A/N: Greetings, Internet! Mellifluousness here, writing a bit of an Ears to Hear Us side-story. The zombie in Ears to Hear Us chapter eleven was in the story for about four paragraphs before I killed him off, but by the request of the incredible xoxLEXIxox I've written him a bit of a backstory. This will detail how he died and give you a bit more information on what he was like. I had fun with this. Chapter eleven has also gone through some minor editations (it should be a word) and now says that he's badly torn up instead of mainly intact. You'll have to read to see why. :P
And to that Guest who reviewed... I'm glad you liked it, but I did say this is a side-story of my main fanfiction, Ears to Hear Us. He doesn't appear for long in that, which is why I wrote this, but if you want to see him as a zombie read that. He doesn't get back at Enchantress, unfortunately, because this happens long before Ears to Hear Us' timeline. It's unlikely that you'll ever read this again, but I might as well say it. :)
Oh, and you can call him Throatless.
I remember that it was a beautiful day.
The air was crisp and fresh. Cold, as it always was. Taiga is characterised by cold. I dressed up warmly, put on that dark green long-sleeved shirt I like so much and my long brown pants. It helps to blend in; you never know what's out there in the mornings. I slipped on my iron boots and helmet – I was still saving up for the chestplate and leggings – and called my wolf to my side before heading out the door. I was a Loner back then, sole resident of the region Frostgrip, and glad of it; I was never the most sociable of people. The wolf, I remember, was called Bite because of his tendency to try to eat anything that came close enough or even thought about looking tasty. The thing had a pretty nasty bite, too, strong jaws that would never let go and jagged teeth that could rip flesh easily. I knew from experience. All the same, he was cuddly and playful and never hesitant to snuggle up to me when I was sitting on the bed or whatever, something I wasn't always too happy about.
So we headed out that morning to catch some breakfast, iron sword in my hand and Bite prancing around like a hyperactive pup. My mouth twitched up at the corner a bit at his antics; I'm not much of one to smile, but that dog is such an idiot.
About an hour passed and still I was trudging through the snow, not one piece of meat richer. Bite kept looking at me as though to ask, "So? Where's all the food?" I snorted. Come on, dog. Like I'm the one to blame. He did this for what had to be the fifteenth time when abruptly his head snapped around and his ears pricked as though he had heard something coming from the other direction. His whole body tensed, beginning to shake like it did when he was about to let loose one of his thunderous barks and I thought fast, grabbing his collar and hissing at him to shut up. He crouched immediately in surprise and tilted his head back, mouth opened as though threatening to give me a nip, before he remembered who I was and stopped. I dragged him towards the nearest tree and got rid of some of the leaves with a pair of shears (I like to be prepared) before scrambling up the trunk with the help of a ladder and destroying all evidence of my ascent. Crouching amongst the branches with Bite at my side, I waited silently until the sound of footsteps on snow reached my less sensitive Minecrafter ears. You got griefers coming up from the southern lands every so often, so I always had to be careful of whom I trusted. It was always safest to remain hidden.
The footsteps slowly grew louder and soon I could tell them apart; one set loud and heavy, the other softer, lighter. A big man and a woman, perhaps? Griefers usually travelled in large groups or alone, so these two were most likely something else. Suddenly I could make out voices and my suspicions were confirmed; one was a very deep man's voice, the other soft and light. They came into view and I could see that the man was huge, as tall as two and a half blocks with a build like an iron golem and an axe too big for its own good strapped across his back. His clothes were plain, unflashy and practical, but the woman was an entirely different story. She wore a flowing green robe with extra-long sleeves that sparkled and glittered dazzlingly as it swished back and forth behind her, long enough to trail on the ground. Her hair was long and well and truly crimson, her head adorned by a yellow-dyed headband that was purely ornamental and did nothing to keep her fringe out of her eyes. Her boots were a darker green than her robe, rather high-heeled and glamorously bejewelled. She was tiny, too, not much more than one and a half blocks tall. I knew at first glance that this was no ordinary Minecrafter; this woman was surely an Enchanter. All the more reason to stay hidden; people like this could be very dangerous. I sunk lower in the leaves and Bite followed suit.
"Yes, well, if we meet any bandits, I'll be sure to take care of them," Enchanter was saying.
"I would still advise discretion, Mistress," the big man – I assumed he'd be a lumberjack or perhaps a blacksmith – rumbled. "We do not want yet another region to tremble in fear at the mention of your name."
"Fear means business," Enchanter countered, "And you know how much I love business… and hate sneaky little creepers that hide in trees with their wolves," she added with a nasty smirk. My eyes widened but I had no time to act before she slapped her enchanting table down and called forth purple fire from the pages of the floating book, a great reaching hand of the stuff that grabbed me around the waist and threw Bite and I to the snowy ground. I landed hard, face-first, the wolf hitting the ground beside me with a yip of pain and lying still. The lumberjack stared at me, surprised, as the Enchanter advanced towards me with dainty steps, crouching in front of me and taking my chin between her clawlike finger and thumb. I felt my upper body lift off the ground slightly and stared into her Void-black eyes that glittered maniacally as energy crackled across her hands in violet sparks.
"And what are you doing hiding in the trees like a sneaky little spy? Spying on us, perhaps?" she asked sweetly, softly, as though speaking to a child.
"Not spying, just hiding," I corrected her as calmly as I could manage, gasping as a spark leapt from her finger and burrowed into my face, giving me a nasty shock.
"Hiding? From little old me? Oh, a big, strong man such as you has nothing to fear from teeny little Rosella Enchantress," she replied sardonically. Sarcastically. Doubting my strength. Any like for her I had left instantly disappeared. "What do you want from me, Enchantress?" I growled. So the female version had a new name now. Interesting.
The woman pursed her lips in annoyance. "I don't like your tone, mister. People in these parts just have no respect for people of my profession. Isn't that right, Gordyn?"
"No respect at all," the giant boomed dutifully.
"Does your wolf like you a lot?" Enchantress asked suddenly. I just stared at her, surprised at such a question. "Answer me," she hissed when I didn't respond.
"Of course," I said after a moment.
"That's good," she replied, letting me drop abruptly. Again I found myself face-down in the snow, gravity pressing down on me hard for a moment as it suddenly returned before it eased off again. "Here, doggy!" she called. I looked up in surprise; Bite would only ever come when I called. He hadn't even used to do that much. But to my surprise the wolf was slinking towards her, head bowed and tail low as though ashamed. "Good boy," she praised as he reached her, ruffling his ears. I expected him to raise his head and clamp his great jaws around her delicate hand, but he didn't. He just took it. What was going on?
"On your feet, boy," she ordered, turning to face me. Boy? I leapt to my feet, furious. This pompous idiot was daring to insult me so?
"You need to learn some manners, Enchantress," I growled, brandishing my sword. She laughed.
"No, you need to learn some manners. Don't you know how to treat an Enchantress? Well… soon you will," she resolved with a maniacal grin, cocking her head like an animal. Her teeth were slightly pointed.
"Sick 'im," she commanded, her voice taking on an odd echoing quality as purple fire leapt up from the enchantment table and engulfed both her and Bite, his head snapping up with his eyes glowing red the way they did when he was in attack mode. He bared his teeth and his hackles rose, a thunderous bark escaping his lips without warning as he sprang, legs laced with the violet flames…
Heading straight for me.
He hit me like bedrock to the face, sharp claws sinking into me and jaws preparing to clamp onto my neck. I rolled over and threw him off but he took it in stride, leaping to his feet again and pouncing for the second time. I dodged – barely – and three long claw marks tore through my shirt and the flesh beneath, spewing out blood like the numerous other wounds the dog had already inflicted. I couldn't, wouldn't draw my sword against him, though, not when he'd saved me from monsters so many times and brought me up on those nights I was so low I touched the Void. Instead I just dodged him again and again, fire and hate in his eyes as he flew back and forth, trailing fire. Hate. Hate for me…? Rosella cackled hysterically and Gordyn just watched. Even without touching me Bite managed to carve gashes in my sides, my arms, my legs and my face, his claws at one point raking across my left eye and leaving a massive mark through it. Yelling in pain I recoiled, clutching it to try and stem the bleeding. Too late I realised that the wolf had not halted his attack and I looked up to see him hurtling towards me, claws spread and jaws wide. He tackled me to the ground and landed on my chest, my hands flying away from my bleeding eye and my head hitting the ground hard. I barely had time to say a word before his powerful maw clamped around my throat…
And ripped it out.
I stared at his twisted, bloody face as my own heart pumped the blood out of my neck, drenching my shirt and his paws with its sticky wetness. As my remaining vision blurred I saw the red in his eyes fade and his ears fall right back; as my hearing deserted me I heard him whine and as feeling left I felt him nuzzle me sorrowfully. "I'm sorry!" he seemed to whimper. "Please don't leave!"
But the last thing I heard was Rosella Enchantress' laughter and her and Gordyn's footsteps as they faded into the distance.
It was then that I died.
It was well into the night when I stumbled across it. A Minecrafter, lying in the snow, soaked in its own blood. The ground itself was thoroughly crimson, too. A wolf's pawprints trotted away from the body and a leather collar with a golden tag lay on the ground. Script of some kind was engraved into the gold, but I couldn't read it. I had forgotten how to do things like that long ago.
The Minecrafter was pretty well torn apart. Cuts and gashes everywhere, a huge hole in its throat. It already looked like a far-decomposed zombie, though it couldn't have been more than a day or two old.
Normally I would have laughed or made some triumphant noise and moved on. One less Minecrafter in the realm should have been cause for celebration. Something about that scene, however, made me sympathise; could it have been the wolf? The markings? The clothes? I couldn't quite place it, but something about that creature made me take it by the arm and drag it. I think I left some marks around its wrist as my grip kept slipping and the trail it made through the snow would lead anyone nearby towards the cave, but I wanted to help this thing and just didn't care enough.
Finally I was inside the tunnel's dark maw and heading downwards again; about five levels below the surface and after a long, winding path was where it reached a dead end. Sitting the body up against the wall, I sat down beside it and made sure it was leaning in a position where it wouldn't fall. I stayed there all night and through the next day before I moved on again, lifting a prayer to Herobrine that the Minecrafter would rise again soon. Bodies left in the dark have a tendency to get up and walk around again.
Even throatless ones.