A Bloody Tale (draft)

“I can fight without you,” Shiver said, although to faer, it was very awkwardly phrased. It wasn’t that Shadow wouldn’t be with faer, they just wouldn’t be with faer physically.

One look at Shadow told Shiver that wasn’t happening. The only thing Shadow hated more than using something other than a shade for was being recalled. More specifically, they hated leaving Shiver alone.

Shiver’s mind was very crowded even when Shadow was outside it.

[oh by the way, i changed Razorthorn’s pronouns to dey/dem. someone i follow (we might be mutuals but either way, i’m happy for dem ^-^ ) said dey were gonna try out… actually a bunch of people i follow said they were gonna try using dey/dem pronouns after a tiktok starting going around connecting the lack of th- sound in African languages to AAVE.]

[i was uncomfortable using it/its for Razorthorn anyway, but now here’s something that celebrates both blackness and queerness, and that’s much more in line with what i want for this character. i guarantee there will be plenty of white nonbinary characters i’ll be comfortable using it/its pronouns for. And while i’m sure there are black people who do use it/its pronouns, those are black people with agency, not a character i created.]

[plus i don’t think we’ve had the “it/its pronouns don’t have to be dehumanizing” conversation enough. i know racism is prevalent in white queer spaces, and i don’t wanna give my fellow white queers any ideas. like my ancestors owned black people as property less than 200 years ago. a white writer having a black character using it/its pronouns doesn’t feel right to me. like i said, there’ll be plenty of white nonbinary characters, i’m sure.]

[okay six minutes to write 55 words let’s go]

[also remember to stay hydrated and rested, everybody!]

[it feels good to just be streaming rather than doomscrolling twitter oh my god i should stream first thing in the morning every day XD ah but then i’d have to wake up early to stream before work, and that ain’t happening]

[snack]

[oh i should mark where the new content starts real quick]

[this is the problem with chatting a lot, i completely forget what i already wrote. no object permanence XD ]

[it’s another reason why i copy/pasted all the prior stuff at the start of the stream, i like being able to see everything together.]

[alright i promised a magical glowing ball of death, let’s get to it]

[fuck now the words won’t go. XD ]

[hahahahaha]

[-screams-]

“We’re not leaving you alone,” Shadow said with their not unheard of heroic assertiveness. To Shiver alone, they said: “{You need someone to be louder than all the other voices in your head. That’s best done here, by your side.}” Out loud, they said. “You’re worth enduring elemental sensitivities.”

[everybody hydrate :3 ]

[money money money]

[gonna get ride of my empty code red bottle real quick]

[okay that wasn’t really quick but whatever. y’all aren’t here for speed XD ]

“You two are too cute,” Razorthorn scoffed affectionately. “Come on, let’s go.” [Dey looked at the ruined stairs.]

[should dey climb up with claws? or hang on to shadow and shiver?]

[Shadow, now formed with light magic, became wings once more. They latched on to Shiver.]

[you know what we don’t need their journey up the stairs]

[five minutes to write 50 words we got this]

[god i was doing great with shorter word count enemies last night XD ]

[Shadow unlatched from Shiver and shifted to become more humanoid. The darkness began to gray out from their form.]

[warn for mentions of food scarcity.]

[gonna try one of these super long battles. super high word count battles seem to work better for me on stream whereas super low word count battles tend to be better off stream.]

[it’d be super cool if you could run an endurance battle and a word count battle at the same time! so you’d have to write a certain amount of words and keep writing those words. i mean it sounds super stressful but i’d love to at least try one. plus you’d get to beat two monsters at once!]

[damn i should play arkham asylum again. that game made me feel like batman! i love it a lot. and the scarecrow segments!! mwah! -chef’s kiss- ]


[Razorthorn leapt from Shiver and onto the floor with a hefty grace.] [god what am i saying with this sentence]

Razorthorn didn’t wait for Shadow to fly them all up. Dey reached out to the top of what used to be the steps and pulled demself up with seemingly practiced athleticism and grace.

[oh one thing i should do before posting this for realsies: clarify whose POV this story is from. it starts out with shiver, then we bleed into shadow, and we get a bit of razorthorn too. also do we want to switch POVs at some point? or do we want an omniscient narrator? i think it’d be fun to have shadow and shiver’s POV to start with, then switch over to razorthorn. i want dem to have a chance to shine.]

[there’s a word i’m thinking of other than grace. i know i had a convo with someone a while back about how grace doesn’t often imply strength. i think adding athleticism brings that in but i wanna see if i can recall that other word instead]

[you know what i think athleticism and grace are fine]

[actually i might be able to find it in the server it took place in]

[dammit i thought i remembered which server we talked about it in but i guess i was mistaken]

[you know what we might’ve been talking about ballerinas instead]

Razorthorn didn’t wait for Shadow to fly them all up. Dey reached out to what used to be the top of the stairs and pulled demself up with the grace and strength of a practiced athlete.

[Shadow instead waited for Shiver’s feet to be firmly on the ground before unlatching. They reformed themself into a tiger-like form. The darkness they’d been using grayed into white. Soon, their entire form was made of light magic.]

[alright 300 hours to write 700 words let’s go]

[damn i love the color of the file icon]

[i love how 4thewords has a color picker now, it’s fantastic]

[FINISH THIS TALE, HALE]

[now i’m thinking of man on the internet’s megalovania]

[TIME TO STOP YOUR BLOODY TRAIL! HERE AND NOW I’LL END THIS TALE!!! steel’s such a great performer]

[i kinda want shadow to be a lion actually. but christianity has a bit of complicated symbolism going on with lions. they call jesus / god the lion and the lamb but they also say satan is a lion waiting to slaughter you or whatever (i forget the exact phrasing). i think a lion made of light fighting the church might be fun imagery tho… :3c ]

[They passed through the room with all the posters again. This time, the posters were all on a ghostly purple fire. Nothing else in the room was burning, though.]

They passed through the room with all the posters again. The poster Shiver had torn apart was missing.

[study horror genre terms]

[CAT! don’t just abandon me! damn XD ]

[what do you want, burr? what do you want, burr? if you stand for nothing, burr, what’ll you fall for?]

[for once in my life, i can stand with pride. i don’t have to push who i am to the side. i carry my cards close to my chest. have to wait for it, wait for it. i’ve seen which way the wind will blow. but for once in my life, i’ll be celebrated in ways i’ll never be at home.]

[let me tell you something i learned before i dared seek glory. nobody on earth controls how others choose to tell your story.]

[stop leaving us out of the narrative. we’re not just a trend, we’ve been here this whole time. from public u friend, we’ve been here this whole time. from albert cashier, we’ve been here this whole time. from marsha p j, we’ve been here this whole time. and that’s just america, we’re everywhere-ica. cuz we have been here this whole time.]

The auditorium was empty of congregants. Shiver couldn’t decide if it was creepier with or without them. [Fae formed a shield of ice that fae hoped would reflect any light magic back at the pastor’s wife.]

The pastor was still sermonizing as if he had a full audience. His wife was nodding along, listening dutifully. She was still sitting at the piano. Shadow and Shiver thought it was strange that she didn’t have her own bible.

Razorthorn rushed into the pastor, hacking mercilessly with chipped claws. The pastor’s wife moved to defend him until Shadow and Shiver intervened.

Shadow roared, sending sky magic her way as an opening. Streams of wind flew debris at her. Shiver complimented the wind with a flurry of icicle arrows from a frozen bow.

Light magic swirled around the pastor. He became armored with fire. Breastplate, shield, sabatons, tunic, and a helmet. His bible even turned into a whip-like sword. He was more a flame than a person at that point. Hellfire.

“Play with fire, you’re gonna get burned,” Razorthorn said, smashing the pulpit against him.

“The only one in danger of hellfire here is you, foul devil!” the pastor said, raising his weapon against dem.

Razorthorn moved quickly, sliding out of the way just in time. The pastor was slow, but hit like the beast he thought Razorthorn was. The welts from their last fight still stung Razorthorn’s back.

Welts Razorthorn was determined to return tenfold. For not just demself, but for all deir ancestors who’d suffered at the mouths who preached of separation and damnation.

Shadow glanced over at Razorthorn before refocusing on the pastor’s wife. She’d started singing. Confused, Shadow and Shiver kept attacking, taking advantage of the opportunity. How open she’d left herself.

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.

He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored.

He hath loosed the faithful lightning of his terrible swift sword.

His truth is marching on!

[oh apparently battle hymn of the republic was written by an abolitionist. using it anyway. it’s not like white christians are progressing anti-racism today.]

[plus i already have a few imagery ideas from battle hymn anyway]

A storm brewed over Shadow and Shiver. Too late, they both realized she’d been casting a spell.

Lightning swords reigned down upon them. Shiver quickly formed a shield out of earth magic, hoping it would block at least a few of them. But even just two swords managed to crack it. By three, it shattered into pebbles. From the blood loss earlier faer less than ideal meal from before all this, and now these lightning swords, faer movements became even more sluggish. Faer head drowned in pressure.

Shadow was faring better, but the battle with the congregants earlier left them wanting more energy. Still, Shadow rushed over to Shiver. They slung faer over their back and dropped faer off quickly behind one of the sturdier pews. They started casting a healing spell. Shade magic, as there was no light in the world around them. Only in the people, and the fire. And even that was a cruel light.

They both filled with dread when she started singing again.

I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel.

Shiver started creating an icy wall. Shadow kept watching her. Thankfully, she seemed focused on the two of them rather than Razorthorn.

As ye deal with my condemners so with you my grace shall deal.

Let the hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel.

His truth is marching on!

Snake-like flames gathered forth from the floor. Their tongues licked the wall. It started to melt.

Shadow curled protectively around Shiver, roaring again, swiping at one that dared to rise over the wall. Water started oozing towards Shadow and Shiver.

As soon as the snakes burned themselves out, Shadow leapt over the wall and charged at her. Shade magic formed in their jaw. They fired off a laser of darkness.

[oh wow we’ve been streaming long enough that i need to charge my computer XD amazing]

[oh my god i plugged in my computer and everything completely fucked off. wow]

[well by a miracle of raccoon jesus, we are still streaming apparently XD oh my god]

[thank god they didn’t count that as a loss, that is all i care about. and the stream]

[oh my god it’s so nice outside. i don’t wanna stream in here, i wanna be outside.]

[actually isn’t there an outlet out there??? i know we plugged the water dish into something]

[OH MY GOD I CAN CHARGE MY COMPUTER OUTSIDE. hold on everybody, i’m moving all my shit. granted, a cold dark basement is more appropriate for writing about evangelical churches but i am tired of being inside.]

[oh my god this is so much nicer FUCK YES]

[the birds will be singing when they leave this accursed place.]

[500 words to go, 3 hours left, let’s go!!]

[there was a bird this morning trying to bang our birdseed apart. we’re gonna try to get smaller birdseed next time. my mom painted that birdfeeder all by herself ^-^ she doesn’t really do creative things, but she really liked painting that birdfeeder.]

[chirp chirp chirp]

[one of the birds out here emits a very chirpy buzzing noise ^-^. and another one emits a series of chirpy rings. and another one emits a whistling eef eef, usually in two, but it just did it in three right now.]

[i don’t really know that much about birds, i’m more of a mammal aficionado, but i do have a peacock character planned eventually who’s gonna use neopronouns based on the word “pterodactyl”! :3 pte’s an art historian, and birds (specifically chickens, if i recall correctly) are the closest living relatives to dinosaurs, so i figured dino-inspired neopronouns would get the bird theme and the history theme in~ i also considered pronouns based on the word “feather” but i wasn’t vibing with those. i haven’t quite decided if it uses pte is or pte are. either way works for me! and obviously, anyone who really vibes with these pronouns and wants to use them is welcome to do whatever they wish ❤ that’s the beauty of language!]

[alright 3 hours to write 240 words. this is fine]

[ooooh the doc’s 5000+ words now :3 i mean i know it’s not all actual story text but it feels nice. mostly what i gotta keep track of is that 4thewords likes its doc sizes under 10k words. i guarantee a bloody tale will not go on for 10k words even with all this chatter XD ]

[-screams-]

[nothing’s wrong, sometimes you just need to scream.]

[i should write about some hyenas some time. female hyenas are bigger than male hyenas. so tol hyena girlfriend + smol hyena boyfriend 😀 ooooh i should draw some hyenas too! i was planning on doing an art stream later today. maybe i’ll just stream all day :3c i mean at this rate, it’ll take me all day to finish this story XD i’d like to finish it by saturday at the very least. plus it’d be nice to say i finished a stream story. i have posted virtually nothing on AO3 all year T_T i used to post so many things! i know it’s cuz i’m busier now, and my ideas tend to span longer these days but it still stings]

[alright let’s fight some kiru, everybody]

[well i completely spelled that search wrong XD thankfully youtube knows what i’m talking about]

[oh i also have a discord now, everybody! link in my about section and in my carrd, which is also in my about section. on twitch, not on youtube. my poor youtube XD ]

[how to transition to razorthorn]

Shade magic dealt a critical blow to the pastor’s wife. Her screech warbled throughout the auditorium. Debris fell from the ceiling. Even more of the pews crumbled.

[the sun has started to hit my screen]

[brb gonna put on some lotion. my hands are so dryyyyy]

[my skin is so dry and oily, i could start a fire]

[HYDRATE]

[the good news is, my computer only needs 30 more minutes to charge. so this kiru, and then one more and we may move freely about the nature X3 ]

[oh my god giant trans man hyena with tiny cis man hyena. boyfriends. yeah!!]

[isn’t that every vincian’s dream? to join a roving pack of boyfriends??? XD ]

[alright focus.]

Water. Razorthorn needed water. And a hose.

Razorthorn hopped into the tub behind the pulpit, the tub meant for baptisms, dodging that sword-whip mostly successfully. Razorthorn hissed. It still managed to lick deir ankle unfortunately.

Dey rushed and rooted through the closet. Dey found more chairs, some moth-eaten coats, a toolbox. Useless.

What felt like way too long later, they found a hose. Razorthorn ran back to the tub. The pastor had joined his wife in battering Shadow and Shiver.

Razorthorn jammed the hose into the spout. Dey turned the faucet fast enough to break it off.

The water came out weak. It fell too close to reach the pastor. Razorthorn tried turning the faucet more by hand, but it wouldn’t budge. Too tight.

Dey remembered the toolbox. Dey ran back and grabbed the whole thing. Sure enough, there was a wrench in there. Dey tightened it around the faucet and turned it as far as it would go.

Dey blasted the shit out of the pastor’s armor and sword.

He was now focused on Razorthorn again.

Razorthorn smashed a whole fucking pew against the pastor. Just kept smashing it against him as it broke off into smaller and smaller chunks. Until just a nub of a bench was left.

[how does razorthorn break his armor?]

Dey chucked it at the pastor’s wife.

Then dey began their onslaught against the pastor in earnest.

For the first time in his life, the pastor felt real pain. Razorthorn ripped into the pastor’s decaying skin like the paper-thin disguise it was. Razorthorn dared to feel hopeful. Hopeful that this brute would finally die tonight!

Shadow embued their claws with shade magic and hacked into the pastor’s wife. All their time spent in a shadowy form, they were very good at fighting with it. The pastor’s wife died with another warbling screech.

The pastor never even noticed.

Razorthorn ripped out what was left of his heart. A vile, mold-ridden cross. Dey crushed it in one bloodied hand.

The pastor became dust.

Razorthorn heaved. With labored steps, dey shambled off the pulpit.

“Y’all gonna be okay?” dey asked, reaching out to Shiver once more.

No sooner had Shiver nodded than the church began to crumble. The bell tolled furiously as it fell in front of them, resounding nauseatingly when it landed. As fast as they could, they bolted out of there, dodging debris and narrowly avoiding being crushed to death.

Once they were out the door, they found themselves at Shadow and Shiver’s campsite.

“Nice place you got here,” Razorthorn said. “Why don’t we rest up here and head on to mine in the morning?”

“Sure!” Shadow said, a much smaller house cat now.

“Great!” Razorthorn said. “And thank you. Thank you both.”

“Of course!” Shadow said. “You’re very welcome. Where do you live, if we may ask?”

“Autumnville!” dey said.

“Autumnville???” Shiver’s eyes went wide.

“That’s right!” Razorthorn grinned proudly. “Home of the Autumnal Royal Family!”

“Yeah, them…” Shiver tried to act natural.

“You two would a hit at the Annual Royal Tournament! Trust me!” Razorthorn said. “Plus, there’s a cash prize, and you’ll a date with the prince! That’ll be plenty to set you up somewhere. I helped my niece start up her bakery with that money.”

“A date!?” Shiver tried even harder to act natural. Shadow curled around faer neck.

“It doesn’t have to be a date,” dey said. “They just call it a date to get the allos excited. You don’t have to go, you can just chill or take a rain check.”

As much as Razorthorn wanted to keep hyping up up the tournament, dey were just as exhausted as Shiver and Shadow, if not more. Dey were finally safe after god knew how long. That was a special type of exhaustion.

They all fell in a pile together in the tent.

[i might cut out all this stuff about the tournament, save it for the next fic. definitely wanna keep shiver’s reaction to autumnville tho. fun fact! autumnville used to be called automneville. (french for autumn.) now that i’m more learned in the ways of the world and culture, i figured changing all the gratuitous usage of foreign languages into english would be truer to myself. like i just don’t have the time to research french culture, architecture, etc to the level i would need to feel comfortable and confident that i’m not just stealing things]

[It was still light out. The birds were still chirping, footloose and fancy-free.]

[Shiver watched the vibrant light of sunset.]

Shiver tried to fall asleep, but the birds were chirping. [Almost quack-like ones, beep-like ones, buzzes, and whistles.] Almost quack-like ones, beeps, buzzes, and whistles. Faer eyelids were heavy though at least. Even their mind was finally bedding down for the night.

Faer eyes bolted open when the birds coalesced into an all too familiar tune. In the distance, something that sounded like an old woman began to sing.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea.

With a glory in his bosom that transfigures you and me.

As he died to make men holy let us die to make men free!

His truth is marching on.

Shiver lay there in silence. Fae decided this hallucination, if it was one, was harmless.

[it’s actually really common for churches to pick and choose which verses of what songs to sing. the pastor’s wife chose the ones about wrath and damnation, the birds or whatever picked the heart of the song.]

[thank you for coming, everyone ^-^ i’m gonna clean this up off-stream but i’ll post it as is in the stream storytime folder in the meantime. i can’t wait to tell another story with you ❤ let’s find someone to raid!]

2 thoughts on “A Bloody Tale (draft)

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