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 From Pieces (Extended; WIP) 
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Post From Pieces (Extended; WIP) • Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 12:50 am
Note from Tetromino: Some parts have been majorly edited for the sake of flow and continuity. Somethings have been added, including new themes. Pretty much, you can see this as the second draft of the original story with all that applies.

Also, section is divided into acts with each act divided into parts. I have roughly three to four Acts planned, and I do know the ending, because I'm awesome like that. There might be interlude parts, though there will be an epilogue, you'll understand why when we get there. Remember, suggestions are WELCOME, but I might not use them or use them in a different way than you expect. Don't be shy, I only ever try to kill youts (and everyone else!) 8D

Act One

-Part One-

The telltale beats of hooves behind them pushed them forward. Slowing down wasn't an option. It was death. Coming to a break in the forest, they found themselves at a dead end. Before them a cliff dropped off into a ravine hundreds of feet below, where a swift river had carved its way through the stone. Behind them, the clinging of metal and the shouts of men ricocheted through the Underwoods. I h

"I found them!" called a soldier.

"Hang the witch!" the others jeered. The galloping grew closer, they could see the horses through the trees. There would be no more running.

"Oh no," the girl whimpered, clinging to her companion. "No no no no..." she repeated as the boy looked from the horseback soldiers to the girl to the ravine then back to the soldiers.

"They can't go any further," came the booming declaration. "Arrest the boy and kill the witch."

"I told you I'm not a witch!" she cried, her voice cracking as she began to sob.

"Burn the remains so she can't be revived!" said one of the men. The others bellowed and hollered in agreement. Closing his eyes, the boy took a breath then released it. His eyes snapped open; he grabbed the girl's arm. A pitiful, suppressed wail escaped her as she caught his intense stare.

"Do you trust me?" he asked, not a quiver in his tone. She hesitated, but nodded. She did not have much choice. "Then let's go." He leaped over the edge, holding the girl tight in his arms, whispering a few words as they fell towards the ravine.

A moment later, a soldier looked over the edge in time to see the children vanish.

***

"Where are we?" Her voice echoed here. The boy's hand felt cold and grimy in her death-grasp. She let go, fear blazing through her veins as reality set in. He had used magic, he was the one causing the strange happenstances the villagers had spoken of in hushed tones and behind closed doors. She took a few steps back until she found her back pressed against a large, ancient tree. Its snarly bark biting into her worn dress, he grabbed her hand.

“You might not want to do that…this place isn’t exactly safe,” he said, surveying the dark forest around them. Pale gray light peered through the distant tree tops, shadows clung to the ground. Shadows with eyes.

"Someplace cold.” He added with an odd small smile, looking about the forest clearing where they had traversed to. "Do you have anything to kindle a fire with?"

"You have magic." She folded her arms, frowning.

"Yes, but it doesn’t quite work like you think, I’m afraid,” said the boy. What kind of wizard could not light a simple fire? "Now, about that fire..."

"I have a hatchet and flint..." She said. "We'll need to get wood, maybe you can…"

“Just me?” he asked, “oh, yes, milady! I must be your humble servant! Let us forget that you have legs and arms too! —“

She slapped him. “Shut up stupid, I didn’t say I couldn’t help!”

“A tomboy from a backwater realm…”

“A what? Oh, never mind.” She shook her head, heading towards the Underwoods. “Let’s go.”

He grabbed her arm, yanking her back. A shadow jumped back, joining the other shadows beneath the trees. For a moment, they had eyes, crimson like blood. The girl shivered, stuck in place as her companion muttered something in the strange tongue he had used to bring them there only moments before. Suddenly, he conjured a ball of light into existence, illuminating the woodlands around them. The shadows shrunk back, their eyes watching, waiting.

“Well,” he began, glancing from tree to tree. She heard a quiver in his voice: fear. “At least I know where we are…”

She gave him a questioning look, still unable to speak. If this strange boy was frightened—even slightly—she knew that she ought to be afraid. She was only a child mistaken for a witch because she’d been there when a cart sped towards old lady Pipler as she limped across the road. She’d closed her eyes, not wanting to see the impact, picturing the old woman’s torn and bloody corpse in her mind. There was not even a scream.

The cart had flown instead.

Carts, the guards knew, didn't fly. She’d been near. Staring at the cart, watching it fly into a pile of hay. Barrows of ail falling into the street, spilling their contents. The owner, a fat merchant in red, yelling and pointing—pointing she realized, at her. He called her a witch, and soon, the guards chased her down. One caught her by the skirt and grabbing her by the waist. She screamed, kicking the man, but he did not let go, only held her tighter, laughing and taunting her.

She’d thought herself doomed to the hangman’s noose, but the man lost his grip, falling to the ground. Dead, but by no wound she could see. Instead, he had turned dark and even began to rot, a strange boy standing behind him with a grim expression written on his face. He grabbed her arm, dragging her from the scene. Guards soon chasing them as they fled through back alleys and up onto the rooftops. By noon, they’d made it to the forest at the edge of town, soon overrun by guards and jumping into a ravine…and ending up here, in this dark, fearsome realm.

“We’re in Shaden, the world of shadows…”

Shaden, the place of death. She had merely thought it a myth. A shadow slithered closer. “Why did you…!?”

“We had to get out. I didn’t have the time to choose where we’d end up and I wouldn’t have brought us here if that guard hadn’t…” he paused, bowing his head. The boy’s face looked forlorn in the light he had caste. “I’m sorry, I truly am, it’s better than being hung, right?”

The girl gave him a nod. He gave her a kind smile then lifted an eyebrow at her.

“Pa…Patty, that’s my name,” she said.

“Azrin.” He caused the light in his hand to enlarge until it engulfed them both in its yellow glow. “Make sure you stay close. Let’s find that firewood but...whatever you do, don’t touch the trees.”

“What do the trees…?”

Azrin gave her a dark look, a warning. She felt like a child, despite that she was sure he could not be that much older than her. Swallowing, Patty followed as he expertly weaved his way through the shadow world. It was like he was leading her through a maze. Around this tree, avoid that freezing spot of air, over that space of nothingness with all the care of stretching over fine wares, backtrack to the tree five paces back. Gnarled roots crept out from the undergrowth, seeming to reach for the two but recoiled from the sphere of light. Living shadows flickered at the edge of her vision…

"Stand still," Arzin whispered. "Don't make a sound."

Seconds passed. Patty couldn't help flickering her eyes from one tree to the next, watching the things that watched her back. Seconds stretched by, she held her breathe, biting down every sound that threatened to rip itself from her throat, some guttural sound rumbled through the world. It took the air from her lungs and before she could instinctively grab for her throat, Azrin grabbed her wrists with one hand while still keeping the light going in the other. She couldn't breathe. She couldn't breathe, the world spinning, she thought…

The grumbling faded away. How long it took, Patty didn't know. Azrin still held her wrists, keeping her from slumping to the ground. She shook her hands away from him, breathing deeply, coughing. The air was disgusting, nothing like the air in her town. It was thick with something that seemed to lodge in her mouth as she caught her breath.

"Wha...?" she croaked. With a cough she tried again, "What was that...thing?"

Azrin watched whatever it was retreat into the shadows. He had recovered faster than her, but his breaths were now ragged. "It…it is a kind of serpent, one that hunts for wandering souls. It can feel movement and heartbeats through the ground." He gave a weak laugh, shaking his head. "It could hear breathing, too, if its very presence didn't suck the air out of us."

"How...?" Patty moved her mouth but no sound came out. Eyes wide, she tried reining in her thoughts. Azrin beat her to it.

"How are we alive?" he asked for her. She nodded. "This light can conceal our presence." If I try hard enough went unsaid. "With no souls in sight to eat it carried on."

As luck would have it, most their hunt for firewood seemed uneventful, or perhaps, the sphere of light illuminating their path kept those things at bay. Now, she held a large pile of firewood in her arms as she followed Azrin through the Underwoods.

“Tell me,” the boy said, glancing over his shoulder, smiling. He had a nice smile, she decided. Well, at least it was nice when it wasn’t odd or mischievous. His white teeth and full grin seemed to light up this dark place a little. “Whatever did you do to get that guard to call you a witch?”

“I was just going home from school,” she said, “and…a cart flew. Though, isn’t it weird that you’re the one asking about me being a witch? You’re like a wizard!”

He rolled his eyes. “Yes, the next Merlin.”

Patty frowned. Marlins were birds, not wizards. “But you used magic. Surely…”

A large, hairy leg touched her back. Turning her head, she looked over her shoulder. There, hanging from a tree was a giant spider. Its eyes shimmering reflecting their images at a thousand different angles. She nearly dropped the pile of trigs, branches, and tinder.

“Run to the clearing, Patty.” He shoved something on her finger. A golden ring with an opal, it shined with an internal light she was sure was just as magical as his little sphere. “Use it to guide your way.”

She nodded, running before he finished. Running until she reached the clearing and safety, taking a breath, she lit the fire. Waiting and hoping that Azrin might return.

***

“Patty,” the girl looked up. Azrin stood there, his cloak ripped to shreds, bleeding from a small gash on his arm, but still alive. He sat down across from her, he leaned against a nearby tree, closing his eyes. “You should sleep, most things here don’t like fire or light, and …”

“If they do, you’d be dead before they got you.”

Suddenly, he grinned. “Actually, no, though I guess you’d think so after the snake, spider, and shadows crawling around everywhere…It is different from your backwater realm, isn’t it?”

Patty sighed. Why was he so cheerful? “I miss it.”

“You’ve only been gone for twelve hours at most.” Azrin ran a hand through his dusty hair. “And you say you it so soon? Where’s your sense of adventure!”

“Why wouldn’t I?” the girl asked, “I have a family there! Friends. It’s not like I want to be here. And I know you don’t want to be either. You said so yourself…”

“Patty,” he said, his tone reminding her of those times her father was telling her something she did not wish to hear. “If I could I would take you back in a heartbeat…”

“You…you bastard!” Tears burned the back of her eyes, threatening to come forth, but she would not cry before him. “Couldn’t you have done something else to those guards? Cut their heads off, maybe? Made them trip and fall down that ravine? Done something? Don’t you ever think of the consequences of your actions?”

“It isn’t that simple.”

“Oh, of course not!” She raised her arms. “You’ll just tell me that I’m some princess from a far off realm or the chosen one or something just as stupid…Maybe a heroine of some great prophecy only I can fulfill or some utterly great task…and…what?”

“Did you touch the trees?” He asked.

“I…”

“Set down.” He instructed, he placed a hand on her arm and helped her to set on the grass. It cut her skin. “Sorry…”

She bit her lower lip, tears streaming from her eyes, “There’s no way back…is there?”

“Perhaps in a century the gateway may open again.” Azrin answered, pulling something—a whole blanket—out of the satchel tied to his waist. He tossed it around her shoulders, making sure not to touch her skin. At least it was warm and soft. “Some of the trees release a poisonous sap. It first causes irrationality—though, I realize that’s completely reasonable given what just happened—and makes the skin very delicate to the touch. Almost anything can cut it.”

“And?”

“Do you truly want to know?” He asked only to receive another glare. “Fever, chills, sores, and finally unconsciousness followed usually by death. It takes a few days before…Patty?”

She had fallen asleep on his shoulder, her auburn hair cutting her cheek and neck in places. He pulled it back, tying a piece of tattered cloak around it to keep it from touching her skin. Quietly, he removed his ring from her finger, slipping it into his satchel. Well, he thought, we can look for them in the morning…if they don’t find us first…
***


Patty woke to a small indistinct shadow with wings on the tip of her nose. She may have screamed, were it not for the kind, large, blue eyes looking down at her. The shadow shifted, becoming a miniature silhouette of a young woman wearing a simple dress. The wings stayed, and finally, Patty screamed.

“You’re a terrible protector, Azzy,” a new voice spoke. It didn’t come from the girl on her nose. Instead, it belonged to a man, a man with a deep voice and strong stench. He smells like my father after a long night at the tavern.

“Thank you, Marinus,” Azrin said, “I’ll remember to leave you out of my will. Don’t call me Azzy or I'll start calling you Mary again.”

“I don't mind it. Aye, well, Azzy,” the man replied, “what use is yer will if it never stays in one place for long? Now, darling, why don’t ya come here, she’s never seen anything like you before…”

The shadow-woman fluttered, climbing onto the man’s narrow shoulders. That was, the narrow shoulders of a blue skinned man. He gave her a large grin, a few of his teeth missing. It only served to make his dark-blue scarred face even uglier and less human looking than it had before.
His ears were much too long and pointed, while his brow and head too large. The only thing that seemed normal was his brown beard covering his chin and his short-cropped, graying hair. Patty felt proud of herself. She only let out a little yelp.

“Are you an elf?”

“At least you’re talking again. All of that screaming may have given an old fellow a heart attack. I'm talking about Mary, of course,” Azrin smiled. It was neither odd nor toothy only surprisingly warm and open. She found herself smiling back, relieved to have woken up again...

He must've not known exactly how long the disease took to set in, she figured.

“Wait, elves?” The ‘man’ asked, seeming to miss the jib Azrin had thrown in his direction.

“Remember Santa’s helpers?” Azrin replied, much to Patty’s bewilderment. Who was this Santa and why would the fair folk help him? “I think it might be the pointy ears! Though, you’re much too short and ugly, I think, to be a proper elf.”

“You think?” Marinus furrowed his brow, “Well, that’s a new one. I never knew madmen thought, did you?”

The girl in question only shook her head.

“We are Myrkin.” He explained then motioned to the shadow on his shoulder. “And she is a shade. Small, handy creatures, we use them to find lost souls in the wood. Hopefully before that snake finds 'em, they aren’t afraid of fire like most other things born down here.”

“You’ve been here before?”

“A long time ago...” Azrin said, turning to the Myrkin. “Marinus…she needs your people’s help.”

“They don’t much like you…even though you did save them back then. Can’t blame them either,” said Marinus, “they will require a boon…”

“I’ll risk it.” He touched her shoulder, “It’s a day’s hike to Myrvor, their city. Do you need him to carry you?”

“Me?” The Myrkin frowned. “What, ya insist I’m ancient and then make me carry her? No respect, eh?”

“I’ll walk, Azzy.” Patty smiled. “My boots won’t cut my feet.”

***

Silence drenched the small group of travelers but the realm itself was anything but quiet. There were little noises here and there such as the occasional screeching of some far off creature.

"S-so... Where is this city of Myrvor?"

"A day's journey from where we are—not enough to even scratch the surface of discovery of this place," Azrin replied. His tone was serious, as he kept a close eye on their surroundings.

Patty merely accepted his response, as there was a rustle off to the side.

Marinus stopped and looked off to the side from where the rustle came.

"Marinus, why did we stop?” asked Patty.

Marinus called out to the rustling spot. "Who are ye, friend or foe?"

Patty stopped suddenly, the rest of the group doing so not far ahead of her, "What just happened?" She asked.

The shade spoke up, "We're running from that imp in the bush, remember?"

Azrin shook his head. “I doubt any of us do. It may have corrupted our memories…”

The other three merely stared at the boy before a handful of squeaky laughter came from behind them. "That thing.”

They began running once again, not wanting to remember what started them running at such a breakneck pace in the first place.

Marinus spoke, "What's so nasty about this imp, darling?"

"Nothing is ever pleasant about an imp. Especially one that feeds on memories..." replied the shade.

Suddenly the laughter echoed in front of them and they came to a halt. Instantly, a creature stood before them, an imp with long limbs and a longer tongue.

"Buh- How?!?" Patty was the first to speak.

"Foolish girl, no good comes from an imp." The small devil answered with a wye smile, showing a mouthful of sharpened teeth. It screeched, blacking out their memories.

Buh-bum.

Patty screeched. Something clawed at her hair, nearly taking a chunk of it out of her head, roots and all. She glared, but she knew it saw her shaking. The glare must have come off much like a deer looking at a bright, oil lamp on a cart. It giggled.

“It pretty.” The Imp explained. “Give.”

She shook her head. Those clawed hands, those teeth. “I...”

“Give!” The imp lunged forward, crawling at her locks.

She tore a handful off, leaving her hands cut and her scalp bleeding. Hands trenched red. Yet, she felt nothing other than her own heart hammering against her chest.

“Here. No more.”

It grinned then snapped its fingers.

Buh-bum.

“What nice toenails.” The Imp grinned, now appearing by Marinus’ feet. It licked its lips, he could nearly read its thoughts. It thought his toe nails a tasty treat. He kicked it in the stomach, sending the Imp spiraling a short distance and slamming it into a nearby tree.

Slowly, the Imp got back up. Its grin gone, replaced by a sneer. “Don’t play nice.”

“You can’t have those.”

Marinus blinked, once, twice, in shock and screamed. It had taken his arm. He clutched at his upper arm, staring in horror at the torn bloody stump where the rest of his arm used to be.

“Damn imp.” He glared at it despite the pain. He was Myrkin, after all, it wasn’t the only time he had lost a limb. He would surely regrow it, given a few weeks. “Whatever do ye think...?”

It tilted its head. Its yellow eyes glowing brilliant in the gloom, its red irises twirling. “Me like arms.”

“Don’t! C’mon Marinus!” the shade beside him shouted. “It might take more than one.”

Buh-bum.

Patty looked behind her to see Azrin, hand glowing and kept aloft. She and the others were running again while he stood there, having volunteered to face the imp alone.

“Keep running!” he shouted after them. “Head to Myrvor! I’ll meet you there!”

Not again, Patty thought, this time, stopping for a moment. She would help! But before she could make a move, Marinus picked her up with his good arm. Running, he told her, “Don’t ya be an idiot. You can’t even fight, do ya trust him?”

Patty felt tears in her eyes. She nodded, only slightly. “Then trust me too.”

Buh-bum.

“Toenail.” It said, keeping to the shadows only a small distance from Azrin. He watched it, keeping the sphere of light before him. He wished he had thought of this before, but well, there had barely been a moment of clarity between...

“Toenail. Please,” said the imp. “One, tasty little...”

"I can understand an arm or a soul...even a strain of hair, but a toenail? You could've just asked!” He shook his head. “Didn’t you ask Mary?”

"Big, ugly guy. No. Myrkin weird." The Imp gave him a grin, revealing its sharp and pointy yellowed teeth. “When I ask the big guy, he attack and...well. You saw it.”

"Ah ha,” said Azrin with a frown, looking thoughtful. "I've forgotten that one...they collect their toenails and other things...rather odd, isn’t it?"

“You rather old. Very.” It stuck out its tongue, flickering it like a serpent before retracting it. The creature giggled. Azrin stared at it wordlessly, how could it tell? He felt a sudden chill...the light in his hand dwindled for a moment.

It leaped at him.

“Get off!” Azrin commanded, shaking his leg in a vain attempt at flinging the imp off of his boot. It was a persistent thing, giggling like a child while tearing into the leather. “If you want it, I’ll give it to you.” It clung still. “Or I’ll do more than just shine light in your face, Imp.”

It floated back, shying away from the light in his hand again. He had to keep it steady, it stared at his boot and pointed at it with one claw. “Take off.”

“Once you have one...” He said, “Do not think of taking off with my foot.”

Azrin bent down and yanked off the shredded boot. As soon as he did the imp groaned from where it floated. Azrin glanced up as he pondered how to remove his toenail without causing extreme pain...

Thump. He jerked up to see the imp unconscious on the ground. Azrin sighed, collecting the boot and pulling the remains of his boot back on his foot. He blamed the smell on the imp. It had to be its fault, somehow.

***

“We’ll wait here.” Marinus said, looking down at the tall girl in his arm. He could not tell how old she might be, but she was unconscious to the world around them. While they were not too far from the city, he first hoped to bind his arm and to allow the regrowth process to begin. He laid her there, not bothering to wake the poor child.

“I worry....” He heard the Shade say as she fluttered above the sleeping girl. “Azrin only guessed.”

“Sharen, darling,” Marinus addressed her, “You can’t mean...”

The Shade landed on the girl’s hand as she examined it with piercing, blue eyes. “I do.”

“You’re getting married to Mary, Sharen? I didn’t know you liked his type. Short, balding, and ugly...” Azrin said, coming upon them. “If you wished to marry someone, I’d choose me. No offense, Mary.”

They both turned around, Marinus furrowing his brow. “Azzy! Ya know I have a wife. You've even meant her!”

Azrin smiled. “And two-hundred grandkids.”

He knelt down in the grass beside Marinus, a faint stench made the Myrk-kin’s nose twitch. It seemed to be rising from his boot. The foot, he decided. Humans always had stinky feet.

“We must be close...” Azrin said, “To think I will be glad to see that city again.”

Marinus studied him for a moment before answering. The ‘child’ looked worn, the circles under his eyes darker, his cheeks gaunt. He wondered if the girl had figured him out yet, the Hopper had never taken to aging well… “Time for ya afternoon nap, aye ol’ boy?”

“What?” He looked up and blinked, obviously having become lost in thought, or perhaps, in dreamland. After using his light-based powers so often for nearly two days straight in Shaden, Marinus was surprise Azrin could still stand. He should have been crawling by now. The ‘boy’ released a weary sigh. “Not yet. Haven’t needed one of those in centuries! Why, you’d think I was the old fellow here...and not you.”

Aye Azzy. Marinus held back his response. Once he could get him alone, he would have to speak with him on that subject.

“Centuries?” Patty asked. Azrin stiffened, realizing that his charge had awoken. “Oh, you’re exaggerating again.”

Marinus glanced at Azrin, the 'child' smiled, his eyes twinkling with that familiar hint of mischief Marinus had often missed over the last millennia. It must have been longer than just a few centuries, then.

“Maybe, Patty,” Azrin laughed. “If you three are ready, I’m sure Mary wants to see all of his three-hundred some grandchildren before night-fall. Isn’t that right, gramps?”

“Three...wait. Why does he have to stretch the truth like this?” The girl aimed this question at both Marinus and Sharen. The Shade shrugged, glancing at the Myrk-kin.

“Stretch the truth?” Marinus asked. “Aye well, it’s Azzy. What da ya expect, lass?”

She sighed, throwing her hands in the air. “For him to grow up!”

***

A bit over a half hour later saw the group looking over the magnificent city of Myrvor. It lay in a deep pit in the ground, countless feet down, like a hidden beacon or precious gem that sat just out of sight yet was obvious from the right angle. The tops of spiraling towers, tall, leafy trees, and silvery domes sparkled in the moonlight. Patty, for a moment, stared at the moon in wonder. It had a speckled face, reflecting blue light on the city below. Azrin placed a hand on her arm, causing the girl to turn, frowning.

“I hate to say it.” He sighed. “But it’s better not to linger. The later we wait, the harder nightfall gets.”

“What, exactly, does night-fall mean?” She furrowed her brow. “It’s not just because its night now, right?”

"It means hang onto ya undergarments, lass," said Marinus. With that, he leaped off the cliff they were standing at with a primal yell of thrill.

“Mad, old fool,” Azrin shook his head. "To think a man with five hundred grandchildren...well, you get the point, that’s night-fall."

Patty's jaw dropped as she watched Marinus descend towards the city, still laughing in apparent glee. Glee of all things! She took many steps back from the edge and shook her head.

"I am not jumping off a cliff!" She shook her head. “This...it... I’m not stupid.”

"No one said you had to jump," assured Azrin with his odd smile on his face once more. "You could roll, walk, run, sprint, crab walk, whatever you wish! As long as you eventually fall....”

"Stop it!" Patty shouted, her vision having gone blurry. "I am in no hurry to die! Marinus lives here. He's used to this. But I'm..."

She gritted her teeth, staring back out at the huge expanse. She heard Azrin walking towards her but ignored him in favor of figuring out what to do, if there was another way down.

“Listen, I understand you’re scared, Patty,” Azrin placed a hand on her shoulder, squeezing it. “But if you don’t get down there you’re already dead.”

"Is there another way down?" she asked, her voice quieter than it usually was.

“I could knock you out, but from my understanding, you’ll have to be aware for the procedure... I’m sorry.” He waited and when it was clear she was still debating, still fretful, he sighed and held out his hand. "I asked you once, now again. Do you trust me?"

Patty blinked. Did she? He had intervened back in her world when she was accused of being a witch, pulling her along through a neighboring forest, and saved her from execution by leaping towards a ravine, holding her. Then taking her here, to this dreadful place. Did he really know that the Myrk-kin could cure her?

She felt suddenly weak...her arms and legs shaking. Patty fell onto her knees. The grass cut through her bare, lower legs. Her hands, too, were covered with blood. So was her hair. She hadn’t felt it until now... The night, however, felt suddenly warm, her skin clammy, and her stomach twisted at all the blood. She vomited...shadows. Anguished tears stroke her face, burning her skin...little shadows smoking out of the holes.

“What in...?” Azrin stopped himself. He grabbed her waist, picking her off the ground as she bleed in his arms, soaking his shirt, cape, and trousers in blood. Suddenly, he ran, leaping over the edge of the cliff, wind blowing harshly against them.

Below them came a scream, inhuman yet non-threatening. There, flying below them was a six-winged creature, its body dark in contrast to its bright yellow wings. The thing had eight legs, like a spider, and the strong body of the horse. This eyeless beast flew up to greet them. There was, to Patty’s shock, a Myrkin woman on its back.

They landed behind her, riding on the creature's back. “Azrin,” She said. “Marinus told me that you had come.”

“That quickly?” He asked, catching his breath as the beast slowly came to a halt above a large meadow in the midst of the city. Other such creatures stood there, most of them sleeping in the grass below them.

“You will address me as Queen Flurn now,” she said in a harsh tone. “You know better than most that we need not speak to communicate.”

“I haven’t patience for this,” said Azrin. “Flurn, if we don’t get her to the healers now, I’ll...”

“You’ll rip this kingdom apart again?” The Queen asked. “Do not threaten us, old fool.”

He sighed. “Did I threaten? Your majesty, if I threatened you, you would know. This is neither the time nor place for this, will you help her or not?”

The queen’s eyes softened for a moment. “We will help her, Azrin, as much as we may. It is not the tree’s sap that gave her this.”

Both looked at her in astonishment. The queen placed a rough, calloused hand on the girl’s forehead. Flurn closed her eyes. A pause, then: “The remnants of the Guardian Spirit of Shaden are searching for a conscious...a mind to rule over and conquer. It chose this girl. We’ll fly to the Sanctuary. Perhaps there...”

“Thank you...” Patty said, weakly, startling them both. They had both thought her near unconsciousness, it seemed. “I won’t let it win. I promise.” She struggled to smile. “You’re just going to have to believe me, I promise...I’ll...”

Azrin caught the girl’s head as she lost consciousness, his face expressionless. “You will do everything in your power to help her,” said Azrin. “Please, she doesn’t deserve this, Flurn. If only I hadn’t been so careless...”

His voice broke at the end and he looked down at the girl in his lap, holding her closer to his chest as one might hold a young child. Flurn nodded, and for once left the cutting remark behind as they flew towards the Sanctuary and an uncertain fate.

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“Asphixation, defenstration, breathing wool, decapitation. Drinking from a lava pool, driving drunk to look so cool. Crazy bees sting you a lot, eating any rats you caught - all these ways that you can die. Don't forget poisonous pie!" -Classic SmashQueen, Fri Aug 16, 2013 11:03 pm
There's always another secret... ~ Mistborn, Sanderson


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Post Re: From Pieces (Extended; WIP) • Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:35 am
-Part Two-

Immediately they set to work, creating an environment of sorcery and conjuration. Lanterns set with dark glass to lessen the light from the fire set within them. They set her on an ancient table, her back straight, her wounds bound with dark bandages to capture any fluids or shadows that may escape.

Azrin watched the priests as they placed the last of the ceremonial lamps around the poor girl. He had been a fool to bring her here. If he had taken a moment to study the soldiers following them back in her realm, he may have found another way to save her…

“Do not look so fathomed over this, Azrin,” said the Queen, she sat beside him, her face as unreadable as a blank page in a book. “We can promise she will not face immediate danger.”

“Immediate danger?” Azrin asked, the disgust at himself doubtlessly coming off as disgust for the Myrkin and their Queen. “This place is danger. Not even here can you say that we’ve escaped it.”

“All realms are dangerous. Even your precious city where your kind have hid themselves from the problems of the realms is not safe.” Flurn frowned. “Enough of this, if we are to save this girl I cannot dally. We will be ready soon. Everyone, to your place! We will begin shortly!”

The queen stood, joining the other Myrkin mystics. She took her place at the head of the table, behind a tall, black lamp, its fire illuminating her lathe form in blue and orange light. Softly she hummed, the others soon joining her. The mystics placed their hands on the girl, each one joining the queen in her song, some singing harmony, others discord. Then, with a rush, all was quiet, and the girl’s eyes opened.

She released a scream, falling back into slumber, murmuring: “I…what do you want?”

Azrin watched, hearing a voice murmur from the shadows. The others did not notice, they continued the ritual as though in a trance. “I’ve told you my dearest Patrina,” it said, “I can give you your heart’s deepest desire if you just let go…”

“But…”

“Enough!” Flurn drew a circle on the girl’s chest with black ink, then, she took a small, silver necklace from her pocket, an obsidian shard hung from the chain. “Be gone, fiend, you will not take this one.”

Suddenly, a shadow lifted itself from the girl, taking the form of one of the creatures that had followed them through the Underwoods. Its eyes, however, were golden, not red. For a moment, he thought it would leave, but soon, it disappeared, absorbed by the stone between the girl’s chest. Patty’s eyes flew open, darker than before. “What…where?”

“Rest child.” Flurn brushed a lock of hair away from the girl’s face. “It is gone.”

“But where’s Azzy?” asked the girl.

Azrin meant the queen’s eyes, she shook her head. “Do not fear, child, you are well. Soon after you have slept, I promise he will come. Now, it is time for rest.”

***

Patty woke with a start as the sound of thunder echoed outside the sanctuary, rain pouring down so hard she could hear it despite the tall ceiling and thick walls. She lay on a bed, her head against a mountain of pillows and under a large, downy blanket. All of this, she soon realized, was lit by collections of white, glowing mushrooms scattered throughout the room in pots and on the nightstand against her bed. She picked one up, studying it when she heard a loud thud.

Azrin stood in the doorway. His blond hair dripping and falling into his eyes, he wore a cheeky smile. “Have you ever seen a glowing jellyfish?”

“What’s a jellyfish?” She hated feeling so ignorant, but then again, she knew nothing of this world or…well, jellyfish. “Are they poisonous? Or eat you alive? Or perhaps fry you like eggs? Or infect you with shadows? Or— ”

“No,” he said, his eyes darkening for a moment. “At most they might give you a slight jolt.” Seeing her confusion, he rubbed the back of his head. “It isn’t dangerous, and before you ask, the rain’s just rain. The Myrkin haven’t messed up their realm like mine…”

“Wait,” she said, “They’re outside? I just got over that…whatever it was!”

He shrugged, “I slept for about two hours on the rooftop before it started raining cats and dogs. No, not literally.”

“That’s why you’re…” She stopped, “Azzy, aren’t you supposed to be the adult here? You should act more responsibly! You’ve got to be a lot older than me since—”

“Since Flurn called me an old fool?” He said sharply, causing Patty to flinch.

She nodded, then realizing that she had, she sputtered quickly: “but I didn’t mean it…I mean…it isn’t respectful…everyone says respect your elders and…”

Azrin placed a hand on her shoulder, the cold seeped through the thin cloth of her nightgown. She meant his eyes. “Not that I fully disagree with that wisdom,” said Azrin, “but you shouldn’t respect someone only because they’re several decades, centuries, or even millennia older than you. There’s a lot of folk out there and many may live a very long time. Sure, respect their experience if they have it, but I don’t want something I haven’t earned. Patty, you’ve barely known me for two days! It’s meaningless to me if you respect me for something as useless as age.”

She blinked, not sure exactly sure what to say, then she saw a faint golden glow filling the room. She looked back, glancing out the window. There, behind the glass frame, was a creature with a partially translucent golden body, releasing golden light. It floated past, several threads and a ‘tail’ on its back. “Is that…?”

“It’s a Junik—or, well, a glowing jellyfish, they only come out when it rains at evening or dawn on Shaden,” he smiled, and Patty returned it warily, uncertain what to think or how to act after he had confirmed her suspicious while somehow avoiding the topic all together.

Azrin pulled out another cloak from his pouch and threw it over her shoulder. She was beginning to suspect that it had enough space for a whole house worth of things, though how he pulled out a specific object was still beyond her. Soon, they had left the Sanctuary, somehow unnoticed by the occupants (she half-remembered Azrin whispering a spell under his breath) and out into a large garden. White, trumpet-shaped flowers grew on large, climbing bushes. Others blossomed as they walked past, reacting to their body heat. Yet, Patty’s eyes did not focus on any of this. Instead, she watched the large, luminous jellyfish floating around them in the rain. Their glow illuminating the garden in shades of gold, their tails brushing her as they walked past, tickling her, not breaking her skin. A gleeful giggle escaped her lips, she felt like the young girl she was supposed to be, not the maiden afraid for her life.

“It isn’t good, I think, if all your memories of Shaden are terrible,” Azrin said softly, breaking Patty from her trance as she caught a jellyfish between her hands. “Don’t squeeze too hard, you might hurt it. They’re rather delicate to the touch and the Myrk-kin wouldn’t be happy if you killed one.”

“Why?” And why would he think she could kill one. They didn’t seem that fragile, but his concern seemed genuine, and, she figured, if there was one person in Shaden she knew for certain she could trust, it was Azrin.

“They help to keep the shadows from Myrvor. They pollinate the plants. It’s why the Myrkin settled here long ago…” He stopped, frowning as though remembering that distant time...

“You remember it all, I guess,” She smirked.

“Wait, what?” Azrin asked, then laughed. “The Myrkin live for nearly ten millennia, Patty. They must’ve founded it hundreds of generations ago!”

“But their old queen called you old!”

“No,” He rolled his eyes, “you’re not getting the answer that easily. Let’s get back inside… Flurn would kill me twice if I let you catch a cold…”
~*~


Azrin leaned against the cold stone wall, watching as Marinus spoke to Patty over lunch. She hadn’t noticed his returned, but after their trip to the garden that morning, Flurn had requested to speak with him…

”You care about her too much,” She said, once they had left Patty in Marinus’ keeping.

He sighed, running a hand through his hair. “She’s barely more than a girl. Shaden – most realms – are dangerous places…considering that I brought her here, she is my responsibility... But, it isn’t like you to be concerned, at least not for my sake.”

She nodded. They had reached a long hallway, doors lining both sides. He heard a faint cry, then a scream further down. He frowned. A scream stretched down the hallway, followed by a whimper.

“Others,” the queen began, weariness seeping from her voice, “have also gotten the same illness. We bound their will to that of the Guardian Spirit’s remnant within them, yet after a mere ten years their sanity began to slip. That,” she pointed to one of the many doors, “Is where Marinus’ granddaughter screams each night. Speaking to the voices no one else can hear and tearing dolls apart with their own shadows…Killing any that come near her.”

He closed his eyes, he had not been mistaken then when he had felt a dim power radiating off Patty that morning. “When did this…?”

“For a man who claims to care deeply for this world you have done a poor job of late,” she said, receiving a cold glare from Azrin. “It began nearly five-hundred years ago, always attacking young girls, causing them to be lost to the shadows if they left the protection of Myrvor. We soon realized that remnants of the spirit were seeking a new host for Amyri, though none of the lasses served their purpose.”

“They didn’t have the strength of will, I suppose,” Azrin concluded, “so you formed an oathless pact with the spirit. Saving their lives, but why would this happen? It should still be under the seal at its altar, not floating around causing such havoc.”

She folded her arms, “You and your people created this system, old fool, I expect you to find the key to fixing your mistake. That,” she added, “is the boon the Myrk-kin ask of you.”

“Azzy!” Patty said, much too cheerful for his present mood. He decided there that while he would tell her of her new powers, he would not reveal to her of the other effects. She was much to innocent and young to know her fate. “Mary said you had some kind of …cat. What is Lady Duckington?”

“That’s a little hard to explain…,” He said.

Marinus butted in: “A bloody monster!”

“She wouldn’t like you calling her that!” Azrin laughed, causing the Myrk-kin muttered something under his breath. It sounded like the Myrkin words for 'abominable demon'. Azrin smirked, “Nor that. Especially when we will see her soon…”

“Wait, we’re leaving Shaden?” Patty asked. “I thought…Oh, let me guess, ‘it’s a bit more complicated than that.’”

“Aye, he’s rubbing off on ya, lass,” Marinus remarked, “Soon ye’ll be just as deceitful as he is!”

“Deceitful? What, do I look like a politician? It’s not like I’m on the High Council of Old Windbags.” He sighed, running a hand through his hair. “At least you’re not acting like Marinus. He sounds like some flea-bitten hillbilly!” This caused Patty to give him a questioning look. “We’re leaving for Ithuin soon—“

“Wait, the city of the gods?” The girl gasped for a moment, but stopped when she saw his frown.

“No,” he rolled his eyes, but what else should he expect when speaking with someone from a backwater realm? “The Realm of Old Windbags—I mean, Protectors (or Hoppers), well alright, we’re not all on the council of old fellows, though.”

“Azrin, why are we leaving so soon?” She asked in a quiet voice.

“It’s a little complicated.” This caused them both to meet each other’s eyes. “I would rather like to leave sooner, but…I have something I must show you.”

The girl yawned. “What…what is it? Chocolate? I do know what that is.”

“No,” he said, placing a hand on her shoulder. “But first, why don’t we rest? Shaden has long days and after…”

Her head had slumped over, she snored gently. He glared at Marinus. “What was in that?” He caught himself yawning.

“Urkweed.” Said the Myrkin, grinning. “Flurn thought ya needed some rest. She mentioned something about yer ol’ bones and young ‘uns needing it! Why ya look so grim, Azzy?”

He yawned again, scoping Patty into his arms. “Perhaps if she were wise, she would have only placed it in Patty’s food…”

Marinus’ grin widened, cutting his face in half. “Sleep Azzy, I promise the realm won’t fall apart just because ya took a nap...”

***

“Marinus,” Azrin said, causing the Myrk-kin to jerk slightly. He hadn’t heard the Protector approach. “Do you have a moment?”

The Myrk-kin turned. A large pile of tombs, scrolls, and a few loose documents hide Azrin as he walked down the hallway. The man must have had a hole to peer through, or was using some trick to see past the pile of books in his hands; either way he had managed to navigate to this hallway from the Grand Library, which was far from an easy accomplishment with so much of said library in his hands.

“She won’t like ya taking ‘em books,” said Marinus.

"It's a shame that she doesn't like sharing knowledge,” said the Hopper.

“Just thieves, if ya would’ve asked...,” he stopped when he heard Azrin sigh, “I guess you’re right. What did ya take this time?”

“Borrowing isn’t taking,” he said. “One borrows books from a library, I know you try to get everyone to believe you’re as uneducated as a wild horde of yfocks, but you can’t--”

“Mifiwis, Azzy!”

“--Really?” He asked, Azrin wasn’t exactly used to getting the names of fauna and flora wrong, but it pleased Marinus that he still could not quite tell the difference between the yfocks and their close relatives. “It truly has been awhile since I was here last...”

“Ya never got ‘em right the first time!”

“Still, that only serves to prove my point.” This statement caused the Myrk-kin to frown, they had found their way to the small, yet spacious dining area that linked the rooms that Flurn had provided the two humans for their stay. A bowl of black strawberries and a pitcher of water and two cups had been placed on the table by some servants. After placing the stake on the table, Azrin pulled out a bottle of wine from his pouch, pouring a glass for both of them.

“Can’t wait for Patty?”

“She’s fourteen.” He took a sip. “I didn’t let you drink until at least three hundred. And even then, it was the only thing we had left at the time...”

Marinus had taken a drink too then spat it out. “Ya kept some! Whatever made ya do that?”

Azrin grinned. “You never could stand fine wine. I’d thought you’d learn to respect it at your great age.”

"Oh, I respect it alright. Respect it as swill. Now Argus? Now that puts a fire in yer belly."

“Or burns through it,” Azrin said. “Didn’t that happen to Alger the one time he tried it? You would think he’d listen to my advice at least once per millennia!”

"Yup. He screamed so loud the Yfocks got startled,” Said Marinus. "Had to send 'im to the medics. Blood and Argus was pouring out o’ his gut the entire way. Guy almost lost several organs...and that hangover...”

Azrin smirked. “He hasn’t touched a drop of alcohol since, that’s why the pub’s now a bean water shop...”

“Pub?”

They exchanged a glance, Patty had arrived. She glared at Azrin reproachingly. “I didn’t think you were the kind to get drunk, Azzy...”

“Aye lass! The stuff he drinks is more girlish than a dress shop!” Marinus said, picking up the bottle of wine and taking a sniff. “It even smells like ‘em perfumes Eva wears!”

“Eva?” She asked.

Azrin frowned. “We have better things to do than bringing up than Evalyn right now. Why don’t you set, Patty? I suppose it’s better to go over this now than later...”

The girl nodded, taking a seat beside Azrin. To Marinus, she looked exhausted still, but her eyes shined with excitement. “So, what great secret is tied to the queen’s boon?”

Azrin’s face darkened. “I fear I can’t tell you everything now,” he said, causing the lass to frown. Marinus did not like the old man’s choice either; he feared he would keep the most vital information from the lass. “When the mystics preform that ritual, there was one side-effect. Apparently, you have some of the spirit’s powers. Like a Hopper, but not fully sworn.”

“I’m not sure I understand,” Patty said, doubt lacing her voice.

He shook his head. “Neither am I, but I’m sure Marinus can help. He knows more about this than I do.”

“I what?”

“Of course you do!” Azrin said, “You see, the powers you have Patty are opposite mine. They haven’t been seen in thousands of years, because the guardian spirit’s conscious connected to them was destroyed by a group of Hoppers who believed they were doing what was best for Shaden and the other realms...”

Patty tilted her head in thought, “You led them to do that, but what is a guardian spirit exactly? I thought they were some kind of gods...”

“Gods can’t die.” Marinus glanced at Azrin, who nodded. “Though they didn’t realize at the time that it’d work. Some Myrkin didn’t agree, well, ya see, they thought Amira was some kinda god. Many of us didn’t know dat there were other realms at that time, only the royals, some nobles, and our Protectors. They tried ta convince the rest of us that Amira wasn’t judging us but was killing those she’d been ordered to protect. The other guardians ‘parently had found out that her longing for power and temper ‘ad gone outta of control and they wanted to ring ‘er in like a bad yfock.”

“But,” Patty started, “Couldn’t the other gods--spirits--have done it themselves?”

Azrin shook his head. “It’s more complicated than that.” This caused Patty to sigh. He ran a hand through his hair, carefully choosing his next words: “Just say that the guardians are bound to certain rules and laws that keep them to their own realms. We came and dealt with the problem, or so we thought...”

“But it didn’t work as well as you believed it would,” she concluded, “What exactly do you think was going on when...?”

“I’m not sure.”

“Azrin...” The Myrk-kin warned, the man’s name coming out as a growl.

“Marinus,” He said, “You should trust me in this, we will need the council on our side if we like it or not...I can’t simply bypass them this time with the spirits’ blessings.”

Silence reigned for a few moments, Marinus felt unsure of this decision. While he had trusted Azrin in the past, he did not believe the girl deserved to suffer from her fate without knowing what would inevitably happen. He raised an eyebrow, to which Azrin shook his head.

Then he smiled at Patty slightly. “While I can’t show you how to use your powers, I can still give you the basics...”

As Azrin began to speak, he nodded to Marinus, his eyes filled with understanding and perhaps regret. The Myrkin left then, slipping out as quietly as he could...there was one thing he sometimes forgot about Azrin—he was still a Protector at heart.

***

“No, that isn’t how it works.” Azrin said to Patty for what felt like the hundredth time that afternoon. She could tell by his tone that his patience was growing thin, though his face held no sign of it. He’d been unusually cold since this lesson began, almost frightening Patty. “You have to reach for the shadows...”

“But...”

She sighed. She had heard this all before, still he persisted reminding her of her mother’s baking lessons. They had spent hours preparing the bread, but each time Patty tried to get the fire warm in time to bake it, the loaves would leaven. By the end of the month, her mother had decided it was better to send her daughter to learn a craft through the local poor girls’ school, since she would never make a proper housewife.

“Patty?”

“I’m sorry...”

“It’s not your fault,” He said, taking a seat. “It’s fine if you don’t get it today, we can do it tomorrow.”

She said nothing, again, concentrating as he ran a hand over his face. She focused on his shadow, reaching for it, then grabbed it with an invisible force. Her eyes widened in realization. Then she swung the shadow at the chair in the shape of a giant sword, cutting its legs off and making the ‘boy’ fall backwards from the force of her swing. His head slammed against the marble floor, Patty shrieked and ran over.

“Are you alright?” she asked, her voice unsteady. She hadn’t expected her...powers...to be so powerful.

Azrin looked up at her nonchalantly, then said, “Not exactly...next time, try to avoid breaking my head open."

“I’m...”

“Sorry?” He raised an eyebrow, “You’ve apologized more than twenty times this afternoon. If you say that word once more, we'll have to start calling you Miss Apologizes-a-lot.”

Patty frowned. “I don’t apologize that much!”

“I’m sure…” He grinned. “One last thing.”

“Another lesson?” She sighed.

“What?” he asked, “You think that was all? Don’t be so foolish.”

Patty shook her head, rubbing her eyes. “No, I didn’t mean...”

“Just,” he sat up, rubbing the back her head. She glanced at his hand, a little blood was on his fingers. “Be more careful next time.”

“Oh, I’m sorry.”

“Ah yes, the Lady Apologizes-A-lot strikes again! And one more thing...”

“Again?”

“I didn’t even get a chance to mention it the first time!” Azrin said, “Try to keep calm when using your powers, try to keep calm anyways. You don’t want to cut someone’s foot or head or pinky off. Especially when using them like that...”

“Azzy.” She now knelt beside him. “I...was wondering one thing...”

He furrowed his brow, signaling for her to continue. “Can I...go to realms like you do?”

“I...” He paused, considering her words, “I don’t believe so, that would require the spirit to be aware, it seems. There are others like you, we would’ve known if a Myrk-kin had accidentally Hopped by now...”

Patty sighed, her shoulders slumping as she whispered: “And I guess I’m still as mortal as before...”

“That,” answered Azrin despite that no question had been asked, “isn’t always such a bad thing. The best you can do, perhaps, is live with what you have now.”

She said nothing in response. “And take a break,” he said, grinning, “I heard Marinus has something...unique planned.”

“You're not coming?”

“No,” he answered, “I’ve some reading to do...”

***

After Patty had found out where Marinus had gone, she had been lead to a place the young servant called the corral. As she approached, she heard Marinus cursing. "Look ya bloody stump of a weaseling, you are going to wear this harness and like it! Ack! Ya greasy little-" He started speaking in some strange language with the occasional click and hiss. Patty rounded the building to see Marinus grappling with one of the winged creatures that had saved her during night-fall.

"Ha ha!" Marinus cheered as a saddle was placed over the large creature. Patty noticed it was smaller than the others, a child perhaps. He looked up, his grin becoming a full blown smile. "Ah, there you are, lass!"

"This ornery demon never cooperates with anyone. Except my wife, but nobody wants to cross her!"

“You’re married?”

He gave a half-hearted laugh that trailed off as he grit his teeth. "Well of course! How else would I have so many children? I'm not a catwing; I can't just sprout an extra eye, have it fall off, and make a child."

“Wait,” Patty began, ignoring the ‘catwing’ comment, “You really have hundreds of children?”

“No, only got ten. Now," he said, cutting off the girl before she got the chance to ask another question, "I know ya need a break. Azzy ain’t an easy taskmaster, I should know, once made me do all 'em chores in his home on Ithuin! Still, there ain’t nothin' better than riding an Yfock."

As he said this, he patted the head of the "ornery demon" beside him. He jerked his hand back before the thing - Yfock - could snap a finger off with its jaws.

“What?" Patty asked, unsure as to whether or not she should get near it.

"Now, what ya want to do is walk up to it slowly with an air of confidence, pride, control, and bacon.” He shoved a large piece of salted pork into her hands. Patty quickly took it, holding it loosely. “Yfocks love bacon and will do whatever you say as long as you feed them."

"Once you get about four - five feet away from them ya say "Mahshsuukoo!" at the top of your lungs! The Yfock will stand on all fours - straight - if it approves of yer voice. Then you climb on them and say "Mskiq" in the same tone and hold on tight."

Patty frowned, “I don’t know if I can control...the yfok?”

"Yfock, lass, well, ya’ll just have to remember it!” He said, “Don't tell me ol’ Azzy's rubbing off on ya. I swear, he couldn't tell a mifiwi from a kilper when we first met! As I said, we’re gonna fly one soon."

Not bothering to ask what either of those two were, Patty looked around the ‘corral’ to see if there were any other creatures. She frowned when she saw that the beast he labeled ‘demon’ was the only Yfock in sight.

"Ah ha ha. No, lass. This is who we're riding tonight." He patted the young Yfock.

Patty paled. "We're going to be riding -that-?! You said it was a demon!"

"Aye, but he's as loyal as they come. Plus it's pretty funny riding him over Myrvor. He scares the shadows outta everyone!"

Patty sighed, there was no use in saying 'no, I'd rather go and do something else.' Azrin had told her to take a break and insisted she go find Marinus. He would asked her if she had enjoyed herself, and a part of her, a part that was a little braver than the rest, said that she wouldn't want to disappoint Azrin because she was too afraid of the Yfocks.

Patty stood up taller, sheer determination making her meet the Yfocks’ eyeless face. “I’ll try it.”

"We call him "Scrib". It means "anguish"." He said, “Don’t ya worry lass, I wouldn’t let ya ride the demon alone!”

Patty nodded, then faced the Yfock. At roughly five feey away from the Yfock, she shouted "Mahshoosuuku?!”

Marinus' grin dropped in horror. "Run, Patty!" he shouted as the Yfock crouched, it's hindquarters raised in the air. She gasp, but then stopped, keeping her feet still, she reached for the Yfock’s shadow, causing it to slitter beneath it. She pulled it towards her, making the Yfock trip. This, however, only made the creature more angry, the shadow had cut it’s legs open. Yellow blood oozed out onto the grass beneath it.

“Don’t use that here!” He shouted, grabbing her and throwing her aside roughly. Patty hit the ground with a thud. Marinus faced the large creature, rage seething, back bent, his eyes glued on it. He leaped, grabbing the Yfocks by its large neck. He and the creature tumbled through the air he punched it, knocking the beast unconscious with one solid wallop to the back of its head. He leapt away as it unceremoniously crashed against the ground, then glared at Patty, but stopped when he saw that she was shaking.

“I thought...I thought that would work!” Patty stuttered.

Marinus breathed in deeply and let it rush out with a sigh. "Patty, I know ya mean well. I know ya want to control the ‘powers’ ya have, probably show them off to a fella ya like one day, but ya have to take it one step at a time. Like milking Yfocks."

That, she thought, was one thing she hoped to never do. If riding them could be this horrible, then milking them must be a nightmare.

After the training and the incident with the Yfock, Patty was exhausted and hardly able to walk properly, still shaking but managed to walk straight up until they reached the nearest healer, who, upon examining her, told her instantly to sit down. She hadn't realized just how tiring it was to use these powers might be. Azrin hadn't seemed so exhausted when he used him. She would ask him later why that was, she decided.

"What've you and this girl been doin' Mar?" She asked as she examined the girl, placing a wet cloth on her head.

Marinus replied sternly, "It's not like that, Sil. I was teachin' her ta ride a Yfock. She just made a mistake, ye know, said the wrong phrase and all."

The woman sighed. "Don't tell me you made her ride Demon." Marinus, to Patty's delight, looked ashamed. She wondered who exactly Sil was if she could bridle Marinus so easily.

His ears had even turned purple. "Yes."

"Is that all you have to say?" She pointed a finger at his chest. "It's amazing our children didn't end up being Yfock feed or die playing with Yockbombs!"

"Your his wife?" Patty's eyes widen, checks flushing. The woman had not heard her question, however, as she continued to yell at her husband. It's like my mom about pa, always worrying. Maybe they just do it everywhere.

"...and then, you don't even bring Azzy to visit!" she had driven him against the wall. "You know how much they all mess him. If they don't see him before he leaves..."

"I'm goin' too."

There was silence. Their noses touched, Sil would either kiss him or slap him, or perhaps both. Patty knew these things. Instead, she turned aside, taking a deep breath, she then punched him.

"Eh, ya do approve!" he said, "haven't gotten one of those in awhile."

The woman smiled. Patty sat at the edge of the couch Marinus had guided her to in shock. "Ummm, that's..."

"You bastard." His wife's face was still purple with anger, though the way she meant Marinus' eyes made Patty realize she was not quite as angry she seemed. "Yfock-loving snitch...if you don't keep Azzy safe, I will skin your purple *Navi*."

He gave Patty a glance. "See, that woman cares more 'bout Azrin than me! And she's my--" She punched him again. "Now, darling, you can't do dat all day, or I'll have a broken nose."

"You better be safe too," she said. "Keep yerself safe, him safe, and that girl safe or I'll come and kill you three myself, do ye understand?"

"Aye m'am," he said.

"And don't m'am me." She smiled, then kissed him on the check. "Now, sweetie, what would you say to a nice glass of warm Yfock milk? It will help, I promise."

"As long as it's not Demon's, I think I'd live." The woman laughed at this comment, causing Patty to tilt her head.

"At least you've got a brain on you," said the woman, handing her a glass of milk. It seemed she had plenty on hand, perhaps with a husband like Marinus, one would need to do so. "But speaking of Azzy, he did stop by earlier..."

"What, you tell me you've not seen him, blame it on me, and then tell me that!" Marinus shook his head. "What da 'ld boy want?"

"Sharen."

"What? But, why?" Patty doubted Azrin would need the shade if he were just reading books. "What is he doing with...?"

Marinus left, slamming the door. She would have followed, except that Sil had placed a heavy hand on her shoulder, keeping her there. "Trust me, if they don't resolve it now, it will just make things worse later...you should rest, kid, it's not like those two can't take care of 'emselves, most of the time." Then she smirked. "Alright, they can't, but at least they have me to patch things up again."

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“Asphixation, defenstration, breathing wool, decapitation. Drinking from a lava pool, driving drunk to look so cool. Crazy bees sting you a lot, eating any rats you caught - all these ways that you can die. Don't forget poisonous pie!" -Classic SmashQueen, Fri Aug 16, 2013 11:03 pm
There's always another secret... ~ Mistborn, Sanderson


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