New Beginnings

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Layne, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. Stomping around in a shallow puddle, a small boy stared down at his feet in amazement. The way the water sloshed back into place after being splashed around by his own movements was fascinating, and he had already spent a good five minutes jumping around. Overheard, the fluttering leaves of a tall tree swayed in the breeze, making the spots of sunlight dance all around on the ground. Occasionally the light would glint off of the puddle and shine on his toes in the mud. He laughed and lost interest after a few more moments, soon resuming his path through the trees. The trunks were all wide and ancient, most covered in swirling vines or wide mushrooms that were sturdy enough to be used as footholds. Along the forest floor, colorful leaves of all shapes and sizes covered any hopes of finding the true ground. Puddles formed in various places, remnants of the storm that had ravaged the area the night before. All around, birds were twittering and flitting from branch to branch. In all, it was a peaceful and enchanted scene.

    The boy, called Frog by almost everybody who knew him, seemed to know exactly where he was going. His bare feet didn't hesitate to jump over rocks or wander around larger obstacles such as fallen trees. A stuffed frog hung from the back of his light brown shorts, the wide stitched mouth in a big smile as it bounced all around from the uncoordinated steps. Draped down between his legs and twitching around occasionally was a light blonde monkey tail, soft but covered in a layer of dirt along the tip from his wanderings. The boy wore an offwhite t-shirt that was obviously too big, the sleeves reaching just past his elbows and the collar so wide that it hung off of one shoulder. Still, it was his favorite and he refused to part with it despite his mother's pleading.

    He skipped along until he came to one of his favorite places, a large fallen log all hollowed out and covered in moss. Pulling the frog from his shorts, he sat down on the log and looked all around. This was where he was supposed to meet his parents, so he came every day to wait. The city had been attacked and they told him to run here. So far it had been three days and he was getting awfully hungry, but he knew his parents would be coming soon. After all, why wouldn't they show up?

    Nodding to himself, he flicked some mud from his toes and scratched at the side of his head. Shaggy blonde locks covered his pointed ears and framed a pale face, but the brilliant gold eyes added a touch of sparkling color. He rocked back and forth boredly and was about to go climb a tree to help him wait, but then he heard a buzzing. Curious, he looked up and saw a bunch of little bugs swirling all around him. They were striped and had wide wings, and he smiled delightedly at them. What had his father said they were called? Drabumflies? Yeah, that was it. He reached out with one finger and tried to poke one, but it darted out of reach. With wide eyes, he simply stared, watching them flutter around as one landed on top of his head.

  2. Soft whimpering came from behind a large tree trunk. Every now and then, the sound would be punctuated with a suppressed cry and then a sniffle. The tree wouldn't have been far from the child, perhaps about eight feet or so. She didn't know how long she had been here... No, she knew that she was here the entire night, that was true. And then she observed how the sun moved across the sky through the trees. But after a certain amount of time passed, she just gave up counting the minutes and sank further into her depression.

    Last night, she had to run. Her, her brother and her family - they took everything they could carry before they escaped. Being the fastest runner, Olivia had carried her brother with her, while her parents ran behind. They were about to reach the tree line when she heard the gunshots. The sound ripped through her, just like the bullets ripped through her parents. She made the mistake to look back before the forest hid her. With blood seeping out onto the soil, she saw her mother and father sprawled apart on the ground. Their bodies twitched like a dead bug smashed underneath her fist. As for her brother...

    Olivia wrapped her arms tighter around her small frame, sobbing hysterically.

    They followed her into the forest. Like a deer being hunted, they tracked her and her brother down. In the chase the two separated, and her brother hid beneath a tree trunk while she continued running. But from their triumphant shouts, Olivia felt a sickening feeling overwhelm her. Her brother's cries besieged her ears and in desperation she risked her life to save him.

    Her efforts were in vain... Thrown onto the dirt was her brother, his blood too feeding the earth.

    She buried him in a quiet clearing, wanting to do the same for her parents, but a whole night's wandering became fruitless. Olivia was lost, and her parents bodies would have been desecrated by the hunters. There was nothing left for this young girl to do but cry...
  3. Clutching the stuffed frog against his belly as he watched the drabumflies flittering all around him, the boy was pretty well entertained. Suddenly he heard a strange noise over the buzzing of the bugs, and he looked all around rapidly. Scrambling up on the slippery moss, he stood on his toes and looked in all directions with the toy hanging from one hand. Nothing. It must have been the wind. He sighed and plopped back down dejectedly, only to hear the sound again. This time he slid down from the log and moved away from it, leaving the drabumflies behind. There must be something close by that would be making that noise. Maybe his parents had finally come for him and were calling out for him or rustling leaves as they walked.

    "Mama?" he called out curiously, still wandering around a little in hopes of running into the cause of the sounds. Suddenly he heard it again, and this time he identified it as a sniffley sort of sound, the one he made sometimes when he cried.

    Wandering closer to the sound, he looked up to see if it was coming from the tall branches. That was when he tripped over a root and tumbled head over heels into a shallow puddle. He blinked a few times, then looked around and realized he had landed right in front of some girl. She was obviously really upset, but now he was too because she wasn't his mother at all. He frowned and stood up, not minding that his shorts were now drenched and his tail was dripping. Staring at her with unashamed curiosity, he poked his cheek with his left hand as he had seen his mother do several times while deep in thought, his right hand wrapped around one of the frog's legs.

    "Hi," he finally said, smiling at her proudly as if she had been hiding during a game with him.
  4. It had taken the sound of the child tripping for Olivia to break from her cries. Wide black eyes stared at the boy, disbelief written all over her face. A child was standing in front of her - alive and well. Her eyes darted to his tail, and then to the stuffed animal. Perhaps this was a dream or a mirage of some sort? With all she endured she couldn't believe that out here, lost in the forest, she was able to find another living soul. Wiping swiftly at her tears, and giving the boy a small timid smile, Olivia spoke.

    "Hi," she said, her voice coming out hoarse from the crying. "I'm... I'm Olivia. W-Who are you?"
  5. He watched her as she looked him over, his own eyes roaming over her. Tipping to the side and balancing on one foot, he tried to check for her tail because he didn't see it from how she was sitting. Puzzled, he frowned a bit until she spoke. Immediately he plopped the hovering foot back down in the puddle and gave her a wide grin even though her voice sounded strange. He said nothing at first until she asked who he was, which immediately made him put his hands on his hips in little balled up fists.

    "I'm Cael Silverleaf!" he announced, puffing his belly out as he attempted to look like a superhero.

    He laughed a little and toddled out of the puddle, dragging the stuffed frog along after his wonderful introduction of himself. Moving closer to her, he squatted down right in front of her, his face inches from hers as he scrunched up his nose and examined her face all over.

    "Do you want to hold my frog and feel better?" he asked seriously, offering the sodden and dirty toy to her as if it were a great honor.
  6. She let out a choked laugh, watching the child puff out his chest and tell her his name. From the way he kept looking at her behind, he was trying to find her nonexistent tail. He was amusing, but something didn't seem quite right. Was there going to be someone jumping out from a tree to kill her? Perhaps this really was happening in a dream? A peculiar expression crossed her face when the boy offered her his stuffed animal. Apparently he was trying to be nice and make her stop crying. Somehow she didn't think hugging something so filthy would have a comforting effect.

    "No thank you," she replied, shaking her head. She crawled a bit towards him, and after a second of silence between them, Olivia poked the boy in the cheek. "So you are real," she muttered, mostly to herself.

    Sitting back on her haunches, Olivia's face was troubled. "What are you doing out here? And all by yourself?"
  7. Staring at Olivia with a clear touch of fascination, he scrunched up his nose at the poke and immediately poked her back on the nose, thinking it was a game. Since she had moved, he peered again around her side, but still he couldn't find her tail. Strange. He shook his head, one pointed ear sticking out slightly as he stared at her. When she called him real, his tail twitched and he frowned at her.

    "Well a-course I'm real," he exclaimed, then watched her sit back as if she didn't understand something. When she started asking questions, he plopped down, sitting right back in the puddle. "I'm waiting for my mama and daddy to come and get me. They said run and I did but they're real late now," he explained, then shrugged and smiled at her. "They'll be here soon," he assured her as if there was no doubt in the world that they would be right along in a matter of moments. His stomach growled and he looked down, lifting his shirt as if hunting for the source of the nose as his fingers prodded his tummy.
  8. Her eyes, her black puffy and tear stained eyes, looked over at the boy's tail. She was puzzled, but it seemed like the boy too was puzzled over her not having a tail. Did that mean that the boy's parents also had tails? Such an odd thought, and an odd place to have one. In silence she mulled over the boy's presence until his words shook her awake.

    "Your parents told you to run?" she asked, knocked out of her reverie. "What were you running from?"

    The boy could also have trackers on him, but then, he said that he had been waiting a while for his parents to return. But how long had he really been waiting? A day? A few hours? A few minutes?

    "H-How long have you been waiting?" Her voice held a hint of panic. Realizing this, Olivia hastily added, "If you've been waiting long, we could find something to eat."
  9. Cael continued to examine the rounded belly he had exposed, prodding at it curiously every time it made a sound. His tail flicked behind him as if reflecting his interest, and he was completely absorbed in the new activity until Olivia spoke up again. He looked up at her as if just remembering she was there, his expression changing immediately from one of content amusement to one of anxiety and fear.

    "Yes they did," he said solemnly, then frowned worriedly. "We was running from the furry ear men. They made big fires on the houses and lots of walls fell down! People were yelling and running and so Mama said I had to run too," he explained, his tail curling around his waist in a self comforting gesture. He was going to start sulking, but then she mentioned food and he quickly looked up with a smile, scrambling back up to his feet excitedly. Boy, was he hungry! "Three sun-ups. What can we eat?" he asked, looking to her for answers as he stuffed his frog in the back of his shorts.
  10. Her panic grew as Cael spoke about being chased and fires erupting from his home. She swallowed hard and glanced about the both of them, looking for some hidden threat. But when the boy said that he had been waiting for three days to see his parents , Olivia relaxed. That was good, that meant no one was going to harm them.

    Giving him a faint smile, the girl offered Cael her hand. The gesture made her notice the dried blood caked on her fingers, but that was okay... Perhaps it would pass off as dirt. "Well take my hand and we can find some food together. Maybe some berries or something."

    In the back of her mind, Olivia wondered when would it be the proper time to tell him that his parents weren't coming back...
  11. As soon as the hand was offered, he took it with his own little fingers without hesitation. He wouldn't have even noticed if she was holding a ball of mud - well, that was a lie, because he would have been excited to play with it. His own fingers were streaked with lines of dirt and there was no doubt that the closest he had come to a bath since running from his home was puddlejumping. He walked along with her contentedly, peering all around in hopes of finding berries. Every time a puddle crossed his path, he promptly stomped both feet in it as though there was no other reasonable thing to do. After all, what fun could be had in avoiding them? That was simply ridiculous.

    "Where's your tail, Liv-ya?" he finally asked as he toddled along, unable to restrain himself as he gazed up at her with wide golden eyes. He had peeked behind her repeatedly already and couldn't find it. It was so strange - perhaps it was hiding in her clothes? He had heard stories of some people who accidentally got them cut off, but he thought those were just horror stories to give nightmares. "Didja lose it?" he asked, not even looking around for berries as his attention was diverted yet again.
  12. His hand was warm - that was good. That meant he wasn't some sort of dream or mirage. But Cael was caked with mud almost all over... How could this boy not have gone crazy being out here all by himself for three days? Perhaps him being ignorant helped quite a bit. After all, he didn't realize what was really happening. And he had hope, hope that his parents were coming back...

    Olivia turned towards the boy as they were walking. She gave him a timid smile and shrugged. "I don't know, I never had a tail Cael." Turning her eyes back to the trees, the girl frowned. "Where are you from?"

    The question needed to be asked. After all, where Olivia lived there weren't many who had tails. They were all human looking like her. It made her wonder how far she wandered away from home. Not that it mattered anyway, she knew she wouldn't be able to return. But curiosity seemed to get the best of her.
  13. A shocked gasp sounded from the small boy as Olivia informed him that she had never had a tail to begin with. He hadn't realized such a thing was possible - he had never once met a person who had no tail. Stunned, he looked again at her backside, but there still was no tail so it wasn't as though she were fibbing. Before he could really process that enough to start asking more questions, she asked one of her own. He looked up at her and saw her frown, but he didn't understand why she wasn't smiling.

    "Vestermith City, a-course," he said as though it were obvious, giving her a big smile. Where else would he be from? No other cities were around, really, just small towns here and there. The city was fairly close by.. At least, he thought it was, but he had wandered a lot farther than ever before and had no idea how to get back there without really hunting for it. "I lived in the palace with Mama and Daddy and they said when I was super big that I would get to have my shiny hat all the times 'stead of just sometimes," he went on, explaining random details because he thought they were somehow important since she wanted to know where he was from.
  14. Her frown grew deeper.

    "I... Vestermith city?" Olivia heard something about a palace. That couldn't be true, if he were living at a palace that would mean he was some sort of royalty. It would explain why he was on the run, but it also meant that Olivia was also in danger as well. God if the hunters knew she was traveling in the company of a young prince... No wait, it would be bad to assume. You must never assume.

    "Cael, you aren't... A prince or anything are you?"

    She stopped walking then, seeming to listen closely to the boy's answer. However the real reason why she stopped was because of a distant rustling in the bushes.
  15. Cael nodded as Olivia questioned the name of his city. He missed it dearly - there were so many fun things to do! His parents gave him permission to explore certain areas of the city all by himself since there were guards everywhere and the crime rate was basically nonexistent, so he spent his days sweet talking buns from the bakery or laughing it up with the smithy. At the thought of sticky buns, his stomach rumbled again and he pouted. It had been so long since he ate! He looked all around, hunting for anything edible. Some shiny red leaves looked promising and he let go of Olivia's hand, running over and plucking one off a branch. The color reminded him of the shiny rocks his mother wore sometimes.

    "Well a-course I am," he replied easily, nodding. Prince. Such a weird word, one he didn't really understand, but one people used all the time for some reason when they talked to him. Some people even seemed to think it was his name. Strange, strange people. His mother had said that it was sort of like a name, and he shouldn't get upset when people used it since it was a thing instead of a real name. He still didn't understand. "That's why I get the shiny hats sometimes I was tellin' you about, 'member?" he went on, examining the leaf for a moment longer before sticking it in his mouth curiously.
  16. Olivia didn't realize the boy let go of her hand, so entranced she was with the thought of walking alongside royalty. Her eyes were on Cael as he played around with the leaf, but really she was wondering how this would play out with their survival. If they found civilization, wouldn't this make them bigger targets? She shook her head quickly, dismissing the sound of rustling leaves behind her...

    "I remember but - "

    The rustling grew slightly louder.

    "Cael... We were looking for berries remember?"

    She tried to keep the panic out of her voice, but the sound became louder and frantic. Her paranoia was sneaking up on her, god something could be sneaking up on them right now. What if it was those hunters again?

    "L-Lets go Cael. I want some berries."
  17. Chewing the leaf curiously, Cael munched it until it was nothing but a paste before realizing that it was quite disgusting. He reached into his mouth with his pudgy fingers and drew out the goop, flicking it on the ground and leaving red splatters everywhere. Once he had gotten everything solid out, he spat out the rest, scrunching up his nose in clear disgust. As Olivia reminded him that they were looking for berries and mentioned that she wanted some, he nodded easily and offered no argument at first. After all, he wanted berries too, especially after trying that leaf and having it turn out to be nowhere near food quality. He started to turn away from the bush to go back to her, but then he blinked a few times and crouched down.

    "Hey, Liv-ya! Look! These two little spots in the bush look just like eyes!" he announced, pointing to the two spots in the leaves that he was talking about as he turned back to the girl with a proud smile on his face. Since he was turned away, he didn't realize that they blinked at him. He giggled and held his hand out to her, waiting for her to take it so that they could find the berries that they both wanted.
  18. The girls' eyes widened in panic and without turning to look at the pair of eyes, she took Cael hands and started walking swiftly through the forest. A bead of sweat was forming on her forehead, trickling down her temples. Every few seconds of walking, Oliva would turn her head over her shoulders, lips tight. She herself couldn't see the eyes, probably hidden by the leaves. But the fact that they were hidden from her view made her panic harder.

    "Cael... Did your Mommy and Daddy teach you how to fight? With your fists?"

    She herself wasn't much of a fighter, relying more on her nails and feet than well placed punches. It was probably unlikely that the little boy knew anything about hand to hand combat, but he was royalty. Surely he wasn't left out in the world alone without some defensive knowledge.

  19. Cael toddled along with Olivia, keeping up with her quick pace, though barely since his legs were much shorter and he kept getting distracted by looking all around at the passing scenery. He kept thinking and hoping that his parents would show up randomly behind a tree or on the other side of a rise, yet it never happened. It was starting to upset him, but he kept quiet because he thought Olivia was upset with him. She was acting so oddly and kept looking back, which made him look back too. There was nothing to see that he could tell, but then again he wasn't sure what she was looking for.

    Her question made him scrunch up his nose with thought. Fight with his fists? Well, no, they hadn't taught him that. Of course not, that was silly. His arms were so short that fighting with fists would only be effective if his opponent was the same size that he was. The only time his short stature would be an advantage would be if he latched onto their face or something.

    "No, but I have-a sword!" he proclaimed, stopping his walking and stealing his hand back from his. He raised his hands up over his head as though mimicking holding a sword high in the air. As he rushed it down as though to chop something, his little game of make believe changed to something different. Inches from the ground, a burst of gold revealed a blade about a foot long with a hilt just large enough for his hands. He laughed delightedly and swung it all around as if playing.
  20. "Aaahh!"

    The girl jumped back, and landed hard on her rump. Leaves and dirt went flying as Olivia's eyes went wide. Her heart was instantly racing and her body language instantly shouted that she was scared. Swallowing hard, she had to take in the fact that the kid had magic. While it wasn't something unheard of in this world it was certainly a rare occurrence for Olivia.

    "W-Wow you really do have a sword."

    Her eyes darted about, trying to make sure nothing was out there.

    "You think it's a good idea to wave that sword around Cael?" Her voice had a nervous pitch to it. "We don't wanna scare away the animals."

    In actuality the girl didn't want to alert anything else to their presence although now that she thought it, Olivia probably had already done so with her screaming.