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A Collection of Monster Romance Stories (working title)

Chapter Text

"Tell me,” she spoke, her thin fingers running gently up your arm as her tail coils around you.

It wasn’t a move to frighten or harm you, it was one of comfort. Her equivalent of holding you, hugging you.

You meet her eyes, her unnatural yet beautiful eyes, the pupils narrow slits that watch you intently, the green color taking up her entire visible eye.

“Tell me, lover, why you adore me so?”

Her voice drags out the “s” sound, almost predictably so, but you think its endearing.

She circles further around you with her bright green tail, holding you in the only way she really knows how.

“I adore you,” you start, voice a little softer than you’d liked it to be. “I adore you because you don’t judge me.”

She tilts her head in curiosity, her jet black hair obscuring some of her features. You reach out and brush it away, your hand resting on her cheek.

Her tongue darts out between her lips, tasting the air like a normal snake would.

“You see me and take me as I am, faults and all. And I do the same for you.”

The corners of her lips twitch up ever so slightly and you continue speaking.

“I adore you because you make me happy. You’re never not pleased to see me and you give the best hugs.”

Her tail squeezes you a little tighter, a small smile on her lips now. You make it your mission to make her smile widen.

“I adore you because you listen to me and I feel like I could talk with you until the sun sets and rises again and still not grow tired of our conversation. I adore you because you are beautiful and my best friend and-”

You’re interrupted by a pair of cold lips on your own, two slender arms draped in golden bracelets wrapping around your neck. She takes your breath away not only with her kiss but also with the coil of tail wrapped around you in a hug only she can give you.

You only stop her when your head starts to spin in the wrong way and she reluctantly lets you go, uncoils her tail from around you, a blush on her tanned cheeks.

She’s embarrassed. Embarrased because of her eagerness.

You cant help but smile and peck her on the lips, wordlessly reassuring her that she did nothing wrong. She seems to understand and steals a kiss from you.

“I love you.” You say as a final confirmation. A final statement to chase away any doubts or worries. She smiles in earnest now, her sharp fangs poking into her bottom lip ever so slightly.

“I love you too.”

Chapter Text

You caught her crying in the bedroom, curled up on her side when you came out the bathroom. Her tail was wrapped around herself and she was shaking like a leaf.

So of course, you were worried.

“Lili? Are you okay?” You called out, still toweling your hair dry from the shower you just took.

She froze hearing you call out to her, her sniffling pausing. You walked over to her, sitting on the opposite side of the bed.

“Lili, what’s wrong?”

She sat up, her hair caught on her horns. She looked over her shoulder at you, her eyes a little puffy.

“I’m… I’m-” she cut herself off with a sob and you reached for her, wrapping her up in a tight hug. You gently rocked her back and forth in your lap, running your fingers through her soft, red hair.

“Shhh… It’s okay. Tell me what’s wrong.” You encouraged her, her crying slowing considerably.

“I’m afraid you think I…” She paused, rubbing at her eyes again. “I’m afraid you think I mainly use you for… For…”

You caught on fairly quickly and it pulled on your heartstrings.

“Lilith, hun, I don’t.”

The tenseness in her body seemed to fade slightly. She looked up at you, eyes still tearfilled.

“But,” she started. “But it’s how- We-”

You sighed, pressing a soft kiss next to her horn where you knew her scalp was a bit more tender.

You thought back briefly to when you met.

You’d gone out with friends to have a few drinks and catch up when you met her. You’d flirted and exchanged numbers and met up the next day.

It had ended in a romp back at her place. This had repeated itself a few times and you two because friends with benefits. And now here you were, holding her, fresh out the shower after one of your meetups.

“Lili, I-”

“No, listen.”

You were kinda taken aback by how stern she suddenly sounded. You held up one of your hands in mock defeat as the other one still held her.

She sat up in your lap, straddling it.

“I don’t want you to think I just want sex. Cause I want more.” She said, her voice a little shaky. She put her hands on your cheeks, looking at you with something of determination in her eyes. “I… I freaking love you.”

Your eyes went a little wider, a blush spreading on your face.

“I want you to know that. I want us to be more than friends with benefits. I want… I want to be your girlfriend.”

She opened her mouth to say more but you cut her off with a kiss, wrapping your arms around her waist. You felt her tense up in your arms before she melted into the kiss. You only parted when breath became a real necessity.

“Lili you,… You nerd.” You said, laughing a little breathlessly. “I love you too.”

Chapter Text

It was an adaption, living with a literal celestial being with wings as a roommate that could knock shit over at every turn, but it was one you happily made.

You'd met Gabriella through friends. You mentioned to someone you were in need of a roommate to make rent a little more manageable and your friend shortly thereafter had introduced you to a literal angel.

You learned stuff about her fairly easily, like how she didn't have to eat or sleep much or that her wings needed plenty of grooming and such.

You two got along pretty well, honestly. Gabriella would often walk you to class and you two had spent plenty of evenings watching Netflix together or talk about stuff like things that happened to you at school or Gabriella would talk about her job and ask questions about human customs.

It was all fine and dandy until you came home to an honest to God nest in your living room, Gabriella perched proudly on top of it.

"You're home!" She said, happy, her voice like silver bells. "What do you think?"

You weren't quite sure what to think, honestly. You watched as Gabriella proudly patted the nest she'd made out of blankets, pillows and pretty things. You recognized some of her jewelry as well as trinkets she no doubt stole from your room.

"It's... Nice?" You said, Gabriella's face falling slightly at your less than enthused reaction. "I'm sorry, Gabby, but I had a long day. Can you please clear that up when you're done?"

"I... Sure."

You felt a little bad seeing her so deflated but school had taken a lot out of you and you weren't in the mood for games or pillow forts. You went to your room to start homework and heard Gabriella rummage around in the living room, no doubt clearing out her mess.

The rest of the night went by without incident, though Gabriella did seem a little less enthusiastic as she had before.

Little did you know that was one of many weird thing that would happen in the next week.

The next day, when you returned home, music was playing. Gabriella was dancing around in the kitchen while doing the dishes, holding a plate she was drying. Once she saw you, she locked eyes with you and kept dancing. You felt yourself blush a little and walked away, not really sure what response you should give.

The day after that, she serenaded you, singing in a heavenly voice in a language you didn't understand. You, once again, weren't sure what to do.

The day after that, she insisted on taking care of your hair and washing your back while you showed.

It all confused you so much.

On friday, you had enough and wanted to confront her. You walked into your apartment, determined to find out why she was acting so strangely. She had just come home from her job it seemed, wearing her white, business casual outfit, still. Her long blond hair tumbled down her back and her fingers ran through it. She flexed her wings briefly, almost knocking over a vase of flowers you hadn't seen before.

"I hope she likes these..." You hear her mumble as she rearranged something she was blocking from your view.

"Gabby?"

She jumped, turning to look at you.

"Oh! I didn't know you'd be home so early!" She said, voice a little wavery and nervous sounding. You frowned.

"Is... Everything okay?" You asked. "You've been acting kinda odd lately. Is it some weird... Angel thing or..?"

Gabriella sighed and looked a little sheepishly at you.

"I was trying to court you." She confessed. "But uh... I kind of overlooked the fact that angel and human courtships are... Very different. So i got you these."

She stepped aside to reveal a box of chocolates, a bouquet of roses and a teddy bear, all very cliche.

"So uh... I really like you." She said, her cheeks a little red.

You were kind of dumbstruck, honestly. In retrospect, you should've noticed. The way she courted you had been more similar to birds than humans but in retrospect it had been so damn obvious.

"So uh... What do you say?"

You looked back at Gabriella, her wings twitching nervously as she waited for your reply.

You gave her a gentle smile.

"How about we make it a date and I'll give you my answer over dinner."

Gabriella's face lit up, clapping her hands together in delight.

"Deal!"

Chapter Text

Her name was Grace.

You learned she was born in a time where the world was cruel to her. When people like her were property.

She aways joked that it must’ve been a trick or test of fate that made her a vampire. Her, a black woman from the 1800s.

You pitied her but she waved your pity away, saying matter-of-factly that it was all a long time ago. That the world had changed and was still changing.

You admired her. From the moment the both of you became friends to the moment she asked you to be her lover. Needless to say, you had accepted.

It had been a few months since she had asked you out but you noticed every time you made a move to kiss her, she’d turn away. Or start speaking. Or point something out.

It hurt you a little but she probably had a reason for it. One you wanted to find out.

Grace was cooking when you cornered her. She could still eat, but gained no energy from it but that didn’t stop her. She was an amazing cook and you took a moment to savor the smell of the food before talking to her.

“It will be ready in a bit.” She spoke up, turning to look at you. She seemed to be in a good mood, giving you a smile.

“Can I talk to you for a second?” You said, walking closer.

Grace looked worried, laying down the wooden spoon she used to stir the food.

“Of course. What’s wrong?” She asked, reaching out to hold your hand. You gave it a reassuring squeeze.

“Nothing bad. I just noticed that… Every time I want to kiss you, you turn away. Is it something about me?” You asked, tone soft.

She laughed briefly, covering her mouth with her hand.

“No, no, no. It’s not you.” She said, shaking her head. “It’s me. I’ve… I’ve never…”

You caught on soon enough.

“You’ve never kissed anyone?” You continued her sentence.

She nodded, suddenly a lot more shy than you’d ever seen her.

“I never found someone I liked. It just… Never happened.” She said, avoiding looking you in the eye.

“There’s no shame in that.” You said, finally catching her gaze. She gave you a brief smile.

“Would you like to…?”

She looked pensive for a moment before she nodded. You gave her a reassuring smile and took a step closer, taking her face in your hands. She felt pleasantly warm, probably because she was so flustered.

“Just relax. Nothing bad is going to happen.”

She nodded again and you gave her a soft smile, gently leaning in and pressing your lips to hers.

She was as stiff as a board but slowly relaxed into the kiss. You pulled away after a few seconds ad she followed you, apparently wanting another kiss. You chuckled and kissed her again. And again. And again.

“Grace.” You mumbled against her lips. “Grace, babe. I smell burning.”

Grace gasped, breaking away and turning to the stove. She cursed as she took a pan off of it.

“Fuck… It’s burned.” She said, looking peeved. You chuckled.

“Well, you win some, you lose some.” You giggled. Grace gave you a half-hearted glare as she scraped the pan empty into the trash.

“Wanna order takeout?” She suggested, plopping the pan into the sink. You nodded, still amused.

“Sounds good.” You said, smiling as she leaned in and stole another kiss.

Chapter Text

You’d always loved the sea.

The crisp air, the soothing sound of waves crashing on the beach, the feeling of sand beneath your feet as you took a cliche walk along the coast… So when you found out some distant aunt you barely remembered died and left you her cottage near the coast, your bags were packed instantly.

The cottage was on a secluded part of the coastline, just outside of a touristy area. It was a short walking distance from the actual sea and a short drive to the nearest town and it was absolutely perfect.

You settled in easily enough, glad your job had permitted you to work from home. During your breaks you liked to take walks on the beach and it all went perfectly fine… Until odd things started happening.

One day, during your lunch, you were out on a walk. Summer was around the corner and it was perfect weather to be out and about. You hummed to yourself and took your usual route, completely at ease until you spotted a small heap of fish in your trail.

You frowned, thinking this to be rather… Strange. Maybe a fisher had forgotten part of his catch? The fish definitely had been laid there with purpose.

They were fresh too from the scent of them. You debated to yourself for a sec and decided to take them home, having a lovely meal of fresh fish that evening.

The next day, something similar happened, only this time with an array of beautiful shells. The next day it was a bracelet someone probably lost while swimming, the next it was what looked like a necklace made from shells, lost trinkets and twine.

You were completely stumped by these gifts that laid in your path every day. You wanted to know who was behind it and your best thought was to see if you could catch the mysterious gift-giver red handed.

So you left for your walk and hour earlier. You made your way to the beach and took your usual route and gasped when you saw her.

In the rising tide lay a mermaid. And honest to god mermaid.

Her skin was a soft, seafoam blue, her tail looking like it was made out of a million chips of sapphire. Her hair was long and braided with seaweed and parts of old nets. She noticed you, her large, black eyes going even wider, her mouth parting to show a row of dangerously sharp teeth.

The pair of you stood frozen. For a moment before you found yourself walking closer to her.

“Are… Are you the one who..?”

She tensed a little but nodded, holding something shiny in her hand. She looked down at it and held it out to you.

“I… Hope you like them?” She said, her voice having a strange clicking accent to it. “I’ve been trying to get you to see me for a while.”

You crouched down and took the shiny from her. It was a bit of seaglass shaped like a love heart.

“What’s your name?” You asked. She let out a series of clicks and trills that you were pretty sure you wouldn’t be able to replicate.

“Another human named me Ceto once. I think that might be easier.” She said, smiling shyly.

Your heart skipped a beat. You told her your name and she seemed absolutely delighted to find out.

“I… Didn’t know mermaids existed.” You confessed, Ceto splashing her tail around. It made you smile.

“We do. We’re rare. Most of us live in hiding.” She told you. “But I like humans. The lady who used to live in your house taught me to speak like you.”

Your aunt, no doubt. From the vague memories you had of her, she’d always been a bit odd. But you never thought she’d foster an honest to god mermaid.

“Really?”

She nodded, rubbing water on herself to keep her from drying out as she kept talking. You helped her as you listened, finding that her skin felt cold, but not unpleasant.

“Yes! She learned me to speak, told me about how humans work and sat with me for long times. But then she left. Suddenly.”

She sounded sad but she didn’t give you long to feel bad.

“But then you came! The pretty girl who is my-”

She finished the sentence with more trills and clicks.

“I’m- pardon?”

She frowned, obviously not knowing the word.

“Uhm,… Two people meant to be together. Mates!” She said, clapping her hands together. You noticed there was webbing between her slender, clawed fingers.

Then it sank in.

“Wait what? Mates?!”

She looked worried and a little upset, nodding slowly.

“I… So you- you got me those gifts to court me?” You said, connecting the dots.

“If ‘court’ means getting you to see me, yes!” She said, looking a little expectantly at you.

You felt your face heat up and blinked a few times, a little dumbfounded.

“Do you want to be my mate?” Ceto asked, her voice soft. You looked at her, an overwhelming part of you demanding you say yes and you found yourself nodding before you realized. Ceto let out an excited, shrill noise and jumped at you, pressing her cold lips to yours.

You kissed back and noticed she tasted like fish, salt and the sea.

And you’d always loved the sea

Chapter Text

You were nervous as you double checked your, well, everything. You were going on a date today. The first one in,… Heck, you didn’t even remember the last time you’d gone out.

The girl you were meeting was named Carmilla and she was something else. She was a succubus with all the traits to show for it. She had long, dark purple hair (her favorite colour) and a very pretty heart shaped face. Her skin was a pale, washed out blue colour and two little horns curled up out of her forehead. She also had a body that seemed tailored towards her nature but you didn’t really care about any of that.

What you’d been more attracted to was her personality. She was a huge dork and loved the same things you did. Same movies, same games, same shows,… It almost seemed to good to be true, if you could be honest with yourself. But after a few weeks of getting to know each other, Carmilla decided to bite the bullet and asked you if you’d like to go on a date.

Nothing fancy, just go get lunch together in a nearby diner. Yet the prospect of that alone made you nervous. Carmilla was perfect, seemed so sure of herself and confident and you,… Well,… You really didn’t wanna blow this.

“Key, check. Phone, check. Wallet, check. Alright, I think I’m good.” You mumbled to yourself as you grabbed your stuff and head out the door. You got in your car, looking at yourself in the rear view mirror. You’d dressed casual, just in something you’d feel comfortable in. But right about now you were second guessing.

“Maybe I should’ve put on a button up or something.” You mused, looking back at the door of your home. The temptation was there but you shrugged it off. You didn’t want to be late.

Ignoring your doubts, you started your car and drove towards the diner, mentally prepping yourself with conversation starters. You were so lost in thought you almost drove straight past your destination, catching yourself just in time. You pulled up to the diner and checked yourself one final time in the rearview mirror.

“Okay. You got this. Just go in there. Its just like texting her, just… In person!” You said, feeling kind of dumb saying that. You took in a deep breath and left your car, closing it behind you. You entered the diner and the little measure of confidence you had faded as you saw her sitting at a table. She noticed you and waved and it felt like a choir of angels singing.

You found yourself walking towards her table on autopilot and sat down across from the beautiful succubus.

“Hi! It’s so good to see you!” she said, smiling wide at you. You felt yourself smiling too, still in complete awe. You snapped out of it and hoped you didn’t seem like a complete weirdo.

“Uh- yes hi!” You said, holding out your hand. She furrowed her eyebrows briefly but shook your hand. You could hear kill Bill sirens go off in your head.

“You found the place okay?” she asked, tilting her head. You nodded, nervously fiddling with the napkin in front of you.

“Yeah, I did. Almost drove by it though.” You admitted. She chuckled.

“Distracted?”

You nodded again and nearly jumped out of your skin when the waitress appeared next to your table. The waitress seemed human for as far as you could tell and gave you a cheery smile.

“Sorry for scaring you two. What shall it be this fine evening?”

A little frazzled you ordered and hoped Carmilla wouldn’t regret asking you out. Conversation became easier and easier as the night progressed and by dessert, you were getting nasty looks from patrons around you because the pair of you were cracking jokes and maybe laughing a little to hard.

“No no no, that’s not even the best part!” Carmilla said, gesturing wildly. “ He then grabbed me-“

She gestured at her chest and you snickered. “-and dead seriously said: You must be an angel with such a heavenly rack.”

You laughed, Carmilla laughing in turn. Your previous nerves had melted away and you only had eyes for the succubus in front of you. The moment calmed down and Carmila reached over and grabbed your hand. Your heart skipped a beat.

“You know, I’m glad you’re not like that. That you like me as an individual, rather than a sexual object.” She said, rubbing her thumb over the back of your hand. You felt heat rise to your cheeks.

“Well uh, I- I just really like you.” You said. “And I was really, really nervous meeting you because I didn’t want to mess this up.”

Carmilla seemed weirdly relieved and squeezed your hand slightly.

“Oh I’m so glad! You had no idea how nervous I was too!” She said, placing her other hand over her heart. You couldn’t help but let out a relieved laugh.

“No way. I though you probably thought I was a weirdo!” You said, squeezing her hand back. Carmilla chuckled.

“Oh no, I was absolutely charmed.” She said, winking at you. You felt blood rush to your face and hoped it wouldn’t be to obvious.

“I’m glad.” You said, Carmilla lacing her fingers with yours. She gave you a soft smile that made your heart skip a beat.

“Me too.”

A moment of pleasant silence hung in the air when Carmilla suddenly flagged down the waitress. You looked a little confused.

“I’m tired of sitting here. I know a beautiful spot nearby where you can see a lot of stars. How about it?”

You smiled and gave a nod.

“That sounds wonderful.”

Chapter Text

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Warnings: a lot of angst

-----

Everything was so quiet, like the calm before a devastating storm.
You couldn't help but feel worry as you watched your lover, Salyr. He appeared calm on the surface, his face stony and his demeanor unflinching. Yet you saw the small details about him that betrayed fear.
The army had been traveling south for weeks, preparing for the final siege. Salyr, being a high ranking commander in the army had pulled strings and got you to travel with him. The centaur couldn't bear to leave you at home and possibly get harmed.
You walked up to him as he grabbed the first part of his armour. You put your hand on his.
"No, let me."
Salyr gave you a terse look but handed the armour to you. With uncertain movements, you put on his chest armour over the cloth vest and chain mail he was already wearing.
"How do your chances look?" You asked as you buckled the armour.
Salyr stayed quiet for a beat.
"They look... We're going to have to fight hard." He said, watching you as you strapped on his pauldrons. You gave a nod.
"You will come back to me?" You asked, resting a hand on his flank briefly, the black coat silky beneath your fingertips.
"I will fight as hard as I can so I will be reunited with you as the victor." He said, leaning down and pressing a kiss against your cheek. You gave him a nervous smile before you continued to put on his armour. Once his upper body was done, you grabbed the peytral. It was heavy but you felt it appropriate you dressed your lover for what could be his last battle.
A morbid way of saying a possible goodbye.
You strapped the armour on, Salyr helping you hold it in place.
"I love you. You know this right?" He said as you fastened the plate armour.
You nodded.
"And I love you in turn." You said, looking up to meet his gaze. You gasped a little seeing the intensity of his look. A great sadness mixed with want.
"I'll come back to you." He said, firmly. "Ill come back to you and I'll wed-"
"Quiet." You said, softly. "Don't make such lofty promises. All I want of you is to come back to me. Talk of marriage can wait."
Salyr looked a little unsure but nodded as you moved to armour his flanks and hind quarters. You worked in silence, hearing Salyr mumble a prayer under his breath. Your stomach turned a little, knowing he wasn't a very religious man. To move him to prayer must mean a calamity was on the horizon.
Your hands shook as you fastened the last parts, finishing protecting him.
You stood in front of your lover, his gloved hand coming up to cup your cheek. He leaned down and pressed a gentle kiss on your lips. You let out a sob as you threw your arms around him, as if you'd be able to keep him there if you just held him tight enough.
"I'll return." He said. "I'll return to warm your bed once more, to become your spouse." He said, making his lofty promises despite your disapproval. "I promise you this."
You nodded and hesitantly let him go. Salyr kissed you one final time and your heart nearly broke as with a final look over his shoulder, he walked out of the tent and vanished from sight.

Chapter Text

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If you wanna support what I do, considering pledging to my patreon!

Warnings: none

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You met Barfu by him literally walking into you and making you fall. It didn't surprise you someone that tall would've completely looked over you.
He had apologized profusely and offered to buy you a coffee to make up for it, which you accepted on a whim.
In retrospect, it was the best decision you'd made. Now you and Barfu had been dating for over a year and it all was still new to you. Barfu was your first boyfriend, after all.
You looked over at the orc as he went about the kitchen, making dinner. You smiles fondly as he sang along to the radio, briefly pausing his stirring in whatever it was he was cooking to use the spoon as a mic.
"You're gonna shatter all the glass in the house if you keep that up!" You called out, the orc turning. He brushed a strand of red hair out of his eyes and stuck out his tongue at you.
"You're just jealous of my skill." He scoffed, turning around again. You got up from your seat and made you way over to Barfu.
You looked up at him, feeling absolutely tiny compared to his 8 foot frame.
"Watcha making?" You asked, trying to look in the pot. Barfu, albeit a little unceremoniously, lifted you up as if you weighed nothing. You clinged to him none the less, earning a chuckle from the orc.
"Easy there, babe. And I'm making stew." He said, bringing the spoon up to your mouth. You had a taste and hummed appreciatively.
"It's good!"
"Don't sound so surprised. You're making ot sound like I can't cook." Barfu said, sounding mock hurt. You snorted and pressed a kiss on his cheek.
"A man who can cook and serenade me. I'm truely blessed." You said giggling.
"Damn right you are!" Barfu said, waving his spoon around. "Just as I am lucky to have you, my dear."
You smiled and kissed him proper this time. The feeling of his tusks pressing against you was still a weird feeling but you were starting to enjoy it. Barfu finally put down his spoon and looped his other arm under your butt, holding you up better. You wrapped your legs around his tree trunk waist and your arms around his neck.
You kissed him a few times more, the two of you giggling like a pair of teens. Barfu rubbed his nose against yours in a way he taught you was basically the orc equivalent of a kiss.
"I love you, you know this right?" He mumbled, giving you a look so soft it melted your heart.
"I know. And I love you too, you doofus." You said, pecking him on the lips again. You spent a few moments just enjoying the moment before Barfu put you back on your feet.
"Now, can you set the table? I'll finish up here." He said, pecking you on top of your head.
You gave him a grin.
"Since you've taken care of dinner, I'll supply dessert." And before you got a reply, you dashed out the kitched, leaving the orc red in the face.

Chapter Text

The year was 1924.
The world seemed to be filled with endless possibilities. Everyone seemed rich and cars, life and progress moved fast.
Two years ago, Howard Carter had discovered the tomb of the elusive Tutankhamon and a fad called Tutmania had sweeped through the nation.
You, fresh out of university with an archeology degree, hadn't been left unstirred by this craze. Egypt seemed the new big thing and you'd love to make a discovery worthy of headlines like Carter had.
Discover an undisturbed tomb of some long forgotten monarch. Chambers full of archeological treasures. Your name among the greats in the history books of tomorrow.
Oh, how you longed to go.
You were spending your afternoon at your friend Henry's house. He'd been your best friend throughout your studies, having the privilege of coming from a family with a lot of old money. You two were borderline inseperable, studying together, going out dancing together, traveling together,.... You considered him practically your brother. You trusted him more than anyone and the sentiment seemed to move both ways
Enough so that he confided in you he didn't have the least bit of attraction to the fairer sex. You confessed in turn you had no interest in sex in general. Henry had let out a half nervous, half relieved laugh at that and with those two confessions, cemented your friendship for life.
You sipped from the cup of tea the maid had brought earlier when dear Henry burst into the room holding an envelope aloft.
"My dearest, go home and pack your bags! We are going on an adventure!"
You nearly spat out your tea at Henry's grand entrance and announcement.
"Excuse me?" You stammered, putting down your cup. Henry flopped down next to you on the couch, handing you the envelop with a wide grin and a wink.
You eyed him suspiciously and peeked into the envelop, nearly fainting at what was inside.
Two tickets for the ocean liner to Egypt.
"Father pulled some strings." Henry said, sounding utmost excited. "He secured us a digging site in Egypt. We are to leave this weekend and stay for a month, at least. What do you say, old friend?"
You looked at the envelop and tickets in your trembling hands.
"Yes! I'm going! Get me home now! I have things to arrange!"
So that is how you found yourself on the boat to Egypt. You were surrounded by the well to do, the upper crust, if you will. You'd figured Henry would be at home among people like this but he spent most his time with you or in his cabin. The sea didn't seem to kind on him. You'd found it hard to mingle, having little common ground with these people born into lives of privilege. You'd had to work hard for all you had. So to spare your mental well-being, you spent most of your trip enjoying any sun and catching up on reading.
Your travel came to an end soon enough and you set foot in Egypt, the heat of the midday sun beating down on you. Henry was behind you, seemingly relieved to finally be off that boat.
You let out an excited noise as you looked around. It all felt so surreal.
You dashed a little further ahead, clutching your bag. Poor Henry ran to catch up, guiding you to the hotel you'd be staying in.
The first day there was spent unpacking, unwinding and relaxing. The second day, you were off to the dig site, dressed in practical clothing and wearing a hat to shield your eyes. Henry was dressed similarly, seemingly a lot more lively now he was on solid ground and had time to recover.
"Now, I've arranged for some locals to help. They're being paid, of course, but we can't do all the heavy work ourselves, now can we?" Henry said as you strolled up to the site. Everything had been carefully marked off and a tent stood nearby to provide some shade if needed. In it stood a table and some chairs, the table having a map rolled open on it marking all found tombs in the region so far.
Excitedly and after a walk around the place, you started to work.
Sadly, your excitement dwindled considerably as time progressed. Days turned into weeks faster than you liked. On week three, you felt like you got a reality check.
You felt naïve to think you'd be able to just travel here on a whim and find something huge. Henry seemed to still be optimistic, giving you little peptalks when you needed them most.
You were standing over a map of the area, trying to think of a logical place a burial site might be located so you could dig elsewhere when one of the workers came running towards you and Henry.
"What's the matter?" Henry asked, looking interested. The worked gestured to follow, Henry giving you an excited but measured look. With baited breath, you followed the man to the dig site and you almost couldn't contain your excitement as you saw what they found.
Steps.
Three whole steps leading downwards.
You almost dropped to your knees and began dinging further with your hands.
Henry let out a breathless laugh, giving the worker a pat on the back.
"Marvelous work, friend!"
The next few days were spent digging out the steps downwards. They led into a hallway that ended in a plain, stone door. Today was the day you'd finally enter it, after taking plenty of pictures to document the door, as well as the crew and you and Henry.
Three workers were prying the door open, you and Henry holding each others hand tightly. With a loud noise, the stone gave way. You gasped and without thinking walked forward, holding your lamp tightly. You shone it around the chamber and marveled at what you found.
The burial chamber was almost empty. There were some basic things in there like vases of food and wine, some household things, a small amount of jewels. But what caught your eye was the plain sarcophagus in the very centre of the room.
Before you realised what you were doing, you walked towards it, feeling drawn to it. Henry called out but you ignored him, putting a hand on the ancient coffin.
Suddenly, with a loud noise, the doors slammed shut behind you. You snapped out of your trance, surrounded by darkness. You heard Henry and the workers yelling, panic creeping up on you. You ran to the stone door and started pounding on it, terrified this now would be your grave as well.
It got worse as you heard the sarcophagus behind you slide open. You let out a piercing scream as you turned around and saw a mummy rise from its grave.
"Oh will you stop that."
Confused, you stopped screaming, looking at the creature you were shining your light on.
He was wrapped in yellowed bandages, his face no longer human but instead mask like. It almost looked like a cartoon of a human face. As if his death mask had become his face. His fingers were long and claw like and he seemed a lot taller than what the sarcophagus would allow for.
"Who are you. What are you?" You asked, voice shaking. The creature looked at you, narrowing its eyes.
"I should ask you the same. Why are you disturbing me."
It got out of the coffin, standing straight up. You estimated he was easily over six feet tall.
"I'm... I'm an archeologist. I was digging for a tomb." You said.
"Archeologist? Sounds like a fancy way of calling yourself a grave robber." The mummy said, tilting it's head. The jewelry he wore moved, making a sound not unlike a wind chime.
"I'm not! I'm merely- i wanted to preserve history! Ancient Egypt has been- I just-"
The mummy seemed startled, apparently now noticing you how you were dressed. He took a step back.
"What year are we. How long have I-" he looked back at the sarcophagus as if it would offer up answers.
"1924 according to the Gregorian calendar." You answered, still scared. "And judging by your things, you've been dead for at least three thousand years."
The mummy froze, dropping to his knees and staring at his hands. You almost felt bad for him until you heard Henry shouting again.
"Dear friend! Please stay calm! We're trying to get you out of here!"
You looked over your shoulder briefly and then back at the mummy. He looked up at you.
"I'm... Three thousand-"
You nodded, daring to take a step towards him.
"I'm afraid so. May I ask again, who are you? What... Happened to you?"
The mummy looked down briefly before speaking again.
"My name is Imhotep. I was... I was the son of..." The mummy frowned, seemingly trying to remember. "I... Someone important. I was to marry my sister but i refused. My father got furious with me. I kept fighting against his will and he had me- he had me cursed."
Imhotep wrapped his gangly arms around himself, looking very upset and uncomfortable.
You noticed you had moved closer as he spoke and you knelt down, putting a hand on his shoulder. He looked at your hand then followed your arm up to your face.
"Who are you?"
You carefully explained who you were, earning a look from Imhotep that was a weird mix of horror, confusion and curiosity.
"It seems we are both stuck in here for the time being." Imhotep said, glancing past you at the door. "You are someone who seeks knowledge, correct?"
You nodded.
"Then sit. I'll tell you about whatever you wish to know, as long as you do the same for me." Imhotep said, sitting down with his back leaning against the sarcophagus. You sat with him, the pair of you talking for what seemed like hours. The fear slowly faded and was replaced by mutual curiosity.
Imhotep spoke about the wonders of seeing the pyramids being built. Of marvels of engineering. Of daily life and his family, for as far as his ancient memory would allow.
You talked about the modern day, about automobiles, aeroplanes, telephones and modern empires. You listened to one another with mutual awe and respect and at the end of it all, considered each other a friend.
It wasn't until the door started to move that you realised that you'd have to explain your undead friend to the rest of the crew and poor Henry. He'd faint on the spot.
Imhotep seemed one step ahead and had already climbed back into his sarcophagus.
"I'll stay here." He said when you gave him a confused glance. "Will you come back tomorrow?" He asked, his eyes pleading.
You nodded, impulsively pressing a kiss on his sunken cheek as the door almost gave way.
"I will."
As Imhotep closed his sarcophagus, the door opened again and Henry rushed in, hugging you tightly.
"Oh, I am so sorry you had to endure this! Are you alright? You must have been so frightened!" Henry said, grabbing your shoulders and looking you over.
"I'm fine." You said. "I was just... A little worried."
Henry nodded, glancing around briefly.
"I must have gone mad with worry. I could've sworn I heard two voices."
You tried not to smile.
"I think you might have. I was completely alone. Now, we have work to do!" You said, hoping Henry didn't hear the chuckle coming from the sarcophagus.

Chapter Text

"We need to go left here?"
"Says fuckin' who?"
The orc next to glowered down at you, seemingly less than pleased by your suggestion.
"I'm saying so. Now turn left."
With an exasperated sigh, the orc turned left, bumping into you while he did so. At least this time he'd listened.
You'd been traveling with Stein for about two weeks now. He had proven to be less than pleasant company but alas, you were unfortunately stuck to him until you reached the capitol.
Your mother had hired him as your body guard while you travelled to make sure you were safe. Stein had very reluctantly accepted and had made clear as crystal that he wasn't enjoying any of this. Much to your chagrin.
"How long until we're there? I've got better things to do." He grumbled, not even bothering to look at you.
"Two more days, maybe three if the weather turns." You said, jogging a short bit to catch up with the brown skinned orc. He finally looked at you between strands of messy blond hair.
"It better be two." He said, as if you had anything to say in the matter. You rolled your eyes.
"I agree."
Stein huffed and looked ahead, walking at an almost too fast pace for you. You were starting to grow beyond tired of his childish behaviour, wanting nothing more than to finally reach the capitol and be done with-
"STICK 'EM UP!"
You froze as a group of shabbily dressed individuals emerged from the surrounding shrubbery, a fair few of them holding blunderbusses.
Stein growled, sounding more annoyed if anything. You had grabbed onto Stein's arm on instinct, scared of what was happening.
"What do you think you're doing." He rumbled, crossing his massive arms, shrugging your hand off in the process.
The leader of the gang, an older, heavily scarred gnome, walked forward.
"What's it look like? We're robbin' you." He said, poking Stein in the stomach with his blunderbuss. "Now hand over the goods. You don't want nothin' ta happen to yer brown skinned longea-"
Stein's fist came down hard om the ringleaders head, the gnome crumbling into a heap with a sickening crack. You gasped and reached over on instinct but Stein stepped in front of you as the guns went off.
You squeezed your eyes shut and tried not to panic as you heard a loud roar coming from Stein. You ducked, curling into a ball as you heard the sounds of fighting happening.
You refused to open your eyes, shaking like a leaf. You were so stuck in your own bubble you nearly jumped out of your skin as you felt a hand on your back.
"It's okay. They're dealt with."
You carefully pried your eyes opening, only now noticing you were crying. Stein looked hurt, bleeding from a few cuts and a shot that had grazed his bicep.
"You're hurt." You said, a little deadpan. Stein snorted, grabbing your upper arm and forcefully helping you to your feet.
"I've been hurt worse." He rumbled, turning away to grab his axe which laid in the dirt. You looked around. A few bandits lay motionless on the floor, one with his head missing.
You felt your breakfast disagree with you at the sight and after emptying your stomach, followed Stein.
For once he had waited for you, his expression surprisingly soft. At least for him.
"Drink."
He held out his waterskin to you as you made your way over to him. You avoided looking at the dead bandits, mumbling a thank you as you took a sip of the water to rinse your mouth.
After handing the skin back, Stein put a hand on your shoulder and guided you to walk further. You wanted to look over your shoulder, cast one final glance at the unexpected mayhem that happened but Stein moved his massive hand to the back of your head, disabling you from turning around.
"Don't. Keep walking ahead. As soon as were far enough out of sigh, we'll set up camp. You need to rest."
You looked at him, equal parts grateful and confused.
"But what about you? You're wounded."
Stein rolled him eyes.
"Let me look after your wounds. As thank you for saving me." You insisted
Stein sighed through his nose but nodded, relenting.
It was so that you ended up sitting near a lit fire that was cooking your dinner as you poured water onto a rag, cleaning the dried blood from Stein's wounds.
"You're lucky they were terrible shots." You mused, carefully running the rag over the wound on his arm.
"Orcs have tough skin." Stein merely replied. You chuckled briefly, rinsing out the rag before moving to the wounds on his chest.
He had a penchant for walking around shirtless but it was only now you noticed his abs, the plethora of small, silver scars across them and his chest, the sparing amount of blonde body hair on his chest...
He was quite handsome. You know, for someone as rude as him.
"Eyes are up here."
You were glad for your completion hiding your blush for the most part as his hand came up and tilted your face to meet his.
"I'm- I was just looking at your wounds." You lied, Stein obviously not buying it.
"Sure, and I'm an elf."
There was a pause before the two of you started laughing. You weren't quite sure why but the tension eased away as you did so.
Stein seemed to transform before your eyes, his gruff demeanor melting like snow in summer. His brown eyes sparkled, his ears perked up, his whole body shaking with laughter.
You felt your face get warmer and you busied yourself with cleaning his wounds again. There was a moment of silence as you finished cleaning. You reached for your bag to get some supplies and as you turned back, Stein carefully cupped your cheek.
You were a little confused until he leaned in and pressed a kiss on your lips.
"Sorry for my behaviour." He mumbled once you parted. "I shouldn't have-"
"Your bleeding."
"What?"
You pointed at one of the wounds which had started bleeding. Stein cursed as he grabbed the rag from you and pressed it on the wound.
You found yourself laughing again, thinking that maybe traveling with him wasn't so bad after all.

Chapter Text

You were there when it happened.
When the veil dropped, the illusion faded.
When elves, trolls, orcs, werewolves, what have you started roaming the streets.
You remembered the panic as these creatures came to live among you. The news spoke of an invasion, a declaration of war.
But they had magic on their side, something no gun, bomb or missile worked against.
There was xenophobia rampant and suddenly everything felt like the 50s all over again.
It wasn't long before the signs were up loudly declaring "No Monsters Allowed". They were being discriminated against by humans left and right, denied houses, jobs,... Anything.
Elves became "knife ears", orcs became "green skins", goblins- you couldn't even bring yourself to remember half the unfavorable things monster kind was called.
There were, of course, those sympathetic, you being one of them. Sadly, you were in the minority. But a vocal minority at that.
People called you and the others of the Front for Equality for Cryptids and Monsters traitors to humankind. You got slurs thrown at you left and right if you associated with "the other kind". Someone even defaced your car at one point, smashing in your windows, slashing your tires and keying horrible words into the paintwork.
That's when Freddy came to your rescue. Frederika, Freddy for short, was a dryad you'd befriended. You both worked in the local supermarket, your shifts overlapping enough to spark a friendship based on the absolute hate of working in customer service.
She was the leather jacket and ripped jeans kind, tough as nails with a heart of gold and a very vocal member if FECM.
She cussed up a storm when she saw what people had done to your car and offered you a ride home in her dinged up 2005 Honda.
You accepted it, Freddy silently fuming and complaining about how ridiculous it all was. Monster kind had predated humankind yet they still saw it fit to discriminate. You agreed with the ridiculousness and added that there was more important stuff to worry about.
You had once asked Freddy why the monsters decided to unveil themselves now. She'd shrugged, telling you that some important folk thought it would be best to stop hiding and band together. She added a sarcastic comment that it had blown up in their face.
You asked her if she regretted it, but she'd merely shaken her head.
Rather face discrimination and move a little more freely than live your entire life hiding from the world.
You both fell into a comfortable silence until Freddy reached your apartment. There was a pause before Freddy, uncharacteristically sheepishly asked you if you wanted to get drinks. You'd accepted and she'd grinned like an idiot.
Months later you and Freddy had started dating. It had been inevitable, you both joked as you held her hand and talked to some of your mutual friends. Most of them had been supportive but a few more pestimistic members of FECM warned you over and over that harassment only would get worse.
You told them you'd roll with the punches. You always had and would face any abuse head on.
They had been right.
You lost family members and friends because you dated Freddy, but you tried your best to not let it get to you. Your car was defaced a few more times, someone had thrown a rock into your apartment window and you'd gotten death threats, Freddy comforted you whenever grief became to much and you praised whatever deity existed up there that you had her.
A few years into your relationship and a riot happened.
A massive fight, resulting in casualties, fires and an argument in the court of public opinion.
You read in the papers that the riot started over the death of a monster child who was denied medical treatment based on her race. Needless to say, when children got involved, people were quick to anger.
You and Freddy spend countless hours watching the news and listening to the radio as slowly things began to change. You went to marches demanding justice, let your voices be heard.
Months after it happened, a bill was passed to make discrimination against monsters punishable, which was already a big victory. You'd joined more marches together with Freddy to demand equality between the races, a fair chance at living together, a feat much less easily accomplished. There were debates on television, scathing articles from both sides calling the other out, move victims once the police for involved.
You watched as years ticked by and things changed further.
Interspecies marriage became legal, as did adoption for monster and monster human couples. Monsters got involved in politics, breaking down the wall xenophobia put in place. The world was slowly changing and it was thrilling to be a part of.
You married Freddy the week after it became legal, a whirlwind vegas wedding in vaguely fancy looking clothes with your two best friends as witness. You were crying happy tears as you joked you should send the people who wrecked your car a thank you note. Freddy called you a dork and kissed you.
Now, years later, as you kissed your son on the cheek, it all seemed like a lifetime ago.
You and Freddy had been married for twenty-five years, your hair greying and Freddy's green turning more yellow, your son just setting off to go to college, your daughter a year away from graduating highschool.
To them, the riots and marches were a boring topic. Just stories from when their parents were young and rebellious and their mother thought ripped jeans were fashionable. But you'd been there, saw the world change. You saw it become a more welcoming place, though of course not everyone agreed.
And as you saw your son wave you and Freddy goodbye and your wife gave your hand a squeeze, you found yourself so happy you could cry.

Chapter Text

The first time the little shop opened, you didn’t think much of it. It was one of those newfangled, probably overpriced, artisan shops with foods you’d only heard of in passing.
The windows had the name painted in an endearing vintage-y looking font and it was clearly angling for that adorable cottage feel, were it not for being in the middle of a city. It did, however, look small and cosy and as if a grandmother and fae banded together to decorate it, despite the unfortunate angular building.

You’d honestly had zero intentions of entering it. You were fine with the occasional fast food you got and had no qualms with cooking for yourself. That was, of course, until you saw the owner on your way home one day.
Turned out she was a minotaur, a little over six feet tall. Her fur was shaggy and red and she wore cute, feminine clothes, apron and everything. She was watering the flowers out front of her shop and your breath was taken away. You didn’t notice you’d stopped mid walk until someone bumped into you, causing the minotaur to look over at you two.
Heat crept onto your face and you mumbled an apology started walking again, completely smitten by the beautiful owner of the shop.
“Well I can never go there again.” You muttered to yourself as you rounded the corner, casting a quick glance back to see the minotaur still looking at you. You fought of the urge to just run and hide. God, why did you have to stare like that?! You’d just… Avoid this route home for a while. Yeah, that seemed like a good idea!
Spoiler, you didn’t.
The next few days, you walked home the same route you always did, passing by the artisan shop, kind of speed walking past. You thanked your lucky stars that she didn’t emerge from her little shop and asked you why you were staring at her like an absolute creep. You did catch yourself glancing through the richly decorated shop windows now and then. A part of you hoped to catch a glimpse of her perhaps. To see the beautiful minotaur that had you acting like a dummy.
At work, you decided to ask around about the shop. You knew your coworker - a very alternative harpy named Leah - enjoyed all things fancy, organic and artisan. So you approached her, trying to make casual conversation. Turned out Leah was friends with the owner. The minotaur you’d slowly been crushing on finally got a name: Aileen.
Leah raved on about how the shop had the best almond cookies she’d ever had and she’d rather die than get honey anywhere else. You’d let Leah ramble on, your mind drifting away to the possibility of perhaps visiting the shop properly.
Surely, she’d have forgotten your creepy staring by now, right?
And you were probably just blowing things horribly out of proportion.
That afternoon, after your work day was over, you passed by the shop again. With a deep breath, you gathered what courage you had and ventured forth, walking up to the front door.
A little golden bell above the door announced your entrance. You looked around as you took in the mix of warm, homely smells and the cosy aesthetic of the shop.
The walls were lined with dark wooden cabinets, stocked with all sorts of treats, spices and so forth. There were a few small tables and seats, obviously not outfitted for a huge amount of people. Plants were scattered about, obviously well looked after. In the air hung the pleasant scent of coffee, honey, and dried spices. You felt like you just walked into the embodiment of the word “cosy”.
“Can I help you?” You jumped as your eyes darted to Aileen who had emerged from a back room and stood behind the wouden counter. You blinked a few times before words came to you.
“Oh uh, just… Looking. I pass by here daily but I’ve never gone in before.” You said, sheepishly smiling at her.
Aileen smiled back.
“That’s alright. If you need for something, I’ll gladly help.” She said and you noticed her words were accented. Scottish or something? You weren’t entirely sure.
“Will do.”
A silence fell, Aileen looking at you for a moment longer before turning away and tending to something.
You spent a few moments looking around, wanting to speak to her but chickening out. You ended up leaving the shop a few moments later, Aileen calling after you to wish you a good day.
“You too!” You called back, letting out a sigh as you left the shop.
“God, I am hopeless.” You mumbled to yourself as you continued your walk home. “She’s just being a friendly shopkeep.” You said to yourself, courage leaving you.
“Besides, she’s probably not even into girls. It’s all just… A silly crush.”
You felt deflated by the time you reached your home. Aileen, however, didn’t seem to leave your thoughts. You could feel yourself flush as you thought about how pretty she was. How pleasant her accent and how nice she was.
By the time you called it a night, your negative thoughts had left and you’d promised yourself you’d visit her shop again. This time to actually talk to her.
You ended up visiting her shop three more times over the span of a few weeks. You’d ended up buying some cookies and making some small talk. You’d learned Aileen hailed from Glasgow and had lived here for only 2 years. You’d smiled and nodded and cursed yourself afterwards for not being better at talking to her. Or just… Flirting in general.
Thank God that even if Aileen noticed your anxieties, she was too polite to point them out.
Today was a Friday and you’d decided to visit Aileen’s shop again. Get some coffee and give her your number. If she wasn’t into girls or not interested and didn’t call you, that’d be fine. At least you tried.
That’s what you kept telling yourself as you walked to the shop after work.
The gold bell chimed again and you sat down at one of the small tables. An overly in love couple of dragonborns were sitting at a different table, the furniture almost hilariously dwarfed by how large they were.
“Ah, my favourite customer!” Aileen called out, grinning from ear to ear as she saw you. She walked over to you, fishing a pen and writing pad out of her apron.
“What shall it be?”
“A coffee, please.” You said, feeling nervous as you ordered. You gave her a smile you prayed didn’t look forced.
“Anything else? I just have fresh batch of-”
“Just the coffee.” You blurted out, nerves getting the best of you.
Anxiety spiked as you saw her face fall for a moment before she perked up again.
“Alright then. I’ll be back in a moment.”
You gave her another hopefully not forced smile before she turned away and dissapeared behind the counter. You let out a breath you didn’t know you were holding and mumbled to yourself.
“C'mon. Get it together, girl. Just… Ask if sh-” you cut yourself off when you noticed the dragonborns glancing your way, looking as if you were a crazy person. You gave them an apologetic look at they turned away, obviously still a little perturbed by your actions.
You took in a few deep breaths to steady yourself before Aileen got back. Asking someone out was always a nerve wracking business but you’d never quite been this nervous. You’d also never asked a monster out before.
Just as your brain was speeding down the road to the possibility of courtships being different with minotaurs, she returned, putting the cup of coffee in front of you.
“There you go.” She said, giving you a wink as you thanked her.
“You sure I can’t get you anything else?” She asked and you nodded.
“You’re really kind. But honestly, I’m fine.”
Aileen cocked her head.
“Are you sure? You’ve been acting a little strange.” She said.
Oh fuck. She noticed.
“Ah, yes. Sorry.” You lied through your teeth. “Just a little stressed from work.”
She gave you a look but didn’t question it further, which you thanked your lucky stars for.
“I get that. Well, just enjoy your coffee. Weekends just around the corner.” You nodded, idly stirring your coffee despite the fact you’d put nothing in it.
“Indeed. Do you hav-”
“Uh, excuse me!”
You fought the urge to cuss when one of the dragonborns called for Aileen. You felt deflated as you watched the minotaur deal with the other customers and began sipping your coffee. Aileen didn’t strike up conversation with you again, much to your disapointment. You felt a little guilty feeling like that, knowing she’d probably has so much to do aside from humouring you with casual conversation.
Once your coffee was empty, you went to the counter and paid, Aileen cheerfully wishing you a pleasant weekend. You thanked her and head out the door, the thought of asking her out having slipped your mind.
You jumped a bit, hearing the little bell ring suddenly behind you and Aileen calling out.
“You forgot this!”
You opened your mouth to speak as Aileen shover a cookie wrapped in a napkin in your hands before dissapeared inside again. You glanced down, very confused until you saw the writing on the napkin.
“I’m free this Sunday. Call me xxx”
Your heart just about burst out your chest as you read her number, and as you walked home, you swore a cookie had never tasted this sweet before.

Chapter Text

The village spoke of an omen of death. A creature feared and warded off with prayer and talismans. One that came in the form of a black dog with eyes of yellow light.
A snarl would sound, echoing through the meadow before a life would be taken.
You were terrified of this spectre, even more so as your father lay in bed, wasting away. His breathing was raspy and laboured, his brow dotted with sweat as you tried feverishly to tend to him.
The village healer had told you nothing could be done anymore, that the best thing you could do was to ease his suffering and grant him a peaceful death.
And you were terrified that soon, the hellhound would be at your door to take your father.
The days slowly passed by, your father becoming sicker and sicker. His ribs stuck out, his cheeks hollowed and his skin pale as the sheets he was laying on.
Your heart ached like mad as you desperately tried to get him to eat some broth. He shook his head, turning away from the spoon.
"Dad... Please eat something." You pleaded, voice desperate. He shook his head weakly.
"Don't... Don't waste food... On a dead man." He croaked out, his voice weak with disuse. You held the spoon tightly.
"Dad, you're not dead. Please eat something." You said, a little sterner. Your father, ever the stubborn man, kept his head turned away.
With frustration, you got up. You rid yourself of food and tried to fight tears that burned in your eyes.
To try and distract yourself, you started doing work around the house, looking after your father when he needed you.
Before long, dusk had settled over the land and you were sitting by your father's bedside, holding his hand and quietly wishing tonight wouldn't be the night.
He was fast asleep, his chest weakly rising and falling. You just watched him, not knowing what to do with your grief. You knew it was a lost cause but a small part of you still hoped he'd get better. If only he'd eat...
You must've dozed off because you were woken with a start by a loud howl, sounding close to your home.
Your heart started beating a mile a minute, your hand still gripping your father's tightly. Death was on it's way to claim him.
"No. No not today. No!" You muttered to yourself, terrified of what was to happen. Your eyes were glued on the door as you stood up, shielding your father with your body.
With a creak, the door opened and your breath stopped for a moment.
In front of you stood a man with the face of a dog, his eyes an unnatural yellow. He was easily six and a half feet tall but slender, wearing a black robe with gold trimming.
"Be not afraid." He spoke, his voice soft but unnatural. "Tis not you I've come to guide."
You snapped back into reality, spreading out your arms in a feeble attempt to shield your father from the hellhound.
"You won't take him! It's not yet his time!" You shouted, anger evident in your voice. Tears stung in the corners of your eyes but the hellhound seemed unfased.
"I'm afraid it is. And I am sorry you must part with your father." He said, walking forward. You inexplicably felt yourself calm down the nearer he got. The hellhound put a clawed hand on your shoulder and looked at you calmly with his yellow eyes.
"Death is never easy, but know I come not as punishment or a fiend. Death comes as a friend."
Tears started to roll down your cheeks, your arms falling slack next to your body. You sobbed openly and Death embraced you, his form sturdy but unearthly cold.
"Your father has been suffering for too long. Where I'll guide him, he'll be happy, healthy and safe." Death spoke as you sobbed into his chest.
"And I may not be human but that does not make me a monster. I shall let you say goodbye to your father."
You calmed down a little, taking a step back from Death and looking at him hesitantly.
"You... You will?"
Death nodded, outstretching his claw and gesturing at your father.
"Yes, but do it fast. His time is running short."
You looked back, hesitating for a moment before sitting down in the chair by his bedside again. You gently shook your father's shoulder, his eyes weakly fluttering open, his breath very raspy. He was obviously struggling.
"Dad," you spoke, voice trembling. He merely looked at you, to weak to speak. "Dad, I love you. A lot. I hope you know this."
As you spoke, tears flowed freely down your face.
"And I'll look after the house and I'll... I'll make you proud. And I'll miss you." You spoke through sobs, almost frantic to find the right words to say. Your father raised a hand, placing it on your cheek.
"I... Know..."
He smiled weakly, you sobbing and holding your hand over his. With a raspy, long exhale, your father passed.
Death reached out and gave your shoulder an encouraging squeeze.
"He's gone." Death spoke, softly.
You shook like a leaf, letting out a loud, bone chilling wail as you doubled over and cried loud, messily and openly. Death stood by, not judging you.
He let you cry over your father until you fell quiet, not having the strength.
"I'm sorry for your loss." Death spoke as he stood next to you. You didn't respond and merely watched as Death reached a hand out over your father's chest. A dull light glowed below his palm and got brighter until death held a golden ball of radiant light.
You found yourself speaking up as you watched this display.
"Is that... His soul?"
Death nodded, holding the glowing orb. You watched it intently, part of you wanting to reach out and touch it.
Death gave you a calm look, making you hesitate.
"I'm afraid it's time for us to part. Know your father is in good hands." Death spoke, cradling your father's soul in his hands. "When we will meet again, it'll be as old friends."
You nodded, grief surfacing again.
"Will I see him again?" You asked, looking back at your father's body.
"Yes," Death spoke. "Death might not discriminate but it is not cruel. When your time comes, I shall guide you to the ones who left before you."
You nodded, feeling a little more at ease. You waited a moment and turned back to ask Death something else but he had vanished, had taken your father's soul with him.
You felt a wave of sadness wash over you, holding your father's hand.
"Until we see each other again." You softly mumbled and pressed a final kiss on his forehead before getting up to get help.