Unicorn Meat 7

I rubbed my aching eyes as I waited. The wall clock was ticking loudly as the minutes passed, and each tick ricocheted around my head painfully.  Marie had stood after a while and started cleaning her fur. I tried not to glare at her for the annoying tongue noises. She usually did that in private.

“You would think they’d have multiple doctors or something.” Marie murmured as she cleaned her foot. “Especially in this part of town.”

“Maybe they’re all sick.” I offered lamely. I’m pretty sure this is what death feels like. I closed my eyes against the harsh overhead lights and tried to tune out the sounds of the waiting room.

A paw on my good arm startled me from my doze. I didn’t even remember passing out, but I wasn’t surprised it happened. I looked over to find Marie watching me as she removed her paw. She blinked slowly before turning to the hallway behind the receptionist desk where a nurse stood with an expectant look on her face. She brushed the loose part of her long brown hair over her shoulder. When she looked down the hall I could see it was in a half ponytail.

She called my name, for probably not the first time, and I nodded as I struggled to my feet. I should not have sat down. Ugh. I looked up from my shuffling steps to see the nurse glaring at Marie on my trail.

“She’s coming with me.” I declared and the nurse’s olive green eyes went to my face. She stared at me for a moment before nodding slightly and turning. I followed her slowly down the long hall, past numerous closed doors. Her scrubs were a mix of various reptiles. Most of them I knew, there were a few that I had no guesses on. She motioned me into room 23 but kept walking. I went to the tall examination bed and eased myself up on it as Marie took the empty chair in the corner opposite the door.

My head swam from walking. My eyes drifted closed again, so when the nurse returned I jumped.  As I fought the pain of being startled, the nurse set to work taking my blood pressure and all the things I wish they would skip so they could just heal me. A groan from another room sounded and I looked towards the door worriedly. Was that the lobby girl? The nurse kicked out with her foot and closed the door with a heavy thud before turning her attention back to me.

“I’m going to clean you up before the healer comes in.” She announced. I nodded, just ready to be done with the day. “Have you taken any medication in the last 24 hours?” She asked as she opened a cupboard above the sink. Numerous bottles, all identical in shape but varying in color, were stuffed into the cabinets. She selected a red and blue bottle as I shook my head, which I immediately regretted. She tsked and sat at the computer. “Tell me what happened.”  She commanded and I obliged while focusing on her fingers flying across the keyboard.

 

By the time the nurse left the room, my whole body was on fire. Not literally, but man the cleaning had burned. Looking at my arm though, it looked even worse without the solid coating of stinking Maw blood. Marie was grumping from her chair in the corner because the nurse had cleaned her up too. Well mostly.

I was fine.” She groaned.

“You were sitting in a puddle of blood.” I replied.

“Not really. It was small.”

The door opened to emit the healer then and cut off my retort. He wasn’t what I was expecting from previous healer visits. Middle aged but fit, his wore dark green scrubs that showed cats, which I found interesting. His short brown hair was slicked back and he wore thick glasses that showed grey eyes when he looked up.

“Hi. So I hear you had some issues today.”

“A few.” I replied, lifting my burned hand in a wave. His eyebrows rose slightly as he took in the visible wounds on me. Then his gaze shifted to Marie in the corner and his mouth dropped open.

“Is that…is that a Faeline?” He whispered with his grey gaze glued to her. She stared at him a moment then looked to me.

“Yeah. Marie the healer. Healer, Marie.” I introduced them.

“I’m Chade.” He said as he set his clipboard down on the bed and walked over to kneel in front of her chair. I looked down at the clipboard and cocked my head to the side before lifting the pages to reveal a large bite shaped chunk missing from it. Well that’s awesome.

“I have never seen one in person. I’ve read about them religiously. They’re such a fascinating species.” He whispered as he stared at her. He lifted his hand and slowly approached her head. It was so  hard not to giggle.

                “She uh, doesn’t like to be pet really.” I offered before he got bit. He stilled his hand and let it drop before nodding.

“What happened to her beautiful face?” He asked, turning to me. I saw Marie shift her front feet before she surprised us both and replied.

“That dumbass got himself attacked and I saved him.” She said smoothly. The laugh that escaped my throat was way louder than I intended as he fell backwards onto his butt. He stared at her with wide eyes as she hopped off the chair. She walked towards his head before licking his cheek once.

“Mace, I like this one. Can I keep him?” She said as he stared dumbstruck.

“No, Marie. He needs to stay here. He needs to fix me, preferably soon.” I said. She tsked and returned to her chair as he struggled to recover.

“She…she …talks? You have a talking Faeline?” he said, though his gaze never left her.

“Well we kinda have each other.” I said before narrowing my eyes. “Don’t they all talk?”

He shook his head and sat back up.

“No. Only a few select lines did. Most were used as guardians. That is absolutely amazing. I didn’t know there still were speaking ones in the world.”

“Yeah she’s one of a kind.” I winked at her but she just ignored me.

“So many believe these lines died out…” He was still watching her, as if she would magically transform.

“Well she didn’t. Anyway, I’m kinda in agony here.”

He looked over at me for a moment before his gaze focused and he pushed himself to his feet. ”Of course, I’m so sorry.” He went to the sink and washed his hands before searching through the cupboard above. I couldn’t read any of the labels but I hoped it was for something to numb the pain. He gathered bandages as well before turning to me. He handed me a small white cup of a light blue liquid that was definitely not water.

“Drink this, and then I’m going to start with your burn.”

I downed the berry flavored drink then gave him my hand. He squeezed some of the dark green gel from the similarly colored bottle onto my palm. I hissed at the icy feeling as he began to spread it around. By the time the gel covered my entire upturned hand, the pain of the burn was a dull ache. He left that sitting on the table while he washed his hands again and retrieved a brown bottle from the cupboard. He sat down on my other side and gave me a look.

“This will hurt?” I asked and he nodded. I took a steadying breath and offered my shredded arm.

“HOLY HELL!” I   yelled as dark orange ooze dripped from the bottle and he slathered it across my entire forearm. It was an achievement that I was able to stay sitting. Marie had jumped off her chair to the table and sat beside me, offering silent comfort.

Once I got over the agony of him touching me I opened my eyes to find him suturing some of the teeth marks. I couldn’t feel it at all. The pain was there, but I suspected that was from the bone-deep bites. He worked intently, though I saw him glance at Marie several time. I closed my eyes because watching him was making my stomach churn. By the time the orange goo started to wear off, he was finishing up.

So you’ll need to come back in in a couple weeks so I can make sure there is no infection and such.” He said as he stood to clean up. I looked down at my sutured arm and sighed. Marie walked around me to inspect them before sitting down and looking up.

“Well the scars will be bad ass.” She said and I glared at her. Chade smiled at her before addressing the burn. He washed the hand and applied another, thicker ointment and bandaged it. After he was completely finished with the various cuts and scrapes I had, he gave me medicine for my head. I appreciated that he didn’t bug me about what happened. Saying it once was enough. Well twice. You told Lobby Girl too.

I started thinking about her as my gaze roamed the room and settled on the clock. Wow two hours flew by!  I narrowed my gaze at the ticking hands.

“Is that clock correct?” I asked. Chade looked up from the clipboard he was scrawling across and followed my gaze before nodding.

“Yes it is. Why?”

“I’ve been here for two full hours already?”

“Yeah.  Good thing the rest of my day has been clear.” He returned his attention to his notes and I looked at Marie, who was curled up on the table. She must be completely exhausted. We aren’t even close to home either.

I slid from the table and stood on shaky legs. I hadn’t eaten all day. I was so sore. The goo was wearing off of my body parts and steady throbbing took its place. I closed my eyes at the hollow feeling.

“If you want to head to the small kitchen in back, Helda will feed you while I tend to Marie.” Chade offered softly. I opened my eyes to stare at him. He seems sincere but I don’t trust him.

“I’m fine. I’ll wait.” I moved to the chair and sat as Marie lifted her head to stare at Chade.

“No funny business, handsome.” She purred and I rolled my eyes. He smiled and gently reached out for her. When she stood, she left a bloody splotch on the paper that covers the table.  I watched tiredly as he inspected her before he rummaged around the cabinet for a couple different white bottles. One of the ointments took her nose swelling away. The nurse hadn’t washed her as thoroughly so between that and her current bleeding, she had matted clumps of fur in several spots. Chade rubbed a black gel into those and when he rinsed them the mats melted away with the water.

As he worked he chatted softly with her. It was weird to see someone else talking to Marie. I couldn’t remember many doing that before. He told her he had always adored cats, and especially Faelines.

“Do you know much history of the Faelines, Mace?” He asked and I opened my heavy eyelids. He was suturing the big cut on her side. When did she get that again?

“Uh some.”

“Well I know it all.” He said as he turned to me. “I know that they were bred into existence. Coveted for their ingenuity and fierceness. Only those that were exceedingly loyal and smart survived.”

He turned back to Marie, who had her eyes closed and dug her claws into the table. “They slowly decimated the feline population until none lived in the monster realm.”

“But when the Sages split the realms, didn’t they make it so ordinary creatures could cross without issue?” I asked. My brain was fairly fuddled and I hoped I didn’t sound like a dumbass.

“They did, yes. But the cats just never returned. No one knows why.”

“Probably because we’re superior and would slay them.” Marie mumbled. I smirked at her. Always the glorious warrior.

Chade finished with her side and did one more inspection before announcing she was good to go. She stood and stretched slightly before sitting again and looking towards me. I nodded and tried to stand, but my body wouldn’t cooperate. I’m so freakin’ tired. I looked up when Chade appeared in front of me, his scarred hand outstretched. I took it and he easily hauled me to my feet. He offered to Carry Marie as well, but she politely refused. Marie. Polite. HA.

Chade helped us to the lobby where reptile nurse was sitting at the front desk. He asked her to call us a car, which I tried to turn down, but he insisted. The phone began to ring somewhere down the long hallway and he excused himself to answer it, but not before thanking us for giving him a chance to meet Marie. She purred at him while I held back an eye roll.

As I was easing into a chair in view of the door, a familiar voice called out from behind me. I jumped and turned to find Lobby Girl smiling shyly at me. Why is she still here? I thought as she stood, throwing a green khaki shoulder bag on as she approached. She sat beside me, opposite of Marie.

“I’m sorry. I hope it isn’t weird that I waited for you. It’s just…” She paused and turned her amber gaze to my face. She’s pretty…for a possible spider.  “You are so intriguing. I really want to know more. Can you tell me?”

“Of course!” My mouth said before my brain could register it happening. I tried to backtrack but she reached over and offered her hand.

“I’m Morrigan.”

“M…Mace.”

“It’s lovely to meet you Muhmace.” She said with a smile. I snorted on accident and tried to recover as smoothly as I could. STOP doing that!

“No, sorry. Just Mace.” A low growl from beside me made me add onto my introduction. “Oh and Marie.”

“Hello Marie.” Morrigan leaned around me to smile at Marie, and as she did so a thin, black corded necklace fell from inside her shirt to reveal a beautifully carved raven in flight. I realized the area my eyes were focused and snapped my gaze back to Morrigan’s face.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you as well.” I offered her a smile as the car pulled up to the door.

 

Howdy all!

I am sorry it’s been so long since my last update. Sorry for the missing chapter as well. It’s there now. I have decided to step back from writing this story for a while and really focus on world building for it. I hope to continue the story sometime in this month (August) but I have several other projects at the forefront right now. Thank you all for following along and I promise I will pick it back up!

 Glossary:

Faeline- fay line

Kilij -killage

Araneae – air an A

Hasselti- Hass el tee

Monere- Mon err ahh

Chade- Ch aid

Morrigan- m ohr ih g in

 

Unicorn Meat 6

“He’s going to be awhile. Like I said, I’m next.” Her voice sounded from behind me again.

I rolled my eyes and shuffled to a chair that was facing away from her. Marie jumped off of the counter and sat in the one next to me. After a few moments of silence, the woman spoke again.

“What happened to your kitty?” She asked. I saw Marie’s ears twitch and I hoped she would hold her tongue. Kitty. HA.

“She got into a fight.” I answered.

“With you? I think she won.”

I smirked and turned around to find her grinning at me. Her black hair was curly and short, though not an afro. She had a narrow face and I realized that her skin wasn’t shiny black. Well now I was just confused. Her grin faltered as she tightened her thin arms around her middle and looked away. I was sinking into the seat next to her before I realized I had moved. Marie sat  tall in the chair on the other side of the row and glared at me.

“What’s wrong?” I asked as I settled into a semi-non agony inducing position. She looked over at me with amber colored eyes.

“I don’t know. I think it’s food poisoning but I feel so awful.” She said softly. I’d never had food poisoning. I looked over at Marie who had jumped over the back of the chair to walk towards me. She jumped into my lap and I hissed in pain as she bumped my arm. She curled into a ball across my thighs and gave the woman a look.

“What about you? You look, and smell, awful. No offense.”

“Well that is kinda offensive.” I replied as I leaned away slightly. She snorted which made me smirk.

“It’s a long story actually.” I sighed and repositioned my arm but it didn’t stop the throbbing.

“I have time.” She said softly. I looked back over and without thinking, I started talking. I told her about the hag, though I avoided the illicit unicorn meat, and the subway. As I mentioned the Maw bite I looked over to find her staring at me wide eyed. My story faltered to a stop.

“What’s wrong? Am I being too gruesome?” I asked, feeling bad.

“Are you on something?” She asked with a furrowed brow.

“Uh…a chair?” I replied. Marie dug her claws into my thigh and I growled at her.

“No…what are you talking about? A maw? A ..kill age? I don’t understand.” She shook her head and her curls bounced slightly around her face.

“You know. A Kilij. Blade hands? Old time Turkish origin?” I said. Even if people didn’t always see them, they knew they existed. She stared at me, uncomprehending and my eyes widened slightly.

“Are you human?” I asked softly. Shit.

                “Aren’t you?” She countered. I nodded and leaned forward a little.

“You really don’t know what I’m talking about?” My curiosity was sky rocketing.  I had never met a human that didn’t know of the monster realm. Of course the majority didn’t, but one that was IN one of the heaviest monster populated cities in the country and didn’t know?

“There’s a blood soaked guy sitting next to me at a doctor’s office talking about people with sword arms and mouths full of shark teeth. I’m not sure you’re the most credible person to be talking to.”

“Why are you here?” I asked.

“Food poisoning….” She trailed off while giving me a look.

“No but…in Monere. This part of the city?”

“I just moved here a couple weeks ago. I’ve been working in the market.”

“Why?”

“Why do you care?” She asked defensively.

“Because humans don’t just come to this part of the city. They just don’t.”

“Then why are you here?” She asked with narrowed eyes.

“I-“ I paused. I actually didn’t know. “I’ve uh, been here as long as I can remember.”

I frowned as I tried to recall my furthest memory. Marie growled in my lap and stood. I looked down and remembered finding her at the shelter. The shelter where I was before I got my house.  Why was I at the shelter?

“Miss?” A voice called out, snapping my attention back to the present. I looked up as a nurse appeared with a clipboard. The girl stood and hurried to the nurse. I stared at her, confused, as she glanced back over her shoulder at me.

I saw the shifting shadows over my shoulder again as the girl left the lobby. I released a breath I didn’t realize I had been holding and looked down at my hand. It hurt. Everything hurt so it was hard to pinpoints a specific area, but my hand definitely hurt.

“Mace?” Marie asked bedside me. I looked over to her swollen face and guilt washed over me. That’s my fault.

“You should rest some more.” She said as she curled up on the hard chair. I nodded and tried, but I couldn’t stop thinking of the girl. Was she a spider? Should I have asked? Would that be rude?  I sighed as Marie yawned and resituated so she could see the receptionist desk.

 

For some reason this never actually uploaded like I thought it did. Oops. Sorry for the confusion.

Unicorn Meat 5

I tried to take breaths and process the bombardment of sounds and feelings I was suddenly hit with. My arm had moved from manageable to excruciating pain, my head pounded like a jackhammer, and my whole body was shivering uncontrollably. I heard Marie arguing behind my back I couldn’t do anything besides moan pathetically.

After a while I was able to open my eyes. The overhead light was on, though so bright. I moved my good arm to shield it and gasped when I looked at my hand. My entire palm and fingers were burned and blistering. Shit shit shit.

“Mace?”  Marie asked softly. I turned to her with tear filled eyes. She’s never going to let me live this down. I stared at her pale eyes and the memory of her standing on me slammed back to my mind. I froze.

“Oh my God. Marie, I’m so sorry. I-“

“It’s alright. It wasn’t you. Nobody got hurt.” She reassured me. ME. I was going to use the stupid orb on HER and she is reassuring me. What the actual hell.

“Where- where is it?” I asked as I tried to rewet my mouth.

“It’s been….taken care of.”

“What does that mean?”

“The jockey took care of it.”

“I don’t think he liked being called that.” I replied as I peered around for him. I’d prefer to not get thrown around again. I clenched my jaw against a new wave of misery.

“I know.” She said as she sniffed at my face. “Some refer to redbacks as jockeys. They for sure hate it.”

“So you were intentionally trying to start shit.” I stated, mentally rolling my eyes. “Wait,” I looked over at her “Why did he help?”

“I uh, kinda told him it would kill him if he didn’t.” I remembered after she said it.

“So is it gone? Did that work?”

“Yeah. I’m actually really surprised.”

“You didn’t know if their venom would stop it? I didn’t think anything could.” I said as my voice cracked. Man I’m thirsty. She sniffed at my hand and I flinched when her rough tongue ran over one of the lesser blistered areas.

“I hurt too much to be dead.” I mumbled. As far as I knew, the Raxia’s were impossible to be rid of and the only way to use the power of one was to kill the previous holder.

“Don’t worry about it, okay? Let’s get you to the healer before you DO die.”

I groaned, not looking forward to any more walking. As I began my struggle to stand, I felt a warm presence against my back that helped to lift me to my feet. I focused on not falling back over as I mumbled thanks over my shoulder. This was going to be a long day.

 

 

The metal rungs of the ladder were both cooling and painful as I climbed to the top. The manhole cover was already shifted aside, thankfully, because there’s no way I would have been able to move it. The light burned my sensitive eyes and I hadn’t even fully left the tunnel yet.

I paused with my hand on the last rung of the ladder and waited for Marie to return. My head swam from the physical exertion of walking miles and then climbing this stupid ladder. I was grateful that Marie had offered to go ahead. I took my time with the ladder and didn’t have to put up a brave front, cause damn I hurt.

“Mace?” Marie called down. I looked up, thankful she was blocking the sun. “I found a hat and a new shirt. Not much but it’s something. It’s clear here so come on up.”

I nodded and hauled myself up the final foot of the ladder before slowly collapsing onto the ground. I soaked in the heat from the pavement below me and the burning sun above me as the chill slowly left my body.

“Mace, c’mon. Let’s get moving.” Marie prodded and I groaned as the baseball cap plopped on my face. I tenderly settled it onto my head before I took the offered shirt. I sat up and tried to pull off my blood soaked one, but I failed painfully. I squinted over at the white cat.

“I can’t do it, Marie.” I admitted. She tsked and sat down.

“Just wrap it around your bad arm and we’ll go. The shadows can hide you until we get to the healer.”

“Oh can they? Cause last time I asked them to I ended up half naked in the middle of a market.”

“Well that wasn’t the same thing. You were being stupid then.”

“Oh well that clarifies shit.” I rolled my eyes and started to wrap the light blue shirt around my arm. I looked around once I was done, trying to get my bearings. There was a playground to our left and old brick buildings on all other sides. The street we were on was a pot hole-filled single lane road. I had no idea where we were and I said as much.

“This is the western edge of Monere.” Marie stated as he looked back at me around her bushy tail.

“This is really Monere?” I asked, looking around again. I was pretty sure I had been all over our city.

“Yeah. This is closer to the human population than where we live.”

“Oh.”  Nothing looked that different, but then again it wouldn’t. Monsters lived among humans for hundreds of years and only a small percent of humans even knew of their existence. Monere was one of the border cities. Border because the monster population was higher than the human.

I got to my feet and swayed slightly before motioned Marie to lead. She set off at a slower-than-normal walk and I wanted to cry at the gesture. She hated walking slowly. I shuffled after her, not ready for the walk across town.

 

I knew the shadows had me covered, literally and figuratively, but I was still sweating buckets as we weaved through the late afternoon market crowd. No one even looked towards me but I kept my wrapped arm close to me to avoid being bumped again. The first time I cried out and drew attention to Marie, not that she didn’t draw attention to herself.

Her white fur was dirtied and was matted with dried blood.  The bridge of her nose was still swollen and she limped slightly. Not to mention that she was a cat walking alone through the market. I hated all of the looks she received; looks ranging from hatred to desire. She easily ignored everyone as she picked her way through the crowd.

There weren’t many buildings here, but that’s why it was a market. The openness of the area made a perfect spot for hundreds of people to pitch their tents and put up stands to sell their wares. One of the ramshackle wooden stands we passed had shiny cans of Unicorn Meat and I gave the guy a look he couldn’t see. Those are so clearly counterfeit. I wondered how well he did. If I could just put up something at a market then I wouldn’t have to deal with hags and Maws and everything I just went through. I sighed as my arm throbbed against the fabric.

As the crowd thinned, the tents became sparser and shabby, rundown buildings took their place on either side of a small street. Glass fronts were either boarded over or just missing completely. One of them was lit by the flickering dance of a fire.  I wondered what creature was lurking inside. I kept scanning around us, forgetting I was shielded. We continued on and slowly the buildings became better managed and the feel of the area wasn’t as murdery.

After another half hour of walking, shuffling on my part, we finally arrived outside the single story brick building. It was slightly nicer than the buildings around it. The glass door on the front had a simple sign that read “All Welcome” and I knew it meant all creatures. I shook my head at the thought and pulled on the door.

“Shit, it’s locked.” I groaned. I was ready to go around back when Marie chuckled.

“Mace, it’s a push door.”

I turned around and noticed the small sign that read just that. My face heated as I pushed it open and walked through without a word. Marie laughed behind me, but quickly went silent as she entered the building. You never knew who was around and a talking cat usually caused more problems than she solved. I shuffled painfully to the empty front desk.

“Hello? Is the healer in?” I called out as Marie jumped onto the counter and batted the service bell several times. I gave her a look. That’s very cat-like behavior there. She flattened her ears at me because she knew what I was thinking. I called out again, my pain making me impatient as hell. I jumped when a voice sounded from behind me.

“If you mean the doctor…he’s with another patient.” I turned around slowly to see the woman sitting in the corner of the waiting room. “I’m in line next though.” She said as she wrapped her dark arms around her stomach with a grimace. Shit, please not another spider. I groaned inwardly before turning back around and ringing the bell again.

 

Glossary

Faeline- fay line

Kilij -killage

Araneae – air an A

Hasselti- Hass el tee

Monere- Mon err ahh

 

Unicorn Meat 4

The labyrinth of underground tunnels was fairly cool and I couldn’t stop the shivers that wracked my chest as we walked. Marie kept eyeballing me, trying to hide the action, and it was annoying as hell. I’m fine. Just from lack of adrenaline… I glanced down at my bloodied arm. Maybe loss of blood. Or shock. I was glad she knew where she was going, because I was so completely lost.

We rounded a crumbling bend and the sudden lack of light left me blinking. The tunnels were much darker here. I was actually surprised that any of this section had lights, but to go from one every fifty feet or so to none was a drastic difference. That creepy “something is going to get you” feeling punched me in the gut and I paused. Marie’s almost fluorescent white seemed so dim here. I struggled to breathe as I backed up several steps, hoping for light.

It wasn’t until my back rested against a wall that I could breathe again. I closed my eyes as my chest trembled and arm throbbed. The wall was warm though and eased my shivering.  When I finally opened my eyes, Marie was standing on her back paws and resting her front ones on my abdomen.

“Mace?” She asked worriedly. I reached down and flattened her ears as I ran my hand across her head. She growled at me and got down.

“I’m fine.” I said, though not as steadily as I intended.

“Okay. Well if you’re done snuggling with your shadows can we please go?” She looked around with a twitch of her ears. “I want to see the sun.”

I cocked my head to the side before turning around. The lit stone wall of the tunnel I thought I had been by was a good twenty feet away. There was nothing behind me besides the ever-changing darkness out of the corner of my eye. Oh so they give hugs now?  I shook my head, trying to keep calm.

“Uh yeah. I want to go too.”

I hurried to keep up with her as she started off into the pitch dark. My eyes strained to grab any light, but there was none. I found myself glancing backwards, feeling the shadows there but also wanting to see them. I let the elbow of my ruined arm lightly trail along the cracked stones of the wall as Marie mumbled to herself in front of me. We walked for at least an hour. Okay, it was more like thirty minutes. Maybe.  I didn’t own a watch.

“You know, this would be a good time for that leash and harness I mentioned.” I joked to break the tension. Marie’s scoff of disapproval was perfect.

“Absolutely not. I already tolerate you petting me.”

“You don’t have to say it with such hatred. You like it.”

“Shut up, Mace.”

My chuckle echoed throughout the tunnel. I paused as it returned in a higher pitch. “M…Marie?”

“Shhh.” She hissed, though not literally. The laugh sounded again, proving it definitely wasn’t mine. Well shit.

                “I smell blood.” a feminine voice sang from ahead of us. I tried to press my arm closer to my chest, but it was a useless gesture. I was soaked in blood.

“No you don’t…” I sang back hoarsely. The laugh came again, ridiculously closer. Suddenly the overhead light flared to life and I threw my arm up to my eyes to shield them. It took me several agonizing minutes to get my vision back as Marie growled lowly at my feet.

The overhead light wasn’t very bright, but after having walked in the dark for so long it was brilliant. Across the tracks was a slim figure that was staring down the tunnel with her head at an angle. Her hair was bright red, not ginger, but lipstick red. It rolled down her back in soft waves. It was a drastic contrast to her black, almost shiny skin. She wore a tight vest and jeans and when she turned around she revealed a beautiful face. I watched in panic as she leaped off of the edge onto the tracks and quickly pulled herself up on our side.

Marie had quieted, which surprised me. Maybe she’s tired from the fight. As she approached, it became clear she was much taller than me. It wasn’t until the female was close that I could see the lines of age on her face. The feature that really drew my attention, however, was her eyes. Each eye held three distinct, but touching, amber irises and pupils. The pupil closest to her nose was lower than the furthest one.  There were slanted lines of black on each side, top and bottom. Since I knew better, I knew that all 7 black spots were pupils. It was disorientating as she searched my face, the rounded pupils all moving together but also slightly independently.

“Hello human.” She crooned before letting her gaze fall to my feet. “And Faeline.”

“Hello, Araneae.” Marie said smoothly, like she met with spider people every day of the week. Marie’s unwavering gaze told that she knew the female’s inner creature.  Christ. Quit picking fights, Marie.

“Why are you in my tunnels?” The female asked haughtily. Marie sat down and tucked her tail around her legs.

“Why are you?” Marie challenged.

“I-“ The female stopped and cocked her head to the side again, her long hair falling across her shoulder. “I own these tunnels. I can go wherever I wish.”

“Oh. I see.” Marie sniffed before lifting a paw to clean. A cat equivalent to filing nails I’m pretty sure.

The female didn’t like that response. She straightened her back and crossed her arms. “What does that mean, feline?”

                “Oh nothing…Princess.”

The female’s creepy eyes widened briefly before she wiped her face of expression. She looked up at me, searching my face for who knew what. I shrugged. I’m just an innocent, injured bystander.

“How did you know?”

Marie put her paw down and looked up. “I’ve heard of you. Traveling the tunnels alone. Your guards are probably close by, aren’t they? On your trail.”

Creepy eyes looked down the tunnel before uncrossing her arms and relaxing her stance. “My name is Hasselti. Who are you?”

“Marie.”

Both females looked to me. “I’m M…Mace.”  My cheeks heated at my suave response. Hasselti dismissed me and returned her focus to Marie.

“Why are you here, Marie and Muhmace?”

I cringed at the mispronunciation but couldn’t bring myself to correct her. Marie’s tail twitched against my shoes, in amusement I’m sure.

“Muhmace here is injured. We were targeted by some thugs and are on our way to a healer.”

“I see.” Hasselti’s gaze shifted towards me again, taking in my blood soaked clothing and swelling arm. Christ it hurts. “If I help you to the surface, will you tell no one you saw me?”

“That seems like a deal.” Marie stood. “Do you have anything we can wrap his ar-“

“What the hell!” A deep voice hissed from the dark tunnel ahead of us, cutting Marie off sharply. I jumped, painfully, because moving hurts. Marie dropped low to the ground as her fur stood on end. I looked for Hasselti but she was nowhere to be seen. Where the hell did she go?

                “You, human. What are you doing here?”

The voice materialized into a body. The male was short. And by short I mean he was maybe an inch taller than my 5’. His hair was spiked, giving him a tad more height as well. His shiny black arms were huge and his chest strained the tunic he wore. I couldn’t see any visible weapons, but who knew. I’d never fought an Araneae before. I had no idea what to expect.

“I asked you a question.” He sauntered over to me and got in my face. I averted my gaze. No way am I picking a fight with this guy right now.

“I’m on my way to a healer.” I said softly, hoping I sounded pathetic.

He huffed and backed up a step. “Who were you talking to?”

“No-no one.” I stuttered in response. God I hope Marie doesn’t think I’m actually scared. Cause that would be embarrassing. My heart beat quickly in my chest though so I didn’t fully believe myself about not being nervous. Before I could look up for his response, hands were grasping the front of my shirt and I was flying through the air. Okay well not actually flying, but suddenly I was on my face twelve feet away from him.

Of course I landed on my arm. I gasped before clenching my jaw and fighting the tears that burned my eyes. Deep breath.  Just breathe.

“That was not necessary.” Marie growled from wherever she was. I focused on not crying.

“Oh so you talk too? Perfect.”

“Oh put your fangs away. They don’t scare me.”

“They might not scare you, but my venom works on Faelines too.”

“Oh so you torture poor, defenseless animals in your spare time?”

“Oh please. Everybody knows the stories. You are far from harmless.”

“I’m glad you understand, jockey. Now stay the hell away from my human.”

I turned over onto my back with another gasp. As I opened my eyes to look for Marie, tears leaked out and ran down my face. Marie had placed herself in front of me, blocking the male’s path. He looked pissed.

“I am an Araneae Guardian.” He spat at her, but she calmly held her ground. He took a step towards her and she growled.

Part of my leg started to itch. I tried to ignore it as I mentally urged Marie to win the imminent fight, but the itch quickly grew to a burn. I reached down and my hand settled on the orb in my pocket. I quickly fished it out to find it jet black again. As I held it, my thoughts cleared a little and I looked up at the guardian as he had called himself. I struggled to pull myself to my feet, but settled with kneeling. Gasping through the pain, I brought my hand up which caught the eye of the Araneae.

He turned his malicious glare from Marie to me for a moment, before his creepy gaze focused on the Raxia I was holding. His eyes darted between it and my face several times before he took a tentative step backwards. I grinned.

“Dammit, Mace!” Marie growled, but I was too focused on the urge to kill the threat before us. The darkness swirled quickly in the orb as I tried to recall the words I needed. I stared into the swirling black as the words came to me. It wasn’t until a punch to my chest sent me sprawling backwards that my mind registered Marie had moved.

“Put it down, right now!” She growled at me as she stood on my chest and stared down with her pale eyes. Her claws dug into the flesh of my chest and it hurt. The orb was burning in my hand but I couldn’t release it. She needed to get off of me. This was bullshit. I readied the words I needed to make her move.

                Before I could utter anything, I was encased in ice. I couldn’t move. My limbs felt frozen to the bone, so cold and solid I couldn’t even shiver. I could see my shredded arm from the way my head lay. It wasn’t covered in anything besides dried blood. I stared after Marie in panic as she jumped off of me and swatted the orb from my hand. I could hear it roll across the uneven stone ground behind me. Slightly muffled voices argued in the direction it rolled but they didn’t make any sense.

“Why is it swirling like that? Shit I’m out of here.” The guardian said.

“You can’t! Your venom might neutralize it!” Marie growled.

“Hell no. I’m out.”

“It’s going to kill you, right now, if you don’t do something!” Marie threatened.

“Like hell it is.”

“See how the colors are changing? Light colors mean it is getting ready to enact the spell he just cast! YOU were the last target!”

My brow furrowed in confusion. No I wanted Marie off of me. Besides I had to be holding the Raxia in order for the magic to flow through. There was a moment of silence before a low curse sounded and a distinct clink of fangs on glass. The guardian cursed again and the sound of bouncing glass echoed throughout the tunnel before an explosion blew hot air against my back. It was a slight relief against the  intense cold that was holding me down. As some small debris rained down from the aged ceiling, the ice disappeared and I gasped.

Poetry By Sara

One of my friends has been blowing up Instagram with a surge of creativity. She has a vintage typewriter that she pours her poetry into and the results are beautiful. A mix of her wonderful poetic prose and vintage looking lettering.

 A good number of her poems are inspired by one or two word prompts from her friends!

This first one was inspired by a GIF of Misha Collins that I sent her 😉

Russian Hips


This second one is titled Wonting

(“Come hither” is a phrase I’ve always loved because my mom used to say it a lot)


This last one is called Birth. 


She has lot more on her Instagram page which I shall link to here

Hop on over and give her some love 🙂