Okay, Nooksniffers, here goes; my pathetically unimportant life on paper. You really don’t need to read this. Actually, I advise you not to. Go away; forget you ever found this, move on with your abysmal life. If you must be an insufferable woofbeast, go ahead and keep scanning the worthless account of my hideously lived six and a half sweeps (which is 14 Earth years in case you are too unintelligent to figure it out.) Well, go on then, go away or keep reading.
My name is Suneve Sramze. Well, obviously, it’s in the grubmunching title. If you didn’t so much as glance at the stupid title before reading this, I honestly wonder about your mental capacity. Did you just grab some un-noteworthy scroll and hope to be schoolfed? If this is the case, I despise your very existence. Go away and read something educational.
The most you may hope to learn from this is the detailed account of the Loveless Rogue Case. Surely you have heard of the Loveless? No? How ignorant can you get? This is the most elementary historical story wrigglers are schoolfed. It is nearly as important as the Sufferer’s rebellion. But not quite, seeing as your pathetic think pan cannot comprehend the script on this page. You never cease to astound me with your ignorance, I assure you.
Maybe your simple psyche is curious now. Perhaps I should sate your frivolous desires. The Loveless was a high-blooded troll who ignored all rules, laws, and societies’ regulations. He fell in love with a yellow-blooded troll named Treasure Serenity. A red romance between the high and low caste was, and still is, deeply frowned upon. It could get you culled, if you weren’t careful.
His Kismesis (or Kismet Fish, as others have so eloquently enunciated) was infuriated by his black lover’s Matesprit. Hold on, wait, are you honestly asking me what a Kismesis is? Do you not know the meaning of Matesprit? The quadrants are the fundamental building block of the society of Alternia. How else do you think we reproduce? A Kismesis, my foolish friend, is a hate-lover. Think of… hm, how do I put this in layman’s terms so you may understand? Maybe I should begin with a Matesprit. Matesprit is the first relationship, the flushed quadrant. It is perhaps the most popular among trolls and romances. It occurs when you pity a troll, because pity is the backbone of a Matespritship. What do you mean love? Love is not an emotion, you fool.
Second is the Kismesis quadrant. Kismesis is the opposite of Matesprit. It is a hate so passionate, so raw, that you just want to punch them… and then kiss them. Perhaps you don’t understand the intense emotions I am describing. I’ll move on to Moirail, the pale quadrant. A Moirail is the person you seek for advice, the one that will help you up when you fall, your crutch, but also the person you will sit with for hours and talk about your feelings. I am quite sure that any sentient species has such a person they look upon.
Finally is the Auspice. Ah, the ashen quadrant. This is when a troll comes between black romances when they get far too heated. Though intervening is not their only job. They also must prevent their troll from getting more than one Kismesis. See, without Auspice, too many trolls would be black for one another, and there would be more slaughter than there is already. Though it is greatly frowned upon to cull your Kismesis. I mean, who wants to be down one quadrant? It’s actually quite taboo to kill your black-rom partner.
Back to the Loveless… his Kismesis, who was never named in the history books, devised a heartless ploy to destroy the happiness of his black lover. He killed Treasure Serenity. The Loveless, outraged and inconsolable, went on what I would like to call a murderous rampage. He not only retaliated by culling his Kismesis out of grief, but he went on to kill other high-blooded trolls. His revenge was interminable. Out of pure, rash fury, he attacked Her Imperial Condescension. Of course, she is better known as the Condesce, but I guess since this is a work of literature, I don’t want assassins targeting me for treason. Her Condescension is the queen of Trolls and Alternia. Go against her and you die.
I don’t know if it was the Loveless’ curious blood color, or she was simply feeling munificent that day, but she spared his life. Not without cost, though. She incarcerated him as her slave. He served her for almost two sweeps.
Alongside the Loveless was his mentor, the Defamed, who was also Her Condescension’s slave. The Defamed raised the Loveless and kept him safe. Well, as safe as a dog of the queen’s can be. His duty was to find and cull rebel low-bloods. I have heard some terrible stories about the green-blooded wrigglers he was forced to exterminate.
The Defamed, according to the books, fell in love with a Huntress. The Huntress was a low-blooded spy in the rebellion. Her Condescension found out about his treachery and ordered his execution. The executioner would be the Loveless.
Now, this part I have no qualms with skipping. It is a story worth being forgotten. The execution, I know, was sickening and gruesome. Use your imagination.
The Loveless was able to escape at last from Her Condescension’s captivity. Absconding to the forest, he ran into the Huntress. From there on, the details are vague. He was off the radar for several perigees before there was any word of him. There was a planned attack on Her Condescension’s citadel. However, Her Condescension’s forces deterred the preemptive attack. The Loveless was captured and hung for duplicity. Which I find kind of ironic, but whatever.
Anyway! Now that that riveting history lesson has been completed, let’s get on with the story, shall we? Was any of that necessary? No. You could have lived without reading a few pages of text from me. Do I care? Not really.
I assume I should cease rambling like a self-consumed sea-dweller and continue with the main objective of my story. There is no real reason I have decided to share this tale with you. It’s quite trivial and unimportant, nothing of much interest. Maybe I wanted the legislators to know what happened to me when one day I go missing, corpse never found. I’ll know what happened to me. (Ignore the obviousness of that statement.) Shayla Kropli happened. I swear, one day that girl will cull me. I do believe she is immoral. I have attempted countless times to permanently silence her, though all endeavors have ended in vain.
If you haven’t guessed, she is my Kismesis. Also, she is the descendent of the Defamed. Ironic, no? I abhor her with a passion so intense, the Green Sun cannot compare to our candid loathing.
The day that I intend to account is no different than any other.
X X X
I had found a woofbeast cub while I was hunting today. It is a hideous thing, with ashen gold fur and meadow green blood. Its snout was squashed to it’s face, though not drastically so, and jutting from it’s lower maw was two fangs each the size of my finger. It had wide green eyes and a lolling tongue, ears that flopped when it moved, and a tail that never seemed to cease waving. It regarded me with the loyalty of a houndbeast. It wiggled and whined, barking in a pitch so high, I winced. That stupid creature was more than just loud; it had a voice that could pierce the sound barrier, practically.
No, that wasn’t unusual for a hunter’s pet. However, though they weren’t unusual, they were sure rare. I couldn’t believe my luck. No, really, I didn’t trust that this was just a coincidence. It was too suspicious.
I lifted the pup up by its’ midsection, scrutinizing the devilbeast with narrowed eyes. I now know it’s gender is male, at least. His paws dangled in the air as he squirmed happily. He grinned.
Deadpanning, I hissed at him, lips drawing back to reveal my teeth and my one particularly large fang. “Evil mutt.”
I set him down when I heard the door open. So much for knocking, I thought sarcastically. I already knew who it was. Butterfly Dad wouldn’t get home until late into the night, inebriated and unruly. It was a daily routine that my lusus would return home intoxicated and deadly incensed. I would strife to mollify him. But it was mid day and he would not return for many hours.
Cinfer, who was my Matesprit, knocked before he entered. He was penitent for the mistake of entering without my knowledge or permission. Many times he had walked in on Shayla and I in the midst of something best left unsaid.
I turned with annoyance to my unwelcomed visitor. “What?” I snapped.
“Is that any way to treat your guest? Oh, what a horrible host indeed,” Shayla smirked, highly amused.
“Wipe that look off your face, nooksniffer,” I snarled. I was going to continue rebuking my Kismesis when I heard a terrible ripping sound. Turning in horror, I saw the remains of a shredded scarf from one of many in my pile. Oh no, that monster did not just…
Oh, but he did. My beautiful scarf was now in pieces. Behind me, Shayla cackled. I was positively livid. “You horrid, bulgelicking, disgusting devil creature!” I spat and lunged at the mutt.
While this animal was still a wriggler, it sure could move fast, and it dodged me with ease. It darted out of the room and upstairs, somewhere else in my hive. Good riddance, I thought sourly.
“Oh, Suneve! Don’t forget about me,” a mischievous voice snickered.
“How could I ever forget about you?” I responded, voice dripping with sarcasm.
I felt something tug on my scarf and wasn’t fast enough to prevent Shayla from yanking my scarf off my neck. I whirled around, eyes wide, in time to catch her dancing away, scarf around her own neck, laughing. “Come and get me!” she sang.
Now, while I am sure you know by now, I am easily provoked. I fell for her obvious bait, fuming as she taunted me. This wasn’t an uncommon occurrence; it was often that she would deride and mock me. Tired of being denigrated, I glowered at her.
She winked, turned, and absconded. Foolishly, I ran out after her. I wasn’t going to tolerate and submit to Shayla’s mocking. She was an idiot, anyway. The Alternian sun was already high in the sky. My home, the Land of Thorns and Illusions, was a blistering desert. The whole land was practically a maelstrom of sand. Not only was LOTAI a sweltering place, but the Alternian sun was notorious for its killing heat waves. That’s why most sensible trolls didn’t travel during the daylight hours. It also explained why we were a nocturnal species.
My hive was at the center of the sandstorm, the eye as some called it. This was the heart of LOTAI, were trees could grow. It was a diminutive forest, with gnarled trees shaped by the winds. The branches stretched around my hive to support it, leaves shading the tough grass below. The dappled forest floor was dotted with mushrooms that grew by the roots of trees, knotty little flowers that were more reminiscent of a weed than a daisy, and patches of tall grass that were tough as reeds.
I ignored all of this, though on a usual day I wouldn’t. Commonly, I could be found lying in the boughs of a short tree (I have a crippling fear of heights, see) and looking at the stars, or the two moons of Alternia, bathed in the green and purple glows of the celestial lights.
Today wasn’t an ordinary day, however. This wasn’t the first time one Kismesitude spat or another had interrupted my schedules. I rushed past the ferns and flowers, the inviting tree limbs, and intriguing mushrooms to where I knew sat my hidden transportalizer.
A transportalizer is just what the name suggests. It enables trolls to transport themselves to other lands efficiently and quickly. Don’t ask me how it works; I have about as much a clue as you do.
Stepping on the white surface, a grey pattern gracefully curling beneath my feet, I vanished in an implosion of light.
I materialized on Shayla’s transportalizer in the Land of Swamps and Mist. Oh. Looking around, I realized I had no idea where in Alternia I was. Well, I was in LOSAM, I could tell as much. However, her transportalizer was probably deep in the marshes, because I couldn’t spot her recognizable hive or river, or really any identifiable landmarks other than the willow trees and bogs. Her land was peppered with marshes and muddy patches of earth. The searing sun was blocked by a heavy coating of fog that seemed to encase the entirety of LOSAM, unable to penetrate through the layers of cloud, evaporated water, and canopies of lofty willows and other various trees with sprawling limbs towering overhead. The trees came in a variety of sorts, most of them ridiculously tall. I wouldn’t take my chances climbing those giants; my fear of heights prevented me from that feat.
I began trekking in the direction I hoped her hive would be in. If all else failed, I could always troll her on Trollian and ask to strife. She wouldn’t abandon the opportunity to engage me in fisticuffs.
I don’t know how long I was hiking, because I couldn’t see the sun and the dim, gloomy atmosphere didn’t help with my estimate of what time it could possibly be.
I didn’t know how to react when I heard an all-too familiar hiss. I knew her consorts were reptilian, but they didn’t have as menacing a sound as her lusus did. I turned and dodged in time to evade the long, white snake.
She was enormous for a reptile, though not as large as the consorts of my land. My consorts were a carnivorous species of sand worms that could grow larger than my hive. They were massive beasts, and my main source of food. She lunged at me again.
“Kotetsu,” I called, “where is your charge?”
She paused to answer me, her voice as raspy as her hiss, “She told me to come get you.”
“I don’t need an escort!” I stubbornly replied. “Go away.”
If snakes could roll their eyes, Kotetsu surely did. “Nonsense, Suneve, you’re lost.”
“I am not!” I argued.
“…Shayla’s hive is the other direction.” She pointed with her tail.
I cursed loudly. I had been going the wrong way the entire time! I wasn’t able to react when Kotetsu lunged. I had been distracted and my guard had slipped. She kept her fangs retracted as she enclosed me in her maw. I could feel her tongue tickling my bare skin.
“Let me go!” I yelped. When I attempted to struggle, she hissed a warning and started to slither in the correct direction of Shayla’s hive.
It must have looked ridiculous; a lusus carrying a troll in her mouth was quite a sight. I stopped fighting her and let her carry me.
I watched the passing scenery with a nonchalant gaze, waiting for our arrival. I almost expected Shayla to come trotting out of the trees, smirking in that aggravating way of hers’. But she didn’t.
It wasn’t long before we reached the river and she set me down. By “set me down” I mean she dropped me unceremoniously on my back. I stood up and brushed off the dirt, then turned to look at the river. It was wide, deep, and tinged the prettiest of indigo colors.
I’m quite fond of water. It’s a beautiful thing. I believe it is because of my pink blood. Imagine a rainbow, from red to purple. That is the blood caste system. Burgundy is the lowest of the bloods, while tyrian purple is the highest tier. Only the queen, Her Imperial Condescension and her descendants are the only trolls with that color of blood. While I… I have “ultra pink” blood. It’s mutant, to some. Indigo is the cut-off blood color for land-dwellers. Anything higher than indigo should have gills and fins. However, I don’t. It’s the reason I am ostracized. I have always longed to be a sea-dweller; maybe I’d be normal.
Kotetsu crawled into the water and slid across gracefully. She emerged from the other side and turned to look at me expectantly.
“What?” My patience was wearing thin.
“Go on,” she nodded to the placatory river.
I raised my eyebrows. “You’re telling me to swim across?” I asked haughtily.
She gave me a furtive smirk. “I can tell Shayla to tear up your precious scarf.”
My conceited look dissolved. The last thing I wanted was for Shayla to destroy my first and favorite possession. That was the first item I had ever obtained, and I wore it every day. It wasn’t very impressive; it was a candy red color with soft fabrics. However, despite its insipidness, I adored the accessory. There was not another item that came above my scarf in value.
“Alright,” I grumbled. “Hold your tail.”
I dived headfirst into the tranquil waters with a loud splash, cutting through like a sharp knife to the bottom. I relished the moment of sweet silence while I floated underwater. Unfortunately, I didn’t have gills, and every land-dweller needed to breathe. I pushed off from the sandy floor and rocketed up to the surface. Like a fish, I expertly swam to shore.
Kotetsu waited impatiently for me as I pulled myself out of the water, resembling a soaked cat as I rung water out of my shirt. I didn’t need to follow her to know where Shayla’s hive was now. It was a hut-like structure situated several yards away from the shore.
“Oi! Shay!” I called. She appeared instantaneously.
“Well, well, well,” She smirked, “looks like you were swimming. Did you have fun?”
I had a few colorful words in mind to say in retaliation, but as soon as I caught sight of my scarf, I paused. “Give it back. You’re being immature.”
“Ow, that hurts,” She laughed sarcastically.
I growled and darted forward to snatch it from her, but she simply stepped to the side and raised her foot to land a sharp blow to my stomach. I coughed and stumbled back.
Okay. I should’ve seen that coming. Recovering from the kick, I retaliated by launching myself at her, claws extended to gouge deep tracks down her arms. Her cockiness allowed me to execute my attack. She didn’t expect me to move as quickly as I did. I smiled in triumph as I withdrew my hand and saw the slender fingers coated in a cobalt blue. Tauntingly, I raised my hand to my mouth and drew my tongue over the blood-slicked claws.
Enraged, she attempted to unbalance me by a swift punch to the stomach, but I managed to evade her fist. I shoved her back, ready to pounce on her and end the strife, but as she struggled to maintain her footing, she tripped and plunged into an icy pool of water that I hadn’t noticed before.
Terrified, she screamed. It was a shrill, piercing cry that made my blood run cold. It was a sound I had grown familiar with; a noise I loathed. Hearing it I knew she wasn’t simply playing with me. She was in trouble.
Having a troll as your Kismesis, you really get to know their weaknesses and darkest secrets. When Shayla had been a small grub, she once told me, not yet pupated, she had fallen into a river. Nearly drowned, she explained, and her current lusus, Kotetsu, had saved her. I knew how frightened she was of water after that incident. Why she chose to live in such a wet place, I’ll never know.
She struggled in the cold water and I realized just how deep the pool was. She wouldn’t be able to escape its depth before drowning if someone didn’t save her. I plummeted into the pool right as she disappeared underneath the surface. Blinded, I frantically searched for my drowning Kismesis. I couldn’t sense her, and that scared me.
Something brushed against my arm and I latched onto it. Shayla floated motionlessly in my arms, and I rushed to kick to the surface. My lungs burned from the strain, and I cursed them. My thoughts grew fuzzy and everything blurred. It hurt, oh did it hurt, but I fought on; I wasn’t afraid. So close… I was so close to my goal.
I broke the surface with a gasp, pulling Shayla to the shore. I was weak from my venture, but I was able to haul Shay onto the muddy bank. She wasn’t breathing.
Oh no. No, no, no, wake up, I silently begged. Please, please… I tried to push the water out of her stomach like I was schoolfed as a wriggler, but it was no use. She isn’t going to wake up, I thought in despair, and it’s my fault.
I clutched Shayla’s lifeless body to mine and I did what I swore on my pride I would never do. I cried.
“No, please come back!” I felt no pulse in the body in my arms. “I’m sorry!” My scarf was forgotten. How could I think of such meaningless accessories when my Kismesis was lying motionless in my arms?
She was dead.
That was how I woke up, by screaming. There was that moment of intense confusion as my think pan, sluggish with drowsiness, attempted to process the events that took place in my psyche.
What confused me even more was the woofbeast puppy that was sitting beside me looking, for lack of better words, worried. I sat up and frowned at the creature. Two and two didn’t add up. If I woke up in my scarf pile, then obviously the event that had recently occurred was a dream. But if it was all just a horror terror, why…was…
My thoughts trailed off when I spotted who was leaning against the doorframe of my bedroom. I scrambled to my feet, eyes wide.
“Shayla!” She was alive! She smirked, and I didn’t miss the hint of amusement in her eyes. Before I could get excited, though, I noticed something was off.
“Hey, Suneve,” She grinned. She was wearing my red scarf. “Come and get me.”