>> Friday, July 1, 2011
Some time back, Relax Max did an exercise on his blog where he took a picture and wrote a scene to describe it, as if you were putting that scene in a book. Naturally, I had to try my hand at that, too. At the time, I assured him, I'd return the favor when I'd found just the right picture.
Well, boys and girls, here's a winner from Vampire Knight by Matsuri Hino. And, hey, it doesn't even have dialog to get in the way. You don't have to assume vampires, of course, but then that will mean pushing the ol' imagination just a bit further. Me too, especially since I know the real characters. It's interesting enough I might talk about that on the next post since my daughter and I had a conversation about it. But first, the exercise (click for a bigger version of the picture)!
When Kadon opened his door to the pounding that sounded even over the wind, he was unsurprised to see someone so close to death. After all, with his home just outside the village walls, his was frequently the first place--the only place--a survivor could go. A glance told him this one had only moments yet to live. Blood stained his shirt, his hands, from a vicious slashes to the throat. Kadon shook his head and tried to close the door.
The man surprised him by wedging his body into the door before Kadon could close it. His body might be fading, but his spirit was strong. Oh well, those were the ones most likely to be attacked by the nightbeasts. It was miraculous he had made it this far. "Please," the man begged.
Kadon was not a sympathetic soul but felt something approaching pity. "There is nothing to be done. Your wounds are too grievous."
"We were attacked! The Queen--," That explained the uniform and the foolhardiness of anyone out in these woods at night. The Queen, famed for her sorcery, probably thought her magic could protect her against the nightbeasts. "You have to save her!" The smell of blood was overwhelming and sweet, familiar...appealing.
"She's hardly my problem," Kadon said, but left the door open so the man could stumble in. "I doubt there is naught left to save if any were foolish enough to try to do so." Kadon felt his voice grow cold. "She and her armies have all but eliminated the nightbeasts in every corner of the country save here. She was an idiot to think she could pass through their last remaining stronghold unscathed."
The man had fallen to his knees and Kadon unconsciously crouched in front of him to catch his rasping whisper. "No...choice. Capital...ransacked...by...Daynor. No...where...to...run."
Daynor! Kadon would have stood at that, but the man grabbed him by the shirt, his fancy pistol still in his bloodstained hands. "That's impossible," Kadon said. Kadon was no friend to the Queen, but anyone was better than the Black Viper of Westrim. Death Merchant. Soulstealer. The Queen had been brutal in suppressing those magical factions she deemed a threat, but at least those were clean deaths, not the unholy experiments Daynor favored, the tortures and torments he reveled in.
"No...time..." the man gasped, pulling on Kadon with his last bit of strength. "Must...save...Queen..."
"I told you. It's too late for her unless she's in your pocket. It's even too late for you. If she was the sorceress she claimed to be, she should have found some way to escape."
"She...did..." the man breathed and, to Kadon's shock, latched his mouth to his neck, over the artery. At first, Kadon thought he meant to attack until he felt the cold shock of another soul entering his body, his mind, trying to subvert him as the man's body fell, lifeless, to the floor.
You, he accused. You will not take me over as easily as this man.
The unmistakable essence of the Queen laughed, though it was not a joyful sensation. Good. A weak man would not serve my purpose nor leave me any hope to regain my country.
You will not possess me.
Perhaps. I've a strong will, too. But you will not easily be quit of me either.
Kadon felt the truth of those words. But then, he knew something the Queen did not. You should have found a different host, Majesty. I am not an ordinary man.
With no effort, he transformed, shredding his bloody clothes with his massive new form: King Panther. Without a word, he began to feed on the warm flesh and last vestiges of spirit remaining in the Queen's henchman.
If he expected her horror, he waited in vain. She was so silent as he began his feast he wondered if she had, indeed, fled until she spoke at last with smug satisfaction.