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Sand, Surf, and Silence: Chapter 3

Abaggijawah Oct 9th, 2015 (edited) 1,131 Never
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  1. Damn. Cali is super fricking late again.
  2.  
  3. Sort of. She’s just around the corner of the shop in the showers playing with her latest doll. No need to be worried about any gawkers this time. It’s too early plus they’ll all be by the Old Rumour. What’s left of it anyway.
  4.  
  5. Half an hour ago, I'd just started hauling out the racks onto the floor (which Cali was supposed to do) when the sound of… eight giant wet rubber balls bouncing on sand and rock suddenly went by? That doesn’t sound right at all. How do you describe the sound of a kraken soaked in seawater slapping her way across concrete anyway? Eh, whatever. Think later.
  6.  
  7. Anyway, that sound meant Cali caught a new doll to play with- not literally this time though. What was her name, Milly with the ball joints that didn’t get jammed full of wetsuit when she bent her arms and legs? S’nothing new anyway. This is like, the fifth- sixth- girl? I can't stop her, so I just let her. No harm, no biggie. 'Cept that one mom who threatened to sue. Her body's a husband's zone only and all that jazz. Glad we got that sorted out quick enough. Jessica’s got a spot in poster form on the wall next to the counter now, full-figured hornet fitted into a red tube top and shorts and throwing a beach ball into the air.
  8.  
  9. … Welp. Radio’s snapped off ‘cause I’m sick of the news now. The walls are lined with Jenny's latest surfboard designs, racks of suits and gear have been pulled onto the concrete floor, the stools are clean, and anyone can see their reflection and the merchandise in the counter (I have no hope for the dressing rooms after Miss Tentacle Rape gets in here). The Seaside Garage where dune buggies are no longer serviced since I bought and redid the place is now open for business. Also, this month's issue of 'Brave Dudes' got here before me. Woo! Oh yeah, I’m forgetting something. What was it?
  10.  
  11. SMACK!
  12.  
  13. Right, the sound of fish slammed onto the cutting board at market. Except that it’s the board striking the fish instead of the other way ‘round. Something like that anyway.
  14.  
  15. “Ow! Hold still!”
  16.  
  17. “UNHAND ME!”
  18.  
  19. Turned on the radio to drown out all that. Heard squealing about wings being somethingstartingwitha'ree'sound before jacking up the volume on Yolanda and her crew going through all the news fit for beaches, parties, and beach parties. S’funny though, usually I snap KYUM or any pop station on to stop listening to all the sexual thrills that Cali’s very thorough cleaning causes, not a prize fight at the Royalkin Stadium downtown.
  20.  
  21. SMACK!
  22.  
  23. “Ow! I just want to help.”
  24.  
  25. But whoever it is, she ain’t getting out of Cali’s grip. Don't matter if she's a harpy or a dragon, a chance to play dress-up is at stake.
  26.  
  27. SMACK!
  28.  
  29. “UN. HAND. ME!”
  30.  
  31. "I'm just cleaning you! You need to be cleaned!"
  32.  
  33. Cali could use a lesson about how she can’t always have things her way though.
  34.  
  35. SMACK!
  36.  
  37. Or you know, I could not be a bad boss and at least look up from this article about underground exploration.
  38.  
  39. “Owowowow, that stings- Hey, where are you going?”
  40.  
  41. Heh.
  42.  
  43. I throw my magazine on the counter and lean back, putting my feet up on top. With a smirk, I hear wet feet, not talons or claws, pound the concrete my shop and its showers are built on, heading straight for the store entrance. First time I’ve heard someone manage to break free from the titanium tentacles of Cali and I’m eager to see how much more of the ‘model recruitment’ checklist she’ll tear through.
  44.  
  45. First, Cali's latest doll bursts in. And this time, she’s a- Hot. Damn! Now THAT’S a babe. Never thought she’d pick a human out. A really, really good looking human at that. Athletic muscles up and down a maybe six foot hourglass body, breasts with perk and heft, straight golden hair reaching just past her not-too-small ass, an oval face with large green eyes, a small nose, and thin lips. All that and water dripping off every sculpted inch. She's as perfect as a monster. Which brings up something funny.
  46.  
  47. How could a boring old human possibly get loose from Cali’s grip? If it weren’t for her peach skin and lack of horns, I would have tagged her for a succubus. Probably is one wearing an illusion or something. Six angel wings though? Funny to see a succubus with 'em and a human damn well sure can't grow a single feather let alone three pairs. Guess that means she's a cos- Aw damnit, she’s a cosplayer. Please don’t be a LARPer, please don’t be a LARPer-
  48.  
  49. "A human? Did you not hear the struggle outside? Are you in league with that beast?!”
  50.  
  51. Fucking hell, a LARPing 'valkyrie.' Is it con time already up north for all the geeks with a dress-up and roleplay fetish? This one seems ultra crazy too with the whole 'I ain't breaking character even if I'm nude' thing.
  52.  
  53. Fuck it. Moving on. Second, Cali catches up, gets right behind her doll and snags ‘em again. Let’s see what happens instead.
  54.  
  55. “There you are!” Red speckled tentacles attached to the oddest kraken I know reach out towards the nude idiot, suckered tips flexing eagerly. While those fleshy hooks get ready to go to town, Cali crosses her arms under her larger-than-the-LARPer’s chest, wearing a wide smile underneath eyes that say without words, 'I'mma gonna dress you up for five hours!'
  56.  
  57. “no, No, NO! AWAY! Away with you!”
  58.  
  59. Miss Cosplay takes a leap backwards, bouncing both feet off the floor and flapping her wings once for a boost. There’s a very heavy sound with the rush of air. Dragon’s wings but with feathers. Something like that. It’s actually really impressive that she got those flappers rigged up to work at all.
  60.  
  61. Less impressive is her backing straight into a rack of bikinis upon landing, knocking the whole thing over with a BANG, still soaked feathers flinging water everywhere, and that means more damn clean up time. Shit. I hope that’s fresh water and not seawater. The ‘valkyrie’ doesn’t even throw a glance at what she did. Fucking LARPers that won’t break character, what a bunch of pains in the ass.
  62.  
  63. I grumble and turn my attention to Cali, watching four of her tentacles start slapping their way forward while the other six snatch swimsuits at random off any rack within reach. That’s usually the third box on the list, Cali turning herself into a walking closet for beachwear. The fact that two of those sucker-laden limbs have failed the second step of pinning the doll doesn’t stop Cali from piling plastic hangers and rainbows of skimpiness (plus some dry and wetsuits) on ‘em. She hasn’t taken her dress-up-doll eyes off Miss Cosplay, perfectly normal. What isn’t is her suddenly giving a panicked puppy-ish yip, shielding herself behind all of her arms and abandoning her fashion show all over the floor. Now what the hell is Miss Cosplay doing that’s- Oh shit.
  64.  
  65. I just about leap up off my ass before slamming on the ground, the flip-flops making an attention getting CRACK! … Which doesn’t work. In the time it takes for Cali to huddle even lower behind her tentacles and the ‘valkyrie’ to get ready to throw the fourth most expensive surfboard in the shop like some sort of naked rioter, I’ve vaulted over the counter and started wondering how much swearing I have to do to save Jenny’s work from this nutjob.
  66.  
  67. ===
  68.  
  69. Caught unawares. Gripped in a vice of red tentacles. Dragged across the land as if tied to a wild horse. Stroked and rubbed and likely on the cusp of being PENETRATED by a WRETCHED BEAST guided by OBSCENE PRIMAL NEED! What else could it be with the excitement she displayed? She is depraved enough to seek satisfaction from a female and doubles that sin by molesting a soldier of the gods, a VALKYRIE!
  70.  
  71. My first battle since awakening has been a struggle for freedom in no uncertain terms. If I win, a message will be sent out to a world that I know is filled with monsters; if I lose, then my mission ends and the land will be forever corrupted. How else could I respond but to prove the superiority of the will of the Chief God?
  72.  
  73. Before this confrontation indoors, I was held captive underneath a deluge of water from a metal flower. Bound by the arms and legs, I bellowed and shouted defiance, resisting the kraken's efforts to molest me with what little I had at my disposal. Even when deprived of weapons, stripped of armour, and held hostage, a valkyrie is still akin to a bird of prey! Three pairs of golden wings each spanning a length taller than I curled inwards, tensing like ropes being pulled taut. With a quick movement, six swords were drawn. Feathery blades smacked away the suckered spears waving bars of soap and flexing strange objects resembling cabbage. It quickly turned into an exchange of blows with me on the defensive and her on a perverted offensive.
  74.  
  75. Despite my discomfort, it was difficult to ignore the fact and the sensation of the most tender treatment I’ve received since awakening. Scents of honey, sand and salt falling away, the rough but springy texture against my skin... Such pleasure wielded by a monster only reminded me just how dangerous that is, about how humanity must still be threatened by such things.
  76.  
  77. Despite her greater strength, the kraken is a stranger to violence. She flinched and shrank at every blow, begging to finish cleaning me. Yet her cowardice disappeared and reappeared over and over again as quick as a blinking eye. The kraken’s desires were clear, yet unsteady.
  78.  
  79. Attack, defend, counter, retreat, flank, pincer. Battling under the rain, we ran almost every basic movement of war on the smallest scale. Again and again I bent and blocked. Again and again she stretched and struck. Pain finally won in the end, tentacles loosening their hold on all they held as their wielder yelped like a beaten dog in the final exchange. When I landed and ran for the building next to the cluster of metal flowers, I was heaving and panting the entire way. That damned fight should not have taken so much effort.
  80.  
  81. Curse my weakened hide. Valkyries are powerful, yes, but what few seem to realize is that we are so much more with a god's backing. Had I not only a mere echo within me, a message carrying no power from its speaker other than authority, I'd have not been captured in the first place! But I am not so weakened that one battle and being forced to fight with no modesty would exhaust my spirit.
  82.  
  83. The firm repetition of the Chief God urges me on, Her words throbbing as if they were my heart itself. Thy will be done. This tower shield, though bereft of any straps or proper grip, will make a fine projectile and bludgeon, as will the many others lining the walls of this shop. The retrieval of my arms and armour can wait. Now is the time to begin fulfilling my duty to Her!
  84.  
  85. The Chief God lives! She comes to bestow death upon all monsters! She comes to bestow love upon all humans! And I am Her voice in this new age for as long as She exists to guide my actions! May this blood herald Her revival as it touches the ground! May She hear the voice of the masses praying for Her return! May-
  86.  
  87. “HEY! WHOA! LARPer, HEY! Put that shit down!”
  88.  
  89. And what new challenge is this? The traitor becomes a fool as well, coming forth to try and put down my crusade? There is a respectable volume to his shouting but that hardly makes him my rival. What weapons does he bring to bear? None? Unarmed but surrounded by all these richly decorated tower shields with no one to use them. He is a merchant then and not worth my time. Yet his strange request to drop some sort of offal gives me pause, as does his appearance. I am not calm but certainly unable to help but take an account of the first human I’ve seen of this new era.
  90.  
  91. The man is furious in face and body, putting weight in his long strides forward and making his colourful sandals sound like whips cracking against the ground. They are certainly not made of straw or wood, something unknown to me instead. What little clothing he wears in addition to them, short pants and a large number of armbands on his arms, are both like his footwear. All of it has somehow been dyed in bizarre explosions of colour with no rhyme or reason in size or pattern. They especially stand out against the man’s lean and tanned body, devoid of hair upon his head but growing thinly everywhere else. Despite his baldness, he is young but not so young that
  92.  
  93. "Hey! You listening or not?"
  94.  
  95. Well-fed, well-groomed, but not well-dressed. He is no peasant, no noble, dressed for the hot weather like the former but wearing clothes with the quality of the latter. He looks nothing like anyone from when I was last awake.
  96.  
  97. That last fact should have been my first concern, I finally realize. Instead it became a fleeting observation lost in rage at the sea, at the kraken, at everything that has transpired thus far. How many years have passed by in slumber? I am but one-hundred and sixty-seven years old at last count and observed a great deal of change in clothing, armaments, and art over that time. Many of my sisters have lived much much longer and traveled much much farther. At the valkyries’ banquets in Heaven, as we all sipped and nursed the single goblet of ale, mead, or wine we were allowed, they would tell stories of all the great monuments and people of the world. Eir, with four-hundred years of traveling behind her, had claimed at many celebrations that a hundred paces in any direction from anywhere would always bring something new to see. It would not be unreasonable for what this man wears to be some new fashion or old culture that I have not the faintest idea about.
  98.  
  99. It still remains, however, that the kraken is the immediate threat and my ignorance is the second. The tower shield I have appropriated will remain aloft, ready to be hurled. After this conflict is over, both of them must be questioned assuming the kraken is still ali-
  100.  
  101. “Don’t act out your fucking fantasies here!”
  102.  
  103. WHAT! WHAT did he just accuse me of?! Fantasies? Of SEX? No matter how mistaken he is about the situation, this offense cannot go unanswered! In a swift movement, I twist to face him, letting go of the shield and curling three of my wings around it, holding the thing between I and the kraken. Snapping outwards, the other three stretch as far as they can. I refuse to be outflanked or caught from behind while addressing this foolish merchant. Said fool's eyes keep flickering towards the shield, fretting over its value in coin most likely.
  104.  
  105. We are of equal height. Our eyes bore into each other's, my green pair and his brown pair both burning with indignation.
  106.  
  107. “Sir, you go too far! I am a valkyr-!”
  108.  
  109. “Like FUCK you are! You’re only dressed like one and acting out some stupid bullshit I don’t give a crap about!”
  110.  
  111. His arms point at me and flail, raging nonsensically like his mouth. It is readily apparent that he does not believe in the truth.
  112.  
  113. "I. Am. REAL! It is blasphemy to impersonate a god's messenger I'll have you know. What being would be foolish enough to do so?"
  114.  
  115. "Oh gee, maybe you, ya delusional bitch! That board ain't a weapon and those wings are not real. By the way, you break it, you buy it."
  116.  
  117. We practically spit at one another, trying to outdo the other's anger. My only consolation from this exchange is that the spoken language has not changed as drastically as I'd thought. Perhaps larper is just a new word for insulting others though that does not explain his accusation of me desiring sex. I think of asking to have this new age explained to me, but the compulsion to defend my honour is too strong.
  118.  
  119. "My wings are very real! See how they move and glow with the authority of Heaven!"
  120. "Her wings are real, boss! They're really cool!"
  121.  
  122. I refuse to let the kraken interrupt my protesting even as she supports my claim- wait. She KNOWS that they are real. Never have I imagined that a monster would be helpful to me, but the day has come. What does that make this fearless and ignorant human then? What does that make this world?
  123.  
  124. “The fuck are you going on about, Cali?”
  125.  
  126. “Walter, boss man. They flap, they glow, they’re super soft, and Goldie hit me with them loads of times. They’re not from hundreds of pillows or papier-mâché or anything! They’re REAL.” Her tone is almost reverent, even if she is far too energetic. She recognizes my appearance if not my authority.
  127.  
  128. The man steps away from me, almost stomping his way to the kraken.
  129.  
  130. “Bull. Shit. Next you’ll tell me she was wearing armour the entire time and doesn’t have any spare clothes. And why is it Goldie this time?”
  131.  
  132. “Hair. Oh, and uhh actually, yeah! Now that I think about it. Oh! It totally matches up! Goldie MUST be the real deal!”
  133.  
  134. I am left peeking behind this shield that perhaps isn’t a shield as the two talk. My existence is being questioned. I am being ignored. Do I not have some stake in this?! Why should I be letting a monster defend ME?
  135.  
  136. “Wha-! Come on! I just read off of this month’s issue of Brave Dudes that it’s been 500 years since the gods and their servants all fucked off to who knows where. She can’t be a valkyrie.”
  137.  
  138. FI-! FIVE HUNDRED?! That’s nearly three times my age. I have slept for several times longer than I have lived! Perhaps more! How many centuries or perhaps millennia does it take for Her existence to be rendered myth? But the last part of this man’s words concerns me more. What does he mean the gods and their servants ‘fucked off?’ Orgies? Corruption?
  139.  
  140. “Walter, is it?” I step forward, shifting my wings to tuck the shield underneath my arm. The two are surprised at my calm advance and tone. They have the look of men who have not noticed that the subject of their conversation is standing right behind them.
  141.  
  142. “What do you mean by… ‘fucked off?’” If something has happened to my sisters, to the Chief God, I must know before moving forward.
  143.  
  144. “Put down the board first.” Walter’s words come with a flatness I’ve only heard before from those on the very edge of their patience. Almost every time I’ve heard that tone, it was when peace talks or prisoner exchanges were about to erupt into violence.
  145.  
  146. “Pardon?” By board, does he mean this shield?
  147.  
  148. “The merchandise.” He points at it and confirms my suspicion. First it is offal, now it is an object. Which is it? “Put it up against the wall and keep far, far away from it.”
  149.  
  150. “So be it. A peace offering.”
  151.  
  152. “Whatever you wanna call it.”
  153.  
  154. The situation remains tense. As the shield is placed back where I seized it from, there is no clear solution presenting itself and I am no diplomat. No gold to offer, no services to give, no tavern with which to inebriate them at and coax out drunken answers-
  155.  
  156. “I'll get the drinks!”
  157.  
  158. And once more do I find myself helped by a monster, one that scrambles behind an unbelievably large glass box filled with strange wares and crouches down to the floor. Aside from lopping off the arms, sharing meals has always been excellent for disarming others. So long as the drinks are not tainted, I have little reason to be wary of a merchant and his worker. She may in fact have less perverted intentions than I expect given how she speaks of me. Through the glass, I can just make out her lifting a portion of the floor upwards and plucking out three glass bottles from below.
  159.  
  160. "Hey hey hey, that better not be the good stuff? The pale ale?"
  161.  
  162. “‘Course it is, boss. We don’t have anything else here after your birthday bash last week.”
  163.  
  164. “Ugh. Fine.”
  165.  
  166. There is a sudden motion I almost don't catch. The source is my own mouth, lips pursed ever so briefly and tongue rolling across them. I’m quite fond of ale despite how little I’ve partaken of it.
  167.  
  168. Walter the merchant simply glares at me, his expression telling me that he is in not in a mood for humour or my greed.
  169.  
  170. “Just please drop the fucking act already,” he declares, ”and sit your ass down there- wait, no. Cali! Throw her a towel so she can hide her shame! Actually, make it two. She's fucking soaked.”
  171.  
  172. Ah, yes. I always forget just how easy it is to be lost in rage and shock. This isn't the first time and will likely not be the last. The only difference between this moment and all the others in my past is that there will be living witnesses.
  173.  
  174. “Very well. Let me correct your disrespectful behaviour as you answer my questions." With a sneer, I answer, striding forward and catching two enormous sky blue bundled rags that the kraken throws at me from behind the glass box. Gracefully, I bundle my still wet hair in one before patting myself down with the other. Marvelous softness that almost has a spring to it as if fleece and silk were combined. It’s difficult to not look pleased while wrapping it around my body.
  175.  
  176. When I sit down, I nearly fall off. Cushioned seating is something I am very unused to. Is this extravagant or common in this era? It is as wondrous as the glass bottles being opened by the kraken. Each is filled with the same amber liquid, labeled with a red and white paper snake with the word ‘Ourobrewos’ printed across it, and capped by metal buttons.
  177.  
  178. A single tentacle adheres itself to all three, the suckers removing each metal button with a pop and a click against glass.
  179.  
  180. Walter immediately snatches one and throws his head back, draining half the bottle before gently putting it down. The kraken stares at both I and him, content to simply clutch her drink in two pale red human-like hands, her entire being jittering very slightly not in fear but anticipation.
  181.  
  182. “Soooooo, ask anything! Anything at all!” Her tone reminds me of gossiping housewives, eager and a little unpleasant.
  183.  
  184. “... Then tell me. What is ‘fucked off,’ and what does that mean for the gods?”
  185.  
  186. What follows is an answer that is even more unpleasant.
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