A Hint of Sand

Discussion in 'Archives' started by The Mighty BaconShark, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. The Mighty BaconShark

    The Mighty BaconShark I refuse

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    The wind was filled with pain. A constant blast of relentless tiny hail, slowly eating away at rocks and lonely trees in vast, empty lands. The tiny hail was actually sand, and the trees were dry, light green, and had many needles sticking out of them. Snow just didn't know what to call them properly, because it was the first time he was introduced to these things. He had heard of these sand worlds before, the opposite of the snowy tundra's he was so used to and was raised in.

    Being an outcast from the Protectors drove him to these lands. The endless hills of swaying bumps, covered in nothing but sand. The sun always present, burning down on stone and face. The ex-Protector had gotten sunburned badly, and had learned to wrap a thin gray scarf around his neck and face, much like he had done back home in the snow. It protected him from these wind bursts. Sand storms. They came around a few times each day as he travelled, hoping to come across the friendly town he was told about.

    He had no sure goal in mind now that he was 'released' from his duties, or better said, when he chose to do it so himself. It meant being haunted by Protector assassins for the rest of his life, but that was just the choice he lived with now.

    The white haired young man was wearing loose clothing and strong boots, all covered in layers of sand and dust. Sand was everywhere. Unlike snow, it would find its way through the tiniest of cracks. Earlier he had found a pair of goggles on a skeleton nearby one of the green spiked trees, and together with the scarf his entire face was now covered. It would suffice as protection as the sand storm continued to pester him from time to time.

    It wasn't until a couple hours later when he spotted the first houses appearing in the distance. The storm had gotten a bit less, but he would be glad to find some shelter here. As he entered the town, he noticed that the ground was more solid, even paved with stone like big cities at some locations. The houses were made of dark gray wood and seemed reasonably strong, holding their own against the sandstorms that dwelled by now and then. As he stepped forward, he felt his bones ache. He had been walking for three straight days through these sandy lands, not having spoken to a single soul.

    All he could hope for were some friendly folk. If not, well, there would be blood.
    Snow had gotten cold and relentless in his actions, and wasn't afraid to show it. The young man looked up, pulling the goggles up from his eyes to rest them on his white hairs as he looked at a big sign above a large wooden house.

    The Saloon.

    That was all it said, and that was good enough for Snow. He entered, bringing in gusts of wind as he stepped inside.
     
  2. The Mighty BaconShark

    The Mighty BaconShark I refuse

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    There were only a few people in the Saloon, and they were all watching Snow as he walked to the bar, his scarf still covering half of his face. He pulled it down as a show of good faith, and sat down on one of the bar stools. Next to him was a woman, her face a bit dirty and carrying two guns at her side. Next to her were two older men who also stared at him, one of them seemingly to miss all of his teeth.

    Snow ignored this, staying calm as if he walked into a den of wolves. Showing fear would cause them to jump him and rip him apart. He ordered water, and the tavern owner stood silent for a few seconds.

    Only the wind outside howled softly, leaving Snow with his thoughts as he kept his calm.

    Then the bar man gave a nod and got out a glass. As if on cue the other people continued their conversation and seemed more at ease. It was strange, because Snow had heard this was a friendly desert down. It was one of the reasons he chose to travel past here. He got handed a glass of some dirty looking water, and with slight hesitation he took a sip, noticing it tasted pretty good, and took a bigger gulp. He emptied the glass and let out a refreshing sigh. All he had to drink the last couple days was lukewarm sandy water.

    "Prickly juice." Said the bar man, leaning back against the liquor cabinet behind him. He was middle aged, balding slightly and far from skinny. It seemed they had enough to eat here. Snow nodded in reply, holding up the glass for another round, which the bar man complied to.

    "We got a farm of them green pricklies outside. It ain't cold water but it has them neccesary vitalmens, they say."

    "Vitamins, Larry, vitamins." Said the woman next to Snow, giving him a slight smile.

    The bar man shrugged in reply, watching Snow down another glass of prickly juice eagerly. "Where ya from, boy? Don't see ta many loners around these parts go by on foot. They tend to die out there." The bar man grinned, showing him lacking a front tooth. Apparently people dying was funny.

    Snow smiled, licked his lips and removed the goggles that were still on his head, putting them down on the hard wooden bar. The smiling felt forced, something he didn't do a whole lot, but it helped in situations like this. It was good to stay on the good side of a town like this. He decided not to waste to much time and just be upfront about what he wanted. "I am merely passing through. I got a few coins to pay for drinks, but I was wondering if there's any job for me that would pay me a night of sleep and some food."

    The bar man narrowed his eyes and looked up at the ceiling as he thought about what the pure white haired young man said. "Well... them foxies give us trouble. But we got ol' Earl takin' care of them. Nuttin' here for ya to do, really. The town of Desert Rock holds its own against many things, ya see." The bar man nodded proud and the two older men at the bar interupted their conversation briefly to raise their glass and mutter a short "Hear, hear!" before continuing their talk.

    "There is always them murders..." The woman said softly, and a silence fell as everyone looked at her, causing her cheeks to turn red.
     
  3. The Mighty BaconShark

    The Mighty BaconShark I refuse

    Joined:
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    Snow silenced, sipping on his third glass of lukewarm Prickly juice. For a moment he considered not asking about it and just to move on, but figured there could be some pay in it. After all, a good meal and place to sleep that wasn't covered in sand would be a great convenience.

    "What murders?"

    "Please, don't ask me. I am not supposed to talk about it." said the woman as the other people in the Saloon kept quiet.

    "How so?"

    "It's just... I... Killings. Demons. If I say more I... please!" she said, her eyes tearing up as she put her glass down on the bar and turned around, running away as she barged out the door into the heath outside. Snow had not moved and was still looking at his empty glass quietly.

    Larry frowned and shook his head as he took the two glasses on the bar. "Take my advice, stranger, and move on. We'll manage. Please pay up now." He said, his voice soft but determined.

    Snow was surprised by this turn of events but didn't let it be noticed. He stood up and got out a little pouch and turned it around. A couple of silver and bronze coins fell out, which was the last of his money. "Keep the change." he spoke before turning around and going outside.

    Whatever it was, it wasn't his problem, obviously. But he still needed a place to sleep for the night.
     
  4. The Mighty BaconShark

    The Mighty BaconShark I refuse

    Joined:
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    When he stepped out, he felt something was off. The surroundings were exactly the same as before, hot and dry, but he felt like he could think better now he had sufficient fluids in his body. To preserve his energy, he made his body go into a certain state of meditation where it required the bare minimum what was needed to keep itself moving. However after drinking several glasses of fluids, he felt his senses coming fully back and noticed the closed windows and the rather empty street. The sun was lowering, showing nightfall was approaching.

    It wasn't a very large town. Sand danced gracefully in the streets as it kept being picked up by its guide the wind. So gracefully, yet Snow hated it and covered his nose and mouth with his scarf.

    The road was mostly covered in the endless bleak looking sand, but underneath was sturdy cobblestone. It made the ex-Protector think how they had gotten the materials out here, in the middle of eternity.

    His tin boots carefully walked down the road, sometimes seeing faces in windows before curtains blocked his view. He saw a few men sitting on a porch, smoking, but when he nodded they only greeted him with blank suspicious stares. Not everyone seemed as open as they had been in The Saloon.

    Then again, they had mentioned demons and the girl had run out panicked for even talking about it. Something must have been going on. Snow just couldn't imagine what these demons could be. He had never seen one and had no reason to assume they were real. At least he couldn't believe the concept of spiritual beings from the Netherrealm coming to walk the earths and devour innocent life. There were only hunters. Hunters and prey.

    A sudden scream to his left caught his attention. With a quick step his instincts set in as he ran towards the origin of the fearful scream, which came from between a home and a rock formation. When he turned the corner to the back of the wooden house, he saw the girl from earlier against the wall, crawling back up against it. Snow's eyes widened when he saw a reptile like creature hovering over the girl. It had very long arms, had the color of sand and horns come from its reptile like head. A long tail swept back and forth as it seemed to be sucking -there was no other word for it- something out of the girl who now had gone limp and completely silent. It was much like dark winds coming from the face of the girl and going into the open mouth of the creature, who moved back and forth softly. It was an eerie sight.

    Snow had already drawn his short sword and just wanted to start running to charge the beast when something shot by his face and hit the creature in the eye, who shrieked loudly. It was an inhuman sound. Snow looked behind him and saw a man standing in loose fitting black and white clothing, holding a bow in his hands, with a determined look on his face.