Portal Breach: The Collision of Worlds :: v.4.0

    An Evening with the Fireflies



    Posts : 829
    Join date : 2014-03-22
    Location : Deadworld
    Level : 60

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    An Evening with the Fireflies

    Post by Mortis on Sun Jun 26, 2016 3:01 pm

    Time: 9:00 PM
    Date: June 19, 0007

    ”It isss not too far now, they ssshould be right around—“


    ”Yessss, Woolie. Right here.” The ghoul chuckled, his bony snout turning down to look at the small black ewe that trotted happily next to him. Though she was getting very close to her adult size, the lamb had to keep her head erect in order to see over the tall grasses they were walking through. The day was growing to close to its end, but there was enough light for the both of them to see where they were going. Mortis, of course, having the greater advantage over his adopted ovine daughter, could see where they were going even if the world was shrouded in absolute darkness.

    It was one of the talents granted by undeath that held a universal usefulness.

    The lamb pricked her ears forward as she grew more confident about where they arrived, her trotting erupting into a gleeful hop before bounding off into the lush green grasses and colorful wildflowers. The setting sun gave the colorful blooms a fiery tint, the brilliant yellows, oranges, and purples popping from the rest of the greenery as the sun rested its light upon them just so. Further on, there were a few trees that grew close to each other, two of the mighty trunks nearly entwining from growing right next to the other. Their leafy boughs swayed gently in the breeze, a few birds nesting within giving their final chirps and chattering for the evening before sleeping soundly within their nest. Mortis watched as she romped about, all too content to see her enjoying this part of the grassland’s seemingly endless expanse of meadow. Of course, she had plenty of space at home to run and cavort, acres of land reserved just for her enjoyment. What could be so special about this particular stretch of land, this overgrown patch that looked just like the rest?

    The answer revealed itself the moment Woolie bounded through a dense growth of wildflowers. A group of brightly glowing, yellow orbs took flight. They flickered as they retreated erratically, dimming and brightening. As the lamb hopped and bucked through the meadow, more of them came rising from the grass in what looked like tens at a time. The lamb raced around another circuit, her tail wagging and whipping about behind her, before she hopped to a halt and looked back, her long face turning and tilting to keep up with each flickering, glowing specimen as they floated about in the cool evening air. With the eccentric nature of this dimension, perhaps one would initially think to call them sprites, spirit orbs, perhaps even will-o-the-wisp. But, all assumptions were incorrect, for this was no burial ground and no faerie rings sprouted outside of the woods. What Mortis had found, was none other than a favored breeding ground for fireflies.

    The lamb hopped once again as a few drifted close to her, long fluffy tail bobbing as she jumped playfully and tossed her head about, much like she did when playing with Angemort or Uncle Fear. Although they lacked a broad skull to butt against or a wide, green palm to bump with her smooth forehead, she was intent on trying to play with the glowing floaty things. She bounced forward; nodding her head and making her large ears wiggle forward and back with the motion.

    From where he stood, Mortis watched a few of the insects as they fluttered silently towards him, before looking over at the lamb once more, just in time to see her try to headbutt a trio of fireflies that drifted close together, only for them to fly away as she lurched forward. She looked around upon noticing she had hit nothing, before looking back up to her Ma. Why did the glowing things not play back? Her tail wiggled, the lamb’s enthusiasm hardly dampened in the wake of this confusing, if not a little disappointing scenario.

    ”They do not wisssh to play, do they? I do not believe they know how to play the gamesss you like.” He hissed, opening his long overcoat a little to retrieve a jar from its confines. Regardless, the lamb bleated back, before taking a nibble of the long grasses.

    I’ll have to teach them to play then!

    The towering undead rumbled with another amused chuckle, watching the lamb trot towards another cluster of fireflies a few steps away from her first attempt. Ah, the thoughts of sheep were so simple, and yet could be oddly clever when they wished to be. He watched as she approached the group of fireflies, bobbing her head towards them as she attempted to ‘hint’ them into playing with her. She had to try a few times before Angemort figured out how to play; maybe these glowing, flying things were not so different? The undead superfiend decided it would be best to allow the lamb to figure out this lesson on her own. The jar he had taken was a large, spacious one, perfect for holding bulk like the lamb’s milk formula from when she still needed a bottle. However, the must useful aspect of this container tonight was that it was made of clear glass. No labels hindered the crystal clear view through the bulk jar, perfect for its intended usage. The metal latches on the top were undone and left to hang on the sides of the rim, as he popped the lid off and set it in one of the deep pockets of his trench coat. While Woolie enjoyed the fireflies in her own way, Mortis approached a few of them and scooped their luminescent forms into the jar, his palm covering the opening as he shambled towards a few more.

    Another sweep of his arm, and the superfiend doubled the amount he collected moments before.

    Of course, it was hard for the ghoul to not ignore the fact that he, formerly one of four Dark Judges tasked with eradicating all life, was now collecting a bunch of glowing fireflies in the middle of a field with a bouncing baby lamb playing within feet of him. Three centuries of upholding their laws, of zealously purging the living and ensured they remained purged, and here he was…

    In all, he supposed it was not so bad. Although his judicial instincts itched often, and it grew tempting to perhaps revert back to old habits, for a short while, of course. Maybe an evening where he could wander out into the lawless wilderness and bring a little order, a little… Justice. After all, what better place was there for iniquity to thrive than where no one thought to look? Lord only knows there had to be more than just those five he purged in that bar, begging so loudly as to drown out those of all other sinners to be relieved of their wicked ways. A low hiss whispered from his host, thoughtful as he collected fireflies.

    Maa! Ma, look! Look at me!

    Thankfully there was someone around who could successfully distract him from his reminiscing. Mortis’ rotted palm clapped itself over the top of the jar once more, greened skin illuminated from the number of fireflies he managed to collect. There had to be at least fifteen in there. A questioning hum rumbled from the towering undead as he directed his eyeless gaze towards the lamb. Her black wool glowed as if it were peppered with numerous pulsating stars, but the lamb was looking at her Ma and indicating to one that had decided to land on her nose through her excited thoughts. She had not a single clue about the numerous insects that decided to land upon her back. Somehow, Woolie had successfully managed to acquire a fleece-full of fireflies while attempting to educate them on the nuances of headbutting.

    ”Woolie, you sssilly girl. Look at the ressst of you.” The lamb’s towering guardian nodded, ”There are more on your back.”

    A large round ear flicked back, more fireflies, on her back? It was more likely than she initially thought. Large brown eyes peeked at her woolly back, numerous pulsating points of glowing yellow resting among her wool. She hopped, a short yip of a baa puffing from her as she ran forward, her nose pointed at the gathering of luminescent hitchhikers. Although once she started hopping and prancing around, the fireflies were no longer so content to remain on her, and quickly began to scatter if they were not already thrown off by the lamb’s bouncy, excited circuit around her Ma. Though their idea of a hasty escape was lazily fluttering off to a quieter perch, which meant Mortis saw a number of them start to drift his way.

    He took the opportunity to make one more swipe of his jar, trapping five more within the glass container. In total Mortis had managed to collect twenty of the glowing insects, and without making a dent in the population that inhabited this part of the grasslands, surprisingly enough. There had to be near a hundred of the pulsating creatures floating around in the meadow, resting in the grass, but none drew so near the superfiend as to land on him like they did Woolie. His malignant presence repelled them readily, leaving a wide, dark circle where the insects refused to hover or land. Not that he minded, for the undead was content to see the lamb so entertained by all the glowing insects. In all, today was turning out to be a very fun day for her, given they started it with a walk into the woods to look for blueberries and ended up collecting a nice bushel of blackberries instead.

    However, with night setting in and the world growing darker, the black lamb that the superfiend held dear was starting to grow tired of playing in the field with the fireflies, pausing more often to stare at them all. Her soft nose twitched as she tried to sniff them, the lamb’s long tail wagging happily despite her waning energy. Mortis capped the jar, flipping the fasteners back in place as he shambled towards the young ewe.

    ”Growing tired, are we?” He rasped, leaning down to give the lamb a gentle scratch behind the ears. ”Ssshall we return home for the evening?”

    As if to reply, Woolie’s little mouth opened in a yawn, her eyes squinting shut as she leaned into her Ma’s affection. Alas, the lamb had plenty of energy, but it was by no means limitless like the undead that looked after her. She stepped over to his leg, her diminutive size even smaller when she stood next to Mortis.  Her head barely came up to his knee, and so she gently rubbed her face against his shin before nibbling a little at the fabric of his coat.

    I want to stay out with the glowies a little longer. I’m not tired yet.

    Mortis’s host jostled with a croaking laugh. ”Are you certain? You look asss if you could fall asssleep where you are ssstanding.” He graveled, bending with a crackle of his joints before taking a seat in the grass. Woolie’s ears flicked and she softly butted the sheep-skulled undead in the leg. No, Ma, she was not tired, she wanted to play, and jump, and chase the fireflies… Then maybe lay down for a little bit. Not for sleep of course! She did not feel tired at all. Which was precisely why she paused to yawn on the way over to the fireflies again. Perhaps another time Mortis would have stopped the lamb and told her that they had to go home, but tonight was different, according to Kev this day was a celebration of being a father. While the retired Dark Judge had no real children of his own, Woolie sufficed for the role as he cared for her like no one else. Even his own brother was not treated to summer meadows overflowing with lightning bugs, but that was more to how busy the helmeted superfiend was than neglect.

    Speaking of which, they may be back from their dinner by now.

    Even so, Mortis waited in the grass, inspecting the jar of fireflies he had collected. Twenty of them hovered about within the half-gallon jar, flickering brightly. His sockets rested upon the lamb as she trotted after a group of fireflies, bobbing her head in an attempt to butt them, then returned to the jar. It was a fine collection, but he doubted they would last very long without air. As much as the ghoul would have enjoyed watching them slowly suffocate, the recipient of this pulsating, glowing gift would appreciate if they lasted a little longer than a few hours, he supposed. Thus, he positioned the long sharp talon upon the tip of his index finger towards the lid and…

    Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop!

    A few breathing holes were punctured into the top. Yes, a certain bright yellow femme would enjoy the jar immensely, he thought. When he had told Fear and Kev that he would collect a few for her, he intended to make good on his word. He refused to rush because of that promise, however, as the ghoul lay back comfortably in the long grass propped up on his elbows to keep an eye on Woolie’s activities. She could chase the fireflies for a little longer, until she grew tired enough to return home. She trotted after one group and then another, resembling a sheep dog herding a flock of flickering, fluttering sheep. A graveled chuckle rumbled softly in his chest at the thought, dull ethereal pinpricks of red starting to grow visible in his eye sockets as the last slivers of sunlight faded behind the horizon and the world grew dark enough for them to appear.

    Ma, I think I want to go home.

    Ah, there it was.

    Mortis watched as the lamb came back to him, ears bobbing as they drooped sleepily. Finally the last drop of youthful energy had been spent, and the little black lamb was ready for a relaxing night at home. ”Ssss… Very well. I ssshall carry you home, but we mussst make a ssstop at Uncle Kev and Uncle Fear’sss home along the way.” Mortis hissed, reaching into his open trench coat and unzipping his leathers. Within was her blanket, freshly washed before he made the journey out. It comfortably lined his pelvic girdle, allowing a soft, pleasant place for the lamb to curl up in during a long walk. She stepped forward to take her seat, but paused as she noticed the jar  of fireflies resting in her Ma’s hand. What was that for?

    ”Thisss isss for Livewire. The girl you sssaw at the talent ssshow and met at the sssanctuary, ssshe isss Uncle Fear and Uncle Kev’sss child.” He replied to her thoughts. At that she perked up a little, she remembered Livewire! The girl was quiet, but the lamb recalled when she gave her treats in the Sanctuary one evening and petted her. She was a good petter. ”Come, child. Let usss be on our way.” Mortis gently coaxed her, holding open the middle of his uniform for Woolie to step into. She tilted her head once more at the jar, but otherwise was content with her Ma’s explanation. Tiny hooves stepped into the space created for her, and she settled into the blanket. The leathers were zipped up carefully to avoid catching her wool or wiggly tail, and Mortis rose to his feet. Turning back towards the road, his lengthy stride carried him over the long grasses and back to where he left Samhain to wait and keep an eye out for them. The last thing the ghoul wanted was for anyone to interrupt their Father’s Day evening, especially the more aggressive denizens that patrolled the meadows.

    Otherwise, today proved to be a very pleasant day all around for both Mortis and Woolie.

      Current date/time is Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:02 pm