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SHDYCF2 Chapter 20 The New Kids On the Block
Ben followed the squad car carrying the would-be mugger all the way to the station. His attention, however, was on the conversation that had just taken place in the nail salon.
Sylvie and Taryn were upset he’d taken their weapons; that was fine, he normally had that reaction whenever they secured any kind of evidence, especially personal ones. He’d promised he’d see their stuff returned to them promptly, and he meant it. What had surprised him was the level of attachment he’d seen from the girls. It worried him.
And if I’m worried, then Anna and Mary have to be doubly so, he thought grimly. He couldn’t blame them. With the fact that they were appearing more and more often in the costumes from Nightshade’s damned circus and Sylvie’s fierce attachment to her Winchester (which, if half of what he heard from the range was true, was understandable for a trick-shooter) and the growing bonds between Taryn and hers, then that sp
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SHDYCF2 Chapter 19 The Calm Before The Storm
The Calm Before The Storm
Sylvie waved good-bye to Alfred as she left the range to walk home. Her lessons hadn't been too bad today, and she left them feeling actually cheerful.
It still amazed her how willing many people were to pay for an hour's lesson. She's stopped the ridiculous bidding wars that had sparked her first few lessons, and instead concentrated on a single flat rate of a hundred dollars an hour. She knew that still wasn't very reasonable of her, but she didn't dare lower it further, for fear of being overwhelmed. Already she had a two-month waiting list, and no sign of slowing.
The lessons themselves weren't bad at all. She reserved the right to cancel the lesson at any time for any reason, which she made clear in the sign-up sheets, and she wouldn't do repeat lessons until after everyone had cycled through. She felt that only fair, as she worried that some rich kid would try to monopolize her time from everyone else.
Occasionally, she would wow the cro
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Interview with Taryn
I felt a little nervous when my editor assigned me this project. Her exact words were, “Go and interview one of those centaur people and do whatever it takes to get the scoop”.
So, here I was, driving down a long, idyllic road, passing Luna Lake, coming up to a sign that read: “Town of Red Leaf, 30 miles”
Well, at least I was nearly there.
The town turned out to be a bustle of activity, clashing horribly with the peaceful surrounding countryside. Great construction cranes were putting up new, modern buildings and parking lots, interspersed occasionally with charming, red brick buildings that showed signs of being scorched, despite the scrubbed-looking exteriors.
I constantly checked the street signs, searching for the landmark I’d been told to look for.
“Ah!” I said to myself. “There it is!”
I pulled into the parking lot of a small shop with its enormous billboard that had to be half the size of the building proclaiming “Harry
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SHDYCF2 Chapter 18 Secrecy Amongst Friends
Secrecy Amongst Friends
Sylvie watched her parents pull out of the driveway in their cars and head to work. She waited a little while, until she got the phone calls from them making sure she was all right and they would be home for dinner, then she took off.
She strode towards downtown, dressed in a regular t-shirt and sweater, with her amazingly comfortable buckskin jacket over it, and her rifle in its holster on her back.
People she knew as townsfolk waved and nodded as she passed by, while the visitors clustered around her, begging for a picture with her or trying to say hello.
Sylvie begged off all of them and quickened her pace a little. Having four hooves could come in handy, she admitted to herself. Without actually running, she could move faster than all but the quickest human walk.
With a sigh of relief, she managed to duck down an empty alley and shake her admirers. Checking herself once over to make sure nothing had gone missing or been added to her person,
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SHDYCF2 Chapter 17 A Picture Worth a Thousand Word
A Picture Worth A Thousand Words
The morning of the pumpkin festival dawned cold and blue, without a cloud to be seen. The wind, however, seemed to delight in reminding everyone how it had chased them away, snapping at everyone's heels with bitter cold, so folk dressed in bulky jackets over their costumes for the festival, if they hadn't chosen warm, full-suited costumes in the first place.
Sylvie and Taryn had been at the booth for hours already, smiling with family after family as they passed by, strangers for the most part, though Sylvie had already seen her entire swim team show up that morning. It hadn't been too bad, she admitted silently to herself. Certainly no one seemed too fussed that the camera was a modern digital camera, or the costumes that they'd brought for the other people that wanted them to wear were second-hand and cheap compared to theirs, or that the pictures were ten dollars each.  They lined up outside their booth so far that it ran nearl
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SHDYCF2 Chapter 16 Pumkin Festival
Pumpkin Festival
Taryn walked along the new Main Street of the town. Though it was, in fact, still the same street as before, all the new construction that had gone up made it seem like an entirely different boulevard. Where once had been several small shops shoved tight against one another in tiny brick storefronts, more spacious, modern construction had been installed. They still had the brick façade to them, probably to keep the small-town charm that tourists demanded, but it no longer looked rundown and struggling.
On the contrary, if the size of the crowd that Taryn saw could be any guide, it seemed to be booming. Every store had merchandise that had a red maple leaf on the front and slogans that said "I hiked Red Leaf" and "I stayed at Red Leaf".
Taryn couldn't help but notice that many of those shirts looked untouched, or were offered at bargain price. The ones with her and Sylvie's picture on them, however, were nearly always empty, had
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SHDYCF2 Chapter 15 Property
Sylvie woke up feeling refreshed. Outside, the sun shone and the air, though cool, promised to be dry and pleasant.
Perfect weather for pumpkin carving, she thought.
Walking back into the house, she discussed her plan to get some gourds at Joe's Market in town.
"I'm not sure what I'll carve yet, until I get them home."
"That's half the fun." Her mom said, sipping coffee from her mug as she sat at the breakfast table. "It sounds like fun. I shouldn't be at the office long today, I'll just need to file a couple of papers, then I should be done."
"Sweet." Sylvie enthused. "Will you go shopping with us? Or should I get a pumpkin for you?"
"That depends, when were you planning on going to Joe's?" her mother asked.
Sylvie glanced at the clock. "Perhaps in a little bit." She said. "I've got to clean up in the garage and take care of the backyard. Then I can go get the pumpkins."
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SHDYCF2 Chapter 14: Friends Forever
Friends Forever
Out in the fresh air, she wandered aimlessly for a while, thinking heavily about her nightmares; they'd been getting more frequent now and she worried about what that might mean.
Along her route, she could see the construction cranes standing still and seemingly abandoned, but at a couple of the sites furthest along her route, she could see a handful of pickup trucks and cars in parking areas and construction workers checking over the machines and prepping them for work.
Well, at least one crisis is solved. She thought morosely. With luck, the rest of the sites would be up and running in a couple of days.
She turned up the block to her house, pondering the meaning of dreams when a voice interrupted her thoughts.
"Sylvie! There you are!"
It was Taryn, and she was standing by the front door in her own buckskin costume and idly holding her war-spear in her right hand. Her hair had been done back in a ponytail and on her back she wore a set of sad
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SHDYCF2 Chapter 13: The Doctor
The Doctor
Sylvie shivered as she walked down the long hallway. Her footsteps echoed loudly off the walls, the bare, unadorned shaft echoing like her dream. She wished she had her rifle.
At the far end stood two swinging doors; painted the same horrid shade of hospital white, with shiny brass plates where handles should be, and two small rectangular windows with the wire mesh shot through the glass. In effect, the door of every hospital horror story or show ever written.
Sylvie almost turned around right then, but the promise of more aid to the town stopped her. Besides, there could even be the smallest chance that they could be made human again. Surely that would be worth the risk?
Screwing up her courage, she pushed through the door.
Inside, she found the set from Doctor Joe; there were couches and chairs, a warm blue rug that dominated the floor, cushions scattered everywhere, a bookshelf groaning under the weight of what seemed to be hundreds of medical textbooks,
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SHDYCF2 Chapter 12: Back Alley Meetings
Back Alley Meetings
Sylvie didn't leave the house for the next two days after the meeting in the office. Instead, she spent much of her time in the garage, thinking hard about her hare-brained scheme, trying to poke holes in it and see it from a different angle. She wanted her plan to be foolproof when she put it into action.
I can't afford any mistakes on this, she thought. If I fail, it means Dad and Ben will lose their jobs, maybe even Mom.
Once more she ran through the idea in her head. She would call Thomas Wolfe and arrange a meeting with him, on the proviso he brought Agent Bengal with him. She couldn't afford to do it in a public place where they could be seen, so she would have them meet her in the alley behind the store that started it all. Somehow, that seemed fitting to her. Most of those buildings still sported scorches and other battle damage from the Riots, but being so far from the town center, it hadn't been touched by the reconstruction yet. That would
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SHDYCF2 Chapter 11: Office Games
Office Games
Sylvie trotted towards the imposing stone edifice that had held her mother's law office. The chilly day had not helped her mood soften in the slightest as she left the house that morning, and she pulled the fringes of her western jacket tight about her. The exceptional material kept her warm and calmed her, which Sylvie found odd considering for almost a year it had been the mark of her enslavement. In fact, she thought ruefully as she glanced down at herself, she looked exactly like she did in her posters. For whatever reason, she felt she needed to be ready for anything today, and had donned her full western regalia, even the hat, and slung her rifle with sheath on her back.
People waved at her as she walked through town, and friends called out greetings and invites for her to stop and talk for a bit. She smiled and waved at them or returned their calls with regrets that she had to hurry for an appointment.
Some of the people she recognized from the range
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SHDYCF2 Chapter 10: Secrets Revealed
Secrets Revealed
It took about an hour for her parents to show up in their car. She had bid Stetson good night and watched him walk back over the hill towards his parent's farm. Ah, she thought, if only he'd been a centaur too, or I a human again. And she blushed, even now, as she remembered leering at his butt as he walked away. Thoughts of him and her played in her fantasies for a few minutes before she pulled the plug on it. Ahh, she sighed, I bet he's probably already got a girlfriend. Lucky girl
Now, she watched her parents get out of the car with a mixture of trepidation and joy at seeing them again. It seemed like forever since she'd last had an opportunity to do this, and she was eager.
"Mom!" She laughed, rushing forward.
The older woman jumped at the shout and the charge, bracing herself seconds before Sylvie swept her up in a gigantic bear hug. Her father watched from the safety of the other side of the car.
"Huh. It's...good to...see you too, swee
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SHDYCF2 Chapter 9: Guilt Trips
Guilt Trips.
Sylvie felt lost in thought, which was a new feeling for her, she had to admit. Normally, she considered herself to be a person of action, but now action wouldn't help and she couldn't count on anyone else to help think the problem through.
No, that wasn't true, Taryn would help. In fact, she'd been trying to help, but even she seemed to think that the warning was only a bad dream, and it wasn't. If Sylvie doubted anything else, it wasn't that. So what could she do?
Could she go to her parents? They'd called that morning while Sylvie was having her hooves done and talked for a few minutes before they'd had to go to one meeting or another. Both of them had scolded her for letting her cell die, much more than breaking down Taryn's front door. She promised she'd never let it die again, and charged it fully before walking out--she just wasn't into soaps herself. Taryn had tried to come with her, and while she wouldn't have minded, she didn't want to come between h
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SHDYCF2 Chapter 8: The Nightmare
The Nightmare
Smack! Scrape! The noise woke Taryn from deep comforting sleep to wide wakefulness in seconds. She blinked in the dark, disoriented for a moment. A whimper snapped her gaze to the mattress next to her and the writhing black mass on it.
"...No!...I won't...Nightshade." Sylvie's hoarse whisper barely sounded in the dark, even to Taryn's sharp hearing. So quiet, she could barely make out her last word: "suffering".
Lurching to her feet she let the blanket fall from limp hands. Slipping silently to Sylvie's side, she dropped to her knees and tenderly took her head in her arms. For a moment, she lay in Nightshade's comfortable trailer, cradling her friend when she had nightmares in Nightshade's Circus and they both held each other until they fell asleep.
Whether it was the comfort of memory or the comfort of feeling someone close by, Sylvie's breathing steadied and her twitching subsided.
Her own tension ebbing, Taryn felt her thoughts slowed
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SHDYCF2 Chapter 7: The Tiger Comes
The Tiger Comes
Taryn sighed as she settled on her "couch"; an old sofa back that had been removed from the main body and attached to soft cushions on the floor with a flap of durable nylon, and then covered with patterned fabric in the form of eagles; with her mother in the comfy chair next to her. She was pretty sure that her face showed none of the turmoil that was going on in her head. She pretended to watch soaps while inside her mind was turning over and over the last conversation she had with Sylvie. Her friend's demeanor at their last encounter was worrisome now that she had time to think better. She had been too...preoccupied with other...things, to have paid as close attention as she should have.
"Honey, why so red?" Gaah! She hadn't meant to blush! Curse these reflexes!
"I'm fine Mom. Honestly. Just a...umm...good scene. That's all." Could she have stammered anymore? Taryn wanted to knock her head against a wall, especially when he
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SHDYCF2 Chapter 6: A Wolf in a Suit
A Wolf in a Suit
For the next week Sylvie was in and out of the shooting range. She continued to astonish and amaze with her ability to hit any target she wanted, regardless of whether or not she could see it. Some dubbed her the new "Annie Oakley", and her times at the range were often crowded as people came to see her shoot her rifle. Albert had capitalized on the situation, promising her free ammunition if she came between the hours of two and three in the afternoon. All the while he charged people for the privilege of seeing her shoot, and extra for talking with her. He had even convinced her to do a few lessons for a fee. Sylvie was a little uncomfortable with the notion, but agreed to give it a try. Today would be her first lesson and she was terrified.
She walked up to the admissions booth for the range and smiled at the girl with braces who waved her past with no comment. There was already a huge line that stretched clear to the parking lot. Sylvie had bee
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Beauty And The Beast :iconneoartcore:NeoArtCorE 847 62 conglin :iconwanbao:wanbao 234 3 Blue ribbon :iconsandara:sandara 2,461 89 Cat and mouse :iconvasylina:Vasylina 260 29 She-Ra and Sailor Moon :iconlisginka:lisGinka 241 33 DIBARDO :iconlunarlunatic:lunarlunatic 129 7 Jessica Rabbit :iconsouracid:SourAcid 1,371 53 Aloy :iconskyrawathi:Skyrawathi 206 19 Genies of the World: USA :iconhippo2:hippo2 44 21 A Tribute to HR GIGER :iconjack-burton25:Jack-Burton25 127 28
Mature content
Weekly: Ceronii and Ebice :iconeduartboudewijn:EduartBoudewijn 50 21
Commission: Vicky and Tootie Age Swap :iconeduartboudewijn:EduartBoudewijn 80 25
Writing Tips: Character, Plot, and Theme
There are three fundamentals to a well-written story:  Character, Plot, and Theme.  And they belong in that priority order.
Character is all about how people feel.  It is about personalities and reactions, about thoughts and feelings, and it is absolutely the most important thing in a story.  You can have a boring plot with good characters, and you can have no deeper theme with good characters, but if you have bad characters, nothing will save your story.
Describing Feelings
Even though I just said that thoughts and feelings are the most important thing in your story, that doesn't mean you should come right out and say how your character is feeling.  This is absolutely wrong:
"That's a great idea," said Sally happily.
"What is?" said Jack.  He felt confused.
"Going to talk to your parents," said Sally happily.
There is an old mantra in the theater business:  Show, don'
:iconphantom-inker:phantom-inker 23 4
Jessica Rabbit Fullbody pinup :iconsakimichan:sakimichan 11,862 312 Swans sorrrow :iconsakimichan:sakimichan 10,244 191 Borneo :iconkenket:kenket 1,021 39


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This painting is an example of pieces that might be found in art museums or hanging on the walls of curio shops around the world. The w...

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Thank you!
Wed Aug 6, 2014, 5:25 PM
You got wonderful pics there in your architecture collection! Awesome!
Sat Jul 26, 2014, 9:18 AM
Hello there.
Sun Mar 3, 2013, 10:36 PM
Hey, no problem. You're the first person to actually use it. Can't wait to see who's next! ;)
Wed Feb 6, 2013, 8:05 PM
Sorry if I haven't been as present, most of my free time is being allocated to getting the Kentauride out. I'll try to catch up soon.
Sun Feb 3, 2013, 5:48 AM
Hey, you got a shoutbox :-)
Sun Feb 3, 2013, 5:43 AM
What's up everyone?
Mon Dec 31, 2012, 11:12 AM
Well, congratulations Deviants!

My poll is now closed, and what a fun time it was! It looks as if Taryn is the winner, with Molly running a very close second. I will be working on creating the interview with Taryn and will post it just as soon as I am able.

Thanks again for your votes, and I hope you enjoy Taryn's character interview!


To the future
United States


Mar 28, 2017
10:37 am
Mar 28, 2017
7:37 am
Mar 28, 2017
6:08 am
Mar 28, 2017
3:44 am
Mar 28, 2017
2:16 am



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pinkythepink Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Professional Artisan Crafter
:love: Thank you for the favorites, it really means ever so much to me that you enjoy my artwork! I invite you to add me to your watch so that you can see all the future beaded and stitched pieces I have planned! :blowkiss: Just think of the sparkles... :squee:
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Andared Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2017
Thanks for the fave
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akaArseny Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2017  Student Digital Artist
Hey thanks for fav my Mystique, glad it please to you!:) (Smile)
Hope you'll come back and follow my arts, more nice things comming soon! :) (Smile)
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ElieBongrand Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2017
Thanks for adding my latest Supergirl drawing to your favorites :) I appreciate it
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funkyalienlovers Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for the favs
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