Dank and dismal. The crypt the two where sheltering in wasn't going to win any prizes for comfort, but then, it hadn't been intended as a harbourer of the living. Daciana shifted the errant and overfamiliar forearm from her shoulder, tucking the wasted limb back into the rotted coffin from where it had slid during their invasion of this still and silent room. Their attempts to find a comfortable position to sit whilst the rain passed overhead had resulted in the air being filled with mould and dust spores. Contrary to popular belief, werewolves aren't partial to the rain, plays havoc with every sense. Daciana's nose twitched. The myriad of scents assaulted her delicate receptacles, every nuance of fungi, damp stone and silently disgruntled, silently disintegrating corpses. The rain was hammering on the wet mud outside, the freshly filled graves, the puddles, the tin roof, the wings of the defaced marble angels, the creeping, blaspheming ivy. She could hear every resonating sound, distinguish every subtle noise and follow it to its source. It made her head ache. She supposed it wouldn't be so bad had it not been a matter of days until the moon was fat again. Turning to glance at her companion, she wondered if Tully, crouching beside her and fiddling with a coffin, presumably also rearranging the tenant for optimum utilisation of storage space, was having difficulty with his heightened senses. Suddenly he twisted the trunk of his body round to face her, grin splitting his face widthways, and brought his right hand up to the level of her eyes. Daciana realised with some distaste that Tully was wearing a forty-year old skull as a macabre hand-puppet.
'Oi, Dass, guess who I am,' he proceeded to snap the jaws open and shut, clattering out a truly terrible imitation of an American accent, 'I ain't got no baaaahdy, I'm so sahd an' lone-ly.'
Daciana found herself laughing, almost unwillingly, and put her palm to his rust-stubbled face before pushing it away from her, 'You're just a gigolo. You're also disgusting.'
'Ah, no, 's nice and clean in here,' Tully jiggled the head about before tossing it a few feet in front of him and on its downward arc struck it soundly with his foot, kicking it against the opposite wall so it exploded with a soft shattering of bone.
He slumped back against the wall next to Daciana, put his hands behind his head and seemed to be completely at ease with his surroundings. Again, Daciana envied his almost animalistic ability to find contentment no matter the environment.
'I hope you realise how clichéd this is,' Daciana gestured to the somewhat festering surroundings.
'What, don't mind the Bone Jangles, they won't cause no harm.'
'I mean the fact we're taking refuge in a crypt. We're sort of pandering to common ideas, aren't we,' she pulled a small silver cigarette case from the inside pocket of her grey, fur lined coat, and Tully pulled out a packet of matches. There was only one fag left in the box. Daciana sighed but leant forward for the proffered flame, inhaled and passed the glowing cigarette to Tully. She'd rather fill the room with tobacco smoke than have to smell the stench of death, and even now she could feel the calming effects of the drug flowing into her, dulling her heightened senses, closing her eyes.
'I 'spose so,' replied Tully nonchalantly, 'but it's all very exciting.'
Daciana looked sideways askance at him, and realised she knew virtually nothing the man before her. He was barely a man, even. Her eyes were inexorably drawn to the space on his green-clad chest, just below his heart, where she knew three strips of puckered skin ran parallel to his ribs, marring his skin the colour and texture of cream with tigerlike markings.
'You're very young, aren't you,' she said softly, taking the cigarette out of his loose grip and fitting it back between her poison-berry lips.
Frowning, Tully seemed to instinctively know that she wasn't talking physical age, 'I got turned into this, whatever this is, up north, during the peace? Must have been eight years ago now.'
'Eight years?!' Daciana felt a grin unravel across her features, 'Oh, you little baby!' She put her hand on the crown of his head and ruffled his hair enthusiastically.
Twisting away, Tully batted her hand awkwardly, 'Give over, will you.'
'But you're so little,' she smiled at him, 'No wonder you're so awkward.'
'Well, I've just had no time to become as jaded as you, is all,' he replied, somewhat defensively, 'There isn't a handbook y' know. And the makers don't tend to hang around long enough to explain anything.'
'No, I suppose not.'
Daciana inhaled deeply again, glanced down to her pale hand holding the cigarette, her eyelashes fanned out against her pastel cheekbone like a dark wing against cloud. She tapped the falling ash into the remnants of a pelvic bone, 'So, up north. Near Ashton?'
'Very much so. I was up there with the army,' Tully reached across Daciana's waist and plucked the cigarette out of her tapered fingers. Blood was still under his fingernails. He slotted the twist of paper and tobacco between his teeth and gazed at the far wall. They sat in companionable silence for a moment. 'You know, a handbook would've been bloody useful,' he mused quietly.
'It really would have. But we aren't all that big on writing.' Daciana attempted to pull various leaves and twigs from her hair; they had made an ill-fated dash through some brush to escape the rain.
Tully remained staring at the opposite wall, took the cigarette from his mouth; it was barely a stub now, and held it to Daciana's own lips to take. There was an absentminded tenderness about the move that made her glance swiftly at his introspective face before accepting his offer. Her strangely full lower lip brushed his hardened fingers.
'It could be called; "How to understand the Werewolf" or some such. Or "Don't Believe the Hype".'
'Yeah, that'd save us a lot of time. The number of misconceptions a lot of the Newbies have could fill a book itself.'
Tully sniggered and for a moment they revelled in their superiority.
'The closest I ever got to that though, was a sixteenth century Italian woodcut book called; "How To Kill the Werewolf". I wasn't best pleased about that,' the cigarette was almost singing her fingers. Daciana stubbed it out on the bleached pelvis with unusual vehemence.
'Jesus, Dass, that must've been awful.'
Daciana shrugged, 'I was very young, and pretty taken aback. But what can you do? A lot of it was pretty dim though; "Throw your clothes at the werewolf to force him to regain human form" and such shit. There was some really weird stuff in there too though; "Werewolves devour freshly buried corpses". It kind of scarred me.'
Instead of answering, Tully pulled a rotted limb from a coffin and shot her a wry look.
'Alright, you've made your point,' she swatted him playfully, he shoved bones and sinew out of the way before flinging his arms around her and they somehow ended up in a confusion of limbs and different coloured hair.
It was growing colder in the crypt, and the rain still hadn't stopped, the air felt cool and fresh from where it crept under the split wooden door into the muggy inner air. Daciana shuffled closer to Tully, seeking the warmth that seemed to blaze in his very bones, she blew a stray curl off the end of her nose.
'Rule One of "The Idiot's Guide to the Werewolf"; clothes don't make the man,' Daciana prodded Tully in the leg, 'That sound good?'
'Hm.' He shifted slightly behind her, the steady beat of his heart striking a tempo on her shoulder blade, 'Should be "The Idiot's Guide to Loving the Werewolf",' he said softly.
Daciana snorted, 'Alright then, Rule One; "Clothes don't make the man".'
'But if they did, it's important to note a werewolf is always snappily dressed.'
A dull tearing noise filled the small, grey space; Tully was gnawing his fingernails again, 'Don't you think maybe Rule One should be "Don't believe the hype". Rule Two would be "Clothes don't make the man",' he articulated around his thumb.
'Alright then that's a truly disgusting habit, Tul, don't do it so close to my ear Rule Three "Silver has nothing to do with it".'
'That is a very weird one, I never understood it,' Tully had removed his fingers from his mouth and was instead rolling a feminine-looking femur back and forth idly.
Crossing her legs Daciana shrugged, 'Me neither. Though I reckon it has something to do with the idea that you could cure a werewolf if you nailed its hands or paws to a piece of wood, preferably from the Holy Cross, with silver.'
'Ain't they fascinating.'
She laughed mirthlessly, 'Yeah, as long as you're not on the receiving end.'
Tully shifted uncomfortably, 'You reckon we should include some lore on to how people became werewolves, curses and water and that.'
'I suppose. Have to condense it though. Many people think getting scratched or bitten is the only way to get turned. But if you drink from water pooling in a werewolf's footprint, or offend a witch, you're liable to be flipped,' she met Tully's green-gold eyes, 'Supposedly.'
'You know an awful lot,' Daciana made a non-committal sound, 'But of course the big mistake is everyone assuming we've no idea what happens once we change,' mused Tully quietly. Outside the rain rolled off the ivy leaves like seed pearls. They listened to the tinny, icy notes as the droplets struck the flagstones below, 'What do you feel when it happens?'
Daciana pulled herself up, away from Tully's chest and its beating heart, she glanced at him from over her shoulder, through dark, anarchic hair, with feral eyes. The steady drip of water on moss echoed gelatinously in the gloom, as if something thicker than water was being spilt.
'You want to know how I feel, Tully? When the moon hangs fat in the sky like a blind eye? When my skin has curled away and my bones reformed themselves into something more than human, less than wolf?' She brushed a hand over her cheekbones as if imagining them different. Stranger. 'I feel like I've been drinking, smoking shooting drugs - I feel fucking amazing. And I want to do terrible, terrible things. I want to feel the hot blood blossoming between my teeth, the heart struggling and stuttering and stopping. I don't want to kill, exactly, but I know I wouldn't stop, if I had the chance. The most terrible thing is that before I even change I feel excited for the liberation I'll experience, for the violence and the freedom and the sheer orgiastic - ' she seemed to catch herself, reign in her flood of emotion, the carefully bound desire that wrapped itself tightly around her bones; she shot Tully a sly look, 'And you?' she said softly.
He pulled her close again, the shock of warmth surprising her and for once, Daciana let herself be weak, let herself be held by this youth. Tully didn't reply, but then, he didn't need to. With a pang Daciana realised they were of one mind, that they had always been. Siblings. Lovers. Unconsummated consummation of the flesh, as was their nature; the nature of the flesh eater. The rain had stopped.
'Rule Four,' Tully whispered in a voice as rough as his cheek, '"The worst wolves wear their fur on the inside."'
Write a piece using quotes from a book the main character(s) refer(s) to as "The Idiot's Guide to Loving a Werewolf". Feel free to make the quotes as silly or as serious as you'd like. You must "quote" the book at least three times.
Word limit: 2000 Deadline: March 31 Include prompt, group icon, and specific feedback questions in comments.
thanks to without whom this would never have been written.
Word Count: 2,000 exactly
Questions: What do you think of the characters? i think they're pretty bastardy and heartless, which is why i love them so, but how do they come across? does the infintissimal detail of each mean you want to know more, or that you know enough about them? are they nicely rounded? also, what kind of relationship do you think the two are in at this moment?
How's the dialogue? does it get slow? i find dialogue to frequently be my weakest point.
Is the transition to a more serious note at the end feasable? does it seem out of place?
and the very final paragraph; what do you think of it? it seems disjointed, and i wanted that to convey a sense of Daciana's fractured revelation. does it work?
[so many questions...]
all the werewolf lore is accurate to European legend.
also, the song they reference at the beginning/Tully mutilates is this; [link] he's a strangely cultured lad that Tully. any comments would be so very much loved with all my inhuman heart <3
IN ADDITION has been so good to read this bad boy OUTLOUD. so please, go on and tell her what you think, it's a little bit awesome [link]
Hi, i thought this piece was really interesting and really well written. The only major issue i have is that, whilst your description is lovely, but i feel like there's too much of it. I feel that too much description slows down a piece - but i guess i'm more of an action reader.
I think in the first line, where you write "the two where", i think you mean "were".
You added "plays havoc with every sense." at the end of on of the sentence but i'm not sure what this is supposed to mean/if it makes sense in that sentence.
"soft shattering" - I’m not sure “soft” fits with exploding and shattering
I think you could cut out this sentence: "and seemed to be completely at ease with his surroundings " because i think we can already tell he's pretty comfortable.
"virtually nothing the man" - nothing about
" Frowning, Tully seemed to instinctively know that she wasn't talking physical age , " - i think we can guess that she's talking about werewolf age, you could remove this.
"She put her hand on the crown of his head and ruffled his hair enthusiastically." - i think you could just say "she ruffled his hair", because it's very wordy for such a simple action.
"somewhat defensively" - i think you could cut this because we can tell he's being defensive.
"companionable silence" - personally, i just don't think you need to describe everything
"feminine-looking femur" - how does a femur look feminine?
Those are just some things i noticed. It looks like a massive list, but i think the piece is really good and you're a good writer. Keep up the good writing
I love heartless characters. I always have. And I love yours! They're so well-developed; real flesh-and-blood people captured so smoothly that I would almost think you had just dictated for real people. It flows smoothly, and your words are never awkward or misplaced. I love it!
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`anmari has been spreading her infectious positivity throughout our community for over 6 years. Throughout this time Ana has been at the core of all things devious, passionately developing an eclectic gallery, helping organise devmeets, participating in chat events and also recently completed dedicating her time as a Community Volunteer. We are absolutely delighted to bestow the Deviousness Award for May 2013 to `anmari, congratulations! Read More