Novus
Hello, Guest! Register

Private  - from the mouth of the dead

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)



Played by Offline Jeanne [PM] Posts: 289 — Threads: 52
Signos: 1,695
Day Court Outcast
Female [She/Her/Hers] // Immortal [Year 498 Spring] // 16 hh // Hth: 17 — Atk: 23 — Exp: 60 // Active Magic: Greater Telekinesis // Bonded: Ereshkigal (Demonic Vulture)
#1

☼ s e r a p h i n a ☼

you are the blood in my song
see me spill over when it's sung


This day shouldn’t be so pleasant.

It is hot, but not suffocating, a relative rarity in Solterra; the warmth is pleasant, like stepping into a steaming bath, and it is disturbed only by a faint breeze that is soothing rather than offensive. The market bustles restlessly, and citizens wander about their business in the alleyways. Chatter hangs heavy in the air, and the rhythm of city life – hooves on cobbled stone, the clink of metal and rustle of fabric, the whisk of the wind through the streets. It is almost a pleasant, beautiful day, and, if you squint and keep your eyes turned away from the shadows, you might be able to lie to yourself and believe that it is.

But - but! - if your eyes stray just an inch from this illusion, this lovely façade, you will see tension wound tight as a notched bow, curled up in the brow of most every citizen you might pass on the street. You will see darting eyes, and, within them, the disturbing twitch that comes with fear, fear, fear - fear everywhere, because you don’t know who you can trust, and will your neighbors turn you in? And there are guards on the streets, flying banners that still seem like they are the wrong color. In time, perhaps the old ones will be forgotten, but, for now – the absence of the old is like fresh blood, and it spills out into every nook and cranny in the sandstone city, every little crack in the walls-

The letter slithers its way through the passerby like a serpent, its bobbing and weaving simple enough to be mistaken for the flow of the wind, on first glance; however, if one stares at it for any particular amount of time, it becomes somewhat apparent that someone is tugging it along. But who? In such a crowded square, with so many telepaths about, it is rather impossible to discern the sender.

It hovers, for a moment, in front of Bexley Briar, giving her just enough time to snatch it out of thin air. It is folded neatly, but the paper is crumpled, and, an examination of the letters makes it evident that the message has been whited out and erased several times before settling on the final draft, though the handwriting is neat and deliberate and perhaps very familiar to Bexley. It is simple, but the blank spaces – and the remnants of past scrawling on the paper – speak volumes of words left unstated.


Bexley,

I need to speak with you. The city isn’t safe – meet me at the entrance to the canyons.

Please.

Sera



If Bexley goes, she will find her there – waiting like revenant and reaper, the thick gold of her scarf billowing like a trail of smoke in the wind, and perhaps the ghost will turn her head to watch her approach with gemstone-bright eyes so full of something dark and devastating and the words I’m sorry that they seem on the verge of overflowing.



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



tags | @Bexley
notes | letter thread for you <3 <3 <3




@







I'M IN A ROOM MADE OUT OF MIRRORS
and there's no way to escape the violence of a girl against herself


please tag Sera! contact is encouraged, short of violence



Reply




Played by Offline REDANDBLACK [PM] Posts: 240 — Threads: 29
Signos: 145
Day Court Regent
Female [she/her/hers] // 7 [Year 497 Spring] // 15.2 hh // Hth: 30 — Atk: 30 — Exp: 55 // Active Magic: Light Manipulation // Bonded: N/A
#2


b e x l e y
oh honey darling, i'd love to kill you, load up my shotgun, you kill me too -

B
exley hates her for being alive.

The letter comes like an augury, definite and Delphic. She cannot be sure she was even conscious before it reached her because she cannot remember anything before the moment it comes to hover in front of her chest: not the past few sunrises, not why she is here in the crowded, stifling markets, if she has seen Apolonia since the Incident. Nothing but little snippets of sunlight, sound waves. Misery.

She snatches it and tucks it under her hair, against the line of her shoulder. No one seems to notice. They are too busy with their prophecies and their fear and their sharpening of blades. So it is easy, relatively, for Bexley to slink out of the crowd and down an abandoned alley so dusty and narrow it’s evident nothing but lizards could’ve frequented it for quite a long time. It is oppressively quiet. She can hear only the light song of wind and the far-away chime of voices so faint they’ve become a hum. Dirty sunlight gleams off the sandstone and adobe. She glances over her shoulder just to make sure, but of course there is nothing and no one there; it is only the bright beat of her own heart that could cause any trouble, here.

The letter is unfolded with little fanfare. She reads it once, and then again. Almost she has to smile at the way it has been handled, and how obvious it is that the words were written and then rewritten and then written again, and that they are living in a world so barren and restricted a queen cannot find a second piece of paper to draft a message one.

Please. Sera.

Ah, and here is the hatred setting in, hot like lava, bright like water: until this moment two of the brightest spots of her life had been extinguished, and somehow it made it easier, to know that they were equal in death, and equally untouchable: now Seraphina is alive, and Bexley wonders which god decided to exchange the one life for the other and why.

And what she might offer to reverse it.

Bexley spills a jet of searing light like a fountain onto the note, until it bursts into flame and goes trickling in little pieces of ash to rest on the cobblestone. She watches the flakes drift in the dead breeze like so many butterflies and for a moment merely breathes.

It is in defeat that she turns toward the edge of the city.

From the markets to the mouth of the canyon is it not so long a walk, not when it feels as though walking is the only thing Bexley has been doing recently, walking, and weeping, and cursing; yet as she passes through the desert and past the oasis she is bizarrely silent for the first time in days, smothered by the heat and the wind and the crushing omniscience of danger. The chain around her throat is now a collar. The scar across her cheek pulses and shifts. There is a moment where the light catches it just right and she makes it disappear, just for half a second, and it feels so wrong it makes her chest hurt.

Finally the sand slips into rock. Dull-eyed, Bexley winds down the slope and onto the first lip of the canyon, and around the next corner is her ghost, beautiful as ever.

She draws to an unsure stop near the edge of the ridge. Seraphina is here, alive but all wrong, in an outfit Bexley has never seen before, wearing a new wreath of scars, bruised and a little wasted away, but underneath it is still her: the mismatched eyes, the dark lips, the quicksilver stripes, and even beneath her hatred the regent is so relieved she could almost cry.

Hm, says Bexley. She screws up one eye against the glaring sun. Looks like we're both undead.

@Seraphina | "speaks" | notes: <3 
rallidae





Reply




Played by Offline Jeanne [PM] Posts: 289 — Threads: 52
Signos: 1,695
Day Court Outcast
Female [She/Her/Hers] // Immortal [Year 498 Spring] // 16 hh // Hth: 17 — Atk: 23 — Exp: 60 // Active Magic: Greater Telekinesis // Bonded: Ereshkigal (Demonic Vulture)
#3

☼ s e r a p h i n a ☼

what doesn't kill you
makes you wish you were dead


tw for some suicidal ideation



If you had asked Seraphina to trade her life for Acton’s, she would have agreed in an instant.

It was not any particular love for Acton that would have prompted this trade, though she did think that he had been – something – like a friend. It was a more mathematical calculation. He had a lover and a daughter and friends who mourned his absence, and, she thought, those were the kinds of things that one was supposed to live for. She was sure that he had not wanted to die.

She wished that she had bled out on the Steppe. (If Raum had been kind, he would have finished her, but he must have wanted her to suffer – and, oh, she was suffering, but certainly not how he would have liked.) She wished that their places had been switched. She would have died for almost anyone, if it meant feeling like she’d atoned. But now she was alive – scarred, yes, and spectral in her bearing, but alive in spite of it all – and she had to bear the terrible burden exclusive to the living: not absolution, but responsibility.

And, when she is playing Fia, it is almost easy – even dangerously so – to think that she might be forgiven. (She wishes that she were Fia; she wishes that she were so fiery and leonine, that her words could roll off her tongue smooth as silk, that she could punctuate her tones with that rare, rolling humor, that she could be an open, expanding thing, not a house collapsing in on itself. But she is not Fia, and, whenever she plays her role, the knowledge that Fia is an illusion – a clever deception – hangs heavy as a funerary shroud at the back of her mind. She is not Fia, but she wishes that she were. She finds herself wondering, on occasion, what the people she has recruited under the guise of Fia will think when they inevitably discover that she is not some concerned citizen, but, rather, a coward who can’t even bother to use her true name-) But she cannot be Fia at this meeting, this meeting that she already knows will break some part of her heart. She stands in the canyon like polished steel, willing her frayed nerves – burning at the edges – to calm, struggling to grapple with consolations and apologies that she knows can’t possibly make up for anything that has been done.

It isn’t her fault that Acton is dead. (But maybe it is – if she’d made Raum pay for what he’d done to Bexley, if she’d just been willing to push Reichenbach, consequences be damned…) It isn’t her fault that Acton is dead. (But she certainly feels guilty that only one of them survived their encounter with Raum, that Isra only managed to save one of them.) It is her fault that Solterra is under the control of a madman who wants nothing more than to see the sun court crushed beneath his hoof, because she could have stopped him. Her mind is a long, rolling mantra of you could have prevented this, and, with every horrible thing that she hears that he has done, the chorus grows louder and louder, and she is reminded that it did not have to be this way.

But it was.

Bexley is a fleck of brilliant gold – radiant as the sun in the afternoon light – growing closer with each passing moment, and she watches her approach with some nauseating apprehension, uncertainty gnawing a hole in her chest. She comes closer, closer, ripping gold, still every bit as lovely as she was the first time that Seraphina saw her, years ago, but those sky-blue eyes are dull as glass marbles. She doesn’t know why she called her here, abruptly. (She wanted to know if she was okay – if she was even alive. She wanted her help. She wanted to make sure that Raum didn’t kill her, too.) Asking anything would feel like asking too much.

“Hm,” Bexley says, with that sort of casualness that she wears so well, “looks like we’re both undead.”

“Seems like it.” There is a quiver in her voice as she struggles to read Bexley’s expression; she isn’t sure if it’s the barest hint of a laugh or a sob.  “Raum…left me to bleed out. I suppose he wanted me to suffer.” She punctuates with a sharp exhalation. Seraphina can’t think of any other reason why a trained assassin would leave her on the Steppe without bothering to finish the job, and it washes her in a renewed wave of bitterness; she’d never done anything to Raum, so why was she the one who had to pay for all the terrible things that he’d done, all the terrible things he’d do? She was collateral damage - she’d always be collateral damage. Did she think that becoming a queen would make her something important? Well, it hadn’t. She wished that, if her life had to be torn to shreds, she could at least say that it was her own fault, but, no, she is collateral – ugly, ugly collateral.

“Isra found me.” This admittance is offered with some quiet reluctance. She is quiet, for a fraction of a second; there is something that she has to say, but she doesn’t want to say it, or, rather, she doesn’t know how to say it. Seraphina doesn’t know what love is – some implacable foreign emotion, relegated to fairy tales or passing faces on the street -, but she knows that Bexley loved – loves? – Acton. She knows that Acton is dead, and he isn’t coming back. (She used to believe in a sort of heaven, a place where spirits would join the gods after their deaths…but now she’s not sure that she believes in anything at all. People weren’t always – or maybe often - good, the gods didn’t come to save her or anyone else, doing good didn’t always – or often – warrant good things in turn, suffering didn’t always have some glorious ultimate meaning, and sometimes – or often – happy endings weren’t possible. And – she thinks – meeting again in the afterlife isn’t much consolation.)  “…she told me about Acton. Bexley, I…” She trails off in spite of herself, hesitating. “…I’ll be honest. I don’t know what to say. But I’m…” Seraphina isn’t sure that there is anything to say; her words won’t make anything better. (She isn’t sure that they ever do; she has always been better at rubbing things raw than soothing them.) But she opts for more honesty, regardless. “…I’m sorry that he’s dead.”

And, in spite of all the dead things that she has seen, she is.



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



tags | @Bexley
notes | sera is bad at consolations and very sad, part 1000 of many.




@







I'M IN A ROOM MADE OUT OF MIRRORS
and there's no way to escape the violence of a girl against herself


please tag Sera! contact is encouraged, short of violence



Reply




Played by Offline REDANDBLACK [PM] Posts: 240 — Threads: 29
Signos: 145
Day Court Regent
Female [she/her/hers] // 7 [Year 497 Spring] // 15.2 hh // Hth: 30 — Atk: 30 — Exp: 55 // Active Magic: Light Manipulation // Bonded: N/A
#4


b e x l e y
oh honey darling, i'd love to kill you, load up my shotgun, you kill me too -

T
here is nothing like love in Bexley’s gaze, when she looks at Seraphina.

Nothing like anything.

For the first time in her existence she is really, truly dead. Asleep. Extinct. Insensate. For a girl who was born foaming at the mouth, who knows apathy about as well as she knows God (which is to say not at all) it is utterly horrifying. It is the first time she has ever been truly quiet. In the light, Solterran sun shines through her dull, pale eyes and turns them to sea glass so clear and still it is nauseating, if not almost demonic.

There is nothing to say. Or too much, but it’s all impossible. Even though she manages that dry, casual quip, it takes all of her energy. It drains from her like a brain bleed. Even breathing has started to hurt. She feels salt start to encrust the corners of her mouth, and cannot be sure if it is tears, or sweat, or dark, dry blood. The canyon howls with toothy wind; it sprays the back of her legs with red dust, rusting the gold there until, underneath, it could be nothing prettier than unkempt steel. Even the bleached white of her hair is streaked now with thin slashes of dirty crimson. She is a ghost. Not the Ghost, Raum has beaten her even at that - but a ghost, nonetheless.

Seraphina speaks. It makes her brain hurt. It sounds like a long-forgotten memory. Like a day she has managed to scoop from a time like this that happened years ago. Her ear twitches, and she leans forward; as much as the sound pains her, it is still easy. The familiarity is a comfort.

Then it registers fully.

Raum, says Seraphina, and it is word enough to turn Bexley off from the conversation completely. Her heart stops. Her body, again, is a vessel for rage and trauma and terror. She glowers, her lip curls: the hair across her spine bristles: for a brief moment something violent and totally exanimate flashes in her eyes, and then they are black again, truly dead and not just undead, and if any tears form they are blinked away faster than they become visible.

Bexley turns to leave. Blood is pouring, pouring and rushing in her ears so loud that she cannot hear anything else, so fast that it turns her vision black, and she does turn her back, at least, but does not make it more than a few strides before her foolish, bitter heart drags her back. She stops in place. Her head snaps suddenly and violently, like a seizure. The rest of her body follows.

She faces the ex-queen from a few strides farther away: coldly, and with discontent.

Acton, says Seraphina, and the little girl inside of Bexley wants to say: you don’t have the right to use his name like that. Or: whatever it is, don’t tell me. Or: he’s not really dead, is he?

Of course she says nothing, because to hear it would only be another heartbreak, and she is not so sure her heart can handle another one: even if he is alive, if, if (she still says if, knowing it is stupid and impossible), the whiplash might be fatal for her.

I’m sorry, says Seraphina, and all at once the tears begin to pour from her like a river.

Don’t, she warns. Say that. Don’t, don’t, don’t. She heaves for breath now against the immense tightness in her chest. It hurts, everything hurts, and Bexley would have traded her life for either one of theirs but neither of them will ever get to know it, and the emotion that overcomes her - sorrow, fury, total heartache - is so intense that, unbidden, light starts to mix with her tears and pour from her eyes, then her nostrils, then her mouth.

When she hears the sizzle of her magic hitting the ground, she startles. Then turns it off like a switch.

Bexley repeats: Don’t say that. Instead,  she offers, blue eyes bright with tears, voice wavering in the new heat, trembling like a fawn, Kill him. Or I will.

@Seraphina | "speaks" | notes: <3 
rallidae





Reply




Played by Offline Jeanne [PM] Posts: 289 — Threads: 52
Signos: 1,695
Day Court Outcast
Female [She/Her/Hers] // Immortal [Year 498 Spring] // 16 hh // Hth: 17 — Atk: 23 — Exp: 60 // Active Magic: Greater Telekinesis // Bonded: Ereshkigal (Demonic Vulture)
#5

☼ s e r a p h i n a ☼

YOU CAN BE A THRESHING SLEDGE
new and sharp with many teeth


There is nothing in her eyes.

Seraphina knows – knows – what it means to have nothing behind the eyes. She spent years hollowed out, the gory aftermath of brutal violence; she spent years carved out of ice. And, as she stares at Bexley, stares into those sky-blue eyes, she finds that they are hollow. This isn’t Bexley Briar, she thinks. This can’t be Bexley Briar. She saw her once, almost dead, crushed, bloody, but alive, but the creature in front of her, rusting where the sand hits her frame, is not Bexley Briar. It is a shadow wearing her face, some cruel mockery, or- or- or-

or a woman consumed by grief, a woman with her hear torn, red and throbbing, out of the safety of her ribs. She watches her, and she wonders why she ever wished for things like love at all, if this is what love does. (And, oh, her heart is bleeding too – she stares out across the rolling dunes of the Mors, and they seem to her ugly and twisted, a blank empty space full of danger, where they should be beloved, where they should be home, but he has taken that from her, too. He has taken every piece of her – stolen her bit by bit – and she is not sure if she can ever look at her world the same way again.)

Raum, she says, and Bexley turns; weak as she is, twisting a knife as she is, she cannot find it in her to try to stop her; when she turns, abruptly, she turns with a look on her face that Seraphina barely recognizes, but it burns her. (It almost, almost, almost - gives her pause.) There is further distance between them, now, and, in the back of her mind, she thinks that if this were one of the novels in the library (as far from her reach as anything, now; she wonders if the book she pressed flowers, the only ones she’d ever received, into is still on the shelf) there would be some horrible metaphor here.

I’m sorry, she says, and, for the first time in her life, Seraphina sees Bexley Briar cry.

In a terrible way, it is almost a relief to see her tears; they are some sort of emotion, rather than that horrible, gaping blankness. She wonders if she should reach out and touch her, try to comfort her somehow, but she can’t, and any consoling words she might have said die on her lips because, well, look at how her last attempt at empathy went. “Don’t,” Bexley says, and it feels like a warning sign, “say that.” So she doesn’t. She doesn’t say anything.

That light magic of hers, bright-burning and radiant, begins to pour from her eyes, her lips, her nostrils; a tumble of brilliant gold dripping like a waterfall onto the sand. She doesn’t seem to notice it until it hits the ground with a harsh hiss, and, then, jerks. “Don’t say that,” she says, again, the light flickering out instantaneously. “Instead…” and there is a tremble to her voice, a waver to those tear-filled eyes, “Kill him. Or I will.”

Kill him, she says, and Seraphina’s magic begins to twist and writhe, a hissing serpent of fury beneath her gunmetal skin. The air between them seems to hum; chunks of stone on the wayside of the canyon tremble free of the sand they’ve buried themselves in and lift into the air, bobbing loosely as they hover all around them. Grains of sand, torn up from their release, follow them, catching in the light like little flecks of gold. Her mane pulls itself from her tight braids and flows like water, suspended in the air behind her neck, and the loose gold of her scarf unwinds from her neck, coiling around her body like a serpent without actually touching her skin. Her hooves are no longer on the ground; she hangs suspended in the air in front of Bexley Briar, her stare burning hotter than the desert sun. The golden scar on her cheek puckers around the edges, where there is still skin, and weeps a few bloody tears that roll down her face and towards the space around her throat where her collar once was, a patch of rash-worn skin and thin fur that was slowly, ever so slowly, beginning to grow back. Kill him echoes in the recesses of her mind like a holy mantra, kill him kill him kill him, and she is suddenly aware of Alshamtueur at her hip, sizzling like newborn flame even though she has not spoken its name. Kill him, and she sees him - him, that monster, that monster who terrorizes her citizens, who took her kingdom and wields it like a weapon of war, who stole everything that she had fought and bled for from her and left her for dead, who made Bexley Briar cry - she sees him burning. The look, then, that curls across her charcoal lips is not kind, and it is not apathetic; it is something feral, a distorted mask that belongs to some vengeful fury, not any seraphic creature. Kill him, and she wants him to die painfully, even though she has never wished for such a twisted thing before; kill him, and she wants to lift Alshamtueur’s flames to his flank and set him ablaze, to watch him twist and writhe in the flames like a proper Solterran king as the fire choked the breath from his lungs, to send him off to the sun god in the most brutal and excruciating way that she can imagine - kill him, or I will, and send his black, twisted soul to a god who will offer him no pity in death. Her head tilts like a hunting mantis, the gesture somehow as unnatural as it is predatory, and, finally, she speaks.

“I will,” she says, “and I won’t be kind about it.” She watches Bexley, those eyes gleaming unnaturally under the desert sun, and adds, “Are you going to help?”



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



tags | @Bexley
notes | well, this got a little morbid, huh




@







I'M IN A ROOM MADE OUT OF MIRRORS
and there's no way to escape the violence of a girl against herself


please tag Sera! contact is encouraged, short of violence



Reply




Played by Offline REDANDBLACK [PM] Posts: 240 — Threads: 29
Signos: 145
Day Court Regent
Female [she/her/hers] // 7 [Year 497 Spring] // 15.2 hh // Hth: 30 — Atk: 30 — Exp: 55 // Active Magic: Light Manipulation // Bonded: N/A
#6


b e x l e y
oh honey darling, i'd love to kill you, load up my shotgun, you kill me too -

K
ill him kill him kill him -

For the first time in many years, Bexley thinks of her brother.

She cannot quite remember what his face looks like, or looked like. Only that he was taller than her, and blue-eyed too, and beautiful: she remembers that the people wanted him dead like they wanted to breath, like a mortal sickness desires for a cure. Of course she had loved him, but it had not mattered. All her love could not have outweighed his wrongdoings. She wonders for the very first time, and with a little blink of dreadful surprise, if Laszlo had been evil too, and if she had simply chosen to disregard it with all the naive willfulness of a child.

Does that make her evil, too?

No, but he is not like Raum, because nobody loves Raum. Not anymore. Not after what he’s done, how he kills so casually. There is the lesson: love breeds violence as much as it excuses it.

Acton flashes in her head again, and her tears spill faster. Love breeds violence indeed - the scar on her face starts to pulse, and her heart constricts in her chest as though it is close to wilting, and for all her anger there is a brief, steeply black moment in which she can think nothing but I miss you. I miss you. It is a mantra Bexley has repeated so many times it beats like a tattoo now on her tongue. The words are more familiar than her own body. Than Solterra. Than her daughter. And the feeling, even, is more intimate than that. It is all she knows how to do.

She grits her teeth, jaw clenching until it spurs stars in the blackness of her inner forehead. The opiate glare of the sun makes her feel close-to-death. Alive, then, however unfortunate -

But all her misery cannot compare to the wonder in her eyes when Seraphina starts to float. Her heart rises against her throat and churns there like a storm, and oh, she thinks she can feel herself rising too, as Seraphina’s hooves leave the ground, and her braids unknit themselves, and a scimitar built of fire sizzles and spits at her side, and the slices of gold in her cheek seem to shimmer: she is a god, now, but better than a god, a girl with feelings and magic and mortal blood, more admirable than any deity. There is something so impressive about the honest goodness of a real person. More impressive than any religion. I love you, she wants to say, wants to say so badly, but does not. Only smiles. I admire you. I trust you - and for someone so badly damaged, that is the most valuable thing of all.

She does not fear the look of savage hunger in Seraphina’s eyes, though maybe she should: instead, she is utterly relieved to see the queen’s barbarity, if only to know a little better she is not the only one that has made insane.

And to know that Raum will not escape her.

Alive again. Bexley grins, an awful, too-sharp thing. A visible shudder wracks her body as Seraphina speaks, as if she has been possessed: something in her has woken, hungry and snarling, and she cannot hear anything but the thrum of bloodlust in her ears and an awful, deep-set buzzing in her jaw, as if her body is preparing to come apart at the seams. She could fall apart already for the severity of her relief. What she will feel when she finally sees the inside of Raum’s skull is unimaginable.

Yes, she says, with all the tearfulness and tender-caring of someone accepting a marriage proposal. Her mouth opens as if to finish the thought, but there is nothing else to say. Simply yes, I will kill him, and I will do it in the worst way I know how.

Randomly Bexley remembers that she is not the only person in the world. That her griefs are, in one way or another, shared. She glances at the tiger-stripes of gold on Seraphina's cheeks, the way her mane curls around her like a wave, the empty, feral hunger in her eyes, and still it is not fear that overcomes her, but, maybe, concern. Then, stilted like a puppet: Why did he come for you?

Just in case there is any rhyme or reason to hatred that she has not yet discovered.

@Seraphina | "speaks" | notes: <3 
rallidae





Reply





Forum Jump: