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Monday, April 14th, 2003
10:25 pm - Chapter 7 - the last, story is discontinued. Thanks to those that have read, sorry about this!

Paige, Silas, and Nekku all ran out and watched as a young girl chased after a pink colored feline, Corealis close behind screaming. Paige sighed as she watched the familiar scene, Silas just crossed his arms and watched them. Nekku, however, had never seen such a strange scene, nor such a strange creature.

"And what do ya call that thin'?" He asked as his eyes followed the pink thing. "Aren't ya gonna do somethin' ta help?"

"That is Corealis' pet. And no, we just wait until the kids get tired. They do this all the time, they know how protective Corealis is of Chime." Silas said with a chuckle.

"Hardly seems fair ta me, but whateveh' ya say. Where'd she get such a thin'?"

Silas' eyes glazed over somewhat as he stared into the distance. "There's a long story behind that, as there is behind Corealis, herself. Older than you, and anyone you may know. It's not my story to tell, if you really would like to know. Corealis is the one who should tell it, if she chooses to do so,"

"Sounds fair 'nough ta me," Nekku watched as the child ran off and the small pink creature turned and came to Corealis. He noted it wasn't very small, almost 2 feet to it's shoulder, and it resembled a lion cub with tufts of brown fur on head and tail. He began to think back to his group and then of a certain blonde young lady, whom he longed to have there with him to see this small village.

Corealis walked over to them with the creature at her heels. "I see that you're feeling better, mister Nekku." She smiled as he nodded and watched his gaze turn to the creature. "Oh, this is Chime. If you were wondering, she's a mera, not a creature you have seen before, I'm sure."

"Nah, can't say that I have. Does it bi'te?" Nekku replied as he kneeled down to her.

"Nope, she's completely trained. She loves when people pet her, she's very soft."

Nekku began to rub Chime's head. "Aye, her fur's soft. I have a lady friend, she has a pet, but it's aweful mean. Snips ah't ev'ry chance."

"We train our animals here, we don't let them get out of line. We don't abuse them or anything, but the magic of the forest seems to tame them, and we refuse them honey if they do anything to us. Honey is a treat around here, and very valuable. We use it for many things; food, drink..."

"As I've noticed." Nekku nodded in reply.

"Well, Nekku, how about we go back into the tent and talk about what happened..." Silas said as he held the door open for him to enter, and nodded dismissal to Corealis and Paige.

((For those who haven't noticed, this story is dead. Many things have contributed to this, and I'm sorry for the inconvenience. If you would like to know what happened and what would have ended up happening, you can e-mail me at coral_yoshi@hotmail.com with "Icicle Forest Story" as the title, or something such as that. Sorry again, and I hope you understand. Of course, not many have even read this, but still :P))

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Wednesday, November 20th, 2002
7:21 pm

Paige looked over at Nekku and her face contorted a bit. "Now, you know, there are a lot more with injuries and illnesses than you in this village. An' right now, Corealis is the only healer we have in the Village." She grinned and leaned back against the wall. "I'm not a healer, myself. Know nothing of medicine, really. I'm one of the hunters of the village, not a very common job for females, I know, but we are given jobs around here according to our skill."

Nekku looked at her strangely. "I guess I know what'ya mean. Al Bheds don't really hunt much, we're more into technology. And speakin' of which, ya don't seem to have much o' that 'round here, aye?"

"No, we're not into technology. We can get along fine without it. I don't see the reasons for having it, it just corrupts people." Paige replied, shrugging as she stared at his strange eyes. "Your eyes are really weird, you know that? Do you see swirly?"

"Why, ya own eyes are weird to me'h. I sometimes wonder if ya circle-pupahls only see two tunnels ahead of ya," Nekku shot back. "Seems to me ya do, ya all can't see or undahstand wha's aroun' ya."

Paige contorted her face again, staring at him with a soft glare, and a long reign of silence fell over them. "Well, I have to bring you to Silas. You seem to be feeling better." She finally replied and headed towards the door.

"Aye, I'm still a bit dizzay. I'll come, though. A little he'p?" The Al Bhed said as she neared the door. Paige turned and looked at him, then turned as if to leave, but stopped as if she changed her mind. She grimaced and turned to help him stand, still showing her displeasure blatantly.

"This is one of the reasons I'm glad I'm not a healer." She said as she lead him out.


"Ah, feeling better, Mister Nekku?" Silas said as Paige walked in, helping Nekku along.

"A bit. Wish I had somethin' ta drink, though." Nekku replied with a nod.

"Very well, then," Silas nodded towards Paige as she helped Nekku to sit at the table. "Will you fetch some tea for Mister Nekku, Paige?"

Paige sighed in an exaggerated manner. "Of course, Sir. I'll be right back," Silas was silent as he watched her leave, and after the long silence, he rolled his eyes slightly, then smiled sheepishly down at Nekku.

"She's a good girl, just a bit of a fiery personality. Makes a fine hunter..." He trailed off, then continued. "So, do you remember anything now about this whole ordeal?"

"Not much, actuah'lly. Tryin', though."

"Did any of your people know where you were going?"

"Not that I know of... All I remembah' was us goin' by a forest. I went off in it and the rest is just a bluh'r,"

Silas nodded and the silence crept back in, until disturbed by Paige's reentry with a cup of warm tea in hand.

"Here you are, hope you like it." She said as she handed him the cup. He took it gingerly and sipped at it.

"It tastes ah'ful nice. What is it exa'tly?" He gestured to Paige with his cup and looked at her questioningly.

"Just regular tea, with a bit of honey added. We add honey to a lot of our stuff here," She replied and continued standing, a custom in the village for females when in the leader's home.

Silas watched in silence, then after a slight pause, "... say. Have either of you seen where Corealis went off to?"

That's when they heard the scream.

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Monday, November 18th, 2002
11:19 pm

Nekku, who was being carried into the spare hut by the elder, still felt a bit disoriented from the previous treatments he underwent. He watched the passing scenery as he was being toted from one place to the other, and it made him feel a bit dizzy.

In the hut, Nekku was set down on a bed, with bandages and ointment all upon his body. He didn't seem to enjoy the aroma of the potions, but he gave a strong attempt to bear with them. Silas left, with Corealis by his side.

"Jade, you aid Paige in taking care of this man, alright?"

"Okay, uncle!" she giggled.

"Paige, and please bring him to my hut once he's feeling better. I desire to talk to him as well."

Paige nodded, and watched Silas and Corealis leave through the door. Closing it, Piage turned her head to face the man's, and grinned in a sly manner.

"Well, seems we have a visitor in the village! So, you're not an elf, eh? What are you then, HMM?!" Paige questioned, literally putting her face to Nekku's.

Nekku narrowed his eyes, feeling quite disturbed. He spoke again in the same Scottish brogue as before. "Well... if'n ye must know. I happ'n to be an Al Bhed."

Paige appeared confused. She glared deep into his eyes, but Nekku pushed her away slightly. She was stunned, and just stood along his bedside.

"What exactly IS an Al Bhed? Sounds like some sort of a gadget or something..."

"Long story. It's the name of my race. Tha's all yeh need to know."

Jade was playing with a doll on the ground as Paige was speaking to Nekku. She perked up when she was hearing Nekku talk. As soon as she did, she leapt to her feet with the doll in hand, and crawled up besides him onto the bed.

"Hey!" she said. "Can you speak some more of your funny language again? I wanna hear! I wanna hear! I WANNA HEAR!!"

Jade kept jumping up and down on the bed in a frenzy. Nekku tried to regain balance on the bed, and Paige extended her arms out to grab her. Nekku had an idea. He took a breath and yelled out in Al Bhed tongue: "LYMS TUFH!!"

Jade suddenly stopped jumping, and sat down on the bed. "Eeeeeee~!! You said something! Let me try, too!"

When she attempted to speak in Nekku's tongue, it came out in just a bunch of random babble which the Al Bhed man was not amused by. Jade just curled the hair of her doll in her finger. Nekku peered over her shoulder, and poked at the doll's face.

"Tha's a pretty doll yeh got thar'. Who made it fer yeh?"

"Corry did! She sews really good! She made my doll all pretty..."

"She did a fine job. Is she yer sister?" he askedm with a hint of curiosity in his voice.

"Uh huh!" she responded. "She's my big sister! She's really good at healing, too. She's the one who healed you."

"She did, eh? And...who was the old man? Oh, and miss?" Nekku asked, directing toward Paige.


"What's yer name?"

"I'm Paige..." the raccoon hybrid said. "The old man you're asking about is Silas. He's the elder."

"I see," he said, stroking his beard. He turned to move off the bed, and shifted both feet to the ground. He stood, and stretched his limbs. Jade jumped off with him, and ran toward the door. She grabbed the handle, and squealed out again.

"Bet I can bet you to the Elder's house! Bet'cha I can!" With that, she ran out the door, and started skipping along the streets enthusiastically.

A bit bewildered, Nekku felt tempted to go chase her. Paige advised him to stay put, because of his injuries. Reluctantly, he listened, and returned to the bed. He lay upright, with his back against the wall.

Lifting up his shirt, he stroked his hand along the bandage foldings. He didn't notice the cuts and scrapes that Corealis healed, but he was still concerned.

"Miss Paige?" Nekku questioned. "Can yeh get Corealis for me? I wanna know wha's actually going on..."

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10:26 pm

Jade watched Corealis dress Nekku's wounds, mesmorized by the steady movement of her hands. After a long and awkward silence - broken only by the occasional grunts of the wounded Al Bhed - Corealis had finished cleaning and dressing his wounds.

Nekku stared blankly at the young healer before thanking her quietly. Corealis nodded and capped the ointment, stepping back to give her report to her uncle. "He's been badly hurt.. I'd say he's been out here for at least a couple days." She bit her lip before continuing. "His wounds are clean however, and if we get him back to the village..." She trailed off here, looking up at her uncle to see his reaction.

Silas rubbed his chin thoughtfully, looking him over. While they had been talking, Jade had kneeled next to Nekku. She fished around in her pockets for a few minutes before producing a handful of brown crumbs. "Want a cookie?"

Nekku stared before grunting a no thank you. Jade shrugged and stuffed the crumbs in her mouth before going back to staring at him. Corealis and Silas exchanged an exasperated look.

"He's not human," stated Silas flatly. Corealis looked up, shocked. "At least not completely. No human has eyes like this man."

Corealis nodded slowly, relaxing slightly. "Well thats a relief, I suppose. Then we can take him back to the village and give him proper shelter and healing.."

Silas nodded and moved forward, lifting Nekku gently and supporting his weight. Jade had been trying to provoke him into saying something in the language she had sworn she heard him speak before, and now danced at her uncles side, babbling in gibberish. Corealis sighed and took her sister by the hand, leading their strange party back to the village.


Paige saw them coming long before they arrived back, and was first to meet them at the entrance to the village. By now the sun had fully risen, and the frozen ground began to thaw, leaving puddles of mud among the trees. She greeted them cheerfully, which made Corealis wonder if she had been the only one nervous about Nekku being human.

"So where have you been all morning? Oh, excuse me! All night! You werent in your hut last night!" Paige chimed teasingly. "And who's this?!" she beamed, not giving her a chance to explain. "He's funny looking! Look at his eyes!"

"Be nice, Paige," Corealis said wearily. "You're lucky he doesnt speak Elven." She paused thoughtfully. "At least I hope not."

Nekku, however, was distracted once again by Jade's attempts to speak Al Bhed. She was gurgling random words, like a baby first learning to speak. "Denahah geoooo teae-teae kukohnae x-feahn-fu haae-kuk-ku fuee-lu-ge aeeay-kuz!"

Nekku did not look amused.

Paige grinned. "I'll go prepare the spare hut for him. Meet you there." She winked and ran off, racoon tail swishing along behind her.

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7:29 pm

Corealis eyed Nekku for a second. "Nekku," she repeated and nodded. "Alright. Well, let's take a look at you,"

Silas looked down at Corealis, Jade peeking over his head as she tried to climb down, but Silas somehow was able to keep her there. They both watched patiently as Corealis looked over the man and his foreign clothing, checking scratchmarks.

"You're not too badly injured. Just a few scratches. How strange..." she muttered to herself and begin to check the surrounding area, looking for clues. She checked scratches onto trees, and rubbed them tenderly, checking them closely. "These look like knife marks... By the look of it, this person isn't very good with a knife. Maybe even a bit cra-" she paused, silent, as all eyes fell upon her. "Oh my..." was all she could say as she stood, bewildered. Checking around once more, she found some more clues which gave foundation to her fears: a few pieces of thread matching that of Lady Alice's clothing. Corealis remembered a tear on the young girl's clothing when she found her, wondering in this area, not even two nights ago, searching for something.

"What is it, Corry?" Chimed little Jade. Corealis jumped in surprise.

"Nothing, Jade, nothing of your concern," she replied and stood straight, looking down at Nekku. "Jade, would you be a dear and go retrieve some ointment for me? It's on the second shelf, on the wall across from my bed, about the center. It should be marked 'ointment,'"

Jade grimaced and looked at Corealis. "You're just trying to get rid of me," she retorted as Silas lowered her to the ground.

"Mind your sister, Jade, and get the ointment for her," Silas said as he set her down and patted her head with a warm smile.

"Aw, alright..." Jade said and turned off towards the village.


A long silence settled over them before Corealis walked over and began to speak to Silas. "It was that young girl, Lady Alice. The one I found wandering," she said and nodded to the knife marks. "I remember her holding a knife when I found her. Plus, I found some threads from her clothing..." Corealis sighed and looked over at Nekku, then spoke quickly, "There's something wrong with her, I don't think she knew what she was doing. She's a strange little girl, indeed. Uncle Silas, please don't get mad at her," She continued imploringly.

Silas looked at the man, and turned, giving Corealis a stern look, which softened fast. He could never stay mad at her, not even when she was a young girl as he brought her up. After her father died, he had grown quite attached to the young elf. "Well, she can stay, but I want you to keep an eye on her. Don't let her harm anyone else."

"Oh, I won't, thank you, Uncle Silas!" Corealis replied cheerfully and hugged him. Then there was a soft rustling of leaves as Jade ran up, carrying the bottle.

"Careful, Jade! I don't want you breaking it!" Corealis cautioned, taking the bottle from Jade. "Thank you, dear," She continued as she turned to take care of Nekku's scratches.

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7:07 pm - Chapter Two

"...fryd...? Frana ys E...?"

The strange voice mumbled the same sentence twice over in native tongue. It came from the body of a man that was laying sprawled upon the icy cold earth. He was experiencing mild amnesia, and couldn't find the strength to move.

One eye of his opened, which revealed itself to be a hue of a beautiful crystalled blue. He has no pupil, but a black spiral that replaced it. Tracing his nimble fingers along the ground, he tried to remember what last happened. But try as he may, he failed miserably.

His ears pricked up at a series of voices conversing to one another. His heartbeat increased, and his breath quickened. He nearly began to feel faint again, since he had the feeling that whoever was coming was going to kill him. Falling silent, he just waited motionless, with the wind rustling his hair...

~ ~ ~

"The funny man was this way! I saw him!" Jade piped as she danced along the path. Corealis abruptly grabbed her by the collar of her shirt, and tugged her back.

"You know, with a tone of voice like that, you could nearly get hurt by something! Please stop screaming!" she wailed.

"But sister! This man is really funny looking! He had strange eyes and spoke in a funny accent and...and...and...!!"

The two sisters bickered for a while, until they were silenced by a gruff voice. "SILENCE! Both of you, please cease your noise. You're louder than any animal I ever heard."

The two looked up at the elderly man that shouted the command, and cringed slightly. Corealis stared up at the elder, speaking again in a more hushed voice. "We're ever so sorry, Uncle Silas. We didn't mean to fight..."

"It's quite alright." Silas patted Corealis on the head, then went up to Jade. He knelt to her, and spoke. "Jade, dear. Where was it that you found this man? I'm quite curious to know myself..."

"This way, Uncle!" she squealed. "Straight ahead! He spoke funny words to me!"

She tugged at Silas' sleeve so hard, she nearly dragged him forward. Silas abruptly stopped himself against the ground, and grinned. "Alright, alright," he scooped up Jade in his arm, and placed her on his shoulders. "Straight, you say? Then straight we shall go. Come along, Corealis."

Sauntering behind, Corealis followed the elder and her younger sister as they trekked farther into the forest.

~ ~ ~

"He's this way, uncle! We're getting close! This way, this way, this way!!"

"Calm down, young one. You almost fell off."

A series of shadows came upon the man upon the ground, along with the voices of Jade and her uncle. Unknowing of what was about to happen, the man still lay with his hair in his face, and breathing unevenly.

Silas stopped a few inches away from the man, and peered down at him. Jade yelled again.

"This was the man, uncle! The man with the spirally eyes!"

"So, this is him, eh? Poor thing, he seems completely immobile. ...say, Corealis?"

Corealis stopped, to look directly up into her uncle's face. "Yes, Uncle Silas?"

"Go up to that man and see if he's still alive." Silas ordered. "Hopefully, he's not dead from what Jade says, but you'll never know."

Holding back her fear, the elven girl walked up to the man on the ground, and knelt down. She peered straight into his face, and spoke to him as gently as possible.

"Hello there, stranger. Are you alright? Did you know how you got here?"

Opening his eyes, he responded by talking in English, in a Scottish brogue. "Aye...I'm fine. But I...I...cannae remember how I actually got 'ere..."

Corealis turned to Silas and Jade, and told them of her discovery. "He's very much alive...and he speaks in English!"

"But...but I HEARD him speak in another language!" Jade cried out. "I really did!"

"...hmm...perhaps he's a bilingual. I would like to know more. Keep asking him, Corealis. Ask him his name..."

She turned again to face the man on the ground, using her fingers to pull the strands of hair from his face. She looked into his eyes, and drew her hand back slowly.

"Do you have a name...?"

"Aye," he answered. "...it's Nekku."

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6:13 pm - Chapter One

Corealis Rosebloom pushed aside the curtain of the hut and stepped outside, pulling her scarf tighter around her neck as the cold air hit her.

She realized with a weary groan that she'd been longer than usual making her nightly rounds; the sun was already beginning to rise. Corealis was Icicle Forest's healer, and had a duty to check on the elderly and sick of the village each night. It usually didn't take long, but it had been a rough night - Lady Alice had been sick for some time now, but Corealis couldn't recognize her symptoms. She had done all she could for the strange girl, but nothing seemed to help. Puzzled and nervous, she began her walk home, running the symptoms over in her mind.

She barely noticed the two silver orbs following her until they were blocking her path. Corealis sighed, rubbing her eyes.

"What are you doing up this early, Jade?"

The demon child giggled, looking up at her sister mischeivously. "I found something!" She grabbed her hand suddenly and began to pull her towards the boundaries of the village, not waiting for an answer. Corealis struggled to get away.

"Please Jade, I was up all night! Can't I sleep first?"

"No! I have to show you now!" She tugged impatiently until her sister gave in, then bounded off towards the forest. "Come quick!"

Corealis watched her for a second, glaring in agitation. When Jade began to tease her from the edge of the trees she broke into a run, only half pretending in her threats to strangle the girl. Jade giggled happily and ran off again.

Corealis pulled her scarf tighter as she traced her sister through the woods, doing her best to stay alert but finding it hard for lack of sleep. She barely noticed the signs of struggle until Jade slowed down to walk in front of her, dancing mischeivously and pointing out the slicemarks in the trees. Corealis slowly started to get worried, running her fingers along the bark of the trees they passed. "Jade... what is it you found, exactly?"

Jade giggled, her voice unnaturally cheerful in the unnerving settings. "A funny man!"

Corealis stopped dead, staring incredulously. "A ...man?!"

Jade nodded, her silver eyes glowing in the half-light. "A funny man! He has swirls for eyes! And he talked funny! Not like us!" She starting dancing again and pulling on her sisters hand.

Corealis pulled her hand from Jade's, snatching her wrist roughly and pulling her in the opposite direction. "We're going back to the village. Now."

Jade looked up, caught between anger and dissapointment. "But I have to show you--"

"No, we're going back. We need to go tell Uncle Silas. This is bad Jade, this is dangerous. Men aren't allowed near the village, they're evil."

"But... but.." Jade stomped her foot before being dragged off toward home, eyes fixed on the woods behind her. And Corealis, wide awake from determination and fear, ran back toward Icicle Village, her sister in tow.

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