Is a Picture Worth a Thousand Words? Entry #9

April 6th, 2009 by Wordsman

WARNING: This week’s picture contains a word that most people consider to be inappropriate, so I have hidden it behind this tag.  If you feel that your eyes would be soiled by seeing this word, you may continue to read the accompanying story without examining it.  However, I cannot guarantee that you will get the same enjoyment if you do not look at the picture.

Consequences be damned! ▼

“Hey, do you see anyone?”

“No, man, the coast is clear.  Do it!”

“Alright, I’m doing it!”


Abigail looked up.  She had been walking along the path of ceremonial gates for an uncertain amount of time, though she was pretty sure that it had either been about fifteen minutes or a week and a half.  The eerie silence was definitely getting to her, but, since she was totally lost, she had no choice but to keep trudging forward, hoping to run into her brother . . . or anything at all, for that matter.  Throughout this time she had been hearing voices, but these ones sounded different.  The voices did not belong to Theo (not that he wasn’t perfectly capable of having a conversation with himself), but they did seem to be coming from a distance, unlike the discomforting whisperings that had been floating in her head.

She spotted two figures a ways ahead of her.  They were crouched down on the side of the path, busy doing something.  Even from that far away she could hear a fair amount of snickering.  Her brain, however, only took the time to process these facts later on.  The moment she saw them, all she thought was that this was a chance to see a non-vulpine face for the first time in far too long.

“Hey!” Abigail cried out desperately as she began to dash toward the two unknown figures.  They appeared not to hear her, and a few seconds after she started to run they sped away at a fast walk.  Having longer legs than her, they were quickly able to put some distance between them, and Abigail was too tired to keep up her pace anyway.  She stopped to catch her breath right around the spot where the two mysterious figures had been crouching when she first spied them.

After a few moments of panting she happened to glance down at the post she was leaning on.  Abigail scowled in disgust.  She now understood why the two boys (once she saw their handiwork, she could only think of them as boys) had taken off so fast, and she no longer felt disappointed about not having been able to catch up with them.  Abigail was not opposed to graffiti per se.  In some forms it could almost be considered a legitimate art form, and there were certainly some “canvases” that could only be improved by a little more paint.  On the other hand, a lot of it was childish and vulgar, with no redeeming qualities whatsoever, and was written in a place that, to some people at least, was considered sacred.  It was this kind that always drove her crazy.

This time, however, her anger was on more levels than usual.  It was just so unfair.  She had been banished to wander the silent, orange tunnels alone for an approximate eternity, just for suggesting that she did not completely believe in the existence of the Fox God.  These delinquents, on the other hand, who thought they were so cool, were going to get away with defacing its shrine, laughing all the while.  Where was the justice?

“So do something about it,” a voice in her head suggested.

And, without giving the idea a whole lot of thought, Abigail decided to do something about it.  Had she finally snapped under the pressure of the shady green silence of the endless forest?  Possibly.  All she knew was that she was mad as hell, and she was not going to take it anymore.

“Hey!” she shouted again, in a tone thoroughly different from the one she had used before.  After their initial sprint the two boys had slowed down, which allowed Abigail to catch up with them fairly quickly.

The two boys turned around when they heard her dashing up the path, and they looked down at her, confused.  “Are you lost or something?” one of them asked.

“Yes,” she replied hastily, “but that’s not the point.”  She glared up at them.  “Are you going to apologize?” she asked sharply.

They frowned.  “For what?” one asked.

Abigail’s eyes glinted.  “You know what.”

The two boys looked at each other and shrugged.  “Dude, let’s just keep going,” one said, and they turned away.

“It’s not me you should be apologizing to!” she called after them.

They turned back.  There was a hint of fear in their eyes.  “What?”

She took a deep breath, unable to believe she was actually going to say it.  “This is the Fox God’s shrine,” she declared solemnly.  “You have offended him by defiling his home.”

One of the boys swore.  The other chuckled.  “Whatever,” he said.  “I thought you were going to tell the park ranger or whatever they have around here.”

“The Fox God is a trickster,” Abigail continued, struggling to keep a straight face, “and he doesn’t like tourists to begin with.  What do you think he’s going to do to you when he sees what you’ve done?”  She wished Theo was there.  He was much better at this kind of thing.  “Many people have gone missing on this mountain over the years, never to be seen again.”

They were no longer laughing.  “Oh yeah?  What’s he going to do?”

“Anything he wants,” she said casually.  “He can deal with a couple of punks like you as easily as breathing.”

At that moment a gust of wind rushed through the tunnel.  It was unusually warm for the cool, shady forest, and it felt surprisingly damp, almost as if it had been exhaled from a giant mouth.  Still, it was not nearly as unsettling as the noise that accompanied it, which, to someone in the right state of mind, sounded distinctly like high-pitched, inhuman laughter.

The boys never stood a chance.  They took off immediately, screaming curses at the top of their lungs.  Despite the fact that she was now alone again, Abigail felt strangely satisfied, even after she thought she heard a voice in the breeze whisper, “Thanks.”

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