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 Post subject: Slyth's Story
PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:33 am 
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Animation Source is my home!
Animation Source is my home!
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Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2005 10:18 am
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Location: Fountain inn S.C.
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Wow, Balto Source. . . We meet again. It sure has been awhile. Somehow I've found my way back though. Old habits die hard I suppose.
It's been so long since I tried to do much writing I'm pretty sure all of my old projects are completely scraped. I am working on something else though. Something I feel really good about too.

As the title suggests, my new project is called Slyth's Story. It's just a working title, but I like it so I probably won't change it unless I think of something better.
Anyway, here's the summary

In the wake of a horrible attack, Nome no longer feels as safe as it used too after one poor soul is taken from them. It's only just the beginning however. No one could have ever known what was coming.
Slyth is my own character in the Balto universe, and this is his story.


If that sounds interesting to you keep on reading.
I'm three chapters in so far, working hard on sticking to bi-weekly updates.
I'm just going to post the first chapter for now to see what you guys think. I tried to really capture emotion in this so i definatly hope thats what you get while reading!
Chapter 1
Dusty’s Lament


Nome, Alaska was admittedly a pretty small town. It had a relatively low population but there seemed to be an abnormal amount of dogs. They were the only way for the post to be delivered to and from town. With such reliance on the animals, practically everyone was familiar one way or another with the dogs that made up the mail teams.
It was usually a pretty happy place to live. The community, both man and dog, felt reasonably comfortable about the town's safety. Bad things didn't happen here very often. Mostly infamous was the outbreak of diphtheria years back. The families that were affected owed a lot to the dog that saved them. Balto had became a hero overnight. That's a story everyone knew. It wasn't long afterwards that he became a father as well. Life was definitely much better for Balto. Time passed and his pups grew up way too fast. They were all deeply impressed by the wolfdog again when he, his son Kodi, Dusty, Ralph, Kirby, and the rest of the team managed to outrun the post by plane. It was a very proud day for the team.

Today, Nome had a completely different tone to it. It was a much more grim atmosphere, almost oppressive. Only days ago, their safe little town had been attacked. Only one life was taken, but it had happened so abruptly and without warning that everyone felt the impact. The peace of mind they had all had about how safe they were was gone now. What if the attack happened again? What would they do if it didn't stop? It was unnerving. People weren't staying outdoors after nightfall anymore.
Today, was the day the poor soul who had been taken from them was buried. The freshly turned up soil had barely even settled before the snow began to cover it. The grave had been marked with a small stone. Chiseled into the stone in big crude letters was the name ‘KODI’

Everyone who knew him had grieved for him and his family. It was only made worse by the way Kodi had departed this world. He had been savaged something fierce. Broken, beaten and bleeding, his last hours had not been an easy way to go. He was spared a great deal of pain by being euthanized, after everything had been done for him that they could do, it wasn't enough. That didn't make it any easier to accept. It had still felt wrong to do it.
The only comforting thought was that his suffering was at least over.

“No one deserved it less than him.”
“Nome won't be the same without him.”
“I still can't believe he's gone.”

One by one, everyone said their final goodbyes to the dog, either fighting back tears, or unashamedly letting them fall. Balto and Jenna were there, surrounded by their friends and family. Every dog of the sled team was there as well. Supporting each other as they coped with the pain of such a big loss. Jenna, his mother, weeped loudest of all. Balto still appeared to be in shock. His eyes welled up several times but not one tear ever fell. He simply held Jenna while they listened to what everyone had to say about their son.

Emotions conflicted harshly in his chest as words of praise and respect for Kodi reached his ears. Words had utterly failed him, but he was beyond grateful for everyone who was there. Pride swelled inside him, then burst into a terrifying wave of pain of the worst kind. This son of his he was so proud of. . . he would never see him again.

The weight of it threatened to break him. He was certain it would until he finally had to let it out.
Taking everyone quite by surprise, Balto threw his head up and let out one long, loud, almighty howl. The note carried on and on, conveying every bit of the pain he felt in his heart.
Some of the dogs who had managed to hold their tears back at this point completely gave in to them. A few even joined in and added their voice to Baltos. His brothers and sisters joined in. Ralph, and Kirby joined as well.

It was a wave of emotion so pure and sad, given life and made into sound. It resounded on them all without mercy. By time Baltos lungs emptied and the sound finally ended, the only one left who still wasn't crying was Balto. Jenna had buried her nose into his chest and sobbed against him.

Silence fell then. Balto bowed his head in respect before giving each and everyone there a look of gratitude. As his eyes moved from sad face to sad face, he began to feel a slight warmth. Dark days may be upon them again, but it was comforting to know he was not alone. Not in the slightest. He smiled.
It was a weak one, but hope hadn't completely fled from him. In fact, he knew it was all around him.

There was only one person absent from the gathering. Dusty was so beside herself with grief. To see his body again, so broken and lifeless, would have certainly destroyed her sanity. She had been the one who had found him after the attack. She had been the one who dragged him to the hospital. Not once did she leave his side the entire night.

So much happened between them in his final hours. It pained her beyond belief to see him in such pain. Even then, Kodi refused to complain. He was just happy to see her. Just before the end, he had actually confessed his love for her. Dusty’s heart, so heavy with grief and left in literal pieces after his passing, had felt so full of joy to hear him say that. She had never felt love and passion so strongly for someone.

Her mind couldn't let this memory go. It drove white hot knives into her chest every time, but it was stuck on an unending cycle. She would see his eyes staring into hers and she would stare back. Full of hope and certain he was going to be ok. Then she would see his body lying motionless, his eyes shut forever, and she stood over him, unable to come to terms of how this had happened. Anger welled up in her that he had been taken from her so cruelly. Surely there could be no bigger injustice to her.

Sadness, pain, and grief was all she knew anymore now. So complete was her anguish, she couldn't focus on anything anymore. Her mind went back in forth endlessly from fragmented images of Kodi, to long periods of utter numbness. It was like her mind simply could not cope and would literally shut off. Her eyes stared at nothing. Completely empty, still, and unblinking.

No one else knew about the brief time she and Kodi had been together. It crushed everyone when they had found out, but no one completely shut down like she had.

Dusty spent the days sitting in the same spot, not even caring how uncomfortable she became. Though she had been told Kodi was to be buried today, she hardly acknowledged it. If she had, it may have been the very thing to send those agonizing thoughts back to the front of her mind, freshly renewed and back to take even more of Dusty away.

At some point during that day, completely unaware of what was going on at Kodi’s wake, the sound of Balto and all the others howling reached her ears. Her ears twitched once, otherwise, she was completely unresponsive. Then it grew louder as more gave their voice to the call. Her ear twitched again and she blinked.

The haze cleared enough for her to recognize the sound. All hope in the sound was completely lost on her. All she could understand was the agony in the sound. Completely isolated in her home, she cried so fiercely that she lost all consciousness for a few hours.

Later, she felt someone nudge her gently. She opened one red and swollen eye to see Ralph and Kirby standing in front of her. They looked awful. Her mind could barely associate the names with their faces.

“Dusty. . . you should have been there with us today. You shouldn't be alone while you're like this” Ralph's voice sounded hoarse.
“He's right, you know” Kirby's voice sounded just a hoarse. “None of us should be alone. We're all gunna need help to get through this.”

Dusty couldn't bring herself to speak. It may not have been completely gone yet, but there was an absolute lack of desire to say anything. The only thing she wanted was to be alone. She sniffled and closed her eye.

They both slept beside her that night. Doing their best to console her when her woe threw her back into fitful sobs. When she stilled and went silent, concern filled them. It couldn't be helped however. Any and all mention of Kodi only aggravated her pain.
They fell asleep uneasily. It was so late by then that it had gone completely dark outside. Moonlight bathed the three of them through the window.

Without knowing why, Dusty stood up. Her legs trembled under her but it meant nothing to her. Nothing did anymore. Just one thing was left in her, one last desire.
Her whole body shivered once she stepped out into the night. Somehow, she knew where to go. Without looking up once, her paws carried her slowly. She didn't stop until she was there; at Kodi’s grave.

She sat and looked at it passively for a moment. She curled up beside it and lay her head on the mound of turned up soil. Everything important to her lay there with her. Buried and gone forever. The cold wind and snow chilled her body, but she didn't move. Trying to ignore the pain in her chest, she let herself fall asleep there.

The next morning both Ralph and Kirby awoke rather alarmed at Dusty’s absence. With one look at each other, they knew exactly where she would have gone. They hurried off, prepared for the worst. If she had been out all night. . . The thought only made them quicken their pace.

Sure enough, when they approached Kodi’s burial, they found Dusty curled up against the stone with his name on it. Shivering madly but hardly looking bothered by it. Her cheeks were wet with fresh and old tears and she was absently rubbing her nose on the ground in subtle arches, as if she were trying to get closer to him. Altogether, it was a heartbreaking sight.

“Dusty. . . this isn't healthy. You've got to stop before you make yourself sick” Kirby nestled himself against her shuddering body.
“We're all worried about you, Dusty. You don't have to go through this alone.” Ralph joined them, putting himself against her other side.

If she was even aware they were there, she didn't show it. Their words were falling on deaf ears. She was so far gone at this point that she only heard a couple fragmented bits of their words.
“stop. . . go. . . alone. . .”
It barely had any meaning to her anymore. Nothing had meaning anymore. All of that was buried beneath her now. Her body slowly stopped shivering thanks to her friends but, inevitably, her quivering began. After a while that stopped too.

Eventually they made it back home with Dusty. They had to practically carry her the whole way. Her willingness to move her legs that morning was not the same as it was last night. They had to walk on either side of her, keeping her from falling every time she stumbled. With how weak she was, it was incredible she ever made it out there on her own.

It felt like a miracle when they finally got her home and out of the cold. The two male dogs were more than happy to feel the warmth and comfort of home and to finally fill their bellies. Dusty, however, went right back to the same spot she always slept, curled up into a ball, and went straight to sleep. Kirby watched her pitifully.
“We've got to do something, Ralph. Soon. Or we might. . . we might lose Dusty too” It was difficult to say the words but he knew they were true.
Ralph nodded his head, looking sadly from Dusty to Kirby.

Another day passed by and Dusty still showed no signs of improving. Her body was beginning to thin, she barely moved at all anymore.
Their owner finally took her to the vet to find out what was wrong with her but when he brought her back home, she looked just a hopelessly lost as before. The vet had told him that there was in fact, nothing wrong with her. She was one of the healthiest dogs he'd seen. His only suggestion was to up her food. Underfed was the only thing he could see wrong.
“She won't eat. I've given her food but she won't touch it” he pleaded. The only thing they could do was put her on a soft food diet which could be force fed to her.

The next few days became a routine for them. Dusty steadily thinned more and more. Every night she disappeared and every morning she was found sleeping by Kodi’s grave. Ralph, Kirby and a few other dogs from the team would carry her home and she would remain motionless the whole day. Completely unresponsive to their attempts at comforting her. None of their efforts could even reach her anymore.

Later in the day their owner would force feed Dusty her wet food while the rest of them ate. She didn't even fight it anymore. He would press the food into her mouth and she would swallow, hardly even tasting a bit of it. She would go back to her spot afterwards and curl back up. Sometimes falling asleep, other times only pretending. Without fail however, come nightfall, she would stand up and stumble her way back to Kodi’s grave.

Laying down against it, she felt the all too familiar pang in her chest build up again. Why couldn't they just leave her alone? The will to live was completely gone from her. How could she want to live when every moment of the day was filled with pain? It was unbearable. If she could die, she would be with Kodi again. That was all she wanted. To linger here only meant more suffering.

When the sun came up the next day, she was still awake, hardly moving or making a sound. Her friends that she had all but forgotten about were there for her. A whimper escaped her as they took her away from Kodi again. There was no fight left in her to try to resist.

Instead of taking her home, today they took her somewhere different. An unwelcome warm feeling washed over her when they entered the boiler room. Kirby and Ralph took her to the very front and set her down.
The chatter had died immediately once they entered. Almost a whole week had passed since Kodi had died and this was the first time most of them had seen Dusty since.
She was nothing more than a shadow of herself. There was none of the old happiness in her. It was pretty clear to everyone there that she was a dog waiting to die. A low rumble of hushed voices slowly started.

Kirby and Ralph nodded at each other before Kirby stepped forward and cleared his throat.
“Guys. . . I know we all felt it when we lost Kodi” he paused, looking around at all the faces watching him or looking down at Dusty. “One of us is hurting really bad. I'm worried but more than anything. . . I'm scared. I'm afraid if we don't do something soon, I think, no. I know. I know we'll lose Dusty too.”

The hushed voices quieted as he went on. He paced back and forth, making sure to keep Dusty visible to them all.
“Nothing could have been done to save Kodi, but I know we can do something to save Dusty. I'm not willing to give up on her” his voice may have sounded nervous when he began but it gained strength as he continued.

Dusty couldn't understand why they were doing this to her. Why was she being brought in front of so many dogs? Why couldn't they just leave her be?
Kirbys words didn't have much meaning to her, she just wanted this to be over. This and everything else. To put an end to it all. She wanted them to let her go so she could go back to Kodi.
“Kodi . . . “
Her ears twitched when Kirby mentioned the name. Her heart banged painfully in her chest.
“Please make it stop” she pined. Her voice sounded so unlike her own, she didn't recognize that she had even spoken. “I can't stand it any longer.” Her lip trembled, a fresh wave of painful emotions threatening to overtake her again.

Kirby stopped and turned back to her. Before he could react, Ralph was there. The large dog barked his approval. “I can't stand it anymore either, Dusty. Watching you do this to yourself, it's unbearable.” His voice was not unkind.
“We need you to come back to us Dusty. What would Kodi say if he saw you like this?” Kirby added.

Dusty shook her head, her mouth open like she was trying to say something, but the words wouldn't come out. Her bloodshot eyes looked at Ralph without understanding.
The other one, Kirby, was there too then. Their words swam in her head, becoming disconnected and turning into a big garbled mess she could only pull a few words out of.
“Kodi . . . come back . . . it's unbearable” she mumbled the words, barely even audibly.
Dusty blinked at the two dogs standing over her, feeling afraid and lost. They said something else to her but the haze that clouded her mind was coming back and she couldn't make out anymore of their words.

More dogs showed up and gathered around her. All of them looking at her with odd expressions. She was beginning to feel like some kind of spectacle they were all crowding around to watch. Several more dogs pressed in. What did they want? Beginning to feel trapped, Dusty tried to back away from them but they were behind her now. With no way out, she began to panic. Her eyes darted around at everyone surrounding her, watching their lips move without speaking any words.
“Please . . . go.” They were the only words that didn't choke her or get stuck in her throat. They came out as a weak but desperate sound.

Almost every dog in the boiler had approached Dusty to support her. Very much like the way they had united around Balto and Jenna when Kodi had been buried. A few dogs had actually left the room.

There was one who hadn't bothered to move yet. He watched Dusty closely from his spot at the back. Maybe it was just him, but he didn't understand how no one else seemed to notice the panic spreading on Dusty’s face.
However good their intentions were, Dusty was in a right state and this was clearly not helping matters for her. He shook his head and stood up. With one loud bark, he managed to get the rooms attention.

Only when they had all turned around to look at him did he step out of the shadows. When he did, he heard a sudden gasp from Dusty. Her eyes gleamed wetly, staring unblinking at him. The lost and dull eyes she had had moments ago were gone.

That rust-red fur, that powerful build, that handsome face. . . there was only one dog it could be.
‘It's Kodi!’
The impossible thought went through her mind the moment she saw the new dog. All of her fear was abated in an instant. If it weren't for all the dogs around her, she would have run to him then. She tried to call to him but she had no more voice. Her heart leapt when his eyes met hers.

“I don't think you guys are aware of what you are doing to her” He said it calmly, looking at each of them in turn. “No words can mend a broken heart. How is she even supposed to breath with you lot crowding her like that?” Silence fell after his words.

His resemblance to Kodi was not lost on the rest of them. The whole room was temporarily stunned by it. Only Dusty actually believed he was Kodi though. The rest of the room picked up on the subtle differences between them and none of them were broken enough to think a dead dog could be with them again.

Kirby was the one who finally broke the silence.
“Who . . . are you?” He asked, watching the dog closely.

“I'm Slyth. I'm new here, actually.”

Kirby looked from Slyth to Ralph then turned back to Slyth. Before he could say anything else Slyth spoke again.

“Come on now, are you gonna keep asking me questions or are you gonna give the poor girl some space?” He stepped closer to them.
A couple dogs did take a few hesitant steps back then. Most of them didn't budge. It was like they thought he was going to attack Dusty if they gave him a chance. Ralph and Kirby were among them.

“What was it you said about a broken heart?” Ralph asked after noticing the look Dusty was giving Slyth. He was the first dog that she actually appeared to see. The blank expression on her face was gone.

Slyth noticed this too but he ignored it for the moment.
“I didn't know him, but I heard about what happened here.” He began, taking a few steps closer and sitting down. “Your Dusty here must have been in love with Kodi. She can't let go of him because she's too heartbroken to say goodbye. I think she would rather pass on to be with him than do that.” He said the last part slowly, looking closely at Dusty while he did.

“If you didn't know him, then you have no idea how much you look like him, do you?” It was Kirby who spoke this time. “If you know what's wrong with her, do you know how we can help her?”

Slyth had in fact not been aware at all how much he looked like Kodi. But he only shrugged his shoulders at this bit of information.
“Do I? I'm sorry we never got the chance to meet. What happened to him was awful.” He bowed his head. “I'm sorry to tell you more bad news but, there's nothing you can do for Dusty. Her heart and mind are in pieces right now. It's up to her to decide if she can move on or not.”
He looked back up at them all, knowing it was not the words they wanted to hear. “She might pull through, or she might not. I will say though, for the third time, give her some space!”

The dogs surrounding Dusty finally backed up. They must have accepted that he wasn't a threat to her or any of them and reasoned that his advice was sound.
Though they backed up and gave her more room, Kirby and Ralph stayed beside her. Pleased with himself, Slyth stood back up. He was unsure whether to go try and speak to Dusty or leave at this point.
She still hadn't taken her eyes off him so he decided to go say something to her. If he really did look like Kodi, it stood to reason that his words might get through to her.
As he approached her, her tail actually began to wag back and forth, thumping weakly against the floor.
Kirby and Ralph stared at him, but they took a few steps back from her all the same.

She didn't stand up when he reached her, only gaped up at him. She didn't look like she had the strength for it. Tears ebbed on the corners of her eyes. Looking at them, he could tell they used to be beautiful eyes, but so much sadness and pain had stolen much from them. She had the tired look of someone who had lost a lot of weight in a very short period of time. Her fur coat looked like it was thinning as well.
Slyth licked his lips, trying to say something to her. What do you say to someone who was so sad though?

“Hay Dusty” he started to say, but she cut him off by throwing herself against him more forcefully than he could have believed she was capable of.
Without a word she wrapped her neck around his and buried her nose in his fur. Rather stunned, it took Slyth a second to realize she was crying. He let her stay there and pour her emotions out into his fur.

Soon he found he had to support her as she leaned more and more against him. It didn't seem like her tears would ever end. They only got stronger and louder. It was some of the most heartbreaking cries he'd ever heard.
With no attachment to her or the dog she loved so much that he looked like, Slyth began to feel her sorrow cutting into his own chest.
The pain in her cries was so terrible he was certain it would soon tear even him apart. Tears filled his own eyes despite himself.

It might have gone on for an hour, or it might have gone on for a whole day. Slyth could not have said. Eventually, Dusty did calm down. It wasn't all at once, but slowly. Gradually her bawling turned to sobbing, then to whimpering. Finally she quieted. She wouldn't leave their embrace though. Even after she went silent she still rubbed her nose against his neck, the same way she would against Kodi's grave.

It took Slyth a few minutes to finally pull himself from her. Looking her in the eyes again, he couldn't be sure she would ever be ok again. That much sadness in someone would surely kill them. Something in her eyes had changed though. Were they more focused or were they less?
His eyes looked sadly into hers, wishing he could do something for her. Maybe the ache he felt in his heart now meant he had taken some of her pain from her. It was comforting to think so.
“Goodbye, Dusty.” Bowing his head at her, he turned away and gave both Ralph and Kirby a nod before departing the room.

Dusty watched him go feeling weaker than she had ever been before. So much had poured out of her, there wasn't much left. Slyth had done more for her than he could ever know. Her mind was still mixed up but she felt that maybe the haze clouding her thoughts had cleared. Even if it was just the tiniest bit.

“Dusty. . . “ Ralph approached her, looking disturbed.

Dusty’s eyes flickered up to him. Ralph seemed startled that she was actually looking at him. It felt like it had been ages since she had. His face finally clicked in her mind.
“R-Ralph?”
He beamed at her. Kirby came up next and was overjoyed when she was able to speak his name too. If only barely.
“We should get you home, Dusty.” Kirby suggested. Dusty shook her head.
“No.” She said it as firmly as she could manage. “To him.”

Sometime passed before they managed to get Dusty to Kodi's grave. They sat together in silence looking at it. Both Ralph and Kirby almost expected Dusty to say something, but she didn't. She just lay down between them. For several long moments they waited.

At least an hour passed this way. Dusty never took her eyes off the stone with Kodi's name on it. She surprised them both when she sat back up. They watched her rub her nose against the stone and heard her voice only just barely manage to say “Goodbye, Kodi.”

The next few days that went by showed an alarming change in Dusty. She improved significantly once she had let Kodi go. Still too weak to do much however, she hadn't seen Slyth again since. He had allowed her to finally get some closure. That was ultimately what was eating her up inside. Everything had been taken from her so suddenly, there had been no chance for a goodbye. A terrible emptiness still filled her, but it no was no longer consuming her. That's the way it would probably always be without Kodi.
One day, she was going to have to say thank you to Slyth.



So, that was Chapter One. This is where a lot of things begin. If you want to read more check me out on Fanfiction.net
That's where I'll be posting the rest of it. Can't wait to see what your thoughts are!

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Check out what I'm working on!
https://m.fanfiction.net/u/9391012/kalgornthehunter


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