[P] of circles and fangs and hate; - Printable Version

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of circles and fangs and hate; - Isra - 11-04-2018

Tonight Isra is far from the bonfires and the merchants. Tonight she is in the deep dark where it's cobwebs, soot and hints of brine that arch above her head like a canopy. Here she walks with ghosts and sorrows nipping at her heels like feral, rabid mutts. There is nothing but blackness ahead of her broken up by soft thin pricks of moonlight when the clouds shift and the overhang of old silk is rotten and thin enough to blow away like paper.

Part of her feels at home here in the silence with cobwebs clinging to her skin when she walks too close to a wall or a broken cart that hasn't yet been repaired. Each of her steps feels like the closing of a circle and the chime of her hooves the hard sound of a leather book closing for the final time. 

Only mice, pygmy dragons and orphans walk with her here. When a dirty yearling turns a thin, broken sneer her way she turns a bit of stone to a apple and when their friends join them a pile of rubble becomes a sack of grain. The mice get bits of dust turned to corn and the dragons small gemstones to bring back to their nests. Bit by bit she fills their bellies, their wants and cobwebs tangle in her horn until she brushes them clean on that rotten canopy of cloth. 

And soon the darkness doesn't feel so dark, not when she touches her cheek to the walls and turns them to mirrors to reflect the light through the alleyways. Around her this dark forgotten place of the market comes alive with song and someone both foolish and brave takes a match to a pile of rubble and laughs when it burns. 

Isra watches them all and her smile feels bright enough to be a necklace of pearls held between her lips. For hours it feels like she watches them while she still clings to the last bit of darkness in the market and lets them praise the goddess for their sudden change in fate. 

She did not need to become a queen to want this but somehow it feels both sweet and bitter to watch them and think that they all partly belong to her now. 

How crooked her circle grew before it ate its own beginning. 


“Memories demand attention, and these memories will have teeth.” 


RE: of circles and fangs and hate; - Raum - 11-05-2018

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

The fires fall to darkness behind them, swallowed by the night. Not even the winds can reach them with the hubbub of the markets. The fringes of society fray into cobweb trails that reach ghostly threads out to claim their new queen and its Ghost.
The cobwebs dress him wasted and old. They cling to her horn and drift behind like a tattered banner. The edges of Denocte paint the strangers with dust, coat them in rust and the dirt of abandoned homes. Raum hears their ghosts, the blink of fires that once lit the windows like lamp-lit eyes. But those fires were long ago snuffed out. They were long ago scolded by the ice of dragon fire.
Clouds of phantom ash gather and bloom before his feet. They press on and reach for the tails of mice, the heels of orphans and the ends of their queen’s tail. The Crow’s skull tilts as electric eyes drink in the stones that turn to apples and the greedy feeding of malnourished orphans.
His eyes trail over the sneer of a colt, the heedless glance of the giving queen. Raum waits until mouths are fed, until the teeth of hunger no longer rake along the ribs of the famished. Only then does he step from the shadows.
“I would have made him a Crow.” The Ghost muses in a voice of silk that slides, beautiful and dangerous. Raum is mercury beneath the moon, liquid poisonous and beautiful, destined to be poured out for all.
He lifts his electric eyes to lay upon her. Slowly they survey every inch of her with sparks that prick at her skin like static. He would wonder if they felt like pin-pricks, like the knives that cling tightly to his leg. “All the orphans became Crows.” Raum continues, trailing cobwebs from his slim sides like a string bearing all the souls he has taken.
Slowly, silently (for he is always silent), he steps toward Denocte’s chosen queen, though his gaze peers into the black, hollowed eyes of buildings and their breathing shadows. He wonders of the ghosts that live there and how many were by his blade.
His thoughts are secrets, never to find a place upon his tongue. The assassin regards the queen once more, his corvid gaze stripping her skin like the snap and pull of a sharpened beak.
A fire sparks to life, broken wood alighting with a hiss and crackling laughter. Its light sparks something dangerous within his gaze and his eyes flicker to the smile of pearls that gleam upon her lips.
“Careful,” He warns as soft as a caress. “I might steal that smile from your lips.” No smile comes to lighten the weight of his threat. Nor does he step from her side when the mirrors blink awake to capture the silver of his skin as he stands beside her, close, close, so dangerously close.

@Isra please forgive me, still remembering how to actually write

RE: of circles and fangs and hate; - Isra - 11-06-2018

A ghost watches her and she watches the way the firelight catches on his knifes like drops of blood instead of light. Wood-smoke does not cling to him as it should and it moves around him (or is it through him?) like a breeze around a stone. He could be a shadow for all the darkness Isra watches ebb and flow around him. She knows better than most the color of the soul and how it never matches the skin.

If it did she'd be golden, brighter than the noon sun and thinner than a stalk of wheat.

And perhaps it's not his queen that watches him but the ghost of her soul. That part of her sees the blackness of his void eyes, the slither of his spine that is not horse at all but beast. Isra's soul trembles in protest to watch him come, to know the things that boil and fester in below the layer of his skin. She has bleed enough for beasts like this. She has been bleed and whipped and lashed down on altars for creatures like him.

But oh! Oh! Her unicorn skin is not cowed by the violence in his gaze. It's the unicorn part of her that is not a slave but a queen. She lifts her head and cuts her horn through a beam of moonlight like it's water. Only then is Isra all unicorn and all the fierceness of a sad legend who has just remember that it too knows of violence and hate and blood.

She could tell to him the way her blood sounds when it runs like a river over grout. She cold tell him just how much she can spare before the darkness came, just how much pain she can bare before breaking. Instead she only smiles at him, brighter than the moonlight and says, “not anymore.” Isra watches him like a mouse a snake from beneath the curtain of her forelock, waiting for the coil and the strike. “They can all pick their own future and only if they demand it will you make anything of them at all.”

She waits and waits and then he moves. Isra watches it and calls it the coil. Her speaks and she laughs, a trembling laugh that hints a little at both her fear and that fury of a unicorn's skin. She laughs because he strikes as all snakes do, all teeth and scale and venom.

“Careful,” Isra whispers and all the stone at her hooves turns as slick and black as the space between planets. “I might turn your blades to daisies.” And perhaps in the most brave thing she has ever done Isra sighs and takes that final step to close the distance between them.

Being fearless, she thinks, is not as easy as her stories make it seem. Bits of fear pool in her heart like acid but she swallows and exhales and tries to not to forget that she is a queen and this night and all the rest belong to her


“You've taught me that bravery is being terrified and doing it anyway.”


RE: of circles and fangs and hate; - Raum - 11-07-2018

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

His eyes are on her moonlight smile. They are on her horn that splits the sky like a sea.
The queen smiles as if she has victory, as if her words mean anything at all. The Crow watches her and watches. If Isra ever dared to believe it was a gaze that gave her any high regard, oh she would be wrong. But few would ever think such a thing anyway. To be held in his gaze, that blue of electricity that jumps like ants and whose touch is lightning upon the skin, is surely uneasy. Does it set spines to crawling, like hair that rises with the silent static of a building storm-strike.
“You say that as if they did not choose before.” He sings like a lion – but it is no song. It is a purr that rattles the earth and slides like a serpent through the grasses – all silk and silent danger. “Starvation drives everyone to desperation, Isra and you cannot be in all places, turning stones into apples. An orphan longs to belong, and no amount of apples will ever assuage that desire.”
And it is a truth that resonates deep. It is a truth that saw him abandoned with a letter tied about his slender, young throat. “To become a Crow is also a choice.” He whispers to her like gravel, the words as fragile as cobwebs that drift and sway upon her torso.
She smiles for the both of them. The unicorn makes names for his every move. But, despite she has known violence, despite she knows how her blood sounds as it trickles from her, Isra has not known Raum. The Ghost has not yet struck like a serpent might. Her smile is so wrongly founded, but he does not offer his own to gloat at her ignorance. He has no care for being the best, the right, the victorious.
To Denocte’s Ghost, to strike like a serpent, is to bring a fallen god to the brink of his death, a dagger piercing his ribs. Oh Isra, for now he is just a cat, bathing in beneath the glow of the sun. A solitary ear listening to the sound of a mouse’s breath and considering all the ways it could still those fragile lungs.
Isra, the brave, brave queen steps toward him until nothing but cobwebs and nightmares can breathe between them. Still her horn splits the light, still her smile is as bright as pearls. Her magic dances again and beneath his feet is slick, slick glass and upon her lips like petals and poison is a threat as sweet as sugar.
Obedient Raum does not move, but feels the cold of his still-metal dagger. Only the glass beneath his hooves is colder still.  The Night Queen laughs and he knows now why his goddess appointed her. It is a wise and clever goddess that uses these two as her instruments upon the earth: the victim and the murderer.
Her skin is hot beside his. It sings with the rush of her blood, the trembling of her nerves. But Raum is cool, the balm to her worry. His heart is a steady beat, a gentle, lulling rhythm – and when is it ever more than this? When does it ever run like a staccato drum?
The lamb trembles and he regards her like a crow from its branch and not a murderer stood skin, to skin with his queen. “Then turn them to daisies.” Raum says more softly than the caw of a crow. His offer is an intimate thing, spoken in the small spaces between them. He does not fear her magic, not when his weapons are so much more than knifes and scarfs…
This Crow’s weapons are claws and fangs, horns and spikes.


RE: of circles and fangs and hate; - Isra - 11-11-2018

He is too close, too cold and his smell is all wrong. Nothing of innocence clings to him. He smells only of dust and shadows and grave-rotten roses. There is nothing horse in the way their breaths tangle together and Isra thinks back to the forest and the ice-fire and the fear of all the innocent things.

She wonders if he feeds on fear, on that acid sugar coursing through her blood like shards of black glass. She wonders if he devours it like the orphans devoured the soft flesh of apples.Will he devour me? She thinks and she shivers as finely as a vellum page in a breeze.

“A choice driven by starvation and loneliness is no choice at all.” Isra breathes in and forces her voice to come out as dark as night and as quietly fierce as the whisper of a unicorn's horn through a storm. She thinks of a black unicorn and her spine gathers beneath her skin until she is as tense as a wolf before a lion. “They could belong with me instead of with a murder of crows.” And oh! She throws down the words like a gauntlet and thinks now of a red-stallion and all his fury.

When she watches him now her eyes are as dark and fathomless as the sea. They are death touched, blue as corpse-skin beneath a bay coat, a blue dark enough to be black and endless. She wants to be ice, to be a glacier that would drown and swallow up the world when the first fires of love come racing across this tundra of space between them.

Part of her, deep in another sea, calls to Eik and all the heat of the sand and nothing of the moonlight. Ghosts, she thinks, are made for night and never for golden-light. Isra knows in a way she is as much a ghost as he is death shaped into flesh (one to heal, one to avenge whatever demons it is that live inside their flesh).

So when he too throws down a gauntlet Isra lowers the tip of her horn. It arcs down past his neck, past his chest, past the hidden cage about his heart. Down, down it goes and she thinks somewhere this thing between them is words in a book-- a story about how unicorns seek out the purification of innocence because their souls are dark as night.

Isra imagines that he is water and she is ink and bone. It is the only way she can keep that point of her horn steady as a sinking stone as it lowers down.

That is when three things rise up in her.

Magic, fury and hope rise like a storm between the channels of her bones. They replace her marrow. The fluid of her joints is fury. Her blood is magic, shards of glitz and wonder that run thick and heavy like oil through her veins. Hope becomes her heart and she begs it to beat steady and true. When she exhales and blinks she begs that trinity inside of her to become, to rise like a lion and beat back the darkness of this meeting. She begs it to turn his blades to daisies the moment her horn is close enough to reflect in his blades when the moonlight shifts right over their heads.

There is not a unicorn in the history of the world who has backed down from a challenge. Nor is there a ghost that has not looked at another ghost and whispered in smoke and soot, I know you. I know.

When she pauses there, horn lowered with her neck arched like lamb beneath the void of his lips, Isra closes her eyes. She waits like a lamb and pleads for that wolf inside her, that one who smiled at death and sunk to the bottom of the sea to breathe in a reaper, to rise, rise, rise.


“the only way to get rid of dragons is to have one of your own.”


RE: of circles and fangs and hate; - Raum - 11-19-2018

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

Bestow Isra with a crown!
For a rare smile creeps and crawls across his lips. It answers her beckoning words with silence and a fleer that cuts like a blade.
He watches the bravery that the Night Queen dons like armour. Still with that smile, sinister as a crow’s beak, Raum studies her every inch. So lazily does he peruse the girl, silver eyes reaching to press upon every flaw, every chink they find within her pride, her bravery.
“No,” the Crow hums in agreement, and all smiles are gone, even if his voice is as gentle as a dream. “But it is a salvation all the same.” His gaze, a cold kiss from a midnight wind, watches as her crown tilts up. The queen’s horn strains twists for the sky like a cry and the Ghost wonders how she ever came from water and salt.
“It is family they seek and it is family we offer.” Dysfunctional, twisted, wrong… each truth falls like a stone and he does not deny them. Raum does not shy from her, not like she does from him. He does not keep his gaze from hers, not when he stands so open in the silver of the moonlight. It catches the cobwebs he wears like dank clothes of dread and ire. The silver dances across his skin – veins full of mercury blood and sparks of silver electricity.
Even mountains would tremble more than he when her horn lowers with a whisper past his throat. The skin still feels the caress of air it stirred, but still the monster is not moved. Still her watches her unchanged, unmoved. The girl curls like a sea’s wave, her mane seaweed sinking lower and lower. Had he known how her heart called out to heat and sand… oh how he would have let his gaze turn to scorn and his lips press dagger thin.
Raum still knows the grate of sand against his own heart, the burn of a sun that would not set. He loves the sun, he hates the sun – and his eyes lift skyward, up to black, black, black as hers drop down, down, down.
Isra sighs, the rush of water over pebbles, and he tastes the salt upon his tongue. Electricity, born of magic, fury and hope tingle upon the Crow’s skin, it stirs his nerves. Slowly his gaze descends like a raven feather to settle upon the curve of her spine. His knives are still cold, hard metal. Nothing of them has changed, not even the slick glass she set beneath his feet, not even the eyes of starving orphans that watch their saviors with wary desire – hungry desire.
Silence pulls tight and keening between them. It writhes in the spaces between them, it is a balm upon Raum’s skin. It is a bath in which he would bathe for an eternity. His brother would speak, Raum knows he would... Acton’s voice would shatter the silence like glass. But Denocte’s Ghost has never been anything like the Magician. He was born to perform in the light and in the darkness fade to nothing but death and silence.
So he turns his skull toward the brewing storm. To the girl whose spine curves like a swell at sea. To her hair that rises like static before the crack of thunder. Ah magic stirs within their bones. The air is an elixir of passion and might and Raum waits, oh, he waits and he watches. His breath a rhythm of the tide that welcomes the storm in.

There is no crack like thunder, there is no roar of a wave reaching shore, but the magic shifts nonetheless. Oh the air sighs as softly as a ribbon caught upon a breeze. The iron of his dagger turns soft. Its hilt stirs with magic and then falls limp. A brush of petals against his leg pulls a breath from his lungs.
There is a moment of stillness, filled with the perfume of newly formed flowers. Raum’s daggers are gone and only flowers hang where they should be. Ire swells to match the sway of her magic. His own is the beat of a crow’s wing and his skull snaps forward. Silver lips, so suddenly golden, press tight to the curve of her throat, the tender skin of her jugular.
“Very good.” The Crow murmurs, “but your enemies will always have more than one weapon to wield against you, Isra.” And his lips part as the silk of sharp, canine fangs press against the smooth of her throat; it was the press of a lion’s breath upon a lamb.


RE: of circles and fangs and hate; - Isra - 11-25-2018

His smile is nothing more than another black, wicked blade against the void of his skin. His words are nothing more than the hiss of hellish smoke, the drag of a reaper's scythe over stone and over silk. Isra wants to cower from the way they dig into her flesh like barbs and weed roots. Instead she inhales and begs that wolf and that unicorn in her skin to rise like a tide, rise like a red-moon. “You and I have very different ideas of salvation.”

Then his blades turn to flowers and she thinks not of salvation but of fury and magic and wolf-skin.

The daisies are all wrong, Isra thinks as she watches them turn black with rot and wilt under the weight of mildew instead of morning-dew. wrong, wrong, wrong. The daisies fester against his skin as if all the blackness and ire and rage denies the life from anything that might be even a little lovely. Oh, how she prays the sickness is in his flesh instead of in that thin, sapphire sea of magic inside her bones.

Raum snaps like a lion sent forth with starvation a hollow fire in his belly and Isra is the only antelope left in the entire world. She has little time to react, her flesh knows violence but not defense. Her thoughts run wild like ink wolves through a forest of paper-fires. Each of her thoughts rings like a baying song, a chorus of howls and heartbreak and for a moment she lets the sounds flash in white-glare when she presses her eyes tightly together and prays.

It's her magic that answers. It rises up like a thunder sea against the sharp cliffs of his fangs and runs like ink from her bones, to her veins, to her skin and then to all world around them. There is more fury in her magic than there is fear in her heart and she lets it carry her away like flotsam.

Isra opens her eyes then and they are hot with magic and with a bright, consuming sort of rage. She rages like a lamb, all innocence and dull teeth but enough passion to devour cities. The stone and glass beneath their hooves ripples like dragon-skin. First it's black, then green, then red, red, red.

Soon it's not scales at all, but blades that look so very like Raum's wilted and rotten dead-blades that ripple and rise like flowers. They rise below his white belly as if he's made of light instead of horrors. Each leaf is a jagged blade. The ribbons of fabric turns to ivy. But the ivy climbing the walls of the alley isn't plant-life but spindles of rusted, barbed wire that screams as it sparks against the stone.

Horror spreads out from her like a storm of small nightmares that came to her each time she slept in a skin that was golden and coated in bloody chains. This new world around them is a fitting place for ghosts.

“Should I tell them then,” Isra bleats as much as she growls the words and each curl of sound through her throat stings when his teeth dig in a little further. “that I can wield more than just flowers?” And in that silence between her words and his teeth the bladed flowers still rise and sway in a night wind and the barbed wire ivy climbs the walls where once only tattered silk and cobwebs thrived.


“For those who live a nightmare reality, sleep is a black hole, lost in time, like death.”


RE: of circles and fangs and hate; - Raum - 12-02-2018

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

The flowers hang limply, choked against his leg. Their leaves are wilted and jagged, not even they can survive the touch of his mercurial skin.
He ignores the brush of their stems, touches that whisper, touches that tickle. He does not spare the flowers any thought, not when his teeth, sharp and white, feel the resistance of chocolate skin. But unlike chocolate (that melts with the warmth of her body) Isra’s skin presses, holds tight and does not yield beneath the press of sharp, sharp fangs.
Her skin is a testament to everything this girl is. She is soft silk, warm and subtly resilient. But Raum is made to break flesh, he is born to spill blood. His grasp at the queen’s throat is a warning, but Isra is a witch. He tastes the magic upon her skin, an elixir and a poison here to cast him straight to hell.
The scales beneath their feet, slippery like sheet ice, ripple as if monsters of the deep shift below. Then it shudders shifts and changes at the command of Isra’s night magic. Flowers grow where once only glass shone. These bouquets are nothing like the flowers of the meadow, nothing like those that sway in a breeze…
The flowers the unicorn conjures are as twisted as the horn atop her crown. They laugh like harpies at the sky and splinter all they touch. They rise like weeds, growing with magic as water and imagination as their sun. They reach for the pitch black sky and do not stop. There is no green, upon their metallic torsos. They click and clack together as metal petals clash with metal petals. The leaves of this steel meadow are as intricate, as spiked, as the wilted ones that still hang at his leg. But the flowers the Crow wears are soft and limp and there is nothing so gentle about the horrific flowers Isra makes.
Each flower is silver and copper with rust but slowly they begin to glow red, red, red. It is not a red naturally found. It is the red of Raum’s cut limbs… Leaves slice into the silver of his skin, they shred the real flowers to ribbons, leaving them to sway in the breeze: a rhythm of death.
Raum’s blood spills hot and bright. He turns Isra’s meadow into a sea of poppies; his blood, her magic joining in macabre art. The skin of his limbs shifts and turns, until armadillo hide layers protectively over the cuts of his legs. Each bite of the flowers is less now. But still the meadow glitters like rubies.
A harpy call resounds in a chorus as metal ivy creaks and groans and claws its way up derelict walls. Each leaf is a weapon that winks at the monster below, the monster at whom metal leaves still bite.
Ah the cut of each flower is electricity, white hot. Raum’s nerves awaken in sparks and riots. He blinks, with golden eyes, leonine and bright. Clever, brave Isra has made him savage, so much more than he has ever been. His breath is a shudder in his lungs, his heart thunder in his chest.
That heart of his beats with black feathers and red with blood. As it beats harder, faster, the blood drips quicker too. The monster’s jaws close tighter about her throat, aiming to choke, waiting for the first drop of her blood to trickle along the groove of her throat. He does not relinquish her, not even when her flowers reach for his stomach. They are an impasse, a tangle of teeth and metal. Raum waits, patiently, an angel at a tomb, for her blood to join his.
So he bites, harder, harder, harder. He tastes all that she is, all that she was and all that she can be. In every taste he finds her wanting, in every taste she satisfies him. As the blades reach the armadillo skin that covers his stomach, he feels its press, but there is no cut, not now he wears armour like a soldier at battle.
But, slowly,  the Crow releases his queen at last, though his lips do not pull from her skin. The Ghost keeps her close, his breath still hot upon the curve of her throat. “If you have breath enough to speak, then yes, by all means tell them.” His threat is spoken like a lover. It is made of soft caresses, a thing born of passion and desire. But romance does not know Raum. He was not made for it and never will be so.
His teeth return to her throat and this time there is no hesitance, there is no holding back. Raum lunges, leonine maw parted to draw life from her lungs, at last.


RE: of circles and fangs and hate; - Isra - 12-07-2018

Something in her feels the sting of his teeth and thinks of home, of chains of blood thick and deep enough to drown in. That rusted chain feels heavier and the kelp brushing against her leg from it feels as sharp and heavy as a needle-tipped whip.

And in her mind that blackness of her past opens up its mouth like a sea-monster and oil (like blood) pours out.

Isra is drowning in it, that blackness, and the scales and bladed roots at her hooves melt down into slick rot and petroleum. Perhaps then it's a little bit of a beast that rises up through the blackness of her heartbreak. A beast that looks at the blood dripping like molten gold across the sword flowers rising up from the black rot, and thinks that something in her feels almost euphoric.

That is the thing that terrifies her the most, more than this ghost of horse ever could with is lion eyes and wolf teeth. Isra's afraid of how much she wants to change the walls to cannons, bricks to blades of diamond. She wants the world to devour him and all the other monsters that taste blood and want more and more and more.

Perhaps, she thinks, I am a true unicorn after-all. Perhaps I am rage.

Even when she feels her skin (salted with sweat and fear) give beneath his teeth that monster in her chest does not cower. It growls and paces and screams for blood and death, blood and death, blood and death. It's a siren call in her heart and it smelts the cracks of her broken soul into something sharp and cold and as eternal as silver.

Raum wants more and more, she can see it in his dark eyes, in the way his skin shifts and changes like scale to protect against her nightmare flowers. She knows it in the way his breath hangs like a noose around her neck when he pulls back just long enough for her to breathe. Her blood runs like tears down her skin just as salt tears run in hot streams down her cheeks. Each drop of it that falls to the oil at their feet is laced with magic and from the drops the rock changed to oil changes again.

Great walls of amber rise up between them when he lunges towards her. They rise up just as she lunges away like a feral thing, all fear and flight and living. Her body feels hot and fragile and she shakes as she looks back at him and sees how distorted he looks through the amber (like the beast inside him stripped from its false horse skin).

But like him, Isra also wants more. She wants to grow a meadow from his bones and let all the orphans who once had no choice feast from the grass that would grow in this dark and dank alleyway.

And when she turns and runs, before that wall of amber collapses, it's that beast inside her that she's running from as much as it is Raum.


“It looked as if a night of dark intent was coming, and not only a night, an age."