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Played by Offline Cannon [PM] Posts: 71 — Threads: 16
Signos: 30
Night Court Entertainer
Male [He/Him/His] // 7 [Year 497 Summer] // 15 hh // Hth: 13 — Atk: 7 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: // Bonded:
#1


I swear to god
I wasn't born to fight.
Maybe just a little bit.
Enough to make me sick of it.
A voice in the sun: a bird, or a fox, or the girl with the blonde hair that fell in curls around her shoulders - each scattered freckle was a star to wish on, each cheek a constellation from which you could never tear your eyes. The voice says, "come home. I know you are sad and you are guilty and your heart is dead lump of meat in your chest. Still you should come home."

So, here it is: home.
This jagged, bleeding wound. Another wound tossed on the wood pile to burn for winter.
Another mouth that grits its teeth. The voice says, "come home. I know you are a coward and you have been running."

The voice says, "I know you are a coward," and Michael knows in his heart that it is true. If fear is a church Michael is robed in silk at the pulpit, belting hymns at the top of his lungs. If reluctance is a bell his is clangorous and clear in the hazy summer, the one shard of him that is not smeared or splintered. It chimes in him day and night, and on this, the day he birthed again into the heart of summmer, it rings loud and fast (an alarm) with the pounding of his heart.

Michael does not know what he will find. He does not know what will be waiting. He knows only that he has been running his whole life and that he had run again though he doesn't know to where or from what - just that his most recent memories of Denocte are streets wreathed in flame, of a dragon with rage in his belly and a queen with rage in every bit of every cell. And Michael had run. Because Michael is a coward.

He is standing alone, baked honey gold in the sun, listless and heavy. His heart is a solemn prayer for peace. The voice in the sun says he is hungry. The voice in the sun tugs at his long mane and beckons him forward, but Michael cannot for the life of him will his body into motion. It is only when he sees her, dark against the grass and the lake reflecting the summer sky, that he remembers to breathe at all.

"Hey stranger," he mumbles through some attempt at a nervous smile. He is clawing desperately for something to hold on to, something that makes him feel real and brave and alive. He greatly doubts there are such things left in the world. "I'm... sorry. I went... away."
 
michael, a wound at the heart of the world



@Isra but anyone else is welcome to join :)





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Played by Offline nestle [PM] Posts: 367 — Threads: 37
Signos: 130
Night Court Sovereign
Female [she/her/hers] // Immortal [Year 497 Winter] // 15.1 hh // Hth: 60 — Atk: 60 — Exp: 101 // Active Magic: Transformation // Bonded: Fable (Sea Dragon)
#2

Isra and an endless lie

"But there is no point to it, this wanting."



Isra wants to feel rage. She wants to crack herself wide open like a geode until all the sharp, shining bits of her are blinding and bare. The grass beneath her quivers like a tendons plucked free from a harp and each turns to strings of pearls. They make a lovely bell-chime sound when each string clangs against her rusty chain. And when she crests the sloping land and sees Michael waiting ahead, like a tree that has only now decided to grow roots, all her rages smolders.

She smiles at him because she cannot help the way his hair is always in tangles and too long. She wonders if it's the weight of it that presses his spine down instead of sorrow. She wonders a thousand thoughts like....

Why here? Why now? Why after the taste of blood has long sunk into my dreams? Why does he come home now that I am a killer?

At her back, in the tall blooms and pearl-grass, her children laugh at some new wonders only they understand. Isra can hear Fable's enchantment with her wild star-sea twins and how even so far from the shore he can hear the sea roaring in each space between the girl's words. The tide of it all dulls her rage to a low sea-roar on a full moon night.

Over and over she tells herself-- I am content now.
Over and over again it feels like a lie.

Michael looks the same, all sorrow and heaviness that hangs on his like a skin of stone instead of fire. The sight of him presses against her throat like a fist made of dusty butterfly wings. Her voice cracks when she speaks. “I came home because you asked it of me.” She steps closer because her skin is tingling like sand beneath a wave begging for something hard to land on. He smells like summer grass and daffodils. Michael smells like sunlight (like home if she's didn't love the moon so much).

Isra breathes against his cheek, and she wonders if he can feel her magic pressing in like heat, like promise, like life. Her children frolic closer, headless of the adults, or anything that is not a dragon or the glass-smooth lake. “If I asked it of you now would you stay?” When she looks at him it is  with some great need--

And if she knew how she looked at him like a monster looking at the salvation perhaps she would have turned away and forgotten all about questions like why.





@Michael







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Played by Offline Cannon [PM] Posts: 71 — Threads: 16
Signos: 30
Night Court Entertainer
Male [He/Him/His] // 7 [Year 497 Summer] // 15 hh // Hth: 13 — Atk: 7 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: // Bonded:
#3

I swear to god
I wasn't born to fight.
Maybe just a little bit.
Enough to make me sick of it.
There she is, Isra and her rage, Isra and her black hatred, Isra and her teeth like swords when she smiles. All of her is swords when she smiles.

Michael is not swords and he has never been, never could be. Sometimes he is a candle. Sometimes his ocean roar echoes hers, fathomless and terrible and dark, but he cannot make himself sharp. Michael's broken edges are rubbed soft by the current of his suffering. He is all rounded corners. He is all safe places and warm light - he just cannot reach any of them for himself.

Here is Isra and he wishes so desperately that she would smile at him, that she wouldn't fold into the kind and timid smile that he offers in return. He doesn't want to be forgiven. He doesn't want to forgive himself.

Her hearts asks his, why?
And Michael's heart sings, because I must.

And he must. He must burn himself away in Isra's city by the sea, must hum himself to sleep by the light of each small and distant star, must write and write until he is swallowed whole by each thing he is not and will not every be brave enough to say. He is heavy with them today, heavy with guilt and with sorrow and with the pure, raw please don't that is screaming in him when she meets his gaze. Her voice breaks and he breaks with her, a glass dropped in the kitchen, and his devastation is clear even through his heavy mane.


"Of course--" he stammers before she has even finished. Michael looks at her for a long moment, level and heavy. He would do anything. He thinks - hopes - she knows this. He hopes too that it will be the death of him. He reaches forward, touches the skin of her shoulder with the soft pink of his muzzle, does not say so many things. Somewhere are Fable and Isra's daughters and he does not see them, does not see anything, sees only the air closing in around  him.

Michael turns his head. Her magic hums in his bones. He is a thing on fire and when he looks away it is certainly not with the easy grace of a man forgiven. The pit in his stomach only grows and grows.

(Hidden by his thick and messy hair: the tight set of his jaw, the grinding of his teeth, and hard furrow of his brow. He is a man at the window and he is trying to talk himself into jumping. Michael never jumps.)


"You did," he says to her, "I will."
Michael is not afraid of Isra's swords. Michael is not afraid of Isra. He is afraid of so many things, but she is not one of them.


@Isra





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Played by Offline nestle [PM] Posts: 367 — Threads: 37
Signos: 130
Night Court Sovereign
Female [she/her/hers] // Immortal [Year 497 Winter] // 15.1 hh // Hth: 60 — Atk: 60 — Exp: 101 // Active Magic: Transformation // Bonded: Fable (Sea Dragon)
#4

Isra and the words on a blade

"dash away, and on and on, for hours"



Somewhere in the black water at the bottom of the lake there is a fish and a pearl. The pearl is coated in silt and barely shining when the sun manages to sink low beneath the surface like a golden blade. Beside it the fish is searching for seeds long forgotten in the dark depth, almost rotten and soft enough for him to swallow.

The fish passes by the dirty pearl, unable to the see the barely there shine of it with eyes looking over and over again for seed. It's only ever seed.

Perhaps only Fable knows there's a pearl waiting there-- silt covered and waiting. And if he does he's never told Isra of it (or how it was only there because she walked into the water once with her magic and love smoldering in her belly).

Isra can hear the grind of Michael teeth, although she can only see the stiffness of his jaw when she breathes into spot of tangled hair and tender skin behind his eyes. His sorrow calls to the sharp edges of her own. Her's are buried under layers of love, and hope, and death, and retribution. If there are any edges of her left waiting to break again she has forgotten them in the patterns of Eik's kisses night after night.  “Have you ever been loved?” She asks before her thoughts even form around the words like a coffin.

Maybe the question got stuck between her heart and and her head-- somewhere between her bone-white teeth and the butterfly fist in her throat.

Either way it's out there somewhere between her lips and his ear and Isra doesn't want to take it back. The pearl grass is chiming hollowly against her hooves and hocks in a wind she's not quite aware of. Every inch of her is poised and waiting like a blade over a guilty throat. Later Isra will not remember why it was so vital for her to know.

Later she might wonder.

But now there is only the question waiting heavy as Michael's hidden eyes.

Isra thinks it might be the first line drawn between the moon and the stars that together make a map of this golden man who has left her once before.





@Michael







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Played by Offline Cannon [PM] Posts: 71 — Threads: 16
Signos: 30
Night Court Entertainer
Male [He/Him/His] // 7 [Year 497 Summer] // 15 hh // Hth: 13 — Atk: 7 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: // Bonded:
#5

I swear to god
I wasn't born to fight.
Maybe just a little bit.
Enough to make me sick of it.
Michael has been loved. Desperately. Fiercely. Jealously. 

And Michael has loved, as if the crust of the earth was sustained by his waking each day more grateful than the last. He has loved as he imagines a volcano might, all bubbling magma and burning rock and the sacrifice of innocents in the name of his great hot fire. And, later, Michael had loved as a real heart might, thumping in someone's chest, not desperate to keep them alive but sure that he must. Michael has loved purposefully. Michael has loved in servitude and silence.

If hell were a place surely it is within him - in the pregnant silence between them, in the way his mouth trembles, in the breath he takes too quietly as if to keep her from hearing. Though almost soundless, though slow and methodical, it hisses between his clenched teeth. It's an accusatory hiss, punctuated his weight shifting opposite her. Michael is staring as Isra and he is hoping more than he has hoped most things that she will take it back nonetheless.

She doesn't. She wouldn't.
He does not say so very many things.

"Yes," he answers. It is not easy to get out. "at some point. I think it's easier than I'd like."
He tries to laugh to break the tension but what comes out is a sharp huff that gets swallowed by the warm breeze. Michael has never felt so cold.

He doesn't ask her, why? but the question hangs in his eyes like as many stars.
He doesn't. He wouldn't. Even though asks this painful thing of him.
But he does want to know.

In the distance are Isra's dragon and Isra's daughters and Michael sees them now, bright and curious against the choppy surface of the lake.

@Isra






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Played by Offline nestle [PM] Posts: 367 — Threads: 37
Signos: 130
Night Court Sovereign
Female [she/her/hers] // Immortal [Year 497 Winter] // 15.1 hh // Hth: 60 — Atk: 60 — Exp: 101 // Active Magic: Transformation // Bonded: Fable (Sea Dragon)
#6

Isra the wind and the chain

"There is not enough air in the room but you are breathing."



Someday she will ask him things like: how, why, and who. Someday she will tuck their noses together in the tall-grass (that she's made into pearls and petals and golden dirt) and beg him to whisper of all the details. Moonlight will turn their skin into tones of silver and sometimes purple when the clouds sail low across the mountains. Shadows will paint tomes of blackness in the places where they touch. Like ink on paper their skin, their words, their love will become stories touched long after they turn to rot.

Someday.

But for now there is this tension between them. Two things that are both pulling hard like chain and pushing quick like wind that wants only to rush, and dance, and sing through a new-birch forest. Isra still doesn't know if she wants to be chain, or storm, or beast in the belly of the earth. All she knows is that there is this thing in her that is still so sad he left, and so grateful that she didn't touch him with blood on her lips.

Maybe that's why she loves him, for the way they each break and break, over and over again, until the world is nothing more than glass pieces cracking around them.

Maybe it's easy to love him because she's certain that he might leave again. Someday.

“I am glad.” She says. It's the truth and it's so much warmer than the pearls bouncing against their legs. Warmer than his winter skin beneath her lips and his icy huff of breath. She thinks she wasn't supposed to hear the way it sounds like breaking. The pearls turn to daises easier than the knife that started all of this once did.

At the water's edge her wild children are dancing across the bone-white shore. There are water willows and iris woven around their ears and their horns like crowns. Isra wonders what they are gods of this time. It's never queens, never royalty. It's always more, always everything. Fable is in the lake blowing bubbles for her twins to play in. Some part of Isra longs to be as carefree and as gentle as her sea-dragon.

Between the two of them she knows that she is more monster.

“Would you like to meet my children?” She says.

They will love you. She doesn't say. But it's in her eyes, it's always in her eyes, the shine of breaking.  





@Michael







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Played by Offline Cannon [PM] Posts: 71 — Threads: 16
Signos: 30
Night Court Entertainer
Male [He/Him/His] // 7 [Year 497 Summer] // 15 hh // Hth: 13 — Atk: 7 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: // Bonded:
#7

I swear to god
I wasn't born to fight.
Maybe just a little bit.
Enough to make me sick of it.
Here it is: the end of the rope. It hangs between them like a sorry mouth, like an arrow that glints in the sun as it sings away. He thinks only that he is sorry but that sorry should feel so much worse - but here is this unicorn in a field of pearls or daisies or rock turned to dream (rock onto which he beaches himself) and she does not say anything, does not reach any further, only tells him, I'm glad. He is staring at the rope and it is staring back but they do not reach hands toward each other.

Instead, "Come to think of it, I don't know that it's that easy."
This falls from him before he's ready, shatters at his feet and without looking he knows he is bleeding out, one gaping wound after another, wound upon wound upon wound. He still does not take the rope, though it begs him.

Please, Michael.
Just hold on.
The wind again, cool against his face. It feels like seafoam.

Somewhere, dry bones in the dirt, picked clean and bleached white. Somewhere, the rumble of thing as they bend inward and fold over themselves: trees, rock, the earth itself. Somewhere, clouds black as night, black as Isra's rage, and a gold horse watching it all go. Solemn. Mournful. And he is so very tired. And, somewhere, a unicorn and her dragon and her wild daughters like bolts of lightning racing toward the lake. The rope. Michael wraps it around his fist and tugs.

Would you like to meet my children?
His teeth ache. He says, "I would."

And then, there in the field, he raises his great and heavy head, to call out: "Hello, Fable! It's been a while."


@Isra





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Played by Offline nestle [PM] Posts: 367 — Threads: 37
Signos: 130
Night Court Sovereign
Female [she/her/hers] // Immortal [Year 497 Winter] // 15.1 hh // Hth: 60 — Atk: 60 — Exp: 101 // Active Magic: Transformation // Bonded: Fable (Sea Dragon)
#8

Isra who ate a galaxy

"Like black moonrise her voice fell still..."



If Michael is bleeding out, if he's dashed at the bottom of her hooves like a hundred bits of crystal that are all sharp and bloody, she's there trying to change each piece to something harder. When his words stumble out accidentally (like the way she's trying to think he left her) she can hear the way they fall like stones and ice. She knows it's the way they will always talk to each other, like two winter winds howling through the mountain pass and dreaming about being spring.

It's sorrow she can taste on her tongue, like wine, like Eik's skin, when she traces the curl of his ear. “It is never easy.” She says because it's like getting your throat cut, or your skin peeled back from your skin, it's like coming home even as you stop breathing. It's like eating a star.

And when she turns towards her children and her dragon she can feel it in her belly burning like acid and fire all at once. A daisy is crushed under her hoof before it becomes a bit of moss, soft and tufted, begging for the shade. She doesn't pause to wonder if it feels the change, if it enjoys it, or if it wanted to be a butterfly that lived on wind instead of by the power of roots and dirt.

She can feel him hold on tight, like she's Fable instead of Isra in the daisies and pearls. It feels like eating a sun instead of a star, still home, but not silver and moonlit. “Come on.” On her brow her horn swings like a divining rod pointing towards a crevice in the earth, or water, or a treasure. “They won't leave the water.” When she laughs it's softer than he's heard it before, a dandelion in the wind instead of an arrow flying for a heart.

Isra doesn't know which feels easy and which feels like a lie.

Her hooves kick up into a trot towards her children just as Fable turns to bellow a greeting that sounds like the sea crashing against a desert dune (as if it's a thing only gods might do). Isra, when she feels the press of his mind can feel all the eagerness and gentle hurt she feels reflected back at her after it's been tainted by the sea.

The sound is enough to make her children turn their but not enough to make their hooves leave the waterline. Nothing is ever enough for that.    





@Michael







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Played by Offline Cannon [PM] Posts: 71 — Threads: 16
Signos: 30
Night Court Entertainer
Male [He/Him/His] // 7 [Year 497 Summer] // 15 hh // Hth: 13 — Atk: 7 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: // Bonded:
#9


"I think we deserve
a soft epilogue, my love.
we are good people
and we've suffered enough."

Michael thinks, he would like to be a dragon.
Michael thinks that he could be big, sharp, dripping teeth, if he tried. He could be the bellowing roar that rocks through him as Isra leaves, and as he watches her go.

For a moment, he can't move. His hooves are roots in the wet soil and there are church bells around him, ringing loud - too loud to hear. He cannot tell if their song is a hymn or a dirge. Isra is steps ahead now and moving further, with her dragon and her children and Michael is standing. He has not become a dragon, himself. He is not big, sharp, dripping teeth. He is not a bellowing roar.

Michael is a whimper in the night, a breath caught behind teeth: flat, white bars like gravestones. White gravestones laid against the shady soil of his heart.

Isra is further still. Michael is thinking, maybe this is enough.
Michael is thinking, maybe this needs to be enough.

"I'm coming!" he says, too quiet for her to hear. Too quiet for himself to hear. Then he picks himself up to follow, lurching into a trot that sweeps him toward the lake. Behind him, his heavy tail is dragging Isra's magic things, echoes of a moment that's passed. He carries them away with the words piled up in his throat and they chase him into the distance.

He doesn't feel better - but he does feel something, and that's enough.






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