This post has the following content warnings:
Jan 27, 2023 11:53 AM
portals to the 16th century are kind of a big deal
Permalink

It's not like Kagome doesn't believe in demons, or ghosts, or spirits, exactly. She knows that lots of people don't, these days, and she's never seen one, but she also knows that her family has guarded their ancestral shrine for hundreds of years, and they probably had some reason to do that. Maybe it's motivated reasoning, but she doesn't want to believe that her family's ancestral obligations are completely pointless. So probably there some are spirits out there, somewhere.

Still, Kagome figures that they all mostly keep to themselves, and that there aren't really very many of them. Otherwise you'd see them about, sometimes, and you never do.

When she goes to help Sota find the cat that's wandered into the shed where the well is - she doesn't think the noises coming from the well are really a ghost. She's not five; she knows that even if there are ghosts about, somewhere, you don't just run into them in dark corners of your family's shed, especially if you already know that there's a cat messing around in there. If that sort of thing happened with any regularity, then more people would believe in it. Especially if the ghosts were generally inclined to do anything besides make creepy noises, which they're probably not. So there's nothing to be scared of, really, and she doesn't want to look dumb in front of her nephew.

She does, in fact, find the cat. The cat is not in the well.

She spends about three seconds wondering what was making the noises, which is all the time she has before the cover over the well breaks open.

Total: 1411
Posts Per Page:
Permalink

And a giant horrible six-armed monster centipede-woman bursts out of the well and grabs her with all six arms to drag her in!

Permalink

Well, however much she did or didn't believe in the supernatural before, she believes in it a lot more now!! Not that that's really the most important thing to be thinking about, here!!

She screams, and desperately tries to grab onto the edge of the well as she passes it. She misses, and then gets dragged down, down, down, farther than she thinks any reasonable well can possibly go.

Permalink

The entire bottom... majority... of the centipede-woman is a skeleton! It's like there's just a BUNCH of people's spines, all joined up together, with their arms as her many centipede-legs!

It's regrowing now, though, into something much more centipede-like, as the horrible monster woman REGENERATES.

"Life..." Her eyes begin shining. "Life and power, power and joy..."

Permalink

There are definitely circumstances under which Kagome would feel that the correct course of action here was to figure out what the centipede woman wants - whether it definitely meant to attack her, and whether there's any way to get it life and joy in a way that doesn't lead to her immediate demise. Calmer circumstances. Saner circumstances. Circumstances where she had time to think about the theoretically ideal course of action.

 

What she actually does, under the circumstances that she is actually in, is try to kick the centipede woman in the face.

Permalink

The centipede-woman currently has her gripped with six arms! GETTING her foot to the centipede's face is mildly tricky.

... Aaaand doesn't do much anyway.

"Where is the jewel, priestess?" the centipede-woman hisses. "Where is the jewel of four souls? I can smell it on you..."

Permalink

"I don't have a jewel! Leave me ALONE!"

She tries to push the centipede woman away, desperate and scared and not really expecting it to work, only for some kind of force to erupt from her hands, momentarily filling the darkness with blinding light.

Permalink

 

Well that's definitely never happened before.

Permalink

The centipede-woman does NOT like this! At all!!!! She loses her grip and plummets into the darkness, cursing as she goes!

(There's rather a lot of darkness.)

Permalink

And then Kagome lands on packed earth at the bottom of the dry well! She can see sunlight from the well's entrance, sunlight and some scraggly plants that have crept over the well's rim.

Permalink

Hey, there's the centipede-woman, almost completely buried under a whole lot of dirt, barring one arm that does not look as dead as you'd expect from someone (or someTHING) buried that deep!

Permalink

Kagome really wants to get out of this well! This well seems like a pretty terrible place!

She doesn't have a lot of experience climbing vines, and kind of expects them to break under her weight anyway, but if she can reach any of the vines from here she's at least going to try to use them to haul herself out of here. Otherwise she'll be left with... screaming? That doesn't seem like a very promising plan, but it'd be better than just sitting here waiting for the centipede to unearth itself?

Permalink

Between rocks, vines, and the very strong desire not to be eaten by a giant monster centipede, she can indeed make it out of the old well before the aforementioned centipede digs its way out!

Surrounding the old well, where there was a shrine five minutes ago, is a forest. It looks like a Japanese forest, if she has forest-recognizing skills, but it is very much not Tokyo, which is where she was, again, five minutes ago.

Permalink

Well.

 

She probably did not somehow destroy Tokyo. Okay. Next theory.

It could be a fantasy world? You hear stories about people falling into fantasy worlds sometimes. Fictional stories, but they could have been inspired by something that really happened to someone, once, maybe, and a well is the sort of place you might expect to find a portal to another world, if you were going to find one anywhere, which you probably wouldn't.

She could have gone insane. It probably says something about her that this is her third theory instead of her first. It'd be a very abrupt and total kind of insanity, though, and she doesn't feel fuzzy or confused, really - well, okay, she feels very confused, actually, and even if she doesn't think that it's the right kind of confusion, an insane person probably wouldn't think so either. Recognizing insanity from the inside must be pretty hard, or people would be able to cope with it better. It's worth keeping in mind as a possibility, even if it doesn't seem likely.

She could be dreaming, and it probably says even more about her that this is her fourth theory. But if she's dreaming, none of this really matters, so it doesn't make much sense to act like it's a dream. Anyway, she doesn't feel fuzzy like she thinks she would if this were a dream.

 

If this is real, then she probably wants to put some distance between herself and the centipede. If it isn't... there's probably no harm in putting some distance between herself and the centipede. She just needs to make sure that she can find the well again later.

She tries to take in her position. She takes a few deep breaths. And, after a moment or two, she walks off into the forest.

Permalink

It sure looks like a forest! There's trees and scrub and bushes and squirrels and little birds... no houses anywhere, though.

There's a pretty enormous tree thataways, looks a little like the sacred (read: tourist attraction) tree on her family's property, if somewhat smaller? 

Permalink

Now that she's decided on a course of action... the fact that the course of action was kind of ill-conceived and vague and had no further steps to it is kind of catching up to her. She could easily end up wandering around this forest until she dies. Probably that's silly, she can always go back to the well and see whether it works as a portal in the other direction. If that doesn't work, and she can't find anything useful (people, a stream to follow, something magical...) after an hour of searching, then she can panic.

In the meantime, she makes her way over to the tree that looks a little like the tree that might or might not be sacred. It'll be good to have a second landmark around here.

Permalink

Well, it has one major difference: There's a teenage boy with ADORABLE FLUFFY dog ears and white hair pinned to it by an arrow.

He's been there for a long time, based on the plants that have grown up to surround him; his feet are pressed into hollows on the tree, and he hangs there limply, as completely relaxed as if he was just ordinarily asleep.

Permalink

...well, that seems like some solid evidence for the fantasy world hypothesis. 

Is he dead? He doesn't look dead. Or, well, he does look like he may have been fatally stabbed through the chest with an arrow. He doesn't look like he's decaying, which you'd expect him to be if he'd been pinned long enough for the vines to have come up around him. Unless the vines are alive. Or, well, technically all vines are alive. Unless the vines are unusually mobile. Which could happen! It's not any weirder than him having been preserved this well, or any weirder than a six-armed centipede woman dragging you through a well into a fantasy world in the first place!

She throws a stick at the base of the vines. Just to make sure the vines don't do anything about it.

Permalink

Nope! The vines have nothing to say on the topic!

Permalink

Well, they could be waiting for an opportune moment, but this is the first potentially useful thing she's found, and she's going to risk it. Hopefully if he wakes up he'll be nicer than the centipede woman.

She climbs up the vines enough to check if he's still breathing.

Permalink

The pinned person is breathing, and neither he nor the vines tries anything!

Permalink

Then he must be alive after all. Having all of your weight on an arrow through one of your lungs can't be good for you, though. Maybe it's less bad for you if you're whatever he is? He doesn't look quite like a human, and the last thing she met that wasn't quite like a human did not really seem like it could be easily injured. She also wasn't very nice, but there's not necessarily reason to believe that everyone who isn't a human is as mean as the centipede woman. Although, if they are, she might not get away a second time, unless the vines can hold him. They do look like pretty serious vines.

If he's only sleeping, it stands to reason that he can be woken up. And if nobody here is a human, a person who's pinned to a tree might one of the safest people to get answers from.

This doesn't mean she knows how to wake him up. Probably talking won't work, but you never know. 

"Hello?"

Permalink

Her voice is punctuated by the sound of an arrow hitting the tree!

"Get back!" The voice has an archaic accent (which I will not attempt to transcribe here) and other than that is about the sort of tone you'd use if you saw that someone was cheerfully attempting to pour a pot of boiling sugar all over themselves, the floor, the counter, and the flammable things.

Permalink

Kagome lets out an undignified squeak, and then whirls around to see who's attacking her now.

Permalink

(Meanwhile, her, the yell, and the voice makes him... shift in his sleep slightly?

He is SO ADORABLE that he clearly cannot be any kind of horrible monster such that people would treat the possibility of getting physically near him as equivalent to sticking your head in a nuclear reactor.)

Permalink

The answer would summarize to "several short very poor people with bows!" They look less like the fancy bows used for the formal sport of Archery and more like the sort of things you could make in your basement if you had access to a tree, a knife, and patience.

They can, however, shoot arrows.

"Are you crazy, girl?" one of them demands.

Total: 1411
Posts Per Page: