a broken crown: dark clouds - 1010 words

Chapter 12: dark clouds - 1010 words

#3 Kag Mantas

Draw or write your character encountering a kag, or a whole flock of them. Your piece must include your character, indication of a forest, and at least one kag.





The eternal sat down on the cap of a large mushroom. The oversized fungus reacted to touch with lights pulsing through its stem and gills. Its lit-up, multicolored structures wailed under the man's weight, like squeaky hinges made of foam and rotting wood.


"Oh, shut up," Caspian cursed softly at the shroom seat, a vexed hiss trailing the path of his tongue like a shadow. He set his elbow on his knee, and followed the action by leaning his head into his raised palm. He let out a sigh, as heavy as a thundercloud dying to cry.


There were no words to describe how much he hated this place. It had taken so much from him, and given barely nothing back for it. When Caspian had learned how to navigate around his own ship's appetite for destruction and heartache, something sinister hidden deep within Faedin's forests had taken the reins where the machine-thing had left them.


It was all just so fucking unfair. He had enough shit to worry about as is. Then came along some who-knew-what that turned it all over and shook it around like a snowglobe. Broke more bones when the last ones shattered hadn't even healed yet.


Not that healing was even an option. Maybe for anyone else.


Not him.


Yes, sure - he had gained a few friends. Caspian was happy about it, truly. It was a glimmer of light and hope in the darkness he was used to swimming. It just didn't feel worth it. How could it ever be worth the things he had done because of the agony that something had pushed and pulled him through?


It had made him a monster he didn't even remember he had been when it was all over. He had become violent in ways he hadn't even known to be possible.


Only Steve had stood between him and his unexplainable anger. Without her, Nathaniel would've died right then and there. She didn't want to show the recordings to her master, but Caspian didn't let it be. In the end, she simply had to.


He had never understood the things he saw in them. Caspian could see his body move on the screen, but he didn't recognize it. The trajectories were wrong. Too stiff. Too snappy. The way those hands made themselves bleed. How they bent the ichor from their own veins - it wasn't right. They knew exactly what they were doing. How to utilize the things that came from the crimson-colored crystallization.


And the eyes were hollow. Something horrible had taken everything that it ever could. There was no space for reason, for light, for laughter - or even love.


He could've avoided all that pain and trouble. If Caspian could've just gone back to being happy with that stupid dragon, he would've ditched any of them in a heartbeat. If that was what it would've taken, he would've done it. No friend was worth it all.


It was a lie he kept telling himself. He would never. They weren't even a happy couple. Not truly. When the well began spitting up dust instead of drink, they only held their claws around each other's throats because they benefitted from the relationship - no matter how disgusting it felt to admit it.


In all honestly, Caspian didn't actually know why Nathaniel hadn't jumped the sinking ship. The shifter knew what his own reasoning was. It was selfish, it was awful - and it made him sick.


What did the silver-scaled dragon have to lose, anyway?


Something brushed over the eternal's earlobe. Softly poked his dangling earrings. A curious, purr-like sound made Caspian turn towards the side. He attempted to swat that whatever away with his hand, but the mushroom crying in creaks under him gave in. A part of its cap broke off, and took the shifter with it, down to the vibrant-colored moss.


The fall wasn't long, nor painful. His feet had easily reached the ground from his natural bench, after all.


Caspian looked up. Straight at him stared a small creature - it was a juvenile kag manta. It blinked all of its multiple, white eyes one by one, and rolled in the air playfully.


The shifter didn't approve its presence. Just another nail in the coffin that happened to be his cranium, and held memories he didn't want to have. If it was his choice, he would've never seen another kag, ever again. Like so many things, they were yet another knife deep in his side, twisted to sink right between his ribs. Caspian inhaled.


No syllable or shout left his lips, before a huge kag dove down. It snorted spores and - presumably - snot right at the eternal. Whether it was because the animal had a hunch of the man's hostility, or just simply to get a young one to keep up, was anyone's guess. The juvenile kag spun around in the air a few times, before it floated up as if swimming in the breezes. It joined a flock of its kind high up, and the adult manta followed its trail sluggishly.


Caspian watched the creatures float by above, his face telling tales of both wonder, and discordant sadness. He wanted to enjoy the sight, as beautiful as it was - but it only shoved a thorn after thorn through his windpipe. The Athos got up, and dusted himself off. He looked around. Scanned and listened. Waited and pondered.


No one napping on the moss. No lyres. No screaming - and no boars.


The shifter scoffed, bitterly disappointed. What a stupid, impossible wish. Grow up.


Caspian ruffled his hair, frustration pinching his eyes shut. He couldn't help a growl making its way up his throat and through his gritted teeth. He turned to where he had come from. The stomped moss and bent branches felt like they were beckoning him to go back.


Perhaps they truly were.


Screw everything. Who cared if Steve was done or not. He'd sit in the dark if he had to. He wasn't going to stay out here a second longer than it was required.


NEXT (not quite yet) >

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