Been debating on wheather or not to post this story for some months now... Well here it is anyway!
CHAPTER 1: THE LIZARD MAN
"Lisa!" I screamed at the top of my lungs clutching an expensive jacket in my hands. "LISA!" I bellowed once more. I stormed out of my room flinging my thirteen year old sisters door open; holding the jacket in my fists grinding my teeth.
"What?" She asked feigning innocence. Oh that little! She took a look at the clothing in my fists. She gulped then leaned back in her chair rolling her eyes.
"What did you do!" My voice cracked in irritation. She simply shrugged spinning side to side in her chair.
"I 'may' have accidentally spilled bleach on it..." She gave another shrug. Oh I'm going to kill you! She seemed to have read my thoughts, shivered and tried to bolt out of the room. I grabbed onto her arm as she tried to push past slamming her into her bed.
"You've ruined it!" I screeched like a banshee. She locked her fists into my hair yanking and screaming.
"MOM! SELENE IS TRYING TO KILL ME!" That little snitch!
Not two seconds later her hands released my hair, three seconds after that mom appeared in the doorway. Yanking me off my sister. I ignored her banter trying to lunge my sibling again. It was an all out screaming match between our mother, Lisa and myself. To an outsider it probably would sound a lot like chicken squawking. Mothers voice stern and commanding, Lisa's high and stuttering, my own horse and a bit squeaky too.
"I WISH YOU WOULD JUST DISAPPEAR!" Lisa shouted through the incoherent babble.
"Selene stop this now!" Mother shouted as father came into the room. It was quiet for a moment when he came in.
"I JUST MIGHT!" I shouted back at her pulling free from mothers grasp and stomping off like a five year old past our father.
I heard him shout. "Where do you think you're going!" As I ran out the front door. Yep this whole mess that I'm about to get myself into was over a jacket. Storming off into the night I leaned against a tree in our back yard. I shook in anger and cold huffing and puffing like the big bad wolf in the little pig story. I shrugged the jacket on stomping farther off into the woods after hearing my father yelling once again.
She wants me to disappear! Fine I think I will! Yep I'm seventeen going on five right about now. I stomped my feet into the snow a few times standing in place glaring down at the glowing blue powder... Wait what? I couldn't even hear the scream as it was locked in my throat as I was pulled downward. Ever feel like you're falling when you're trying to sleep? Well that's what this is like only ten times as fast. My arms flailed about and my legs kicking, and everything went blank.
Several hours later...
Ouch my head... I rubbed the knot on the back of my head rolling over on my back. The grass tickled the back of my neck, and the sun was warm against my skin. My eyes shot open and I bolt up right. Open grassy field, big blue sky, landscape dotted by ruins? My eyes roamed the horizon watching the wind sweep the grass gently to one side.
I think my face is going to be stuck in this permanent soundless scream. Okay if I just close my eyes, so I closed them, everything will go back to normal! Seconds later I smiled and opened my eyes, big blue sky and ruin covered landscape. Slowly I stood up, my legs wobbling in fear, and looked around. This place was beautiful and all... but it can't be real. I just slipped on some ice and hit my head on a rock! Daddy has already found me and I'm asleep in my bed! I nodded to myself feeling my confidence sinking. I want my mommy!
Taking a deep breath I screamed. "DADDY! MOMMY!" Yep seventeen and I'm screaming for mommy and daddy to come get me. Stay in one spot, that's the first rule if you're lost right? So someone can come find you. I blinked biting the side of my finger, hugging myself with my other arm. This tension was making me feel cold like all the blood just rushed out from my body. I shivered as goosebumps spring up along my arms.
"LOOK OUT!" I heard someone scream. I turned around and once again I was knocked out. "ey... al...right? Hey are you alright?" I heard that same voice again, this time a lot calmer. The blurry image of a man contorted about for a bit splitting in two and merged again.
His skin was an ashy purple-white, speckled with what looked like scales under his eyes and along his cheeks. Two long horns poked out from under blazing red hair and pointed ears on the side of his head. His brow was creased in confusion watching as I pieced together his funny image. God this dreams getting weirder... I thought watching his ruby orbs stare down at me with concern. Red eyes? Horns? Pointed teeth and ears?
Yep defiant time to scream for help. "MOMMY!" Very good Selene scream for mommy out in the middle of god knows where. I tripped over myself as the man sat there with one brow raised at me. "Oof! Don't eat me!" I shivered holding my hands over my head. He seemed to find that very amusing and laughed.
I peaked through my fingers to find him still squatting down in the same place. A red tail swished side to side of him. Note to self; stay away from ice and rocks... "Eat you?" He flashed his pointed teeth again in a wide grin. "Why would you think that?" He asked through chuckles. His tail swishing bemusedly, like an over grown cat.
"W-who are you?" I asked as he stood to offer a hand to help me up. "Stay back! I know Tae-Kwon-Do!" I threatened. He just raised that eye brow giving a confused frown.
"Who ever that is?" He asked and shook his head. "It matters not..." He said taking one step closer dragging me to my feet. Good god he's tall! I had to tilt my head back till the back of my head touched my back so I could see his eyes! "Where are you from kid?"
"Kid?" I repeated in a whisper. I yanked my arms out from his warm hands. "I'm not a kid you over grown.. THING!" I said poking him in his chest. Once more that eyebrow went up.
"And your behavior proves your point." He said. I held my breath and my cheeks flared up red. "I'm in a hurry so I don't have time to baby sit. Fare-well kid!" He laughed before running off toward a cobblestone road.
Cheeky bastard! I screamed in my head. Wait I'm all alone in this field again! And the one other person, thing, what ever is running off! "Hey wait!" I shouted at him. He didn't slow down his run. "HEY!" I croaked out my voice going horse from all the abuse I had dealt to it earlier. I dropped to my knees panting, I couldn't keep up with this running.
"What is it now?" I looked up slightly at his big fat feet in my face. Secretly loathing them for being so much faster than me. "Well?" He asked sounding slightly irritable. I threw out a finger that said 'give me a second!' As I huffed trying to catch my breath. "And your pointing at me again means?" He asked I'm fairly certain that red caterpillar on his face crawled its way upward again.
I gulped lowering my arm in silent defeat. Okay Selene, lets think rationally here alright. You're having a weird dream, yet you're scared shitless right about now. I can't even wake up from this night mare can I! Now isn't the time to get emotional. Gritting my teeth I raised my head up to look at the man that rocked back on the balls of his feet. He just blinked waiting for me to say something.
"Look I'm on a time critical mission right now. I'm sorry," He said standing up again. " but I don't have time to wait on you right now." He turned around and started walking off.
"Please don't leave me alone..." I barely heard it come out from my own mouth as my eyes watered up.
"Come on then." He said gently picking me up by my elbows. I soundlessly followed behind him like a shadow. He walked slowly for which I'm grateful. "Since I can tell we're going to be in company for awhile, I'm Anděl Tar-Wom." He turned his head toward me waiting for me to say my own name.
"Selene Tyler." I said after a moment's hesitation. He nodded his head and looked forward again. He didn't ask where I'm from again(and wouldn't bring it up for awhile yet). Speaking of how long before I wake up from this anyway... I just may as well enjoy this weird dream until I wake up. Besides it's got to be a lot better than the rant I'll be getting from my parents anyway.
I collapsed to the ground falling on my back taking in deep breaths. And Anděl that jerk didn't seem at all phased by the half a days trek! Oh how I hate you... He walked off deeper into the forest leaving me to my thoughts. For a dream this sure is tiring me out! I grabbed a fist full of brown hair mumbling to myself as I kicked my legs in agitation. I lay still after a few seconds glaring up at the innocent twinkling stars. Two moons... ya great just what I need right now. Anděl came back a few minutes later, with what looked like a pair of rabbits thrown over his shoulder. I grimaced as he began to skin and gut them. I rolled over on my side, not wanting to make myself sick on top of things. He began cooking the rabbits now, I could smell the meat roasting over the fire.
I looked over my shoulder watching him clean the blood from a small dagger. "Oh gross!" I flopped over again. He sighed throwing what I assume was the uneatable parts off into the darkness. They landed with a nasty 'skoosh' some feet away.
I heard him flop down behind me and turned around to see what he wanted. "What might be gross? Oh! This?" He asked holding out a blood covered hand toward me. I made this very embarrassing squeak and slid backwards. He howled in laughter wiping his hands on the same cloth as his blade. He stood his tail nearly whacking me upside the head as I sat up.
"Hey watch that thing!" He turned again so his tail smacked the back of my head as he turned. He smiled impishly, his tail twitching as he laughed. I could just see the mischief behind his red eyes. He tucked the bloody rag into his belt and sat down again.
"Hey Anděl..." I bit my lip hoping I wasn't going to be maimed or something. ", what are you exactly?" He sat quiet for a moment before he spoke.
"I'm half Dunmer." His tail twitched noticeably as if he wanted me to look at it. "Half Argonian." I must have looked confused, well apparently, what the hell was he talking about? He scratched absentmindedly at the base of a horn. As if waiting for me to say something. But the way he said Dunmer, it was like it was acid on this tongue and it hurt to spit it out, why? Never mind I don't think I want to know what my mind is coming up with right now in this weird world. "This doesn't bother you?" He asked his eyebrow raising again.
I blinked owlishly. "No?" Bother me? Not really, no. Know what those things are? I give up Trebek, I can't hit the buzzer on that one. He leaned over on his knees watching me intently. "What?" I asked feeling uncomfortable.
He scratched at his horn again, shrugged and went back to the rabbit things. "Here eat this and go to sleep." He said handing me the cooked rabbit on a crudely made wooden looking plate. He waved it a couple times in front of my face, I just stared at it in disgust. He gave a groan and sat the plate at my knees. I risked a glance at him again as he tore into his own food without much restraint. "Ook eff ou don't urry I'm goin to eat et..." He said around a mouth full. I nit picked at it and he opened his mouth again. "Figures I get stuck with a city girl..." He sighed more to himself.
I finished picking at the small meal, and Anděl handed me a small canteen looking object. Taking a couple sips I turned and handed it back, he took a gulp of water putting the cap back on. Oh god gross... I stuck out my tounge and looked down at it fighting back a gag. Please tell me I didn't just drink after lizard man here... I fought back the urge to scrap my dirty nails across my tounge.
"What are you doing now?" He asked after fumbling around in his bag. I quickly sucked my tongue back into my mouth and looked at the ground. "Go to sleep, you're starting to do weird things." He tossed what looked like a rolled up cloak at me. I poked at it for a moment before laying it on the ground letting my head fall back onto it. He got up and walked over to a large tree leaning against it; placing a large sword beside him. He propped one arm up onto his bent knee keeping his eyes and ears open to the forest around. He's keeping watch? I asked myself before I fell into a dreamless sleep in this nightmare.
The next morning the cloak was pulled from under my head. Which in turn slammed into the ground. "Ouch!" I rubbed the growing bump on my poor head. I shot straight up staring at the makeshift camp. No I'm still stuck in this place! I grumbled internally. Anděl finished kicking dirt into the small fire making sure it had no embers to accidentally start a forest fire. "This... can't be real..." I whispered under my breath. "It can't..." This only happens in comics and TV shows. This kind of thing just doesn't exist!
"What are you going on about now?" I heard Anděl's voice break through my internal banter. I looked over hoping, praying, that he was just a normal person. Swishing tail and all he stood there with his giant bag and sword. His eyebrow ever raised in confusion. "I don't have all day, come on Selene." He said turning around leaving me to either stay put, or follow him. He didn't seem to care which I chose.
Like a little fawn, I got up on shaky legs and wobbled off after him. He kept his slow pace for my own sake. "Anděl, where are we going?"
He kept to himself for a bit before speaking. "Weynon Priory, in Chorrol." He said keeping his gaze forward. My face contorted into my own confusion. He looked at me out of the corner of his eyes. He sighed, but said nothing farther.
"What's in... Weynon Priory?" I asked trying to form the strange word in my mouth.
He looked down again. He looked as though he was thinking of what to say before he finally did. "Nothing that concerns you." I narrowed my eyes. Once again he returned his gaze to the road in front of us. He shifted the large bag on his back, and rested his arm on the hilt of his sword.
What seemed like ages later a town came into view. A hill towered over the small town, and at the top sat what looked like a church. Anděl's hand went to a pocket in his jacket, and he patted something there, as if making sure what ever he had put in there still sat inside. I pretended not to notice when he took a glance down at me again. I hugged my jacket around myself biting my lower lip. He stopped a ways away from the buildings, shrugging on the cloak around himself, and pulled the hood over his head. I gave him a 'what are you doing?' look. He said nothing as he pulled the cloak closed infront of himself.
I shook my head as he continued up the road. It didn't matter anyway. I had to break out into a jog to catch back up to him. His pace quicked as though time really did matter, and he couldn't waste anymore of it. A smaller man with gray skin walked up to him, he wore what seemed like dirty rags. He talked with Anděl for a moment before pointing off toward the bigger of three buildings. Anděl nodded his head in thanks, and the other man gave a scowl in my direction, before he dissipeared off where horses winneyed.
What's his problem... I glared at his retreating back. The man I followed banged a couple times on a big wooden door. I watched as it creaked slowly open. The face of an older man peered upward. They had a somewhat hushed conversation, and Anděl's hand popped out from his cloak motioning for me to come. After I entered in behind Anděl the other man shut the door behind us.
"Father Jauffre is up stairs. Go on and speak with him." He pointed off up a set of stairs that split left and right. Anděl nodded his head again, and walked off. I made to follow him, but he placed a hand on my shoulder.
"Wait here..." He said expecting me to obey obediently.
Narrowing my eyes in defeat I growled out a 'fine...'. Before he turned and left. A knock came from at the top of the stairs and a door open. I could hear a "Ah who are you?" Before Anděl's voice began speaking and the door closed.
"Good morning Miss." I turned around the man that had opened the door was smiling kindly. "If you would like to eat while you wait. Help yourself, you look starved." He pointed to the food sitting on the table behind him. As if to prove him right my stomach gave a gurgle.
He smiled as I turned red in embarrassment and sat down. He picked up a small knife and an apple, sat down and began peeling it. "Thanks." I said as he handed me a few slices. He gave a small bow, his smile staying in place. He cleaned off the knife and placed it back from where he had gotten it. Someone upstairs shouted and I choked on a slice of apple. After a second or so I was able to breath again and stare up the stairs with the priest; who's name I'd learned to be Prior Maborel. It got quiet again and we couldn't hear anymore of their conversation.
"I wonder what has upset Father Jauffre so?" Maborel blinked tapping a finger on the wooden table. Shaking his head he looked back to me. "If I may ask, what are yourself and that man doing here?"
I lowered the last slice of apple from my mouth and stared back at him. "I honestly don't know what Anděl is doing, and... I just ended up following him..." I bit my lowerlip between my teeth again. "I'm lost and confused here... I don't know where I'm going." I fingered the slice of apple staring down at it.
Feeling a hand on my shoulder I looked up. "The gods all have a way of leading you to your path. Do not be afraid, they shall protect and guide you." He smiled kindly. Gods? Huh? I reached up to my neck poking at a necklace I wore under my shirt. Is this really just a dream? I asked myself nervously. Anděl came down the stairs none to quietly and strode past Maborel and myself. I stood quickly feeling as though I was about to be left behind.
He turned quickly and put a hand on my shoulder. "No you stay here, I don't have time for you right now." He sounded as though he was pissed with someone other than just myself. He mumbled something about having to play babysitter to someone else before flinging open the door.
"No I want to come with you! You can't just ditch me here!" I stormed off after him. Prior Maborel several yards behind us. Anděl turned around so abruptly I ran into him.
"You're just going to slow me down. I don't have time to wait on you hand and foot right now."
"You may use my horse if you like." Both of us looked at the priest. I smiled turning to the lizard-man triumphantly. He looked as though he wanted to knock the poor priest senseless.
A ground out, "Fine come on..." And he turned on his heels toward the stables.
I started to walk after the obviously peeved man, but a hand on my shoulder stopped me. "I shall keep you in my prayers." The priest smiled warmly and released my shoulder turning to go back inside. I shook my head and ran after Anděl before he could have time to ditch me. He was talking to that stable guy again. Who had the reigns of a brown and white horse. The other man went back inside the stables to do who knows what and left the horse with us.
"Well?" Anděl spoke through clenched teeth. I walked up to the horse putting my hands on the saddle. "You must be joking..." He breathed out in annoyance. Before I even had time to turn around I was hoisted up like I weighed nothing at all, and plopped onto the horse. A second later Anděl settled himself behind me. With two kicks he had the horse off at a slow run.
Oh god I'm going to fall off! I thought as I was bounced around. I was certain that I was going to bounce up and over Anděl's arms. I squeaked again as his arm came to wrap around my waist, and pull me snug into his chest. He mumbled something that I couldn't quite catch. "Give me a break I've never ridden a horse before!"
He snorted. "Why am I not surprised." I tried to cross my arms and huff, but his own arm just got in my way. One arm free the other pined down to my side. "Stop squirming and sit still. Look I've got you, you're not going to fall." He emphasized his point by tightening his arm around me.
Several hours later the poor horse had slowed down to a walk. I'm sure the gears are grinding full blast in Mr. Gung-ho behind me right about now too. My legs were hurting and my butt was now I'm sure permanently numb from riding so long. Anděl, once again curse him, seemed unphased by the ride. Is everyone like him here, just this big ball of mass endurance or something? I don't belong here in the middle of nowhere, riding on the back of a horse, with a freak of nature! What did I ever do to deserve this...