(You Remember these? Yiss, you remember these… Apple has finally gotten around to another! Yay for slow to come projects. >_>)
Lost and now found.
Misplaced and returned.
From the frying pan and into the Fire.
A gentle ray of Sunshine had woken her from slumber. A warmth seeping into her tired muscles and rousing her from a restless sleep of running. Wide eyes downcast, tail and shoulders droop. Feet shuffle without aim. An Apple pierced on tiny teeth.
Then she spots Him.
Tall and strange. Two legged like the others. He has shifty eyes. Snake eyes. She pauses; stills. The apple falls and rolls. Forgotten. She hunkers in the grass, waiting and Watching. She goes unnoticed. He continues on and as if in a dream she follows. As she had before she lurks behind, trailing uncertainly.
Trees pass, grass tickles, the sun journeys through the sky. Birds call, ground softens, sand encroaches. Familiar and warm, shifting beneath the pads of feet. A smile plays over her lips. Wide eyes brighten, shimmer with tears of delight. Stranger forgotten she goes rolling through the golden grains, soft giggles fill the quiet around her as she burrows beneath the warm surface, then throws double fist fulls into the air.
By the time the small fit of Hysterics is over, He is gone. Jolting to her feet she scrambles, stumbles and falls, then rights herself and blunders on. Panic quickens her heart, makes her breath race, numbs thought. She can’t be Alone. The shifting tracks left in the sand are easy to follow. So the day passes.
The sun sinks low, Bloodying the wide expanse of water. Darkness encroaches, narrowing the world slowly. Night is a terrible disease, killing the world before the cure of day returns. She cannot be caught in the illness. Has stayed too long already. The thought of it has her shaking, scurrying, hurrying after the shallow impressions in the sand.
The tall figure stands, feet spread wide. Water sucks at the odd blue skin of his legs, pulling and tugging at the loose covering. She stares, mystified. Never had she seen skin of such texture.. Like the rags the turtle keeps about the cave. His arms are wide, embracing the illness of the dark. Head tipped back, snake eyes closed.
Something gnaws at the back of her mind. A lesson long ago learned. Manners. You thank those that help you. Small feet furrow through golden sand, leaving little ruts in the shifting ground. Blue eyes widen as she wanders closer, fur prickling. A sense of sickness settles in her stomach, heavy. Her head buzzes, surely stuffed with several hives of bees.
Her body screams the words. It rings in her ears, sits sickly on the tip of her tongue, and thrums in her bones. She should look away, flee, move before it’s too late. Something is no good here. It’s a lie, like the surface of reflecting water. It is seen, but there is more. There is the flicker of red magic. The arcing lights between stretched fingers. She should turn around, but she needs to thank him.
Gathering courage to her like a blanket she takes a deep breath. Crouch low.. Rump in the air.. Tail lashing, bum wiggling.. He is a savior. A leader, taking her from the confusion of the trees. She can find the turtle again and he can reassure her. It was all a mistake. He will tell her who she is, assure her the stories were true. She can be whole.
With a bounding leap she moves across the sand, watching his head turn in a moment of surprise before she’s pouncing. Flying through the air to crash into an unsuspecting leg. The stumble, lurch, and fall. There’s a pain, a searing agony.
Everything is red.
Everything is pain.
Then it’s gone.
Her eyes shiver, twitch, blink open. Ears ring as they had after the explosion of the trees and smoking stick. Vision swims sickly, and something smells. It smells of the cloying life that should not weep.
It smells of blood.
She’s matted in it, gore dirtying black fur. Skin hangs in shreds over shattered bone, water runs red. The kitten trembles, her eyes tear. What had happened? He was here.. She had meant only to thank him.. Breath hitches as she scoots back in the sand before a tugging pauses her motions. A pull at her mind. Like a memory, nudging to be remembered. A whisper on the wind.
They were important somehow.. She must get them.. They are..
Mine. Now yours. To protect, little thing. You owe me.
A voice, not just a whisper. Faint, strained, little more than a murmur. It compels her though. What else is she to do? There’s this mess that she’s somehow made. It must be dealt with, and the voice says the bones will help. Crawling she moves carefully through carnage, picking through bones till she has salvaged six skeletal toes. Fingers shaking as she grips them. Broken and imperfect, chipped and ruined. Holding them returns the oily sickness to her stomach.
Keep them close
A compulsion. Without thought, without understanding. Instinct that she must follow. Frantic she gropes through the sand until fingers close on the sharp edges of a chipped shell. Turning to her own toes she works intently, cutting and digging at flesh until six digits are bleeding, deep uneven gashes marring them. Without knowing how she knows or why she must she works and wiggles the fragments of solid bone into wounds.
Silent throughout. No pain reaches her vocal cords, though tears shimmer and her hands quiver. She must keep them close. Always close. Reaching back to the mess of what had been a man she rips and pulls at what she thought to be blue legs, now seen just as cloth. Odd that he’d have wrapped himself in it.. Shredding the already ripped fabric to poorly bandage her toes.
She could finally listen, finally leave. Scrambling and crawling through the sand. Away from water, away from what had been man. Until they were out of sight. Still the greasy sickness stayed, as if it followed her now. She blamed the darkness that had finally settled over all. Digging at sand she scoops it away, working a small hole out of the ground to curl up in. Shivering with suppressed, hiccuping sobs.
Rest now. You need it.
The whispers.. Smug.. Reassured.. Rest.. Yes, rest. That was what she needed now. Eyes closing to shut it all out, sinking gratefully into the deep oblivion of sleep.