A Nightmare Like No Other.

The Nightmare Begins

On Sundays the church choir could be heard through every skinny,dirt path in that small town on the edge of the Eternity Forest, the not-quite human women perched on top of one of the slanted rooftops knew this well. She wasn't expected to go to church, that's why she loved this town, because they didn't care about how worn her cloak was or the fact that she always had her blades on her, they didn't care if she went to church or not, or what her past was or if the metal collar she wore around her throat made her suspicious of not being human.
What they cared about was that she earned her money honestly and that she didn't attack them in their sleep both of which, seemed fairly normal things to hope for. Moonfrost did make her money honestly she was the messenger for the town which, made sense since she could move faster than most and didn't ask for much in return.
Yes Moonfrost could barely believe her luck sitting under that weak morning sun watching the quiet streets as if she were on guard duty. Her past luck had been dreadful in fact, her past was something she hated with a passion to think about; but, she did occasionally.
Of course she never pitied herself, she hated people who did that, she always thought of all the people who were hurt because of her. At the time she knew she couldn't have helped it, she had after all been controlled by that god forsaken curse that had been put on her as a child when she had first been captured.
She touched the hilt of the gold twined blade that was attached firmly to her thigh. It had been her first blade. She had been trained beyond reason in the art of the sword when she was 7 and then had been sent to a cult of wizards at the age of 10 to be taught about her powers.
If she wasn't wearing the collar than her eyes would show her power clearly. But of course she was, she was always wearing her collar, it was dangerous to not. She remembered clearly the scared glances and scary, sly smirks of those wizards who felt they could finally have the power they had thought they had deserved.
They hadn't deserved the lick of my power that they got. she thought as she remembered how they had tried to train her in weird ways that made no sense. In reality she hadn't needed training, the way to use her power from the smallest bit of it to its full extent, was a clear path in her mind. She had ended up killing the whole cult when they had chained and tortured her at the age of 15.
"5 years of subtle torture than full blown torture... they had no pride." she thought but, still she didn't like the fact that it had taken 1 flash of blinding light and they were all just gone, not a bone or skull left, not a grain of dust.
She clutched at her collar because it, had begun to burn at her neck. She shook her head to clear it but she couldn't help but go over her life. As she past the stage of her life from 15 to 17 where she had been referred to as The Queen's Trump Card-. The collar seemed to turn white hot and at the same time freezing cold cutting off her thoughts there because after that it was fairly obvious.
She killed the Queen, her pompous, red dress staining to an even darker crimson color. Then she ran, ran like hell hounds were snapping at her heels. She had made the collar before she attempted to go to a town then went through many, not staying for more than a few months until that is she found this one because she had loved it.
The collar's burning ice feeling subsided as she stretched out to soak up the sun and turning her head so that her ear was toward the church and it's singing.
Her head buzzed with sleepy thoughts and she yawned the choir seemed like they were singing a dream soaked lullaby with nonsense words, although, she knew that every word had a meaning in these songs and that's what made them seem this way. Like their truth was so strong that her brain just blocked it and didn't listen to anything but the melody.
As she fell into sleep she didn't realize but the singing had stopped and the people crowded out of the church.
"Moonfrost! Why are you asleep on my roof?" Yelled a woman's voice below. Moonfrost sat up slowly and looked over the edge. "Oh, Hello Demitrix i didn't realize church was out." Demitrix rolled her eyes as Moonfrost stretched and yawned. "I swear your just like one of those handsome young men who go running through the forest doing whatever they please." Moonfrost slid from the roof with a laugh. "Are you trying to say that I am like Robin Hood or something?" Demitrix glared at her. It was well known to Moonfrost that Demitrix had long ago fallen in love with the rumored bandit whose stories were well known to everyone even when they didn't live in his territory which, they didn't.
Demitrix seemed to take offense from this comment and stormed into her house throwing the comment "Don't sleep on my roof again!" over her shoulder. Moonfrost not able to contain herself replied "Oh yes because you might mistake me for him and get much to excited." Demitrix came to the window and closed her shutters with a flourish as if to say that Moonfrost was definitely supposed to go now.
Moonfrost still smiling turned and nearly knocked over a frantic Mrs. Wilton. "Mrs. Wilton I'm so sorry are you alr-" " Oh never mind that!" Mrs. Wilton cut her off. Moonfrost frowned cocking her head to the left. " What's the matter?" When Moonfrost really looked at her, the plump, sweet women looked frantic and panicked and, was holding a parcel. She shoved the parcel into Moonfrost's stomach with a force that would have knocked a normal person onto their back. "Here! Take this into the forest, bury it by the Old Earl Tree and say a nonsense sentence three times as you spin around."
Moonfrost stared at her because, not only was this completely unlike Mrs.Wilton to ask her to do something completely unnecessary and random but, She also said this so seriously and with a threatening look in her eyes that Moonfrost was completely dumbfounded.
"Mrs. Wilton... are you okay?" Mrs.Wilton glared at her "Yes I am fine but i won't be if you don't do this!" Moonfrost frowned confusedly "mhm okay Mrs.Wilton i think you might need to go lie down-" then Mrs. Wilton made a mock choking motion at Moonfrost's throat walked in a small circle combing her hand through her thick,gray hair and, turning back to Moonfrost, then in a slow, deliberate voice she commanded "Just do what i said... tonight!" Moonfrost sighed running a hand threw her hair.
Some of it flew into her eyes and it's color, which was a soft, light honey and milk color, reflected the light of the sun. Moonfrost smiled a little "Alright, Mrs.Wilton, any specific time?" Mrs.Wilton's face relaxed as if a great burden had been lifted, she shook her head " no specific time! Just tonight!" Moonfrost nodded uncertainly, the women was usually completely well-grounded often mumbling about the playful antics of the towns children, now she severly serious "Okay then, tonight I'll take whatever this is to the Old Earl Tree and say a nonsense sentence three times as i spin around." Mrs.Wilton clapped her hands together happily "good, good I have to get back to the shop now, goodbye." Moonfrost shook her head "Goodbye." she answered. she watched Mrs.Wilton waddle away wondering what had possessed the women "Guess she's more superstitious than I thought." she mumbled stroking the parchment that wrapped the ill-packaged parcel with her thumb absent-mindedly.

The day had been lovely though. No one, except Mrs. Wilson since she ran the bakery, gave her any jobs on Sunday, saving all the work they had for her for Monday.
She had watched the town fumble about, people had talked and laughed and argued but by the end of the day it was nearly all forgotten. "I do love people." She thought with a smile. "Because most don't see the sense in revenge and grudges over a small argument and when they do it isn't ever to terribly disturbing."
Then as the day had wound to an end Moonfrost had watched the town go back into their homes for a lovely supper. Moonfrost never understood this because, the sunset was so beautiful from the top of the oaks and pines that surrounded the town in a thickly matted forest. Of course Moonfrost hadn't watched it tonight she, was busy twining her way deeper into the forest to the Old Earl Tree.
the Old Earl Tree was a large tree that was supposedly the center of the forest Moonfrost hadn't the faintest clue if that was true but it didn't matter to her. What did matter was that it had an overpowering scent of age and dust. This was important, without this it would be hard to find. People often got lost in the forest because every tree looked exactly the same as the others of its kind and this could be quite daunting indeed, That's why paths were built carefully and people rarely left their towns.
Moonfrost loved this though, she loved winding her way through the trees using familiar scents to find her way knowing the only other travelers here were others who had been many places and seen many things, or bandits although they usually past by without confrontation. It only took her about an hour to get to the earl tree which, wasn't very good time since she usually made that trip in 20 minutes if she ran; however, she didn't mind and as she saw it she smiled and whispered "Well here's to doing random things for random people and having fun doing it." She got on her knees at the foot of the tree and dug a hole, took out the contents of the parcel and frowned.
It was Mr.Wilton's compass. "what?" Moonfrost asked herself. Mrs.Wilton was a widow and this had been the only thing she had of her late husband who, had traveled all over the world before meeting Mrs.Wilton.
Moonfrost shook her head and dropped the compass into the shallow hole. "What is that crazy old woman doing, asking me to bury something so important?" Moonfrost, still frowning, stood up "I don't think i can have fun doing this now." she said pouting just a tad. But she spun in a circle and as she did said something she hadn't said since she was 3, prancing around a field with her older brother.
" I wish for a mockingbird who mocks the fiddler's tune and the banjo's hum and the creak of a rusty gate." she said it 3 times hoping it was nonsense enough for whatever Mrs.Wilton wanted, then stopped. She looked around then flumped on the ground putting her chin on her fist. "Did Mrs.Wilton just want me out of the town? If she did she could have just asked me to go, it's no trouble to me since i leave each night to hunt anyways..." Moonfrost fell silent and listening to the quiet hum of the forest closing her eyes and tilting her head slightly sighing deeply. She was contemplating climbing a tree and sleeping here until she heard a creak on one of the branches above. She cocked her head back and, as she did something large and brown with big fangs jumped at her from the branch.
It landed pinning her shoulders to the ground. It was a wolf that, turned into a man. And that man was laughing. Really hard, too hard, in fact. The man rolled onto his back and held his stomach as he laughed as if, he were in pain because of it.
"Who are you?" Moonfrost asked crouching slightly and dusting off her hands. "So was it just a prank played on Mrs. Wilton?" she thought not particularly concerned about being tackled by a werewolf in the middle of a forest. He looked up as if seeing her for the first time. "I'm so glad you came," he choked out as he laughed "Because that was very amusing to watch." he continued to laugh. Moonfrost smiled a cold smile "Who.Are.You?" she asked again. He stopped laughing for the most part "I, am Blacky."
Moonfrost raised an eyebrow and smirked "Blacky?" He nodded. Moonfrost's smile grew and she got her face very close to his "In fact I've heard it before." He cocked his head to the right "Really i didn't know it was common... Who was it, a lost love perhaps?" his breath stirred her hair slightly, "weird guy" she thought. Moonfrost shook her head then leaned down even closer "My friend's pet dog!" she whispered.
He drew his mouth into a tight, unamused line, Moonfrost tilted her head "oh what's wrong doggy did I ruin your fun?" "You're one to talk, cat!, you wear a collar and listen to what stupid old women tell you to do!" he snarled Moonfrost rolled her eyes "Crazy maybe, religious maybe, superstitious maybe! but not stupid." He glared at her "Fine but you still have that collar." Moonfrost's hand flew up to her collar in a defensive gesture. "It's protection." he got on his hands and knees and crawled a bit closer. "From what?" she leaned back onto her hands trying to get the space between them again.
"It's so that i can walk normally through a town without being maimed so I guess it's protection against people." he crawled a bit closer. "No that's not it, it's actual protection against something... something that could happen to you." Moonfrost scooted back a bit. "Yes that's what i meant... people can get mean you know." he shook his head and a wicked smile came across his face. " i know something you don't want known." he said on a sing song voice.
Moonfrost shook her head "No you don't." he nodded "Yes i do." and before Moonfrost could reply he shot forward and grabbed her collar. There was blinding pain at her throat and then it was gone. the collar lay in shattered pieces on the ground. "Ah." Moonfrost reached up and felt at a pair of soft,fluffy ears on the top of her head and moved a large and very fluffy tail back and forth. She smiled and she could feel her small cat fangs and flexed her claws. "Well shit," she said than turned to him "This isn't exactly a big secret though, anyone could guess by the collar." Moonfrost felt as if she had won a war but then he shook his head. Her face fell "Then... what?" He grabbed her wrist and left her with only one elbow to lean on. "If i bite your neck I own you, isn't that right?" Moonfrost began shaking a little bit thinking of her last, beyond cruel master, that she wanted to leave behind in memories. "No" she lied, terrified. "you're lying" he said but the cruel smile had faded and his voice held a bit of disbelief. "No" she said again. He got closer "don't lie." he said his voice getting angrier.
Of course she was lying, what he had said was true but she didn't want to admit because that was as good as saying 'okay go ahead and bite my neck i don't mind.' which she did.... a lot. She got her face closer using all her self-control not to kick him in the crotch and run hard for the town a few days away, she hissed as loudly as she could muster, breaking the silence of the moment, he flinched visibly and she kicked out with her back legs. Than she was on him pinning him to the ground. Only she had a problem.
She knew he was stronger since he wasn't a human man, and, would hate being pinned down so she had to keep her body ridged and wait for him to throw her off. "What do you want?" she hissed. He smirked "My master wants you to go on a mission." " oh" she said "So you are someone's pet dog." he growled and jerked upward.
Moonfrost jumped away landing on all fours. "Oh so cats really do land on their feet." he said dusting himself off. She stood and then in one quick movement held one knife to his throat and another to his crotch. "Hey now, that metals cold." "Who's your master and how cocky are they to think I'll just go where ever they please?"
his face was serious, no trace of the crazy man who had rolled on the ground laughing. "Because" he said "without that collar you can't go back to town without being hung by everyone you hold dear." she shrugged so I make a trip to Lithia city and buy another one and they'll never know." "that would take months, the same time it would take to do this mission and my master will give you an unbreakable collar, unlike that cheap one. Oh and take the bounty off your head, don't try to lie I know you have one." she sighed "I'm guessing I don't have much choice if I want to get rid of you." his eyes widened mockingly "Oh I'm not going away at least, not yet." "what?" she asked tired of this whole situation. "masters orders, I must accompany you for the first day at least." Moonfrost's eyes narrowed. "then, i guess we better get started... it's going to be a long fucking night."