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About Digital Art / Hobbyist Todd ZircherMale/United States Group :iconartistvsart: ArtistvsArt
Don't Forget to Watch Me!
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six hours to midnight TAZ
I started this story telling exercise on New Year's Eve, but I couldn't finish it up until recently.  Love how it turned out.
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A Fairy's Tale

A Fairy's Tale by Todd Zircher

Narra-Lee, light as a feather, floated down and settled one barefoot and then the other on the ground as she looked around the plaza. She thought, "Have I been gone so long?" The grove was gone and in its place were foreign trees, flowers in pots, and hard ground made out of some un-natural stone. The standing stones were missing and the air had a smoky bitterness to it. (fool)

She gave out an involuntary cough. The very air had an unhealthy haze to it. Narra-Lee felt odd, it was like her connection to the world had been tainted. A cold breeze picked up the edges of her light sky blue dress and she shivered. She never remembered being so cold before. (strength inverted)

Albert was walking home from the corner shop when he spotted the girl in the park out of the corner of his eye. As he turned to look fully at her, she was gone. He was about ready to believe he was imagining things when he saw the small blue butterfly nearby. Half to himself, "Your mind is playing tricks on you, old friend. But there is no doubt that she's a beauty." He walked over to the Large Blue (which wasn't that large at all.). Maculinea arion, what are you doing in a place like this?" With one gentle finger he picked her up and carried her home, sheltering the butterfly against the autumn chill. (hermit)

Albert's flat wasn't that impressive, but to Narra-Lee's little eyes it was a near magical thing of strange sounds and smells. He set his bag down by the entrance and started to walk up a flight of stairs with the butterfly still perched on his finger. "Let's get a better look at you. Summer was four months ago." As they rounded the bend in the stairway, Narra-Lee let out a butterfly-sized gasp. Glass display cases lined the walls. Dozens - no - hundreds of butterflies were on display. Each of them impaled on a fine barb of cold iron. Involuntarily, she changed back to human form. Albert was more than a little surprised and taken aback. Unfortunately, going 'aback' on the stairs resulted in both of them taking a spill down to the landing. Narra-Lee ended up on top of poor Albert and she promptly started pounding on his chest. "Monster! Demonl! Was I to be your next sacrifice?" (devil)

Albert covered his face with his arms. The girl and the fall had both caught him by surprise. The back of his head didn't feel all that connected to the rest of him. Her petite blows were nothing compared to the headache that he felt coming on. Before he could put together a reply, there was a loud rapping at the door. It sounded exactly like Mrs. Haversham's cane. The landlady followed up with a question. "Albert? Is that you making all that noise?" "I'm fine, Mrs. Haversham." Not quite true but he wasn't thinking too straight at the moment either. "I, um, dropped my field kit and had to chase it down the stairs." The landlady muttered something about careless tenants as she tamped her cane and walked off. (empress)

Albert fiercely whispered, "How did you get in here, and can you stop pummeling me?" Narra-Lee was caught off guard by the inquiry. "Dolt, you carried me in here. I assume you mean to pin me to your wall like your other grisly trophies." "What? Who are you?" She rose to her full height, well, as tall as you can get while straddling a stunned entomologist on a stairway landing. "I'm the High Priestess Narra-Lee of the Tuatha Dé Danann." (priestess)

"Well, High Priestess Narra-Lee. What brings you to Devon?" "Don't be coy with me, butcher." Albert winced, "Butcher? I study insects. I don't make it a habit to nail pretty girls to my wall." It might have been the blood rushing to his head from the awkward angle or a genuine blush, but Albert felt his cheeks get warm at the thought of the girl sitting over him. Narra-Lee leaned in to look more closely. Albert flinched, expecting the pummeling to resume. Instead she got closer... It wasn't a passionate kiss, but something passed between then. The girl's face almost glowed as if the world suddenly made sense again. (judgement)

"I see now." And just as quickly, the glow was replaced with sadness. "They're all gone. I overslept and they have all left me." Albert reached out to catch a tear that he somehow knew was coming. "Yes, the world has changed. The magic is gone. The fey are just legends we tell our children." All the fight and fear drained from Narra-Lee and she rested her head on his shoulder. "What happened?" Albert wrapped an arm around her waist, his fear and shock having fled as well, "I guess Man couldn't wait or perhaps his curiosity was too much. There was science, industry, and eventually technology. Our world didn't need magic anymore." (world)

They spent the next few weeks together. Sharing stories, food, and time together. But, each night Narra-Lee would look at the moon as it approached its fullness. Albert knew their time was growing short. On the night of the first full moon they strolled back down to the park holding hands. They stopped where he had first seen her. Albert turned to face her. He closed his eyes and kissed her and when he opened them there was a blue butterfly on his finger. "What are you doing in a place like this?" As if to answer his question, the Large Blue took flight and headed towards the moon. Alberta watched until he could no longer see the butterfly. "Safe journey. I hope you find what you are looking for." Somewhere in the back of his mind he heard, "I have."

(moon)

-fin-

Make your own story!  tangent-zero.com/zero_tarot/ze…

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A Fool by Any Name

 A Fool by Any Name

(Fool) Sun kissed Zella was a fair maiden and the miller's pride and joy. But, try as he might neither he nor his wife could convince Zella to settle down and start a family. None of the boys in town interested her and secretly she desired to feel the touch and kisses of another.

One cool autumn morning she wandered the barren cliffs that overlooked the river valley and stumbled on a curious site. A pentacle had been burned into the grass and the stubs of five candles remained. It was forbidden to meddle with witchcraft, but it was not the first forbidden thought she had harbored.

(Devil) With a mischievous grin, she repeated a cantrip that her grandmother had taught her and re-lit the five candles. For a minute there was nothing but a gentle breeze and then the flames of each candle bowed inward on their own accord. With a gentle poof of brimstone and smoke, the Devil appeared. He looked quite surprised and covered his eyes with his hand, "Ugh! Who would summon me at this godly hour? Is there no rest for the wicked?"

Zella blinked and then remembered to curtsy, "My apologies, Lord of Darkness. I... I didn't think grandma's trick would work." The Devil turned and squinted at the fair maiden, "Little Zella? My... you have grown." He licked his lips in an unsavory way. "I haven't seen you since dear Zenda used to bounce you on her knee." It struck Zella a little strange that the Devil was on a first name basis with her departed grandmother. But then, she was always known as the black sheep of the family.

(Empress) The Devil looked into her soul as he is wont to do. "Ah! I see your longing for another." He made a low whistle that made the hair on Zella's neck stand up and a small stool appeared next to him. Without taking his eyes off of Zella, he confidently sat and crossed his goat legs. "Tell me about your heart's desire…"

Zella in turn sat on the grass outside the pentacle and sighed. "She's so beautiful and graceful and wise." The Devil lifted an eyebrow, "She?" Zella pouted, "No, not you too!?" The Devil raised his hands to mockingly ward off the girl's wrath, "Ho ho! I'm not one to judge." She brushed back her hair and continued, "Of course, Viscountess Antara is beyond my reach even as I crave her… attention."

(Lovers) Shadows moved as Zella talked and the Devil listened patiently. With a skill honed over the centuries, he enflamed her desire until she was his pawn. "It is a shame that all we do is talk." He paused waiting for the next part to play out. "But surely, it is within your power to make her fall in love with me." The Devil shrugged, trying to keep the smirk off his face. "There are rules that even Heaven and Hell must abide by. But, I can give you… the power to grant her wish." "The cost? There always is a price." The Dark Lord rubbed his hands and smiled. "The standard fare, your first born as my apprentice and… a kiss." Zella made a face, the Devil was not un-handsome from the waist up, but he wasn't her type. "A quick one, she had no plans for a child and considered that a frivolous price."

Zella stood up and leaned in for a quick peck. The Devil was not one for half measures. He grabbed her by the back of the neck and gave her a deep passionate kiss like she never had before. Eyes wide open, Zella swallowed hard three times before breaking for air. She gasped, "Not quite as chaste as I imagined it would be." The Devil grinned, "Call it your first lesson. I have given you three wishes to grant. Of course, you must not speak of that to anyone. Now, how many wishes did I give you?" Zella started to speak but her words caught in her throat. "Perfect", the Devil smiled, "now seek out your heart's desire."

(Emperor) Zella was amazed, slipping into the castle was much easier than she thought possible. Perhaps the Devil's own luck was with her that night. She managed to slip into the Lady Antara's chambers and hide in the curtains. The plan was to wait until the lady retired for the night and then confess her ardor. Urged on by the Devil, she was sure that the feeling would be mutual. The miller's daughter did not have to wait long. Soon Antara arrived and then dismissed her hand maidens. The Lady didn't move to snuff out the candles, but instead threw herself on the large and empty bed. She seemed rather peeved about something and she said to herself, "Oh Fredrick, I wish you were here." Zella quickly clasped her hand to her mouth as she involuntarily said, "As you wish."

Antara paused, she might have heard something but just as quickly discounted it. She started to undress and sighed, "Fredrick Ravenhand, I wish you were here to bed your wife proper instead of on some stupid trade mission." Zella's eyes bulged as she tried to restrain herself. She felt strange and was quite surprised when a man's voice came from her mouth, "As you wish." Zella looked down and was even further surprised to see that she was wearing the Viscount's clothes and body.

(Judgement) Lady Antara whirled, dagger in hand (where had that come from?) "Come out or I'll call for the guards." Zella stepped out from the curtains, hands open in mock surrender. "You have caught me fair and square, my Lady." Zella was amazed as how much she sounded like the Viscount. "I am at your mercy." The Lady got up, dagger forgotten, "But how? I thought…" Zella put Fredrick's finger to Antara's luscious lips. Being this close to her left Zella heady, but she knew this was a dangerous game. "I called off the trip, bad weather. Besides, my most valued treasure is here." Antara blushed and Zella wondered if she had laid it on too thick. Then the Lady stood on her tiptoes and gave her false husband a kiss and whispered into his ear, "Then come and claim your treasure." And Zella did.

Later that night as Antara was playing with Zella's chest hair (it had been a night of many strange sensations), she spoke, "So, who are you really?" Zella tried for bluster, but was silenced by Antara's finger this time. "You were gentle in all the right places", and she snuggled closer, "and rough where I wanted it. Fred is terrible in the sack." Zella smiled with Fredrick's face, "Does it matter?" Zella wanted Antara to wish her back into her own body, but couldn't find the words.

(Magician) Before they could engage in more pillow talk, the door shattered inward with a thunderous kick. A furious Fredrick Ravenhand stormed into the room, "What manner of betrayal is this?" Both Zella and Antara sat up with a jolt, pulling blankets to cover their themselves. Antara looked shocked and confused. Zella sheepishly realized that her action was inappropriate dropped the blanket and started looking for clothes and a way out.

Frederick stared and then shook his head as if to clear it, "What manner of sorcery is this?" Antara pressed a dagger into Zella's hand and fiercely whispered into the false Frederick's ear, "I wish… you would kill him."

(Death) Horror crawled over Zella as she heard herself say, "As you wish." She looked at the Lady and saw a dark knowing in Antara's eyes. Inside, Zella was in a panic. She had never fought before, her charm had been the weapon of her choice. And, the real Frederick was a well-trained fighter. Against her will she got to her feet, dagger at the ready. Frederick's wide eyed war cry broke her trance as he charged with a hand axe, ready to chop her into bits.

Zella flinched, she cringed, she just about wet herself. She was untrained, unarmored, hell's bells... She was even unclothed. She flung her dagger in Frederick's general direction hoping to delay violent death for even a second. There was a clatter and a hand axe slide past her on the floor. Zella dared to look. Frederick was still standing with wild eyes, but Antara's dagger had found its mark and stuck out of the Viscount's throat. Blood trickled out of his mouth and he fell never to rise again.

(Tower) The town was aghast when they learned about the assassination attempt. They knew that the attack must have shaken the Viscount since he rarely left his wife's side and even invited her into his council. There was a shake-up in the castle's staff as well. Many retainers were replaced with those from Viscountess Antara's family. The millers mourned their lost daughter, but they were happy and kept busy with the extra orders that they got from the castle. It was welcome news when Viscount Ravenhand announced that Antara was with child.

Months later, the royal couple were in the nursery with their new born son. Zella traced the birthmark on the infant's left heel with her masculine thumb. It bore the shape of a pentacle. "You know, his uncle will eventually come to claim him." Antara nodded, "I'll arrange for a guest room. We should keep this in the family."

-fin-

Create your own stories!  tangent-zero.com/zero_tarot/ze…

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zircher
Todd Zircher
Artist | Hobbyist | Digital Art
United States
Ex-USAF, computer programmer, 3D modeler (digital and paper), sci-fi fan
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:iconmiko-koro:
Miko-Koro Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2016
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:iconrobotcatart:
RobotCatArt Featured By Owner May 10, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
50 Watcher Milestone! Chibi Neko Noire 2P Thank U by RobotCatArt
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:iconladisilverfox:
LadiSilverfox Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Happy birthday, zircher!

(And thank you for the Llama.)
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:icondevilkkw:
devilkkw Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
thanks for watching
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:iconmetalraptor:
Metalraptor Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for the watch! ^_^
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:iconlmorse:
LMorse Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks for the watch!
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:iconbyzho:
byzho Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2013  Professional Artist
Thank you for the Llama badge!!

Congratulations on your beautiful works of art.

:iconllama3dplz::icongivellama1plz::icongivellama2plz::icongivellama3plz::iconllama3dplz:
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:iconthedugan:
thedugan Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2011
Dude, you need some pictures....
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:iconzircher:
zircher Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
LOL, tis funny that I have had this account for ages but don't post anything. Need to fix that. :-)
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:iconmitsukiuzumaki:
mitsukiuzumaki Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2009  Student Traditional Artist
hey mr. T i uploaded new drawings!
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