We're starting the second fortnight of the Nightmare Fuel project with another quick sketch of just another lost soul seeking their life in the city.
You're older than you look, older than the city. Not that you come from here. You've always been a creature of the woods, of your grove. You've always had your sister trees.
Then the neighboring groves went away as the city-thing grew, sending tendrils across the land. As the grove had its woodland inhabitants - foxes and squirrels, birds and bats - so too did the city. It was a struggle for a time, a standoff. Your grove was the deep woods where woodsman didn't dare; where all manner of accidents could befall a man with an axe.
The city grew and the grove shrank until you found yourself in a tame place, surrounded by identical row-houses atop manicured lawns. Even the plants are tame.
So you walked, searching for a place still wild, a place which could nourish. As much as the thought killed you, you found the city. You knelt on cobblestone streets, stretched your roots down, down through the world to feel the earth beneath. Soil and stone far below, the whispers of underground rivers above. It is the city, but it still rests on your land.
The city is a hard place, perhaps less hard for those like you who can appear as a comely young girl. It's always possible to convince a man to buy you a drink, or a meal, or something more. And the things you need do in return? Well, you're a creature of nature. You will do what you need to.
The city fought back at first. Cops would harass you on streetcorners, before you no longer needed to walk streetcorners. Businessmen would grope you on the subway. You were always walking upstream, always felt them pushing against you.
Not anymore. Today the businessmen and the workers and even the pandhandlers and the policement looked right through you.
Today the man who looked at you a bit the wrong way, who rubbed too close against you on a crowded train was clearly a tourist. Someone who didn't belong here. A stranger.
Yes, you followed him. Whispered some words of encouragement. And no, he'll not be returning from the city. Not this time.
Late at night, you kneel on the citystreets in the early predawn hours and feel concrete and steel. You hear the whispers of waters running in city-grown pipes, the hum of electricity.
You are still yourself, you still have thorns.
|Image by alexisnoreaga: http://alexnoreaga.deviantart.com/art/Species-2-426161828|