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View Full Version : 2014 Fanfic Contest Entries - Challenge Time!



Milbunk
March 4th, 2014, 10:51 AM
Challenge fic's will go here list of them on this first post the rest below:

Challenge:

Milbunk
March 4th, 2014, 11:43 AM
Death of a Dragon (One Day One Character.)



The first thing to go was his vision.
His last memory on this plane was his own beating heart.
The last thing he heard was his own breath of relief.
He finally had what he desired. Justice.
This time, he made sure to fight not for his master, nor himself in the selfish sense, but for what he stood for and what he believed in.


His mind rolled back to all the things he had done and he hoped that this action, this sacrifice, could set his heart at ease, when weighed against everything else.
He remembered. He remembered living in a small house. The man who was tasked to raise him had been pouring poison into his ears.
Living away from his mother, who had remarried, he believed that the king he was serving under cared for him. He was the son of a hero and a former king, so of course he was being treated well.
Or so he thought. He was a foolish boy then and braver than anyone else. He knew no fear.
Nothing made his heart beat with fear, anxiety, worry and despair... He didn't know anything of it.
He saw it in the eyes of others. He did not know it, so he asked them.
“You'll understand only when you feel it," was the only answer he got and if his soul could smile, it did so wryly, as he now was about to recount what lead him to fame.


For he could not recall his foster father's face, but he could remember his words.
While they were evil, cruel and selfish... because of him, he had never learned that he would be someone who knew nothing of the world.
And so, back then, and maybe in a way even now, Saber loved his father.
He told him of treasure, of gold and rings, gods and power, a traitor to his family and the loss of justice. And more than that how he could reclaim his family's honour.
The fact that the king did not love him, feared him, wanted to get rid of him and he would never have the fortunes of his father would all be changed by this treasure.
So for his foster father, his real father and for justice he sought him out.
The dragon.


Saber hoped that the monster would teach him fear.
He made a pit near the cave and waited. The earth trembled, the air grew hot and the world began to spin in his head. Above him was an enormous, shaking creature with scales of gold, flame from every breath and pure malevolence from his large round bloody eyes.
Saber stared right back into them.
He tore the dragon apart with a single swipe. The blood of the beast rained upon him, drenching his entire being in a shade of the darkest red.
It had been boring. This feared monster was boring... Saber looked into the dying creatures eyes.
There it was again. The feeling he did not know.
Fear.


At the time Saber did not know why he did not fear the monster, though he knew now. When he stared into the eyes of the creature and it stared back, he saw only one thing. A man. A miserable, wrathful, malice-filled sack of meat.
So what if it had claws the size of a horse? It would cut threw any man, but so could a sword. Death was death and if it happened, it happened.
So what if its breath burned all to ash? The furnace of the smithy wasn't all that much different.
In the end it was just fire.
All that hate and power was nothing to him. He had seen it all before, in a way.
The dragon was nothing special. It had all this time remained the petty gold grabbing traitor it had been born as. It never dared to become anything more.
It was still very much human. And why should Saber fear any man?


Covered in blood he began to turn back home.
He heard voices. Voices from the sky. “Your father intends to kill you and take the gold.”
So when he saw his father, he took off his head.
He had never once feared the man.
The question could never leave his mind. What was fear? What was this thing that everyone had?
It made people cowards, it made people courageous, it made men into heroes, but how?
How? It ate at him with every step. What is fear?
So he left. Kings have enemies, and fear for their throne, do they not? So, if he had a throne, he would fear it being taken away, would he not?
Gold lead to food, which fed all men. Would he fear it being taken away?
So he sought such things. He sought possessions and power, so that he could learn what it would be like to have them ripped away from him.
So he sought a creature that could teach him fear.
He reached higher and higher. He reached higher and higher, to the top of a mountain.


It burned.
Since no monster could teach him fear he had to try what ruled above all men.
The gods. The flames upon this mountain made any man or beast fear for his life. To challenge these flames and reach the top, would earn a prize unlike any other for any hero who did so.
He did not fear the flames. Still, a prize awaited him, and maybe, if that was taken away, he would have fear. He could only try.
So he rode to the summit and that was when he felt fear.
And it was terrifying. It was horrifying.
His stomach turned. His blood turned to ice and yet burned throughout his being...
A warm feeling rose to his face as he saw the sleeping figure.
Saber wished to run away. Yet... curiosity lead his steps to the bed of flowers, flame and metal.
His eyes met hers. Something broke.
He pressed his lips against hers and tasted a love he never held before.
If she were to speak, would he have died? If only laying his eyes upon her made him go crazy then surely her voice would have ruined him...
So he sought to silence her with his own lips.
It made no sense, but right then at that moment nothing seemed too.


It was hard to remember any faces, even hers. Maybe he was avoiding it because while he could remember her shining smile, he also remembered the betrayal upon it. He wished he had said, "Sorry".
He wished he could have been selfish while upholding justice. Somehow for her, if he tried he would have been able to do it.
Slowly, from that day onward, he learned to love like never before.
That taught him fear. The times when they got mad at each other, he felt like nothing mattered any more. He panicked about how he must have ruined it all.
Even when they solved their problems, he couldn't help but fear that he might not be able to save it next time.
For the first time he actually admired someone who lived and breathed by his side,
One day, he left for another adventure. He promised her that he'd see her again as always.
They would be King and Queen of all of the land.
And so they became so... but not to one another.


Siegfried pledged himself to a king. He saw a doting girl in the corner of the room. It was the king's sister.
She had fallen for him with a single sight. Siegfried was promised this girl. and he was about to refuse, but was offered a drink first to celebrate their friendship.
Drinks could drown away a lot of sorrow, for a moment.
This ripped away memories of the last few years, of his love, his fear, his selfishness, his sense of justice. All torn down for “fondness” of the girl and “duty” to the king.
He rode back to the mountain, disgusted at the king that threw her into his arms.
It was betrayal. It was an innocent betrayal. This made it all the more worse.


Soon he remembered her.
She confronted him and said that she was distressed but not angry.
“It wasn't your fault.”
“I remember.”
“...Then why don't we leave together?”
“That would be betraying the king, that would be betraying my family, my children and wife as well as the ancestors who wish to see me upon a throne.”
“I don't understand. Don't you love me? Do you love her more?”
“I don't and I never shall. I'll always love you more. I can't go with you. I can't betray the people who have given me all this, it's not what a hero does...”
“Think of yourself! Think of us! The girl is yours, not his.”
“I'm not sure what the right thing to do is.”
“He made you forget me, he made you marry his sister and he made you conquer me because he couldn't do it himself! Everything is wrong with what he did to you. So why are you not leaving him? Why aren't you choosing yourself?”
“Because of the code of our heroes... to leave or take you would be to betray my lord. That wouldn't be justice.”
Speaking those words though he felt his heart rip in two.
The spoke of justice. He spoke of the justice of his ancestors and all the lands and all the gods...
It didn't sit right with him. Justice would be to help everyone. It would be to right any and all wrongs, no matter who a person was, whether they were a commoner, or a king.
Even if he owed much of his power to the king, what he did wasn't right indeed. Yet he was his liege, and to betray him would stain his name in the history of his country and his family.
“Since when did you remember?”
“Since just a little after I gave you to him.”
That had been just over a year ago, he looked at her face... frozen like a doll, and then it twisted.
He turned away and then heard her scream.
A spear ripped through the back of his chest and the immortal knight fell.
He could not honestly say he regretted much. He couldn't take back those actions and they lead him to much tragedy and happiness... and made him who he was.
What he did think about as he died... was what justice was.
What his justice was... he reached an answer.
That was his only regret as he left the world.


In this second life, as it faded all away he saw the dying white figure below him return to life.
Well he felt it. He could feel it, since it was his heart after all.
He finally did it. His own “Justice”. What felt right to do to help all the world.
It cleared away all his guilts to know he saved someone because he wanted too, because it was the right thing to do, not because it was his duty or that he wanted something from them.
It was the right thing to do. He had finally “won” over the questions that ate away at him.
So “victory” was born, in honour of his sacrifice.

Milbunk
March 4th, 2014, 11:47 AM
No Idea For A Title (Unseen Protagonist)



Shut up, shut up! Not too loud, man. You don’t want to draw attention – no, I’m not being superstitious. Dammit, haven’t you seen the news? Christ, man, it’s nuts. Yeah, that killer stalking the city – so you do know what I’m talking about. Yeah, thought so; see why we gotta keep it down? If that thing comes here, man, it’s gonna be bad.

I saw it, you know. No man, I’m not lying! …Jesus, that thing – you know how they’ve been talking about it, right? Fuck, man, it… it was horrible. Remember when Lil’ Johnnie got caught by the Reds? It was worse than that. Way worse. That body that was there, too… shit, it didn’t even look human anymore.



---



They found out later that she was a beautiful woman; had been, at any rate. One of the rookies was throwing up on the side of the alleyway. Poor guy; hell of a way to start a job. I ducked back under the yellow caution tape and walked closer to the doc, who was bending over the victim. He had one of the vic’s arms out with a thermometer in hand – must’ve been doing time of death. I walked over to him, hands in my jacket pockets. Winter this time of year was pretty cold, cold enough that most of the blood had frozen over.

“So, what have you got for me?”

“Not much, I’m afraid. Estimated time of death is around eleven o’clock – the victim seems to be an adult female,” He paused, looking at me apologetically over his half-moon spectacles. “We really can’t get much else; the body is too mutilated to tell.”

I frowned. I’d only gotten a glimpse when we arrived on the scene, but that was enough to see that this one was pretty bad. If the body was messed up that much, things weren’t looking good.

“How bad are her injuries?”

“Bad. The victim has extensive scarring on her arms and torso. From what I can tell, most of her bones are broken, and the skin is missing around the face, arms, lower body, and chest. Her face is…” The doctor looked over at me, his own face uncharacteristically grim. “See for yourself.”

He lifted the blanket just a crack, and that was enough for me. I recoiled, one hand coming over my mouth. The victim’s face was just… gone. There had been something there before, that was obvious, but a good chunk of her face was just missing, like it had been grinded off.

“Shit...”

The doctor dropped the blanket back over the victim, still looking at me with that grim expression.
“We were able to determine one more thing, however.” He continued on, even as I was staring almost dumbfounded at the spot where the blanket lay flat over the victim’s face.

“This was not done surgically – the blood splatter indicates that this was done by dragging the victim along the wall with incredible force. If I didn’t know better, I’d say that this wasn’t done by a human.” He cracked a weary smile at me.

“Relax, Detective. We’ll get him. You know that.”

“…Yeah.” I stood back up, and after bidding farewell to the doc and the surrounding cops, walked back to my car. I’d parked it three blocks away; this city was always crowded, so parking was hard to find. Getting in, I turned on the engine and waited for it to warm up, thinking to myself. This wasn’t the first time something like this had happened. If anything, this was the third time this month. It generally went that we’d get a call or find something during patrol, then someone would discover the body and things would get out of hand.

I didn’t want to admit it, but we might be dealing with a serial killer. I leaned back in my chair, grabbing the coffee thermos in my cup holder, thinking to myself. Each of the three victims that we’d found so far, counting the one today, had one similarity – they were brutally murdered with almost inhuman strength. The last doctor I’d worked with hadn’t been able to take the last one, so he’d been switched out with the new doctor. I took another sip of my coffee, a stray thought crossing through my mind.

“ ‘Not human’… yeah, right.”

I took another swig of coffee before pausing.

“Wait, when did I unlock the car?”

The seat creaked behind me, and I whipped my head around to see oh God what is that wait no stop please red it hu



---



It was feasting on the cop’s stomach this time. It stunk – he’d voided his bowels before dying, and the smell of shit and urine permeated the rooftop it had dragged the corpse to.

It had bulbous, black eyes, and a massive head. Little wings fluttered on its back as unnaturally long limbs tore into the body. The thing had usually kept to blood, but it had grown cocky from the killing. Greedily slurping down the small intestines, it rapidly swiveled its head, entrails swinging from its mouth. A human had followed it up here, somehow remaining unnoticed. The creature had a fair amount of intelligence, but the its cockiness won over in the end. It dropped its food and sprang forward in one movement, straight at the black-haired human with the glowing blue eyes and the little fruit knife that took its head right off its body.

He landed in a crouch behind the body of the creature as it collapsed. He was only passing through, but reports of a series of strange murders had raised his interests, and he had gotten drawn up to it. The young man walked over to the body of the former cop, and looked down for a moment.

“…Sorry.”

With that apology, the young man turned and drew new bandages out of his pocket. It had been just a short amount of time since his glasses had stopped working for him, and he had found that bandages worked best so far. Wrapping them around his head as he walked, the young man carefully grasped the doorknob on the rooftop entrance and pulled, making sure to keep his hand inside his sleeve as he did so. He closed the door, and left the rooftop silent behind him.



---



“Yeah, yeah, I know what you mean, I’ll be there soon, I promise – hey, watch where you’re going- oh, I’m sorry! Are you still there, honey? What was that? A blind man bumped into me, but he didn’t have a cane. Anyways, I’ll be there soon, I promise. The murders? I think it’ll be ok. I’m too amazing to die, right? …I know, I know. I promise I’ll be careful. Love you.”

Milbunk
March 4th, 2014, 11:48 AM
Summer Blockbuster(Unknown Protagonist)


He leaned against the cold side of the ring, breathing out heavily. The brick walls around him felt like they were closing in, suffocating him in the dark room. The sandbag he had punched was still slightly swaying, as if to mock his feeble strength. Nothing had changed at all.



One Man!


He pedaled faster, shouting words of harsh encouragement while keeping his eyes focused on the girl running besides him.

“Sorry Father...I don't think I can fulfill your dream anymore.”

These were the heartfelt words of Emiya Shirou. His father had believed in him and passed on peacefully. At that time, even if the road ahead of him was long, he had believed he could do it. But here at the end, when reality had cornered ideal for the knock out, all he could do was apologize to the sky.

Sneakers pounded the asphalt, breath formed white wisps into the crisp air just before the dawn. Her heart beat fast, giving a rhythm to her jog. All around her, the city, so far from Newport, was waking up to the new day. Nothing was going to be same as back home.



One woman!


“I wont give up!”

Her lungs screamed and burned, but she kept her feet in swift motion as the blurred jump moved through her field of vision with amazing speed, again and again.

Once the unrivaled knight of promise, her star had shone bright on the world of professional boxing, until it was revealed she had been masquerading as a man. Now blacklisted and disgraced, she tries to get back into the ring. But without a venue, her chances seem more remote by the day.

The evening sun painted the pair, stubbornly continuing down the seaside road, with a golden color.



Two people... one goal!


“Left jab! Right hook, duck! FASTER! FASTER!”

He pounded the ringpole while yelling, causing the her to accelerate into a whirlwind of movement.



Their enemies are many...


The ground shifts as a giant steps into the ring.

“You won't beat him the normal way, we are going to need a strategy to beat Fred Ken Heracles in a boxing match.”

The girl in red throws a towel to his face.

“Be careful Emiya-kun, I hear the Witch of the Ring plays dirty.”



The odds are against them...


He raises his fist to slowly meet hers.

“We can't settle for anything less then a win, if we lose, this gym is going under.”

She bumps his fist, giving him a confident smile.

“Then all we have to do is never stop winning.”



One man....
One woman...
One last shot at the big time.


Yellow eyes look at her.

“Are you ready Saber?”

Green eyes return the gaze.

“Are you ready, Shirou?”

And the bell finally rings.



Fight/Knight.

Coming this summer.




Stepintothering.com

Milbunk
March 4th, 2014, 11:50 AM
Vampire Story (Unseen Protagonist)



“Amazing!”

The woman’s body had been cut into pieces.

“This is so cool!”

Seventeen pieces, to be exact. He had counted, with dutiful care, each and every one, as well as how it had been done. Conventional logic dictated that the best, quickest way would be to aim for the head first. As if to spite that, the deed had been carried out in reverse. First the toes, then the leg, the thigh, the groin, abdomen to stomach, heart to rib, fingers, arms, lips, eyes, and only then did the merciful separation of skull and spine occur. Enduring would’ve been torturous if the entire thing hadn’t taken less than a second.

The red haired man, or rather, the child in the body of a man, wrenched his eyes from the grisly scene to stare with reverence at his hero. Though he paid it little attention, the knife the woman had been wielding had also fallen apart inches from her severed hand. He cared even less that she had been his aunt before becoming art.

“How did you do that?” the boy asked. “Do you have super powers? Are you a magician? Can I learn to slice people up like you one day?”

The hero spared a small nod. The gesture was enough to send the boy’s imagination into a frenzy. Made up images, each one derived in some part from the image of the cut up woman, got more and more ludicrous until, his thoughts spent, the child let go of his tension with all the relief of Atlas shrugging off his load, and sank into the sofa.

He stared at his blood stained reflection in the empty television screen, drinking in every aspect of the blood caking his lips. Eventually he smiled, and giggled at the contrast between pearly white teeth and red everything else. Legs now treading air, he put his chin in his hands and stared at the body some more.

“Hey, mister,” the man said suddenly. “I saw something, when you killed her. It was only for a second, but I saw it, kinda. What was that? And… how do I get it?”

A wry, self defeating grin. “Dying.”

The boy blinked. Perhaps for the first time in his life, he was more interested in the killer than the one who had been killed. Because he’d been saved, there was no fear in his words. “Who are you, mister?”

The only answer he received was the lonely whistling of wind past glass. Taking care to go over the display on the now ruined (improved!) carpet, the boy stepped into the dim hall and took a look around. He quickly spotted a broken window, now lying in pieces on the floor. Outside, the winds howled and clouds obscured the full moon, creating shadows for those who didn’t wish to be seen.

“Dying, huh?” That sounded right. The only problem was that he couldn’t die without killing himself, and coming back from that sounded too magical to be possible, but the childish man was nothing if not creative. “So if I can’t die, then I just need to see others die instead!”

It could not be seen, yet he had glimpsed it nonetheless. That image would be what he chased for the remainder of his life, and he’d only truly grasp it at the very end.

Those without end, however, would forever remain blind.



“Yeah, he went through here.”

The coffee sizzled as it was poured into a paper cup.

“Didn’t stay very long, though.”

Three cubes of sugar and a good stirring later, the cup slid across the counter to a waiting hand. The young boy grabbed it on reflex and raised it to his lips, only to frown and put the drink down before he’d even tasted it.

“Why are you giving me this?” he complained. “I can’t drink that.”

The man sitting to his left shrugged, spun the bar stool he was sitting on, and leaned back, propping his elbows on the counter and letting his eyes roam the interior of the casino.

“I’m not giving you alcohol,” he said with a wry grin dancing around his face. “You look too young. Blood is out of the question. Want some tea instead? Juice, perhaps?”

“I’m older than you by at least a few hundred years!”

“I’d say you’re definitely a few hundred younger if your memory is that bad.”

The boy pouted and looked into his coffee.

“Appearance is everything to humans.” The younger yet older man showed off the crowded room with a flourish. Smiling faces abounded, except when someone went all in and lost it all. “Tell them of a chance to grab a miracle and they’ll come running against all logic. Isn’t that why you’re here as well?” The insult was obvious, yet the necessary hostility to make it real never appeared. It had been more of a gesture to remind the old young boy of his position.

“It’s not a miracle if it’s within your reach, though leaving your fate to chance is definitely an unhealthy tendency,” the visitor replied easily, still debating whether to try the coffee. “Besides, you could have refused me entry. Why you let him in, I don’t know. From what I’ve heard, this one has the restraint of a newborn and none of the inexperience.” Finally fed up with its master’s indecision, the boy’s left hand dipped a finger into the drink, found it to its liking, and took more small sips.

The other man shook his head. The motion crumpled his expensive looking suit slightly, but he didn’t seem to care. “Turning an Ancestor isn’t something one does lightly. I let you in because you’re decent conversation and your current goals aren’t necessarily detrimental to the rest of us. I let him in because I feared he was going to sink the whole ship with me still in it.”

“He’s already recovered that much power?”

Wordlessly, a wine glass full of deep, red liquid slid into the man’s waiting hand. He raised it to his lips, closed his eyes, and took a long sip. When he set down the cup, his smile had hardened into a line, like a crack in a stone face. “I’m not supposed to be telling you, but I don’t really care. He’s still in the early stages, but he has a troublesome ability now, so the danger has only increased, and will continue to do so until he’s stopped.”

“Hm… and you’re not going to do that?” The boy’s teasing smile was infectious, hidden behind his long, dark bangs. “The Church could use a hand, and I’d put in a good word for you.”

The man shook his head. “I’d rather not. I like the current arrangement as it is. The official positions of the White Wing and the Black Princess are that it’s not their problem, and they’d much rather go back to killing each other.” His distaste was palpable. “It’s obvious that they’re both on edge, though. And who wouldn’t be? He killed an Ancestor while still juvenile. As he is, I’d bet they’re both secretly afraid of losing to such a horrible opponent.”

The boy nodded in agreement. “Then again, hoping the White Princess can do the job isn’t a long shot by any means. If it’s her, then even running away won’t work for very long.”

“What if she’s killed? I hear that immortal protégé of yours took quite a beating.”

The boy’s smile cracked at the edges. “The girl is fine, though a bit heartbroken, and I’m not even considering the former as a possibility.”

“You should be.” Another gulp and a sigh. “He’s different. Dangerous. Wouldn’t let go of that knife of his the entire time he was here. If you’ve arrived to gather information to help her, then you’ve come to the wrong place. He just had a drink and then left.”

“Nothing else?” It was meant to be a rhetorical question, but the other man thought of an answer just as it was said.

“There is something,” he began. “This one isn’t much of a talker. Pointed everything out on a menu and so on and so forth. He only spoke once, and that’s when I asked him why he’d come here.

“And?”

“’To run’,” the man sneered. “Shocking, isn’t it? I’m honestly a bit embarrassed. He seemed serious, too.”

Yet, the boy frowned. “That’s bad,” he muttered. “If he’s changed that much, then it’s really bad.”

“You’ll be fine.” The bigger man patted the boy on the head, a carefree move that would otherwise cost hundreds their lives. Yet the boy liked this one, so he allowed it, and in exchange, the man sweetened the deal. “Just tell that Princess of yours he’s heading West rather than East. If you leave now, you should catch him in the land of the Sun.”

His hand came down on nothing. The boy was already gone, and the man felt powerful vibrations under his feet as something huge pushed away from the ship.

“Tch, what a child.” the man looked at the half full cup of coffee. “I suppose it’ll have to be four sugars next time.”



“Okay, bear with me here. This is gonna be difficult, but I’ll grow as a person, so I’m not afraid or anything like that.”

It was talking. He was talking. The man currently missing the entire lower half of his body below the lungs was talking.

“Look, you’re pretty much dead, right? Well, you’re a Dead, so it’s the same thing as being gone. That means I’m not really killing you right now.”

He was also rummaging through something with one arm, looking for something, while missing that same something. Most people would’ve been unable to function without it, but the young man wasn’t most people.

“Aha!” Triumphantly, he held up a kidney, clutching the limp chunk of flesh as if it was solid gold. He looked down at his missing legs and hips, and bit his teeth. “Okay partner,” he said. “Nice and easy now.”

It wasn’t nice or easy. With a grunt, the man shoved the stolen kidney into the upper half of his body through the hole that had been created by its separation from the lower half. He rummaged around inside his own body much like he’d been looking through the other one, until with a sickening snap the blood vessels connected and he had consumed the organ fully.

“Ah,” he sighed in relief, ignoring the searing pain for the small amount of perverse pleasure his body too. It likely would’ve felt much better if he’d eaten it normally, but he didn’t really have time for that. “Okay, what’s next? Liver? Spleen? I already have a stomach, but I’m feeling lopsided, so…”

A crude crimson blade severed another’s arm at the elbow. Clutching the limb with his left, the man forced the flesh and bone onto the site where his own had been lost. A few sharp cracks later, he was moving the limb as if it was his own. Technically, it was.

“Not fair at all,” he complained to the fallen man. “I mean, why can’t I just heal normally? Is it going to be like this for every wound? You’d think that someone who’s died a bunch would be able to pull himself together, but this is much too slow. How the hell did that nun manage it?”

Despite his complaints, the rest of the affair was quickly finished. A few minutes later, the now whole man emerged from an alleyway in a completely different part of the city, having travelled through the sewer system. A lone man taking a walk through the night was quickly dragged into the shadows caused by the full moon, and sometime after that, the first man emerged wearing much cleaner clothing. The white shirt and black pants just hadn’t been doing the job. He couldn’t do anything about his hair, which stuck out like the whitest sore thumb, but hopefully the night would hide him as it now hid his victims.

Instead of venturing forth into more populated centers, however, the white haired cannibal turned right around and went back into the same alley he’d sprung from. The man’s corpse was gone, leaving only a bloodstain behind.

“It’s rude, you know,” a voice said, accompanied by crunching noises that were much louder than they had any right to be. “Forget not cleaning up after yourself, starting up a serial murder spree so soon after your last is insulting to this city.”

He frowned, and then grimaced when he finally realized. “Fuck,” he concluded. “A vampire? Really? Haven’t there been enough of those already?”

“This party was too interesting to pass up,” the voice replied, while the noises continued uninterrupted. “Sadly, it appears I’m a bit late. You wouldn’t mind telling me what happened, would you?”

“Maybe if you showed your face I’d consider it.”

A moment later he fell to the ground, his legs gone below the knee. A howl of pain was cut short as his vocal chords melted inside his mouth, leaving him to gasp in silent agony.

“I’ve considered it,” was the verbal reply. The clouds obscuring the moon parted at that moment, revealing the form of a young girl leaning against the wall, next to a rather large bloodstain. The timing was precise enough for it to have been choreographed by Shakespeare himself. The source of the ever louder crunching and snapping noises was nowhere to be seen.

“Fuck you,” the man croaked, his vocal chords only half regenerated.

“You’re pretty rude,” the girl said, pushing dark hair away from her red eyes. “I like that, though by all rights I shouldn’t. I suppose you could call it the whims of royalty. I thought you’d died, but this incarnation of yours is by far the worst, so it’s just as bad as if you had.”

“He’s gone,” the man growled, pulling himself up. His body was whole once more, but his trousers were now cargo shorts. “The fucker’s gone. It’s just me now, and that’s how it stays.”

The girl’s eyes were fixed on the man, and her mouth slowly curved until it was a smile that wasn’t a smile at all. “Interesting,” she admitted. “I didn’t think it would happen again, but it has. How are you enjoying that new immortality of yours?”

“Ain’t immortal,” the man said. He contemplated approaching the girl, and decided against it, choosing instead to try and get some of the blood out of his hair. “I’ve got Life. I can be killed, just like you. Of course, I’ll probably come back. That’s how it works, right? I’m not dead, so I can’t die, that sort of thing?”

She nodded. “As long as he lives, yes. Of course there are ways around it, but they are beyond you.”

At the mention of that person by another, the man’s eyes clouded over. He slammed his fist into the brick wall of the alley, and it easily fractured the stone. “He won’t. Not for long. I’m not letting him get away this time!”

“Too late for that, don’t you think?” She tilted her head, amusing herself by trying to see the man from a different angle. “You already failed when you had power, but now you’re just a cast off shell. Do you really presume to kill him?”

“Yeah.” Now that his hair was pure white again, his justifications were gone and the man gave himself over to his own instincts. Perhaps it was because the girl resembled an object of his desire, but he couldn’t help himself. He approached, striding forward confidently until she was within reach, watching his movements with nary a reaction. “What of it?” He stared into her red eyes, challenging her with his actions. The memory of his wounds had already faded away.

She grinned, closing the distance herself and touching the man with a single, pale fingertip. He stiffened at her touch, not from arousal but from the spell she’d released into his bloodstream. “Do I remind you of someone, insect? Or do I make the memory of that person seem like a bad dream? If you go after him, you’ll die again and again. It’s better for you to stay in this small town and ruin the lives of your family instead of chasing a pointless achievement.”

“It isn’t pointless,” he insisted, his body already adapting freakishly quickly to the magic in his system. It wouldn’t work a second time. “I’ve already realized that I can’t really live until he’s gone. Otherwise, he’ll ruin everything like he did the first time.” With jerky motions, he wrapped his hands around the small girl’s shoulders, pulling her close to him. She allowed it to happen, laughing at how pathetic the man’s every action was. A replacement for a replacement. A sister for a sister. Some people would settle for anything.

“You know it too,” he said, looking into the remaining darkness of the alley now, as the source of the constant background noise approached. “I have his memories now, so I’m sure of it. On top of him slighting you eight hundred years ago, that person will always be a thorn in your side, right? Even if a thousand years pass, that’s how it is. So give me power and I’ll do the job you don’t want to. We’re the same in the end, so it’ll be fine if I’m the one who kills him this time.”

The girl returned the man’s affectionless hug. Instead of wrapping her arms around his torso, she thrust them right through and embraced his naked spine instead, reveling in the feeling of dirty crimson staining her clothes and body. Against her own better judgment, she had warmed to the idea. “That I should be understood even so slightly by such a pathetic person disgusts me,” she proclaimed, managing to sound refined despite the situation. “Yet I suppose I can’t resist a good story in the end. How does the Red Knight sound to you? A Servant of his Princess who slays enemies in her name to recover her honour. The White and Black Knights will be angry since you’re not even an Apostle, but they barely qualify for their titles as well, so I don’t really care.”

The man was no knight. He was the furthest thing from it. “It’ll do,” he said. “I’m guessing the Pink Knight was taken?”

Her hand reached up inside the man’s body and gave his heart a squeeze. As he gasped, the girl grinned. “You’re the rudest person I’ve ever met, despite coming from such a bloodthirsty family. Lucky for you, I’m into that sort of thing.”

The crunching had stopped now. As the man strained to hear the unknown beast, it almost sounded as if it had started laughing.



“Oho? What do we have here?”

In the middle of the woman’s stroll, she ran into something one doesn’t often see. For her, however, it was less of an unknown and more of a rare treat, akin to funding a twenty dollar bill stuck in the gutter.

“My, my. You better have an interesting story to tell.”

The cruise liner lay in two pieces, sliced widthwise in half with a single, unbroken movement. Upon further inspection, the lines on the metal were cleaner than if they’d been done in a factory. Even the rust of water and ocean wildlife hadn’t been enough to tarnish that. From bottom to top, one cut from a giant’s blade had sunk a whole ship.

The woman tossed aside the bottle in her hands, letting it float gently in place. In order to keep the current from carrying it away, she commanded the sea to rest, and it obeyed. Keeping it up for longer than a few hours would irrevocably damage the ocean’s global conveyer belt, but she didn’t need much. Above, where light could still penetrate, search and rescue crews searched futilely for the lost vessel, unable to descend past a certain line the woman had casually passed on her way down.

Entering the vessel was easy, given the large gash, though the doors had buckled from pressure and had to be ripped out. Inside, the serene beauty of the model-like cruiser gave way to a silent nightmare. Bodies, ripped to shreds and dotted with holes, told the tale well enough. Most of the wounds were in the back, so they had fled, unsuccessfully. The bite wounds in necks and breasts and thighs implicated a vampire, but rather than the careful marks of feeding, these were more akin to signs of a rampage.

The woman dipped her finger in a corpse fresher than most, ignoring the silent scream on its face, and sampled some of its blood. She closed her eyes and immersed herself in memories not her own.

Happiness. Vacation. Family. Rest.

Two weeks. A nice tan. Taking the leisurely way back. Passing through a distant state on the path home.

A stranger. Argument with the crew. Talk of a stowaway. A silent one, giving a silent glare.

Screams in the night. Hiding the family in the closet. Walking up stairs to see what the fuss is about. Lifeboats dropping. The captain’s head on a flagpole. More screams, this time from the passenger quarters.

Down the stairs. Through the halls. Into the room. Family dead. Stranger with blood on his lips and silver in his right hand. Red eyes.

A plea, begging for an answer. A one word question.

Fear. Hidden, but oh so visible behind those red eyes. A weak smile. “I mustn’t be killed.”

Incomprehensible answer. Lack of understanding. The silver moves, enters the chest. Pain. So much pain. Can’t breathe, can’t smell, and can’t feel anything.

Hear another scream from the door. Red eyes move in unison. A short fall. Sight fading. The sounds of footsteps leaving. Yet another scream.

Darkness.

The lazy smile that had adorned the woman’s face for the last few hours was gone now, turned into a hard line that ran like a highway across her mouth. “Not a good story,” she said to herself. “Not good at all.”

As she walked away from the wreck, some pilfered bottles of wine in her hands and numerous others leaving a breadcrumb trail behind her, the woman approached her underwater castle. Walking through empty, dripping halls, she polished off the last of the alcohol. A door opened, to a room containing another individual in the midst of raising a tea cup to her face for a drink of what was most definitely too red to be tea. Her fine garments, distinguished mannerisms, and unblemished body labelled her a perfect contrast to the first, who would’ve looked right at home on a small island somewhere.

“Did you enjoy your walk?” she asked.

The first woman shook her head morosely. “I did,” she replied. “But it seems someone enjoyed theirs far more. We need to contact the Princess.”

“Which one?”

“Both.”



“Haah. Haah. Haah.”

It was dark and scary. The child was lost and bloodied. Mere hours ago the streets had run red with blood, but now they were dry, leaving behind only the tang of rust to signify what had happened.

“Haah. Haah.”

The child ran down one of those streets, led by weakened instincts that warned prey of predators, urging them to hide or be eaten. Its urges were stronger than those of his family, so it had survived the massacre somehow.

“Haah.”

The town was a small one, near the ocean. The child had known most of the people by name, so it’d been able to list with clarity how each one had died.

Lizzie, cut to pieces and then sucked dry one by one like an orange.

Marco, his shotgun forced into his chest until it met his heart, while his own finger pulled the trigger.

Abdul, the hilt of a knife smashing into his forehead and caving in the skull, after which the delicious meal inside was enjoyed thoroughly.

Mother, who had grasped the child in her arms and hadn’t let go even after her back was torn open and vertebrae were removed one after the other. Her death had masked the child’s life.

The pitter patter of small feet stopped in the town square. The child had been told since it was a baby to go there in case of emergencies, but that honed knowledge betrayed it here. The roundabout wasn’t a circle of grass anymore, but a pile of bodies that stretched high above the boy’s head. There was no blood, for it had all been sucked out, and none of them were recognizable as anything other than shrivelled husks. None could be mistaken for living beings, save one.

The man at the top opened his eyes, looking at the child through a crimson blindfold. He reclined in a caricature of a throne, a hollow in the top of the hill that served well enough as a chair. “A survivor?” It was less of a question and more of an affirmation that such a thing was possible. “So there was someone besides me here with the capacity to run from Death.”

The child cried, loudly. The synapses in its brain had connected the information, and its soul accepted that fact. Its loud, unrestrained cries of sorrow echoed through the empty city, overpowering the man’s weak speech.

He sighed, embedding the knife in his hand into a nearby skull. He didn’t let go, however, even after when it was clear that he would’ve much liked to. “Go home,” he told the child. “Die alone or call for help. I haven’t cut the phone lines yet.”

The child hiccupped, its tears all but shed, and wiped away some snot from its face with the frayed edge of a sleeve. “No!” Its yell was clear. “Why did you do it!? Why?”

“I was hungry,” the man replied. “It’s only natural to follow your urges, isn’t it?”

“You killed them!”

“Yes.”

Another fit of tears. More wiped away. The child sank to its knees and sobbed while the man watched dispassionately.

“Are you afraid of me?”

The child shook its head, eyes screwed up in defiance.

“And why is that? Just because I’m full and I decided to spare you?”

Another denial, more vehement this time.

“Oho?” The man leaned forward, elbows on his knees and hands propping up his chin. He pushed his blindfold into place with clean fingers. “Go on, then.”

The child sniffled. “You’re the one who’s afraid,” it said. “You were afraid so you killed them all instead of talking to someone or singing the happy song or hitting a tree.”

The man’s eyes narrowed beneath the fabric. “Continue,” he breathed. “Why would you, an organism that hasn’t even existed long enough to learn of the world, come to such a conclusion?”

“M-mom said that when people hurt others, they’re really hurting themselves. So you must want to die, but you’re too scared to!”

“I’ve died before, child. It’s nothing special. You’ve seen enough death tonight to know that.”

There was no answer to that. Or perhaps there was, and the child simply couldn’t grasp it. In any case, it knew that the man sitting on top of the pile, casually plucking bits of fat from his teeth, was no man at all.

“Then why are you running?” The moon shone a beam of light onto the ground near the child, and a woman stepped from it to stand proudly before the man. Her light hair and red eyes made for a sharp contrast to his dark clothing, painting them as opposites.

The man stiffened, words failing to leave his lips. He growled, but said nothing.

“This is the first time you have fled from me, Serpent of Akasha,” the woman said. The child, not knowing what to do, just stood in place and let tears silently run down its cheeks. Both ignored it. “I would know why.”

“Princess,” the man acknowledged the visitor yet ignored her questioning. “It hasn’t been very long, has it?”

“Not long enough for my tastes.” One pale hand descended onto the child’s head, both as reassurance and to make sure it wouldn’t be attacked. “You were easy to find, despite your efforts. I expect the nineteenth will be your shortest life.”

“Or perhaps my longest,” he rose, standing now, grip tightening on his knife, as if he was afraid to let it go. The skin had almost fused with the handle, but the blade shone brightly in the moonlight. “I have more power now. These eyes can-”

“They see only your end,” the woman cut him off, her eyes narrowing. “Life wasn’t enough for you, so you chose Death instead? You’ve doomed yourself. If the snake bites through its own tail, there’s no course left but to bleed out.” The child saw a small black cat crawl along the dark pavement, and it nuzzled against a shoe. Somehow understanding that it was to be followed, the child clumsily walked towards the small guide, moving away from the confrontation with only an empty glance spared for the two opposites.

The man glared, eyes burning now. “You knew!” he roared, pointing his weapon at the woman. “You knew this would happen, didn’t you? That’s why you allowed the other one to live. This entire body was to be a trap for me!” He slammed his fist on bone, and with a shuddering crack followed by a deep rumbling, a large portion of the bodies rolled down the hill, shattering the haphazard structure like a well placed cue ball.

“Don’t pin your shortcomings on others. It’s too pathetic for someone bearing your name. If I were you, I’d blame the world for this sad coincidence. Clearly, Gaia is sick of you. Frankly, I don’t think there’s anyone out there who would disagree. Well, there was one, but you’ve already killed him, haven’t you? Your own fellow seeker of eternity, reduced to nothingness. I’m guessing that you’ll be following in his footsteps soon.”

“You-!” The man’s hatred had reached a boiling point. It was difficult to keep calm in such circumstances, and the woman’s presence was only reinforcing his anger. There were two conflicting impulses in his body, yet both of them urged for violence. One to slay creatures of the night, and the other to feed on that which he loved and hated.

Then, as if in response to his rage, the crimson moon descended, and, laughing, the Red Knight appeared to herald the upcoming blood bath.



“Kitty, what’s happening?”

The cat let out a complaining meow, but the child simply hugged it tighter as it pushed through the woods, going back to the roundabout instead of away. It heard yells and screams, in the distance, yet it couldn’t resist the wish to witness the climax of the nightmare, no matter how horrible it would be. Perhaps this was the duty of the final living member of the village: to see it through to the end.

“It’s okay. I’ll be quiet.”

Loudly crashing through bushes and brushing past scratching branches, the child eventually made it to the edge, seeing the crimson moonlight ahead. Some self preservation instinct compelled it to stop before exiting, and it chose to instead cling to a tree and watch to the best of its ability. At the child’s feet, the feline shook itself free of dust and shot its escort a dirty look, before nervously pacing about, only occasionally glancing at the display.

Three violent storms clashed, raging around and meeting in an elaborate dance.

Red threw itself around without fear for its life, pushing into razor winds that tore its body apart with a glancing blow, and a silver blade that did much the same. Whenever it lost too many pieces of itself, it dove into the pile of shrivelled bodies and came out whole again, even wilder. Driven by inexhaustible energy and a blessing of power from its benefactor, it compensated for inexperience with sheer zealous recklessness.

White was a beacon of power. It stood, constantly illuminated in a single column of white light, letting loose its power on the rest of the world. The air complied, turning the area into a death zone, yet such things did little to impede the others, who darted in and attempted to get a single hit in before being repulsed by the world itself. With a wave of its hand, the pale creature summoned heavenly wrath like a fallen angel.

Black, by contrast, was the most controlled of the three. It vanished and reappeared without rhyme or reason, unleashing deadly bursts of light from sigils that appeared at its feet, or cutting air and flesh alike with the steel that had become its hand. No wounds stained its flesh or clothing, though the red blindfold had been cast aside to reveal bright blue eyes that didn’t suit the vampire bearing them.

The cat wasn’t particularly worried. White wouldn’t be able to lose, barring a miracle. Red was simply an eyesore. Black was worrying, but would fall in the end for sure. If nothing else, that could be predicted without fail. The boy with the bright blue eyes wouldn’t live to see sunrise.

Yet.

Yet it was White who broke first. A single well placed spell shoved aside her protective wall, and Black forced itself inside, committing to the attack with all of its remaining energy. A knife pushed forward, slicing past defense and offence alike, until it struck White’s beating heart.

Red was there. Behind Black, fearlessly pursuing revenge, it braved the wall without hesitation. Though it tore skin and limbs from Red’s body, the storm screamed and shoved and used its own blood to pry a way open. It was barely enough, and a stream of blood thinner than a finger punched through Black before fragmenting and spearing all of its organs from the inside out.

Red, too, was done. It had gone too far this time. Scarcely anything remained but a head, yet that face bore a grin of satisfaction, even as eyes closed and a shredded heart stopped beating. His revenge was over. No one would be coming back this time.

The winds fell. Black coughed, throwing its own crimson onto the White Princess’ pure garb.

“This was a pointless match,” White said. The fatal wound remained, but White would not die so easily. “Are you satisfied now? This is what you’ve been chasing for all this time. Go on, take it.”

A look of despair crossed Black’s face. “No,” he whispered. “It wasn’t meant to be like this.”

“What do you seek?” she asked.

“Eternity.”

“Yet you chose Death over Life,” she smiled weakly, laughing at the joke. “What a ridiculous notion. There is your eternity, snake. Eternal Death for you. I’ll ask again: Are you satisfied?”

“I… this is the end. For both of us.” Eyes widened. “You knew?”

She shook her head. “Only now do I understand. It actually hurts,” she laughed. “Why couldn’t you have just stayed at home, you idiot? Yet I liked that part of you. No matter what, you accepted what you liked, and refused what you didn’t. Others would call it being enlightened, but I think you were simply someone who refused to let your fate influence your actions.”

“I… what?”

“Hey.” The atmosphere of bloodlust had already died. “Did you love me? Did you hate me?”

Eye screwed up with pain, Black couldn’t force himself to say yes. White saw the answer in his eyes, now more red than blue, hidden behind the most transparent veil of all.

Another laugh, this one tinged with more than physical pain. A smile ringed with blood. “I was never enough for you, was I? It was always someone else. Is that why you’ve been running all this time? So you’d never have to face me? So your chase could continue on for eternity?”

No answer. He couldn’t bring himself to look at what he’d chased and then rejected at the last moment.

“Well, congratulations. You’ve reached the end of your path. I hope it was worth it.”

Black raised his empty hand, reaching futilely towards White, trying to touch her face one last time, the damaged muscles snapped and it fell back to his side before he could do so.

The other hand… clutching the knife. That hand could only do one thing.

Black raised the knife, and plunged it into his own chest.

The last thing he saw before fading forever was the smiling face of the woman he had never been able to love. An image that would never be seen again.

Had it been worth all the pain?

He’d had an answer once, but its memory faded away long before.



“The morning sun has vanquished the horrible night.”

A shadow was cast over the remains of the Red Knight. It wasn’t much of a sight to look at, but the same could’ve been said of him before the battle.

“Are you satisfied with that petty revenge of yours?”

The head, which shouldn’t have been able to move without a body supporting it, cracked one eye open. The first rays of sunlight hadn’t yet fallen on him, and, in a fit of clarity, he realized that they likely never would.

He shouldn’t have been able to speak, yet enough air remained in his throat to utter a single word.

“No.”

The girl smirked. “I didn’t think so. From what I’ve heard, it was a most anticlimactic experience, even if the Serpent is finally gone. And besides, even if you’d torn out his heart, you still wouldn’t have been fulfilled. A being like you can live only to take from others now, so it’s obvious that you’ll never truly reach the goal you sought. I shouldn’t even need to say that seeking your sister is a lost cause.”

She bent down and scooped up the head, cradling it in her chest. “In any case, don’t go dying on me again. I’ve fulfilled my part of this little bargain, but you have yet to take care of yours. An eternity of servitude is a long, long time.”

The head’s muscles shifted, and it laughed silently, either cursing or revelling in its new fate.

The two vanished, leaving an empty town behind.

A few minutes later, as the red sun lightened to yellow and its comfortable warmth swept over the buildings, a small black cat emerged from behind the trees, followed by a young, tired child that had trouble keeping its eyes open.

They made their way to the center of the roundabout, now only green grass instead of a hill of corpses. The child curled up in a ball in the center, and the cat lay down beside it, taking advantage of the body heat.

“Hey, kitty…” The child yawned, reaching out to pet the animal. “Is it over?”

The cat licked the child’s palm.

Taking that as an acceptable answer, the eyes of the last remaining human on the island closed. Its dreams were initially full of terror and darkness, until, abruptly, they changed to ones of soft warmth, serene beauty, a bright, unreachable moon.

ItsaRandomUsername
March 5th, 2014, 02:40 AM
Regarding Death of a Dragon, ooh, /Apocrypha and Siegfried! He's unfortunately not that much of a character even within his own source material, so perhaps this can do something a little more with him?

It feels like something Nasu would jot down himself. Or rather, something Nasu would jot down himself that then is translated into English. Maybe it's the formatting, the lines of succinct sentences stacked on top of each other, separated by a tab of the Enter key, which results in an atypical looking paragraph to Western eyes. Maybe it's the recounting of a tale of a protagonist whose circumstances has left them with an odd mentality and not so much common sense. Maybe it's just as simple as word choice and tone, I'unno.

Though I don't quite think it counts for the "One Character" aspect of the category, since his ladylove has a speaking role towards the end. Aside from that it's not a bad read. If you can sit through translated Nasu-writing you can sit through this one fine, and maybe even feel a little something more for Siegfried than you would in /Apocrypha proper. Long story, short: homunculus shenanigans.

No Idea For Title, the ever-so imaginatively named Unseen Protagonist entry, is short. Really short. It seems to involve multiple protagonists, all go unnamed and most aren't even actual characters in the Nasuverse. The only recognizable would be Tohno Shiki, who straight up murderates the fic's killer monster with little effort or fanfare - all in a day's work for a satsujinki*.

*Translator's Note: satsujinki roughly means "bloodthirsty muderous psycho McCoy"

Summer Blockbuster is a spoof of a trailer for a boxing sports film. Nothing serious to see here, folks. At least not until FIGHT/KNIGHT hits theaters, this INDEPENDENCE DAY YEEEEAUH BOI

Vampire Story is a bit of a doozy. It's an Unseen Protagonist entry. Many of the major players among the Dead Apostle Ancestors have some kind of appearance. None of the characters are referred to with name, titles and vague descriptors only. If you're not up to scratch with your Tsukihime, you'll be lost. But from what I can gather it involves the unlucky adventures of the resurgence of Roa. I'll say it's my pick for the lot of Unseen Protagonist.