Quill-Weave

So a few weeks ago I got Clip Studio Paint Pro. I couldn’t use it since I got it because of my Wacom Bamboo Pen Tablet. It didn’t like working with the software at all and that kinda upset me. Well that tablet’s stylus started acting up so I went and ordered a replacement one. But not for that tablet.

You see, the Wacom was my backup Drawing Tablet because the Pen on my Turcom broke a long time ago and back then, you couldn’t buy a replacement stylus for it. Now that I can I went ahead and got one for it. My Turcom works fine with Clip Studio BUT doesn’t like working with SAI now. So I thought and I’d sketch a few images up on Clip Studio to get used to it and the bigger Drawing Tablet.

Dodger: Continuation (3)

Author’s note: I’ve decided to continue my fanfiction on a different blog. bdfanfic.tumblr.com. I’ll reblog to here from there for a while, but eventually I’ll stop putting fanfictions there at all and reserve it for other oddities. So, if you want to follow my fanfic stuff, be sure to add bdfanfic.tumblr.com blog to your… whatever it is. Here’s part 3 of Dodger: Continuation.

They resumed their journey in the bustling street. Eventually they came to a district full of what appeared to be graves. Yellow-Eyes stepped off the path and grabbed a small stone, setting it gingerly onto an otherwise unremarkable headstone.

“What’s that for?” Dodger asked, not able to resist the question.

“Never you mind. Let’s go.”

They returned the way they’d come and passed through to an area where she read “Elven Garden” above the gateway. Dodger was nearly ready to ask Yellow-Eyes where she might stop to use a bathroom when instead he stepped up to a building with a sign overhead that read “Luther Broad’s Boarding House”. Within, it took a moment for her eyes to adjust to the light. Yellow-eyes was already speaking with a man she could only assume was Luther Broad in quiet tones. The man nodded and handed him a key.

“Come Dodger. We have a place to stay for the night.”

“Where’s the restroom?” she asked, and Yellow-Eyes gestured to a door to their right.

Once inside, she wished she had done her business outdoors. The stench was powerful, and there were two men there pissing into the same hole while another was just finishing up. As disgusting as the place was, she had to admit that she’d discovered a new fact about human anatomy she’d not known before. Her books had been quite unclear as to certain details. Looking at the stinking hole, she was at least gratified to see the other two were finishing up, and they left her in peace while she did her best to complete the task as sanitarily as she could manage while not gagging.

She saw Yellow-Eyes waiting for her by the stairs as she tried to adopt a non-nonchalant attitude.

“Sure, I piss in stinking shitholes all the time with other humans around,” she thought to herself. “No big deal, right?”

But as they entered their room, she let loose.

“Oh my god! Yellow-Eyes, that place was awful! How do you stand it? I’m going outside next time!”

“You’ll get used to it,” he said, laying down on the bed.

Dodger crossed to the meager window and tried to look out. “I doubt that very much.”

“Dodger, don’t piss outside unless you go all the way out of the city. It’s a crime and you could get put in jail. This place is full of laws you mustn’t cross.”

Dodger scratched at the window, hoping to clean through the dirt. She finally managed to get a bit of a view, but her window just looked out onto the next building so she turned back to Yellow-Eyes.

“Only one bed?”

“Dodger, I’m penniless. My friend will help us out, but I don’t want to push it. You can have the bed, just let me take a quick nap. I know the owner though, and he knows I’m good for the rent. And he knows you’re with me. Why don’t you go down and get us some food?”

“Good idea!” she nodded, suddenly feeling the emptiness of her belly.

As she stepped to the door, Yellow-Eyes caught her attention and tossed her the key.

“Lock it.”

“Nice place you’ve brought me to,” she said, catching the key.

“I brought you nowhere, young one. You came here of your own free will.”

“Good point. Okay, I’ll be back shortly.”

“When you come back, knock three times, then once before you open the door,” the Argonian said, closing his eyes.

“Jeeze,” she thought as she stepped out into the hall. “Is he paranoid or what?”

Suddenly she had a thought and looked around the hall. No one there, but she should start checking. Maybe he wasn’t paranoid.

“So, you’re with Kem?” the man she figured was Luther asked as she sat at the bar. It was still afternoon and there weren’t many patrons around.

“Kem?”

“Well, that’s what he calls himself here anyway. Why, what do you call him?”

“Mostly Sir.”

“A good girl, you. Sure, I’ll get you some food. Want anything while you wait?”

“A drink would be nice. Maybe some ale?”

“Ale huh? How old are you kid?”

“Seventeen,” she admitted.

“Yeah. About what I figured. Have some Root Beer.”

Dodger took a sip as Luther walked into a back room. “Not bad, really,” she thought. Somehow she had figured it would taste like the bathroom smelled. But mostly the public room smelled of humans, smoke and stale beer. She saw a couple of men looking at her, but decided it would be best to ignore them as much as she could. That worked for a minute, but then she saw them approaching from the corner of her eye.

“What’s a scaly girl like you doing in a place like this?” one of them asked. 

She was actually relieved to notice he didn’t slur his words. At least they weren’t drunk.

“I’m traveling with a friend. Name’s Dodger. What’s your name?” she asked, standing up from the stool and holding out her hand in greeting.

“Oh! You speak the language well. Glad to meet you Dodger. I’m Falric and this is my brother Elric.”

Dodger was pleased to see her insight was right. Give a stranger your name and they’re not a stranger anymore. And hopefully they’ll be kind. She shook Elric’s hand.

“Are you travelers too?”

“Traveler? Oh no. We live here in the city,” Falric replied, resting his hand on her shoulder.

Suddenly she felt uncomfortable. Customs vary widely, but what she had learned of human custom indicated that physical touch is not normal among strangers. This man was getting a little too personal. She decided the direct approach might be best. She took his hand and pulled it away from her shoulder.

“I’m sorry, Falric. I’m still not familiar with human customs well, but where I’m from we don’t touch like that. Really, I apologize. It’s just not comfortable for me.”

The man’s reaction was a relief.

“Oh. I see. Well I meant no offense. So where are you headed?” he continued.

She felt a rustle behind her and spun around to face Elric, catching his hand deftly.

“I don’t have any money. Sorry Elric,” she said, baring her teeth in what could have been a sweet smile, or could have been something more.

“Oh. Um… sorry Dodger. My brother… sticky fingers you know.” Falric said.

Dodger released the Elric’s hand, making sure he scraped his wrist on her talons first.

“Oh, I know all right.”

“Listen, Dodger. You seem like a girl with her head on straight. If you ever need a job…”

“If I need a job pick-pocketing travelers, I’ll look out for you two. Or I’ll just freelance.”

“Oh, you don’t want to do that, Missy,” Elric said, rubbing his wrist. “There’s a Guild you know. You’ll lose your hand or worse if you don’t join the Guild.”

“A Guild huh? Tell me about it Elric,” she said, putting her arm around his back and lead the two brothers back to a table nearby. “I’m very interested…”

A few minutes later the bartender returned with two covered plates. He stepped up to the table where the three were talking.

“Hey, what’s this? Dodger, you don’t want to hang around with these two!”

“Oh, it’s fine Mr. Broad. My friends here were just telling me all about a Guild I might be interested in joining.”

The owner’s eyes opened wide. “Oh? You?”

“You never know.”

“Best ask your friend Kem about that,” Mr. Broad warned, setting the plates down.

At that, the other two men’s eyes followed the same path. “Kem? Is he here? You’re with Kem?” Falric said, suddenly pulling back away from her.

“I… suppose so. Yeah. I’m with Kem. Why?”

The two stood up with alarm. “Listen, tell Kem we didn’t mean anything by it. We were just… well, you know. Business!”

“Yeah, business!” said Elric as they walked as quickly as reasonably possible to the door.  "Gotta go now. Nice to meet you Dodger!“

"Nice to meet…” Dodger was saying as the door closed behind them. “…you too.”

We used to hold the sky together.
Me, with my quill and thread, weaving the stars into constellations as you watched me work with your bright eyes and held my heart for me every time the cold air made it beat so fast that I faltered.
You, with your paintbrushes and the clouds, splashing the sky with red, yellow and orange, as I watched the sunlight dribble down your fingers and you held it within your palms, saving it all for rainy days.
Somewhere in the middle, you kissed my forehead and everything turned into a silhouette of all the colours, and every twilight turned purple.

Now that you’re gone, the night has become heavier to hold.
The sharp strings dig into my skin and I keep stitching desperately as if every stitch is an apology and apologies are all I have left to give.
My heart is still beating in my chest but your palms don’t protect it from the chilly winds anymore and I can feel it withering, cracking, turning hard like ice, hoping you will thaw it with all the sunlight you once saved for us.
My redrimmed eyes are drooping with exhaustion, like sunflowers kept away from daylight for too long.

I wonder how long it’s been midnight for.

—  Tamarind Fall; Writing prompt: Bloody hands and withered heart.