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Author Topic: Writing event #2: Christmas  (Read 1680 times)

Offline Chipster-roo

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Writing event #2: Christmas
« on: December 06, 2018, 03:33:26 AM »
Back in October, a writing event was held on the forum.  Following the success of this first event, we will be holding another one this month!

This month's event is Christmas-themed.  Here are some keywords that you can build your story around: candles, gifts, laughter, snowflakes.

All types of fiction are allowed.  You can write a story with your own characters, a Watership Down fanfiction, or a fanfic for another fandom.  Poetry is also allowed.

Some more details:
  • The deadline is 31 December 2018.
  • This is not a contest; no prizes will be given out.
  • You may submit more than one entry.
  • There is no word count limit; entries may be as long or as short as you wish.
  • Stories in languages other than English are allowed; the staff will post a translation afterwards.

If you have any questions or anything, don't hesitate to ask.  And, most importantly, have fun!
Have you considered making each day count - doing something meaningful each day - instead of letting the days and weeks and months and years fly into oblivion? --Bright Side

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Offline MeadowRabbit

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Re: Writing event #2: Christmas
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2018, 10:49:02 PM »
I hope I have a bit of time for this again! :)
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Offline Leo-rah

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Re: Writing event #2: Christmas
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2018, 08:27:51 AM »
Eventually I will join! Love the idea, and writing is the only thing I am able of, since I can't draw, so I always love these events. Shame I missed the Halloween one, but a Christmas-themed is also great!  :bigwig3
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Offline Vesper

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Re: Writing event #2: Christmas
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2018, 10:07:56 AM »
I'm in.  :dandelion

Offline Acacia Heartstrings

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Re: Writing event #2: Christmas
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2018, 10:29:24 PM »
Eventually I will join! Love the idea, and writing is the only thing I am able of, since I can't draw, so I always love these events. Shame I missed the Halloween one, but a Christmas-themed is also great!  :bigwig3


I'm wondering what kind of story you're going to write x3. I would enter the event, but I'm very busy X_X    :glowingsw
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Offline Leo-rah

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Frith's Eve
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2018, 01:15:58 AM »
Naww, hope you'll like it, Acacia!   :bigwig3

Here's my entry for the Winter Contest this year. It was pretty funny writing something... romantic. Some may even call it corny, but it's okay. :P Since it's Christmas, I was in the mood for something unfamiliar, and I must say, I enjoyed it a lot.

Also, the story is completely isolated of my main-story. I just used a different scenario, and while reading the keywords, one special setting came to my mind.

I hope you like it! :3

Home: ShowHide

Home

[Cold]

Months have past, and a cold November turned into an even colder December. "But still no snow", Leo whispered silently to himself sitting on the Down and gazing into the distance. The trees down the hill were completely wrapped in an icy, fragile curtain, cutting the wind, one could hear up the Hill clearly speaking to one, if only listen to it closely. The time flew by so fast, since he fled from Efrafa and made his way to the Down by pure coincidence. It was so different, like living another life being in their warren. Peacefully, nearly everyone being so kind to him, even tho, he had problems calling it his home. Someone was missing to make this place special for him. Maybe he just needed more time to finally settle down and forget Efrafa including every Owsla, Officer and especially the General. He exhaled and his warm breath crystallized to small clouds, until the wind blew them far away. "Except you."

"What do you see?", asked a soft, heartwarming voice, and a smaller rabbit sat next to Leo. It was Fiver, looking at the grey rabbit next to him with a worried expression in his eyes. Leo smiled, responding his glimpse. Fiver was the only rabbit in this whole small warren, he earned trust to. Not that he just could convince the others, especially Hazel and Bigwig, that he could stay in Watership Down. No, he saw into his heart, and saw the truth. The truth he had been through in Efrafa. The truth, that he really had to flee, and that he was no more welcome there. Never again, as the General decreed to any Owsla that, as soon as Leo was seen, there was the standing command to kill him, immediately. Even tho Leo didn't quite understand how this was possible, how a rabbit, just by touching your chest could see these... things. But he could feel that Fiver saw what he saw, maybe even felt. He felt pure trust as soon as it happened, and the others seemed to deeply respect Fiver's words. Unfortunately, Leo was not allowed to hear it, he was too curious. But he was also kinda afraid of what Fiver knew about him. Everything?

"Just another cold winter's night, Fiver, except... oh it's Frith's Eve", Leos smile broke and he looked back down to the valley. Fiver set up his ears. "I can see your thoughts...", Fiver tried to shove himself into his view, but he was too small for Leo. Though, it was not neccesary. The eyes of the grey widened and he looked back at the foxy rabbit. "Just joking", Fiver grinned. Leo chuckled, giving the buck a small nudge with his paw to his shoulder.
"It's just, you looked so... lost. It's Frith's Eve, no one should be alone on this special night. Is there something you'd like to tell me, Leo?"
For a second, Leo thought about it. But he denied, still being the strong, cold Owsla in his head he was trained to. "Kind of you, but I'm happy as it is.", he lied, not knowing if Fiver knew he wasn't telling the truth, or not.

"Owsla!" A sharp, deep voice cut the dark night that has come over the Down pretty quickly. Bigwig appeared, looking around. "Fiver, Leo! Come on you two! Move your fuzzy butts, it's time for the night-patrol!" Fiver sighed, and Hawkbit came up the warren. "Is this really necessary, Bigwig?", the other grey murmured. He looked like he was just woken up, quite... unfriendly. "Guess the Efrafans can spare a shift this night, don't they?", he looked over to Leo. Leo grinned. "Actually, no, they don't ever spare a patrol, I'm sorry, Hawkbit." He sighed, continueing to murmur something Leo wasn't able to hear as he approached him. Strawberry came up too, followed by Dandelion. "Ready for the night patrol, Sir", he enthusiastically yelled, while they all lined up. An harsh, cold wind rushed through their fur and Hawkbit began to shiver. More intentionally, as it seemed. "Yeah, right for losing my toes, if it gets any colder than this. Let's just move back in and celebrate Frith's Eve, huh." "No one will miss them even tho, when they're for no need, Hawkbit! And now march! Owsla march! Only a safe eve, is a good eve!", Bigwig yelled at the rabbits, drumming on the ground with his hefty hind legs, and they began to run down the hills.

[Uncommon Attack]

Wind and cold made it harder than usual to get forward for the group, but they managed to reach the old yew, just as always, and Bigwig let them have a short rest. "Alright, 5 Minutes", he said, "Then we'll split. Dandelion, Hawkbit, to the east, Fiver Leo to the west. And I will check southwards, to see if they're out tonight." He then smiled at the group. "Good work so far, I've thought you wouldn't make it at a night like this, but I'm proud of you Owsla. When we're done, we can have a calm and warm Frith's Eve. You Earned it." Leo rolled with his eyes, even tho he didn't say it, Bigwig didn't even look once at him, as he hold his little festive speech. He was the worst of them all, calling him an 'dirty Efrafan', or unworthy Owsla. Just because Hazel wanted him to join his Owsla, Leo was pretty sure it was not at Bigwig's delight. At all. He felt like a traitor, everytime he spoke with him. And indeed, he didn't trust Leo. Bigwig couldn't say what was worse, the treason to Efrafa, or treason itself. Who could say he would do it again to them?"

Fiver and Leo made it into the forest, as it became nearly pitch black. "Are you still there?", Leo asked quipping, as he could barely see the face of the younger rabbit, with his markings melting together with the dark night. "Guess it's a wonderful ability if you could see now more clearly, eh?" He then stopped, standing on his hind legs, nose in the air. There was something. Common? Uncommon? It was too fast, that he could catch the smell again. "Fiver!", he whispered, trying to make him stop running by putting a paw on his shoulder as he reaches him. "What is it?", the buck asked. Leo looked around, kinda nervously. "Didn't you also smell that?" Fiver rose his nose as well into the air. He became tense. This place was kind of eerie, but he couldn't smell anything. "No. Not really. Hey, are you making jokes of me again?", he grumbled playfully, but Leo shook his head. "No, there was something, something known I'm afraid." "Known as... Efrafan?" Leo looked into the dark in front of them, quickly checking their environment. "Maybe." But there was nothing but pure black, like a menacing void, ready to hunt them down. Here and there Fiver could see some limbs moving, as stick figures, they seemed like approaching them. Suddenly there was a crack, just to the left of them. Immediately both their heads turned into that direction at the same time. "Seperate. Get back to the yew. I will lure it away from us and follow you then." Leo more likely commanded Fiver. "But..." Fiver got interrupted again. "I'm faster", was Leo's short explanation. Another crack, nearer than the one before. "RUN!", Leo yelled, running towards the dark where the sound appeared to come from. He ran as if Inlé himself was chasing him, ready to fight whatever it was making these sounds. But there was nothing he ran into. No rabbit, no Elil, and especially no Owsla, or even Efrafa. Just the cold air brushing his fur as he was running. While that, he completely lost Fiver out of his sight. He kept running, still not sure if he could hear steps like his following him, or just his own blood running through his own ears. He heavily breathed, and the cold ground beneath his paws began to hurt quite a bit, as suddenly - he ran into a bush, and immediately as he stepped out of it, a huge light hit him hard, illuminating the whole environment in a cold but beautiful white, blinding him. It took him some seconds before he could open his eyes completely. It was the moon, high above a huge pond. "Dear Frith...", Leo spoke out loud. It was breathtaking, deeply hidden in the woods, like a shelter in that dark and surreal wood they've been all the time in. He stepped closer to the water, approaching the mirroring surface with his face. He could see himself, just as another rabbit could see him. Never has Leo seen water that clean and shiny. He was amazed at how nearly no sound was audible around him. The trees around the pond seemed to seal anything else off this place.

"Didn't they teach you that it's dangerous wandering all alone in the dark?" A deep voice sounded from the back. He turned around, trying to recognize it. The former Efrafan could clearly say he has heard this voice before, but the wind might distort his senses. "Who's there?", Leo yelled. "Step out of the dark!", his voice became louder. Nothing but silence. Leo grumbled. Was someone trying to hoax him? "Leo~", the voice clung right next to him. He startled up onto his hind legs, and his eyes grew wide, as he could see a brown-blackish rabbit standing just a few inches apart of him now. It took him some moments, as he couldn't believe what he was seeing. "Hawk?", he asked, although he knew the truth. The sinister black of this buck's fur he once lost himself in was standing there in front of him. An Efrafan officer, who commited treason just to bring him out of that hell of a warren, before it got too dangerous to stay. "Dear Frith I never would've thought I would..." "See me again?", the Owsla cut his sentence and looked with empty eyes at the grey buck in front of him, as if he couldn't believe it either. There they stood for quite a few seconds, motionless. Then, slowly, Leo rose one paw, reaching out for Hawks to touch it. "You saved me.", the former Efrafan whispered. Hawk looked at Leo's paw, questioning himself for a few seconds, but then remembering their time in Efrafa. All that time, all bad, but even more the good things that happened after their... rough start. He smiled and now touched Leo's paw as well, looking him right in the eye. "I've missed you", Leo said. "Couldn't you try to scare me earlier again?", he chuckled. Hawk grumbled playfully, "Not until all traces have been erased. It was pretty hard to get rid of my patrol, Greyish. Also I had to make sure it was you, I was following since you stepped into this forest." Leo grinned, until he pulled the officer a bit closer to him, their noses touching each others. He purred, and as strange as it sounded, his heart made a jump, feeling a little bit of home again, as Hawk rose another paw, touching his chest softly. The Owsla ran his nose through Leo's fur. "Funny. You smell like them, an Outsider", Hawk whispered. "Free?", Leo asked softly. After a few seconds, Hawk nodded, "Free."



"So glad you heeded my counsel, and headed westward. I mean, I wasn't sure they were there, but I was always assuming it, as all incidents came from there."
Leo closed his eyes and rubbed his neck along the Owslas. "That's how you saved me, otherwise I don't know what might have happened." He wish he could stay here with him forever. Time would stop, and there would be just Leo and him, being at this paradise of a night. He felt a strange warmth inside of his chest. He was wondering if this was the spirit of Frith's Eve, Pipkin was all about the last days?
Suddenly there was something cold. Something wet. Leo opened his eyes and saw a snowflake that landed between both of their heads right on their noses. As he looked around him, he couldn't believe what happened. It started to snow, heavily. The white splendour coming from up their heads started to coat their whole environment into a deep white, only the stars beyond the pond protruding, flickering like candles in the black of the sky. Within these few seconds it just must have started. "Hawk, look", he said, raising his eyes. "It's Frith's Eve", Hawk said. "Once a year, a rabbit has a wish, don't they say?" Hawk asked looking over Leo's childish face, visibly enjoying the falling snow. He was happy to see him this way. Never has he seen him like this at least in Efrafa. The Greyish looked him deeply into the eyes. "There is only one wish, but I'm afraid to ask for it."

"You want to go with him, don't you?" Another rabbit came through the same bush that Leo once stumbled through. Fiver appeared right in front of the two lovers. Leo immediately took a few steps aside, loosing the closeness to Hawk. "You must be Hawk", Fiver just said, as if he had known him already for quite some time. "Leo?", the officer asked confused. The stranger didn't look dangerous, but how did he know his name? "Don't worry", Fiver said before the Grey could answer and stepped up to them. "I'm Fiver", he introduced himself and smiled at the Efrafan like an old friend. "He's their seer", Leo said. "He convinced the others to let me stay, otherwise they would've imprisoned me - just like an Efrafan."
"I've seen it. I've seen everything", Fiver began, "Everything you did to him." Hawk's ears dropped. "But also what you did for him. I also saw you, Hawk, who you were, are and could be." Fiver smiled, "And I can now see, that you'd like to join Leo, don't you? Come with him, to our Warren. To Watership Down." Normally Fiver should've been afraid of that idea. Another Efrafan to their warren? That's more than redicilous. But nobody can tell what and how he saw his things.

The Efrafan silenced, not daring to speak the truth. Leo looked at him, smiling. "And now you know my wish for Frith's Eve", Leo whispered. Hawk remained silent, as the snow became more to a storm now. The fur of the bucks coated in a slight white tone. "They're right to fear you in Efrafa, Fiver. Knowing the truth might be the most important weapon in times like these. Yes, you speak true, but I know, that this isn't possible." "How so?", Fiver asked, kind of naive nearly. Hawk, quite confused about this question, started to wondering himelf. "Why shouldn't you too left Efrafa and leave their warren and start another life. With Leo by your side. And why shouldn't this place be Watership Down? Everyone is welcome here, who is not up to any evil." Even without using his special ability, Fiver knew that both, Leo and Hawk's most desire was what he has just spoken out loudly now.

[Frith's Eve]

"It's Frith's Eve", Fiver said. "Frith's Eve~", Leo answered and took a few steps towards Hazels little brother. He looked over his back, giving Hawk a glance to signalize him to follow. Nothing more he'd like to spend the night with him in a cozy warm warren. Especially now, as the snow gets through his fur, and making him start to freeze. A felt eternity, and Hawk nodded. After all the time as an Owsla officer of Efrafa, he knew what was upon him. But this was strange. He moved towards the two and the group slowly startet its way back through the forest, to get to Bigwig and the others, yet waiting for them.
"Tho, you have any idea how to convince Bigwig?", Leo asked while running with Fiver. "The Truth?"

Again he was not allowed to stay with Bigwig and Fiver, as they were discussing what to do with Hawk, as they finally arrived the yew again. One could clearly say, Bigwigs expressions were clearly saying 'Are you mad?!" at Fiver. But as time passed, and it became more urgent to finally get home into the warm, the expression of the Owsla Captain became gentle. Kind of compassionate? Leo wish he could know what they were talking. Hawk was leaning towards him, as they were sitting next to each other under the yew. "Now I understand, that's Bigwig, eh? Name says it all." Hawkbit suddenly began to laugh loudly to Hawk's comment and was immediately silenced by Bigwig again, "Hawkbit!" "Better a whole Hawk, than just a bit", Leo whispered and the Officer smirked as well, while Hawkbit was pouting.
Fiver and Bigwig came back to the others. Bigwig looked deep into Hawk's eyes. They both were face to face, standing in front of each other, while not saying any word. The harsh wind brushed their fur, and the snow danced around their heads like wild. Hawk smiled, hoping to relax the situation a bit. Then something happened, Leo didn't expect at all. The Owsla Captain smiled as well, nodding. "You can come with us, for today. Tomorrow we'll have a lot to speak about." Hawk and Leo instantly smiled. "Thanks, you won't regret it", Hawk bowed slightly. "Now lets get back to the Down, before we're freezing."

Finally, in the middle of this cold winters night, they arrived back home, and as soon as they came into the cozy warmth of the honeycomb, Leo understood why they called it their home. For the first time ever, passing the entrance together with Hawk, he also felt like it was his home. Okay, not yet completely. But it could become. He smiled at a few kittens playing tag, their laughter, filling the burrow with joy and love, it was kinda contagious, as Pipkin took a bit of snow into his face, while Leo was shaking it off his fur while screaming "Yay, it's even snowing inside now!" The others explained everything to Hazel, while Leo and Hawk settled down in a bit of distance to the kittens. Hawk was fascinated, and could understand why Watership Down fought so hard in the past for their freedom. Deep in his heart he always might have, but now for sure. It was Love. He then saw the piles of Flayrah, the rabbits have gathered for this night. In Efrafa, there wasn't anything like Frith's Eve at all. "Frith's Eve... I wonder how long it's been, since I've celebrated this. Gathering food, and having a nice evening with our beloved ones", Hawk asked himself. "Leo smiled at him and snuggled up to him softly. "You know, they just don't celebrate it among rabbits, all animals of the fields are invited tonight, that's why we collected all these gifts the last days. It was quite of a work, you know?" The Greyish looked over to the others, still talking. He was wondering what for Frith's sake Fiver was telling them. Tomorrow they would surely have a lot of questions to Hawk, just as to him earlier this year. But today was today. Leo thought he should really thank Fiver for this opportunity later. In a shadow of a war like this, can love shine. But he better wouldn't risk anything yet, so he first checked no one was looking at them. "But do you know what is the best?" Leo came closer to Hawk's face. "Among all those gifts we've gathered for this night, the best one just came to me all by itself." He gave Hawk a small lick.

« Last Edit: December 23, 2018, 01:17:31 AM by Leo-rah »
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Offline Chipster-roo

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Re: Writing event #2: Christmas
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2018, 03:10:53 AM »
@Leo-rah that was awesome!

It's great to see Leo finally managed to escape from Efrafa and find a better life at Watership Down, even if this is isolated from the main story.

The way you describe Leo's friendship with Fiver is really great, and results in a few funny scenes.  It's great that Fiver convinced the others to let him stay at the warren.  You also do a great job describing the wintery setting, very beautiful.

Hawk's arrival was really surprising, but you handled it well.  It really seems like Leo and Hawk's relationship improved since the events of the main story.  Fiver arriving soon afterwards, and convincing Hawk to join them, was really awesome.

I can understand Bigwig's reluctance to let Hawk stay, especially considering how much of a brute he was back in Efrafa.  But it seems likely that, if Hawk had lived his entire life at WD, he wouldn't have become that way.  At least he seems to have changed since the main story, and is now a better rabbit.

The Hawk/Hawkbit joke was really hilarious, and the descriptions of WD at the end are great.  The drawing in the middle of the story looks really nice.
Have you considered making each day count - doing something meaningful each day - instead of letting the days and weeks and months and years fly into oblivion? --Bright Side

Thanks to Rosie Willowwater for the avatar!!


Offline Leo-rah

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Re: Writing event #2: Christmas
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2018, 02:48:16 AM »
Thank you so much, Chipster!

It was so much fun, writing something this different, that it pleases me a lot to hear your words. I really tried to make the Watershippers act as much as possible in character, and who wouldn't fit more to a mediating role as Fiver, who always sees the best in a rabbit's heart. I'm really glad I managed to hopefully get this job done.

It's really an interesting alternative reality, showing how much impact the past can have to the future. Oh and haha, I'm so glad the "Hawk-/bit" Joke made it through, I was so afraid I eventually messed it up in English, but I'm so glad to hear this.

I'm so glad you liked it, thank you!  :bigwig3

Btw. I love these events a lot. They let us start something completely new, detached, and self-contained. So curious if there will be any other next year, and also for some more upcoming stories! It's still 3 days, come on! ^w^
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Re: Writing event #2: Christmas
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2018, 02:14:27 AM »
I wrote an entry.  It's a short story based on the miniseries, taking place after the defeat of Efrafa.

THE FARM IN WINTER: ShowHide

The air was cold, and Watership Down was buried under a thick blanket of snow.  Nearly all the rabbits were underground, nibbling some flayrah stolen months before from Nuthanger Farm.  However, one rabbit was notably absent.

Hyzenthlay had left the warren early that morning, alone.  She needed to clear her mind.

It had been a few months since the battle against Woundwort and the Efrafans, from which the Watershippers had emerged victorious.  Nearly all the Efrafans had fled, and a few, including Woundwort himself, had been killed by the dog.  Several Watershippers were injured in the battle, including Hyzenthlay herself, but all of them healed over the months.  Only one had died: Holly.

Holly had fallen in love with her during their stay in Efrafa.  However, he was killed before their relationship could fully blossom.  They shared a romantic moment together on the night of the battle, less than an hour before he was killed by the Efrafans.  It had been a quick and mostly painless death, as opposed to slowly dying from injuries, but he was dead nonetheless.

Holly's death had painful for Hyzenthlay, but over the next several days Hyzenthlay had had no choice but to push it out of her mind.  The Efrafans had been defeated, but the warren was in horrible shape.  In an attempt at preventing the enemy from making it underground, most runs and burrows had been caved in.  The warren essentially needed to be dug all over again.

By the time that was finished, it was already time to gather supplies for the winter.  Just a few days ago, she had realized that the necessities of life had kept her too occupied to give her the opportunity to grieve properly.

Several of the other rabbits had done their best to cheer up Hyzenthlay, especially Clover.  But this was of little help to her.  Hyzenthlay's lover was dead, while Clover was in a seemingly perfect relationship with Hazel.  As much as she liked Clover, Hyzenthlay couldn't help but feel jealous of her friend, especially considering how good-looking Hazel was.

Bigwig had Strawberry, Fiver had fallen for one of Hyzenthlay's Efrafan friends, even Bluebell had found someone who (unlike Blackberry) reciprocates the feelings.  Hyzenthlay felt almost as if she was the only one who didn't know love.  While Hawkbit and Dandelion were competing for her attention, not unlike they had done with Strawberry, this brought her little more than mild amusement.  Their attempts were beyond pitiful, and after a time even they had realized that they weren't getting anywhere.

Eventually, Hyzenthlay reached Nuthanger Farm.  She had taken part in a few raids earlier in the summer, but the snow had completely transformed the area.  The flayrah garden was deserted, and both the dog and the cat were inside.  She could see the dog inside the greenhouse, angrily barking at her, but she knew it couldn't catch her.

Looking through a window, she could see the faint light of some candles.  It reminded her of a starry night.  On several occasions since her arrival at Watership Down, she had stayed outside late in order to appreciate the view, something she had never been allowed to do in Efrafa.  She looked at the sky again, and a snowflake fell in her eye.

After she had finished cleaning herself, she thought it was time to go back to the warren, before anyone worried about her.  As she turned around, however, she noticed a second set of pawprints.

Hyzenthlay nearly went tharn.  If this was elil, she would have trouble outrunning them in the snow.  However, as she took a closer look, she saw that these pawprints were those of another rabbit.  Apparently someone had followed her to the farm.  She had tried not to attract attention, but apparently she had failed...
-"Who's there?" she shouted.  She remained silent for a long time, receiving no response; the only sound she could hear was that of the wind.

Wondering who the rabbit was, she decided to follow the pawprints.  They seemed to be leading towards the barn.  The same barn Clover and Haystack had been rescued from the previous summer.  Based on what Hazel and the others had said, two of the rabbits had been recaptured by the humans.  Could it be that one of them had escaped again?

As she reached the barn, however, she saw that the door was closed; there was no way for anyone to get in or out.  However, the tracks led to the other side of the barn; as she hopped there, she finally saw the other rabbit, her fur covered with snow.
-"Thethuthinnang?"
-"Nice to see I found you, Hyzenthlay.  Or, rather, you found me."
-"What are you doing here?"
-"I saw you leave the warren, so I decided to see what you were up to.  I lost you when you got to the farmyard."
-"But why follow me?"
-"You should have seen yourself recently."
-"What do you mean?"
-"You haven't seemed cheerful in a long time."
Hyzenthlay remained silent; she knew that what Thethuthinnang had said was absolutely true.
-"This is about Holly, isn't it?" Thethuthinnang added.
Hyzenthlay sighed; Thethuthinnang had figured out everything.
-”Yes.”
-”I'm sorry it had to happen.  The Black Rabbit of Inlé merely does her duty.  When it's a rabbit's time to go, they have no choice but to go with her.”
-”But he was so young!”
Seeing the look on Thethuthinnang's face, Hyzenthlay corrected herself:
-”He was young at heart.  We could have spent many seasons together, but...”
-”There is no point in thinking about what could have been.”
-”I know, but I can't help but think of the possibilities.”
-”He helped us defeat the Efrafans.  Without his heroic sacrifice, Woundwort probably would have won.  And assuming we survived the immediate battle, he would have taken us back to Efrafa to be executed.”
-”It's still lonely without him.”
A snowflake fell in Thethuthinnang's eye; Hyzenthlay cleaned it off.
-”We should probably get back to the warren,” Hyzenthlay said.

As they tried to retrace their footsteps, however, they saw that their tracks were gone, filled with snow.
-”I know a warmer place,” Hyzenthlay said.  “Follow me.”

The “warmer place” turned out to be the farmhouse; the two rabbits entered through the cat door.  Hanging from a hook nearby was the farmer's coat; the rabbits hid behind it.

Suddenly, Thethuthinnang reached towards Hyzenthlay's cheek and touched her mouth with it, making a soft sound in the process.  Hyzenthlay looked at her in shock.
-”Sorry!” Thethuthinnang said.  “It was Bluebell's idea.”
At first, Hyzenthlay did not react.  After a few moments, however, she smiled, and started to laugh.  She tried to fight it, but was unable to.  Thethuthinnang was visibly confused.
-”Oh Thethuthinnang,” Hyzenthlay said, once she had managed to stop laughing.  “If it weren't for you I never would have lasted as long as I did in Efrafa, before breaking under the strain.”
-”But why are you laughing?”
-”No reason.”
Hyzenthlay returned the kiss.  Thethuthinnang blushed.

==========

Neither Hyzenthlay nor Thethuthinnang paid attention to the passing of time.  While there was a clock hanging on the wall, neither knew how to read it.  The humans appeared to be busy elsewhere in the building, and did not disturb the two rabbits.

After a few hours, however, they heard some other voices, coming from outside.  They were clearly the voices of other rabbits.
-”Looks like someone went to search for us,” Hyzenthlay said.
-”Let's go meet them,” Thethuthinnang said.  “They probably won't think to search inside here.”
The two does left through the cat door, just like they had entered.  It was still snowing, although more lightly than before.

Near the flayrah garden, they could see Hazel and Clover, calling out their names.
-”We're right here,” Hyzenthlay shouted, as she and Thethuthinnang hopped over to the other two.
-”It's great to see you two again,” Clover said.  “What are you doing here?”
-“You left several of us worried back at the warren, vanishing without a trace,” Hazel said.
-”We just needed some alone time,” Thethuthinnang explained.
-”We're ready to go back to the warren now,” Hyzenthlay added.
Hazel nodded, and the four rabbits made their back to the Down.  Hazel and Clover led the way, with Hyzenthlay and Thethuthinnang following.

-”What do you make of all this?” Hazel asked his mate.
-”What do you mean?” Clover replied.
-”What was this alone time they're talking about?”
-”I'm not sure.  Should we ask them about it?”
-”I don't think that's necessary.  As long as they're happy at the warren, everything should be all right.  That said, I hope they'll let us know the next time they go away for some alone time, so nobody worries like today.”
-”Sounds reasonable enough.”
By then, they reached the top of the Down.
-”First one back to the warren gets a carrot!” Clover shouted.

==========

That evening, Bluebell was lying in a corner of the Honeycomb, half-asleep, when suddenly he felt someone kiss him, on both sides.
-”Oh Blackberry I didn't know you...”
He fell silent as he opened his eyes, however, and saw that the rabbits who had kissed him were Hyzenthlay and Thethuthinnang.  He blinked a few times in confusion.
-”Thanks for the advice,” Thethuthinnang said, before hopping away with a giggling Hyzenthlay.
-”That was weird,” Bluebell said.
-”Now you know how I feel.” At the other end of the burrow, Blackberry rolled his eyes.


Hopefully there will be some more last-minute entries..
Have you considered making each day count - doing something meaningful each day - instead of letting the days and weeks and months and years fly into oblivion? --Bright Side

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Re: Writing event #2: Christmas
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2018, 03:48:54 PM »
Well, if last minute is what you want, here it is. I can't stop thinking about this knowledge I gained yesterday soo...

Here is a thing for the miniseries (it's set before the series starts). Might not be very Chrismas-y??? But I did use two of the words and one more in the title :orchis

Couldn't fit in candles though I did have a strange half-dream about Woundwort and candles... but that was just... too weird :woundwort

Also, this is very rough; as in I woke up and needed to write something so it happened but this has not been checked or proof-read or finetuned so yeah sorry about that.

YOUR APPROVAL IS THE ONLY GIFT I CRAVE: ShowHide

Snow lay thickly over the country, changing it into a crisp white blanket, only interrupted by pawprints of rabbits coming and going to Efrafa. Wide Patrols, of course, no other rabbit was allowed to move so freely over their territory. In a secluded spot, Orchis sat alone gazing out across the landscape. The snow beneath his front paws had long been reduced to a dirty watery mash from all his kneading. He felt like a foolish content pfeffa but he had to do something to occupy himself with.

Yes, content, like a pfeffa, that is why he was kneading. He most certainly wasn't nervous. Efrafan Owsla captains didn't get nervous.

Then again, technically he wasn't a captain yet so did he not have the right to be just a tiny bit nervous?

He took in a breath of cold air. It would be fine; he'd been here before, knew what would happen. Knew how excruciatingly painful it was... he closed his eyes, remembering the first time he'd been marked, when he had immediately been made Sergeant of the Left Front Mark. Naively he had thought it wouldn't be so bad. A quick slash, a surge of sharp pain, and then it would be over. Oh but no, the Marker was not for quick pain. He dragged it out and Orchis knew he took pleasure from his victim's suffering. He wanted to hear you scream; it was the only way to satisfy him and, Orchis realized, the best way to ease the suffering. Unless he really liked your particular screams, that is.

Most of this, Orchis learned later on as he watched the does and bucks of his Mark get marked. They all screamed. No exception. Orchis almost had too. The only thing that had stopped him from doing so had been Captain Vervain's crimson gaze. His brother had watched his Marking, unmoving, unflinching, and Orchis did not want to put him to shame by showing weakness. Orchis never found out if the slight sparkle in Vervain's eyes then had just been his imagination or not but it had strengthened him.

Well done

The words were left unspoken but Orchis received them loud and clear.

Later that day Orchis had screamed in agony when Frith, scorching hot on that summer's day, had shone his light on the mark. The freshly wounded flesh burned hard and this time there had been no stern crimson gaze to keep him strong. His Captain had looked disapprovingly at him then and Orchis could read his mind: Captain's Vervain's little brother. Only reason he's a Sergeant already.

Determined to prove them wrong he had bit back the pain and joined his first Wide Patrol. It had been a success; they had discovered a warren and captured some prisoners. The General had sent a larger patrol after to finish them off. The next hrair days Orchis was off duty. His Mark wound had become infected on top of being seriously burned. Captain Vervain had come to visit him in his burrow on the first day.

'Did you go out in the heat?'

'Yes.'

'You should have stayed in the shade for the day.'

You could have told me that earlier
, Orchis had wanted to say but didn't.

Captain Vervain sniffed at him, inspecting the wound. Orchis knew it smelled foul but Vervain's muzzle showed no indication of this. After a long inspection, Vervain suddenly licked the wound. Taken by surprise, Orchis flinched, pulling his leg away.

'Hold still.'

Orchis did so and the Captain continued licking the would in precise soft licks. Though at first the irritated skin had burned anew at the touch, Orchis eventually felt the throbbing from the infection lessen and the heat dissipate just slightly. Orchis felt himself fall asleep until the licking suddenly stopped. He watched as Captain Vervain moved out of his burrow.

'Remember brother: Efrafa has no use for lame rabbits.' That familiar yet still unreadable gaze held him for a split second longer and Orchis could hear the words.

Well done


This time they did not strengthen him. They smelled of contempt. Disappointment. Orchis was stung.

Captain Vervain returned the following days. Orchis pretended to be asleep every single time.

"Brother."

Orchis opened his eyes. The memories of that hot summer day made way for the cold snowy landscape of the present.

"Captain Vervain." Orchis nodded respectfully. Nothing more needed to be said. Orchis knew why he was there yet still he asked, "It's time?"

"Yes. The General has agreed." Orchis wondered if that were true. The General normally didn't concern himself all that much with the daily happenings of Efrafa and even though being made Captain was the biggest moment in Orchis' life, for Efrafa it was just a routine happening. It was however a flattering thought.

"The General himself approved of my appointment?" Orchis' laughter echoed strangely off the human structures of Efrafa. "Oh how I wish I'd seen the other Captains' expression then!"

A low chuckle accompanied his own. It was a rare sound; one Orchis had not heard in a long while. "The General was impressed by your resistance to the elil."

Orchis stopped to rub a paw over his ears, wiping away the snowflakes that had piled on him during his reminiscing. He hoped it would hide his returning nervousness. Oh yes, Orchis had stood his ground against the weasel whilst his Captain had panicked and fled. He had not gotten far however. Another Patrol had caught him and Orchis had not seen him since. He didn't think he ever would again. When the Owslafa had questioned him afterwards about the event, he had regaled as much. That brief moment he had stood frozen, that shiver that ran along his spine that he could not blame n the cold; those things he neglected to tell though. After the interrogation, Captain Vervain had dismissed him to await judgement. His eyes spoke again then.

Well done


Orchis wanted to believe it was pride but he felt apprehensive; afraid some of his bucks had noticed his lapse of courage, his moment of weakness, and had informed the Owslafa. Had told its Captain.

"Hurry up brother." Captain Vervain once more interrupted Orchis' thoughts. He pushed the worry aside. Clearly, things had gone well. Else he wouldn't be becoming a Captain now. He hopped over to catch up again. "Done grooming yourself for the Marker, brother?"

"Are bad jokes your new way of torturing, Captain Vervain?" Orchis responded, "Because if so, it is most effective I must say."

Vervain tried to cuff him but Orchis dodged and snickering to himself went to get his Mark.

~~~~

It would seem he was still a tad naive.

Part of Orchis had thought that it wouldn't hurt as much this time; that surely the Marker would go easy on a Captain. If anything, it was the exact opposite. Agonizingly slowly the Marker carved along Orchis' left front leg. He made no new Mark; he followed the old one. Long ago healed flesh was ripped open anew. He went deep; deeper than the first time and Orchis could feel the fresh blood stream along his leg. Yet once again Orchis did not scream; did not even flinch. His jaw clenched; his body screamed out at him to run away; to save it from this agony. Orchis didn't budge. All the while he kept his gaze locked on Captain Vervain who stared back unblinkingly. When it was over, Orchis looked down at the Marker and smiled. A surge of satisfaction coursed through him when he saw the slightly unsettled look he got in return.

Well done

Orchis did not want to see those red eyes for confirmation so he simply congratulated himself. As he hopped away, Captain Vervain stopped him, "Don't stay in today." The words left Orchis puzzled but he had no chance to ask more for the other was gone. Obediently, Orchis made his way outside to his Mark. He did a tour, checking each rabbit and gave some quick instructions to his sergeants. His leg throbbed and each hop took more effort than it should but if any rabbit noticed they were smart enough to remain quiet. He was Captain now; he would not tolerate insubordination or ridicule. Ah what a nice thing power was!

Still, the blood on his leg was still fresh and he would prefer to wash it off before it dried up completely so once his immediate duty was taken care of, he returned to his secluded spot to groom. He picked an unsoiled spot of snow and sat down to lick the blood off. Frith barely gave off any warmth this season so Orchis figured it would indeed not be such a bad idea to stay outside. Inside, dust and other dirt could potentially enter the wound and infect it again. Orchis wanted to prevent that at all costs so he fervently licked on. The pain didn't lessen all that much -perhaps he ought to have been gentler- but at least it would be clean.

"I thought you might be here again." The snow crunched underneath Vervain's paws as he joined Orchis."I have orders for you."

Orchis' small ears perked up at that. He sat up straighter, giving him his full attention now that he knew it was official Owlsafa business that had brought Vervain here.

"You are to lead a patrol to check on the area where you were attacked. The General wants to make sure the elil have gotten the message."

"The... message?" Orchis asked a bit uncertainly. "That we are the elil here?"

Captain Vervain nodded stiffly. Orchis returned the gesture, realizing he might have to fight the weasel again. This time he would not freeze for even a moment. "I will leave at once."

"No." Orchis stopped mid-hop at Vervain's words. "Tomorrow." His eyes flickered to Orchis' freshly cleaned Mark. A silence fell over them during which Vervain simply kept staring. Orchis was unsure what to do. He had come here to hide his pain from the other rabbits but simply leaving seemed rude. His leg throbbed; he shifted it uneasily. He decided to turn around so Vervain was on his right and couldn't see the wound any more.

Without warning, Vervain nudged him, firmly but for him oddly gently. Completely taken by surprise, Orchis stumbled and fell to his side. He blinked once, twice, as his brain progressed what had happened. He moved to get up but a paw firmly pressed him back down, holding him into place. Orchis craned his neck to look up at Vervain and for a moment a chilling fear gripped him: had he somehow failed him? Had he found out about his hesitation after all?

"Well done"

Those words echoed in his mind, taunting except- Vervain's mouth had moved and his crimson eyes shone like Frith on summer eve. Orchis didn't know what to say so he simply blinked again, to his brother's apparent amusement. Vervain lifted his paw off him.

"I'm proud of you, Captain Orchis."

And with that he hopped off. Orchis lay there for a few seconds longer before he realized how ridiculous he must look, lying around in the snow like a shot rabbit. He scrambled up and as he did he suddenly noticed something, or rather a lack of something. His left leg felt frozen, chilled, but the pain had vanished. Orchis stared at the mark; then shook himself to get the snow off his fur.

Thank you, brother.


@Chipster-roo Ah you beat me to it! And here I was hoping to be the first with a miniseries fic ;)
« Last Edit: December 31, 2018, 07:11:15 PM by Chibiscuit »
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Re: Writing event #2: Christmas
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2018, 10:54:12 PM »
@Leo-rah That was so cute! I like the conversation with Fiver and the just all the characters. The whole fic really put me in a series mood and that's always a good thing :pipkin
The lake in the forest sounded so beautiful and then the drawing confirmed that - it was gorgeous! I also loved the Hawk - Hawkbit joke :hannah4
"You can come here, the land of warm days, grassy fields, and pleasant evenings, where even the shadow of war cannot darken the love at home." -Alderab

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Re: Writing event #2: Christmas
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2018, 11:52:40 PM »
@Chipster-roo It took me into 2019 to read this :p but I liked it! It was really cute and it's nice to see what happens with Hyzenthlay after the events of the miniseries. I like how you used Bluebell's "kissing" in a way that makes it obvious it is actually a foreign thing to them but while still making sense.

The part where she says Holly was so young and Thethunniang gives her a look made me laugh as  did the ending with Bluebell and Blackberry.  :bluebell
"You can come here, the land of warm days, grassy fields, and pleasant evenings, where even the shadow of war cannot darken the love at home." -Alderab

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Re: Writing event #2: Christmas
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2019, 01:31:45 AM »
Thank you for the review @Chibiscuit :) I'm glad you liked my entry :)

I'm not the first to post something for the miniseries though; someone on AO3 posted one several days before I posted this :bluebell

Your entry was really well-written.  I really like the way you portrayed the relationship between the two brothers is really interesting.  There are some similarities with Hazel and Fiver, but it's still different.  The extended marking scenes were very realistic (I think I'll be calling that rabbit "The Marker" from now on, it fits perfectly :vervaincarrot).  The wide patrol scene is also good.
Have you considered making each day count - doing something meaningful each day - instead of letting the days and weeks and months and years fly into oblivion? --Bright Side

Thanks to Rosie Willowwater for the avatar!!


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Re: Writing event #2: Christmas
« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2019, 06:49:13 PM »
Thanks @Chipster-roo ! Happy to hear you liked their relationship :orchis The miniseries gives me very, very little to go on. As in, this is basically based on my impression from one scene. And of course Orchis' motivation for most of the miniseries.

I forgot to mention it but our opening sentences are so similar :glowingfiver

And wow you're right, there are even more now on AO3. People are fast! :blackberry3
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Re: Writing event #2: Christmas
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2019, 02:44:23 AM »
@Chipster-roo Finally I also came to read your story! :buttercup

You did such a great job, I really enjoyed reading it a lot! Your descriptions of the scenes, the farm, glasshouse, I was immediately back in series mood and could imagine the written scenes perfectly.
Oh my, I really love how you let us take a look on Hyzenthlays future. Sad in the beginning, describing her unfortune lost. But Thethunniang, cheering her up. More than that! I was first confused, did she give her a playful kiss, like Bluebell did to Blackberry, or was it a more meaning one. And then the resolve. (At least I hope I understood it right, please don't bite me :D) These two would really make a great couple, I think. Also... that reaction of Bluebell, hah! Oh my, was that another hint?  :bigwig3

I really enjoyed your entry, Chipster! :)

@Chibiscuit
Thanks so much for your kind words! I'm glad you liked it. ^_^ I'm always happy, when someone says I could put one into series mood! More one cannot wish for! And I'm glad the joke came through, hrhr. Poor Hawkbit. Thanks so much!

I also just came to read your entry. My, oh my, that just put me into series mood as well. Seems like I'm totally flashed by the new series yet. Love that you picked a topic, as difficult, but deep, as this. The relationship between Capt. Orchis and Vervain. Brilliant! Especially, since Orchis has become my favorite character of the mini-series, I got to admit, I really enjoyed a lot reading it, your descriptions are so detailed, and mixed with his feelings for his brother, that was just fantastic! The way you portray their not very loving, but distanced relationship came out so great! Loved the "well done"-part, and then finally hearing it vocally, it was like for oneself relieving.

Really great work, you two! :)
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