Vicky Gets Some Carcolh Upgrades

Written in response to: Set your story in an unlikely sanctuary.... view prompt

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Fantasy Funny Bedtime

   Vicky woke up slowly and in waves. She would wake up, feel something was off, and then went back to sleep. When she finally awoke, her head was foggy, and she tried to pinpoint what was off. Her right shoulder didn’t feel right. There were twinges of pain in the right side of her chest, but that wasn’t what was off. It was like her right shoulder was jelly, like there weren’t bones there anymore. She tried to sit up, but a gentle pressure on her left shoulder urged her back down onto the bed.

     “Shh. You’re healing, dearie.” A woman said.

     Vicky blinked to clear her blurry vision, and saw a woman in her late 20’s dressed in decorated flowing robes. They looked like they had been white at some point, but were now a dull brown and gray, with lining trimmed in gold.

     “Wha- what happened?” She tried to look down at her body. Part of her was covered in an altered nightgown with designs that sort of looked like decorative roots. She looked at her right shoulder and noticed it was covered in bandages and… her entire arm was gone.

     She looked at it in shock for a second. She could have sworn she felt it, but was that a mistake? Her breathing quickened.

     “Shh, oh no, shh, you need to rest.” The woman said.

     “Where’s my arm? Where am I?” Vicky panicked. She tried to sit up, and the lady halfheartedly pushed her down again. The room smelled like alcohol and mold. The only light came from a dim lantern of glowgoo suspended from the ceiling. She turned her head and saw two unconscious people in beds next to hers, also in nightgowns like hers.

     The robe lady looked like she was on the verge of panicking also, and opened an old spell textbook that lie on the bedside table next to them. “Hold on, we’ll have you back to sleep and healing right up in one… second…”

     Vicky sat up as best she could and pulled at the viscus bandages that covered her right shoulder. They were slimy and smelled like sickly sweet rotting fruit. A morbid curiosity overtook her. She had to see the damage. She would never be able to play the Ivory Violin again, even though she just had her hands on it. What happened? What could have gone so wrong?

     As she ripped the bandages away, the robe lady muttered to herself as she looked for the right spell, but then looked up to see what Vicky was doing. “No! Wait, hold on dearie, wait!”

     Vicky tore off the last of the bandages to see a knub of something that wasn’t her. It wasn’t her skin, it couldn’t be. It was like yellowish-brown slab of slime, like a piece of clay stuck to a doll.

     She didn’t see where it ended with her gown on. When she tried to look down her gown to see the extent, the robe lady muttered a few words from the spell book and tried to blow a handful of Sandman Dust on Vicky. Vicky saw this out of the corner of her eye and reacted. She rolled out of the bed to avoid the potent dust and landed hard on her back. The wind was knocked out of her and she struggled to breathe again. By the time she could, the Sandman Dust had dissipated.

     “Did it… did it work?” The robe lady asked.

     Vicky managed to take in large gasps of air and the robe lady kneeled next to her.

     “Shh! No, I’m so, so sorry. If the Vassal finds out I got you hurt, he’ll get mad, and- and-” The robe lady started to cry. “I can’t mess up again, I can’t- I can’t-”

     Vicky sat up against the bed. “I’m good, I’m fine, see?” She looked at her shoulder. “I’m Vicky. What’s your name?”

     Robe lady sniffled. “Yandra.”

     Vicky nodded a little. “Yandra. Yandra, where are we?”

     Yandra sat on the ground next to Vicky. “In, uh, the home of the Vassal.”

     “The Vassal?”

     “Yes. And he’s going to be very upset if he finds you awake before you’ve healed.”

     “Healed? I think I’ve had enough ‘healing’”. Vicky struggled to stand up with her one arm. Yandra pushed her down to the floor again. Vicky struggled against Yandra’s weight until she sat back down again.

     Vicky glared at her, breathing heavily. “Please stop doing that.”

     “Please don’t leave.” Yandra begged.

     “I want to sit on the bed.” Vicky said.

     “Oh. Sorry.” Yandra helped Vicky stand. Before she sat again, Vicky pulled her nightgown off with one arm to see what had been done to her body.

     It was worse than she thought. Vicky touched where her missing right breast used to be and traced where the icky grafted flesh met her real skin. It was like petting a slug. She wiped her hand off on the bed as she sat down.

     Yandra swallowed as she helped Vicky dress again. The woman was nervous. Vicky exhaled. “I’m going to ask again. What happened to my arm?”

     “It fell off?”

     Vicky sighed, pressed her left hand onto the slimy stump, and then wiped it on Yandra’s face before she could protest.

     “What is this!?” Vicky asked as Yandra pulled back.

     Yandra sputtered and pulled back. “Carcolh! It’s sacred Carcolh flesh!”

     Vicky wanted to throw up. She had an inkling of where she was now though, she was with the Cult of Carcolh. She knew they lived deep, far deeper than what the other Underneath denizens considered normal. They lived in ruins so old no one remembered who made them, and it frankly made modern archeologists angry with the number of changes made to the ancient relics to accommodate the present-day humans more easily. Not that the cultists let many outsiders into their kingdom.  “Carc- this is slug! You grafted slug to me!” Vicky exclaimed.

     “He’s more of a snail-” Yandra tried to defend.

     “Not better. It’s a bad, bad thing to put on people.”

     “We thought you were dead.”

     “That-leave me to die then!”

     “Your arm will grow back. I promise.” Yandra soothed.

     “Hey, is everything good in there, Yandra!?” An unseen masculine voice called from the doorway.

     “Everything’s fine!” Yandra said.

     “No, I have a slug for an arm!” Vicky said.

     “Everything’s fine, I’m practicing other voices!” Yandra said.

     “Kind of weird but sounds good.” The masculine voice called back.

     “That worked?” Yandra muttered.

     “You’re saying my arm will grow back?”

     “Yes.” Yandra said.

     “How long?”

     “Four to six months. You uh, you woke up too early.”

     “Nope. Can’t be here six months.” Vicky tried to stand again. Yandra pushed her down and Vicky tried to slap her hand away.

     “Wait, stop, silly, even if you left, what are you gonna do for slime?” Vicky said.

     “Sl- I think I’ll live.” Vicky said.

     “Well, not to be a know-it-all, but your arm isn’t going to grow back if you don’t have slime.”

     “Fine. How much? How much slime do I need?” Vicky asked.

     “I dunno, a couple paintbrush dunks?” Yandra gestured to a bucket near the door.

     “Until it grows back?” Vicky asked.

     “Oh no, the slime is like, a forever thing now.”

     Vicky was deeply disappointed by this news. “Listen, I have things to do. Plans. I had a mystical instrument, and if I played it with someone with a matching instrument, it was going to heal a Turtle or something, and we were so close…”

     Yandra gave her a blank look before she spoke again. “Well, now you can do that, and also cover your sacred skin in sacred slime every 6 to 8 hours.”

     “Yandra, I need to get to Beneath City-”

     “Oo, no, no no no. Not, uh, not going to that trash fire.”

     “I wasn’t going to pull this card, but I was told by the King of Beneath to do this.”

     “What instrument?”

     “Huh?”

     “What mystical instrument did he need you to play?”

     “I- I don’t see how that matters.”

     “It might. Some instruments require two hands.”

     “Well, I don’t know if you’ve heard of it-”

     “In fact, I’m having a hard time trying to think of any instruments you can play with one hand. Maybe percussion, but if that was true, why not get someone with two hands to play it?”

     Vicky pursed her lips and glared at Yandra. “I still need to see people there.”

     “If it makes you feel better, there’s no more King of Beneath.”

     “Why would I believe you?”

     “Why do you think you’re here?”

     “You found me…”

     “Seriously injured…”

     “Seriously injured…”

     “And you were a noble.”

     “I’m a musician, I wasn’t born that way… Wait, the rebellion… Was there a rebellion!?”

     “There was a rebellion. Lots of dead nobles.”

     “Oh no.”

     “’Oh no’ is right. You’re safe now, but we can’t go back though. I don’t want to be seen in Beneath City with a noble, they might harm me.” Yandra said.

     “Oh my goddess.” The hopeless reality began to set in on Vicky. She no longer had a home, no way to play the Ivory Violin, even if she could find it again. The careful tunnel that had been planned for her had collapsed in on itself. She didn’t know how to proceed, or even if she could. Somehow, she was supposed to heal the great World Turtle with no map forward. She remembered the vision that came to her nearly a year ago, with him pleading to her for help. Even if the sages said it was a sign, she didn’t even know if it was real anymore.

     “I’m sorry. Would you like to go downstairs and tell your problems to our Lord and Savior, the great Lou Carcohl?”

     “Is he a giant slug?”

     “No, he’s a snail. A holy, sacred snail.”

     Vicky looked at her grafted stump. “I- I think I’m good right now.”

     “Good, because I really need you to sleep before the Vassal finds out.” Yandra puffed a prepared mix of Sandman Dust into Vicky’s face.

     Vicky grew drowsy and welcomed the darkness that overcame her. Maybe if she was lucky, another vision would come to help her.

May 20, 2022 03:27

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