In Dreams of Trees : In The Pale Moonlight

Wordcount: 744
Rating/Warnings: PG-13 for fighting, death, and Bad Intentions™
Summary: Blue vs. Black, Round 2.

NOTE: This is a very rough draft with no editing at all (per National Novel Wiriting Month rules) and is presented for amusement value only. Think of it as a periscope into my writing process rather than a coherent story!

There will most likely be spelling and grammatical errors afoot as well as flat out bad writing, info dumps, plot holes, contradictions/retcons, uneven characterization and pacing. These snippits are also posted out of order, so please refer to the Outline to figure out where it’s supposed to fit.

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In The Pale Moonlight

Horn spots Black before Blue does and lets out the keening wail that signals a decent into the hunting frenzy. For Horn it’s all Black’s fault that they are in the city, all his fault that everything they knew and loved is gone. And for Horn, his entire species is missing since they are no other doors where the elves have come through Sídhe to Earth.

Black starts, reacting the same times Blue does to Horn’s cry and the two are off on another chase through the city.

Only this time the city is on Blue’s side.

He calls for the squirrels, who come bounding out of the buildings, curious and alarmed, swarming along their path like locusts, but refusing to interfere. Blue curses at them and calls on the city instead. The path bucks and weaves in front of Black and he’s startled and curses even more unrepeatable things that Blue.

The city manages to circle him around into a blind alleyway and he turns, cornered as the mass of squirrels and his pursuers come around the corner.

Blue dodges the shattering of light, Horn going one way while he goes the other. And they keep coming, even as Black smiled, feral and vicious and charges back. It’s still not a fair fight, Black is better and faster and older, but Horn and Blue have nothing to lose now and the city herself is frantic to save them.

The squirrels just wait, lined up in the silent silvers rows, tails twitching and filaments flaring and collapsing as the fight progresses.

“I should have killed you,” says Black, in a spare moment of calm as Blue and Horn recoup and relaunch. “Never let myself get sentimental, that’s the rule.” He catches Blue’s arm with his light and leaves bloody furrows running down it that bleed but don’t burn. And Blue catches him back with a swipe to the chest that tears fabric, but not flesh, but it’s as close as they’ve come to hitting him.

Horn is faster still and he’s burning the fury like never before and this time Black gets a dose of the poison as well. He falters and slows, but doesn’t fall and snarls back at the elf with a biter laugh. “Do you think you can kill me that easily? I’ve been hunting your kind for longer than you’ve been alive.”

Which can’t be true, because Horn is older than Blue’s grandparents, but the man seems determined as well as insane.

The battles goes back and forth for a bit longer, both sides wearing down, but Blue and Horn wearing faster.

And the city is twisting and turning around them in a fractal kaleidoscope, but unable to help. The windows and doors open and close in distracting patterns the no one notices except for the squirrels, who are moving now, a constant stream of silver and skitter that runs up and down the walls of the fight.

They end, neither side winning, but panting and tired on opposite ends of the field.

“You can’t kill me,” says Black, tired but undaunted, “and I don’t want to kill you, so we’re at a stalemate again.”

“You killed my friends,” snarls Blue, “you trapped us here–“

“You trapped yourselves,” retorts Black, “and pets don’t have friends, only people do and you’re so far from people you’re a joke.”

“And I’ll kill you,” vows Blue, with an echoing snarl from Horn that’s more of a wheeze, but the elf is still raring to go and that’s more than Blue has ever seen him do before. Horn’s not much of a fighter, but this time he’s in for the long haul. “I’ll kill you.”

“No you won’t,” says Black with a grin, “but you’ll try and you’ll try and someday, maybe someone else will get lucky.”

“I’ll never stop.” Says Blue and he means it, with every burning beat of his heart.

“Then you need to try harder,” says Black mockingly, though he’s bleeding and panting and poisoned, “The city doesn’t just love you, you know.” And he steps backwards through a door that wasn’t there a moment ago, and vanishes.

“But she likes me better, snapped Blue and ripped the door open again.

Black had paused to rest on the other side and wasn’t able to bring up his guard fast enough to stop Blue’s knives. With a gurgling gasp he collapsed with a confused and betrayed look on his face.

Martha Bechtel

My name is Martha Bechtel and I write fantasy and science fiction stories, paint small model horses silly colors, cast resin and plaster magnets, code random code (and Wordpress plugins)... Come on in and join in the fun!

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