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Quills

octopodesrex Jan 16th, 2019 87 Never
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  1. =================
  2. THE FOREST
  3. =================
  4.  
  5. --Patty
  6. The rough-hewn landscape offered a respite  from the oppressive throng of people always about on Skid Row. With her bike in an at least functioning state, Patty had hit the road and into the forest, finding a dead-end logging road nestled amongst the Ponderosa Pines. As the wind caused the giants to creak and sway above her, she has stripped down to a wife beater and jeans and cracking a beer. A makeshift shelter with a ratty tarp and some firewood gathered, she would enjoy one more night on the road. Is LA really the place for her? Tonight, she'd decide.
  7.  
  8. --Syaka
  9. To say she was disoriented would be an understatement. She'd been gone for a long time, and that was all that she knew. Her hunger clued in to the length of time she'd spent in that hole, but there was little else for her to guide herself in the wildnerness.
  10. Her awakening was a matter of luck. Some poor sod had decided to go spelunking beyond the allowed caves, wounding himself against the jagged walls. His vitae was all she needed to finally rise from the deep slumber that'd been plaguing her, but the soul that'd done her such favors wasn't met with any gratitude, at least not from her beast. His fate was inevitable, she figured, already wiping any shreds of guilt off her psyche.
  11.  
  12.  
  13. She had... *a look.* Her shirt was nearly torn to tatters, caked in blood, dirt and dust. Her body was no less filthy, her black mane of hair only serving to make her visage all the more fearsome in this state. Her beast marks had regrown; Quills along her arms, and long claws on her left hand, or so it seemed at a glance.
  14. One would be forgiven for mistaken her for a monster in this state, and according to some, the truth wasn't too far off.
  15.  
  16. She wandered aimlessly along the woods, finally stumbling upon what seemed to be some sort of road. A good start.
  17.  
  18. --Patty
  19. "PFFFFT! HAAAH!" Patty's hoarse, contralto voice cackled throughout the forest with her braying laugh. Bare feet propped on a rock and sitting against a large pine, she snickered to herself as she read her Donald Duck comics and swilled beer. After a moment she let out a belch, then she froze.
  20.  
  21. The figure shuffling down the road was.. human? No, had to be a bear. She patted her pocket and pulled out her switchblade, then said to herself in response, "What the Fuck, Pat, you gonna stick a bear?" Instead she got to her feet, downing the last of the beer and tossing it aside before grabbing a nearby fallen branch she had planned to use as firewood.
  22.  
  23. Her voice was unsure, but nonetheless she commanded, "Go! Shoo! Get out of here! I don't have any food, go... go eat some honey or some shit, I ain't got nothin for you, Yogi.."
  24.  
  25. --Patty
  26. She muttered to herself, "What the fuck was it.. brown, fall down.. black fight back? Shit.. I dunno.. shit..."
  27.  
  28. --Syaka
  29. The figure moved its head upwards, squinting its eyes as it tried to make out where the noise was coming from. Whoever it was, she was in no state to be seen, being a walking liability to any mortal nearby.
  30. Their eyes lit aflame, glowing in an eerie hue. This ain't Yogi.
  31.  
  32. What was a clam stride became a sprint, running straight towards her.
  33.  
  34. --Patty
  35. "Back..b-b... back! Fuck off! Oh SHIT!!!" The limb was tossed as hard as she could at the... not bear. She didn't have time to think, or even consider what it was. Instead she decided to run... and stood to fight.
  36.  
  37. Why she stood her ground, she couldn't say. Everything told her to run. It was smart to run. It was safer to run. She knew she wasn't going to win this fight.. but she couldn't move to leave. Instead she found herself with switchblade in hand, putting the tree between her and her assailant.
  38.  
  39. --Patty
  40. Can't breathe. Heart beating too fast. Going to die. Don't stay. Run. Run. For the love of God, Patty. Run.
  41.  
  42. --Patty
  43. And yet she remained.
  44.  
  45. --Syaka
  46. The creature stopped between the tree and her, its features becoming more noticeable under the light. It looked like a woman... or at least the general idea of one. She was a full foot taller than her, her legs covered in tawny fur. Her facial features and skin color would look at home next to a textbook definition of 'Native American', but that detail was easy to miss underneath all the gore, quills and fur.
  47.  
  48. "Who are you?" She asked without fear. It talked, yes, her voice sounding far raspier and *human* than expected.
  49. It wasn't her place to be afraid in this stranger's eyes, but her circumstances certainly would have justified it from her point of view. She was lost. The question now became *how* lost.
  50.  
  51. "Where are we?"
  52.  
  53. --Patty
  54. Patty's eyes went to the legs, to the claws, then to her eyes. She still didn't think it was wise to stay.. but when had that ever stopped her before. Her posture wasn't.. threatening. It was definitely guarded, but the knife was lowered a bit as the woman..ish thing spoke to her.
  55. Stick it and run, you can't outrun it otherwise.
  56. Just run, it's some kind of animal. Right?
  57. Stand and fight, don't be a pussy.
  58. For once in her loud-mouthed life, Patty was speechless. Instead, she did none of the above. She simply asks, tentatively, "...are you hurt?"
  59.  
  60. --Syaka
  61. She looked down at herself, opening and closing her palms. "I'm fine."
  62. Her eyes lingered on Patty's hands as she lowered the knife, though it wasn't the blade that she was concerned about. "You don't have a watch?"
  63.  
  64. She sniffed the air loudly, stepping even closer towards her, sizing her up. She looked more normal than what she'd been expecting. Her blonde hair was cause for alarm, but her nose and cheekbones was enough to give her anger some pause.
  65. The girl's demeanor towards her gave her a good guess, but she was going to say it anyway. "I won't hurt you."
  66.  
  67. --Patty
  68. "...You're fuckin' right you won't, or I'll stick your ass throw you off the mountain!" She said this with as much bravado as she had in her, more than she felt, at least. "...and I ain't got a job, so who needs a watch?" She took a few steps toward her bike, rounding the tree and getting closer to get a good look at her. Patty herself was a half-pint, under-nourished and wiry at this point, hazel eyes flashing with fear. The scent coming off of her was unmistakably cigarette smoke, engine oil and strong body odor from days out in the sun, unwashed.
  69.  
  70. Patty decided she wasn't ready for a first-name relationship, and instead dodged the first question. "...you're in California. Welcome to the Sunshine State, I guess.."
  71.  
  72. --Syaka
  73. She frowned slightly at that, rolling her eyes, though that'd be difficult to notice underneath the eerie glow. California. She remembered her trip here, and that unfortunate stint in the cave, but finer details like the *why*  and *when* were foggy in her mind. Torpor was a bitch when it came without warning.
  74.  
  75. The smell of oil and smoke irritated her beyond words, reminding her of the worst parts of the city. No matter how much she licked her lips, the scent still lingered in her nostrils. The sweat, however, was passable to this beast. It was honest. Hard to come by these... what days were these, anyway?
  76.  
  77. "What year is it?"
  78.  
  79. --Patty
  80. Patty started, "It's like.. 2018? Winter? Dece.." Then she held up her hand as if to silence both of them, "Alright wait wait wait, enough fuckin' questions, I'm freakin' out here. Like.. it was just one beer, can I be this stoned? I'm... I'm seeing shit. I don't think I'm the one you should be askin' these questions." She finally blinked, then leaned against the tree and held her head as if she were about to pass out. "I'm fuckin' tripping.. or I'm dying. I'm seeing shit. I'm talking to weird bitch in the woods hallucinations... Oh Jesus, I'm cracked."
  81.  
  82. She slid down to a sitting position, holding her face in her hands, "You've lost it, Pat."
  83.  
  84. --Syaka
  85. 2018. She took a deep breath, holding herself steadfast against the weight of that realization. Not months, not years, but decades. She'd spent decades rotting in that damn cave, and all because of... She bared her teeth, clenching her fist. Fucking damn it.
  86.  
  87. She couldn't dwell on her anger for too long if she wanted to keep the both of them sane. **Calm down.** She asked, using their ever so tenuous link to the manipulative powers within her blood to sway her into listening- No small feat with all things considered. (-1 BP)
  88.  
  89. "You're not hallucinating. I'm not human."
  90.  
  91. --Patty
  92. Patty peered at her between her fingers, trying to wrack her brain into making sense of what she's seeing. This odd sasquatch of a woman, spouting off that she's not human and sporting claws. With her tone of voice and striking eyes, Patty somehow found her utterly fascinating. "Well.. then I'm dying. I'm in hell, and I got fuckin' demons coming for me.. that makes sense, right? You ain't human... so I'm dead." She closes her eyes and leans against the tree, going limp. "...fuckin' starving to death.. freezing in the wilderness. Great plan, Pat.. you goddamn moron. Ma said I'd burn in Hell for being a tramp, and here I am...." She shook her head in resignation.
  93.  
  94. --Syaka
  95. "You're not dead yet. Hell is... debatable. I'm not a demon. Think of me as..." She wanted to avoid using the word, as it carried hefty connotations that barely applied to her condition. "A kind of... cryptid."
  96.  
  97. She taps the wood above the tree, trying to get her attention.  "I need you to listen to me. We can help eachother if you cooperate."
  98. She knew she needed her help, but the other way around? That could be ironed out later.
  99.  
  100. --Patty
  101. She blinked in confusion, lost for words for a moment.
  102.  
  103. "...the FUCK is a cryptid?" Patty was totally lost now. "Look, I thought you were speaking English there for a moment, speak fuckin' English!" The more angry she got, the more Queens she got. "Look, I don't know what you want, just figure it out and tell me. It's not like I got much you want. I'm broke, my bike's a shit-box and I doubt you're here because I'm the nicest piece of ass you've seen. So just.." She threw her hands in the air in frustration, "Just spill it already! If I can do it, we'll figure it out.... then I'll figure out if I'm off my cracker later."
  104.  
  105. --Syaka
  106. She groaned loudly, sounding more like a scolded dog than a lady aghast. It was fortunate Patty appreciated a dose of bluntness, because right now, she'd run out of her shallow pool of quaint tricks. It was time to speak clearly.
  107.  
  108. "I woke up after sleeping for a very long time. I can't go out looking like this, and I don't know *shit* about what's out there. I need **you** to help me get..." She looked down at herself, the ridiculousness of her request not lost on her. "...Presentable."
  109. Imagining this monster as something that could comfortably walk among mortals was a really hard sell.
  110.  
  111. "Clothes. I need clothes, iron and a fire."
  112.  
  113. --Patty
  114. "Holy shit.. it's a fuckin Terminator!" She burst out laughing, slapping her knee. "Don't tell me, you're looking for Sarah Connor, right?? HA!!" She snorts and gets into a standing position, tossing the switchblade into a nearby stump and managing to make it stick.
  115.  
  116. Dusting off her jeans, she stands and crosses her arms, giving herself a moment to take her in. "...Alright. Alright, so I'm just going to have to go with the idea that you're fuckin' nuts, or I am. Just let me have that, 'cause otherwise we're gonna be spinning our wheels all night." She looks the thing in front of her, circling slowly. She took in her clothing, her height, her fingers. "Jesus. So.. how long we talking here. We talking like, disco was a thing or like.. dinosaurs and shit?"
  117.  
  118. --Syaka
  119. She sighed, pinching the bridge of her nose. *Stay calm. Stay cool. This girl may be the best mortal you could have stumbled onto. Nobody will believe a haggard drunk.*
  120.  
  121. "It was the 90's, so you can miss me with your Arnold shit." She didn't even bother to try to explain how torpor worked, knowing it'd be a waste of the mortal's precious, fleeting life. "Bill Clinton was the president. I think."
  122. Maybe some common knowledge would do them better than wasting time with vampiric lore.
  123.  
  124. --Patty
  125. "Oh... like, totally radical!" She made a double thumbs up, snickering, "Don't worry babe, 90s are in again. You'll fit right in. You're a little.. uh, not.. dressed, really. Maybe we oughta fix that." She raised her eyebrows as she gave her the once over, then began digging through her clothes and muttering under her breath, "90s or not, you'd still be a babe today. So... uh..." She whistled, taking in her height again, "...tall. Like, super tall. My jeans aren't gonna really work for you. Uh... uh, gimme a minute." She pulled a pair of extremely baggy JNCO jeans and set them aside. "These don't fit me, and... and I got a tube top. Sorry, but I think we're both the same cup size, so this might actually work.. and I got a dude's flannel from when..." She shrugged, "Well when we were a thing. That'll at least get you through the city without people givin' you a second look."
  126.  
  127. Patty pulled a canteen out of her duffel bag, poured some water on it and approached the woman carefully. "...I'm not a doctor or nothin, but that's a lot of blood. That might not make people too happy to see." With that she dabbed at the woman's neck, trying to remove some of the gore.
  128.  
  129. --Patty
  130. "...I'm Patty, by the by. You asked, and I never said."
  131.  
  132. --Syaka
  133. "*Babe.*" She looked like she was holding something in her mouth as she swallowed that nickname, thoroughly embarassed... for her. You had to be a special kind of gal to call anything looking like she did a babe, but she appreciated the effort.
  134. Seeing she was struggling to reach her face, she dropped down on her ass with a thump, legs sprawled out. "Lucky me, waking up right when the trend cycle is circling right in." It was jarring to think she'd be seeing her once daily life be viewed under nostalgic lens, hell, she was already having trouble getting around the mere idea. 28 years is a very long time.
  135.  
  136.  She paused, staring into her eyes as she considered the name she'd give her. "I'm Syaka White Hawk. Indian, if you hadn't guessed." The glow in her eyes faded away, letting her see their true color; a dark shade of green.
  137.  
  138. --Patty
  139. "I'm uh.. Patty.. Sarkissian.. American, I guess? Armenian-American?" She shrugs, "Didn't make much difference where I came from, everybody was. Now, I dunno." She is a bit rough as she begins scrubbing the caked-on blood from her skin, not too worried about getting physical and moving her head around. "Ugh.. you're a goddamn mess. You look like me the time I took a nose-dive off a bridge on my bike... you must be freezing, you sure you're alright? ...all this from you or.. somebody else?" She didn't look her in the eyes, but she could feel Patty relax as the glow subsided. Who knows how she's even rationalizing this right now. "...if it is, don't need to tell me about it. Not my business anyways."
  140.  
  141. --Syaka
  142. "Watch the quills." Maybe it was her powers doing the trick, or maybe Patty really was  hardy enough to play along. Whatever it was, things could have gone way worse. She'd only killed one of the two mortals she'd met so far- Not bad, if she did think so herself.
  143.  
  144. "I'm always cold. Not all of the blood is mine." Syaka didn't budge as she was cleaned, possessing all the charm of a brick wall as she brushed her bare skin.
  145. Armenia... She was vaguely familiar with them, knowing only that they shared the same loathsome fate of so many natives. That alone was good enough for her, even the vaguest hint of empathy was a precious thing in today's detached, colonized society.
  146.  
  147. "Watch the quills."
  148.  
  149. --Patty
  150. Patty shoved Syaka's shoulder grufly, "You watch the fuckin' quills, I'm trying to get this shit off of you! Now grow a pair and lemmi finish this... Jesus." Despite her complaints, she was indeed daintier around her arms and her hands. She was silent for a while, scrubbing the blood away.
  151.  
  152. Finally she said, "Who has quills, anyway? This.. this is some serious weird shit right here. I dunno what got you these anyways... you sick or something? ...fuckin Wolverine or some shit?"
  153.  
  154. --Syaka
  155. "It's a curse I used to have. I'll have to burn these off soon." Patty was lucky the vampire was as tired as she was, otherwise she may have been met with something less pleasant than quiet compliance.
  156.  
  157. "You've never seen anything like me. I get it, I can see it in your eyes.... I think." She leaned her face in, sniffing right up in the nook of her neck. "You're drunk."
  158.  
  159. --Patty
  160. The moment she got close, Patty froze and ceased breathing. She could feel herself flushing before she sputters indignantly, "I'm not that fuckin' drunk! I'm just.. I don't remember getting that drunk, at least." She shook her head, breaths shallow. "I mean.. I'm probably gone all Elm Street and this is all a booze dream. Guess you're Freddy then. You got the claws for it. If it's a dream, though, it makes dream sense, right? As for never seen, this shit is way out there... but then again, we don't have many Indians in New York. Well, not the American kind, anyways."
  161.  
  162. While she was putting on a tough exterior, it would be obvious by now that, despite her posturing and acting worldly-wise, she was still a kid. She couldn't be more than twenty, tops.
  163.  
  164. "You'd think I should just say 'fuck it', and bail, right? I dunno. I mean, that makes sense. I just.. I can't say no sometimes. I wanna run, but I can't."
  165.  
  166. --Syaka
  167. "I'm not going to tell you what to do." Only heavily suggest it.
  168. Her movements were more animal than human at times, and her sense of space seemed the same. She'd been alone for decades, but it seemed she'd already been pretty lonely before then. Maybe. It could be that she was beyond caring at that point. She could only go up after being found like this.
  169.  
  170. "You remind me of the kind of women in my pack." She paused, giving off a thousand yard stare. Her pack. She'd been so frantic about surviving that she'd forgotten to look for her sisters. I'td been a long time, but if things were like in the 90's, California was the kind of place where a daughter of Muricia would hide out.
  171.  
  172. "You really haven't seen anyone like me until now?" She didn't back off, remaining awkwardly close for the conversation they were having. "You must have some shit luck to have me the one break the news to you. You know all of those..." She clicked her tongue. "Hollywood monsters?"
  173.  
  174. --Patty
  175. She frowned, "Lady, I haven't seen anything. As far as I'm concerned, this is some dream shit. It's one of those dream where it feels like, super real, then you wake up and it's still a dream but you think you're awake, or whatever. That's probably what this is. That, or I'm so damn stoned I hooked up with some foxy She-Ra chick in the woods and I'm just tripping on some major shit." She seemed awfully calm about the matter, either way. "If you're, like, were-porcupine or some shit, it's probably drugs."
  176.  
  177. She held the claws in her hand, turning them over and cleaning them. "Shit looks so real. Like, really real." She she shook her head, adding, "Bad fuckin' luck, though? No that's just dumb fuckin' Patty. Just cause I can't stop runnin' my mouth or drinking till I puke, or starting a fight.. or droppin' my drawers for every dope with a set of chrome and wheels and pretty smile? Naw.. that's just my fault all 'round."
  178.  
  179. --Syaka
  180. "I don't think you could stumble on a vampire if you bent your ass over a dumpster in the middle of the city." And just like that, she carelessly dropped the V word. Well then, now was a better time than ever to clue in this woman. "We're not common. That's why you hadn't seen someone like me until... now."
  181.  
  182. Being called She-Ra was the nicest thing nobody had ever called her. Better than being He-Man or Tonto for sure. "You'll sober up, and I'll either be gone by dawn or you'll be in some deep shit."
  183.  
  184. --Patty
  185. She smiled at her for a moment, "Pfft. What else is fuckin' new, right?" Her smile broke and and she cleared her throat, walking over to the fire pit to make sure she wasn't looking her way. "It's gonna get cold. Better start a fire before we both freeze to death, right?" She could hear her voice quavering as she spoke, then a sniff. She tried to shrug it off, like she was getting sick. "..funny thing, it's not the first time somebody's said that to me. The whole vampire thing. I think LA's just full of some kind of whackos. Must be in the water." She pulled a zippo from her pocket and began gathering the tinder and kindling, sniffling as she did. "...Already getting sick."
  186.  
  187. --Syaka
  188. She sighed, scratching the back of her head. It was better than most reactions. She'd be fine. They're always fine. Except when they're not. She couldn't do much to help her either way.
  189.  
  190. She stayed in her spot as she tried to light the fire pit. "I can't die. But you should get warm." Truth was, Syaka had little to offer her in her current state. Even her blood wouldn't do much for this wayward human. It was sobering, knowing they were both powerless. Another may have viewed her condition as weakness, but in her mind, it only drew her closer to true mortality.
  191.  
  192. "Don't cry."
  193.  
  194. --Patty
  195. "Fuck off, I'm not crying." She sniffled again, taking three or four attempts to get the kindling going before she got up and, still not facing her, walked to the motorcycle and retrieved an oily rag. Tossing it on the fire, flame jumped and smoked with the acrid smell of burning engine grease. She sat down in front of the fire, wiping her nose on her arm and trying to talk without sounding too broken up. "So.. go ahead and try those on. We can, like, make cut offs if you're not into the baggy jeans or whatever." Yep, she was in full-on coughing to cover her sobs mode, facing the fire and holding her arms around her legs for warmth, tucked against her chest.
  196.  
  197. --Syaka
  198. Syaka frowned sideways. Consoling had never been her strong suit. Looking like a horrid beast probably contributed to her lack of success, but that was just a feeling.
  199. She undressed nonchalantly, keeping her back to the crying woman. There wasn't much for her to gawk at that she hadn't already seen, and peeping wasn't much of a worry for the same reasons she wasn't looking to become a therapist.
  200.  
  201. "Why are you crying?" She grumbled as she pulled the shirt on first- A good fit, surprisingly. The pants would have to take some work... She rummaged through her waistband, pulling out a hunter's knife. A tear here, some slicing there, and she'd be able to make something interesting out of these dumb "trendy" jeans.
  202.  
  203. --Patty
  204. Patty didn't speak. She stared into the fire and rocked a bit, holding herself upright in a fetal position as she watched the flames in front of her. Her breathing was still labored, still sobbing quietly, but she made her best effort not to make a fuss about it.
  205.  
  206. Instead, she cracked open another beer and began swilling it as fast as she could tolerate, belching and downing some more. Looks like she's intending to make good on the drunken stupor part.
  207.  
  208. --Syaka
  209. She inhaled deeply, letting out her breath slowly. She'd need to be calm to approach that fire.
  210. With a new set of shorts on, she joined Patty by the fire, looking a bit less offensive with a new set of clothes.
  211.  
  212. Where should she even begin? *Should* she? Sometimes silence was better than muddying the air with words, and she wasn't one for small talk. She grabbed a stick and began poking at the flames, watching the licks of fire engulf the dead branch.
  213.  
  214. --Patty
  215. There was the fizz of the beer being opened, and she handed it to Syaka silently, still chugging her own. Her eyes were red and bloodshot, cheeks still damp with tears, but she'd managed to stop crying for the moment.
  216.  
  217. "Well.. you... um.." She sniffed, then continued, "....I guess I'm taking you where you want to go. Unless, like, you're gonna be stealing my bike and leaving me up here to starve. ..I probably shouldn't give you ideas." She shivered a bit and got closer to the fire, trying to arm herself without getting scorched. She turned and faced toward the dark, making an effort not to look her way.
  218.  
  219. --Syaka
  220. "I don't have anywhere to go." She confessed matter of factly. She sniffed the beer, the bottle whistling with the air coming out of her nose. "I can't eat food. But thanks."
  221.  
  222. She pulled the branch away, having a staring contest with the flames. She'd done this hundreds, if not thousands of times before. But she still felt nervous moments before doing it.
  223. She began heating the knife's blade with the fire, letting it come as close as possible to red hot.
  224.  
  225. "You sound hurt."
  226.  
  227. --Patty
  228. "Hrmm? No.. no no no. I ain't hurt or nothin, I'm just..." She shakes her head, face incredulous, "I'm just ready to wake the fuck up is all. It was nice meeting you and all but, I'm ready for this to be over. Alright? I just..." Her voice catches and she takes a moment to compose herself. "I need to sleep this off. I am just, I'm not doing good. I'm just, not feelin' it right now. So... I guess I'm gonna finish your beer too, get in my sleeping bag and.. and sleep this shit off.. cause if I don't..." her voice becomes tense, fists closing and opening with tension, "..I'm... I'm gonna fuckin flip out, alright? So.. so I'm gonna go to sleep now, and when I wake up.. it's gonna just be over." She pinched her eyes shut, trying not to hyperventilate at this point.
  229.  
  230. "...I'm going to bed. See you in.." She stopped herself. Something told her that she didn't want to finish that sentence. Instead she pulled out her old sleeping bag and rolled it out by the fire, taking off her jeans and setting them aside.
  231.  
  232. --Syaka
  233. Mortals were so difficult. No, she knew that wasn't the case. She was difficult. Always had been, always will be. Being a beast was only coincidential, and in a way, it helped make her inadequacies easier to ignore. A stranger crawling out of a cave, trying to make some conversation despite what they are... A good allegory for her whole life, if you asked her.
  234.  
  235. Turning her back to Patty, she began cutting off the quills on her forearm. This was the easy part, as it caused her no pain to trim them off, and the scent of seared keratine was far less distressing than what would come when she put the iron to her flesh.
  236.  
  237. "I'll be gone in the morning, and we can all pretend this never happened."
  238.  
  239. --Syaka
  240. "...I'll be fine."
  241. Memories had a way of fading away when you were old. You lose your sense of surprise, and life becomes a bit more dull for it. For the young girl, this was probably the craziest thing she had seen in her young, impressionable life. For Syaka, however, this wouldn't even be worth a footnote.
  242.  
  243. She bit on a chunk of wood, screaming against it as she sweated blood out of sheer nerves. The hot knife cauterized and cut into her skin, leaving what would become hideous, but by now familiar scars. She couldn't merely pull them out or go through this quickly- The more damage she caused, the longer she'd be able to rest without worrying about these marks.
  244. The quills were the first to go, the lumps of skin, barbs and blood falling onto the forest floor. A disgusting odor filled the air, and she pulled down her pants to begin cutting off the patches of fur.
  245.  
  246. --Patty
  247. By now she was unconscious, completely within a drunken stupor and belching quietly in her sleep. This whole nightmare would be written off in the morning, barring any evidence left behind to the contrary. She was dead to the world, and easy prey should she be so inclined.
  248.  
  249. --Syaka
  250. Syaka could have fed from her, she could have also left her rags and gore behind. But she didn't. Maybe it was the percieved kinship from their heritage, but she made it a point to bury all evidence in a shallow hole. The fur, the quills, and even the claws, all tossed to rot away in the ground.
  251.  
  252. It was for the best. This road was one best walked alone.
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