn off the poison.

The small boats sped across the waves, attempting to make a swift escape.

Aya let them leave, bearing a warning that the dragons of the deep would cower in fear no more.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2015, 06:16:08 PM by Raptori »
I wish the world was flat like the old days, then I could travel just by folding a map.

Offline ArcaneArtsVelho

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Re: [Apr 2015] - Plot Twist! Werewolf, Vampire, Goat - Submission Thread
« Reply #19 on: May 01, 2015, 03:27:49 PM »
Phew, finally finished. :)

Contains some slightly gruesome parts. So, animal lovers and very squeamish people beware.

Exactly 1500 words (including the title).

I hope it's not too much of a drag to read.  ;D

Spoiler for Hiden:
The skinner

The town bell tolled once, resonating low with no sense of urgency. It didn’t tell of marauding warriors approaching the gates, nor it rang because of a fight erupting between inebriated peasants. No, it merely marked the time for midnight’s watch to begin. No evil deed was afoot.


A steady clop of boot heels hitting the cobbles of the main road’s bridge echoed from the walls of darkening houses. The man wearing the boots sliced through an eerie, waist-high mist roused by the cool of the night from the thundering waters of the River Thundring which parted the town bearing the same name. The walker, named Breas, was a soldier in the town watch and, as such, not easily shaken. He had seen his share of cowardly thieves and belligerent drunks, and usually he had dealt with them hands down. But recently the night shifts had come with an added dread, for there was a murderer on the loose. Rumours whispered of killings in villages to the west. ‘More beast than man’, they said, and right they were. The slayings were senseless throat-slitting massacres, always happening in twos: two farmers in one night or two maids. And by every victim’s body there was a skinned animal: two similar dogs, two rabbits. Such atrocities left no man at ease, especially when they kept happening ever closer to their home.

Breas took an uneasy glance over his shoulder, almost expecting someone to jump at him from behind. But there was no attack. In fact, Breas didn’t see anyone, and only the disturbed, dancing mist followed in his wake. He heaved no sigh of relieve, however, not until he reached the west gate and turned into a narrow corridor in the town wall. An allayed smile appeared on his face when he saw a familiar figure lit by a light emanating from a small lantern.

The other man didn’t smile. “You! ’Twas about time you got here”, he grunted, peeking skittishly from a man-sized recess on the corridor next to steps leading onto the wall.

“The bell just rang, Cahal. And in truth, I was already hurrying here when it did. So don’t you start with me.”

“Whatever”, Cahal said, relinquishing his place. “This fucking fog...”, he muttered as he left.


Quickly Cahal’s footsteps became ever harder to hear, and soon the dim, quiet passageway seemed even more menacing than the mist veiled main street Breas had just trodden. Occasionally the fluttering flame in the lantern crackled, and whenever that happened Breas quailed, his right hand anxiously gripping the mace on his belt. A few times he even thought about tugging the alarm bell pull that dangled next to him, but the storm of complaints in the event of false alarm stayed his hand.

This jittery watch continued for many moments, then a sudden shriek made Breas shrink into his alcove. As the same noise hit him again, the watchman felt his legs buckling. He looked south, towards the sounds, but the dusky far end of the corridor seemed too baleful to reach in his distraught state. He grabbed the alarm rope but couldn’t pull it, not without really knowing if something bad had happened. He staggered up the stairs and peeped down from the wall, but sadly a large building obstructed his view. He needed a better vantage point, and, being a curious mind, Breas knew one that not many others, if any, did: the spire that housed the alarm bell rose a few feet higher than the wall. There were no steps, but the rough sides of the belfry, with bricks jutting out, made it possible to scale it up, and the low walled flat near the top was large enough for a sitting man.

After gathering his courage, harried by the intermittent shrieks, Breas started climbing. His hands shook, and he had more problems finding a footing than usually, but eventually he wrenched himself over the parapet, hitting his shoulder on the bell. He seized the bell and its clapper so they only managed to let out a muffled clank. Letting go of them and moving very slowly, Breas poked his head over the low wall to see the mist engulfed town. For a moment he heard nothing. Then the sound reached his ears again, but this time it was clearer and didn’t awe him. “Goats! Really!” he sighed at the bleating that had unnerved him. He smiled and took a deep breath, closing his weary eyes and rubbing them with his palms. However, when he opened his eyes, Breas was faced with yet another shock, for a cat had jumped up onto the low wall bordering the platform. Startled Breas fell on his ass, hitting the bell again, but not enough to toll it. Since it was evident that the feline wanted him no harm, only his company, Breas laughed and welcomed it to take a place on his lap. Stroking the striped, white and orange fur, the watchman, for the first time that night, was at peace.


Breas flinched awake from his slumber when the cat decided to leave him. “You’re right, can’t sleep on the job”, he said, following the animal carefully back down onto the wall. From there they went their separate ways, the man to his post and the cat northbound along the wall. Breas shook his head when he saw that the mist had sprawled even more, dwelling even in the gloomy corridor. The goats had fell silent, but the night still held the town in its frigid grasp, and the petite lantern in the passageway did little to ward off the chill plaguing both the body and the mind. Breas scanned the ends of the corridor and, at the same time, tried to keep calm with deep breaths. He saw no movement, even the mist lay still, but once again a strange sound terrorized him. It sounded like a knock, maybe from the wooden gate. Breas pulled out his mace, still fighting the urge to wake up the town with the alarm. “Who’s there!” His shout came out as a yelp. It was unlikely that any decent person would be out at this time, but still Breas hoped that maybe his brother had come to check on him before finally relieving him at dawn.

Nobody answered. Breas took two hesitant steps towards the north end of the passageway. Then, a sensation more powerful than a mere feeling hit him. It was like he could see in his mind’s eye feet gently reaching for the cobbles of the road somewhere near the gate where his real eyes couldn’t gaze from the depths of the corridor. As a child, Breas had possessed ‘the gift of seeing’, but without the tutelage of seers it had waned away. But even back then, Breas had never gotten as vivid a premonition as he did now, not without being in a feverish stupor, not while awake.

Then came a confirmation for his incredulous mind: the mist danced across the end of the corridor, imparting a movement that had disturbed it. Breas lifted his mace, preparing himself for whatever was about to befall him. But only a cat of white and orange fur crossed the end of the corridor with its soundless gait. A smile was about form on Breas’ face, and the cat had only just passed from his view, as he heard a panicked meow turn into a gurgling groan. With trepidation the watchman inched towards the sound that ceased as suddenly as it had began. His mace held high, Breas took a few breaths and jumped from the relative safety of his passageway onto the street. There, on the cobbles in the mist, he saw a sullied, white and orange pelt, and beside it, a bloody gob of flesh and bones. Aghast Breas stumbled backwards in to the corridor, his eyes wildly searching for the perpetrator. Then he felt a hand on his shoulder and a sharp blade travelling across his throat.


An alarm bell tolled somewhere, not once, but continuously. Breas grasped his throat, opening his eyes. “A dream?”, he laughed. It was almost dawn, the mist was mostly gone, he was still in the belfry, and the cat was stretching itself next to him. Only then Breas noticed the alarm, and had barely pinpointed its origin to the other side of the town, when a voice called from the main road.

“Breas!” It was his brother, Unas.

“Here, brother!”

“Thank the gods!” Unas panted. “How did you get... never mind. The guard at the east gate was killed. Peasants found him, throat slit, and an animal skinned nearby. I thought that it’s the killer people talk about and feared that you were the second vict...” His jaw dropped as he saw the striped cat jump on the parapet of the belfry. “White and orange,” he muttered, “just like the skin at the east gate. You really were supposed to be the second victim!”
Everything I wrote above is pure conjecture. I don't know what I'm talking about.

I'm a perfectionist but not very good at anything. That's why I rarely finish things.