untitled monster draft (lost pages)

Posted: May 12, 2015 in Uncategorized

*I’ll be working on this story for at least a few days in my 40 days of writing. I hope not all of them. Any and All input is appreciated, and will most likely affect where it goes, so, thanks, and, sorry.

Chapter 1

She had been killing boys in this river for 75 years. If some of those boys that first came had had babies waiting at home, and they almost certainly had, then those now orphans left after leaving some girl fat with child… she figured she might have killed six generations of men. It had become a ritual in the summers. An army of young men would charge the river and try to Kill The Lady, or try to drive The Lady out. They’d come with nets and spears and boats, and then they’d die. They’d build dams and set fires or poison the river, and then they’d die.

The boys today weren’t an army, but they were very dead. They were a ragtag bunch of town boys with swords stolen from some Lord or given to them for some stupid war. They weren’t soldiers, and they weren’t trying to kill her, just trying to prove they were brave. Those dead boys were very brave. Only one had a silver blade, a tiny thing unfit for battle, the boy and the blade. They were baiting her, running their silver through the water in that pool. They had come for the stories that surrounded her. They had come to catch one of the magic fish that people swore swam around her. Whose scales granted wishes, and were said to feed forty people when cut and cooked right. There were no such fish, and no golden scales or healing water. She still listened to the men along the water, she heard them all the time. They told stories, half right and half remembered. When she was in a good mood, she let them ferry down her shores. When she was in a bad one, she overturned them. The river had run rough and ugly for a long time. She used to speak to men directly, in languages that moved in and out of fashion. She told men no silver was allowed on her river, and that was a rule she tried not to hold. Still.

A good man with an iron sword or a steel anything is more dangerous than an average man with silver, but the nature of the trespass offended her. A sword forged to kill you was as much a curse as muddled words and sacrifices.

She used to feel peaceful and strong when rafts would cross her waters with full armies clad in everything but silver. Before the towns came with their fish hungry children or dirty old men in boats, before the islands rose up in the delta and quit sending tributes of plump boys and rich spices the Old Lords offered her at the source. The blood and spices ran down her river and made it pure, and strong and hers. Now it was a bloody mess of other smells and stinks and rituals. A boy adding silver into that mix would not stand.

Armies came with steel now, and she knew that. She had rows and rows of swords lined up like crooked teeth in the jagged shores and crags of her cave, at the source. They were positioned in rows like the maw of a shark; the ones nearest her den so old they were nearly shadows, rusted outlines that hung like the opposite of skeletons, like the husks of bugs. She wondered if the boys today’s fathers and grandfathers swords were in her shark’s mouth. She hoped so.

The Lady heard whispers from the fish and eels. She was still feared in these waters, but no longer loved. At least that was the whispers in the river. The reports were not reliable, only the otters even understood numbers, and they were bad at them, but man had no love for the lady. Even the big beasts of the River, the family of turtles with shells wider than a horses, and the old snake who spoke like a man had abandoned her. Sad small men tread her water fearfully, and that was her way. The monster tore up towns that struggled to hold on to her banks, and devoured whole travelers. She was happy to. Angry brave boys stormed her River, and angry brave boys filled her gut.

The Lady swam up the river. Her strong body ripping beneath the water, silently and powerfully. She moved beneath the current, her purple black eyes gleaming and scanning the River’s bed. Her tail whipped and scrapped along the rocks, churning bad memories. Her belly was fully and the River was brisk. The water chopped and roiled around her. the something from beneath the surface of the world tugged at her. Something dark and undivided. A force from nowhere that somehow surrounded her jerked at her bones away from her skin. She knew to answer such pulls. She knew it the same way smart birds could feel her in the water. She turned perfectly and whipped down the river, the current carrying her faster than flying. Her body sang with the water, her long strong arms cut the water in front of her and her whole body undulated through the green blue world. Here black scaled body stretched and swelled. Her arms and hands twisted into great winglike fins. Her body took in water or the water found her skin and surged with each spiral until she was a great engine of malice and beauty and rage. She let the power of the River warp her frame and her mind, her teeth grew too large and the daggers cut at her mouth. She grinned a bloody grin and let out the sound of an ocean howl. A malevolent howl that carries stories of blood and salt. Her face, strong and serene and what most would call beautiful, ripped away in the rushing river. It would wash up on the shoreline and drive a fisherman insane. It would fill up with spiders and bugs and other filth of the sea and walk around clumsily on full moons until it rotted. Most of the man’s family would hang themselves. As the water rushed The Lady’s howl grew louder and clearer. It was to ugly, to monsterous to ever be heard as something like laughter, but The Lady was most certainly laughing. The Water Dragon, The Lady, The Old Witch from the Sea, she raced along the bottom of her river, her giant frame dark beneath the water like a rotten patch on the surface of the earth. She swam for leagues beneath the water, until she reached what called for her, the lives she needed ended. The Lady reared and broke the surface violently, her head full of teeth and rage. There was a group of 20 at the shore, all clad in mismatched armor and leather. She rose up from the water arcing against the green blue sky. A tremendous wave frosted in white foam rose with her. The River raced on as the wave filled the air, The Great Lady Serpent smashed violently against the nearest foe, a sharp faced man with serious eyes and a spear longer than he was. Her jaws covered the man as he thrust her spear into her jaws. The Lady Serpent exploded, busting into a thousand shards of bone and scale and hard water. They road the crest of the wave, as it drove into the men on the shore line, pushing them back. The flotsam and jetsam of the shattered dragon drove through one man’s eye and killed him on the spot, and a bone shard pinned a man to the sandy ground bleeding out helplessly. The other men and boys struggled to their feet and readied their spears. She crunched happily at the first man’s body. Her body was that of a human now, but bigger, and pulsing, and a hundred times more hideous. Her head was huge and magnificent, nearly as large as the rest of her: a woman’s eyes, purple and as large as an apple. Hair, straight and brown like cocoa or dried blood, wet and shoulder length. Closer to her head the hair corded and softly wove into her skull. Her jaws were like a crocodile, gnarled and scaled and full of sharp teeth. She clamped her mouth on the man she’d attacked, and tore his head and most of his shoulder apart from his body. He hadn’t worn a helm, and she crunched his skull in her back like a nut in a salad or interesting bowl of soup. She pulled another small bite from the body and faced the men. Now in formation, soggy, and bloody, but in formation. The hideous slurping sounds and guttural hooting whistle of The Lady echoed from the shore line. It took turns bolstering and unnerving the men. It was infuriating and sickening.  They never could have known it was laughter.

The men charged well and fearlessly. Their spears were iron and heavy, but not overly sharp. They were hooked and bladed, perfect for trapping an animal, but too heavy to catch the hands or ankles of the The Lady. She tossed the stringy pile of bones and gore behind her, it tore apart in the air before it falling in the water and washing away to oblivion. She pushed the first spear away with the strike of her hand and snapped the man’s wrist as she did so, the second spear she bit down on and wrenched away from the next man. She swung her hand up, her talons tearing through the man’s chest. Two more fell to brutal snaps of her enormous jaws. Spears drove up at her but she grabbed them and wrested them from the men like a grown man to children. She picked up a man by his spear, who held on to is so desperately that his hands stayed clenched to the weapon even as she severed him into with another chomp. She raked her claws against the wall of charging men and 3 more fell as their spears that did find their mark clinked against scales or dug fruitlessly against the hide. She raised to her full height, eight or nine feet high, She raised her long strong and perfect arms to the sky and brought water up and into her body, she held it and felt in run into her thick blue veins. The water mingled with her hate and spells and perfect form. It hardened and focused and answered her requests. She drove it out and against the men and it tore 2 more apart at the waste and 3 at the knee. The water wrapped around the broken men and pulled them into to the River with intent. More men fell in quick succession until only two remained. They ran towards the shoreline, heading to the trees. The Lady held a body obscenely by a kinked leg. The head was cleaved along the jawline and bounced like a giggling fool’s, the tongue lolling out like a tail of his hat.

The Lady dropped her jester toy and marched at the two able bodied youth. Her frame was graceful and rippled with power. The water cracked about her ankles and crawled up her body as if to hold on to her. The young men were strong and fast, much faster than their peers. They were clad in simple leather jackets and pants, with the bronze helms in the fashion of mercenaries or abandoned soldiers. The nondescript but identifiable armor of killers. She broke her graceful walk to an elegant run and closed in on the men. Another 5 men, clad in the same collaborators’ helms, leaped at the lady with nets and daggers and a silver tipped spear. She raged at the men as two more cut her path to the water. They stepped in the puddle that followed her out to the shore, they broke her tether to The River. She wailed and raised her hands to the sky. She dove at the man between her in the water and shattered through him. A fine mist of red replaced his torso as his helm clattered on the ground at his feet. The Lady shrank with each step she took, she was barely taller than the men now. She still surged with power and moved with feline grace. She grabbed the man nearest her and took his blade, she threw the man so fiercely against another attacker that both men bent and broke and muttered last words. The man with the silver spear held back behind the other three. The Lady cut down two. She buried her blade deep in the second mans chest and pinned him in the water that was rushing back to her and pooling around her feet. The river filled the man’s eyes and ran into the wound in his chest. His flesh and the leathers of his armor, the cloth, his hair, and his eyes and tongue and meat all broke apart and drifted down the river. The lady spun, a net fell on her and she failed to snatch it. A spear bit into her side and she winced in pain, Her tongue lit out ancient curses, both men still standing near her went deaf. The Lady called to the River and wrapped her fists around her two long canine teeth. Dagger like she gripped them and timed her thoughts with the River’s current. She pulled and swore and ripped her teeth from her mouth. The blood spattered and mixed with the water, It soaked and fizzled at the net and sand. The spear drove at her again, she managed to dodge it, and it pinned the net to the sandy bed the stood in. The Lady’s teeth cut through the net like it was fishing line. She walked at the man with the silver spear deliberately. His friend did him the favor of slitting his throat before The Lady reached him. She shrieked in rage, She bellowed, not anguished but offended. Furious, and wronged. She grabbed the net thrower and bent his head backwards with a snap and pulled at it until it snapped free of the neck. She took a distracted bite and tossed the head in the River. She walked to the spearman’s corpse and picked it up. She held the face to her’s. Her face was beautiful now, different. When the Lady pulled her teeth from her head, it shrank and thinned to the proportions of a young woman. Her eyes were almond shaped and crisp, alert and timeless, a round nose and big full lips. Her chin was delicate, and almost demure, it was enticing when coupled with that sinister lovely big lipped smile. She turned her head lovingly to the corpse and lips curled sharply, her sunlit brow furrowed and she spit into the dead man’s face. It charred and melted to the bone. She left the body on the bank. She hoped animals would eat of him before she gave him to the River. She picked up the silver spear and dove back into The River. Her side ached wear the silver had slit into her. She kicked her legs and asked the River for help mending her wound. It obliged. She felt the Silver Sick bubble and bulge out of her side as she swam upstream, too tired to ask for more favors.

A violent earthquake shook the River, and rattled the Lady’s already loose teeth. She dropped the silver spear. Another earthquake roared down the River and pushed the Lady against the side of this deep cut of river, stone and slides of dirt slid at her from every direction, forces pulled and pushed as the water and ground reacted and acted with furies of their own. A trap.

The Lady pulled her self from the mired sludge of the River. It was not water now, but a wet war of rubble and deceit. The bastards had tricked her, they were driving her from the River. The Lady stretched and her side ripped open, precious blood seeped into the River, into the war. Another earthquake. Not an earthquake, she knew that now. Bombs. Charges. She had heard the words and seen the things before. Liars and cowards had dropped them for summers now, but this was clever beyond all measure. She would kill every damned living man to have touched this river, or taken a bite from the fields it watered. She stretched slender and long and cut out through the water, a long eel not a dragon. She had to make it to The Source of the River. These men were destroying her claim, these men were trying to kill her. She raced towards her den. She needed to get to her weapon. She needed to reach her Harpoon. A charge went off near her, there were men on the River. They were dropping charges on her, they were probably all along the banks. She called for the river to flood them, but it was too disorganized. She was now only a mile from her cave, but men on high towers, with long ropes and anchors were sending their bombs to greet her. She breached the surface and tried to knock one from his perch with a wave, but the men retreated back to stabler footing when the saw her. She went under again and swam up the River. She felt herself loosing control of it. She felt the River call out for freedom. She needed to reach the Harpoon, and cut these men down without mercy. She would lose the River, but she could take it back. The Harpoon was driven deep in the source of the River, and held it and used it, and made it The Lady’s. When she grabbed it, it would run free, but the Harpoon could kill this damn bastard boys. These great grandson avengers stealing her home. She neared her den. The men were more densely arranged, scores. They were at the banks where the source emerged. They had rope and ladder structure scaffolding as tall as trees. They lofted charges into the river, each one rattled sabers and swords from the walls.

The Lady dove past the rows of the swords caving down around her. She parted the hidden cave opening, a crevice small and secreted among jagged pillars of stone. Rocks tumbled in front of her. A charge went off near her, The explosion pushed her back and tumbled rocks about her she. Flailed helplessly. Her Harpoon was buried from her. She pushed towards the surface. Harpoon or no harpoon, she had to kill these men. Her life, her very long life, depended on it. Another charge exploded near her and annihilated her face and tore her side wide open. The force drove her body up and out of the water. She Wailed. She lost blood, the old blood, the blood that was always with her, the blood that was there before she was. She crumpled and ached and died a million times. She heard the cheers of the men who had killed her. She heard their hate and their victory and she would remember both longer than forever. She woke up screaming, still in the air. The blood spilled sewed up her face and body. She cursed at the cheers and arrows that reigned at her now. She tucked and dove to the bottom. She cut and darted along the bottom. A charge exploded above her, pushing her into the bed. The River bed was foreign to her now. New rocks and mine columns told lies on the terrain she once knew. Her upended swords made vile traps begging to tear out her belling. She slipped between them. She hid in the sludge and chaos of the depths of the water. She scrapped along the bottom, under the din. She felt tiny and sick and weak. Spears now littered the water crude metals ones tossed en mass to pin her to the river bed. More charges rattled her. She slunk and scurried down the River, beaten, and alone.

She swam past lifetimes, withered and beaten. The Lady had wrested this river, mile by mile, from everything it touched and felt. Now it bled, and throbbed and pushed her downstream. The Lady had no tears, only blood and damnation. She washed up ugly at a bend in the river. Her body bent like the water. Her body looked sad, weak, and beaten, but her eyes looked only angry. She knelt and dipped her hands in the water bitterly. She slurped up the unfaithful water and took a gift without asking. Her body and teeth straightened. Her muscular frame softened, her greenish black skin took the soft pink hue of a spoiled fat noble girl. She watched her hands shrink into weak worthless things, and for a moment, something like sadness ran across her face. She walked, trudged away from the River, through the high grass and low branches cursing her weak pink hands..

Chapter 2

The Lady walked to a town, then a city, then to the mouth of a River. She walked past languages and faiths. She walked to the edge of the water. She whispered old curses along the way to strangers and they died or they loved her. She taught an old woman the secrets of gardens that attracted fairies, and fashioned a dagger for a thief made of his partner’s bones and a candle made of his wax cast hand. The old woman and thief died ugly deaths, but that’s the trade of dealing with monsters. People fell ill, and died on her journey, but The Lady traveled, and never forgot about the River. She crafted a new harpoon. It took her years to save the children’s hair to fasten the blade to the staff, and longer to carve the words in the hilt. In a full moon, The Lady walked up this new river. She struggled with the current. This River was young and vibrant, but didn’t have the stubborn pull of an old river. This River moved with the certainty of one whose path had never changed, but with none of the guile of one whose had. She waded and swam and tread along the bottom until the sky went perfectly back, then waxed again to full. She claim the whole being at once. She would grow strong again.

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