Gauf

Nora and Avia

Mar 18th, 2015
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  1. Clack. Scrape. Scrunch. Clack. Scrape. Scrunch. Nora's claws cut away the earth beneath her and throw it behind her, spattering on the ground with a shattering of clay particles. Avia scoops up the dirt and pulls it up above, where she drops it at the base of a nearby tree. So far, two trees are buried nearly up to the leafline in dirt dug up from the... well, the hole that the pair are digging in the clearing. Ten feet wide and nearly twenty feet deep now, it resembles more of a tunnel than a hole. Eleven-year-old Nora stops for a moment to wipe away a bit of dirt from her horns and looks back.
  2. "Avia, this might take a while longer than I thought..."
  3. "What?" Avia's voice comes back, dreamily and far off, though she was pretty much always like that. "Come on, China can't be that far away. You aren't tiiiiired, are you?"
  4. Nora blushes, grey-green skin darkening with the rush of blood. "Of course not! I'm just worried that we won't be home in time for dinner, at this rate!"
  5. "Oh, don't worry about that. Just keep digging, Nora."
  6. Grumbling, the young Ushi-Oni (too young for a seal, even) turns back to the wall of clay and sediment and stabs her claws and pedipalps into it, dragging dirt and clay upwards, loosening it and kicking it behind her as she continues to tunnel. "Mom never really showed me how to do this, you know."
  7. "Oh?" Avia says from behind Nora, off to the side just a bit to avoid the flying dirt though her tail is still struck. Not that she seems to notice, Nora thought. "I thought it was a natural thing. You know, tunnel, dig a hole, find a husband..."
  8. "Nah. Mom's supposed to teach me when I'm older. She says it's not as important anymore. But I still want to do it!"
  9. "Aren't you doing it right now?"
  10. "Yeah, I suppose." Silence reigns. Clack. Scrape. Scrunch. Clack. Scrape. Crunch.
  11.  
  12. It occurs to Nora after the second hour that China is a long, long way away. She's seen the globe at home, and this tunnel is getting big now. A hundred feet down in a diagonal slope is a big effort, and it astounds her how much dirt she must have pulled out, and how little tiredness she feels. She's moved ten times ten times a hundred is... a lot of feet of dirt, yet she feels fresh as she did when she started, and Avia is just as cheerful as ever, not a bead of sweat on the Wurm. But it's getting dark, and dinner is soon and they aren't at China yet.
  13. "Hey, Avia, how far away is China?"
  14. "Can't be much further, Nora. We've been at this for a while." Nora's enthusiasm dimmed when she looked back and could still see the light of day, fading now into orange evening.
  15. "I don't think this is gonna be done today."
  16. Before Avia can respond, Nora's ears twitched under her hair at the sound of approaching steps. Turning, she clack-clack-clacked towards the entrance of the cave, a gasp from the outside ringing in her ears.
  17. The figure stepped in front of the hole, shielding it's eyes with one hand as Nora worked her legs into a blur, arms outstretched and smile on her face.
  18. "Daddy!"
  19. "Hey, baby girl. What's with the hole?"
  20. "We're digging to China?"
  21. The incubus gives a half smile. "That so? Well, it's time for dinner now, so you and Avia should come eat. Your mother's worried about you."
  22. Nora's ears droop as Avia slithers out of the pit behind her.
  23. "And you're going to have to fill that in later." Both girls gasp, Avia clapping her hands to her face, covering her mouth with one dirt-encrusted claw.
  24. "But dad!"
  25. "No buts. Look what you've done, Nora." Her father waves a hand to the dozen -- maybe even dozens -- of trees, buried in dirt.
  26. "Besides, China's through the core of the earth. It would take a really long time to get through that."
  27. "Daaaaad-"
  28. "Come on, Nora. Lets get you both some dinner and you can put the dirt back tomorrow." A pout is his only response, but gears turn in Avia's head. They got just that far, and Nora's dad is worrying about them going through the core of the earth? That sounds really cool!
  29. They'll have to try to get there next time.
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