Putting the review-replies first this time!
To WOLFJADE28: Haha, thank you! (Hehe, same here; 'normal' is a rather foreign concept in my brain!) *cackles evilly* Thank you- also true, but it's so much fun to traumatize them! Thanks, and I hope the creativity returns to you and vanquishes the writer's-block! Actually I thought that description was quite poetic. Pffffft, hahaha, oh Mikey, my favorite silly turtle. Hrmmmm, I'm guessing it's either supplies or undergarments. Aah, no problem, I'm rather familiar with having a delusionally fried brain *crazy grin*. Thank you very much; authors need support and advise and compliments from one another; So the reviews are greatly appreciated, and I want to acknowledge them all with many thanks. (Also HA! You're right: she doesn't, so rude.)
To Shadow'sDelight: I'm guessing the happy excited emoticon means you're pleased with the story? If so, thank you and I'm glad you're enjoying it!
To Lady Granuaille: Really? Wow, thank you. Thanks, I tried to stay true to the story as much as I could. Very true, I do need to include more from their perspective, and I will try in the next chapter (Jabberwockies are so much more fun to write though. XD). Really? I find her kind of tricky to write... so, thanks! Thank yoouuuu, that would be quite the honor! Hmmmm, the dragon one does sound very intriguing. I've heard of the 'Wrinkle in time' one. Ah, sorry, I don't read anything that involves wizards or magic. Cool, and thank you very much yet again. (*grimaces* Actually I have time but I always wind up using it to read other stuff instead of writing my own...) Same. Thank you so very, very much! It mans a lot.
To Guest: Don't worry, I will. It just takes a while. Also, thank you!
Hello! Sorry, I know I keep taking a horribly long time to update, I don't mean to- I tell myself, 'alright, today or tomorrow I'll work on updating...' and then stuff happens and I forget and the hours vanish and at the end of the day I think, 'Drat. I didn't type anything AT ALL! ...I'll update tomorrow.' *smacks head on a random desk* ...
Ok. And also, some time after the previous update in October, one of our little ferret-sisters became ill. It was a tumor. We got medicine that was supposed to slow it, but... it did not work as long as we thought it would. She became lethargic and was hurting because the tumor had become so large, so we brought her to the vet, hoping we could give her something so she could live longer and not hurt as bad... But they said even if we did, she would have survived barely one more week and would still have been suffering. We decided not to let that happen, and stayed with her every second until... It still hurts. Our precious ferret-sister went to sleep on Friday, January 29 2016.
I posted the first chapter of a new story one week later and dedicated it to her.
I need to update it, after this... Anyway. I hope you enjoy the chapter. (Also, sorry if I made you sad. I just wanted to mention it.)
While they waited, the three did various things to keep entertained.
The old Jabberwocky, tired from the long flight, dozed. Occasionally he would shift around on the grass and look at the cloudy sky, then resume his nap. Alice thought- somewhat pettily- that he did seem very much like a curmudgeonly old man.
Linomil, antsy and easily bored, practiced aerial stunts and cautiously explored the edge of the town, poking his head through doorways and windows. Somehow he never got any of his frills stuck, though he did accidentally tear part of a roof when trying to squeeze between it and a couple trees growing along the town's main road.
Alice removed all her armor, made a pile of it, watched Linomil impishly knock the pile over, and made a better pile. She stretched her limbs until she was sore, braided and un-braided her hair, and attempted to do some cartwheels and climb a tree.
There were some slight hills, so she lay on her side and rolled down them a couple times, laughing and dizzy. The older Jabberwocky watched with what could've been amusement or fondness, while the younger did a few crazy somersaults down one of the larger hills.
Every once in a while, a couple villagers- three kids- snuck back to the houses to watch them.
Since they hadn't done any harm, Linomil reluctantly stopped chasing them off. The closest they'd gotten was about thirty yards away before he started getting tense and growling though.
Eventually Alice decided to put the situation to good use and approached them. The blue Jabberwock hissed at this and the older one watched intently, his claws sinking into the ground. Despite both sides' suspicions and the Jabberwocks' over-protectiveness, she managed to talk to one of the kids.
It was a girl a few years younger than her, leading her two friends to guard their village and watch the giant creatures (without any parents' permission of course). Alice told them to be more careful, because not all Jabberwockies would safely avoid them (*cough* Savierka *cough*).
When asked why she was willingly travelling with the two 'monsters,' she began telling the story the first Jabberwocky had told her, skipping over some parts of it. All three kids listened attentively, and frequently asked questions. For the ones Alice didn't know an answer to- and many there were- she just shrugged, or said she'd have to ask.
It wouldn't be good for these three to try asking the creatures themselves. Neither Jabberwocky was comfortable even allowing their little helper-human to interact with other humanoids. They seemed to tolerate it only because she wasn't running away and they could hear everything she said.
Finally, nearly an hour later, the old Jabberwocky- who'd been growing more and more restless- sat up straight, frills pricked. Stiffly he rose to his feet and wings, and Alice looked up from writing. A few moments ago she'd asked the kids to deliver a message to any search parties if they came by: that Alice was safe and to not attack any Jabberwockies.
The one boy in the trio had gotten a piece of paper for Alice to use, which she'd gladly accepted. She hadn't finished writing her note yet. The older Jabberwocky called her over and told her that they could now bring back the next member of his race.
Linomil was visibly excited, edging back and forth, fidgeting and wriggling in place. Alice considered teased that he'd wear away all the grass with his pacing, and he made a face at her.
She gave her unfinished paper back to the kids and ordered them to go back to the rest of the villagers. Then she ran back to the impatient Jabberwocky without looking back. The kids' retreating footsteps sounded like they'd left, though they probably stayed hidden in one of the houses, watching.
Alice glanced back for a second, and spotted them peeking out a doorway. Yep, still there, but hiding. She couldn't really blame them... To be honest, she admitted to herself with a smile, she probably would've done the same.
"Ready," she called, running alongside the older Jabberwocky as he headed toward... somewhere. Said-Jabberwocky nodded and started digging, scraping away a relatively thin layer of dirt from the ground. His claws twitched and he pulled back, lowering his head to unleash the purple venom into the ground.
"All I have to do is touch the ground, right?" Alice asked him, "So those, um, effect... fields... or whatever you called them, work?" "Yes," the Jabberwock answered distractedly as he crouched down and slid both sets of claws through the dirt, leaving long furrows in it.
Alice moved her hand along the ground where the Jabberwocky had, though she disliked the feel of still-wet venom sticking to her hands. She wiped it off on the ground, and jumped when she saw a bit of it move. A weird tingle ran up and down her arm, making her stand up and back away as the soil rippled in front of her.
She spotted the first Jabberwocky reaching for her and darted out of his way (also away from the slowly forming shape). The 'unexpected-grabbing-and-dragging-away's during the first two revivals still irritated her, and it felt good to be a step ahead for once.
The sight of the massive creature forming out of the ground, though now almost familiar, was still breath-taking and just a little frightening. Alice was sure she'd never get used to it.
The snake-like hide of the creature was a deep, dark red, with hints of a dull rust pattern along the spine. More dark fiery colors flowed across its massive wings like thick, blurry ribbons, and spiraled along its tail, where gaps of nothingness glowed white and black.
This one was nearly as large as the first Jabberwocky itself, and had the same long whiskers along its snout. Half of one was missing and shone darkly at the tip, as did multiple lacerations and gauges along its flanks and belly. Alice grimaced in pity.
When at last the enormous creature was completely restored, it stood blinking for a moment and regarded the other two Jabberwocks without saying a word. Linomil was bowing respectfully to the new one, and to Alice's surprise, so was the first.
The new one's dark blue gaze rested on Alice, and the huge claws sank into the ground with an almost deliberate slowness.
"Why," it growled, its voice deep and cautious and male, "is a human here?" The older Jabberwocky raised himself up again and smiled faintly, "She is the other half of the Effect used t..."
His words choked off suddenly, his jaws gaping open and claws stiffening. "What's wrong?" Alice asked quickly, seeing the great Jabberwocky's ruby eyes widen. Was he hurt? Sick? His mouth opened and closed soundlessly, the purplish head-frills wilting and then lifting- as the others' frills perked too.
A choked noise escaped his throat and finally formed a few broken, halting words, "I think... There are enough of us now... Dremorik, we met before, my sister..." The dark red Jabberwocky tilted his head, azure eyes narrowing in thought.
"Yes, I remember," he replied, "I don't fully understand what circumstances have caused this, but of course I will help, if it is possible." The first Jabberwocky smiled weakly, still looking shocked.
"What's going on?" Alice questioned nervously. Apparently they'd sensed or realized something she didn't. The red Jabberwock ignored her and addressed the little blue one, "Can you find the other and bring them?" "Of course! Yes!" Linomil chirped, and sprang into the air, vanishing into the clouds within seconds.
Alice grabbed the first Jabberwocky's foreleg and shook it, "What is it?"
"Teeramyth," he breathed, numbly reaching out a limp hand. Alice placed herself within the clawed digits, which tightened weakly and then with far more strength.
"There's a chance now," the Jabberwocky whispered, his voice and wings lifting with hope, ruby eyes shining brighter than Alice had ever seen, "There's a chance we can bring her back!"