Kindred Spirit Lodge Presents
The Hunt; The Hole
by Astral (Oisin)
“I can’t believe I got stuck with you! Stupid straws…”
Oisin had been grumbling incessantly for the last half hour as they plodded further into the forest. Astral sighed and looked around her, “Have you any idea where we are going?” she asked knowing it was a waste of time. If there wasn’t a gusset involved the Bard was directionless.
“I bet Jasper cheated…”
“I mean does anyone have a plan other than wandering around the woods until we are all picked off one by one?”
“I bet she had all three lengths hidden up her sleeve and waited to see what one Trisha drew…Huh?”
“The Plan dufus. There’s no way Shasa would leave is out here without a plan. What are we meant to be doing?”
Oisin came out of her abject misery to focus on Astral and her question only to shudder and slump immediately back into her funk…
“Oisin! Stop whining and tell me what we are meant to be doing out here!”
With a deep sigh Oisin repeated Shasa’s instructions in a flat monotone,
“We’re meant to investigate the old Stable block to the south of the Lodge just past the disused bear pits.”
“What disused bear piiiiii…”
Oisin stood alone in sudden and absolute silence. Where did she go? she looked all around her, Where did the frigid little pointyheaded spook go to now?
Oisin looked up at the sky in wonder, Had she accidentally astral projected herself somewhere many, many miles away from here? The Bard fell to her knees in supplication, “Oh please gods let it be so…I bequeath to ye my first born…”
“Helppp….” came a little whimper not from many, many miles away.
“Ah feck! Stupid gods." Oisin dragged herself to her feet "Where are you?” she bellowed.
“Down here. In the bear pit you forgot to mention until the last minute you imbecile!”
Looking to her left Oisin did indeed spy a deep hole in the ground and sprawled at the bottom of it Astral looking very uncomfortable.
“Hey, see you finally managed to fill a hole.”
“Shut up and get me out of here…it smells of bear poo.”
“Magick yourself out.”
“Can’t. Can’t concentrate when I’m hurting and I’m hurting. I’m all bruised…”
“Ooooh. Sort of stuck down there then?”
“Help me out. Go get a rope.”
“It rubs the lotion on its skin…”
“Stop mucking about and get me out!”
“Okay, okay. I’ll have to go back to the Lodge. Don’t run away, hahaha…I won’t be long."
“Don’t leave me there’s vampires out here!”
But Oisin was already on her way with a much lighter step and happier mood.
“Don’t worry,” she flung over her shoulder, “they won’t be sucking on a sourpuss like you unless they’re drinking tequila.”
Astral didn’t like this one bit. She could stand up now her hip hurt less and less but she was sure there’d be a massive bruise in the morning…if she ever got to see the morning.
“I can’t believe that stupid twat-challenged, twat for brains, fruit of a twat tree, abandoned me out here...in a hole of all places. I have to get out before something else comes along and finds me.”
The hole was roughly eight foot deep was just too high for her to manage to extract herself. The sides were hard packed earth and she had no tools or implements to allow her to carve even as much as a handhold in the smooth surface.
Sighing she sat down and waited, and waited…about an hour later she heard the rustle of leaves underfoot somewhere above her. Her instincts told her to sit quietly. If it was the Bard returning with a rope she’d have called out by now. Some smart assed remark about holes and tampon strings no doubt. Another Lodger would not be out here alone so that only left…gulp…a bear? A bear looking for a nice pit to fall into…Or a vampire…shit!
Eyes wide with fear Astral sat huddled in her pit nibbling furiously on a fingernail until…she snagged the flesh and tore it. Watching in horror as a tiny crimson bead swelled to the surface but she knew she might as well have cut an artery.
Hurriedly she stuck the offending digit into her mouth but not before she heard a small appreciative gasp from above. The scent had been picked up and already the footsteps approached closer and closer.
Finger tip pressed to her lips, round grey eyes transfixed on the rim of the pit above her. Astral forgot to breathe, not that it mattered much after this evening, as a dark slender shadow loomed over her swathed in a black cloak with vermillion lining, eyes as yellow as the harvest moon. They stared at each other for a moment only but to Astrals frozen heartbeat it felt like eternity.
“Hello,” a dull voice echoed off the pit walls as the cloaked figure drifted effortlessly down to slowly sit cross legged across from her.
“Nice place you got here. Cozy.”
“How long have you been living here?” the vampire asked.
“Not long,” Astral squeaked around her tell tale digit, eyes never leaving her visitor, much like a rabbit’s never leave a snakes…not that it does much good either way.
Astral shook her head, and the thumb embedded in her mouth vigorously, “No, just a bad childhood habit.”
“Show me.” The other commanded.
Unable to refuse, object, or figure a way out of her predicament Astral slowly extended the offending digit towards the predator. The sight and odor of her blood would ignite its vicious nature like touch-paper on a fuse and she would surely die.
This day, hour, moment was to be her last. And how sad it was, alone in a hole with a vampire, abandoned by all who knew her, ultimately unloved and uncared for. At least I’ll be easily buried, she sighed as she closed her eyes and waited for the jagged clench of searing fangs at her jugular.
“There, that’s better.”
Astral opened her eyes with a frown and looked down at the band-aid adorning her bleeding hangnail. Her eyes flew up to meet watery yellow ones, “You’re not the regular type of vampire are you?”
She got a rather weak smile back and a soulful sigh,
“No, I’m not. I prefer Rhesus negative to be honest. No offence, I’m sure your O+ would be delicious to the Others.”
He raised his clawed hands in a placatory manner, “But with so much disease and contagion out there I prefer to buy from the blood banks. Look,” he reached into the lining of his cloak and drew out a plastic Diners Card. “I’ve already got 2000 air miles just by using this down at the Red Cross.”
“Lovely.” Astral managed. “Mmm, thank you for the band aid. I’m Astral Projector.” She decided to give a little wave rather than reach out to shake hands.
“Hi, I’m Melancholio.” He gave a little wave back before sighing heavily and rustling down into an even more comfortable position.
“That’s a…pretty name.” she offered just to fill the silence in case the pounding of her heart gave him any ideas.
He looked across at her with honest and open regard, “Thank you, mother named me after a great Aunt.”
“Oh, so you’ve family. You weren’t just…drafted in?”
“Oh no. I’m a thoroughbred. My mother was Despondency and Daddy was Suicido. He went out one night and never came back.” This was accompanied by another deep sigh, “We never did find out what happened to him. Some say a stake, some say sunrise. Some say he roosted on a livewire.”
“Oh…that must have been very hard.”
Now she became the focus of the conversation, “And what about you, any family, friends, dearly departed hanging around?”
“Mmm, Mum was a witch and Da a Blacksmith, and I’m a wizard. Well an apprentice wizard.”
“My, a wizard. You must be very good. Look at this lovely hole you’ve afforded for yourself and you so young.”
“Tch...ah...um...I’m just renting.”
“Still, it’s very impressive. Tell me Astral, do you have a boyfriend?” he gave a hopeful smile.
“Ummm,” Astral bit her lip then stopped immediately in case she drew blood, “Actually I sort of …like girls…”
“Oooo, how wonderfully chic. I hear that’s very happening. I have a friend you might like to meet. She likes girls too.” He beamed across the pit floor, “Shall I set you up? A blind date how exciting…” he actually clapped his hands together.
“No, no, no…” Astral desperately tried to calm him down, “I’m not on the market so to speak. I mean I don’t date. I prefer to…to…well I’m not sure yet. I need to experiment more. Maybe when I’m back at Wizards college…”
“Believe me you’ll love my Ungodmother. She’s been my Moms best friend since 1351. I call her Master, but she’s mostly known as Devourer of Virgins, Shredder of Hymens and on her rest days Bone Blender. I’m always telling her to open a little juice bar. Just simple stuff like Rhesus lattes, plasma and wheatgerm power drinks, AB+ smoothies. You know the usual fare…”
“Oh please don’t…” Astral was almost on her knees begging. I must get out of here, I must get out of here. I wonder if I have enough power now to project out of this freakin pit?
She closed her eyes, muttered her incantations and…Voila! The pit suddenly infused with a luminous green smoke….
“Hack, ack..ack…aughhhh!” Astral was choking on her own magic fumes still stuck at the bottom of her pit.
Meanwhile Melancholio, not needing to inhale clapped delightedly, “Ooooo, do it again do it again, such a pretty colour!”
Panicked now Astral mustered up another massive attempt…pooff!!
Azure blue smoke drifted up in a bilious cloud from the pit and drifted away on the breeze accompanied by more tortuous coughs and gasps for air.
“Gorgeous…now try orange. No, no, red...try to do red…”
Whoosh, wham, pop, putter….vermillion, lavender, springtime in Paris, sailorboy blue, Hawaiian sunset….gasssppp…ackkkk…arghhhh…
“I love it. It’s like fireworks only safer. You should do all the major holidays….ooooo…look at that one, tangerine!” squealed Melancholio.
Astral lay spent and partially asphyxiated deep down in the impacted earth.
“Was that all an attempt to get out?” Melancholio asked innocently.
Astral nodded weakly, “I… I…lost my ladder. Need to go to the shops for…milk.”
“Silly you should have said. I can levitate you out.”
Astral looked at him in askance.
“And best of all the Master has arrived so you’ll get to met her after all. Isn’t that a stroke of luck?”
Astral jerked as her entire body was gently lifted airborne up and out of the pit accompanied by Melancholio who moved alongside but never touching her.
Up into the cool dusk they moved and then Astral felt her self settling not on her feet as she had expected but into the strong cold arms of a tall dark being that waited at the perimeter of the forest.
“Master, this is Astral. She’s a wizard who wants to sexually experiment. She’s
been dying to meet you.” Melancholio gushed happily. He was sure this was the
beginning of a match made in heaven. “Oh and she has a beautiful hole…”
The End - 'The Hunt; The Hole' - by Astral (Oisin)
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