#55 The Madness [WARNING: Contains disturbing/sexual scenes]

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Blu
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Re: #55 The Madness [WARNING: Contains disturbing/sexual scenes]

Post by Blu » Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:22 pm

its hell believe me. Ive been studying almost none stop for two months

Then i have another exam period (even bigger) in three months

then Uni

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Re: #55 The Madness [WARNING: Contains disturbing/sexual scenes]

Post by Blu » Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:16 pm

another delay:

just finished exams, but the minute it ended, i was told that i had coursework due in next week, so i had to spend the last week doing it.

Handed that in today, and i have ANOTHER coursework deadline for next week! and another after that!

When will i actually be able to have a life of my own? lol

dont fear though, chapter 11 has been slowly pushing onwards, and is half-written

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Re: #55 The Madness [WARNING: Contains disturbing/sexual scenes]

Post by Blueberry Chicken » Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:03 pm

School: The Ultimate Pit of Anti-Life.

Too much stress is bad. School causes stress. School is bad for your health.

That's my reasoning.

Seriously, I think that sometimes, schools try to remove anything that makes you unique. I'm pressured to join team sports (I'm an introvert, people! I don't want to be working with others!) , hold my pencil right (I'm not going to do it!), and get rid of the odd slant of my handwriting.
"Sass, back before you, me, Blu, Vulf and BB used to roll together.We were tighter than emo jeans."
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Re: #55 The Madness [WARNING: Contains disturbing/sexual scenes]

Post by Blu » Tue Feb 09, 2010 3:17 pm

almost done :) with both the chapte and coursework that is

heres another preview for you before the whole chapter:


Strolling past the wide marble pillars by the entrance, I took time to let in the heat and restore lost energy. I calmly pushed through the double-doors, with the over-powering odours of candle wax and human re-informing me of my presence now outside of my enclosure. I was quickly greeted by an unusually slender human male, sporting a tuft moustache and a suspicious comb-over.
His suit suggested to me that the restaurant was actually not closed at all, and the scraping of plate-upon-plate in the background backed this up. Whether this was good or bad was not yet certain, but I worried for the customers who would have to dig their cars from under the snow afterwards.
The waiter sneered, the look alone telling me that I was not wanted in the upper class human establishment.
Your kind belongs outside.” He said with a hint of superiority. “Run along now, back to your tree. We don’t want any difficulties.”
“I am here to see Terry O’Donnell.”
Barely a twitch from a face stiffer than a board. “I do not wish to have to call Horace.” He let the threat hang for a second. “Now shoo, before you disturb the aroma.”
Feeling insulted, I repeated my request. “I am here to see Terry O’Donnell. Please inform him that Toby Hamee wishes to speak to him.”
An eyebrow rose, but he was still showing disinterest and a general disgust of my being. “I see...”
Neither one of us spoke, and we stood in a terribly awkward silence. He did not care who I was, that was for certain.

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Re: #55 The Madness [WARNING: Contains disturbing/sexual scenes]

Post by Blueberry Chicken » Tue Feb 09, 2010 6:40 pm

Nice. The waiter man is even a bigger jerk than the Yeerk in the flashback. I shall attempt not to eat his socks. Ah, what the heck. Waiter man shall lose his best socks!

*fights down crazy/random side*
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Re: #55 The Madness [WARNING: Contains disturbing/sexual scenes]

Post by Blu » Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:17 pm

Chapter 11 is written :D

now only need to edit. Should be up in a day or two.

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Re: #55 The Madness [WARNING: Contains disturbing/sexual scenes]

Post by Beckyno1 » Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:22 pm

Yay! At last! Way to go, blu!
Inactivness has hit me! Oh no! If you want to remind me to come on, just PM me!

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Re: #55 The Madness [WARNING: Contains disturbing/sexual scenes]

Post by Blu » Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:23 pm

come onto chat now :D

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Re: #55 The Madness [WARNING: Contains disturbing/sexual scenes]

Post by Blu » Sun Feb 21, 2010 9:29 am

CHAPTER 11

May seem a bit rushed at times, but im a rushed guy atm lol

Spoiler:
CHAPTER 11 [i]‘Someone once said that life was for living, life was for happiness, life was love. I cannot help but feel that I have been lied to. How can life be for love when all you have left is hate? How can life be for happiness when all you can do is scream in silence? How can life be for living when you have nothing to live for anymore? My life is nothing but a disaster. My parents, my people, and my son… I’ve let them all down… I just hope they cannot see through these walls and chains to stare upon my failure and my pain, for my soul would simply break. I sit here now, writing for what seems like the millionth time, in the hope that someday, someone will read over this and think about what happened to us all. Maybe someday, somebody will find my writings and remember what we once were, before we were destroyed completely. Perhaps that would be for the best.[/i] “Toby. Tooooooooby.” The night was over. The sound of my little brothers voice kick-started my brain and alerted me to the scent of fresh bark flicking through the air. My eyes refused to open to the blinding rays of the sun, so I simply rolled over and grunted at him. “Toby come eat.” He suggested, and I listened as he jumped from my nest to the ground below, leaving behind a strange feeling that today was to be the same as every day before. My tree was empty, and the breeze was stiff with the cold that came with the winter mornings. Thankfully, the twigs and litter that made the main bulk of my nest was reserving my body heat, and the thought of leaving my comfortable spot was daunting. Though I felt in place here, huddled up within my nest, there came a suspicion of something missing... Yawning, I lifted my eye lids and took a lazy glance around my empty nest. I gave myself a casual scratch and rose to a more upright position. The nest was as it always had been since I had constructed it a month ago. The scent of a male lingered, and the memories of last night re-ran through my head. Tal was not here. I stood up tall to stretch and shivered off the cold, then looked over the busy, dew-laden camp. Everyone was taking their fill of last night’s leftovers, but the excessive way in which we gorged ourselves then meant that the meal would not last long. Perhaps Tal was hungry and wanted to get his fill before there was nothing left. The thought relaxed me, and I tried to spot him within the large crowd. Unable to see him, I concluded that he was hidden behind the masses of Hork-Bajir from the neighbouring camps. They would leave after the morning feast, and Tal would stay behind with me. We were mated. I found a friend at the far end of the group, and an urge told me to join in and eat what I could find before we had to give up and harvest for more bark. I was feeling a little too lazy right now, but found that I had to focus on my duty to dispose of the old tyre that was currently being chewed on by a campmate suffering with a tooth problem. I checked for Tal within the tree before making my way down to the ground, surprised that he had not told me that he would be gone. It was likely that he just did not want to disturb me from my sleep. That was probably for the best - I become uncharacteristically grumpy when awoken prematurely and without the prospect of food. Walking over to the bulk of the crowd, I would bend down and pick up any stray chunk of bark I could find and hold it beneath my forearm. By the time I had come to the fire-side, I had enough to provide a satisfying breakfast. I chose to sit beside my mother, who was much more awake than I, sniffing around for more scraps of food before turning to me expectantly. “Good morning, Mother.” I greeted. She smiled. “Toby have nice sleep?” He eyes remained glued to the bark I held beneath my arm. “Yes, thank you, Mother.” I handed her a piece of my breakfast and hinted to her damaged foot. “You were not supposed to chew off the bandage... again.” “Ket not like bandage.” “I know you don’t.” That particular conversation died. I had gone over this before, and it was no use going through all the details again. Cassie would just have to attach a tougher bandage. My Mother paused halfway through her food. Her snout lifted up in my direction and inhaled. A proud grin shone on her face. “Toby have mate now.” The scent she had found was one that female Hork-Bajir gave off when mated. It was impossible to cover up. “His name is Tal Ganat.” She looked blank, and glimpsed around at everyone, as if she thought he would turn up from nowhere. “Here?” “No, Mother. I have not seen him this morning. He must have left for food.” Her hand reached over and took another piece of bark from my collection. “Food here.” My paranoia came once again to the forefront. She was correct. There was no need to find more bark with the amount we had left. I stood and left my breakfast to her. Amongst the crowd - mostly sitting now - I still saw no sign of Tal. I checked the nest again and found nothing. He had not been back. From the top of my tree, and looking out over the surrounding area, I still saw no hint. Tal’s family would be here, unless they had already left for home. Maybe I could find them. Maybe he had left a trail behind. I tried and found nothing. An underlying panic grew within me, my movement becoming jerky and uneasy. Controlling the urge to run in random directions in search of him, I concluded that it was best just to wait until he returned. I reverted back to my original plan, and sniffed out the rubber tyre, still trapped within the jaws of my campmate. He looked miserable as I requested for it, but soon sought out a rock to chew on instead. It was not the best option for his already damaged teeth, but I was not one to ruin his fun. Back to business. Today’s plan was simple. First, I needed to dispose of the rubber tyre, then I needed to meet up with Cassie in the clinic, before making my way back to finally have my breakfast. The rest of the day would be spent lounging with Tal, to wait for the next night to engulf the sky. I wished for my return to be greeted by my mate, and a large slab of the new, juicy bark. The thought of it almost took my legs from under me, and the motivation it gave lessened my worries. I made my way down the hill and over the narrow grassland towards the Human-Hork-Bajir divide, where the clinic sat. This part of the park was closed to the public from now until after the Christmas holidays. Nobody really wanted to come anyway, with the appalling weather and the freezing temperatures. Fortunately, our species had adapted to colder temperatures on our own planet. This climate was acceptable - in fact, I was walking slower than usual to feel the cool air pound against my chest, and to conserve my energy. The snow began to fall as I reached the low lying fence that separated grass and dirt from pavement and empty drinks cans. By now, the others would all be sat in the trees or the caves, and the families that had arrived for the feast would be making their way home. My feet passed onto the hard pavement, and I quickly found a disposal unit, into which I threw the old battered tyre. Now that that was over and done with, I jogged towards the big grey building, busy with humans walking in and out of the rotating doors. The car park was packed entirely with colourful city cars, but for the massive pick-up truck resting within a reserved spot. Twenty Four hours on, and I still could not believe that such a vehicle would belong to Cassie. Avoiding the bustling humans, I took on the unnecessarily complicated rotating doors. As I pressed the nearest door, it rotated around and enclosed me within the rotation area. It opened up to the reception area, but before I could exit onto the shiny laminate floor, I was trapped again by the following door, having pushed too hard. It forced me back around, and I found myself, once again, outside. This happened no less than three times, but I eventually reached the main reception area. Of course, I was aided by a human feeling sorry for me. I thanked him and slugged to the reception desk, still embarrassed as I leaned up against it, to see a new receptionist try his hands at the phone. I thought my incident was embarrassing enough... Despite his practical shortcomings, I learnt from him that Cassie was in her office, but also that she had a patient in twenty minutes, so I rushed to her office on the third floor, to knock on the big wooden door. Without hesitation came her reply to enter. Forgetting how to work the new knob, I walked roughly into the door. Ouch. I made it in the second time to see her sorting through a pile of documents by her desk. The office was cluttered with paperwork and files, and with boxes scattered throughout, it looked a bit of a mess. Cassie did not seem at all bothered. “Hi Toby.” She greeted. “I thought you would struggle with the new door handle.” “Yes.” I agreed, glad to finally arrive in a warm room. I looked for a place to sit, and found a wooden chair to drag up to her desk. “Busy day, I assume.” “Well I just got a call from my Mom. Apparently I’m going to a relative’s house for Christmas. She lives in Florida. I have two patients in, and I’m packing up during breaks.” “Oh...” I said glumly. “It’s not for long, only about a week or so.” Her attention seemed more towards cleaning up stray pads of paper than me. “Will Ronnie come back?” “No. He’ll be joining me down there.” I made myself comfortable in a seat and leaned back. The hard wood dug into my spine, quite irritating. “Would you like me to help you clean up?” She dropped a stack of folders clumsily into an open drawer. “I’m fine, thanks. Besides, I don’t want to keep you from Tal.” She grinned suggestively. “I have not seen Tal all day...” She returned to her desk and sat down on her fake-leather chair. “I would have thought he would be hanging onto your tail all day.” “He was not in my nest this morning. I believe he may be looking for more food.” She hummed and twiddled with a paper clip. “He always has been a curious one. May have seen something that took his interest.” I nodded and smiled, but the smile dropped as I watched her rummage through a silver metal briefcase. This meant only one thing... The only things that came out of Cassie’s silver briefcase were needles. She pulled out the narrow piece of hollowed metal. “I had a talk with my Dad. He says we should try giving you this injection.” “I do not need another one.” I stuttered. “Don’t be such a baby. It’s supposed to calm you down. I can’t take any more chances with you after that night at Terry’s.” “I have been fine since then.” An inner shiver choked my words. “I am perfectly fine” No need to explain my Trypanophobia - the fear of hypodermic needles. My attempts to stop her were not going to work. She came up beside me, measuring up the vaccine from a small plastic tub. Upon finishing, she placed the emptied tub on the desk, and used her thumb to force out trapped air from the tube. The reason for my fear of needles was unknown, but as the images flashed through my head of the tip piercing my skin and blood vessels, the urge to run from the room screaming was becoming overwhelming. Instead, I was frozen in place as she edged closer. “Cassie, why must you always inject me with these vaccines? You know of my phobia.” Her response was, at first, a grimace. Without hesitation she reached for a small bowl on the desk and handed me a breath mint. I apologised and sucked on it. She finally replied. “You need these vaccines. You’re living on a completely different planet now and you wouldn’t cope without them. Imagine the diseases you would all have if it weren’t for these vaccines.” As usual, she was undoubtedly right, but I was too ashamed to admit it. Outside of the near window, the sight of what could only be described as a blizzard drew me. It seemed like we would finally be seeing the snow that would stay with us till next year. I could still faintly make out the mountains in the far distance, almost always covered in a white blanket of snow. The dip in which we lived saw much less snow than the surrounding areas, but we were finally getting our share. “RAHHHH!!!” I slapped my left claw against my right shoulder, where the needle had briefly visited. “All done.” Cassie sighed, retreating behind her desk. Continuing to hold my pained arm, I pouted at her, much to her amusement. Perhaps it was not a facial expression she associated with Hork-Bajir, or at the fact that it was my own fault for losing my concentration. I dropped it, and sucked contently on my breath mint. “You’ll thank me.” Cassie started. “At least for the next twenty-four hours before the next one.” “Muh?!” This was not actually a word, but a combination of sudden shock and the mint clogging my throat. “This injection was only preliminary to prepare you for the full vaccine. Dr Cooper will be expecting you at 1pm tomorrow.” My heart sank, and with a sigh i rose to my feet. “And you promise that this is the final one?” “Until the next one, yeah.” She grinned, perhaps feeling a hint of sorrow for me. “I have never met Dr Cooper.” I added. “She’s a trainee, but she’s good at what she does. You’ll feel right at home with her around.” After nursing my needle wound for a few minutes and sulking quietly to myself, I started to help Cassie with sorting equipment and paper into neat piles. It seemed like the locations did not matter, so I placed things wherever it would be out of the way. “When are you leaving?” “Night. I’ll be past Wyoming by the time you wake up, hopefully.” She folded away the last yellow-page files and folded her arms into her chest. “While both I and Ronnie are away, Miller is in charge, so I’m expecting to find the place in ruin when I get back. Could you make sure the place stays in once piece? Perhaps just check up on the place every couple of days?” “Of course, as long as the snow does not become too much of an obstruction.” “It’s only snow.” She chuckled. “You’re just being lazy.” This was not personal attack on me, but yet another example of strange, friendly human humour. “I cannot deny my ever-growing uselessness.” “Well, you are a politician...” This was humour I understood. I smiled. “I will miss you Cassie.” “I’ll be back soon enough. I’ll make sure of that.” We strolled to the door, and parted between the door frame. I turned back to face her and drooped. Cassie began the goodbyes. “You had better get back to Tal. He’ll be dying to see you.” I nodded, and rubbed a claw over my hungry belly. “I must have my breakfast as well. Hopefully Tal will have done the harvesting for me.” She laughed, her hand perching against the edge of the door to hold herself up. “Just make sure you actually get out of your nest while I’m gone.” “I will.” This was a lie. She leaned forward and wrapped her arms around me in a hug, which I returned, taking special caution for my arm blades. “Please turn up for the injection tomorrow. I’ll be worrying about you all Christmas otherwise.” “Do not worry about it, Cassie.” With the final goodbyes, we detached, and I began my descent down the winding corridor. Outside, the snow was already inches deep, and the atmosphere was filled with flitting, twirling snowflakes that iced cruelly over my blades. Occasional shaking would rid me of the blanket that covered the cooler areas of my body, but only seconds would pass before the snow coated me once again. I hopped stiffly over the fence and proceeded towards any form of protection from the blizzard. The trees nearest the clinic provided welcome warmth and defence from what was fast becoming a snowstorm. The mountainous background of our enclosure had disappeared completely within a grey haze, as had trees no further than twenty feet away. A quick dash through would take me safely back to the camp and the caves which protected us from these extremes, but such extraordinary sights tugged at my tail and begged for an admiring gaze. And so I sat back and watched - even as the cold turned my tail to an icicle - the sights of such beautiful destruction, enticing me like I never thought it could. You could say that the brief thought of Tal brought me back to the harsh reality that if i stayed here for another minute I could quite easily freeze. I got up and began the stiff hike back home, in high hopes of some scraps left over for my breakfast. I was sure that my mother would have saved me something, at least. My journey to the caves took me by my nest. The tree was coping well under the weather, and my nest, forged from woven branches and litter, was still in one piece. For how long, I could not tell. I slinked up the tree trunk and onto my branch. The nest chassis held my weight, and felt wholly secure, as snow was drifting through the canopy above, and a thin layer of white sat upon the mesh of leaves and grass. Satisfied with my nest conditions for the moment, I crawled back down the trunk and headed for the nearby cave. It sat within a small dip in the ground, approximately thirty feet from the centre of the camp. The ground surrounding it was bare of snow, and a small hint of smoke rose from the upper entrance. Signs of a warm fire inside. As expected, I found my camp mates huddled up snugly around the fire, constructed weakly from scavenged twigs and dry leaves. The dimly lit atmosphere and counter current temperatures had sent a number of them into sleep, and the others simply lazed about, watching the lick of the flames. The newborn, Jer’s son, was the only one showing any activity, waddling around the fire and inspecting it closely, as if figuring out the very physics of it. There was no sign of Tal. Circling the quiet, unobservant group, i did not spot his face. My mother had noticed my arrival, and made space within the circle for me to lodge into. I sat there and wriggled to bring about some level of comfort. The others eventually noticed my intrusion and greeted me with lazy grunts – due to our cold-bloodedness, the lack of heat made us much less energetic and enthusiastic than usual. All except the newborn, who was busy exploring his surroundings. It seemed that he was already attempting to speak what he would hear, and was approaching individuals at random within the circle with gargled and senseless mouth sounds, that would occasionally resemble simple word structure. He stumbled over to me, close to collapsing into my lap before steadying himself. His eyes met mine, and I saw a little hint of something strange within his slit pupils. Wagging his stumpy tail, he gave his little speech, to which my reply was an approving grunt. The little Hork-Bajir yelped out in an unexpected burst of excitement, so much so that he almost fell flat on his face if it were not for my outstretched arm. I helped him towards his mother, who had been awoken from sleep by her childs outburst. She took him into her arms and he yawned in appreciation. “Where is Tal Ganat?” Came my mother’s curious voice. Her claw reached forward, and i took the leftover bark that it held. “I do not know... I have not seen him at all today.” Her eyes were struck with confusion, and she could not think of anything to say. Instead, she stared at me with concern. The bark no longer seemed tasteful, and it dropped from my dry snout. Tal was still missing. Hork-Bajir, when mated, never wilfully part from one another for long periods, and this period had felt almost like years. In this weather, there was no chance of him finding his way back. He may have been searching, in which case he would not last more than a few hours. Mother realised this, and took a studying glance around the group. None of them knew of his relationship with me yet. I swept away the food that sat on my rumbling belly. The instinct to search for my mate was stronger than the knowledge that finding him in the blizzard was near impossible. My mother obstructed me as I got up. “No Toby. Tal safe. Tal come when sun is back.” Against my better judgement, I decided to ignore her. She understood and retreated, safe in the knowledge that I was not stupid enough to freeze myself in the snow. The blizzard was showing little sign of calming, and battered hard at my body the moment I left the mouth of the cave. I crawled up the small slope that circled the entrance and observed the camp. Still no sign of him. Several ideas swept through my head, all suggestive of his location. The first that came to mind was the clinic. Cassie had mentioned of his curiosity earlier today, and I would not put it past him to try to investigate the enclosures surroundings further. This meant that he may be lost due to the severely limited vision. It also meant that he could be anywhere. A more daunting vision was one of the local, though distant city we had visited for the parade. Hopefully though, the distance would have put him off. This left one final location. Terry’s restaurant. I remembered last night’s outing, and the small collection of exotic trees behind the restaurant. Tal had taken close attention to the bark that I had gorged on most. I remembered clearly. A scene played through my head: Tal would wake early from our sleep. He would crawl quietly from the nest, with intention to sneak to the restaurant and pick from the finest trees, and arrive back before I woke with intention to treat me. It was a pleasant vision, but equally worrying – he did not know the way. I concluded that this was the most likely situation. He would be lost between here and the restaurant. Hopefully he would have given up and found a tree to stay in, rather than continuing the search and moving further away. After only a minute or two of shelter, I was once again outside, and really beginning to feel the cold. Recalling the way to Terry’s, I bounded with all the energy I had in that direction. The blizzard was blowing from behind now, which i suppose i should have been thankful for. The snow was light, but at such speeds it felt like i was being pounded with stones. Without sufficient heat, it was difficult to reach full pace, and only every few metres i had to take a break, where I would shelter behind any large-trunked tree I could find. Before long, the sweet scents of the foreign bark began to prise open my nostrils. It came as a blessing, and urged me onwards to the direction from which it flowed. By now, the need for food was becoming ever more a priority, so I rushed on. Terry’s restaurant sat solidly within the difficult conditions. The exterior was obviously much better constructed than the interior, which had been destroyed (by me of course), and easily shook off the extreme weather. The heat generated kept it from complete burial, and even radiated to shower me with pleasant warmth. It took force to put off the instinct to cram my face with all the bark I could get my claws on. This time, my head took control, and I headed for the main entrance of the restaurant. The restaurant looked empty, most likely due to transport issues, or perhaps the decor was not entirely repaired as of yet. Strolling past the wide marble pillars by the entrance, I took time to let in the heat and restore lost energy. I calmly pushed through the double-doors, with the over-powering odours of candle wax and human re-informing me of my presence now outside of my enclosure. I was quickly greeted by an unusually slender human male, sporting a tuft moustache and a suspicious comb-over. His suit suggested to me that the restaurant was actually not closed at all, and the scraping of plate-upon-plate in the background backed this up. Whether this was good or bad was not yet certain, but I worried for the customers who would have to dig their cars from under the snow afterwards. The waiter sneered, the look alone telling me that I was not wanted in the upper class human establishment. “Your kind belongs outside.” He said with a hint of superiority. “Run along now, back to your tree. We don’t want any difficulties.” “I am here to see Terry O’Donnell.” Barely a twitch from a face stiffer than a board. “I do not wish to have to call Horace.” He let the threat hang for a second. “Now shoo, before you disturb the aroma.” Feeling insulted, I repeated my request. “I am here to see Terry O’Donnell. Please inform him that Toby Hamee wishes to speak to him.” An eyebrow rose, but he was still showing disinterest and a general disgust of my being. “I see...” Neither one of us spoke, and we stood in a terribly awkward silence. He did not care who I was, that was for certain. I was not prepared to walk away though. “I am a friend of his, you can ask him yourself.” He huffed rudely, and with frustration slinked away through the left passageway and down to a grey door that had been placed away in a corner from view. I assumed these to be the entrance to the kitchen and offices. Much to my relief, the weather was beginning to settle, and before long the blizzard had been reduced to a steady fall. I saw snow-covered cars in the background, which made me wonder why anyone would brave the extremes to eat at a restaurant. The fog that accompanied the snow was rising from the white surface, and visibility began to return. I saw streetlights and headlights flashing in front of the restaurant. “Ahem...” I turned to see the waiter back at his post. “Mr. O’Donnell has agreed to speak to you. He is in the kitchen.” The distaste in his voice was clear, and so was his look of defeat, and as I strolled down the left-hand passageway in search of the kitchen, I heard him sneer and curse behind me, followed by the distinct sound of an air spray. Perhaps I should have considered washing. The approach to the kitchen brought about a new collection of sounds, the noises of conversation and cutlery swiftly replaced by sizzling pans and the calling of orders. The smells of food preparation replaced the pungency of the perfumes that dwelled by the entrance. Looking through the small window on the kitchen door, I spotted Terry shouting out orders to his staff, who bustled around the kitchen tending to the ovens and the saucepans. A sign was posted upon the door. A brief scan informed me that perhaps I should not enter. I was not wearing appropriate clothing - no clothing at all for that matter - nor had I washed my claws. Then again, I had already broken a rule in the first place by simply being in here, considering a notice by the entrance saying ‘no animals’. Why not break two more? I stepped in onto the slippery floor, whilst attempting to stay casual and nonchalant. Hopefully Terry would spot me before I sent the chefs into hysterics. Unfortunately for me, luck had not been on my side as of late. A female chef turned from her station, cradling a tray of human food. The first sight of me sent the tray flying through the air and landing by my feet. Food and liquid spilled everywhere. “I am very sorry...” I said sheepishly, reaching down to pick up what had been dropped. Little did I know that the tray I had clutched had just been exposed to hundreds of degrees in a heated oven. This, once again, sent the tray flying, and left me with a burnt hand. Terry was quick to arrive at the scene and calmed his staff with ease. They retreated to their posts, looking baffled. “Well if it isn’t Toby Hamee!” He greeted, a great big grin on his freshly shaven face. “Hello Terry. I hope you do not mind my intrusion.” “It could have been a little more graceful, but you’re always welcome here. I would offer you a table, but we’re full. Critics, you see.” He turned to look at swinging double doors, giving way to chefs and waiters. In the background, I saw the dining room, filled with smartly dressed humans, either eating or patiently waiting for a meal. “They’re reviewing the restaurant.” “Ah. So these are not regular customers?” “No. Who would drive here in this weather anyway? I’ve never seen such a blizzard in my life.” With a spare hand he took a small post-it note from the worktop and handed it to a wandering chef. He then began to un-button his outer chefs clothing and dropped it on a spare desk. “Come on, let’s get out of here before a critic comes in. They won’t be too impressed when they see a giant space lizard in the kitchen.” He led me out of the kitchen and back into the less hectic hallway between the kitchen and the main entrance. He straightened his dark red tie and shuddered at the cooler climate. “So what’s on your mind? Not come to destroy my restaurant again have you?” It surprised me that he meant it as a joke. “Are you hungry? We’ve got some leftover chilli noodles.” “No thank you, I am not here for food.” “Are you sure? Either it gets eaten or we throw it out.” “Cassie has told me never to eat chilli.” I informed him. “She says I may explode.” “Right...” He raised a thick eyebrow. “I think what she means is that you might not be able to handle it.” He grinned. “That is what I suspect.” I shook my head and brought the conversation back on track. “Tal has gone missing. I have not seen him all morning.” He shifted his weight to one leg. “Surely there is a reasonable explanation. Maybe he came for some of my Beef steak. It’s today’s special.” “We... slept in my nest. He was not there when I woke up, and he has not returned since.” I slumped. “Nobody has seen him, and I fear he is lost out in the storm.” “Sorry Toby. I haven’t seen him. Why don’t you trying searching up by the war memorial?” “Actually, I was wondering if we could check the videos of the security cameras that you mentioned.” He paused indecisively. “What makes you think we would have caught him? The cameras only show a forty yard radius of the restaurant.” I sighed and twiddled my toes. Of course, finding Tal on Terry’s security cameras was a long-shot, but by this point I was desperate, and the worry was building within me. “Please, Terry. He has tasted the bark from your trees. He may have come for more.” Terry placed his hands on his hips and bit his lip. “Alright then, but I can’t be spending the whole day looking over security tapes.” I thanked him as he reached into his trouser pocket and pulled out a selection of keys. He searched through the mess until he found the one he was looking for. He used it to open another door, to the side of the corridor. The brightness decreased as we moved into what appeared to be an office block. There was a computer on a desk, flashing a spreadsheet of numbers and costs, accompanied by a cold cup of coffee and a stack of files and folders. Grey filing cabinets lined the wall, divided by a single white door. On the door sat the word ‘Security’. This door was already unlocked. Inside was a room filled on one side with what appeared to be a large television screen, split into twenty smaller screens, all showing a different, still image in black and white monotone. Before the screens, operating a laptop in her lap was a human female, with flowing brunette hair wrapped neatly into a ponytail. She turned and jumped in her swivel chair. “Linda, we’re replacing you.” Terry said. The initial shock on her face twisted to a smile. “Hello to you too Terry.” Yet again, another form of human humour had me baffled... “Toby here wants to look over the tapes, is that ok?” “Yeah, that’s fine. I haven’t got much else to do right now.” She said, with an Irish accent just like Terry. She looked over me like she was trying to recognise me from somewhere. “Toby Hamee?” “Yes.” I said. “Hello Linda.” “Hi Toby. I’ve seen you on the TV before.” She replied with a very welcoming tone. She pulled out a wooden stool from under the desk and offered it to me. I gratefully took it and sat beside her, staring up at the many screens. Terry stood and looked over our shoulders. “I loved the greenhouse gases thing. You’re so funny!” Linda continued. It was embarrassing that the only reason someone would recognise me would be from the ’incident’ on national television. “Yes. That has been brought up many times...” “Don’t be embarrassed. You practically made yourself a celebrity. The timing was perfect.” Thankfully, Terry decided it was time to further introduce her, and spare me. “Linda and I come from the same village over in Ireland. We’ve known each other since we were only little.” Linda leaned towards me and spoke quietly to my ear. “He needs me for protection.” “Protection? Ha!” “You always make me do your dirty work.” Linda retorted playfully. “That’s what I pay you for.” Linda noticed my blank stare and shook her head with a grin. “You’ll understand when you get to know him.” Her fingers began to tap on her laptop. I was still lost. The screens went blank, and the small timer at the top right of each turned to zero. Linda was altering settings on her laptop, and the screens suddenly flashed back up. The timer told us that it was midnight. “How far back are we looking Toby?” She asked me. I tracked back in my head. The clock on the far wall showed fifteen minutes past one, so I had been awake for approximately three to four hours. I did not know what time Tal had left the nest though. “I must have woken between nine and ten o’clock. May we skip the tapes to, say, seven o’clock?” “Sure.” And within a flash, the tapes fast-forwarded to the desired time. Terry, meanwhile, was grooming his hair. “I’ll leave you girls to it. Don’t forget the coffee though.” Linda nodded. “Gotcha. We shouldn’t be too long.” Four hours passed. I and Linda had been sat in front of the computers, tediously watching over the tapes and finding little more than the occasional car or jogger. I had not yet lost faith, but Linda was getting increasingly sceptical. “I am convinced that he has passed by here.” I told her, my eyes fixated on the screens that showed nothing more than the close surroundings of the restaurant. “Look, Toby...” She massaged her forehead and folded her legs in her seat. “I think we had better stop now. We’ve seen nothing.” My hearts sank, and my eyes finally dropped from the screens. My claws clutched around the cup of black coffee that sat on my lap and kept me awake. The mild taste of caffeine and the concern for my lost mate had caused an unfamiliar paranoia that gave me sudden fits of shivering, and the drips of coffee that stained my legs showed her my fear of the worst. She helpfully placed her warm human hand on my shoulder. My eyes faithfully re-examined the screens in hope of any hint that would lead me to Tal, but as the timer struck 1AM, any hope that remained dwindled and faded. “I’m sorry.” Linda said. “But this means nothing. I’m certain he’s still out there. Maybe he will be back there waiting for you right now.” “Yes.” I replied bluntly, my uncertainty portrayed with an uneasy sip of my coffee. “You poor thing. Don’t worry, I’ll keep watching the cameras and if he turns up anywhere near here, I’ll see him. He can’t have gone fa-“ “Wait!” The outburst shocked even me, as my concentration diverted entirely to the twelfth screen. A small, darkly-coloured blob was visible at the top left side of the screen with a view of the main road heading toward the clinic. “That was not there before.” Wincing at the tiny monotone image, she saw it to. “It’s nothing. Just looks like debris. Wood perhaps.” “Bark.” I corrected. She blinked, and the laptop was open in an instant. The tapes began to rewind at speed, and both our eyes watched the small blob on the screen. A minute passed, and all of a sudden, it disappeared. She stopped the tape, and then it began to play. We continued to stare, unblinking at the single screen, looking at the top corner where the blob was before. “There!” In a split second, what looked like a foot flashed over the very top of the left-top-hand corner of the screen, and the small black object dropped to the ground. The foot came and went, too quick to identify, but Linda once again rewound the tape, and it played again, this time in slow motion. The foot showed again, and we paused as it passed over the corner. We both stared, and I was quick to give my answer. “Tal.”

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Re: #55 The Madness [WARNING: Contains disturbing/sexual scenes]

Post by Blueberry Chicken » Sun Feb 21, 2010 11:30 am

Awesome! I'm guessing that we aren't going to get the answer to the Ellimist's choice for a chapter or two.

Becky guessed Tal. Maybe she's psychic.

I think that many people hate needles, Toby.

I'm going to take a wild guess and assume that the little baby is a seer.
"Sass, back before you, me, Blu, Vulf and BB used to roll together.We were tighter than emo jeans."
-Dest