This post has the following content warnings:
Jul 04, 2020 12:06 PM
ai mica and beauty and the beast cat
+ Show First Post
Total: 375
Posts Per Page:
Permalink

"Is something wrong?"

Permalink

The book hesitates before answering. 

Nothing new, or urgent. Just the same thing that's been wrong for years. 

Permalink

He thinks about this for a bit.

"I think... I should go take another look."

Permalink

Most of the more interesting architectural features aren't visible from the interior courtyards. If you'd like to follow us, there's a door to the outside. 

Permalink

"Okay, thank you." He'll follow.

Permalink

In daylight, the outside of the castle is tall white stone walls and high pointed towers. 

The most notable thing about its architecture is the abundance of life-size stone statues, placed in alcoves in the walls or standing like silent sentinels along the edges of a roof or turret. There must be dozens of them, a fairly even mix of male and female adult figures with a few somewhat smaller shapes that might be children and a handful of bent and twisted elderly women. 

Only a few of the statues are near enough to the ground for a close inspection. Their clothes are nondescript, the carven details having worn away over years of exposure to the elements, but their faces are frozen in expressions of surprise, alarm, and in some cases fear. 

Permalink

He stares at them for a time before returning to the book.

"What happens if they erode completely?" Not that he's planning on taking that long.

Permalink

We don't think that's likely to happen. This whole place is...preserved. Unchanging. Things age—tapestries fade, pages yellow, and so on—but much slower than they should by any measure of time. 

I don't know if you looked closely enough to notice, but on the lower statues, you can see every strand of hair. Their clothes are a little worn, but their faces and bodies are fixed just as they were back then. That's the point of them. 

Permalink

"I know. Which one is you?"

Permalink

There's more than one of us talking to you, but none of us has a statue that can be reached from the ground, says one set of handwriting. 

Why do you ask? says another. 

Permalink

"I don't know. It might have been important."

Permalink

If you want, I could try to think of a way to identify the statues for you, but we can't just point out our own very easily, or indeed each other's. 

Permalink

"Because you're not allowed to?"

Permalink

Essentially, yes. We're having to talk around it all in circles. 

Permalink

Maika makes a face.

"I bet it is important somehow, then."

Permalink

A different invisible hand takes the pen. 

I don't think poking around the statues is going to help you make things right. We've been doing that for years, and if there was a key to be found there we'd have found it by now. 

Permalink

"Maybe if I want a break from the other things I'm trying."

Permalink

Would you like to get back to your reading now? I'll admit I didn't fully understand what you were researching but it sounded like it had potential. 

Permalink

Nodnod! "I'll explain it better if I get it to work."

Permalink

I'll look forward to it!

The castle can show Maika the way back to the library if he likes, and then the book can leave him in peace to get some more research done. 

Permalink

After a while, there's movement on the lower floor. 

Permalink

Maika blinks in the general direction of the movement.

Permalink

The not-a-lion freezes, caught out in the open between two bookshelves. 

He's...Maika hasn't had many chances to see animals in person, but it's still obvious that the shape of his body is not a shape any animal was ever intended to take. Caught halfway between the upright frame of a human and the four-legged stance of a beast, he's bent over and twisted to stand on four feet—three, right now, with the fourth frozen in midair. 

He stares back at Maika, ears folded back and tail twitching hesitantly. 

Permalink

Maika blinks again, slower.

Total: 375
Posts Per Page: