Well, again I spent WAY too much time on this then i should have. A quick sketch, I said…now it needs color, I said…but I really need to clean this up, I said. Honestly, I just wanted this done because otherwise I’d still be working on this.
So what was the idea behind this? When i thought fight…I wanted a Battle with something BIG. I’m not sure WHO it is, but I looked into Lyssa (Goddess of Rage) and slammed that head first into a Volcano Elemental. I tried my best to push away from an entirely human design, though I think I should have pushed it further. I do like how she’s molten magma…kind of ever shifting changing
I debated whether or not I wanted to Shrink Bunny down just to emphasize her size, but in order to do that i should have worked with a different perspective. Oh well :) It’s not too bad.
Jack’s magic is protecting him, though where his staff is I have no clue…maybe she ate it? I’m debating whether or not I should continue the story. If you can be infected by Fear…I wonder what happened when you are overcome with Rage?
A/N: For the first day of Rainbow Snowcone week, this was based on one of Sophiefarts works, this is an edit of an earlier work that I published on another blog. Please, forgive my terrible writing.
It was not supposed to go this way.
It was hard to believe that anyone could be so stupid.
It had started so simply.
He was a free soul, and nothing, not even the strongest of currents could keep him down. This is a poor analogy, seeing as, most of the time, the currents never opposed him. Instead, they seemed to listen to him, follow his commands, even when he did not consciously make them.
So it was that Jack could often be found on the surface.
His sister often begged him not to go there, telling him the awful stories of the horrible creatures that dwelt above the rippling boundary between their world and the others’.
Jack, however, was never one to listen.
So, as said before, Jack could often be found at the surface, kelp satchel draped across his square shoulders and head defiantly raised above the surface. The air was so much different than the sea. Whereas the seas were strong, forcing things out of their way and falling heavily down, the air was cool, it was alive, it was free. It was free to soar, to course around any obstacles, it was beyond the water-bound creatures below. On particularly breezy days, when the wind swept across the swells like a great wall, Jack would leap into the embrace of the air, cerulean tail glittering with golden sunlight, wild and messy white locks floating from his pale face, as if trying to go fly off, hoping that this mysterious moving above the waves would carry him away with it.
Alas, it never did, and after his few seconds of ecstasy, his body would come splashing back down to be reclaimed by the sea. His head would break the surface, tossing the hair from his face, as he did so, and watching with glacial eyes as the wind sped away without him.
Every day, while his mother was distracted and his sister was out looking for what shells the merchants had left behind, Jack would repeat the process. Sometimes he would jump, sometimes he would not, but all times he relished the time that he had above the sea. True, breathing was difficult. The air was just so…light. It had no substance for his chest to strain against, it just flowed through his nose and mouth. Worse, it seemed to make him breathless and lightheaded when he stayed above the surface for to long, necessitating a couple of breaths in the soothing warmth of the ocean.
It was on one of those days that it all happened.
He had been jumping for some time, catching progressively stronger breezes each time, jumping higher and higher from the waves each time. He got closer and closer to shore each time, and soon the waves turned white and the water turned cloudy, as the ocean and the land waged their eternal turf war. Jack let his head bob above the surface, feeling the cool air sweep inside him. He was just starting to get light headed, and it was late. Soon the tide would go out, and he would have to return home, as his mother expected him back no later than the lowest point of the tide. He savored his last few breaths, knowing that it would be another day, or more, before he could do it again. He loved the ocean water, but the air was just so mysterious to him. So exotic. As he sat neutral amongst the waves, he felt a particularly strong tug against one of his pale flukes. He knew it was only a riptide, and only humans needed to fear the pull of the sea, but something within him connected the dots. An idea sprang into his head, unbidden, unchallenged, and completely awesome!
Diving down, Jack lifted his satchel from his shoulders and let it sink to the bottom, deep enough to be out of the way, but shallow enough that he could find it again. Taking a deep breath of the salt-water, he listened as the water around began to pick up speed. The currents rose up from the deep, wrapping him firmly but gently within their coursing bodies, wondering who this youngling was, and why he was brazen enough to wait so foolishly in their midst.
With a rush and a roar, the currents surged upward like an enormous snake. Jack was in the center, tail furiously beating, speed increasing, zooming straight up like a blast of bubbles. He was going so fast, so fast! It was unbelievable how fast he was going! If only Emma could see him now! Yet, this speed was not the endgame.
The sea began to grow lighter around him as he neared the surface. Closer and closer, the undulating barrier loomed before him like a wall. With a final thrust of his tail, Jack took a deep breath and aligned his head with his body, letting the crown of his white head break the surface, which shattered and flew from his presence like frightened fish.
He was in the air.
It took him a moment to realize that he was in the air, high above the surface, looking down on the water below. He was on the level of sea gulls, seeing the world from high above it, not as a part of it.
Jack let out a wild whoop as he continued to ascend.
He was free, like the wind he so envied he was free of the sea. The air had no hold on him, his body was his own to control, no longer subject to the mercy of the water. Light from the sun lit the world and made the water drops glitter like thousands of miniature diamonds.
Jack let his eyes close in bliss, an easy half-smile on his lips. The air swept past him as he flew, whipping his hair against his freckled skin. Gravity was lost on him, a dim concept, a former memory that was lost inside his head. His arms spread out like wings, he felt his flukes fluttering like flags, his fingers, connected with translucent cyan webbing, stretched out, reaching for something unattainable.
Then, like he knew it would eventually, gravity reclaimed this escapee. He felt the pull begin to drag him down, and all of the bliss, all of the freedom, even the feeling of the air seemed to disappear in an instant as he fell back into the sea. The smile fell from his face, and he forced his eyes open so that he could hit the water properly.
It was then that he noticed that his current-fed jump had propelled him into the surf zone.
His entry to the water was perfect, his arms creating a triangle over his head and breaking the surface tension, but the sea was something less than gentle in its treatment of the would-be escapee.
He remembered being churned and thrashed as the waves and sand fought for the border of the coast, unable to see, unable to swim, unable to track the sun that would lead him up and to safety. He thrashed desperately in attempt to find it, but the waves were too strong, spinning him up and spitting him out in one movement. Jack tried to call for help, but his voice was lost in the battle cry of the breakers. Seemingly tired of this presence on the battlefield, the sand delivered up a sizeable rock that the water carried straight to the back of Jack’s head.
That was the first thing he was aware of.
He was laying on something rough and coarse, yet surprisingly soft.
It had to be sand.
And sand meant the coast, since the deep sea was filled with finer silts and grains.
So he was on the coast.
Jack suddenly bolted upright, or as upright as he could without human hipbones. He was on the beach, not in the water. The air was no longer cool, it was hot and grating. It seemed to sear his pale skin, and glinted with sadistic glee off his scales. His throat was dry, each breath of the now vicious air pained him. His breathing was raspy, labored.
He needed water.
He needed to breathe.
Turning, he saw the crashing surf a down the beach. The tide was swiftly leaving him behind, abandoning him to dry up on the shore, to die with labored breath and parched throat.
Turning over onto his belly, Jack dug his fingers into the sand and began to drag himself forward. The sand gave a little, but by using his forearms as well as his webbed fingers, he was able to crawl forward, slowly but surely.
It hurt, a lot.
His tail, once so graceful and powerful underwater now dragged heavily in the sand, slowing him down, dooming him to death on the sand.
The water was still receding, or was it his imagination? Was it waving at him? Was it giving its child a final gesture of pity? Did it know that it could save him with a single wave, should that wave extend so far up the beach? If it could not carry him, at least he would have something to breathe, the quench his throat, to cool his burning skin and scales.
Above the crash of the surf, he heard something.
It sounded female, and it sounded like it was getting closer.
Turning his head, Jack saw something that was almost worse than dying.
A human, a human woman, or girl, or whichever word the humans were using now. She was running towards him from across the beach, sand kicking up in high plumes behind her as she advanced over the terrain. She was pointing at him and calling loudly, perhaps for friends so that they could drag him away to some horrific tank that the dolphins told him so much. Dolphins, who are just as smart as humans, yet are kept in cages simply because they do not speak the same language or cannot make facial expressions. Merpeople would be even more unjustly treated, for while dolphins were well known to the two-legged creatures, the mer were not. He would be examined, cut up as the few escaped dolphins had explained to him, and then his body would be displayed for them all to see.
He tried to crawl faster, pushing his arms into the loose grains and trying to go forward, but he knew that she would catch up to him first.
And certainly, she did. With a few panted words in their language, the human girl was upon him, turning him over and cradling him in her arms. She pushed the hair off his face, seized his head and made him look at her. Her skin was lightly bronzed, framed by dark locks of hair, streaked with shades of amethyst, emerald, and gold. Her enormous eyes were colored, of all things, purple-pink, but more so than any coral that Jack had ever seen. She spoke rapidly, and he doubted that he would have understood her even if he spoke her language. She waved a hand in front of his eyes, before moving down to inspect the rest of his body, seemingly concerned for him, brushing off the sand from his torso and placing an ear on his chest, as if listening to his heart. It amazed him that she knew where to listen, seeing as all merpeople know that humans have no hearts, only great bags of air that they hold within their chests. Jack began to flail, lashing out with his tail, swinging at her with his hands, albeit a bit weakly. In the water, she would have been no match for his strength and he would have drowned her in the way his kin had drowned humans for centuries before him. But on land, she had an edge. The girl tightened her grip on him and began to speak again, this time though, it seemed to be quieter, more soothing. Releasing his torso, she seized his head with both hands and forced his head against her chest. Jack tried to push away, but her grip was like iron. The awful texture of the things she wore on her body grated against his cheek as he tried in vain to flee. He pushed so hard, he almost missed it:
Jack froze. What was this? Did she have a-
She had a heartbeat.
It was there, beneath her garments and warm skin, there was a heart.
Her hands gently released his head, letting him sink back onto the sand. His breathing still hurt and rasped against his throat. He could not talk to her, but something about her face made him sure that she wanted to … help him.
Since when did humans have compassion?
Yet…this exotic beauty before him seemed genuinely concerned for his wellbeing. She was not going to capture him, she was not going to put him in an ocean-with-walls, she was not going to kill him and chop him apart for soup.
He sat for a moment, lost in her eyes, those beautiful eyes. In the sea, only fish came close to this magnificent color that loomed before him, deep as the trenches, unknowable as the Dark Below, beautiful as the coral reef, glistening like the surface of the sea on a calm day. It was a treasure the likes of which he had never before seen.
A sudden burst of pain in his chest reminded him of the dire situation that he found himself. He cried out in pain and clasped a hand to his chest, feeling his face contort from the spasm.
She was immediately on him, holding him like child, and trying to talk again, scanning his body for injuries, but this was going to get them nowhere.
Did she really want to help?
He waved his hands to get her attention. She stopped her babbling, and locked her gaze on him again.
He placed a hand on his chest and exaggerated his breathing. Would she understand?
Her brows knitted for a moment, but one of her hands left his side, and found its way to her own chest, and she made a show of breathing the hateful air that seemed to scorch his insides.
Jack nodded, and managed to croak out the one human word he knew:
Her eyes suddenly bugged in comprehension, and she began to babble again, releasing him again. She seemed to have run off, but suddenly both of her hands managed to appear under his arms. She gave a grunt of effort, digging her legs into the sand and pulling him towards the surf.
She was very slow, but then again, Jack was pretty sure that he was heavier than a human. She grunted and strained, but she never stopped. Her legs worked more and more, gouging huge troughs into the sand where they made contact. The sound of the surf was behind Jack, but he could hear it getting closer, calling to him, beckoning to him like a long-lost friend.
The first rush of water on his tail filled him with relief , the sea was so close now.
Another rush of water, this one was deeper.
A third, and he was half submerged. All the depth he needed to twist out of her arms, knocking her into the waves, and ride the retreating water into deep, cool, refreshing surf. The water soothed his burning throat as he breathed in and out, swimming out farther. Casting a look back, he saw the pair of legs were still standing in the water.
Curious, Jack lifted enough of his head above water to see her, but low enough to keep breathing.
She was standing in the surf, now totally drenched in seawater, but with a happy smile on her face. Yet…it was not happy. She seemed a little…sad?
Yet another emotion Jack was unaware that humans possessed.
He did not want her to be sad, he realized. She had, after all, saved his life. A debt was owed here.
Giving a few gentle kicks with his tail, Jack swam up next to her, head still only just above water. She knelt in the water, eyes locked on him again. She seemed excited, her mouth spread into a wide smile, revealing a set of perfectly white teeth. She began to speak again, but still, the words were a mystery to Jack. Jack knew that his language was useless with her, so he wondered how he would thank her if she knew not what she was saying.
Her speech suddenly stopped, as if she realized that he spoke none of her language. Her lips pursed, and she assumed a thoughtful expression. A new look of inspiration dawned on her features. She made a strange grunt with her throat, before saying to him, very clearly, and very emphatically pointing at herself: “Tooth.”
Hmmm…Jack wondered what this was supposed to mean. A greeting? A threat?
She repeated the gesture and restated: “Tooth.”
OH! She was saying her name! What her people called her! Two could play at this game.
Lifting his head, Jack opened his mouth to speak, but was rewarded with a spray of water from his lips that hit the girl in the face. She raised her hands against the barrage, and let out a sound that was oddly reminiscent of laughter.
It was contagious, and Jack let his lips form his own trademark half-smile. She lowered her hands and regarded him with her smile again.
Smiling back, he pointed at himself: “Jjj-aaaaa-ck.”
It sounded awful. The air, while fine while saying “sea” carried his name poorly. He winced at the woeful sound that emerged from his lips.
She, however, seemed intrigued and repeated: “Jack?”
At least she could say it right. Now…for her name…How did she manage that final sound in her name? They had no such sound in his tongue.
“Toooo-t-ha,” was what came out.
She cheered and clapped her tiny hands, pointing at herself and saying: “Tooth!”
Then she pointed at Jack and said his name to him: “Jack.”
Jack tried again, having observed her lips, tongue, and teeth closely. “Tooo-thah!”
She nodded and then, very gently and slowly, repeated: “Tooth.”
Come on Jack! One more time: “Tooth.”
The already huge smile on her face grew again. “Tooth. Ick-sac-lee!”
Whatever she said after that was lost on him, but he got the feeling that she wanted to try to talk with him
The funny thing was, he was pretty sure that he wanted to talk with her as well.