LO Finale Pg.3A squat row of apartments stood a short distance from the clock tower. Several of its units had long collapsed, leaving tremendous gashes in its side. The remainder, however, remained defiant against the weight of time.
Three creatures resided behind a second-floor window, shrouded in a heavy darkness.
"So what're ya gonna do now?" questioned one.
"We aren't going far," spoke a gruff voice.
"But I thought ya was anxious to get him."
"Had you looked outside, you'd have seen our friend run right to us."
"I can't see that far fer' shit."
Ga'Har darted through a doorway, stepping into a room lit by a single sliver of sunlight. He paused to let his eyes adjust to the dimness. A large rectangular table sat in the center of the space, surrounded by rotten chairs and stools. Dusty plates ringed the counter, scraped clean of whatever food they once had long ago.
"Now what?" asked Nameless, who hopped up onto the table and examined the plates.
"We'll have to be creative. I'm too exhaust
LO Finale Pg.2Echo stood at the top of the crumbling clock tower, glaring impatiently from behind her mask. None of the contestants had arrived. She turned and wandered into a small room, finding Doom in a half-sleep.
"Have they arrived yet?" he asked.
"They will soon."
"What if they just up and leave?"
"I see. How did that happen, anyways?"
"I can't explain everything."
Doom grinned faintly and rose to his feet. A loud bark sounded out from somewhere below.
"I think someone's arrived," he said.
Vulcan approached the tower at a brisk pace, chewing on the rabbit he had snagged a moment earlier. He disliked the taste of fur, but the rest of the morsel made up for it. He swallowed the last chunks of meat and entered the stairwell, pausing to pick a clump of sinew from between his fangs. The darkness grew thicker as he stepped into the tower.
A distant pair of voices caught his attention. He paused and perked his ears up.
"...we're almost there," said one.
"I think Kevin agr
LaF Audition: Page TwoAeja slips from the door
a sword of steel on her belt
and a dagger in her coat.
She walks unusually,
as if not quite balanced.
The map in her grip flutters in the wind.
Over the river and through the woods
to the Thief's lair she goes.
She examines her dagger,
admiring its contours and edges
that seem to slice the air itself.
A scalpel in disguise,
it fits in her scaled palm
like an extension of her arm,
moving as if weightless.
It bears no blood
for it is clean.
Clean is good.
Clean is precise.
Clean is orderly.
Clean is good.
Her studies stain it crimson
with the red of life.
So she stains water
to cleanse metal.
She returns to her map.
It becomes cryptic,
each step unclear
and without definition.
Each leads from the last
never touching a landmark
forming a map incomplete-
a jumble of fragments.
Yet, whether by fate
she finds her way.
A fog begins to build.
She slows her pace,
plodding along the road
at a snail's speed.
It grows thicker,
obscuring the sky
and the hills
LO Finale Pg.1The dead city, forever stripped of its name, lay bathed in sunlight. A handful of clouds hovered in the great blue expanse of the sky, providing little relief from the scorching rays of the sun. Clusters of rabbit-like creatures scampered through the streets with their thin ears perked up high.
Vulcan dozed beneath the shadow of a five-story building, lying on an adjacent roof. Dried blood stained his fur. He twitched in his slumber, clawing at unseen demons.
The sun gradually peeked over the rim of the apartment complex, jolting him wide awake. A profound weariness hung in his bones. His feeling of weakness from the past day had yet to be dispelled. If anything, it had grown worse. The wounds across his face no longer bled, although they still stung when brushed with a paw. He shook his head and growled. None of it made sense to him.
I'm strong. I'm perfect. This isn't me.
A creeping shadow enveloped him. He turned his head to the skies.
For a moment, it seemed as if the horizo
Five Minutes EarlierTwo gunshots rung out, echoing through the streets of a sleepy town. Lights snapped on in the shuttered windows. A woman screamed. Shouts pierced the air. Two more loud cracks fired off.
Then, there was silence.
Five minutes earlier, a man stood at a street corner. His hands hung lazily in the pockets of his gray hoodie. A layer of stubble coated his slightly tanned face, much of which hid under the hood.
Four minutes earlier, he crossed the street, moving quickly despite the utter lack of traffic. He seemed anxious. His hands remained jammed in his coat pockets. A bead of sweat hovered on his brow. The hoodie didn't help. Warm, moist air hung over the town.
Three minutes earlier, he slipped off into a side street, and then wound his way into an alley. His dark-gray cargo pants blended into the moldy brickwork of the imposing walls. Something stuck out from his right pocket. He glanced down at it, and then continued onwards.
Two minutes earlier, he reached a fire escape and stopped, gl
The CullingTrey stared up at the dull ceiling as he lay in his bed, stricken by a strange sense of dread. The reptilian man groaned and stretched his scaly arms wide, sliding off the bed and onto his feet. He stumbled to a small window, looking out upon the rolling forests that surrounded his small cabin. The hills rose and fell like waves frozen in time, glowing softly under the light of the ethereal moon.
All seemed at ease, yet he could not help but feel an indescribable worry. He walked to the doorway and peeked out into the stairwell. The heavy darkness obscured the lower floor. He returned to his bedroom and picked up a small oil lantern, striking a piece of flint to set it alight. Its warm, ruddy glow flooded into the room, forcing him to squint until his eyes could adjust to the light. He lifted the lamp and stepped out into the hall, holding it far in front of him to dispel the shadows.
Nothing appeared in the stairwell. Trey tentatively descended the steps. They creaked loudly as he wen
CC Round Four: The EndUntoten's death brought a chill over the ever-dwindling curs. The tiny dog seemed like an innocent thing- something that had been inadvertently hurled into a maelstrom of madness.
Erx crept across the wide room, trembling with exhaustion and shock. He slumped to the floor next to Zasha.
"Zasha?" he asked.
"E-Erx? Are you okay?"
"No. I'm not."
"What happened? Are you hurt?"
"No, I'm not hurt. I'm afraid. Everyone's lost faith. Even Beyra doesn't think this can last."
"Even she? But she is the one doing all of this."
"Whatever she sees, it's terrible. And it's getting worse. These scavengers are just the beginning."
"You don't mean-"
"These might be the end times."
Zasha gasped in disbelief, letting out a sickly wheeze.
"But- but you said-"
"Yes. We won't fall. We'll choose to live."
"Even if everything comes crashing down?"
A soft, hoarse chuckle caught Erx's attention. He turned to face the Doberman from hours earlier.
"You're still trying to save the dead, huh? What'd I tel