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Shenanigans
A place of thoughts n' conundrums and speculations.
Cocklebur King Part VIII: True Nature
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Harte sucked in his breath, holding it as the goddess spoke, for fear that his mere breathing would dissipate the gossamer of hope that her words provided. Seconds of silence drew before he finally summoned his courage to speak, repeating part of his army’s chant that often gave him comfort in the dark residuals of his soul. Perhaps this admission would further his commitment for this wild deity.

“I bask in the glow of the rising war,
Lay waste to the ground of an enemy shore,
Wade through the blood spilled on the floor, and if
Another one stands I’ll kill some more.”

The human declared, loudly and confidently, picking up his sword. A proud warrior’s stance he made, one that dared to even challenge the divine for his husband. Still, the goddess remained impassive, her face inscrutable.

“How?” There was an indisputable heaviness to her inquiry, though stated as a comment.

“How…what?” Harte asked, his bravado slightly dipping. This was not the response he was expecting to hear. Another challenge, another taunt, a commentary, something to seek further enlightenment about his desperate desire.

Dead air filled between them once again, and the goddess fixed him with her unblinking, otherworldly stare that appeared to glow in the moonlight. Most lesser beings would have shirked away from the intensity and the repulsiveness—not Harte. His amber eyes burned fiercely back and just as relentlessly. His husband would have been proud.

“How can I change your nature?”

The question shocked Harte to his core. Doubt at him, that was expected, but the deity doubt herself?

“Y-you did it for him” The man cursed himself internally, hearing his voice shake like that wasn’t going to help his case.

“Even the great king of the forest could not change his nature. It is…unnatural. Impossible. How can a mere human think to even compare himself to such a magnificent creature who could not deny what was his birthright?” Her words were harsh and blunt, tearing away the fragile hope that Harte tried desperately to cling to. A great horned owl landed on her outstretched antler, its soft hooting cries mocking the human.

Trembling, Harte drew his sword. The goddess did not move; no weapon this human possessed could possibly harm her. All it would take was a flick of her wrist and the man would be impaled by the surrounding flora. His blatant audacity amused her, and she wondered what he would do next.

“He is not a creature!” Harte blurted out, a snarl accenting his words. “HE IS MY HUSBAND!” A whirring sound sliced through the air, and the owl was slain mid-hoot, impaled on the trunk behind her, sword still quivering from the ferocity of the throw.

Sweat beaded on his forehead and biceps, chilling him in the night air, but Harte didn’t care. A possessiveness rose within him, much stronger before, and he would do whatever it took to convince this goddess to give him his wish.

“Easy for an armed man to say.” The goddess mockingly replied, her grotesque eyes appearing to grow larger. Pushing this human would reveal his nature; his true nature.

It was true, after all. She could not change a being’s nature. That had to come from the individual; gods understood a person’s personality, their character, and soul as well as the common mortal could comprehend their wild and mysterious ways or predict the natural world’s whims. This was a test, but one the human would have to answer himself, without knowing.

The man paced in front of her, pacing back and forth like a hungry wolf. Glaring, searching for the right words to force her to take him seriously. A blur of movement at the edge of his vision caught his attention. Without thinking, reacting, his arm shot out and he was rewarded with the screams and chatterings of terror by a chipmunk who had be scuttling around on the low lying branches. He could feel the fluttering of its frantic heartbeat, the pain as it clawed and chewed on his hands in desperate attempt to escape this mighty enemy while in death’s clutches. Harte meanwhile, looked rather shocked at his blind grab, dragged from the moment by this strange change of events. Feeling the goddess’s eyes upon him, the human quickly snapped the creature’s neck, and without remorse, he spoke aloud.

“I do not need a weapon to kill. The shadow of death is the one I cast.”

He cast away the furry corpse, his eyes fixed acutely upon the wild deity. She wondered if he realized that his hair had begun to grow longer, and his pupils began to reflect a wild animal’s more than a human’s. With his chin held high, tears dried on his cheek, Harte faced her, growling.

“He loved me, regardless of what he is, and I can do the same. If I cannot, then I deserve to be slaughtered for not being an honorable and true husband.”

For the first time since they met; the goddess actually blinked, her glassy, glowing orbs reflecting a canid. Harte stepped back, looking over his shoulder, both excited and fearful. Had his husband come?

Nothing but the forest surrounded the two, and not a creature could be heard stirring. Harte looked back into her eyes.

“I don’t under--” He started to speak, but what was once human language transformed into the snarls and howls of a canid. His legs weakened underneath him, no longer fit for bipedal support and his back, nay his entire body was on fire as his inner beast clawed its way to the world. Bloodcurdling, animalistic screams soon filled the night sky. Indifferent as always, the goddess took her leave. She cared not for the outcome, vanishing into the wilderness.

A grey furred form sped off into the night, singing praises that only beasts and wild gods could understand, scurrying under the thorny brush and melting into the forest. Soon the glorious howls and barks would be joined by another, deeper call. Fierce and barbaric delightful songs they sang, their joyful howls uniting as a single primal force that rang through the woods. Together they would rule as Kings undisputed, in the forest.

Slick Southpaw
Community Member
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  • User Comments: [3]
    Well worth the wait emotion_kirakira

    comment Bowie-Spawan · Community Member · Mon Jun 23, 2014 @ 10:25pm
    I'm in love with your writing ._.

    comment Atiny · Community Member · Wed Jul 23, 2014 @ 08:28am
    This glorious text has blessed my eyes with unrivaled beauty. emotion_kirakira


    comment As if I even care · Community Member · Sun Nov 23, 2014 @ 08:42pm
    User Comments: [3]

     
     
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