- investigating things
- flowers & girly things
cruel people -
strict guidelines -
Debbie Downers -
It was summer and I remember that because I was looking at the window at some kids playing with a sprinkler set in the pavilion over the hill. I was sweating up a storm and I was wishing that I could over there with them, or even out of the house at all, but I wasn't over there with them. I was inside, being lectured by my mother.
It hadn't been my fault, not really. I was just trying to help. Like, who doesn't see a Kadoatie stuck in a tree and immediately feel bad and try to help and accidentally have it end with both of you on fire? I'm 100% that you would have done the same thing, except maybe not with the fire because that was a total accident and I'm still not 100% how that happened.
My mother was looking at me with that look on her face – if you've got a mum, you know what I'm talking about. That 'Dil I am so disappointed why are you my daughter why did I even have children Dil why I am also angry' look. I was folding under that look. I felt terrible, way down deep in the bottom of my stomach.
It wasn't my fault, I said. I was trying to he-
Dil, you are always trying to help! my mother said, cutting me off. She massaged her temples and avoided my eyes, so I deflated against the wall and stared at the ground without speaking.
Sometimes, my mother said with a really heavy sigh, I wonder if Shenkuu doesn't need your help.
My heart started freaking out. What? I asked her. She didn't look at me or say anything. Blood pretty much drained out of my veins and was replaced by panic, no joke. Are you going to send me away? I asked her again and my voice wavered a little bit, like I was going to cry. My throat was all tightened up, too. She couldn't send me away! I was her only daughter! What would she do without me.
What would I do without her?
My mother took the seat across from me and grabbed my hand. Dil, she said and she smiled, but she looked sad. I'm not going to send you away if you don't want to be sent away. But I do think that a change of scenery would be good for you. Your grandmother invited you to come and stay with her for a year in the Haunted Woods. I got the letter today.
My heart leapt. I hadn't seen my grandmother since I was a little girl, but the prospect was scary and… the Haunted Woods? I wouldn't last a day in the Haunted Woods! I'd be eaten or skewered and some werelupe would be eating Disco Gnorbu meat before the end of my first day there.
Now it's only if you want to go. But I do think that it would be good for you. My mother looked at me, real thoughtful. You've got your father's adventurous spirit, you know. My ears perked up.
My father was a pirate and I know what you're thinking. But he was a legit pirate. I had only met him a few times because he was always sailing about, but I looked forward to his letters and the pieces of treasure he'd send me. Most people in Shenkuu liked to pretend he didn't exist because he hadn't raised me real traditionally and we were both outsiders, so I always sort of felt like we had a special bond or something.
I want you to think about it, my mother said, but I had already thought about it.
I'd like to go, I said.
That didn't take long. She laughed and I laughed too and it was really nice for one more moment in Shenkuu.
I met my grandmother at the dock. She was dressed in this really frumpy black shawl that looked like it was super ancient, but she hugged me and kissed me and she had even baked my favorite cupcakes.
We went back to her house. It was tiny and small and actually sort of cute, despite the fact that it was surrounded by woods that seemed pretty haunted to me, but I wasn't 100% sure. For the first few days I just stayed in her tiny house and tended to her garden, but I was getting really itchy and I wanted to explore like I had in Shenkuu. I wanted to go out and help people. I wasn't even scared of the Woods. It was a little bit odd at first, but a lot of people thought that a lot of places were odd; when it turns out that they just didn't know them real well.
My grandmother didn't allow me to leave the house by myself which was a major damper, but I didn't let it stop me. I just waited until she went out which happened once or twice a week. She'd go to the market place or a friend's house. At first she took me, but it was really awkward and I said the wrong thing a few times and it wasn't my fault, not really, I was just trying to be friendly.
She was usually gone for a few hours at a time, so I'd wait thirty or so minutes and then leave. I didn't go very far. I walked up the path to Neovia sometimes and I'd talk to people in the market. They were really nice, but none of them wanted to be my friend, so I stopped going there and just wandered around the Woods.
They're really pretty when you don't think about it. A lot of people say that Shenkuu is pretty and I guess that I agree, but it's not as pretty at the Haunted Woods.
Sometimes I'd venture a little bit into the forest. That's how I met Bru.
I met Bru one day in early autumn and I remember that because I was looking at the leaves and thinking about how pretty they were and not paying attention to wear I was going at all. I tripped over a tree branch and fell. I was alright, but when I looked up I saw a very small Buzz crouched by a tree. He was wearing travelers clothes and was looking at me. He looked a bit scared.
Hello! I said and I immediately started wondering if he was okay. He flinched when I talked and he looked very worried. He was super pale and he looked sort of sick. Are you alright? I asked him.
He didn't reply. He just looked at me like I had three heads (I checked, I don't). Is this a joke? he finally asked me. His voice was low and he sounded like someone who was very shy.
Of course not! I said and I put my hands on my hips. You know, you shouldn't be out here by yourself! I told him in my most authoritative voice.
He looked at me like he didn't understand, so I was going to repeat myself, but then I noticed that he was holding his arm like he was hurt. What happened to your arm? I asked him.
He looked around all shifty like and then dropped his eyes. He held out his arm and I've got to admit, I was a little shocked when he showed me what was wrong. His arm was clear off! Fyora! I screamed and I could almost hear my mother scolding me for using language around a stranger. You're hurt! Come with me, quick, I've got bandages back at my house! I didn't wait for a reply, I just grabbed his arm and pulled him.
He was very light and if he protested, I didn't hear him. He was obviously very ill and possibly delirious, he wouldn't know what was happening anyway.
I thought about what my grandmother said about letting anyone who wasn't her inside of the house, but that didn't stop me from dragging Bru inside. I immediately began to search for bandages while he was in the kitchen. I ran back with my arms full of various things only to find that he was use wire and string from my grandmother's sewing cabinet to stitch himself up!
What are you doing? I cried and I dropped everything that I was holding out of shock. He looked at me like he didn't understand again. You're going to get that wound infected! And then you're going to die! I gasped all dramatically.
Miss, he said. You've been very kind to me, and I appreciate what you've done, but with all do respect I'm beginning to doubt that you understand what you're doing. He spoke very politely and I almost didn't realize that he was insulting me.
Hey! I understand just fine -
Miss, I am a zombie. That shut me up, right then and there. Boy, did I feel silly! Zombie's didn't have to worry about infections or anything. I was felt a little better now, seeing that he had the wire he needed and –
OH MY GOSH HE WAS A ZOMBIE.
I screamed and grabbed one of my grandmother's pans.
The zombie sighed really heavy and looked very disappointed. It caught me off guard. He grabbed his bag and stuffed the wire and string into it. Very well then, he said and he even sounded disappointed. I'll be off, Miss…?
I didn't reply for a moment. He didn't seem to be very… scary? I lowered my weapon. My name's Dillyna, although I'd prefer it if you called me Dil because Dillyna doesn't really seem to fit me and name's should fit the people with the name, ya know?
Well, then, Miss Dillyna, I'll be off. He turned away from me and began to limp out.
Wait, I said. You don't seem very scary.
Prejudices will get you nowhere in the Haunted Woods, he said, sounding wounded, but I had a feeling that it wasn't really towards me and that made me feel a little bit better.
I'm sorry, I said and I really was! I'm new here.
That's obvious. He still had his back towards me, which was really rude, but I thought over my actions and I figured that threatening him was a pan was also sort of rude.
I just came here from Shenkuu, I admitted. I don't have any friends. I suddenly felt very sorry for myself, almost like I was going to cry. I don't know where it came from just then, but it was very bad. Would you like to be my friend? I asked him because hey, why not?
I didn't know what he'd say. I mean, I had just threatened him with a pan! What do I possibly have to lose? he said and I think that that meant yes, but if it didn't I took it as a yes anyone.
Yay! I screamed and I dropped the pan. I ran over to him and hugged him and he sure was tiny. He smelt sort of like gardening, too. What's your name? I asked him.
Bruuur, he said and I let him go. He looked down at the floor. But you can call me Bru.
I met Howl one day when he collapsed in my backyard and I remember that because, well, it's not every day that someone collapses in your backyard. There I was, minding my own business, doing the dishes when suddenly I heard a bunch of crashes and finally a thud.
I was really freaked out. Like, I'd probably be freaked out if I were still in Shenkuu and I heard that, but I was 100% more freaked out on account of my living in the Haunted Woods. I had all of these thoughts running through my mind, thoughts like "what if it's a werelupe?" or "what if it's a zombie?" but not a nice zombie like Bru who wasn't visiting at the time. I'm sort of glad that he wasn't, because if he wasn't things probably wouldn't have happened like they did.
I grabbed a frying pan that I had been washing, told Poof, my Huggy, that I loved him and slipped outside. I was super cautious and tiptoeing about. It was around 6 PM NST, so there was still some light, but not a lot and it was sort of cold, so I was shivering. Hello? I asked to nobody in particular and tbh, I wasn't expecting a response.
I got a response, though. It was a groan that made my scream, jump half a foot into the air and drop my frying pan. I scrambled for it and found it. I held it out in front of my all-protective like, ready to bash some heads in, when I heard another groan.
Help… the person in my backyard moaned and he sounded super genuine. My "helping instincts" kicked in and I lowered my weapon.
Okay… I said, sort of unsure. I was about to ask him where he was, but he knocked something over near my grandmother's bird bath, so I didn't have to ask.
What's wrong? I asked as I was walking to him. I could see a shape in the darkness, and he was all dark and lumpy. Very large. I started to get a little anxious.
I was attacked, he said and then he whined. The whine was super high and sounded like a Lupe's. Finally, I found him in the darkness and kneeled down next to him. He was a Lupe – a Spotted Lupe, dressed in tattered Neovian clothing and shaking like a bare tree branch! .
Attacked by what? I asked him. I was starting to get very worried. I couldn't tell how hurt he was, but I was sort of figuring that it wasn't what I could handle.
There was… a whole pack of them… they… But he couldn't finish, he just started to whine again.
A pack of werelupes? I asked him and I was really hoping that he wasn't going to say no. He nodded his head as best he could and I pretty much started freaking out right there.
Okay, okay, Fyora, okay, okay, I started saying. I stood up and I was pacing about. I didn't know what to do at all. I wished that my grandmother was here because she'd know what to do and I wished that I wasn't here at all and -
Wait! Calm down, Dil. You got this. You can do this. What did grandmother say? There was a woman in the woods who would help if something went really wrong and grandmother wasn't there… ugh, what did she say? .
What was her name? It was something funky, but probably more fitting than 'Dillyna'. It was… Danger! That's what it was! Danger and to find her you had to follow the path through the woods.
Okay, buddy, I told him. I got you! I helped him stand up, but he was too weak to do it by himself. He was practically leaning on me the whole way to the wheelbarrow where I dumped him. It took a bit, but I managed to get the wheelbarrow going, even over the tough ground of the Haunted Woods. I wrote my grandmother a note and then we set off. I didn't really know where I was going, but I knew that I had to help this kid. .
I'm Howl, he said, really quietly, between moans. What's your name?.
Dillyna, I told him. But I prefer 'Dil'. And then I proceeded to tell him the whole story behind my name and how I got to the Woods and everything, all the way along the path. I don't know how conscious he was, but I'm 100% sure that it helped him calm down. (:
I didn't know what I was looking for, but I knew that I would know it when I found it!
And that I did. It was a small cabin, really rickety looking. It actually didn't look like it was even very stable, very teetery and stuff and there was junk everywhere! Weeds all over the yard and pieces of what looked like mechanical things. I remember thinking how sketch everything was. .
I was almost too scared to go up and bang on her door, but then I looked at Howl – shaking and whimpering – and I knew that I had to. I gathered 100% of my courage and set out across the nasty lawn. .
I didn't get very far, not really. Something grabbed my foot, I fell and the next thing I knew I was upside down! I couldn't see anything because it was too dark. I was so confused, I didn't even have the time to scream! .
I heard banging, clunks and footsteps. There was a howling sort of laughter. It sounded like a wicked witch and – OHMYGOSH SHE'S A WITCH ISN'T SHE AND SHE'S GOING TO EAT ME THIS IS HOW IT ALL ENDS.
I fell on my back with a really loud and painful thump. Somebody grabbed me by my shirt and turned me around. Then I was looking face to face with a real, live monster. .
What do you want? the monster asked me. She sounded really angry and annoyed, and the monster had her hands on her hips.
Don't eat me! I pleaded. I even got down on my knees. Best to cover your bases first. Gnorbu tastes disgusting and since I'm Disco you'll probably be pooping glitter for the next month at the very least!.
The monster stared at me with an open mouth. Look, kid, she groaned. Unless you've got a really good reason for being here, pooping glitter isn't going to stop me from eating you. .
But I do have a good reason for being here! I said. My friend got bit by a Werelupe and we need your help! Please, he's really hurt! .
The monster sighed. Kid, people get bit by Werelupes all of the time. Why is your case special? And how did you find me? .
I started to cry. My grandmother told me about you and -.
Grandmother? she asked me. Her voice wasn't as cold this time and for the very first time I noticed that she was wearing a long, Neovian-style dressed. .
Yeah, my grandmother. I'm from Shenkuu and I'm living with her - I was going to continue telling her my story, but she walked away (rude). She strutted over to the wheelbarrow and I didn't believe what I saw. She lifted him up like he was three pounds, all by herself!
Follow me, kid, she told me, opening the door to her house.
Only if you aren't going to eat me, I told her, standing up. My legs were all wobbly and my knees were covered in dirt from kneeling.
Kid, I'm not going to eat you, she told me and I think that she rolled her eyes, but I couldn't really tell because her pupils sort of blended in with everything else.
Her house was really small and it looked smaller because there were piles of books and odd things everywhere. It was also dusty. Really, dusty. I was sneezing every three minutes in there, but I tried to act like I really wasn't because I didn't really want to be eaten.
I sat real alert at the kitchen table while she worked on my new friend, Howl. She had him spread out on the table in front of me and she was… well, to this day I'm not super sure. She had salves and bandages everywhere. She rubbed this purple goop on him that smelt like dung, and then made him drink this potion thing from a cauldron and then she sewed up his wounds. They were really red and bright and ucky looking.
You were right to come to me, she said after a while. His wound was infected. It wasn't a fresh bite. You said he was your friend?
I nodded. I found him in my garden this morning, I told her, proud that I had saved him. She raised an eyebrow, obviously doubting my skills.
And you never met him before? I nodded. She sighed. Did he tell you his name?
Howl! I said proudly. She thought I was incompetent, do ho ho.
Howl, she repeated, dragging a clawed hand down his cheek lightly. Fitting name, now, I suppose.
Fitting? I asked. But I thought you cured him! I started getting real anxious again.
Kid, you can't cure werelupe bites, she told me. Her voice was all gentle and it sounded really pretty, actually. I cleaned the wound and it should heal properly, but he'll still be a big hair, werelupe. I gasped. She tutted. Being a monster's not all that bad, she told me. Werelupes still have autonomy, contrary to popular belief. He'd be an outcast from Neovia, though… She looked real sad.
Are you an outcast from Neovia, too? I asked her, but I sort of regretted what I said right when I said it. Instead of exploding, she smiled sort of sadly.
Yeah, kid, I guess you could say that I am.
I'll be your friend, I told her. I smiled and perked up. So many new friends today, if she accepted.
She sat there, real quiet for a second. Yeah, kid she said, I'll be your friend.
It was the Eve of the Day of Giving when I approached the broken down house with my hands full of presents. It was real cold and I sort of wondered how Danger kept her house heated. I thought about maybe asking her, but I figured that she'd just roll her eyes and say Kid, magic.
Grandma, hurry up! I cried all impatient-like and I even stomped my foot on the wooden porch. It creaked and my grandmother tutted.
Patience is a virtue, she reminded me and then she nodded like a sage or the old guy in the Lunar Temple back home. Isn't that right, Bru? Bru stood behind her, his arms so full of presents that I was afraid that his arm would fall off again.
I believe that's what they told us at grammar school. I rolled my eyes. He always took her side.
The door to the house opened with a creak. Oh, would you all stop bickering! Howl greeted us with a laugh. He had a red winter hat on his head and when he laughed he showed all of his (sharp) teeth. Excited, I added my pile of presents to Bru's load and ran to hug my werewolf friend. He hugged back.
Hello, Howl, my grandmother said. Where's Danger? I thought of how Howl had moved in with Danger after he got bit because nobody in Neovia would take him back.
Right here, Danger answered for her housemate. She wore a long, sweeping, red dress and had a piece of tinsel tied around one of her horns. She was wringing her hands like I do when I'm about to take a really big test, so I think that she was super nervous. Grandma had told me that this was probably her first holiday season with anybody in a really long time. I don't really understand why she'd be nervous because of that. I think that I'd just be happy to spend it with someone.
Yay! I said suddenly. Everyone looked at me like they were confused, especially Danger. I'm just really happy, I explained, because I was. I liked it in the Haunted Woods. I had friends, for the first time ever.
Bru placed his load of presents on the ground. Happy holidays, he said and his words were echoed by everyone around.
I was the last. Happy holidays, I told everybody. And it was. It was a really happy holiday.
If you've made it this far, thank you very much. I hope that you enjoyed Dil's petpage and if you have any suggestions, feel free to neomail me. (:
Dillyna was originally Dhunkin the Disco Gnorbu. Dhunkin was gifted to me by the ever wonderful Holly in August of 2011. Holly missed her little Gnorbu and created Dillyna as per a custom. We traded and now Kin is back in Holly's arms and Dil is in mine! Thank you so much Holly!
Construction on this page began in January 2012 and I had a really good time making it. Dil's character is inspired by some ditzy people I know and her paint was inspired by Scooby Doo, ngl. Disco is so bright and Disco + aspiring detective = I couldn't pass it up, okay.
Song lyrics used on this page come from Arcade Fire's "Sprawl II (Mountains Upon Mountains)".
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