Character OTS



Couple OTS

Open red sun rises like an early warning

❄ f a e l a n ❄

hold my hand
oh baby it's a long way down to the bottom of the river

Faelan needed to figure out where she was – it didn’t even feel like she was in the same world as her homeland. Theoretically, the way home was just back through that cave system, but she never wanted to go back through that dark, winding labyrinth, nor did she really think that she could. She had nearly turned back many times, when she stumbled out into the light of day, but there was a certain heaviness that accompanied each wistful look over her shoulder that she could not shake. Each step might as well have been weighted down by lead; her desire to return to her home, particularly devoid of anyone she had ever called her family, certainly didn’t outweigh her desire to avoid the cave. (Faelan wasn’t sure that she ever wanted to see the inside a cave, in general, again, after that incident. The rasping voice of the sphinx is still audible in the farthest reaches of her mind, a sound that drifts just out of conscious memory – when she closes her eyes, she can still hear a rasping, crackling laugh. That place, whatever it was, was wrong.)

Perhaps, she thinks, this land that it led her into is just as wrong.

In any case: when she spilled out into miles upon miles of open valley after clawing her way out of the winding maze of caverns, the thought that immediately crystalized in her mind, with a certain urgency, was that she needed to reach the trees. After spending what felt like weeks (but was, perhaps, not very long at all. In the permanent, dusky dark, it was so hard to tell) wandering the caves, she was desperate for food, and water, and the comfort of a familiar landscape - she needed the smell of leaves and bark and murk, the soft rustle of rabbits and birds in the brush. It was not a want; it was as necessary as breathing. When her eyes readjusted to the sudden, scalding brightness of sunlight, and she caught sight of the distant rise-and-fall of trees, she immediately started towards them, with very little regard for what might be waiting for her in this strange new land. In her need for the familiar, the foreignness of the world around her was dulled and compartmentalized, stuffed away deep inside of her so she could think about it later. For the moment, she let herself fall into familiar, predatory strides, pacing rhythmic towards the promise of lush green and sun-spattered dark.

Familiar woodland paths led her towards the clear, crisp scent of fresh water; she’d seen a river, from a distance, and it had to lead somewhere. Under a canopy of dappled light, she twined through worn trails, a dark shadow that darted and wove between shrubs and stumps. The forest spilled out onto a clear, needle-lined lakeside, in time, and she was quick to make her way to the bank, hooves spitting up pine in their wake. She hadn’t realized how thirsty – or hungry – she was until she lowered her velveteen muzzle to the surface and practically inhaled the cool liquid. (She wondered how long she’d been in the caves – days? Weeks? Did time even flow down there? It didn’t matter.) She drank until her stomach hurt and sloshed with every move she made, and, even then, she licked the droplets off her lips, unwilling to waste any of the precious, life-giving substance.

She took to staring grimly into the water’s mirror-like surface, then, her lips curled up into a grimace that just revealed the sharpened tips of her teeth.

When she saw a flash of silver scales, she struck; her teeth sunk into slimy, wriggling flesh, and her mouth was filled with the copper taste of blood. Little streams of violent red followed the current, but they were quick to disappear in its ebb-and-flow. Faelan pulled the fish from the water, deposited it on the bank, and, with a merciless strike of her charcoal hooves, smashed its skull. She wolfed the slimy, scaly meat down inelegantly – her mother had taught her to eat politely, but she didn’t think she’d ever really been hungry before, not like this, and she couldn’t find it in her to do it. Not even bones remain when she returns her gaze to the water to find her next target, lips still smeared with a fine coat of blood.

tags | @anyone
notes | quick open that I've been working on for a couple of weeks; come meet the dog girl, if you're so inclined?

Tag: @[Faelan]