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Played by Offline Syndicate [PM] Posts: 92 — Threads: 15
Signos: 105
Night Court Entertainer
Female [She/her/hers] // 9 [Year 495 Winter] // 16.2 hh // Hth: 7 — Atk: 13 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#1


my love, how was I to know
that they would make a myth of us? 
did we not die? are we not dead?
are your bones not my bones?



When Boudika arrives at the sea, she thinks: I don’t want to die.


The gnarling, oppressive limbs of the jungle give way to the fresher air of the beach, unpolluted by the dense rot of trees and earth. It is fresh, fresh, a bit shill against her cheek and sweaty skin. Breaking through the foliage, she ought to be relieved—the ocean is there, bright as a jewel even in the night. It whispers and hisses and moans, waves against soft sand, a surf that goes shush, shush, shush against the mottled rocks and kelp strung along the beach. There are shells that look like emeralds, sapphires, and hot embers. The ground opens like a galaxy on the strange island, and it is like no beach she has ever seen—but the ocean is the same, gaping, ominous, and whatever hesitation she feels departing the trees is short-lived. She breathes in the humidity, the salt, and feels it prick her skin with foam. Boudika runs harder when her hooves hit the sand; intimately aware that this is no longer her element. The beach does not belong to her. It belongs to him. The knowledge is condemning, but simultaneously, it does not matter. Because the run is sweet, and freeing, and her breaths burn with exertion and sweat foams at her haunches and the sea whispers shush, shush, shush. If she were a Khashran, she would already be halfway to wild, halfway to a shape that is not a horse or a woman but something beyond, something that is sea and foam and salt. 

Crashing down the beach, she continues to think: I don’t want to die. She cannot say why, but it feels as if she is looking at this scene for the last time: that she is breaking upon the beach at a sprint and, in doing so, condemning herself to something final, something permanent. 

How can she not feel that way? Boudika is dancing the most dangerous dance of time; the oldest dance; the most finale. Through the jungle she had heard his pursuit—at times it faded to a distant whisper, patient and wolfish. At other points, it became thunderous, so close she could feel the coolness of his strange magic and imagine the sharpness of his teeth in the dark. Her entire world has become pinpoint small. It is her hooves finding the earth with certainty and agility; it is the way her breath came in a rhythm, and her heart beat with the strength and consistency of war drums. Do not err. It is the oldest rule of Time. A mistake would end her. A mistake would end the chase. And already: she feels reverted to something primal, even primordial, with the etchings of her most ancient ancestors in her mind: 

You are prey, her instincts scream, as she hedges the water. You are prey and he is HUNTING you

But Boudika is not prey. She feels it in the strength of her limbs, in the way that each long stride seems to cover more and more ground. She could be flying. She is a warhorse, built and bred for it—but something about her stretched out on the beach at a headlong lope suggests otherwise. She is grace, and speed, and power. She is everything she ever trained to become, and more, more, more. 

Except she drifts nearer and nearer the sea, rather than running straight along its course. Is that not everything she has ever been? Boudika curves into it, and before she knows it the water splashes behind her, flayed open by her sharp and beating hooves. And still: she feels his pursuit, she knows he is close, and running to the sea will not save her.

For once, she feels the cool water and does not think of Orestes. She thinks of this: 

I don’t want to die, and I have never felt so alive. She thinks of what is next. She thinks of the aching question, the question that has filled her since awakening in Novus. How do I bring them back

And now, only now, she allows herself to consider: what if her story isn’t one of resurrection?

What if her story is one of becoming

Boudika stops. 

It is abrupt. Dangerously so. Boudika whirls on a haunch but her momentum throws her forward a few stuttering, jerky steps. She turns to face him, her pursuer, and it feels like fate clicking into place. It feels, to her, like a clock stopping: and she realises, with strange clarity, that every moment of her life lead her to this one.

Each lash the academy forced her to bear. Vercingtorix as he turned away. The way her father died, alone, but with her a hero. She thinks of how she never knew her mother, and love was nothing for years: love was the crash of the sea against the cliffside, again and again and again, never repelled, never relenting. She thinks of laughing, and war, and what it feels like to Bind a soul. She thinks of red water, and forces herself to look, to look at the ocean lapping her ankles, the way it is dark and deep and dangerous. But it is not blood. 

Boudika bares her teeth like a tigress. She thinks: I will not die. 



@Boudika "speaks"


@Amoraq









Played by Offline griffin [PM] Posts: 50 — Threads: 4
Signos: 0
Inactive Character
#2




amaroq

I would know who roars mostly like the beast
going out to hunt and then back to feast

S
omething changes as she flees before him, red as a guiding flame before being swallowed up by the dark. He is helpless against it and eager for it, the way his mind begins to slip savage as soon as she runs. It is thrilling, the hunt; the thunder of his heart, the little lashes of branch and vine. His horn is like a lance of moonbeam, and ice blooms in the places pressed down by his hooves.

Amaroq wants to run as close as her shadow through the jungle, so that the frost of his breath might touch her heels like the last blush of fall. But he is not so lithe and leonine as she and so he follows as a wolf would follow, his breath spilling in faint mist as his magic wakes in him like a fissure in the ice. There is no humor in him now, and no regret for the way the algae bloomed like an aurora. All there is is animal need, the hunter’s desire to catch what runs before it.  

Catch me.



He smiles, fleeting, when he arrives at last to the beach and sees the way her footprints begin to edge toward the water. Perhaps he will not have to catch her at all. Perhaps she has already given herself to the sea. Once more the kelpie begins to run. Now it is only wind that rakes his hair, now he swallows up the ground in great hungry strides, still reading her tracks like a letter she wrote. The sand grows dark and gleaming-wet, studded with shells. The sea opens before him like welcoming arms and there, waiting, at the edge of the waves, is the woman.

Amaroq does not check his stride. It looks as though the unicorn might collide with her, and bear her into the sea with him; he lowers his horn as if to run her through. But at the last moment, when he can see the gleam of moonlight off her teeth and the dark shine of her eyes, he cuts around her like water around a rock.

Only then does he slow, and wheel like an osprey, and arch his neck like the crest of a wave. When he approaches her his breaths are coming fast and his eyes are as bright as the shells on the beach. That gaze is hungry, devouring her, each slope of her muscles and the way the moonlight gilds all her covers with faint silver, almost as though they are already underwater.

This time he doesn’t stand between her and the murmuring sea. For a moment he watches the way it kisses her ankles with salt, the way it anoints her hooves as with oil and leaves them shining-wet. Then he pulls his colorless gaze up to her crimson eyes and there is nothing for a moment but the sound of their breathing - hers, and his, and the ocean.

Almost he doesn’t want to break that not-silence. Almost he wants to let their gazes do the talking and asking, or the set of their mouths, or the hint of their teeth. And more than that: even his blood is running hot, now, and he takes a step nearer and then another, and there is a part of him that longs, that waits, for her to run, or fight, or look away for too long -

Amaroq lowers his head, and the tip of his horn sways lazily toward her breast.

Catch me. But there is space between them yet.

“Show me why you led me here,” he says, low.

He will not write her story for her, this strange mare, who gave him no name but Orestes’.

But he wants to.


@Boudika | at last!
rallidae










Played by Offline Syndicate [PM] Posts: 92 — Threads: 15
Signos: 105
Night Court Entertainer
Female [She/her/hers] // 9 [Year 495 Winter] // 16.2 hh // Hth: 7 — Atk: 13 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#3



before the war.
before we had to 
kiss Troy out of each other’s 
teeth, we were a paradise.
you were the only one I kneeled before.
you make the warrior in me tired. 



"Show me why you led me here."


Boudika stares. There is the sea and the moon and the waves that whisper to her, as they always have, shush, shush, shush. There are stars above them and the strange, otherworldly colour of his skin—he looks, she realises for the first time, like all the predatory sea-things she has ever known. He is dark above and light below, so as to be hidden by the light above or the depth beneath. He must be invisible in the water, she thinks, and as she thinks it his horn points toward her chest and her blood screams alive, alive, alive

The mare does not know how to show him. She cannot tell him. There are no words. Just this: 

There is a girl standing on a beach thinking about what it feels like to kill a soul. She is remembering choking the surf with bodies that, in death, were dusted with gold. She is thinking of when they first encountered one another on the Night Court coast, and she had thought, the only thing I fear is the sea. The truth of that is lost, sinking somewhere with all her other fears, because everything has led to this.

This.

This.

This. 

Boudika finds herself frustrated with all the things words cannot say. She is incapable of putting the images in his mind that swell in hers, like so many furious mosaics. A father pushing his child into the sea as though the water is an altar for a sacrificial lamb, telling her stay, stay, and the way the Khashran storm like so many ghosts from the depths of the dark. One surges forward and he is the colour of old bone and ink-slick from the sea. His teeth are a shark’s and he smells like the sea does on a fetid day. He does not Take her, although he drops his jaws in their half-shape next to her ear and sings a song she will never forget. 

A golden boy with a spear who says, “We’ll come back with our shields or on them, eh, Bondike?” And it is an old saying, an old phrase, from when their people were seafaring, conquering vikings rather than refugees on an island that did not want them. It was the first day they went to war and they came back blooded and some of them did not come back at all. The image of him is so clear, in her mind, of his eyes the colour of the sea when it is pierced by the sun, and she loves him so much in that moment she almost feels the sentiment come back to her—

And Orestes with gold paint burning his flesh, gold everywhere, in strange and morbid artistic detail. There are suns swirling on his head and neck and shoulders, and dust down his seal-speckled back. She smells the way it burns but he does not flinch, he does not show his pain, and when they lead them through the old streets of her city she thinks of how hard it is to die a hero’s death, nearly alone, the last of a breed.


Boudika cannot express any of those things. 

There are not words for them, the way they exist within her like ghosts, those stories of her past. Her suffering is unpoetic; it is her life that has led her here, the urge to run and be and fight. She has not spoken or moved for far too long. They have remained locked in a strange stalemate, their bodies hot but cooling, and she thinks of when they first met and her heart bloomed with all the hope and dread that comes with such beautiful, terrible creatures. For a moment, she is fiercely in love with their silence, and fiercely afraid of breaking it. There is a knowing in each of them, an inevitability, and perhaps there was always an inevitability. There has been, since she was born and she stared into the sea and thought, how beautiful it is

“Because,” and she chooses her words carefully, slowly. Her voice is quiet, as quiet as the shush, shush, shush of the waves. She cannot bear to break the silence with anything less than the most meaningful, and she cannot convey the profound in the way it is meant to be conveyed. She can only say: “It is not good to be alone.” And they are his words returned to him. His admission, shared. As she says it, she thinks of Orestes: the last prince, the cursed son, the bearer of the unbearable. 

Amaroq is also the last.

But he does not have to be. 

Boudika is alone. 

But she does not have to be. 

Her eyes hold his for another long moment. Steady. 

Steady.

The white flag is raised—and she surrenders to the thing she has fought her entire life. 

Boudika turns from him and, one step at a time, moves into the sea. It licks at her ankles, and her knees, and then her chest. It is cold and the salt prickles her flesh. But there is that shush, shush, shush and somewhere, she knows, there is singing. Boudika waits. She waits, an ear cocked toward him, to be guided home.




@Boudika "speaks"


@Amaroq









Played by Offline griffin [PM] Posts: 50 — Threads: 4
Signos: 0
Inactive Character
#4




amaroq

I would know who roars mostly like the beast
going out to hunt and then back to feast

T
here is a part of him that thinks not here. There is a part of him that wants to seize her in his teeth but only to pull her back, to caution her away from the place where the sandbar drops off to nothing, where it is swim or sink. Amaroq knows that there is something wrong and other about the island; he remembers assessing the shapes dark beneath the surface as he walked the black glass bridge.

But he only follows her out into the sea. The water is blessedly cool after the heat of the island and the burn of the chase; his white tail trails behind him, spreading like a veil. They walk in silence, as though to a baptism.

It is not good to be alone.

As the water rises to his hips, as the sand falls from his hooves and he begins to swim, he watches her. Oh, he well remembers that conversation. He thinks how there is no name between them but Orestes, though she is not quite stranger, nor enemy, nor ally. He remembers how he’d known at once she loved this Orestes, and the offer he had made, and how she had fled from it.

I would do anything.

Amaroq’s colorless eyes are set to gleaming by the moonlight as he studies her. She is as sleek and graceful as a shark; she will not suffer for the change. Already she is beautiful and current-quick but when he thinks of what she will be after, something sharpens in him like a hunger.

To have the loyalty of such as she, Orestes must be far more than just a man. And to possess a thousand shapes he may as well be a god. Amaroq has never tracked a god, has never learned to hunt one. But he wonders, for how she speaks of him, if they will be the ones found.

Then the water is high, around his neck, and his breath is vapor hanging in the air like the breath of a whale. Constellations tremble above them, far from their normal paths. It is peaceful, almost holy - far from the day he had changed the girl. He wonders if Boudika is cold; though if she is, she will soon not be.

“Here,” he says to her, over the sound of the waves meeting the beach behind them. Here the water is almost smooth, and it is quiet; no strange birds with eyes of garnet and wings of kelp skim the water, and the sounds of the jungle are far away. When she turns to him, he holds her gaze, near black in the shadows. Her horns are curling black silhouettes that gleam in the moonlight where the saltwater has wet them.

For a moment more, he regards her in silence. He is aware of the press of each curved tooth against his lips, aware of how she still looks at the ocean like it is a cathedral, or a mother. He says, softly, his lips near the curve of her ear, “You will have to take of my blood.” The water laps them both, gently. He does not tell her how it will feel as though she is drowning and burning at once, how it is worse than death because it is waiting for the moment when the lungs cease and the body takes the change. It does not matter. It is better not to know.

Amaroq pulls back enough to look her in the eye. Crystals of ice and salt pattern like diamonds on his mane and the seashell curves of his horn. He does not wonder if he should ask her name, though they will soon be more intimate than lovers. When he drops his lips to the curve of her throat, he holds his breath, so as not to make frost bloom there like an icy palm.

And then he takes her in his teeth, and pulls her below.



@Boudika | I hope this works! it was so fun to write
rallidae










Played by Offline Syndicate [PM] Posts: 92 — Threads: 15
Signos: 105
Night Court Entertainer
Female [She/her/hers] // 9 [Year 495 Winter] // 16.2 hh // Hth: 7 — Atk: 13 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#5


I CAN TELL YOU NOW THAT I BEGGED FOR THE ARROW. WELCOMED IT. MY LAST WISH WAS TO SLEEP BESIDE YOU IN OUR TENT TO HIDE YOU SO WELL IN THE AFTERLIFE THAT NO GOD COULD TAKE YOU. MY QUIET NAME WAS YOURS FROM THE BEGINNING. I CALL MY ANKLES BY YOUR NAME. WHEN MY MOTHER DIPPED ME IN THE RIVER SHE WAS INTRODUCING US  



There are many things she does not think of in those last moments, as the waves buffet against her chest and she swims closer to godhood, toward another life. There are many things that try to take hold—doubt, guilt, fear—that she does not allow within the quiet chambers of her heart.

Boudika does not ask, “What is it like?” because Orestes had once told her, it is the meaning of life. There is no question as the stars open like silver dust against black velvet, and the sea pulls her further and further from the shore. “It is the greatest unrequited love of history.” That is what he had said, of his affair with the sea, and he had looked at her with rare joy and smiled. He had sighed then, soft as a star, softer than the night and all things secret. The words flood her mind as she leaves the land behind: 

  “You are everything and nothing, and at once she will make you the fiercest of creatures and then smooth you, and smooth you, and smooth you until you are as supple as beach stones or sea glass. You are weightless, and pure motion, and more still than you have ever been. She will take your anger and make it joy, and wrench your sorrow from your chest and transform it into fury, into a hurricane, and still—it is not enough. You will always love the sea more than she will love you, but that is what makes her so beautiful—she is the purest form in the world.”

Her skin has smelled of salt and brine for longer than she will admit. Always, always, always there had been something driving her here, to this very moment. Perhaps it has been in her blood. Perhaps it was when her mother gave her the name of a damned water-queen. Perhaps it had been the betrayal of her people, or the way she had hunted something so beautiful, something that she could not exist without, that now she must become it to preserve it. Sacrifice. The word is lightning within her.

This feelings nothing like sacrifice. 

They leave the sick island of the magic behind and beneath them, perhaps somewhere far below, churn monsters. But for now, it is only she and him. Boudika is surprised to find it so difficult to break through the surf and beyond, into the still ocean, where there is nothing but darkness beneath her. Her legs kick through the water with an athleticism inherent to a island-borne warrior, but still, still—there is fatigue in doing something so foreign. He is not clumsy, or hesitant, but patient and quiet and the water parts for him as though he is a blade to supple flesh. 

Here

If she were to feel fear, it is too late. Boudika studies him as he studies her, and perhaps they both wonder if the other is worthy. There is a part of her that wonders if this is enough, if she has chosen the right place. Or would it have been better to follow him somewhere north, and further north, until an aurora burst open the sky and he showed her a world she could never have imagined alone? Ice is blooming on his flesh, and the crystals of it are brighter and more clear than the stars. 

This is enough, she thinks, and their knees brush, and their breaths collide, and there is just this, this, this. Her eyes tumble into his; and she thinks of light piercing the upper crest of a wave as it rolls over itself, back into darkness. Orestes was in her thoughts. Perhaps she will still try to find him; or perhaps, perhaps, the mother sea has taken him home, and a small piece of him may be reborn into her. But then Orestes is out of her mind, and there is only Amaroq, nameless and strange beneath a spinning sky of stars and god-magic, and the sea goes shush, shush, shush.

Boudika cannot read him. She does not know what transpires in his mind but it strikes her that it does not matter, because what else could there be? It is the cold of the ocean against their flesh, it is the proximity of two predators, it is the promise of no longer being alone. He speaks into her ear about blood, and Boudika wants to say that it is alright. She does not. She left has her voice somewhere on the shore. 

The tension is a gaunt thing; it is a quivering violin string, soaring into the night. When he breaks it, it is almost like a kiss. 

She expects the press of his lips against her throat to be cold, but they are not. And then, and then--

They are fire and pain. 

Her head crashes beneath the pristine surface of the ocean and she is drowning. 

She knows there is blood, but she cannot see it—she simply feels it leaving her as her mind alights for a moment with panic, and she thinks, he is going to kill me! It was a trick, a cruel trick—

But his words come back to her. You will have to take my blood. Disjointed, disorientated, she does not know what they mean. 

In retrospect, she may look back and think of how unique a thing change is. How painful, how it wrenches from her everything and nothing all at once. She is more herself than she has ever been. In his grip, she is fight and fury and desperation. She is pain and fire and water and blood. She can taste nothing but iron and salt and her mind is purely empty of everything except for this moment, these infinite seconds. She thinks only of the burn of salt in her eyes, the ragged grip at her throat, how she must survive. Her legs kick out into the dark, into the deep, and she thrashes in his grip—break free, break free, break free. She is holding her breath and her mind is star-lighting, her vision black at the edges, pressure building within every orifice of her body—her eyes, her ears, her chest. She is on fire with it, and she feels the thing she had always been so afraid of. 

Drowning

Teeth at her throat. 

Pulling her beneath, down, further and further. She is loosing it. Fatigue takes her like a drunkenness. Slowly, and then all at once: everything burns. Is this the drowning she wants? It is not so different from a ship in the sea in a storm sinking to the bottom, carrying her with it, the sound of singing—

She thinks: 

I want to die. It hurts more than she ever imagined it would, and she cannot take it, she cannot take it, she has to breathe—water crashes into her lungs and it is sandpaper and fire and alcohol on a wound. She hates him for a moment that is instantaneous and infinite, she snaps her teeth toward him, she knows this is the end, the pain has consumed her--she is sinking. And then, she is struck by a moment of strange clarity. 

Her eyes open against the stinging water, and she thinks she cannot see, that this must be death. They focus as ice floats about them like unfurled lace in the water, and piercing stabs of moonlight catch the darkened strings of her blood as they rise. He is there, somewhere at the edge of the chaos, with the last bubbles from her escaped breath ascending to meet the night. The white foam dissipates and she is still, still, still, staring up at the way the silver turns the blood black and the ice catches the light like so many shards of glass. 

It is beautiful.



@Boudika "speaks"


@Amaroq









Played by Offline griffin [PM] Posts: 50 — Threads: 4
Signos: 0
Inactive Character
#6




amaroq

I would know who roars mostly like the beast
going out to hunt and then back to feast

S
alt and blood fill his mouth like a sacrament. Is there any holier communion than this? To be Remade beneath the unwavering light of the stars, held in the dark arms of the sea?

She fights him. The kelpie does not fault her for it, does not relinquish his hold on her throat as her blows scrape across his barrel, his chest, his legs. The white of his hair haloes around them like a shroud as she struggles to live, caught between the blackness below and the faint blue light above. Dark thin streams of her blood and bubbles of breath and delicate flowers of ice all drift toward the surface. Far away something is singing in the dark, long lone notes like a mourner’s hymn.

And still he does not let go. Not until she twists toward him, teeth like new pearls; then Amaroq bares his throat for her, waits for the score of her jaws. They are not yet made for seizing and tearing (though perhaps they are changing already), but they still find their mark. His blood wells up like it is eager. And oh, it is, it is: no matter how many times he plays priest to this kind of conversion he is not immune to the ancient magic of it. What the air and the water sings with, what their own blood and sinew and bone hums with, it has nothing to do with the island, and every heartbeat chants of the change.

He knows the moment it takes in her because at last she falls still. Only then does he break away, opening up a space between them, enough to catch her crimson-dark eyes (how pleased he is, to find them unrimmed with panic-white) with his colorless stare. They wear one another’s blood along with their own.

There is no smile on his lips, which once more hide away his neat rows of curving teeth. But there is approval in his eyes, and he lowers his head in a bow to her before returning to the surface.

For Amaroq is no Orestes; his shape is unchanging, his lungs still need air. His horn is the first thing to break the surface, gleaming seashell-white, scattering droplets of water and ice; the arch of his neck follows, sinuous as an eel. The air above tastes too sweet after salt and iron and the waves are still sighing against the shore.

When she breaks the line between sea and sky like rising from a baptism he wants to ask her if she can feel it, the joy of the universe, shouting like fire in her veins. He wants to ask her Do you hate me, now? Amaroq wants to teach her all the lessons of her new world, like a father, or a mate.

But he only says, in a voice like ice thawing in spring, “Tell me your name.”




rallidae










Played by Offline Syndicate [PM] Posts: 92 — Threads: 15
Signos: 105
Night Court Entertainer
Female [She/her/hers] // 9 [Year 495 Winter] // 16.2 hh // Hth: 7 — Atk: 13 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#7


They write about your death.
How I sliced through countless
men trying to build a
monument to the monster
I was after your body
blazed before me.



When she breaks the surface of the water, there is the faintest hint of sunlight on the horizon, a rosy pink blush that seeps into the sky. Water drips from her face and into her eyes and for once, it does not matter. For once, this small, sacred moment belongs utterly to her. There is no death; only the tumultuous power of rebirth, of tomorrow


Boudika's entire life has revolved around small, sacred moments. This is one of them, where seconds are priceless, where each breath represents a small infinity. There is something still within her; it is as if a part of her soul has been screaming for weeks, months, years, and only just now has she noticed it. And Boudika only notices it because, for the first time in her life, it is silent.

Her mind recollects seconds that exist as intimately and vulnerably as a heartbeat, steady, nearly predictable, and the focus of life itself. Even as she thinks it—the beautiful transiency of it—she recognises the fragility of hearts. Yes. It is so special here, so sacred, because they are keepers of a dying secret. A dying breed. The knowledge, foreign and nearly philosophical, is something that possess her mind even as it becomes more feral, more instinctual.

Boudika knows the exact point where, behind the shoulder, the heart lies. She knows, with disciplined precision, the exact force a spear must be thrust to shatter the ribs. In a frontal assault with a trident, when jerked upward into the chest, may cleave through the dense pectoral muscle. But it will all to often catch in the bone of the sternum, leaving the attacker vulnerable to the very thing they attack. She knows the press, press, press of a body that refuses to die, to relent, to vanquish. And she thinks of this because in those moments when there is nothing but crystalline clarity and the steady drum, drum, drum of a heart that continues to beat. Rebirth. Rebirth. Rebirth. She thinks of it because she has been locked chest-to-chest with so many monsters and only now she realises it had only been her that was the beast.

Amaroq's blood is still on her mouth and for the first time she feels pinpricks of teeth at her gums. Everything is copper. Boudika feels a strange poignancy--as if her blood has field with adrenaline-- in the way that her body nearly rejects the air, too fetid, rotting with too much jungle and magic. There is something sweeter in holding her breath… something sacred in the predatory stillness beneath the waves and already she longs to return to it, already she wonders what it feels like to hunt, and rests her face low against the water so that little but her eyes, nostrils, and ears remain exposed—

Boudika would have rested in the silence of the night for an eternity. To speak, she feels, would ruin the timeless communion that stretches between them. Instead she sees, for the first time, the way his eyes are the same darkness of the sea and sky. The tangled ornaments in his mane have a new meaning, a new significance, and already there is a primal part of her that wants to know where did you earn this bit of bone, this bit of shell, this bit of sea? 

He breaks the silence with the only question that would not wrench her, unwilling, from their extraordinary moment. What is your name?

She does not answer for a long time. In her pause, there is only the splash of the waves against their bodies. Building within her is a new, archaic language; a keening like whales. Boudika wants him to lead her; she wants him to teach her to be, unrestrained and unlimited, in the way of all wild things. To be an unfettered soul. To be the sea. What is your name?  In that silence is his answer: the gust overhead, the lap of water, the way she lifts her head up as if to pray. 

It is only when Boudika lowers it again, from the stars and the gods as their sole witnesses, that she swims close. Again, their knees brush, their legs, and she is nearly chest-to-chest with him—yes, there, where a trident could never reach the heart—so that she can press  her lips and newfound teeth against his ear and whisper,

“Boudika.” 




@Amaroq "speaks"











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