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starr
May 5, 2014

by FactsAreUseless


I'm in.

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starr
May 5, 2014

by FactsAreUseless


The Hunt
(830 words)


Alana pushed her way through the forest, struggling through the thick undergrowth. The bow slung over her shoulder made it difficult work and her face was beaded with sweat. She had been in the forest for most of the day and the woods were becoming gloomy in the failing light.

She stopped suddenly. The hair on the back of her neck rose as she felt a thrill of fear. There in front of her, off in the distance, was the glade. She felt queasy looking at it. When she was small her brother had come down with a terrible pox, and she remembered that smell that came off him, that sickly sweet scent of decay and death. She hadn’t been able to stand being in the same room as him, even for a month after he recovered. Looking at the glade she felt that same repulsion, that feeling of wrongness.

“Curses.” She swore to herself as she turned around and trudged a different direction. She didn’t dare look back towards that accursed glade. She knew now with certainty that the glade was following her, for no matter what direction she went somehow it always appeared in the distance in front of her.

This time the glade appeared even sooner than before, materializing into the distance. Alana stopped. Clearly whatever force was at work in this wood would not let Alana leave by her own will. Alana was a practical person, and despite the roiling feeling of fear and revulsion she felt she started towards the mysterious clearing in the woods.

Despite the glade appearing to be some distance away it seemed like a blink of an eye had passed before she was walking into the clearing. Moonlight shone down into the clearing, though Alana could not recall the sun setting. A female figure stood in the clearing. Looking at her Alana had the sensation of peering into something vast and endless, and that same sweet sickly scent rolled off of her. It took all her willpower to stay up.

“What do you want me for?” she asked. Try as she might she couldn’t bring herself to look up into the woman’s face.

“You’ve been hunting in my woods.” She said, her tone almost sounding amused.

“I’ve been hunting here for years. You’ve never bothered me before.” She found herself trembling, much to her embarrassment. She could not recall a time she had ever felt this afraid, and weak.

Fingers gripped her chin and forced her to look up. She quailed at the sight of that face. She quivered, unable to move, the rabbit under the shadow of the hawk.

“Yes. I’ve seen you hunting here many times. You are very quick, and very brave, and it is those qualities I desire.” Cold eyes seemed to burn right through Alana. “For my hunt.”

Suddenly Alana had a dreadful idea of who this woman was, and what she desired of her. She struggled away from the woman, trying to turn her face away from those awful eyes and shaking as she tried to crawl away. But a terribly cold and powerful hand clamped onto her neck and Alana knew she would not be able to get away.

“Please, mercy please.” She gasped.

The woman ignored Alana. She was on a horse, bone white and silent. And suddenly Alana found herself surrounded by silent hounds, all white, and all silent, whipped up in a lather as they ran around and around the clearing.

The woman raised a horn that glinted gold in the moonlight. The hunt was about to begin. From where Alana got the courage she never knew, but with trembling fingers she grabbed her bow and somehow managed to shoot an arrow. It was a last desperate attempt to avoid her now inevitable fate.

In her haste and in her fear the arrow she did not have time to aim well, and the arrow hit wide of its mark. The woman looked Alana in the eyes and blew her horn. It made no noise. Yet it seemed to strike Alana right in her heart. Another blow from the horn and Alana felt her will being stripped away from her, peeled away until there was nothing left but the hunt and that terrible cold woman who led it.

The horse galloped into the forest, the horn still blowing. The hounds streamed into the forest after it. And with it came Alana, unable to avoid the call. She ran with the hounds in the forest, helpless against the will of the huntress. She ran and ran and ran, ignoring the branches whipping at her face and body, not noticing when she began moving on all fours. She didn’t realize when she too became a white hound, silent and swift and powerless in the face of the hunt. In the moon lit forest they hunted, and Alana soon forgot about her life before. All that mattered was the hunt.

starr
May 5, 2014

by FactsAreUseless


In

starr
May 5, 2014

by FactsAreUseless


In with a due to lack of basic reading comprehension.

The Keeper watches the library. The library contains all the knowledge known in the universe, and he is its guardian. He is always reading and always watching.

starr
May 5, 2014

by FactsAreUseless


Forgotten
(1493 words)
Gods: The Keeper, Felix and Versoot


The Keeper was agitated. He had torn through his library, reading nonstop for countless moons. And now he was certain, there was knowledge missing from his library.

He had gotten his first inkling when he awoke from a dream with a question on his tongue. He often slept for the pleasure of awaking with a strange thought or question in his mind, to be found in the towering stacks of books in his domain. Yet no matter how he looked he could not find the answer to his query. He searched through the lost words of the A’kahan, delved into the books founds in the Tomb of the Unseeing, even entered the Crypts of Dead Knowledge. Nothing.

Could it be that in all the countless worlds in the universe, in all the wisdom of the gods, the answer had not been answered? He could not believe it. It nettled at him day after day, until finally he knew he had to search himself or never be at peace again.

So for the first time in a hundred thousand years the Keeper stretched out his twilight hued wings and soared away from his world.

He flew through the Desert of Ka and conversed with the lost spirits of the Wailing Canyon. He entered the Lair of the Weevil and solved the riddles of the great sphinx god Amunet. He flew to a thousand different worlds and still did not find the knowledge he sought.

In despair and fatigue he finally came to rest in the forests of Ohn, in a glade with a small spring. It seemed as if the knowledge he sought did not exist. His library would have to be forever incomplete.

“Psstttt. Hey, over here.” A voice called out.

The Keeper swiveled his head. There on a stump by the edge of the glade perched Felix, the trickster god. He grinned at the Keeper.

“What do you want trickster?” The Keeper asked.

“Word round the realm is you’ve been looking something. Happens I have a juicy piece of information that may help you find it.” Felix leaned forward, eyes bright.

“And what will this cost me trickster?” The Keeper had read extensively about Felix in his library. He was a sly and slippery god, and he never undertook something without getting something to gain for himself.

“Keeper you wound me. I only want to help out of the goodness I feel for my fellow gods. Perhaps though…if I could just get a peek of that knowledge you get. Just a little taste for myself.”

Felix looked the picture of innocence. The Keeper was not a foolish god. He knew he could not trust the trickster god. But the idea of failing his quest stung him.

“Fine.”

Felix grinned, his eyes flashing in the sun like two large golden coins.

“Excellent.”

***

The Keeper had not liked where Felix suggested they go.

They were in the forgotten and cursed library of Anathot. They made their way through the maze of bookcases, the air thick with the smell of decay and rot, the books caked with dust and covered in cobwebs. The Keeper knew that to open any of the books was to invite madness.

“Where are you taking me trickster?” He asked crossly.

“Relax. I know a guy here. Knows all sorts of stuff. If anyone knows where your knowledge is he does.”

The Keeper wondered what sorts of company Felix kept that lived in cursed libraries. They made their way through the gloomy library until Felix stopped.

“This is where he lives.” He said.

The Keeper peered where Felix stopped. All he could see was a corner, dark from the two bookshelves around it blocking the light.

“I don’t see anything.” The Keeper replied.

“You can’t see him head on. He’s a bit slippery like that. Gotta look at him from the periphery.”

He swiveled his head, until the corner was seen from the very corners of his eyes. And then suddenly he saw it, a gibbering giggling figure. It wore the darkness like a cloak, shrouding its features.

The Keeper felt his feathers rise in a thrill of fear and loathing. The being offended him to his very core. Somehow he knew this entity was an opposite of him, a dark twin. And yet why, in all his reading of all the knowledge of the universe, had the Keeper never heard of it?

“What is it?” he asked Felix.

“Its name is Versoot. Odd one it is. A god of forgotten knowledge. Figure someone forgot where your knowledge is he’ll know.”

Versoot was speaking gibberish, as if it was having a conversation with itself. Once in a while it would double over with giggles and howls of laughter, a piercing shrieking sound that left the Keeper cold all over.

“Bit of a nutter it is yeah. But it can be useful. Hey Versoot my friend here has something he needs from you.” Felix called out.

The figure turned towards the Keeper. Despite not having a head or any features to speak off he had a distinct feeling of being watched.

“What is it that you seek, keeper of the books.” The words hissed out of the darkness.

The Keeper bent down, and whispered his question to Versoot.

It let out a peal of laughter. “Oh yes, yes I know of that. Many have come to take that knowledge, and many have become my acolytes with it. What beautiful gorgeous madness you ask me. What a delicious morsel it is.”

“Can you tell me where I can find it?”

“Most certainly I can. But it will cost you. You must forget, and then you will remember.”

The Keeper considered. He was loath to give up any of his knowledge, vast as it was. But he was even more loathe to give up his quarry now that he had the scent.

“I will pay the price.” He said finally.

He felt a dark and creeping force make its way into his mind. It was tinged with madness and despair and horror, and not for the first time he wondered what he had gotten into with this quest.

“Ah what a bounty you give me. Such an assortment. But the knowledge I seek isn’t one that you can just replenish with a glance at a book. No for this I must go deeper.”

The Keeper quailed as he felt that creeping tendril go right past the starry sky of knowledge into the hot white core of his being. From the inner most reaches of his mind and self Versoot reached and grasped some of that white core and took it.

The Keeper felt a crushing sense of despair and sadness as that part of himself was taken. But he couldn’t have said what was taken, and soon it was forgotten altogether.
He knew where to find the knowledge he sought.

***

It was in the form of a book, a book so plain and so small as to be hardly noticeable at all. It lay inside a cavern deep underground, in a dark and unseen corner.

The Keeper trembled with excitement as he approached the book. Here finally his quest was almost over.

But Felix was quick and nimble, and in a blink of the eye the book was in his hands.

“Hah! For a god of knowledge you are pretty dumb. You led me right to the prime information you fool! I intended this the whole ti—“

Felix yelped at the Keeper crashed into him. The Keeper had of course known Felix would most likely attempt something like this. Tricksters as a whole tended towards gimmicks, and many had encountered and recorded Felix’s tricks through the ages.

Felix snarled and turned into a hissing viper. But the Keeper was knowledgeable in the way of many living things, and turned into a hawk shrieking down to break his neck. In this way they fought, flickering in an out of forms in the blink of an eye.

But Felix was wily and strong, and he turned into a great badger and managed to pin the Keeper to the ground with one paw. With a hoot of victory he took the book with the other paw and opened it. And he read.

***

The Keeper left Felix in that underground place. He wondered if Felix would ever get out of catatonia. Perhaps Versoot would take mercy on him and take that terrible knowledge away.

He flew back to his library. He knew now that his question would not, could not ever be answered. But now he had a new task, one as terribly important as the one he had set out for.
And so deep under the library, past the Crypts of Dead Knowledge, the book lay forgotten by all but the Keeper, left for eternity outside the prying eyes of gods and men. A question left forever unanswered.

starr
May 5, 2014

by FactsAreUseless


Thanks for the crit Fumblemouse : )

Also I am in, please pick a song for me as well.

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starr
May 5, 2014

by FactsAreUseless


In with a

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