|Topic Started: Oct 5 2011, 09:52 PM (60 Views)|
|Zira||Oct 5 2011, 09:52 PM Post #1|
Disclaimer: I own no one. Except maybe the setting and Toad. And even Toad is iffy due to the fact that E told me to write a story involving Toads. of course, that one also included a detective and licking toads, so...
PROLOGUE: Fog and Toad
When it first rolled in, no one paid it any mind. Those on the water thought it was normal and those inland thought it odd, but unimportant.
The Fog soon rolled out, but things had changed from before. Those who had been out in it were now gone, missing, and could not be found. The Fog had taken them with it.
When it occurred again, society ran indoors, trying to escape. Scratching and howling outside made the people huddle together in fear. This time, gouges from strange claw marks were everywhere once the Fog had disappeared.
The Fog soon began to come more often, but without schedule or warning. People grew frightened, never going more than eye distance from any building where they might escape to once it rolled in again. Those such as merchants and farmers became well known and called heroes for braving the threat of Fog to ensure the survival of the others.
Travel became limited, only merchants having maps of where, for unknown reasons, Fog never seemed to occur. Some communities found ways to adapt and moved underground, extensive tunnel systems developing to connect them.
Children grew in this fearful world, some never feeling the sun on them as they grew older and died underground, forgetting what grass was, remembering only in stories of The World Above. Threats of Fog coming underground were all too common, and many communities created giant doors to seal off any access to the outside once they caught sight of Fog.
It was a world bred of fear, but also of hope. While no one knew what had caused the Fog to come, there were still those who were brave enough to go out in it, to track its instances around the world in order to find the source so the threat would be gone. It just didn't matter though, as everyone knew that it was just the way things had always been, and always would be.
...and then there was Toad.
When Toad was born, there wasn't a big to do. It was a quiet day, broken only by the wailing of a newborn child who looked completely unremarkable except for, perhaps, the fact that he seemed to have eyes a rather unnatural shade of green. While his mother had originally wanted to call him Sam, it was quickly decided by his father that there was no way an ordinary name like that would do, and so picked a name instead of a mythical creature from The World Above that was said to have been hundreds of feet tall, ate villages for breakfast unless you paid them off with inordinate amounts of grain and water, and occasionally breathed fire when they felt like it. "After all," said his father, "with eyes like that, how can he be anything but remarkable once he grows up!"
Sadly for his father, Toad didn't live up to his name. He was short, preferred sweets to grain and water, and didn't even breathe a bit of smoke out in his 15 years. There was a moment of excitement when Toad had knocked a candle over and set fire to his bedroom rug. Though, the excitement soon left when it was realized it had been a candle's fault and not a puff of fire.
So it had been a very depressing day for Toad when, on his way home from the gates--closed due to threat of Fog, as they always were--decided that in an attempt to make his father proud, as well as to see The World Above, he would stop into the local tavern and see if there were any merchants in need help as they traveled the Routes.
While no ads for Merchant protection had been posted, there was a flyer for a job with one of the local Farmers needing help Above since his previous Farm Hand had been too slow and had gotten caught in the Fog. Deciding that this was a prime opportunity to get out there and to make something of his life, he took down the information and proceeded to Farmer John's home early the next day to introduce himself as his new Farm Hand.
Farmer John took one look at Toad, skinny and gangly, and slammed the door in his face with an abrupt "no" to him. Toad sighed, and knocked again. Impressed by his ability to face unwanted circumstances--and perhaps a little desperate by this point as it was soon harvest time--Farmer John took him on as help on a trial basis. One week, then he would see about full time, if the Fog hadn't gotten him first.
And so, it was with a great deal of excitement that Toad joined Farmer to leave through the gates and stepped into the world outside.
His first reaction was that it was very bright, very green, and that there was a lot of open space. He wasn't sure how he felt about all that open space above him, as it seemed to go on forever. What if he jumped up? Would he keep on going? Farmer John didn't let him mope and question for long though, and got him straight to work after telling him what needed to be done. As Toad went up and down the rows of beans, pulling off the ones he were fairly certain looked like the ones Farmer had told him to, he was impressed by the silence that surrounded him. Beneath, it was always noisy, and was often hard to hear yourself think. Above, there was plenty of room to think and breathe, and he was quite certain that it would be unlikely that he would ever see another person while he was working.
With that belief in mind, it is easy to imagine his surprise when two beings seemed to fall from the sky onto the bean plants two rows over, crushing them under their bodies. "Bloody hell..." one yelled out once they had landed.
|Zira||Oct 10 2011, 07:57 PM Post #2|
CHAPTER ONE: Sky-Fallers and Beans
“Are you alright,” Toad asked the two, approaching them slowly in case they turned out to be some sort of strange sky-falling monsters. “I mean, that looked like quite a fall.”
“Ow does not even begin to cover it,” one voice said. With a shove, the man on top and dressed in black was pushed off of the body underneath. A woman sat up, a strand of blonde hair dangling in her eyes. She glared at it a moment, trying to get it out of her face by blowing at it before giving up and using her hand. “But I think we’ll be alright. Nothing broken, far as I can feel.” She looked over at the other Sky-Faller. “Spike?!” She seemed shocked to see him there next to her, as though she were expecting someone else. Or anyone but him.
“Breath knocked out of me a bit, but ‘side from that, think ‘ll be alright, ta much,” he told her, rising from the beans and ignoring her looks. “Enjoying the fact that ‘m not bursting into flames though, I’ll say that much.”
The woman seemed to actually notice Toad for the first time and gave him a small smile. “Sorry to drop in on you like this. We didn’t actually plan for it to happen.”
Toad scratched his head and watched as the man in black—no, his name was Spike—offered a hand to the woman. She ignored it, and him, and stood up on her own. “No worries. It happens a lot,” he told her, trying to remain calm in the face of something he was quite sure had never happened in the history of ever before.
Spike quirked an eyebrow at him. “Strange people fallin’ from the sky onto your beans is an every day occurrence here then?” Toad looked away, blushing a bit.
“Don’t make fun of the kid, Spike,” the woman told him. “We’re going to need help here. I don’t need you messing it all up like you did earlier.”
“I messed it up?” he exclaimed. “Need I remind you, Slayer, who was the one following who through the fog before we took a tumble and landed up here in Beanfield Nowhere, Who Knows What Dimension.”
Finally, Toad thought. A name for the woman. But…”Fog?” he blurted out. “You have Fog where you come from too?”
Slayer made a face. “Of course. Doesn’t everybody? It’s not like it’s that big if a deal. Just turn on lights and you’re fine. Or we would have been if somebody hadn’t thought it was a brilliant idea to track down monsters that had been randomly appearing while it was as thick as…as something out there!”
“It’s pea soup, and you know it. And you were the one who wanted to follow along to make sure I wasn’t doin’ anything evil,” he nearly yelled at her. “Not like there’s a whole lot of what you lot consider evil that I can do with this plastic piece shoved in m’ head now, is there?”
Toad stood back and watched as the two got closer and closer to one another while they continued flinging insults back and forth. With a sigh, wondering how great Sky-falling warriors (how could they be anything but, with names like Spike and Slayer) seemed to do nothing but argue, he grabbed his basket and resumed picking beans while he waited for it all to settle. Every so often, he would glance back, words impossible to clearly make out at this point, and noticed that the way they stood, resigned, made it seem as though this was an argument they had had many times before.
He stopped and chewed at the inside of his lip for a moment. They were very much so behaving like this mom and dad. Maybe these two were married too? That had to be it, he thought, and nodded, proud of his observation. Finishing the one row, he made it back to the pair in near record time, basket full of beans and a warning shout from Farmer just now ringing in his ears. “We need to move, now,” he told them both. “Fog’s coming in. Farmer’s just seen it, and we’re close enough to town that we can make it back there and not hide out in his shack.”
Slayer and Spike blinked at him. With every ounce of indignation he possessed, he grasped both of their hands and tugged. Hard.
The two stumbled and then began to follow him, questions peppering the air. “But why are we running?” Slayer asked him. “It’s just fog.”
Toad nearly stopped in disbelief at her statement, but was able to keep on moving. “Just Fog? You said you had it in your world, you know the dangers of it then!”
“Fog by us isn’t all that dangerous,” Spike told him. “Makes it a bit hard to see maybe, yeah, but you just stumble ‘long till you either find home or hit your shin into somethin’, then you know where you are ‘gain.”
“That’s…not what it is here.” Toad barreled through the doors right on Farmer’s heels, the guards pushing them shut once they realized what the hurry was about. With the roof over his head and the doors to Outside firmly shut, he dropped their hands and leaned against the walls of the cavern trying to catch his breath. “Fog is…Fog. No one knows how it started or what causes it. Just that it is. And you never want to be caught out in it.”
“Why’s that then?” Spike asked, kneeling in front of him.
“Because then you have to deal with the monsters inside of it, and when it rolls out, if you’re still inside of it, you disappear with it. No one to disappear has ever come back from it.”
Slayer placed a hand on his shoulder, turning him towards her. Toad blushed a bit from it. She was a very pretty Sky-Faller after all. “You know an awful lot about all this for a kid.”
“I’m not a kid, Slayer.” Spike let out a laugh at the look on the blonde’s face. “I’m Farmer John’s assistant and I’ve lived in Fog all my life, so of course I know all about it.” He paused, and then stuck out his hand. “I’m Toad, by the way.”
“Even got him callin’ you slayer now,” Spike said with a smirk.
“Shut up, Spike,” she retorted before looking back at Toad. “I’m Buffy. Not Slayer. And I think we need to learn more about this Fog of yours. Sounds like what we ran into before we fell into your beans. We need to fix it before it starts taking everything over.”
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