Moonlight Shadow is a story involving Berrypaw, Sharptooth and Sister Moon - inspired by the song of the same name as well as varied folk tales to do with the moon: it is set after the events of Aspects.
The scene began late one night in a desert with a group of young braves sitting by a camp fire listening to the tales of a shaman, dressed in a wolf-hide cloak and showing great wisdom as he waved his hands, casting spectral light across the flames as his magic gave life to his story - much to the wonder and delight of the braves:
"Many years ago when our tribe was still young the Coyote and the Hare had a race to determine the future of our people - the Coyote wanted to lead us to war while the Hare was determined to teach us the ways of the land.. so they made it a game that whoever could run to the moon would gain control of the tribe..
now, all the spirits in the sky looked down at Coyote and Hare with shame, for they knew that this race was to bring tragedy.. yet they could not act against it.. neither could the spirits of the earth calm the Coyote or the Hare.. not even the great spirit of the storm could convince them to stop..
so it was that Hare raced to the moon, using the stars as stepping stones - for Hare was light and agile while Coyote was weighed down by his own pride..
Hare taunted Coyote as he neared the moon, which made Coyote howl with anger - yet Coyote's rage was nothing compared to what Sister Moon had in store..
You see, the spirits of the sky knew Sister Moon and although no spirit is truly evil.. their are spirits that should be feared.. for their are spirits that are angry..
Sister Moon was one such spirit, her anger sent the moon itself hurling towards the earth and all the animals did cry to the Great Spirit for protection - yet the Great Spirit would not aid them for it was Sister Moon's vengeance to take..
However the Hare thought fast and with a mighty kick of his feet he did send Sister Moon back into the sky - there she has remained ever since.."
The shaman stopped his story and the braves clapped in approval, though one remained rather silent as he looked up to the moon in the sky and asked:
"..will Sister Moon ever return?".
The shaman looked to the young brave and smiled slightly as he waved his hands a little, causing the image of a bouncing hare to form in the fire, quickly evading the clumsy attempts of a coyote to capture it - the two almost resembling cartoons as the hare bounced off the coyote's nose, the coyote swatting wildy in annoyance:
"..perhaps some day Sister Moon will return but we should not fear, the Hare is quick and the Hare is smart - he'll know what to do.."
Chapter 1 - Once A Blue Moon
The scene shifts to a small fishing village overlooking a vast stretch of sea, the quiet village life suddenly interupted as two figures raced down the market - both resembling African American males in appearance but having inhuman qualities as they ducked and dived in ways no normal human could achieve.
"Come back here you no good sack of -!" the first figure began, dressed in torn jeans and white shirt - with pronounced fangs showing as he crashed into a stall, momentarily slowing him down as he scrambled back to his feet.
"You better watch your temper, Sharptooth - you brought this on yourself!" the other figure said as he ran onto the pier - dressed in a red shirt and wearing sandals, his eyes having a purple coloration that betrayed his spiritual nature.
"You cheated!" Sharptooth protested as he charged onto the pier after the other figure, ripping out one of the planks and swinging angrily at him - the other figure leaping and ducking, avoiding each swipe.
"I won the race fair and square - if you hadn't fallen asleep you would of won.." the other figure said before leaping off the edge of the pier and splashing into the water.
"No way a tortoise could be a hare! You cheated, I tell you! Now I'm going to beat you good!" Sharptooth yelled out as he leapt after the figure only to be sent flying right back onto the pier as a small speed-boat burst out from the water like a living cartoon, the figure in the red shirt waving as he raced into the distance.
"That may be true, Sharptooth but it wasn't no tortoise was it? it was old Berrypaw and I told you once and I'll tell you again.. I'm the best there ever was.. it'll be once a blue moon before Sharptooth gets the better of me - just you see!".
Sharptooth's eyes burned with rage as he stamped angrily, causing his foot to go right through the pier and he tugged wildly - losing his balance and falling off the side of the pier with a splash.
Several days went by and the scene shifted to the same pier, late one night as Sharptooth sat on the edge and tossed rocks into the ocean - frowning as he looked up at the moon only to notice it had an unusual tint to it.. staring at the moon a little longer Sharptooth's eyes widened as he saw what appeared to be a large face appear on the moon, speaking directly to him.
<<you going to let that Berrypaw get the better of you yet again? You're better than that! Let old Sister Moon tell you how it's done..>>
Sharptooth got to his feet and began to back away from the manifestation, especially after hearing the name "..no sir.. I ain't falling for your tricks, Sister Moon.. you is a bad spirit.. even for me!".
<<Ha! You gone soft! That's what's happened to you - what happened to the hoodoo and the voodoo? what happened to the howling wolf and the scheming coyote?>>
Sharptooth growled slightly and pointed up at the manifestation "you keep the magic out of this, you old crone! I ain't saying I'm giving up on the dark side of things.. I just know what you is.. a spirit like you needs to stay up in the sky.."
<<Oh? So you going to let old Berrypaw bounce all over you? Just to keep old Sister Moon up in the sky? That what you saying?>>
Sharptooth continued to growl as he clenched his fists, his judgement starting to cloud as he envisioned Berrypaw laughing at him even from a distance - "..now wait just one minute! You saying you can help me beat Berrypaw? No tricks?".
<<No tricks.. I have as much reason to hate Berrypaw as you do, Sharptooth.. you know that..>>
Sharptooth frowned some more as he began to think on this, knowing this was likely a trick yet his obsession soon took control as he looked back up to the manifestation:
"..well.. alright then.. you and me got some work to do then.. Sister Moon..".
The scene shifts to the following day in a small cafe near the pier where Berrypaw sits and relaxes by one of the large windows, bright sunlight shining through as the cafe bustles with activity - both from locals and varied tourists who have come to the area to experience the sun and scenery.
(OOC: open for editing)
A young man walked into the cafe, and he looked tired. Todd then asked the man past the counter, "Some tea please." Todd then faced Berrypaw, who he noticed when he came in, and asked, "You seem familiar. Have we met?".
Berrypaw simply looks to Todd for a moment, "..perhaps - take a seat.." - he motions nearby, putting his feet up on table as he stretches a little: a few people give a disapproving look but Berrypaw doesn't seem too bothered.
Todd then asked Berrypaw, "What's your name?" The man came back and handed Todd his tea. "Thanks," he said to the man, handing him the money to pay for it.
"Depends on who is asking.. I have more names than a rainbow has colors.. not to sound arrogant - when you're as old as I am and travel as far as I do it happens.. you of all people should know that, Todd.." Berrypaw replies, stretching slightly.
Todd responded, surprised, "You don't look that old..." He took a sip, also surprised at his answer revolving around his name, "I have more names than a rainbow has colors..." So he asked, "Well then...what is your most common name."
"some call me Br'er Rabbit, some call me Raven.. Anansi.. you can call me Berrypaw though.." Berrypaw states, looking to Todd with those purple eyes.
Todd awkwardly extended his hand and greeted, "Nice to meet you Berrypaw." After a few minutes, the names ran through his head before stoping and reviewing the name "Anansi." He turned his head quickly and whispered the being sitting next to him, "Anansi? As in the African trickster spider?"
"Trickster is a relative term, I am a teacher - besides you and I have met before.. don't you remember? when old Sharptooth was called in to fight you on behalf of some inter-dimensional would-be-villain.. as usual Sharptooth never was one to think things through however.." Berrypaw replies, continuing to lean back.
Todd faced the trickster and laughed, "Now I remember you! The rabbit spirit!"
"I'd of thought you'd of figured that one out by now, World Walker.." Berrypaw begins, only to be cut short as the window next to him shatters and the crowds scatter - a large figure grabbing him by the neck as they step into the now devastated area.
The figure has large winged and a skull-like helmet, disguising a good portion of their features - slightly hunched and covered in fur, much like a humanoid coyote: as they speak however it is apparent who it is.
<<Didn't I tell you I'd get you, Berrypaw!? Yes sir! I got you good! Now I'm gonna cook you up - right here! on this very spot!>>
The figure stomps hard on the ground, which shatters and bright blue flames spark upwards like a bonfire.
Todd snapped, "Not you again Sharptooth!". He then tossed a plasma ball at his hand to make him drop Berrypaw.
Sharptooth reacts violently to the plasma, clutching at the strange mask as if blinded - Berrypaw falling to the ground and scrambling away, the bonfire disappearing as Sharptooth spreads his wings wide, forming a spectral image of a full moon behind himself as the area becomes cloaked in unnatural darkness, as if switching to night (though this would be impossible):
<<How can it be!? Even in this body the celestial flames burn deep.. who are you!? *what* are you!?>> he yells out, yet his voice changes - becoming distinctly feminine as the mask seems to take control.
Todd stepped up and responded, "I'm the World Walker." Todd lit up his fist with light. "How did you forget that after you fought me and my friends?"
<<Hey! I know this kid! A real loser! Don't you worry, I'll deal with -!>> Sharptooth snarls, his voice becoming his own again - only to jerk as if being pulled by invisible strings: silenced as the spectral moon glows even brighter.
Berrypaw hops forward, in his rabbit form - speaking to Todd "..wait.. this isn't right - Old Sharptooth is being controlled.. somehow..".
"Well who could control a power-house like him Berry?" Todd asked throwing more fire.
"Ain't no one able to control Sharptooth outside the abstract world.." Berrypaw reasoned, turning to face Sharptooth as he notices the spectral moon as Todd's fire began to force the winged figure to rise upwards "..Sister Moon? I thought I kicked you back into the sky..".
<<There will be no kicking, nor will I endure any more of these cursed flames.. you will see my power soon enough, Br'er.. as will your so-called "World Walker"..>>
with those words the figure rocketed out of the area in a blinding flash of blue energy, like a great dragon - quickly vanishing with the faint rumble of thunder.