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About Deviant Artist Aaron WeaverMale/United States Groups :iconi-am-gladius-dei: I-am-Gladius-Dei
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Once an Explorer

The hot desert sun blazed down on her, but the shiny black SR 25 sniper rifle felt cool 
against her peach colored cheek. Dora Marquez took a breath and tried not to cough. The 
cologne that the client used tickled her nose, but it did nothing to hide the underlying 
stink of dirty mangy fur. Even Ramon, her trusty rifle was annoyed.Qué asco/gross It 
whispered to her. 

Dora knew that her client heard him anyway. So far the client, Wile E. Coyote did not seem 
to notice or did not bother to react. For a second, she wondered if Ramon was just a hunk of
cold metal whose only purpose was to put a piece of metal in things and kill them. Dora took
another deep breath. No, she thought, Ramon was a good friend that saw her through a lot of
bad times.
She focused, it would not be long now. A cloud of brown dust was moving quickly
past purple buttes to her target area. Dora smiled as she thought about its almost time to
give the gift of Death to another.
Dora took another breath, and let it out slowly while she prepared for the one moment. The scope picked out the blue crested head of the Road Runner. A pop rang out, a few seconds later, the smiling face of her client's hated enemy exploded into a red mist that dissolved into the dirty brown dust plume of its passage. She was surprised about the amount of ground the still running legs covered before they realized that there was no head. The body tumbled onto the ground causing the poor bird's last dust cloud. Senor Ramon crowed, “Estás muerto puta!/You're dead, bitch! Dora's face was impassive. All the preparation was over, and she just wanted to be paid. The stink of cologne and coyote increased. Dora tried to get up, but she bumped into the client. For the amount of time she spent with her clients, it was not worth the time remembering their names. Her hand moved toward her hidden knife before the client stepped back. “Oh, I am so sorry about that. I just had to see!”  Enthusiasm blazed out of the client's yellow eyes in contrast to Dora's bored brown eyes. Already she wanted to be paid and be gone. The client reached into its brown fur and pulled out a black and silver tablet. Dora was beyond wondering how such a creature could afford the latest gear. He swiped away at his tablet with a dirty cracked claw. “Well, lets see. Liquidate some Acme preferred stock. Transfer the funds to the Swiss account and there, it is done!” The client looked up from the tablet and gave Dora a yellow toothy grin. Dora pulled out her pink and black smartphone then ran the app that managed her Swiss accounts. She nodded to the client after she saw that the money was there. The client turned away from Dora then turned back. Now he had a red bib on and a knife and fork was in each hand. “Well, unless there is something more. I will be off! The taste of final victory is sooo sweet!” She waited until the client was gone before getting Senor Ramon ready for transport. He said,”¡Qué bestia repugnante!/What a disgusting beast!” before Dora got him in his travel bag. Her mind was already on getting to the SUV, and finding a place for the night. When she got to the black SUV, it opened the doors for her. “So where do you want to go now?” “A cool place with drinks and a bed if you know of a place,” Dora replied. “Sorry, I don't know now, but let me check my GPS,” The SUV replied cheerfully. Dora placed Ramon in the back while the car turned on the air conditioning. She hated sweating, it reminded her of that place, the place that the mean kids told her to go. Dora learned a lot, but she also paid the price and gave up a lot. Her time of asking kids questions was over now, distrust filled her heart. She narrowed her eyes as the memories of the brothel started to surface. “Um, Dora? I found two places that are not too far from here,” Mr. Map said in his rustling paper voice. Its suggestion pulled her out of the sweaty morass of her memories. “Thanks Map, pick a place and tell me how to get there,” Dora said in a tired voice, the prep for the hit, the heat and the stink of the client just wore her down. “Dora, d-did you d-do it?” Map asked. “Yes Map, I did it, the target did not suffer,” Dora replied tiredly as she started the car. They had been driving through the desert for a bit while the sun sunk in purple western skies when a bullet hole appeared in the windshield. “Damn! My freakin windshield! Lady, what kind of goings on you got me in!” The SUV squealed in pain. Dora ignored the vehicle to concentrate on making the SUV swerve so she was not an easy target. This would only work for so long before the enemy got a lucky shot off and Dora's blood and brains painted the windshield of the whiny SUV. After a few more tense seconds and after two more bullets punched holes through the windows, Dora found a large brownish rock outcropping she could hide behind. She stopped the SUV and rolled out with Senor Ramon in her arms.  Another set of shots landed near her kicking up clouds of red dust. It took her a quick second to duck behind the rocks. The SUV made for poor cover because a bullet or two could hit the gas tank and its a fiery end for Dora. She wanted to live, and not explore the afterlife, at least not yet. Then her cell phone rang. Dora picked it up. A quick glance showed that the phone number was blocked. A chill raced down her back. She had an idea who she would hear. “Hello Dora,” The sneaky voice of Snypa slunk into her ear. Dora sighed. Snypa used to be just a thief who liked to steal just for the fun of it then Dora was able to show him how to be good. He still stole stuff, but nothing too important then when Dora disappeared in the brothel, poor Swiper slowly slid to the dark side. He became a hitman and changed his name to Snypa. He used to be the best, but when Dora escaped she soon eclipsed him. Also they competed for the job as hitmen for the Hand of Death. Dora beat him. Now Snypa swore revenge, but instead of just killing Dora outright, he liked to play games. That idea made her look up. Snypa was very good at making devices. “Good bye Dora!” Snypa said with a laugh then he hung up. She scrutinized the rocks in front of her quickly. The red blinking light got Dora's attention. Dora ran to the SUV, got in and backed up as fast as she could. “What the hell are you doing to my drive train?” The SUV whined. “Do you want to roll back to the rental agency on your own power or to the junkyard on a tow truck?” Dora asked. The SUV stopped whining. When they were several feet away, the rocks in front exploded with an orange flash and roar. A chunk of rock smashed the windshield on the left side. The SUV just cried. Dora wanted to scream Snypa no sniping, but she remembered he paid another witch to take the curse off of him. Anger made her peach hands squeeze the steering wheel tighter. Dora wished it was his neck. Just one week to take him down, she thought but her bosses, the HOD would not allow that. She could only do sanctioned hits, no freelancing. “Map pick a nice hotel or motel a few counties away!” Dora said. When the adrenalin wore off she would be even more exhausted, Dora decided to worry about that later. “No problem Dora. Got one, head west...” The SUV wept as it drove west. --- Drive and Sleep
Dora's nightmare
Sweaty thrusting men were everywhere. Heavy and mean with a stinging slap for any reply. They were a crushing weight of lust holding her down while she cried into a soft wet pillow. Waking Dora awoke with a gasp while salty sweat mixed with equally salty tears. She smeared both of them across her face while she stumbled to the table. “D-Dora are you alright?” Map asked. Her shaking hands found the cleaning kit's dark blue box then she pulled Senor Ramon out of his bag and broke him down for cleaning. The ritual calmed her hands. Sweat and tears stopped falling as peace filled her. --- Abandoned Hangar
When Dora walked into the hangar filled with planes that were almost piles of rust with wings, she knew there was something wrong. Was it the guy stirring his tea with the handle of a big wrench? Maybe it was the large dog of indeterminate breeding that wheezed at her or maybe it was the guy in the too large coat that quivered in place? A confident voice demanded Dora's attention. “Hello, my name is Richard Dastardly.” She looked up to see a man with a handlebar mustache. He pointed to the man with the coke bottle glasses who was licking tea off the handle of a large wrench. “This is Klunk.” Klunk faced her and said “Fwoop nanny zip gwart!” Dora was not sure how to reply to that. The dog's wheezy laughter filled the room. “Hey m-my n-n-name is Zilly and K-klunk said hello,” The shaking guy in the overcoat said. The client pointed at the dog and said,”That is Muttley.” Muttley walked up to Dora and bowed with a fancy flourish. Dora smiled and bowed to the dog. The client cleared his throat and was all business. “I would like you to kill a pigeon, a wretched fowl that has cost me almost everything,” the client continued while an angry sneer covered his face. She wanted to bitch about killing another bird, but Dora kept her face impassive so the client would not get annoyed. “How do you want it done, long range or close up?” Dora asked. The client smiled, and Dora wished she was back in the desert with the coyote. “Close up, tell him, I finally catch you. I finally catch you, you excuse for a flying...” The client went off into a tirade in which Dora could only understand one word, 'die'. Zilly stammered out 'die'. Klunk made noises with 'die' mixed in. Even Muttley started barking 'die'. Dora waited patiently in the hot hangar with the metallic smell of rust until the client calmed down. It took him five minutes to stop screaming then he looked back with a sheepish look that switched to a sneer. “Well, sorry about that. Do you have any questions?” Dora shook her head, HOD had provided enough info on the target. The client stuck out his hand to shake. Dora grasped his hand firmly and was rewarded with a soft limp handshake. She knew dead fish that would give a better handshake. The client gave her another sneer disguised as a smile. “I hope you are successful.” Then he turned and walked away with his crew. Dora did not bother saying anything as she left. Muttley's wheezy laugh followed her out of the hangar. --- Drive and Sleep motel
  The sky was full of purple and orange, but Dora's eyes were locked on a blue velvet box. She had to change her motel room because the pictures of doe eyed children on the light green walls threatened to bring up bad memories. This room had light blue walls and forgettable pictures on the walls. Dora focused on the box, inside two female voices could be heard bantering. “I recognize those footsteps anywhere girlfriend.” “Ahh, yeah, Sister we gonna be goin to work!” “Work is the salt and pepper of life!” Dora opened the box to look at Slash and Slice, two twin silvery daggers. They felt good in her hands either for throwing or holding. “Yo Dora, you have some work for us?” Slash asked. “Yes I do. We are going to be dealing with a pigeon!” Dora said with a sigh. “Don't be glum sister. I can't wait to taste some squab blood!” Slash said. “I thought we are going to taste pigeon blood?” Slice asked. “Squab is a fancy name for cooked pigeon!” Slash said. “Sorry girls but the pigeon will be raw. I am not setting anyone on fire,” Dora said. “Awwwww!” Slash and Slice replied. “Too bad we can't have that pigeon on a bed of collard greens with sweet potatoes on the side.” Slash said. “Don't forget the corn muffins!” Slice said. “Ahh yeah sister, you know what I like!” Slash said. Dora turned away from the chatty knives to check out the packet of info from HOD. Someone had written down the code to disable the alarms. All Dora had to do was deal with a paranoid pigeon with a gun fetish. The county had pretty liberal home safety laws, that meant that Yankee Doodle Pigeon could blow holes in Dora and not go to jail if he can prove she did not belong there. Of course Dora planned to get to the pigeon first. It just took her a few minutes to prepare for tomorrow and then go to bed. --- 1776 Old Patriot Way
Dora was glad it was dark, she did not have to see the red, white and blue of the yard and house. The Nawcan 18700 night vision goggles were the top of the line, they cost Dora a cool seventeen thousand, but she knew she would get her money's worth. Right now, they shaded the red, white and blue items in the pigeon's yard to eye pleasing shades of green. She had a feeling that inside the house it would be worse. The HOD psych profile said that Yankee was paranoid, but at least he was not a trapper. A lot of paranoid types were that way. Dora carefully walked up the steps to the greenish looking door. It took her a few seconds to pick the lock and get in. She took another second to type in the security code before the bright green blinking light switched to a darker green. Now the house's security system would not send an alert to the cops. The area around the foyer was dark, the pigeon slept upstairs. Quieter than a cat, Dora slunk up to the staircase then a light brighter than a thousand suns burned into her eyes! Somehow she tumbled to the right as thunder boomed. “Damn! That Snypa character was right. You are slow and careful. You are also freakin lucky too. If you had fell the other way, I could have gone to bed with a smile on my face,” The pigeon said from upstairs. Dora's head throbbed with pain while warm tears flowed down her face. Opening her eyes just added more agony so she squeezed them shut. Though her pain, she knew that she had to keep the target talking, and not shooting. Maybe her eyesight will return in time? “H-how did you know about me?” Dora croaked while covering her eyes with her hands. “Well, this Snypa guy calls me up, and told me about you. I thought that Dastardly the prick would come for me, but I know he likes to delegate. Zilly is too scared, no stones. Klunk got the stones, but he likes his tech toys too much. If only one of them actually worked, I woulda been a goner. Muttley has stones too, but who knows under all of that fur? You alright down there?” Yankee asked with false concern in his voice. Dora tried to open her eyes, but even the light reflected off the wall hurt her like she was being stabbed. “So this Snypa guy tells me about Dastardly's play to hire you to get me. I don't know what you did to piss that guy off, but he is just scary. Anyway, he frames Dastardly's group of dirtbags so they can't pay you. Then he calls this guy, what was his name again?” The pigeon paused. “Oh yeah, Diego. He has been on the trail of the infamous hitwoman Dora Marquez for years. Don't worry about him, I will probably kill you before he claps handcuffs on you. There is a cool reward for your arrest and capture. I get to kill one of the things that have been chasing me, and I get a nice payday. That is what I call a Coooo Coooo Birdy Day!” Yankee enthused. Hearing Diego's name in the crazy bird's mouth added to Dora's anger. She snapped a quick pain filled glance at the wall. There would be time later for her to feel sad about what happened between them if she survived. Now, the bird is going to pay, she thought. She ducked into the middle of the stairs, and let Slash fly at the blur up the stairs. Dora was rewarded with a muffled curse, and a few floating white feathers. Tears still streamed out of her eyes, but Dora could see a little. It took a few seconds to crawl up the landing. Dora kept her head low when she pulled Slash out of the wall. So far the pigeon did not fire at her. That meant that the pigeon was hiding upstairs waiting to ambush her. Dora crawled up the stairs keeping her head low. She expected any moment to get blasted. The first shot sounded like a shotgun. Even if the pigeon winged her, it still could be fatal. Dora's cellphone vibrated in her pocket. For a second, she thought about ignoring it, but then she realized that she had no human friends. This might be an important call. She let herself slide down the stairs then she answered the phone. “This is Blood Lilly. Asset Marquez, the termination notice has been canceled. We have found out that the client is unable to pay due to being arrested. Also it seems that some of our associates have been compromised. Inspector Diego of Interpol is also on your trail. Due to the unusual circumstances, we will pay you double the cancellation fee. Extract yourself and find a safe place to hole up until we contact you again. Again the Termination Notice is canceled. Unsanctioned terminations will be punished severely. Good evening,” Blood Lily said and hung up. Dora lay on the landing and fought her rage before a series of calming breaths steadied her shaking hands. She turned around, and climbed down the stairs. Any second she expected to feel a shotgun blast tear through her back. Nothing happened. Once she stepped outside, Dora knew she was safe. The law would not protect the pigeon if she was killed outside his house. When she crossed into his garden, the pigeon screamed something unintelligible at her from a window. Dora did not care, she walked up to her car and turned around. Dora flipped the bird to the angry bird. Then she got into her car and drove away. “Imagine being shot by a bird,” Slash said. “Being hit by birdshot would hurt a lot,” Slice said. “Are you, um, okay?” Map asked. “I'm okay, Maps,” Dora replied. “So Slash, what did the pigeon taste like?” Slice asked. “He tasted like plaster covered by cheap paint!” Slash replied. “Dayum Sister, I feel for you,” Slice said. “Guys, we are going on a long trip,” Dora said. No one could see the new tears that were slowly falling from Dora's eyes as she thought about Diego. A true friendship was gone, and there was nothing she could do about it. The pigeon's house faded into the background as the car sped away into the dark. --- Feliz Street
Normally the chatter of children and happy adults would grate on Dora's nerves, but she had four months to think about things. HOD rarely gave her even two weeks off. She suspected something was going on. Dora spent the time gathering intel on HOD and Snypa. What she found out about Snypa made her blood run cold.   The fox's hatred of her was so consuming he was killing little girls and boys from small towns that looked like her. Deep down Dora would not kill a child, she resented them for leading her astray, but killing them was something she would not do. Some days even the resentment faded away. Dora found out about the sniping when she traveled to a town, and watched as a funeral procession wended its slow way past her. After that, she did her research. The police in the happy towns did not have the skills to handle crimes of this magnitude, they only had to handle stolen pies and noise complaints. Serial killers were beyond them, but not for Dora. She had a plan... Feliz Street
Late Afternoon
Crisela hopped and skipped down the street, the warm yellow sunlight kissed her peach colored skin. Dora knew Crisela's cancer was too advanced, and that the end was near. Many kids faced with such news would want to stay home with their parents but, Crisela bravely put what's left of her life at risk to stop a monstrous murderous fox. The hopping and skipping tired her out, and now she was walking slowly across the street when her head exploded like an overripe melon. Dora did not take the time to mourn Crisela's passing, instead she scanned the windows across the street for Snypa. Dora found him on the fourth floor. The crazed creature was cavorting like he was at a party. He even did some hip thrusts. Dora's vision was filled with red. One shot, just one shot and the dancing would stop forever, Dora thought. Somehow she managed to pull herself back from the rage. HOD knew of the bad blood between them, and she could end up being “retired”. Dora was the best asset they had, but she would not last long if all of the other assets turned against her. “How about we give the brave warrior a kiss?” Dora said. “Si!” Senor One Shot replied. A malicious smile grew on Dora's face. She was quite sure Snypa would not like this new game. The bullet flew from Senor Ramon, and grazed Snypa's blue furry cheek. It even set the fur on fire. The creature dropped to the floor. Dora did not stay to watch, she collected her equipment, and was running down the stairs. Tears ran down her face as she mourned the passing of brave Crisela. --- Drive N Sleep
Room 14
The faces of nineteen children looked back at Dora from photographs. Dora was not sure if there were more. She hoped that Snypa would not go back to child killing. “Um, Dora?” Map said. “Yes, Maps,” Dora said. “I hope you are not beating yourself up about those poor kids or Snypa,” Map said. “Before my incident, he was starting to come around. Maybe if I...” Dora said as her gaze shifted from the faces on the wall to Maps and back to the wall. “You could do nothing. You did not teach him to do those things,” Map said. Dora sighed. “I wish I could go to Crisela's funeral.” “No girlfriend. Who knows what sort of nasty crap that crazy ass fox could cook up,” Slash said. “You mutilated his face too? Girl, he is going to be gunning for you!” Slice said. “The best thing you did was to leave,” Map said. Again, Dora wished she could have attended Crisela's funeral, but she knew Snypa would find a way to punish the parents to get back at Dora. If she was gone, he would focus on finding her first then set up another game. Speaking of games, Dora wondered about the crazy fox's plans for HOD. Through her sources she found out that Blood Lily had been “retired”. Dora was in good standing, but an unsanctioned hit would definitely put her on the retire list even if she did not get the message to back off. That was another issue for Dora. Also she had enough of killing. Dora's time with Crisela and her parents reminded her that she missed her parents. Shameful job or not, Dora wanted to see them again, but first HOD had to be dealt with. She padded over to the wall and took down the pictures. Each picture came off the wall with a prayer. Then she put the pictures in a yellow folder with the rest of her research. The digital version was already uploaded to a few HOD agents she knew that were not corrupted by Snypa. After that she smashed the burner phone to shiny metallic bits. Dora's personal phone buzzed on the table. She answered it. “This is Scorpion. You have a new set of targets. I am uploading the data packet to your phone. Your targets are six ponies from a place called Equestria. Teach them about the power of Death any way you wish. There are instructions on how to get there in the data packet,” Scorpion said coldly. “Do I need to meet the client?” Dora said. “No! All you need to know is in the data packet. Good day,” Scorpion replied and hung up. Tenemos trabajo?/We work?” Senor Ramon asked. “Yes,” Dora replied. “Yay we,” Slash said. “Have work,” Slice said. Dora shook her head in annoyance, she hated when the daggers finished each other's sentences. “Whats the job? Girlfriend,” Slash asked. “We have to go to a Pony land and kill six ponies,” Dora said. “We cut the ponies and they go neigh as we watch their life fade away!” Slice said with a grin. Map looked concerned. “Dora, do we have to do this?” Dora glanced at Map before looking away. “Yes, if I don't do this job, they may think I know what's going on. Don't worry, I will not kill them.” Slice pouted. “No pretty horses to cut?” Dora swiped through the data packet on the phone. “Well, there are monsters in some place called the Everfree Forest. Monsters might be more fun to kill.” “The monster from the slab began to rise,” Slash said. “And we cut out its eyes! Yayyyy!” Slash enthused. Something about this mission made the hairs on her neck rise. She was familiar with that feeling. The HOD was sending her on a suicide mission. Dora had been on too many missions not to doubt that feeling. The six colorful ponies were probably very powerful. She would study the ponies and see what options revealed themselves. Map rustled to get Dora's attention. “Um, Dora, how are you going to do this?” “Maybe I will get the ponies to help me fake their deaths or maybe they can help me fake my own death. Once I am dead, the HOD will leave me alone. Then I can shut them down.” Dora said and looked over her friends. “Its gonna be fun!” Slice said. “Count us in Girlfriend. We got your back when you stick us in someone else's” Slash said confidently. Senor Ramon said,”Voy a ayudar también!/I'll help too!” Map looked down and then back up at Dora. “I will help you regain your freedom though I don't know what will happen after you, um, deal with the HOD.” The support from her friends almost made Dora cry, but she blinked back the tears. “What are our options?” Maps said. “There are so many to explore but I was an explorer. Now to do that again!” Dora replied. A cold smile covered her face.
Once an Explorer
A hitwoman decides to leave the Life, but will it let her go?
Agarwal Houses
Chapter 1

Shobha Srikanth or Shobbi, looked out at the green countryside rolling past. The hot air blew her short black hair into her brown eyes. She hated to move, but things had been pretty bad. There were several shootings in her old neighborhood. Her parents had both found new and better jobs in Jerida and that was it.

Reva Srikanth, her mother had narrowed her eyes and quietly put her foot down. “Child, we must move. You will make new friends,” Reva said while holding her daughter's eyes in a steady brown gaze.

Shobbi nodded yes and that was it.

Their faithful but beat up car wheezed around a curve and Shobbi saw her new home. Well, she saw the Agarwal Homes. Pink brick apartments as tall as eight floors. They looked much better than the boring gray building they used to live in.

To be honest, there was little to cry about, Shobbi had few, well, no friends back home.

Shobbi was not a big fan of change. The apartment buildings looked so pretty, she thought maybe some change is good.

“So, Shobbi, do you think you can find some friends here?” Lakshmi, her older sister asked.

Shobbi just shrugged.

Sandeep, their father was already upstairs working with the movers to get all their belongings in the new apartment. He did not want to disrupt their school schedule until the apartment was ready.

Reva parked the car and the family walked up the gray paving stones to the building. Inside, the lobby was cool. Compared to the long ride in the hot car, almost anyplace was cooler. The elevator came down and they took it to the fifth floor.

So far Shobbi was liking the new building. It was clean and not too shabby. The ride up to their floor was quick. It just took a few steps down the clean hall to apartment 5J. Reva unlocked the door and stepped inside.

When Shobbi stepped across the threshold, she felt a chill.  

A hungry sounding voice said, “Ah, a young one.”  

Shobbi looked around, her eyes wide with fear.

Everyone was fussing over the new apartment. Fans thrummed in the background blowing hot air around. She walked further into the apartment and her fear faded away.

“Shobbi, look how much room we have!” Lakshmi gushed while she stretched out her long brown arms.

Shobbi remembered how cramped the old apartment felt. It seemed like she was always bumping into someone all the time.

“Shobbi, darling what do you think?”  Her father asked while striding up to her. A large smile was on his face.

“Its great!” Shobbi answered. She was feeling better.

“Shobbi approves! We shall be happy here!” Sandeep beamed at his daughters and wife.

Shobbi gave her father a hug and walked down the hall to her room.

“Its the room next to the bathroom!” Reva said while she dug through a box for dinner plates.

Shobbi stepped into her room. Warm golden sunlight shone in through a window. The room was larger than her old one, there was enough room for a drawing table if she could get one. She looked to her left at the closet. The door was ajar. Something about the partially opened door gave her a bit of a chill. Shobbi rushed over and closed the door.

The next few hours were spent putting her stuff away in the night table and dresser. After that, Shobbi turned on her laptop and did some net surfing. Around six thirty, Lakshmi came by to tell her that they were going out to eat.

Full with a tasty meal and dessert, Shobbi walked back to her room. She could not wait to go to bed and sleep. A quick look at her closet showed that the door was open again. Shobbi tiredly closed the door. Then she closed the door to her room, turned out the lights and went to bed.

That night she did not sleep well. When the morning sun shone through her window, Shobbi was glad to wake up. Her arms and legs felt leaden like she had been running marathons. Her fear filled dreams faded away against the gray light of an overcast day.

Today was the first day in a new school. Since the family moved while in the middle of the school year, Shobbi would have to do a lot of catching up. After she closed the closet door, Shobbi got ready for school.

The next few days passed with a whirl of activities, new friends and new locations. Thank goodness the next day was Saturday, Shobbi wanted some time to recuperate. When she went to bed Friday night, it was like jumping into a deep dark well of sleep.

Sometime during the night Shobbi woke up. She did not know why but for some reason her eyes were drawn to the closet. The door was still closed. With a click, the door opened a little bit.

Fear filled Shobbi's heart, something was in the closet, she was so sure. Any moment it would come out and get her! It was a childish fear, but as the seconds went by, she knew that whatever was in the closet was coming for her. Shobbi kept staring at the closet until she slowly fell asleep.

Morning came and rain lashed the windows. Shobbi was awoken by the noise. She got out of bed, and timidly crept up to her closet like a knight would creep up to a ferocious dragon's lair. Why am I so afraid of my own closet, Shobbi wondered. Finally she opened the door wider, and looked inside.

The closet was full of clothes, shoes and boxes of unpacked items. Angrily, she shoved the clothes aside to check the back wall of the closet. The hangers shrieked as they slid along the rod holding the clothes up. Shobbi even knocked on the wall to see if there were any hollow spots, but there were none. She closed the door.

The rest of the day felt cloudy like the weather outside. Shobbi managed to get through it anyway. The good news was she was able to tear through the work needed to catch up. Her friends helped with lightening her mood. When she got home and walked into her room. The ajar closet door brought her mood down. She closed the door.

The next few days were OK, there was so much to do. Who or whatever was in the closet left her alone for some reason. Well, until the next night.


Shobbi woke up in the darkness. She knew instinctively that something was terribly wrong. The room was somehow smaller, and the furnishings were not the same. Even the view outside the window was somewhat different, some buildings were missing. Her bed just had white covers instead of the dark blue ones she used to have.

Even her arms were changed, they were whiter with silver armbands on them.What is going on? There was one thing that did not change, the closet door clicked open and Shobbi felt the same fear.

A dark smoke like cloud flowed from the closet toward her bed. Shobbi screamed as loud as she could. Her shrieks tore at the air as the cloud floated closer. She knew it was a man, and what he wanted. Shobbi tried to slap or punch the thing on her bed. The springs creaked as she flailed at her attacker.

Cold hands held her arms and pushed them down to the bed. Shobbi's lower body and legs grew cold and unfeeling. The smoke thing lowered its head close enough to her face and whispered,”Soon.”


The morning sun shone so brightly into Shobbi's eyes, it was like being stabbed. While she tried to turn away from the light, her legs would not respond. Shobbi grimaced at the smell of pee rising from the lower part of the bed. This so embarrassing.

A look at the foot of the bed showed that she still had legs and feet but why were they so unresponsive? Am I paralyzed?

“Shobbi, dear, its time to get up and get ready for school!” Her mother called.

Shobbi tried to get her legs to work, but they refused. In frustration, she screamed for her mother's help.


Jerida Medical Center
Room 421

The young doctor tried to look sympathetic, but he was just too harried to pull it off. “I'm sorry but I have to ask these questions.”

He did not seem sorry to Shobbi though.

“Do you take drugs for recreational purposes?” The doctor asked.

Shobbi shook her head. “I woke up and I could not feel my lower body. My legs did not work.”

The doctor and her mother exchanged glances. Shobbi knew that was going to lead to a stern talk for her, but she knew better than to tell the truth. No one would believe her.

The doctor faced her mother. “Excuse me Shobha, your mother and I will be just outside.” They stepped out of her room to talk.

Shobbi hated when strangers used her full name. Also something about that doctor rubbed her the wrong way. She just knew that the doctor and her mother were going to talk about her situation.

After several hours in the hospital, feeling slowly returned to her lower body, and legs. There was still some numbness but Shobbi could stumble around.

She was relieved, being paralyzed seemed to her to be such a terrible thing. Now Shobbi wanted to know what that doctor and her mother were planning for her. Slowly, she clumsily climbed out of bed, and walked up to the door to eavesdrop. The hospital floor felt ice cold against her feet.

“I'm sorry Miss Srikanth, but there is nothing physically wrong with your daughter. This might be a psychological problem,” The doctor stated.

“My daughter has been under a lot of stress lately. We had to move to a new neighborhood in the middle of the school season, and she had to catch up,” Her mother explained.

Shobbi scoffed that the workload from school was an issue.

“We have a psychologist on staff, she might be able to help,” The doctor offered.

Reva's voice went up an octave. “My daughter is not crazy!”

Shobbi heard the doctor sigh, it sounded so theatrical. Her dislike of him increased.

“Fine, may I suggest that you take your daughter home and she can visit one of our outpatient facilities then?”

Her mother mumbled something.

Shobbi decided to get back into bed before they knew she could walk. Her mother returned, but the doctor was gone.

“Shobbi, darling, can you walk now? I would like to leave this place,” Her mother said with barely concealed distaste.

Shobbi nodded yes and tried to get out of bed. She was a bit shaky at first but a few minutes later, she was ready to get dressed.

Reva stood outside the door to give Shobbi some privacy while she dressed.

An hour later, they were outside in the humid air looking at gray skies. Shobbi preferred the smells of the street vendor's food and other odors outside to the hospital's stink of disinfectant.

While they were driving home, Reva looked Shobbi in the eye. “Now daughter, when you get home, I will make an appointment with a psychologist. I will try to schedule it so you do not miss school. Do you understand?”

Her mother's tone made it quite clear that Shobbi better comply. She just nodded.


Shobbi's room

Lakshmi rolled her eyes at her sister. “Seriously Shobbi, you have to keep your closet door closed. If a moth were to get in and choke on your wardrobe, it might decide to go to my closet to feel better.”

“No way! Your wardrobe will just blind the moth, and he will sue you for that!” Shobbi replied with a wave of her hand.

Sandeep stuck his head into the doorway and finished the conversation. “How about the two of you keep your closet doors closed! I do not have the time to chase around and squash insects!”

Lakshmi left Shobbi's room with a giggle.

Once her sister was gone and the closet door closed again, Shobbi's smile faded away. The prospect of spending another night with whatever was in her closet put a pall over the evening.

What is it? What can I do against it?

“Knowledge is power, my daughter. Applied wisely, one can be like a god!” Sandeep said warmly from her memories.

It took Shobbi just a few minutes to start up her laptop. She typed in Agarwal into the searchbox and pressed return. The list of lurid articles made her gasp. With a sigh, Shobbi clicked through them.

In 1955, a serial rapist made these apartments his own playground. A lone female police woman named Raki Paranamurana had shot the rapist, but his body was never recovered. Due to the amount of blood found, it was assumed that he would not last long.

It did not help that the 65th anniversary was just a few days away. That fact gave her a chill. A quick fear filled glance showed that the closet door was still closed. Later on, the door would open again, Shobbi was sure of that.

Chapter 11

Equestria, outside of Ponyville

“You took your Terran pony time to get here. Maybe your big yellow plot is slowing you down?” The angry white pegasus with the curly red hair said. He was so pissed his wings were half unfurled.

“Do you really have to say that?” Goldie replied as she walked up to the irate pegasus. Her eyes narrowed as anger built up in her.

“I want those demon bastards gone. I have wasted too much time waiting for you,” The white pegasus replied.

Goldie heard hooves approaching them.

“Here is another time challenged pony, Celestia help me,” The white pegasus said and rolled his blue eyes.

A brown and white earth pony with gray and silver battle armor ran up.

“Scanner, you need to relax or your heart will explode,” The pony said with a grin.

“I will relax when I get to date your sister, Surestroke,” Scanner replied.

“Good luck with that, she knows your rep. You have a better chance with Cadence or Luna,” Surestroke replied.


Scanner laughed so much he fell on the floor. Surestroke laughed with him.

Goldie watched both ponies laugh with a look of confusion.

Scanner got back on all fours and stuck out his left forehoof. “Hey, I am really sorry about what I said, but I really hate demons and can't wait to see them gone. I lost several friends and relatives to them.”

Surestroke offered his hoof to shake too. “My name is Surestroke and you can rest easy that I will be watching your plot, um, back when the enemy comes while you are casting spells.”

Goldie shook both of their hooves.

“We have to do some searching near the Evergreen Forest. Be on your guard, sometimes monsters come out of it. Alright, lets get some demon manureheads!” Scanner said and took off.

Goldie and Surestroke followed on the ground.

Western edge of the Everfree Forest

The Everfree forest loomed in front of the three ponies. It looked like a dense wall of chaotic foliage. No flowers just green and thorny vines growing all over the place.

Goldie eyed the forest with some fear. “Do we have to go in there?”

Scanner gave the forest a dismissive look. “Nah, only if we can't find the demon gate elsewhere.”

“Well now, let's keep going!” Scanner said then he flew into the air.

Evergreen Forest
Several miles away

Several hours later, the sun was going down and the ponies on the ground were getting tired and hungry. Goldie's yellow fur was matted with sweat, she wished for a bath or at least a shower.

No bathrooms for miles, great.

“How about we make camp here?” Surestroke suggested.

Goldie just shrugged. Hunger and exhaustion had sapped her energy. They waited a bit until Scanner showed up.

“Nice, you guys did not eat up all the food and leave me crumbs like someone that was raised in a barn,” Scanner said with a wink.

“Geez, Scanner, you are just so mean. I was raised in a barn because my home got messed up during a storm,” Surestroke said with a hint of a laugh in his voice.

“You know, if you were going to be that sappy, I would have brought a teeny tiny Octavia to play her violin,” Scanner said.

“Octavia does not play the violin, she plays the cello,” Surestroke said.

Scanner smiled. “You know why? She swore off of violins. They go against her peaceful ways!”

Surestroke groaned. “Now, I know you need to eat and drink. You are delirious!”

Goldie pulled out some food and water out of her saddlebags and the other ponies did the same. They ate and exchanged stories about Earth and Equestria while the orange sun set and the silvery moon rose. When all of the ponies started yawning, Scanner set up the watch schedule. Goldie did the first watch.

Singing birds welcomed the waking ponies to the next day. It looked great. Puffy white clouds glided in the bright blue sky. The ponies finished their breakfast before Scanner went over what they were going to do today.

“At the edge of my search pattern, I thought I got a hint of demon taint. This could be it! Don't worry, I will fly extra slow so you can keep up,” Scanner said with a grim look on his face.

“Very generous of you,” Surestroke quipped.

Scanner bowed and then he took off.

Goldie and Surestroke followed along below.

After several hours, it was pretty obvious that they were in demon territory. Goldie did not need her mage senses or Scanner's ability to tell either. The lush short grass turned to yellow and then to no grass. A faint smell of brimstone filled the air and the burned brown ground was covered with a network of cracks. Goldie and Surestroke waited for Scanner to return.

Goldie did not like waiting in the demon tainted area. Her mane bristled like she was being watched.

Scanner landed with a thump next to them. “Thank Celestia, the demon's eyesight sucks. There is a bunch of imps, shamen and some taskmasters in the area. It looks like they are guarding something, but I can't see it. Time for you, Goldie to get to work.”

Goldie focused her power, and cast a spell that would allow her to remotely view the area. Miles of demon ruined land passed by until she found the group of demons. She added some adjustments until the hidden gateway appeared.

“It looks like the demons have a mini gateway leading to their major gateway. I am not sure. This could be some other demon project,” Goldie said while still viewing the demons.

“Well, if its another demon project, we will buck it up. Somewhere out there, the main gate is hiding. We will get it,” Scanner said.

“I guess we go back now?” Surestroke asked.

“Yeah,” Scanner replied.

The group galloped back to Ponyville while brown dust flew from their hooves.

Ponyville Staging Area
Planning Tent

Goldie sat in the third row behind a bunch of important ponies while Scanner was finishing up his report to Princess Luna. There was not much to say about the tent, it was white and the floor was brown. Goldie wished they had put cushions on the benches, they were just too hard.

“As you can see by me and Goldie's report, we might have found the demon's gate. Of course we could be wrong and this could be one of their side projects,” Scanner said and bowed.

Princess Luna replied. “I have read the reports and they doth, excuse me, said that they did not find any gates. We have no other alternatives but to attack the area you have found. In two days, I will lead an army to deal with this threat. I suggest that you prepare.”

Luna stood up and left the tent.

Then the commands came down to Goldie and the other ponies. She was part of the team that would go through the gateway and secure the area.

That order was kinda scary, she had no idea what was on the other side of the gateway. To just step into a gateway blindly, it seemed to be foalish but then again she knew that somepony had to do the task. Goldie sighed. She had a feeling this would go so badly.

Scanner walked up to Goldie while she still sat on the bench thinking. “Goldie, let me go first. I want to buck up some demons!”

Goldie looked at Scanner with surprise. “Why would you step into an area where you are blind?”

Scanner looked Goldie right in the eye. “I want them to pay. I will be glad to step through and ruin some of those brimstone stinkin' bastard's days.”

Goldie looked away and back at Scanner.

Scanner looked at Surestroke as he approached the group. “I will go in first, then Surestroke will watch my back. I hope you will watch all of our backs.”

Goldie smiled. “No problem. I will watch your backs.”

Sureshot smiled back. “OK, lets get some ciders at the Hayloft before we have to turn in.”

Scanner smiled and the group left the tent to enjoy maybe the last two days of life.

Mini Demon gate
Four miles away
Late Morning

Brightstar looked over his group of unicorns. Deep down he was proud, even of the Terran ponies. It did not take him long to appreciate their aggressiveness.

Zap Braniff, a gray unicorn who's special talent was teleportation smiled at Brightstar.


Brightstar interrupted Zap with a cough.

“Right, we must observe protocol. Brightstar was able to get me a magical position for the demon gate. This means that I can teleport the pegasi near the gate so they can start attacking the defending demons. While the demons are busy, I will teleport the earth ponies and unicorns in. I wish you all good luck,” Zap said and bowed to the assembled ponies.

Then he walked over to the side and started casting the teleportation spell.

Goldie watched Zap's spell casting with interest. Maybe I could learn how to teleport on my own, she wondered.

A hoof tapped her and Goldie's concentration was broken. She looked around to see who touched her.

“Finally its going to happen, I get to strike back at them,” Scanner said.

“Yeah, we are going to get them,” Goldie replied.

Ten pegasi flew over Zap then they faded away.

“First team away,” Zap said.

Brightstar looked around. “Ground team move up to Zap. Breach team get ready.”

A group of unicorns and earth ponies moved up to Zap.

Goldie watched them fade away. Soon, it will be my turn, she thought.
Goldie could hear Zap pant with exhaustion. Princess Luna took to the air and her night guards followed her.

Brightstar looked over the Breach team and pointed to Zap.

Goldie followed the other ponies to Zap.

Scanner faced the rest of the Breach team. “OK, once we get there, we go through the demon gate as a group. We will trample them into the dirt or whatever they have there that's like dirt! Are you with me?”

A chorus of cheers filled the air.

Goldie did not cheer, she knew ponies will die, maybe she will too. In her mind, there was little to cheer about.

Zap said, “Breach team away.”

Demon gate

For Goldie, being teleported was boring. One second you are at one place, then the next you are at another. No lights or noises.

Pegasi flew around the gate waiting for the Breach team to enter. The earth ponies were waiting too.

Scanner did not say anything as he ran into the gate.

The rest of the team followed.

Demon Realm
Gate area

When Goldie stepped through the gate, the heat and smells assaulted her nose. Demon blood, pony blood and other smells combined into a stomach churning stench. Above her a black sky streaked with red pulsed and swirled. Ahead of her ponies and demons fought.

She cast a spell at some imps, they splattered with a squeal. Glowing blue bits of imp flew in the air like fireworks. One of the earth ponies that was fighting with them gave her a hoofs up.

Several pegasi and earth ponies moved in front of Goldie so she and the other unicorns that were near her could cast their spells in relative safety. Goldie did not have to worry about being attacked while concentrating on her spells.

She closed her eyes and focused her magic on areas where the demon magic was the strongest. Its like reaching for something painful and rotten. Once she felt the magic, a counter spell was easy to do.

The ground rumbled under her hooves as Princess Luna flew above Goldie screaming,”Flee foul ones, your nightmare has arrived!” A legion of demons fled before Luna and her diving thestrals. Fear covered the cruel faces of the demons.

Several ponies cheered at the sight of the demons running away. Others wanted to overrun and trample the fleeing foes but calmer heads prevailed.

Surestroke ran up to Goldie. “Do you see those bastards running away? I would love to stomp a few of them into the ground or what ever this nasty stuff is.”

Goldie looked back at Surestroke. “I don't know, maybe that is a setup for a trap? Have you seen Scanner?”

Surestroke looked ahead for a few seconds. “I saw him a minute ago trying to keep the hotheads from running into an ambush. I just know there is one somewhere.”

Several pegasi flew over passing the word that everypony was to stay at their current position. Even Princess Luna was just hovering while her guards flew around her. Goldie thought she looked every bit a princess with her mane flowing in the stinking fetid air.

For a few minutes, Goldie wished she was a pegasus. The ground was a nasty smelly mess of unknown substances that made manure seem like the cleanest of stuff to walk on.

Scanner hovered over them. “You know my wings are a bit tired, but even from up here that stuff you guys are slogging through makes me glad I can fly.”

Surestroke looked up at the hovering pegasus. “Yeah Scanner, I could always count on you for empathy.”

Scanner smiled. “We are going to eat soon and they have buckets of manure so you can clean your hooves.” He laughed and flew off.

“I am not sure I want to eat,” Goldie said.

“You gotta. I hear they packed some of the stinkiest cheeses. Limburger and egg sandwiches,” Surestroke said with a grin.

Back on Earth, Goldie had grown up in a family that avoided cheeses with strong smells. Even swiss cheese was seen as too smelly. The idea of limburger cheese made her stomach do a slow roll.

Surestroke stopped smiling. “Hey, I was just joking. You are starting to turn green.”

Goldie did not answer him, she focused on controlling her unruly stomach. Minutes passed before it calmed down.

“I am sor-” Surestroke tried to apologize but Goldie held up her right forehoof.

She swallowed. “No problem. Lets see what's for lunch.”

After about ten minutes, the pony army moved forward slowly. Just when she was getting used to the mud or whatever that stuff was, the surface hardened. So now instead of mud, she was walking on something like demonic concrete. It was not that much of an improvement but at least her hooves did not sink. The metal did have a smell that made her cough.

I already have had enough of this terrible place.

In the red swirling distance, Goldie could barely see the glowing red demon gate.
Yeah, I am going there and kicking demon behind.

She was quite sure that was going to happen. For a few minutes she thought about how she became a pony and learned about magic.

The Unicarnivs

Hot fetid air blew up at Sarah Collins and messed with her mousy brown hair. The smell of the subway hit her nose. Sarah sighed just like every day after five or later when she went to this train station. All it needed was some red skinned demons to come screeching up the stairs to make the scene complete.

Yep, I am descending into Hell again, she thought. The bright yellow June sun gave way to the gloom and fluorescent lights of the 59th street stop. Her old assed laptop pulled at her back like the weight of her barely remembered sins. Seriously, I need to lay off of the religious thinking now, its just a too hot subway stop.

She fumbled through her brown purse for her metrocard while two tourists on cellphones jabbered away. The damned things were so loud, Sarah could hear the the folks on the other end. Finally, she slid the card through the slot on the turnstile and walked through.

Sarah swept her eyes over the station. Tourists stood in a group while other people stood pawing at their smartphones. She was putting the metrocard back in her wallet when something roughly brushed her arm. Brown eyes wide with fear, Sarah looked around the train station until she realized it was just some guy's backpack. She managed to push back the scary images in her mind of what could happen to a young woman in the subway. Thanks Ma!

While Sarah walked to the million step stairs, she passed by a bunch of posters of missing people. One poster showed an old guy with a cigarette sticking out of his mouth while he leaned on a metal crutch. Another picture was just a headshot of some overconfident jogger. His smile seemed a mile wide. The last picture really got Sarah's attention. It showed a slightly blurry picture of a harried mother with a baby in a three wheeled stroller.I wonder what happened to these people? Sarah sighed, she knew that she would never find out what happened to them.

She took a left turn and went down the too long staircase. Seriously, I could have gone past Hell by now, she thought as she stepped down from the fifth landing. More stairs filled her view. Sarah grimaced and carefully picked her way down the trash filled stairs. A misstep would cause quite a tumble.

Without health insurance, they would have to take her out back and shoot her like a lame horse. Even if they did not do that, the bills would probably make her grab the gun and put herself down. Sarah shook her head to clear it of her morbid musings. Finally, her feet touched the floor of the express train platform.

One more quick look around, it does not hurt to be aware and she headed to the end of the platform. Her mother had warned about taking a seat in the front or rear of the train, but its been a long day.

I am risking my life to put my butt in a seat when I have spent most of my day in a chair. Makes a lot of sense.

The answer to that thought was a quick screw you.

A cool breeze played with the hair on the back of her head. For a second, anger rose up in Sarah's heart as she turned around. What she saw made her blink in surprise.

Instead of a crappy mutilated poster for something Sarah could not afford, there was gateway to a forest. The cool refreshing breeze came from there but that was not the most interesting thing. A cute white unicorn stood in front of a tree waving its hoof like it was inviting her.

It had a white coat, bright blue eyes and a black curly mane. Then the unicorn winked at Sarah.

She took one step toward the creature when the sound of someone bitching about the stairs made Sarah look away. When she looked back, the trees and unicorn were gone.

A hot steamy wind blew over Sarah as the silver train pulled into the station. She glanced one more time at the place where she saw the trees before she pushed her way onto the crowded train for her hour of being shoved and smacked by backpacks.

This was one of the bad rides back home. For some reason, people were more surly, that made the game of 'Avoid my eyes' even worse. Some guy pushed past so hard, his backpack hit her like a vicious smack. At least the train was air conditioned, she thought. Sarah held that small comfort close while she tried not to get deafened by a group of extra noisy teenagers.

When the train stopped at her station, Sarah took a calming breath like when a warrior prepares for battle then she pushed her way to the doors. They opened with a hiss. Without a pause, she thrust her way through the teeming throng waiting to enter the already crowded train like a salmon swimming upstream.

Like the salmon when it reaches its spawning grounds, Sarah took some time to calm down. Unlike the salmon, she was thinking of Chinese food for dinner and maybe tv afterward. Also unlike the salmon, Sarah was probably not going to spawn and die.

Her evening ended up being deathly dull. There was nothing new on tv she wanted to watch so she just clicked through channels until her eyes started to close. When she missed half of something that was somewhat interesting, Sarah dragged her tired body to bed.

Then her eyes refused to close. The unicorn at 59th street occupied her thoughts. It was so cute. If she met a guy that had pale skin and blue eyes like that, well, that would be cool. No, that would be hot! A blush covered her face. Somehow Sarah thought that the unicorn was male. She slipped off to sleep thinking about unicorns and cool refreshing forests.

Sarah awoke with a blush on her face, that faded along with the strangely arousing dream. The unicorn was in it but then the dream was gone. She shrugged and prepared for the shovey pushy noisy morning which would lead to a screamy crazy no definite specs but we want it yesterday workday. Whee!

At the end of the too long workday, Sarah stepped onto the express platform and marveled at the crowd of people waiting for the train. An announcement blared about a 'Police action at 42nd Street and service was delayed'. She was hoping to see the unicorn again but with all those people around it probably would get scared.

With a sigh, she moved to the front of the platform. Several people blocked her view of the area where she saw the unicorn. Then some guy walked next to Sarah, he turned and faced the wall. She heard liquid splashing. I guess its better than doing it on yourself. Sarah had been used to the pissy smell of that area that she did not smell it anymore, now she had a reminder.

The rest of the evening slid toward the toilet that the guy should have used. Nothing new to watch on tv and she knocked her dinner on the floor by accident. After the cleanup, even though she was a bit hungry, Sarah just went to bed. Deep down, she was hoping for another unicorn dream.

Unicorn Dreams

Well, she kinda got what wanted but there was just too much fear to these dreams. In one dream, her boss was a unicorn and he would poke her with his sharp horn when Sarah stopped typing.

The last dream she remembered was the worst. Sarah was in a subway car filled with mangy unicorns. They were making horse like noises into cellphones while the other ones stood and stared sullenly at Sarah. The car was filled with the smell of dirty sweaty fur. It was almost enough to make her cough, but she managed not to. Then the train pulled up at her stop. Sarah got up from her seat and started thrusting her way through the herd. That earned her several painful stabs from needle sharp horns. She hissed at the pain and the warm feeling of blood dripping down her back and sides. Then the subway doors opened.

A large herd of filthy unicorns eyed her with malice before one reared up and pushed Sarah back. She barely dodged the stomping hooves of the unicorns getting on the train before getting up. The subway doors closed. Loss filled her heart, she was never going home!


Sarah awoke with tears drying on her cheeks. It took her several minutes before she could get up and begin her morning routine. As the dreams faded from her memory, she began to feel better.

At the 59th street station

When Sarah left her job, it was almost 7:30. A sullen rage filled her. She wanted to take her mouse cable and tie it around the neck of "Wee" Rowena McAlison. Sarah could imagine pulling the wire tight until the annoying client's pink sharp tongue turned purple. Yes, the tongue would go well with her pale skin, Sarah's eyes narrowed while a grimace covered her face.

Ms. Rowena was the worst client that Sarah had the misfortune to work with. It takes a lot to get under Sarah's skin, but Rowena was digging away almost at the start. It did not bode well that Ms. Rowena showed up with her white with purple accented outfit a half hour later than her stated time. Of course once she arrived, she began giving orders in her Scottish accented voice. Sometimes Sarah could not understand her, and Rowena had a nice cutting insult to help out.

"Now dinnae try to change my mind even a wee bit. I know what I want," Rowena said while shaking a well manicured red nailed finger at Sarah and her boss.

Things went south real fast. Her boss just placated Rowena so she could direct her ire at Sarah. The only good thing about that was that Sarah thought less about quitting, and more about shoving assorted sharp objects into Rowena's wee place where the sun doesn't shine.

Now, she was was free for the day and her heart soared, but then she remembered that Rowena was a wee bit satisfied with her work and would be in tomorrow. Sarah's hands clenched. If she had a cherished pet or a diamond in her hands, they would be a red mush or black oil. Sarah had to wait a few minutes before her hands relaxed.Damn. Then she went down the stairs while a hot wind rushed up past her.

When Sarah reached the express train platform, she was hoping that maybe someone would start pissing on a wall near her so she could push them on the tracks. That mean thought made her pause. While Sarah tried to understand where her rage came from, a cool breeze touched her back.

Sarah whirled around and saw the unicorn. Some doubts floated up in her mind, but the prospect of another day with Rowena or worse made the unicorn the lesser of two evils. She ran toward the forest, and the waving unicorn. Her sure steps crossed the threshold between the subway and the forest.

One moment, Sarah was in a hot subway station and the next she was in a shadowy cool forest. She looked back and just saw trees, no subway platform. That gave her a bit of a chill. A hoof gently touched her leg. Sarah looked down and saw the white unicorn point further down the trail then it started walking. Every few seconds it would look back like a dog to see if its master or friend was following.

Sarah followed but misgivings were starting to surface in her mind. The silence of the forest started to bear down on her. Being a city girl, all she knew of forests was from tv, but even those forests had some sort of sounds in them. Birdsong, animals, something, it felt like she was in an outdoor tomb.

While she was musing about the absence of sounds, her feet stepped on something with a crack. Sarah leaned down, and picked up the beige object. It was a bit of bone that something had gnawed on, the teeth marks were pretty deep. Maybe its a bone from a person? That thought snaked into her mind. She looked back.

Sarah would have turned back but the unicorn stroked her side, it felt good, almost reassuring. With a sigh, she followed the unicorn further down the path.

The path opened into a clearing surrounded by trees. At first, Sarah breathed a sigh of relief. She was expecting something terrible not an empty clearing. The unicorn went to the edge of the clearing several steps away, Sarah took a few steps to follow it when a glint of light on something shiny caught her eye.

Items seemed to appear out of the grass like the things in the 'Can you find' books she read when she was a child. There was a metal cane with a bit of blood on it, some black and silver jogging shoes were a few steps away and there was a three wheeled stroller with a bloody seat. Sarah did not bother to notice the colors of the stroller, the dark red of dried blood was the only color her eyes could see.

It did not take too long before Sarah realized that these items belonged to some of the missing people she saw in the posters. A glance back at her unicorn friend showed that he brought company. There were more unicorns looking at her. Something about their gaze reminded her of the time she got mugged, the mugger had the same cold appraising look in his eyes.

The yellow unicorn with the pink mane and tail seemed to have really cold looking bluish green eyes. Before Sarah could do anything, a brown and white unicorn pranced its way to her. The creature's poise and self assuredness reminded her of Rowena. Sarah clenched her hands then looked back at the cane. She wondered if she had the time to grab it. A quick glance showed the brown and white unicorn rearing up to knock Sarah off of her feet.

Sarah hit the ground so hard all of the air was driven out of her lungs. A few gasps later and the unicorn was on her chest looking her right in the eye. Blue eyes gazed into brown eyes.

She tried to punch the unicorn but it just gracefully moved its head away from the wild swing then the creature smiled and Sarah felt the crushing weight of black despair.

The brown and white prancing creature had a set of sharp triangular teeth that even a shark would be proud to have. Before Sarah could aim another swing, the unicorn tore her throat out.

Sarah tried to scream, but the blood filling her throat made it hard to breathe then something hit her hard on the top of her head, stars flashed behind her slowly closing eyes. As she went into shock, Sarah could feel her clothes being ripped off as well as some things chewing on her body.

Before Sarah slipped away, she wondered if anyone would put up a missing poster for her.

A half hour later, a content brown and white unicorn looked around at her friends. In the background, hungry foals snarled and gnawed blood splattered bones. The brown and white unicorn stomped her forehooves on the ground.

"Well, Cyril, darling, you have outdone yourself this time," she said.

The white unicorn with the blue eyes and black curly mane bowed. "Thank you Hortense."

The pink and yellow unicorn looked at Hortense with concern in its blue green eyes. "W-what about m-me? I did a lot of s-scrying b-before we found these creatures. Then I c-cast the gateway s-spell. Also I had t-to use m-magic to watch their terrible t-tv shows."

"You are correct Sofira dear, without the both of you, things would have been pretty grim," Hortense said with a wide smile.

Several foals had taken to licking ruby red blood off of her fur.

Hortense looked around at the adult unicorns. "Who knew that mythical creatures could be so tasty?"

Sofira squeaked out a "M-me!" but she was ignored.

"Now we have a way to get more food. I have to admit, once those horrid howling wolves had been all eaten, I was so sure there was nothing left that would be worth eating," Hortense said.

A brown unicorn stallion said "Well, there were the birds."

"T-too b-b-bony!" Sofira said with a disgusted toss of her pink mane.

"The Herd needs more food. It seems now the problem is how do we get more of these creatures here?" Hortense said.

"I nnnnngh," Sofira tried to say, she hit the ground with her left forehoof in frustration.

Hortense gave Sofira a reassuring look. "Sofira darling, just take a nice deep breath and let it out slowly."

Sofira shyly looked around then took a deep breath. "Um, why don't we use illusion magic and make ourselves look like tv show characters? Humans love tv show characters."

The clearing was silent except for the fussing of the still hungry foals.

Then the stomping began, low at first then it was like thunder.

Hortense stood up. "Sofira darling, that is a splendid idea."

The Unicarnivs
All of her life, Sarah Collins wanted to be appreciated for her taste.
Soon, she would get her wish.
32 deviations


Aaron Weaver
United States
Current Residence: Behind the Italian restaurant, next to dumpster.
Operating System: Windoze/Mac OS X
MP3 player of choice: Winamp
Skin of choice: My own skin
  • Mood: Joy
  • Listening to: Feral: Hungry
  • Reading: Game of Drones: Unsanctioned Flights
  • Watching: Skanky Hollow: Whore of Babylon
  • Playing: Army of Moo
  • Eating: Pomeranian Frites
  • Drinking: AppleJack Daniel's sipping sider

Everyone has them. You might cringe or giggle at the ghosties but they are there.
I have a bunch of fears but I am functional.

Well, at least more functional than Adrian Monk.
That guy is afraid of milk.

I will share one with you. I am afraid of the Dark. The psychologists call it "Nyctophobia".…

Seriously, I can't sleep in a totally dark room. I would just freak out.

When I went on a business trip to Atlanta, the room was pitch dark at night. I had to keep the bathroom light on, and keep the door cracked for some light.

Lucky for me, there are streetlamps outside at home so I get enough light. My computer's motherboard actually glows bright enough too.

I also can't walk by a totally dark room without looking in or closing the door. There is a voice inside that whispers,"Take a peek, maybe you will see something." I would like to ignore that voice, but I just have to look.

That is the other part, the fascination. I want to see if there is something looking back. Thank goodness, I don't see anything. This also covers my interest in empty dark storefronts, dark areas under bridges and other places.

Do you have a fear and fascination with the Dark?
Please share.

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Add a Comment:
Dawnrex15 Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
How's chapter 9 coming along?
leoatelier Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2015   General Artist
Thanks for adding one of my captures to your faves!
Much appreciate it:)
JRSnaith Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2015  New Deviant Hobbyist Writer
Thank you for the +fav 

:D (Big Grin) 
Sahinsari Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2015  Professional Interface Designer
Thanks for the fav.
TheSlimeKing Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
So how's life?
sevenofeleven Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2015
Life's a beach when you need kelp!
Dawnrex15 Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
This is for you. 💕Read till the end, it's adorable. I sent an angel to watch over you last night but it came back. When I asked "why?" the angel said "Angels don't watch over angels" 😇Twenty angels are in your world. Ten of them are sleeping, nine of them are playing and one is reading this message. God has seen you struggling with some things and God says it's over. A blessing is coming your way. If you believe in God, send this to 14 friends, including me. As soon as you get 5 replies, someone you love💕 will quietly surprise you... Not joking. Pass this message on. Please don't ignore it. You are being tested and god is going to fix two big things tonight in your favor. If you believe in god drop everything and pass it on TOMORROW WILL BE THE BEST DAY OF YOUR LIFE. 🐇DON'T BREAK THIS. SEND THIS TO 14 FRIENDS IN 10 MINUTES IT'S NOT THAT HARD. don't forget, 
segaman4 Featured By Owner May 29, 2015
And give ke your honest opinion
segaman4 Featured By Owner May 29, 2015… here you go eerythings is put together
sevenofeleven Featured By Owner May 29, 2015
The beginning is an info dump.
You are better off starting with some action or some conversation and dribbling in the info. A lot of readers do not like large chunks of exposition and they will skip it.

Maybe you could start with one of your chars on mercury, living a peaceful life and then use a flashback to show how they got here.

There should be a way in which you can go over the past and not be such a big info dump.
Maybe you could go over the char's past while they are in the alien jail cells?

Is this part of a series or a new story?
I can tell from the first chapter, you could do a bit more description.
Is there a way I could get this story in another format?
I can't select any sentences which means I can't show you your errors.
Can you copy the text into google docs?
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