Friday, July 25, 2014

Friends and Enemies // Chapter Thirty Three // Masquerade

Emmeth could hear a gentle but consistent drip, drip, drip, of a leaky window. The purple-pink light of the sunset of a cloudy day was shining through his cell window. All of his muscles ached. Being subject to interrogations by his cousin and uncle were not fun.
   Pressing his face against the rusty bars, he strained to spot Asharlah, leaning heavily against the bars to her cell. Her eyes were listless, and she stared vacantly at the high up cell window. Do not be discouraged, he wanted to call to her. We will yet be free.

   Killian hurriedly checked his costume in the mirror as the team scrambled to get ready. Willow was already dressed, and finishing sprinkling glitter onto her mask. Teclemith was carefully sharpening all of the little daggers that all of them would secret away on their persons.
   Hiding in plain sight, Willow mused, grinning down at her mask. Then she stood up. "Ready guys?"
   The guys nodded. Teclemith handed out their daggers, and the trio grabbed their cloaks and hurried down to the courtyard.
   Immer pointed to a vacant table in the dining area. "You three really should have a bite to eat before you get to the ball."
   Killian shrugged. "We're in a hurry, Im." Immer shot him a look.
   Willow plucked at his sleeve. "We really do have to hurry, "Killi"," she joked, but not after a flash of sadness flickered through her eyes at the mention of that name.
   "Liberty!" she summoned in a sing-song voice. A great cawing sounded, and then the huge Kestrel touched down in the center courtyard. Willow stroked her feathers and crooned to her as Killian and Teclemith mounted her saddle.
   Teclemith offered Willow a hand as she swung into the front seat of the saddle. Patting Liberty's head, she dug her heels into her feathery sides, and the Thunderbird flapped her immense wings and lifted into the twilight sky. Immer laughed and waved.


   The damp evening air that promised rain whipped at Teclemith, Killian, and Willow as they flew through the summer sky on Liberty. Even though their task was a grave one, they couldn't help laughing and basking in the glory of flying.
   But soon their flight ended, and they alighted outside of the main gate of the capital. Dark cloaks on the hide their party clothes, the trio slipped through the open gate and made their way towards the castle.


   Hyaline smoothed her dark curly hair, and sighed. Several servants were helping her get ready for the masquerade, doing her make-up, her hair, her dress, etc. She had nothing else to do but watch herself in the mirror. Her eyes were full of fear, but her face didn't show it.
   Kedemeth knocked, then strode in. "Hyaline, my dear! You look lovely! Will you not put on a cheerful face for our engagement ball?"
   Hyaline swallowed. "Of course, Kedemeth. I am quite pleased that this day has finally arrived." At least that was true.
   He took her hand. "Let us go, the hour has come."


   "Hurry," Teclemith hissed as the trio dropped their hoods and smoothed their hair, ready for the entering of the ball.
   "Just a sec," Willow muttered, whipping out a tiny round mirror and checking her reflection in the fading light.
   Killian gave his reddish hair a pat, slipped on his mask, then strode confidently out onto the drawbridge. Willow stuck the mirror back into her pocket, stuck the mask onto her face, and then took Teclemith's arm, and together they stepped onto the bridge after Killian.
   They handed the page their invitations, and he checked them against the guest list. Satisfied, he nodded, and they entered.
   After a short walk following the other guests led them to the gargantuan ball room, paneled in silvery wood and lit with hundreds of candles. Willow, who had never seen the ballroom set for an actual ball, gasped. The room was so large that to see the huge chandelier, you had to crane your neck skyward.
   Immediately after entering, they split up. Willow meandered over to the third on the left window that stretched towards the high ceiling. Finding a little window seat there, she perched daintily on it.


   Tajoreth was escorting his elder sister Zemerah into the vast ballroom. Once they entered and were announced, they parted and made their way into the crowd of masked guests. He edged his way towards the third window on the left. Noting a dark haired lady sitting there, he lowered himself onto the same cushion.
   "Lovely evening," he commented, watching her out of the corner of his eye as he pretended to watch the dancing.
   "Quite," she agreed, her eyes searching his.
   "The music also," he ventured.
   "Yes, it reminds me of the bells of Saint John," she answered, cocking her head at him.
   "It reminds me more of the Vatican cameos," he countered.
   "Tajoreth," Willow acknowledged.
   "Willow, I presume?" Tajoreth put in.
   He grinned at her. "May I have this dance?" he asked, rising and offering her his hand.
   "Of course, sir." She took his offered hand.


   "Father?" Zemerah questioned, tugging at Tashmath's sleeve. "Who is that young lady Tajoreth is dancing with?"
   Her father glanced at the dance floor. "How should I know, Zemerah? Everyone is wearing masks! Why do you not ask him yourself?"
   Zemerah let out an angry puff of air. "I will," she sniffed, excusing herself and making her way towards her brother. But the music had ended by the time she has reached it, and her brother and the mysterious dancer with the purple dress with orange sleeves were nowhere to be seen. But as she turned to head back to her father, she caught a glimpse of purple and orange in the doorway leading to the servants entrance to the ballroom. But the crowd was pressing her so much that by the time she reached the door, whomever that was was long gone.


   "Here is my uncle's personal library," Tajoreth explained, leading Willow into the book filled room.
   "Wow, that is quite a lot of books," she muttered, looking a bit worried. "All right, I need all of the books referencing the "Dark Lord who shall rise again"."
   He gave her an odd look, but pointed at a small section of books. "That section is labeled, "Dark Lord"."
   "Perfect!" she exclaimed, hurrying over and pulling them off the shelves and depositing them on the table. "Help me find out who this dark lord is!"

That was fun! Unfortunately, 
I forgot to have D take a picture of me with her mask
{my mask has gone M.I.A.} so I had to use an old picture with snow in it.
Anyway, go check out D's newest chapter, Stop that Santa!
And let me know what you thought of the chapter!
Questions are always welcome!

Be a Friend, not an Enemy,


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Watchmen Files // The Christmas Edition // Chapter Four // Stop That Santa!

Hey everyone!

   Well, today I woke up to the sound of thunder in the near distance and rain pelting the roof. Which accounts for my (sort of but sort of not) late posting. Sorry 'bout that!

   But anyway, onto a personal update.

   Whew! Busy week. We (Mom, Willow, and I) have been painting my new soon-to-be bedroom upstairs a beautiful blue, and it's going great! Blue is my favorite color, and this one works well over that old (*insert shudder here*) purple paint that has now been obliterated by my color! It's good for good.

   But even through the busy painting, I've managed another chapter. Mostly this morning and a bit last night. Yeah, I'm pretty bad at this. But you still put up with me, you awesome people! :)

   Okay, here it goes! Don't even ask about the title until you read it.

   A big, sopping wet tongue scrapped its way over half of Mason's face, covering it in the loving slobber. He jerked up, pushing whatever had committed it off of him (and falling off of the couch in the process). The tali-wagging canine pounced back on top of him, tongue hanging out of its mouth.
   "Here Cuddles, here boy!" Tessa cooed from across the living room, flailing a stuffed cow above her head to attract him. The rabidly happy dog leaped off of Mason's chest and raced away, grabbing the stuffed animal and thrashing it around mercilessly.
   Mason just kind of sat there, staring. "Why is there a dog in my room?"
   Ava rolled her eyes and helped him up. "This isn't your room, and this isn't just 'a dog'. He's a chocolate lab, and his name is Cuddles."
   'Cuddles' gazed up at him, tail thumping hard on the ground, and his big brown eyes not wavering. Mason smiled slightly, and bent down to scratch behind the dog's ears. His eyes closed with relaxation as he leaned into the soothing ear-rub, dropping the toy in the process.
   There were yawns and loud footfalls from the hallway, and Cuddles darted in that direction. A frightened shout came after, and Mason and Ava raced to the scene. "Down, boy!"
   Conner was busy pushing him away and shouting, obviously very panicked.
   Mason grabbed Cuddles' collar and pulled him off, quickly quieting the ruckus. "Are you okay?" He asked anxiously, helping Conner to his feet.
   Pressing himself against the wall, he nodded, wide-eyed and speaking quickly. "Yeah, fine. Do you have that..." he gulped hard. " contained?"
   "I got 'im!" Ava called from the other room. "Sit, boy!"
   As Conner peered around the corner, Mason asked, "Are you afraid of dogs?"
   Brushing his hand through his must caramel hair, Conner answered as calmly as he could, "Yeah, well, I had a... a row with one w-when I was a boy."
   "Are you okay?" A half-awake Mrs. Harrison groggily stumbled passed them.
   After Mason confirmed that everything was fine, she asked quietly, "Would you boys take the girls to go see Santa Claus at the mall today? Isaiah and I are going to go shopping for them this evening."
   Mason shifted his attention to Conner, who nodded in return. "Sure, why not?"
   Making it to the mall through noonday traffic was one thing, finding a parking spot in the vast sea of filled ones was another.
   "C'mon, you blasted idiot!" Conner shouted at the driver who thankfully couldn't hear him. You would be yelling too, if you had been around and around the same packed parking lot for half an hour like they had. "Why've you got to sit there with your car on if you're not leaving?" Obviously, Conner was a different person on the road than on his feet.
   Eventually, after being pulled in front of as other people stole their spot, he found a place to park (which was at the exact opposite side of the mall as their destination).
   The girls all hopped out, Ava and Tessa holding Mason's hands, and Addie clutching Conner's (since she liked him better than the alternative).
   Weaving their way through the multitudes of crowing people, they followed Conner's acute sense of direction to the center of the mall.
   The space was decorated to look somewhat like a mountain forest, with fake trees and big rocks everywhere. And thanks to the enormous load of cotton balls, it appeared as if there had just been a record breaking blizzard.
   Mason lead the girls to the beginning of the line as Conner held back for a minute, considering his gut feeling. It felt odd, like something was wrong. Was it all of the greedy children petitioning a store employee to buy them everything they wanted and totally missing the real meaning of Christmas? Yes and no. If felt more like something else. Or someone?
   Well, the perky teenager dressed in a green elf outfit complete with a jingling puffball at the end of her drooping cap didn't look so threatening. She smiled brightly at Conner, then waved at little Abbie. "Are you in line, sir?" she asked in a sugary voice.
   "Oh, yeah, right. Sorry," Conner nodded, heading to where Mason was waiting.
   "Hey, how 'bout I go get everyone some hot chocolate from the Starbucks over there?" Mason suggested, to which they all heartily agreed to. He left the kids in the capable hands of Conner, who still felt sick in his gut.
   After at least twenty minutes (and Watchmen have a very sharp sense of time, you may recall) they were at the feet of the big man himself.
   Short, overly fat, and his skin a shade of burgundy, stared down at them from his white chair (which looked more like a throne, considering the size of it). His eyes peered over his excessive (and obviously strapped on) white beard and his fake red velvet suit, and he announced in a booming voice, "Ho ho ho! Come see Santa!"
    Conner was about to high-tail it out of there and go tell them the real Christmas story when Tessa raced up and pounced onto his lap. He made a "Oomph!" noise, but before he could complain, she spouted out everything (and I mean everything) she wanted.
   After Tessa's turn it was Addie's, who needed Conner to pick her up and plant her onto his lap. Then she promptly burst into tears.
   "Shut up," Mr. Jolly-and-kind insisted. But Addie really didn't feel like shutting up, and worse, she created a choir from all of the little kids waiting in line.
   That poor elf girl. She had to run up and down the line while making goofy faces, trying to quiet the screeching children (which really didn't work) and give an answer to their grumpy mommies.
   Conner sighed heavily and picked Addie up, trying to sooth her. Ava, seeing her chance at gifts, took the empty space immediately.
   "Shh... it's okay," Conner cooed as she buried her head in his shoulder. "Don't cry..."
   Spotting Mason from across the miniature forest, Conner watched as he threw his hands into the air as if to ask, "What did you do?" Conner shrugged in return, and smiled weakly.
   Suddenly, Addie started screaming and pointing behind him. Whirling around, Conner watched helplessly as Santa Claus snatched Ava up and raced away, into the rushing mall goers.
   "Here!" Conner shouted, nearly throwing Addie at the elf girl. And without another word, he bolted after him. Seconds later, teenaged-elf was shoved to the side as Mason chased after them, shouting for someone to stop that Santa!
   "Isaiah is going to kill me!" Conner whimpered as he threw himself into the bustling crowd, searching for the man in a red suit.

And on that bombshell, we can end! (if you understood that reference, I'm giving you an internet hug right now) Thank you very much for reading :)

Oh, quick side note, we had a gray hound named Cuddles (except she was a she). So I suppose this is sort of a tribute :)

 Willow posted a chapter last week, and is making for another one this Friday.
We've got a lot of tagging/award things to answer to, so that'll be coming at one point...
We posted the Sherlock cosplay photos on the website here (myself as Sherlock, btw).
And I'm not sure if I'll have the next chapter for next week, but I'll try!

 Anyway, wow, haven't done the announcements in a while... well, as always, have a great rest of the week! :)

Always Watching,