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    Hydnum gently pulled a branch of berries from its core, examining each of the red bulbous pieces of fruit before placing it in her basket. She stood from her kneeling position. Having picked all the ripe fruit from the bush it was time for her to move to the next. The tinkling sound of birds as they flitted throughout the forest, hopping from tree to tree, as well as the cool breeze was the calming acceptance of the forest floating pleasantly over her senses. That was when the ball of flame fell from the sky. She watched in curious awe as it descended from the clouds, trailing smoke black as pitch in its wake.

    She stared at the billowing black cloud as it plummeted toward the water below. Hydnum lifted her hand to shade her face from the sun as she gazed at the ball of fire only to realize that there was something inside of it. Without thought she took off, heading straight for the place where the falling thing would land.

    Basket in tow she hopped over thick tree roots and dodged around bushes and branches. Creatures tittered at her as she disrupted their daily life but she was in too much of a hurry to apologize. The multiple bells in her ears jingled as she moved and her ankle bracelets clanked together in response to her speed. She raced the wind but couldn’t find the normal joy in her heart for her freedom of movement.

    Hydnum reached the edge of the bowl that made up the Lord’s Cup. Named for its size and curved shape, the forest people believed the lake was what the gods used to drink from. Standing atop a grey rock that protruded just off the edge of the lake, Hydnum watched as the ball of flames hit the water with a loud smack, sending waves rolling throughout the bowl after it. The water hissed and bubbled as whatever had been in the fire sank into the depths of the lake.

    Tossing her basket to the side Hydnum jackknifed into the water. Paddling deep Hydnum was startled to see what had resided inside the ball. A man, of sorts, floated before her and he was…beautiful. His skin was a deep blue and stone like in texture. His body was chiseled and large as if sculpted from the largest of marble columns. He was adorned only in wide leg pants that floated freely in the water’s current.

    His inky black hair drifted away from his face as he sank slowly into the water, flowing around his horns. And what magnificent horns they were. Black at the base, they curved up and away from his head. As the eye traveled up their bend they twisted into a deep, ruby red curling like a ram’s horn only to be tipped in white, just so.

    Hydnum had an urge to touch them but instead she reached out to grip the tattered cloth wrapped around his eyes. Pulling it away she was met with hollow holes. Someone had removed this beautiful creature’s eyes.

    Realizing they had begun to drift back up to the top of the lake surface Hydnum gripped the man under his arms and dragged him the rest of the way up. Sucking in a gulp of breath once at the surface again Hydnum pulled the large creature toward the water’s edge, not quite sure how she was going to get him out of the Lord’s Cup.

    Looking around she found a cropping of rocks that was just a short space away from the smooth surface of the wall. Swimming over to it she hooked the man’s arms over the rocks and tried to prop him on it as best she could. Once he was as secure as she could possibly make him she made her way back to the wall and leapt easily out of the pool.

    Once out she hunted for a vine strong enough to hold his weight, but one that was flexible enough to yield as she stretched and tugged at it. Her search took her deeper into the forest than she had originally intended but she rushed back to her new find as quickly as her small feet would carry her.

    Diving back in she wrapped the vine around his waist multiple times and then hopped back out to wind it around a thick tree for leverage. Many heave-hos and near drops or vine snaps later Hydnum finally removed the creature from the Lord’s Cup. Plopping down next to his still unconscious body in exhaustion she stared at his features once again and found that he was even more beautiful to her outside the water.

    With water traveling down his well-muscled body in rivulets she found she had urges to--. He moaned right as the thought danced across her mind. Leaning over him in concern Hydnum tapped his cheek to rouse him further. She wasn’t prepared for the results of that tap. With a snap of movement he surged forward wrapping a large, claw tipped hand around her throat. At the same time he rolled into a standing position, legs spread shoulder length apart as he dangled her easily in the air. She clutched at his hand, heart racing. She was about to die.

    The beast opened his mouth to say something when he began to choke, sputtering up water. His grip loosened on her throat and she took that opportunity to bolt into the forest. The sound of his choking and wheezing followed her as she ran through the trees. That was the last time she would be saving anybody, even if they were devastatingly beautiful.

     

    ***************

    Kopos’ stomach heaved as he vomited up more water; his body pushed hard trying to empty him of the unwanted fluid. His legs had given out on him and he now knelt in the hard dirt as he sucked in gulps of air between heaves. Finally he seemed to be empty of all the water and he stood on shaky legs stumbling in the direction of the tiny creature he’d frightened.

    First he followed the sound of her movements, an elusive sound as she moved as silently as a light breeze, a leaf that danced on the wind. But the further he got in to the dense forest the easier it became to track her scent.  She smelled of lilacs and honeysuckle, a unique and calming combination. As he tracked her he caught the sound of bells tinkling and recalled instantly that he’d heard the sound when she was leaning over him…and then dangling in his grasp.

    Kopos flinched, that was a cruel way to treat a woman, and even crueler when understanding that it was his savior that he handled so roughly. Kopos dodged around trees and over the uneven terrain with ease. All of his senses were wide open now that he wasn’t waking up from being on the verge of death and he was in tune with the life around him. He could almost see the world better than someone who had their eyes.

    Finally he reached a small clearing with soft, lush grass under his feet, the sun warming his face gently as it was filtered through a spattering of leaves. Lifting his face he inhaled deeply and was instantly engulfed in lilac and honeysuckle. He’d found her home.

    “I know you’re there.” His voice was hoarse, deeper than normal. Almost as if something weighed him down. Around him nature continued its daily routine but there was no response to his words.

    “Please, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to frighten you. “

    He waited, heart hammering in his chest. Kopos had faced down large, earth shaking creatures that could do dire things to his person. He had argued with gods, travelled the worst corners of the planet. He’d even stood and watched as the world was destroyed and reshaped anew and still he knew no fear like he did in this moment. Not like he did now, waiting for a small creature to come out of hiding for him.

    “Then.” Kopos sucked in a silent breath and held so still he could have been made of stone. “Then why did you do it?”

    Dear gods above but her voice was beautiful. Soft and tinkling like a small wind chime, melodic like a bird song and quiet, so very quiet.

    “It was somewhat of a natural reaction. I had just gotten out of a life or death situation, with me being closer to death than I care to be. Did I hurt you?” He asked her tentatively. Every nerve in his body was centered on where she stood and he fought the urge not to go to her. To feel her face, find out what she looked like under his sensitive finger tips. Yet he held himself rigid, rooted in place for fear that any movement on his part would send her scurrying away again.

    He felt, more than he heard her step from behind the tree line and into the open space with him. He felt like a large predator trying to convince a very small, very cute and furry prey that he was harmless. Come closer little prey.

    “A little.” She said softly and could almost imagine her sliding her fingers over her throat. The spot where he had gripped her was probably bruising and swelling. Kopos flinched internally once again. His shame knew no bounds at his mistreatment of his savior.

    Dropping to one knee Kopos bowed his head in apology, unsure of how else he could make up for his actions. However his swift movement startled her and she bolted around the tree quick as a gust and quiet as a mouse. Only she didn’t stay there. His senses told him that she had also scurried up a tree and was now hiding from him above grounds. Clearing his throat Kopos thought hard on how he could make this situation better, not worse, but he was failing to find a solution to his problem.

    How did one catch the wind?

    Speaking as gently as possible Kopos posed his savior a question. “Is there anything I may do to make it up to you?”

    “Why?” Another shiver raced down and his spine, and a single word too. This was getting out of hand.

    “Because I mistreated you unjustly, especially after you saved my life.” He turned his head, automatically following her movements across the branches above him. She was grace itself.

    “So you will give me something I want in exchange for my acceptance of an apology?”

    “That is the gist of it, yes.”

    “Mmm,” Her voice was to the left of him, leaning against a trees based. It startled to realize that he had missed her return to the ground. He was far too immersed in the beauty of her voice. “Then…may I have your horns?”

    If Kopos’ eyes had still remained within his skull he knew that he would have blinked and stared at her in startled awe of such a request. As it was he felt his entire body go stiller yet.

    “So pretty.” Her voice held longing and amazement in it as she took a cautious step forward, almost as if she did not intend to do it. “When you go still like that, you almost look like a statue. One that is meant to guard the forest and all of its inhabitants. As if you have been here since the beginning of time and will remain long after time no longer exists.”

    Another step, and another, and all the while Kopos was lulled by her voice, the daintiness of her step. He wondered, if he were such a statue, would she come to this spot often, sit on his knee and tell him tales that she learned, jokes that she made up, hang ornaments on him because it pleased her?

    “Both of my horns my lady?

    “What?”

    Kopos smiled, it seemed he was the only one woefully distracted. “Would my lady like both of my horns or will one do?”

    *************

    Hydnum shook her head trying to put her mind back on the track of their conversation. Oh right, she had asking him for his horns. As her mind caught up elation filled her. He would just give them to her? To keep no less!

    But as she stared at his kneeling form her little bubble of joy popped. This magnificent creature would not be whole without his horns. Their loss would detract from his magnificent beauty and she would not wish to be the one to do that. No, she shook her head once more. Someone had already do ne that by removing his eyes. But what was left was still so intangibly beautiful to her, like the stone statue she had mentioned before, here to guard her forest and well within reach but so remotely confined to itself and the duty it held. No outside force could disrupt, not without chipping away at its beauty. Hydnum would not be the one to do that.

    “Neither.”

    “Neither, my lady?” The look of sheer and utter confusion on his face was so perfect Hydnum was unable to halt her giggle from passing her lips. It gurgled up unexpectedly and she childishly tried to catch it with her fingers.

    He seemed to lock on to her position even more firmly, cocking his head to the side. Hydnum got the impression that he was savoring the sound. How…odd.

    “Yes, neither. I would not like to be the one to take such magnificent structures away from you.”

    “So then there is nothing I can do to make up for my transgression?”

    Hydnum thought about it for a second. It seemed to genuinely bother him, his having frightened her as well as injuring her. But as she grasped onto the thought of what she truly wanted Hydnum had to decide if the desire was worth the risk.

    “First do you promise not to hurt me anymore?” She asked tentatively she took yet another step towards the giant beast that knelt before her.

    “This I swear on my life my lady.” His face became so intense she believed he would give a blood oath if she asked for it. Blood oaths were a contractual promise, a deal of sorts that was something typically only warriors made, and only to certain people. Warriors made blood oaths rarely because that bound them for all eternity, and it was quite clear that her water logged beast was very much a warrior, blind or not.

    “Then, may I touch them?” Another step.

    “My horns?”

    “Yes.”

    “You seem rather fascinated by them.” He seemed amused by the realization, Hydnum was curious as to why. “Most other creatures, females especially, find them to be quite intimidating.”

    But Hydnum just shook her head to head at his statement. “The males of my species have horns.”

    “Ah.” This revelation appeared to have answered a question for him, though Hydnum had no recollection of him asking one. “Then by all means my lady.” He said with a bow of that powerful head.

    Hydnum felt an unexpected smile light up her face, was finally going to get to touch those magnificent horns!

    Rushing forward Hydnum stopped just in front of that powerful kneeling form, reached out to touch, but hesitated. She couldn’t fathom why though, she was practically vibrating with excitement at being able to place her hands on his horns. But something was stopping her from doing it. Just then a terrible could be heard from high above in the sky. Jerking back they both glanced up towards the noise.

    It appeared something else would be falling from the sky on this day.

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nicawhite
Karma Street
Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
United States
I write. So far I read more than I write but I'm hoping to change that soon. I love supernatural creatures, all except for ghosts and zombies.

Current Residence: Georgia
deviantWEAR sizing preference: 3X
Favourite genre of music: Old school R&B
Favourite style of art: All
MP3 player of choice: ipod
Skin of choice: <- What does it mean?
Favourite cartoon character: Courage the Cowerdly Dog
Personal Quote: You didn't just walk into that one. No you ran, jumped off the cliff, and dove for it.
Interests
I've been thinking more and more about commissioning an artist to do a chibi version of Rayne. However, I have never commissioned anyone before and finding an artist I like for the idea is harder than I thought. Does anyone have an artist they know/watch that I could commission for the job?

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:iconuniquest:
UniQuest Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for the fave ! (: surprise 
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nicawhite Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
My pleasure!
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Elena-Clio Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for the fave =P (Razz)
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nicawhite Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
My pleasure
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sasha-fantom Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2014

Thanks a lot for the :iconfavplz: ! :)  :love:

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nicawhite Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Always a  pleasure.Clap 
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sasha-fantom Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2014
Thank you very much  for the :iconfav3dplz:! :)  :iconbouquetplz:     
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nicawhite Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Any time
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sasha-fantom Featured By Owner May 20, 2014

Thanks  for the :iconfav3dplz:! :)  :iconoak-elfglitter:

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nicawhite Featured By Owner May 21, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Always a pleasure!Clap 
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