What was this strange creature?
This single question had been lingering in the mind of the
blue vixen for several minutes as they traveled through Katyotal Forest. The
closest thing she could equate it to was some kind of hairless ape. But it was
much too tall and lanky to be labeled as such. Its skin was surprisingly soft for
being such a smooth surface that lacked in fur, what part of it touched her
anyway. Strangely enough, this creature was covered from nearly head to toe in what
she supposed was clothing, but none like she'd never seen. The piece which
covered his chest area felt rough like tanned leather, yet it didn't give off
the same feeling. It even had little pouches for storage, which she had to
admit, was pretty innovative. However, the cloth underneath that felt somewhat
familiar, like wool from sheep, but much less fluffy.
She took a moment to focus her eyes on the creature's face.
It's features seemed to define it as male, from what she could tell. His tone
and pitch had also indicated this when he spoke to her earlier. A rough, messy
collection of light brown hair was the only area that she could spot that showed
his fur color. She had to shift her head along with the gentle sway in the
creature's steps in order to catch a glimpse of his eyes. Wait, that couldn't
be right. They were not the same color! She squinted and moved again, trying to
get a better angle on his face. Apparently, this wasn't as stealthy as her
first shift, because he took a moment to look down at her. It was then that she
was given her first clear look.
Different was an understatement. His eyes looked like they
must have come from another world. The right side was a dazzlingly dark shade
of violet, with a few rare wavy streams of a lighter shade woven around the
iris. The left eye was almost the complete opposite. It was blank. A clear
white, devoid of almost all color except for a subtle twinge of gray. Despite
this alien and off-putting selection of color, she couldn't look away. They
were an exotic and yet, mystifying combination. So much so, that she almost
missed the faded scar that ran above and below his gray eye.
“Don't worry. I'm sure we'll be there soon. I hope.” He said.
Wherever there is.
Though his tone was kind, his thoughts appeared doubtful.
Even without sharing a language, she could detect that much at least. Being a
telepath allowed her to be given more depth into a person besides what they
appeared to be on the surface. Emotions work much in the same way as words do
when it comes to thought. She could feel his lingering uneasiness, though she
wasn't sure what the specific cause of it was. It was too general of a feeling.
Yet, she also sensed him comforting himself, trying to stay calm and collected.
He'd put his trust in her, regardless of the fact that they were strangers. In
every sense of the word. So, she decided she would do the same.
They continued on, the man holding her jogging as a steady
pace. His breathing came out controlled and even. Her highly developed ears
could pick up his faint heartbeat. It maintained almost the same amount of
discipline as his breath. This type of strain didn't seem to be all that
unfamiliar or difficult for him and she caught herself wondering if rescuing
helpless vixens like herself was some sort of hobby of his. She started to
giggle at her own little joke before instantly cutting it short. She let out a
small sigh of relief when he didn't turn to face her. He didn't hear her. God,
what was she thinking? She was a warrior in training, not some helpless maiden.
She had the entire situation under control.
Suddenly, the man took in a sharp intake of breathe and she
had just enough time to spot a sizable log in their path before he leapt up off
the ground. He reached the top with his right foot and grunted as he forced it
to bear their combined weight for a second, before pushing off and landing back
into a jog. She gasped and reflexively placed a paw against the gash above her
hip, wincing at the pain the shock from the landing had caused her. Ok, fine,
maybe she hadn't had complete control
over the situation.
“I'm sorry!” He exclaimed, slowing to a stop and looking
down at her and then to her wound. “Are you ok?”
Ugh! Not understanding what the guy was saying was probably
the worst part of their little encounter. Because of this language barrier,
she'd taken him as just another threat when she saw him take down a fully grown
tagir with that strange weapon he brandished. It was yet another alien item,
along with that strange, foul smelling concoction that had stopped the bleeding
of her wound. She didn't need to look up at his face to see the expression of
worry he'd already made apparent in his thoughts.
“I'm fine. You can keep going.” She said, forcing a small
smile to try and convey her meaning.
The man sighed, whether it was because he couldn't too understand
her or because of her trying to cover up her pain, she couldn't tell. But he began
jogging again all the same, though she noticed that his pace had lessened ever
so slightly. She blushed in embarrassment. She was supposed to be a protector
of her tribe, yet she let something as stupid as a scratch make her gasp like
that. She should have prepared herself before he took the leap. She should have
been paying attention to their path, not the one carrying her on it. Even so,
she found herself looking at him again, this time at the wound she'd inflicted
across his right cheek. She kept her claws sharp, so the cut was clean. And if
he had not pulled back as he did, it would have likely been much deeper. But,
it would still likely mark him for many years before it healed completely. She
lowered her head, ashamed. He'd only been trying to help her, she realized that
now, and that stung more than her wound could account for.
Suddenly, the man skidded to a stop. She looked up to see
what was the matter, but froze once she saw his expression. It was a look of
horror, mixed in with a touch of disbelief. Then, she smelled it. Ashen wood,
the foul stench of burnt fabric, and one more scent that immediately made her
jump out of the man's arms, with her staff jabbed into the dirt for support. Her
eyes stared straight ahead, out at the small masses of orange and yellow light
down below the hilltop.
Her tribe was burning. Tents and huts were all lit aglow
with dancing flickers of flame. Blue figures down below clashed in battle with
green and dark scaled foes, their shouts and cries echoing ever so clearly in
her ears. She barred her teeth and let out a wild and guttural growl and
prepared to charge into battle with the rest of her brothers in sisters.
“Aagh!” She cried as a searing pain flared across her side
and left leg. She felt herself begin to lose her balance and prepared herself
for the fall, but there was no need. In the next second, she felt arms
underneath her knees and behind her head as the man scooped her up and started
running away from her tribe. “No!” She screamed, “Let me go!”
She was about to resort to beating on him, but her stopped
at first tree at the edge of the clearing. Then, she felt herself being lowered
dropped gently, but quickly down, her back leaning against the trunk. What was
this creature doing?! Her tribe, her family was down there! She could not, she
would not sit idle while they fought for their lives!
Before she could even begin to lift herself up, she felt the
man’s hand press sternly against her shoulder. “Stay here. You’re in no
condition to fight. I’ll-” He stopped short after his left hand reached down to
where he’d drawn his strange weapon, only to find it was no longer there.
Realization crossed his face. He never picked his weapons back up after their
encounter. “Shit!” He exclaimed angrily, his eyes hastily scanning their
surroundings, ultimately landing on her staff. Without a moment’s hesitation,
he snatched it out of her hands. “Sorry, but I’m gonna have to borrow this.”
“Wait!” She shouted, then grunted at the pain this caused
her side. She pushed her paw against it and focused her attention back on the
man. “That’s a protector’s staff! You won’t even be able to use it properly!”
He ignored her, instead examining the staff in his hands.
With a little concentration, she tapped into his mind. Reluctance, followed by
regret were the first waves of emotions she encountered. Dammit! If only this thing was about four inches longer. Suddenly,
there were a series of cracks along with the glowing and appearance of runes on
the wood and the blue vixen watched, astonished, as the protector’s staff
extended and morphed itself into a longer weapon. What the hell?! Did this stick just…you know what, don’t think about
it. There’s more pressing matters.
Impossible, she thought to herself as she watch him race
down the hill in battle. A protector’s staff could only be used by those who
possessed the gift bestowed upon them by their god. Something that surely was
not given to this strange creature that was in every way foreign to her and, no
doubt, her planet. Yet, with a thought, he was able to manipulate it like any
Sharp breathes, a burning scent in the
air, and the battle cries of afflicted. This is what a warzone must feel like.
And I was charging right into the fray.
I broke past the steep incline of the hillside, hands
gripped tightly on the end of my newly acquired weapon. It was lighter than the
usual oak pole I was used to dealing with, but there was no changing that now.
All around me, multi-colored foxes were engaged in fierce combat with yet
another creature I’d never seen.
It was like someone crossed a lizard man with a snake. They
were much taller than the foxes, at least by a foot at the minimum. Thick green
scales glistened in the glow of the surrounding firelight, creating a shiny
exterior, like some kind of sick perversion of a fallen angel. Slotted,
serpentine eyes stated with merciless, malicious intent as they fought against
their agile foes with bulky, medieval-like weaponry. But the most revolting
thing about them was the color that reflected around the edges of their skin,
the same kind that I’d witnessed when first coming here, that enveloped every
living thing of this world. Theirs was a pure, revolting shade of black.
I had little more time to dwell on my new found enemies’
demeanor, because one of them decided that I was going to be its next target.
Big mistake. By the time it moved within range of my pole, it was already over.
The brute first took a swing at my pole with his spike club,
attempting to knock it out of my hands. Instead of shifting to block, I flicked
my arms up, moving the pole in diagonal upward arc to intercept his swing,
knocking against his own weapon from the side. The lizard man wasn’t ready for
the sudden impact and soon found his own weapon being dislodged from his claws.
Without missing a beat, I flicked my hands down in the opposite direction,
landing a harsh blow on the creature’s right leg. It hissed in pain as it
crashed onto the grass, which was soon silenced as I moved over and threw a
stomp kick against the side of its head with an audible thump. It lay still after that, though its chest still rose and
Satisfied, I quickly moved on to my next opponent who was
unfortunate enough to have his back to me. Another quick flick and the flat
part of the spear connected with its temple. It too fell, revealing a sweaty,
heavily panting fox with its own staff, though this one was much more crudely
made, lacking the custom craftsmanship of the one I held. His eyes widened at
the sight of me, but I had no time to waste on awkward exchanges. I turned
around and darted towards the other lizards that were preoccupied with other
My movements became a blurr, my brain no longer needing to
think as my body acted on muscle memory, delivering blow after blow and picking
up speed as I went. Under normal circumstances, my sensei might’ve called what
I was doing cowardice, striking opponents that were not focused on me. But this
wasn’t some dojo match. This was real life, as much as it didn’t feel like it
at the moment. Death lingered close by with every passing second on this
battlefield. Honor was something warriors were supposed to give to even to
those who did not believe in it. However, this was where my sensei and I
disagreed. There was no such thing as shame when you’re fighting for your life
or for someone else’s.
“Agh!” I exclaimed as something sharp brushed past my left
shoulder. An arrow had shot past and dug itself into the dirt about a foot away
from me and I spun around, instantly spotting its owner. Followed by a line of
at least a dozen more, all with their bows drawn back and ready to fire.
Instantly, I threw myself into battle with the nearest lizard-snake, switching
my grab and getting as close to the repulsive monster as possible, thinking
that there was no way they’d fire on a fellow comrade. Then, I heard something
that made my heart drop.
“Mommy!” A high pitched voice squeaked, as a young blue kit
stumbled out from around at burning teepee. “Mommy!” She shouted again, this
time intertwined with a series of sobs.
A fierce screech from my opponent forced my attention back
on the creature in front of me as I dodged what would have been a lethal strike
from his battle ax, then smacking him with a short strike on his nozzle. He
backed away, momentarily stunned, but I couldn’t deliver the finishing blow
yet. The archers were about to fire! And that kid was still out in the open!
“Momm-!” Her cry was silenced as the tip of an arrow stuck
itself right into her chest. Her expression was one of shock, then pain, and
then…sad confusion. Tears rolled down her furry cheeks as she hit the ground.
That was it. That was all it took.
An intense flare of anger, similar to the one I felt after
being scratched by the vixen from before, struck back at my skull with an
unrelenting vengeance. Only this time, I made no move to fight back against it.
With a yell so savage and guttural that it would’ve made lions tremble, I relinquished
my sense of self control. I jumped back and twisted the poled up underneath the
lizard man’s chin, all my rage, all my feelings coming to blistering climax
The tip of the spearhead discharged, an explosive fireball
of at least three times the size of what the blue vixen had thrown at me earlier,
slammed into the lizard man’s face. Fire engulfed its entire head, burning,
melting the scales off as it screeched and flailed with its arms, trying
desperately to put out the flames. And as much as it brought me satisfaction to
see that unholy abomination burn, I had other fiends to fry. The archers had
frozen, still in awe of what had transpired. It would be the last thing they
ever saw. Pointing the staff in their direction, I let out another inhuman
yell, discharging fireball after fireball at them. Being a superior marksman,
I’d already registered the amount of kick from the very first blast. Each and
every single fireball found its target.
Soon, the remainder of the lizard forces disregarded their
furry foes, deciding that I was the most dangerous threat. They didn’t know how
truly right they were. All of them in the surrounding area charged at me with
their weapons raised high. Spear tip still glowing, I growled at the nearest
bunch of them and once they were no more than five feet away, I smashed the
staff into the dirt. All at once, I felt the ground at my feet tremble as an
explosive stream of flames shot out from my position in all directions. More
screeches resounded in my ears, followed by the thuds of their bodies smacking
onto the dirt below.
I sprung into action, no longer using the flat side of the
spear to attack. I drove the tip into about four of their skulls before one of
them managed to get to their feet. Turning, I plunged the spear directly into
his chest, the reptilian man’s choked screams only fueling my onslaught. With
an adrenaline filled shout, I lifted the beast’s bulky form and spun around in
a wide circle. Two more were knocked over by their comrade before he was
released, rolling across the grass a few feet away to bleed out.
One of them surprised me, coming from my backside at
tremendous speed. I had just enough time to position my pole to block his ax
swing, but his power forced its way past my defense. The blade sliced across my
side, but I paid it no mind. I couldn’t feel it. I couldn’t feel anything.
Nothing but bloodlust. Nothing but anger. Nothing, but the overwhelming need to
kill. And mercy? Mercy was just a four letter word now, one that had long since
lost its meaning. There would be no MERCY for these bastards!
Weapons clanging, blood spewing, and the cries of my fallen
foes were all that encompassed my being. For how long, I couldn’t be sure. I
only noticed that it stopped once there were no more foes to kill. I was
surrounded by their corpses. Their blood and gore decorated my skin like some
sick form of body paint. Not that I cared, my anger was far from sated. I
noticed that the foxes start to approached me from all sides, weapons still
raised. How dare they?! I’d just taken
out the a damn good portion of the now fleeing enemy force and they fucking dared to threaten me?! They couldn’t
even protect a single child! I felt my grip along the end of the staff tighten.
I got up, once again focusing all my emotions into the staff, ready for another
“AGH!!” I cried, the staff glowing a scorching shade of red,
cooking the tops of my palms. I dropped it in surprise and immediately clamped
them together, trying to put pressure on the wound, tears threatening to start
falling down my face. Slowly, through the pain, I felt my anger subside. Logic
and reason began to creep back into my psyche and I evened out my breathing. I
regained control of myself and forced myself to look around again.
More must have joined after the initial group. There must have
been twenty, maybe thirty of their corpses spread out around me. Some were
charred, others were missing limbs, and even others had their faces split in
two. I felt my stomach contract as I fought against the urge to puke. So much
death, so much carnage. I’d only seen something like this once before and it
had given me the same empty and cold feeling I was experiencing right now. I
shivered and moved an arm up to wipe away my tears. My palms still emitted a
stinging sensation, but weirdly enough, I noticed no sign of any singed flesh
despite the severity of the burn. The foxes around me all carried unsure
expressions. Some couldn’t decide whether to be happy, worried, or scared.
Others settled on the latter emotion and I soon found myself with about ten
iron-tipped spears less than two inches away from my body.
“Nxuk aj xo?” I heard one of them say.
“Nxuk jxeict no te nakx xam? Aj xo ud odom0, eh dek?”
Another chimed in.
“0ei wi0j jun nxuk A jun hawxk? Nxukoloh xo aj, xo'j
tudwoheij. No doot ke wok hat ev xam, den!” One of them shouted, coming in
through the crowd from behind with his own spear pointing threateningly at him.
Even though I didn’t understand, that last threat was pretty
universal. I grabbed at the staff, praying that whatever had caused it to burn
my skin wouldn’t happen again. My hand didn’t make it as my side let out its
own wail of resistance and I clutched at it with one hand, teeth clenched. I
was in no condition to fight anymore. I was wounded and surrounded, completely
at the mercy of these animals.
“Nuak!” I hear a familiar voice ring out from among the
crowd. They hastily parted, allowing whoever had spoken, a path to me. I recognized
her immediately. It was the vixen I’d left by the tree. She was being supported
by another fox, the very same one that I’d saved from the second reptilian man
I’d knocked out. “Xo teojd'k idtohjkudt eik cudwiuwo. Cok mo ukkomfk ke cadb
nakx xam.” She said, the fox next to her lowering her down next to me.
She sat on her knees and looked on at me with those eyes of
hers. Those eyes, right now they carried a special sort of softness that seemed
to alleviate all my worries and concerns for the moment. They emulated a
feeling that, despite the situation, everything was going to be alright.
Everything would work out. She extended out her paw, moving towards my
forehead, but stopping just before touching it. She was asking for permission
to touch me. Much like we would do with animals on our own world. The irony was
not lost on me and I let out a single, amused chuckle that was soon followed by
an exhausted sigh. I only now realized just how tired I was. Too tired to
analyze this, too tired to think about it. So, I tilted my head forward into
Again, I was reminded of the incredible softness of her fur
as it moved along the top of my head, slowly making its way to the back. I
didn’t fight or protest as she slowly brought my forehead closer to hers, until
they were connected. Suddenly, I felt my senses leave me and a flood of
memories flashed in front of me like movie clips on a slide show behind my
eyelids. Memories of living on my own, going to teach at the dojo, going back
further as things progressed. My grandparents that took care of me growing up.
All the happy moments of my life flowed comfortingly inside my conscience,
making me feel the most at peace and joyful than I had in a long while.
But all that ended in a second.
My blissful nostalgia was snatched away from me, as I was
taken back to my much younger years. My parents, constantly arguing. Mom
getting drunk. Dad going out for the night, not to be seen until after work the
next day. My so called ‘friends’ meeting me at the bus for school. All the
taunting, bullying, mistreatment from my classmates. It brought back the familiar pangs of sorrow
and despair that I had since tried to shove back deep inside myself. I wanted
it to stop, but whatever force was making me re-live these memories kept on continuing,
regardless of my desires.
Then, it stopped, focusing on a single night. A night where
my family and I were gathered around the kitchen table, having a quiet and
disgruntled dinner. Suddenly, there was a knock on the door. My eyes widened,
as the me inside my memories watched my father get up to answer the door. I
couldn’t take it anymore. I wouldn’t relive this! I lashed out subconsciously
at this force that was acting upon me, fighting to regain control of my real
limbs. He was at the door now, his hand turning the knob to open it. No! Don’t open that door Dad! I cried
out in my thoughts. But he didn’t listen, and the door slowly creaked open.
A splash of red speckled the surrounding furniture as my dad
fell to the ground, dead. My mother screamed, jumping from her seat and
grabbing me. She yanked me along, trying to run from the men in black ski-masks
that had sense entered the home. I saw a flicker of silver and another loud
bang echoed through the household, followed by another one of my mother’s
shrieks. She collapsed, taking me to the floor with her. Tears rolled down my
young face. No more! No more!
With a shout, I finally felt myself regain feeling in my
real body, throwing my head back and breaking whatever connection the blue
vixen had inflicted me with.
“What the hell?!” I screamed once I hit the dirt, real tears
actually streaming down my face. “Why did you do that?!”
The blue vixen stared straight at me, tears spilling out
from her own eyes. “I’m sorry…” She whispered, her voice cracking with a small
sob. “I’m so sorry…” She cried, disregarding the foxes with spears pointed at
us as she flung herself towards me and wrapping me in a tight embrace. “I’m
sorry. I had no idea…” She sobbed. I didn’t return her embrace. Instead, I
remained still, the shock from reliving my memories still holding me in place,
along with one other thing.
I could understand her.
Hello to all those
who are joining in and those that have read my previous two chapters. I don’t
like author’s notes on blogs too much, so I’ll keep this brief. Thank you for
taking the time to read this and I will continue posting frequently as I have.
Please feel free to leave me a comment or critique on this and any of my other
chapters and share it with others who may like them.