~°° THIRD PERSON POV °°~
She layed against the decaying wood, (length) (h/c) hair splayed out around her. Eyes half lidded, the dense foliage blurred above her. She had been living in this spot for almost a month now. Through an empty parking lot, down the steep hill, under the bridge. She would follow the train tracks and the homeless population would get thinner and thinner.
Then, when she was all alone near the old train station, she would cut across the tracks and push into the Forrest line. There was a small wooden structure, the ruins of a house, and wood littering the forest floor. 'It's rather peaceful,' She thought, 'being here alone. One with nature, no humans to bother you or defile it.'
Sure, it was once littered in trash from previous people, but she had removed most of it and done her best to restore it. The dead limbs were cut from trees, the weeds pulled, plants watered. The boards had been swept and now, all was quiet. Each day was spent there, alone in those woods. She would draw or write, read. Most of the time, however, she would talk. Not to anyone in particular, but to the forest itself.
Animals and insects, she found, were much better listeners than humans could ever be. "People are far to quick to judge.", she would often say. Which is why, after making her rounds and collecting some change, she would escape the bustling city, and seek refuge in the woods. Today was as calm as ever, though the air was filled with uneasy silence.
The girl had been quick to notice the absence of animals, however she paid no mind to it. "Must be sleeping..", She'd thought aloud to herself. Her eyes drifted closed, and a seems smile creeped onto her lips. 'Doesn't sound like a bad idea..' She sighed contently, and fell into a light slumber, warm rays of sun shining down on her.
~°° ARTHUR'S POV °°~
My tongue darted out and I narrowed my eyes. Dipping it against the roof of my mouth, I slithered closer towards the clearing. I could smell them on the air. A sharp pain came from my underbelly. Twisting my tail, I glared at the soft pink tissue that had been exposed. A small patch of scales had been scraped off, against a piece of metal.
'Humans.. Of course.' This city had been created many years ago, and my home had receded vastly. The nearby lake was polluted to the point where it was tied off, and the rivers had fouled, poisoned with the waste of the decades .. This small gathering of trees was one of the last standing forests in the area that was mainly uninhabited by them; humans, and hunters.
These woods were my home, my refuge. There were signs of humans here, but years had past, and only rubble and garbage remained. Until now, I hadn't caught whiff of a human in ages, aside from the drunk or foolish ones who had wandered in, only to become a meal to me or the others. My eyes eagerly scanned the forest floor, searching for signs of the intruder.
Trash, clothing, Food remnants. There was nothing. That in itself, was an odd thing. It was far to.. Clean. No branches on the ground, no rocks. I could smell it on the air though; Someone was close. I continued on towards the scent. I began to notice small piles around me, stacked wood, rocks and metal. They were organized and set in their own place. 'I don't understand. What significance could these piles have. Could they be building?'
I frowned. There was a small shelter ahead, surrounded by large blocks of wood. The closer I got to it, I could make out the shape of the structure. It looked like the base of a house. I froze and made my way behind a shall set of bushes. There were not human men, as I'd expected; Instead, there was a young girl asleep on the wood. A rusty box held the embers of a fire, and a small metal pot was atop it, filled with water.
Beside her, was a small crude knife.
'Hm.. A girl? Alone..?' I leaned forward slightly, taking in her peaceful appearance. Her (Length) (h/c) hair shined in the sun, and her (shade) skin had a beautiful glow to it. She had a smaller frame, her tattered shirt rested against her and rose up slightly, showing her prominent ribs and hip bones. I felt a pang of something unfamiliar. Guilt? Sadness?
'She looks hungry..' As I leaned forward, a branch in the bush snapped under my weight. I quickly ducked down as the girl stirred.
~°° READER'S POV °°~
Groaning groggily, you opened your eyes and craned your neck to look around. By the nearest pile of scrap metal, you caught slight movement of the bush behind it. You rose to your feet, hand around your knife. Considering the area you lived in, it was understandable that young women carried weapons. They were prime targets, seen as weak and defenseless, and were often attacked on the streets. Stretching slightly, you stepped forward.
"Game over. I know you're there." Although your voice portrayed certainty, in all honestly, you had no idea whether it was a person or not back there. Better safe than sorry; You'd rather look a bit foolish, taking to a squirrel, then to make a mistake and wind up hurt. The bush rustled again. You drew in a deep breath, and the wind swirled around you. Frowning, you clucked your tongue.
A low hiss escaped the bush. You tilted your head and stared as a quiet voice spoke back. "How prudent, coming from a.. hhhuman~." The last word was drawn out, almost harshly whispered. A humorless laugh escaped your slightly chapped lips. Another angry hiss was directed towards you. You could make out an accent in the way he spoke. "Hhhow... Disssrespectfull. You're quite brave. Mosst people would have run by now.."
The corners of your lips twitched up slightly. "I can hold my own, especially when it comes to men who are to frightened to show themselves." At this, he rose. From what could be seen above the shrubbery, he was shirtless. His hair was blonde, and messy. Two unnaturally green eyes peered out from beneath his shaggy bangs. He had a wolfish grin, but his eyes glinted slyly.
"Such an obssservant girl. I'm surprised you haven't noticcced. I'm NOT human." Your eyes widened as he smoothly moved from behind the plant, towards you, and you stepped back. Sweeping your eyes down his toned chest, her breath caught. He was not naked as you'd been expecting. Instead, at his hips, a smooth set of black and brown scales began, sweeping down into a muscular tail, resembling a python's.
You pulled out her knife, as he'd expected. However, you took him by surprise, tossing it aside. You let out a shaky breath and sunk to your knees. "You're.. You're a naga.." He chuckled darkly. "So you know of us. Mosst Hunters aren't so.. Delicate. Keep your weapon. It won't be of ussse to you here." He slithered forward and picked it up, placing it in your hand and curling your fingers around it.
You rose to your feet and pocketed it. "Thank you.. um,", "Arthur." You nodded your head. "I'm _________ ." He stared at you unblinkingly, and you did her best to match his gaze.
'This is so.. Weird.'
Standing on the structure, you were quite a bit taller than him. That is.. Until he raised himself up on his tail. Your (e/c) eyes widened as you looked up into his face.
"Whhhy.. Why did you do this?"
You tilted your head slightly, in a questioning manner. He extended his arm and made a sweeping gesture, signaling to the clearing. You smiled sadly and shrugged. "I needed a place I escape to, to stay. I like to take care of my surroundings.. It made me sad, all the garbage. What blatant disregard some people have for the environment."
He nodded, studying you intensely. You fidgeted slightly, wondering what was going through his head. "You live hhhere?" You nodded your head. He started at you, eyes narrowed almost angrily. You fidgetted nervously.
~°° ARTHUR'S POV °°~
She lived here? By herself? She was relatively young, she couldn't have been older than (age). I narrowed my eyes and glared at her as I thought. I wasn't angry at her though. I was angry that no one was helping her. My tongue darted out as I sniffed the air. I leaned down slightly and took in her face, now that I was closer. Her (e/c) eyes were tired, but she still had a light in them. She was strong, that was for sure.
Her (h/c) hair was slightly matted, and her cheekbones were more hollow then they should have been for a girl her age. I watched, sightly fascinated, as her tongue quickly darted out to wet her dry lips. I let out a sigh. 'I can't just leave her here..' I shook my head and sighed again. "Come with me", I muttered quietly. She furrowed her brows. "I'm sorry?" She tilted her head sweetly.
"I said, come with me!" I felt my face grow warm as I snapped at her. Her eyes widened and a faint blush stained her cheeks. "I.. For how long?" She stammered. I shook my head. "For the night.." She nodded, and I held out my hand for her. She took it gently, and I helped her down. As we began to walk, she didn't let go or complain;
Neither did I.