Spoiler: Main Theme
A/N: What’s this? Dr. Doctor starting a new thread with the same title and cover art? What is the meaning of this!
I’ll tell you. I’m rewriting the story. I don’t like the way it is now. Rereading it has made me feel like I’ve done it a slight, an injustice I’m just now starting to fix. The original wasn’t updated in almost two months. Why, you ask? I didn’t have the motivation, I wrote myself into a hole, and I have zero confidence in my writing ability. But, before you all throw in the towel, take note of these changes:
1.) All characters introduced in the old will come back new and improved.
2.) Writing style has been updated to come across as less flowery.
3.) Key plot components have changed, you’ll find these out when you read the rewrite chapters.
4.) This story is as true as I can possibly be to the original. I’ve read the wiki, bought the book, and I’ll stay as true to the MGE as possible.
5.) I believe I’ve improved as an author this time around, hopefully. So please give this a chance, guys. As always, feedback in encouraged.
They assured him this would not happen- assured them all.
He found himself cowering in the crevice of a shriveled up husk of a tree long since dead. Already could he sense the dread, a frigid, icy feeling that pulsed agonizingly in his gut. And, for the first time in his life he felt vulnerable. No longer was he behind the massive walls of Straco, no longer did the forests of Prane and Glaishire conceal his quivering form. For, at this very moment, something was hunting him.
Such a primal feeling it was. The most human sixth sense tracing its tendrils around a fragile mind, telling it that the covetous gazes of insidious creatures had shifted.
It was a stare that burned straight through the soul and beheld no other feeling than that of ravenous desire.
They assured him this would not happen. But only now did he realize that they were lying through their fucking teeth.
All around him, dusk encroached, the air still with an uncharacteristic quietness that spoke volumes. Such was the unnatural nature of the beasts in which man screamed against. And so he sat there, tugging at his breastplate as he gazed up at the bloody sky.
The atmosphere was heavy, sickeningly sweet and tinged with a pinkish mist. It permeated all throughout the gnarled branches, weaving through the contorted roots creeping above the blackened earth. And the more he breathed, the more he felt his mind slip away bit by bit. Ever since he stepped foot in this place, he began to lose focus, noticing how his compatriots let their will drip through their fingertips. Those that weren’t taken had deserted, abandoning their cause to pursue their own.
With every prayer came the same result.
Although the Church implored the people to live virtuous lives, free of sin and indulgence, he couldn’t help but wonder where the faith had gone. A part of his heart wished it wasn’t true, but only in his solitary state did the fact come to him.
God, wherever they may be, sure as hell wasn’t around to dish out a miracle. For the time being, at least, he would have to rely on himself.
Such a notion was enough in invigorate him to rise, gritting his teeth at the burning sensation in his legs. He ached, and yet all he could do was press onward.
And so he did.
Everywhere he looked there was only fog. That, and the crooked trees that rose above the ground, glimmering obelisks with an uncanny canopy that almost pulsed. He’d never seen leaves glow in the dark, viridescent and sapphire sparkles lighting up the sky. Stories of old said that the realms of monsters were desolate wastelands, a place where nothing grew except poisonous plants and dangerous animals.
But it didn’t mean that it wasn’t perturbing; the place still gave him the damn creeps.
He’d just taken the first few steps away from his hiding place when he heard a sharp crack to his rear. If he had been in a group, they could’ve done something- tightened up and get a visual on all sides. However, he was alone.
Being the man that he was, he bolted, taking off with a controlled sort of terror in his steps. Everyone was born with the knowledge on how to properly retreat, putting it to use, however, was another thing entirely.
Adrenaline surged through arteries and veins, heart throbbing wildly in his ears as his vision bobbed up and down. Dipping low through the branches, he gritted his teeth, spittle forming at the corners of his lips, breath heaving and erratic. He liked to think of himself as being calm and collected, but finally being chased, seeing the things he did…
Panic swelled in his chest, all-encompassing, consuming even.
He never ran so wildly in his life, jumping over stumps, weaving through the grasping limbs of stygian bark. Everything felt like an enemy.
Refuge came in the form of a hole in the ground, dirt kicking up around him as he tumbled into the narrow crevice just between an upturned tree and solid rock.
The second he’d done so, time caught up. Already was he gasping for air, the light dim below the ground, with only a few rays being the tell tale sign he didn’t just bury himself.
Sweat stung his eyes, lungs burned, abrasions on exposed wrists making him clench his fists. Closing his eyes, he bit down, clasping his hands over his ears, knuckles turning white.
“Oh, God…” He murmured, the tone of his voice echoing through the throat like a wail. “Oh Lord, Chief of All…”
A most unwelcome silence came rolling over the land, nothing but a gust of wind slipping in through the gaps. Carefully, he lowered his hands and listened.
He didn’t hear at first, having trouble discerning noises over his own breathing. However, eventually, he noticed it.
There came heavy beats just over the treeline, at first faint. But as the sound grew nearer he shifted lower into the ground, grinding his back against the dirt like a worm. Wings, he surmised, judging by the weighty flutters that caused a bass to beat against his eardrums.
Gnawing at his lip, he felt his breath hitch. A hand trailed to his waist, fingers wrapped against the hilt of an iron dagger.
“Come on, you bloody demons.” He growled, “Come and fuckin’ get it.”
As soon as he turned his gaze upward, he heard falling footsteps plant themselves close by. The already sweet air was, in turn, amplified into an overpowering miasma.
Through the fissures came a voice, melodious, practically purring. Such a tone was, much to his dismay, tantalizing and pleasurable to listen to.
“Sister, are you sure you saw something come through here?”
“Of course, Zellia. You should know it is impossible for a morsel to escape our… ministrations .”
And when the presence of this unforeseen adversary doubled, he dare not look. More of them; there wasn’t a chance.
“I’ll admit that I’m having trouble, seeing as the air positively reeks of man.”
He heard a long, drawn-out inhalation, and he swallowed the growing lump in his throat.
“Ah, ‘tis such a wondrous odor. I can almost feel my mind pulsating with such an indulgence.”
“It shouldn’t come as a surprise, Beatrice. You know the outcome of the humans’ little incursion into our realm. My, what a feast it was.”
The mention of the fight brought back unpleasant memories. He didn’t wish to think of it, for fear of the remembrance giving away his position.
“Why does the Mistress deem it so that we should not partake?” Beatrice, he identified, asked.
“Oh, but we are. There is no greater thrill than the initial hunt.” Zellia replied. “Can you imagine finally acquiring a man of your own? To take him in your arms and call him husband ? Just the thought alone makes me shake.”
Beatrice was humming. “Quite so, but there is nothing to be had here. The fog is inhibiting, and I feel this boy may be using it to hide.”
“Aw, the poor misguided puppy. Let us look elsewhere, dear sister. He cannot escape our affection.”
With that, they took off, a brief burst of the wind against his skin signaling their departure. As the sound faded off into the distance, he let loose a breath he hadn’t realized he’d been holding.
The seconds crawled by, and he considered himself truly and utterly frozen- a coward. He considered telling himself that it was purely for practical reasons, but deep it’d just be a dainty white lie. He didn’t sign up for this shit. Hell, he didn’t sign up at all.
If such monsters out and about now, well, it certainly wouldn’t be a good time to leave this cramped sanctuary now, wouldn’t it? Off in the distance, he could hear a scream, followed by the mad giggling of some unseen predator. And so he whimpered, curling himself inward and resigning himself to a restless, fitful sleep.
He awoke sometime later, blurry eyed and damp underneath the hole in the ground, the refuge that saved his life. Shaky and weak, he staggered to his feet, blinking as his vision adjusted to the already low light. One thing was for certain- he’d gotten lucky. Fortune favors the bold, it would seem.
Hesitance to proceed forward would accomplish nothing. But before he departed from this hell, he bent a knee, raising his eyes to the sky. Maybe, just maybe, God was listening after all.
In due time, perhaps he’d believe again. For the moment, it was a matter of placing one foot in front of the other.
Times were changing, for better or worse.
‘Then you better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone. For the times they are a changin…’
The rain peppered the neon-lit glass outside the dingy roadside diner I was in, Bob Dylan playing faintly on the nearby jukebox. I leaned back in my booth, a rugged-looking thing in the back corner, illuminated by a flickering fluorescent light bulb that swung back and forth. There was a buzzing noise coming from the ceiling, a drone that got on my nerves but could do nothing about.
Something about it made me want to get philosophical, breathe in the boilin’ brew of Colombian java.
A piping hot mug in my hand, I raised it to my lips and took a generous sip of black gold. I knew that’s what the history books called petroleum but strong joe was a good second. Just as valuable, too. The boldness was just right, the aroma borderline orgasmic. Yet, I’ll admit, I’d fancy some sweetener if they had it.
I fucking love coffee.
Then came a time where I decided I was done for the evening, standing up and cracking my back before slapping a few bucks on the counter.
Boots clicking on the tiled floor, I bid the waitress farewell, to which she returned with a disinterested stare and a slight roll of her eyes.
Couldn’t say I blamed her for such a shoddy attitude. If I was a woman in my mid-fifties working the night shift at a greasy pitstop for a living, not knowing how to properly put on mascara or eyeliner, I’d be pretty pissy too. Never change, you flaxen-haired broad.
Two burly looking men wearing baseball caps were idly chatting from their place on the stools as I passed by, scratching their scruff and chuckling about beer and muscle cars. Normally, I wouldn’t be interested in it, but being a nosy little shit at times was amusing at times. I’ll call them Bob and Earl.
“So, I tell ‘er ‘Listen, I can’t be spending every god darn second with ya, Darla. I gotta put food on the table. It’s m’job to provide.’” Bob sighed, stroking his long blonde beard as he adjusted his hat. “Seriously, it’s like everytime I take a step outta the house she just starts screechin’. I mean, damn, it’s borderline manic. She was never this way before!”
Earl, in turn, chuckled, wiping the mustard off his Pumpkin Chuckin’ shirt with a greasy napkin before replying. “I hear ya. Women just don’t understand what men have to go through. They keep expectin’ us to clean, remember anniversaries, visit the parents, and all that! It’s like they just wanna seize you by the balls and make your their mind slave or somethin’. Wouldn’t surprise me that’s for sure!”
And that was enough of Larry the Cable Guy.
In parting the swinging doors, I was immediately greeted with a blast of cold air, flecked with icy rainwater, and a biting push back of wind.
Very out of place for Arizona. It was normally a dry, arid place full of sand, shrubs, more sand, and cacti. That, and tornadoes, I think. Wasn’t going to stick around regardless.
“Bad time to be riding a motorcycle…” I muttered to myself, shoving my helmet on my head and fumbling with the straps. “Bad time to be wearing a tinted visor, too. Golly, I’m just askin’ for it.”
Indeed, every law of the road indicated that while driving in piss poor weather sucked, traveling through it on a bike was downright deadly.
Damn, if I didn’t have to check into a hotel in two hours…
I’d drive slow, keep the high beams on. Everything would work out.
My bike was parked underneath the steel canopy of the diner, black paint reflecting the gloom coming from the front windows as I swung my leg over the seat. It felt good, having your ass in the saddle. Jamming the key into the ignition, I turned it, nodding in satisfaction as I felt the familiar rumble vibrate throughout my legs. Flicking back the kickstand with a boot, I pulled back, making the bike turn in a wide arc before speeding off.
Steady as she goes.
I decided to play it safe, flipping up my visor to put on some old safety goggles from woodshop class. My freshman year of college had been a practical one, and there was no need to go out and do something overly stupid.
The beams from the headlight blared into the night, streaks of white rain flickering through the darkness as I rode down the highway. Visibility was poor, the weather was poor, rain protection was poor; jeans were soaking, wrists were drenched, and all in all I was having a pretty shitty time.
A crackle and flash flared against the dark, and for the briefest of moments, I could see the size of the storm. And, boy, it was a colossal thing. Gray clouds rolled on by against the horizon, silhouettes of jagged mountain rock and canyons cast against the flat desert sand. Rays of red pierced the sky, beams of crimson falling down everywhere I looked.
This…this wasn’t normal.
That’s when the lighting hit. A fiery javelin smashed into the ground next to me, bits of asphalt breaking off the road and pelting my neck with painful grains.
“JESUS FUCKING CHR-” I screamed, swerving the motorcycle to the side when another roaring blade slammed directly to my front. I could feel the heat, taste the electric current bristling my skin, smell the drop in temperature, my mind grew hazy. Everything smelled like burnt rubber and sulfur. Smoke on the caution lines, stinging sensation in my gut.
The hair stood up on my arm, the atmosphere crackled, I looked up. A bolt coming down right on top of me, unnatural, green. I didn’t even have time to blink, the final image of a viridescent doom casting burning veins against my visor.
I couldn’t keep the coffee down, the bitter flavor regurgitating in the back of my throat.
This is the end.
All signs pointed to me blacking out, and yet I remained conscious through it all.
It was a moment, a flicker of time, a flash in an otherwise normal day. But now, all that had changed. My body was locked into place, frozen, unbudging. It refused to heal but was all too glad to feel, my nerves alight with a thousand suns, hands smoking. Never before had I ever held something so tightly as I did those handlebars, sensing my knuckles turning snowy in a mixture of fear and anguish. The world was fire; nevertheless I somehow remained physically unchanged.
When the hours caught up to me, I all but leaped off my bike, peeling off my helmet and dropping it to the side. Falling on my knees, I clutched my chest. There was a knot in my stomach that seemed to tighten, and I hurled whatever bargain breakfast platter I had bought a few minutes earlier on the grass.
Propping an arm up to support myself, I coughed, nose feeling congested, throat sore.
“W-What…” I groan, no one was listening but myself. Good- I had a captive audience. “What the fuck…”
Around me were grassy knolls, the smell of dew filling my nostrils up with damp fragrance as I took a knee.
I felt a crunch beneath my heel, a narrow strip of dirt stretching from side to side in a wide arc. Primitive, functional, made for things that moved on four wheels drawn by a horse. It trailed off into the distance, both directions an unknown as I stood up and wiped my mouth. There was heat in the air, blue sky and white clouds lazily drifting by. Nearby there was the groaning of cicadas, punctual cries shooting across the humid air. The middle of spring, I take it. Was I dreaming?
Brain was trying to tell me something if the slight headache I got was any indication. I just had to calm down…think this out.
Get an idea of where you are. Check for a signal on the phone. Might be able to call for help that way.
Rummaging through my pockets, I grasp my phone, pulling it out and looking at the screen.
With a push of the home button, I was greeted with nothing, save for my own gawking gaze staring back at me in the glass.
Being half tempted to toss the thing, I inhaled. Had to calm down, prevent my actions from becoming drastic.
Get back on the bike. Scout ahead, search for a place where people are.
Swiftly reaching over, I snatched my helmet back up, wiping a thumb across a crack in the visor. I’d have to get that looked at.
Seemed a good a plan as any. Doing just that, I was again put my ass on the seat, twisting the key in the ignition. To my mountain-sized feeling of relief, the engine roared to life, my baby purring as I teased the clutch and throttle. Everything was good, even when I poked on the display screen. Fuel was low- had to make the mileage count.
With that knowledge, I set off, dust kicking up behind the back wheel in short auburn puffs. Soon, with luck, I’d be able to find out just what kind of shitstorm I got myself sucked into.
A/N: Hope you enjoyed, guys. Getting this new and improved story up and running will be great for the both of us, I hope. If ya’ll want to read the old one click here.
Monsters and Motors (Monster Girl Encyclopedia -SI)
Art done by Phearo
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