She barely had time to notice the red smears on the walls as she ran under the shots flying over their heads.
The noise was deafening, heavy machine guns were being fired all around the field, howls and terrifying screams could be heard chilling her to the bone.
She kept running though, keeping her back bent and her eyes firmly on the mass of red hair ahead of her, they couldn’t stop if they wanted to make it out unscathed.
A particularly well aimed shot narrowly missed her right shoulder as she ducked behind a low wall, nearly crushing her girlfriend’s arm as she fell to the ground.
“You okay?” Emily’s husky voice said next to her, just as they both winced to the sound of a particularly high pitched scream somewhere to their left.
“Yeah… Can’t stand all this running though.”
” Well we have to keep going, Naoms, wouldn’t want them to find us first, would we?”
She laughed at that but it was nervous and strained.
“I reckon we shouldn’t have pissed them off in the first place.”
She felt more than heard Emily snort next to her, ” It’s them or us, Naoms, I don’t think we have a choice in the matter,” here Emily turned to look at her, a smirk on her lips and a glint in her eyes that she could barely discern behind all the dirt on her face and goggles, “besides, it’s not like it isn’t fun.”
“Emily Fitch, you have the darkest idea of fun, I tell you.”
“Yeah and you are quite a terrible soldier, Officer Campbell, I thought you hated injustice and all that - figured you’d be good at fighting against it” Emily shrugged and turned back to the war raging around them. The shots were getting closer.
“Well, unless you forgot that anti-war rally I went to last month,” she realised that it felt like centuries ago rather than just a few weeks, “you’d know that this is not the kind of justice I was referring to. Besides…” footsteps were getting closer and she could feel a sour stench start to creep up from somewhere nearby “…I dont think there’s anything just about this.”
Suddenly, a body fell a few feet to their left, its face and gear covered in a reddish liquid that was now dripping on the dirt around it. She recognised the blonde hair instantly. “Fuck.”
“You’re going to see some justice now.” she barely had time to register the sentence as Emily rolled away from her and jumped to her feet, her weapon aimed and readied on her arms. She saw the fierceness in her stance as she started shooting, the determination and anger ( and was that a hint of excitement?) in her eyes as she moved sideways in a blur, carefully ducking the shots fired at her.
“Fucking hell,” she cursed under her breath and got ready to pounce after her girlfriend; the girl was unstoppable definitely but certainly not invincible and she’d get the two of them out safely if her life depended on it.
She hadn’t had time to react, however, before a shot struck Emily right on the chest and she fell to the ground with a thud.
Things got a lot less logical after that. She felt her brain completely shut down as her body took over and she scrambled on her feet as fast she could, nearly hitting her head on the side of the wall.
In a flash she was running towards Emily, her weapon firing blindly to her side, she could only hope that the shots would find their targets before they found her, tripping and clumsily keeping her helmet in place.
She’d just heard a shriek somewhere to her left and thought she might have hit one of the shooters when she felt a searing pain in her shoulder.
She stopped so abruptly she nearly fell on her face. Naomi stood there for a second, her eyes darting between the red stains on her shoulder and the shooter’s smug grin a few feet in front of her.
“Fucking hell, Katie!”
“Got you, lezzer! I told you, a Fitch always wins.”
“Yeah well, that’s what your sister said too when she told me about this stupid bet - now look at her!”
“Oi!” Emily stood up behind her, a hand to her chest where the paint was still dripping “I am offended. It’s not my fault you can’t run for shit.”
“Yeah, but I never nominated myself the Paintball Queen or whatever, did I?!”
“Hey!” now it was Katie’s turn to glare, Emily just stood rubbing her chest and grumbling something under her breath, “that was a shared title, bitch! We both got our names on the plaque, remember?”
“There’s a fucking plaque with your names on it?! What?! Where, in the manager’s office?” the twins rolled their eyes at her in synchrony when she just stared at them in confusion.
“Course not, you idiot” Katie spoke first, “it’s right by the entrance. Unbeaten since 1999.” she said with a proud smile on her face, the kind of which Naomi had only seen once before when Katie stormed in their flat shouting something about how she convinced the manager of her favourite department store to order more leopard print outfits. “Well, until now in Emily’s case. Loser.”
“Fuck off, Katie. I want a rematch.”
” Bring it on, bitch.”
“Hey - Hey - No!” Naomi jumped between the twins in a desperate attempt to stop what could possibly turn into another very violent argument. “No! I’ve had enough bruises and stains for one day, Emily you can defend your Paintball Queen honour another day, yeah? I vote we go home and I give your own personal prize or something.”
Emily perked up at the idea for a second as she seemed to consider it - they both ignored Katie’s fake retching sound - but she just turned her glare at Naomi herself instead.
“Naomi, this loss means we just lost our dibs on the better apartment. Remember that was the whole point of this bet? Fucking hell, Katie, that flat should be ours!”
“Fuck off, bitch, I won it fair and square! Along with the official Paintball Queen title, loser! I did always know I was the better shooter.”
Before Emily could respond (probably with her fists) however, they were all startled by a loud noise, a blur of red paint and a shriek as Katie stumbled forwards barely catching her footing.
“Well, I guess that makes me the Paintball Queen.” Effy stood a few yards behind them, leaning against a wall and looking as cool as she ever did. She was smirking. “I am the last one standing, after all.”
Next thing Naomi knew, Emily and Katie had both shot out running after Effy, Katie shouting something about her ruining her brand new leopard print custom military gear or something of the sort. Naomi could only hope for Effy’s sake that she was a fast runner.
Yep, she’d always known paintball was a shit idea to begin with.
Pandahontas (Things I Find in Old Laptops)
Posting this two-years-old what the fuck ness here because i have no idea what else to do with it.
Thomas Smith jumped in the large ship, his eyes darting around excitedly as he surveyed his surroundings. A brand new ship, a brand new crew, off to a New World. He could feel the excitement pumping in his veins as he darted around setting everything up for their departure. Other crewmen greeted him cheerfully as they brought in supplies and whispered on about their newly appointed governor.
The sky seemed peaceful for now, although Thomas suspected a storm might hit them along their voyage. He had been to countless places as a captain in the British Navy; he’d visited all continents, conquered hundreds of lands and explored thousands of forests and villages. He was genuinely fascinated by the savages he encountered in his explorations, their naïveté was almost endearing and he longed to teach them his civilized customs.
Although the world in which he lived himself might have been confusing if he had paused to reflect upon it, but reflection and observation seemed to be something people of his times lacked. No one seemed to question the few individuals sporting animal ears and tails as if carnival were a year-long event, in fact no one seemed to question that those were real talking animals as opposed to regular human beings disguised as animals. They carried on conversations with their “owners” and were as intelligent and rational and anyone else, but somehow their furry fake costumes seemed enough to convince both them and everyone else of their bestiality, it was only natural thus that any romantic or physical connection with them would be unimaginable.
Thomas was fully British and had been for hundreds of noble generations just as any other European captain, as it should always be. He did however wear a blonde floppy wig above his short black hair, he liked his hair very much but it was mostly something about that time’s fashion sense, see, wigs were quite in and there was nothing better for a young man who wanted to charm anything with a skirt.
He was of an average height but well built enough to impose respect upon his crewmen, his dark eyes betrayed nothing but serenity, responsibility but with a gleam of childish curiosity. As it was, Thomas travelled in order to save money and provide to his family, still unmarried he cared only for his mother and siblings to whom he regularly wrote letters and sent a few golden coins. He missed them dearly but nothing could deter him from jumping on the next ship and sailing away to unknown lands. Also, he ran like a dog and what better place to do so than unexplored fields.
As he tied the final knot on the last navigational equipment of the ship, he heard a roaring laughter, the crewmen suddenly got a tad more agitated as the voices grew nearer. He whipped around to look at the governor, sticking out his hand to greet him.
“Oi, Thomas Smith, man! You’re to be the Captain of this ship then, are ya mate?” Governor James Cook shook Thomas’ hand enthusiastically, tipping his head back and rocking his entire body as he laughed. Thomas wondered for a second about the Governor’s unusual overly colloquial speech but as many other things in their world, he let it be and cared not for an explanation. Governor James Cook was born James Ratcliffe, Thomas had been told, but as he reached maturity and climbed up the social ladder within the King’s court he abandoned his father’s name after the latter was found drunk and humiliated at a low scale brothel, and took over his mother’s noble maiden name. He’d declared himself James Cook from that day onwards, ironically it will latter appear that he shared a name with a historically famous explorer. But that is neither here, nor there.
“Hey – Thommo, mate. Here, you should meet my loyal companion yeah? Oi – you! Lad, seaman, whatever over there, bring over Naomio, will ya?!” A young crewman nervously shuffled from behind Thomas and made his way to the harbour to fetch something, it seemed. Soon he walked back onto the ship with what seemed to be Cook’s dog, the seaman was even more nervous and seemed to shudder as the dog shot him a venomous glare and pushed him away. Cook roared with laughter again as he saw them, the dog was in fact female it seemed. It looked like a tall young woman, with pale blonde hair and what looked like a permanent scowl sketched on her face. As many others, she wore a furry dog costume, complete with ears and tails to signify her bestial status.
“Here, here, Captain. Naomi – my bitch as you’d say I believe. Now, I expect you to fully respect all of her wishes, alright? She’s proper, Naomio, yeah? Proper dog and all that, don’t want anything to happen to her – otherwise, well, you better know what I’m capable of.” He fixed Thomas with a somewhat threatening look before bursting into laughter again, dragging Naomi into one of the cabin’s compartment as she scowled and growled at him and everyone else on the ship. Nice company, Thomas thought, before setting out to sea.
A storm hit them barely a few days into the trip, it was left to Thomas to jump in the water to rescue the nervous crewmember – Jonah Jeremiah Jones, he’d said his name was, JJ for short – after the foolish boy had stupidly stumbled over the edge. Cook roared with laughter when the boy was brought back onto the ship, dripping wet, before ruffling his hair and taking him inside to dry. Naomi, as per usual, merely scowled and looked away to the horizon. Thomas thought nothing of the incident, but JJ seemed quite taken of him now and barely ever left his side – he didn’t care for it, the boy was nice enough company and he seemed to have a good heart. Thomas attempted to calm his overactive nerves and endless babblings as much as he could during their trip, forming a surprising bond with the boy.
As Thomas Smith’s crew sailed across the pacific, a group of people lived happily and unawares of their imminent arrival. In this unexplored land, a tribe thrived and explored, living happily in harmony on a land on which, much latter, would curiously be built an university called Harvard in which Nobel prices will be educated, scientific advances will come upon, history scholarships will be taken advantage of and many will run like dogs. But again, that is neither here, nor there.
Pandahontas skipped carefree across the woods, her faithful companions following closely suit and fooling about as they neared their destination. She skipped and she smiled thinking of rainbows and leaves and the colours of the winds and how wonderfully whizzer everything was, and how she really had to tell Willow-Eff all about her day and the river and the fish and – whizzer, those are wicked flowers on that riverbank!
One of her very best friends in this very best world - ‘cause see Pandahontas had heaps of friends! Four, to be exact! It was wizard cool. So, one of her very best friends who was always with her was Emeeko, the raccoon. She jumped around gleefully around Pandahontas, stealing food when she could, but ultimately just looking the damn cutest thing anyone had ever seen that would put puppies and unicorns to shame. In fact, Emeeko had already received many “Cutest Being” awards from distant tribes and lands as anyone who had laid eyes on her had been smitten by her cuteness.
Her sister, Pandahontas’ other bestest friend, was just as beautiful but more fierce and upfront about it. Katie Filt was a beautiful hummingbird who hummed about around Pandahontas and Emeeko, trying to keep them in the right track and not make total idiot fools of themselves. Her plumage looked strangely like pale and disguised leopard print, but all the attention was directed at her beautiful angelic wings and white feathers ornamented by tasteful pearls. Katie Filt was fit and fierce as no other, Pandahontas and Emeeko rarely dared to cross her for fear of retaliation. Although, Emeeko would have to admit that she took strange pleasure in not abiding to her sister’s rules, and Pandahontas, well, she was rarely aware of anything.
The three of them hopped along towards the tall, slender willow tree by the riverbank. That was Pandahontas’ very best friend of ever and ever: Effy, she’d call her, or that was her name – whether Effy The Willow Tree was real or not was still up for debate. Pandahontas’ friend Karenoka still doubted her existence. To be fair, people rarely trusted Pandahontas’ ramblings within her tribe.
“Eff! Eff! I brought you some food, here here Eff! And look at these flowers, did you see them?! They’re whizzer cool, innit Eff?” Pandahontas hopped on the thickest tree branch, looking up reverently at a mark on the tree trunk. The tree trunk then morphed itself into an enigmatic face, its eyes boring into her soul like a supernatural being. At least Pandahontas she thought it was supernatural, Karenoka and the Chief always just shrugged and said that it was actually just a deformity in the wood.
“Hullo, Panda” Effy spoke softly, keeping her voice even and devoid of any emotion. ‘
Lyra Silvertongue and the Mad Man with a Box
The Doctor and Lyra Belacqua
“There is someone I would like to see first…”
Ron Weasley & Naomi Campbell
“You and me both, mate. You and me both.”
“That covers it, yeah.”
Naomi pulled her cigarette pack out her pocket, she might as well have a fag if she had to mull over this recent development of events. She hung the cigarette on her lips and fiddled around for a while for her lighter; it was almost too hard to focus on such a simple task at the moment. The young man stifled a laugh as he watched her pat non-existent pockets on her cardigan.
“Here,” he held out a wooden stick (although she knew to call it a wand by now) and murmured something under his breath. It was a routine they had performed many times before, it would probably never cease to amaze her but she knew better than to be startled by it. They both knew last time that had happened it hadn’t exactly ended up well. Jumping when someone held a flame near your lips was definitely not an experience she wished to relive. Naomi took a deep drag once the cigarette was lit, letting the smoke fill her lungs for a few seconds before she exhaled. Fuck, nicotine was definitely what she needed right now. “You muggles are helpless.”
She turned to look at him for a moment, letting the smoke clear out her thoughts. His wand was stuffed back in his back pocket; he was staring at the landscape in front of them. He chuckled when he caught her eyes, ruffling his hair as he shook his head. It was the same sound she had heard so many times over the years but this time it sounded different, almost bitter. His eyes looked older too. Obviously, considering…
“Thought you weren’t supposed to do that outside of school? You’re supposed to be just as helpless as I am during the summer, you twat” She teased. She’d missed this.
“Nothing you haven’t seen before, innit? Bloody walked right into my house when we were kids and saw mum’s household charms operating everywhere, didn’t you? Not to say when you watched Ginny playing Quidditch in the backyard last year.”
“Hey, I told you mum wanted me to come over and invite you lot over for tea- not my fault if the old hippie can’t deal with an empty house for a change.”
“You were ogling my sister, Campbell. You and your bloody red hair fetish.” He pointed a finger at her accusingly, a hint of laughter in his eyes. She smiled at him. It occurred to her that she might not see that spark in him again for a while. Another drag. She faked outrage instead, she’d rather not bring up those things again.
“You tried to jinx me! I’m just glad your mum was around to stop you.”
“You were ogling my sister.”
“I remember, Ronald. It’s not like Fred and George would let me forget it, is it? Wankers.”
“Serves you right. Anyway, I’m 17 now innit? I can do whatever I want. Muggle life is far behind me” He leaned back with his arms behind his head, a smug grin gracing his features.
“I don’t recall you ever even trying to do that ‘muggle life’ thing, Ronald. In fact, what I do remember is your face when I tried to give you my phone number.”
“Oi, I thought we’d agreed not to mention tellyphone-related incidents anymore. We had a pact, Campbell.” He glared at her but it was mocking and that spark of laughter didn’t leave his eyes. Another drag.
“Telephone. I’m just glad you didn’t try to call me more than once, thought you’d have learned by now but you’re clearly hopeless. Nearly went deaf.”
“You’re the one who won’t go near Pig, owls are much more practical. Thought you were supposed to be all pro-animals and all that bollocks”
“Your owl is crazy, Ron. I wouldn’t trust it to stand outside my window without plummeting to the ground, let alone let it inside my room. And I told you I am still not sure whether using owls as a postal service doesn’t go against animal rights. You are clearly endangering a number of species in extinction and exposing them to radical climate conditions and strenuous long flights which are obviously not fit for such a bird and really, your ‘Ministry’ should look into those archaic systems – this is the 20th century and-“ She trailed off when she felt his body shaking beside her, his laughter echoing around them and she found herself chuckling along soon enough. It felt good to laugh with him again.
“Bloody hell, Naomi, you’ll never change.” He said once he managed to catch his breath “You and Hermione both, Merlin you can go on for ages about that kind of things. If you ever met, you’d just never shut up would you?”
“Well I wouldn’t know; it’s your own damn fault if we haven’t met yet. You still owe me that S.P.E.W. pin.” She stubbed the rest of her cigarette with her toes and stuffed her hands in her pockets; the breeze was starting to get chilly. It hadn’t been very warm anywhere in the country lately anyway; Ron had mentioned something about that. She pushed it to the back of her head. “Though if she’s as fit as you say she is, I’m sure we could find more interesting things to do with our mouths.”
“And that - ” he punched her lightly on the shoulder barely containing a blush around his ears “- is why you two haven’t met.”
They both laughed at this, letting this short moment override the other pressing thoughts in their heads. It didn’t last long however and soon enough they both sobered up and an uncomfortable silence fell between them. It was one of those rare occasions with him where things went unsaid; it used to be so easy to be around him. No secrets, he couldn’t even hide his strange heritage for very long. Their differences never stopped them from understanding each other and yet Naomi couldn’t help but feel out of her depth this time, and a faint estrangement towards the young man washed over her. She’d be lying if she said it wasn’t something that she should have seen coming over the past few years. Then again, she could hardly blame him. She pulled out another cigarette (finally recovering her lighter) and he glanced at her quickly before avoiding her gaze and turning back to the landscape.
“You reckon mum and I should leave, then?” She said finally, taking a long drag. There wasn’t really a point ignoring it for much longer now. He ran his hand through his hair before answering, his eyes far away and older again. Too old.
“Yeah, that’d be best for both of you.” He didn’t meet her eyes “At least until this whole thing is over, you’d be much safer if you stayed away, really. The best thing would probably be if you went into hiding, or another country to be honest. Ottery St Catchpole is definitely not a good place for you right now. Or, you know, England.” He let out a sad chuckle but still refused to meet her eyes.
“That bad, is it?”
“Worse.” He sighed and turned around to meet her eyes. His blue eyes bore into her and she’d never seen them more serious. She felt a shudder run down her spine as he spoke and she took another drag to calm herself down. “I know what you’re thinking Naomi. There’s nothing the muggle government or any of your political rallies can do at the moment and we’re doing the best we can. The Ministry is completely out of its depth, and I would use better political words or whatever if I could remember Hermione’s rants properly, but we really are doing the best we can. I’ve warned you about the Death Eaters and the Dementors and everything you should look out for. I’ve told you everything, Naomi. It’s bad.”
“You haven’t told me everything. There’s more isn’t it?” She met his eyes properly this time, facing him directly and letting her cigarette hang forgotten on her fingers. He kept her gaze and she knew he wouldn’t answer. She tried not to think about how different this young man next her was from the scrawny ginger kid she met all those years ago; she tried not to think about how different he’d be once he got back. If – no, when he got back.
“Well, you catch that bookworm then, Ronald. You don’t let her go – hear me?” He smirked but she could see his ears turn a new shade of pink and an almost twinkle in his eyes despite the sadness of his smile. She relaxed again, if only slightly. Yeah, nicotine was good.
“Right, yeah. And you promise to find yourself some fit redhead in the South of France, Campbell. Someone not related to me for a change, if you please.” He leaned back and wrapped an arm around her shoulders, letting them sink into that comfortable state again. She didn’t miss the implications of his statement but she let herself sink into his touch. For now, they just could just be. Even if for just for a while.
“We’re fucked, aren’t we Ron?” She sighed as she watched the smoke from her lungs twirl in the air.
“You and me both, mate. You and me both.”