Posted August 23, 2020 at 12:00 pm

The keys of Shinobu's typewriter clicked loudly, but the office was otherwise quiet. There was a ding as she reached the end of a line, the last line on the paper, and as she reached over to release the sheet from the machine she happened to look down. She'd been sitting with her back to the door, but now stood with a grumble, her tail bristling. There was an inky blackness on the floor, creeping in from under the door, silent and unobtrusive.

She went to the door and opened it onto a blackness so complete that she couldn't see the floor beyond the doorjamb, despite the light in the office behind her.

The only thing visible in the darkness was a large animal skeleton, curled up in sleep some indistinguishable distance away. The bones were as black as the rest of the room, but they were limned with a hazy, bright fire that did not light up anything else, clinging instead to the skeleton in the vague semblance of a body. Someone was snoring, as well--not the skeleton, as the noise was coming from the blackness somewhere to its left.

Shinobu cleared her throat loudly, and that was enough to startle both Yoshi and Teige awake.

Teige sat bolt upright as the blackness fled from him. He looked around just in time to get a glimpse of the massive black skeleton, and the darkness that was coalescing onto it, rapidly forming skin and fur. For an instant the creature was complete, a huge fire-eyed wolf who seemed to be full of stars--but then that fell apart, and the darkness forming it split and streamed down and formed Yoshi. She stood holding her head as the last of the tendrils of darkness formed loose strands of her hair.

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