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Fiction Infinity Turtle - Short Story Comp Entries (the filing cabinet)

Discussion in 'Fluff and Stories' started by Infinity Turtle, Sep 8, 2018.

  1. Infinity Turtle
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    Infinity Turtle Well-Known Member

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    Because for some reason I want to find my old short story pieces and I find it impossible (more so time consuming) to actually track them down, I've decided to hop on the band-wagon and make a thread to put them up on!

    Open to discuss thought/planning/writing/proof-reading processes for these!

    (And feel free to pour adoration, praise and skaven sacrifices my way if you feel it's appropriate... :p)
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2019
  2. Infinity Turtle
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    Infinity Turtle Well-Known Member

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    July-August 2015 - Man vs Nature
    Ahhh yes... my first entry on LO... *Cringes slightly*

    Thought Process: I just wanted to be cool and contribute I went with the most basic and literal idea that came to mind. I also spent way to long trying to think of a cool name...

    The Original Reading/Voting Thread can be found here

    The Lone Survivor

    Fog began wreathing around Eifrayne as he bashed through the jungle. Wiping sweat and grit from his eyes, he checked the blood soaked bandage on his arm that was slowly sliding down. He pulled it up and looked around to see if he had escaped his unseen attackers.

    His question was answered as a javelin wedged itself into a tree, inches from his face. His blistered feet screamed at him as he broke back into an agonizing run. This time he turned downhill, reasoning the fog would be thicker below. After a while, the steamy fog obscured most things further than a few feet away and his pursuers had finally lost him. He kept running for another few minutes before he felt safe enough to sit down on a fallen log and rested his throbbing feet.

    He was an unlikely adventurer. Most of his life had spent staying up late at night with his nose in a book. All odds were against him lasting longer than his companions, just as they had been against him joining Captain Alton on the jungle expedition. It was his unrelenting inquisitiveness that had got him into reading about adventures and which led him to take the next obvious step. He had abandoned his studies and joined up, a decision he now regretted deeply. He also regretted leading the other members of the crew to the abandoned city. He wished he and his friends had never laid eyes it.

    Eifrayne pushed through the jungle, with his good friend Arden Tanner, one of the young men who had joined the crew for the journey. Nyell, the other scout was only a few feet ahead, yet completely hidden by the thick jungle. He gave a gleeful shout of surprise and Eifrayne and Arden quickly rushed to catch up.

    The three of them had come in hope of gaining fame and fortune when they had joined Captain Alton’s expedition, but so far, the promise of riches had not fulfilled. So far they had found only trees, pillaged stone ruins and more trees.

    This was different. Massive stone blocks, inlaid with gold and precious stones had been layered to build a massive doorway into the outer wall of an amazing city. Vines and creepers were growing up the brickwork that made the wall, with carvings of different symbols and characters Eifrayne didn't understand. Two statues of what looked to Eifrayne like half lizard half men were perched on either side of the entrance, each holding a broad shield and heavy looking halberd. Each one so life like. They must have been there for a while because moss and vines were beginning to grow over their feet. Inside the main wall, much was concealed from sight, but roughly central to the whole city, towering over the building tops that jutted out over the wall, was a giant pyramid.

    On top of the pyramid was a small building with more carvings displayed on it. Four more statues stood outside the building each as intricately designed as the ones outside. The city looked old. Very old.

    "It must have housed an ancient civilisation. They must have worshipped some kind of man-lizard god." Eifrayne said, "Although they must have died out ages ago. No one could survive in this jungle for long." He continued in a matter of fact sounding voice. “It’s a whole new language! A new culture! And we’re the ones who discovered it! Look at all those carvings, we could learn so much more about the southern civilisations.”

    “What do you want to learn stuff for?” Arden stated blankly, “After this, we’ll be so rich you could buy all the books you want! Why, you could even pay someone to read them for you!”

    “Let stop talking about it, and get to filling our pockets. We’ll be living like kings soon,” Nyell stated eagerly.

    “We should tell Alton first, he won’t be happy if we take the gold for ourselves.” Arden pointed out, “It’s not like we can smuggle arm loads of gold back to camp without drawing attention to ourselves. Anyway, we could go back and get the others to bring the wagons. We’ll still be rich.”

    The trio agreed to head back to the rest of the crew and tell of their discovery.

    Eifrayne unwound the bloodied cloth from his arm to inspect the wound. The blood hadn't quite stopped flowing from the deep cut in his upper arm, and Eifrayne accepted it was going to leave one heck of a scar. He fixed is bandage up tightly and planned his next move. Escaping enemies is one thing, but surviving in the wild is another.

    The first thing that he would need was fresh water. Standing up, he covered the blood that he had left on the log and the scuff marks on the ground with the leaves that covered the jungle floor, hoping that his pursuers would not know that he had come this way. From now on, he would have to be more careful about covering his tracks. After making sure he had left no trace, Eifrayne quietly continued downhill.

    After walking for an hour or so, Eifrayne heard the trickle of water. Hurrying on, he came to the edge of a small stream that cut a path through the jungle. He crouched in the undergrowth before going to the water’s edge, in case other creatures might also be looking for a drink. Confident that nothing else was nearby, he slowly moved out of the bushes to the water. Once he was there, his secretive ceased as he greedily gulped mouthfuls of water. Once again, he untied his bandage. He rinsed out the cloth and gingerly splashed water on his wound. He gritted his teeth and it took all he had not to yell out in pain. When he had cleaned his wound as much as he could, he again tied the cloth to his arm and drank some more water. He washed his face and took off his shoes.

    After dangling his feet in the cool running water for a while, he decided it would be safer and more refreshing if he walked in the stream, where he would leave no foot prints. Eifrayne continued upstream and searched for his next vital requirement: shelter. He wouldn’t last long without shelter from the elements and a good, defensible hiding place.

    As he followed the stream, it snaked through several rocky outcrops. After a while, Eifrayne came across a large overhang between two boulders.

    Not knowing what beast might be living in the cave, Eifrayne approached cautiously. He picked up a stone to throw into the cave. Either there was something in there waiting to kill him, or there was nothing and he could use the cave for shelter.

    He gritted his teeth and threw the stone. Nothing happened. Exhaling, he stuck his head inside and inspected his new home. He now had a roof over his head and a hiding spot. It was close to a fresh water source, but he still needed food.

    As he had been wading through the stream, Eifrayne had noticed some small shoals of silver fish. He decided one might do as a meal. The only problem was, he didn’t have means to catch one.

    Then he remembered the javelin that had been thrown at him. If he could make a similar one, he might be able to spear a fish. Outside, Eifrayne found scattered piles of drift wood along the shore, and after searching for a while, he came across a long pole like stick. It was comfortable in hand and well balanced. This would do as his spear.

    He had rubbed the end of his stick on a coarse rock until he had filed it to a sharp point. Then he found a calm, deep pool filled with well sized fish. After many attempts, he managed to skewer a few to take back to the cave. He sat down in his new home, and was about to start preparing his meal, when he realized he had no way to make a fire. Eifrayne picked up one of the fish. It felt slimy and cold in his hands and he was glad no one else was there as he took a bite of the slimy flesh. He gagged but forced himself to swallow the disgusting mouthful. It wasn't very appealing, but he was going to be there for a while. Maybe even the rest of his life, which might be quite short with those ferocious lizard people out there, so he needed to get used to it.

    After a while, Eifrayne returned to the shore in search of more possibly useful items. Eventually realising there was nothing else on the stream bed within a safe distance to the cave, he decided to enter the jungle.

    He didn't go too far in, as the mist, which he previously thought as an aid in his escape, now prevented his ability to see attackers from far off like he could on the shore. A little way in, Eifrayne came across a sizeable, but flexible sapling. Thinking it could be used as a weapon, he found a sharp looking rock and beat the sapling off at the end. He carried it back to the shore, along with several vines, the image of a bow hanging in his mind as he walked through the fog.

    He started to pull the stringy bark of the sapling, even though it was getting too dark to see clearly. He planned to keep busying himself with his survival to prevent his thoughts from straying back to the massacre of the crew in front of the city.

    At the description of the city, the Captain decided that the next day they would all go explore the city. Eifrayne noticed more than one were looking extra thoughtful at the mention of the gold and gemstones.

    After packing supplies early the next morning, the group set out for the city. They trekked through the jungle, following the young scouts until they came to the city. As soon as they arrived the rest of the crew ran in different directions to find their own share of treasure.

    Eifrayne, Arden and Nyell stood right where they were. Something wasn't right. None could put their finger on it for a while, but when they realised what was different, it made the three of them feel sick. The statues had gone.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2020
  3. Infinity Turtle
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    Infinity Turtle Well-Known Member

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    October-November 2015 - Spirit of Horror
    Trying to make something scary when you have to read it 20 times and analyse it isn't always easy...

    Thought Process: Again, I was new to the forum and spent the first two weeks bugging my dad for details about daemons and chaos yada yah (while also trying to keep him in the dark so that he'd read it and go "Wow!"... I'll pretend that it worked). I've always wanted to begin a story with "An ear-splitting scream echoed through the night", so I wrote that before even considering what a "plot" was. I wanted to write in first person to be able to convey the whole lying to your little sister thing in a way that wasn't to obvious... I don't think it worked... :shy: Also having recently watch Predator again and Primeval (a dinosaur sci-fi show <3) i decided that monsters that 'click' rather than roar are creepier. Being chased by something you can't see but you think you can hear... that will get your heart racing! (hopefully...)

    (Also spent waaaaaaaayyyyy to long on names again)

    The Original Reading/Voting Thread can be found here

    Midnight Chase

    An ear-splitting scream echoed through the night. I shot up from my bed and flung the covers off as another shriek made its way to my ears.

    I followed my first instinct and ran to Shalease’s bedroom. I opened up the door to see an empty bed and began to panic. I heard sobbing from the closet and I opened it to find my six year old sister curled up in the corner. I pulled her into a tight hug and she calmed down. "Are you okay? Was it you that screamed?" I asked her.

    "It came from outside." She sobbed back. "I was scared so I hid in the closet." She started to cry again at the memory.

    "Shh. Come on, it's alright now." I whispered hugging her again. "Whatever it was is gone now."

    I was interrupted from my thoughts by Shalease's quiet voice. "Are you sure, Kriston?"

    "Yes. Yes I am." I said trying to sound confident. Actually I wasn’t sure, but I hoped the lie would help to calm her down.

    After tucking her back into bed, I silently closed her door and quietly made my way to the kitchen, where I took the fire poker from beside the fireplace. Holding it at the ready, I walked to the front door. I hesitated before turning the handle, then stepped outside into the unusually cold night.

    I started to walk down the muddied cobblestone road, the occasional torch flickering a dim light over the village street, but I stopped when a foul smell hit my nose. I scrunched up my face in disgust and took another step and my shoes squelched as I stood in what I assumed and hoped was mud. I looked down at my feet and saw the full moon reflecting in the dark puddle. I took a step backwards and cringed as I heard another squelch.

    I turned and looked down to see our neighbour, Miss Marigold, or some of her. I gagged at the sight of her upper body sitting on the cobblestone, her entrails emptied onto the street, trailing to her waist and legs. I picked up a torch from the wall of a nearby store and looked around at the scattered bloodied limbs and pools of foul liquid around the path. Who could have done this? Or more importantly, what could have done this?

    I turned suddenly as I heard a sound coming from the store behind me. I swung the poker and waved the torch around, trying to see thing that had made the noise. I couldn't make out much from the dim light I had, but in the shadows I saw a pair of bloodshot eyes staring into mine, the pupils no more than a sliver. The crimson red irises seemed to be forcing an unrelenting stream of hate and rage towards me.

    A voice sounded from the back of the store, “Miss Marigold? Is that you?” A man’s voice asked. The shadow turned and disappeared and another blood curdling scream rung through night.

    As soon as its gaze left mine, I sprinted back to the house. We needed to leave. It was no longer safe here. I flung the door open and raced to Shalease's room to find her asleep again. I rushed up to her and shook her.

    "Shalease! Wake up!" I whispered.

    She stirred and sat up and gave me a puzzled expression. "What's wrong?" She asked rubbing her eyes.

    "Pack right now. We have to leave tonight. The town isn't safe."

    "What do you mean?"

    "I saw a-" I paused. I would have to tell her the truth at some point. “I saw a daemon.”

    "But if it's a daemon, won't the Seraphon save us?" Shalease asked optimistically.

    "What? No, those are just fairy tales. I told you that reading those stories was bad. Now back to packing."


    "No buts, we are leaving tonight." I interrupted her, walking out of the room.

    Shalease joined me a little while later I and picked up the poker again and swung her bag over one shoulder.

    "Come on Shalease. We're leaving now." I say beckoning her towards the door.

    "Where will we go, Kristin?" Shalease looked up at me as she walked towards the door.

    "We'll head for the woods, there may be a place where we can stay until the danger has passed.”

    I opened the door to the moonlit street once more and picked up Shalease as I stepped outside. “Look at the stars, Shalease.” I said trying to distract her from Miss Marigold, who was still scattered about the street. “They say the Seraphon come from there, way up in the sky. They probably have better things to do than come here…” I trailed off, not knowing what else to say.

    We had been walking for quite a while and the forest was in sight when I heard Shalease say my name.

    "Yeah?" I said not, slowing down.

    "What is that?" She asked in a fearful tone.

    I turned to see what she was looking at and saw glowing red eyes in the darkness. As I continued walking backwards, a shadow flitted to the other side of the street, staying behind the wagons and barrels, out of sight. Something that big shouldn’t be able to move that fast.

    I turned around and ran. There was a clattering from behind as the daemon sped up as well. I knew it was much faster than me, but I had a head start and could maybe climb a tree or hide if we made it to the forest edge.

    Shalease held me tightly and I realised I was slowing down because of her weight, but I pushed on. I was almost at the tree line when I heard a roar right in front of me. I stopped as a massive, muscular shape stormed out of the forest. A giant reptile, the size of an ogre. It gave another roar before throwing itself at the daemon.

    I heard Shalease gasp as more reptilian forms came from the forest. "It's the Seraphon!" She whispered and I realised it could be the only possible explanation.

    We stopped in the shadows of the trees and I put Shalease on the ground and hid behind a tree. We watched the scene unfold in front of our eyes.

    The larger Seraphon was fighting the daemon while the others, the size of a large man, raced from the trees swung their weapons at the daemon when able to avoid the its tearing claws and teeth. The daemon was to fast though and was just a shadow darting around, tearing at the giant reptile. It roared in pain and frustration, desperately trying to lay a hit on its lighting fast foe. The daemon dragged its claws across the Seraphon’s throat, slicing open the flesh and the great reptile fell to the ground, dead.

    The daemon was looking around at the remaining Seraphon then to the woods. It scanned the tree line until its eyes locked with mine. While it was glaring, the reptiles attacked it, but it refocused and dodged them, only receiving the occasional blow from a sword or halberd.

    I started to back away, but the daemon noticed and jumped over the attacking Seraphon and raced towards us. I turned and sprinted through the forest, pulling Shalease behind me.

    "Why is it chasing us?" Shalease asked, clinging to my hand.

    "I don't know. Maybe it doesn't want to be seen. It wants no human witnesses…" I panted.

    I could hear the daemon racing through the undergrowth behind us. I saw a big tree and quickly darted behind it pressing myself and Shalease in the bark, holding my breath. Shalease looked like she was about to cry, but held in her tears in an attempt to stay quiet.

    I heard the daemon's footsteps continue along until they slowed and the started coming back towards us. I grabbed Shalease and quietly made my way to the other side of the tree as the footsteps stopped where we had been moments before. There was a little hollow in the tree and we sat there quietly waiting.

    I heard the Seraphon were nearby, their deep, throaty growls were a contrast to almost silent daemon. It made a hissing noise that receded to a series of clicks as it moved slowly around the tree, closer and closer. I pushed Shalease behind me and pressed us both back into the hollow. A clawed hand reached around and scratched the bark near my face. I could hear it sniffing the air.

    Just as it was rounding the tree to face us, I heard the rumbling snarl of the Seraphon as they burst through the trees and launched themselves at the daemon. It let out a frustrated shriek and took on the reptilian warriors. I picked up Shalease once more and dodged the flailing weapons until I could sprint off again. As I was running the sounds of a fighting behind us receded and the first pink light of dawn hit the tree tops. I couldn’t run any further.

    “Are we safe now?” asked Shalease.

    “Yes, one solitary daemon couldn’t fight off that many Seraphon.”

    We slumped to the ground and caught our breaths.



    “What is that sound?” she asked as the faint hissing and clicking from ahead reached my ears.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2020
  4. Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl

    Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl Eleventh Spawning

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    Is that it? Blimey, that’s short! :p;)
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  5. Infinity Turtle
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    Infinity Turtle Well-Known Member

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    April-May 2018 - Beast and Master
    Trying to be edgy and creative and ultimately failing...

    Thought Process: After going through a lot of potential ideas, I settled on the one that unsettled me the most and hoped that I would be able to transfer that feeling of dread, captivity and ewww-iness into my writing. However, one thing that was not made clear in this story (perhaps because I did not decide for myself...) was whether Brenn was actually possessed, or if he had just strayed a little to close to crazy town. My personal immediate thought was that he had just gone crazy. Coping with ending someones life, disposing of the body and getting on a ship and leaving your home would probably alter your trauma/sanity/normal balance. I knew I had to involve Lizardmen, and I thought it would only be right if Brenn died in the end because... death...? I just had the image in my brain of some skink or saurus just going down for a long walk on the beach and then suddenly there's a crazy mammalian creature stumbling around-bleeding on the previously pristine sand, mind you. All in all I wanted to convey that ultimately us lesser beings are beasts that are one step away from losing control and yet we are also our own masters and we control the leash. It is finding the balance and control that is important.

    The Original Reading/Voting Thread can be found here

    The Beast Within




    Brenn balled his hands into fists, his knuckles turning white as he squeezed them tighter.




    He ignored the immediate pain as his skull collided with the solid wood of the hold.


    It was better than the incessant tapping in his mind. The tugging; the whispering; the voices.

    The urges.


    He tasted blood as he bit into his lip. Chapped and dry from the salty sea breeze. The metallic taste and the stinging grounded him. Pain was a leash he could tie himself too.

    Footsteps sounded on the other side of the door and Brenn froze. He pushed himself into the shadows, praying silently that he would remain undiscovered.

    As the footsteps faded again he cursed under his breath and laughed to himself. A wretched sound and nothing short of mirthless. What god would listen to him now?

    He had spent most of his small pouch of coins to gain entrance to the ship, no questions asked. He didn’t know where he was going, and he didn’t particularly care. It would take him far away from his old home, far from his memories of his last few days spent there. Unfortunately not far enough.

    He had killed someone.


    Brenn walked down the starlit street of the town. It wasn’t a large town, often finding itself omitted from maps and memories, but the townsfolk didn’t worry. They were content with their quiet, farm led lives. Everyone knew everyone. Life was blissfully ordinary.

    Putting a hand to his throbbing forehead, Brenn continued on his way. “Headache” would be an understatement. His steps had echoed off the cold cobblestone of the road, the laughter and shouting from the tavern had faded into the background. He swore quietly and colourfully to himself. A fool. He was a fool.

    The small bag of money felt worryingly light. A night at the tavern offered winnings, but seemed to only deliver loses. Brenn glance slightly over his shoulder to the sound of footsteps. A clanking of coins.

    Brenn tried to pretend he hadn’t noticed, but the footsteps appeared and an arm was slung over his shoulder.

    “No hard feelings, right?” A toothy grin. Eyes that held boastful glee.


    That had been weeks ago. Months perhaps. Brenn had no interest in keeping track of time anymore.

    It had been messy, not entirely painless and an accident.

    Punches turned to a beating which lead to broken ribs and glossy eyes.

    An accident. Definitely.


    Worth it.


    There it was again. The voice. It sounded familiar. It echoed from the very core of him. A voice he’d heard somewhere before…

    He’d rushed to the docks half a mile from the town, paying a merchant more than what was necessary to board a ship and stay below deck. He had tried not to think too hard as he handed over the leather pouch full of coins. He hoped the merchant wouldn’t notice his bloody knuckles, though when gold was involved, human curiosity often found other things to do.

    Stupid. Foolish. Horrible.




    He stopped as more footsteps rushed passed. A few heart beats later another set followed. Shouts began to sound far above through the ceiling. Something was wrong.

    Carefully sliding off his sorry excuse for a bed, Brenn sidled his way to the door of the store room. The boat rocked gently underneath his feet as he pressed his ear against the door. More footsteps, more shouts. Very wrong.

    I hope there’s blood.

    He slammed his forehead into the door and winced at the pain. He could hear that… Thing inside him growling quietly to itself- purring. Razor sharp fangs, forked tongue- and that voice…

    He gently opened the door and stepped into the hall, turning towards the ladder at the far end of it. He took the rungs three at a time and slipped onto the main deck. Keeping to the shadows, he gazed around in the faint light of the moon and stars. He wouldn’t have to try hard to stay hidden given the frenzy on deck.

    Searching for the source of the panic, his eyes turned east where the horizon had started turning strained sort of pink. He narrowed his eyes at the once smooth line where sky meets sea. Land.

    Land that, with the wind behind them, was rapidly approaching.

    He felt the thing inside him snicker quietly to itself. A sound that was far from pleasant. Crew men had worked to lower most of the sails and were working to bring down the rest. Brenn was shoved back into reality when one of the voyagers, whether crew or merchant or just a traveller, Brenn didn’t know, grabbed his arms and tugged him along to a rope were a few other men were gathered. Whatever the man was shouting over the din, Brenn didn’t understand a word of it, but he joined the others in pulling on the rope. He had no idea what he was doing or how he could possibly be helping the situation. He was just thankful that the uproar had lent him invisibility.

    Brenn glanced again to the east, directly in form of the bow. Though still a fair way off, in the growing light he could now make out the real danger. The boat began to rock more violently as they drew nearer. Waves crashed and tumbled over one another as if fighting each other to reach the shore, separated only by the great expanse of a reef reaching out to shelter the now closer length of beach.

    Brenn heard the crack first, then he was thrown from the rope and the men he had been standing with. He swivelled to try and land on something that wasn’t his face and found the hard deck with his palms and chest. Clenching his teeth he tried to scramble into an upright position but found himself helplessly clawing at the smooth worn wood as the world began to turn.

    There was a mighty creaking as the boat began to tip. Its keel had been wedged against the reef so the swells pushed the vessel until it stood parallel to the shore. Waves buffeted the side and water rushed in below deck.

    He heard a scream close by. He realised it was himself. That voice- his voice…

    Brenn closed his eyes as the world went to hell.


    There was sand everywhere. Sand and salt and water. The sound of crashing waves. The hiss on the sand. The stinging pain of warm sea water finding cuts and scrapes left by the coral.

    Everything blurred as Brenn dragged himself up the gritty beach, the push and pull of the waves slowing his ascent. He heard gulls and rolled onto his back to see them circling high above.

    The sun was nearing the centre of the sky, beating down on him.

    Looking out to sea, he could only make out a scattering of flotsam and a flock of gulls picking through for their next meal.

    Hauling himself to his feet, Brenn bit down on the collar of his shirt to try and block the scream that was building in his throat. Pain. Pain everywhere. He glanced down at a wedge of wood that had imbedded itself in his thigh. Blood seeped out from the wound. He took off his torn shirt and wrapped it tightly above the wound. Gritting his teeth he tugged out the piece of wood.


    Use it.

    He blocked out the pain, turning it into a tingling throb at the back of his mind.

    A distraction.


    He gazed further down the beach and saw another figure. It lifted its hands and waved at him. Brenn only stared back. The figure approached. Limping. Injured.


    “You made it out too? I’ve been looking for other survivors…” The figure was a middle aged man. Drenched with sea water and dripping down one arm, with a distinct metallic scent… blood.

    The newcomer’s voice faded into the ringing in his ears. He felt his hand tighten around the piece of wood, still soaked in his blood.

    He stared blankly ahead. The other man’s mouth moved. A few moments later in his mind he registered the words: “Are you okay?”

    Brenn took a step closer. The man took a step back.

    Fear. You can taste it.

    That voice- his voice, he realised. It commanded him. He was merely a puppet, a creature of obedience.

    The other man didn’t get a chance to cry out before his throat was stabbed again and again and again with that splinter of driftwood.

    Weak. He deserved it.

    Blood soaked into the white sand and Brenn collapsed beside the twitching corpse. He didn’t hear the quiet footfalls on the beach. He didn’t feel the vibrations through the sand as something approached. He only looked up when he heard the hiss of breath from a few paces further up shore. Springing to his feet, Brenn brandished the small stake and whirled on the scaly creature behind him.

    Bloodshot, salt stung eyes met golden glowing ones and Brenn smiled grimly as the spear went through his chest.


    Worth it.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2020
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  6. Infinity Turtle
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    Infinity Turtle Well-Known Member

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    January-February 2018 - The Power of Music
    "Imagery, dear Watson!"

    Thought Process: This story was based on a few basic rules/laws
    - Music comes from a source
    However, is the sound the source? Is it immediately music once it leaves the instrument and all who here it here and judge it the same? Or is it within the ears and mind of the listener that noises become a song?
    - Skinks are curious

    Not the they are driven by curiosity and ask all the "why" questions, but as they are more intelligent they are likely to think about the fact that things happen because something else has happened - cause and effect. Also they would be smart enough to know that you don't have to destroy the entire camp to grab the instrument. (I know there would be differing opinions on the intelligence of various Lizardmen, but for this story, this is what I was going for)
    Therefore... The skink would know there was music as he could hear it, and he would know it comes from the mandolin/lute/thingjig, but things that would be most likely lost to him would be what makes it music and therefore how to recreate it.
    In this story I really wanted to focus on imagery and paint a picture with sounds, sights and smells. Making every subject of sentences and paragraphs, whether living or dead, a force and a piece of the ultimate picture. This is why dialogue was not favourable in this piece and why there was a thesaurus in use!

    The Original Reading/Voting Thread can be found here

    The Instrument

    A thin trail of smoke spiralled faintly from the once blazing campfire, rising slowly into the pink predawn light. Around the dying coals there was a faint snoring; the newcomers splayed about on the leaf litter, closed off to the world wrapped in the calm of sleep. The light began to play on the ground around the camp, the bird filled canopy failing to block out every ray.

    Eerie birdsong began to fill the dense tropical forest, receiving replies from miles away. The creatures of the night returned to their homes, watching carefully for any signs of danger before tucking a head underwing or curling up in a nest of leaves.

    A slim clawed hand gripped the neck of the small, stringed instrument, hoisting it up and away from the quiet campsite. The Skink carefully picked its way back through the thick jungle, his feet barely touching the ground as he skilfully skipped through the greenery.

    Reaching what he believed to be a safe distance, the Skink scanned the smooth wood with a suspicious gaze before flipping the object over and shaking it vigorously. Placing it down atop a rotting log, he sat across from it and waited.


    He continued to stare at it, unblinking and unfazed.

    Still nothing.

    The Skink hissed in annoyance narrowed his eyes at the instrument. He quietly approached and gently pulled at one of the strings with a scaled finger.


    He leapt back, letting out a surprised squeal. The string continued to vibrate for a while longer, the noise fading to a faint buzz and then to silence.

    Taking a step back towards it, he reached out again and plucked at a different string. It seemed somehow... 'higher' than the last and seemed to fade sooner.

    It didn't sound like it had when the warmblood easily ran his hands along the strings, pulling and plucking at different intervals. The strange song that filled the skinks head as he observed the small camp continued to play through his mind long after he had left.

    Surely only magic could occupy the mind in such a way? A sort of spell that would control your thoughts and actions, perhaps.

    No matter how evil it may be, the Skink knew he had to hear it again.


    The man sang in a way that reminded the Skink of the bastilodons. Their bellowing cries would ring out through the night in a sorrowful beautiful sort of way. He wasn't entirely sure what the word 'beautiful' meant, but it seemed an appropriate context.

    The humans voice was higher and sweeter; it flitted easily through the words of the song with a sense of familiarity. His fingers plucking and strumming at the strings with a sense of rhythm and order.

    Order was good, it meant control and simplicity. Perhaps is wasn't the correct adjective to use, then, as it also seemed complex and free, like the colourful birds that patrolled the jungle's canopy.

    The Skink easily picked up the speed and regularity of the tune and found his tail unconsciously twitching at the music, his foot tapping the peaty earth. His focus solely on the sound bouncing around his skull, he only realised he had bumped the branch beside him when the sweet melody came to an abrupt halt.

    The small lizard men's eyes refocused and he silently slid back into the darkness of the jungle.


    Turning his attention back to the object at hand, he picked it up and crouched on the log, grasping the instrument to his chest as the human had done. He strummed a hand over the hole in the wood, pulling at the strings.

    He recoiled in disgust at the untuned mess of noise that erupted from the thing in his hands, hissing and muttering quietly to himself.


    He tried again holding the neck tightly. A short, blunt sound briefly occurred before again fading away into silence without a trace.

    Gently the Skink placed the instrument back on the log, again studying it. Where was the music coming from? Not the horrible twang of the strings, but the sweet quiet melody he had heard the previous night.

    Where did the magic come from?

    How could it be held in such a simple wooden object?

    Grabbing the neck of the instrument, the Skink smashed it onto the side of a tree, waiting for some... 'thing' to explode from the shards of wood and the tangled wires. He held his spear at the scraps and pieces, poking and jabbing at different splinters, waiting for anything to happen.

    After a moments consideration, He straightened up and scampered through the trees back to the temple, confused and frustrated at his futile venture.

    The birds continued to call through the trees, the greenery hiding them from sight.

    On the ground, a little Skink picking its way through the leaf litter, began to tap a rhythm, tucked safely away in his own head, a magic in its own right; making one act in the strangest of manners; with complexity and grace, purpose and freedom.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2020
  7. Infinity Turtle
    Temple Guard

    Infinity Turtle Well-Known Member

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    July-August 2018 - Food and Drink
    I've ruined horror, poetry, suspense... why not comedy as well?

    Thought process: Honestly, I have no idea what I did. This is the way I tend to write naturally - writing things as they come to mind no matter how improbable and stupid, if my brain goes on a tangent that may or may not be funny, It's going in! I knew I wanted to do a list of ingredients, but my main concern was the word limit. I wanted it to feel full, but not stuffed (yay, food jokes!). I'd like to thinkn I accomplished the right balance of flavours in this story. I wrote this all in one go nonstop while on holidays, only really thinking about the first scene, and then printed it off and put it in my pocket. Intending to give it to my brother to read while we went for a walk, I later decided that was a terrible idea, because it probably wasn't very good, and explained the entire thing verbally instead... because that makes sense... Given the fact he laughed a bit and didn't end up throwing up or convulsing on the ground, it couldn't be compleeeeetely terrible, right? I then waited until a couple days before it was due and proof read it, because PROCRASTINATION!

    The Original Reading/Voting Thread can be found here

    >>:- Essence of Lustria -:<<

    Phorexx sniffed the viscous grey liquid. Nostrils twitching, he took in the earthy stench of death and decay, recoiling as a rancid smelling bubble burst on the surface.

    “I don’t get it…”

    “You’re not supposed to ‘get it’, you’re supposed to drink it!”

    Phorexx’ eyes flicked up and met the blue flecked gaze of his friend, perched on the other side of the flask. The so called “drink” emitting an offensive smell that reminded Phorexx of bastilidon.

    “It looks like it came from an extinct spawning pool; where did you find it?” the skink shuffled his hands on the flask.

    Toohii snorted and turned his attention back to the drink. “You don’t just ‘find’ this stuff. It’s a work of art.”

    The skink rolled his eyes. Lizardmen don’t know much about art, but even the average kroxigor would have more of a clue about it than the saurus seated across from him. As far as Phorexx was concerned, art should not cause extreme nausea. “It looks like something Fosstr would make in the kitchens.” Phorexx pictured the gangly chameleon skink. “Whatever he does in there cannot be considered art.”

    “Hey, you know it’s not easy to make decent drinks. This little beauty took me three hours.” Toohii smiled proudly as the drink made a suspicious plarp noise.

    Phorexx paused and looked at the saurus. “Honestly, Toohii, I could’ve made that in my sleep. I’m more concerned a bastilidon may have, however.”

    “Could you make something better? Not likely. You willing to bet?” Toohii held out a hand and Phorexx clasped it firmly, “you have until sundown. Loser drinks that.” He nodded to the flask of grey-brown liquid.

    Phorexx’ mouth twisted up at the corners, “We’ll let the chief priest decide.”

    Toohii’s drink gave another joyous gurgle.

    “It’s on.”


    Flaming Guava Juice from the Swamplands of Krxlet


    Phorexx nodded to his newly acquired chameleon skink companion through the red haze of the swamplands of Krxlet. The small green reptile unfastened an object from his belt – a set of panpipes – and started up a lilting tune.

    Squinting in the gloom, Phorexx could make out the clump of small green shrubs he was looking for. Smooth green fruit clung to the drooping branches of the flaming guava trees, swinging in the half-light. The chameleon skink followed Phorexx as he picked his way through the peaty swamp, the lullaby continuing to flow effortlessly from his panpipes.

    Phorexx tried to ignore the scorch marks on trees and the occasional white bone that jutted up from the ground as they approached the grove. The green plants swung gently in time with the music, quietly rustling in the dull gloom.

    Pulling a sharp flint from his satchel, Phorexx reached for the nearest of the plants, inches from his claws. Swiftly and as gently as possible, he sliced through the stem of the nearest cluster of fruit, dropping the bunch quietly into his satchel. He was painfully aware that one false move would cause the fruit to explode, making short work of the strange duo. The two lizardmen began to back away step by step until –CRACK!

    Beside Phorexx, the chameleon skink froze and lifted his foot from the shattered twig, panpipes halted mid-note. As the music came to an abrupt stop, the spell was broken and the flaming guava plants assumed a defensive position. Sensing intruders in their peaty home, the plants began to spurt flames in all directions, their fiery fronds reaching after the fleeing lizardmen.

    Phorexx tumbled through the trees, clawing his way out of range. He skidded to a halt as the oppressive heat lessened, turning to see what had become of his companion. He narrowed his eyes, scanning the swampy ground and moss covered trees. He turned his head slightly to the side, picking up a faint whistling noise. The whistling grew louder and Phorexx leapt out of the way as a smouldering set of panpipes flew past his head, narrowly missing him.

    He fled the swamplands without looking back.


    Poison dart frog venom from the Giant Lustrian Dart Frogs.


    The quiet chirping of insects and small animals filled the humid Lustrian air. Phorexx stepped carefully over fallen logs and small vine like plants that crept across the leaf littered floor, making his way through the sun dappled jungle. The skink put a claw to his mouth signalling to the rest of the party to remain silent.

    The small band was mostly comprised of bored skinks and chameleon skinks with nothing better to do other than following the seemingly insane skink through the Lustrian jungle on a treasure hunt. Towards the back, however, lumbered Krltunn. Phorexx winced as the kroxigor hit another tree with his massive swinging tail, sending leaves spiralling down on the mismatched party.

    Before long, Phorexx held up a fist, signalling the company to halt. They were close.

    Pushing leaves back from his path, Phorexx crept the last few steps to the gargantuan slumbering bodies of the Giant Lustrian Dart Frogs.

    He took out a small glass vile and a short stick from his satchel. He approached one of the sleeping behemoths, its slimy skin rising and falling with its breaths. Stick held out in one hand, Phorexx gently swiped the warty skin and plonked the stick into the vial, poison end down.

    As the small crowd “oohed” and “aahed”, Phorexx rolled his yes and returned the vial to its home in his satchel. To his dismay, Krltunn, clearly missing the subtle aspect of the group’s applause, started to clap very enthusiastically and very loudly.

    Phorexx turned and sprinted from the clearing, followed by the faster thinking skinks, leaving a very confused kroxigor and the now awake and not particularly happy, Giant Lustrian Dart Frogs.


    A carnosaur egg from the nest of a carnosaur.


    The crowd that had been following Phorexx around that day had disappeared. He wasn’t surprised at his solitude, however, as he crept towards the heart of the jungle. The birdsong had faded into silence as the lone skink picked his way towards his destination.

    Phorexx peered through the last few feet of foliage at the edge of a clearing. Sunlight breached the thick canopy and shone down on the massive red and golden form of the carnosaur. Her body heaved and her nostrils flared with each inhalation and exhalation.

    There had been a slim chance the great beast would be away hunting, leaving the nest open and unprotected, but since when was anyone ever that lucky?

    Just as Phorexx was about to jump from the bushes and do something incredibly stupid, a figure burst from the undergrowth on the other side of the clearing hollering and roaring.

    Phorexx effectively face palmed as Krltunn came to a screeching stop as he realised where he was. The kroxigor had frog shaped bite marks covering his body, but seemed more or less uninjured… for now.

    Huge golden eyes flew open and zeroed in on the frozen kroxigor. Krltunn snapped out of his daze and Phorexx watched him bolt into the jungle, the female carnosaur snapping at his heels.

    The nest deserted, Phorexx climbed over the edge and selected one of the eggs from the clutch. Wrapping it in a cloth, he gently placed it in his satchel and hurriedly returned home.


    Ixti grubs from literally any rotting log


    Phorexx sighed as he approached the rotten log, a small pouch in his hand. The crowd had reappeared and double in size. Phorexx took a deep breath and kicked the log over. Surely it was impossible to be killed while collecting Ixti grubs, of all things.

    The skink knelt beside the upturned log, nostrils twitching at the musty earth smell. The small – by Lustrian standards- wriggling grubs writhed and rolled in the rotting wood and dirt, their pale bodies bending and contorting in unsettling ways. The skink carefully picked the fattest and the healthiest ones of the lot, dropping each squirming grub into the pouch.

    Letting out an exasperated huff, he adjusted his satchel. All this for a stupid drink? Then Phorexx thought of the suspiciously gurgling mass that Toohii had created. It’s worth it… Phorexx sighed to himself as he backed away from the log. A low warning growl thrummed through his ears. Probably

    Most animals are known to get most aggressive when separated from their offspring. However, as Phorexx took another step away from the snarling creature before him, he felt like whoever claimed that should be given slap in the face and then be re-educated by being placed between a razordon and its lunch.

    The crowd had fallen silent, no doubt waiting for the razordon to sink its teeth into Phorexx giving them time to escape. Phorexx decided that, although he would rather become a razordon chew toy than be forced to drink whatever Toohii created, he would rather not die today given all he’d been through. He reached his hand into his satchel and carefully retrieved one of the flaming guavas.

    The razordon, its eyes having disconcertingly moved from the ixti grubs to Phorexx’ throat, tensed, ready to lunge. As its muscled bunched to spring, Phorexx hurled the fruit at its feet. The was a dull sizzle then a satisfying pop before the razordon was engulfed in a flash of flames and smoke.


    “High Priest Korona, we present to you the contestants,” one of the chameleon skink kitchen hands announced to the twitching old priest, “Phorexx the skink and Toohii the saurus warrior.”

    The Priest absentmindedly waved a hand for the competition to commence, looking an awful lot like someone with better things to do. The crowd, however, cheered loudly and enthusiastically waving their arms in the air.

    Phorexx brought forth his colourful creation in an elegant glass vial, hissing and fizzing in the Lustrian heat. Beside him, Toohii presented his flask of much. The liquid gave an energetic pfft, no doubt sensing the importance of the situation.

    Chief Priest Korona, having screwed up his face at Toohii’s drink, turned to take a sip from Phorexx’ vial. As he drew the fizzing substance to his lips, a skull shattering roar burst from the jungle.

    The crowd parted as a bedraggled Krltunn stumbled into the temple city, bleeding and battered.

    “I’ve done it!” he cried, “I lost her!”

    The crowd was silent, the kroxigor gasped heavily for breath Toohii raised a non-existent eyebrow at Phorexx who had frozen to the spot.

    And the jungle replied.

    Another roar echoed through the city and from the trees crashed an extremely ticked off looking carnosaur. The city flew into an uproar, skinks scrabbling to get away from the gates and temple guards rushed back to their abandoned posts Chief Priest Korona rolled his eyes in a ‘not again’ kind of way and began to descent the dais.

    Phorexx knew what he had to do.

    Turning to Toohii, he grabbed his friend’s flask from his hands and hurled it with all his might at the carnsaur. The globular liquid gave a final slurrrp of happiness before it disappeared into the gaping maw of the carnosuar.

    The carnosaur stopped from a moment, her expression of rage quickly transforming into one of severe discomfort. Though he could have imagined it, Phorexx swore her face turned slightly green as the great beast clamped her mouth shut and ran back into the trees for some privacy.

    The collective intake of breath from the thousands of lizardmen exploded into thunderous applause, filling the city. He had done it, he had saved himself from whatever the hell it was that Toohii had created.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2020
  8. Paradoxical Pacifism
    Skink Chief

    Paradoxical Pacifism Well-Known Member

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    Nice job on all of these stories!

    I particularly liked "The Instrument" the most.
    Infinity Turtle likes this.
  9. Infinity Turtle
    Temple Guard

    Infinity Turtle Well-Known Member

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    October-November 2018 - It Came from Above

    Thought Process: While writing the story, I had recently read and reread the Throne of Glass book series by Sarah J. Maas and was in a bit of a light hearted fantasy/girl power mood. I always like the idea of having a prisoner that knows more than the captors, because then he can make superior observations and is given the choice to either save his captors or leave them to die. You don't have to explain why a person of such vastly superior intelligence got themselves captured by a bunch or bumbling idiots, you just get to read about those same idiots dying (perhaps due to afformentioned bumbling idiocy).

    Though Savinne isn't necessarily the smartest person, I just wanted her to be observant and adaptable. However, I also wanted her fate to remain uncertain. When I read out my first draft to my brother, who was playing video games at the time, I had written a more obvious ending, with Savinne being hoisted into the sky by claws digging into her shoulders. Then I could go "Huzzah audience! You were fooled! You though it was the SKINKS that came from above, but WHAM! Nondescript flying creature!" I decided to cut that out after Dad, who was eavesdropping from the lounge room (and provided much better feedback than my teenage brother surprise surprise...), said it was a bit sad that this somewhat likeable person is now difinitively dead. After deleting that ending, I really couldn't be bothered to write a more extensive ending, considering it was already the 1st of November where I live. Unfortunately, this seemed to hold me back quite a bit:

    I had fun writing this story, however, and I hope you all had fun reading it!

    The Original Reading/Voting Thread can be found here

    Starlight and Shadows

    Savinne rubbed her fingers together, encouraging the blood to keep flowing. Despite the oppressive heat they felt cold and had gradually turned a pale shade of blue. The rope around her wrists held her arms at an uncomfortable angle as she followed the sailors through the towering trees.

    Sailors was her preferred term for them, because ‘treasure hunters’ leant towards a romanticised sense of adventure and ‘mercenaries’ suggested a certain amount of wit and ferocity. Savinne didn’t think the men who now escorted her through the trees possessed either. If they did they wouldn’t be at the back end of the world robbing temples and shrines of ancient civilisations and they wouldn’t have brought her with them. However they did like their drink, and from Savinne’s nights spent watching the best and worst of Men at seaside taverns and the inns along the docks, the nicest name to give them would be ‘sailors’.

    There was a creak of leather and a rasp of breath as the leader of the expedition drew beside her. “Not liking your little adventure so much now, are we?” he sneered and Savinne tried not to recoil at the smell and sight of yellowed teeth and grime covered beard.

    She internally rolled her eyes and looked up at him pleadingly. “N-no sir. R-really I could go back to the ship. I won’t cause trouble, I s-swear.” She reached out to him beseechingly with her bound hands, fingers grazing the knife that lay concealed beneath his vest.

    He gave her a less than encouraging slap on the back and laughed to himself before joining the front of the party. Soon.

    To be entirely honest, the whole thing was a mistake. She was supposed to be on a ship to Araby, for no reason other than that a scorching death in the deserts would be favourable to a cold and wet demise at the hands of Albion. A simple misunderstanding had her stowing away on the wrong ship to the wrong southern land mass. But in the end, it worked out for everyone; the ‘treasure-hunting mercenaries’ would get free labour and clean dishes and she wouldn’t die from natural causes.

    She could still hear the ocean in the distance, waves crashing on the long, untouched beaches of the Southern Continent. They had been travelling parallel to the beach for almost two days at a bumbling pace. That was where her hope lay. She could reach the anchored ship on one of the long boats and eventually make her way back to civilisation.

    One thing was certain; she knew that if she didn’t act soon, they would all meet their fate at the hands of whatever was calling out in the night, the unearthly screeches; the footprints around the campfire no one else seemed to notice. They wouldn’t last a week.


    The next morning, the first one went missing. One of the younger men, a boy really, probably having gone to seek privacy in the small hours of the morning. No one spoke of it further than saying he probably got lost and got bitten by one of the various poisonous animals that inhabited the jungle.

    A day later, one of the shoddy tents had been torn- broken into- and the inhabitants were missing. Their belongings remained in a crumpled heap amongst the tent’s remains. Supposedly they had ran off to rob the temples before the rest of the party could arrive, hoping to keep all the treasure to themselves. However, they clearly didn’t think it through, as the only map had been left behind, perfectly safe in the leaders possesion. Faking the disappearance as an animal attack was also pointless as an animal that vicious would have made some noise and left a trail, obviously.

    But that night as Savinne washed the cook ware, hands unbound for a small while, she saw them. Eyes. Just within the jungle, watching her. Golden slits that seemed to glow in the deep shadows the fire light cast. She blinked and they were gone. The knives were kept separate from the other utensils in case the acting scullery maid got any creative ideas. There was little chance she would come up with a feasible plan to steal the leader’s knife, but she had to think of some alternative fast.

    The expedition leader sat with his back to her, facing the fire several feet away. He was laughing and chatting with the other men, a few casting unreadable glances in Savinne’s direction. Tonight, then.


    Hands bound and eyes shut, Savinne listened as the noises of the campsite dulled down to the steady breathing of sleep. In her hands she held shard of stone, having found it around the camp when she was washing up. The man on watch sat beside the fire, tossing on a log every so often. Savinne, tied to a tree near the outskirts of the site, blinked, adjusting to the darkness. Thin trails of moon and starlight filtered through the thick canopy, casting odd shadows alongside the flickering yellow glow of the fire.

    The leader of the expedition had finally fallen asleep within his tent, quiet rustling of bedding and clinking of blade gave way to obnoxious snoring and the noises of sleep. His tent was a few feet away from where Savinne sat, and behind her the jungle was calling. The chirping insects droned on into a monotonous chorus, interrupted occasionally by an unearthly shriek. Was it her imagination, or were they closer than they had been the past nights?

    Savinne worked the stone from her closed fist to her fingers, cutting into her skin as she got it into a workable position. She set to work on the ropes, drawing the stone back and forth as the fibres began to snap. Before long, she could pull her hands free and she was sawing away at the bindings around her ankles.

    The man by the fire had his back turned and Savinne stole the opportunity. She slipped silently into the trees, her bare feet making barely a sound on the leaf littered floor.

    As she backed away from the moonlit clearing, Savinne noticed strange shadows cast about the site. She scanned the tree line, but there was no hint of movement or life. A jungle bird gave a cry into the night before taking to the sky and spiralling up into the night. Startled by the eerie call, Savinne’s eyes drifted towards the canopy and- There!

    A shadow sliding down the thick trunk of a branchless jungle tree, then gone again. Savinne narrowed her eyes and gazed around to the tree tops, and again. A shadow for a split second before disappearing almost immediately.

    The insects faded into silence and an ear-splitting scream tore through the clearing. Savinne covered her ears and watched in horror as from the trees descended dozens of slim, lithe shapes. They scampered down tree trunks with practiced ease and landed silently in the clearing. Savinne frantically searched for the man who had been by the fire, supposedly keeping watch, only to see him hoisted up into the trees without a sound. Savinne was about to scream when she realised that this was exactly the opportunity she needed. She turned and ran into the jungle, trying her best to stay silent. The sound of muffled voices came from behind her as the crew began to wake up, confused by the scream.

    As Savinne drew further East, she could just make out the sound of waves crashing against the shore. She must have been running for nearly an hour, her heart beating against her ribcage. She just had to make it out of the trees and the suffocating heat of the jungle, away from those… things. Then she could get safely back to the boat and… she wouldn’t think to far ahead. Focus on getting out of the jungle, first.

    A thick, salty breeze hit Savinne’s face as she pushed through the scrub and into the open. Rotting leaves gave way to soft, white sand beneath her feet. She gasped for breath and stumbled out onto the beach, putting as much distance between her and the trees as possible. Sticky, salt water swept around Savinne’s feet as she collapsed into the sea.

    The stars flickered far overhead, the moon reflected clearly on the great expanse of water, and something else.

    A flicker of darkness.

    A shadow.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2020
  10. Infinity Turtle
    Temple Guard

    Infinity Turtle Well-Known Member

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    January-February 2020 - New Beginnings/Rebirth
    "Being born vs coming into existence"

    Thought Process:
    Going into this comp., l knew I wanted to enter something as I haven't really done much writing/art in a while due to lack of inspiration/stress from school, and so on, so I decided to go with the first idea that popped into my head. I essentially wanted to explore the difference between a 'beginning' and a 'birth'. Lizardmen aren't born as such, but rather summoned or 'called' for lack of a better word. On the contrar, "feral" creatures are just like any other animal, so the cold ones were then the representation of things being born.

    The name I derived from the Khmer language, following my trip to Cambodia last year. The peoples' conspet of family in relation to waords was slightly different in that children were referred to generally as 'nephew' or 'niece' and older adults as 'aunt' and 'uncle'. This family centered way of viewing people was what I wanted to develop through Kaunobrz, who's name is a loose translation of the word 'son'. He doesn't exactly have a family and he wasn't born, but he is still the creation of something else, of more power. This makes him a creation and in this case, a son.

    The surviving hatchling is called Kaun’zri, an adaptation of the word for 'daughter'. In this story, Kaun’zri is the Saurus' second chance, his adopted daughter.

    It's pretty unnecessarily deep, but I personally place great value in symbolism and names are an interesting way to explore that.

    I love to be used to emotionally blackmail people into returning to the forum :p

    It seems my downfall is always making things to artistic and vague when often a clear story is required. when clear plots appear to me, I'm sure to use them, but I thnk In this case I more wanted to illustrate with words and explore themes and concepts rather than tension etc. (highschool english- what are you doing to me!?)

    In this case, I thought a skink protagonist would be to sceptical and uncaring as opposed to a saurus who takes more time and effor to think and has (in my opinion) a more clear cut set of morals which it will stand by until the end. I think I intended Kaunobrz' 'affection' for Mteay and the hatchling to be more about a personal connection than just his duty to capture and raise a Cold One. That being said, I'm sure duty and personal desires come hand in hand for a character such as this.

    Thanks for the critiques and feed back! I always love to learn and to continue to grow my Lustrian writing alongside my other creative explorations.

    Anyways, that's a long way to introduce this piece, but here you go...

    The Original Reading/Voting Thread can be found here

    Second Chance

    Darkness. There was only darkness.

    Kaunobrz blinked in the inky blackness, not floating, not sinking, simply being. The darkness was pressing in on his senses and he could not decide whether his eyes were open or closed- or even whether he was breathing. It had not occurred to him that he had started breathing in the first place, that his eyes were seeing. In the darkness he saw and he was.

    Darkness. But not only the darkness.

    A shimmering and flickering light, burning closer and brighter, his eyes narrowing against the near blinding glow, his lungs began to constrict. Breathing, which had been new and easy moments ago drove Kaunobrz to flail and thrash as his chest burned with a need he didn’t know he had. The light drew closer and before him he saw arms, hands, claws - his own claws - pulling him towards the light, the light he somehow knew he had to reach.

    Suddenly around him, bodies writhed and clawed, he alongside them. All of those empty shapes and hollow bodies chasing the life they had only just been given, the life which was fast disappearing.

    His head broke the surface and Kaunobrz gasped for the air he’d never needed before. He pulled himself spluttering to the edge of the spawning pool, scraping along carved stones, stories from millenia ago and for millenia to come. This was his life now, just as it had always been.

    A small colourful beetle meandered its way up the lichen covered tree trunk, its iridescent shell catching the dawn light. Kaunobrz glanced sidelong at the beetle as it stretched its wings and buzzed off into the jungle canopy. The saurus turned his gaze to the clearing below him, watching, waiting. A few heart beats later the undergrowth rustled as a vicious reptilian creature stepped into the pale sunlight.

    Kaunobrz tightened his grip on the obsinite-tipped spear that had been resting lazily at his side. His first movement since he had scaled the tree in the darkest hours of the morning. His eyes tracked the cold one as she picked her way carefully through the mottled light, scenting the air every few steps and, appearing satisfied wither her investigation the lethal predator circled a spot at the edge of the clearing near the splayed roots of an ancient tree before lying down, her tail tucked around her. Mteay. That was what the saurus had named her. The beetle returned to the tree where Kaunobrz sat with a low hum. Mteay’s nostrils flared, but her eyes remained closed and a few moments later the cold one was asleep.

    Kaunobrz watched for another hour before he silently alighted from his hiding place and returned to the city.

    He knew who he was. As soon as his scales had met sunlight, the moment his eyes drank in the lush jungle and the towering stone structure around him, hidden within the greenery, he had known. Looking around him at his brothers, he saw the same scales, the same claws, the same power and deadly purpose. He knew who he was, but he did not know how.

    He had not been born, as such, he had been sent. Sent by those that have seen, are ever watching and gaze into the world that is yet to come. He knew who he was.

    Kaunobrz resumed his dawn vigil the next day. His cold, unfeeling eyes scanning the tree line, watching the undergrowth. The bird song of the early morning had somewhat diminished with the rising of the scorching Lustrian sun. The saurus watched with little interest as a pair of colourful birds flitted through the canopy around his rigid form, spiralling downwards into the clearing. They completed another loop of the sun bathed space before chasing each other upwards into the foliage.

    Kaunobrz sniffed the air, a claw twitching against his firm grip on the spear. Trust was not a concept he was acquainted with, aside from that of his brothers, but Kaunobrz blinked in respect- recognition, as one predator to another- as the muscular reptile stepped into the clearing. She circled her usual space and lowered herself onto the warm earth.

    The saurus waited until the sun was reaching towards its peak, the fragmented pools catching the scales of the beast, the guardian of the clearing. Mteay’s breathing was calm and she did not stir as the animals of the jungle went about their daily rituals and practices. Kaunobrz blinked once; twice, then crept from his vantage point.

    He followed his brothers towards the main city, the gold ring pushed through his flesh shining, some blood dripping down his jaw from where his skin had been pierced. His skin now scarred forever. The first of many scars, no doubt. A killer. That’s what he was. What he had always been. With divine purpose. That’s who he was.

    Whatever weapons were pushed into his hands, whatever creatures were placed before his swinging arm, his lethal blade, he would take in his crushing stride.

    He reclaimed his place in the tree several days later, waiting with an uncanny stillness and patience. The sun reached its peak and began to descend before Kaunobrz left the clearing. Mteay had not returned.

    The following day, the clearing remained empty.

    The next, wind shook the trees and rain drenched the jungle, marking the coming of the wet season. Through the rain, the saurus glimpsed no movement, save for the jungle creatures that scurried for shelter in the building crescendo of lightning and thunder.

    The clearing was filled with debris and chaos the day after. Kauobrz picked his way along the jungle floor, his footsteps silent- perhaps quite unlike his saurus brethren. Across the far side of the hollow, the ancient tree had torn its roots from the ground, it’s massive trunk bisecting the muddy clearing. Kaunobrz stepped towards the devastated earth and gazed at the tangled mess of roots and dirt. He tightened his grip on the spear as his knuckles strained.

    A gleam of white caught the saurus’ eye and he glanced at the torn earth, where leaves and twigs had fallen in the storm. He blinked at the ground, scattered with debris before stooping down into the muck, claws scraping and clearing the earth. His movements were jagged and hurried as he pulled out shards of white. Dirt fell through his hands as he pulled out the shards of eggshell, crushed into oblivion. The slivers of white like bones in some sort of ancient burial ground.

    Kaunobrz blinked at the mess of earth and leaves and shell and twigs. The birdsong had been soft this morning, as if the very world was grieving for its own loss. Kaunobrz didn’t know grief. He knew what he was. What he’d always been, always will be.

    His massive claws caught on something as he slowed his incessant excavation of the site, and with immortal calm and predatory grace, the saurus pulled out the egg.

    Cracks had crisscrossed the egg and Kaunobrz straightened as he marveled at the delicateness, the intricacies of the shell. Had he been too late?

    He knew what he was. He knew who he was. But he did not know what he had been, because he had always been. There was no beginning or end to his purpose, nor his existence. No, he had not been born, as such, he simply was. But could he be more? Could he have more?

    The shell twitched and the spider web-like cracks flexed at some outward pressure.

    Could he have the chance to start again? To try again?

    The egg shell flaked and trembled, and Kaunobrz gazed at the tiny, fragile creature in his claws. And the creature gazed back.

    A new birth, a new creation?

    Kaun’zri, he would call her. His chance to start again.
  11. Infinity Turtle
    Temple Guard

    Infinity Turtle Well-Known Member

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    April-May 2020 - Rituals and Religious Practices
    "Down to interpretation"

    Thought Process:

    Within various religious practices, there are many different ways to 'sacrifice' something.

    Biblically speaking, burnt sacrfices were a common form of sacrifice. In Hinduism, grains and spices may be burnt and offered up, as opposed to the typical blood sacrifices of Islam and Judaism, though the latter would also on occasion offer grain and wine to God.

    (thanks wiki)

    Taking this alongside Scalenex's thread on Lizardmen religious practices, I started to think of a new kind of sacrifice, not usually thought of in conjunction with Lizardmen, who's Temple of Doom-esque bloody rituals are infamous throughout the world.

    I needed something to happen, and then I began to think of stories (oh my gosh I just realised like The Road To Eldorado) of perfectly natural or scientifically explicable events that may be interpreted by a less educated/ignorant group as an act of a god or of a spirit realm.

    Therefore gun + burnt offerning = explosion. Explosion = a sign from the Old Ones.

    I wasn't particularly happy with this story and ended up writing it in less than half a day. I had some idea of writing another comedy one, like Essence of Lustria, but if nothing was coming to me naturally, then I didn't want to force something that wouldn't ultimately turn out well.

    When trying to brain-storm soem jokes, the only thing that came to mind was just the image of a Saurus or Kroxigor crossing himself (in a Catholic way) in response to something. This made me smile. But alas, the opportunity did not arise.

    Despite not liking this one, I'm still glad I joined in with this comp, as it was a really fun one with some excellent entries. Congrats to everyone that took part!

    I like that warmbloods dying is just 'a thing'. Like it's all they ever do. Yes.
    Hopefully I'll write a Kroxigor sometime, but yes, Saurus are really interesting to write as. Skinks are naturally more intelligent, but this also seems to make them (generally) a bit more cruel or cold - for lack of better words. Writing a Saurus in this situation guarentees he won't know what the heck is going on but will be suspicious/curious enough to investigate the unknown.

    Low stakes. Just the way I like it... Although I do like the tense/big stories, there are a few reasons I don't write them:
    - I'm unfortunately not well versed enough in Fluff to support a larger scale story. This is an issue as I would never want to contradict or upset the people who actually know what they're talking about, even if it was written nicely (oh my gosh The Last Jedi)
    - I just seem to like poetry and delving deeper into smaller things. Because of this, many of my stories will be quite vague and more poetic, to explore the imagery or the meaning behind things

    However, maybe I will try to do something bigger in the future...

    Yes, I was trying to be vague enough about the gun so that the Saurus wouldn't know what it was, but also be specific enough that the audience would know. Unfortunately I think I slipped and slided all over that fine line this time around.

    It seems as though I'll never win the Scalenex Cup... Maybe I should just rewrite all of my stories so that thousands of people just die at the end. What if it wasn't a gun, but a grenade? And then the pyramid collapsed, crushing the crowds of Lizardmen? I reckon I could rack up a decent body count...

    Ah yes. As someone who has grown up in Australia, I can assure you that when you go outside, a spider-web-whacker is essential.

    As I've said, yes, I did think it'd be interesting to consider non-living sacrifices.

    As one of my goals for this story was to avoid stepping on people's toes, ThAnK GoOdnEsS

    Without further ado

    The Original Reading/Voting Thread can be found here. And to further navigate the ever growing labarynth of Lustrian Short Story Comps, Scalenex's SSC Index/Metadata thread can be found here.

    Fire of the Old Ones

    Droning filled the jungle as the blistering summer sun edged ever closer to the horizon. The dawn chorus’ mind numbing opposite, the cicadas and buzzing insects of the tropics clicked and trilled, their wings humming in the thick air. As the humid nights creep ever closer, the small reptiles and feral creatures that come awake in the yellow-ish half-light prey on the thick shelled beetles and wriggling insects.

    Krztun hated bugs.

    Birds called out eerily over jungle canopy in search of their roost. Soon night would be upon them.

    The small party picked its way further and further from the coast, returning home to the temple city. Krztun could still feel blood and bits of gore beneath his claws and let out a ‘humph’ as he lead the group onwards. A beetle swayed and hovered in front of him and the Saurus recoiled, baring his teeth at the brightly coloured creature.

    Grumbling, Krztun continued forwards.

    They had returned from the beach after dispatching a small group of warmbloods. Perhaps ship wrecked, having hit a reef off the hostile coastline of the Southern Continent. Fear of the unknown no doubt less than fear of the sharks and other creatures of a less than savoury nature that patrol the waters of the New World.

    From the assortment of tokens they had acquired Krztun had selected a stick-thing which he frequently waved in front of him to clear any spider webs that had been slung across the path. Despite his distaste for the spiders themselves, half of him preferred to encounter and dispatch of them on his own rather than watch the Chameleon Skinks that would often skitter through the undergrowth and snatch up the different bugs and things for a meal. He thought it best not to think about should he want to retain his own last meal.

    The Saurus swung his stick in an arc and snapped through a spider web, the little arachnid waving its forelegs angrily as it was knocked aside. This stick-like object had piqued Krztun’s interest with its slim wooden and metal frame, curved into an ‘L’ shape and hollowed out at one end. It had several details etched into the side and seemed to be some form of mechanical instrument. The Saurus could not understand what it might be used for, as it didn’t seem sturdy enough to be a weapon but regardless, it looked like some effort has been taken to construct it.

    The Kroxigor plodding along with the group would every so often stumble over a dip or hidden tree branch, his eyes not as well attuned to the half-light as the Saurus and certainly the Skinks that picked their way along with ease. Every misstep from the hulking creature caused his burden to clank and crash against his broad back. Though much had been all but destroyed in the ship-wreck, the party had salvaged a few of the warmblood possessions.

    Though foreign tokens could usually bear no use to the Lizardmen, they were not completely against repurposing items that were largely unknown to them. Some of the more precious items may be taken to the Temple Vaults to keep as a sort of trophy, in some cases a burnt offering to the gods. The Kroxigor, his foot caught on a root, swayed to regain balance, knocked a Skink over the head with his bag. Receiving a harsh hiss, the large creature blinked apologetically and continued to lumber on.

    The clinking of the Kroxigor’s bag blended in with the droning insects as Krztun, stick in hand, led the party back towards the Temple city.


    Night had fallen by the time the group reached the city. The members gradually disbanded as they strode through the buildings of stones and gold, each returning to homes or places of worship, joining the masses of Lizardmen whose rumbling chants echoed through the city.

    The Kroxigor and the Saurus reached the foot of the Temple alone and the pair continued down into the vaults. Reaching a lobby of sorts, the Kroxigor dumped the bag on the ground and grumbled something incoherent before slowly ascended the staircase again back to the outside world.

    A handful of Skinks in scarlet robes crept out from the shadows and began to sift through the items from the warmbloods. One glanced sceptically at Krztun who realised he was still holding the stick. He stepped forward and dropped the stick onto the pile, then resumed his post with averted eyes.

    The Skinks chittered and hissed as they sorted through the heap with great efficiency. Various coins and pure utensils were tossed aside, perhaps useful to melt down and reform, but largely useless to the Lizardmen. Some sort of mechanical item was sniffed suspiciously, its circular face fogging up in the humid Lustrian air. The sea water had halted any ticking that may have once been softly emitted from the item. Several blades were placed aside to be taken to the armoury, but the rest was left to be burnt as a sacrifice. With perhaps a tinge of regret, Krztun saw the long stick-like item left behind, awaiting the pyre.

    The skinks collected the various items and dissolved once more into the shadows to distribute them appropriately.


    Smoke had begun spiralling into the sky before the sun had breached the horizon. Lizardmen of all shapes, sizes and rank had gathered to watch the ceremony. The fire upon the pyramid, placed on a platform overlooking the temple city, only grew as the day crawled onwards and the crowd followed suit. A chant began in the sea of scales until the Temple City was alive the rumbling song of Lizardmen, the screeches and growls of Lustria and the unitary praise of the Old Ones.

    The sun rising behind him cast the Skink Priest, in all his robes, feathers and painted ritual finery as a fearsome silhouette, ascending the stairs towards the pyre. The items deemed by the Temple Skinks as useless were brought forward to the Priest and the chanting evolved into a hurricane of animalistic savagery and unrivalled ferocity. The painted Skink raised his hands to hush the chanting and addressed the city as one.


    Krztun watched the Priest as he called upon the Old Ones and committed these tokens of uncleanliness and barbarism to the fire. The Skink threw the various pieces onto the pyre and Krztun eyed the piece with the mechanisms and carvings, the strange curved bar, as it was tossed into the flaming mass.

    There seemed to be a fraction of hesitation in the world and Krztun’s nostrils flared as his breath hitched. There was a deafening crack and a shriek of surprise from where the Skink Priest had been thrown to the ground. The flames of the fire sprang up and roared, yellow and green burning from the centre of the explosion.

    The fire subsided and the hoard of Lizards bowed their heads in reverence, the chant starting up again. The Priest stood up and held out his arms before the flames. Eyes wide, he turned his head skywards as the Lizardmen stamped and beat their weapons, shields and spears were shaken and screeches and roars filled the air.

    Krztun blinked in surprise and awe. How wrong it was of him to let any selfish inclination into his head. His loyalty had been acknowledged with the favour of the Old Ones. His Brothers around him, and his golden city reflecting the light of the morning sun, the sacrifice had been made and rewarded. The will of the Old Ones had brought that artefact into his hand and it had been their will for it to be taken back.

    A sign of their acknowledgement, of their recognition. They had been pleased.
  12. Infinity Turtle
    Temple Guard

    Infinity Turtle Well-Known Member

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    October-November 2020 - A Place to Call Home
    "What Makes a Home (and how to survive not leaving it for 8 months)"

    Thought Process:

    I think what I really wanted to try and explore is what is it that actually makes a house a home. I haven’t travelled as much as a lot of people, but I’ve done a hair bit, and despite this, I very rarely feel homesick. The fact that people get home sick at all, too me implies that something is missing in the present environment to maintain familiarity and emotional comfort. So what is it that makes this unknown factor?

    I tried to make a sort of parallel between the skins and the warmblood, as until the very end it seems both of them believe it’s the material and what is physically changed about a dwelling that makes it seem like home, but in the end the young man writes to his sweetheart that it’s wherever she is, where they are together, that will feel like home. It’s revealed to e more an emotional response and stuff. In the end, the skink loses his home and the material things he’s collected and it’s sort of left off to leaves open to the reader: did the skink learn that it’s not about the object one fills one’s home with, or are Lizardmen incapable of learning about emotional attachment and does he simply start collecting again, lesson not learnt?

    There couldn’t be dialogue between the characters, and I wanted the skink to be sort of an observer, so letters seemed like the best stylistic choice to accomodate my intended message.

    I feel I should save up my poetry and descriptions for the poetry comps, but the visuals and feelings I try to communicate always seem to be memorable, and I enjoy writing them, so I’m glad they’re appreciated. The absence of dialogue is something that I’ve had to learn I’ve my (not very many) years of writing, and now I find it very valuable in different stories and genres.

    Huzzah... making Scalenex feel emotions

    I was afraid that the intent of the message would be a bit vague and hard to see, but leaving it a bit open to interpretation seems alright to me. I haven’t decided for myself whether the skink could or could not actually read the letters. My two options are as follows:

    The skink can read the writing and is influenced by the authors initial focus on the material, promoting him to return to the wreck and continue collecting things. (This could have been further enforced by a symmetry between items described in the letter and items collected, such as fancy clothes: soggy hat, or excess food: mouldy cheese)

    Alternatively, the skink couldn’t read anything and it was an artistic coincidence that the skink and the author were consumed by similar thoughts and actions. The skink May have been able to tell that the letters held some sort of significance and that he would treasure them as a prized item, and they’re destruction was an emotional blow that a skink wouldn’t really be able to comprehend. In this case, the contents of the letters were only included for the audience benefit and to provide an every commentary/narration for the skinks actions.

    Comparison and contrast, I find, are always some of the strongest poetic tools in stories.


    Though I’m perfectly capable of writing stories, it seems I am unable to come up with titles, so thanks be to Scalenex yet again for coming up with the title for mine...

    Without further ado

    The Original Reading/Voting Thread can be found here. And to further navigate the ever growing labarynth of Lustrian Short Story Comps, Scalenex's SSC Index/Metadata thread can be found here.
    To find an illustration for one of the images that kept coming to mind while writing this, check out this.

    Letters of the Sea

    Dearest Adeline,

    How I am torn between my want for adventure and discovery and my desire to be home and within your embrace! Truly I feel so much excitement as my voyage continues pressing onwards towards the mysterious Southern Continent of Lustria. My company is far less enjoyable than your own, as I am surrounded by sailors and veterans, some drunkards, but despite their despair and their sorry existences, there is a feeling that I recognise amongst them; a determination in our common goal.

    My love, it has been many weeks since I have seen your face, but the memory of it sustains me on my quest. The gold I shall find and the wealth I shall receive will mean we will never be parted again and we shall not be forced to live in desperation and poverty. I promise to you that I will return to you and we can be happy together.

    Even though you may not see these letters until we are reunited in person, I hope that you know in your heart what I wish to say to you. I will keep these and cherish them until I see you again.

    - Terric


    The lizard crossed the breach between the jungle and the beach.

    The sun was beginning to reveal itself from beneath the horizon. He cautiously placed a scaled foot onto the sand, then another and another. Something had happened that night.

    Something that had turned the serene beach into a field of debri and rubbish. Faint whispers of commotion had barely pierced through the jungle in the darkness, but now it was evident the cause of the chaos.

    The lizard picked his way through the shattered wood and torn cloth of the shipwreck. Shattered glass looked like fine gemstones to the lizard, but these did not draw his attention. The air was filled with the cries of gulls and other sea birds. Somewhere up high an eagle and other winged reptiles had begun circling.

    No doubt the wreck had caused an uproar beneath the surface of the ocean that night and scavengers had moved in to feast on the passengers of the ship. The small, sneaky opportunists would have only drawn in the big predators of the deep. There would have been no survivors.

    But as the lizard stepped from one broken barrel to the next, he did not ponder the fates of foolish warmbloods, nor did he wonder what purpose such a ship and such a crew may have served travelling this far south through dangerous waters. Instead his attention was drawn to the little bits and bobs scattered around on the usually pristine beach.

    The sky was crimson and the waters of the ocean seemed red with blood. Perhaps they were.

    A candlestick, a cracked but whole lantern, a spoon and a small wooden chest found their way into the lizard's arms as he began to hobble back to the jungle edge.

    A few steps from the edges of the wreck, the lizard stumbled and dropped the chest, the lock giving way as it hit the ground. The lizard lurched back as a flurry of papers fell around him like autumn leaves.

    The candlestick, the spoon and the lantern fell in a heap as the lizard began to gather the loose papers. There was writing scrawled over the papers, some maps, diagrams, the intermittent sketch. Amongst the parchment was a bundle wrapped in leather and bound with string. With great care, the lizard unwound the string and opened the bundle.

    “Dearest Adeline…”

    The letters were still dry, thanks to the chest or the leather. Each was written carefully and neatly in black ink. Lifting out the first, his eyes traced the letters and characters on the page.

    I may not fit in entirely with my companions on this voyage. One thing that sets me apart, I know, is the greed that is apparent in these ‘explorers’. I know this mysterious continent has always attracted the curious, the adventure seeking, but most commonly the greedy. Many of these men have nothing back home to go back to aside from their drink and their gambling. Forgive me for writing such things to you, my dear, but it is the thought of these things that encourages me to work hard for a real reason.

    I know it may not be wise to consider all the things we may accomplish and acquire through this gold before we have it in our possesion, but you must understand my excitement. Oh the things we could do! Most of all, I so desire to have for us a house of our own. A place by a stream, with a forest; a place where good things can grow and good people may flourish.


    The lizard had returned to a leaning structure in the jungle. Broad jungle leaves stretched over the roof of the hut, keeping out the majority of jungle rains and little nooks and crevices had been worn into the trees that supported the main structure. On each shelf and inside every niche little found things stood gazing down from their vantage points.

    A silver locket lay next to a looking glass. A metal helmet with wings reaching from either side cast a shadow over a small pen knife. Pieces of coloured cloth, pens and quills, armour and weaponry, were all strewn about the space. The lizard placed the spoon, candlestick lantern upon different shelves where room could be found.

    He leafed through the letters from the chest, studying the patterns left behind by someone he’d never know.

    Adeline my love,

    We are only a week or so away from reaching our destination. I’ve decided to dedicate some more time to thinking about our house. Just imagine a garden, a fireplace, a proper kitchen, room to raise a family. The things we could decorate our house with, the wild flowers and the jewels I’ll bring back for you. Think of the clothes we could buy! The tailored cloaks and expensive dresses!


    The lizard returned to the wreck and continued scanning the debri for items of note. A wooden case full of glass bottles had been dashed upon the rocks and was beyond use or repair. Sea birds cawed and fluttered as he skittered from one mass of splintered wood to another. The food that hadn’t been taken in the water or destroyed by it were a feast for the gulls on the sand. Getting closer and closer to the tide, now dropping further out and leaving more flotsam stranded on the beach, the lizard dodged the lapping waves and snorted to himself as he startled the birds and scavenging feral creatures on the sand.

    Dragged back and forth with each wave was a large piece of cloth. The sails on ships that look so majestic and proud from the safety of sure, the lizard always thought they looked like clouds as they floated past on far away winds.

    He gathered the sail to himself, wrapping it around himself as he continued his search.

    I hope you have been well and staying in good health. The ocean is crystal turquoise, reminding me of your eyes. It’s ever changing surface contains every shade of blue. This morning we caught the first glimpse of the coast, a thin strip on the horizon. If all I can have to remind me of you is the beauty of nature that surrounds me then so be it. I will strive onwards, my love, in search of whatever lies on that distant shore.

    The sail made an interesting addition to the hovel. The lizard draped the immense thing over the roof, catching on tendrils of jungle vines and trees. It looks wispy and ghost-like through the thick jungle of the evening. There were still a few hours of daylight left, so he returned to the wreck again.

    The nights on the boat are treacherous. I find keeping watch easier than trying to sleep with the swaying and the snoring. We are but a few days from when we intend to land, but a foul storm is approaching us. We’ve weathered such things in the past, so aside from missing a good night’s sleep, I have no fear we should arrive on schedule. I cannot wait to write to you what I see, hear and smell on these foriegn lands.

    The birds had cleared off by now. Whatever foodstuff or bodies remained were beyond even their consideration. Feeling something beneath the sand, the lizard stooped to uncover it and dust it off. A small box, and within it metal contraption and a piece of flint. The lizard sniffed it suspiciously. He had seen such things before when warmbloods had successfully navigated the coast and come to shore. They never made it far of course, but often he would see them in possession of such things.

    Abandoning the wreck, he walked beneath the rising moon towards the jungle.


    Back in the hovel the lizard sat on the ground, growling in frustration. He tapped the two pieces together and waited for something to occur. Taking the metal in his scaled hand, he struck the flint and hissed with success as sparks flew about the hovel. The brief flash of light rekindled his determination. Trying again, more sparks flew about him, reflecting off polished metal and broken glass. Eerie shadows were cast. Striking again, glowing flecks spread over the papers scattered over the floor and the smell of smoke began to fill the lizards nose.

    In a panic, the lizard began patting at the embers as they burned through the delicate parchment. Tiny flames began sprouting from the letters and drawings that had been laid out around the hut. Hissing and shrieking the lizard battled in vain as the fire crept up through the vines and branches of his home, licking against the helmet, burning up carvings and maps, tarnishing steel and melting wax.

    Scrambling wildly he gathered the remaining letters to himself and stumbled out of the hovel. In the darkness, the fire was bright and wicked as it destroyed the lizard’s home. The sail was steaming and smoking upon the structure before it’s edges were consumed and the hovel was engulfed in flames.


    Clutching the charred letters to his chest, the lizard sat at the edge of the jungle. The scent of smoke still stung his nostrils. He could hear the sea as the tide crept in again. By tomorrow, much of the debri would be carried away. Within two days there would be hardly a trace.

    The lizard crossed the breach between the jungle and the beach.

    Holding the papers up in his hand, he let them go. The wind carried them up and out towards the swirling black waters of the ocean. To him it looked simply like water.

    My sweet Adeline,

    The next time I write to you I’ll be on the shores of a new world. I’ve written of all these things that I believe will make us happy, but truly, I realise now, all that would make me happy is seeing you again. Once we have our fortune, once I return to you, even if I return empty handed, we can do whatever we want, we can live wherever we want. What matters is that we will be together and wherever we may find ourselves will be a place we can call home.

    - Terric

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