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Hayt! Paying the universe forward for something nice Toro did for her once (and unbeknownst to her, she's actually helping Toro's daughter!)

1st excerpt is 200 words, 2nd is 90 words!


‘What’s your name?’

She doesn’t respond.

‘I can wait all day.’

‘Hayt.’

‘Well, Hayt. I need that coin purse back.’

Hayt begrudgingly hands it over.

‘I shouldn’t, but I believe in second chances,’ he says as he takes back the coin purse. ‘So get going back to your parents.’

‘Don’t patronise me, fat-man,’ Hayt mumbles under her breath as she walks away.

Toro laughs, and the kid’s tail fluffs out when she realises he’d heard her.

‘Good mouth on you!’ he laughs. ‘Now get before I mistake you for one of my own kids and take you home with me!’

Hayt looks at him for a second, then a sly smirk appears on her face. ‘How did someone as ugly as you find a girl who’d let you have kids with her?’

Toro scoffs, then laughs.

Hayt gives him the finger, but he sees her grinning playfully and knows she’s just being a cheeky felinic kid.

‘Alright, move off before I change my mind.’

‘Hah, right,’ Hayt snorted. ‘So what? Do I owe you something now?’

‘Nah,’ Toro shook his head. ‘I’m just being a decent person. Just pay it forward when you can. … Pretend you owe the universe.’

~~~~

‘You’ve done a lot for me,’ she sighs. ‘Is there anything I can do to thank you?’

‘I’m just paying forward,’ Hayt responds. ‘It’s a bit of a thing I have going on. Do something nice for someone so maybe they’ll do something nice for someone else. You know.’

‘That’s a nice idea,’ Ka’tassah grins. ‘Doesn’t sound like it came from this area.’

‘Some old guy did it for me once. Felt good. Pretty sure it made me a better person. So I make sure I do the same.’


‘I DON’T WANT TO PUT ON PANTS!’ the screech from downstairs was followed by a loud crash and doors slamming.

He stood to respond, but before he could even open his mouth he heard Ell’ian yell a response.

‘YOU WILL PUT ON YOUR PANTS WHEN LILTH TELLS YOU TO OR I WILL PUT THEM ON FOR YOU! DON’T MAKE ME COME INSIDE!’

Screaming followed, and more doors were slammed, but after a few moments Toro heard his daughter yell about wanting “the blue ones” and let out a loud sigh.

Putting on his own pants, he stumbled to the door and shouted down the hall, ‘ELLOW’HEN! YOU TREAT AUNTY LILTH WITH RESPECT OR YOU’LL LOSE YOUR LIZARD PRIVILEGES!’

The shouting grew into a loud cry, which cut off when Toro yelled back that he meant it.

‘YOU WON’T BE ALLOWED TO EAT LIZARDS FOR A WHOLE WEEK IF YOU DON’T BEHAVE!’

There was no response; which Toro knew was a victory.


Dellor’s introduction in the main series

300 words

cw: violence

Toro grabbed the attacker by the wrist and twisted. As they turned, Toro kicked out, and in two simple motions he managed to bring the attacker to their knees and force their gaze on him.

He regretted it instantly.

A familiar face glared up at him. Or, half a familiar face. The other half of the face was so scarred it was unrecognisable. Long slashes tore down the entire right side; pulling up what little was left of the lip into a disfigured, smile-like snarl that showed the yellow-stained teeth and too-red gums.

The good side of the face was pulled into a scowl as ugly as the other. The single eye seethed with a hatred Toro had never seen in it before— Bloodshot and sore, it met his own and dared him to act out. Even if he hadn’t remembered the face, the eye was something he could have never forgotten.

‘You!’ Toro nearly choked. ‘What—’

‘—Great job, Toro!’ Fali called, rounding the corner. ‘You got the bastard!’

Toro broke eye contact and turned to watch as the rest of the guards joined them in the hall.

‘What’s you’re name, you scum?’ Fali snarled.

‘Ask him,’ the man looked back to Toro, his tangled hair falling over his bad eye; making him look even more crazed than before.

‘Toro?’ Fali asked. ‘What—’

‘—Great Scara, his face!’ Krish exclaimed, interrupting Fali. ‘What happened to his face?’

The scarred man turned to the guards; letting his gaze fall on them slowly, one at a time, until it rested on Krish. ‘I take that you haven’t met his wife before, have you?’ he snarled. ‘Nasty people, harpies.’

Toro yanked the sickly man forward. ‘She was protecting me from you!’

‘I never should have let you bring her home with you!’ he snapped. ‘Then maybe you would have behaved like a normal son.’


Coski had a nightmare about his grandfather, & went to his parents for comfort. This is the conversation that follows.

Excuse the roughness; another super early draft!

120 words

cw: violence mention / implied child abuse

‘Is grampapa coming back?’ Rogie asks, joining her brother and parents. ‘He never got to meet Ellow'hen!'

‘I don’t know,’ Toro replies. ‘I don’t think he’s coming back.’

Ell’ian shrugs. ‘I HOPE Dellor comes back. I’ll kick his arse. You two wanna watch me beat up grampapa?’

‘Rip out his other eye!’ Rogie exclaims, jumping up and down. ‘Rip it out like the first one!’

Coski looks anxious and grabs his dad’s arm, nuzzling into his underarm. ‘I don’t want him to come back,’ he whispers fearfully. ‘He was awful.’

‘If he comes back I’ll kill him,’ Ell’ian hissed to her son. ‘He won’t lay another hand on this family. He won’t even have the chance. I’ll shred him.’

Rogie claps excitedly.


‘Seces … seces …’ she muttered, then clicked her fingers. ‘Toro, you know a seces right?’

‘Yes?’ Toro frowned. ‘Why?’

‘Could you get xer to put some of her mucus in this for me?’ Distro handed him a phial that was far too dusty to be usable.

‘Um … I can try,’ he muttered, taking the fragile glass and cleaning it on his shirt. ‘But—’

‘—Thaddaboy. It’s gotta be fresh, and preferably full of hormones.’

‘Wha—’

‘—Tell xer its for Kazani. Xie’ll get it.’


Two figures sat alone under the light of the moons. Over a hundred years had passed since the day they had met. For one, nothing had changed. For the other, death was coming near; the misty clouds that spun out of her mouth were so small it seemed as though she was scarcely breathing.

Thin, ancient hands grasped weakly at woollen blankets, but couldn’t hold them still. The older of the two —the one who hadn’t aged— pushed the falling blankets back over her daughter’s shoulders and smiled as best she could. ‘How are you feeling?’

‘Tired,’ was the reply. ‘I think tonight’s my last night, kekik Distro.’

‘Don’t say such things,’ Distro told her.

The woman shook her head. ‘I’m alright with dying now. I’ve lived a long time. A hundred and twenty four years. … I’d not have lived that long back in Heck’ne. Most people die before they’re thirty. Did you know that, kekik Distro?’

Distro shivered. ‘Yes, I know.’

‘Where’s Ka’harja? Is he back yet? He’s been gone an awfully long time.’

Distro put her face in her hands and took a deep breath. She sat up straight beside her daughter and held back the tears that were trying to escape her eyes. ‘He’s not coming back, remember? He died.’

A confused look passed over the old woman, just for a second, before she looked up at the sky and sighed. ‘I remember.’


A not-so-happy scene, involving Ell’ian and her sister. It’s the first time they’ve seen each other in almost 20 years, after the passing of some unsavoury family members.

This probably won’t make sense because it’s from the first draft of book 5 of my fantasy series Don’t Lose Hope (which y’all have no context for) but uhhh, I’m really proud of it and how it shows off Ell’ian’s emotions.

I’ll post some happier/funnier stuff soon!

(tw: death and csa mentions)

‘I’ve been meaning to ask,’ Ell’ian mumbled through her mouthful. ‘How did yalfit die?’

The harpies fell silent, and Kala’Verso slowly put down her cup. ‘You mean you do not know?’

Ell’ian’s brow tensed. ‘How would I know? The last time I saw him was when he was chasing me off. He crash landed, and must have hurt his wing or something because he didn’t follow me past the Kahi’ma mountains.’

The tension in the air only rose as Kala’Verso pushed her meal away. ‘Ell’ian, he broke his neck.’

Toro’s heart nearly gave way.

‘When?’ Ell’ian asked, oblivious. ‘How? Did he land wrong or— Oh. … Oh I understand.’

‘I sent a search party looking for you, after I became mala’kala,’ her sister sighed. ‘I wanted to bring you home. It was a hard month. Too many deaths. First kekik. Then little Gala’zijah. And then I lost yalfit, Ref’elute, and you all in one night. … I did not know what to do. It was the worst I had ever felt. I thought I would die myself from the heartbreak.’

Ell’ian looked away. ‘I didn’t mean to hurt yalfit.’

‘What about Ref’elute?’

Ell’ian inhaled sharply, and Toro saw her feathers start to rise. ‘That … I did on purpose. And I don’t regret his death.’

‘He was your brother—’

‘—And I was eight!’ Ell’ian’s voice broke. ‘I was not the one at fault!’

‘Ell’ian, it was—’

‘—No!’ Ell’ian slammed her palm into the table, knocking over her drink. ‘Don’t you dare try to tell me what happened to me was right! Don’t you dare!’

‘I am not—’

‘—There is no excuse for what he did to me!’

Kala’Verso sighed, and without another word stood up. She put a hand up to stop her harpies from following her. ‘Eat. We leave tomorrow, you will need your strength.’

Toro felt the air chill as Kala’Verso quietly shut the door behind her.

The silence was only broken when Kesk’rogie turned to her mother, mouth open wide.

‘You killed someone?’

Ell’ian nodded.

‘COOL!’ Ellow’hen exclaimed.

‘Sweetie,’ Toro put a hand on her shoulder.


‘Why are wolven homes so ugly?’ Ell’ian asked, loudly turning to the queen. ‘Dellor’s rooms were hideous before we repainted, and this castle isn’t much better!’

‘Excuse me?’ Distro scoffed. ‘It’s called minimalism—’

‘—Your purple rugs are fugly,’ Ell’ian said plainly.

What?’ gasped Distro.

~~~

It’s been almost 200 years since anyone has had the AUDACITY to insult Distro’s interior decorating.


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