Campfire Story

  • Markus was already late. Again. Everytime he went out to see his friends he had to sneak past the guards at the academy gate. He hates being late, and knew Arius would likely scold him because of it again. Even though he was short of time he knew that his new story will make up for it. Just a couple of trees and he’ll reach their spot.

    “You're late, once again” Arius spoke first, as he often did.

    “Just leave him be, and tell him about what happened,” Naira cut him off before he could continue his tirade.

    “Yeah, tell him about that ‘Demon’ your mom saw,” Trico said with his typical levels of excitement.

    ”Demon?” Said Markus, visibly confused. “I thought it was my turn to tell a story.”

    “The difference is this one happened today.” Arius visibility shaken from recalling what his mother told him. “I was still in the forest with father when it all happened, I know everything from what mother told us, we had to calm her down”.

    “Tell him about it tell him!” Trico, impatient as ever, bursted out loud.

    “Shush, don't interrupt him, you already know what’s going to happen dumbass!” Naira scolded him.

    “Please continue, what happened?” Asked Markus, still focusing on Arius.

    “So just after we left, she noticed three men, wearing the colors of The Order. Mom went out to welcome them, but before she could ask what are they doing so far from the city, one of them, a cleric, cut her off, visibly concerned. He asked if she haven't noticed anything approaching the house, or the barn. Confused, she responded that she did not see a thing, but also, it was already getting a little dark outside. Just as she wanted to invite them in for a cup of tea, something on the barn brought their attention, the two other men, probably guards, readied their crossbows at the roof. Before my mother reacted at all, roughly the size of a man in rags, jumped from the roof right in front of them. One of the guards, probably scared, shot at it but the thing just jumped again, landing on his shoulders and pulling his hood as far down on his face as it could. The other guard tried to aid his companion but it only made things worse. The unknown being simply jumped again, pushed the guard approaching into mid air while landing in front of the Cleric. Both of the guards collapsed on each other. And then the creature took off the rags from his head… and spoke.”

    “What did it say?” Asked Markus at this point, really intrigued with his friends story.

    “Once again, you disappoint me, Cleric Gunther, I thought I've proven myself enough. I assumed this time you'll bring more guards with you, alas what other thing than pride can one expect from someone full of themselves as you?”

    “And what it looked like?” Once again, Markus asked. Arius, now silent, had a particular look on his face, he was processing what his mother told him once more.

    “Well, he looked like a.. an orange cat… ears, nose, eyes and all.”

    “What?” The trio of listeners looked at him in disbelief. Apparently, the first telling of the story hasn't ended before Markus arrived.

    “Yeah, a.. cat”, Arius continued. “That’s what she told me, it ran into the woods and the Order followed him soon after they recolected themselves.”

    “Well, I don’t care what it is, it didn’t hurt your mom and everything that makes the Order’s life harder is fine by me...” replied Naira. Her distaste for the Order started when they took her brother for “investigation.” He never came back.

    “I don’t even think it’s a demon in the first place...” Trico stated. “I think he had a magical accident, he fused with a cat and that changed him into... this.”

    “You are just mixing it with my ‘Snake Doctor’ story from last week.” Markus noticed.

    “No, I’m not! That's a completely original tale…” Trico didn't finish his response because they all heard something moving in the trees. Nobody even said anything before an orange ball of fur almost landed in the bonfire. The group, first frightened ,then curious, approached the thing after it still didn't stand up for a while, it was only cursing silently at the branch that broke underneath its feet.

    “Are you alive?” Naira spoke first, taking a step towards the being laying on his back.

    “What are you doing?” Arius stopped her. “It can be dangerous!”

    “I'm not an ‘it’... but thanks for asking!” The orange being said while standing.

    “What exactly are you?” Trico, feeling safer after the stranger spoke, asked.

    “That’s a rude question isn’t it? You can call me Garf if that’s what you're trying to ask.”

    “Garf? That’s a weird name.” Arius stated, matter of factly.

    “Well, you're not exactly a nice bunch, at least your stories are fun to listen to. I won’t tell you what I am because, well… I am not exactly sure myself. Either Way, I wanted to speak with you.” He pointed his finger to Naira.

    “Me? Why would you want to talk to me?” she asked.

    “Well you said something that I like, about the Order, and… not exactly… liking them. I only request that you spread that message everywhere you can, starting with that bunch behind you...”

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