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In the name of...

by NonAnalogue

NonAnalogue “Ash! Come on!”

Ashwyn opened her eyes. She wasn’t immediately sure where she was. It was a city, definitely - and from the looks of it, one far bigger than Port Yarcia. A cart ran by her and she had the immediate inclination to jump out of the street.

“Help me! Anyone!”

The voice was… it wasn’t the same one that woke her up. She was still trying to place where she knew the first voice from. Ashwyn shook her head and looked down the road. There were two people rounding the turn - one was a vaguely familiar-looking woman, probably the one who was crying for help, and the other…

Well, the first words that jumped to Ashwyn’s mind were “Gods, but he looks like someone out of those picture books I read when I was little.” He was abnormally tall and wore a fitted suit, an impressive feat considering how muscular he was. Claws tipped his fingers, five of which were wrapped around the woman’s arm, and he had a mouth filled with more fangs than Ashwyn thought would have fit.

And there were the horns. Ashwyn tried not to linger on them.

“Don’t worry!” Ashwyn yelled. “I’m coming!” She began to run after the monster as fast as she could, not even stopping when she felt a wind starting to blow around her. The wind soon became too strong to ignore, though - it lifted her off the ground, swirling around her in a cyclone. Ashwyn struggled to find purchase on the ground again, but the sensation of fabric shifting against her skin gave her pause and she looked down.

“Wow…!” she muttered. Her normal dingy green jacket and wrinkled shirt had disappeared, swapped out for a puffy blue skirt, a long pink vest, and even shoulder-length gloves.

Ashwyn smiled slightly, her eyes wide. Nothing that pretty existed in her wardrobe, she knew that for certain. The wind subsided, and she alighted gently on one high-heeled-boot-clad foot. She had never even worn heels before (except once, and she’d fallen on her face a few moments after), but she instinctively knew how to keep her balance as she resumed her chase.

“In the name of the Vincent family,” Ashwyn called, “I will rescue you!” She didn’t know where the line had come from, but she kind of liked how it sounded. She bore down on the monster and leapt into the air, one fist extended…

“Come on, Ash! We’ll be late!”

…And she woke up to Lila’s face at the side of her bed. Ashwyn blinked blearily and tried to rub some of the sleep from her eyes. “Lila…?”

Lila smiled. “Morning, sleepyhead. You must have been exhausted - it took forever for you to wake up.” She stood up and walked to the door of the bedroom. “Now come on and get up. We’re meeting Marie today, remember?”


“Yeah, the friend of mine who’s your size. She has all those spare clothes she wanted to give away.”

Ashwyn’s memory came flooding back and she sat up, careful not to let the blood rush from her head. “Right. Gotcha. I’ll be ready in a few.”

The picture of the dress in her mind didn’t leave her all morning.

Lordy, this one took some doing. I had to learn about animating layer masks, which was a bit of a trick since I’d almost never used layer masks before. Anyway, have a few other (non-animated) versions of this picture: