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“O-ohhhhh, ahhhhhhhhh!” Shasmo moaned sleepily as she woke to the sunlight dancing on her face through the window of the Goldshire Inn. “Mmmm, hello, sunlight!” She sat on the edge of the bed and massaged her head, trying to work out the headache that seemed desperate to be noticed.

“Bah, this headache’s nothing compared with tanking Zul’jin, right, babe?” She turned around when she got no reply, and gasped. The other side of the bed, that should have held her new friend and lover was empty. The sheets were tussled and wrinkled, but no-one lay upon them. “LeGhost? LG?” she called out. No response. She noticed that his clothes, that last night were thrown all over the room, were nowhere to be found.

Hrm, she thought. Maybe he’s gone to cook breakfast for me. Oh, that sweetie! She quickly jumped up and got dressed, and bounced out the door. Down the stairs, fixing her hair into a ponytail, she looked out over the … empty tavern. Not a soul was in sight, not even the “regulars” who started drinking almost before they woke up. How bizarre, she wondered. She walked to the kitchen and saw the pot fire roaring away merrily, with someone’s bacon and eggs gradually becoming charcoal. “Hello?” she called out as she took the tray off the fire. “Anyone here?”. Total silence.

Shasmo began to feel uneasy. Not only was her new partner missing, so was everyone else.

*bump!* *creeeeeaaaaaaaaak*

As the door continued to creak open slowly, Shasmo darted up the stairs, donning her fighting gear as she went. She shifted into Cat Form as she reached the top step, not knowing what was going to be there to meet her …

“AARRRGH! NICE KITTY!” Trixiana squealed, slamming the door shut behind her as Shasmo prepared to pounce.

“Oh no, Trix, I’m sorry” Shasmo apologised, shifting back into normal form. “I got a little freaked out an-”

“It’s OK, Shas” Trix whispered. “but just keep your voice down. His pet might wake up and then things will start to get weird aga-”

“SQUEEEEEEEE!” an incessant squeal began on the other side of the door. There was a muffled sound of “Wha? Huh?” then a loud crash as someone fell out of bed. The squealing stopped abruptly as Shasmo and Trix hurried down the stairs. Shasmo stopped when the irritating noise stopped and looked at Trix. “What happened?”

“Oh,” Trix sighed in exsaperation, “he must have fallen out of bed onto his pet Spider. Silly boy, he’s even more clumsy than Shastarian’s felhunter.” They shared a giggle as they hurried downstairs. “Where’s your lug?”

“First of all,” Shasmo huffed. “he’s not a lug, he’s a hunk. Second of all … I don’t know. I don’t know where anyoen is this morning. The inn is deserted. I can’t even hear anyone or anything. Can you?”

Trixiana had better hearing than Shasmo, but even she couldn’t hear any people sounds. They wandered out to the front of the inn and lo and behold, they saw Shastarian, slumped against the inside of the front door, fast asleep, with a nasty-looking lump on her forehead.

“Wake up, Shas! Wake up!” Trixiana slapped Shastarian’s face lightly as Shasmo ran back to the kitchen to get a bucket of water. “Are you OK?” Shastarian groaned as she began to wake slowly.

“murrrrrrrrr” Shastarian mumbled, opening her eyes and looking around. “What did … ? Where … ?and who … ? Oh GOD!” she shouted as Shasmo arrived with the bucket of water, forcefully drenching Shastarian with it’s contents.

“Oh, sorry Shas!” Shasmo cried. “I thought you were still asleep”. Shastarian fumed as she got up off the ground, looking at her two best friends who were trying so very hard not to burst out laughing.

“Oh yeah, reeeeeeal funny, gals. What happened last night? I don’t remember getting that pissed. Oh God” she gasped, “don’t tell me I did another Ritual of Doom in the nude!”

“Nah,” Shasmo said, lounging against the front door. “No demon poop left laying around.”

“So, where is everyone?” Trixiana looked around. “With the exception of the Huntard upstairs, you girls are the only other signs of life around.”

“Yeah, I was wondering about that. LeGhost was missing this morning when I woke up, and I ha-”

“You whorrrrrre!” Shastarian rumbled in a deep voice that wasn’t anything like her real voice, eyes glowing a mysterious orangey-red. “I’ll teaaaaar your sooooooul to-” she stopped abruptly and gasped for air, blinking as her eyes returned to their normal colour . “My God, what was that?” She looked at her friends, who had leapt over the bar at the sound of the demonic voice issuing from their friend. “What’s going on?”

“That’s what I’d like to know” Shasmo replied. “You scared me then.”

“Is this about you liking LeGhost, Shas?” Trixiana asked.

“No!” Shastarian exclaimed. “Well, I don’t actually know. I don’t like him in that way, ‘Mo, babe, we’ve just been friends forever is all.” She saw Shasmo’s eyes start to well up with tears, and she went to her and gave her a hug. “You little devil, though. How was it?”

Shasmo giggled. “Unreal. Like no-one I’ve known before. Not even … you-know-who.”

The girls gasped. “Seriously?” Trixiana asked. “Yup” Shasmo replied. “He was so much better. Kind of like going from wiping on Van Cleef to tanking Illidan. That awesome.” They were silent for a few moments as their imaginations ran wild.

Suddenly, not very far away, there came a sound like a child in pain. The girls looked at each other and dashed to the front door. As they opened the door and stepped outside, they gasped in unison at the sight that was before them …


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