Snatcher know what they were doing wasn't right.
As they set up each candle, as they smiled at Moonjumper that morning, as they burned one of his strings and quietly chanted, Snatcher knew what he was doing wasn't right.
Maybe it was the last bit of morality that they had telling him such. Quiet whispers of "You don't know what you're doing!" and "He hasn't done anything to deserve this-"
But the louder, angrier part of them easily over powered the morality.
"I do know what im doing."
"He will do something."
Yes, Moonjumper was.. Kind. All things considered, they were the exact way they were before.
Kind. Attentive. Loyal to a fault.
Were Snatchers spirit had changed, Moonjumpers had remained the same.
Which meant he had the same faults.
The same faults the Prince did, the same faults that lead to the kingdom's ruin and their demise.
And it disgusted him he hated it stop reminding them of what they were-)
As Snatcher burned the string and quietly chanted the words, he forced the (rational-) annoying thoughts down.
Moonjumper hadn't changed.
And Snatcher would never allow history to repeat itself in his forest.
banishing-) someone to the Horizon was shockingly easy, once you boiled down all the essentials.
Moonlight, candles, water, and something connected to the (
v ic t i m-) chosen person.
He had plenty of water once the ice was thawed, choosing the small island in the middle of the Stonehenge to work in. And candles where easy enough to scavenge from the crumbling homes.
And moonlight- Moonlight was a constant in Subcon now.
Snatcher watched the string burn.
Burn burn burn.
Ignoring the thoughts
thisisntrightwhatareyoudoing- and looking up towards the bright moon, silently sending his wish.
And now, all he had to do was wait.
It was a slow change at first, he barely even noticed it.
But the lake of water gradually began to glimmer and shift around him, surrounding the small island in a bright, thick purple liquid.
It glimmered and waved as they watched, both amazed and silently shocked.
But all beauty has its faults, Snatcher remembered, watching the edges of the lake as clear blue water was snuffed out by glittering purple sludge.
The Horizon, in any form, was a dangerous thing.
(How they know that Snatcher wasn't sure, but it was just something he felt in his nonexistent gut.)
And, as if to further prove their instincts right, Snatcher watched as thick, tall tendrils began rising from the lake of sky, unneeded breath catching as they grew and grew and grew.
Past the highest rock, way above his head and into the tree tops.
Really, if it weren't for what they where made of, the beams would look rather beautiful. Purples and pinks and bright twinkling things like stars glimmering in them.
Beautiful, like a wolf in pretty sheep's clothing.
It took a few minutes, but eventually one of the tendrils began moving, stretching far out from the lake and-
The other beams of liquid sky soon did the same, scouring out.
A minute ticked by.
Then two, three.
Four five and six.
Moonjumper would have absolutely caught onto what Snatcher was doing, they realized. They would of seen those towers of shimmering purple and known, just as Snatcher had. A gut instinct to stay away.
But it didn't matter, not really.
Snatcher burned his string.
Moonjumper was the offering, and the Horizon wouldn't leave without him.
In total, it took roughly eighteen minutes before Moon was caught.
Snatchers knows, they counted.
And they knew the exact moment Moonjumper was caught as well.
One of the tendrils lurched, and a loud, terrified scream echoed through the forest (
theyrescreamsitsTHEIRSCREAMSH E SOUNDSLIKETHEYDID-).The other appendages converged, shooting off in the direction of the sound.
More screams and shouts filled the otherwise silent forest, the sounds of tree's being pulled down and wailing cries being added to it as the Horizon dragged its new item home.
And Snatcher, for all his wit and confidence, couldn't make themselves move from the island. Couldn't look away as their counterpart, their technical other half, (
their friend-), was dragged into the beautiful sludgey lake, claws digging into anything they could grab to keep himself on land.
Not that it did anything, of course.
The Horizon wouldn't allow it.
And Snatcher watched, as Moon struggled and cried and tried desperately to escape. Like a bird stuck in the swamp, trying to fly to safety only to be dragged down down down.
It was almost like watching a man drown, they thought.
Flailing, screaming for help, panicked and desperate.
And Snatcher couldn't look away.
No matter how much their mind screamed to move, to leave. To turn away, at least, he couldn't do it.
Snatcher watched as Moonjumper was dragged down, into the lying, horrible sky of the Horizon.
And, as they forced themselves not to hyperventilate from it all, Moons face finally turned to them.
There wasn't any anger. No fear or rage or anything like that.
Instead, Moon sniffled, and rasped out a small, quiet "why?"
And then the ghosts head was pulled under, and the lake became still once more.
Snatcher stayed there for a long time after that. Till long after the glimmering purple faded back to crystal blue.
They couldn't think properly. Couldn't look away from were their fr-....
From where Moon had been.
Moonjumper hadn't changed.
Moon was kind, attentive, and loyal.
Moon had the same faults the Prince had.
And Snatcher had changed.
Snatcher was the King now.
They were merciful, watchful, and powerful.
Snatcher is not the Prince. Does not have the same faults.
The faults that brought the kingdom to ruin and that brought their death.
And, they repeated it to himself, over and over again as he quietly went back home, to the hollowed trunk with unfinished minion dolls and slowly rotting furniture-
Snatcher would not let history repeat itself in their forest.
A necessary tragedy, that's what it was.
And- besides, its not like it's impossible for Moon to leave! Just difficult, that's all!
And Snatcher will help him! The day Moon calls for their help again, they will answer. They will answer, and they will help.
And so with that, conscious
(silenced-) quieted, Snatcher set back to working on his forest.
...Except twenty years passed without any call.
And Moonjumper never came back.