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○ Spring has arrived

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○ Forest and Rain had their second litter of puppies, and someone familiar who went missing for years has made their appearance shortly after their birth. How mysterious...

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Little Zahnt and the Shadow Garden

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Little Zahnt and the Shadow Garden

Post by Forest on Wed 10 Dec - 22:41

Zahnt peeked into the dining room the rest of his little body hidden behind the corner. The only two people in the room were his teacher, Master Amoshodd, and the current King of Anglocannica, King Arash. Spread out across the table with a showy elegance were plates and bowls of food for dinner. And across the room, waiting on a small food shelf was a plate of freshly baked cookies for dessert. The seven year old boy immediately went into stealth mode. He wanted a cookie, and he was going to get one. The shelf they were on might be high, but that would only be a minor disadvantage. Zahnt eyed the two adults in the room. Their backs were turned to him. Perfect.

The boy slowly crept out from behind the corner and began slowly stalking across the room. He was careful to place his feet softly to prevent his boots from making too much noise when they came in contact with the polished wooden floor. Soon Zahnt had reached the shelf upon which the cookies lay. Or rather, the spot beneath the shelf. The boy narrowed his blue eye and yellow eye in unison as they stared up at the shelf. Luckily, there was a counter beside the shelf. All Zahnt had to do was get on top of that, and then the cookies would be within his reach. There were, however, a few cooking utensils still lying upon the surface of the counter. He would have to use extreme caution if his mission was to succeed.

Zahnt cast a glance over at the men. Still talking, and more importantly, still unaware of his presence. The boy reached up with his hands and set them on top of the counter. He moved them back and forth very slowly to make sure that the space was clear for him to climb onto. Once he had ensured this, he placed his hands more firmly, and jumped slightly. His boots gripped the side of the counter quite well, providing the ability for Zahnt to give himself a boost so that he was up on the counter. Once Zahnt was back on his feet, he found himself face to face with the plate of cookies. He reached out and grabbed the plate. Now, he bent down and set the plate on the counter. He looked over at the two men once more before sitting down on the counter. Unfortunately, as he did so, his burgundy cloak fell over a cooking whisk, and when the boy slithered down onto the floor, he took the whisk with him and sent it crashing onto the floor.

”Snotbag!” Zahnt cursed at the whisk. His master was sure to give him an earful for this. Despite knowing that he was caught, he shot out a hand and snatched a cookie, then proceeded to shove the entire thing into his mouth. ”Zahnt! What are you doing, boy?” came the exasperated voice of Amoshodd. Zahnt stared up at the man, his mouth full of cookie. At his master’s side was King Arash. The boy didn’t dare to look the King in the eye. Arash, not having any children, had been allowed to choose who would succeed him, and he had chosen Zahnt. The boy had no intentions of giving Arash any more reasons to reconsider his choice. Now he had to pretend to actually pay attention to and learn something from the lecture that was going to come from Amoshodd. Zahnt let his gaze slide off his master and onto the king for the moment. ’I’ll get that Amoshodd back when I’m king’ he thought.

”Zahnt, look at me” Amoshodd ordered, looking down sternly at the boy. Zahnt’s blue and yellow eyes fixated back onto his master’s own eyes. He tried as hard as he could to look ashamed of what he had attempted to accomplish. He had finally managed to swallow the cookie he had stuffed inside his mouth, and reached a hand up to dust away any crumbs on his face or clothes. There were a great many of them scattered across his gray vest. He soon became very much concentrated on getting every single, tiny, microscopic crumb off his clothes and onto the floor, but was interrupted by Amoshodd. ”Zahnt!” the man said loudly. The boy casually adjusted the collar of the white shirt he wore beneath his vest, and even ran a hand through his black hair for good measure before straining his neck to once again look up at Amoshodd.

”Why do you always do this? Zahnt, you are going to be king of our nation in only a very limited number of years! When are you going to begin acting like it? How childish of you to attempt to steal the fine dessert that the King himself went through the trouble to prepare for us tonight?” A flash of surprise shone through Zahnt’s eyes at what his master had to say in his last sentence. King Arash had made the cookies? ”Amoshodd, stop. He acts like a child because he is a child. He knows no better” Arash scolded gently. The King extended an arm, grabbed a cookie, and held it out to Zahnt. ”Why don’t you take this and go play outside until the cook calls you in?” Zahnt eagerly took the cookie, and thanked Arash for his generosity. The King gave him a smile and turned to grab a cookie of his own. Zahnt, now that Arash wasn’t looking, gave Amoshodd a smug look as he turned around and strutted out of the dining room.

Zahnt opened the door leading outside just as he finished the last bite of his cookie. The boy looked around at the vast expanse of land. Tonight, he wasn’t particularly interested in staying close to the castle; the forest in the distance seemed much more appealing. It’s lonely look made it all the more inviting. The boy took slow steps towards the forest, as if approaching it too quickly would cause it to scamper away and hide like a rabbit. However, going at this pace was quite dull to a young boy. Zahnt exploded with a sudden burst of speed, and within seconds was sprinting towards his destination.

Within the forest, it was as if Zahnt had passed through a portal into another world; one where everything was saturated with the ominously comforting element of twilight. The last stubborn rays of the setting sun were pierced by the ruthless pine needles. The ground was like an unfinished house, rough and uncouth in some areas, soft and elegant in others. The beloved scent of the fir trees permeated the entire forest, offering wanderers a distraction from the shadows lurking and prowling about like assassins. Silence descended. Only the occasional chirp of a bird retreating to its nest reminded the fearful that they were not alone. As the sun scorched the land with its final scarlet rays, the delicate atmosphere began to battle with its alternate personality. The shadows were stalking closer to their prey; the trees prepared to put on their nightly horror show.

Zahnt, however, had cared very little about the dangers of the forest, no matter if they were real or imagined by a few not in their right minds. He had slowed down to a casual walk, and was panting as he wandered around. The boy had not noted the direction he had entered the forest in, nor had he taken one of the trails. This, though, despite the risk it posed, brought with it an advantage. Zahnt, having no intentions or even an idea of doing so, would discover his own little secret. Unfortunately, it was a dark, twisted secret that others behold only in their nightmares.

As Zahnt strayed farther and farther into the woods, he noticed that some of the trees possessed the rusty color of dead pine needles instead of the usual healthy green. He just shrugged this off, figuring it was just a few bad trees. Yet venturing still farther seemed to disprove this theory. Soon Zahnt found himself surrounded by bare trees, their branches seeming to usher him in a certain direction. The boy thought this was quite odd, and the looming shadows that now danced under the rising moon added nothing positive to his mood.

Zahnt, beginning to become afraid of his eerie surroundings, stopped where he was. He was about to turn back, when a glimmering caught his eye. The first thing that shot through his veins was terror, but it was soon replaced by a curiosity once he saw it was not a threat. It was the moonlight reflecting off an iron gate that had been previously hidden away in the darkness. Zahnt looked over his shoulder, in case something had been behind him, watching as he analyzed what lay ahead. Nothing. But just as he turned his head back around, a noise, like a twig snapping, came from behind him, to the left. Zahnt whipped his body around like a tornado, holding one arm in front of his face.

Suddenly the sparse, bare firs seemed to contain every single fear-invoking beast and apparition that hid in the shadowy corners of boy’s imagination. Dark forms, now awakened, twisted and writhed out of the sinister depths of the cloudy section of the woods. Fangs and curved claws glinted; glowing eyes pierced through the thick veil of darkness. A chilling breeze weaved its way through the boy’s clothes, pricking his skin like a wave of needles. Imagined horrors, the desolate atmosphere, and the bitter wind indicated the presence of malice. Yet there was one thing that was much more nightmarish than all the other circumstances. The one puzzle piece that possessed no rightful place among the phantom members of the black painting. Something so sly and unsettling that it could creep inside someone’s head and tear them apart from the inside. The culprit was silence. The shadowy assassin had swiftly conquered the forest before it would ever have been possible to sense its arrival.

Zahnt, now filled to the brim with terror, forgot about the snapping he had heard earlier. The boy turned and started running full pelt towards the iron gates. He head no idea what lay beyond them, but it seemed much more appealing than the dreadful demons of the forest. Within the gates there seemed to be a sort of overgrown, abandoned garden. There were tall bushes and grasses, which contained hidden traps composed of twisted vines. Zahnt constantly tripped over these, and eventually found himself on the ground. Or rather, partially on the ground. One of his arms was left hanging down into a cold space of nothing. Before he could react the force of his fall grasped his hand and began pulling him into the gap. Zahnt twisted around in a desperate attempt to grab onto the side of the hole into which he was falling. He managed to get a grip, and was left hanging over a dark tunnel that could very well have death at its end. The boy, refusing to look at what lay beneath him, swung his free hand up to join his other hand. Zahnt began the exhausting job of trying to pull himself up and away from the black pit. The boy’s long skinny arms shook from the intense stress of lifting his weight up. Once his eyes were above the ledge, he shot a hand out and seized a vine. With a secure grip, Zahnt strained his already-tired arms once more. Finally, he was able to crawl up onto solid ground and get to his feet.

Zahnt shuddered as he turned and stared back down at the wide mouth of the pit. From this angle, he was able to see a stone staircase leading into the phantasmic abyss. With a fearful curiosity, the boy crept over to the entrance, moving much like a shadow himself. Resting upon the first step was a lantern, filled with oil and supplied with half a box of matches lying beside it. Zahnt had many times seen the adults strike a match, causing the end to ignite. Being a seven-year-old boy, Zahnt had often begged them to allow him to try, but each time he had been denied. But now, he had a chance to play with the flames, against orders. A childishly devious smirk split the boy’s face as he snatched up the match box, and pulled out  a single match. He flipped the box over, and dragged the top of the match against the box, his took on a confused and annoyed appearance when all that was produced were a few burning sparks. Narrowing his eyes, Zahnt attempted to strike the match again, this time faster. ”Come on, you snotbag.” He was rewarded with a small flame, which he slowly brought over to the wick of the lantern, After ridding the match of its glow, Zahnt turned to face the black curtain that hung in front of him. Still smug about his disobedience, the boy strutted down the stairs. ”Ha. No snotbag can tell me what to do. Ha!”

After what seemed to be hours, Zahnt reached the bottom of the staircase. Waving the lantern from side to side, the boy discovered that the inside of the hidden hideaway was surprisingly elegant. The walls were painted crimson, with a black lace-like design printed over it. The area in which Zahnt was walking appeared to be a long corridor with doors, spaced about ten feet from each other, alternating between the two sides. Scattered along the walls were framed black and white pictures that came in pairs, and looked as if a child had drawn them with a black crayon. As Zahnt shuffled along, he noticed that the pictures seemed to tell a story. The first two showed a picture of trees, the sun, and a smiling wolf. The next two were very similar, except that the sun was gone, and the wolf was no longer smiling. Next were three pictures all together, unlike the normal groups of two that had appeared earlier. The first of the three showed the now-frowning wolf in a dry, grassless place with two bare trees. The middle picture was the same scene, just with a crescent moon in the sky. The final picture displayed the wolf, with tears flowing out of its eyes and an open mouth. The next set of pictures contained only two, which showed the same wolf, still crying, but this time with a different, smiling wolf behind it. Beside that picture, the sandy place with the bare trees and the moon was being displayed. Neither of the wolves were in the scene. Past the next door was another set of three pictures. The first picture gave Zahnt a small scare. It showed a close-up of the wolf’s face, with its mouth wide open, and red blood gushing out of its empty eyes. Next in line was a picture that appeared to be a mass of intestines lying in a pool of blood. The last picture of the set showed the poor wolf hanging by a rope from the ceiling, with its tail tied to the floor. The wolf’s body had been stretched to the point where it had torn in the middle, being held together by just a few strands of tissue. And in the black background…was that a pair of eyes? Zahnt couldn’t tell. He was now not so eager to see what pictures came next. As he slowly made his way down the hall, two final pictures came into sight, the first showed a close-up of the eyes that had been barely noticeable in the previous picture. They appeared very malicious, and whoever possessed those eyes had some condition, for their left eye was a strikingly bright blue, while the right eye was an electric yellow. The ending picture was simply a black paper. Zahnt nervously twisted his fingers around the handle of the lantern he held. But…his eyes were the separate colors of blue and yellow.

The boy stood there for a moment, trying to process the macabre sights that had just struck him with a cold terror. His gaze was fixated on the picture of the eyes. It was as if he was simply staring into a funhouse mirror, with the curves distorting his frightened countenance into a satanic glare that preys upon the pureness of innocents, hoping to yank them into the darkness. A false promise, with a curtain of taunting glory hiding the melancholy shadows cast by the agonizingly evil truth.

Zahnt savagely ripped his gaze off the haunting picture and turned to stare instead at the door in front of him. Unlike the other doors, this one was not on one of the side walls; it was placed at the end of the corridor. The boy reached out his free hand and grabbed the doorknob. He slowly turned the knob and gently pushed the wooden door open. Zahnt held the lantern close to the entrance of the room he was about to enter. He was prepared to slam the door shut and make a mad dash all the way back to the safety of the mansion. The mansion. But Amoshodd was at the mansion. He probably wasn’t even worried about Zahnt. He was probably stuffing his face full of cookies right now. The boy forgot his timidity and swung the door wide open. ”That snotbag has no reason to worry about me” Zahnt declared, once again making use of his favorite word.

From the moment he opened the door, Zahnt could tell that this room was different from the hallway he was currently standing in. He could see that the floor was no longer wooden; it was gray stone bricks. The boy took a step inside, and was almost smacked in the face by the door swinging back shut. He shoved it back and stepped inside. The sound of the door closing was incredibly loud, suggesting that the room was quite small. Zahnt, however, couldn’t care less at the moment. Holding the lantern in front of him, he began to take bold steps forward into the interior of the room. When he reached the middle of the room, the lantern’s glow revealed a small stone pedestal. Set in the pedestal was a sword, as black as the night from which Zahnt had run. The inky blade was slightly tapered near the middle. However, the part of the blade near the hilt was jagged, resembling the branches of a leafless tree. The pointed black wings of the Devil himself, trimmed with gold, made up the cross guards. The sinister beauty was too much for such a young boy as Zahnt was. He reached out his free hand towards the sword, and as he did so, he noticed a word engraved on the pedestal. ”NIGHTSTAR.”

The boy’s fingers curled around the hilt. Realizing that he would need two hands, Zahnt set the lantern down, and placed his other hand above the one that was already on the sword’s hilt. After a bit of tugging, the ebony blade slid smoothly out of the stone. Zahnt let his left hand fall down to grab the lantern again. Without the support of both hands, Nighttstar’s pointed tip dipped towards the floor. Zahnt looked down at the sword. ”Huh.” The boy swung the sword up to his shoulder and let it rest there. He then stepped past the pedestal, and within a few more steps, he found himself staring at an eerie painting hanging on the wall of the far side of the room. Standing on a table partially hidden by the dark background was a possum-like creature with the fur, skin, and muscles on its head rotted away to reveal its entire skull. Zahnt cast his gaze onto the stone floor. Must he witness another wicked tale? A low hiss emanated from the painting, and seeped through Zahnt’s skin, where it traveled through his bones. The boy’s eyes snapped back onto the painting. The skeleton possum was now sitting, its head facing Zahnt. The boy jumped backwards, letting a small whimper of shock escape him. The lantern clattered as it hit the floor. Nightstar moved off the boy’s shoulder, the hilt tightly gripped by two little hands. The possum now stood. ”Unholy blade of starlight’s nightmares!” It hissed again as it jumped right out of the painting.

Zahnt stumbled backwards, his legs suddenly feeling weak. He stared down at the possum with fearful eyes. A demonic snicker came from the repulsive animal. The boy narrowed his eyes. This thing was taunting him. Zahnt frowned. ”Come on, you snotbag!” he yelled, lifting the sword up and to the side. He bent his knees, then pushed off the floor and dashed at the satanic creature. He swung the sword down with all his might. The possum didn’t even flinch as the blade crashed against the stone floor. Before the possum had a chance to chitter at Zahnt’s failure, Nightstar cracked against its skull. Zahnt looked down at the body, his chest heaving. ”Snotbag” the boy muttered, lifting the sword back up onto his shoulder. Slowly, the possum’s body disappeared, becoming part of the heavy air that hung in the stone room like an invisible fog. Out of curiosity, Zahnt picked the lantern back up and peered at the painting. The scene from before had vanished completely, and was replaced with a ”Z,” printed in fancy golden lettering. ”Huh.” He turned left from where he was standing and began walking. It wasn’t long before he was confronted by another fiendish painting.

Zahnt slowly set the lantern down, staring at the painting. It depicted a winged creature with a head much too big for its body. And…it lacked a face. There was just a huge mouth holding teeth that were covered in saliva. Some of it dripped down onto the stone the creature was crouching on. That was when the creature’s talons caught Zahnt’s eye. Seeing that the wings took the place of arms, a method of attack on its feet was necessary. On the ground behind the demon was a long, thin tail, like a lizard’s, curled slightly at the tip. The talons scraped across the stone as the creature stirred within its temporary residence of the painting. Its wings extended to their full length, then folded back again. The lizard tail uncurled and swept across the ground. The creature opened its mouth until it seemed as if its jaw would snap off. Saliva spattered the ground everywhere as it gnashed its teeth. Some of it slapped the stone at Zahnt’s feet. The boy looked down in disgust, and drew Nightstar in front of him. When he looked back up, the winged beast was standing directly in front of him. ”Feared power of the night!” came the shriek as the creature flung itself as the boy.

Zahnt’s skinny arms were too weak to get the sword in position and swing it in time. Luckily, it was in a position that prevented the greedy talons from drawing blood. After regaining his balance, Zahnt gripped the sword tightly, and swung it with him as he spun around. The blade bit into nothing but the heavy air of the chamber. The force of the swing disrupted Zahnt’s balance again, and exposed an opportunity for the beast in front to attack. The boy slammed against the ground as talons gripped his arms. Zahnt turned his head as saliva dripped down onto his face. He felt like throwing up, from both disgust and the fierce blow to his back and head. But now he had to get this thing off of him. He couldn’t do very much of anything; nothing he could kick would do any harm, since the creature’s tail was the only thing by his feet. And then his arms were pinned to the floor. Zahnt stared at the beast, trying to look intimidating, though he was beginning to panic. The beast’s teeth came terrifyingly close to Zahnt’s facem the jaws open as wide as the gaping trench that marked the entrance of this horrific nightmare.

A whimper escaped from the boy. Fear and regret joined hands and collided into Zahnt as a single, overwhelming wave, crashing over his head and drowning him. Zahnt’s mind spun like a crazed merry-go-round, rousing a sickening dizziness to stir inside the boy’s aching head. A third, invisible set of talons pierced his heart and bled the poison of despair into the fresh wounds. A disease composed of terror and dismay ran rampant through Zahnt’s veins, livid and greedy. It ravaged his body like the deadliest of storms; shattered his last bit of bravery until not even the shards remained. All that was left of the foolish yet admirably daring flame of the boy were only a few scattered components, just enough to rekindle a pathetic fire.

In this desperate moment, Zahnt realized that it could very well be his last. Another drop of saliva smacked his face. Zahnt was suddenly reminded of the dinner back at the mansion. The cookies. Amoshodd. Zahnt was supposed to get him back. Zahnt was supposed to be king. The boy’s eyes sparked with a newly reborn determination. ”I am the king!” Zahnt screamed, and slammed his feet together, successfully smashing the creature’s tail between them. A dragon-like screech came from the creature as its tail was roughly twisted. It released its grip on the boy’s arms and jumped into the air, where it flew to the ceiling. Zahnt was soon on his feet, his eyes holding the same ferocity that lived inside the sword he held. His mind began to concoct a plan. Nightstar was soon raised above Zahnt’s right shoulder. The beast prepared its attack. Zahnt tensed his muscles. The beast swooped. Zahnt swung. Nightstar sliced. The beast’s tail fell to the floor. The beast screeched, turned, and swooped again. Zahnt was already prepared. The tip of the sword was held straight in front of the boy, who had firmly braced himself. Once the unsuspecting creature was within reach, Zahnt shoved the blade forward and shut his eyes. He felt a tremendous force, then a heavy weight on his sword. When Zahnt opened his eyes, he saw that the tip of the sword was lodged in the beast’s head, and the beast itself was sprawled across the floor, bleeding profusely. Zahnt savagely yanked Nightstar out of the creature’s head. He then bent over and spat on the already fading body. ”I told you I was the king,” he said, smirking and putting his free hand on his hip. After holding his dramatic pose of triumph, the lantern was soon back in his hand, and his eyes were on the painting. Slowly, a golden letter ”B” appeared. Zahnt gave a quick nod at the painting before turning around and walking to the third wall.

The third wall’s painting presented a white-skinned animal-type being. Its chest and arms were broad, yet its middle was simply skin stretched over the beast’s spine. Attached to its short and skinny legs were small, slightly curved stakes crafted from iron. Another similar stake formed where the beast’s strong arms joined together. It was necessary that the arms of the brute were strong, for this stake was many times bigger than the two that replaced its feet. The last thing Zahnt noticed were two bloody, gouged out holes that marked its face, stealing the area where eyes would normally be. A snake-like tongue writhed out of a cone-shaped mouth to attack a glistening drop of scarlet blood. A low, guttural sound began to echo through the small room, starting out at a barely noticeable volume, but quickly becoming a deafening thunder that seemed to shake the ground. After suddenly ceasing to emit the sickening noise, the beast sent its tongue out to snatch another drop of blood before retreating again. The monstrous creature suddenly reared up on its spindly back legs, turned slightly, and slammed its huge iron stake down on the floor inside the painting. ”Essence of darkness!” the beast roared, rearing up again and propelling itself outside the painting.

Zahnt held Nightstar slightly to his right side, a stern look on his face. The boy saw no danger, as long as he stayed out of reach of the stake. Or rather, as long as he didn’t remain within reach long enough for the demon-being to strike. Now where was the optimal spot to attack? Zahnt didn’t have much time to think as the beast was beginning to approach him. He felt a calm sense of panic rise inside him. Zahnt had absolutely no knowledge of how to fight against any opponent. Though he had defeated the two previous painting creatures, this one appeared more dangerous, more than capable of inflicting a fatal blow. Zahnt  took slow steps backwards, observing the beast as it stumbled along, the huge front stake lifted in the air again. The brute’s highly emaciated middle bore most of the weight of the stake. Below its spine were the weak legs it used for transportation. If only Zahnt could destroy or at least weaken its spine, then it would be too weak to support the heavy stake, rendering the beast nearly immobile. Doing so would leave an excellent opportunity for Zahnt to then finish of the wicked creature.

While the beast was still balanced on its two legs, Zahnt rushed, pulling the sword further to the right. The boy dodged off to the left, and slowed his speed before heaving the sword as powerfully as his muscles would allow. A crack resounded through the room. A crash followed scarcely a second later as the stake gouged a hole in the stone floor. Zahnt, dodging away from the stake, showed no hesitation, and raised Nightstar into the air. Another crack split the air as the black blade came down on the beast’s spine again. An overwhelmingly loud roar came from the now furious beast. Though it was angered, the brute refrained from raising its tremendous iron stake into the air. Zahnt ran around to the back of the beast, and jumped on top of where its hind legs joined. He got to his feet and began shuffling onto the beast’s spine, hoping to get to its back, where he could drive Nightstar through the heart of this feral abomination. However, the creature disliked the feeling of a little human child atop its back, and started bucking and trashing. Zahnt was knocked off, and lay on the ground to the side of the beast. As Zahnt scrambled to his feet, the large stake split into two smaller stakes, one for each arm. Zahnt lunged out of the way just before one of the stakes crashed down, shattering the stone floor.

Zahnt’s eyes widened, and a tremor of fear shimmied down his spine. His plan had done nothing but provoke the beast into a more dangerous form. The boy suddenly had to dodge again, and felt the wind brush against his face and blow through his black hair as the stake barely missed hitting him. Zahnt sharply took in a breath of air. His panic level rose dramatically, yet at the same time his mind began to devise another plan. It seemed that when the stake hit the floor, the brute required a small amount of time to recover before it moved again, which could possibly be a result of Zahnt’s previous attacks. If Zahnt was fast enough, after dodging the beast’s next attack, he could jump atop the stake, hurry up to the beast’s back and end the battle. A second after his plan was complete, wind from the momentum of a stake crashing down stroked Zahnt’s face again. Now might be his only chance. The boy jumped up, grabbed the edge of the stake and pulled himself up. Before Zahnt could get to the creature;s back, he felt the stake begin to move. Determined not to fall off again, he bent down and wrapped his arms and legs around one of the brute’s huge arms. As the beast began thrashing around, Zahnt slowly slithered along its arm, getting closer to where he would deliver the finishing attack. Suddenly the beast slammed its stakes into the stone floor, almost jostling the boy off its arm. Once Zahnt realized that the beast would remain still for a fragment of time, he scrambled to its back, rose onto his feet, and raised Nightstar above his head. The tip pointed down. Within the next second, the brute fell to the ground. Once Nightstar was free of the beast’s flesh, Zahnt turned to face the painting. A gold letter ”R” was there waiting for him. Zahnt put the three letters together. ”Zahnt Bertolf Rathmore”[/]b the boy said his full name out loud. He looked around. Those had been the only paintings in the room. He could go have dinner now.

Zahnt walked over to the pedestal where he had found Nightstar. He glanced at the pedestal, then the sword. ”Nah.” He swung the sword onto his shoulder, and turned to find the door. When he reached the wooden door, it was wide open. The boy narrowed his eyes. He had heard the door close, hadn’t he? Zahnt turned to peer over his shoulder. An eerie feeling of being watched crept beneath his skin and crawled around his entire body with tingling feet. He wanted to get out of here before fear snatched him with cold hands and yanked him into a corrupt world of deadly fantasies. The boy turned his head back around to be assaulted by the face of a young man wearing a sinister grin. Zahnt gasped in surprise and jumped away. His next reaction was to drop the lantern and swing Nightstar, which resulted in the clashing of metal. So the man had a sword of his own. Zahnt had no response time, and was thrown to the ground and got the wind knocked out of him by a swift kick from the man. Before the boy could regain his breath, Nightstar was roughly shoved out of his grip, and Zahnt himself was lifted into the air by the back of his shirt. He was held in front of the man’s face, which still wore a chilling smile. ”Hello there, kiddo, my name’s Gothikar. What’s yours?” the man asked in a joking yet slightly demonic voice. Unable to respond even if he wanted to, due to the collar of his shirt choking him, Zahnt resorted to a more violent reaction, and gave Gothic a fist to the face. The man looked surprised for a moment, then growled and threw Zahnt away.

As the boy hit the ground, he realized that this was his chance. Zahnt quickly got to his feet, ignoring the pain, and dashed out the door. He tore down the hall, past the wolf pictures, and went up the stairs, frequently tripping. After stumbling up to the exit of the garden, Zahnt kept sprinting, hoping that the pine forest would give way to reveal the castle. By the time he emerged from the forest, his throat felt as if it had been rubbed raw, his lungs cried out for breath, and his legs burned, yet he kept running until he was inside the castle. Zahnt arrived at the dinner table, panting, sweaty, and exhausted. He quickly sat down, for he feared his shaking legs wouldn’t hold him much longer. Every single face in the dining room was staring at Zahnt. ”What happened, boy?” Amoshodd inquired. ”Just…just some snotbags.”
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Re: Little Zahnt and the Shadow Garden

Post by Luna on Thu 18 Dec - 1:07

I'm not finished reading it... But lol, famous word: Needles... And snotbag...



I'm still in the 25th paragraph and I'm about to start the 26th paragraph. Dude, so freaking long! But it's thrilling... Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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