Ta Da! Short Writing Pieces and Brainstorming

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Wistful Beast, May 25, 2015.

  1. Posted here will be the various writing pieces that I decided to post. These pieces may vary in length, topic, prompt, and such. I am not open to people leaving comments here or posting here at all, but I will allow likes as well as comments via private message.

    For a longer and more developed piece I am working on, look here!

    A warning in advance, many of my writing pieces are dark,violent, or graphic in some may. If you are bothered by reading about such topics, I suggest you abandon ship now. For those of you still reading, I hope you enjoy. :)

    -The Mystical, Magical, and Macabre
    Wistful Beast

    Prompts for putthepromptsonpaper from Tumblr: "You're an idiot and she's a murderer."

    Here I was walking along a familiar concrete path. A car rumbled past, displacing grey water onto the sidewalk behind me. I paid little heed to the disruption and instead took a look at the bright signs hanging from storefronts, a few lights flickering on and off on occasion. The air was bitter cold but my leather jacket was zipped up tight, blocking out a good deal of the chill that was trying to assault my skin. Sliding my hands into my jean pockets, I mulled over the actions that had unfolded over the course of the day. Some called my job riveting while I only referred to it as my duty, an obligation. I was an undercover detective working to infiltrate gangs and investigate murder mysteries. Sounds exciting, right? Nope. Since my boss hated my guts, my job was just filing paper work, processing finger prints into the system, scanning our data base in an attempt to locate a drug dealer or something, and the occasional visit to a murder site or interrogation. Today I had worked on my first interesting case in a while and my biggest assignment so far, meaning the big shots decided to toss a choice assignment to me like table scraps to a dog. Well in this analogy, I was a starving dog and beggars weren't choosers so I gladly excepted the small, yet important case as opposed to reaching for a gang case or something bigger.

    An assassin had been located in the area and it was my job to figure out who they were and I'd be damned if I didn't find the bastard. I had a few leads gathered by the police. I knew the assassin was a female in her mid twenties and had an odd scar on her forehead. That's it, but it was something at least. I was pulled from my thoughts by the familiar sound of people laughing and talking mingled with the clinking of glasses. Casting my gaze upwards, I noted a wooden sign hanging loosely upon rusted hinges. The wind blew and made it swing back and forth with an awful creaking sound, but I saw the name all the same. A Drunk's Paradise. A charming name, I know, but this place was a favorite hang out of mine after a long day at work. The building was pretty ramshackle looking and was wedged in between a dry cleaner's and a deli. Both were closed as of now since it was nearing 11 o'clock at night and the city was shrouded in a cloak of darkness, the moon being choked by dense, grey clouds.

    Reaching the entrance of this place, I pushed open the old wooden door after my hands had retreated from their warm resting place deep within in my pockets. A bell sounded with upon my entrance, having been placed so the workers knew when someone had entered or left.I stepped into the place, careful to wipe my boots on the mat in the doorway to avoid another scolding from the bartender. Inside the lighting was dim and the sounds of idle chat, banter, and crowing laughter was louder. Turning my head, I looked over the people in various states of sobriety. Striding confidently passed the tables arranged in a restaurant fashion, I reached the bar and slid onto one of the empty stools away from others. A stout man wearing a simple black shirt and matching jeans sidled over from the small kitchen with a few empty glasses in hand. He set them on the counter before another worker had proceeded to fill them. Then he made his way over to me. Upon closer inspection it could be noted that he had receding brown hair, a hooked nose, and a missing eye. While others would be frightened by his almost intimating appearance, I knew him to be a good friend. His gruff voice greeted me as his thin lips formed a smile. "The usual, Bella?"he asked.

    "Of course. When have I ever asked for different, Charlie?"I replied as I pulled a pack of cigarettes from my coat pocket as well as a lighter.

    Charlie slid an ash tray towards me before turning and grabbing a bottle of gin from a shelf and beginning to pour the contents into a glass full of ice. I placed a cigarette between my teeth and raised the lighter to the end. With a careful flick, a small flame lapped at the end of the cigarette and made the end glow a coppery red. Pocketing the lighter and box of cigarettes, I inhaled some smoke before exhaling it with an almost exaggerated sigh. I watched the foul grey smoke lift up towards the florescent light above and made a mental note to stop this nonsense before it became an addiction. I had already began to smoke one a day and feared it would get worse. I had started first for a small thrill and soon started smoking here at the bar after work to relax of something. It was awful stuff, really, but I couldn't help but do it in the hopes things would somehow get better.

    I looked back to the bar top when I heard the clink of a glass being set down. I pulled the glass closer, relishing the cold on my palm for once. Charlie left to tend to other bar goers, knowing that he'd just place the gin on my tab to pay for later. After taking a few puffs of my cigarette, I pulled it from my mouth long enough to take a sip of my drink before returning it to rest in my mouth again. Hearing the bell by the door sound, I glanced over my shoulder and did a double take when I recognized the person who had entered. Turning forwards again, I cursed under my breath. It was one of my coworkers, Ryan Armani. He was a new intern and an annoying one at that. He was known to be rather flirtatious and outgoing, teasing a few of the female workers. I remembered feeling my stomach turn when I caught him whispering to a group for giggling female interns decked out in their tight blouses, pencil skirts, and heels. It was folly I thought would be done for after I graduated from college about three years ago, but I was wrong. I actually took my work seriously, however stupid it may be. I wouldn't be caught dead wearing such unprofessional garb anyways, sticking to a nice blazer and slacks most times.

    Now Ryan was here and he wasn't alone. He was accompanied by a female I had never seen before so she must not be another coworker. Too bad she wasn't since she looked plenty attractive, which was probably why she was now under Ryan's arm. Ryan still wore his work clothes of a white button up, a black tie, and slacks to match so he must have been out with this girl for a few hours if he hadn't changed after work. Or maybe it was a date? Hah, a funny thought since Ryan wasn't the dating type. My guess was this was some sort of one night stand thing or something. I glanced back at him again to see that he was sitting in a table nearby sitting parallel to the girl. The girl wore a simple scarlet jacket and tight fitting black jeans tucked into boots with short wedged heels. Raven black hair cascaded down her slender shoulders, framing her heart shaped face and extenuating her relatively pale skin. I furrowed a brow briefly as I wondered how Ryan managed to snag such a fine looking young woman. She was too modest looking to be an escort and although I wasn't fond of Ryan, I knew that he wouldn't purchase a girl.

    As I looked back down at my drink, a smile played across my lips. Maybe I could do some investigating here, or in other words find a way to ruin his chances with this girl. Ryan deserved it anyways. I pulled my cigarette from my mouth and shoved the end into the ash tray, watching as the embers died out. I grabbed my drink and stood up, fixing my straightened brown hair with a free hand. Then I turned towards Ryan and pretended to just see him. "Ryan! Funny seeing you here."I said, feigning some excitement as I watched him spot me with a look I interpreted as confusion.

    The girl he was with turned her head and saw me, offering a polite smile. "Oh, Bella. Hey...How's it going?"he asked, a bit sheepishly in my opinion and to my pleasure.

    I pulled a seat from another table towards the one these two sat at and took a seat myself. "Fine, fine. Just getting a drink."I answered, casually waving away his question. I turned my attention to the young woman sitting across from Ryan and added, "And just who would this fine looking lady be?"

    The young woman seemed to stifle a giggle and blushed a bit. I deduced she was the innocent type, and flirty too. It was odd though since she held herself with such confidence and dressed more masculine like than the usual air headed girls did so she must have been something special. Was I jealous of Ryan? Maybe....Ryan answered as he gestured a hand towards the girl. "This is Alice. I met her at a party."Ryan answered.

    A party, huh? That explained why his work clothes were a bit rumpled and that he already smelled of alcohol. "Nice to meet you, Alice."I said politely as I extended a hand for the girl to shake. Alice took my hand in hers and shook once, offering a firm, yet gentle grip. Her hands weren't that soft so I guessed she was a working woman, though her occupation was still unknown to me. She seemed kind enough as of now, emerald eyes gleaming. She smelled faintly of roses, a welcome scent among the din of smoke, alcohol, and sweat and I almost regretted it when my hand released hers. Oh how I wanted to know this Alice. Maybe I could win her over.

    I leaned back casually and looked between Ryan and Alice. "Did I interrupt something?"I asked, pretending to be oblivious. I had to stifle a devilish grin since I was perfectly aware of exactly what I was doing.

    Ryan composed himself, running a hand through his short, brown hair, which was falling out of its gelled state over time. "No. We were just going to talk and share a drink. You're free to stay if it's okay with Alice."he replied, voice slowly returning to its usual charming state.

    "It isn't a problem. The more the merrier, right?"Alice replied with a half grin and a voice that reminded me of silk.

    That grin of hers made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. This woman was driving me crazy with how slick and confident she seemed. How did she do it? Maybe I could ask later if I managed to convince her to ditch this douche and go after someone more respectable, like myself perhaps. I lifted my drink to my lips and took a sip, watching as one of the workers took the order of Alice and Ryan. While they were occupied, I noticed something that made my heart nearly stop. Peaking out from under Alice's dark wave of hair was a faint scar. No way. No way. No.No.No. She couldn't be the assassin. She was definitely female, was in her twenties, and had a head scar. The confidence, the worn hands, that sleek body. I desperately hoped this was a coincidence, but my observations made her in question. Now was my time to ask some discreet questions to try to reach the conclusion that this beautiful woman wasn't a trained murderer.

    "So, Alice, where are you from?"I asked to start things out in a casual manner that could be taken as normal talk when getting to know a person.

    "I was born in southern California, but I live here now."Alice replied, seeming unfazed by the question. For all I knew, she could be lying if she really was a killer. Or she was just a normal girl, but for the safety of others I had to pursue finding out more about her. Hell, Ryan could have even been her target or at least someone to get information about the headquarters. If I were an assassin I would go after those trying to hunt me down and arrest me.

    "Mm. I've heard the weather down south is pretty great. Do you like it up north?"I ventured next, seeming like this was a good segway into more questions.

    Alice took a brief moment to think and to sip her beer that had just arrived, then she said in that sweet voice of hers, "It's pretty nice up here. The city is bustling and full of opportunities."

    I processed her answer and decided to pursue her mentioning of opportunities and just what that would entitle. After all, cities were more convenient locations for assassins of course with plenty of people out at the throats of others and the cover of being anonymous among a few thousand people. "Opportunities? Did you come up here for business?"I asked, pushing a lock of my hair out of my eyes before taking a discreet look at that scar peaking out of Alice's hair.

    Ryan was quiet as of now, watching the two women converse amongst themselves. He did offer a skeptical look in my direction, probably discovering I sounded like I was questioning Alice like I would someone at the office. Alice still seemed confident, though I noticed that she began to tap her foot under that table which could be seen as a sign of anxiety. "I did. I work at the local department store."she replied.

    "Oh? And they didn't have department stores down south?"I replied, raising an eyebrow. I had left the casual zone upon questioning if this girl was bluffing in a way that was subtle, yet still peculiar even to common folk. Ryan looked shocked that I had went there, eyes widening. He opened his mouth to speak but then looked bitter and took a frustrated gulp from his beer bottle.

    Alice's expression dropped a bit and she tilted her head ever so slightly in a way that was cute enough to make my heart flutter. I kept my focus though. Alice's foot tapping grew quicker in pace and she replied in an innocent and tone. "There were. It just seems busier here."Alice replied, looking to Ryan as if wondering why I was so forwards seeming.

    Ryan set his drink down and grit his teeth. "Er, sorry Alice. I need to talk to my friend here for a second. You hang tight and I'll be back soon."he said as politely as he could. Alice nodded obediently and watched as Ryan got to his feet. He gave me a sharp look and I stood up without him having to ask, making my way towards the bathrooms in the back of the bar. I casually stepped over a puddle of vomit left by a very drunk person who was asleep in one of the booths.

    As soon as Ryan had pulled me into the unisex bathroom and locked the door, he turned on me. "What are you doing out there?"he asked in a harsh whisper as if stifling yelling at me.

    I crossed my arms and ignored the awful smell and bright light overhead. "You're an idiot and she's a murderer," I replied with a whisper that sounded more like a hiss.

    Ryan looked shocked and outraged. "A murderer? What the hell makes you think that, Bella?"he asked, bewildered. As I looked up at him I saw that his face was contorted in an expression that I recognized came before rage.

    "I was briefed on a female assassin in her mid twenties who had a scar on her forehead. Alice has all of those signs plus she is confident as hell and her hands are worn from work a department store doesn't bring. Her lie was awful since there are large department stores everywhere so this place doesn't have any more opportunities. Plus, she is beginning to show signs of being nervous and why should she be nervous?"I explained as quickly as I could.

    Ryan snorted in disbelief and held his head, looking away. He laughed. "Of course it would be you to ruin my shot at such a wonderful woman by suspecting she is a f*cking murderer. Unbelievable."he said before walking out before I could stop him.

    I followed angrily and reached his side. As we approached the table I realized that Alice had left and the bar was in chaos. People were stumbling out of the door or cowering under tables and a few bartenders were on the phone, probably with the police judging from the panic. I grabbed one of Charlie's large tree trunk like arms as he walked past and asked, "What the hell happened?"

    For the first time I saw what Charlie looked like when he was frightened, his one eye widened. "That woman you spoke to. She threw something down and clouded the room with smoke. When it cleared someone was dead and she was gone."he said, voice now faster than his usual drawling pace.

    I shot Ryan an angry glare as if to say, I told you so. Ryan looked stunned as he heard what had happened but soon stammered, "Where is the victim?"

    Charlie pointed to where two bartenders were fretting at a business man in a suit who was slumped over a table. A red slash ran across his throat and his lifeblood had puddled under his white shirt. Some of it dribbled down to the dirt clumped carpet. The man's eyes were frozen open and distant looking as they met mine and as my breath caught in my throat, I realized that Alice had actually been a killer. My assignment! Who knew the assassin was so attractive. Well now I knew what she looked like and I was determined to find her. After three long years of tedious assignments, I had finally started my real job.
    #1 Wistful Beast, May 25, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2015
  2. Prompt from putthepromptsonpaper on Tumblr: “Don't treat me like some child. I'm a killer. I'm a genius. I'm 12 and a half.”

    Little Tommy was what many sane adults labeled as “troubled.” Well, they would if they knew what I knew. Tommy was always far different from the other kids his age. He didn't play on the play ground or sing merry songs. He much preferred other activities. He seemed to enjoy sitting and just watching the world pass by around him, engrossed in thoughts for hours. As for what thoughts went through that little, twisted mind of his, I dare not to imagine. Sometimes he even went to the park and watched the other children play make believe and scramble up and down the worn down equipment with their high pitched, overjoyed laughter. I've witnessed him there, perched in the grass a few meters away from his unsuspecting peers, face frozen in an almost wistful expression, his hands constantly fidgeting with a blade of grass or crushing some small bug just to feel the guts squish between his dirtied fingertips.

    Tommy looked like the other kids though. He preferred to wear jeans and tennis shoes, no matter how tattered they may be. He also wore brightly colored shirts that displayed different patterns ranging from stripes to graphic drawings of cartoon characters and what not. Tommy had a mess of sandy colored blonde hair curling out from the top of his large, round head. He had bright blue eyes, appealing to some but unnerving to others, me especially. Tommy had a lean and almost scrawny body build with awkward long arms and a gangly pair of legs to match. Tommy had fair skin, all the better to show the stark contrast between his own flesh and the bloodied flesh of whatever animal happened to have the misfortune of crossing his path when he was in one of his...moods.

    Tommy was prone to having mood swings, being diagnosed by doctors as bipolar or even just hormonal like a normal developing youth would be at his age. The doctors didn't know the real side of Tommy though, that he was far from just a normal child and some silly hormonal changes. Those lab coat wearing imbeciles couldn't see through Tommy's convincing cordial and almost shy act. I can't really blame them though since the boy had a knack for acting. He played his part very well, smiling coyly and throwing in a few pleases and thank yous to try to light up the face of some unaware adult. A few times even I, with my tough resolve, had the faintest thought that maybe I was just thinking too much about this and that he was just a mischievous little punk is all. No, I had seen enough to know he was a psychopath and homicidal maniac in the making.
    The first sign that he was a threat came to me when Tommy was about five years old. I was driving him to preschool that cloudy autumn day. I had decided to take one of the back roads that day, wondering if it would serve as a short cut of sorts. Tommy was sitting in the back seat silently, peering out of the window as the scenery flashed past. It was calm. I had been focused on the road ahead of me, mindful of pot holes and other flaws in the faded, grey asphalt road.

    The engine had been purring as my beat up cherry red painted pick up truck ambled down the road. I had inherited it from my father, the same man who aided in the creation of the monstrosity that I knew as my younger brother. I suddenly smelled the pungent odor of skunk and looked to the side of the road. Sure enough, resting on the side of the road was a small, lifeless black and white pelted form. The creature's soft, pink guts were spilling out from a tear in its belly and made me taste bile in the back of my throat. I had hoped that Tommy didn't notice, fearing it would upset the young child since an innocent creature had been killed. I had been terribly wrong.
    Suddenly, Tommy's quiet and innocent seeming little voice broke the quiet. “I like that.”

    I felt the hair on the back of my neck rise. Surely he hadn't been saying that about the animal corpse, right? Maybe he was admiring the colorful leaves tumbling about from trees to glide across the unruly grass bordering the road. Again, my assumption was incorrect. “The pretty leaves? I like them too.”I replied in a cheery tone, hoping that my hasty guess was wrong.

    Tommy didn't hesitate to respond with, “No. The dead thing. I like that.”

    The boy acted as if it were a perfectly natural claim to make. As if it were normal for people to be pleased by the sight of rotting road kill. My chest tightened. I took a deep breath, calming down. Maybe he was just saying such an awful thing to get a rise out of me, some sort of attention. I knew young children had a tendency to seek some sort of reaction. I forced myself to reply in a thin voice, “Oh...Are you sure you don't prefer the leaves?”

    “Yep.”Tommy said with a nod and a tiny, curving grin that I spotted in the mirror.

    There was also another time that Tommy had alluded to being twisted in the brain. He was six years old. He excelled in kindergarten, learning the alphabet in a mere hour and learning to count to fifty within a week, accomplishments that were out of reach for most kids his age. The teachers found him impressive, a star student in their blinded eyes. He wasn't one to draw very often at recess, so of course I had been pleasantly surprised when I had went to pick him up and he handed me a piece of paper with a trace of a smile and the words, “For you.”

    Delighted, I took the paper and began to examine it. I remember my heart dropping and my stomach clenching as my eyes took in the doodle that had been presented to me via a slightly crumpled white paper. On the page was a drawing of a stick figure person drawn carefully with a black crayon. The background was shaded in crudely with a grey colored pencil as if to express darkness. Most noticeably, the stick figure's head was lopped off and resting on a crooked line that appeared to represent the ground. Red crayon was applied to the neck of the stick figure with a heavy hand. Most disturbing of all were three simple letters scrawled sloppily above the stick figure. “You.”

    I had smiled nervously, mouth growing dry. Looking down at Tommy I noticed his piercing icy sapphire eyes widened in such a way that suggested he was eager for me to respond. I swallowed a lump in my throat and said, “How nice...A bit violent though.”

    Tommy pulled his lips back to reveal two rows of tiny, crooked teeth. “I know.”he had replied before bounding off towards my pick up truck with a bounce in his normally more mellow stride.

    There was another sign when Tommy was eight years old. I had just dropped him off at home and had entered the house to rest a while before I'd have to leave to work a shift at my part time job, after my parents came home of course. I wouldn't leave Tommy alone for the reasons that he was too young, and that he did odd things when unsupervised. Here I was, lounging on the couch. I was half asleep when I heard the sound of shrill laughter. Still groggy, I had sat up and wiped the sleep from my glazed eyes. Then, making my way to the window, I saw Tommy outside. He was crouched in the backward over something, but what?

    I made my way out the door and into the yard. “Hey, what's up?”I asked, wondering why he would laugh in such a startling and peculiar way.

    Tommy giggled and stood up, allowing me to see what he had been crouched over. My jaw dropped when I noticed that his nimble hands were coated in a layer of dripping crimson and a scarlet streak ran across his thin lips. Laying in the grass was a brown, furry lump that twitched on occasion. “Tommy! What did you do?”I asked in a panicked manner as I quickly approached the boy. Tommy grinned again and clapped happily, sending blood dribbling onto the emerald colored blades of lush grass.

    Taking a closer look, I identified the lump as a squirrel. The poor animal had a sharpened stick impaling its chest so that it was stuck in the ground. Tommy had opened the creature's belly too, exposing the messy insides and leaving a pile of gore beside the animal. Turning away, I retched and screwed my eyes shut as the scent of decay began to assault my nostrils. Tommy's laughter had only gown louder in volume upon my reaction.

    I never told our parents. Too frightened and stupid to know that I should have reported such behavior on the spot. I always thought nowadays that I should have spoke up and maybe Tommy could have been fixed. I had allowed the boy to get his first, and certainly not last taste of blood. When I had these tideas, the thoughts clustered in the back of my mind usually voiced that he was too messed up to be fixed at any age.

    At age 10 Tommy had developed his mood swings. He went from peaceful to a blood stirring rage in a matter of seconds. Silent and brooding, to hollering over the slightest thing. He was a loose cannon at this time, actually gaining the attention of the formerly oblivious adults. Tommy was sent to the doctor and diagnosed as I had mentioned earlier. He had gotten away with his behavior yet again.

    The boy was sent to juvenile detention at age 12, where he would remain until being sent to prison when he was old enough. What had he done exactly? The worst thing he could do, something I had seen coming for years.

    It was late night one summer when I had been driving to visit my parents and Tommy. I had been listening to music and thinking over the day, unknowingly about to encounter a gruesome scene. I had the windows rolled down to admit the warm summer breeze and suddenly heard a blood curdling scream cut through the air. Slowing down, fear crawled up my spine and my breathing slowed. Hastily turning down the music, I pulled over and used the beams of my headlights to try to discover where the very human like scream had come from. The bushes rustled and my hand instinctively gripped the pocket knife on my key chain, not that it would do much good against an attacker. The slim piece of sharpened metal did provide a scrap of comfort though.

    Out from the bushes came a familiar figure. Tommy was standing in the headlights now and staring right into me. His white and green striped shirt was drenched in what I identified as blood and his hands were dirtied with the foul liquid as well. Held in a white knuckled grip in Tommy's right hand was a kitchen knife that was stained crimson. Tommy's forehead was shining with a layer of sweat and his sides heaved, mouth parted as if he were catching his breath. He grinned at me with a devilish look and I didn't recognize this murderer standing before me who used to be the sweet, sleeping baby that I had been so eager to hold. Now here he was, disheveled and crazed.

    I hesitated before cutting off the engine and stepping out. He was my brother. He wouldn't kill me, right? I sure hoped he wouldn't. My hands began to shake and I mustered my courage, “Uh...hey, Tommy. What are you doing out here...?”

    Tommy seemed pleased to answer. He relaxed his tensed muscles and took a more casual stance, though he remained a few meters away from me. “Oh hey, sis. I just killed the boy that had called me stupid. His insides are pretty. Wanna see them?”he asked eagerly, the mere glimmer in those mesmerizing eyes of his leaving me petrified where I stood next to the inactive road.

    I feared he'd kill me if I didn't oblige, gut me like his victim, so I feebly answered, “Sure...sure...”

    Tommy giggled and turned back towards the bushes, expecting me to follow. My feet moved unconsciously and I wondered if this was just a terrible nightmare. The vivid sound of crickets chirping, the whoosh of the light breeze, and the smell of pine trees surrounding the area was acute enough to confirm that this was all very real. I dreaded what I would see when I reached the bushes, preparing myself for the worst.

    Even when prepared, I was still taken aback when Tommy stopped before the mutilated corpse of what had once been a boy his age. A red smile was cut onto the victim's face, green eyes frozen lifelessly in a last expression of fear. What was worse was that the corpse was opened by the knife in the stomach like the skunk and squirrel from years before, insides now outsides. “No, no, no no. Tommy...you shouldn't have done this. What have you done? What. Have. You. Done?”I asked frantically, hands burying themselves into my hair as my breath hitched and a tear formed in the corner of my eyes. My brother was a murderer. A sick and twisted child. He did this. This corpse was his art, his pride.

    Tommy sighed and said, “Don't treat me like some child. I'm a killer. I'm a genius. I'm 12 and a half.”
    My blood seemed to pound in my ears and I felt a wave of dizziness overtake me. Brother. Killer. I vaguely remembered a terrible shriek escaping my tightened throat before the world seemed to shift under me and I crumpled onto the ground with the sound of Tommy's hysterical laughter fill my ears.
    #2 Wistful Beast, May 29, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2015
  3. Prompts from putthepromptsonpaper on Tumblr:
    "Everything here can kill you, but I can do it the most efficiently."
    "No news is good news. Obituaries are even better news."
    "Your need betrays you. I have you wrapped around my claw."
    "He begged for mercy." "And I showed him mercy." "You killed him!" "Quickly."

    A young woman approached the glass revolving doors that allowed access to a towering office building, her heels clicking upon the smooth pavement stairs. The massive building reached up tall into the grey sky, four sharp prongs at the very top threatening to scrape the clouds. The building stood out among the other smaller, but still sizable structures that cluttered the bustling city. The sleek grey metal reflected what little light the currently hidden sun provided.

    The woman passed through the revolving door, now entering a spacious lobby. The floors were made of smooth marble, the wall paper a deep grey. Various expensive looking paintings adorned the walls and rows of black leather seats allowed for people to await their turn to participate in business with one of the many workers. The woman continued passed the seating area towards a long wooden desk that served as a barrier between the customers and the few well dressed workers.

    The young woman was not as well dressed. Instead of a blazer and slacks, she wore a white shirt with a black leather jacket over top of it. With that she donned jeans that were black as pitch with a leather belt to hold them up. Well polished combat boots occupied her petite sized feet. In fact, petite was a good word to describe the woman in general. She stood an an unimpressive height of 5'3" and coupled with a feminine frame, lean muscles, and narrow shoulders, she was far from imposing.

    Despite her nonthreatening appearance and informal attire, the young woman seemed to mean business. Her loosely curled, dark violet dyed hair was styled up in a professional looking bun and her brown eyes seemed focused. Reaching the desk, the young woman addressed one of the well groomed workers. "Excuse me, sir. I'm here for Mr. Vandram."she said, voice smooth and polite.

    The middle aged male worker seemed puzzled by her request. "Mr. Vandram? I see... well, let me call and see if he is expecting you."he said, expression seeming skeptical.

    The man made a quick call, quietly asking if Mr. Vandram was expecting a visitor. He turned back to the young woman and asked, "Your name?"

    "Violet Stratton."The young woman replied without skipping a beat.

    The man repeated her name for the person he was speaking with. After another minute or so, the worker said goodbye and placed the phone away. Looking to Violet he said, "He will be seeing you now."

    Violet offered him a polite nod before setting off towards one of the elevators. Pressing the button, the doors slid open quietly to admit her. Upon entering, the doors slowly shut. After pressing the correct button for the 80th floor, the elevator began to ascend. Violet tapped one foot nervously. This hadn't been her first visit to Mr. Vandram. The man was certainly a force to be reckoned with. He seemed like a typical business man. Tall, well built, clean shaven, slicked back black hair, crisp black suit, pale skin, copious amounts of cologne . The whole deal. What made him different than most was that he was not quite human, possessing the peculiar ability to take a different form. Shape shifters had been said to have died out years ago after the last war between the mundanes and mythics, however, Mr. Vandram served as proof to prove the assumption incorrect. Although Violet would never admit this to outsiders, she shared his inhuman capabilities and was also a shifter in hiding.

    Mr. Vandram didn't even need to be superhuman to be evoke fear in the hearts of many. His business as a computer manufacturer was just a front for the production of drugs and other illegal contraband. Being in this line of business meant that he had plenty of terrible goons to back him up and do his dirty work. Violet felt fear tickle her gut, her heart beginning to race. However terrible this man was, Violet owed him. Her parents had been consumers of his products and they had refused to pay their debt before they had died of overdose. This had left their only daughter to work to repay the debt through being one of his drug mules. It was an unsavory business, that was for sure.

    Today Violet was here to do the unthinkable. Find a way to quit. Violet knew very well this could end poorly for her, but she wanted to inquire as to if the debt had been paid or not. She was tired of this job since it risked her life and her sanity. Not that she had a problem with risk, it was just that she believed she was on the wrong side. She was supposed to be avoiding and fighting crime, not joining its movement.

    Violet flinched when the elevator made a "ding" sound when it reached the proper floor. Taking a deep breath, she watched as the elevator doors opened to reveal Mr. Vandram's office. Exiting the elevator, she noted the doors close behind her and suddenly felt apprehensive about this situation. This floor was familiar, but it would always feel foreign to her.

    It was spacious like the lobby and also decorated with expensive paintings, though there were also a few metal sculptures forming abstract shapes. Ahead of Violet was an expanse wooden flooring, a metal desk lined with stacks of neat papers perched at the far end of the room with a chair positioned on either side. Attached to this room was a balcony that was hanging over the city, the far wall being made entirely of crystal clear glass. There were couches and coffee tables situated about the room to give it an almost lounge like atmosphere. Hanging upon the wall to Violet's right side were various weapons. A variety of old swords, axes, hammers, and much more were used as grim decor. Different rooms branched off from here, but Violet wasn't interested in them.

    Violet spotted a tall figure sitting in the seat behind the metal desk, currently facing out towards the balcony and dreary cityscape. Suddenly, he slowly turned his chair around in a cliche villainous manner. Mr. Vandram was seated in his swivel chair, hands resting upon his lap. As per usual, he wore his standard black and white suit, a deep red tie positioned around his neck. His skin was as pale as that of a ghost, making his shoulder length, slick black hair stand out. His eyes were a deep chocolate brown and they held little warmth. His thin lips formed a snake like grin, exposing some of his uniform white teeth as well as a golden one. "I need a cat, don't I? A nice sleek one to sit upon my lap. It would make things more theatrical."he commented, voice low with a touch of humor.

    "Come, darling. Have a seat."Mr. Vandram ordered politely, his grin fading ever so slightly. He sat in his usual authoritative position, shoulders and head high.

    Violet nodded and obliged, clearing the distance between her and the desk while trying not to cringe at the pet name he had addressed her by. She took a seat in front of the desk, the chair breaking the silence with a small squeak. Violet rested her arms upon the arm rests, keeping her posture proper as well to allow her some courage in this situation.

    "So...what brings you into my office on this fine evening?"Mr. Vandram asked, eyes boring into Violet.

    Violet took a moment to clear her throat. Then she decided to speak. "Have I paid up my debt yet? I need to quit doing this job."she questioned, bitterness towards her predicament fueling her courage.

    Mr. Vandram didn't seem that appalled by the question. Instead he just leaned back into his seat and laughed, a throaty chuckle filling the air. Violet's jaw was set, her chipped black painted finger nails scratching lightly at the arm rests in agitation. She awaited an answer of sorts, hasty to know her fate. Mr. Vandram proceeded to hold out a finger, fixated on the nail of his pointer finger as it began to turn black and grown into a sharpened claw. Without looking up from the claw he commented, "Darling. Your need betrays you. I have you wrapped around my claw."

    "Don't call me darling. I don't want to be your god damned darling. I want out of this job. Have I paid off my debt?"Violet asked again, voice growing more desperate and eager.

    Mr. Vandram looked up from his claw as it shrunk back down to its proper human size. "Your debt? It is paid. But don't think that you are free, my darling. Believe me when I say you are far from it."he said, making sure to put emphasis on the issuance of a pet name just to further anger Violet.

    "What the hell do you mean? I did what you wanted to and owe you nothing. I'm done! I have to be."Violet replied, raising her voice as her temper flared. Each breath she drew in threatened to choke her. Of course he would keep her around. Why had she ever obeyed and thought that she would be free one day? This evil man would always have her in his clutches if she did nothing about it.

    "You are correct. You owe me nothing. However, you have proven to have done your job well and will continue to."Mr. Vandram said matter-o-factually.

    Violet huffed, her nails digging into the arm rests harshly. "Or else what?"she dared to ask, raising an eyebrow.

    This reaction drew out another chuckle from Mr. Vandram. "I like you, darling. You are quite fiery. You must have a lot of guts to speak to me this way."he commented, sitting upright again as his eyes met hers in an intense gaze.

    To answer Violet's question, he merely snapped. Hearing noise behind her, Violet turned to look over her shoulder as two body guards in suits dragged in a limp figure. They tossed the figure on the ground, revealing an older looking man in ragged looking clothing. Bruises marked his ebony flesh, his short black hair dotted with blood. He coughed violently, sending a splatter of scarlet across the clean wooden floor. As Violet gaped at the damaged man sprawled out upon the floor, Mr. Vandram stood up and approached him.

    The man upon the floor seemed fixated upon the variety of weapons that hung from the walls, body quaking as he took in Mr. Vandram with widened eyes. "You like those weapons up there? You know, Everything here can kill you, but I can do it the most efficiently."he said, voice low and threatening as it took on a rougher tone.

    Violet watched, petrified, as Mr. Vandram's one finger nail became a claw yet again while he crouched beside the figure. He used one hand to grab the back of the older man's hair, lifting his battered face from the ground. Then Mr. Vandram pressed the claw against the man's vulnerable throat."Please...don't...Mercy.."the old man whispered, eyes welling up with tears.

    With a quick slash, a crooked red line formed upon the man's neck. The man gurgled helplessly, vomiting up mouthfuls of life blood as his muscles became rigid. Mr. Vandram stood tall again, flicking blood off of his hand. He offered a cold look down at the writhing body before his face contorted into a sadistic grin of sorts.

    The older man looked up at Violet desperately before coughing once more and finally growing still, eyes rolling upwards. Violet's mouth was agape, her mind still processing what she had just witnessed. The message was clear enough. Comply or suffer that same fate. As the body guards dragged the bloodied corpse away, Mr. Vandram returned to his seat as if nothing had happened.

    Looking back to the man, Violet managed to spit out, "He begged for mercy."

    "And I showed him mercy."Mr. Vandram replied with a light shrug.

    Violet offered a horrified look. "But, you killed him!"

    "Quickly."Mr. Vandram replied, wiping the last bit of blood off onto his slacks with a disgusted facial expression.

    "You monster."Violet growled, adrenaline causing her to quickly rise to her feet.

    Mr. Vandram offered a sardonic smile as he stood up slowly. Turning, he headed towards the balcony and opened up the sliding door, stepping out into the wind. He looked back at Violet and made a beckoning gesture with one hand. Violet hesitated before stalking towards him, steps quick, yet cautious. She reached the balcony and was assaulted by a breeze, hair being tousled around. Standing at Mr. Vandram's side, she cast a bitter look up at the taller figure.

    "I know that you coming to the realization that you are to serve me forever isn't pleasant. But hey, no news is good news. However, obituaries are even better news." he said, offering yet another twisted grin in Violet's direction with the intent of further unnerving the young woman.

    "Fuck you."Violet nearly snarled, hands balling into fists.

    "Excuse you. That is naughty language, darling."Mr. Vandram said.

    "Fuck. You."Violet repeated, slower this time.

    Mr. Vandram sighed and pressed two fingers against his temples, seeming displeased now. "So you are not going to help me?"he asked, removing his hand from his head.

    Violet proceeded to spit on the balcony floor and flip the man off for her answer. Mr. Vandram pressed a firm hand upon her back. Violet flinched away from his touch, but he persisted and began to apply pressure. Before Violet knew it, her hips were up against the balcony's barrier and her face was angled towards the ground that was hundreds of feet below her. The shiny cars looked like ants. The people were even smaller, going about their day, unaware that there was a young woman up above that may lose her life soon. The breeze howled angrily in her ears, making her hair flap about. "Game over, darling."came a hissing in her ear.

    Suddenly, Violet threw her head back without warning and it connected with Mr. Vandram's face with a crack. The force caused Violet's teeth to clamp together, elicited pain that she hardly paid attention to. The hold on her lower back released, Violet stood up quickly and ran back into the building. Reaching up, she pulled a katana off of the wall and watched as guards barreled towards her. The first one that reached her received a belly full of steel, a circle of crimson beginning to form upon his white undershirt. Violet violently drew the now bloodied metal out of the man's body, letting him fall limp to the floor with a dull thump. Dodging a hand that reached out to grab her, she sprinted back towards the balcony, vaulting over the couches.

    Mr. Vandram was still on the balcony, holding a now bloodied and broken nose. "You little bitch!"he growled, landing a harsh kick at Violet.

    Violet was sent up and over the fencing of the balcony. She soon found that the ground was no longer underneath her, a falling sensation taking a hold of her system. Violet discovered that movies were not being cliche when they depicted that time seemed to slow down when falling to ones apparent death. She looked up as Mr. Vandram's face peered over the side of the balcony with his guards beside him now. His nose was crooked, blood seeping from his nostrils. Violet decided that her time of hiding was now over.

    Violet concentrated on a bird in her mind, eyes closed tight. Vaguely, she heard yells down from the civilians below as if she were under water. Then she felt a sharp pain at her shoulder blades as dark brown feathered wings took form. Violet opened them and pushed down hard, finally opening her eyes when she felt herself suddenly rise. Time returned to its normal pace and the young shape shifter ascended, a bloodied katana in hand. Looking down now, she saw the shock frozen upon Mr. Vandram's face. She offered a lazy smile before speeding off into the clouds and far away from the menace and that towering building he resided in.

    #3 Wistful Beast, Jul 19, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2015
  4. Warning! This piece features sexual harassment, implications of rape, as well as copious amounts of gore. These are very touchy topics and may not be appropriate for all readers. If you are bothered by such things, please, do not read this piece!

    A female figure was strolling down the sidewalk, her shoes falling softly upon the dirtied strip of cement. Colorful spots dotted the surface, gum having been flattened upon it over time. The occasional car passed and added to the city's symphony of distant dog barks, voices, and the faint honking of a car horn. The wind rushed through and stirred the baggy, grey jacket that the lone figure donned. Apartment buildings and quaint, run down businesses lined the road on either side. The sky was left unobstructed to reveal a darkening sky as the sun dipped below the horizon. The cool air smelled faintly of gasoline and smoke.

    The female walking alone seemed a bit anxious, constantly stealing glances behind herself. The woman was dressed in casual attire, wearing a loose tank top, jeans, and sneakers in addition to her jacket. She had long, wavy, dark brown hair that was styled up in a loose pony tail. Black, fingerless gloves occupied her hands and provided little warmth against the biting chill that the night brought. Her strides became longer and faster, the woman's mind beginning to race. Her name was Nova Slade and she was unlike most humans, being supernatural in her biological makeup. Nova possessed a unique group of cells that grew upon her body to give herself a more beastly appearance. In fact, her appearing as an everyday human was just an act she feigned by consuming a particular widely distributed concoction called Krym that killed off her supernatural cells for a select period of time. Right now, her haste was caused but he fact that her potion was beginning to wear off and soon her true appearance would be revealed.

    Nova had found herself passing through a rather shady part of her home city. Realizing she would not reach her home in time to take her potion, she decided to drink the emergency dosage stored safely within her jacket pocket. She entered a nearby alleyway and warily cast her gaze towards the two graffiti marked, brick walls that seemed impervious to the sight from those that passed on the road. Nova rested her back upon one of the walls and fished into her pocket, pulling out a small bottle full of a clear liquid. As soon as she was about to pull the stopper free, voices approached. Suddenly startled, Nova pocketed the liquid and pretended to be preoccupied with an old flip phone she used. Out of the corner of her eye Nova spotted a group of three young men dressed in wife beaters and baggy shorts. They had been laughing amongst one another until they caught sight of the young woman and slowed their ambling walk to a halt.

    Nova felt her heart leap, suddenly possessing the burning desire to flee from the scene and the men that were currently undressing her with their narrowed eyes as they exchanged devious smiles. Suddenly one spoke, a man with a short black stubble along his square jaw and a tattoo of a satanist star near his eye. "Hey, little lady. What brings you to this part of the city? You lost, babe?"he spoke, voice masculine and rough.

    Nova knew that displaying her fear in this situation would do her little good. Answering with a confident tone of voice, she said, "I'm just passing through. No, I'm not lost. I'll be on my way now." Her fists clenched and unclenched methodically.

    With that said, she took a step forwards and headed towards the alley's exit. One of the men raised his hands to prevent Nova from leaving. "Woah there. What's the rush, sweetheart?"another man laughed, his hair shaved into a neat buzz cut.

    "I need to get home."Nova replied simply, feeling her insides churn.

    She was growing increasingly anxious in this situation, especially when she felt that the potion was slowly wearing off. Looking up, she saw them leering down at her. "I think you should stay and have some fun."the man with the facial tattoo spoke again, receiving agreements from his friends.

    "I really don't think that I should..."Nova replied, her voice quavering slightly.

    One of the men, a short Hispanic man with a goatee, stepped forwards. Nova stepped backwards cautiously, mouth partially agape out of fear. "I like that pretty red lipstick of yours. Mind if I taste it?"he asked, voice gruff and intimidating.

    Nova held her hands up defensively, muscles beginning to quake. Feeling a sudden jolt of anger, she nearly spat, "Well I think that you should all just fuck off."

    She received a chorus of "oohs," and "look, a feisty one." Nova slowly eased her hand down to the waistline of her jeans. In a swift and sudden motion, she reached down and pulled a knife free from her belt loop, flicking the blade free of its concealed state. Laughter filled her ears and the Hispanic man didn't balk at the sight of the short blade. Instead, he lunged forth and deftly knocked the blade free of her hand. Then he grabbed Nova's wrists and pushed her against the wall, arms held above her head in a crushing, vice grip. Panicked, Nova sent a knee up into the man's groin with a harsh upwards force and forced the man into a doubled over position. The grip on her wrists was relinquished, allowing her to send an elbow into the man's head.

    Nova broke into a sprint, soon stopped when one of the other men caught her by the waist. He easily pinned her against the brick wall and held her wrists behind her. Her cheek was pressed firmly up against the rough brick wall. This man was stronger than the Hispanic man, holding her in place effortlessly despite her squirming. The other men soon took their places around her, trapping her.

    Fear engulfed Nova, her heart pounding as sweat began to form upon her forehead. "Please...stop..."she mumbled, voice dripping with discomfort.

    Disregarding her feeble protests, the men were quick to begin to feel Nova up. A harsh hand gripped Nova's chest, massaging the flesh roughly. Another rough hand trailed down passed her lower back to her backside. "Stop!"she yelled, only to receive a hand clamped over her mouth. A rough set of lips found her neck, nibbling the soft flesh. Tears began to well in Nova's eyes, despite her efforts to fight them. She realized that there was little point in acting tough, her chance to escape now gone.

    Clothes were torn off, revealing her soft, olive toned flesh. Nova cast hopeful looks at the sidewalk, but no one dared to pass or help her. Nova closed her eyes and tried to reach a happier place, finding none. Reality was too harsh, her body too vulnerable. Nova suffered through the 15 most tormenting and scarring moment of her life, skin adorned with bruises and ragged bite marks. Afterwards, Nova found herself laying naked upon the asphalt. Her chest slowly moving up and down, breathing shallow and broken up by short sobs. The men were a few meters away, deeper into the alley. They sat and paid her little mind, redressed and smoking and conversing as if they hadn't just traumatized an 18 year old girl.

    Hot tears trailed down Nova's cheeks. Suddenly she sensed her broken body was changing. Her potion had just worn off. Nova opened her heavy eyelids and tilted her head to look at her arms as short, black fur began to grow over top of them. The men paid little mind, not even so much as glancing over. Next her nails lengthened into sharp black claws, the fur continuing to grow all over her body. Over her feet, clawed paws began to form. Next her chest seemed to expand forwards and flatten, shoulders becoming broader. She seemed to gain more lean muscle mass as the cells continued their rapid growth. The men still didn't seem to notice the obvious changes to her body.

    Nova suddenly grinned crookedly, an evil glint reaching her glassy eyes. These men would pay, that was for sure. Segment by segment, a flexible tail grew from her tail bone. Finally, bone and muscle began to grow over Nova's human looking face. Within a few minutes, a canine skull replaced her human one. It was stripped of flesh, leaving mostly bone as well as some deep red muscle closer to her jaw and the back of her head. Her eyes became black orbs. Tall, leathery ears sprouted from the top of her head. Slowly rising to stand upon two paws, Nova stood upright.

    She finally caught the attention of the men. She watched as their faces contorted into a look of pure bewilderment. The small woman they had recently ravaged was far from human, now standing before them as a 5'8" tall, well muscled bipedal hellhound. Nova laughed, a sinister sound. Taking a single step forwards, she caused the young men to all rush to their feet and back up. The horror swimming within their eyes brought a sick sense of joy to Nova's heart. One thing was certain in her mind. Revenge.

    A low, rumbling growl sounded from deep within Nova's chest. Her tall canine ears flattened against her head, flexible tail flicking in an agitated manner. She shifted the weight from paw to paw, drawing out the fear of her enemies. The hardened gang members macho facade melted away in Nova's presence. As expected and anticipated, they began to plead.

    "Listen..weird canine girl..We're sorry..."The tattoo faced man nearly whimpered.

    "Sorry? Sorry! Hah!"Nova laughed sharply.

    "Really, we didn't mean to. It was..it was just our sexual urges."The Hispanic man added desperately, receiving agreement from the others.

    "Just your urges, huh? That's a bullshit reason and you know it."Nova replied furiously, eliciting a flinch from the men quivering before her.

    Nova suddenly took a step forwards, grabbing the Hispanic man by the throat. Before he could do so much as scream, Nova clenched her hand and her sharp claws pierced his throat. Blood dribbled down from the little wounds. Pushing deeper, her claws reached his esophagus. Clamping the body part, she pulled and tore it. Then just as quick as she had grabbed him, Nova released him and let his limp figure drop to the floor in a bloodied heap.

    Returning her focus to the others she asked, "Now who's next?"

    After a few minutes, Nova was left to look at her work. All of the men were now lifeless, their corpses sprawled upon the ground unceremoniously. One man suffered multiple dents to his skull, blood oozing from several nasty claws marks. His jaw was also unhinged, having been dislocated earlier with a sickening crack under Nova's fist. The man's dismembered tongue lay a few inches from his mouth, his unmoving eyes permanently gazing at the discarded muscle. He had also received a devastating bite to the shoulder, his tendons torn and exposed, white shirt had been stained red. Next to him lay the man with the facial tattoo. His tattoo had been ripped off along with half of his face, revealing muscle and bone. A few claw strokes had torn his shirt and the flesh of his stomach to ribbons, pink, slimy guts hanging out. Next to him lay the deceased Hispanic man that had died first, neck wound still oozing gore. Nova was panting, catching her breath after her little outburst, her fists sore. Looking down at the bodies strewn about the cold, unforgiving ground, she hardly felt remorse towards her former rapists.

    Casually stalking back towards her damaged clothing, she pulled a small bottle from her jacket. Piercing the cork stopper with a claw, she opened it and easily downed the contents. Soon, she was back as a naked human, her cells having been killed off. Getting redressed, Nova was quick to flee the gruesome scene, never to pass that alleyway again.

    When Nova had reached her bedroom safely in the confines of her home, her emotions assaulted her. Breaking down, she began to sob aggressively into the fabric of her pillow, her tears making the cloth damp. Biting the pillow, she screwed her eyes shut and muffled a long scream. She repeated this action until she was left gasping for air with her throat feeling raked raw. Taking in deep breaths, Nova cried quietly. Snot dripped from one nostril, but she paid it little attention. Her parents hadn't even cared to console her, probably passing her actions off as usual teenage girl behavior. They had no idea their innocent seeming daughter had been raped and then had brutally torn up the bodies of her assailants.

    About three days later, she had dared to return to the nearby territory. Having received information from some of the locals, she had found that the people she had murdered were part of a small gang known as The Rabid Bulldog Clan. Having gained further intellect from strangers, she found out the location of their gang. That's exactly where she was now, standing before the doorway of a select old home in her beast form.

    A few strong kicks sent the door flying forwards, the lock busted and useless. The room she had entered was darkened and empty, no guns being pointed at her as expected. However, Nova heard a few voices from deeper within the home. Seeing a light upstairs, she crept upwards and ascended to the next floor. The light filtering through the dimness led her to a crack in a door. Taking a moment to peek inwards, she spied a group of four men of varying ages. The youngest was probably her age, the oldest most likely in his forties. They had the same tattooed, overly masculine appearance of those that she had killed.

    Standing in place, Nova listened to the heated conversation that was going on between the members. The older man, apparently the leader, growled, "I can't believe that three of my best men were slaughtered. When I find out who did it I'll-"

    He was interrupted when Nova pushed the door open, the group left speechless by her terror inducing appearance. "You'll do what to me?"she asked, head tilted slightly in a taunting gesture. She used her long, black tail to pull the door closed with an audible click.

    "Y..you did it?"The man spoke, voice gruff and skeptical.

    "You bet your ass I did. You're next."Nova snarled, baring canine teeth.

    Within the next ten minutes, she had created yet another gory spectacle. The bodies of the five men were just as mangled as that of her past victims. The leader's jaw had been ripped off entirely, exposing torn flesh and blood gurgling from his mouth. His throat was opened wide as well, as was that of everyone else laying upon the floor. Claw marks and bite wounds adorned the still warm flesh of the bodies, a macabre painting on display. Long, black claws still coated with gore, Nova made her exit as red and blue lights filled the night. Deftly, she pulled a bottle from her pocket and smashed in within her palm, licking up the contents. After a few moments, she appeared to be human again, hands covered in cuts. At the door she was welcomed by the sight of police officers aiming their guns at her and loudly commanding her to hold her hands in the air. Nova complied without hesitation. Her job here was completed, vengeful desires fulfilled.

    Sitting upon the leather seats in the back of a police car, she peered out at the front door of the house she had busted in. The paramedics had arrived, the ambulance lights flashing quietly as workers in white wheeled out the mutilated bodies on gurneys. The flashing light revealed that the skin of the cadavers was a sickly pale, bodies having stiffened over time. Nova sat cross legged in the police vehicle with her wrists cuffed together. Frozen, she was transfixed on the bodies that were rolled out one by one. That's when Nova seemed to become aware of what she had done. Her hands were cleaned of blood now, but they still felt dirtied by murder.

    Nova tilted her head back and focused upon the grey ceiling of the car, metal cage material protruding downwards to separate her from the currently unoccupied driver and passenger seats. She had done it. She had killed seven human beings, seven awful people. They were still people though, and she was still a murderer and a criminal now. Despite her coming to terms with the compromise of her sanity, Nova still had no regrets. These men would have raped and killed many others if they hadn't been sent into their graves. Her deed still seemed justified, however much guilt gnawed at her heels.

    Sighing, Nova blew a loose strand of hair from her face. She turned her head to look outside of the tinted windows, spying a few officers staring warily in her direction. In their eyes, she was a beast. They weren't necessarily incorrect, but they had to yet to know her true motives. They would soon know her crimes and story, as would the court when they sentenced her to a few decades in one of the circuses meant for her kind. There she would serve her sentence, working with other supernaturals to appease the desires of the human audience. Nova was aware of her punishment and how she may be treated for her crime, but she still had no regrets and believed that she never would. Little did she know, she would never truly be able to fully come to terms with her actions.
    #4 Wistful Beast, Jul 27, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2015
  5. Random Questions to Develop Characters(Gained from weavewordswith.me)

    Character: Kai Eyota Akecheta (A tribal werewolf female)

    Describe your character's hairstyle in detail. Why did she choose it? How much does she care about it?
    Kai has deep brown, shaggy hair. It is cut jaggedly by her knife to keep at a manageable length. It reaches down to the middle of her back towards the space in between her shoulder blades, tapering off into a point. It is slightly wavy and a few of the strands are styled into small, tightly wound braids that sometimes have beads or feathers within them on ceremony days or for battle. Kai's hair rests on her shoulders and back, the strands in the front parted down the middle to avoid obstructing her vision. Kai chose this hairstyle since she deems longer hair to be natural, even if she has to trim it roughly sometimes to prevent it snagging on branches and such. She doesn't care too much about it since she's usually out and about in the forest, but every morning and night she makes a point to remove any knots and she dunks it in the river pretty often to clean it.

    What is your character's favorite season?
    Kai has a preference for summer because of its fair weather, blue skies, fluffy clouds, and shining sun. This is because good weather means that there is more prey coming out of their homes, making hunting easier. At this time, Kai also enjoys the plentiful fruit and the ability to swim in the river with her pack mates. Also, she highly enjoys pleasant, clear skied nights where she can partake in howling at the moon and bonding with the pack. Summer bonfires and ceremonial feasts and holidays are also things she looks forwards too as well. In the summer, there are less illnesses and famine, overall making it an ideal season for her species.

    What does your character eat for breakfast?
    In the summer and fall seasons, Kai would enjoy a breakfast of wild bird eggs, fruit, and some sort of meat. The meat is usually from a smaller animal since large game like elk, moose, deer, and boar, are hunted for dinner. So Kai will usually consume squirrel, rabbit, fish, chipmunk, weasel, or a small bird of two with her breakfast. Being a full grown werewolf, she has a ravenous appetite and eats hearty portions. She may also consume a dish involving wild grains or even some greens of sorts.

    What does the color orange make your character think of? How does it make her feel?
    The color orange reminds Kai of sunsets. She thinks of the sun dipping below the Jagged Tooth mountains in the evening, the last rays of daylight shining over the tree tops. The color orange is associated with the shimmering reflection of light on the river, the water lazily passing under the slowly darkening sky. It can make Kai feel a variety of emotions that depend on the situation. If she has just had a successful day of training, she'd feel relieved to be able to share a group howl before retiring to sleep. If she had a patrol, she'd be more excited or anxious to set off into the darkened forest.

    How does your character dress on a typical day?
    On a typical day, Kai will wear a light brown, leather vest. It covers her chest fully and laces at the midsection, revealing small parts of her stomach. With this she'll wear long pants that are made of tanned deer skin sewn together nicely to allow movement and durability. A leather belt loops keeps her pants secured at the waistline. This belt is studded with small, bronze pieces and often times features a snake's skull fastened by a string. This snake skull shows she was able to outsmart and catch even a sly snake, worn as a trophy. Around her neck held by a strand of twine is another skull, but this one belonged to a small bird. It is bleached except for the beak, which has been painted black. If Kai decides to wear shoes, she'll wear her leather boots, well made and cared for by none other than her father the craftsmen. In fact, most of her clothing had been designed and created by him.

    What games did your character play as a child?
    Growing up in a werewolf pack surrounded by other young werewolves had allowed Kai to learn many childish games. She played Hunter and Prey, Warrior oh Warrior, and Snatch Bones. Hunter and Prey was a simple game that involved a group of kids trying to take down the "prey." The prey was mostly an elected child, but the caretakers also made a point of playing sometimes to try to sharpen the kids' growing cooperation skills. Warrior oh Warrior was a game that involved two teams with the goal of being the last team standing. Kids would use sticks to slash at opponents, the goal being to knock the other off of their feet. As soon as a player hit the ground, they were deemed as "dead." In a modified form of the game, the dead are deemed as vampires and make a point of terrorizing the "living." Snatch Bones is a game played with the rib pieces of any small animal. A player drops them on the ground and an elected person has to pick them up before the other kids reach a designated location. if a player doesn't reach the designated point before all of the bones are collected, they are out. Over time, the location becomes further and further, making the players have to run faster.

    What kind of physical condition is your character in?
    Since Kai is in her mid twenties and is a warrior of her tribe, she is at peak condition. Hunting, hiking through the forest for hours on end, and much training mixed with a plentiful protein based diet has strengthen her body. Compared to the everyday females of elven and vampiric socities, werewolf women tend to have more defined muscles from the activity their society requires. Since they are not agriculture based or have permanent homes, there is a lot of work involved in living. there is even more effort for Kai, since as a warrior she is constantly pushed to her limits. It's impossible to laze around for too long in the tribe she grew up in.
    #5 Wistful Beast, Sep 6, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2015
  6. Prompts that May Be Used
    putthepromptsonpaper quotes that may be used
    "Morality disgusts me"
    "That's the thing about victory-it's pretty one sided."
    “How do you live with yourself?” “It isn’t easy, but I’ve got a lot of practice”
    “In the dead of night, the forest screamed"
    “Chaos brings people together. You should be thanking me"
    “Is that a threat or a warning?“ “Does it matter?”
    “Chaos is unavoidable, just embrace it"
    “They watched her with the kind of awe reserved for freaks”
    “Don’t judge me! Mindless violence is the backbone of this country!“
    “Did they tell you I was the one who did it? Did they warn you against me?“ “No” “What a pity"
    “I never want to stop. For once in my life I feel… powerful”
    Rhea Denholm
    Name: Rhea Denholm

    Standing at a height of 5'5", Rhea has the height of an average female. Slim and sleek, her shoulders are narrow and her muscles are lean. Her fair skin is dotted here and there with freckles and covered in plenty of tattoos. A sharp jawline and nose give her a more harsh appearance despite her soft, brown eyes. Clearly caring about her appearance, Rhea wears black winged eyeliner and light mascara. Her medium sized lips are a black from lipstick. A small, silver colored septum piercing connects the inside of her nostrils. Her straight hair is dyed a midnight blue color and a few loose pieces hang in her face sometimes, her part on the right side.

    Rhea has narrow feminine hips and an average sized bust. Although she is generally slim, one can tell that her body holds more strength than first assumed. Through movement, her biceps make a presence and display her strength along with well toned calves. One can compare her body to that of a runner or a gymnast. Most noticeably, large feathered wings attach near her shoulder blades. Rhea's feathers are black and white with a mottled pattern, black being the dominant color.

    When Rhea dons armor, she wears plate armor. Shiny black, her chest plate is relatively smooth with layered triangular pieces on the stomach and chest that give the illusion of plates on the underbelly of a dragon. Deep blue metal trims each triangular plate to make it pop more.The chest piece accommodates her curves, but does not accentuate or make them obvious as if it were male armor. Her shoulder guards are layered as well and sharp at the ends with small uniform spikes on the tops. Her tasset, or thigh and pelvic guard, is layered and black just like all of the other pieces. Rhea wears black pants as well just to conceal herself better. Plates strap to each knee cap and skin, but not on the backs of her legs. Knee high leather boots attach to her legs. her wings protrude from slits in her chest plate and she wears no cloak. Rhea's helm is alike to an ancient Greek hoplite helmet in design, but lacks the fringe. Instead, bleached white, long ram horns are attached to either side.

    When dressed in casual attire, Rhea prefers to wear regular dark colored pants held up with a belt, boots, and a half shirt or vest with no shirt underneath. This exposes her various tatoos. Intertwined around her right arm is a swirling, deep green vine dotted with dark blue flowers. In between her shoulder blades is the simple outline of a star with a cross inside, a symbol of her former status as an angel warrior. On the back of her left calf is an intricate tattoo of a human skull with parted teeth.

    When in dragon form, Rhea measures eight feet tall to the top of her head when on all fours. Her whole body including her tail is 15 feet long. Small smooth triangular, midnight blue scales cover her body in a uniform pattern. Along her throat, chest, and stomach are slightly thicker and larger black plates that better protect her more vital parts. Rhea's body can be likened to that of a canine since she has paw like feet and walks on her toes. Also, her snout is more canine like with its length and general width. A pair of long, black, roughly textured horns protrude from the back of her head. They are arched and curve slightly and sort of resemble ram horns. A shaggy black mane grows from the top of her head and reaches back in between her horns and down the length of her curved neck. It is wild and unkempt, giving her a more feral appearance. Piercing blue eyes give her a more intense appearance especially since her pupils are slits.

    Rhea has large, bat like wings with black membrane and spines the same color as her scales. The points end in claws and her full wingspan is twenty feet. A sharp black spade is attached to the end of her flexible tail. Long claws protrude from her paws and offer grip and make her better equipped for attacking or defending. Around the base of her neck is a silver colored choker collar adorned with howlite gemstones.

    Basic Personality: Craves destruction, aggressive in a cold impassive manner, selfish, violent, social, flirtatious, hates herself(but acts confident) and suffers from acute insomnia

    Alignment: Lawful Evil

    Armed with two silver cutlasses with a sharp, slightly curved blades. The handles are black and simple. The swords are kept in a scabbard or unsheathed at her belt.
    Astra Crowden
    Name: Astra Crowden

    Taller than Rhea, Astra reaches a more impressive height of 5'8". More filled out than Rhea, one can note Astra's larger biceps and slightly wider shoulders. Although larger than Rhea, Astra is still relatively lean. Her body could be likened to that of a basketball player, long and lanky with the same muscle that came with athleticism. Due to a nasty fight, it is noticeable that Astra is missing her right eye. Where a bright green eye should be, there is just an eyelid that is sewn shut and four pale claw marks that run across it. Her face is more square shaped, but her soft nose and full pink lips prevent her from looking too masculine. Astra's skin is well tanned and a few scars run across her body. From her head grows thick black hair that hangs a few inches above her shoulders. It is crudely cut and parted on the right side so that it usually covers her missing eye.

    Although Astra is generally flat chested, a light hourglass figure can easily determine that she is female. Well muscled, one can assume Astra has done a lot of physical activity over the years and has maintained an athletic figure. Feathered wings attach near her shoulder blades. Her feathers are a solid grey color with white speckles and when fully extended can reach about 15 feet.

    When donning armor, Astra wears a suit of silver colored armor. Like Rhea's, her chest plate was fashioned purely for her use and therefore fits nicely. The design of golden crow with outstretched wings, the symbol of her family house, is fashioned upon her chest. The chest plate reaches up and protects her throat, though slightly limiting the movement of her neck. She wears a full suit of armor, meaning all over her body are silver plates. Astra's helmet is triangular and covers all but her eye. The eye holes are triangular. Metal pieces that look like wings protrude from each side and point backwards. A white plume of what appears to be horsehair runs down the middle of the top of the helmet, giving her a mohawk of sorts.

    When in casual clothing, Astra wears any sort of long pants and a long sleeved shirt. The long sleeved shirt is almost always a v-neck and a solid color. Her preferred colors are white or grey, although some of her shirts have different colored trim. Boots usually occupy her feet and are laced nicely.

    Basic Personality: Fiery anger, seeks to do good, protective, pretentious, confident, brave, brutally honest and can't lie, cares about protecting others too much and trusts too easily

    Alignment: Lawful Good

    Armed with a black handled, five foot long staff. The staff ends in a two foot long blade.
    World Notes
    Generally medieval setting, world with diverse biomes, an abundance of creatures.

    Main races-demons, angels, elves
    Called Udek

    Rhea(Left) and Astra(Right) Drawing courtesy of the lovely Vermiciro

    Rhea seated on the throne Drawing also courtesy of Vermiciro

    Map of the World of Udek:

    #6 Wistful Beast, Sep 11, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2015
  7. (Scene 1: Astra finding and meeting Rhea after them being separated for a year)

    Atop a hill sat a massive palace, its walls made of slate grey stone. Rectangular in shape, it was contained in one place and had four well defined corners. Sprouting up from each corner was a tower that tugged at the night sky, threatening to eat the stars or one of the two glowing moons. Growing from the top middle portion was a large dome topped with a long spike. All around the tops of the walls were twisted metal spikes with well rusted surfaces. Ivy crawled around the sides and crept up the towers towards the sharp red roofs atop them.

    Positioned around the palace was a courtyard that featured scraggly grass as well as many bushes laden with foreign flowers. A cobble road led down from the palace and towards a valley, disappearing into the depths of the forest. A river skirted around the gated in courtyard, dipping down towards the valley as well. Below the palace was a thick forest with trees stretching on for miles, broken up occasionally by any stray civilizations. Around the back of the palace was a garden, revealing that the place had to be self sufficient if it were this secluded. Further back a farmyard also confirmed this.

    All of this was outlined in the gloom of the night, the forest alive with the sounds of insects and animals. The wind stirred the feathered wings of an armored female that was facing the palace from about a quarter of a mile away. This was Astra Crowden, an angel and member of the angelic army. Staring at the palace with apprehension, something in her gut told her that this was the place she had been seeking.

    Unfurling grey feathered wings, the woman took to the air. At first it took her effort, silver plated armor making the action require more effort. Currently Astra's skeptical facial expression was concealed under her winged and plumed helm. As she drew nearer, her skepticism gave way to a sense of affirmation and after checking the description she had been given in her head, she was positive that this was the proper location. It was time to give her lost friend a proper reunion.

    With mixed emotions clouding her already busy mind, Astra landed before the palace gates. They were ten feet tall and made of a deep bronze colored metal, more curling spikes adorning the tips. Stone demon statues stood on either side with spears in hands. One resembled a bipedal canine and its face was fixed into a snarl that looked like a grimace. Across from it stood a more reptilian demon with tall horns and an equally nasty looking face. The mere thought of her once close companion living in a dark place such as this further stirred her emotions.

    In one of Astra's gloved hands was a spear with a sword like blade at the top, held ready in case she was assaulted by any guards. This situation was still sketchy considering her general lack of knowledge of this place and what resided in it, it was a risk Astra had to and was willing to take.

    Lifting into the air again she landed on the other side of the gate and began to walk forwards. As Astra proceeded to press onward towards the building, she became aware of how large this place was. It also unnerved her that she hadn't been ambushed yet. No demons came flying from towers to try to claw her face away. Only a lone crow flapped by and released a cackling caw from its dark beak. Astra took it as a sign of good luck that the same animal from her house sigil had graced her with its presence, though on the flip side it could signify her looming demise. Still, Astra continued towards the front doors.

    Surprised didn't even cut it when describing how Astra felt right now. Some part of her knew that a place this grand couldn't be so unprotected and that any defenders were awaiting their chance to strike. This thought caused Astra to look around often, her single eye looking out from her helm. Standing before her were two twelve foot tall doors that could accommodate a visitor of massive proportions.They were heavy and made of oak, carvings of fire dancing about the wood. Not bothering with the bronze knocker, with an empty hand Astra carefully pushed one of the doors. Again, she was astonished to see that it pushed open with little resistance. Stepping inwards, the door closed behind Astra with a quiet thump that nearly made her flinch.

    Inside it was dim and spacious. The doors had given way to a main circular hall with a marble floor and large paintings that hung about the smooth scarlet painted walls next to torch holders. The metal holders contained torches, some smoldering to allow partial vision. It was unnaturally quiet now, leading Astra to believe that the inhabitants certainly knew of her presence and were merely still forgoing an attack for the time being. At the end of the hall another large room could be seen, although this one contained what appeared to be comfortable lounge chairs, short tables, and lowly lit fireplaces. Casting her vision elsewhere, Astra noticed there were stone staircases on each side of the round hall. Positioned 15 meters above her head was a large chandelier made of metal, its torches unlit as of now.

    Deciding that whoever led this place could could have information of where her friend was forced out of them,she set off to find them. Astra was aware that there could be more enemies than anticipated and she should take caution with her plan. Spotting more torches lit along the right staircase, Astra carefully picked her way upwards and made sure to tread lightly. Turning away from the landing at the top of the steps, the torches led further off to the right down another hall, though this one was much smaller and more rectangular than the one at the entrance. Continuing, towards the light, she passed many closed doors and assumed that's where potentially anyone could reside. Still, she kept her goals in mind and moved forwards.

    Eventually the hall curved and connected with another hall lined with rooms, confirming that Astra could have taken the other staircase and end up in the same place. Now she was near a smooth marble staircase that led downwards. Upon beginning her descent Astra became aware of how her footsteps were obviously heard. Looking around, the staircase had led her into a grand room that was well lit by torches on the wall and featured tall windows in the back that allowed moonlight to filter through. The walls were a deep scarlet color and the shadows from the flames seemed to dance upon them. Thick, white pillars attached from the floors to the high ceiling and were arranged in two organized rows on either side of the room. In the center of the floor was a giant detailed design of a black aegishjalmur, a symbol associated with battle. It featured a circle in the center with eight lines protruding from it. These lines ended in half circles and featured three horizontal dashes across the stem of each one.

    Most noticeable was a massive throne. It had black stone supports and softer plush to sit upon and to lean back on. The long armrests ended in curved claws and the feet of the throne also featured gruesome looking talons. The back of the chair tapered up into a triangular point with what appeared to be a stone demon skull attached.

    Astra hardly noticed the lavish throne now, more occupied on who sat in it. Seated on the throne was a young woman. She wore deep black plated armor and sat casually, her arms resting gently on the armrests. In each hand was a cutlass, the weapons held in a loose grip with the blades positioned downwards. Large black and white wings were folded behind the woman's back, their tips resting upon the seat. Straight hair dyed a midnight blue, the woman's brown eyes easily focused upon Astra, who stood at the bottom of the stairs about 30 meters away from her.

    "Rhea Denholm?"Astra questioned, lifting her helm free of her head and tossing it onto the ground with a clatter. Now her face was revealed, short black hair unkempt and one green eye staring in disbelief. She approached the woman seated in the throne with cautious steps, hardly believing what she saw.

    A smirk played across the woman's face, black painted lips curling upwards. "Astra Crowden."she stated in response.

    "You..you..."Astra began, mouth agape in utter shock. This was not the brunette clad in white armor she had seen last. Not the same woman with pure white wings, feathers now tainted with black. Last year when she was recovering in the medics building after the Great Battle of Cascadon Mountain, she had heard that her closest companion; no, her lover; had been captured and tainted by darkness. Then she hadn't believed it, but now, Astra could see that clearly Rhea wasn't the same.

    "Changed? I'd say the same for you. Last I saw you, you had two eyes."Rhea replied matter-o-factly as she sat up slightly in the throne.

    Rhea's usual humor felt odd after so long a time, Astra suddenly feeling bitter about having been disconnected for so long. "Last I saw you, you weren't sitting upon a demon throne. Also, your hair wasn't an odd blue, nor were your wings so dark. And what's that on your nose?"Astra asked in a bewildered tone.

    "Oh this?" Rhea asked, pointing to the small, silver ring connecting her nostrils. "That's a septum piercing. Although I wouldn't expect someone as high and mighty as you to understand."she added.

    That last statement came as a jab to Astra. It was clear that Rhea's attitude had changed since she was tainted and turned to a more evil lifestyle.Taking a few long strides forwards made Astra further close the gap between her and Rhea so that she stood only ten meters away now. "Oh? Is that how you feel now? Are angels just too pretentious for a demon wannabe like you to want to associate with anymore?"Astra nearly snapped, pausing to stand and face Rhea.

    Low laughter escaped Rhea's throat. "I missed your spunk, that's for damn sure."she replied.

    Irritated that Rhea had dropped the question with such a comment, as she took a step forwards Astra decided to advance the conversation and get to the point, “Why didn’t you try to find me or the other warriors?”

    Rhea answered as she stared at her painted nails, seeming almost disinterested. “I didn’t have a chance after my capture. None of you showed up either. I was sent to this place and soon found it cozy enough to climb the ranks.”

    “We didn’t show up because we had no clue where you had been taken. I never stopped looking for you and now I’ve finally found you.”

    When Rhea didn’t respond fast enough Astra took it upon herself to ask, “What did they do to you?” her voice was softer now and practically dripped with concern.

    While her eyes ran down the length of one of her cutlasses Rhea offered an answer willingly, voice not portraying how she felt. It sounded flat and trivial as if she were just discussing the weather. “The demons beat and abused me. Then I was deposited in this palace. They placed a curse upon me, tainted my very being and changed me forever. Suddenly I realized how naive I had been to cherish this world and learned how joyful destruction was. A few tattoos and fights later and here I am as the top dog in this godforsaken place. I’ve a pretty nice deal here.”

    The answer and general attitude of Rhea vexed Astra and brought many questions fluttering to the front of her mind. Why had she accepted her fate and not made an effort to turn back to goodness? What convinced her to lapse into evil? Why did she crave destruction as the demons did? How did she manage to climb to the top? What exactly had those foul creature have done to skew her mind? What did the curse placed on Rhea entail.

    “So are you the leader of a gang of demons now?”Was all Astra managed to ask out of all of the nagging questions that fought for her attention.

    That having been said, Rhea pulled herself to her feet and stretched out her wings. After folding them she released a yawn that revealed sharp fangs, a peculiar and unfamiliar sight in Astra’s eyes. Before she could ask just how Rhea had fangs now, the corrupted angel offered another answer with a light smile playing across her lips. “Indeed I do. I now lead the demons and fellow corrupted angels of this place. Would you like to kiss my boots? It’s only polite considering my position.”

    So now Astra knew that her friend had allied with the very side they had fought against for years. What hurt more was that Rhea seemed willing to take on this role even after the abuse she had suffered. Things just weren’t adding up. The jest that the woman threw in didn’t sit well with Astra either. “What’s wrong with you?”Astra blurted with a troubled expression as she walked towards Rhea with a loose grip on her spear.

    “Nothing. I’m perfectly fine here.”Rhea replied with an apathetic shrug of her shoulders.

    “So you actually enjoy destruction now? Where’s your morality, Rhea?”Astra questioned, shifting her weight to a more attentive position.

    With that said, Rhea turned slightly and her face scrunched up as if a terrible odor had reached her nose. “Morality disgusts me. When has it ever done good in this cruel world?”

    “It does good to prevent innocent lives from being lost.”Astra was hasty to shoot back.

    “Maybe, but is anyone really innocent, Astra?”Rhea asked as she turned to face Astra again.

    The sound of Rhea’s shoes meeting the ground resonated in the large throne room as she made her way towards Astra. She came to a stop a foot away from Astra so that now the two were facing off at a short distance. For a moment their gazes locked and they remained quiet, observing one another. Rhea looked down Astra to see that her usual silver armor had been repaired considering the last she had seen it was when it was badly damaged from the fierce battle. It was odd to look at Astra now that she was missing an eye, giving Rhea the sudden primal urge to tear apart whoever had handicapped like that. Even though Rhea now believed Astra was in the wrong for supporting the angels in this war, the past they had shared couldn’t be tossed away that easily. The desire to embrace Astra was just as strong as the urge to slap her for letting her be corrupted like this, even if she convinced herself to believe her transformation was for the best.

    The war that raged on didn’t have well defined sides. It was not good versus evil, as everyone had a bit of good or a bit of evil. Sides having been blended, it was not as it was centuries ago where it was simply demonic beings versus angelic beings. There were demons fighting for good and angels fighting for evil, causing there to be quite a grey area. Rhea had lapsed into a grey area, supporting the destructive tendencies of the demons and other corrupted beings. Now she hailed Marduka, the Goddess of Chaos and creator of demons. Still not convinced that mindless destruction and misconduct should be hailed by all, Astra fought for Iro, God of Virtue and creator of angels. The third most important deity was Alohani, Goddess of Neutrality and creator of the elves. Many other gods and goddesses were present and allied with either of the three main deities. the war was not bound to just the mortals.

    Looking down at Rhea caused a sudden emotions to surface in Astra’s mind. She was so different now, yet still so familiar. “I missed you so much Rhea…”Astra said, barely a whisper.

    Even Rhea couldn’t mask the fact that she had genuinely missed Astra. The first few days in demon possession she had longed to see Astra again, fearing she’d die without ever seeing her. The pain had burned her, but drove her forth to break free. After the curse had fallen upon her though, her whole mindset had changed and made her realize how ignorant Astra had been to ever try to fight in a war she couldn’t win. Evil would always prevail. This thought had numbed her longing to reunite with Astra since she came to realize it would be better if they stayed on different sides so that they didn’t have to fight. Still, there had been long nights where Rhea had been kept awake. Nights where she cried softly under the moonlight and mumbled Astra’s name. The next morning she had always fixed her makeup and moved on, pushing any loving thoughts out of her mind to replace them with bitterness.

    Rhea allowed Astra to stoop down a bit before she leaned in slowly, swords slipping into the loops on her belt. As their lips met, Rhea reached a hand back and gently gripped a fist full of Astra’s hair. It was just as soft as she had remembered and felt welcoming in her fingertips. The kiss was soft and wistful, lingering even after Astra pulled away. Then came the violence.

    Rhea’s grip on Astra’s hair tightened and with a sharp motion, Rhea tugged Astra onto the ground. Since Astra had been caught unaware, she was thrown onto the ground with a clatter of her plate armor upon the smooth stone. Out from her hand rolled her spear, away from her prying grasp. Rhea had stepped back and stood at the ready, eyes portraying a cold nature laced with a sense of anticipation. Still in disbelief, it took some effort for Astra to rise to her feet and collect her spear. “What was that for?”she spat.

    “For being so fucking oblivious in regards to the battle you are waging.” Her clear voice was nearly enough to send shivers down Astra’s spine.

    “What the hell do you mean?”Astra retorted quickly, eyebrows tightly knit with confusion.

    “You can’t win, Astra. You’ll never win. You’ll just die trying.”Rhea sated slowly as if assuming Astra was just slow.

    “Why would you say such awful things?”Astra gaped.

    “Sometimes the truth is awful. You can never best evil as it is too prevalent and too powerful for you to comprehend.”

    Astra faced off with Rhea, noticing the woman had yet to take a stance to fight. If it came to blows, Astra sure had the energy to forget their broken relationship long enough to knock some sense into her. “Goodness will prevail. Besides, you should never assume I’ll give up the fight.”She snapped, her empty fist clenched.

    From Rhea’s mouth came a scornful clicking sound as she shook her head gravely and muttered something about “never learning,” and “so damn naive.”

    “No. You’ll never give up and I know that. That’s exactly why I have to stop you.”Rhea stated ruefully.
    “Stop me...What are you-”Astra began to question before the sudden changes happening to Rhea stopped her from continuing.

    One by one, pieces of Rhea’s armor popped off of her body. Her eyes were screwed shut as if in pain, wings twitching as the muscles and bones in her body seemed to shift and expand. Deep blue scales began to grow on her body, black plates forming on her bare chest. Armor now in a heap at her feet, the transformation continued to unfold as Astra looked on with a bewildered expression. Rhea’s body continued to grow and soon she was forced on all fours as the bones and her legs repositioned so that she walked upon what looked like paws. Curved, black claws grew out from the paws and now her whole body was covered in sleek midnight blue scales. Feathers on her slowly expanding wings retreated to be replaced with black membrane and spines. A long whip like tail began to grow, a bladed spade at the end resting upon the floor. Neck growing and head shifting, Rhea’s head became that of a canine like dragon. Eyes taking on a bright blue hue as a black mane burst forth from the back and top of her head, giving her wilder appearance. A pair of curved ram like horns poked backwards from her head and grew to be two feet long each. Finally came a few last details such as floppy ears and some more hair settling into place.

    Now a mighty ten foot tall dragon stood before Astra in place of an angel she used to know well. Suddenly Astra knew all too well what the curse had done to her ex lover. Smirking darkly, the dragon lifted a paw and began to stalk towards Astra. Astra woke from her stupor and backed away from the oversized reptile with her spear held defensively in front of her.

    Astra’s back suddenly collided with something hard. Freezing, the feeling of warmth reached Astra’s back through the plated armor. Upon shifting her gaze upwards, she saw another demonic dragon head peering down at her. Breathing mounted and heart rate skyrocketing, the angelic warrior pivoted away from a bipedal red scaled dragon male that had been standing behind her. It sneered at her, clothed in black and wielding a spear of its own. As Astra backed away from both Rhea and the foreign dragon man, more figures came into view. Down the marble staircase came a dozen of demons with various likenesses. They had the appearances of felines, canines, bats, avians, reptiles, or even mixtures of a few. Next came two dozen corrupted angels with darkened feathers and tattooed skin, grins etched onto their dimly lit faces.

    “No..no..This isn’t happening…”Astra murmured in disbelief as her eye widened.

    As they drew nearer, Astra lifted into the air to try to get a better vantage point. She knew well that she had to escape and would fight her way out as hard as she could, not wishing to suffer the same fate as Rhea had. Feeling betrayed, Astra saw Rhea speak to the demons and the angels with an amused tone of voice.

    A group of corrupted angels lifted into the air wielding a large net. it fell upon Astra before she was able to dodge properly, wings flapping desperately and spear slicing the air as she began to descend quickly. Instead of colliding with the hard stone, there was a slightly softer feel to have she had landed on. She quickly realized that she was positioned in Rhea’s front legs, the dragon having lifted herself onto her hind legs to catch her.

    The butt of Astra’s spear met Rhea’s snout with a thump, the dragon letting her fall to the floor in a mess of rope. Astra’s large feathered bird wings flapped desperately to try to displace the netting that had engulfed her crumpled body. Demons crowded in and tried to grab her. They recoiled with pained noises escaping their maws as Astra’s spear slashed about in a fury. Cutting herself free, the angel lept her feet again and held her spear out defensively. The demons and corrupted angels circled her with hisses and bared fangs. Even the angels had fangs, making them hardly recognizable. The deep blue scaled dragon advanced with little hesitation.

    “Rhea, be careful. Tha’ bitch gave me a nasty cut with tha’ poker of ‘ers.”a rumbling voice escaped a demon that had the head of a dog.

    “You won’t hurt me, right, Astra?”Rhea challenged in a low tone as she crept towards the tense figure with long strides.

    A conflicted look flashed in Astra’s eye, her spear held horizontally in front of her chest. Bitterness swelled in her chest in reaction to her once most trusted lover and companion now wishing to capture or even kill her. Astra didn’t know what to do or believe, not wishing to ever hurt someone she had loved so much.

    “Please stop...I don’t want to hurt you.”Astra warned Rhea.

    “You already have.”Rhea growled.

    Before Rhea was able to elaborate, a dart shot out and pierced the unsuspecting Astra’s unprotected cheek. It couldn’t be pulled out before the sedative kicked in. Weakness overtook Astra’s muscles and with one last hurt look in Rhea’s direction, she crumpled to the ground.
    #7 Wistful Beast, Sep 12, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2015
  8. (Scene 2: Astra waking up in captivity, meeting a guard, another confrontation with Rhea)

    Head foggy, Astra awoke from her induced and impromptu slumbering. A small groan was released from her parted lips, eyes screwing shut against the oppressive light that seeped from various torchlights fastened to the stone wall. Upon observing her surroundings Astra could see she was in an unimpressively sized rectangular room with no sign of any windows. When Astra attempted to rub the stray strands of her from her visions she found her movement was restricted.

    A slow turn of her head confirmed the suspicion that she was currently chained upright against a wall. It certainly explained the aching and chafing of her wrists that had resulted from hanging loose in the chains. Shackles attached her ankles to the wall with currently loose chains and the same was true of her wrists. An exasperated sigh pierced the hollow silence of what she assumed to be a prison cell.

    Another notable feature was Astra’s lack of armor and weapons. The angel had been stripped of her defense and weapon and had been outfitted in simple leather pants and a loose white shirt, not allowed even the luxury of shoes. Bare feet rested upon the cold and craggly flooring. Aggravated by this new development, Astra shifted her weight before attempting to readjust her wings, which were pinned uncomfortably behind her. To her dismay and misfortune she discovered they were bound together with rope leaving her utterly vulnerable.

    In a sudden rage her body flailed about, teeth clenched tightly and muscles tensed. A strand of hair was blown from her eyes in a loud huff, left panting after her struggling. After a brief pause to look around to see anyone potentially appear the desperate writhing ensued again. “Ugh!”Astra cried out in indignation.

    As if on cue, the heavy oaken door that allowed access to the cell swung open to admit an unfamiliar corrupted angel. It was a young woman, though certainly not Rhea. Instead of deep blue dyed hair this woman had chosen a cherry red for her long, curly locks and her wings were a deep black without the tinge of white that Rhea’s held. The woman didn’t care to wear armor now that the prisoner was properly restrained and unarmed and instead was clothed in a long skirt and a tight fitting, low cut red shirt that Astra wouldn’t have ever dreamed of wearing. The woman hummed jovially and wore a belt of keys next to a sheathed dagger.

    Confident strides allowed the woman to advance towards Astra with a sick grin plastered onto her face. “I see someone has decided to finally wake up. Enjoy your nap, sweetling?”came her mocking remark.

    Almost immediately Astra’s face darkened bitterly and her lips drew up into a grimace. Not keen on waiting for any answers or playing around, it didn’t take long for her to spit, “Why have I been imprisoned?”

    The woman responded by rolling her eyes and folding her arms, standing a few feet away from Astra and out of her range of maneuvering. “Were you not paying attention when the boss told you she was keeping you here to prevent you from messing shit up? I almost forgot how stupid untainted angels are.”

    It was true that Rhea had warned Astra against trying to continue the war effort, but Astra had first doubted that her ex lover would ever make a move to physically prevent her from leaving to go continue to lead her squadron. From a more detached position one could discover it was wise to take measures to capture important enemies, though Astra believed this was some sick ploy from Rhea to either get back at her, protect her out of the remnants of some twisted sense of kindness, or potentially a mix of the two. Either way, the situation was unfavorable.

    Disregarding the explicit insult, there was strained silence from Astra as her thoughts formed. Head lifting up to stare the goaler a sudden question finally escaped from Astra. “What did you all do to Rhea to make her so...different? Or do I even want to know?”

    The goaler paused for a moment to collect her own thoughts, clearly appearing to be amused by the question and more than pleased to oblige. “All we did was beat her around a bit to show her what pain felt like. Then a few curses and some exchanging of vital information wisened her up real quick,”she replied nonchalantly with a sickly sweet smile.

    While the answer was expected, it still hurt Astra to know her friend had been converted through violence and most likely some sort of aggressive mental acclimation to the beliefs of the demon and corrupted. The next question escaped Astra in the form of a growl, “Who was responsible for cursing her?”

    That question received a low cackle and a haughty grin to accompany it. “Sweetling, did they tell you I was the one who did it? Did they warn you against me?”

    Astra’s perplexed expression was soon replaced with that of wrath and she nearly choked on the word, “No.”

    “What a pity,”replied the woman with sarcastic sympathy.

    Pure ire flowed through Astra’s veins and turned her face hot with it. Metal chains proved to serve their purpose and uphold their strength when Astra threw the brunt of her weight against them repeatedly, lashing out as best as she could. “How pathetic. No wonder Rhea didn’t give a damn about parting with a pretentious maggot like yourself.”

    Another irritated sound exploded from Astra as her hopeless efforts to break free continued wildly as the goaler watched and jeered. She was soon left nearly breathless where she stood, offering a dark look with fists clenched tightly. Before the goaler could utter another taunt the heavy door was pushed open yet again. A familiar figure in black leather pants and a very revealing matching vest strutted in, hair flitting about on her narrow shoulders. “Good morning, Astra. I see you’ve become acquainted with Beryl here and from the looks of it,”she paused and looked between the red haired woman and the captive for a moment.

    “You two seem to have had a pleasant chat,”Rhea finished before excusing the golaer with a simple toss of her head. The other corrupted angel stalked off after offering Astra a teasing and childish wave. The door shut with a dull thump.

    Rhea cleared her throat and grabbed hold of an old wooden chair that had been positioned in the far corner of the cell. She proceeded to drag it towards where Astra was standing and stopped only when just out of Astra’s short reach. Turning the chair around so that it faced the wrong way, Rhea sat down with her arms rested on the back supports and her legs spread to accommodate for the lack of leg space this may of sitting allowed. A few seconds passed with Rhea just taking in Astra, the woman stripped of her armor and with that any looks of usual divinity. While mighty on the battlefield in gleaming armor Astra proved to be much more vulnerable looking in plain clothes, strands of her brown hair sticking to her face from the light perspiration that had accumulated through her recent struggles.

    “That Beryl woman hurt you. Why keep her around?”Astra managed, voice nearly quaking with her frustration. It was difficult to believe that Rhea would put up with someone that had hurt her even if they had somehow changed her mind about the world. However, Astra felt as if she didn’t know much of Rhea anymore even with their years of intimate history.

    “You have hurt me, but I keep you around,” Rhea replied simply.

    “You’ve made your reason for keeping me here plain enough. You wish to keep me out of trouble or something like that, but what can you say of Beryl?”

    “The same thing really. I keep her close so she doesn’t mess with any of my plans. Although she seems pretty bitchy, she actually used to be the leader of this place before I was. You know what they say, you have to keep your enemies close,” Rhea said with an air of reason.

    Astra was almost too craven to ask the next question, but it slipped anyways. “Does that make me an enemy?”

    A soft sigh escaped rhea in response. Running a hand through her hair she nearly grumbled, “Call it what you wish.”

    The irritated nature of Rhea when the status of their relationship was breached made Astra think. What were they? Certainly not lovers as they were considering they had been long away from another. Friends? They had also been too detached for that relationship to be very plausible. Their rich history of being peers, companions, and lovers made acquaintanceship impossible. This left them to be estranged, yet maybe not full blown enemies. Astra’s attitude about that may change depending on how long she remained strung up in chains.

    Anger flared again and Astra’s eyes took on a dangerous gleam. “Am I nothing to you now? Not even an old friend? Just some woman you keep chained so that she doesn’t interfere with any of your nefarious plans?”

    Emotions being spilled left Astra feeling even more vulnerable than she was in the chains she bore. Rhea’s eyes softened a bit as if a flash of guilt had overtaken her. It soon became detached again as she rose to her feet and stepped closer. Astra contained herself enough to avoid lashing out. Rhea stepped closer and looked up at Astra quizzically. “Do you think I don’t care about you? Sure you're here so you don’t mess any more shit up, but you’re also here because while it may prove to be a bit amusing to see you feel some pain, I don't wish to see you torn apart by demons.”

    While it came as a relief that Rhe wanted Astra to live it was a bit offputting that the woman claimed that it would be entertaining for her old friend to be harmed by demons. The important part was still that she didn’t want Astra killed.

    A small huff escaped Astra and she relaxed enough to allow her chains to fall slack. “You’re still being an asshole for keeping me in chains,” Astra offered in repine.

    A small smile formed on Rhea’s face and she hid the surprise she felt when Astra wasn’t yelling at her or threatening her for what she had done. So of course Rhea pulled keys from her belt and one by one removed the shackles that bound Astra. Astra stood still obediently while her wings were untied and took a moment to stretch. After Astra had made herself comfortable, she immediately kicked a leg out and hooked it around the back of Rhea’s knee before pulling back. With a thud Rhea was brought to her knees before Astra pushed her onto her stomach and then flipped her to her back with a harsh tug. Before Rhea could rise again Astra was straddling her midsection and held her wrists against the stone floor with a vice grip. Teeth clenched and nostrils flared Astra looked down lividly as adrenaline coursed through her veins.

    Meanwhile, Rhea wore a sardonic grin. “And that’s why you were kept in chains.”

    Rhea threw her head upwards without warning and caught Astra’s forehead, taking the opportunity to yank her wrists free in order to shove Astra off of her. Both popped up and faced off with knees bent and arms out in a readied position. “I’m not your prisoner, Rhea,”Astra stated lowly.

    “I beg to differ since it sure looks like you are inside of a cell that I happen to have control over you. That would make you my prisoner.” Rhea was a smart ass as usual.

    The humor would have been appreciated if Astra weren’t so upset over the fact that Rhea had thrown her in a cell in the first place. It seemed more sensible for them to just talk it out. On the other hand, Astra was predictable for having resorted to violence when confronting the current issue of Rhea’s impressive change in attitude, appearance, and status.

    Astra suddenly rushed forth and aimed a leaping kick. Easily sidestepping, Rhea dodged the spontaneous assault. After landing Astra was quick to throw herself back at her opponent. She threw a jab out at and found Rhea had deftly caught her hand and sent a knee to the angel’s ribs. Astra avoided doubling over from the splitting pain and instead sent out a more successful hit, a stinging slap to the cheek that she regretted even before it landed even if it may have been justified.

    Not backing down yet, pent up aggression and emotion Astra had saved over the year came out. Blow after blow was sent at Rhea, forcing her backwards. Some landed, but most were skillfully blocked or dodged. Soon enough Rhea had reached a wall and couldn’t back away from any more blows. Just when Astra thought she had the upperhand, a hand darted out and two expertly placed fingers prodded into her neck. Astra was sent to the ground in a heap. Before she could scramble up again Rhea had pinned her down and held her firmly by the throat.

    Astra’s wings were pushed into the ground and her stomach was left exposed. Rhea sat down on and kept Astra from struggling by squeezing her knees against the woman’s sides. Bending forwards Rhea planted a quick kiss on the angel’s forehead, leaving Astra dumbfounded. "Goodnight, Astra."

    The distraction ceased her struggling and she didn’t notice that Rhea had fetched something from her pocket until there was a sharp stinging at the base of her throat. “More poison?”Astra whispered as her senses began to fade.

    As she drifted off the image of Rhea’s feline grin was left in her memory. “Satako snake venom always does the charm. Another induced sleep will do you some good,”Rhea explained, her voice growing faint as Astra slipped into unconsciousness yet again.
    #8 Wistful Beast, Sep 19, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2015
  9. (Scene 3: Astra being brought down to meet demons in fetters)

    Cold water assaulted Astra. Icy tendrils trickled down her face and soaked her hair, biting at her skin. Back arching from where she lay on the ground, Astra’s mouth opened wide in a startled gasp as her one eye snapped open. An empty wooden bucket clattered to the ground beside the angel’s head.

    “Rise and shine, asshole,” a silky sweet voice spoke with false courtesy.

    Coughing out some water and looking up Astra saw Beryl, the red haired goaler. Remembering the awful deeds this woman had done made Astra attempt to pull herself up, but her stiff muscles didn’t allow it. That and the fact that her wrists were chained together and a chain also connected her ankles, making movement more difficult. With effort she rolled herself upwards into a sitting position and cast Beryl a bitter look. Strands of wet hair stuck to Astra’s face annoyingly and clung to where another eye should have been.

    The goaler wore the same scandalous outfit of a long skirt and a tight low cut shirt, though still radiating authority even with the lack of proper garb. Her arms were crossed and all of her weight was on one hip, foot tapping upon stone impatiently. “Waiting for an engraved invitation, maggot? Up and at ‘em,” Beryl ordered, prodding Astra’s side with a shoe.

    With muttered obscenities and much effort the angel staggered to her feet. Astra’s first move way to run towards the door and the shackles connecting her legs caused her to stumble and land harshly on her bound wrists. Beryl shoved the heel of her boot into Astra’s back and pushed down before the angel could scramble up again, forcing her to lie belly down on the ground in a lowly manner. A long sigh was released from the corrupted angel and she grabbed something that was hanging off of the wall. It appeared to be an open shackle made of smooth iron, though it was too big to go on her wrists.

    Thrashing did little to help Astra’s case and she was grabbed roughly by her hair, becoming steady. Click. A collar of sorts was fastened around her throat, loose, but not near loose enough to slip out of. Then clattering suggested a chain was attached to the back of the collar, hair parted to reach a small loop.Then Beryl tugged upwards fiercely, eliciting a choking sound from the angel below. Astra was pulled up alright.

    “If you’re going to act like an animal, I’m more than happy to treat you with one," Beryl explained, bouncing the chain in her hand.

    Pointing a long painted nail at the door of the cell, Beryl ordered, "Now walk or I'll drag you, bitch."

    After taking a moment to violently spit on the ground, begrudgingly Astra obliged. She trudged over to the door as best as her linked ankles allowed and pushed open the door. Beryl followed after with the chain still grasped. Out of the cell light filtered in from slender barred windows and from the height, they were in one of the large towers. The winding stairs they used to descend confirmed this.

    The stone stairs were cold on Astra's bare feet and walking down took more caution with the chains. One slip and she'd be tumbling. The last thing she wanted was to present herself to the demons and corrupted in a heap. Chains were already humiliating enough, so Astra took care to pick her way down each of the endless seeming steps. There were other floors that they passed by with other cells and rooms, suggesting that Astra was deemed important or dangerous enough to be at the top most level of the prison. How charming.

    Finally the stairs ended, a platform leading down to a wide hallway. Astra was led down the corridor, the walls adorned with the same crimson wallpaper adorned with old paintings. The paintings depicted detailed stoic demons from noble households and there were also ones that featured corrupted angels standing proudly at their sides. A stone sculpture was positioned up against one section of the wall, showing a horned elven like demon resting a boot on the back of an angel’s corpse. The severed head was held proudly in one hand of the demon, a sword in another. The demon’s mouth was held in a permanent grin, eyes proudly resting upon its victim indefinitely. “Very tasteful,” Astra mumbled dryly.

    “Glad you are enjoying the ambiance,” Beryl replied with a short toss of her head.

    Astra was marched towards the sound of conversing and cackling laughter. Each footstep brought her closer. The hallway soon let out into a massive room that had tall ceilings and more of the thick white pillars seen in the throne room. Swords and stuffed hunting spoils hung on the walls. Light filtered in through tall windows located on the right side of the room, the rays of morning sunshine illuminating two long wooden tables. Benches ran on either side of the lengthy mahogany surfaces and around one of them sat an array of demons and corrupted angels alike. They laughed, spoke, ate, and drank merrily. The smell of eggs and sausage rekindled a hunger in Astra that had previously been unbeknownst to her. The tumult masked the rumbling in her stomach.

    As Astra was ushered forwards with a sharp prodding in her back, the eyes of demons and corrupted angels fell upon her and the chatter began to die down. They watched her with the kind of awe reserved for freaks. Consciously, each foot Astra placed was careful and her shoulders were back in a prideful posture. Chains or not, it was evident her confidence had yet to be stripped away from her. Seated at the head of the great table was Rhea, who had set down her utensils and leaned back into her seat. A golden goblet was clutched in one hand and she swirled its contents absentmindedly. After bringing it to her black painted lips and taking a deep gulp, the cup was placed upon the table in front of her again. “Good morning, Astra. Sleep well?”

    Rhea’s voice reached over the stretch of the dining hall to the approaching angel. Demons looked between each other with grins plastered upon their faces, anticipating a response. Astra was not willing to leap through hoops. With an air of courtesy Astra called back across the hushed hall, “I slept deeply. The Satako venom worked like a charm.”

    Looking straight at Rhea with a gleam in her one eye, she added, “It’s a mighty fine tool for a coward.”

    Murmuring erupted in the cluster of demons and corrupt angels, looks of disbelief being passed around like a fine dish. Rhea’s narrowed eyes followed Astra to where Beryl had led the prisoner, placing her in a seat towards the opposite and least occupied end. Beryl took her seat next to Astra, chain still gripped tightly. Astra made no move yet and instead leaned back to survey those around her. Closest to her was a male demon humanoid with a wolf like head, short grey fur covering its body. His snout snuffed in the angel’s direction before he promptly stuck a sausage with a dagger and ate it off of the blade in a quick succession of powerful bites. Beside the wolf demon was his companion, who was a young man that was covered in green scales. A forked tongue darted from his cracked lips and he only offered a glare in Astra’s direction, which was generously returned. Across from the two demons were two corrupted angels, their tattoos shifting under the vivid morning rays. The male and female corrupted whispered over their goblets.

    The murmuring seemed to run up and down the table and Astra would have been embarrassed if she didn’t consider these creatures beneath her. They could mumble and gossip all they wanted. Their words meant nothing if they didn’t dare utter them to her face. Eventually, the wolf demon did. “Aye, bitch. What makes you think you can dine with us?” His voice was gruff and low and as he spoke a clawed hand scratched an itch on his bare, furry chest.

    Astra took a moment to clear her throat before answering,“I am not a bitch since unlike your mother, I am not a female canine. Secondly, I was dragged down here against my will. Rhea must deem me as important enough to sit among her band of filth. What an honor.” The word ‘honor’ was a jab of sarcasm and again her eye locked upon Rhea. From the looks of it the corrupted angel leader was watching her intently with that intense gaze of hers.

    The wolf demon released a growl at the mention of his mother as well as the clear slight upon the authority of the demon gang. In a flash he had raised to his paw like feet with his dagger in hand, amber eyes flashing dangerously. Nostrils flaring and fur raised, the demon threatened to leap across the table at Astra. Tensions had mounted rapidly and other corrupted angels and demons began to draw weapons and offer outraged expression.

    Beryl was cleaning something out of her teeth with the end of the dagger as opposed to trying to protect her prisoner, leaving Rhea to alleviate the damage done. She simply raised a hand and said, “Enough.”

    That single word compelled the wolf demon to sit down with an exaggerated huff. The murmuring didn’t cease and only swelled up as demands for showing the angel a lesson or two flitted through the air. “Our prisoner will learn to behave herself soon enough. Don’t you worry,” Rhea added, looking Astra dead in the eye. Astra had hardly noticed in the sudden influx of chaos that Rhea had sent the tip of her dagger deep into the wood of the table top. Now Rhea held the dagger’s handle and yanked the blade out.

    “Is that a threat or a warning?” Astra asked quizzically.

    As she slid her dagger into a sheath at her hip Rhea answered, “Does it matter?”
    The answer jabbed at Astra, rubbing her the wrong way. In a sudden haste, she was on her feet. “Yes, it does matter. Can you be straightforward for once? For the duration of my stay I’ve only received cryptic half answers from you.”

    A glance from Rhea stopped Beryl from yanking Astra back into her seat. The angel took this as her cue to continue, facing off with Rhea who was at the opposite end of the table. To her, only Rhea existed and the demons and corrupted angels darkly peering up at her were just part of the grim decor of this hollow palace. “I expected you to be somewhat glad that we finally got to be reunited and instead I was ambushed, poisoned, and chained up in a cell to be verbally kicked around by the same woman that corrupted you in the first place. Even if you hate my guts now for some unknown reason, can you just take me seriously?”

    The last question hung in the stagnant air. Suddenly the scent of eggs and sausage repulsed Astra. Here she was chained and alienated before a woman she used to call her lover.

    Rhea’s mouth formed a tight line. The silence drew out. Then as she got to her feet and turned away from the dining hall she said, “Beryl, take the prisoner back to her cell. I don’t wish to see her anymore.”

    Astra would have preferred being kicked around than have received that chilling dismissal from Rhea, her mouth agape incredulously. Before more could be said, the shackle around Astra’s throat was pulled. Beryl began to yank Astra away, but the angel was still transfixed on the doorway that Rhea had disappeared from. A chorus of bitter and lewd comments followed the prisoner from the hall.
  10. (Scene 4: Rhea’s Memories)

    Rhea exited the dining hall with sweeping steps, boots trailing across the marble floor. As she shoved passed a few lose servants she bit the inside of her cheek to avoid crying. A sob was stuck in the confines of her throat in a painful lump. Weakness. It was scorned. A single tear was flicked from her eye and away from prying eyes.

    The corrupted angel took to the ascending steps and practically leapt up them, skipping a few as best as her shorter legs allowed. A sharp turn. Rhea was gliding down the length of a hallway, hardly paying attention to where she was going. She didn’t have to, knowing the place like the back of her hand. Many sleepless nights had been spent roaming the vast palace. Every painting, every nook and cranny of this ancient place was familiar.

    Upon casting her gaze upwards Rhea noted that there was still a long claw mark across the ceiling, having been gained when one of the winged demons had a particularly difficult and alcohol induced trip back to his room. Further down there was a splattered blood stain on the black trim near the floor. Memories of one of the many brawls she had witnessed flashed back, the crunch of fists on bone almost audible. The scent of blood was remembered like an old friend, mingled with sweat and tears. As soon as it was there, the vivid memory had dissipated in a flash, leaving a door at the end of the hallway positioned in front of her.

    The wood gave way with a creak and allowed access to a staircase that wound up one of the towers. Those stairs were also cleared as Rhea continued the arduous ascension. She didn’t stop until she had reached the room at the very top, sides heaving with the effort. A harsh kick sent the door of her bedroom flying open. After entering the door was deftly kicked shut. A loud thump echoed in the commodious room.

    Softly, wind crept through an opened window and made the deep red velvet curtains dance like ghosts. At the back of the room was a grand bed that had been well made by servants, the pelts atop its surface clean and laid out. Tall metal supports protruded from each corner of the bed, their tops sharp spear tips. Attached was a silky, black translucent fabric draped over the top, its corners drooping down towards the dark carpeted floor. Large book shelves sat on either side of the great bed, teeming with books of all sizes, binding colors, age, and subject. Plenty of literature to occupy the nocturnal hours.

    Along the walls were shelves that held various objects. Animal skulls perched on them, their empty eye sockets peering at any that dared enter. Joining them were vials of colorful flowers and other nature based materials.

    Up against another wall was a wooden table and a chair, neat stacks of paper placed next to a small pot of ink and a dirtied quill. A half burned candle smoldered beside the paper. Beside the table was a doorway that led to her wardrobe. Across the room was a series of soft couches propped up against multiple windows, allowing one to look out over the courtyard and the teeming forest situated below. The middle of the room seemed pretty empty except for a wooden stand that held her armor. As Rhea passed by her fingertips brushed the cold, polished metal.

    When she reached the bed Rhea was quick to throw herself on its surface, shoving her face into one of her pillows. After grasping the pillow in a vice grip and properly smothering her face, Rhea released a primal scream. The sound was easily muffled by the plush pillow. Another scream followed, then another, and another until her throat felt raw. Before she knew it hot tears began to stream down her face and create moisture on her pillowcase. Wings outstretched completely, Rhea lay face down on the bed and allowed herself to cry.

    Tears wracked her body violently and muscles quaked with emotion. As Rhea’s sudden rush of anguish subsided one by one her muscles began to relax again. Sliding over the soft covers her arms were released from under the pillow and one was left dangling over the edge of the mattress into empty air. Light breezes tickled her hand. Turning her face to one side Rhea’s gaze was pinned on the open windows and out at the blue sky. The brightness caused her to squint, tears being flinched away from the corners of her eyes.

    Rhea came to realize she had been treating Astra like shit. They had been apart for a year. The person Rhea loved and trusted most had finally returned, and instead of an embrace she only received imprisonment. Why was this? The question seemed to ring in Rhea’s ears. The answer came soon enough. A year was way too long to find this godforsaken place so obviously something had come up. Knowledge of Astra’s connection with her duty had led Rhea to believe the angel had been way too preoccupied with managing her troops. While Astra had been sharpening the skills of the fellow angels, Rhea had been screaming from across the nation for help as demons raked her skin and whispered foul ideas into her head. Destroy. Devour. Decay.

    Screams echoed in Rhea’s head and suddenly she was no longer sprawled out on her bed, but instead she was swimming deep in her memories.

    Cold shackles gnawed at her bare skin, a chilling breeze blowing over her naked body. Moonlight filtered in through the window of the prison cell and illuminated the darkened room. Droplets of blood slid down her smooth skin and onto the cracked stone. Again a leather whip danced across her stomach and sent her to her knees, a loud cry bursting from her mouth. Snake like and foul, a demon released a bout of cruel laughter and lashed out again. “Thisss...pain and suffering, it’ssss what makessss usss all mortal. Overcome it and you will be sssstronger. You will emerge valiant, you will be reborn. Sssshed your falssssse ssssskin! Be reborn!”

    Another lash fell upon Rhea’s pliant body and another cry bounced off of the walls. Extended wings stretched out in a feeble attempt to struggle as an odd black substance slowly began to grow out from the roots of her milky white feathers.

    Back on the bed in present time, Rhea rolled onto her back with her wings still extended. Fingertips traced one of the faint scars on her exposed stomach. Closing glassy eyes, another memory swept her into oblivion.

    This time Rhea was in the middle of the vast throne room. Stomach down and stripped of clothing she lay on the frigid marble with her wrists bound at her back and her feet tied together. Breathing ragged, the angel’s now black wings were tied as well. Stepping forth from a clawed throne, a young woman crossed in front of a line of corrupted angels and demonic figures. Adorned in black leather armor, she looked and moved like a shadow. Bright red hair poked out from under a hood and a mask resembling a wolf covered her facial features. Murmuring ran up and down the line of demons and corrupted, things like, “she’ll be the strongest yet,” and “if she survives,” were tossed around quietly.

    A cluster of hooded figures surrounded Rhea as well, chanting under their breaths in a foreign tongue. Wispy black aura burst from the fingertips of the cloaked fingers and trailed through the air, mingling with thick incense that smelled of musk. Torchlight flickered on their masked faces and cast shadows across slivers of exposed skin. Rhea’s body was already slick with sweat.

    Writhing did little good as coils of dark aura twisted around Rhea’s body. In her mind she tried to convince herself this was for the better. Plenty of whipping and verbal cues had begun to make her believe that remaining innocent was impossible and that siding with evil would ensure the victory she had always craved. This set of beliefs flirted with Rhea’s ambition, toying dangerously with the prospect of her being granted a new and more lethal form.

    However, when the tendrils of dark magic tethered to her limbs and throat Rhea began to wildly thrash on the ground. Sharply, the heel of the wolf masked woman connected with the small of Rhea’s back. The breath was forced out of her and before she could suck in again, the magic was slithering down her throat and snuffing the oxygen right out of her lungs. Eyes widening in panic, Rhea gasped and squirmed to no avail. The masked faces swam in her vision and tormented her mind. Bites from unseen forces ravaged her skin, yet left no marks. Starved of oxygen, the tearing feeling became dull. Then, just when Rhea felt as if she was going to black out, oxygen forced its way violently back into her lungs and made Rhea release a strained gasp.

    As Rhea drew in sharp breath after sharp breath, her gaze fell upon her wrists, more specifically her veins. Under her skin her blood had darkened to the pigment of shadow and felt as if it were running slower in her veins, threatening to clot, and a great ache assaulted her system. Suddenly Rhea shoved her arms beneath herself, not having even noticed in the onslaught of suffering that the wolf masked woman had used a dagger to cut all of her bindings.

    Fingernails clawed at the smooth floor desperately, but the pain stubbornly refused to cease. Pressing her cheek into the ground Rhea looked up at an outstretched arm that had began to twitch violently. Midnight blue scales had began to poke through her skin and scattered crimson upon the white flooring. Regular human skin was shed in bloodied patches and a silent scream gripped Rhea’s throat. All over her body these deep blue, smooth scales continued to grow until no soft peach colored human skin remained. Then Rhea’s hair, which had been its natural brown color at the time, receded into her scalp with mind numbing discomfort. Ears grew out into points and a piercingly blue pigment blossomed in her irises.

    Curved black claws grew out from her fingertips and scraped against the tile. Throwing her head back and opening her mouth wide, long beast like fangs began to grow in place of human canines. Groans of pain shook Rhea’s body as she staggered to her feet. Out from her tailbone came a long, whip like strand of joints. A cry of pain pierced the warm air as flesh gathered and formed the bone into a muscular tail that ended in a curved blade. Awkwardly, Rhea was forced to stand upon her toes as her bones and spinal structure began to shift.

    Doubling over, the angel was forced to a crouch. Gritting sharp teeth, Rhea’s mouth and nose began to elongate and merge into a snout. The cry that Rhea released became a roar. Crackling ensued as her skull slowly began to reform into that of a canine like beast. Black horns pushed free of her back of her head with the gruesome sound of ripping flesh, curving to resemble ram horns. The feathers of Rhea’s wings were pushed back into her flesh and replaced with flexible membrane and skeletal spines that ended in claws. More muscle mass formed upon Rhea’s body as her neck was elongated with a series of popping sounds. Spine repositioning, Rhea was forced to stand upon all fours. Fingers grew into paw like structures and allowed her to stand with little effort. One by one, thick black plates began to grow along the front of her neck, chest, and underbelly. Black strands of coarse hair grew from the gaps of her scales at the top of her head and the back of her neck. They grow out into an unkempt and feral looking mane.

    Finally, Rhea’s body began to grow in size and her body positioned into a more sleek and feline like form. Suddenly the masked figures were only seen when she tilted her head downwards, now standing at about ten feet tall. No longer was Rhea an angel, but a mighty dragon. power coursed through her very essence and elicited a shudder. A sweeping look at the demons and corrupted allowed her to see their looks of awe. They had every right to admire her. Every right to fear her.

    Fueled by a new longing for power, the dragon reared up onto her strong back legs and used her tail to balance herself. Long wings unfurling and front claws raking the air, a bellowing roar burst from her maw and filled the throne room. The call was joined by other demons and for once in many months, Rhea felt very powerful. She liked that. Well, until she proceeded to crumple to the ground in a heap.

    The memory faded away again, leaving Rhea looking blankly up at the ceiling with her hands folded on her chest. Strength had seemed to return to her body, sobering her mind. Using her hands Rhea pushed herself up into a sitting position. Now she was ready to speak to Astra.

    (Continued here!)
    #10 Wistful Beast, Oct 11, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2015
  11. Species Creation: Torvus

    World of Origin: Udek

    Pronounced: Tore-vas

    Kingdom: Animalia (Animal)

    Phylum: Chordata (Vertebrate)

    Class: Mammalia (Mammal)

    Order: Carnivora (Carnivore)

    Family: Felidae (Cat)

    Genus: Panthera

    Species: Panthera Torvus

    General Description: Torvus are large, quadruped land creatures with a feline like anatomy. They have lean bodies and four strong legs. At the end of each leg are paws with five padded toes each, the structure reptilian and almost dragon like. Each toe ends in a long, curved claw that can be retracted. They have relatively short snouts and wedge shaped heads, giving them a an appearance like that of an Earth tiger. Their ears are very long and pointed, ending in tufts of dark fur. In a resting position the ears fold back and hover about an inch over the head with the insides pointed downwards, but can lift to take in sounds. To better locate sounds they can rotate their ears 180 degrees. Torvus have large t-shaped noses that are often black. They have golden eyes and black, round pupils. Thick jaws give the impression of a strong bite. This is accentuated by two long, canine teeth that protrude slightly from the thin black lips of the mouth. These are typically six inches long and curve slightly. From their heads grow horns, which grow back before curving up and forwards, resembling those of an Earth Impala. These horns are darkly colored and ridged. The curve in them protects the cranium from the direct impact of another's horns. Both males and females have these horns.

    Torvus have bodies that are long and built for agility. They have meter long, narrow tails that end in small, barbed spades. Primarily the tails are used to steer them as they run and redirect their bodies when leaping or falling, but the hard, five inch long spade on the end can be used as a defense mechanism. Since they are not too easy to use or very accurate, the spades are not used much for attack purposes. Short fur covers their bodies. Longer, softer fur grows around the back of their head and their necks in a mane of sorts. The mane is common in both males and females. To protect their underbellies they have dark, triangular layered plates along their chests and stomachs.

    Fur and Fur Color: Torvus come in a variety of dark earth toned colors such as different shades of brown, black, grey, and copper. Along their hides are ragged black stripes that don't show up if the main pelt color is black or is too dark. Their pelts are relatively short, longer in areas such as the ridge of the spine and mane areas. Manes are long and silky, layered about the head, neck, shoulders, and top of the chest in a very lion like fashion. The color of the mane varies, although usually they tend to be either a slightly lighter or slightly darker color than their pelts.

    Length(including meter long tail): Females-3 meters(about 9 ft) Males-2.5 meters(about 8 ft)

    Height(to the top of the head): Females-2 meters(about 6 ft) Males-1.5 meters(about 5ft)

    Habitat: Forests of most any region. In colder regions their fur is thicker. torvus sleep in tree branches or hollows. When rearing young that can't stay in trees as easily or find a nice hollow, the parents make nests upon the forest floor around the bases of trees instead.

    Organization: Torvus are organized in small packs led by a chief female. A large pack would feature about ten torvus, while the smallest one would only be a pair. There can be any number of torvus in between those ranges to be considered a pack. Anymore and they can't maintain order and will split.

    The alpha female dictates when and where the pack will travel or hunt and has the first serving of prey. Despite this role there are little other definitions of power. Those under the authority of the alpha have equal ranking, although are sometimes treated differently based upon age. The pack protects one another and secures select territory. Their territory usually ranges from 30 to 40 square kilometers. During the winter season they migrate to other territories to find suitable prey, which leads to conflict between other packs that are also seeking new land.

    Communication: Torvus have the ability to communicate mentally with one another, although must be in close proximity to do so. Since this ability develops only after the second year of development, body language is first learned and by instinct is used along with telepathy. Only with magic influence can they use telepathy to converse with another species. Therefore, body language must be used in addition to primal verbal cues such as growl or roars. Like large cats on Earth, torvus can't purr.

    To show aggression the torvus' lips are pulled back and their ears are pushed flat. When calm they have relaxed ears, lazily blinking eyes, and drooping tails. When alert their ears are erect and their tails are held straight behind themselves. Submission or respect is showed by bowing, or placing the rear in the air with the head near the ground. Affection is displayed through licking, nuzzling, or grooming.

    Eating Habits: Being carnivorous, torvus eat large portions of meat. They primarily eat large game since it offers better sustenance.

    Hunting Habits: They hunt large games in packs. As for their technique, they use their dark striped fur as camouflage to come as close to prey as possible and try to encircle it. Then the torvus rush the target and try to attack its vital regions while using speed and agility.

    Breeding Habits: The female is usually the ones that initiate the breeding and this is done by engaging in a traditional dance like movement taught to young ones through their parents. If interested in the female's movements, males will stick around to see if she is worth breeding with. This could take from a month to three months at the maximum. Pregnancy lasts six months and yields a maximum of two offspring, called cubs. These cubs are raised on milk before being weaned on meat at around 6 weeks old. Cubs are no longer consider cubs when they reach sexual maturity, which is at an age of 8 years old. Due to the low amount of kits per birth and the high maturity rate, these creatures are not very prevalent.

    Lifespan: 100-150 years

    Population: Not very common, only around 2,000 of them in all of Udek.

    Temperament: Torvus are very social within their packs and are not outwardly aggressive towards kin, mates, or the few companions they hold. Violence is only reached when they are threatened and they do not needlessly cause destruction. They kill only what they eat or what tries to kill them. However, they are more inclined to be violent when any unfamiliar being is near their offspring.

    Domestication: Only in rare cases has anyone managed to properly domesticate a torvus. They don't turn to a docile lifestyle easily and are only angered by imprisonment.

    Fighting Techniques: Torvus fight using their claws and large teeth. To pin or throw off enemies they also use their horns, especially when brawling with another torvus. Great speed and agility make them fierce foes and engagement in battle with them is advised against. It's pretty suicidal to engage a pack of torvus. Overall they are formidable creatures and are near the top of the food chain.

    Defense Mechanisms: For defense the torvus use the barbed spades at the end of their long tails to fend off any that manage to sneak up on them or come too close to their young. Their horns are shaken around to give them a more intimidating appearance and their fur stands on end to make them look even larger.

    Extra: There is a high rate of homosexuality in torvus. The reason is unknown, but male partnerships and female partnerships are seen just as often as male and female pairings. This also factors in to their lower population, although homosexual torvus will still mate. Their breeding process is shorter and the parents usually do not stick together, leaving one to care for the cub(s). This is not usually a problem since the homosexual torvus will raise the cub(s) with the help of its same sex mate or with the aid of the pack.
    #11 Wistful Beast, Oct 18, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2016
  12. A villain approaches....

    Name: Malax Stuxhal

    Gender: Male

    Age: A few centuries

    Species: Demon god

    Title: “The God of Illusions”, or some know him as, “The God of Insanity”

    Appearance: Malax sands at an imposing height of eight feet tall. He appears to be a bipedal wolf like canine. Silky, straight black fur covers all of his body except for his chest and abdomen which have dark grey, coarser fur. A narrow snout and taller ears gives Malax a likeness to a German Shepherd dog. This is matched with a narrow chest that pushes forth with a soft curve that slopes inwards at his lower abdomen to connect to his hips. Like any canine Malax walks on his toes, having paw like feet. However, his bipedal nature has given him hands with rather nimble digits. They are padded and end in long claws that often get in the way of things.

    Malax’s face is wedge shaped and sharp looking, down to his shiny black mushroom shaped nose. Some longer fur grows out from the sides of his face to give his head a more triangular shape when viewed from the front. Growing out from the top of Malax’s head are tall deer antlers that are a dark brown in color. In his mouth are sharp yellowed teeth and a thin golden tongue. Instead of the expected glowing amber eyes, both of his eyes are actually sewn shut. Centered on Malax’s forehead is a golden diamond with a spot in the middle,a permanent symbol.

    A bushy, well groomed tail protrudes from Malax’s backside and is about half a meter long. Never will he don clothing since his thick fur conceals anything that would warrant modesty. Malax’s fur appears mostly to be flattened smooth but hangs off of his sharp shoulders, joints, and a small patch under his chin. Along his chest it is layered neatly.

    Personality: Malax is a very well read demon, having a passion for obtaining any and all knowledge. Very intellectual and innovative he seeks to improve efficiency. Perfection is what he always strives for, setting the bar high and not allowing failure. History, science, mathematics, language, philosophy and many other subjects are known by Malax and he is always eager to share his knowledge with others. However, he has a low tolerance for ignorance and will not stoop to anyone’s lower intelligence unless it is done in mockery.Theater and other fine arts interest Malax, especially literature.

    Although very cultured and intelligent in a civil manner, like any demon Malax craves destruction. Of course his is more contained, evil still courses through his veins and fuels him with a passion for violence and manipulation. Malax adores tormenting others in a more mental sense though and could detail how the mind turns against itself or how paranoia and insecurities work. Due to this knowledge and affinity many others believe he has the charm to break the mind of anyone he wished to. On many occasions he has managed to even make lesser divine beings or deities turn to insanity.

    For one that tortures the mind and feeds off of discomfort, Malax is nothing but charming most times. Conversation is his forte and he is very courteous to even his greatest of foes.
    With such great prowess in mind games and scholarly duties Malax is quite prideful even though he is not one to boast. Every move he makes radiates a certain confidence.

    Abilities: While most assume he is blind since he is messing both eyes Malax can see perfectly. This is possible since the goddess of chaos and creator of demons had used her great power to grant him a third eye since he had torn his out to show his devotion. It is not seen, but marked by the golden symbol on his forehead. With this Malax can also see and contact spirits. This allows him to even summon spirits to do his bidding at times. He can also weave very detailed illusions with aura and smoke. Malax has the capability to read one's spirit. Teleportation is also a skill of his. Physically though he can use claws and teeth to fend off anyone that gets too close when his patience is running thin.

    Theme: “Oh, Death” by Jen Titus

    Occupation: Corrupting others to recruit those for his master’s cause. Or at least turning them insane to make them harmless.

    Voice: Malax has a very low voice. Most of the time it flows smooth as honey and would most likely make a lovely singing voice, but when upset in any way a grating tone will take a hold. His voice sounds a lot like that of the Cheshire cat in this, but a bit deeper.

    Origin: Work in Progress

    Extra: He will break you....
    #12 Wistful Beast, Oct 25, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2016
  13. Name: Dalihr Rumnar (Dal-e-har Rum-nar)

    Gender: Male

    Age: A relatively young demon, only about 42 years old

    Species: Demon

    Appearance: (Inspiration) Dalihr looks like a mix between a dragon and a canine. Standing upright on two legs he is an anthropomorphic beast. Dark blue smooth skin covers his body and it feels leathery and tough. His face looks like that of a canine and is very flat and narrow with a short, sharp goatee growing from his chin. Sharp, thick teeth fill his mouth and protrude from thin black lips at different angles. A snake like black tongue sits in his mouth, darting out on occasion. Deep blue fur grows from Dalihr's cheeks and is flattened, pointing backwards. Short almost nonexistent canine ears are hidden among the silky, tangled fur growing from the back of his head. Rough, black, gnarled looking horns protrude from the back of his head with small segments branching off like deformed antlers. Glowing green eyes stare out without any pupils.

    The same light blue hair on the back of Dalihr's head grows down his back along his spine all the way to a long, flexible tail. The tail is about five feet long, fitting his seven and a half foot tall body. His chest, stomach, underarms, and inner thighs are a lighter blue color than the rest of his body. Dalihr has a very slim body packed with muscle. A six pack and pecs give him a humanoid like torso. Deft looking hands have fingers that end in claws. Longer claws adorn paw looking feet. To maintain some illusion of decency he will wear grey cargo like pants.

    Personality: Dalihr is overall an asshole. He has little respect for anyone and is a loose cannon with his unpredictable nature. Manners mark him as more animal than gentleman. His desires control him, whether it be murderous or lustful. Luckily Dalihr is simple minded and this makes outsmarting him pretty easy. He can't even read or write since he deems it useless for his purpose. Irascible, it doesn't take much to send him into a feral rage. Dalihr's about as mature as a teenager and just as rebellious. Pushing his limits and toeing the line are hobbies of his. Socially and in general he has little boundaries and relies merely upon unfiltered instincts. He rarely thinks before speaking and hardly regrets what comes out of his mouth.

    Sanity is not something that Dalihr possess. Morals get in the way of his enjoyment in life so he doesn't bother with them. His mind is a dark place full of rapid fire random ideas and thoughts. The drugs he often consumes only heightens this and makes him hallucinate. The drugs also give him boundless energy. Dalihr twitches on occasion and has the habit of throwing destructive tantrums. Even other demons fear him and his lack of a grip on his mind. The lack of mental control makes him a perfect tool for Malax, the God of Illusions and Insanity.

    Theme Song: "Truth Dare," by Insane Clown Posse

    Voice: Same voice as in his theme, "Truth Dare." Masculine and dangerous. Not as smooth as Malax's.

    Occupation: Part of Malax's posse of goons. He only obeys Malax, whether it be willingly or with coercing. Usually he's used by Malax as a tool to evoke terror, not that he needs much assistance. Dalihr is sort of like a guard beast to do some of Malax's dirty work. Malax tolerates Dalihr's immaturity since he found that the beast doesn't understand any of the manners he was taught.
  14. Warning! This piece is very, very graphic in terms of violence and gore. If you are faint hearted or easily grossed out you should turn away now. Really, there is a lot of description of someone being mutilated. If you are as sick minded as I am though, please, read on.

    The scent of fear was tantalizing. It stirred Dalihr's blood and made him salivate. Frothy white liquid dripped from a fanged maw and dribbled onto the dirt. A light forest breeze drifted by and stirred dark blue fur, brushing over toughened skin. The bipedal beast was crouched near the ground with a chain collar tethered to the thick brown truck of a nearby tree. As he pulled against the metal it pressed into his throat. This uncomfortable pressure had little effect and the feral looking humanoid continued to make lunging motions towards his target. A few meters in front of him in the clearing he was trapped in was a young man. Black hair was matted and sweat beaded on his pale skin, dirtied rags called clothing hanging on a half starved body, the conditions of the dungeons evident. The white wings attached to the man identified him as an angel, but the species mattered little to Dalihr since prey was prey and he'd tear about just about anything.

    Holding the withered prisoner by the throat with a massive clawed hand was Dalihr's boss, Malax. The demon resembled a wolf with well groomed black fur and an impressive rack of antlers. Eyes sewn shut were trained upon the smaller figure in his tight grasp. Dalihr watched the canine man speak to the angel in a dignified manner as if discussing business. "You see him over there. That's Dalihr and he wants to tear you to pieces. Now tell me, should I let him?"Malax asked, raising a free hand to point a claw in the direction of the beast.

    The angel shook his head quickly and pleadingly. "Aw, really? You sure you don't want to play with this fellow?" More frantic head shaking. Malax made a scornful clicking sound with his mouth, scratching his chin as if thinking of how to convince this man. He snapped as if he came up with something brilliant to add.

    "I know he isn't the brightest or the best with conversations, but he's an artist. His medium of choice is a fresh body. Every time he amazes me with the way he mutilates. Such an effective predator," Malax spoke softly, lips pulling back into a sick grin.

    Tears welled up in the man's eyes. Malax pressed a padded finger gently against the man's face and wiped a tear away as lovingly as a mother. He took a deep breath in. "Why do you cry? Do you fear death, brother?"he asked, leaning down so his large canine head was level with the angel's face.

    The angel sniffled and began to weep. Sobs wracked his feeble looking body. No answer was given. Malax straightened up, releasing his grip on the man's throat, leaving the angel to lift his eyes from the ground. Confused, his body was bent at the waist, arms drawn in as if to protect his vital organs from an unseen attacker. Snot bubbled from his crooked nose. The angel wondered if this was his captor releasing him, but could never be sure since the god was great at illusions. For all the angel knew he could still be in his cramped cell and Malax could have just woven the illusion of an open forest and a sunny sky. Malax looked on and relished the feeling of power and the high that came from seeing the fear of death in the man's watery eyes. "Run,"Malax offered, spreading his arms wide with a toothy smile.

    The angel hesitated still. Malax brought his clawed hands in front of himself and flicked his hands in a gesture. "Shoo! Be off now!"he said.

    Hanging limply from the man's back was a broken wing that ensured flight was impossible. Because of this the man set off running as opposed to flying. A limp slowed him down but he sprinted all the same, motivated by the glimmering prospect of survival. Leaves were shoved aside as he pushed through the forest and began to navigate the foliage.

    "Please, please!" Dalihr was speaking now, voice strained and constricted by the chain, as he clawed at his bindings. Malax clicked scornfully again. "Practice patience now, Dalihr,"he said as he approached with deliberately slow steps.

    "Please.."Dalhir rasped, his bright green eyes glowing. Foamy spittle covered his chin. Malax plucked a large leaf daintily from a tree and used it to dab the saliva off of Dalihr's face. "You must look your best when you take a man's life. You will be the last thing he sees, after all,"Malax commented as he made his way to the tree where the beastly creature was tied to. Pulling a key from a hollow in the trunk he tsked. "Work on your observation skills. You could have found this key and freed yourself instead of strangling yourself and slobbering like a mutt."

    The key slid into the lock that held the chain to the tree. It fell to the dirt and Dalihr didn't hesitate to rise to a stand and run off, the chain dragging in the dirt behind him. Malax called after, "If that chain catches on something and you twist your ugly head off don't scorn me. You are too impatient to wait to be freed."

    The words fell on deaf ears. Only the sound of the forest mattered as it engulfed Dalihr. Emerald green plants passed by as he weaved through towering trees after the scent of the angel. His breath came out in ragged panting brought on my unquenchable excitement. As seen by the fact that he had made the decision to forgo his pants, he was a bit aroused by the prospect of murder. Impressive speed propelled by blood lust, it didn't take long for him to find his prey, the angel scent stronger. Practicing self restraint that had taken years to be learned, Dalihr slowed down. With a much slower pace he began to creep forwards, his body lowered towards the ground. While his ears were small and hidden they were keen all the same and heard harsh breathing. Exhaustion had taken the angel. Fatigue rendered him as good as dead.

    Pressing forwards he slid his snout between bushes and spied the angel leaning up against a tree. Muscles coiled before they were released with an explosive lunge that brought his hand across the man's face, enough force to throw him to the ground. Shock immobilized the victim and it took him a moment and a quick glance at his assailant before beginning to scrabble in the dirt. When the angel attempted to scramble upwards Dalihr shoved a foot in between the man's shoulders and wings. "Mhmhm. I love eating angel wings. So lean and sucking the meat off of the bones is so much fun,"he practically cackled as he rubbed his muscled belly.

    Dropping down he shoved a bony knee into the back of the angel and elicited a whimper. The sound was lovely and nearly made him salivate again. His long tail wrapped around the man's ankles to prevent any thrashing. As he straddled the downed body Dalihr grabbed a hold of one of the angel's wings, the broken one. Just touching the injured wing made the man groan. With a harsh and uncalled for pull, tendons stretched and then snapped, a horrified scream of pain erupting from the angel's mouth. Dalihr tugged harder and grit his yellowed fangs with effort. Next the bone popped out, the already broken wing dislocated horribly. Using both hands now Dalihr pulled and leaned back forcibly until the wing came free. Blood splattered across the angel's clothing, hot and fragrant. The screaming rose to a deafening level that was sure to leave any throat raw. Dalihr held the feathered wing up for inspection and gave it a bite to taste it and coat his teeth in copper blood. The wing was reluctantly tossed to the side. "Delicious, but I think I could use two in case I get hungry later,"he said, voice blocked out by the screaming. He maintained his balance as the victim struggled vainly underneath.

    Blood poured from the open wound and ripped muscles were left glistening. This easily distracted the creature from tearing off the other wing right away. Dalihr took a moment and shoved his fingers in between two exposed muscles and pressed in and out vigorously to inflict the most pain. His fingers came away bloody and he licked them off with a satisfied sigh that turned into maniacal laughter. "Now the next one,"he exclaimed, recalling his task, and grabbed the other wing in two strong hands. A series of sharp tugs popped the wing from the socket and eventually ripped it right off. The screaming was nonstop, but grew weaker as time went on. It was mixed with heavy sobbing that shook the angel's back and with that the creature sitting atop him.

    The bloodied wing fell next to the other. "Malax always urges me to eat what he calls 'brain food.' Stuff like fish and other shit like that. Well I think the best 'brain food,' would be the brain of course. So, can I eat yours?"he asked, leaning his face down so it was grinning right next to the angel's cheek, which was damp with tears.

    "No!"the angel screeched and thrashed again.

    "Fine, fine. I can respect that. I'll eat your liver instead!"he crowed and hopped off the angel long enough to flip him onto his back. The impact on the holes where the wings once were was met with a wail of agony and another round of desperate sobbing. Straddling the man's body again Dalihr jabbed two fingers into the man's abdomen and opened it up like the wrapping paper of a gift. The skin peeled away easily and revealed more red muscle was well as organs. "What a feast!"he cheered, clapping together two hands coated in gore.

    The scream of the angel became weaker with blood loss and died down to a whimper. Soon enough the whimper was snuffed away. "Aw...no more screaming..."Dalihr lamented. It only took a moment for him to shift back to excitement. "Oh well, I'll still have fun."

    First, as promised the liver was scooped out. The deep red organ felt soft in his hands and he tore a chunk off with his teeth. Rich and dense, it was like a delicacy, taste nearly making his eyelids flicker shut. With great haste driven by blood lust, Dalihr devoured it all chunk by bloodied chunk and licked his fingers off. Now that his hunger was sated he decided it was time to play and rose to his paws. He picked the body up into his arms and watched as the slimy intestines hung out and hovered over the ground. Giggling, the body was dropped, landing with a satisfying thud.

    After crouching down again claws slashed wildly at the corpse as if he was a cat batting at a feather, laughter, low and dangerous coming out in excited spurts. Padded hands patted the muscles and sent blood over the ground and onto his skin. The heart was wrenched out roughly and tossed up against a tree. The organ bounced and fell, damaged, and very amusing to Dalihr. More organs were unceremoniously ripped out and hurled. The small intestines were draped over a branch, the large intestines draped around his neck with a scarf, stomach tossed against a tree where it ruptured to spill acid on dark bark. All around gore splattered the forest scenery. As Dalihr was tossing an eyeball from palm to palm Malax made an appearance.

    Neither of them acknowledged the other yet. Malax stood and scanned the scene as if deciphering a code or interpreting a painting. Brushing a claw against an esophagus that had landed on a bush Malax commented, "You've really outdone yourself here."

    "Thank you,"Dalihr replied, smiling from ear to ear and swelling with pride.

    "Feast and frolic as much as you wish, but be back by nightfall. I'll be in my study if you need me,"Malax said after a short pause. As his tall, dark figure strode away Dalihr offered a childish wave, flicking blood and bits of torn flesh around in the process. It had been a good day for Dalihr.
  15. Here, have a random writing piece. This may be continued in the future.

    The sidewalk, gleaming under the neon lights, led Artemis towards the sound of pulsating music. Cars rumbled by with haste, the cold night air catching their growls. Dirty rain water splashed up near the woman’s boots and recieved a look of disgust. High above, the moon peered down at towering buildings and squat establishments alike with equal disdain. It hid itself in a shawl of clouds and didn’t dare make another appearance. How fitting that even the sky above wanted to forget about the world. With the current state of the world Artemis couldn’t cast any blame, as she herself longed to float away from this wretched land of laws that made the people puppets of the government. Artemis spat on the concrete.

    Now where had the sound led her? Artemis nearly snorted. The Spades Club. A black awning jutted out from a narrow building. Tinted windows were separated by patches of brick wall, the wall concealed under large posters that showed scantily clad women. All that mattered was the music really, loud enough to drown out the scars of the world if only just for a few hours. Besides, with that many people inside she’d be protected by a guise of anonymity. Approaching the door the woman was confronted with a thick body guard, his face set and eyes hidden under black lenses. “I.D?”was all he asked, mouth hardly opening to emit a grumbling voice.

    Without answering Artemis produced a card from her pocket and presented it to the man, holding it up towards his face for inspection. After casting a look around the man grunted and waved her in with two fingers, free hand pushing open the door. Immediately the music swelled into the streets, lights of varying colors erupting. Artemis entered the club and let the door close behind herself. On either side of the room were bar counters lined with stools occupied by people. In between the bar counters were tables where people lounged, smoke lifting off of their cigarettes to create a hazy atmosphere. In the center was the main focus of the club, something that caught the attention of all. A trio of half naked women were dancing atop a raised stage, moving rhythmically amongst metal poles. They received little regard from Artemis, who had now made her way towards the bar with long strides.

    She perched herself on an empty stool, feet not touching the ground due to her shorter height. Black hair was blown out from her face, a nuisance she corrected by tying the long strands into a ponytail. The heat from the number of people enclosed in such a small building made her shed her jean jacket and hang it on the back of the stool to reveal a v-neck grey long sleeved shirt that was nothing special. Coupled with jeans and her boots she wasn’t eye catching, fortunately. From her pocket Artemis produced a few crumpled bills, setting them on the counter as a bartender sauntered near and asked what she wanted. “Just a coke,”she replied.

    “Jack and Coke?”the bartender asked, leaning closer to try to better hear the order through the loud music.

    Artemis waved it off in rejection. “No. No alcohol, just soda.”

    The man seemed puzzled as to why someone would deny alcohol in a club, but complied anyways. The familiar cafe colored liquid was poured over ice into a small glass. Condensation covered the surface. The bartender swapped cash for the drink, glass clinking on the wood. Artemis offered a thank you and lifted the cool glass to parched lips. Each swallow revived her.

    Once the glass was nearly drained a pack of Camel cigarettes was pulled from her back pocket, the thin cardboard box nearly crushed. It produced a cigarette nonetheless. As Artemis placed the cigarette between her teeth and lit it with a small red lighter, she chastised herself. Smoking was a bad habit, even for a genetically altered person like herself whose organs were rendered immune to burning. Altered or not, nicotine worked the same.

    Artemis often defended her addiction by claiming it was better than alcohol, the killer responsible for stealing her alcoholic mother’s life just last year. October 23. A Friday. The day had been rainy in a cliche way, water sluicing down the hospital windows. A solemn professional voice explaining that hours were numbered and mentioning something of organ failure despite the efforts. Artemis hadn’t the heart to gaze into her mother’s eyes for a while, not wanting to see the dull shine. Never could Artemis forget the sudden hollow feeling that had filled her insides when, with her mother’s clammy hand held tightly, the heart monitor flat lined with a sharp and almost tangible beep of finality. The afternoon that had followed was spent breaking glass bottles in an abandoned parking lot just to hear the crash and the tinkle of shards to the asphalt, yearning desperately for a sound that could fill the void. It had opened like a wound and no amount of futile stitching seemed to pull it together for long. Something always caused it to tear.

    The cause of the tear this time was catching a glimpse of her brother. Or rather, what used to be her brother. Now he was one of the puppets, genetically altered as Artemis had been and trained to be law enforcement. Unfortunately he hadn’t been lucky enough to sober up and still served as a glorified lap dog for the officials. At first he was unrecognizable under the growth of fur and muscles that made him permanently akin to a dog, a german shepherd to be more specific. He had been caught much earlier than Artemis so he didn’t luck out with the alteration. Due to newer technologies Artemis and many others had been given the ability to assume their regular forms as well as the beastly ones meant to enhance the ability to fight and intimidate. Sadly, more than five times the amount of successes were failures, genetically mutilated corpses sent to be burned and never to wake from their anesthetic.

    Just earlier Artemis had been sitting in a coffee bar enjoying a latte between work hours when she had spied the canine figure outside the glass front. It was almost grotesque how advanced science had replaced his human head with that of a dog, altering hormones to cause the production of dark brown and black fur. Bone structure had been altered slightly to accommodate walking upon paw like toes. Still, they wore clothing to try to appear more decent to the common folk. They all wore a standard uniform of either black or dark blue shirts and pants to mimic the outfits of police officers that had been used for law enforcement decades ago. The dog man had just been walking past, chatting amiably with his partner, a humanoid resembling a tiger or other feline. Only the laugh the dog man had emitted from a fanged maw had identified him as Artemis’ brother. That was one thing they hadn’t changed.

    It was the same laugh Artemis had heard years ago when they were both younger. They would chase each other around the house, laughing all the while. Then Artemis would catch the younger boy, tousle his thick black curls just to hear him giggle like a fool. Now he was certainly not the young man Artemis had known well just a few years ago. No lively smile and warm chuckles. No strong arms that delivered the best hugs. Now he was tainted both mentally and genetically, made into someone, or rather something, he was not. Looking back Artemis wondered if the canine had seen or recognized her. Sickeningly, she really hoped he didn’t. The officers saw her as a defector now, unworthy of kinship. A rebel. The things they did to such people was horrendous and Artemis made very sure to keep her secret safe. Little did she know that soon she’d be torn away from her cozy spot in hiding.

    The door to the club opened just as the last sip of soda had slid down Artemis’ throat. Suddenly the music sounded dull in her ears and time slowed down as it did in the movies. Through the door came two uniformed officers, one was the same tiger looking male from earlier and the other had the figures of a boar, tusks jutting out with menace. People seated in the club began to tense up, averting their eyes and hoping they were not the reason the officers had been summoned. Artemis’ blood ran cold. Tongue dried. Muscles tensed. In an effort to appear more natural regardless of who the officers were after the young woman slid her jean jacket back on and pulled her phone out, beginning to fiddle with it as if she were contacting someone to get her out of here. Something others in the room were also doing.

    Curse words were muttered under Artemis’ breath as the music was turned down in volume, enough to hear the sound of approaching footsteps behind her. As a hand pressed against her shoulder she flinched. “Artemis Scardovi. Charged with being a defected officer. You’re under arrest, mam,”the tiger spoke gruffly, his courtesy not fooling Artemis.

    “Please rise slowly and follow us,”the boar added.

    Artemis put her hands up slowly and rose to her feet. All eyes were on her. She remained collected, careful to keep a passive expression and her shoulders back and raised. Not a word was uttered from her mouth as she followed the boar man with the tiger at her heels. Heart racing, the urge to escape was overwhelming. They couldn’t send her back and she’d be sure of it. She just had to wait until the proper time arose. The back door was pushed open and a cool breeze shoved its way down Artemis’ throat, attacking her lungs. Artemis lamented the fact that her cigarette had been left pressed hastily in the ashtray on the bar top, which was the least of her problems. The thick, metal door shut behind them with a thud and the trio was left in a long, empty alleyway.

    For a moment Artemis followed the boar man obediently towards the end of the alleyway where an idle grey van was parked. As each foot fell with a soft tapping sound upon crackled pavement Artemis kept her eyes glued forwards. She watched as the individual coarse looking brown hairs on the boar man shifted with his heavy steps. Listening closely she heard the faint breathing of the tiger behind her, coming out in short puffs from anxious jowls. So far what Artemis could deduce was that the feline was apprehensive and the boar was blissfully oblivious. Artemis’ heart hammered in her chest. The tiger would go down first.

    It had taken Artemis long hours to perfect shifting and achieve altering her body quick enough, but those long hours had ended in great success. With no warning Artemis’ body rapidly changed. In a matter of seconds shiny, smooth black scales covered her body, save for where fur of the same color grew along her chest. Claws sprouted from her fingers and jagged spikes tore through her jacket and shirt, growing down her spine to where a muscled tail emerged from her backside. As she transitioned from having feet to clawed talon like paws she jumped free of her boots and emerged as a dragon humanoid. Her most striking feature was an exposed bleach white skull that occupied the top of her head, giving way to long, straight horns that were situated above floppy ears. As she pivoted Artemis swung a clawed hand out and caught the feline officer off guard, a direct impact throwing the man against the wall. An angry grunt behind her confirmed the boar had taken action and turning around swiftly she sent a kick out to throw the other officer aside. As she did the tiger had come to his senses and lunged, punching the dragon in the cheek. His fist came away bloody, knuckles damaged by striking bone with that much ferocity, enough power to make Artemis reel her head back with a snap.

    Instead of detaining the boar that was struggling to his hooves or injuring the tiger before her Artemis made the decision to run while she could. Sprinting forth the wind whipped at her face, cold tendrils making the mane growing atop her head flop around wildly above bright amber eyes. Mid run she continued her shift, clothes torn right off as she began to emerge as a full dragon, her last form. Crackling ensued with the adjustment of her spine and the sudden pain made her eyes water. Vision clouded but she ran onwards. Doubling over hands impacted the ground and the friction tore at the tough pads of her hands, or what was now beginning to look like paws. Gravity nearly tossed her aside but she pressed on as a quadruped. Her size increased and her neck lengthened, soon leaving her in her final form save for a few minor adjustments.

    Around the size of a horse and built like as lithe as a feline, such a creature was a force to be reckoned with. Although the scientists had not succeeded in granting her wings like a classic dragon, the feline like anatomy allowed for impressive agility. Domestic house cats could jump about four feet vertically on average. Small wild cats such as the serval could leap ten feet vertically. So the much larger Artemis could jump an impressive fifteen feet vertically. Claws unsheathed to help her skid to a halt. Bunching her muscles, hindquarters wiggled at the ready and a tail as long as her body, which was about five feet, tensed. Then, like a spring, she burst upwards and watched as bricks seemed to pass by as she ascended. Front paws landed on the top of a small building, the soapy smell detected by flickering nostrils identifying it as a laundromat. Hind legs grappled for purchase and found a loose brick to use a foothold, body pushed up fully onto the roof. The sound of efforted panting and the distant sound of officers yelling filled the crisp air.

    Fuck...what did I get myself into this time? More importantly, how did they find me? I was so careful...Artemis mentally lamented.
    From this height she could see the city sprawled out before her. Taller buildings were scattered among the squattier looking businesses, clustered into districts of sorts. Yellow light reflected off of tinted windows and in the distant smoke from a factory lifted off into the sky. The building rttemis was perched on was one of many in a row of little businesses. They seemed cluttered despite their general location, not as grid like and contained as the officials may have wished.

    The government could not maintain the order it wished, nor could it ever enforce all of the rules with this much space to cover even in one city. The ban on night clubs had been the first to be kicked under the rug. Officers liked a little boozing too. Many of these havens were scattered in just about every city and contained people from all walks of life, both average joe, ex convict, or businessman. They were all damned, forced to scan the darkest of places in an attempt to find a scrap of freedom. Here in the city of Aroshi, New York, like many cities the people spent their days toiling and their nights escaping. That’s just what Artemis had been trying to do until she got herself into this mess. Now she had to physically escape as opposed to mentally.

    Suddenly Artemis flattened herself. The silky fur on her underbelly brushed the flat topped roof. Ears flattened and breath was bated. The sound of yelling and sirens became clearer. “She slipped right out of our hands! You forgot to mention this woman was a dragon and you can’t expect detaining a second generation to be simple to nab!”came an angry voice, the gruffness identifying it as the boar.

    The sound of a smack resonated in the alleyway. “You imbecile! Second generation or not, we need to find her. She’s still out there somewhere,”came a harsh reply from an unfamiliar female voice. Second generation. This was a fancy term for what Artemis was, being one of the relatively new and improved mutants with the ability to shift between forms. In addition second generations were also usually more far fetched species or altered species.

    The whooping cry of a siren in the street on the other side of Artemis elicited a twitch. They were on either side of her now. If she sat here she’d be a sitting duck and more of them would arrive on the scene and complicate escape. That left her with the bold option of making an escape now. They’d see her, but they would have less reinforcements in this moment. Stealth was hardly an option on an open place like the rooftops so speed and grit would have to be prioritized instead of snooping around. Artemis’ eyes closed tightly as she composed herself. “You’re not going back...remember that..”she whispered softly to herself. Eyes opened again. Time was up.

    Adrenaline flooded her system. Artemis jumped forwards like a wildcat and hit the roof running with a madman. “Hey! There she goes on the roof!”came a frantic shout from below.

    Artemis cleared the short distances in between buildings and used the height to her advantage. Hopefully it would take a while for them to get up onto the roof or try to navigate the alleyways on foot. Where was she even going? Anywhere she could as fast as she could without landing herself dead or captured. Although if she had to choose death would be more preferable.
  16. Here's a W.I.P of a potential new piece. My previous character, Artemis, has evolved into a slightly different character who is now named Max. She's still a result of genetic alteration.

    The front door creaked open, allowing a view into a cramped apartment. Dim light washed over the scene, illuminating the front hallway, which opened into a main room. The room was divided into a living room and a kitchen, an old leather sofa squatted before a beat up television, separated only by a battered wooden coffee table. Littered across the cherrywood surface were torn magazine pages and burnt matches. Resting on the top of a celebrity magazine was an empty bottle of whiskey, cap nowhere to be seen, some excess amber liquid staining the smiling face of some celebrity printed on colorful pages. What was more concerning than the bottle was the figure dozing on the couch, a pale female arm hanging off the side of the couch, fingertips brushing the wooden floor.

    Inside walked a young looking woman with dark curly hair and a complexion implying Indian descent, wearing faded jeans and a clean blue sweatshirt. She pocketed the key to the apartment after kicking the door shut, fast walking towards the slumbering figure with an expression of disapproval. “Maxine…”she mumbled, prodding the figure’s face. Black hair was tousled about the face of the sleeper, also a young female. The figure, called Maxine, responded by stirring and rolling over to face the back of the couch with a low groan.

    The other woman sighed and marched over to the shuttered windows, trudging past broken glass and fallen articles of clothing. The shutters were thrown open and oppressive morning rays flooded the apartment, eliciting a sharp hiss from the groggy woman. “C’mon, Anika...that was just mean…”Maxine, otherwise called ‘Max,’ grumbled bitterly.

    “Mean? The last thing you want to do is make me angrier than I already am, Max,”Anika spat, walking over to stand in front of Max again.

    The black haired female slowly rose to a seated position with a wince, displacing a thin blanket from where it was draped over her fully clothed self, jeans and t-shirt rumpled from the previous day. Eyeliner was smudged heavily and strands of disheveled hair stuck to her lip stubbornly. Rubbing one eye she yawned wide and then asked, “Why are you angry?”

    Her friend scoffed loudly and picked up the glass bottle that had obviously contained alcohol. Instead of answering, Anika held the bottle up in Max’s face. The drunk woman squinted as if to inspect the red label still wrapped tightly round the bottle. “Whiskey, huh? I could have sworn I had just picked up soda,”she muttered sarcastically up at her accusing friend, meeting the harsh glare.

    Anika slammed the bottle back on the coffee table and sighed again, running a hand roughly through thick brown hair. “Damn it, Max. You told me you were doing better with your alcoholism. You don’t want to go back to the support group again, do you?”she asked as she went about scooping up the loose clothing into a pile, trying to tidy the place up.

    “No thank you. I’ve had my fair share of hearing sob stories. If I wanted that I’d just watch more cheesy soaps,”Max replied as she swept the pile of magazine shavings and matches into a loose pile. They must have been left from last night since often times heavy drinking left Max in a destructive mood. It was a blessing that the apartment wasn’t on fire.

    Anika picked up a few loose packages of processed snacks and deposited them in the trash in the kitchen, which was just the smaller portion of the main room where there was a short fridge, a simple cupboard, a measly strip of counter space, a burnt looking stove, a cheap microwave, and a table surrounded by three chairs, one with a missing leg. The missing leg was replaced with a stack of books from the small bookshelf occupying part of the living room.

    “Is Vic awake yet?”Anika asked Max as she returned to the living space.

    “Just listen for a second and ask me again,”Max replied. A moment of silence ensued with Anika sporting a skeptical look, eyebrow raised. The silence was broken by a sudden loud snore from the direction of a closed door. Anika’s mouth formed a tight frown and the rest of her face was darkened with a sort of realization. “Why the hell are you two so dysfunctional?”

    Max shrugged. “Why ask me of all people?”she snorted, shaking her head. “Just go take a shower. You still smell like alcohol,”Anika suggested, using her hands to make a shooing gesture. Then after putting on a brave face she knocked on the door. The snoring resumed so Anika just turned the knob and entered. Inside was a small bedroom with a twin sized bed in the far corner and a dresser and a desk in the other. Clothing littered the floor and a pair of pants was draped over a curtain rod. Splayed out on the bed in only her plaid boxer shorts was a small, wiry looking woman, short blonde hair scruffy. “What the fuck, Vic,”Anika breathed, holding her arms up as if exasperated.

    Snoring was cut short. “Huh?”came a hoarse voice, a head lifting off of a stained pillow. A comforter had been knocked to the floor from a rough slumber. What looked like blood had dried in the woman’s nostrils and cheek, an ugly red color. Anika rushed over and grabbed the woman by the chin with a surprisingly gentle hand to hastily investigate the blood, a horrified look in her eyes. “Wha…”she started, concerned, but then dropped the woman’s chin to press a hand to her forehead. “You fought Max again, didn’t you?”she asked simply.

    Thoughts seemed to visibly form in the woman, Victoria, or Vic as her friends called her, head. A hastily bandaged hand was brought up to feel the blood caked to her face and a moment of concentration ensued, brow knitted harshly. “I guess so…God, I don’t fucking remember,”she replied. Then she seemed to pass that discovery off as normal and let her head dramatically flop back onto her pillow.

    “You two need to learn how to play nice,”Anika commented as she walked towards the single window across the room, shuffling through old outfits. The window was thrown open and fresh air poured in along with the sound of cars honking outside. This resulted in Vic shoving her face into her pillow childishly and folding it so the corners sheltered her ears from the sudden noises.

    “I can’t play nice when she’s a raging drunk…”she hollered into her pillow so that her voice could be heard.

    When Anika prodded the girl’s exposed back with a knuckle, Vic eased herself into a sitting position with her knees folded on the mattress. “Well, learn. Now put some clothes on and pull yourself together,”Anika said, raising a forearm over her eyes to avoid looking at Vic’s fully bare chest, not that there was much modesty needed for a chest nearly board flat. As Anika exited the room she kicked an opened box of Milkbones aside, scattering out a few pet treats to the displeasure of Victoria.

    Anika heard the shower running in the bathroom next to Vic’s bedroom and took Max’s absence as a good sign. Sitting on the couch heavily Anika contemplated her choice in companions for a moment. She had a grumpy, broody friend who was dangerously intelligent and another that was immature and hot tempered. However troublesome the duo could be, they were the only ones that could truly relate to Anika herself. All three were victims of scientific tampering. The alteration of their genes to shape them into superhuman pawns of the government. All altered in one severe way or another to make them into the stuff of comic books. Anika had been snagged long before the other two, an early project that had left her with the ability to run much faster than most humans and jump much higher, an extreme level of agility. Next to be altered, years later, was Victoria, the woman having been one of the first experiments to yield successful shape shifting. This allowed her to shift into a bipedal canine to assume the features of a dog, more specifically a German Shepherd. Then there was Max, arguably the most genetically altered of them all. A newer experiment, she was one of the few on the planet capable of shifting into a bipedal and quadruped creature deemed mythical, a qilin to be exact. Exotic, she was hailed as a great success. Max was lucky to not have been the hundreds of experiments that had failed. Those subjects were euthanized.

    All three women had stuck together. Having escaped the clutches of the harsh experiments, they had to make sure that the others didn’t find themselves back in that dreaded facility. A pact had been formed over their similarities and here they all were in a New York apartment, hiding in mundane life.

    At this time Maxine had exited the bathroom wrapped only in a towel, shoulder length black hair slicked straight, as she picked up clothing from the ground. Vic snuck into the bathroom when Max had left, already dressed in cargo pants and a tank top, blonde hair in disarray, face still smeared with blood. The bathroom door clicked shut as Max had turned around to return. “Really….?”she asked no one in particular. Inside the bathroom came a triumphant cackle, “Suck it, bitch!”

    Max turned her head slowly towards Anika. “Are you sure I can’t kill her?”she asked flatly. Anika shook her head negatively. Loudly, Max sighed and headed to the kitchen where she dressed herself there, hidden behind the countertops. She dressed herself in jeans, as usual, along with a white t-shirt that was quickly covered under a thin grey jacket that zipped across the chest instead of in the middle as usual.

    Then Maxine approached some of the drawers in the kitchen and yanked the middle of the three open. Inside sat a half depleted loaf of sliced bread in a crumpled plastic casing. It was snatched out and the drawer was closed with a swift kick, the sound of wood slamming against wood interrupting the silence.
  17. (This is a work in progress and is far from being finished or even polished up. There are bound to be some mistakes, but I wanted to lay things out here as they stood now. Enjoy.)

    A backstory for Callie Krystallos, my character in the roleplay On the Lam with Vermiciro. Contains some sexual themes and abuse.

    Callie: A hard working woman keen to bite off more than she can chew, seemingly full of energy and always lost in thought
    Emma: Goodnatured, but unfortunately more promiscuous than you may assume, Callie’s ex-wife and coworker
    Dimitri: A farmer with a strict demeanor and a firm supporter of all things traditional,Callie’s father
    Sophia: A loyal wife to Dimitri and an expert at housework, a more lenient supporter of traditions, Callie’s mother
    Zoe: A renowned trouble maker, Callie’s childhood friend

    Part 2
    (Callie caught experimenting with Zoe, tense family discussion)
    -16 years old, dragged to her bedroom by Zoe
    -begin to caress one another, kissing, Callie’s apprehension
    -father walks in and threatens to beat Zoe, Zoe runs out, Callie left to have a discussion with her family

    Warm summer heat engulfed the landscape. Nebraskan farmland stretched on in all directions and was interrupted only by the occasional home or the clusters of buildings that formed tiny towns, faded pavement and gravel roads winding through like veins. Puffy white clouds lazily passed overhead, sluggish, navigating a soft blue sky and passing underneath oppressive sun rays.

    On this day in August, Callie was about to have her family life turned upside down. The poor girl wasn’t even aware of the threat. For all she knew she was just spending another regular day with her dear friend, Zoe, a sixteen year old like herself. As usual they had met up at the Krystallos’ farm, Callie’s residence. Waiting at the end of the driveway was Callie herself, hair newly dyed a cherry red, wearing jean shorts with rolled up ends and a simple black tank top. The straps of the tank top were thick and the shorts came to her knees under her parents’ instruction. Modesty was something they prided themselves in and they imposed the same restrictive ideals upon their daughter.

    Callie sat on a wooden fencepost with crossed ankles and eagerly watched the road ahead of her. A quail with mottled brown feathers bobbed across the street and easily caught the teen’s attention. The small bird fluttered its near useless wings suddenly as a red pick up truck ambled into view, coming up over the slight hill and revealing its dirt caked exterior. At the sight of it Callie pushed herself off of the fencepost with a brace filled smile on her face. The vehicle slowed to a halt at the end of the gravel driveway and the door popped open. Out hopped a lanky looking teen girl with wild black hair reaching down her back, dressed in summer attire similar to Callie’s, vibrant green eyes full of life. She turned towards the car after closing the door and waved loosely at the driver, who was her father, bidding him farewell with the promise of returning a few hours later.

    Once the truck pulled away with a throaty rumble Zoe was left to approach her friend with opened arms. “Cal! How’ve you been?”she asked as she met Callie with an embrace.

    Callie returned it gladly and replied jovially, “Fine, fine. Why ask? You’re here every day anyways.”

    As Zoe pulled away from the hug she chuckled lightly and said, “Just bein’ polite.” She started off up the driveway with Callie following close, reaching her side with hasty strides.

    Callie only offered the twitch of a smile in reply. They walked along quietly for a while and allowed the scenery to have their attention. Far off in the field a cow bellowed. The tall, lush grass swayed all around them and their keen gazes met the animals in the distance. Insects hummed. Shoes shuffled over gravel and sent a few of the grey stones skittering away. The scent of freshly cut grass was apparent, mower tracks streaking a small portion of the field from recent work.

    In the presence of Zoe Callie felt comfortable. They had been friends for years and often spent time together, especially in the summer when they were free from school. Sleepovers were common and their kinship was evident. Through thick and thin they had stood together. However, a twinge of discomfort hounded Callie, almost like a small rock stuck in one's shoe. It had blossomed from the discomfort of revealing a secret that Callie had told no other soul. Her sexuality. Months ago Callie had admitted that she just didn’t find guys attractive and never did, preferring women. Now this would be well and all in another situation, but not deep in rural Nebraska with a community full of strictly religious civilians. And with Callie’s especially stern and conservative father the situation was even more severe and only further proved the secret had to be kept guarded with an iron fist. Any clue and Callie would be sent away to a strict Christian school before she could even open her mouth to protest. The thought alone of that grim fate nearly made Callie shudder despite the thick heat.

    To distract herself Callie turned her attention to stealing looks at her friend, Zoe. Sunlight beamed down on Zoe’s exposed fair skin, a light sheen of sweat visible. Wispy black locks were naturally straight and soft looking, settled about her shoulders and hanging in her diamond shaped face. Thin eyebrows were arched nicely and underneath her eyes seemed to glitter as they looked down at the gravel ahead, heading towards a two story farm house a short stroll away. As Zoe moved one could notice the muscles that traced her features, hardened from basketball, it was more clear what sport she played from her more impressive height. That and the fact that the teen was a lithe as a cat. Light curves shaped her athletic figure, enough to make plenty of high school boys turn their heads. After finding her eyes wandering from Zoe’s face down lower, Callie felt her cheeks flush subtly and turned her head back towards the open field. Why had she felt a tingle inside of her when looking at her friend?

    Zoe didn’t seem to mind the silence or notice her friend’s stares, instead plodding happily along the driveway with the shuffle of gravel. When they finally reached the farmhouse Zoe finally spoke up again, complaining “Gosh, it’s so hotttt.” She stuck her tongue out comically to express her distaste as both her and Callie slowed to a stop near the wooden porch attached to the front of the house. The house was painted a dark green color, faded by the sun’s rays, some parts chipped to reveal wooden paneling.

    “Ugh, I know. I was thinking that we’d stick to my room instead of messing around outside. It’s much too hot to walk the trail or ride,”Callie offered. Usually her friend rode the family’s horses or traversed a small dirt trail through the field to get to a grove of trees to climb and lounge, but today the temperature had left the duo too lethargic.

    “Good idea,”Zoe replied, hopping up the creaky wooden porch steps and pushing open the door. She held it open for Callie who entered right after and closed the door behind herself to avoid allowing hot air into the air conditioned house. It was much cooler inside the home, which was decently furnished with antique furniture. In the front was a living room that led into a kitchen, but both Zoe and Callie ignored the rooms in favor of heading up the stairs directly in front of them. The teens took the carpeted steps two at a time, passing the framed pictures on the wall, smiling faces of family members looking back at them eternally. The setting was still calm, but wouldn’t be as tranquil for long.

    The two found themselves in Callie’s room at the end of the hallway. It was quaint with a bed with metal frames propped up next to a window that was outlined with thick curtains. The walls were painted a tasteful dark red and were interrupted by a few wrinkled band posters as befitting of a teen girl’s room. Wedged in one corner was a shelf laden with Eastern Orthodox iconography, the faces of painted figures stoic, almost judgemental as they glared across the room, more oppressive than the other decorations. In the other corner was a wooden desk where Callie’s homework and textbooks from the previous school year were stacked neatly. Next to the desk was a closet that was currently half open to reveal a dirtied pair of overalls which Zoe promptly snorted at upon entering. “Really, Cal?”she teased, pointing a thumb at it.

    Callie closed the door with a huff. “C’mon, overalls aren’t that bad. I wear them when I work the fields sometimes.”

    “Uh huh. You just pretend to not like them but I’m sure you love trotting around in your hick get up.”

    Callie kicked her shoes off before scooping up a pillow and chucking it at Zoe. The teen deftly dodged the object hurled at her and then bent down to unlace her tennis shoes with a bark of laughter. Then she flopped onto Callie bed, landing on a black comforter, which was neatly made. “I’m not a hick, okay?”Callie said as she sat gently on the other side of the bed.

    A snort escaped Zoe as she propped herself up on one elbow and angled her body towards where Callie sat. “Hey, it’s not that bad. At least you’re an attractive hick,”Zoe said, “You’ve still got all of your teeth after all.”

    “Attractive? You think me of all people is attractive?”Callie questioned after rolling her eyes.

    Zoe seemed to grow more serious and sat up. “Of course. You ever looked in a mirror before?”she answered as if it were a blatant fact.

    For some reason Callie found the fluttering feeling in her gut had become more intense. A blush threatened to occupy her face again and she noticed her fingers begin to fidget with a loose thread in her jean shorts. “Well...of course I’ve looked, but I never saw anything special,”she replied awkwardly, pushing a strand of hair out of her face and looking away.

    A fist lightly collided with Callie’s shoulder and she was forced to face Zoe again. “Well then you gotta look harder,”she laughed. When Zoe spoke it seemed like her words rolled off her tongue with ease. Callie envied that confidence.

    “Maybe later,”Callie laughed awkwardly, rubbing the back of her neck.

    Zoe’s lips were drawn tightly into a line for a moment. “Hm..”she said. “That just won’t do,”she added, sliding off the bed. Form here she grabbed a hand held mirror before returning, throwing herself back onto the bed.
    “Are you serious, Zoe? Why is this so important for you to prove?”

    “Yes, I’m serious. I’m not havin’ my best friend running around thinking she’s hard on the eyes, ‘cause that’s not true.”

    Callie huffed. Zoe responded by scooting closer to Callie so that the two sat side by side. One of Zoe’s arms was wrapped around Callie’s back while the other held the mirror out in front of Callie. Both peered at the reflective surface. Being unable to tolerate Zoe’s puppy dog expression and immature level of persistence, Callie caved and peered into the mirror.

    Of course what she was was herself. Skin tanned from summer, eyes a vibrant green, swimming with life. Loosely curled hair was a striking cherry color, a pigment achieved only after months of begging her parents. They still cringed when they saw people shoot accusing looks at their daughter in church. Dying her hair was Callie’s means of self expression as well as a small jab of rebellion fitting for a teen like herself.

    “I see...nothing special. Just me. I mean, the only remarkable thing is my hair, which is looking much different than when it was brown,”Callie commented, looking to Zoe.

    Zoe reached up and grabbed the back of Callie’s head gently, forcing the girl to look back at the mirror. “C’mon, Cal. That can’t be all you find striking about yourself.”

    Why did Zoe care so much? Callie, ignorant of the fact that Zoe was just as curious about her attraction to her as she herself was to Zoe, didn’t assume much of it other than a silly game. The ‘game’ resumed. This time Zoe decided to chip in, leaning closer. The warmth she contributed was palpable and made something in Callie feel fuzzy.

    The black haired teen pointed to part of the mirror. Callie’s eyebrows, which were also dyed to match her hair. “See, you shaped your eyebrows all nicely, Cal.”

    “I...I suppose I did…”

    “And look here,”Zoe said, pointing to Callie’s nose. “Befitting of a Greek goddess, eh?”she jested. Blood made Callie’s cheeks flush as red as her hair and she looked away for a moment with a giggle. Where had that sound come from? Butterflies fluttered in her gut, but not in the usual, uncomfortable anxious way. This was no panic, no gnawing fear that elicited nausea, shuddering, and frantic fidgeting. This was almost pleasant, youthful in a sense. What was it?

    Callie slowly looked back to the mirror and realized Zoe had grown even closer. She pointed to the mirror again. “And look here. What full lips you have, Cal.”

    A finger pressed gingerly up against Callie’s chin and turned her head towards Zoe where the teens became face to face. “How...kissable..”she commented in a low voice. Moving in, Zoe’s lips softly pressed up against Callie’s. Just a peck, it was over soon. After the event settled in Callie scuttled backwards on her hands and found herself falling off the bed. Before she could, strong hands grabbed her arms and pulled her back into an upright position. Zoe sat cross-legged, back straight, wearing a lopsided grin, eyes searching for some sort of reaction. Approval.

    The blush in Callie’s cheeks intensified as she gaped at her friend. “Z...Zoe...w..what..was..was t..that?”she stammered.

    “Just a little kiss. Would you like another?”Zoe ventured.

    It was so...taboo. This was Callie’s friend for crying out loud! Why did she feel this way? For years they grew up together, romping in the fields and horsing around in school. They were just pals. But did they have to be? Could they be more? No. Callie couldn’t form this sort of relationship without her parents finding out and if this happened she’d be sent to a Christian school far away from Zoe. Would she risk losing a friend to pursue a more intimate relationship?

    In the heat of the moment, it seemed she would. Sheepishly, Callie nodded, much to the approval of Zoe. Zoe scooted closer to her friend again and slowly reached a hand back. Fingers intertwined into cherry locks. They felt soft. Zoe leaned in again with closed eyes and planted her lips onto Callie’s, delicate again. At first Callie seemed stiff, but tense muscles began to melt as Zoe’s hands found her back and began to massage the worry away.

    Pressing harder, the kiss became more heated. Zoe tilted her head ever so slightly and Callie tried to do the same in the opposite direction, not sure how this whole kissing thing worked. Passion got to Zoe’s head and a hand slipped around Callie’s chest and began kneading the flesh there. At first Callie instinctively yanked away with an arm up defensively.

    “Hey, hey, easy….I’m not gonna hurt you, Cal,”Zoe reassured, watching Callie’s sides heave lightly in a sudden bout of anxiety.

    Gradually Callie came to her senses and approached Zoe again. This time after the kiss began again, Callie allowed Zoe to touch her sensitive breasts. It was so taboo and she wasn’t sure if she were loving or hating that feeling. Before she could decided, Zoe pushed Callie’s back onto the bed so that she straddled her. In a spurt of her own desire Callie held Zoe closer by grabbing onto the waistband of her friend’s shorts. In this heated position Callie didn’t notice the door of her bedroom open until a thundering voice snarled, “Callie Krystallos!”

    In an instant Zoe and Callie shot up, untangling themselves from each other’s limbs, hair and clothing in disarray. In the door was a beast of a man, at least 6’ 5” and built like a brick wall with all the bulk that came with farming all his life. Wispy, deep black hair was groomed short and hung above livid looking brown eyes. A scraggly beard grew along a thick jaw. Wide nostrils were flared. Thin lips were pulled back to reveal slightly yellowed teeth, stained from chewing tobacco. Dirt and sweat stained his work outfit, a simple tank top and jeans tucked into tall boots. Callie’s father.

    “What the hell are you doing, girl!”he bellowed, approaching the bed with thundering steps as Callie remained petrified on her bed.

    “Uh...uh...uh..”Callie stuttered. Beside her Zoe remained frozen as well. What gusto she possessed had escaped with her breath as she remained transfixed on the raging farmer.

    “Who do you think you are?! A dyke! I will not have this in my household”he scolded, fists clenched.

    His words stung Callie.

    Looking to Zoe he pointed to the door and screamed, “Out! Now! Damn dyke messing with my daughter. You satan spawn! Don’t you dare influence my god fearing, daughter, you hear me?!”

    Tears welled up in both Zoe and Callie’s eyes. “Papa…”Callie began.

    Her father turned on her. “Don’t ‘papa’ me, Callie! You know what you’ve done,”he said darkly.

    Zoe stood up and pulled on her shoes, not even bothering to tie them. A sob welled in her throat as she practically ran out the door and down the stairs. Callie was left with her father, except now her mother joined them. A short woman with olive toned skin and long, wavy brown hair. Her soft features were carved into a look of sheer disbelief as she looked from the retreating figure of Zoe to her daughter, who was cowering on her bed with glassy eyes.

    Looking between her parents, Callie spited God. Why did He make her to be broken? Why did He make her parents disapprove? In shame she looked to the ground and never wished to look up again.
  18. If you want to see my novel in progress see my wattpad at Wistful_Beast.