there will always be the hunt skekMal inhaled the deep scent of the thick forest; the moss mixed with damp earth and the rain that just washed Thra. His tail thumped against the ground, with content, as last droplets fell on his unmasked face.
by skekMal

“… and then, that moron skekZok hanged lights on the crystal. To make it look more festive.”

Ariya chuckled heartily. For her, life in the castle was a mix of strange, awful and interesting. The skeksis didn’t seem to her as a looming unknown amymore, but more a silly and cruel kids tearing off butterfly wings. All because her mate painted them in such light. And she knew the Hunter never lied.

“So… skekZok liked things… flashy?” she chuckled.

skekMal growled, deep. It was this kind of growl that promised dance by the fire, with hair and feather ruffled by the wind.

And good jokes along the way.

“Yes. Flashy as his naked ass in the morning bath.”

This time Ariya bursted in laughter. The way the Hunter disliked other skeksis seemed as natural as… funny. Ariya knew they are inferior to him, at least in terms of survival. But she was finding it amusing how he liked to ridicule them. It was a breath of fresh air, after the last snowstorms that inhabited their woods.

“Tell me more” she urged.

An usual glint of joy beamed in his eyes.

And she knew it will be another tale showing the castle skeksis in bad light.

She couldn’t wait.

“The castle looked awful in those ornaments of his. Like an old podling dressed in silk and gauze. It almost weeped with annoyance as they were hanging crystal orbs all along the way” he huffed warm air into the freezing aura around them. “But skekZok liked it. Pitiful wretch wanted to make us all believe that it appeases gods that he made up by himself.”

Ariya rolled her eyes.

“Heh. Yes, many gods were invented during long nights skekZok spent alone, to purify himself before rites. All the others indulged with each other restlessly and he was losing all the fun.”

Ariya swatted him in the the arm but he knew well enough she laughs internally.

“I see more gods in these woods, than I have ever seen by his side. During solstice all gods were hiding in my forest, to not see how he insults them with his incantations. All made up.”

“And you took part in all of it?” she was curious.

“Of course. skekSo was expecting me there. Back then, I liked him too much to say no.”

“But now…”

“Now he turned his back on me.”

Ariya knew that path of skekMal and the other skeksis parted forever. It was sad, though, that they all considered him their enemy and traitor… because he joined her and her kind, along the way.

But she was glad things are as now. Glad he was here, with her. Her wild hunter.

“Tell me… you think we could place some glistening crystals in the cave?”

His eyes lighted up.

“You feel inspired by skekZok?”

“No… yes… partially. I want to celebrate the solstice with you. You said yourself that the gods live here. If we could talk to them, even without their reply… I think it would be… good.”

skekMal nodded slowly, his eyes still burning.


“I think I was little inspired by this tale” she added.

He grinned at her, voraciously, sending her a fiery gaze.

“But no chants. And no sacrifices.”

Ariya leaned forth and kissed him in the beak.

“No chants. And no sacrifices, unless we eat it later.”

He licked his beak.

“That kind of sacrifice I can agree on.”

The woods embraced them in a winter cocoon, and soon, crystals lighted their cave, a lonely place where two bound creatures were living as one – two sworn enemies turned into lovers, gelfling and a skeksis, joined in body and soul, joined before moon and stars.

But after some time…



“It’s colder than usually.”

“Come here, into my furs.”

“Ah yes. That’s what I wanted to hear.”

“You tease.”

“As always.”

“Press harder.”

A chuckle.

“As you wish.”

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skekMalthe hunt never ends
Mal. Hunter. Witch, forest spirit and a wild creature. Night enchantress and pagan soul. Loves slavic mythology and literature. Woods are her sacred place.
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