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Locna's den



McRakley was a fisherman of the old Trykoth, long before the first Great Swarm. His tribe, located in a small coastal village in Breneth Bay, lived mainly from the pearl trade.

He had two twin sisters, Ruddie and Rebbie, two years older than him, with whom he spent most of his time diving into the surrounding shores to collect pearls and shells.

He loved diving terribly. But... he also dreamed of other horizons.

One day while wandering through Breneth Harbour, he heard about a mysterious little creek well beyond their usual fishing grounds, infested with prakkers and home to a gigantic marine creature, it was said. Others claimed that it was the den of a witch who had denied Jena and turned to Kami demons.

From then on, his interest was aroused and he convinced himself that the place must have been full of rare pearls. Even his sisters, who were usually much more reasonable, could not resist the desire to explore this place, cursed or not. So, on Frutor's last day, they left the village at dawn on their fishing boat and set sail for their mysterious destination.

The afternoon was coming to an end when they saw the creek, clearly recognizable by the very high broken arch cliff overlooking the access to the small cove. A victorious smile illuminated their faces.

But when they arrived a few dozen steps from the ark, they were worried. The waves had suddenly become darker and agitated with eddies.  

- the prakkers! They said in unison, a trace of fear in the voice.

Attracted by the newcomers, they headed for the boat and soon surrounded it. In front of them, a more massive individual blocked the passage and regularly pulled his head out of the waves to threaten them with his sharp-toothed jaws.

But McRakley and his two sisters held on. Putting away their oars to avoid hurting or annoying the prakkers, they let the wind do its work. Finally the great prakker plunged into a great crash, and McRakley feared that he would rise violently to capsize the frail boat and throw them into the bubbling waves. Preparing for the worst, he grabbed his fishing knife firmly, quickly imitated by his sisters.

But the great prakker did not reappear. Soon they crossed the threshold of the ark and immediately their escort lost interest in them, turning back.

As soon as the boat was secured on the narrow beach, McRakley grabbed his knife and dived towards the nearby cliff, ignoring the grumbling of his sisters who were busy setting up camp. Used to small coves like these, he soon found some beautiful specimens. He was about to go up again when his attention was drawn to a bright white glow on the bottom of the water.

It was actually a good-sized pearl, almost entirely embedded in the bark. Armed with his blade, he cleared it not without difficulty, trying not to chip it, before coming up to the surface to catch his breath.

He swam to the beach, too eager to show his discovery to his sisters! But they were in conversation with a fairly tall tryker homina, whose purple hair waved down to her lower back, which was more than unusual.

He didn't know why, but he felt he shouldn't show the white pearl to the stranger, so he slipped it into one of his pockets.

The homina turned to him and nodded his head as a greeting:
- Hi, I'm Locna. You're not the guests I was expecting, but come to my place, I'll prepare you a hot meal. The night is cool here when the wind rises.

Without waiting for their answer, she headed for a small bark growth, and McRakley soon found himself on a fairly steep trail, cracking along the cliff. Looking up, he could see, far up at the top, the sparkling glow of a campfire. It took them half an hour to reach the camp and it was now dark night, the sky was dotted with countless stars. McRakley, like his sisters, had had a tough day: he was starving and thirsty.

Locna invited them to sit down, which they did without being asked twice.

- I'll get you a fish broth, don't move. And *meaning a tray by the fire* don't touch these breads, they are for my other guests.

On these words, she disappeared into the large tent that was to serve as her reserve. Patience was not McRakley's cardinal virtue. His avid gaze turned to the appetizing pastries left to cool.

- Mack No! whispered his sisters in chorus.

But he had already taken a pair of these rolls and put them in his mouth without any other kind of trial. That's when Locna came back and caught MacRakley in the act. He had the good taste to look shameful, but Locna was not touched in the slightest by it.

Suddenly, she grew bigger, bigger, bigger, even bigger than the size of a zorai, her eyes became colored with a greenish shade. Her purple hair, now tinged with scarlet and black, rose up, framing her pale and rabid face. With a deep and hoarse voice, she cried out:

- What have you done, you idiot! Hold him back, sisters!

McRakley sketched a retreat, preparing to protect his sisters. He turned to them and froze. Like Locna, their skin had turned grey, and their eyes had changed. They walked towards him with muffled growls and extended their hands. Their purplish fingers bristling with long, tapered claws.

He felt Locna's breath on his neck and threw himself to the side, rushing towards the beach path. But giants blocked his way. Three monstrous Zorais, whose sinisterly shaped masks wore bloody tattoos, lifted long sticks that threw blue flashes of lightning.


Trapped! Trapped!


He turned around, desperately looking for another way out. His sisters were on him. Rebbie embraced his body and grabbed him with strength, while Ruddie held his legs together, immobilizing him. Locna, on the other hand, continued her slow approach, confident of her victory.

In a final surge of energy, he gave a violent head butt to one, and an avalanche of punches to the other, until he was released from their grip. Then he charged in the only direction he had left, without thinking, running straight ahead, blindly, until he lost his breath. He did not need to turn around to know that the monstrous pack was on his heels, as their screams became more and more angry and sharp.

Suddenly, a movement on the ground caught his eye but too late: tangled roots had risen out of the bark and made him lose his balance. He felt his sap flowing down his arm, but strengthened his will and stood up again to resume his frantic run. But nothing awaited him at the end of the road but despair: cornered on the edge of the precipice, he had only two options: turn around or jump.

He looked at his pursuers. They had stopped, on the lookout. Locna and his sisters addressed him with their deep and gloomy voice:

- come... with... ussss.... !

With tears in his eyes, he bade his farewells to his sisters, then threw himself into the void, ready to sell his life at a high price. His sudden arrival in the water reminded him how bruised his body was. His arm injury was throwing him terribly.

But it was McRakley's least of his concerns. Attracted by the sap, three dark forms moved towards him, quickly followed by others. They were on him, it was over, he was sure of it. But they wouldn't get away with it without a blow.

It was then that the agitation spread to the aqua-predators. Suddenly, blue flashes of lightning spread through the water, knocking out some prakkers and driving others away. And despite the poor clarity of the stars, McRakley could see the terrible beast that was coming at him: he had only escaped the prakkers to be chased by a gigantic white baldusa.

Dodging the masterful beast, he made a long cut with his knife on the left flank. She rumbled and her reaction did not take long. Lightning struck the water again, and McRakley was suddenly tetanized. Unable to swim or breathe, he sank to the depths, his eyes riveted on this majestic creature.

And as she rushed towards him, with her jaws open, he chose to close his eyes and abandon himself to his tragic destiny.

***

McRakley opened his eyes. He could feel the warm sawdust against his skin. Not far away, his two sisters were yapping as they gutted fish. He perceived a close and startled presence. Locna stood beside him, holding in his hand a cloth soaked in a mixture with a pungent smell.

- You...

His two sisters turned their heads towards him when they heard his voice. Visibly relieved, they got up and nevertheless left to settle further away, ostensibly turning their backs on him.

- what...

- Shhhhhh. Not a word, you need to rest. But the next time I say don't eat a dish, listen to me. Those are not for you.

McRakley eventually figured it out.

- The breads? So I was delirious, then?
- That's one of the effects of my mushrooms, yes.
- But then, the monsters, the claws, the white baldusa, all that was my imagination?
- Yes. As for the white baldusa... who knows? Here, I think this is yours.

She handed him the white pearl.

- Now get some rest.

The exhaustion came back to numb his body, but before falling asleep, he noticed, as she stood up, a long estafilade on his left side that he had not seen the day before.


.

Edited 4 times | Last edited by Kurutani (4 days ago)

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Curudan O'Polly aka Kurutani
Tryka. Meer. Sella.
Tey amn o Lochi
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Last visit Wed Nov 13 12:34:52 2019 UTC
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