Wednesday, August 25, 2010

August 24, 2010 - Déjà Vu Week: Sense of Smell

Prompt: Write a crossover between two stories you have already written.

Source: None

Response: Sense of Smell: An A Time to Bleed/The Skin You're In Crossover

The instant I caught the scent I knew something was wrong. Sebastian and I were out. We weren't really hunting, just wandering around enjoying our animal forms.

I smelled it first, and odor unlike anything I knew. Humans smell a lot like nature, believe it or not; they smell like earth and moss and decomposing leaves, but in a way that somehow manages to be incredibly appetizing (don't ask me how, I've no clue). Shifters smell more artificial - like the smell that remains in a really well sanitized public building - almost like cleaner, but not quite. It's distinct, but not bad.

The beings I smelled, though, smelled like . . . The food you crave but can't place, but you'd give up your first born child for one taste of it. They smelled like victory and freedom and justice and true love rolled into a ball and tied with an ocean breeze. It was so good - a feeding frenzy, perfect test score, most-cleaver-most-perfectly-executed-comeback-EVER kind of good.

When Sebastian caught the scent it seemed to almost knock him off his feet. He was instantly salivating.

They were travelling in a group of three; they made almost no noise, but we could smell them each individually. We didn't think and there was not even an attempt at discussion. Sebastian and I moved into identical crouches (though, being a wolf, I was several times larger than his lithe fox form). We morphed into hunters, trackers, predators. Vicious predators . . . Ok, maybe we were a little too drunk off their scent to be considered vicious, but we were at the very least pretty dang determined predators.

We stalked them. They were ahead of us a little way, but they were in no hurry. We were anxious and if anything can make two relatively lazy teenage boys move quickly, its food-related anxiety.

We were stalking and stalking, but we were doing a pretty shoddy job, apparently, because we didn't even notice that they had stopped moving until we stumbled into the clearing where they were waiting for us. Staring into three pairs of mesmerizing onyx eyes I tried to smile. One of the white, sweet-smelling people bared his teeth back.


I was regretting my encouragement of Zeke's storytelling. The stories were not pretty. They were convoluted, ugly things. The were fascinating, the intricate tales of scandal and politics in the vampire city, but they were also repugnant. My father's I did not look at either of them as we walked. Zeke spoke with such knowledge and zeal that I could not stand to look at him. Lucious would not speak at all. He had told me I did not want to hear what Zeke would say and I wished I had listened to him.

I was so busy avoiding looking at Lucious that I did not see his initial reaction to the scent, but the next thing I knew his hand was gripping my arm like a vice.

"Shifters," he hissed. "The Others."

I went cold. We walked on - complete silence enveloping us. I could hear them in the underbrush. I could smell them. Their scent was so strong that it overpowered everything - it was neither pleasant nor abhorrent. It was too strong to be either. I wanted to run, but Lucious and Zeke continued on with flawless nonchalance.

My senses were all screaming. They were obviously trying to hunt us and while their methods were primative, I was afraid because their odor was clouding rational thought.

Lucious came to an abrupt halt in a clearing. He did not say anything, but turned to face those hunting us and Zeke did the same.

A moment later there they were - a gigantic wolf and a grinning fox with altogether too-human of eyes. The wolf's lips lifted into a snarl. Zeke fell into a crouch and bared his teeth.

Notes: Sorry this is late - I was flying across the country and I wanted to put a little more work into this prompt than I did the last one.

I said I would NEVER write anything vampire/werewolf after Twilight and the flood of Twilight-look-alike trash that has overwhelmed fiction writing. This vampire story - A Time to Bleed ( - is NOT Twilight inspired and is an unfinished novel written about four years ago. The werewolf story - The Skin You're In ( - is a recently completed novella and it's not in any way inspired by Twilight either; I paired them only because I thought their characters would be interesting together.

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