Interesting to see Shrike and Dani as kids. You can see their future personalities in there and how being bullied shaped them.Shrike and Dani
Red, part 1
SpoilerShow"Oh, look, it's Red the Basket-Stabber!"
"How's the mother? Huh?"
Dorothy Williams sighed as the teasing of the other schoolchildren rang in her ears yet again - every morning when she arrived at the village school, the points and jibes and laughter started, and even in class the occasional snickers could be heard, aimed at her and her younger sister.
Being the daughters of a weaver-woman wasn't easy.
After all, everyone knew what 'weavers' did.
The fact her father had made an 'honest woman' of her didn't stop the comments and snide remarks - after all, everyone knew you couldn't reform a 'weaver', and the fact Mr. Williams had been a mere footsoldier in the guards just added to the shaken heads, smirks, and teases. The fact that her family were the only ones in the village with red hair, another 'gift' of Ms. Williams', provided that much more fuel to the fire.
Her sister was a kind-hearted soul; in her youth, Danielle knew little of the reasons behind the torment, but she merely smiled and shook it off, like lava off the back of a Stygian Fireduck.
Dorothy wasn't as sanguine. But, for her sister's sake, she kept the pain and anger of the words of her classmates bottled up inside.
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me, she thought bitterly as she settled into her seat behind her desk in the classroom. Whoever said that clearly never had to deal with words.
Classic changeling tale, I see. Poor parents. I'm curious to see where this is going.More Sevet to come and definitely some opinions on everyone's stories. But for now, a bit of backstory on my latest character Alfred/Agneau.
Once upon a time...
SpoilerShowThere was a married couple who loved each other very much. The wife was pregnant and couldn't be happier. She was so excited about having a baby she would spend days making toys for her coming baby, for she was a seamstress, and skilled at making dolls. She didn't know whether it would be a boy or a girl, so she made dolls for both, pretty princesses and brave knights.
When her baby was finally born, she and her husband were overjoyed. He would be a big strong boy, smart and brave! But they were not the only ones overjoyed at the birth. A faerie who had been watching the couple with interest would always visit the child at night. For though the baby had hair as black as night, when the faerie was present he had hair of gold and it entranced her.
One night, a little after the baby's first year, the faerie could not stand the temptation any longer. She took the child from it's crib, and for the parents, she enchanted one of the many dolls in the child's room. Making it take the shape of the baby. It would act just like a baby for all it's days and never grow old. Perfect for the couple. With that, the baby was whisked away into the night.
This is indeed quite dark. In a different way than other dark stories in here, more... down-to-earth darkness, with desperation, degradation and abuse. Nice to see someone tackle such unpleasant topics.Just to let people know, this story is going to start getting darker from here. Don't say I didn't warn you.
Memories - Part 3
SpoilerShowA sixteen year old kid living on the streets wasn't rare in Rembress. The city was in decline, the government was changing its policies, and people just couldn't take in stray kids anymore. Long as they didn't cause problems, nobody cared.
Course, without having any money, it's hard to get by without causing problems.
The first few weeks, I found myself in back alleys, scrounging through dumpsters for food. I don't even want to remember how many half-rotted things I ate. I had to, though. I was determined to never go back to that orphanage. A couple people would yell at me and chase me away. I learned quickly which diners had the people who actually cared about that.
I found myself sleeping mostly in any tree I could find. I tried to practice my abilities as much as I could, and I'd use them to lift myself into the branches. Helped keep the number of homeless guys trying to feel me up while I was sleeping down.
Course, I couldn't prevent it entirely...
About two months later, I was seeing just how bad of a decision I made. I could find food at least a couple times a day, but that was just enough for me to keep going. At least in the orphanage, I was fed regularly. I hadn't had a proper bath or shower since I left. I'd had to get in a couple fights to protect myself. And run when reinforcements showed up.
Simply put, I was a mess.
Now, by this point, I was desperate. I would do almost anything to gain some kind of normal life back. So, when a kind of sleezy guy came up to me one day in an alley and said he had a job for me, I listened. When he said it included housing, I jumped at it.
He took me to what looked like an abandoned warehouse towards the edge of the city. He brought me inside, took me to "my room". It was mostly bare, save for a bed, a couch, and a tub. I was kind of confused, kind of frightened. But, it was a bed. With a roof over it. I wasn't gonna say no. He told me to take a bath, and that I'd find some clothes in the little closet next to the couch. He said he'd come back in a while to discuss my job. So, soon as he left, I practically ripped my clothes off and jumped in the tub. It only had cold water, but that was fine. Better than relying on the rain.
When I was cleaned, I went to the closet, hoping to find a towel in there. I found a stack of them, as well as the clothes he mentioned. I started pulling out the clothes, and that's when my gut was finally being heard. There wasn't much to them. Tiny shorts and skirts, thongs, lacy bras, and shirts that could barely be called such. I tried to find the most conservative combo I could. I may have been a teen still, but I had started to develop before I even left the orphanage.
Not much later, the man came back. Slate was his name. He was a smooth-talker. The kind of guy that could talk you into giving him your pants, cleaned and ironed, without ever realizing it.
So, he sat me down on the couch and started his routine. In hindsight, what he said was probably a well rehearsed speech he gave to all the girls and young women he "employed" at that place. But, at that moment...it felt like he was doing this just for me. Like he was actually looking out for me. He reassured me that I would only have to sleep with maybe a guy a week, and that I wouldn't really be doing much beyond oral. He made it fell...well, like it was okay. Just a temporary thing. Maybe a couple weeks, and I'd have enough cash to be out on my own again.
By Eram, I hate youthful stupidity.
I'll give the man credit. He eased me into it. It was a little while before I started noticing that I was doing way more than what he promised. But, by then...I couldn't get out. Because...as horrible as the stuff I was doing was...I had a room. I had food. It was better than not knowing when or where my next meal would be. Or where I might be able to get at least a nap. And the dangers that were present were ones that I knew and expected. Not the unknown of the alleys in the city.
Plus, I was afraid of what Slate could and would do if I took off.
For the next two years, I slowly died inside. I wasn't your average eighteen year old woman. Not by a long shot.
Maybe that's what gave one of my regulars the idea to recruit me for some new military project that was happening...
I'll admit I'm not a huge fan of drow, so I'm having trouble commenting on this one. Still, it's well-written, even if the dialogue feels a bit... stiff? Especially the line in the second part.Lellienth Mizrym
Scars, part 1
The young drowess perched on the roof of her family's home, watching the city below, and thinking of what would happen tomorrow, which was her thirtieth birthday, and thus the occasion of her Blooding. To the best of her knowledge, it would be the first time she had ever killed another drow who wasn't part of an attack on her House.
She was so engrossed in her thoughts that she didn't realize her younger sister, Llolfaen, had come onto the roof with her until the other elf spoke.
"If you knew you could leave now, before your Blooding, would you?"
Lellienth shrugged, placing the dagger she'd drawn at the sound of a voice back in its sheath
"The other one would still live or die whether or not I was the one to fight them. My hand or another's, it doesn't make much difference. Maybe, if I knew they could win by facing the other, but I don't. And even then, I'd just be condemning their opponent... So I don't think I would, unless I was going up against you, and your Blooding isn't for two more years," she replied, after a minute's consideration, reaching out and ruffling the other drow's hair. "So no, I don't think I would."
"Not even for Jaldrym? I know you two are pretty close, Lell...", the mage-in-training asked quietly, smiling a bit at the contact with her sister, though her voice didn't entirely match her expression, sounding almost sad.
"Probably not, Faen. If I did, Halisstra would have him flayed alive and dumped out for the driders, and it would be kinder for me to just kill him..."
Unlike her sister, she simply sounded resigned, though, again, her voice didn't fit her face, which also had a smile on it, as she was apparently enjoying Llolfaen's company.
Lellienth leaned back, dodging a sword stroke that would have gutted her had it hit, and, carefully balancing, brought her left foot up, kicking her opponent - Ilivarrra Rilynt'tar - in the ribs, hard enough to knock her off balance, though not to crack them.
Coming back down onto both feet, she lashed out with the other, catching the second drowess in the outside of her right thigh, and dropping her to the ground, striking her head on a stalactite as she did.
Stepping forward, she placed the tip of her rapier against the other elf, and paused, causing Ilivarrra to raise her head as much as she could, looking sad and resigned.
"Just do it, Lelli... You can't get around it, unless you let me kill you, or have me run into the caves and say I got eaten by something, and they'll want to know where I died and what you got to kill me, so that they can check your story."
Lellienth nodded, once, and twitched her arm forward, neatly stabbing her friend through the heart. And then, that done, she pulled out her blade, wiped it on the corpse, and picked up the body, slowly carrying it back to Ched Nasad.