Scouting Story Crafters

I crouched by the edge of a pier, my back stiff towards the rotting scent steaming out of the Hudson River. New York City was the perfect place to be for anyone hiding from creatures who needed to track by scent; especially at night, when lights and sounds came together to add all sorts of mirages to the living smells of the Big Apple.

The Scout stopped, turned his face in the direction of the wind and sniffed. I watched as the Hudson’s fumes tricked his nose, and the man started in the wrong direction.

Uttering something trapped between a sigh and a hiss, I pressed the heel of a hand against the concrete under my feet, dragging soft flesh back and forth, back and forth… until my blood left a smudge that looked dark and wet under moonlight.

The effect of irresponsible dumping and too much city was strong in the waters behind me. But at such short distance, not even the youngest of Scouts could miss a bleeding Crafter.

He ate the space between us in a single leap that landed his black combat boots with a smack right in front of me.

“Skin,” he said, adding all the weight of the loathing his kind had been taught to feel for mine.

“Corpse,” I said, standing up to my full seven feet.

My statement about his immediate future made him try to take a step back, but on my way up I had punched a fist through his abdominal wall, pushed up under his ribcage, and was now squeezing his heart between my fingers and the raw meat of my palm.

While the ink of his blood and everything he had ever been told was being sucked through the wound on my hand, the Scout’s expression turned into contorted terror that made me want to sing. I clenched my teeth to suppress the natural desire. The energy of my song would have shown my location to every Trad and Scout in the area. Besides, creatures who aren’t supposed to exist should abstain from making loud noises in the dark.

After a few seconds, the Scout’s stale blood filled my mind with the information I was seeking: I saw a reproduction of Van Gogh’s Starry Night, where a yellow crescent moon shined behind the Bat-Signal. The image of the parody was followed by an address between Yonkers and the Bronx, plus the face of a young man who wore a purple, paint-spattered t-shirt that told the world, in huge red letters: I know fantasy is real.

“Ah,” I said, and let the Scout’s husk fall at my feet.

The remains of the Scout flickered in and out of sight before fading back to his own reality.

With my intent focused on the concrete floor, I hummed low and soft until the red fringes of my floor-length white dress absorbed the blood I had rubbed into the pavement. Once my essence was back where it belonged, I jumped into the murky waters of the Hudson, assumed a shape that matched my environment, and swam towards the home of an artist who had to be told that he was a Story Crafter... before what he was got him, and too many others, killed or enslaved. 


***
Note: This short bit is set in the Thorn in Red world. If you’ve read the novella, you might be all excited about getting another glimpse into the life of a character you love (or are totally creeped out by). Please don’t mention her by name in your comments. You wouldn’t want to spoil someone else’s enjoyment of the tale, would you?

for Magpie Tales 234
Gotham Starry Night, by 1funnyguy

58 comments:

  1. Have I told you how much I love it when you write dirty? Mwahahahaa.......:D XXX

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    1. I believe you have. Why do you think I keep on doing it? ;-D

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  2. :-) I was totally, immediately sucked in (very punny, right?) to your story. Love, love, LOVE the bat signal. xo

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  3. Once again I have to say, these are by far my greatest reading weakness, when ever you post a new one I stop everything I'm doing to not just read them but experience them, and just like all the others this oi=ne is fabulous!!!

    Can't wait to read more....

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    1. So very greedy! I like it. ;-D

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  4. You are feeding my frenzy! You are just so Wickedly lovely in your torment!

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    1. I won't let the taste leave your mind's mind. One treat at a time... and them, boom!

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  5. A lovely tease for those who have dived into your Thorn in Red world, and a cruel one for those who have not. More dark magic hidden in plain sight? Yes, please! I hope there is more.

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    1. I haven't touched Thorn in Red, so I figured that short profile-like tales would be a good way to say hello to the characters.

      Cruel teasing, lol!

      And yes, there is more on the way. ;-)

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  6. this was amazing!! i cannot tell you how much i enjoyed this... although i havent read the book but you have sure left me curious to get hold of it soon!! waiting for more :)

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    1. If and you do, I would l love to hear your thoughts on it.

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  7. Solidly intriguing; congrats.

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  8. I'm going to need to read this novella!

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    1. I believe the writer of the tale would be very pleased. *cough* ;-)

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  9. Yes, I need to read the back story! Great write!!

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    1. If you enjoying seeing reality dance with fantasy... then you might enjoy Thorn in Red. ;-)

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  10. ouch...creepy....You have a way with words Magaly....fantastic :)

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    1. Creepy is quite welcome around these parts. ;-D

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  11. Wonderfully scared and I was only the reader!

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  12. Yes, I like this wonderful short story !!

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  13. You are busy re- enchanting this world Magaly , with great success....will you be in time to save them all ? I think tnere are more and more wands jumping into the fray ...goodonyamate

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    1. You, dearest Kutamun, have made my day! ;-D

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  14. What a change for me to read this bit after all the sweet baby stuff I have been in for almost 2 months now :) Loved the writing!

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    1. I've missed you, Anna! I've been a bit sick, but I thought about you very much. I have a package to send to you and the Indian Prince. Can't wait to feel better and get to the post office!

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  15. Such a fascinating piece Magaly! A prose is to be treasured as a real gem from the many other poems readily available. Great write!

    Hank

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  16. oh, well, that was intriguing.

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    1. "Intriguing" is good... really good. ;-)

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  17. I knew before I ever started reading that this was "Thorn in Red". Will I ever get enough? Doubt it !

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  18. Had me wandering in and out of my artists mind. I've killed idea's but never so succinctly, so beautifully.

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    1. Do you ever find yourself wondering where all those dead ideas go? I often do...

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  19. I believe the town of Gotham roars with hunger, as do I. Except they have something over me, as I seriously need to read your entire story. Reading bits and pieces only makes my appetite scream, feed me!

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    1. Then my master plan is working. Muahahaha!

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  20. Has anyone ever told you that you can write Magaly? Awesome writing for sure!!

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    1. A person or three... but I don't get tired of hearing it, so by all means... do tell me again. ;-D

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  21. A nice juicy snippet, but I want another bite of that world!

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    1. You will get more than a few bites in the upcoming Blooming Howls collection. Yum, yum! ;-D

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  22. Nicely written...thanks for sharing

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    1. Thank you for stopping by, Wayne. ;-)

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  23. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm! Licks lips. Nice Mag! Love and Light, S

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    1. Lips licking and lip smacking are delicious signs around these parts. Glad to read you hear, my Sister. Hugs to your heart. ♥

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  24. "creatures who aren’t supposed to exist should abstain from making loud noises in the dark." For some reason this gives me the most delicious chill bumps. For the record, I reserve the right to make all the noise in the dark I want to. Fabulous Thorn In Red snippet, Magaly.

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    1. I think it makes one more certain that something is walking around in the dark... very quiet, watching us...

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  25. A white dress that absorbs blood is such a useful accessory. I'm still besotted with the black and red cape of the Bloody Duchess which absorbs the dirt.

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    1. The Bloody Duchess is such a fun character. I've been playing with her every now and again...

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    2. Bloody Duchess is a character that's stuck in my mind and won't leave. I liked her traveling underground, her black and red cape that absorbed the dirt and cover her tracks as she emerged at her destination. Most of all I loved her annoyance with concrete covering the ground surface. The trees have long had their hugers and champions in the green movement, it's time the actual earth had it's own hero. I like underground denizens.

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    3. I think you might have just gotten all of the Muse attention. Yes, I do.

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  26. ...eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee........Judicious in their use of noise maybe, abstain fuck that.

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    1. So... tell me how you really feel about monsters and stealth, lol!

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