Of Whippets and Cacomistles

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Of Whippets and Cacomistles

Post by Madame »

“Zis is za street, garçon*?” the dog asked quietly, indigo eyes searching the deserted lane leading to Sao Tome's largest market.

Haan!**” the skinned pigeon nodded. He was a young, milky white fellow with wings that still held baby down feathers, but his eyes were keen and his clawed hands swift. “I heauh dem say a chor*** was heuh yestuhday named ‘Aros’. He is famous heuh, Mistuh Coldfield, so I dink it will be hauhd on you to be finding him easy. Maybe with a bit muh help…?”

Non, merci. Zis is enough,” the whippet, Ennis Coldfield, shook his head, thin body beginning to quiver with an unseen chill. “I am to face zis creature h’on my h’own, oui? Zis is my duty to her…” And to him. Aros, you stole ze most important thing in my life. It cannot be forgiven no matter ‘ow you beg and you plead me. With my claws alone, I will kill you.

“Uh…Mistuh Coldfield?” the boy was bothering again, holding out his cupped hands with an imp’s grin. The whippet dropped five gold coins in the outstretched palms. “This is good!” The bird bit the gold quickly to ensure their legitimacy, then scampered off to do whatever it was indiscrete boys did at 4:00 A.M.

Probably h’off to gamble zat money away, the dog thought with a wry smile, then winced, rubbing his chest. The old scars were beginning to burn, let the pain not go unanswered this time.

Finalement, je me rapproche de plus en plus, mon petit voleur doré !****
______________________
* Boy
** Yes
*** Thief
**** Finally, I’m closing in, my golden, little thief
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Post by Zeru »

The golden furred thief, or merchant of fortune as he found much more pleasing to say, let out a shrill yawn, stretching out his arms. Baby blue eyes being refreshed by a quick rub, he found the back entrance into the discrete inn he had chosen the previous night. Securing his previous belongings, the cacomistle quickly made his way upstairs to his sleeping quarters. He didn't have to worry about avoiding eye contact, as the owners and patrons were all still fast asleep, but he didn't want to risk waking or bumping into anyone.

Once he made it into his room, a rather dull place for his liking, he pulled off the heavy cloak he had wrapped around himself. Placing it on a hook, he shuffled over to his bed for the night. He had been kept up all night by a rather social customer, a big lynx, who tried to solicit more than gems and metals. The offer wasn't interesting enough for Aros, of course, but the lynx kept insisting he stay and drink.

In recent years, the cacomistle had been starting to get more wary of his own customers and contacts. He stared up at the ceiling, arms tucked behind his head which was currently sporting a disheveled 'do. While he usually reveled in the wanted signs and occasional sub-par hunter, the prices on his head were starting to get ridiculous. Perhaps it was time to take a break, return to his family. He might even call up old Tik Tik. That's it, he would go to see Tik Tik, it was decided. He hadn't seen the old mutt in so long, so he was starting to miss him.

As he drifted off to sleep, Aros' mind was soothed by the idea of familiar company, and of course leaving this sty of an inn.
Last edited by Zeru on Thu Jun 19, 2008 12:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Madame »

Ennis stopped by a water trough outside a nondescript inn and proceeded to dunk his head in it before coming up gasping for air. An hour. He'd been wandering aimlessly for an hour hoping some street urchin like the pigeon boy would be about that he might question, but no luck. While some might have thought it peculiar to seek out children as opposed to the local gossip at the pub, Ennis found himself closer to and more sure of the urchins. They had to 'show' their information was good or at least decent before making off with your money. Gossips tended to 'tell' and that was all you could get. Specifics were mighty slim, as well, without the application of at least a pawful of gold...or a knife.

"Ugh...when does zis place awaken?" No sooner was the question out of the dog's mouth than a clip-clop from one direction signaled the first of the country merchants pulling into town for the daily market. Food? The dog considered it, then tossed the idea aside. He needed his gold for information now, not luxury items like pastries. His stomach growled disconsolately.

Three days on nothing but water and jerky?! You are cruel! It whined.

Silence! I know I am close, Ennis grumbled to himself as he let his arms sink into the cold water, soothing the prickling of his burn scars. So close I can smell 'im! He took in a deep breath and proceeded to choke as the country merchant passed by with a cart of decaying fish.

"Je déteste ce pays...*" Still...The dog glanced around and noted that one of the fish had fallen out of the cart and was lying not a meter away. "I am not zat 'ungry."

Yes, you are, l'Estomac assured him. And if you're not, then I am!

Before he could stop himself, the whippet's paw latched onto the grimy fish and dunked it into the trough before biting viciously into its side. The stench filled his nostrils as scales flaked away and some cut his tongue, but his gag reflex was overcome by hunger.

Je déteste ce pays plus d'Aros! Peut-être...Non! Non, je le déteste beaucoup plus!** The starving creature feasted like only a stray dog can as the little city on the coast of the Piriqui came to life.
_____________
*I hate this country
** I hate this country more than Aros! Maybe...No! No, I hate him way more!
"It's hard to argue against cynics - they always sound smarter than optimists because they have so much evidence on their side."
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Post by Zeru »

Aros slept restlessly, especially as the city started to wake up. Damn lynx... Damn uninteresting lynx with his boring proposals... The land of Nod kept fluttering in and out of the thief's reach, though he was adamant about stealing it for himself. Dreams wouldn't escape him so easily if he had anything to say about it. In between fits of sleep, the cacomistle would be awake just enough to observe the wall across the room.

He had specifically ordered a room without windows, as he didn't enjoy his privacy to be subjected to strange eyes. However, he was starting to regret the decision. He was eager to view the outside world through the safety of a pane of glass, or even a simple hole in the wall. With a determined grunt, he rolled onto his belly and shoved his thin face into the pillows.

There was nothing spectacular about the dreams he had that morning. They were broken, foggy, and most of all unfinished. That irked Aros more than it should have, but the poor sleep had left him grumpy. Many times he would force himself back to sleep just to finish a dream.

As the sun started to creep up on the horizon, painted golden rays soaking into the sky, Aros found himself without a blanket. He had kicked it off in his sleep, and was much too groggy to bring it back up. A few catnaps and position changes of the sun later, he found that he was too restless to return to sleep.

Reluctantly, he slithered off of his bed and to the cloak he had left on its hook. Pulling it over his body, he made sure the belt around his waist was properly secured. Attached to the leather strip was a square leather bag and a proper sized dagger. In a discrete pocket of the cloak, Aros had snuck in another blade along with some paper that had been rather childishly scribbled on.

Not bothering to fix his bed -- that's one of the things he paid the innmaster for anyhow -- Aros quickly made his way downstairs. He greeted the barman with a deceptively warm smile and ordered a small flask of hard ale, paying for both the ale and the flask, and returning the key to his room. In a quick movement, he gulped some down, which was plenty to shock him into wakening.

Quick to tie the flask to his belt and head out the door, he decided to see what the marketplace had for eats. It smelt horrendously of fish that might be a day too old, but he continued on. He found a stand that sold thick pieces of bread with meat in between, which he thought was rather peculiar. He ordered up on of the concoctions, which even came with a few bits of lettuce. Munching happily on the meal, he headed back the way he had come, to leave the dreary little city for good. He stopped momentarily for a bit of cheese, figuring it would go well with his bread, meat, and lettuce combo. Putting some between the bread, he placed the rest in a cloth in his leather bag, as it would make a great traveling snack.
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Post by Madame »

"'Cha! Ya think it's 'live?" the beaked crow queried, poking the limp dog in the alleyway with his talon.

"Dunno," the skinned Pacific Diver shrugged indifferently. "Let's chop him up and sell him anyway."

"Erk?! That's mean, Adisa! We shudd wait till it's dead a'least," the crow ruffled his feathers uncomfortably.

"You Beaks..." Adisa was about to say more on the softness of such avians when the dog in question groaned and pushed himself to his knees.

"'Cha! Yer 'live."

"Je ne veux pas d'être...*" Ennis growled, rubbing at his eyes with his dirty shirt slleeve.

"An' you talk funny," Adisa observed. "Shoulda killed you b'fore..." With that, the two birds wandered away to find some other poor fur to eat should he be asleep for too long.

"'Ow long 'ave I been asleep?" the whippet wondered as his staggered to his feet. It was that fish that had done it to him. L'Estomac had received its just desserts for eating an uncooked, rotting heap of garbage. Shivers had wracked the canine's thin frame and made him vomit up a majority of the slop before collapsing against the nearest wall.

The sun made his head hurt, but Ennis forced himself to look up regardless, then his tearing eyes grew wide. "Mon Dieu! C'est le temps?!**" He made a bleary lunge at the ground, paws groping for the cheap lance he carried with him and the haversack that carried his few belongings. By some miracle, neither had been stolen, though the tenderness in his chest might have told the dog he was lying atop them for the past three hours.

"Aros!" the whippet snarled low, shouldering his pack and placing the lance in a vice-like grip to aid his walking.

-----

"Aros?" the little vixen scratched at her chin. "See'd a fur with a ringtail leave early this morn t'the west gate. Could show ya mebbe."

"Please," Ennis nodded desperately, tossing the girl a coin as a down payment.

"Folluh me!"

-----

Ennis was all but jogging down the street now that his stomach had settled and his head no longer felt like it was home to a miniature jousting tournament. He had passed a late-rising merchant just pulling into town five minutes ago and a few coins assured the dog that he was on the right track if he was looking for a cloaked ringtail. "But mind de skies, Mistuh," the skinned canary had warned. "De natives auh restless t'day if you're heading out of de city."

Whatever that meant, it was unimportant compared to the prize awaiting just ahead. Long months -- Years? No, it couldn't be that long...could it? -- of labor rewarded with not just a sight of the golden demon, but his thin neck in between the canine's claws. Mais...let zis be za real thing! Ennis pleaded with the long gone gods.

Too many times the tips led to an innocent raccoon or golden-furred cat. Like zat king...Ugh! So foolish! But he had checked for certain this time. Covered every base he could think of to assure that this was the...the one!

Ahead, a tall figure in a cloak walked at a steady pace. Could it be? Finally?! Ennis sped up, his swift feet almost weightless as his thin body raced across the dirt track toward the edge of the town.
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* I don't want to be...
** My God! That's the time?!
Last edited by Madame on Sat Jun 21, 2008 6:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by Zeru »

Aros looked up to the sky, checking the position of the sun. It was still a while away from high noon, but he felt still that he needed to pick up his pace. He didn't want to get trapped in this god forsaken city forever. As he was observing the celestial body, the hood to his cloak succumbed to the effects of gravity, falling first onto his large ears and then onto his shoulders. He didn't really care much, either. As far as anyone could tell, he might as well be a genet or a strange breed of cat.

He returned his gaze to the horizon, taking in a great sniff of the city. The smell of rotten fish was strong again. It was probably coming off of the filthy street urchins. The thought of it made the thief sick. Why didn't they do something with themselves other than slink about the city? Learn to wield a sword, pick up a trade. Hell, they could even come chasing after him as far as he was concerned.

Tilting his nose just a little higher into the air, Aros continued on. It was a short walk to the city's edge and then to the forests. He might even make it to the rocky cliff sides, his first checkpoint, before evening.
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Post by Madame »

The hood of the creature just now exiting through the thick stone walls of the city fell away and he stared up. Ennis had to bite his tongue to keep from crying out as fire burned across his shoulders, back and chest as if the scars were fresh. And in his mind he saw the grinning thief with golden fur and icy eyes holding the engagement ring and looking up as if it was a great treasure. Mon trésor...*

Neither gold, nor jewels, nor even the blood to be spilled could bring back the whippet's ultimate treasure. The femme with green eyes deeper than the Kharen Sea, fur as soft as feather down, manners more refined than any Domish noble could ever hope to achieve. Jezebel, mon chéri, I will avenge you!

The demon cacomistle was now outside the gates and the dog closed on him rapidly, ignoring the startled snarls of those he raced past. His goal was in sight and now, now...The whippet gripped his lance tight and aimed the simple metal head at Aros' back. His breathing was hard and it would be seconds before he was upon the unguarded fur.

It was dishonorable. It was cruel. It was a coward's ploy. But the ache in Ennis' heart, and mind assured him: C'est juste!**
____________
* My treasure...
** This is right!
"It's hard to argue against cynics - they always sound smarter than optimists because they have so much evidence on their side."
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Post by Zeru »

Oh, the sun was getting rather hot, it was. Something such as too much sun shouldn't sit on such a golden head as his; no no, such an elegant creature as himself was much too good for that. He grabbed at the edge of his hood, catching a bit of fast moving white and brown heading his way. Ignoring the hood, Aros made a break to the left, ringed tail sticking straight up from under his cloak as he did.

He darted towards a small shop, pushing a small jay out of his way as he made his way into an alley. Aros was quick to grab onto the clay adobe, his basic instincts telling him to climb as high as he could. He pulled himself onto the roof which consisted of logs concreted with long dried mud and straw. He panted heavily, his eyes wide enough to look like tiny islands on a sea of white.

He looked down, blue eyes searching for the blur that came after him, and observing only chaos that he had created in the street. Everything looked the same, identities lost in a sea of jostling feathers, skin, and fur.

He backed away from the edge of the building, lowering himself almost flat to the roof, large ears pressed to his skull. What was that?, he asked himself. Whatever it was, it seemed gone to him now, but he needed a moment to gather himself.
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Post by Madame »

(( Probably want to get outside the city in the next few posts so's we can run into Todd's lot. And did I mention Ennis has a bit of a mouth on him...at least in Domish.XD ))

Faraji Goldfeather was not a happy skinned eagle, at the moment. Not only had last night's gambling episode drained him of every gold piece on his body, plus his favorite shirt, plus the heirloom sword his great grandfather had given him, plus his daughter's dowry, he now had to put up with the idiots running about the streets of Sao Tome like deranged beast-chickens.

"Kreeack! Krikree!" Faraji screamed curses in the coarsest avian tongue he could think of as the peculiar golden cat-thing raced past him, hitting his wing and spinning him around. The unfortunate gambler had not even regained his balance when he was shoved to the ground by a dog that streaked down a nearby alley, barking like a rabid animal. "May the fleas on your mangy hide bite the parts you treasure most!" the bird threw at the canine in Piriqui. Either the dog didn't speak the language or he wasn't listening because he just continued to stare up at the roofs in the alley and snarl.

"Stupid foreigners..." the eagle grumbled, standing up and getting knocked over again by a skinned peacock who had been staring slack-jawed at the pair of miscreants while walking. "For the love of all the spirits!" Faraji screeched indignantly.

"S-sorry," the peacock had the decency to look ashamed. "But that's just not something you see every day."

"What? A couple of owantu?" the eagle sneered.

"No..." the other ave pointed. "It's a dog...chasing a cat."

-----

"Descendez immédiatement, vous lâche de merde!" Ennis howled at the spot he had last seen the cacomistle's prominent ears. "Vous salaud! Vous meurtre de sang-froid!*" A voice sang inside the whippet that screaming obscenities and insults in Domish was unlikely to achieve his desired purpose, but it was so difficult to control himself when the object of his unending torment was just a few meters above his head.

"D'accord!**" the dog barked. "If you will not come down, zen I will come up!" Tossing aside his lance with more force than he had meant so it went skittering down the alley, far out of reach, Ennis grabbed for the same wall the thief had ascended moments before. He was not built for climbing, but the dog's thin frame and strong legs lent themselves to the task, a good thing as his arms were protesting the sudden exertion in addition to the subconscious pain from his burning scars.

He reached the log roof and hauled himself up, panting hard with his tongue lolling out. Aros was gone. "Putain!***" Indigo eyes scanned the rooftops quickly and caught sight of a long, ringed tail disappearing behind the slope of another roof. Ennis didn't stop to consider the insanity of a rooftop chase when his talents rested with more earth-bound pursuits; he just ran.

Willing himself not to look down at the gaps as he jumped them, lest vertigo get the better of his sense of justice, the whippet pursued his quarry toward the outer walls once more. I 'ave to catch 'im before he reaches the walls! Ennis urged his paws to move even faster. Tracking and catching the cacomistle in the forests would prove infinitely more difficult than doing so in the city. That and he was close. So very...close.

__________________
* Come down here right now, you fucking coward! You bastard! You cold-blooded murderer!
** Fine!
*** Oh, fuck!
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