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Syndel's Spire
Syndel's Spire

My texts (78)
My series (10)




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00th 0000

By the Moonlight

Added:July 01st 2009, 03:45:10
Rating:5/5 (Votes: 1)

Spent about two hours writing this just by random inspiration after reading "About words and a girl" by Panterdjuret. Not sure whether I'll develop this into a bigger story, but you never know.

He never knew any pain, not until the end...

The night sparkled above, stars polka dotting the blackened skies, celestial beauties twinkling softly onto the still-blue skies, lit from sun long-since set. The specks of light shining like spotlights onto the world above, dwarfed by the great candle of the moon, bright as a midnight sun and covering the land in it's thick, milky light, almost physical in it's contrast between the darkened shadows and bright leaves of trees or blades of grass. The moonlight shines on him too. Down beneath the painted stars, the great, full moon, the meteors dancing playfully in the starlight, the trees flickering from white to black in the wind and all other things the moon touched there was a river. The moon's light flickered even here, illuminating the gentle ebb and flow of the water, a steady trickle painted as if by artist's hand or woven by many hundred skill full weavers. Light danced off each crest and peak of the swell, magnifying their magnificence in the darkness, the banks like a border to a giant living picture.

His ear twitches at the sound, the water, nearby. Cold, wet, damp in the heat, it won't be long, he thought, I can make it. He can almost smell it thought snout-like nostrils, whining as he dragged a heavy weight along by his teeth, but somehow gently. The full moon shone far above, there would be no chance of escape if he was attacked again. There was no place to hide. A grunt came from the weight he was carrying. Hold on, he thought, though he had no idea whether there was any hope, even if he reached the water. He refused to think that way. I'll get there, he thought, that's all that matters.

An observer of this strange sight would see only shuffling movements, heavy, unsteady movements though still with hints of speed and sure-footedness, an animal agility or scurrying suggestive of a rodent-like beast, but much larger. If there were any potential observers around they would definitely be paying attention to such a strange beast, for any creature, man or animal, who found themselves in this place of sharp stone, thin, dead trees and gritty, rocky footing would be constantly alert for the dangers of the terrain. He wasn't alert. He was panicking. Paws racing on the tough ground, thudding like drums in the quiet darkness. There were no insects chirping or owls hooting in this desolate part of the forest, all was quiet but for his hurried footfalls and the steadily weakening panting of the strange creature dragged along with him.

Finaly they arrived at the river, panting desperately. He dropped the heavy creature he was carrying by the waters edge. “Fool.” it said between grunts and groans. “You shouldn'tve taken me here. You should've left me, I'm going to...” he trailed off into the dark and silent night.
Die. The word hung unsaid in the clearing between the rocks and gravel, water trickling over shallow stones. The one who had carried the creature hopped down the few feet to the riverbank, gathered up the water in his paws and brought it back to the stricken creature, holding the paws up to his mouth to drink. In the moonlight he got the first good look at his stricken companion's injuries. Across his furred belly and sides there were scratches everywhere, some leaving white score marks along the flesh and some going deeper and drawing blood. The worst of his injuries were deep gouge marks centred along his chest and moving downwards. These wounds still bled freely and neither of them were capable of stopping it. “Rob,” the stricken one whispered. “take me down to the water.” The other creature nodded, haphazardly picking the wounded creature up by the neck with his teeth before dragging him to the waters edge. “Put me in” the stricken creature asked. Robert, still carrying the animal with his teeth obliged silently, dragging the heavier beast into the water.
“Thanks Rob,” mumbled the beast.
“Jack...” said Robert. Suddenly it was clear why his older brother had asked to be brought to the water. When the morning came the waters would flow more fiercely from the mountains and the dead carcass of his brother would be washed away, downstream, away from those who would claim victory or scavenge his corpse.
“Don't speak, lil' bro.” Jack said. “You've done well by me tonight, what better night for it?” Jack glanced up at the moon and Robert followed his gaze.
“You see the stars, bro?” Jack said, but was met with silence from Robert. “Clear sky, full moon, and no cloud. A clean stairway to heaven in those stars don't you think?”
Robert still said nothing but returned his gaze to his brother's shattered, bleeding frame. The water was steadily turning crimson, sparkling ruby-red in the light. It wasn't fair, he thought to himself. His brother was the eldest of the pack, and though not brother in blood they had been together for as long as he could remember, a team whether hunting, scouting or foraging as they were sometimes forced to do. With no heir Robert would become pack leader when Jack died.
“Don't leave me, Jack.” Robert said.
Jack closed his eyes and let out a small sigh, audible only in the silence of the clearing. “I know what you're thinking bro,” he said “you'll be okay. I've seen you hunting, you're better than I am and you know far more of the pack then me. I was always alone. I was never a leader.”
Robert started to argue but was cut off by his brother raising a paw. “Blood of my blood,” intoned Jack, suddenly serious.
“Blood of my blood,” Robert said hesitantly.
“Pack of my pack.” Jack said.
“Pack of my pack.” Robert repeated.
“Paw by my paw.” Jack said.
“Paw by my paw.” Robert said, simultaneously pricking his paw with his claw and pressing it against Jack's already bloody paw.
“It is done,” said Jack, closing his eyes once more, face towards the wide-open, welcoming moon.
“Good luck, my brother,” he said.

Robert said nothing but simply waited, sitting only a few feet from his brother, not knowing whether he still lived or had died. Simply standing guard thoughtfully. There was no movement around, save for the steady trickle of water passing over the sharp stones. Robert couldn't stand the thought of his brother's body cast up by the rising river and thrown into currents full of rapids and rocks, to add punishment to his already shattered body. At the same time he was bound to honour his brother's wishes, both said and unsaid.
After sometime the wind rustled in the deadened trees, branching clacking together and fallen leaves crunching against the rocks in the breeze. Robert felt cold, even through his thick fur. He was exposed out on the riverside in one of the most dangerous areas of the forest. He knew he should leave but could not bring himself from his brother's corpse, lying in the water, almost as if sleeping. The breeze brought with it new smells, smells of other animals moving in the darkness, smells of plants and pollen, smells of food and normality which felt completely at odds with the world as Robert now saw it. Pained, haunted and shivering Robert stood on all fours, took one last look at the remains of his beloved brother and raised his mouth to the sky, letting out a single, instinctive howl, consisting of all his pain, all his loss, all his regret, all his fear and more importantly his love. A few seconds later and silence of the world returned, but the howl went on, echoed far away by distant packs, across rivers, over mountains and through endless skies the howl was carried by many voices, not just Roberts but many others who had heard the call of mourning and passed it along. No message could be transferred through the howls but every beast knew the moment it was heard that some poor animal somewhere had suffered a tremendous loss, and a great beast had died.

Silently Robert left the clearing, slowly, as if in the nightmare he could wake up from. A scarred beast watched silently, blood trickling over one eye and deep scratches down the side of it's face. Emotionless like a sentinel it watched from concealment until Robert was out of view, then turned away into the night.

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