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The Labyrinth of Dreams - Chap 31 :iconmagick205:Magick205 0 2
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The Labyrinth of Dreams - Chap 27
Chapter 27
From Ereshkigal to Ēostre
A bland whiteness was everywhere. A sound that was no sound at all filled her ears…if they were actually still ears as Cheryl Silverheels tried and failed miserably to get her bearings. OK, she thought, since that didn't work I'll just envision the fabric again….and….well, shit.
Nothing.
She panicked if only for a moment and screamed as loud and hard as she could and was rewarded with nothing but that monotonous tone.
Now she was really scared.
*BE NOT AFRAID.* she heard in her mind. The tenor and tone of the voice seemed at once to be both that of Oldman and the Lady.
*WE ARE WITH YOU.*
Where are we? Why can't I see or hear anything, she thought. Cher tried to move but couldn't even feel her hands much less any part of her body. Then she realized that she wasn't breathing. Oh no, oh no, oh no!
*BE AT PEACE. WE ARE BETWEEN THE WORLDS. FLESH CANNOT EXIST HERE. ONLY THE MIND, THE SPIRIT. YOU ARE OF US AND WE ARE
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Literature
The Labyrinth of Dreams - Chap 25
Chapter 25
Oya
Silverheels found herself wrapped up in an embrace that she didn't even remember diving into. The strong arms of her adoptive father held her close as she finally let go and sobbed out her frustration into the older wolf's favorite flannel shirt. It even smelled exactly like she remembered it last.
Cheryl started suddenly, breaking away from the embrace to her father's bemused smile. This…was wrong. As a coyote, like all other canines, her adoptive parents included, she had an amazingly sensitive sense of smell. Indeed, in Zootopia, scent testimony was often used in legal proceedings involving canids. And while every mammal had their own unique scent much like a paw print or other identifying feature, it did have slight variations due to health, diet, exertion, level of excitement or any one of a hundred other factors. So yes, while each animal had their own signature odor, it had a range of variance.
Except this wolf. Her father smelled exactly the same as the las
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Zootopia - Dad
A child’s cry pierced his heart and forced him out of his late-night slumber. At instinct, he got out of bed as quickly and swiftly as he could, as to not disturb Judy, who was probably trying to sink back from a doze into a deep sleep. He ran out of his shared room and to the closed bedroom door a little down the short hall.
He opened the door, but then stopped. The crying stopped, knowing someone was there, but Nick paused, wondering what the heck he just did. He could have tried to slip back into bed, but the baby would then go back to crying until someone came, and then Judy would get up, pissed at Nick for not helping when he clearly was awake.
The dumb fox stopped and thought to himself what in the world made him think he could do this. It was like reality slapped him right in the face and now he watched in horror at what he was doing. He was playing a game he could only lose, and he didn’t need to add this to the list of things he failed, disappointed.
Judy wanted to
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Literature
Zootopia - Pride
Little Victoria stopped her bubble-gum pink alarm clock and jumped out of bed in joy. She pulled off her Princess Purrida nightgown and got dressed in a pair of blue jeans and a plain grey t-shirt. She opened the door and ran down the stairs to see her mother, Judy, in the kitchen, fixing two bowls of Honey-Nut Cheerios. Victory jumped into a chair and the bunny smiled while the coffee brewed.
“Morning, Mommy!” The 7-year-old said happily.
“Morning, Victoria.” Judy said and sat in her ZPD uniform. “You excited for school today?”
The little raccoon nodded with a mouth full of milk-sweetened cereal. Today Judy had to go work alone, and she wouldn’t be dropping Victory off at school. Nick would be walking her and be staying with her all day.
Nick asked for the day off and got his request. At Victoria’s school, George Hippoton Elementary, her class was having a Career Day at school where parents came and the kids told their classmates what th
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Leverage - A Tender Moment Colored by Stormspike Leverage - A Tender Moment Colored :iconstormspike:Stormspike 337 23 Wilde and Hopps/ Calvin and Hobbes Crossover 2 by myrza289 Wilde and Hopps/ Calvin and Hobbes Crossover 2 :iconmyrza289:myrza289 237 40 Wasteland by TitusW Wasteland :icontitusw:TitusW 247 79 Zootopia - First Date by artbirchly Zootopia - First Date :iconartbirchly:artbirchly 2,761 394 Zootopia - Nick and Judy by Cryptid-Creations Zootopia - Nick and Judy :iconcryptid-creations:Cryptid-Creations 9,466 436 Commission - Nick Wilde by RobertFiddler Commission - Nick Wilde :iconrobertfiddler:RobertFiddler 115 36 Say Yes by SunChizz Say Yes :iconsunchizz:SunChizz 15 1 Sacred Ways by darknatasha Sacred Ways :icondarknatasha:darknatasha 900 30 Moonfight Dance by TaniDaReal Moonfight Dance :icontanidareal:TaniDaReal 778 40 Aloha to Moana by kawacy Aloha to Moana :iconkawacy:kawacy 12,998 318 Pinned by kenket Pinned :iconkenket:kenket 890 36 Coat of Arms by humon Coat of Arms :iconhumon:humon 11,727 2,711 Stupid Fox, Sly rabbit by Ganym0 Stupid Fox, Sly rabbit :iconganym0:Ganym0 1,328 48 Cyberpunk Judy Hopps by MetaDragonArt Cyberpunk Judy Hopps :iconmetadragonart:MetaDragonArt 669 52

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A beautiful concept and I like the off-center asymmetric look of the work. The color is good and feels very rich, but since it does see...


The look is very close to what Disney would do, and really kind of strikes me as kind of a hipster-ish college age deer? I'm not sure a...

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Magick205
Dan
Artist | Hobbyist | Varied
United States
A writer and photographer of various subjects. Or in this case of a very weary John Constantine cosplay, a petty dabbler in the Dark Arts.
It's been well over a year now and I'm still writing. And most amazingly, great folks out there are still reading these words and taking pleasure in them. 

I'm amazed.


No.


I'm flabbergasted.


And most of all I'm thankful that all you great guys and gals are still out there and walking these twisty paths that lead through all these wonderful and horrible versions of the Zootopia Universe. While House of Mouse may not be putting as much behind this wonderful work as some others (including that which involves sisters AND WILL NOT BE MENTIONED HERE!) we the fans are still so very enthusiastic about the characters and ideas that Zootopia represented. 

So I stand here honored and amazed. I am blessed to have met you all and entertained as many as I have. In all humility I can only say one thing:

Thank you all.

Merry Meet, Merry Part, and Merry Meet Again.

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Holy Crap! Thirty-one chapters so far......

and still going!

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Chapter 31

Epiphanies of Wohpe

"So, wait," the small rabbit said as she was curled up on the big bean bag next to her new red fox lover. "You're saying that the only reason you got caught was the fact a balloon popped?" Hopps was puzzled.

Nick snorted and started to explain. "Not a word, mister. Let Cher tell it," she said, turning and shaking a small grey finger at the fox as he raised his paws in deference to the smaller doe, the love of his life.

Cheryl Silverheels chuckled softly as she brought the platter with the tea on it back into the room from the small kitchen. The red fox who had been her friend for so long had no clue how far in over his head he was. This would be fun to watch as their relationship progressed. Even though she knew the eventual outcome, a world finally in balance, it would be wonderful to have this front-row seat.

"Well", Silverheels began, leaning back against the door frame, polishing her short black nails on the worn plain white t-shirt she wore, "I was playing a role as a distraction. I was supposed to be a pregnant single mom, looking wistfully at rings I couldn't afford. Both a security risk and a diversion. That would give Finnick and Nick a chance to run the Bishop's Gambit".

"Bishop's Gambit"?

Cheryl looked to a smiling Wilde. He was trying hard not to interrupt, but was holding his tongue as Judy had asked. She continued, "It's where the first partner comes in dressed as a "safe person", like a Bunnarian Bishop, to try and buy something with real cash, but is stopped by the second partner who arrives, dressed as a wolf police officer or some other law enforcement and "arrests" the first for passing "counterfeit" bills. The second partner puts pressure on the mark, in this case the crooked shop keeper, to release the object the first was buying as evidence for the prosecution. It's all about the appearance of authority, right? You have a badge, and when you present that in public, you are assured of all the weight and fury of legal power behind you. When working a crooked target….they cave almost instantly. In the end you end up with the seed cash and the mcguffin you were after".

"Ahhhh", said the small grey rabbit. Turning her head upwards to a smugly smiling Nick. "'It's called a hustle?', eh you sneaky red-furred…", and was stopped by a soft kiss on an indignant bunny muzzle from a bemused red fox.

"I told you there might be some things that be a little ….ummmm……creative improvisation about my prior employment opportunities?" Nick stated carefully.

”And after all, it was a turning point for both of us, besides now being well outside the statute of limitations, " Cher said directly, allaying the rabbit's discomfort with this revelation. "Long story short, I accidently bumped into something, the balloon popped, and the owners knew something was up. I got caught trying to get out the back but Finn and Nick got clear of the store". Cher frowned for a moment, considering the fallout from that event.

"My parents were so mad. I'd never, ever seen them that angry. Not at me personally, but more at what I'd done. The waste that my life was becoming. I knew the store owner was a crook, ripping off his customers. But I'd just never thought to use another method to even the playing field".

Nick interjected, "Nor had I. After a time, when the whole world looks down on you, it's kinda hard not to play to those expectations. But yeah, after Cheryl got popped, we got out of the heist business, even if it was for a good cause. Hell, even after all that all we had to show for it was a single pair of silver earrings," which Cher indicated by flicking one ear to indicate the simple silver hoop, the match set just as low on the opposing ear.

"Hunh? Just a pair of earrings. But weren't you searched? I mean, that's standard procedure when taking someone into custody," Judy queried.

Now it was Cher's turn to be uncomfortable as Nick interjected, "Oh she was. But she was underage….and a bit desperate at the time. And…well, creative".

Silverheels smiled sheepishly, "I just kinda….uhhhh….hid them. On my person.  In….Ummm..." and rather than use words, she changed her posture. Her arms uncrossed and her paws now coming to rest down on her denim clad hips with the long index fingers discreetly pointing to her groin.

"Oh my cheese and crackers", Judy snorted and then just rolled into a full belly laugh as Nick started in, "Cher means she hid them up her.."

"SHUT UP NICK!", Silverheels cried out desperately from the doorway she stood in as Judy caught his muzzle with both of her small grey paws from underneath, snapping it closed and preventing any further revelations of an anatomical nature.

Judy still giggled slightly as she spoke. "Yeah. That would do it. I've had to do some searches myself, and they are not fun at all". Releasing her grip on Nick's mouth Hopps got a conspiratorial look on her gray-furred face as her ears folded back over her small head and continued with an awkward grin, "Especially when you have to do a body cavity check on a female rhinoceros accused of shoplifting. I thought I would need a lifeline to haul me back out!"

The trio now all broke up into laughter at the mutual awkwardness confessed and the obvious physical comedy that such a size mismatch could cause. But sadly it was ended as Nick broke into a ragged coughing fit, a reminder of the still healing wound to his lungs and upper chest. Excusing himself, Nick made for the bathroom as Judy watched after him.

"He'll be OK, Judy. Trust me on this", the coyote said confidently as she watched the worried amethyst eyes track the fox down the small hall to the lavatory.

"You sound so sure about that. He's been in a coma for more than a month".

The coyote just smiled serenely and continued, "And he's going to need rehab too. Get those muscles back into shape". A teasing smile flickered over her long tan muzzle as she watched the worried grey doe.  "And I am assuming that is already well underway," she finished as she sat on the big pillows next to the doorway.

Now it was the rabbit's turn to feel the awkwardness of an overly personal revelation. "His scent is all over you hon. A canine nose knows" Cher said with a smirk.

Judy stammered a bit, her inner ears flaring red with embarrassment, "Well…uhhh. Yeah…a little. It's a bit different….since he's a fox, you understand?" Her small paws seemed to make a gesture to acknowledge the size of something, but seemed to think better of it at the last moment, and found themselves quickly pinned to her lap as she fought to express herself with words alone.

"Nothing to be worried about. Your adventure is just really beginning. If things were simple or easy would they be half as much fun? Besides, you too shouldn't be in that much of a rush. It has been a very tough time for all of us since the warehouse". Cher sighed deeply, her manner clouding as she remembered how much that had changed since that moment of invoking real power. Since having to choose between her own happiness and the future of another species. "A very tough time, indeed".

"It's weird, you know, Judy said as she leaned back into the bean bag, feeling it shift under her."This all seems so….familiar. Like we've been here before?" as she gestured to the eclectic décor around her. "I mean, I know that figure there on the book shelf, that's the Mother of Rabbits. And the fox idol next to it, Reynard the Trickster. I don't know how I know this, but I do".

"Déjà vu is not uncommon. I'm sure Nick must have described my humble abode before. And if I know him, he was certainly florid in also throwing in saucy details about my sideline running an occult shop" Silverheels said as she made air quotes, "The spooky gay coyote chick" while Judy leaned forward, expectantly, a reply on the tip of her tongue.

"Well, not like that. But he did talk about how you're a, what is it? A priestess? Of your native religion? Is that the right term?"

"Shaman is closer. Or Medicine Person. Doesn't really matter. It's just a title. A label for the world to try and understand you by. When you wear your uniform, are you just a Zootopia Police Department officer?"

"Well, yes". Judy paused for a moment, watching the canine's eyes. "No? Ummm. I guess I'm a mixture of things? I am a police officer…but that's just what I do," Hopps replied thoughtfully.

"And it's only a small part of what you are, Carrots," came the husky voice from the hallway. Nick stepped forward from the longer shadows in the back of the apartment. "You are the bravest person of any species I've ever met. You are also extremely clever, have a heart the size of an elephant's apartment building, and the …dare I say it, the snarkiest wit other than my own?" The tired red fox looked over to his hostess and smiled, "Sorry Cher, I've given my heart to another at last".

The lean female coyote placed a paw against her forehead and cried out dramatically, "Oh where ever shall I go? Whatever shall I do now that my one true love is departed for another. Woe. Woe is me. Boohoo. Boohoo" she finished with a paw and forearm thrown back across her face, like a melodrama actress from the age of silent films.

"OK, ok". Judy relented. "We all are different things in our lives at different times. But that doesn't change that we know so many of these things. I mean, Nick and I? We've even had the same dreams!"

Cher's eyes flicked to where the fox stood in the doorway, getting a slight nod as he walked past the seated coyote to snuggle in once again alongside his beloved lady rabbit. Their eyes were not accusative, just questioning. And then Nick continued.

"While I was in a coma, I saw you many times. At first it was just you. But then there were different yous. One was this huge spider-thing. Not scary like a spider normally is, but….beautiful in a weird, glowy kind of way. You were knitting together lives…I think?"

"I saw that too. I also saw you in white paint, facing a dark figure, fighting, dying. I also saw….a", Judy's voice choked for a minute, "Nick, with another vixen. Married. A child. Then snow….and sleep".

Nick nodded. "I remember rain….and a figure darting out of a soaking wet box into the night. Cher, we've both had the same dreams, just from different viewpoints".

Cher nodded carefully, choosing her words. "I think that maybe because it was such a traumatic experience that your minds picked up on the same stimuli…and because you two are so in tune with each other….you created similar dreamscapes? Maybe as you spoke about them that conversation firmed up your memories by suggestion?" she lied as sincerely as possible. "Isn't that one of the reasons that police officers prefer forensic evidence over eyewitness testimony in most cases?" she finished as reasonably as she could. She wanted to divert them as much as possible from the realm of magick if she could. Maybe in time, but not now.

Judy's face showed a fully unconvinced frown, but she was nodding in agreement her body language showed. Nick however, was just as poker-faced as could be. He knew too well how to be read, and so he was a blank slate. Silverheels knew all too well that in her current emotional state she was a wreck. Cher was giving off all the most subtle cues of deception, but Nick was behaving as if nothing was wrong.

"It's just such a strange coincidence I guess?" Judy finally agreed. Nick just smiled that maddening grin of his. Cher decided it was time to throw a wrench in the works and get them off this subject for awhile. "Sometimes the universe is full of them. Sometimes not. I have been….well. Let me just get this and show you".

Two pairs of puzzled eyes, one of violet, the other emerald, followed the young coyote as she retreated back into the apartment. A few moments of thumping and a quick curse in old coyote…and she was back before the pair, a strange rectangular box in hand.

The fittings and closure were brass, tarnished with time. The leather was a pebbled sharkskin, black, but faded with age. There was a dedication plaque, the inscription unreadable.

Nick gulped, "Is that…what I think it is?"

Cher smiled, "Took me some time. It's amazing how crisis snaps everything into focus, neh?" And she pushed the case over to the fox across the carpet on the floor.

"Nick, what is that?" Judy asked over Nick's shoulder as he leaned forward and picked up the case, snapping open the clasps. "A ghost, Carrots. A ghost".

The trumpet inside was tarnished but complete. All the parts and mouthpieces still in their place in the red velvet interior. There was still enough lubricant on the valves that they moved freely. Could it? Would it?  Nick's mind raced as he picked up the instrument, working the parts once again.

"Nick?" Judy asked softly, curious.

"Once upon a time, Nick was a pretty good jazz player. Was in a pretty successful group for awhile….till some stupid ass coyote got herself in trouble….and needed to be bailed out. Our hero, rushing to save a damsel in distress. Long story short, he hocked that as part of the payment to save my stupid furry butt…and I've been trying to get that back and repay him ever since," Cher finished as she watched her friend's eyes light up once again.

"Yeah. I've been known to do that. Hasn't always gone so well, though," he said with a rueful grin. "Have to tell you about that one day", he said as he fit the mouthpiece in place. Carefully licking his lips he quipped…"Ok, this is probably gonna suck….badly".

And then Nick played. It was a familiar tune, one that got a lot of radio airplay. "Windy City Hustle" by the Binturong Boys. And he'd help write that song, once upon a time. And still, this many years later it was as fresh on his soul as dew on a spring flower. And it filled the small room, creeping out into the night through the open windows to the street.

And as the last notes drifted into silence, applause coming in from the street. "Yo, Silverheels! 'bout time you played some real music in there rather than that flute crap, kid!" came a good natured shout from a neighborhood ringtail, making the late rounds delivering packages for the post office.

"Yeah, bite me Aaron. You've never had any taste anyways", she yelled playfully back to the small group of nocturnal mammals gathered on the street as a stunned Judy sat next to a pleasantly bemused red fox.

"Not bad," Nick whispered to himself. "Not bad at all."

For the moment, their attention diverted the trio would pass the evening chatting amiably about what the prospects for the future were. And for the moment, Cheryl had hoped that the shared dreams and what they represented had been forgotten. But that was not the case.

As they made their farewells for the evening, with Judy making her way to the monstrous patrol interceptor model that was issued to them, Nick pulled the younger female aside for a moment. As he watched Judy place the case with instrument in the back of the vehicle, Nick said, "I know you are lying through your teeth about these dreams. But I trust you. You're my friend, and I know….somehow….you've been there for us".

Cher just nodded dumbly for the moment. He had her. She couldn't deny it.

Nick leaned forward and whispered. "I saw something horrible coming. I know it's coming for you". He whispered a phrase in her ears and she froze in unconscious recognition. Nick watched her carefully.

"Cher. Whatever is really going on…be careful. Please?" Nick said as he held both her forearms in his paws.

Silverheels nodded in reply. "I will. And I'll explain it all….when I can. OK?"

Nick watched the golden eyes. "Good enough" and after a shared embrace, he departed for his home with his new love.

Cheryl checked the clock on the wall. It was late. But not too late to get some good rest before going to work in the morning.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

She shivered in the night. Things had gone crazy in Zootopia. But in hindsight, it was an expected reflex of the growing strength of the Pred Power Party. Fearing the loss of their primacy and perhaps some well deserved payback for suffering inflicted over the years, the prey population had suddenly experienced its own flash of fear-driven rage.

The marchers had come in the night to the central square between the Audubon Liberal Arts building and the Doolittle Sciences quad, they marched. Torches in hand they chanted, "You will not replace us! We will not go quietly! You will not replace us!" and other slogans of the growing prey supremacist movement. One that had lurked under the surface for decades. One that had been aggravated by a certain disturbed and borderline psychotic ewe.

The mob had even marched with pictures of Dawn Bellwether on picket signs asking, "Who suffers for YOUR SINS!". Unbelievably, in their fear, they had transformed someone who would've been a murderer into a racial, or more accurately a specieist folk hero. A martyr for their anger and fear.

That was when the counterdemonstrators showed up. Primed by a fiery speech from Latrans hours before, laced with his own potent psychic magick, they came armed. With tooth and claw and every single makeshift weapon at their disposal they came for blood. The fears of both sides apparently justified, the dark manipulation complete and perfect.

Zootopia University burned that night.

And so, on an extended sabbatical during the rebuilding phase a certain lone female coyote went home to the People of her blood and those who were her family to seek wisdom and answers to the growing crisis before her.

She had practically loaded Nick and Judy bodily onto the train for Bunnyburrow. It had not been a pleasant parting, but she'd cajoled them onto the train eventually. The police had their hands full enough right now, and a mixed species couple in uniform would just make them targets of both factions at the moment. Finnick was smarter. He figured that it would be a good time to check in on a friend now living in Gateway City. Cher had wanted to go as well. To hold Simi once more, but she kept her head and asked Finnick to do no more than say that she was missed and always loved, despite what must be. Simi would understand, Cher said, and would accept it. And of course, Finnick was not pleased.

She heard the flute first as she walked through the chill night. The sweet hollow tones drew her onward and upward toward the Great Homefire of the People.  She watched the shapes of the youngsters there, dancing silhouetted against the ancient bonfire, their voices raised to the heavens as they moved with grace and rhythm.

Cher stood at the edge of the great circle, the old fire pit that had served as the hub of her people’s social life for untold millennia. She pondered her dilemma with Latrans. He’d never give up; never surrender his vision on her say so. He'd keep driving a wedge between both pred and prey until such time he could get a core group who would join him in his plan to use Nighthowlers on the whole mammal population. What to do, what to do? She had power now, and will. She could destroy him if she so chose. But that would leave an indelible scar on her own soul besides sending Latrans on to his next life, ignorant and empty of the lessons of this existence. And that would do nothing to end the troubles he had caused in THIS lifetime.

She needed to find the key that would get through to him, as Finnick had suggested. There was a way into his mind, she just hadn't figured out that part of the puzzle yet, she thought as she walked in the night. She realized….horrified…that she needed him. To use that power of his to put right what was broken!

She walked quickly around the edges of the gathering now, propelled by the idea. How? How? How, Godsdamn it, to get him to come around? Her forehead scrunched up in concentration as she agonized over it. Silverheels ran both paws up over her face and back over her ears in frustration in the flickering light from the Homefire. She paused as she puzzled and then listened to the chant being raised by the kids around the fire. It was a new song, written by a young male named Phillip, and like most of the Moonsinger clan who still lived in the Homeland, a dreamer and artist, even more so among the people. She listened to the words as the chanting faded…

♫“When the earth was young
and the air was sweet
And the mountains kissed the sky
In the far beyond, with its many paths
Coyote and nature lived side by side

Great wisdom does not come without learning
And great vision not only with our eyes
We can think that we see
Truly see what’s all around us
But when we look
Do we see with open minds?

Great Spirits of all who lived before
Take our paws and lead us
Fill our hearts and souls with all you know
The key to understanding
Is to see through others eyes
Find a way to help us
See from all sides
Truly see from all sides

Teach we children to look deeper than the surface
See the world through another's eyes
For to be blind beyond yourself
Is to look but not see
And knowing much is not enough to be wise

To see the wonder
in all we've been given
In a world that's not always as it seems
On the path that we choose
turn every corner
Follow on for another begins

Great Spirits of all who lived before
Take our paws and lead us
Fill our hearts and souls
with all you know
The key to understanding
Is to see though others eyes
Find a way to help us
See from all sides
Truly see from all sides”♫


Cheryl Silverheels stood there in shock. From the mouths of these mere pups it seemed that wisdom poured like a great fountain. It was so obvious now. Esme Cragg HAD given her all she needed! Finnick Zerda had told her exactly who to share it with.

♫“Great Spirits of all who lived before
Take our paws and lead us
Fill our hearts and souls
with all you know
Key to understanding
Is to see though others eyes
Find a way to help us
See from all sides
Truly see from all sides
See from all sides”♫


Now she had a plan, and thanks to Finn and Nana…real options. But first, for this to really work…she had to suffer. And the words that Nick had whispered in her ear before leaving her apartment that night came rushing back. The phrase was bland when translated into Mammal Standard, but had an undercurrent of horror to it that came with the dreams.

"Work Makes You Free"
The Labyrinth of Dreams - Chap 31
Previous: fav.me/dbmagca

Next: Coming Soon (I mean it this time!)

First: fav.me/dagn4p9



So yeah, most everyone knew that I'd find some way to work THAT song in there somewhere. So here's a link to that too:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNIcR2…

And of course, there is someone out there who's a damn mind reader or something. ReaderNo31142 saw this one coming and did his own interpretation of it> Please, go check him out: fav.me/db9xneg
Loading...
It's been well over a year now and I'm still writing. And most amazingly, great folks out there are still reading these words and taking pleasure in them. 

I'm amazed.


No.


I'm flabbergasted.


And most of all I'm thankful that all you great guys and gals are still out there and walking these twisty paths that lead through all these wonderful and horrible versions of the Zootopia Universe. While House of Mouse may not be putting as much behind this wonderful work as some others (including that which involves sisters AND WILL NOT BE MENTIONED HERE!) we the fans are still so very enthusiastic about the characters and ideas that Zootopia represented. 

So I stand here honored and amazed. I am blessed to have met you all and entertained as many as I have. In all humility I can only say one thing:

Thank you all.

Merry Meet, Merry Part, and Merry Meet Again.

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Chapter 30
Labors of Athena

She was he now, as she daydreamed and leaned against the side of the red sports car. He had fought through and was now in a new land. A land that was home, and yet not. He was like one of them, the primates below who were butchering a giant bison of the ice age below. They saw the stranger above them on the cliff top, and watched warily. He watched the sky for a moment, watching two hawks circling in the azure dome above. The man raised his rifle high over head…and fired the first shots ever heard in that new world.

"Yo, Princess? Where the hell ARE you? You zoned out again. What's going on?" Finnick asked sharply as the both leaned against vintage sports car that was owned by a certain red fox being discharged from Zootopia General. The smoke from an expensive cigar wafting up from around his head made him look half angelic and of course, half inferno spawn. The wicked grin on his face made the latter seem far more likely.

She temporized, trying to get her bearings on this world once more. A little too much drifting and she might have wandered into another world. "Oh. Nothing much. And don't you know smoking will stunt your growth?"

His rumbling laugh and familiar, "Bite Me, Princess" defused the situation for a moment with humor. But he looked up at the coyote with more serious eyes and watched her carefully.

"What?" she asked carefully.

"I've had weird dreams again. Really screwed up ones. Nick dead. Simi dead. Judy dead. Fuck all, everyone dead. EVERYONE. You told me once that dreams might be seen as echos of worlds that could have been. Now you know I hate that spooky shit, but this is freaking ridiculous. You wanna tell me what's going on besides that Latrans shit?"

"No, Finn. No I don't," Silverheels said, a frown playing over her long muzzle and her ears laying back defensively as she thought about what had transpired.

His stare hardened as he looked into her eyes. "Try again" he said. "This is not a time to play freaking coy."

She tried to play tough right back at Finnick. "What? Miss your little piece of ass?"

"Fuck you, Cher. That's a cheap shot and you know it. Don't be an asshole. She and I were just friends. But you and her. That was different. I saw it. Hell, everyone saw it when she looked at you. Sex was one thing. What you had was real. What the hell happened?"

Silverheels dropped her eyes. "I had to let her go. I was bad for her. This whole thing was bad for her. And her people. Please, tell me what else I could have done?" she asked with pleading eyes turned to the smaller angry desert canine.

He relaxed a bit as he watched her expressions change, the fake hardness leaving it, replaced by real grief. "I had to let her go."

"You didn't let her go. You forced her. You made it comfortable, but you still forced her. That offer she got from the hospital school in Gateway City, that's a shell company from your father's side of the family. I know how all this shit works. Remember, we used to play these games not all that long ago".

Cheryl grimaced tightly, they had indeed. Half of knowing how to do a proper hustle was knowing how the financial systems of the world worked. What was expected and what could be implied. You could lead a rube into quite a profitable scam if you knew how to look like what the target expected. Their own greed would fill in the rest of the details.

She nodded. "I had to get her out of here. It would lead to the extinction of her people. The future needs her and her people".

"So, you give her an easy way out? Someplace where she's protected? And can still follow her dream? Her obligation to her people?"

She nodded slowly. "It's the least I could do. I…still…" The coyote paused for a moment, getting her courage back. "I still feel…" She couldn't say it. It hurt too much to bring those emotions back up. She pushed them back down out of her mind once more. Finn's eyes tracked the changing expressions on her muzzle, seeing the pain just under the surface, then watching determination replace it.

"Love. It's a small, hard word, Princess. It really is so much to give. But it costs too. Yeah. It costs," he said wistfully. He brushed some stray fur off the grey hoodie he wore, a Zootopia All-Stars knock off and adjusted his stance as he leaned on the sport's car. His eyes drifted back up to the front of the hospital where they waited.

"But ya know. It's worth it. To feel something, even if only for a little while. Some folks never get that". He reached into the pockets and pulled out a pack of cigarettes, lighting one thoughtfully. "And when you do find it, you don't want it to ever end," he said blowing out a puff of smoke wistfully.

"Thought you quit?"

"Been a hella time. Can you blame me?"

Cher nodded, "No".

"Want one?"

"Desperately. But no,” she said as she pulled her arms tightly around herself. Finn reached over and placed his paw on her forearm. And the self-imposed mask she wore collapsed. Silverheels found herself kneeling, crying into the smaller canine's chest as he stroked the fur on top of her head, fatherly in his own gruff way.

"It's so damn hard, Finn. I can do so much. But it's so damn costly. Everything is related to everything else, and anything I touch…threatens the whole fabric of reality. I have to play triage for an entire world. And I'm scared at all the power at my command. But I still have to approach everything like sculpting stone with a feather".

Finn just whispered, "Shhhh. One thing at a time. Remember, you have always tried to pour a gallon into a quart jar with everything you do, right? So, don't. Smaller parts."

Cher sighed, thinking about everything that had transpired. Zerda watched her muzzle, seeing the questions forming behind those golden eyes. He spoke once more, "You are too near the problem, I think. It's time you started asking others about what they think. You have friends. Use the resources that are infront of you and don't take on all the weight of the world at one time. You know we do worry about you kid. Spooky stuff not withstanding of course. That shit will always give me the creeps."

She nodded as Finn continued. "C'mon. Get up. I can hear them coming. Let's not make too big a scene, OK?"

"OK, ok," she said, forcing herself back to her feet, wiping tears away quickly. "The dreams aren't helping though."

"You too?"

"Yeah. Never stops. Just changes. This time…it's a song. Like something singing through me. Like a message I have to deliver."

"What's the message?"

"I only can remember bits and pieces. The language…it's old. Really old. Older than even Old Coyote. It's…well, translated to Mammal Standard…it goes, 'Come with me, I'll take you now, to a place that place that you fear',".

"Wow. Sounds scary".

"But it's not. It's so hopeful and beautiful. I wish I could really do the words justice". Her breath dropped to a sultry whisper as she softly sang a few more lines she strained to remember,

"♫ Suapayaaqsuŋa
Kaŋiqsiqpakisigiñ
Tautuvsaaġniaġiñ
Atlan irrakkun ♫"


Finn's breath caught as he heard the words. It was a beckoning it seemed, and there was power there. Meaning. And it was just out of his reach. It teased him, giving the small fennec fox an idea. He considered, "Maybe, if that song is not meant for you or me, maybe it's meant for someone else? Maybe. Maybe, just maybe you don't have to try to save the world. Maybe you just have to save one person. The right person?"

Cher blinked in surprise. She hadn't thought of that. Finn was right! She was too close to the problem to see it clearly. Her friend had just handed her the solution with less than a moment's thought. She bent down and snatched the smaller canine up in a great big hug and yelled, "FINN, I COULD KISS YOU!"

As Zerda laughed, there was a very clear, feminine "Ahem" from behind them.

Silverheels turned, and as she lowered the smaller grinning canine to the ground, she saw the pair they were waiting for in front of them at last. A very thin looking Nick in a standard issue hospital wheelchair ( one of appropriate size, of course ) and a very protective but smiling grey rabbit in a familiar ZPD tracksuit pushing the chair. With them, the hippo charge nurse. Ah yes, that's the one, Cher thought, and winked at her as she shuddered at the presence of the coyote and the half-remembered command that knocked her out.

"I'll just leave these forms here, and you can get them back to the hospital at your convienence. OK?" she quickly said and turned away before Nick or Judy could even try to answer. Judy caught the falling papers as Cher chuckled, the rabbit squawking out a quick "Thank you," to the retreating back of the larger mammal as Nick just smiled.

"Been too long kiddo. Heard you had stopped by more than a few times. Glad to see you looking so well", Nick ventured carefully. It had been a long time since they'd really been muzzle to muzzle. He rememebered her voice, or something similar during his dreams and coma, something comforting, but this was reality before him now.

Cher felt the tears well up again, caught herself and snarked to the smaller red fox before her, "Someone has to, because you look like shit". The playful banter made her feel so much better.

"Yeah, yeah. At least you aren't talking crap about my choice in shirts anymore".

"Nah. I'll find something else to give you hell about, Red". Judy smiled up to the coyote, "She'd visit every day while you were in the coma. We talked….a lot". The rabbit grinned even wider.

"Uhhhh. A lot?" the healing fox wondered, his eyes going back and forth between the two females standing before him, the fingers of his paws working the zipper on the front of his police blue windbreaker thoughtfully.

"Yeah dude, you're doomed. They done ganged up on you and everything. No secrets at all, bro." Finnick said with a wicked grin. "But you still get to drive the bootymobile home, dog".

The smiling expression of the coyote and the smaller fennec fox gave Nick some relief. They were only half joking. And finally, he held open his arms to share what they'd all waited too long to share, an embrace of old friends, reunited.

As ZPD First Precinct Officer Judy Hopps watched this band of rogues and vagabonds reunited she felt a twinge of jealousy until she noted the golden eyes of the female coyote fall upon her. Silverheels held open one arm, and then drew her into the hug and the warmth of a very close band. Cher felt the soft sobs of relief from the small form and understood what they meant to Judy. The trial was over.

She was wrong. Judy and Nick were safe now, and both healing. But the job was far from over. Finnick had handed her a key, but she didn't know which lock it fit just yet.

She had an invitation to deliver….to whom she did not know.
The Labyrinth of Dreams - Chap 30
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Next: fav.me/dbol6f7

First: fav.me/dagn4p9



And for those who might be wondering what song Cheryl Silverheels is singing:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrBl2A…

Lyrics (Inupiat):

Maliŋŋa ki nutaamun 
Irrusiḷḷautamun 
Naluruŋa-kii 
Naalaġnisuŋaiqsutin 
Ka, iḷisautigisiivsi

CHORUS:
Suapayaaqsuŋa 
Kaŋiqsiqpakisigiñ 
Tautuvsaaġniaġiñ 
Atlan irrakkun

Maliŋŋa ki nutaamun 
Iḷisaġviksramun 
Iḷisaaqaġvik 
Nauviksraqaġniaqtutin
Atlauniaqtutin
Ataramik 
Sivuuqqan piiġisigaa!

CHORUS REPEAT


Lyrics (English):


Come with me, I'll take you now
To a place that you fear
For no reason why
Your heart has turned away from me
And I will make you understand

CHORUS:
Everything will become clear to you
When you see things through another's eyes
Everything will become clear to you
Whatever's meant for you, you will find

Come with me, I'll take you there
To a place where you'll see
Everything you need to be the one you need to be
And all of those things that you feared
Will disappear from you in time

CHORUS REPEAT


Enjoy
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:iconevildogbum:
EvilDogBum Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2017
Have I ever told you that you are my favorite? 
Besides my fiancé of course ;) 
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:iconmagick205:
Magick205 Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
You're just as wonderfully twisted as I am. Must have been something in all that Pac NW water. Probably Mt. St. Helens ash. That or the pervasive smell of Skydrol and Mil-L-23699. Rots the mind and corrupts the soul. Ain't it grand!
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:icontimoguenther:
TimoGuenther Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
I think you won't mind if I hide some cookies in here, no?
How is Summer going over there in your area? Have some nice temperatures? :)
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:iconmagick205:
Magick205 Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Already over 33 deg C! It's a typical sweltering Midwest Kansas summer already. Hope everything is working out there? New job and everything? Still trying to write.....but it's damn hard. I can crap out a chapter.....but that's just it. It will be crap. I'm on my 3rd re-write now. Hopefully, it'll be worth the wait. 
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:icontimoguenther:
TimoGuenther Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
That sounds like a hot summer. 33 degree C would be too warm for me already. I prefer something around 20-25°. Yeah, I'm a winter child, I guess, lol. Job and stuff are okay. Things are slow at the moment; not much pressure, and in about two weeks I will have my summer vacation. Compared to the trouble during winter, I'm positively surprised about how well things are going right now. How are things on your side? I bet you gained a lot of new scientific knowledge at work, no? And don't worry about the writing. Take all the time you need. Better than pushing something out that does not satisfy you. I'm certain it will be worth the wait. It always was, so why should it not be this time? :)
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:iconmagick205:
Magick205 Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Well, I finally have my degree. So, yay me. But now I have to pay it all off. - sigh -

A nation that does not invest in education deserves what happens to it. But I am very excited to know that in some small way (very small actually), I'm helping the cause of public health worldwide. I might never be famous, much less rich. But I do know that my life will have had a positive impact overall. So, yeah. I'm pretty content right now. For me, it's like I'm on vacation even when I'm at work. And speaking of....I hope you have a great one this summer. Get out of town, away from crazy people for awhile. Just simply BE. 
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(1 Reply)
:icontimoguenther:
TimoGuenther Featured By Owner May 4, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
A bit dusty in here... Lemme fetch the broom :)
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:iconmagick205:
Magick205 Featured By Owner May 7, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Har har. Point taken. I'm back. Just have over two thousand notifications to wade thru...and get back in the flow of things. I've missed A LOT it seems!
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:icontimoguenther:
TimoGuenther Featured By Owner May 8, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
You're baaaaack !!  YAY
Nick14 simmeh Fangirling F2U 
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:iconmagick205:
Magick205 Featured By Owner May 8, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
It's been a long strange trip, my friend. Hell, I've had to actually pick up and re-read everything I wrote for this to get back in the groove of writing. Still working on it though.
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