Under a New Moon: Chapter 1
- "Another year, another year of disappointments," sighs the lone Canadian as he scrolls boredly down the computer screen. It was but another day in a long slog of similar, uneventful passings. His routine was ordinary enough- university to study art, and work when on top of that. But still, there was no use mentioning the sheer dissatisfaction and boredom of monotonous routine. But after all, was not New Years meant to be a time of new beginnings? Afterall, it never failed to elicit the sentimentality of starry-eyed hopefuls and jaded dreamers. Maybe a change was in order. And in a bout of uncharacteristic impetus, Jingles pushed himself away from his computer desk, turning off the monitor in a motion that was almost unfamiliar to him. Noting his soreness with dispassionate numbness, he stretched perfunctorily. Looking around his messy bedroom, his settled on the pride and joy of his otherwise empty and barren life- his love, his treasure, his life-size Princess Luna plushie. "I'll be back soon, dear," he sighed before pushing open his door and making his way outside.
- The new moon, another auspicious symbol of hopeful new beginnings and fulfilled ambitions, was obscured by thick grey clouds. Moonlight streamed feebly onto the barren street in mismatched patches, lighting up the monotonous street and revealing nothing particularly interesting, Jingles sighed and bulled up his coat. The cold Canadian winter is in full blast, as the chilly air lapped greedily at the warmth in his face and other exposed skin. Involuntarily, his teeth began to chatter as he awkwardly extended his long legs and strode off aimlessly. "Oh, yeah, it's New Years," he grumbled to himself half-mindedly as splotches of color flashed overhead. The lights were accompanied by the distant boom of explosions and other pretty configurations as pyrotechnical skills were put on display for the awed masses. Simple entertainment for simple folk, but the art student was lost in his mind as it was. It wasn't racing in any direction particular- it just seemed to be a haphazard series of musings of his general dissatisfaction, complaints about the cold, and an already pain missing of his den and dear.
- "A stupid idea," he grumbled through chattering teeth, his ears already pained by the numbing cold as his nose and hands followed likeness. Despite making sure to bundle himself up- a generally impressive feat considering how otherwise oblivious he was, that did little to stave up the drastically-freezing temperatures. And in the cold, one's thoughts were likely to brood towards darker and less pleasant realms. Jingle's were no exception. In an almost poetic fashion, the cold was a disproportionate representation of the general empty loneliness he felt. Had it been a proportional representation, suffice it to say that even a thermonuclear reactor would be no match for the deluge of absolute zero. 'I just feel so... unsatisfied,' he thought to himself, trying to articulate the vague feeling. It was something he struggled to express and was only vaguely communicable when he managed a rare focus in his academic projects- perhaps the only saving grace as the ceaseless material meant he wasn't failing, at least. In a way that only the mind of a inveterate dreamer could be, Jingles' mind, lost in cobwebs of emotional darkness, caused his eyes to fail to notice the shape in his path- and reality reminded him with a bitter crash to his hands and forearms.
- Luckily enough, his body's reflexes kicked in where his conscious mind didn't. That saving grace was enough to keep him from splitting his chin on the icy cement ground. The resultant scarring would have been a badge of shame as he did not even have the excuse of drunkenness to explain away his ambulatory failing. Electrical pulses of pain coursed through numbed tissue as his hands and forearms registered the impact. Lagging but no less potent was the damage reported by the sensors in his legs, telling him that he was lucky to have avoided busting his knees. As he tried to examine the damage, a low sound in the quiet drew his attention- and his gaze. A deep groan caused his neck to dart around and stare in shock at what he had the misfortune to trip on.
- he odd shape and naturalistic curves indicated that it was of organic origin- something that was emphasized by the way a limb quivered. A burst of light overhead revealed a feathered limb that was raised piteously as if to ward off any further damage to its host. Blessed darkness, before another light revealed a wave of oddly-luminescent multi-shaded blue hair, the effect lingering on even after the fireworks’ ecstatic light fizzled out. Upon the next light, Jingles noticed a long, graceful neck- though this time, it was curved defensively to minimize the poor creatures' exposure to the elements. His heart beat with rapid anticipation, the shocked numbness in his heart and stomach vying with winter's grasp for dominus. 'Is that...' his thoughts began, but he was too afraid to finish it. With a quivering hand, he reached forward to touch the center of the mass.
- His outstretched hand recoiled reflexively as it made contact with the shape. His finger brushed against something material- it took a few seconds of processing for him to dissect the sense. The initial brush of soft fur, ragged by exile and pursuit. Underneath it, the unmistakable warmth of life- tenuous as it currently was. To emphasize this point, a burst of labored breathing and pained whimpering came from the object, a sound that was all too rending to poor Jingles' heart as it reminded him of someone. He promptly took of his jacket, the cold going unnoticed as hopeful trepidation overcame him, before using his previous covering to shelter the lone figure. With a sigh and heave, the graceless figure half-kneeled and half-stooped, wrapping his arms around the bundle and grunting with exertion as he lifted up the creature and held it, before making his labored way home.
- As he managed to crash upon his door and bring his haul into the light of his hallway, his impossible guess was rendered accurate. What he held in his arms was not only a living, breathing dream- it was a dream amongst dreams. What he held was a living, breathing, and currently shivering physical anomaly of his beloved Princess Luna- one that was currently letting out a sleepy but pleased sigh of comfort at the warmth. The electrical light brought with it a balancing pang of empathic sadness, however, as Jingles noticed her haggard state. Her coat, as previously noted, was ragged and soiled. Her flanks seemed awfully withered as the hollow shadows on her sides indicated that there had been many meals that this fine specimen missed. And perhaps most painfully of all, he saw as how her eyelids quivered and tried to restrained tears from whatever unhallowed nightmare the harried creature tried to flee.
- Protectively and instinctively, Jingles made the tenuous journey to his bedroom. Luckily, the room in question was straight down the main hall- had he lived in something other than this single-floor apartment, the passage might have been far more treacherous and perhaps insurmountable- flagging as his strength was. The warmth and slow thawing only brought with it the burning pain of exertion as his unimpressive strength was already giving out. Despite unceremoniously stomping his way to his room and half-dropping the prone creature in his bed, the winged, unicorn only stirred and let out a sleep-bound whimper at the impact. His hand shook with disbelief and fatigue as the lonely student tried to wrap up this creature best as he could with the parts of the blanket that were not pinioned by her bulk. Once sufficiently satisfied that this was the best he could do, he made his way to the kitchen to try and prepare something to help in her resuscitation.
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