Flashback The Happy Skink

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A lawless town of anarchists, built on the ruins of an ancient mining city. [Lore]

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The Happy Skink

Postby Konrad Venger on January 28th, 2016, 11:30 pm

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18th Bell - 28th Day of Spring, 491AV - The Sewers


He was so hungry he couldn't sleep anymore. He'd close his eyes and try to relax, even on the cold, wet stone, but once he felt his mind start to drift and leave his body behind, the cramps would squeeze his guts onto a ball again. He grit his teeth and try to force it away, wait for it to pass...

But it wouldn't. His stomach wasn't just rumbling, it was snarling, scratching around the inside of his skin until he doubled over.

He didn't want to touch it. Pressing down would just make it work, make him want to shit, and all that would come out would be foul water. He tried to swallow and it was a stone in his throat, leaving him gasping and teary in the darkness.

"Kon? Kon, keep it down, f'fuck's sake."

"I can't. My stomach-"

"Yeah, yeah, mine too."


Another little lump of rags shuffled closer to him in the shadows of the tunnel. Konrad blinked and squinted as it flopped into the faint light cast down from the sewage grate above them. Face as filthy and sore-ridden as his own, but without that fresh, hideous scar.

Konrad wondered when his would heal. If he'd ever have his face again. He doubted it. His father had been thorough in his savagery; probably the only area of his life he'd been thorough in anything.

"Still need to sleep, and yer keepin' us up."

"I can't help it!"

"Try harder!"


The third voice was older, deeper, harder. Rufus was a giant compared to his smaller followers, raw-boned from growing taller and stronger. But that meant he had to eat more, and never seemed to have enough, so he was irritable and snappish. His face hovered into view and sneered down at Konrad without an ounce of pity.

A feral, dirty little boy looked up at him. Face all petched up, thanks to the blade and the shaky needle from Old Senrah. Rags that hadn't been changed in a season nor washed in a year. Bare feet turned black from dirt and waste and sores and mud.

"We've gotta be up in a few, an' we need to be rested, know wud'I mean?"

"Haven't... Haven't we got any left?"


Konrad knew the older boy didn't like questions. He had rules in his gang: you do as your told, you don't ask questions, and your reward is food. Food and Rufus and Niles protecting you from the others. But his stomach was squirming and stabbing inside him and he didn't care about what would-

"Wad're the fuckin' rules-?!"

-the backhanded slap was like a hammer-blow to the skinny, starving boy. Knocking him down so hard his head bounced on the stone of the sewers and left a red smear when he tried to sit back up. His stomach snapped again and Konrad bit his lip so hard it bled, little drip-drip-drip of blood salty and slipping down his throat.

It was warm and tried to swallow it. Swallow something. Fool himself it was anything but pain.

"Now, wod'u you say?

"Rufus, c'mon, he's just-"

"You fuckin' defendin' 'im?!"


Vect slunk away, back to the shadows, away from Rufus, from danger, from the scarred up kid. Wasn't worth getting the same, not from Rufus. Konrad wanted to scream out for him to help, just stay with him, please, but he knew he couldn't. He could feel the other eyes in the sewer. Drinking all of it in.

They don't care about you. They're just happy it's not them.

"Oi?" Rufus nudged him with his foot and he snapped into a ball out of instinct, something primal making him cringe from the larger boy. "Asked you a question? What. Do. You. Say?"

His hand rose again and blocked out the light. Konrad looked up and saw only the shadow, the calluses on his fist as it curled closed, promising more than just a slap. His head ached from his crown to his jaw. His cheek was twitching like it did when he was scared. He swallowed even thought it hurt and tore at his throat and looked up into Rufus' eyes, just like he knew he enjoyed.

"'m... 'm s-sorry... sir."

"Aye. Aye, too fuckin' right you are. You remember the rules, runt. Ask again and youse can find another fuckin' tunnel, ugly little shit."


The charge in the air, like Summer lightning, faded away but when Vect edged closer to the trembling boy Rufus lashed out again with his words.

"Leave him!" Konrad heard him speak, voice becoming ruminative as he regarded the latest little addition to his band. "Bruise up nice and ugly for the morning. Dried blood, too, make him look right fuckin' pathetic. Lotta sympathy, that'll get. Good for the bowl..."

Konrad reached out and clutched the chipped clay thing to his chest. That was all he was to Rufus, all any of them were. Things that were small and weak and pathetic, to be trotted out in the street and hold their bowl for whatever coppers some passing swell could drop in there.

He held it tight and screwed his eyes just as tightly. Thought if he thought hard enough, he could imagine stew in his belly and a blanket over his back.

Maybe this is a nightmare. Maybe the gods are punishing me for being bad.

I'll wake up. Soon I'll wake up.


He spoke the lie in his own mind and knew it was such, but still he spoke it. Rufus barked at the glinting eyes to get back to sleep, big day tomorrow, new district, new swells! Konrad didn't hear him. He curled in a ball with his head ringing and he could have thanked Rufus for that.

It let him sleep. The pain sucked away his body's will to stay awake and endure his stomach's torture. It carried him off and away from the grey stone, to a place with a fire and a woman dead over a year. Gone like his home and his bed and his toys.

Konrad held onto his bowl and felt the tears slide down his nose as he fled into his dreams.
Last edited by Konrad Venger on January 29th, 2016, 10:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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The Happy Skink

Postby Konrad Venger on January 29th, 2016, 8:01 am

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"Alms? Alms, gentle lady? Sir, spare a copper for a hungry boy?"

"Mate, could you spare a coin? My father can't work and my mother is sick, please, please help me."

"Miss, I'm so hungry. See? You can see my ribs, almost see my stomach! It hurts, mistress, kind mistress, a copper is all I need."


Up and down the street leading from The Gated Community, variations on the same theme rang out from voices not yet broken. Charity. Mercy. Pity. Anything anyone could spare, as long as it was coin. Konrad squatted in the gutter with his face still bloody, wound turned black from dried matter and some dirt Rufus had rubbed into it. His scar was a bigger draw, of course, but the bruise just... added to it.

Vect was by his side, perfecting his pitiful limp as a man in a frilly hat and a silk tunic swanned by, cane tapping out a jaunty beat as he went.

"Sir? Sir? Spare a copper, sir? My leg, it's-"

"Get away from me, scum!"


Vect yelped as the cane snapped out and smacked him around the head. Konrad was up before he could fall over properly, trying to put his arms around his... friend? Was that even the word he'd use? Was Vect his friend? He didn't know. His body moved but itself without asking his mind, bearing both of them down to the cobbles.

"Bastard!" Vect shouted as the man disappeared into the crowd, dabbing at his face to see if it was bleeding. "That hurt."

"Think that was the point."


The forest of legs and cart wheels and hooves passing by them didn't notice, didn't even slow down. Two rats in rags were hardly worth noticing. Sunberth rolled on around them and didn't blink. Konrad knew after a year on the streets that men are always an iffy mark. Women, though? They had that, wadayacallit... may-eternal instinct, going for them.

He thought he saw one coming their way, a basket in her beefy, face ruddy and motherly-

she looked like that, cooking by the fire. peeling potatoes, slicing up onions or carrots, wiping her brow on her sleeve. he used to watch her when she cooked, making delicious things out of such random objects.

"Hey, c'mon," he said urgently, trying to heave Vect back up with his skiny arms. "Got a good one, right there!"

"Woman?"

"Aye, c'mon!"


They hobbled over and Konrad patted his face to make sure... yep, it felt good. In that it felt petching awful and horrible. Vect was already groaning like a third-rate mummer, pinching where the can had whacked him around the head, making it purple up nicely.

"Ooop, mind it, young-"

Konrad swept in front of the woman and hunched over, lisped through his scarred face like Rufus told him to, even though his speech wasn't that impeded. He had one arm around Vect, who was wobbling on his feet, eyes glazed and lip wobbling.

"Miss, miss! Please, can you spare some coin for me and my... my brother? We've not eaten in three days! Please, he get hit by a cart earlier today, look at him! Please, just a few-"

"Now, now, I haven't got coin to waste on you lads, I'm sorry."


She was a tough one, but Konrad didn't see any disdain in her voice. She wouldn't look at them. Didn't want to bear the sight of them, he could tell. She wanted to close her eyes and ignore it, but if he got closer-

-gripping at the hem of her skirt with his free hand, forcing her to look.

He thought of his mother. He thought of what she'd looked like when he woke up, face shattered until the day Dira came for him, father gone. He remembered he he shook her and begged her but she didn't move, and he'd left and... and...

The tears came. Streaming down his face even as he lied through them.

"P-Please, miss! Please. He's... He's hurt. He's so sick, and our parents, they're... they're gone." Konrad pressed his forehad to the back of her hand like he'd seen some priestess do once. Seemed like a nice touch. "Please. Please help us."

They could see the war being waged across her face as she chewed her lip and stared down at them. She was clearly not a rich woman, and probably had her own children to feed, maybe a husband who wouldn't take kindly to her giving away coin. But they were so pathetic, so utterly without hope. Konrad knew half of it was convincing the marks it wasn't all a scam, and looking like they did, well...

"Okay," she said, and Konrad almost shuddered with real gratitude. She dug around in her pocket with a free hand and held her fist over his bowel. "Get some food. I think there's a healer over on Pig Alley, she's cheap."

Konrad's eyes went wide as hen's eggs as he heard the telltale tinkle of silver in his bowl, actual silver mizas. Not the dull thunk-thunk of copper, but that rare and wonderful artefact of the beggars: silver. Worth ten times as much as copper. And when they peered inside there were-

Four of them. Gods above.

"Oh, thank you, thank you, miss," he said, not playing anymore as he kissed the back of her hand, Vect already bowing and stooping to kiss the hem of her dress. Again: priestess. "We will, thank you, we will."

She smiled at them and Konrad felt another squirt of tears leak down his face. It was real. It touched her eyes and they were kind. She patted his cheek on the scarred side and then she was gone, leaving Vect staring at the bowl until Konrad could cover it with his hand.

"Don't stare!" He hissed and cast his eyes about, already fast-walking to an alley. "People'll see!"

"It's silver, Kon!"
Vect hissed back, ugly smear of a wound across his forehead forgotten as he licked his lips, stealing another peek at the quartet of coins. "We can eat today! Whatever we want! When Rufus take 'em, he'll..."

His voice trailed off as Konrad cast a sharp look at him. He couldn't quite spit out the lie, the hope, once he saw that doubting expression. Hells, who was he kidding? They both knew what Rufus would do.

"We... We'll give him half," Konrad said, voice barely a whisper, as if that measly canting crew chief had spies in the bricks. He took out two of the coins and stuffed them into his breeches, in the pocket that didn't have any holes. "We earned that, didn't we? You nearly got your head beat in-"

"Oh, I've had worse-"

"But you did, and we deserve more than just crusts, don't we?"
He could see Vect wrestling with himself, ambition and hunger warring with a well-earned fear of Rufus and Niles and their eager fists. "C'mon, Vect. When was the last time you had a full meal, eh? What season?"

"Kon, if he finds out-"

"He won't,"
Konrad said, leading the boy further down the alley, away from the street. Rufus would notice them away from their corner soon, and they had to move. "He won't. Look, we'll get some food and hide the rest, right? We come up short or get real hungry, we can go back for more, yeah? Just me and you."

Vect chewed his lips and thought of loaves, and rolls, and hams, and cheese, and butter. Finally he nodded and both boys snapped their heads around when they heard Rufus bawling for them out of sight. Konrad grabbed his wrist and they skittered around the corner of the alley, headed out of sight.

His muscles were wasting away and his stomach was growling, but he didn't feel it. He could feel some strange, alien sensation tugging at his lips. After a few ticks, he realized what it was.

He was smiling. They were going to the Skink.

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Note: As of Fall 517AV, Konrad is known only as "Hansel" in Endrykas
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Konrad Venger
Long is The Way and Hard
 
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The Happy Skink

Postby Konrad Venger on January 29th, 2016, 10:46 pm

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The lizard was the kind of ugly that couldn't help but make you smile. Body twisted like it was dancing on a hot plate, sucker-tipped arms flung out to invite you to jump up with it. Mouth smiling big and happy and bugged-out eyes seemed to pop out of the wooden sign above the door.

Everyone knew the Happy Skink.

That day, Konrad and Vect were well-disposed to the ugly critter, and Bertha, a grown woman with a fuzzy mustache who couldn't even spell the words "free food", but grease her palms and she'd make your stomach groan with delight.

Uuuuuurrrrp

Konrad's did just that and he caught Vect's eye, both of them stopping in mid-chew... then bursting out into giggles, nearly choking on the thick, warm hunks of bread. A little pot of butter was between their plates, a small plate of cheese next to it. It was soft enough that they could press it down onto the bread when they cut a slice from the loaf.

They sipped from their honey-water with their mouths full. They jabbered and talked and spewed crumbs everywhere. They toasted each other with the fierce solemnity that only juveniles can muster, and their stomachs didn't hurt anymore.

Careful to keep it unseen, Konrad looked down at his lap and sorted out their remaining coins. Let's see, there had been two silver mizas, which is twenty coppers, and after the bread, the cheese, the butter, the water, that's...

"How much is left?"

"Looks like... um... eleven... no, twelve copper mizas."


Vect frowned and looked down a little guiltily at their prized meal. Was it really so expensive just to feed oneself? Almost a whole silver piece, days worth of begging, all gone on one meal. He began to chew a little more slowly, savor the flavor and the taste instead of wolfing it down.

Konrad was thinking much the same thing, chewing the unmarred corner of his lips as he did some quick sums. A loaf and some butter, that was three coppers. He could hide the bread, but the butter needed to be cold, or... hmm, yeah, so they couldn't hide food. Just the money.

"We could give Rufus the rest," Vect ventured, pointing with his eyes at the handful of coppers. "That's more that three silver miza's worth, innit? We give him that, instead of two, he'll be real happy, yeah?"

"And what'll that mean for us? Huh? One less beating this week? An extra crust in our bowl tonight? What?!"


Vect nearly shrunk away from the tone and the snapping words shooting from Konrad's scarred mouth. His mood had slid so quickly, so easily, from a laughing little boy to every inch the daemon his scars suggested him to be. There was rage in his eyes, fierce and sweaty, pouring out of his skin.

The bread suddenly didn't taste as good, and he swallowed hard.

"I... I'm just... just thinking ahead, Kon. Rufus and Niles, y'know, they're arseholes, but they look out for us. Ain't gotta worry about the slavers or the feelers."

"They ain't our friends, Vect,"
Konrad hissed, leaning in a little closer. "We're friends. You and me. We're the ones who deserve this, not them. They're gettin' half, which is more'n they deserve. The rest... that's for us."

He lifted up his cup for a toast and after a while, wilting under his fierce stare, Vect did the same. He sighed as the wood clanked together, then took a sip as he smeared butter and cheese over his last slice for the day.

"Where're we gonna hide it, then? Gotta be somewhere good. Y'know how people rot around petching everywhere in this city."

Konrad chewed thoughtfully as he mulled that question over. His eyes were on the Konti dancers in the corner and the Vantha musicians rattling out a quick beat for them, but his gaze was beyond the walls of the Skink. Where, indeed? Where would be unseen, unobserved?

He snorted to himself. Gods. What could be easier?

"I'm thinkin' people are down here quite a bit, y'know?"

Half-a-bell later and Konrad was fiddling and jimmying one of the stones in the wall under the Happy Skink. The tunnels and sewers that crisscrossed the city like veins under its skin were the perfect place. But Vect was right: under places like the Skink, they saw more... traffic.

"That's why... you need to... keep an eye out," he said between grunts, scratching up his hands and breaking nails as he worked the centuries-old mortar keeping the stone in place. "Not much longer."

Vect mumbled to himself and did as he was told, swinging his head back and forth on his neck, down both ends of the tunnel. It was almost pitch-black down here, save for the grill above them. But Konrad said that was too obvious a place, so they'd waded across to the other side of the...

Well. "River" was a strong word. So was "stream". All that seemed more poetic and natural than a slithering snake of piss, shit, waste and foulness deserved. The two boys had added their own vomit to the flow as they crossed, Konrad holding his handful of coppers high and out of the flow.

Then they were crouching in darkness, one watching, the other working. Nothing save their shallow breathing and the scrape of bone and flesh on stone. Every tick Konrad was sure Rufus or Niles or both would just appear from the shadows, materialize like monsters to take their coin, maybe their lives. But he kept working, kept wheedling away until-

"Ha! Got it!"

"Shhhh! Not so loud!"

"Sorry, sorry."


He grinned at the fruits of his labors as the plate-sized paving stone came loose and a hundred creeping, crawling, slime-coated things shirked away from the sudden lack of cover. He delved in his undergarments for the last two silver coins, and even in the darkness he could feel them glimmer in his hands. He put them in the bowl and sorted out the coppers, the ones Vect and he were to hide.

"That all of it?"

"Yeah,"
he said without looking around, counting them out slowly since he couldn't see the dull metal. "All twelve."

"And the silver?"

"Yeah, them, too,"
Konrad said with a half-smirk, wondering why his friend was so concerned. "Where else would they be, eh?"

The stone scraped. The stone he'd just moved. There was a scraping and then silence, like it was hoisted into the air and Konrad turned-

-in time for the darkness to gain form, just for a flash, a moment. A grey slab of hard, uncaring nothing hurtling towards his face.

"But-"

The impact was like nothing he'd known before. Even his father in his worst rages hadn't hit him with fucking masonry. Even the agony he felt every day, remembered every night, when his face had been split open by that bastard's knife, was... local, he always thought. Somehow just his body, just his flesh. The logical culmination of years of beatings and abuse.

Konrad felt this not just in his broken nose and his shattered cheekbone, but in his heart. Deep in his soul. He tried to cry out, to warn Vect, because in that moment after the blow, he couldn't believe it was him. Didn't want to.

We're friends, he screamed out in his own skull, for his body was suddenly tossed far away from his mind. Please, you don't need to... to...

Everything went black. Not just in his eyes but all his other senses. His body vanished and he was just a ball of fading awareness. Couldn't feel his skin or order his thoughts. Didn't knew where he was or what he-

No. He felt that. His palm scraped by another's fingers, coins snatched away and a voice a thousand leagues from him. A fragment of regret in them, but dwarfed by a weary resignation.

"Sorry, Kon, but yer not the horse to back."

Please... Vect, don't... don't...

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Konrad Venger
Long is The Way and Hard
 
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The Happy Skink

Postby Konrad Venger on January 30th, 2016, 3:01 am

He wasn't one for remembering. Recollecting. Dredging up the past like a favored family heirloom, to be admired and reflected on with affection. He had precious little worth in his history that would draw a smile. What little there was... he forgot more of it every year.

But the nature of events? The way they happened, the significance of the order, an import one often only grasped long after? Yes. He ruminated on that, those nights where he was alone in a booth or by the fire, taper of Temper smoldering between his lips.

You didn't know then what they meant, those moments that passed by. They were just... things, that happened. Problems to be dealt with, opportunities to be enjoyed, chances to be taken, and then when you could line them up years later, you would see something greater. Maybe even pin some importance to a handful of moments.

His waking later that day was one of those moments. But it wasn't really the moment itself that mattered, but the choice of the one that woke him. That had been made... gods, he didn't even know. A bell before? A handful of chimes? Years prior? He couldn't know and didn't guess.

All Konrad knew was that Niles' dick saved his life.

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Note: As of Fall 517AV, Konrad is known only as "Hansel" in Endrykas
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Konrad Venger
Long is The Way and Hard
 
Posts: 923
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Joined roleplay: November 23rd, 2015, 4:05 pm
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The Happy Skink

Postby Konrad Venger on January 30th, 2016, 5:24 am

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He didn't know where it was, but it couldn't last. It was cold and dark and wherever he touched, it felt like the scales of some great, dead reptile. Then the whole of it seemed to squeeze on him, leak in on itself like some huge egg, and Konrad knew he had to get out.

He scrambled in the darkness, without sight, or hope, or direction, and finally he tore a hole in the scales. Water - gods, he hoped it was water - poured into the hole and it drenched him, smacking him in the face and filling his mouth but... but it was thick, and it sunk and-

"Wake up, you ugly little cunt."

Konrad threw up what felt like a lung as rough hands pulled his head up out the slowly flowing slick of human slurry. Fat, greasy globs of foulness were sliding down his face and he could fel blood pumping, pulsing, bleeding out of his head and hammers inside it-

Everything came back in a rush of horror and stank breath. The coins. Vect. The stone. Sorry. Sorry for what?

Sorry for this.

"N-Niles...?"

"Heeeey, pretty quick for a kid with half his head caved in! Gotta say, I'm impressed."


The bigger, older boy was happy, giddy, chuckling and giggling like a some goblin, cackles crackling off the wet sewer stones. Konrad's throat burned as he purged again, heaving more vomit into the river of shit. He felt his breath in his ear, close, too close, enough for him to feel every hot, wet word on his skin when he spoke.

"Then again, I always was. Fuck knows it wasn't cuza' yer looks-"

Konrad opened his mouth to beg, to scream, to something, but snapped it shut again when Niles jerked his head back towards the sewage and-

Blackness. Not empty anymore, but choking, filling every pore, every hole in his head, and he held his breath. Held it until it hurt, until his lungs burned and he had to breath, he had to, he-

Vomited. Choked. Purged and wept and screamed all at once and couldn't hear any of it until-

He was hoisted out again and Niles was still behind him, a slab of hot muscle at his back. Rufus' partner chuckled insanely and though his mind was shattered, Konrad's body was still working. He felt his hand slide under his arm, down his chest, almost as broad as his torso... slide lower... lower...

"But beggars can't be choosers, eh? Hey! Not bad, since yer a beggar, right? Never could stand to look at youse, kid, but t'ain't gonna matter with you bent over, now is it?"

"D-Don't, w-why would-"


The hands gripped his hair jerked him round hard, and he was helpless to stop him. Didn't dare close his eyes as a fleshy, ruddy face like a sack of burned flour filled his vision. It leered at him, pink tongue running along full, wet lips and Konrad hadn't even kissed a girl but he knew, some part of him knew what Niles wanted to do.

Would do. No matter what he said.

"Yer mate Vect? Came an' told Roof and me about yer extra coins. Clever boy, only not so clever. Trusting someone, Kon? In this fuckin' city? Tut-tut-tut... very silly. So Roof told me to come getcha, bring ya back to the tunnel for a proper flayin' in front a' the other runts. But ya know what?"

Cloth ripped. The threadbare, scratched and battered trousers that Konrad had taken such care of for a whole year, ripped off in an instant. He started to squirm and Niles forced him down, onto his belly, against the freezing stone that scraped against his bare chest. The push and pressure above him got worse, got heavier, got lower-

Konrad froze as he felt something hard press against his behind. Niles semed to shudder when he did, feeding off that primal, nameless fear.

"Yeah... Yeah, you gedit, dontcha? Youse understand. Good lad. Not gonna bother bringin' you back in. Fuckin' draggin' you back through the tunnels, pfff, fuck that. Gonna tell them you were a corpse when I found ya, lil' Vect had more oomf in his arms than he thought."

He free hand smacked out at Konrad's arms, knocked them further apart, and Konrad felt them sink into the trench of shit and garbage, push deep down until they touched the bottom. Niles lips were around his ear, sucking, biting, and Konrad screwed his eyes shut and screwed his hands-

-pain-

-in his hands, like shards, slivers of-

Glass? Felt like it. The one working part of Konrad's mind that wasn't a quivering wreck, that had dragged him from dawn to day to night for a whole year, identified the debris in his hand even as it pierced them. Niles was muttering and mumbling and his undergarments were nearly gone.

The hardness pressed closer to him. Konrad knew it would happen. Unless he acted. But Niles was a big boy, he was stronger, taller, and-

-and Konrad Venger let all of that vanish in a mad, blinding burst of white that he'd been holding onto for a year. He griped the trash hard and twisted under Niles as hard as he could-

-onto his side-

"Stay still, you fuckin'-"

-threw his hand up out of the muck and saw Niles' snarling, outraged face, that this little kid would dare fight back as he was-

Konrad remembered that expression. Confusion. Realization. Sheer, stunned surprise that, yes, a handful of turds were hurtling towards his face and he was half-naked and in no position to stop it.

There was a wet, filthy smack as Konrad opened his fist and slapped the turds against Niles' eyes and then-

-ground them harder, glass shards digging into his palm. But that was a hard, callused target. What was on the other side, however...

Niles screeched like an animal as the shit-covered debris stabbed through his eye like needles through a water balloon. Lust evaporated in an instant, agony sending him reeling back and forgetting about Konrad-

-letting him get his other arm free, pressing it to the back of the one shoving that nightmare into Niles' face and Konrad screamed-

-pushing hard, pushing him back, pushing Niles down until he was on top of him and-

"Cunt!"

It couldn't last forever. Niles had one hand pressed to the mud-and-blood ruin that used to be his eyes, but he only needed one to sweep Konrad off him and to the side, almost hurling him clear. Konrad skidded across the stone and came to a rest next to Niles' clothes, his tunic and breeches and-

Dagger. Double-bladed with its own scabbard. He was always showing it off, cleaning it, sharpening it, spinning tales about how he'd use it with the little kids in the gang. Konrad only saw that once, where he took Jeffries' thumb off for holding back a copper one day.

Now it was inches from his hands, and Niles was screaming and crying and-

-trying to get up.

Move! Move!

His head was being split down the middle. His lungs were flecked with shit and he could barely breath. He was naked and bruised and half-dead from cold but Konrad wanted to live. He was not going to die in a fucking sewer. He thought of Vect and his smile, their toast; he thought of Rufus and his constantly burning fuse; he thought of his mother and her cold, empty gaze when he'd tried to jostle her awake.

He thought of his father as he grabbed the hilt of the dagger and jerked it free. Eight inches of gleaming, meticulously-cleaned dagger sprang into his eyes and Konrad saw his father's own dagger when he'd shown him-

keep it tight to yer side, boy. yeah, like that. don't wanna wave it around, s'not a fuckin' wand. you go for the soft parts. the guts. the balls. his face. his legs. anywhere that bleeds and hurts. but if youse get the chance, if you can, you go one place. his fuckin' throat.

now... show me, boy.


Konrad had tried hard that day, but nary put a nick on his bad's tanned, walnut skin. He'd get a few, though. He'd learned. Now he had the dagger in his grasp and he tucked it tight, crouching like his father showed him.

Closed the gap and got closer to Niles, now up on his knees, one hand braced against the floor, gasping, souttering, vomit and blood and shit dribbling onto theg round, other hand trying to clear his eye away.

The one good eye he had left was swimming with tears. He blinked them away.

Saw a shadow through them. Barely even there through the pain and the darkness and the trauma. But it was there, and there was a silver shard in the middle of it.

"K-Kid?! Fuc-Fuck, fuck're you-"

Konrad lunged. Niles was bigger. Niles was older. Niles had tougher skin and experience in the gutters and the alleys.

Niles was down to one eye and naked and unarmed. Niles was helpless as a babe and Konrad had a dagger. He blinked and didn't see a half-blind man. He saw his friend, in that fleeting tick before the stone had smacked him around the head. He saw more, and the memories and images taunted him and goaded him and-

Niles fell back with a strangled gurgle as the blade buried in his throat, right up to the hilt. Konrad kept pushing and pushing until he was using the dagger as a fucking lever, both hands grasping it, twisting it and tearing a whole through his throat like he was a fresh side of beef.

He was snarling and spitting, lips curled all the way back from his lips like a demon and Niles toppled like a felled tree, onto his back, thrashing and grasping. Konrad straddled him, both of them naked and without a glimmer of sexuality between them. Konrad jerked the dagger free and it came with a sucking sound, spewing gobs of red with it and-

-he screamed again, both hands around the handle, stabbing down like a priest at a sacrifice-

The skull was harder. It wasn't so easy to sink the blade in, like the neck. The dagger bounced off the bone around the eye, under the nose, the cheeks, the jaw...

Over and over. Up and down. Suck and crunch. Until Niles wasn't screaming, wasn't coughing, or thrashing, or breathing, or even recognizable. Konrad stopped when he didn't have the strength to pull it out, and... and he remembered... he was in a sewer. He blinked and the redness vanished from his eyes. He felt the cold again, but through the red cloak of fresh viscera coating his chest. He looked down... around...

No more black. Just red. Red everywhere.

The thing that used to be Niles was a gaping, raw mess underneath him. Konrad got off him, limbs trembling, staggering back to the wall and sliding down as his legs just gave up the ghost. The dagger wasn't going anywhere. His grip was solid around it, even there, even after what he'd done.

And what have you done? He would have violated you and killed you. Fuck him. Fuck Rufus. Fuck Vect.

Fuck everyone.


Konrad looked to his side and found that he had, in fact, a new tunic, new breeches, and he'd wager a meager purse in a pocket somewhere. Not to mention a dagger. A new, proven blade. He turned it over in his hand and swiped his finger across it. A streak of silver across the clotted red... until it dripped back down... covered up that pure light in dirty blood yet again.

After he didn't know how much time, Konrad walked on his hands and knees over to the pile of clothes. He cleaned his dagger with the rags he'd worn before. He cut the bottoms off the trousers so they would fit. He did the same with the arms of the tunic. In the dark he dressed himself, after using the cutoffs to clean himself the bet he could.

He found a purse, and coins. Not much (as expected; Niles worked for Rufus, after all), but mayhap enough for a healer, or at least a bath.

Konrad stood, sheathed the dagger and stuffed the thing into his belt. He looked back one more time at Niles and tried to feel something. Something more than... satisfaction, that the boy was dead and he was alive. He waited there until sometimes stirred.

After a while, and without a word, he turned his back and walked back to the entrance of the tunnel.

||Common||Thoughts||Pavi||Fratava||Myrian||Other's Speaking||
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Note: As of Fall 517AV, Konrad is known only as "Hansel" in Endrykas
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Konrad Venger
Long is The Way and Hard
 
Posts: 923
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Location: Endrykas
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The Happy Skink

Postby Hwyn on February 9th, 2016, 1:53 am

XP Award!

The time to celebrate is nigh
the neurotic knave has deigned
to bequeath to you a grade
for thine efforts!
Name:Character 1 XP Award:
  • Begging 2
  • Subterfuge 1
  • Dagger 1
  • Endurance 2
  • Brawling 2
Lore:
  • Brawling: Aim for the eyes
  • Dagger: Go for the throat!
  • Freinds are for fools.
  • Subterfuge: Hide your money well.
Notes: This was dark to read but it certainly gave me some insight into how you became the bugger you are. Good to read, have a nice day.
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Hwyn
Soul endowed plushie
 
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