Where Anyone is Possible
It had been a long, stressful couple of hours. Cam was gone. It was up to Maggie and Cherry to oversee the entire Park, a place that had filled the gap left by their lost yet beloved forest. And what happens five seconds after Cam is gone from their lives for only the Gods know how long? That sneaky, no good, rotten to the core Vamp-Demon leach Augustus Giovanni decides to blow up a portion of their new home! That’s what!
Maybe he was sending Cam a message. You can run but you can't hide? Creepy...
A shiver ran down Maggie's spine despite the overly hot temperature and the fact she had been sweating all morning. The Nymph didn't heed to any of the so called warnings. The Park was safe. The slow runner was making sure of it, right? Hadn't they trusted him? Weren't they protected? Didn't he know their numbers were low? Their warriors all but extinct? What now?
Maggie had done the only thing she knew to do. Grow. Bring new life to that which was taken away. She had been in the orchard since it happened. Stifling fires, salvaging precious seeds and roots.
Hours passed and she barely came up with anything useful. She tried her best to keep her tears at bay. To be brave. Isn't that what Cameo would do? How many times had her Guider picked up the pieces and brought back to life what had been destroyed? Cherry was no doubt calming the other Nymphs at the time and Maggie tried to lead by example and passion as she so diligently worked the smoldering remains of the wrecked portion of the park.
Now though, what could be done has been done and she needed a drink; to steal away a couple of sips from the special Nymph wine Cameo has entrusted to Harry. She drug her feet, pleading with them to hold her up, for her chin to stay high, for this not to bring her down more than she already was.
The path to the Blue Moon from the Park wasn't that long. It was one she was quite familiar with by now. Any other day she probably wouldn't have noticed such a thing, but today she was thirsty and for the first time in her life it was for revenge.
There in an ally she often passed was a lone stranger, lingering about in the afternoon shadows between a few shops in the Merchant's Circle. Something in Maggie stirred. What was different about this stranger than any other? The Nymph slowed her steps, focusing her green eyes on the shadowy figure. Before she even knew how she knew, it dawned on her that this figure was a Vampire.
Any other day she would have hoped it was perhaps Luce, or maybe even just kept on walking; but not today. Today she was looking for answers. Looking for atonement for what the Giovanni had done to her precious Nymph Park.
Her bare feet halted and without further thoughts she turned abruptly in the direction of the alley. Small step by small step she was sneaking up on the Vampire. Only one does not simply sneak up on a Vampire. They know you're there. Just as this one knew Maggie was behind him when he turned to face her, a smirk playing along his extended fangs. "What can I do for you little Nymph?"
Maggie glared at the undead thing before her; never had she felt such anger, such a hatred for any living thing. Cameo was right all along. Nymphs and Vampires would NEVER get along. “Why did you do it?”, Maggie spat at him, crossing her thin arms in front of her chest as she bravely stared down the beast.
This debonair Vampire looked confused and amused equally at this short, lovely girl harassing him so. "Darlin' I've done many things in my life that I'm sure I'll have to answer to eventually, but at the moment... I'm drawing a blank..."
“You know what you did you... you...”, Maggie puffs up, making her look about as threatening as a 3rd grader. “You...”, mustering up her bravest voice, “Tree killing! Un-alive! TICK!" She hated being mean, especially when she had Vampire friends, the words felt heavy and acidy on her tongue after she spewed them. But this was not the time to be nice.
The Vampires dark eyes grew hooded, something seemed to smolder across his handsome features, features that would have normally made a girl like Maggie gush. “I've killed 'many' things my dear... Trees have not been among them I can assure you. Now as for me being a tick...”, he lifts his brows accusingly, “That I'm very guilty of..." A smirk graces his lips as he moves closer, impossibly close. Maggie could feel his cold, clammy skin brush against hers as she looked into his eyes trying not to lose any bravado she had built up thus far.
Maggie's green eyes lowered into a glare as he came closer. Her little nose crinkled as if she had smelt the most awful thing on Hellifyno, and for all she knew, she was. As fear crept within her, erupting especially in the places their skin met, she did her best not to back down. Her feet were firmly planted in front of the predator.
“Yes you did! You and your friends attacked our park! Wasn't burning down our forest, killing our family, and nearly wiping our clan from the planet not enough for you leaches?” Her tiny tinkling voice rose as she went on, likely hitting any nearby ears that happened to be listening in on the scene.
Demonic ears to be more specific. Dominic had been out flying and blowing off steam. Jayden was going on a simple delivery mission to the Hells, yet she was still gone. It had been 24 hrs. She would not want him worrying, but he cannot help it. Soaring through the freedom of the skies always took the edge off things, so that is what he was doing as he mused over the idea of visiting the tavern.
In fact he was flying towards the tavern when he spotted Maggs in an alley with a man he had not seen before. In the quick pass overheard, he had gleaned that something was not right. The demon circled back to land upon the edge of the building and look down to decipher more.
“Oh little Nymph. How little you know. Is this your first time out of your planter?”, the Vampire mused, voice light yet heavy with malevolent intentions. Without thinking, just reacting, Maggie's hand shot out and smacked him square across the cheek, much to the shock of both her and the Vampire.
That was all it took to send the creature of the night from mildly amused to extremely pissed. Faster than Maggie's eyes could register, he had her in his grasp. Then he turned her around and had both her arms pinned under just his one.
His free hand snaked up her neck causing the Nymph to let out a tiny little squeak of protest and surprise before uttering a weak command. “Let me go!” But the Nymph’s demand fell on deaf ears as the vampire hissed soft curses against her neck, poised for a drink of the sweet nectar that was Nymph blood.
Dom was quick to discover it was Maggs unlike he had ever seen her before. She was totally confronting a vampire and chewing him out. The red Demon grinned as he watched. Then there was the slap. His eyes widen in surprise as he instantly leapt from the rooftop. Free falling, he aimed to smash an elbow into the back of the creature’s neck as he landed.
The elongated fangs were just about to pierce the delicate skin of the Nymph's neck when the Vampire acknowledged Dom's presence. Another threatening hiss escaped his pale lips, this time in regards to the Demon.
In a vampiric flash step, the creature managed to toss Maggie towards the brick sidewall of the building and spin to face the Demon. A wrong move, since Dom's aimed elbow now met with the Vampire's chest, knocking him back over a foot. It was less than a second for him to recover and pose into a defensive stance.
"What's this to you demon? Did you want to share?”
“I am Dominic, the red demon. I do not share.” Dominic had not transformed and even his wings had disappeared as he was free falling. He appeared as a normal human, but the vampire knew that was far from true. Dom’s eyes flickered with a darkness as he eyed the vampire.
“Leave or die.”
All the actions were too quick for Maggie to process. She didn't even have a chance to brace herself as she slammed against the brick wall, the impact instantly dizzying her. Her body slumped helplessly as her eyes struggled to comprehend what had just happened. If not for the adrenaline surely surging through her veins she would no doubt be squealing in pain. For now her mouth could only form an O and watch wide, wild eyed at the stage before her.
Another low hissing growl rumbled from the Vampire. His seedy eyes slid from Dominic to the now huddled Nymph. “Fine...”, he smiled, almost seductively toward Dominic. “How selfish of you Demon! You can have her for now.... But I can't promise I'll be in such a generous mood next time I happen to stumble across your little Nymph friend.” His voice dripped with threat and intention as the smile revealed even more of his ivory fangs.
Even as the vampire was finishing his threatening words, Dom's tail has formed and like an arrow it launched forth towards the Vampire’s throat.
The Vampire was just about to flash step away from the entire situation and thus would have likely saved his undead life, but he just had to get in one last word. How arrogant and vulger Vampires could be at times.
His lips parted in another twisted grin, words about to form as his eyes glanced from Maggie back to Dominic... It was then that Dominic’s tail struck him! Hitting the aimed space perfectly. The barbed tip of Dom's tail expands and then is jerked back. In seconds the vampire was beheaded. His body exploding into millions of sprays of blood and entrails, spattering both the Demon and Nymph in splashes of red.
With the vampire eliminated, Dominic quickly moved to Maggie and kneelt down beside her. He actually seemed a bit concerned. The nymph had always been kind to everyone. “Hey Maggs. You ok?”
Maggie blinked, in total shock over what just happened. All of her new found bravery had faded almost instantaneously. The horror of almost being drained had left her touchy to say the least, she couldn't help but cringe a little as Dom lowered close to her. It took several more blinks and a baffled wipe to her face before her eyes landed on his. “D-Dominic?”
“Did you.. Is he?”, her eyes fluttered to the pile of slimy blood in the center of the alley.
“He was going to use you and kill you Maggs. He will not do so now.” Dominic stated simply as he shifts to block her view so she did not have to see such a thing. His eyes then gaze over her form looking for injuries. “Can you walk?”
“Of course I can walk...” Maggie was perhaps still in shock, she spoke calmly before she attempted to stand. It was only then that she realized she was sore all over. If felt as if, well, as if an impossibly strong Vampire had thrown her against a brick wall.
Looking down at her limbs, it was hard to tell if any of the splattered blood was her own or the unfortunate Vampire's but she was slowly noticing stings of pain dotted along her arms and in the general area of her knees. Suddenly her mouth twisted from the stabbing pain. “Ouch! Oww!”, she looked to Dom in horror, “Am I going to die?!”
With Maggie acting as such, Dominic scooped her up into his arms as carefully as he could. “Shall I take you to the tavern to get cleaned up or do you wish to bath elsewhere so no one sees you like this?”
Just as quickly as it was flipped on, the drama ceased, replaced by her earlier anger. “They attacked our Park Dom! Luckily no one was hurt... This time.”, she added now forming a sad pout. “They just won’t stop! They won’t leave us alone! All we want to do is plant and drink and be happy.”
Tiny little crystal tears were welling up in corner of both of her large green eyes as she caught her breath from the mini rants. “He deserved to die! ... Didn't he?” She bit her lip and glanced back down to the remains from her spot in Dom's arms.
The Demon’s great wings surged forth as he suddenly springs into the air with Maggie, taking her away from the scene. Dominic was not proud that he had killed the vampire. He had simply done it to protect Maggie from future attacks. He did it because he could.
He took her high over the roof tops of the city and towards the tavern before saying simply, “He was going to hurt you later Maggs.”
Maggie utters a tiny squeal as they take off, she had never ever flew before and the feeling of her roots being so far from soil was unnerving. If she hadn't been in such a state of numb shock from the day's events she would have protested immediately. However, all she did was bury her face into Dom's chest.
She wanted Cameo or Cherry. She wanted to huddle somewhere and have a good cry. To plant herself in a secluded patch of soil and just be a Magnolia until long after this war was over and Hellifyno was peaceful again. “They already hurt me.”, she whispered. “They hurt my trees, my people. They hurt our hearts, our souls.”
Dom was perhaps a strange confidant. Maggie had barely spoken five sentences to him. And hadn't Cameo killed him? She was so confused, but above anything, she was grateful. Even as naive as Maggie can be the majority of the time, she knew that Vampire could have and very likely would have killed her. Dom had saved her life.
The Demon quickly noticed her fear of flying and glided easily back towards the ground with a soft landing in the city street. He continued to holding her close. “I am sorry Maggs. I was not thinking.” As usual, he had done something stupid without thinking, every time he meant to help, he ended up doing something wrong. He stood there thinking about placing her down and letting her make it the rest of the way to the tavern on her own.
“Thank you Dom.”, the Nymph muttered softly and sincerely as they landed. “I was being such a Dandelion Head!”, she scolded herself. “What was I thinking? Cameo just left Cherry and I in charge and the first thing I do is go and 'attack' a Vampire! If you hadn't been there...” Her green eyes glazed over in horror once again. “Who would have helped grow the trees?! What would have happened to my people?!”
Dominic knew not what to say. Had he actually done something right? Has he helped someone? He stood there thinking and staring down at her as he held her in his arms. After a long moment of silence he speaks quietly. “Where would you like me to take you Maggs?”
Confusion, once again, washed over Maggie’s large eyes. Her emotions were all across the board. Nymphs naturally did not handle stress well, ideally Nymphs didn't ever 'have' stress. “Home? I mean... The Park? That is where I should be?”, her voice was questioning. “That is where I should be.” She nodded, adding a hint of confidence in her voice.
He began walking back in the direction of the park. Flying would have been faster, but she did not seem to like it and he was in no hurry with Jayden gone. He did not bother placing Maggie down, she was light enough so he keeps her in his arms and held close to him.
“If you want...” He had started to offer to help in the park, but he had already promied to work at the orphanage and it had been burnt down the next day and all the children taken. The Demon believed himself to be cursed.
“I do want to.” Maggie said firmly, nodding yet again. The Nymph seemed oblivious to the fact she was being carried. Honestly it was likely the least odd thing about her day thus far. “Thank you again, Dom. For saving me.” It was the second time she had ever been saved from certain death and a thought crossed her mind. “I have to repay you!”
“You do what?” He looked down at her with a confused look. Dominic then heard her last words. His head shakes slowly and he returns his gaze to their direction of travel. “You owe me nothing Maggs. I helped for selfish reasons. I wanted to keep hearing your cheerful, giggly voice in the tavern.”
This of course made Maggie giggle. Perhaps she didn’t need that drink after all. She simply needed to be reminded of herself. What good would she be to anyone drunk and mopey? And she hated being mopey. Suddenly she felt restless.
Ignoring the still lingering pain, she wiggled out of Dom’s gentle grasp. “I can walk from here Dom. Th
ank you again for what you did.”
Maggie reached up and placed a friendly kiss on the large Demon’s cheek, “And I will repay you.”
With a wink from the Nymph, Dominic was left standing likely a grin on his face as he watched Maggie dash off in the direction of the park with a new found furver for what she knew she must do.
(Co-written By Dom and Maggie's writers.)