Fighting Our Reflections



Original poster

The morning is early and serene as usual as the sun slowly rose to warm the Earth. For some, it was time to work. For others, it was time to play. Above all, the Neko-jin looked forward to a ball, a celebration for the Queen's birthday. She merely wanted a reason for her people to have a party; a reason to dance, and to sing. Any reason she could find to fill her castle with music, smiling, beautiful people and good food was taken at the given opportunity.

These people needed as many memories, as much happiness as possible. The tragedies of lost loved ones, of trauma, of scars... She was determined to heal all of these wounds as long as she still breathed. It was her soul purpose, aside from serving under her lifelong partner, her husband, her King.

Like every morning, Candace woke with the sun and the birds. She lay in bed, her eyes adjusting to the welcoming sunlight that was spilling through their bedroom windows. Curtains shielded them from any intense brightness, but the room still lit up beautifully, as it always did during summertime.

The chirping of feathered friends perked her ears, the song of the critters beckoning her to a window. She silently left the side of her King, after planting a kiss to his temple, to seek out the birds. Candy wore nothing but a silky gown as her bare feet tiptoed to the nearest window, a hand moving the curtain aside so she could slip behind it. As expected, a small group of bluebirds were perched on the sill, greeting her with their adorable tweeting.

Birds were common prey for Candy's species, but she wasn't much of a hunter. She actually had a valuable bond with nature, especially the animals. An index finger delicately stroked the feathers of a one of the birds, the others hopping around excitedly while they awaited their turn to be petted. She couldn't help but giggle at the sight...

Both arms rested on the windowsill when she finished giving each bird some affection, her eyes following them as they flitted through the air in front of her. She was humming gently as she stood, closing her eyes while her skin warmed up under the kiss of the sunshine. Below, there were others who were awake, mainly males departing from their homes to tend to their jobs. She wasn't expecting any activity beyond that, since it was still fairly early. It would most definitely be active all through the night, though.

It was her birthday, after all.
Prince--no, King Oliver awoke from his slumber some moments before his wife, the Queen Candace-- his Candy-girl, had awoken. He lay there with her curled against him, her face pressed against his well-sculpted and battle-scarred chest. Smiling down at her, he let fingers idly stroke through her hair and over the delicate skin of her face. She was already mewling in her sleep, but with his soft caresses, she began a deep, soft purring. It sent gentle vibrations through him, and he couldn't help but smile for her.

"Happy Birthday, Candy-girl," he whispered as he stared up at the painted vaulted ceiling of his--their--grand bedchamber. It was bright blue, like the sky, with a golden sphere at the middle representing the sun. White blotches representing clouds in their natural state swirled around from the center-sun, and as the painting edged to where the ceiling met the wall, green grass could be seen, with vague Neko-jin figures enjoying life. It was a sweet scenery, commissioned by his wife soon after they had married. She wanted to see something lovely every morning-- aside from his face, of course. While Ollie had found it silly, he allowed her this thing.

He had since come to enjoy it.

Ollie's mind began to go over the itinerary of his day, Candy's day, thinking about the ball that would come later in the evening. He wished he could devote the entirety of the day to his beautiful wife, but knew that affairs of state had to take precedence-- to some degree, anyways. He wouldn't allow these things to come crashing into his bedroom, where he spent his most intimate, private moments with his Queen.

While thinking, she had bounded out of bed with a speed and gusto that he would never have been able to match. He smiled after her as she went for the window, gazing out at the beautiful blues of the bright sky, and the green of the surrounding land. The birds were chirping, one even perched on the branch of a towering oak that hung nearby their window.

"Good morning, my beautiful Queen," he told her in a deep, sonorous voice. Despite his thinner frame and sharper facial features, he had a deep, bass-filled voice. He rubbed his hand over the right side of his face, feeling the long, deep scar that ran over his now-empty eye-socket. Thankfully, the eyelid had scarred over and kept in place. It wasn't as grotesque as one might think. Before she could turn, he set his eye-patch onto his face. He didn't enjoy wearing it to bed, but he did have a cloth he wrapped around his face, for her sake.

"And Happy Birthday."
Amaya tossed and turned in her sleep as the all to familiar nightmare began to unfold, it was the day of the attack and all around her bodies fell dead or dying at her feet. There was nothing she could do to stop it, nothing she could do to help and once again she stood frozen as she watched her dearest friend and mentor being approached by her own shadowy reflection. In an instant it was over, Alvar stumbled a moment before falling to the ground, a sword protruding from his heart.

Amaya awoke screaming her heart pounding before her eyes adjusted to the darkness and she remembered that it was just a memory, of events long since passed. She climbed out of bed and paused, allowing her heart rate to slow before she dressed.

She strapped her sword to her left hip before she started her usual morning walk around the kingdom, it was early morning the sun had not yet risen and neither had most of the villagers. Those who had, paid her no attention as she took this same path at the same time every morning. Her mood slowly began to brighten, as she admired the beauty of this great kingdom.

She only saw a few people, and by the time the sun began to slowly rise she had walked a long way and had arrived at the market. Surprisingly it was already busy, full of eager Neko-jin hoping to buy new suits and dress for the queens Birthday ball this evening. She already had an outfit prepared, although she didn't really think she'd enjoy herself as she knew very few people. She wished not for the first time in her life that she could be more trusting of people, her suspicious ways made for an excellent warrior but not a for an easygoing friend. She sat beneath a shady tree waiting for the crowd to thin out a little, so she might shop for supplies she needed in peace.

((short i know but i couldn't think of much else to start with :P))
"It's morning, Ethan" Lex whispered into his brother's ear, his soft breath stirring the dark brown hair that framed his pale face winsomely. Ethan opened a single golden eye to survey his brother, knowing that until he moved, Lex could not either. Ethan's arms were wrapped around Lex's arms, encircling his torso with a grip that was not so tight as to hurt but firm enough to provide Lex with security, a safety to ward away the nightmares that occasionally still plagued Lex's mind from that night.

"Ethan, c'mon, we have to get to work. We need to finish our gift for the queen" Lex complained, wriggling beneath his brother's arm. Ethan silenced and stilled the squirming neko by pulling him closer to his body, holding him close with a mischievous grin. "Only if you promise to give me a gift tonight also, Lexxie" Ethan murmured into Lex's ear. Lex trembled a little, blushing as his heart rate sped up.

"E-Ethan... " Lex stumbled over his words, his cheeks flamingly red. Ethan chuckled, a surprisingly deep sound for such a slender, lithe young man. "They've already been baked, I don't know why you're fussing. We just have to glaze them" he muttered, pulling on a pair of pants.

"I know" Lex chirped back, tugging on a shirt. "I want to put them in boxes, though, so I have to go run to the stationary store store..." before Ethan could object, Lex was darting down the stairs and had made it to the street. Ethan finished getting his clothes on and sighed, making his way down to open the bakery beneath their living quarters.
It was odd waking up so late in the morning for David. The sun had already made it past the forest near his house at the edge of the kingdom. As he got up he noticed that the room was generally a mess. Although it was practically one room for everything. Medicines, dishes, and clothes all seemed to stain his room with the word commoner over and over again. Although he knew his position of the Kingdom he always thought that through his efforts he would make something of a prestigious entertainer some day. So far, the groups he attracted were those not skilled in the art of magic. Although his abilities still lacked sheer greatness they still were rather flashy and fun to watch.

He ruffled through the items strewn across the house and finally managed to find his performing clothes. They were still a bit wet from a late night washing but they would dry throughout the day. Next item he went for was a letter. Using his abilities he guided the letter to him through the air. He put a finger through the already torn opening and read the piece of parchment inside to himself. “The King and Queen of our fair Kingdom wishes to invite you to tomorrow evening’s ball. As a well known local entertainer we would like to request your talents for this evening. If you accept we are sure everyone will have a ball.” David looked at the letter for a bit longer and then set it down on his bed. ”I bet that last line was the Queen’s idea. She always had a nice humoring side.” Throwing together a few things he went off to market to purchase some items for tonight.
Candy's attention was drawn away from the birds when Oliver appeared behind her, greeting her with his bass toned voice. When she turned, he had on the patch that covered his...lack of an eye. The scar did not frighten or disgust her... It only made her somber. Losing sight seemed like a tragic loss, but at least he had his other. With enough practice, he hasn't let this disadvantage effect his everyday life or fighting style.

"Thank you," she cooed, stepping closer to nuzzle her cheek against his muscular chest. While his physical appearance added to her attraction to him, she admired his strength and personality the most. It didn't matter what his height, shape or colour was; she'd love him just the same.

The town was getting more active, from the sounds of it. Although it was her birthday, there were likely some things to do. It wouldn't matter how special the day was... Candace's position came with responsibilities. She looked up from his chest to blink at his face, and asked, "What are our plans for this morning?"

Him being the King, he probably had more to do than she did. In all honesty, she wished they could just stroll through town to enjoy themselves instead staying in the castle all day. She liked to dance at the town square with the entertainers, and let the young girls braid her hair while she told the young boys stories about their brave King. Days like those had her excited for the child that would arrive many months from now. Being social with her people was an important part of her Queenly duties.

Getting her prepared for the ball was going to take hours, though... So she expected to be stuck here anyhow.
Lex, on his weaving route through the streets, passed David who seemed to be wandering aimlessly about. Lex smiled cheerily, hoping that all of his friendliness would bolster the town's impression of the boys despite Ethan's often sour demeanor. There was a special spring in Lex's step, he was thrilled to be going to the ball this evening and hoped it would be good for Ethan. It was hard to reconcile himself with this version of Ethan, though this had been the reality for three years of their lives - Ethan had always been shy but before the attack, there had been a certain charm to his quiet ways. Now, Ethan simply seemed antisocial, though Lex knew that this was not entirely true.

The boxes that Lex was gathering were intended to hold the beautifully crafted loaves of bread lovingly made by the twins, each one in the shape of a blossomed rose, twenty-one for each year of Candy's life. The boys were planning to glaze these loaves so that they shone in the moonlight, they were both excited to see her impression of their gift and hoped that she would like them.

Ethan was still at the bakery, sighing and wondering where Lex was, as he applied with a thin paintbrush the thick gloss of the slightly sweet glaze made from sugar. He had completed four of them and they were sitting on the racks to dry by the window so that they could be admired from the outside. Ethan was proud of the loaves that it had taken himself and his brother a full three days beforehand to bake since they had to compound this work with their daily duties to make money. Ethan was hoping they would have customers, it would be nice to get a bit of extra money, but he did not expect it.

Ethan had used a lot of money he'd been saving on secretly acquiring new dress clothing for himself and his brother, but he was hoping to get extra to make life a little easier.
Justin started out his day, like always did. He walked down towards the river, armed with a large fishing pole and a pair of spy glasses. The first was so he could get some breakfast. The latter was for peeping on any potential skinny dippers. He never had much luck with finding the supposed twins that bathed there.

He sat down on a pail that he brought with him and had a rather dorky grin on his face. Justin then casted out the line and had to watch a few seconds before there was a nibble. Reeling it as quickly as possible, Justin had caught himself a large perch fish.

"Awesome." He said to himself. After smacking the fish with his paw, he placed it inside the pail and began to whistle a tune that he was making up as he went along.

He had heard about the Queen's Ball happening this day, but he really didn't care back about it anyways. It was highly unlikely that he'd find someone his age there. He found the whole notion of a formal ball rather boring. If there were no monsters or bad guys to smack around, what was the point of a big gathering?

Justin now sat down a few feet away from the river and started to build a fire to cook the fish he had caught. He might have been a wild child but he wasn't into eating things raw. It'd ruin his groove.
Ollie sighed. He wished he could just spend the day with his Candy, but it wouldn't be that simple.

"Matters of state come after breakfast, but I fully intend on having a wonderful morning meal with you, sweetheart. I even had the cooks prepare that one thing you really love!" Ollie smiled as he squeezed Candy tight, careful about her belly, and nuzzled his face into the top of her hair, kissing the tips of the tufts that were her ears. His own ears were tilted forward and open, his tail swishing back and forth, reflecting his relaxed and affectionate mood.

"You're welcome to sit in on the boring talks, but I fully realize you'll have things to tend to on your own. Least of all, getting your hair done, and getting the final fit for that one dress you won't show me, and perhaps even addressing the people? They'll be glad to hear from you... They love their Queen. I hear the ball will be open to any and all. The people will love that."

He kissed the top of her head again, and began swaying on his feet with her, gathering her up into an impromptu slow dance.

"Ugh, I feel so lazy today... How about we skip all the balls and formality and just run away to that one country home of your father's? No one will find us for at least a day..." He grinned mischievously, his eye sparkling. He was kidding, of course, but he did entertain the thought. It was pleasant.
Lex obtained the boxes that the boys had ordered earlier this week when they finally decided what their plan would be for the present. The boxes did not come cheap, each was divided in half to comfortably fit two of the loaves of bread without allowing them to rub against one another. The outside of these paper boxes showed festive, pastel floral paintings. Lex smiled down at each one of them, pilling the ten boxes first in his arms with care and then, the final one, the smallest designed to hold the final loaf of bread. It was different from the others, more a square than a rectangle and vibrant magenta. All along the outside were painted purple doves carrying gold ribbons that spanned around the entire box. This last loaf was the most important, their true masterpiece as of yet. The final box would hold the last rose, yet instead of being glazed, they planned to ice it in pale pink.

Lex stumbled home as fast as he could, so excited he could hardly contain himself. He burst in the door, boxes in hand, just in time to see Ethan glazing the fifteenth loaf. Lex smiled impishly at Ethan, knowing full well that Ethan must have been anxiously waiting as well. With great care, the boys lifted the first loaves of bread which were already dry into the boxes and sealed them, equaling out to only perhaps five closed boxes. Each of the boxes was scattered across the shop and Lex grabbed a brush to begin to help Ethan. Ethan smiled and shook his head at Lex but waited for a few minutes of work before he finally spoke.

"I ought to run and do the chores instead of you, you take so long to get anything done" Lex did not have to look at the smile on Ethan's face to know that he was teasing. They were nearly done, two worked faster than one and in no time, they had finished the twentieth rose. All that was left was the final rose and there was no question who would be doing the intricate detailing. Ethan had by far the greater skill in decorating their pastries whilst Lex's penchant for experimentation made him a wonderful cook. When something had to be done correctly and to the letter, though, Ethan was the best man for the job.

"There are some outfits upstairs, for later, Lex. I bought one for you and one for myself. The silver one is yours, why don't you take a look?" and with that, Ethan shooed Lex upstairs for some peace and quiet while he concentrated on making the icing beautiful. He desperately wanted customers, though, since he'd used a bit of their food money for the outfits to please Lex, he'd intentionally left out budgeting in any money for today to cover any losses but now it looked like they'd get no customers.
Niko hadn't slept. Many people said they didn't sleep because of the nightmares. Niko didn't have that problem, all he remembered was the dark from that night. Still, he didn't like the dark, so he usually kept a candle around.

Niko hadn't slept because he was excited, his newest potion was finished, his present for the Queen's birthday. He was also excited because the potion he'd been working on was nearing completion. He was missing the final ingredient, it had all the effects he wanted, but there was nothing to stop them. Still, it was progress, which was more than he'd done in the last few months on it.

Niko pulled out a sheet with orders on it, making sure he had all of the potions finished for it. The plant growth potion was there, the dreamless potion, he always made extra, it was the only way some people ever slept, and the dousing potion. He had his orders for the day ready. Turning around he checked his emergency stash.

Niko's ears drooped for a second, he'd forgotten he used one of the healing potions to mend a worker leg two days ago. The man had fallen working on wall repairs, he was lucky he wasn't too high up, but the wound would have put in bed for a long time. Niko wouldn't have been able to afford using it, but people generally tried to give him some sort of compensation for his troubles.

Niko finally went over and opened the door to his shop, then returning to his chair behind a small counter. The front of his store was small, but the back room was much bigger, which he needed since he couldn't have people messing with his equipment.
Amaya having decided that this was as quiet as the market was going to get, bought the supplies she needed and began browsing various stalls.

She smiled when she noticed a stall full of books, she absolutely loved books. The books were old but in perfect condition and had beautiful covers, she flipped through them slowly making sure to take great care.

Finally she came across a leather bound book full of beautiful poetry, she decided it would make a great gift for the queen.

She wondered if the queen would even like poetry, but she decided that she had everything else and the trader assured her that the book was unique. She purchased the book and then walked down the street, entering the potion shop.

She had been here before some time ago, and as she approached the Neko behind the counter she struggled to remember his name. Luckily she remembered it just as she reached the counter, "Good Morning Niko." "I need to purchase a vial of Dreamless Potion," she smiled a little before looking at her feet.

She was embarrassed that she needed it, it made her feel weak normally she could ignore the nightmares but lately they had been getting worse. She was plagued by them every night and not just the ones about the reflections, but her childhood and battles she's been in since.
Now that Candy thought about it, she did have quite a bit to do. Once she was fed for the morning and dressed, she'd be presented with questions about the ball. This colour, or that colour? What kind of flowers? What flavour, how many? Just thinking about the upcoming choices made her head spin. The people who served her were obsessed with perfection. At least she had some of the things covered. Her favourite entertainer, David, would be there, whom she even planned on paying upfront for his business.

"You're right. At least you will dance with me tonight," she said positively, to hide all the disappointment in her voice. She wasn't one to dwell upon what made her sad. Candance had to be strong for herself, for Oliver and for her kingdom.

She giggled lightly as he began a dance with her and spoke of the private home her parents had. Candace had fond memories of her parents taking her there to watch seasons change, and after she fell in love with Oliver, they'd go there for fun of their own. Someday, perhaps they'd relive those days, just one more time. When she gave birth to their child, she'd most definitely allow his or her grandparents to take them to that lovely vacation spot. She wanted them to have a good childhood before studies were shoved into their sweet little face.

"I wish we could," she whispered, nuzzling her head against his chin while she purred with delight.

Much as she'd like to be alone with him, they had much to do. One of her hands coyly sought his own out so their fingers could lace, the top of his hand being brought to her lips to kiss it. "We should dress and get our day started," she told him, turning herself around.

"I look forward to my birthday present from you!" She winked one of her glittering eyes and giggled again. Candace was mostly serious, though. Was it wrong for a wife to expect a tangible present from her husband?
Niko stood up from where he sat as Amaya walked in.

"Morning Amaya, been a while since I've seen you." Niko grabbed one of the vials of Dreamless. "Haven't sold you this before, but then again, with the anniversary of the attack coming up, it isn't that much of a surprise."

Niko then placed the vial on the counter. "Ten silver if you would." he Niko said.
The entire Kingdom seemed to all put on their early morning faces and run around planning for the ball this evening. "If things keep going the way they are nobody will have enough energy for festivities tonight." David muttered continuing his route. With him he already had some normal looking materials such as a needle and thread to help sew together a few of his loose strings on his coat, a bit of fish that seemed to be salted enough to preserve it for eternity, and a few different types of fruit. However, he also carried some oddities with him as well. Stuff that was not recognized at first glance. Together in his mind David had the perfect birthday present for the Queen and he had all he needed for it. "Last on the list is bread." Shuffling through the streets David came across his set of favorite bakers in the Kingdom, the brothers Lex and Ethan, "...or perhaps Ethan and Lex." David chuckled to himself. He opened up the front door of the shop. "David Kraus Magician Extrodinaire looking for some Extra Ordinary Bread fellas." He joked walking in with a big smile.
Ethan and Lex turned from their work as the door opened and a man announced himself. Lex had been admiring the delicate work of Ethan on the rose, which was nearly completed. Lex chuckled and slid behind the counter, where access to the goods they had cooked this morning was located. Lex crouched down to examine everything, chiming from behind the counter "Hello, David!" as he opened the glass display.

Ethan also looked up from his work and, in his constant effort to be polite to the customers as well, he inclined his head a little bit in the man's direction. "Hello, David" he murmured, pausing long enough to make sure that David had heard him before beginning to ice the loaf of bread once more. Ethan set the loaf in its special box and retrieved the green icing he had prepared and, around the loaf of bread on the bottom of its box, he began to paint whimsically spiraling vines.

"I'm afraid we don't have much, today, David. The Queen's cake was delivered to the castle yesterday and we've been working on her present now... but we made some of your favorites, hoping you 'd be in. Your usual order, or something more adventurous? I've made little orange cakes with strawberry frosting, trying to get Ethan to let me make the birthday cake that way..."
Ollie had expected that she wouldn't run off with him. As King, he really couldn't afford to do it himself, even if this day was something of a Kingdom-wide holiday. A part of him had wished, however, she would agree with him. If she had said it, he would have done it. It didn't take much at all, really, to get what she wanted from him. Ollie was so in love with his Candace, he would do anything for her. As peaceful as their Kingdom was, he would go to war over her.

"Al-right," he said teasingly as he too turned away from her, but not before giving her neck a quick kiss. "I'll get dressed, and ready, and all of that, but I won't be showing you my outfit for tonight. That's a surprise in an of itself," he told her as he strode for his washing bowl in the corner of the expansive room. While he was King, and had attendants and a bright steward, he enjoyed dressing himself. He often chided the Palace servants when they had tried to lay out his outfits for him. He didn't need so much coddling that he couldn't dress himself.

He produced a bright outfit, fitting to his image. He enjoyed blues, and browns, for some reason. They came together in a brilliant way, he felt. He brought out light tanned breeches made of a light wool and linen blend, and tucked them into tall brown leather riding boots. While simple, they were very comfortable, and made of the highest-quality leather, and stitched together by the greatest skinner and cobbler in the Kingdom. Ollie opted to wear a billowy linen shirt, with broad sleeves and a deep V-neck with loose strings tying it up to just over the collar bone. It was dyed a shade of blue just darker than Robin-Egg blue. Over that he wore a leather vest, as dark as his riding boots and made of an even higher quality of leather. He decided to change his eye-patch to a heavy leather band, again matching the browns of his wardrobe. He affixed a dark belt over the long vest that ended just over his thighs, and sheathed a short dagger. No need for his sword, not today.

He looked like a rich, Fancy Rogue, he thought idly as he looked into the mirror. No silks, no long coats, no frills or lace. Just simple linen, a little wool, and well-worked leather.

"Here's to a good day, wife," he said triumphantly, in a strong voice.

Amaya nodded, blushing a little "yes they're becoming quite hard to ignore." She put her stuff down as she searched for her coin purse, she was a little surprised that Niko had remembered her and also secretly a little pleased.

Having finally found her purse she handed over the ten silver and tried to fill the silence, "so are you going to the ball tonight?"

She assumed he would be most of the villagers were, her solider friends would not be attending which made her think about skipping it.
"Hey demon spawn! Catch!"

Celcius instinctively dodged to the side as she heard the boys call her out. A pigskin full of some kind of paint landed with a loud splat right where her feet were moments ago. Even so, flecks of paint spattered her hair as she rolled to a guarded position facing the new threat.

It was Michael and his gang of annoyances, all of them at least a year and a half older than she was. She might be one of the best athletes in the school, but she wasn't trained to fight, and these guys always tried to coax her into one.

Celcius tried to back away, but one of Michael's friends apparently had gotten around her before the others threw the pigskin. He grabbed and pinned her arms, leaving her nearly defenseless. Michael grinned and nodded at the one behind her, Jonah, by the smell of it. She hated fighting, but...

She kicked swiftly backwards right into the shin of the older boy, who hollered in pain and let her go. With one fluid motion, she spun around and slammed a palm into his cheek, kicked his head to maximize the impact and jar his brain, and took off. By the crunching thud of flesh meeting cobble, she knew she had knocked him out cold.

But then, there was the problem of the other boys. Even as she ran, she could hear them chasing her, keen on beating her to pulp. Unfortunately for her, there weren't many hiding options in school. She looked around as she ran, but could only see more students.

Of ALL the days for the teachers to have a lunch meeting she thought to herself.

A crowd of students, apparently knowing what was going on, formed a wall in front of her. She recognized a few of the faces as people who had tried to pick on her in the past and failed. She hoped they had remembered what happened to them last time, but didn't think they did.

"Where you goin little girl? Running away like a coward as usual?" one of them taunted. More students were gathering, sensing a fight brewing, and Celcius began to feel threatened. It was then that Michael finally caught up.

While the others in Michael's group were completely winded, Michael looked like the run merely got him warmed up, a bad thing for Celcius. He was one of the few people in school who had a better athletic score on a bad day than she did on a good one. This was one person she didn't want to fight. She tried to force her way through the crowd, but they just tossed her back in Michael's direction and he took advantage of it.

He threw a punch at Celcius, who moved just enough to have it avoid the face and hit her shoulder. She careened back, wincing in pain as she was knocked back and over. Michael followed it with a swift kick to the face that connected fully.

"Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!" the crowd chanted as Michael turned and held his hands high like some wrestler who had won a title match. Celcius slowly picked herself up. She spat blood from her mouth and glared at the older boy. He apparently had forgotten her last fight. That boy had moved to the other side of town just to get away from the "demon spawn" inside of her.

She had felt Ware stir as she had ran. Even now, her eyes began to flicker between her normal icy blue and an evil yellow glint. Celcius felt a sharp pain in her head and gasped, holding a hand to her forehead. "Ugh, stay away you..." she muttered under her breath, right as Michael came in and punched her in the stomach.

"Hock..." Celcius coughed, then collapsed onto the floor. The crowed cheered and her opponent jeered at her. Michael stood triumphantly above her, putting a foot on her head as if she were some kind of beast he had hunted down and exterminated. The girl grabbed his foot and Michael jumped back in surprise, ripping it out of her grasp.

She was no longer Celcius and the crowd seemed to suddenly remember the reflection within Celcius' body. Ware lifted her head and growled, and glared at Michael. He slowly backed away from Ware as she picked herself up, knowing full well she was deadly. Ware bared her fangs and claws at the boy, hissing a death threat, then charged at him as he turned to flee, raking him across the back with both sets of claws. He went down instantly, the paralyzing poison in her claws going to work immediately, and she ravaged all that she could touch of him. Ware turned him over and began to punch his face over and over and over...

"Gah!" Ware shrieked as Celcius grappled with her for control. "Damn you, stay out of my life!" Celcius cursed as she wrested control from her Reflection. Her eyes flickered again, back to blue, and her body toppled over, unconscious. Ware's venom disappeared along with Ware's consciousness and Michael dragged his mangled body out from underneath the unconscious girl. He didn't dare touch her, didn't dare invoke the wrath of that Reflection again. Instead, he staggered away from the crowd, trying to get as far away from Celcius as possible. The rest of the crowd stared at Celcius, not knowing what to do.

"Excuse me! Pardon me! Let me through!" an older girl called as she pushed her way through the crowd. Celcius stirred at the sound of a familiar voice and cracked her eyes open as she felt herself being picked up. "Let me guess, someone tried picking on you again and ended up regretting it?" Lira asked her sister. The crowd parted as Lira walked towards the school gates.

"Come on. I'll get you home and wash you up"


Justin belched after he finished off the blue gill that he had caught. Reaching into the haversack that he always had slug around him, he pulled out a copy of his favorite book, BEWARE! A Traveler's Guide to Monsters. If there was anything in nature that was of a greater interest to Justin other than boobies, it was monsters. He was a self proclaimed know it all on the subject matter. Justin even personally claimed to have defeated a level three death bat with a single swipe. However one can openly debate such a statement, since most death bats are only level one.

"Heheheh! Did you hear about the ball that's going on tonight?" Justin then heard a voice come from across the other side of the small river He then dove into the nearest bush since he knew this place attracted the occasional band of wandering humans. Almost as quickly as he had pulled out his book, he placed it back into his bag. He had a gleeful expression on his face.

"Please, oh please, let that be the skinny dippers I hear so much about. Big Guy Upstairs I'll pray to you for the rest of my life if you grant me this one wish..."

He then stuck his head barely out of the bush and saw two young girls place down a mat and prepared to make themselves a meal.

"Fufufufufu. This is going to be so damned awesome!"

Justin now had a fanatical grin on his.

He wanted for a hour and the two girls just kept chatting together. Now he was starting to get bored. Without thinking about it he then jumped out of the bush.


The two older teens stared at him dryly from across the lake.

"Who's that?" One of them asked.

"He looks kind of like one of my brother's friends. You know a dork." The other said curtly.

"I'M NOT A DORK!!!!" He shouted in response.

The girls were now ignoring him.

"No fair!!!" Justin whined in response. Just then he saw two young men wave at the two girls and hugged them.

He then blinked with surprise when the two girls then pointed at him and the two guys then rolled up their sleeves like they were going to pound his poor hide into the dirt.

"HOSHIT!" Justin gasped.

He picked up his fishing rod but left the pail behind when he saw the two guys start to walk towards the edge of the steam. Running as fast as his little legs could carry him, Justin bolted out of the woods like a cheetah until he reached the safety of the town. Of course, one could never trust all the villagers either; especially when you are known as a prankster....