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TalonedHeels

Talon's Tales

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So I thought I would post up some of my creative works, since that is what I do a lot in my free time. Probably like a lot of you... But I think feedback is always useful so might as well post the things. :D

 

I'll refrain from posting the fan fiction. ;P

 

Story List

Soulless

A Little Light

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Soulless

 

“To save your soul, who will you give up to the sea?â€

 

“That’s what they ask them,†he said, “And the men either condemn their souls to damnation or they sacrifice a woman who loves them.â€

 

“Really?†the young girl asked, “Would anyone really do that?â€

 

“Selfish men who care more for themselves than those who love them,†the man responded, pulling his daughter close, “These men have just been shipwrecked, lost at sea. They watch their crew die around them; they watch the souls of their friends get brutally removed from their bodies. As the air gets thinner in their lungs, they grow desperate, and they decide to save themselves.â€

 

The little girl asks, with concern, “What happens to the women they sacrifice?â€

 

“If they ever touch the sea again, they are taken by them. And they become one of them.â€

 

“They become...†her eyes widen, “Mermaids?â€

 

“That’s right. They say the hate and betrayal the women feel from being betrayed by the very man they loved fuels them to crash the ships and steal the souls of the men aboard.â€

“But what if they come for your ship, Daddy?â€

 

“It’s just an old piece of folklore. Don’t you worry darling,†he laughed, “It’s a silly story. Even if they did come, I’ve got a great crew; they could never sink our ship.â€

 

“And if they did? What of your soul?â€

 

 

“Damned,†he stated, “To save my favorite girl.â€

 

“Your favorite girl?†her mother asked. She walked into the room, a soft smile on her face. She stroked the young girl’s hair fondly before kissing her lightly on the top of her head.

 

“I have two favorite girls,†the man responded to his wife, pulling her into a hug. “I could never hurt either of you. You’re the pearls of my life.â€

 

“And you’re both mine,†his wife responded, “Now, story time is over. Time for bed for the little one.â€

 

“You are right! We got a little carried away there,†the man laughed, swooping up the little girl in his arms, “Say good night to your mother!â€

 

“Good night Mommy! I love you!â€

 

The man carried his daughter, giggling, off to her bedroom.

 

---

 

The alarm sounded and Morgan groaned, hitting the snooze button once again. This was not the dream she needed to have the morning of her father’s funeral, twenty years after that memory. All she wanted to do was curl up in a ball and forget that anything had happened. Ever. She pulled the blanket over her head and enveloped herself in darkness, blocking out the world. Her father had died about a week ago, his body recovered a few days after, and now was the day they were to bury him in the ground. He had been a fisherman, captain of his own ship, and a good one at that. A good father too, the only person she had left in the world. And now he too had left her.

 

With a burst of responsibility, Morgan threw off her covers and sat up, her bare feet hitting the worn wooden floors of her bedroom. She was on her own now; no one was there to wake her up. The last time she had to do this, her father had been there with her. And while she buried her mother, he had buried his wife. It had been nine years since her mother’s death and her father had never been the same without her. A part of him died with her, Morgan always thought. At least now they can be together.

She stood up slowly and glanced at herself in the mirror. Her blue eyes held the taint of loneliness, her brunette hair the effects of bedhead. She shook her head, pitying herself for her shoddy appearance, and hopped in the shower, hoping to avoid the same pity from others. A shower, a hairbrush, some makeup, and a black dress and she almost looked like a normal person again. She looked in the mirror again, admiring her handy work and practicing her fake smile.

 

Nothing was far from her house on this tiny island. It was one of twenty or thirty islands in an archipelago off the coast. It was so small that barely anyone owned cars, as it was often faster to walk or bike to your destination. The funeral was to take place at the church down the road. She used to love going to that church. It was right by the water, so you could hear the waves during the sermon. It was so peaceful. Now, she wanted nothing to do with that place. A funeral was to be had there, right next to the very thing that had taken her father from her. Right next to the very thing she loved so much. Morgan grabbed her purse, slipped into a pair of sandals, and hopped on her bike. As the daughter of the deceased, she might as well be early.

 

She endured the service, but she could not endure the people. Everyone looking at her with such pity, offering to make her dinner, and telling her they were there for her. She managed to escape and stood staring out at the sea, waiting for the last people lingering and finally leave. That had been torture. The sea sang as it crashed against the rocks below her. She glared at it, not knowing what to think of the beast before her. It was something she had been struggling with all week. The one thing that could always calm her was now one of the many things that reminded her of her pain. She grabbed her bike and turned her back to the ocean, wanting to block it out, to forget what it had done.  But her bike did not lead her away to the ocean, but to it. She biked all across town until she reached a remote area of the coastline, her favorite place to think. She locked up her bike and climbed down the ledge until she hit the sand. Once there, she sat down and finally began to cry.

 

“Why so sad?†a voice said, out of nowhere.

 

“Where are you?†she asked.

 

“Right here.†a woman popped up from behind a rock a few feet away from where Morgan was sitting. She smiled at her, the water around her turbid from her body trying to stay afloat. “Sorry to disturb you, I was just taking a swim and heard you crying. I wanted to make sure you were safe.â€

 

Morgan assessed the woman in front of her. She had shining brown eyes, filled with empathy, and blonde hair, drenched and sticking to her face and shoulders.  She was mostly submerged in the water, she could only see her head, neck and shoulders, but from what she could see of the woman she was very beautiful and strangely familiar.

 

“Have we met?†Morgan asked.

 

“I don’t think so,†the woman responded, “I’m Amie. And you are?â€

 

“Morgan...†she said, smiling briefly.

 

“So why are you so sad?†Amie asked again, smiling reassuringly.

 

Morgan hesitated, then given courage by the smiling face of her new found friend, responded, “My father was buried today. He drowned at sea. The sea... it reminds me of him.â€

 

“So you have come here for comfort?â€

 

“I-I guess so. I thought I didn’t want to see the ocean ever again, but something drew me to it. I wanted to avoid it forever.â€

 

“Forever?†Amie asked, “You can’t avoid it forever. You can’t avoid anything forever.â€

 

“I know,†Morgan shrugged, “That’s why I’m here.â€

 

Amie looked up to Morgan and put a hand out to her, “I’m sure your father is in a better place, Morgan. You need to work on making yourself feel better. So he knows you will be fine without him. You should come and take a swim with me, that always makes me feel better.â€

 

“Oh, I don’t know about that,†Morgan said, almost laughing, “I didn’t bring a bathing suit.â€

 

“You live by the ocean and you have never skinny dipped,†Amie said with a wink, “I’ll look away.â€

 

“I don’t think this is the right time,†Morgan said, chuckling uneasily, “I don’t think I’m ready to swim quite yet.â€

 

“You’ll have to do it eventually,†Amie responded, looking straight into Morgan’s eyes, “No time like the present.â€

 

Morgan hesitated, not really sure if this was the time or place for a swim. But something about Amie encouraged her. She looked straight into her eyes, and it was if she was beckoning her with the entire ocean. It nearly convinced her that this was the only thing that she needed to do to make herself feel better, to get some closure.  She was reassuring; Morgan could tell she understood what she was going through. It was rare that Morgan would trust someone so quickly; it seemed Amie was an exception to the rule. Her eyes entranced her, telling her that everything would be okay if she just took a swim. Morgan looked around, it was getting dark, and no one was around to see her. The inlet where she found herself was always empty, she would be fine here. She undressed quickly and walked to the edge of the water.

 

“Amie?†she called, not seeing the girl anywhere, “I’m coming in. Where are you?†Morgan took a tentative step into the water, and then another one, until she was about knee deep. She still didn’t see her new friend.

 

Suddenly, she felt a hand grab one of her legs. Morgan panicked; jerking her leg back away from whomever was grabbing her. But the strong counter motion caused her to fall into the water, and she was pulled swiftly downwards. Morgan could feel the water as it forced its way into her lungs. She was pulled down so suddenly, she didn’t have time to take one last breath. The hand was wrapped tightly around her foot, the nails felt like daggers as they dug deep into the flesh of her ankle. Morgan struggled to see who held her captive and managed to get a glimpse of long blonde hair, it was Amie. Amie kept swimming bringing Morgan deeper and deeper into the sea as she struggled to escape her grasp. Her lungs finally gave in to death’s hand and she let herself begin to fade. But Amie wouldn’t give her that, she couldn’t. She stopped and grabbed Morgan by the throat. Her razor sharp nails dug deep into her neck, tearing flesh and dying the water red with blood.

 

New life entered Morgan’s body, but she knew it was unnatural. She sputtered, more blood tainting the water around them. She could breathe again, but was it really breathing if she was underwater. She looked around wildly at her surroundings until she found the woman who had brought her here, watching carefully. It wasn’t until this moment that Morgan has seen Amie’s entire body. Her blonde hair flowed untamed around her, long and incandescent; it framed her deep brown eyes, now filled with sadness and anger. She was topless, sickly gray skin covering her body, marred with long ugly white scars. Below her belly button was a long, silver, fish tail.

 

“He betrayed you Morgan,†she said, with a voice that cut through the water and her whole body, “He chose his soul over you. He has condemned you to this eternal damnation. I’m so sorry.â€

 

She screeched, a terrifying sorrowful sound, and the ocean around them came to life. Hundreds of other mermaids approached the two, swimming toward them with unbelievable velocity. They all looked like her, sad and angry and terrifying. They swarmed Morgan and began tearing at her skin. She screamed as pain coursed through her body and they screamed with her, sharing in her pain. The screaming seemed to fuel the ungodly force that ruled them. The veins and ligaments of Morgan’s legs were knitted together and covered by the scales of the unlucky fish that swam nearby, snatched up and skinned alive.

 

Her father had betrayed her; he must have sacrificed her, a woman who loved him so he could save his eternal soul. Morgan’s thoughts raced to her mother. He had done it so he could be with her. He selfishly chose to save his own soul to be with his wife, rather than save his own daughter from this. She thought he had loved her, he had told her he would rather be damned than do this to her. He had lied. Her eyes hardened with anger and her screams of physical pain became screeches of emotional agony. The others surrounding her screeched along with her, knowing that she had just made the realization that they had all come to previously in their existence. They backed away from Morgan, their work complete. She was now one of them, physically and emotionally.

 

“Come now, Morgan,†Amie whispered, coming closer to her new family member, “Let’s make them pay.â€

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A Little Light

 

Laney sat alone on the porch steps, head against the wooden pillar of the structure, the chipping paint scratching her moist cheek. She hummed to herself, staring out into the dark field of her backyard, trying to tune out the sound of her parents within the house. Their rising voices prompted more tears to fall slowly off her rounded cheeks and into her hands which were left abandoned in her lap. This was the third time this week her parents had fought like this, the nine year old girl just wanted it to end. She wiped her freckled face off with her arm, sniffling as she attempted to dry her tears. She grabbed the ragged stuffed rabbit that was sitting beside her and buried her face in his what-used-to-be white fur, rubbing her cheeks against his velvet ears.

 

“I’ve got to be strong Hampton,†she whispered to him, “That’s what Daddy says. I’m his strong li—.†She stopped, choking up again, “By why is he fighting with Mommy?â€

 

The girl sighed deeply, her tear ducts finally dry until something else pumped a new well. Her round blue eyes stared out into the field again, watching the long field grass a couple feet away sway in the warm summer wind. She reached her little fingers out and wiggled them at the air, as if conducting the wind. A smile cracked across her face and she quickly stood to her feet. Tentatively, she placed a bare foot onto the soft green grass in front of her and took a step off the porch. The cool grass was comforting between her toes. She wiped the last of the tears off her eyes and smiled, looking out at the summer field. Laney was not supposed to leave the porch at night. But her parents weren’t supposed to fight either.

 

“Look Hampton,†she whispered, hiding her laughter, “I’m breaking the rules.â€

 

She lifted her foot up to take another step, but it was then that she heard a door slam inside. She promptly sat herself back down on the porch, suddenly fearing the repercussions of her moment of daring. A mischievous smile sat etched on her face as she continued to watch the field, her little touch with rebellion making her feel powerful. It was then that she noticed it – a spark in the field.

 

“What do you think that is?†she said aloud, focusing on the spot where the light appeared. The spark flared up again, suddenly filling the yard with bright light. Laney was forced to close her eyes, and when she opened them there was a small ball of light hovering in the air, just inches from her face.

 

“Moooooooom,†she called uneasily, but her mother wasn’t listening to her daughter in that moment, “W-What are you?â€

 

The light danced in front of her, she could almost hear it singing. Laney reached out her hand and touched it lightly. It sparked with light and backed away from her

quickly. She stared at it, and it stopped, almost as if staring back at her.

 

“Hello,†she said, “I’m sorry I touched you.â€

 

The light danced before her. It went from before her face, to back out to the field, then back again. Beckoning.

 

“You want me to follow...?†she asked, as if it could response, “But...â€

 

Laney glanced back at the house, unsure about what to do. She took a deep breath, and stepped down onto the grass again. She felt a thrill burst through her, willing her to go further. She took another step, going further out into the yard. The light continued to dance and beckoned her forward, into the woods past the long grass.

 

The young girl ran as fast as her little legs could carry her, following after the pearl of light moving at a steady pace ahead of her. Her blue sun dress caught on the twigs and brushwood as she pushed herself into the thick wood. She pulled Hampton close to her chest, hoping to shield him from the sharp prickles and branches that swatted at them. She hurried through and around the trees, desperate to catch up with the little light. It was leading her somewhere, she just knew it.

 

And just as the thought crossed her mind to turn back she crashed through the underbrush and into a small clearing. The light danced in the middle, twinkling and winking at Laney. She walked slowly over to the sphere and reached out a hand tentatively. The light did not move, it remained still for but a moment, just long enough for Laney to brush it lightly with her fingertips. She shivered unexpectedly, and the light began to dance again. Moving faster this time; spinning around her in a circle. As she watched the light go around her faster and faster, she clutched Hampton to her chest growing fearful of what may happen. But then, as quickly as it began the light stopped, flickered once or twice, and then went out, enveloping Laney in darkness.

 

“H-Hello?†she called out softly, “Where did you go?â€

 

She looked all around her, unable to see any light in the thick darkness of the middle of the woods. She hugged the rabbit close to her body and buried her face in his ears, willing herself not to cry. The shadows of the trees looked like distorted terrible monsters. The sound of the rustling branches sounded like their dreadful howls as they drew closer to Laney, threatening her. She let out a small whimper, bravely holding in her tears.

 

“Oh honey,†a voice said nearby, “Don’t be afraid. There is nothing to be afraid of in these woods.â€

 

“Who was that?†Laney called out, now more afraid than she was before, the rules of stranger danger dancing in her head.

 

“I’m right here,†the voice replied, “Just look where the moon is shining.â€

 

The clouds above her parted slowly revealing the full moon. A stream of light landed directly on an old and worn tree. From within the knots and twists of the tree a face emerged, one of an old woman. The knots of the trees created her caring eyes, almost looking as if she was wearing glasses. Her mouth was wide and smiling, but there was strain in the smile. Laney stumbled back, unbelieving of what she was seeing.

 

“Be careful there dear,†the tree woman said, “You don’t want to trip on my roots.â€

 

“Our roots!†another voice said, “And don’t baby the girl, she knows how to stand.â€

 

Laney looked back at the tree and another face emerged. This time, that of an old man. The bark blended in with his form and appeared to be a thick beard. He had kind eyes, but a deep frown on his face. It was only then that Laney realized she wasn’t looking at a single tree, but two trees wrapped around one another, growing into one another, and inseparable.

 

“What are you?†she blurted out.

 

“What does it look like, my dear,†the woman responded, “Trees.â€

 

“I don’t think that is the best answer, I doubt the girl has seen talking trees like us before,†the man answered back.

 

The woman glanced angrily at her companion, “I was speaking to the girl just fine before you decided to make an appearance.â€

 

“Well you weren’t giving her enough information,†the man retorted.

 

“I wasn’t giving her your information,†she responded, “My information is just fine!â€

 

The two trees began to bicker angrily at one another. Clearly, they did not enjoy one another’s company. Laney watched the fight unfold before her eyes. The two trees shouted louder and louder at one another shaking their branches, causing leaves to rain down on the little girl. It reminded her of the scene she had just left.

 

“Stop!†she cried to the trees, “Please stop fighting!â€

 

The two tree people grew silent, staring at the little girl. She stood still, daring them to utter another word. Little blue dress flapping in the wind, and Hampton dragging on the ground beside her. She was dealing with this too much at home to listen to trees fight just as her parents do.

 

“I’m sorry dear,†the woman began, “You see, we’ve been stuck here together for quite some time. And it’s been awhile since I’ve enjoyed the company of my husband here. We really do nothing but fight.â€

 

“We used to be happy,†the man continued, “We got married and wrapped our lives around one another. That’s how we ended up like this, entwined.â€

 

“Did you love each other?†Laney asked.

 

“We did,†the woman responded, “Once.â€

 

“But not anymore, we drifted apart†responded the man, “And now we’re stuck together, miserable.â€

 

“So you want to be separate?†the young girl asked, running up to the two trees and touching them one by one, “You don’t want to be together anymore?â€

 

“Yes,†the woman responded, solemnly, “But there is something holding us together, we can’t separate just yet.â€

 

She started to cry, thick tears running down her cheeks again. She fell to the ground and wrapped her arms around the trunk of the pair of trees.

 

“I’m sorry,†she cried, “I don’t want to be what keeps you together, I don’t.â€

 

Laney sat up, realizing she had to go home now. She stood to her feet and picked up Hampton, who she had discarded for a moment. She looked back to the trees and the faces were gone, they had left. Nodding, determined, she left the clearing and went back into the thick of the woods. She ran through the forest, feeling her way back to the field at the edge of her yard. She smiled and began to run as soon as she saw her house.

 

“It will be better this way...â€

 

Hearing the voice, Laney stopped, just long enough to notice the little ball of light floating up and away into the sky. She waved and then continued to run to her house until she made it to the porch. It was time that she dealt with this issue head on. She may be young, but she understood what was going on. With a deep breath, Laney pushed open the back door and walked inside.

 

“Laney!†her mother gasped, “Where have you been? You’ve been missing for hours! Robert, come in here, she’s come home.â€

 

“Oh thank god,†her father said, running into the room, “What happened to you dear?â€

 

“Mommy, Daddy,†Laney began, “We have something to talk about, don’t we?â€

 

Her father sighed, “Yes dear. How did you know?â€

 

“You’re unhappy,†she said, pulling the rabbit back up to her chest, “I want you to be happy.â€

 

“We want you to be happy too dear,†her mother responded.

 

“We will be.â€

 

She ran into her families arms and hugged them, knowing it was going to be okay.

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