« on: June 08, 2013, 06:41:52 pm »
A heavy fog was all around him, as if it were a veil to keep him blind. He could feel mud and grass in between his toes and knew immediately where he was. "The marshlands," he whispered to himself. Carefully tugging his legs free from the mud's embrace he began to walk. As he went deeper into the marshlands the fog was still thick and the mud began to rise up to his stomach, but he kept going. After getting stuck a couple of times, he found what he was looking for, though he didn't know why he had been. A small fire in the distance and a house on stilts keeping it out of the mud. The mud began to recede as he climbed up the steps to the house on stilts. He knocked once, twice, three times and the door swung open to reveal an old wrinkled woman whose skin was very dark. She smiled up at him and invited him in. She sat him down at an old wooden table and gave him a bowl filled with murky liquid and questionable ingredients.
"What brings you all the way out here to the marshlands, ancient one?" she asked him as she went over to a large cauldron, stirring what was highly likely the same murky liquid with questionable ingredients.
"I do not know," he said quietly, hand reaching up to the back of his head to rub at the soreness he felt. "And I am not ancient, I haven't been around for even 20 years." The old woman let out a hearty laugh which seemed to make the house on stilts shake.
"Perhaps where you're from you are young, but where you are now, their time flows differently, so there you are ancient. You're even older than their gods. You were born long before them and you'll die long after they do. You'll live long enough to see the fall of their civilizations, to see them scramble around to survive, to see them build anew. You'll live long enough to see the last star flicker out of existence." As soon as the last sentence slipped from her mouth, he understood what she meant. She turned to look at him, and he noticed for the first time, she opened her eyes. Two black voids where her eyes should be bored right into him. "You will see the end of your people. You will see the end of all things, ancient one."
"Stop calling me that."
"I could call you by your other names, if you would prefer that, though ancient one is probably the kindest one," she said as she closed her eyes and returned to stirring the cauldron. "Now drink your soup, Nighttime Fear." He glared at the back of her head as he lifted the bowl to his lips and drank. As soon as all of it was gone he immediately regretted drinking it. Everything began to spin and swirl and he felt mud between his toes again. He felt sick. Attempting to stand was a bad idea too, for as soon he tried he pitched forward into the mud and was swallowed whole, as the old woman laughed.
Skull Kid's eyes flew open as the soreness in the back of his head began to throb. Staying absolutely still, his eyes flicked all over the room he was in. The walls and floor were gray stone and there were no windows. There was only a door and its color did not matter because it was not black.
Carlos Oscar Yote was not happy at the moment. He had business to take care of, people to trick, but the Lady was calling Court, so that meant everyone had to show up. Which also meant he had to go in his original form, just like everyone else. He remembered that rule as he was walking down the pillared hallway of the Lady's place, and one moment, he was Carlos Oscar Yote, a simple man of possibly Hispanic background in a suit, then another moment passed by and he was Coyote the Trickster. Continuing on his way on four feet this time, he wondered what could possibly be so important that the Lady would call Court. As he got closer to the Court, he saw the others. There was Fox and Buffalo (and the younger Buffalo who stole the herd) and Whale, etc. Coyote fell into step with Fox and whispered, "Why have we been summoned?" Fox looked at him with surprise before replying with "I don't know, I thought you knew, cousin." Dread settled in his stomach, for if not even Fox knew what was going on, then it couldn't possibly be anything good.
In the Courtroom, after everyone had taken their seats, the Lady, who sat at the front, stood and smiled. It was the kind of smile you see when a predator knows its prey can't escape. "I know you're all very busy, so I'll keep this short." Her smile fell and a stern look replaced it. "As some of you may know, Stag is dead, as is his human wife. His half-breed will most likely take his place." The sounds of gasps and murmurs filled the room momentarily before it quieted down so the Lady could continue. Her red heels clicked as she slowly descended the stairs from her chair down to the pit. "Not only has Stag been killed, but we also have a guest from the other side. An Outcast." The Lady stopped on the last step as the floor of the pit parted and a platform began to rise from the darkness, revealing a confused looking Skull Kid. The Lady stepped onto the pit's floor and walked up to Skull Kid. She began to walk in a predatory circle around him. "An Outcast, who may have killed Stag." The room went deathly silent.
End of part 5.