Deviants, ch. 4
Posted October 27th, 2020 by katchyboo
in Subcon Forest
Eventually, impossible though it seemed, they calmed down.
“Well, that was…” Artemis trailed off, not sure how to describe whatever had just happened.
“Stupid? Fun? Ridiculous?” Phoenix offered, grinning. “It was definitely those.”
Logan nodded, sighing in mock exasperation. “You’re all a bunch of kids.”
“We’re all teenagers, Logan,” Cameron reminded her. “Quite literally a bunch of kids.”
She stared at him. “You and I are adults.”
Cameron poked her. “I don’t act like one.”
Logan sighed again. “You aren’t wrong. Anyway, Artemis, I feel vaguely sorry that that was your first impression of Asphodel.”
“Well, I don’t. It was amazing!” Artemis grinned, hugging Spencer.
Phoenix fist-bumped her. “Agreed, my friend.”
“Why am I the mom friend?” Logan groaned, facepalming.
“Because you act like a mom,” replied Cameron. “More importantly, you act like our mom.”
“Fuck you,” Logan muttered, but she was smiling.
“So, uh… what exactly is Asphodel?” Artemis asked.
“Ah! That’s a good question,” Spencer replied. “It’s basically a shelter for Deviants, people who don’t fit in Elysium. Right now, there’s only five of us here, including you.”
“Huh, makes sense.” Artemis looked around. “But, uh… there seems to be a slight shortage of sleeping bags.” There were only four in the room.
“Phoenix, you were meant to get her one!” Cameron hissed.
Phoenix put faer hands up in front of faer face. “Whoa, okay. I’ll do it.” Fae walked out the door, before shouting, “IT’S COLD AS BALLS OUT HERE!”
Spencer snorted, before yelling back, “I KNOW!”
“Not a surprise to me,” Artemis laughed.
Phoenix ran back in with a sleeping bag in faer arms, shivering melodramatically, before fae cried to Spencer, “Oh, sister, I nearly froze to death out there!” Fae feigned distress, flopping backwards.
Suddenly, something large and scaly pounced on Artemis.
“AAAH!” she screamed.
“Lysander, get off her!” Logan scolded the scaly thing - which was called Lysander, apparently. “Come on!”
The thing whined, before padding over to Logan.
“Sorry about that,” Spencer apologized sheepishly. “That’s our resident dragon, Lysander. He’s… friendly, and very excitable.”
“...you have a dragon.” It wasn’t even a question. Artemis stared at Lysander, trying to figure out how, by the stars, she’d ended up here of all places.
“Yep,” Phoenix said happily. “A very hyper dragon.”
“Rawf!” Lysander barked happily, licking at Artemis’ face.
Cameron clapped to get the group’s attention. “Come on, guys, it’s getting late, and sleep is important. So. Uh. We need it. I think.” He looked confused at himself for a moment, before continuing slightly more confidently, “Yeah. We need it.”
Phoenix huffed. “Sleep is boring. You’re just lying there, for hours.”
Logan facepalmed. “You all are complete idiots.”
“Not our fault, Mom,” Spencer teased.
“Go to sleep,” Logan grumbled.
Phoenix pouted. “I don’t want to.”
“Well, Lysander seems to have decided you’re going to,” Spencer pointed out. The aforementioned dragon was nudging Phoenix towards faer sleeping bag.
“Well, Lysander is wrong,” Phoenix retorted, pushing the dragon away.
“Lysander is never wrong,” Artemis said sagely.
“You know nothing, child.” Cameron shook his head, looking at Artemis with pity.
“I am no child. I’m more of a toddler,” Artemis replied sarcastically.
“Sure, sure.” Cameron waved at her dismissively. “Definitely.”
Logan smacked Cameron with a pillow from behind. “GO TO SLEEP.”
“FINE, MOM,” he yelled back at her, retreating to his sleeping bag.
Logan threw her hands up. “None of you appreciate me!”
Artemis couldn’t sleep. Again.
She couldn’t believe her luck. She could’ve died out there, but no, somehow, someone found her - someone who just so happened to live with her missing best friend. Oh yeah, they also had a dragon.
Lysander nudged her gently with his snout, making a little “rawf?” noise.
“Hey there, Lysander,” Artemis chuckled, patting his head. “Yeah, I’m awake.”
Lysander cocked his head at her.
Artemis snorted. “Yeah, I should be asleep, but where’s the fun in that?”
She could’ve sworn Lysander rolled his eyes then. The dragon nudged her towards the door, staring right at her.
She looked at him, puzzled. “You want me to go outside?”
Lysander made an attempt at nodding. At least, it looked like he did.
Artemis shrugged. “I shall not interfere with the dragon.” She went outside, yawning and stretching. In front of her, sitting beside a campfire, was Logan.
Logan looked up. “Oh, hey. You’re awake?”
Artemis shrugged. “Mostly.”
Logan snorted. “Yeah, as if I know what that means.”
“It means I’m half-asleep!” Artemis paused. “Kind of! Not really, honestly.” She paused again, then laughed nervously.
“So, you’ve been trying to fall asleep for a while, and you’ve been failing, and Lysander brought you out here?” Logan asked, raising an eyebrow.
Logan cut her off. “Same happened to me.”
“Ah,” Artemis replied. Lysander nudged her over to the seats by the campfire, snuffling at her hoodie. “Wow, you’re really trying to get me to do something, huh?” Artemis sighed, sitting down. “Wonder what it is you want.”
“Eh, Lysander works in mysterious ways,” Logan told her, stoking the fire. “None of us ever pretend to know what he’s doing.”
They sat there for a while, some amount of time that Artemis decided not to count or think about. Instead, she felt the breeze cold on her skin, the leaves and moss underneath her boots, heard the crackle of burning wood.
The outside world really was beautiful, in its own way.
Sure, Elysium was beautiful, but it was an ordered, perfect kind. Out here, though? It was chaotic. Unpredictable.
And, somehow, just as beautiful, if not more.
See more stories by inprisonforsparkling