i forgot that i signed up to this text notifications service for my doctor’s appointments and i never saved the number of the automatic system that texts you so i literally almost just booked an early visit for a heart attack when i saw the message preview from ‘unknown number’ saying: “tonight 6pm…”
Ina’thia had received the letter by courier. Not the usual Blood Knight or Magistry couriers she dealt regularly within Silvermoon City. This one came from a Royal Deathguard, clad in red and purple, face completely hidden from view. All she could see were those menacing glowing eyes of undeath. From under his helmet, the Deathstalker muttered a simple statement with the tone of a dire threat.
“The Warchief expects your answer soon…”
When Ina’thia had glanced down at the black envelope, the Deathguard had vanished from sight. Such was their strength, after all…
Ina’thia glanced around the back chamber of the Hall of Blood to see other knights watching her with a combination of curiosity and contempt. How dare that Forsaken walk into this sacred chamber? What business did the Knight-Lord Dawnblade with a direct emissary of the Warchief?
She didn’t intend to linger long enough to suffer their stares any longer. After closing her files, she tucked the letter under her arm and made haste for the exit. She hurried toward her home in the Court of the Sun as quickly as her plated feet could take her.
Upon arrival, she leaned against the closed door and tore the envelope open. The parchment smelled like soot and rot.
Things had been rough ever since Negan and Dwight had been sucked into the ‘Don’t Starve’ world. Negan had almost been killed by a herd of angry Beefalo and Dwight was a lazy fuck who never gathered enough firewood so they ended up burning chunks of sod and their campsite was now surrounded by bare dirt. Very unappealing.
One day, it was the last straw for Negan, as Dwight whined ‘That stupid vampire bat of yours keeps sucking the blood from all the bunnies! What are we supposed to eat?’
Negan turned and clocked the fucker right in the chest. ‘How dare you disrespect Lucille?’
No one ever tells you it could be your own parents. The hissing of the bus as it settled wearily on its tires rang through my head louder than my own thoughts. Back in the OS. Who would’ve ever guessed. I hopped off the steps carefully, maybe a little too lightly, knowing the secrets that lurked around every corner.
I spat my gum out, a long string of saliva hitting my chin as I struggled to breathe through the humidity this place was encased in. If I was going to start my search for aliens and other oddities, Nacho Daddy was my best bet.
It was the grossest, grungiest place around. Only reason it still lived was because it was a last chance spot, before you hit the highway and flew out of this broken down city. It was nestled between the only gas station and convenience store in town.
They did make the best waffles in the state, though it was an award given to them by the miserable denizens that had the unfortunate luck to live here, so take the title with a grain of salt.
3 | Made me cry
February book challenge
(the one thats open is The Fault In Our Stars. Its dutch so it was strange to show the cover. The fault in Our Stars got me out of a reading slump. Loved it to death! When I went to see the movie I cried when it hadn’t even started because I knew what would happen. #funtimes)
Lord Shaxx looks over at the small Awoken girl next to him, staring out over the common grounds of their makeshift base camp.
“That lady keeps calling it a farm. What do they grow?”
“Hope. Dreams. The seeds of a new City.”
Runa looks down and pats her stomach.
“I meant food. I’m starving.”
“Ah.” The girl has refused to remove her cobbled-together armor, and while there are other children at the Farm she has shown no interest in leaving his side.
“Me too, kid.” Shaxx looks over as Cayde-6 drapes his frame across the railing. “I’d smooch a thrall for some noodles.”
Shaxx doesn’t answer, but Runa can’t help looking over at him.
“Do you…have a stomach?”
“Sorry,” Cayde says. “That’s classified info. Need-to-know only. You get me.”
Her frown makes it clear that she doesn’t, but she nods as though she does, her chin high, then turns her gaze back to the grounds. Cayde sighs, loud and exaggerated, and holds up a hand in front of him. As Runa watches, a knife appears in it. Then he flicks his wrist and it disappears again. A moment later, he is holding two.
Runa’s mouth gapes, and forgetting to be aloof, she stares a little harder.
Cayde pretends not to notice. Now he’s holding three knives. Now four.
“I hear you learned your way around a knife out there,” he says. “Wouldn’t have thought that ol’ One-Horn here had anything to teach.”
Shaxx continues to ignore the Exo, and watches Runa instead. Her hand twitches. If anything, her dreams have worsened since they left the City, and often he sees her sitting up at night, hugging her knees. Shaxx watches Cayde’s head shift imperceptibly; sees that he notices.
“He taught me lots,” she says, frowning at Cayde. “Besides, you only have one horn.”
“Fair point,” says Cayde, then inclines his head towards her belt, his voice dropping an octave lower. “But those are a Hunter’s knives, and Lord Shaxx ain’t no Hunter.”
“Doesn’t matter,” Runa mutters. Her hand twitches again, and she looks over at Lord Shaxx. “We’ve just been waiting here. Forever. Can’t we do something?”
“We are doing something,” says Shaxx. “There is work to be done before the next conflict. Wars are not won on the battlefield alone.”
“Yeah,” Cayde says, knives suddenly gone. “Sometimes they’re fought on weird horse-planets with depressed AIs.”
Both Shaxx and Runa look over at him.
“Never mind’. Just had a bad experience, is all. Listen, kid. If you ever want to learn how to use those knives - and I mean instead of just whacking people with ‘em, the way Captain Grumpy-Pants here does - you let me know.”
She looks back at Shaxx. “Really?”
“You do not need my permission to better your skills, little Shield-Sister,” he growls. “But I would urge you to avoid developing…bad habits.”
Run frowns, and turns back to Cayde. “But I don’t have powers. Like you do. I’m not…I’m not a Guardian. Not really.”
Cayde pauses, shoulders hunched on the railing. Lord Shaxx glances down at her, but stays very still.
“Reckon that don’t make a difference,” Cayde says at last. “Way I see it, the Light - that’s what we call it - all it is, is potential. A way to grab what you want and make it real. But you don’t need that.”
“Nah. Knives have their own language, and fluency requires a…certain knack. Way I hear it, you’ve got the knack. Besides, anyone who stayed in that City and did what you did’s a Guardian any way you cut it - Light or no. Which, in case any of us have managed to forget, is something none of us have anymore either.”
She flashes a shy smile at him.
“Tell you what, kid. See that lady in the poncho down there? She’ll find you something to eat. After that, I’ll show you how to play the knife game.”
“The knife game?” Runa asks.
“Most important skill a Hunter’ll ever have,” Cayde says. “Win you loads of Glimmer. Just don’t play with Ikora.”
“Cayde,” Shaxx says.
“Shh, this is Hunter talk. Sound good, kid? Meet you back here in fifteen or so?”
Once more, Runa glances up at Shaxx. He nods slightly.
“‘Kay,” Runa says, mimicking Cayde’s cadence. “Meet you in fifteen.” With a grin, she disappears.
Lord Shaxx and Cayde-6 watch her run down the stairs and across the grass. The knife is back in Cayde’s hand, twirling through his fingers, but he doesn’t seem to notice it.
“Where’s she stayin’?”
“With me, for the time being,” says Shaxx. “She has paid no heed to the other children.”
“Not surprising. Doesn’t seem fair, losin’ out on your childhood like that. And now…You oughta make sure she’s got somebody to talk to. Seen Hunters go twitchy before.”
At last, Shaxx rolls his neck and places his hands on the railing.
“I know enough to know that the girl should spend time with others, but I was not aware you had experience in raising children,” Shaxx says. He makes an effort to sound sincere.
The knife stops. “Me? Please. I’ve just always wanted to be the cool uncle. Jokes, presents, liquor under the table…”
“Kidding, kidding. Well, I’m gonna go bother Ikora for a while before the little brat comes back. Good talk, champ.”
He pushes himself away from the railing, and begins to walk away.
“Wait,” Shaxx says. “I…thank you. I’m pleased that you’re willing to help.”
Cayde spins on his heel and offers a two-fingered salute.
Hannibal loves walking around the city with Bedelia between monuments and museums, sharing with her his knowledge about art and culture. She remembers how pleased he was that time he showed her the first exposition he helped set up in Florence. He remembers how, every time, when she wanders around admiring the place by herself, his gaze always ends up admiring her.