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Fiction Cold (April-May Short Story 2018 entry)

Discussion in 'Fluff and Stories' started by Y'ttar Scaletail, May 31, 2018.

  1. Y'ttar Scaletail
    Kroxigor

    Y'ttar Scaletail Well-Known Member

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    Cold

    The eye, glassy and dead, was Tark’s only answer.

    He remained kneeling before the dead Cold One, looking into its dead eye. The battle had ended and the victorious Lustrians had driven away the green robed Skaven of Pestilens. How long Tark had knelt before his fallen mount, he seemed not to know nor care. The Lustrians, even his own fellow riders had left with barely a pause.

    Cold blood from the wound that had killed his Cold One had begun to clot, as the heat of the jungle thinned away and night began to creep its path across the sky. It had been only Tark’s presence that had prevented most of the forest’s predators and scavengers from descending upon his former mount. With the advent of night, Tark would surely become prey himself.

    Still he knelt there, claw almost tenderly placed on the lifeless face of the Cold One.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Many suns ago

    The egg splintered and broke with but the softest of cracking sounds.

    A tiny head, still dripping with fluid blinked into the light. Filmy eyes opened and shut as they tried to adjust. The tiny Cold One chirped slowly, and was taken aback from the sound it had just made. It looked up and saw a similarly reptilian face looking down upon it, blue scaled with strange glittering devices upon its head.

    Tark looked down upon the hatchling that was to be his to raise. It chirped again and scrambled from its egg as the Saurus gently offered it some pre-chewed meat. The Cold One chick chirped again, happier sounding this time as its recently formed fangs attacked the meat with gusto.

    As it ate, Tark raised a claw and tenderly touched the chick’s face.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Through the jungle the pounding of Cold One claws grew to a crescendo as the formation of riders closed in on the massed ranks of chittering green robed Skaven. Elsewhere units of Saurus crashed into swarms of the Ratmen, the whistling of blowpipes signalled the efforts of Skink skirmishers, and a heavy throb of power indicated that the Slann was making his presence felt.

    Tark raised his spear as he picked out a target, a vile ratman whose visible flesh was covered in weeping boils and sores carrying a great gong. Below him, his Cold One’s breath was rasping as it tapped into its kill urge as it neared the foe.

    Then with a great crash the two lines met. Verminous squeals and saurid roars, the crash of bone and metal on metal, scale, and flesh intermingled into one terrible noise. Cold Ones tore and gnashed through tattered green robes, Skaven claws tore at scaled flesh, and Tark slew all those Skaven around him again and again.

    It was then that from the mass of vermin an even fouler creature emerged, a heavy and noxiously smoking flail in paw. It crushed the skull of one Cold One rider and then swung at Tark. Tark brought his shield up, knowing that he would be too late. And yet the blow never connected. At the final moment, the Cold One had moved into the path of Skaven.

    Tark was hurled from his saddle by the blow as his Cold One sank to the ground. The Saurus rose to his feet and roared. The Skaven gave a burbling chitter of a laugh and launched himself forwards...

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    The stars had begun to wink into life through the gaps in the treeline.

    Tark removed his claw and blinked.

    A feeling so strange and alien gripped the Saurus as the shadows began to cover his former mount. A feeling he perhaps wished he could understand.

    Gently he took in a final breath, filling his nostrils with the dying scent of the Cold One, and then rose.

    Without turning back, the Saurus began the long journey home.




    Author notes: Of course, being the soft hearted fool-thing I am...I couldn't just leave it there...Here's an additional ending...

    Cold: An Epilogue

    From starlight the Seraphon are formed.

    Great heroes and warriors from a world now dead and gone that fight anew to cast back Chaos once more.

    Though their true forms died long ago, a Saurus named only as Tark halts his mount. The Cold One’s eyes seem to gleam with joy as the Saurus touches its face tenderly.

    Now of starlight, now reunited, neither no longer are truly cold.
     
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  2. Y'ttar Scaletail
    Kroxigor

    Y'ttar Scaletail Well-Known Member

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    *Cruel chittering laughter* That aside, this in a way was a departure from my usual norm. As I writer I very rarely kill characters, so it's good to know I pulled it off well enough to really pull at the heart strings! Cheers! :)

    As you doubtless know, Scalenex, this piece was a frantically written thing. So I very much agree with your recommendations. I guess if I was going to give the Cold One a name, i'd probably go for Uzz or something, if only to make a Tarkus Tark-Uzz pun. :p

    Indeed. The play on how a Saurus would respond to the death of its mount was very much in mind as I wrote this piece. I must confess even after this I don't really know myself. Tark did seem to have a fondness for the Cold One and his action of staying behind was curious. But was he an exception to the rule? Considering how the others left almost instantly at the battle's end. Question-things I don't think I want to answer! :p

    Indeed...for better or worse...

    Aww thanks, and don't worry I mind not. :)
     
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  3. Carnikang
    Kroxigor

    Carnikang Well-Known Member

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    While I liked the last story a lot, this one was my favorite of the lot. Some might say I'm biased for being a cold-bloody lizard with sparks of emotion, but then again, they're not wrong.

    Congrats on the win, and be wary. For next contest, another predator comes for the prize.
     
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