Toasty Squeaks passed away. It was the runt of the litter and last kitten born. The other kitten, Apollo isn’t nursing enough so now gettimg supplement fed. Toasty also wasn’t feeding enough, we fed him last night by bottle. He was found in a corner away from mom, cold this morning. I only got 2 hours sleep, nursing kitties feed every 2 hours. I am very sad.
I see you in ever dream, my thoughts always of you. I love you and wish only your utmost happiness. I delight in the softness of your emery black waves; they frame your small round face with delicate curls. The way your lips, ruby painted, frown in disdain at me, or laugh when I tell a story. The confused look your cinnamon brown eyes get when I say the wrong things.
Lately those eyes are drowned in despairs, your slim shoulders have heaved in my arms. You leaned against me weeping and I stroked your hair in comfort. I have clasped your slim hands, perfectly manicured with delicate nails, in my own rough hands and assured you of my devotions.
Yet, how can I save you from your pain, how can I find you? I cannot even save myself. Last night I dreamt once more. Folding laundry on the line, you wore a simple cotton dress, light blue. Your hair pinned up, I watched from the window. Your mother, hair streaked with silver, helped place clothes out, I could hear the bubble of conversation but not the words.
Aniya, nay Anika Sora, Lady of dreams, I would plead you stay with me. Always at my side. That the moments I dream of a normal life, you and I, sitting on the bed chatting. The tv in the living area playing local news. The conversations, talking of the children, enjoying a happy life. The illusion always shattered when you realise I must go again. The tears as I tell you I am leaving, waking from the dream. Last night it happened too. I knew I had to go and held you tight, kissed you, and said goodbye. I will go mad, one day I may wish to remain in dream forever, never to wake again.
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By Damien Knight
(From a dream I had back in May 2011. )
Koraki walked through an Asian grocery with a cart when he glanced across at a familiar young face. Her short bob cut, and bold almond-shaped eyes made him stop and gaze for a moment. Akron was on the other side of the store. He ordered ingredients from a short Japanese man. Koraki waited for the girl to catch sight of him. She approached Akron with a bright smile.
“It has been a long time since we have seen you. How have you been,” She asked Akron.
Akron shrugged, “Well enough just doing what I can to keep an eye on Koraki and the kids you know.”
“Koraki is good at watching himself, though isn’t he? He seemed to be recovering well from surgery according to Susan and Sally.” She replied.
“I have no idea what the surgery was for, but it was good seeing you again Sora,” Akron said.
Koraki laughed as ‘Sora’ turned around. When she caught sight of him, she came over and hugged him.
“Koraki,” She kissed him, “good to see you again.”
“So, it is Sora now, huh my love?” he replied.
“Depends on where I am at. You can’t talk Koraki, shadow of many names.” She laughed, “You are looking well again.”
“Yes, and you cut your hair again.” He scolded, “I love your long hair. Running my fingers through it. No flower pins today?”
She brushed her hand through her hair.
“No, no my love,” she blushed.
Koraki nodded then held her close to him. He pushed her hand away and brushed his fingers through her hair. He kissed her again and as he did, Akron turned and saw them. Akron had a look of anger that shocked them both.
“Koraki, why are you kissing Sora? What is this nonsense?”
Sora let go of Koraki and went to Akron. She placed her hands on his chest she leaned up to get as close to eye to eye as her 4-foot 5 frame would let her. Akron towered above her in his height of six feet. She sighed then smiled.
“Akron you sound jealous of Koraki and I. Surely you have no interest in your own sister or you do not recognize me. Or is it that your love for Koraki clouded that you and I must share him not just with each other but with whoever he loves? Maybe you wish me to kiss you too Akron?”
Akron swallowed, “Sister? Um no thanks I don’t wish for a kiss. I will just take my things and head out.”
Akron vanished. Koraki turned to ‘Sora’ with a sheepish grin. He ran his hand through his short brown hair feeling ashamed of Akron’s actions.
“Don’t mind wolf sweetie he didn’t realize you were Anika. He still hasn’t gotten use to the fact I am Koraki. For the longest time you and I kept him cleverly confused. I mean I don’t even use my birth name on earth any more so… well I better go.”
Damien woke from sleep and he sighed he turned, and Akron was sleeping. He got up and went down stairs. 2:09 in the morning. Really? He feed the cats. Then the dog and placed a bowl of water out for them. He turned out the lights that were left on and crawled back in bed. He tossed and tried to get comfortable which made Akron upset.
“Why can’t you just sleep?” Akron complained.
“My pillow keeps falling off the bed,” Damien snapped.
Akron didn’t reply except for light snoring.
Koraki woke and found himself in a house. In the bedroom he was trapped in he looked in the mirror and saw he had the face of a young boy. A little girl about eight was with him. Her face was dirty, her skin pale hanging from a thin frame. The mother came in and offered Koraki a handful of cat food.
“Eat children and don’t look at me with your vile eyes.” She snarled.
The little girl whimpered, “Cat food again. Can’t we have goldfish crackers instead?”
“No,” the woman hissed, “In fact you get none cat food either.”
The woman snatched back the bag of cat feed from the girl.
“You can’t treat us this way. It isn’t allowed it’s illegal.” Koraki replied.
“Says who you filthy runt.” She replies.
Koraki transformed with a smirk.
“Says I, your daughter is now a ward of the state and I have already taken your son,”
“You can’t do that!” She shrieked.
She pushed Koraki out the window. Koraki grabbed the daughter with him and realized it was storming. He tried to fly, but the wind kept pushing him.
“Damn the wind,” He snapped.
He clung to the girl as she screamed in fear, he could see the sky lighting up strange. It was obviously dawn but he could tell by the way the light hit he indeed was in Aldaria for sure. “Aldaria, so beautifully treacherous when it comes to weather.”
The girl screamed again and Koraki called out:
“Anika my love I know you can hear me I sense you. Come to me my beloved.”
He flew, if one could call trying to dodge trees, flying. Suddenly the girl shrieked louder than before.
“A dragon! A large black dragon!” She screamed.
Koraki turned and held the girl close. He saw Anika’s stream lined head and her red under wings. He smiled, his heart warmed.
“Coming down for a landing on your back my sweet one. We are on our own with this one. I need to get to Little Babylon.”
“No Koraki you said you would go to the council first, remember?” Anika’s voice entered his mind.
“Fuck the council Anika, we are going to the palace to get the child to safety first.” He replied.
“Ok Sir, fuck the council.” She snorted loudly, “To Little Babylon.”
“That’s my girl! Way to do as I say.” Koraki leaned and stroked the top of her massive head as she flew, “I love you so much Anika. You have no idea how happy I am to see you again.”
At these words Anika tilted and Koraki thought she might be blushing. She kept flying through the trees and she hit right into a large tree branch.
“Anika watch out! Lift higher up, you will get hurt flying through the trees.” Koraki called.
“I am fine sir! I happen to have scales. I can’t fly higher if you didn’t notice it is storming this morning. We are almost home I can smell people.” She paused, “And um I love you too especially love how every time you see me you act like we haven’t spoken in a decade.”
Koraki shook his head just as she landed in the city square. The sun had risen by this point. People shouted “It’s Lord Koraki and Lady Anika. They made it back!”
Koraki bowed to the people his Spartan cape swooped around him.
“My queen, take the girl to her brother I head to the palace.” He stopped and sniffed, “someone in the crowed means my death. Let him follow me then.”
Koraki ran across the buildings Prince of Persia style with a chuckle. Even in his heavy armour his stocky build was strong enough to travel Little Babylon like it was a ready-made street running course. A fat man in a purple turban ran behind him huffing.
“What’s wrong can’t keep up with your King? Come try to catch me and if you can I will give you a good fight.”
The man threw a vial at Koraki who swiftly caught it and threw it back. The man caught it and kept pursuing Koraki. Finally, Koraki reached the palace and ran for the bar.
“OMG, who is that man chasing you Koraki?”
Scott the bartender greeted Koraki as he ran in. Scott was a lanky half elf in colourful clothes. Koraki looked at the half elf and smiled.
“Let’s dance Scott, my friend, as I successfully completed a mission. Never mind that man is trying to assassinate me.”
“Whatever you say, sir, but won’t Akron be mad if you dance with me,” he replied.
“Upset over a dance? Worry more over Anika being upset.”
Koraki laughed as he spun Scott and hit the music. Just as he did, Anika ran in the room. She glared at them.
“What you couldn’t wait for me before partying.”
“Now it is you who is jealous, huh? Anika come into my arms you know I would gladly dance with you.”
Koraki swept her up and she jumped on him her legs wrapped around his waist. He laughed as he dropped her down with a chuckle.
“We still have unfinished business, or I would party all day.”
“The man who was following you. He’s on his way, now isn’t he?” She replied.
“Why yes, he is.” He replied.
The man in the turban ran in.
“Die you fool.”
The man cried out as he threw the potion at Koraki again. Anika swift caught it, and everyone present in the room surrounded him.
“Not a good day to pick to try and murder the king of Aldaria my friend. You made the fool mistake and ran right into the vipers nest and now you will suffer his bite.”
Everyone chased the man out into the street and Anika turned into a cat. The man grabbed her.
“Ha you took something valuable from the woman and I take your lover from you.”
The woman, the mother of the children, appeared beside the man.
“Anika please make mincemeat of him with your claws.” Koraki ordered.
Anika scratched the man and then jumped into Koraki’s arms. Koraki stroked her red and black fur tenderly.
“No one touches my princess. As for you valuing those children, woman, your crime just elevated to a death sentence. I will kill you.”
“Go ahead coward! You ran from me to begin with.” She retorted.
“I run from no one you pushed me out a window.” Koraki answered.
He pulled his sword. The woman cast a spell trapping Anika.
“He may not be able to hold on to the dragon, but she is mine now until you give me back my children.”
“Shit,” Koraki muttered, “Today was a bad day for you to be a hired killer good man.”
The woman vanished and ran down the road. In one swoop Koraki slashed the man in half killing him. Then Koraki chased the woman who took Anika. He slew the witch.
“No one messes with those I love.”
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By Damien Knight
I will preface this by stating that this was a dream I had. It is obviously a warped version of the Doctor Who episode “The Girl in the Fire Place.” During the dream it took me a bit to realise this.
Koraki stood at the top of the stairs of a Victorian ballroom. The ballroom walls were lined with mirrors where he felt certain Victorian art ought to be. He, himself, was dressed in a fine suit with a tie.
By Damien Knight
(Story poem from Koraki Saros Kanosis to his imprisoned daughter.)
I am sorry my child for your pain
For the suffering you lived
The raging guilt drives me insane
If I heeded my head
Yet I headed my heart instead
If I had not done so carelessly
Dear sweet Lidie my angel
You would be here in my house with me’=
I only ask you forgive this old crow
How sorry I am you never will know
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“It was a vast burning field
where no flowers grew
blood covered the embers
where no bodies were strewn
Who could do this to a land
that committed no crime
a place that had peace
In a time before time”
the devastation Arajuan
caused through out
That morning Anika awoke as the sun peeked into her tent. With the darkness gone the sun beamed the brightest she had ever seen. Only a slight trace of sulfur was on the wind much to her relief. She sat up, her stomach had a dull ache, but her legs healed except for scars on the back of them. Her shoulder where Arajuan gripped her had no wound at all. She had fallen asleep in her travel armor, so she did not need to dress. She left her tent, found Tarnink was already up and had prepared a fire.
Tarnink pulled out a pack of food and handed it to her. She tried to eat but her stomach felt numb. The food just sat and rotted. She tossed the food away from her in frustration.
“Arajuan, that vile beast, he is trying to starve me to death,” she exclaimed.
I love when things are complicated.”
Koraki to Anika
Arajuan did not have the luxury to stop. A tight schedule meant he had to push on. He could still smell her blood on him, feel her heartbeat against him. His own heart pounded against his ribcage. He knew this feeling, a roar in his chest from a time before he was Arajuan. She was the lady of shadows; how could he do this to her?
Arajuan had to shake this off, aloof, wicked, heartless. This is war, the price of war is death. He would laugh but it was not funny. The men followed him, orcs were the core group, from the same tribe Tsuke and Tuk hailed. The others were victims of towns he decimated. He relished in their fear when new towns he conquered saw his necromantic arts. It was a delight when they knew they bound their fate to him.
The war drums played as they marched. Socrates landed on his shoulder. He knew his master better than anyone; they were bonded as brothers. Socrates sensed Arajuan’s troubled heart.
“The girl, was she the wyrmling?” Socrates asked