Hey, everyone! Guess what? I'm not
I've been gone for so long, and I kept thinking about my work. So my apologies to everyone who was reading and found my abrupt stop. I know that probably seemed pretty disappointing. But I haven't left, I've just been gone for a while. And now I'm here to stay.
But I still have some bad news. Just a week ago, all my progress with the other stories. All my notes, my tideous data on all the OC bios, the quotations planned for later use, as well as patch notes for improvement, had all been deleted. My computer had to be reformated due to a big virus that was halting all work.
But I guess this is what was meant to be. I guess this was supposed to happen. I'll start over, and maybe fresh ideas would be an improvement from my older ideas.
I had actually made much more progress in this story already though, and had planned to update it completed already, but, you know, tis the season, might as well.
I've been through a lot with my friends, and now I've finally settled in compromise and acceptance. Things are better now, and I hope this continues for a long time.
And though I did write this, and have yet to update my other two works. I am planning, to continue those as planned.
And I'd just like to say Thank you, to Karlos and copper. It really helped.
And thank you The Game. You don't know how much it meant to me, I really needed that push forward.
I decided to deal with something a little more psychological and what better way to do that than to traverse in the world and psyche of the man-turned-dog, King himself! King interested me as his struggle was visible but like everyone else who either moves into a new town, or sleeps in a hotel for the first time, slowly adjusts to it, sometimes even quicker than usual or instantaniously.
King's situation isn't easily met with most anyone, however. Thinking about it, it feels like an enclosed, biological prison to be so much smaller, hairier, weaker, and all the more less like who you used to be. Imagine transforming entirely, to become someone else and still be you. The world looks and reacts differently, much like a second chance. Sometimes it feels oddly comforting, sometimes expectantly frustrating, other times you feel neutral and you strangely start to get used to it.
To forego and attempt a perspective through King's eyes, a proper insight is required. Experiences that were new to me had to be relived, and thoughts of hating what you've become and starting to think that it isn't too bad had to be observed. So in all these aspects, the persona that is King seems so much deeper, so much more human than he would think to believe.
So here it is, the tedious and heavily inspired work of King's ever evolving psyche, and how I'd like to see his life through.Intermission Special:Cold Winter MemoriesI never fared very well against the world. Against it I'd face challenges everyone else would usually encounter. It took a lot of strength and will to get to where I was now, but I still struggled. In the end, having orphaned myself to the streets, I had to get up on my own. I had gained a lot of strength emotionally, but I was hardened, unable to feel as much as I should for those around me. But she didn't care... she gave me my heart back.
~Dr. King M.D., Child's Doctor
Stretched across Babylon's roads stood the street lights. Most that lit the way, some that flickered, others that housed lonely souls in the wake of misconception. But under their positive shade underneath a starless sky, one soul breathed under the glow, heaving the weight of the world when only he could.
Only he understood. And he blamed only himself for being the last of his kind.
There sat a short dog at the sidewalk with his cheeks buried in his palms as he leaned, glancing at the cracked roads. For a moment he revelled in the beauty of the moonlit paths, but yesteryear bears him only the addled remorse. Forcing further down his distraught frown, yet he kept his composure toward the unassuming.
He sighed. His thoughts still haunting his every renown, droning hours upon his bridled gaze against the shattered pavement.
"King? Is everything okay?" A familiar and all too pleasant voice spoke out from a distance, like Heaven crying out to him, sitting by his side with a generous smile on her face.
Sasha stifled him, rendered him motionless with her gaze.
Over the years she had become so beautiful, so dazzling in his eyes. The way she moves, the way she laughs, the way her smile seemed eternal.
He had long since been able to see the world through their eyes, an animal's. So unique and transient, blatant yet mystifying. He beheld a new world before his mindsight, and she stood at very the center of it all.
He took her hand in his, interlocking their fingers. "Now it is." He forced a smile as she gleefully smiled back.
Though he looked to have assumed joy upon his face, his body language spoke volumes of weakness and attempts to summon strength. And she knew, all too well.
However, he took comfort in her, naught of her beauty or her pleasant naivete, neigh her voice that sang songs to keep him at ease, but it is in her meer presence that keeps his heart beat slow and put his throbbing mind at ease. Her first approach to him all those winters ago was the very representation of how he would find peace in this world. How it was the only thing that kept him going.
She leaned against him, somehow belittling the fact he was shorter. She took comfort in him too, how strengthening was his facade. How he seemed like a hero as he struggled against the world's shift. Like Atlas with the world upon his shoulders, but he did so with difficulty.
She uttered a meek giggle as he nearly fell under her weight. She could feel him push on, then let her rest in his lap. "I love you." She whispered as she gazed up at him, his face laid upon the dark canvas above them.
He nuzzled her, silently whispering his response, "I love you too."
Melodic crickets sang the song for the night. Embellishing the air, sovereign in the evening peace, they kept the atmosphere in silent serenity. Sweet and calming it was, as the pair settled in each other.
His eyes shut, King could only hear the beating of her heart.
It beat like tribal drums thrumming in his earlobes. An echo that seemed to rumble in his cranium like a bat sonar in a cave.
For a moment it was all he could hear, this time it was somehow the only thing that existed.
His mind relayed, back tracked to where it all began. How the days driveled in a maddening descent of his own expiry of hope and conceit, pushing on only in the illusion that he was doing something right. He was wrong, however, as he simply sped out into his own disolution and traversed his only begotten sanity to "rescue" a dog from "captivity".
He feels blind now. A fool who thinks he can find peace in the very lives he indirectly almost destroyed. He stumbled once, and struggles not to blame himself, but was he really to blame? Is he wronged or has he truly been so cruel in pursuit of his own ideals? And if so, has he not been punished enough?
King hovering over her, Sasha holds him close to her prying at his sordid shell.She's humming now... I know this song...
"Itty... Bitty... baby boy..."
It was a lullaby. She didn't know the lyrics but he did.
She must've heard it somewhere. Whatever the case, it was an amazing coincidence.
Mom used to sing that to him. He remembers lying in the pitch black, with only the street lights peeking out of the frosted glass and the singular break of silence is the voice of his mother filling his ears in the transient serenity.
Sometimes he'd sing that to himself. Just so he can smile at the world again. But nowadays it's been nothing but a reminder of what he failed at being, a son.
They loved him so much, cared for him indefinentaly, but he abandoned them in his naivete, loomed in his self-imposed exile. But they never stopped loving him, yet shame kept his feet stuck in the mud.
He went back to them, of course. Stopped trying to save his pets and decided to make another path from this catastrophe. But he felt scarred in their embrace, he didn't forgive himself. He couldn't heal, just not yet.
King found himself in the same little dog house he built for her those few joyous years ago. Beams from the sunrise peered through the doorless arch.
Sitting up, he found the room in a calming still. The room was dimly lit with a thick, yet pleasant, silence. He reveled in quiet awe in the atmosphere till he heard a few keys play in melodious succession in tune with the humming.
Along with a sigh of frustration.
Sasha sat at her piano, trying to figure out if she can match a few keys with her hum. She visibly wrestled with her mind to figure the keys. All with a few grunts, disappointed sighs.
"Ugh..." She kept trying at it. Her fingers going slower in pace.
King smiled gently.
He had found it so amusing. Her attempts seemed to be driving her mad. After entertaining himself for a while he finally decided to get up.
He stood at her side.
She grunted once more.
Now he sat beside her.
"Here, let me."
King began playing the song as he remembered it. Every note played by the ear then thought. He doesn't know why he could do that but everything about it came naturally; the lyrics, tune, and chords. Like a beautiful revelation in the form of a memorial serenade of keys.
And somehow, in this darkness and slow sunrise in the woods, he finds an epiphany, a line of thought that has held him since the day he turned. He reveled with a sudden ambition jolting his fingers as they played.
Not long after, his mind became blank as he stared at his paws that moved almost effortlessly at the keys. He closed his eyes, raised his head as his motions flooded with euphoria.
He was playing a different song, one with more emotion, less simplicity, and further trailing down into his past. Further into the psyche he had long expelled from everyday mindsight.
In this serenity, somewhere between the music and it's catch, King was somehow enthralled in his own memories. The music sparked in his mind, reawakening him to an entirely different mind set with the rich fervor, like opening a scrapbook.
He drifted as he hummed to the mysterious notes that riddled, yet eased, his mind. It was like he was dreaming, and then...
"Its craftsmanship, whether you're molding a sword, or weaving a tale, its all art. Beautiful, beautiful art."
He could hear his father speak. The lessons that etched themselves into his persona and vision of life. The grand culmination of father-son time flashed before him.
In that instant, he was still. Then he continued playing.
"Dad taught me this." He said.
King bore a smile so true, so pleasant, that it felt so new to him. He hadn't smiled like this in a long time.
For a moment he looked at her, and she was looking right back at him. And somehow, like an act of beautiful fate, she began playing the assist, the partner's piece of the song.
She played with the same riverie at his side. Moving with little thought and nothing but the smooth transition of the fingers against the keys.
Somehow it felt like dreaming. Her by his side, and the long stead of emotions simply flowing into his heart. He felt like crying, with a joy that drowned anxiety, all to move past into naught.
Pete sat outside, watching them. A gentle smile gracing his beak, enjoying the fruits of his mischeif.
Snow trickled down, winter had begun yet again. And seems too soon, like it was only yesterday King asked Sasha to be his.
"...Hold my heart..." He whispered, "Heh. She did more than that."
Pete's smile faded as King rendered himself into bliss.
"I only hope this lasts..."Cause deep down, I know you're still not happy.
It was a calming morning in Eden's forest, with nothing but the sweet sounds of mother nature's sweet elegance. Underlined by Heaven's descent through the treetops. Accented by the retreat of delicate blooms. Life here was vibrant under the veil of the sun.
All life here was in pitched accordance. Life and nature consumed in the beauty of balance in coexistance. And in the standing of this bright green utopia, sat a large blue creature as it sheltered underneath the trees.
Ominous and mystifying, it's large magnificent frame rested easily as it began to lay upon the grass. Wind dashed through the tree tops and blew against his feathers. And as they swayed against it, he smiled at the gentle brush, even giving a content and pleasant groan as he readied to rest.
"You know, this is actually kind of nice..." Another being spoke out from behind. He didn't bother turning around, he knew exactly who it was. "You actually seem pleasant."
"Hmm, Dragon, to what do I owe the pleasure...?" He was sarcastic, obviously perturbed at the interruption of his attempt at a pleasant sleep.
"Well, you have been oddly quiet lately, not to mention elusive. You haven't visited the Astral Plane in weeks!" She paused for a moment, settled her large form down at his side. He turned to her, his depression, he realized, was visibly expressant. And that only made him feel worse with the look of concern in her eyes. "I'm sorry... is something wrong?"
He looked away, regrettably resurfacing his thoughts. "What are we? Are we so base, like the grass that so idly sways or the trees that have towered at my side..." He opened his right talon and watched his palm. "Or are we gods
? Whatever the case, we had no right to play our game."
"I sense a bitter remorse, something deeper than that..."
He sighed, laid down his arms to cross, cradling his head as he looked her way but not making eye contact. "I guess, in my own way, it would have been easier to have watched him die with the rest, than to see him suffer as he is now."
Her expression changed, he was talking about King. If King were human at the time, he would have surely perished in the flames of war. Yet now he stands in the midst of the vast presence of the animal world. Then her thoughts lingered to a certain possibility, after all that time had Pete gotten attached?
She gave him a surprised look, betraying her opinions in the hopes to comfort him. "He seems okay to me."
He was irked, she should know better than to lie to him. Pete was heavily familiar with psyche, be it that of of whining little girl to that of any other astral being. But he knew she was trying to help, when no one else did. However, as pleasant as this thought was, he remained as stoic as he could, yet still leaning toward depression.
"Don't try to reassure me. I know for a fact that you see it as well, if not better, than I do. You're psychic. Don't think I've forgotten." He almost sounded cold.
An air of silence trembled amongst them. Afflicting Dragon moreover as Pete remained quiet as he seemed to enter a sort of personal meditation.
She watches him in the thickness of the atmosphere. Quickly searching for anything in her own personal sea of knowledge for a solution.
And in her haste, she devises one of the oldest tricks in the book. Regrettably.
She rested her long tail along the back of his waist.
He looked to her, notably unexpectant, and saw an expression, so feminine, so unlike her usual self with him, that it almost looked alien.
His eyelids lapped halfway as he looked away. "Don't try me. Just because you're female doesn't mean it'll work."
"Oh, whatever do you mean?" She says playfully.
"You're a friend and a woman. And you think you can comfort me with a bit of charm though with no personal interest. I've seen it happen, over a thousand times, almost literally. Believe me, your method will be as ineffective as my current self trying to force away my former ego. It's just not happening."
"Ego?" She was almost pleasantly surprised. "You mean, a revelation?" She grins knowingly. In her mind it was like a personal dream achieved as Pete finally committed himself to change.
"I'm tired..." He leans down, attempting to sleep once more.
She does nothing to interrupt him.
In the recourse of every engagement of years, and even centuries, none has ever made such an impact on him as King. That one dog became the fulcrum in his personal change. Revelations and reflections became consistent, having him drift off in thought. At first it continually irked him, not liking what he was becoming.
Pete remained with the lack of his mischeif, manipulative ploys, and a prideful grin. Now only a careful and riddled disposition that sheltered his unease.
Dragon removed her tail from him.
She took his hand and layed down beside him to look him in the eye. He opened one of his eyes just ever so slightly. "I'm still a friend, you'll know where to find me."
She took flight and headed into the distance as the sunrise covered her tracks.
He didn't look but he whispered with her in his mind. "If it were that simple, I would have already gone to you..."
For a moment he felt like falling apart.
He could feel it again. The same notion in his gut that sparked an innermost pain. One he had hoped to forget but never could. As days passed it intensified. It urged further into his heart, and all he could do is name it, "Regret".
The Milton residence rested at the edge of Babylon Gardens. It's presence encompassed a vast land as the building's sheer intensity and mass shadowed over the even larger property. Three stories high with Corinthian pillars exhalting the grandure of its majesty, it was the epitome of the neighborhood.
The wind danced in the snow as the windows froze against the icy breeze. Plowing against the pathways were the hired help, the only activity beyond the front door in a snow storm.
Inside, a wolf watched over the gate as he sat in front of a TV with his eyes in constant shift from the screen and the security cameras.
And a little ways away, in the floor just above, lay a dark room with the windows shut tight.
King sat on a couch across from Sasha as she lay in a small bed. Her silent musings beat in the air with the sweet thrum of a heart beat.
He sat there, watching the love of his life teetering off the edge of his hands, almost slipping through his fingers. He knew in his heart he was human, a man, broken and beat against the trials and tribulations of the old world as a child. Yet despite his distance, his stream of constant depression and secrecy, she held on to that ledge, believing that they could make this work.
He said she was being naive, unlikely to see how unfeasible it was in his mind. But she called out against it, pulled him in by asking for a piece of his heart in exchange for a piece of her own. He wanted to be with her, but couldn't dismiss his personal demons, the writhing persona wrestling love with virtue.
He remembered an article he read when he was human. Something about strengthening a relationship, he recalled very little of it. Despite that, he sat forward, taking the article's advice.
"Sasha? Can you hear me?" She turned in her sleep. He breathed a quiet sigh. He had, for days, considered whether or not to do this. He had heard it provided closure, and the necessary self acceptance he might have needed. How far will it go? Would it even help? He wasn't sure. But in a way, he didn't need to be.
He knew taking these steps were for the best. Yet he felt subjugated by his own moral code to even consider this. He was, after all, a human. But how far can he take himself down that past tense?
He smiled softly. "I love you..."
He knew she was asleep, and that was the point. It comforts him, somewhat, the way he can just tell her everything, and her not knowing anything that he said. But he knows she can hear him, somewhere along the subconscious one can hear the whispers and sweep of the wind while fast asleep. At least, even in the most meager sense, he gets his closure.
Shadowing over his thoughts was the self-imposed deliria that his life was in this eternal backwards. Unable to feel or hold the way he wished. Yet he beckons still to beat against it, to force himself forward from the past that still haunts him.
Dancing upon his composure was the unending thoughts of whether she would accept him for his state or reject him entirely. A constant reminder that displaces him, keeps his mind a distance away.
But that doesn't stop him, as he reaches for her. Takes her cheek in one hand and leans in... till a noise is heard within the room.
A lamp overturned close by, his eyes jumped from corner to corner, trying to catch a glimpse of the intruder.
Something had dashed across the room, leaving not even a trail.
King stood, readied with Sasha still in the pleasant silence behind him.
It moved with an almost effortless grace across the room. It's footsteps alight against the hardwood floor making nary a sound. All the while, it seemed like it was flying as it made it's way to the open door within the room.
The doorway luminating a silhouette, it presented the body of a slender fox. Form in regular height, yet again just above his own.
It's tail swayed from left to right, widening it's swing overtime. Until finally it made a 180 degree swing, leaving a trail of tails, nine in count, that sorrounded the fox like the sun's rays.
The tips of the tails lit in a fiery azure glow. The fox's eyes lit a bright white as it's voice echoed. "King..."
It watched King and was about to continue till a rectangular yellow object flew in his direction. It hit him, muffling his voice. "Whoa, what the-" And another one headed his way.
Taking what appeared to be a pillow off his face, King put finger across his lips, gesturing him to shush. Then proceeded to gesture that Sasha was sleeping.
She tossed and turned a bit.
"Oh," He whispered, "Sorry." His tails settled in from their flame and his eyes returned to their red shading.
King, exasperated by the Kitsune's desire for a dramatic entrance, tensed in annoyance as he made silent steps to him. He took him through the doorway and closed it.
"What do you want? Can't you see it's a bad time?" His voice was still hushed, trying to hold down his volume.
He gave him his most innocent smile. "Sorry," then he seemed worried and direct. "But we need to talk."
He sighed. "About what?"
The two headed down the hall a few feet from the door then stopped by a series of cold windows. "It's Pete, he's been acting strange lately."
King rubbed against the bridge of his snout. "Look, I'm not gonna stay here just so I can settle your personal qualms with Pete. I've got my own."
"I understand that, but I'm his friend. And so is Dragon... maybe."
"I don't care about that-"
"Just let me finish!" The Kitsune could sense his exasperation, but needed to have his say. "Look, I just need to know if you've noticed anything strange."
King slowly began to calm. "There's nothing. He doesn't come by anymore. Haven't seen him in months. Good riddance if you ask me." His displeasure for Pete returned at that point. Having recalled the numerous moments of his discontent, countless endeavors with an unbearable Griffin.
He pondered for a moment, taking in all his thoughts. Trying to piece together the puzzle. "Now that's weird. Last I checked, he enjoyed pestering you."
"Precisely." King stared out the window, half justly irritated, and half heavily confused.
"Wait, you said months. Do you mean, since the war?"
"I... guess." He sounded surprised. So close to maybe figuring it out, yet his contempt for Pete dropped it almost instantly.
"Well that's all I needed to know. Thanks anyway." He opened a rift in space that sounded like a quiet gust of wind in the desert and was ready to head back home.
"Yeah, bye." King's voice was despairing and trailed off.
The Kitsune looked back. Concerned about his friend. "You know, you're not human anymore. It's as simple as that. All you have to do is accept it."
He gazed at his palm, hardened and dark, lined with fur in between then squeezed it, still bearing the familiar feeling of his grip. Almost the same, almost human. "I wish I could."
The Kitsune could do nothing but look away and leave. And as the wind subsided from the portal, the silence returned.
King opened the door, his head hung low, hoping a glimpse of Sasha's smile to calm him. Though as fate would have it he, was yet again, not alone with Sasha.
Pete stood over her, as he watched her in rest. Her every breathe, tranquil and undisturbed by the sheer mass of the creature hovering over her.
His fury was peaking as he disregarded his silence. "What are you doing here?" His tone was accusing, angered, almost loud.
Pete bore a confident smirk. Head held high, he spoke knowingly. "Am I not welcome? I'm the reason why you're still alive after all. You should be thanking me."
Pete's pride spiked King, hindering his composure. "For what? Letting me suffer when I constantly want my heart to stop beating!?" He seemed to have stopped holding back his tone.
Pete looked skeptical, his eye brow raised with a stern expression. His prideful tone died quickly as relayed his arguement. "Man's vast exodus into the afterlife was a long and endearing event. You were not there, you were hiding like all the rest of the survivors. I saw, first hand, lives being taken away. Don't think I know nothing of this. I, too, have a heart, in case you haven't noticed."
King's irritation would not seem to die. He looked at Pete's arguement like a play of self-righteousness. "So what, you expect me to think you wanted to save my life, that this is not just some random act of chance?"
Pete sighed. "In all honesty, that was not the intention. But given the chance, I would've taken it back." He seemed remorseful at his last statement.
"Oh, so you do
want me dead."
Pete was silently being afflicted by this. Every word spoken in an ignorant malice. "Don't think that. I'm not a cold creature. These events were beyond my control."
"Cosmic beings having the ability to shape the world and it's inhabitants, and it's beyond your control?" King' thoughts hurdled against the past, the memories of the war and surviving it. All the pain, the suffering while the outside world slowly dies.
Pete's thoughts back tracked. He remembered watching the sequence of events in disgust and dismay. Longing, all of them, to do something. He bit down, holding back showing his own self-loathe. "It's not easy being us, we wanted to, but there are rules."
His features tensed and his teeth began to bare. "Weren't there rules about turning me into a canine!
Pete got what he wanted. In a way, it was a confession. Now his shields were down and his heart bucked off it's cold exterior. His voice softened. Almost consoling. "You're angry because you're not human. You want to be and at the same time you don't. Somewhere along the line, you blame me because you can't face the real problem, you.
Though as significantly changed Pete's tone was, King's had yet to die. "Oh, you understand me so well don't you." He said sarcastically.
"My understanding lies within the boundaries of knowing humanity. These animals have tried so hard to meet with humanity's standards. You're already there, yet you do nothing with it."
"So I'm supposed to lead them?"
Pete stopped for a while, looked away. "No," He said solemnly as he remade eye contact. "You're supposed to be an example. Not a tired reck who can't look himself in the mirror. Good should have come out of this."
King couldn't piece it together. "What do you mean?" He questioned as his voice dimmed down.
"In everything, all that has happened, there was supposed to be a light. Every war began in fear, continued in destruction, ended in tragedy, but remained, always, a lesson to be learned." Pete's gaze became distant, he nodded sideways seemingly in a sordid disbelief.
He looked at King again. "Humanity's vanity ended them, and now is slowly destroying you. You have no right to look at others in spite when you have yet to settle the war in yourself."
Suddenly his thoughts regailed to it's former haunt. His self-loathing that caused him to relay into a deep descent returned full force as he began to heave his heavy heart. "How am I supposed to make peace with myself? I can't reason with my heart. There is no compromise." His voice was desolant, seemlessly dead.
"There is always a compromise." King noticed that Sasha had stopped breathing, the air was still, and a candle at one end of the room had stopped flickering. Pete had frozen time, thus Sasha remained asleep despite his outbursts.
"What's going on?" King was surprised. He took a step back, wondering where this was leading him.
Pete's eyes had glowed white, and the world was beginning shift around them.
"Your heart must make peace, and your demons must die."
And as soon they disappeared. The candle had swayed, the air had moved, and Sasha began to muse in her sleep.
The clock ticked in a looming silence. Driving the air as it seemed to increase in volume as it was lone.
Then she woke, her eyes scanning for any sign of King.
"King?" She whispered.
The silence answered her vain. Already she missed the sweet whispers of the night, and hoped to fill the air with her thoughts alone. She sighed as she nestled into her blanket, watching the lone candle dance in the wind.
"Be back soon..."