Just a bit more added to Part III of Sparkly Horn Horror this week and I think, or at least hope, to be able to start writing more beginning next week. I know my writing has been on and off the past while, but … there is hope …
Sparkly Horn Horror
The first thing that all of the textbooks taught about quarantine was that you needed to minimize the risk to the outside world. Florence had—stupidly it seemed—assumed that all of the staff and patients had left. Abby put paid to that dream and make it a nightmare.
The sound of snapping fingers, accompanied by a slightly miffed tone of voice, brought Florence out of her thoughts: “Doc? Uh … could you please tell me where Adam is? Please?”
The question would have been innocent, except that the outfit Abby was wearing consisted of an oversized sweater and a pair of clear plastic stripper heels. Clearly, she was asking not out of innocence, but out of her own needs. And those needs had endangered her needlessly.
Florence pinched her nose: “Abby, what the hell are you still doing here? I know you were released this morning. I signed the forms. Come to think of it, I also told you to get your tail out of here and to go home.”
Abby looked at her feet and scraped the toe of one of her heels on the floor: “Umm … yeah, you did, Doc. But I … well … kind of …”
“Yes, I can see that. Why didn’t you go home, Abby?”
She looked at Florence: “Didn’t … want to.”
A long sigh, then: “Never mind; it’s too late now, anyway.”
Abby looked up in surprise at the tone of voice in those words: “What do you mean by that, Doc?”
“I mean you aren’t going home anytime soon, Abby.”
It took about ten minutes to get Abby up to speed on what was going on, and, at the end, she stood there with an unreadable expression before responding in an eerily calm voice: “So what you are saying is that a friend of yours is sealed up in a room with Adam and she’s fucking him.”
“That’s putting things in a really bad way, Abby. Neither of them are exactly themselves at the moment. You probably wouldn’t even recognize Adam. I can barely recognize Deb, and that’s only because they are the only two in that room.”
“But … she’s fucking him.”
“Not because she wants to. Neither of them wants to.”
“How are you sure? They might want to. She might have set all of this up to get Adam from …”
“Abby, you have got to be kidding. You are trying to tell me that she’d go and get herself in a position where she’s turned into … that thing … for the sake of getting into Adam’s pants?”
“Why not? You don’t know what she’s thinking, or what happened, or why. All you know for sure is that she’s got him and he’s …”
Florence threw up her hands in disgust: “Fine! Yes! Deb is getting the shit fucked out of her by Adam! She’s planned this all along to get into his pants! Are you happy? Is that all that matters to you?”
Abby had the oddest look in her eyes, one that caught Florence and made her worry: “Yes, it does. I don’t care who your friend is, she isn’t good enough for Adam. Actually, neither are you, Doc.”
Florence’s eyes narrowed and she answered with a dangerous tone in her voice: “What do you mean by that, Abby?”
“I know you and Adam were fucking at the nurse’s station. You think I didn’t hear you? You think that I couldn’t tell? You can’t hide that from me, Doc. You …”
Abby was stopped in mid-rant by Florence slapping her, hard, and then it was Florence’s turn: “You think I don’t know you have a doctor fetish? You think that I don’t know you want into Adam’s pants in the worst way? I’ve walked past your room and heard you moaning out his name in the middle of the night! You aren’t fooling anyone!”
Abby was in tears as she screamed: “Fuck you, Doc! What do you care, anyway? You don’t own him! You don’t run his life!”
“No, I don’t! Neither do you! He’s not your pet or your toy … not that you wouldn’t make a great pet, at that!”
Abby started to run towards Florence, her hands in fists, meaning to hurt her any way she could. How dare she say those things about him!
Before things got much further, John coughed, then interrupted, waving his glasses at the pair: “If you are both done acting like children, perhaps you might think about the fact that you, Florence, have very little time left, and you, Abby, are likely going to be the only one in here when she is no longer capable of thinking about doing anything about this mess you are both in. So, why don’t the two of you get past who’s—as you so eloquently put it—‘fucking’ whom, and get to the question of who’s trying to ‘fuck’ the Realm and how to stop it?”
Abby was the first to speak after the shock of John’s words got through to them: “You just don’t understand. You can’t understand because you’re a … a thing. You have no idea what it feels like.”
Florence was going to say something more, but she bit back the words when she saw the look in John’s eyes and found herself feeling … bad … for him. Shaking her head, she cleared her thoughts and chalked up her emotions over John to being part of this thing that she was starting to suffer from. Of course it was that. It couldn’t be that she actually felt something for him. He didn’t exist, save in a computer. It was probably better that way.
Somehow, a part of her didn’t really agree with those thoughts. Shaking her head, Florence walked back to her desk and asked: “John, tell me the names of everyone that is here, please.”
“You, Florence; Abby, of course; Adam and Deborah and …” There was a pause, an odd one, then “… and myself.”
“Abby, have you seen anyone else here?”
Turning away with a shake of her head, Abby replied, sighing: “No, I was looking for Adam. I thought I heard his voice here in your office. Thought that … that he was here … with you.”
“I … stupidly had John show me what they were doing. It wasn’t a good idea.”
“Because I started to slip away … felt like I had to go to them and … join in … couldn’t think of anything else.”
Abby twined a finger in her green hair: “Kind of explains why you’re so horny, Doc … Sorry. I know that’s not you. You’re a little too straight-laced to be that horny … reputation or not.”
They shared a look, then Abby asked: “Can I see them?”
John replied to that: “It would be best that Florence not see what is happening.”
Abby nodded: “‘Kay. But you can show me, right?”
He waved his glasses in the direction of a tablet on the desk: “I’ll send a feed to that tablet. But you do not allow Florence to see it. When you are done I will end the feed.”
Abby took the tablet and moved off to the far corner of the office, then held the tablet up: “Okay … whenever.”
John’s image wavered a moment, then he replied: “Video only, no audio.”
Abby stood there, like a statue, for a good five minutes, looking at the video. Florence could see her face—not the tablet, thankfully—and watched Abby’s eyes grow very large as the video started, and then narrow to thin slits when she finally said: “I’ve seen enough.”
Abby put the tablet on the desk again, asking: “Are you sure it’s them?”
“It is. There’s no question. They can’t portal out, nothing can go in.”
“They … they don’t …”
“I know. I said you might not recognize them.”
“Doc, they look … wild. I can’t see Adam there. I mean, he has to be … it’s him … but it isn’t … not even close.”
Florence leaned against her desk, nudging some papers on the floor with her shoe: “Whatever happens, it’s like who you are gets buried under the need to …”
Florence smiled and wagged a finger: “Truth. Have you ever been with Adam?”
The blush was something to see. It went right up her tail and horns: “I … No, we haven’t. He probably doesn’t even know I exist. I mean, he’s seen me, said “hi” and stuff … just been too scared of asking him to … you know …”
“Fuck your brains out?”
Abby bit her lip and nodded: “Gawd, Doc he’s … perfect. Can’t explain it … I just … can’t stop thinking about him.”
Florence managed a soft laugh: “Oh Abby… I think you might have found your Eternal.”
Abby’s eyes grew wide as saucers and her tail wrapped around her right leg nervously: “You … You think so?”
Florence walked up to Abby: “I’ve seen the signs before. I think so, can’t be sure, of course, but … you’ll know.” The smile left and she turned away: “Tera tells everyone that.”
“You don’t have one, Doc?”
“Never had time to look. He’s out there somewhere—I can feel him—but he’s never made himself known, and I haven’t gone and spent the time to go looking.”
“You know Doc, as smart as you are, you really are a dummy.”
“Probably so … probably so.”
Abby looked out the door thoughtfully, John standing there watching them both: “How do we try to get him and Deb back?”
“There isn’t an answer yet, but we’ll find one, somehow. We have to.”
“Yeah. It doesn’t sound like a lot of fun, honestly. Getting the hell fucked out of me forever doesn’t turn me on. Any ideas where to start?”
“Miriam and Tera are trying to find a solution.”
“Well, that’s something. Can we do anything?”
“We can’t go in there for one thing. As much as I have figured out, exposure to them will speed things up.”
“So you can’t actually learn anything?”
“There’s not a lot to learn, Abby. I know that it starts with your thoughts starting to drift, you imagine you can hear … something … something that gets you hot and wet, and there’s an itch you need to scratch, but you can’t … yourself.”
“Yeah.” Florence paused, then changed the subject: “You know, I’ve never asked, what’s your ‘thing,’ anyway?”
Abby looked confused: “Thing?”
“Medicine is mine. What’s your’s?”
“You’ll laugh. I’m a pink-tail. We’re supposed to be all sex and no brains.”
“You never struck me as no brains. All sex, sure, but you never acted like a total bimbo. Try me.”
The blush came back: “I … have a green thumb. I love flowers and … stuff.”
“Goes with your hair?”
Abby pouted: “That was kind of a mistake with a bottle of magic fertilizer. I was a redhead, once.”
“Green looks better on you.”
Abby had a wistful smile: “Wish Adam would say that.”
Florence didn’t know how to answer, and, in the next moment, Abby was turning and walking to the door.
“Abby? Where are you going?”
She stopped at the door, her hand on the doorframe: “I’m going to see Adam. If I’m going to lose him, lose me, then I’m going to be the one that makes it happen. I’m not gonna wait around for stuff to just happen.”
“Abby, please don’t! That’s being stupid!”
Abby shrugged: “Sorry Doc, you’re not my type. Not really into girls. See ya’.”
As Abby vanished from view, Florence called out for her to stop, to turn around … Abby didn’t reply, and, as the doctor ran after her, she had but one thought: “The stupid things we do for love.”
Abby’s thoughts weren’t all that clear, but she knew one thing: if she was John’s Eternal, she was going to get that slut off of him and put her through a wall to do it. It wasn’t smart, but the anger that had been building inside of her had boiled over.
She needed to know—everything else be damned—if John was hers. It didn’t matter if he didn’t know who she was, couldn’t speak or anything else. She was going to see to it that no one else was ever going to be with him again.
Elsewhere, Tera and Miriam had been waiting for some time—how long Miriam wasn’t quite clear on. “Um … Tera? How long do we wait?”
“As long as it wants us to. It’s kind of a pain in the tail at times.”
Miriam was going to reply, but was stopped when she noticed something odd that had suddenly appeared in mid-air just in front of her. It was something she never expected when Tera brought her here. It was what appeared to be an old writing quill, green in colour, glowing with a purplish light. When Tera didn’t speak, Miriam asked: “What is that?”
“That is something I have always thought of as the Storyteller of the Realm. To be honest, I don’t even know if it has a name. It’s never told me.”
The quill started to move swiftly, the glow moving from the tip, words appearing as it did so …
Some secrets are never told. Some are. Welcome both: the one that is and the one to be.
Miriam looked at Tera: “What does …”
Tera put her hand over Miriam’s lips to stop her in mid-sentence. Then Tera’s tail held up a sign to her: Be careful what you say. We have little time here and when that glow ends our time is up.
Miriam nodded in understanding as Tera asked: “An old curse has returned to the Realm … the one that almost ended us. We need to know how to stop it.”
The quill replied: The story continues. The loss returns. Remember stories you have been told.
“They are too vague, too unclear. We have little time left. I ask … I plead. Will you give the answer?”
Remember your stories. The answer is there to be found.
Miriam frowned: “This is so confusing. I thought it was going to help us!”
The answer you seek is the one you already know, brightest of the yellow. Find the answer in yourselves.
Tera looked at Miriam, then at the quill, with some concern in her eyes. The glow had faded, just slightly, but it had.
This was the problem with the storyteller. It liked to tell stories, to reveal what it knew, but it never could just come out and answer a question.
To be honest with herself, Tera knew why that was. The storyteller was tied to the Librarian of the Realm and usually took on some of their traits. As Tera didn’t exactly come out and answer questions directly, it took on that trait.
For one of the very few times, Tera was on the other side of the situation when someone asked her a question. There was a difference however. She had been doing this for her entire life and she knew how she herself thought.
There was an answer, but it was hidden in the pages of a book, a line of a poem, a passage in a scroll … something … somewhere. The problem was coming up with the question in just the right way, the way that would reveal that secret. It was a safeguard, one that made things more complicated and, at least at the moment, very desperately so.
Time was running out, and it seemed that the storyteller had more riddles than answers. They just needed to figure out the answers to the riddles. Or ask the right questions …
Tera looked at Miriam and thought about everything the yellow-tail been through—her Eternal, some of the sillier moments that she’d seen from the two of them—and the Queen smiled. She remembered some of her own life, the connection that she had with her own Eternal, what it meant to her. She thought about the connection, the touch, the knowledge that having an Eternal meant, how having her Eternal had mattered so many times in the past. She sighed then, thinking about how this … thing … changed those of the Realm, wondering if that Eternal connection would be lost, as well.
That last thought brought Tera up short, and a question came to her. She considered the question carefully, thinking about all of the possible replies she might receive. It seemed like an obvious question, but that might be the point.
Sometimes the answers are staring at you. You just need to see them.