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Dark Ages: Unmaking Beasts

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  • Dark Ages: Unmaking Beasts

    Posted by Branwen M'Orcant on 09-07-2002 03:52 AM:
    Dark Ages: Unmaking Beasts

    (Repost)

    Night was slowly passing into day with an almost grim certainty, a traitorous shimmer of white already looming at the edge of the western horizon. Greyish-white fog, thick with moisture, covered the tips of the old majestic trees of the forest like an army of ghosts waging battle, flowing up into the lightening sky in the morning breeze; melting, merging with the skies up where light still had no power.

    But deep down on the ground, where there was greenery and life in abundance, there it remained: the darkness of the night, and would do so for many hours; a safe haven for all of those hours' dark creations. The air was as thick down here as the fog was above; as cloying the mist that rose, wisp-like, from the grass and furze, the red-tinted earth - yet a different kind of thing it was, alltogether, a pale red in colour, leaving a coppery aftertaste behind. From deep within that never-ending layer of mist, occasionally, would come the blood-curdling scream, the dying gurgle, of some unfortunate creature drawing its last agonised breaths as another would make it his feast.



    ~o~O~o~


    Thick with death it was, that wood, as on every morning; the night had claimed its victims in the neverending cycle of life, as it did every night. Nothing was different, and yet... yet something had been changed in the way of things, that night. Another creature had joined the hunt that night, had silently and secretly come amongst the old community of feral hunters; with a savage wildness it had preyed even on those when no weaker beasts would be found. The Old had accepted this; if not for itself, then for the hunger they all felt in the hunt; were they shy and suspicious of its nature at first, the thirst for blood they all felt brought them together, overcame all suspicion. So they hunted; the creature tore and shredded its victims apart, fiercer than any of the Old, leaving no more than meaty carcasses, devoid of blood.

    Then the creature had left, as stealthily as it it had come, leaving no trace but a vague odour of unpleasantness amongst the old hunters of the wood; a feeling that stole back into their bones after the feeding frenzy was over. The suspicion returned, and with it, relief. Yes, they felt relieved when the other left, although they could not tell why. They knew by instinct that it had not been a usual occurrence, no ordinary hunter. And by that same instinct, they knew from deep within them that they would not welcome it again in their midst, as one of them. The unpleasantness grew.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Posted by Branwen M'Orcant on 09-07-2002 03:53 AM:

    A low and steady muttering could be heard from inside the ruins of the old castle in the woods. It had been going on for a while now, ever since its lóne occupant had returned from the weird and death-like sleep that seemed to have befallen her. She retained no sense of time or date, could not tell if this was the same night or another, from the one she remembered last. It did not matter so much; but rather the sensation of having woken in a pool of thick and dried blood, to the drip-drip-drip noise of that same crimson liquid tickling her ears as the drops splatted onto the ground next to her to join the pool there.

    It had been an odd sensation alltogether. She hadn't been able to tell what had happened, yet she knew that something must have - it wasn't a habit of hers to go falling asleep at the foot of the stairs in a puddle of cat's gore. Vaguely she remembered a visitor, but could not seem to remember his face or identity. It seemed the last thing she did consciously recall was opening her door to the unusual sight of her cat stuck to the door with a big sharp axe.

    That had been the first sight to greet her upon awakening. And had since been the only thing she had allowed herself to vent her frustration over, since all else seemed beyond her current understanding. And so on and on it went, without pause, only occasionally drowned out by loud banging and shuffling and breaking noises as she went to and fro between her things in increasing agitation, and would not look what she walked into.

    .... no, no, no, Morcant! This be no good, no good at all we says.... killing the cat... killing the cat!.... whatever did he have to do that for, eh?... killing the poor cat.... be no good... no good at all... no, no, no....

    But her mind wasn't entirely on that matter, even if she refused to let herself think so. For in vain did she try to find an explanation for what had happened; even a cat would not bleed so much, to account for all the stains on her clothes and everywhere. She feared some of it was her own - it would surely explain matters... but where were the wounds? There was not a scratch on her skin... on her cold and clammy skin.

    She heard the noises from outside, from the woods. She heard them with ears that seemed to pick up on noises with an unnatural sharpness since she had woken. But it was not only that she heard them - she could feel them; in a way she could not describe or define even to herself, she could feel the weak animal's last breath being caught, the pumping blood coursing through its veins as it died, the red liquid bursting from its jugular as it was being torn open.
    It was something entirely new to her, this sensation; as new and surprising as the taste of blood she could almost feel on her lips. It made her hungry - which was in itself odd enough.

    It had to be because of the cat's blood still glistening wetly everywhere. When she had carried the dying animal upstairs it had still been bleeding profusely - even though it must have hung on that door, split in almost half, for hours at least - and the big dark-crimson drops of blood had been splattered onto the floor all along the way.

    Her senses must have picked up on that then, that it would remain so sharp within her memory, to come to the fore every time she heard another cry from outside.

    Her enraged muttering seemed more and more out of place; as if it was merely something she believed to have to do upon the occasion - as a way to mourn the animal that had been hers by right of the whole 27 credits she had paid for it not long before its untimely death. She was grumbling about that cat, yet.... more and more did that annoying thought spring up in her mind that her annoyance was due to the fact that it was simply a perfectly bad waste of money, rather than the unfortunate death of a living being. It was a horrible thing to think - even she knew that.

    Still, it was a lot better than that other thing going through her mind.... that other thought - or maybe instinct? - that crept upon her whenever her eyes came to rest upon the still faintly pulsating bloody mass of meat that had once been her cat: the thought of what it would be like to lick at that blood, to drink it.
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