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Random Stories and Fragments

Discussion in 'Fall from Heaven Lore' started by KillerClowns, Jun 29, 2008.

  1. Jabie

    Jabie Wanted in Monte Carlo...

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    Almost certainly breaking every princess rule going and probably ripping up a fair amount of the lore in two whilst I'm at it (though in my defence, there's context), but here's an effort at what Falamar was up to shortly before his commission at the start of the Grand Menagerie scenario.

    I have decided to enter this story (or a mildly editted version of it) into a short story contest. In this light, I thought it prudent to remove this story from this forum. Thanks for all your encouragement. -- Jacob Busby 18th March 2011.
     
  2. thomas.berubeg

    thomas.berubeg Wandering the World

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    I like it, Jabie
     
  3. KillerClowns

    KillerClowns Emperor

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    Very nice. Azir's story defies the princess rule, aye, but gets an exemption because it's an in-world fairy tale. If anything similar actually happened in Erebus, I should wager the end was a bit more in Mammon's favor; when good does win on Erebus, steel and blood are usually the prices paid. But fairy tales can tell you a lot about the people who tell them, and your story ties beautifully into the mythology of Erebus as seen from ground level. The image of Mammon manifesting as a spider is absolutely perfect... IIRC, his EDIT: his most dedicated follower's totem animal is a rabbit (yes, a rabbit), but that's a little-known bit of trivia.
     
  4. Kael

    Kael Deity

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    Great story Jabie, I really enjoyed it!
     
  5. cypher132

    cypher132 Emperor

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    Post some more stories guys! I'm loving this thread and I'm dying to read more stories from the lands of Erebus. :)
     
  6. thomas.berubeg

    thomas.berubeg Wandering the World

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    Valada Kylorinkin


    The peasants shuffled nervously into the great hall of the palace of Kylorin in Cevedes. Their cloths were little more than Rags, and they were awed by the Majestic Grandeur of the tapestries depicting the Amurite Past: Amurite Phalanxes in battle with the white beast, the Amurite, The North Wind felled by swarms of Amurite arrows, and, behind the Great Throne of the Amurites, Kylorin himself smiting down the Lord of Winter. It was the first time any of the peasants had been in Cevedes, let alone the Amurite Palace. Finally, their gaze turned upwards towards the person sitting in the Throne, surrounded by various courtiers.
    Valada Kylorinkin gazed coldly down towards the peasants. She wore the Crimson robes of the Magus, the Lord of the Amurites, and on her face and right cheek were Tattooed the blue spiral representative of her mastery over the people she ruled.
    Her voice cut through their muddled and awestruck minds, drawing them towards her flies towards light. “You have been persistent in trying to get in to speak to me. You have succeeded. What is it you wished to say?”
    “well, ma’rm, it’s this way,” spoke the cleanest of the peasants, “Like I were say’n to Hobbin, t’it aint fair, what be happen’n to we. It aint right for us to be kept to work like we was animals. We aint animals, we aren’t. ma’rm.”
    “Who treats you as though you were animals?” her voice was still pleasant.
    “Our lor’ ma’rm. He do!”
    “Fools” Valada spoke, and though her words were insulting, the men were still enthralled by her Beauty and Charm. To their minds, she spoke as if in a manner to reprimand an erring child. “Poor Fools! If you are unhappy, all you must do is magic your way away. Melt the chains that bond you! It is the Amurite way.” Now she spoke to her court as much as to the peasants “Only those unworthy of being free are kept, for those without the slightest talent are only little better than Animals. Guards, take these men away, bind them in chains, and send them back to their Lord. Should they manage to escape, they shall be free.” And with this, She smiled at the peasants.
    As they were herded away, she knew that the peasants were henceforth as devoted servants as any could be. They would travel home praising her fairness and beauty.

    She had always been good at charming people, at getting her way, and she suspected her considerable magic talent may have had something to do with it. Though she wasn’t fully conscious of her power over others, she had small suspicions that if she had the time and inclination to study the texts of the past, she would find something about Kylorin’s power over others using nothing but his Mind.
    Her Grandfather, Thomas, may his soul forever travel with Kylorin’s, had the same power. She had recognized it when she had first met the wizened old man in the council of elders. He had them all wrapped around his finger, even the old doddering senile ones.
    She remembered his burial well. She still went down into the catacombs to sit near his bones and speak to him of matters of state: she almost thought he would answer sometimes.
    A cough brought her back to the present. The Bannor Ambassador was Walking into the great hall.
    He bowed, his fist over his heart, in Bannor Manner. “My Lady, I Bring gifts of friendship from the Bannor People.” He looked up and smiled, and she realized she had never before seen a more beautiful smile. She smiled back at him.
    “Oh, and what are these Gifts?”
    Wordlessly, though he continued to look at her, he gestured, and a magnificent tapestry was brought forth. It Spoke of the Bannor Exodus from hell, of Capria Standing in the center of the gate, Standing alone against the Forces of the Lord of Hope, as the bannor people streamed out beneath her outstretched arms. The Courtiers all gasped. Never had they scene anything as beautiful. Valada merely smiled.
    “And I too, have a gift for the Bannor.” As She spoke, artisans brought in a Tapestry of the Slaying of Mulcarn, the Amurites standing united behind Kylorin, as the Doviello kissed his feet. Behind them them, Mulcarn lay, His divine Body laying on the ground, pierced by the Sword of the Compact. “The Bannor are not the Only ones with a great and proud History. They would do well to treasure this as well as we will treasure their gift.”


    Story from FFH Nes 2, the adoption fo SLavery and Bannor Delegation. Magic is still largely uncontrolled and random: Mage guilds have not been established, but the AMurites have some control over it.
     
  7. cypher132

    cypher132 Emperor

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    Wow. I really like that story. Very detailed. I actually write my stories either when I'm high then fix and beef them up a little more when I'm sober or when something happens in a game I'm playing and I think it's cool.

    P.S. This might sound stupid, but where is this FFH Nes?
     
  8. thomas.berubeg

    thomas.berubeg Wandering the World

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  9. thewyrm

    thewyrm Ambassador to Real Life

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    Great new stories guys!

    Way to go Jabie! Always awesome to get a shout out from the man himself.
     
  10. thewyrm

    thewyrm Ambassador to Real Life

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    This is one I wrote today. It ended up a lot longer than I expected and is the first time I have tried my hand at writing something not directly related to Keelyn or Demons. Let me know what you guys think!

    Edit: Forgot to name it!!

    I call it:

    Protection

    Spoiler :
    Michael concentrated on keeping his breathing steady. If there was one thing he wanted to be certain of, it was that when the time finally came he would accept his fate without panic. If he could stay calm he could face the afterlife knowing they didn't win. This was after all his choice, and a choice that came surprisingly easy. He did have to admit though that he was very scared. Far more scared than he was two days ago when he finally decided he would make a stand. The echoes of his Father's words still rang loudly in his head.

    . . .

    “She is going and that is final!” His Father bellowed. “This has been the fate of all third born daughters in Prespur for decades and your sister is no exception!”

    “But Father, Elise is family! Are we really just going to let him have her? That's crazy!”

    “She has known her fate her whole life. We never tried to pretend otherwise! That fact that you took it upon yourself to grow attached is no one's fault but your own. Lord Flauros has been good to this family and this is a small price to pay.”

    “That is your Daughter you are talking about! You sound like a madman!”

    “She hasn't been my daughter since the midwife told me you have a girl.”

    Knowing he could never sway his Father Michael had just stared coldly and stormed off. He knew this day would always come. Some centuries earlier Lord Flauros had issued a decree that all third born daughters of all the noble families in Prespur were to be given over to him on their 15th birthday. The girls are never seen again. His parents never even attempted to create a relationship with Elise, just tolerated her with icy patience. Michael had even overheard one night while eavesdropping on a party his parents were throwing that the only reason they even bothered to name her at all was because they had learned that the name Elise was one that Lord Flauros had a special liking to.

    His Father was right about one thing, he had grown attached. Both of Michael's older sisters were already adults and married off before Elise was born so the two of them had grown up together. Having disinterested parents meant it was him she had come to for comfort when she had nightmares. Or when she bruised her knee. Or when the other kids were mean to her. No matter what his parents tried to tell him, Elise was his sister and he loved her.

    Michael realized something had to be done the day of her 10th birthday. Lord Flauros himself came calling on her and was of course given permission to see her. Elise was mesmerized by him. This beautiful adult man speaking to her and treating her with respect. The bastard had even played with her! Of course their parents had never bought her any toys but Michael had always given her whichever of his toys she enjoyed playing with. The whole time Flauros' hands would possessively touch her or graze her excitedly, as if he was trying to keep from grabbing her and running off. Finally he bid her good evening before telling their parents he would come for her in five years time.

    At first Elise refused to believe that the charming gentleman who had visited her would ever harm her. However in those five years several other girls summoned to him went missing, never to be seen again. Elise was intelligent enough to put two and two together and frankly, it wasn't hard to see that the sibling rulers were nothing but sinister. So Michael set upon finding a way to protect his Sister from this dark predator. Finally, a solution had presented itself just a week before her 15th birthday.

    A Balseraph carnival was passing through on a a tour of the Calabim capital. Knowing they were returning to their homeland Michael would steal the wealth in his Father's vault and offer it in exchange for safe passage out of the Calabim sphere of influence. Being the heir to a prominent family it wasn't hard to secure a meeting with the Ringleader who claimed that the money he had brought was more than enough to risk the ire of the Siblings and to gain passage out. For one of them.

    Michael didn't even hesitate before handing over the money and telling him to take his Sister. Naturally she had gone into hysterics and pleaded with Michael not to make her go. He embraced her and got her to quiet down.

    “Don't you understand my entire life I have looked after you? Taught you to read and write when Father thought we were sleeping. Taught you how to defend yourself if a man got tough with you. I have spent a lot of time on you 'Leesy. Would you really expect me to let that go to waste by handing you over to that tyrant? No. You ARE getting on this wagon. The Balseraph are a strange people, but to them it doesn't matter that you are a woman. You are not a slave and so will have every right a man does in their lands. Use everything I have taught you. Work hard and succeed with this Carnival. It's a chance at a life you deserve.”

    “They'll kill you when they find out you helped me escape! I won't go!”

    “Come on now, give your brother some credit. I have that all worked out trust me.” He lied.

    Finally after many tears he convinced her that he would manage to escape and make his way to Balseraph lands. He was pretty sure she realized it was a lie, but it made the parting less painful. No, once his father had discovered how much was missing from their vault he would most likely kill him himself.

    He hadn't planned on returning home, so he never even tried to hide that most of their things were strewn about as they hurriedly packed what they thought was important. When he stepped inside his Father was standing there with several constables.

    “I know the money is gone you damn fool boy, but I may yet save this family if you tell me what you did with the girl.”

    “The girl father? Was there never any part of you that cared for her as though she was your kin?”

    “She was never mine. She belonged to lord Flauros from moment she was conceived.”

    They shackled him and threw him into the back of a covered wagon that carried them through the merchant quarter and to the palace gates. He never even bothered to resist as they hauled him up a tower to a room and left him there to wait. They had removed his shackles, but the large door was locked from the outside. There was nothing in the room but a couch and one window cut into the stone wall that overlooked a plaza about 70 feet down. A small part of him was arguing for it's life, but he knew that death was the only way he could protect his Sister.

    It wasn't more than an hour after the sun went down that the door was opened and in walked a stunningly beautiful man. It felt weird using that phrase to describe a man, but no other adjective did Flauros justice. He entered the room and took a seat on the couch in one elegant motion almost impossibly fast. There was a look on his face of irritation.

    “I'm vexed Michael. I had been looking forward to taking your sister for some time now. Many of the families wont breed after two girl children, my little game is no longer giving me the pleasure it used to.”

    Michael was terrified, but he was determined not to let it show.

    “Maybe it's time for a new game then m'lord.”

    Flauros smiled. “No, this one goes in cycles. The same thing happened 40 years ago. Give it time.” “But that doesn't really concern you. What does is that you tell me where you hid Elise before I make you taste your own entrails.”

    “No.”

    Flauros laughed. “Come now Michael. Surely you were not so attached? Can I offer you nothing to sway you? No? Well then I guess I shall have to force you to tell me. I can do that you know. I don't even need to hurt you to do it. You are nothing more than an insignificant blood sack who's mind is ripe for me to extract. It is just I would prefer not to. I find these things always go easier if I offer honey and not vinegar. I can almost always guess what I must dangle in front a mortal to bend them to my will. I admit you have me stumped. So few people these days actually have the courage to stand up for their convictions. I almost regret I will have to kill you. You see, the process leaves you very much dead.”

    Michael panicked. He felt he had mere moments to make a decision before Flauros would use some of his vampire magics on him. He turned around and sprinted out the window. The last thing he heard was a scream of rage before a mere moment of pain, a flash of white, and the embrace of oblivion.
    . . .

    The wheels on the wagon made a strange noise as they hit the cobblestones on the road. Elise had been with the troupe for two months and was surprised at how quickly she had taken to them. They were odd and had a funny dialect, but they treated her well and kept her fed as long as she pulled her weight. They even stopped giving her the worst jobs when they picked up another straggler in the one of the towns they moved through. Michael was dead. She knew that now. She made a vow that somehow, someway she would avenge him. He sacrificed so much for her, she would never let that sacrifice be for naught. One of the Acrobats in the troupe said she showed potential at the knife throw and the beautiful one who called herself a courtesan said she had good features. They had both tried talking to her about someone or something called Esus, but she hadn't been too interested at them time.

    All of that changed the moment she finally admitted to herself her brother was never coming back. If these strange Balseraphs and this Esus fellow could give her the tools she needed to strike back for him, then she was going to do what it took to learn their ways. . .
     
  11. cypher132

    cypher132 Emperor

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    I'm actually in the process of writing a story myself. It'll be kind of long because all my others have been short. Kind of planning on publishing it and maybe getting some money and getting FFH known to the masses. It's called Spider's Web and involves a Bannor fort being attacked by the Archos from Fall Further. I'm also beefing up my old stories so expect some more of those soon. Hopefully, they won't be too horrid :D
     
  12. loocas

    loocas Prince

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    Wow Jabie, well done! It's a very well-rounded and captivating story!

    thewyrm: Good one. I hope for her sake that Elise isn't fated to meet a fella named Facha in the Balseraph country...
     
  13. KillerClowns

    KillerClowns Emperor

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    A carnival going to a Calabim town? They'd have to be completely insane!
    *Thinks about it.*
    Oh, yeah.
     
  14. cypher132

    cypher132 Emperor

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    Good story thewyrm. It sets up for what could be an epic story. I hope you make a sequel.
     
  15. cypher132

    cypher132 Emperor

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    I have a short story just to give you guys something to read. It'll be part of my bigger Bannor-Archos story. Corane is an Archosian leader that I came up with myself just for the confused people.


    Corane paced back and forth in front of the prisoner. He looked the man over and was disgusted by what he saw. His hair was dirty and knotted, clothes that looked like patchworks, and skin dirty enough to make even slaves cringe. "You've come all this way. Traveled the mountains. Gone through the forest. All to try to spy on us. Tell me. What is it that you have come for?"
    The prisoner merely looked down, not answering the questions of this warlord. "Very well, then. Agnir, show him what happens when prisoners do not comply." A rather gruff looking Archosian nodded and grabbed one of the prisoner's hands. He held it to the ground and pulled out a wicked-looking knife. The prisoner screamed as his fingers were sliced through with the knife. He fell to his side, clutching his now fingerless hand, sobbing and crying to Junil. "Now. Will you tell me why you have come all this way?"
    The prisoner merely spit on Corane's shoes and cursed Mother. "You dare insult Mother, you ingrate!?" Corane smacked the prisoner across the face. "Nobody and I repeat NOBODY insults Mother. Cut off his other fingers." The prisoner screamed and protested as the guards held his hand to the ground and screamed even louder as Agnir chopped the remaining fingers off his hand. "Now tell me! Who are you!? Where did you come from!? Why are you here?"
    The prisoner sobbed slightly and held his now mangled hands close to his chest. "I...I want was sent to spy on you. Learn your tactics, but that's all I know." Corane nodded silently then kicked the prisoner in the stomach. "Tell me all of it! All the truth!" The prisoner began openly sobbing and crying hysterically. "I was to learn your military formations and your resources! I was to learn your plans and report them to my master! I was to find the weaknesses in your defenses! I swear that's all I know!" As he finished yelling he curled back into a ball and sobbed over the pain in his hands.
    Corane held his hands behind his back and bent over to speak to the prisoner. "And who, might I ask, is your master? Or must we sever..Other thing?" "The prisoner screamed at this and just yelled "Capria! Capria! It was Capria, I swear!" Corane stood up looking satisfied and turned to Agnir. "Have our scribes recorded this session?" Agnir nodded and grabbed a chart from a nearby Archos. "The whole thing. The questioning, commission of guilt, everything." Agnir looked up at Carone. "What shall we put as his sentence, milord."
    Corane looked at the whimpering being before him. "Throw him to the spiders. I am sure Mother is hungry and wishes for a more..Exotic meal." With that, Corane strode into his throne room and closed the doors behind him. Agnir and some fellow soldiers lifted the sobbing wreck and threw him into a dark hole. Amongst the screams of agony, you could hear the hissing of creatures and the sound of their many legs converging on the screaming victim.
     
  16. Ekolite

    Ekolite Deity

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    I have stopped posting my stories in this thread because there's probably something in the rules about not posting the same thing in three different places. I have kept going with my Calabim story and have several mosr chpaters planned out. You can see them via the link in my sig.
     
  17. Jabie

    Jabie Wanted in Monte Carlo...

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    Cheers. It was originally going to be a scenario where you start in a circular world with a heart at the centre. The Cities was called Loss, Avarice, Debt, etc. and as you overcame them over you would reveal a little more of the story. If you look closely at the text you can see the chapter breaks. The bad guys would have the economic techs and the Bazaar of Mammon but would be restricted to building workers and hiring Mercenaries. The central city had the Bazaar of Mammon and was at the centre of a "heart" made up of mountains. If the cultural borders completely overwhelmed the heart, the player would lose. I don't really have the time or technical talent for a full scenario so I published the story for posterity. (Although - shameless plug - if you feel cheated out of a scenario, feel free check out the 7th Sea romp I wrote "Flint, Lock and Two Smoking Barrels")

    Azir's got his own motivations for giving the story a happy ending - he's got a sale to make! But whether he is retelling an established myth, misrepresenting reality based on hearsay or just spinning a line to fleece Falamar is up to the reader. And is Falamar necessarily who Azir thinks he is?
     
  18. Humakty

    Humakty Happy Goblin

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    I regularly read those novels, but never took time to tell how much I'm impressed with them.

    So thumbs up ! And continue writing ! :)
     
  19. Avahz Darkwood

    Avahz Darkwood Emperor

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    Excellent story, enjoyed it very much... Keep em coming.
     
  20. loocas

    loocas Prince

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    We know about Flauros's proclivities, but what does Alexis do for fun? Here's my answer:

    Spoiler :
    She doesn't consider herself a woman of many constraints, but there's one special pleasure she saves for herself one night every year. Ever since she and her brother brought new meaning to the word "harvest," her subjects' celebrations of their own harvests have seemed like a charade, like a dog dressed in a suit, trying to walk upright. On the night of the celebrations she walks through the streets, bathed in the orange light of the lampposts. She can hear toasting and singing from inside houses, drunken coquettish whispers from couples behind bushes and wagons, and music and whooping from the tavern up ahead.

    Her entrance into the tavern is inconspicuous; these people all know who their ruler is, but they won't recognize her tonight. People are dancing, others drinking and flirting, as she sits at an empty table and begins her hunt. She surveys the partiers. Someone hands her some ale. She spots a man near the bar, standing alone. Married? she wonders, Family? Clean clothes, well kempt, he looks like a virtuous man. I knew one had to exist somewhere in this city.

    She chose a modest dress for tonight, yet it doesn't completely hide her figure. She notices men all around stealing looks at her. She's aware that they aren't panicking--which is what happens in most circumstances when anyone from the city finds themselves in her presence. Whereas most nights she dresses to come across as intensely threatening, tonight she feels, and looks, comely. She is disguised, as she put it to her attendants, "not like those miniature trollops from which my brother is always smacking his lips."

    She's caught the eye of her kind, honest prey. She smiles softly but devilishly, and peers at him through her eyelashes. Her cheeks are feeling increasingly warm. It feels, she understands, like blushing, but she knows she's sensing the body heat from others around her. The man looks into his mug and turns away, pretending to ignore her. Guilt. You are the right man for me. Not wanting this one to get away, she leaves the table and approaches him. He continues to ignore her and she leans in close to his ear. She can hear the cacophonous pounding of his heart. "You seem like a kind soul," she speaks. He faces her, failing at nonchalance, and she continues. "The inn is full and I have nowhere to stay. I'm desperate for a bed."

    He blinks many many times. "Well," he says. "Not right for a lady to be out alone on such a special night. Not sure I can help you though..."

    "Oh? Would your wife frown upon you taking in a stranger like me?"

    The man swallows hard. "Yeah, well, my kids do all fill one bed, and my wife and I are in the other." His eyes darted around the tavern, then he leans in to speak. "There may be a barn nearby where I can make you comfortable." He raises his mug to her as if it were a more subtle way of winking and nodding slowly.

    "Pity I won't get to meet your family... But you really are a kind soul," she smiles. "Do you believe that kindness exists in all human souls?"

    "I think that if you look for it you'll always find it. Wanna get out of this stuffy place?"

    They walk outside, the moon low, milky, and fat. "What's your name? What brings you to this town?" he asks her.

    "I want to learn things," she replies. "You said there's kindness in the souls of humans. Does that mean there is malice too?"

    "I guess so... Why else would souls exist if not to determine someone's character? We're going that way by the way."

    "We're going this way." She turns and walks into a dim alley; the orange light slips from her, letting her figure melt into the darkness. "It's not enough for me to just wonder whether humans have moral souls, assuming for a moment that they are vessels for more than just blood and filth." She stops, keeping her back turned to the confused man. "Morals... they're the corruption. Your 'soul' is an insidious taint on human nature. Let it go and submit to Aeron's blessing. You can feel your blood burn in your head, can't you? Feel it seer away what you call your 'self.'"

    She listens, hears his feet shifting, sliding toward her. His footfalls become loud stamps as he rushes to her and grabs her around the waist and by the hair. He forces her to the wall, face first, and puts his forearm against her neck. He positions a worn hunting knife at her throat and she feels his weight shift downward and press harder. "Struggle and I'll gut you!" he rasps hotly in her ear.

    "Oh good," she coughs, "you brought a knife."

    He pulls her backward and throws her to the alley floor. He straddles her and presses the flat edge of his knife against her neck. "Don'tcha move."

    "Don't hold back!" she spits. She swings at him and claws his face; blood wells in the gashes. He punches her, letting all his weight and leverage fall with his fist. The hard ground offers no recoil for her head and she falls into a dazed euphoria. She lets out sputtering giggles as he turns his knife to her dress.

    She and her brother have always had their own favorite pastimes when it comes to decadence and depravity. Some they talk about, others not--I hope he's got things he doesn't tell me about. It would be sad if playing with his dollies is the best he can come up with... His ridiculous tea parties are what ruined that experience for me. How boring that must get, with each girl looking more and more like the last. "I am a man of refined taste," he says. "You lack imagination. Is it the boredom of immortality that drives you? Are we all capable of this?" "I'm just glad I have an entire eternity in which to develop my palette."

    When she comes to she finds herself fully exposed to the night air, her chest and belly sliced by his sloppy undressing. The man has fully committed himself to destroying her and she releases a howl of masochistic delight.

    "Shut'cher mouth!" the man growls, nearly incomprehensibly. He punches her again, then braces his hand against her throat, locking his elbow and leaning his weight forward. Her broken face is shining with ecstasy. She struggles against his arm and her choking turns into cackles, her maniac eyes fixed on the fires within his. A single lucid heartbeat quells those flames, and she sees in his eyes shadows of fear. She howls again into the night, high-pitched and excited. The man picks up his knife and plunges it into her chest. He lifts it high and stabs her repeatedly. Her howling is interrupted as her lungs are pierced, her satisfaction expressed in hoarse gasps. She fixates closely on the fear and rage in his eyes, and then the spell over him is broken.

    He stumbles off her, his face frozen in pure terror. She's still laughing, choking and gurgling on ichor. Now comes the fun part,; she would speak if she could, but she's sure he can understand her anyway. What will you do now? Go home to your family and forget? Can you even try to live with this? Will you desire more, the animal awoken, the illusion of soul dispelled? Or will you kill yourself? I bet that's what you'll do. The severance of one's "soul" is not something you people recover from easily, despite it being just a comforting lie you tell yourselves to deny your true desires. I'm kidding myself when I think I can learn from you animals; the more I learn the more I realize I've always known the truth.

    The man staggers to his feet and runs away, holding his trousers around his waist. He stumbles past a couple walking hand in hand down the street. Confused, they look around and see her lying in the moonlight. "Oh god!" one of them yells and rushes toward her. "Are you all right? Can you talk? Honey, go get help!" Wiping fluid from her mouth, the woman slowly stands up. The passersby shudder at her naked, lacerated body. The woman sneers at them, turns, and walks off into the darkness.
     

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