Saturday, July 7, 2012

Through the Eyes of an Animal

By Zar:

The Nomads


Stone is beneath me, the first thing that reaches my intellect is the stone. My eyes blink, the morning light glaring. My claw traces the stone of the cave floor, then I get to my feet, lumbering out. The canyon outside is bright with the morning, and I inhale the air, snorting in pleasure. Similar sounds re-echo as my brothers and sisters begin to come out of their own small dwellings. No machine guides us, but that power inherent to out nature. We congregate together, offering greetings to each other, as we do every day. Little to no illwill threatens us, making life happy. Banding together into a double file we leave the canyon. Next to me, a friend of mine moves, and we chat comfortably about nothing; small talk, it’s called. The desert is its usual sandy expanse, but unlike most dwellers on this island, we never see it as lifeless or as a threat. No, we see it as a challenge, and a home.

Our destination is a large oasis, which we group around first drawing drinking water into long canals to separate it from the main water, and then bathing. The water is relaxing, with waves churned up by the impact of our large bodies.  Splash wars occur at times, even though they’re technically outlawed; no one minds a little fun, a little un-ill fun. At length we get out, settled down to drink of the water stored away, and eat of nearby plants.  When our appetites are settled we sprawl on the sand, letting the sun warm our armored backs.

Some might think that our existence is dull, but I would disagree: some consider life without convenience and work dull, but I consider the opposite. Unbound by anything besides ourselves and the land, we have what is true freedom; the ability to live without bounds not naturally made. Treachery and jealousy are our capitol offenses, not robbery or murder. And they can be ended by forgiveness and love, not execution or imprisonment.

We live as nomads, we live as freebeasts.

We live, we live as Kikanalo.


By Micah/Kakaru:

Something something. Animals, rawr. Metaphorical philosophical tripe mixed with ironically muddled clarity from an outsider's misplaced misanthropy. Tie back in with overused message about humanity and the animal within. Blah blah.


By Tyler:


They say that you can smell fear. Right now, though I don’t know who they are, they seem like they have the right idea, because the terror rolling of this guy is hitting me like a tidal wave hits a child’s sand castle. Picture all that sand, washing away into the depths of the deep ocean blue never to be seen again, and you’ve got a pretty good idea of just how much of my attention my prey is taking up tonight.

I can see him walking back to its house, and as he stops I start to wonder what the holdup is. Did he lose his house key? Did he lose his cis car keys? No. As he turns and curses in frustration, I can see that he has both of those things in his hand, wrapped around a single silver keychain. No, from the looks of things, this guy forgot his wallet. Naturally, he checks the ground for it. That’s the smart thing. That’s what most people would do in a situation such as this. Even from here, I can see his mouth moving; he’s muttering something about how that was a 500 dollar wallet and irreplaceable and a family heirloom, and I start to think, well, if it was only 500 dollars, it can’t be that irreplaceable.

I mean, really. Just shell out some cash. I know you have it in you, Mr. Jonathan Miller on 808 Maple Drive, in your little upper middle class three bedroom house with your two and a half baths and your own little man cave in the garage. I’ve watched you play pool and watch the football games. I know your favorite pool stick, and I know that your favorite football team happens to be the Dallas Cowboys; I know this because I’ve seen you stay up until late at night polishing the pool stick, and I’ve heard you yelling about how Tony Romo needs to get cut or traded and how you can pick up a much better quarterback in free agency. Do I particularly care about all of this? I shouldn’t, but I do. I want to know you, Mr. Jonathan Miller. I just want to understand you.

Finally, Mr. Jonathan Miller, I can hear you start to unlock your car door and I can hear you start to curse as you use your fancy new Droid as an improvised flashlight and start to look for your irreplaceable wallet that you’re already thinking about replacing. I can see you start to lean into your nice new Mazda Miata, see the leather start to stretch as your 5’10, 155 pound Caucasian frame with perfect cheekbones and a nice crop of dark brown hair and your oh-so-baby blue eyed frame moves across the driver’s seat and the shifter and towards the passenger’s seat. Finally, Mr. Jonathan Miller, I get tired of waiting and make my move.

It’s easy enough to cross your street. There’s not really a lot of traffic, no neighborhood watch to truly speak of, and in the late night hours, underneath the crisp black Northern Virginia sky, I can move like a shadow across your street and into your yard, and you don’t even have a clue. You can’t even hear my footsteps, Mr. Jonathan Miller, as I mutter a witticism I’ve had planned for months, waiting to use for this very moment.

Does this rag smell like chloroform to you?

You drop like a sack of bricks, Mr. Jonathan Miller, and I can almost feel your psyche start to scream out against me as you fade into unconsciousness and slump against the car. I can already see you starting to drool on the Cherry Red paint job that cost you a 450 dollar surplus with this particular make and model, Mr. Jonathan Miller, and I know that if you were conscious enough to appreciate the beauty of this moment, you’d be positively screaming in rage. But alas, you’re not awake to see yourself drool like a rabid animal, a bipedal Old Yeller waiting for the bullet to hit and the movie to end. You’re not awake to watch me start to laugh as I pull out my knife, and sadly, Mr. Jonathan Miller, you aren’t awake to watch me start to go to work.


By Kal Grochi/Eli:


The wind beneath my wings. Prey, running as the very air carries me to it. Today is a good day.

I watch my prey with keen eyes, unwilling to let the buck get away. I'm hungry. I fed last week, so I do not understand why they seem to run from me. Should they not acknowledge my hunger? I am their master, after all. Still, I fly after him, the air carrying me upon a gentle hand of its whimsical creation.

Soon, I am close enough to my pray. I dive down, quickly, landing just before the buck. It shies back from me, eyes rolling in fear as it starts to prance backwards. I lash out with a wing, smacking the buck hard, knocking it to the ground.

I step forwards to begin my feast, before noticing something: The lucky creature was still alive! Well, that wouldn't do. One quick grasp with my jaws and it was dead, the buck's lifeblood flowing from the wounds of its neck into my waiting maw. I soon began to tear into the carcass, leaving a few small tidbits on and among the bones for my smaller, scavenging, feathered brethren as I take off again, the air lifting me up, blowing me onward with its windy breath.

The wind carried me to my prey.

I killed my prey with aid from the air around it.

I devoured my prey as though I were a ravening tornado.

And like the wind, I am gone again.


By Will/Tolkien:

The Knife

A sharp noise, and then silence. His eyes snapped open, and he tried to focus…tried to take in what had just happened. He shivered. His face was very cold in the winter air. And his hand…his hand was still clenched…painfully tight…clenched around the handle of the Knife.

He gasped as the pain hit him, harsh and clutching, deep in his chest. It was bad. Very bad. He knew it was, but he was confused still…disoriented...He frowned, trying to concentrate, trying to assert control over his body once more. It was very hard. His teeth clenched, his breathing shallow and clipped. Every beat of his heart was torment.

But slowly, almost imperceptibly, he felt the strength flow into his body once more. A tingling sensation in his legs, up his arm, into his fingers. He felt the steel handle of the Knife cold against his palm, and the cramped ache of his tendons eased as he released it.

His vision cleared, as if a veil had been pulled away. He could see, he could move. He fell back—away from the form that lay crumpled in the snow. He clutched at his chest, trying to slow his breathing. The pain there had lessened somewhat. It was easier to bear now. But he did not understand…lying there in the snow, propped up on one arm, he tried to sort it out…

He had struck swiftly, without pause. The creature had born down upon him from the snow-clad mountainside. It was a beast of fur and spines and gnashing teeth. A ravening, soulless thing…except for its eyes. He had seen them…looked into them…just as the creature had leapt upon him. They were clear, blue. Almost…familiar. It was a strange thing, but he had paid it no mind in the heat of battle.

But now…now he wondered at them. Those eyes were empty now. Empty of life. Staring blankly toward him. The Knife had ended it. One thrust…a single strike, and then it had been over. Hadn’t it?

But that did not explain the pain he felt…no…The old man had said the Knife was treacherous—that he should be wary of it. Had he been wary enough? The path up the mountainside was treacherous as well, but he had been willing to risk that. He had to, if he were ever to reach the top and the temple that crowned it. Many men had tried, and many men had failed. Now their bones lay frozen in the eternal snow, or were devoured by those that guarded the mountain passes.

This beast had been one of the guardians, he guessed. He was close…very close. He had to go on.

He rose to his knees, still clutching his side. The pain still throbbed within him…but it was a strange thing to feel. It seemed now that he could bear it. Indeed, it felt now as if he had always had that pain…like an old wound, deep inside. All his life…

The Knife stood gleaming in the chest of the creature. It seemed to call to him. A whisper…or maybe just the wind. It was a great tool. A great ally. It had overcome the enemy. It would do it again. He would reach the summit of the mountain. Yes…Yes! He would find what he sought. He stretched out his hand again to pull the Knife loose...

But then he stopped. Frozen, his hand just above the gleaming pommel. In a flash, he understood. Understood all too well. The old man had said the knife was treacherous—treacherous and powerful. It had struck down the beast, yes, but at what cost? The wound went both ways. And the wound he had dealt was mortal…

No. His arm fell to his side, hand clenched. He would not take up that treacherous blade again…it was done. He turned away, trudging wearily down the hillside toward the narrow path, his feet crunching in the gathering snow.

Why had he left it? He hardly knew…he had taken risks before, so why not keep the blade? No, this his was different. He had glimpsed the truth…just a glimpse.

For a moment, he had seen the creature’s face in his mind. Those eyes…clear and blue and familiar.

And they were his own.


By Aimee/Aderia:


Distant, distant, ever so distant…

The world is dying, yet they think it is thriving.

So distant.

Their fires scorch the surface of the innocent planet that gave rise to them. While they bask in the warmth of their flames, the ground cries out in its own sacred agony.  When the birds and the beasts of the earth flock against them in answer to the earth’s crying, the monsters turn on them with metal and fire weapons.

They are too far gone, too distant.

Their pathways and roads cut into the ground, lacerating the beautiful earth they were created to walk freely upon. They are so far gone, they cannot see that they are limiting themselves by their so called ‘progress’. What is the point of scarring the earth with roads when the entire world is right there, waiting to be used to sustain life?

In the sky, the birds are choking on the stench of industry, and smog bloodies the sky at sunrise. On the ground, beasts that once lived in peace alongside the monsters live in cages and chains, their minds constantly being eroded by ill treatment that was never meant to be.

What happened, to make them so distant?

If they could only see, if they could only remember, that they were created to prove a point. They were created to show that there was still good in the world. They were to take a slowly dying planet and with their superior intellect, turn it towards the light and towards eternity.

Instead, the world has been catapulted down the path of destruction, spiraling farther and farther from hope. 

The truly sad part is that the monsters that are destroying our home have not only condemned themselves, they have condemned us all.

And yet, all they think about is their progress, plowing forwards in the ways of thinking and science. Every day, it’s growing and growing, dooming us all, the distance between us.


By Legolover-361:

To Kill

Tunnel vision had set in after the third enemy fell to his knees; the ratta-tatta-tat of Sergeant Zack Emerson’s rifle pounded into his skull, and the plink-plunk of bullets striking the metal walls about his force. The commander was shouting something profane. Zack didn’t want to hear it.

Bang. Another man dead, lying prone on the floor with his bloodstained hand to his heart. Zack didn’t flinch. This was his job — killing the enemy — and flinching would only make it harder.

This time the commander’s voice rang loud and clear in his ear over his helmet’s comm. “Beta, fall back!”

Darn right they were falling back. The bodies were piling up thick near the bend. The enemies could use them as cover.

Just in case, Zack tossed one of his grenades down the hall before retreating with the rest of his squad.

The portion of hall he and the other men had been defending was the middle portion of a Z-shaped corridor. He was the last man into the back portion of the Z, the one who pressed the door lock and shot it as insurance. This was the cost of defending the scientific outpost: If the metal fell, the soldiers would use their own bodies as a barrier.

More profanity crackled in Zack’s headset. “—all clear?” questioned the commander.

“Yeah.” Zack’s voice was breathy even to his own ears.

“Good. Get back to the core. Leave explosives on the way. I’m dumping all the sensitive data to a remote databank.”


“Yes, sergeant?”

Zack breathed. “Nothing, sir. Just on edge. I don’t rightly know why.”

“Cut the chatter and haul your butts to cover.”

“Sir yes sir. A’right” — this was to the men under his command — “we’re moving.”

He took the job of leaving explosives. Each one felt like lead in his hand. His muscles were quivering, but that was battle-induced stress for you. He was a greenhorn, barely clear of promotion, and yet he was expecting himself to act like a grizzled general. He allowed himself a laugh as he placed the final grenade and ducked into the antechamber of the main CPU room. The door slid shut; he felt like his tomb had been sealed.

“Sir, we’re in position, sir.”

“Excellent, sergeant” — though the commander’s voice exuded all but confidence in his men. “They’ll be on you in seconds. The dump will take a minute more. Can you give us sixty seconds?”

Zack considered the question. “Sir yes sir.”

“Then give it to us. Command out.”

That sounded vaguely like an epitaph.

Zack’s tunnel vision had faded. His stomach churned at the thought of death; his face was damp with a film of saltine sweat. He shouldered his rifle in preparation for the final stand.

But... he didn’t want to.

An explosion filtered through the metal door before him. He barely noticed, so deep was he in thought. Did he want to kill? No. So what in blazes was he doing here?

Another explosion. They were coming closer.

He licked his lips.

His kills were for freedom. But then, so were a wild animal’s.


By Andrew/Velox:

Through the Eyes of an Animal

I watched the crowded bar from my seat in the corner. The wooden pipe in my mouth, a mug of beer at the table before me, my face obscured by a large hood. The embers glistened as I puffed on the pipe, shedding a faint glow on my face for a brief moment before dying down again. The candles flickered around me, spreading a warm glow throughout the room. 

People walked to and fro. Looking over at me occasionally; mostly simply ignoring me. I ignored them, too. Focusing on the bar as a whole, on the patrons sitting throughout it. I observed each and every one of them, how they acted, how they spoke, what they said, and most importantly, what they looked like. They were all overall unappealing. Middle aged people mostly, talking frivolously with one another, throwing around jokes and laughs. Wasting away their life by coming here most nights, drinking and partying. 

Of course I couldn’t blame them. I used to do it, too. But then I discovered it. A way to be in ecstasy. I learned to become the hunter, and every time I killed it filled me with intense satisfaction. 

I allowed a slight smile to escape my lips before I quickly regained my composure and continued watching those around me. So far, no one looked promising. 

I stared ahead, my eyes  focused on the people, glowing periodically as the light from my pipe hit them. 

I soon became bored, no one interesting at all in the bar. I remembered the night before, how fulfilling it was to my desires. I had found two that night; a rare gift. I could see my room still, the image still fresh in my mind. It was then that I realized I hadn’t cleaned up yet. Blood still stained the walls and carpets, but I didn’t let it bother me. I’d get it dirty again tonight, or so I hoped. 

I flexed my hand into a fist beneath the table, the anticipation growing. I grabbed the mug of beer and took a large swig, the cold liquid cooling my throat. 

The bar door opened. And finally the perfect candidate had come. Young, alone, blonde, she proceeded to the bar. I quickly took another gulp and stood up, advancing toward the bar. My prey found. 

“Mr. Daniels, hands in the air,” a voice said behind me. I froze. I took a slow glance behind me and saw two men in suits with their guns pointed. I slowly began to comply, raising my arms toward the ceiling. 

They quickly rushed in, grabbing me roughly and throwing me to the ground. I made no struggle. Perhaps it was time to let my fantasies go. 

“So, didja find the souvenirs?” I asked the man who was cuffing me. 

“You’re an animal,” was his only reply before forcing me to my feet and shoving me out of the bar.

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