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Aster
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#1




I met a lady in the meads,
      Full beautiful—a faery’s child,
Her hair was long, her foot was light,
      And her eyes were wild.




Aster is a wild thing. 

There is nobody she answers to, no one she belongs to, except for the cheetah who sleeps curled around her like a comma and follows her like a shadow. Somewhere there is a brother, but she no longer misses his heartbeat beside hers, and the hollow space in her soul has long since been filled with the holy music of the wind and the waves and the storm. Only when she peers into a pool and sees her golden eyes assessing her does she think oh,, and feel like there is something she has lost. It is not a feeling she cares for, and so she runs with her cheetah a flash in the grasses before her, or lets him groom her with his rough tongue, or flies as high as she can until the cold brings tears to her eyes and his distressed pacing far, far below becomes something of a memory too. 

But there is one place that calls her like a mother, one bond that lies buried but will not break. And not even Teak can follow her there, not with the bridge gone, and when she goes (as she must always go) he lies on the coast with his head between his paws and waits as motionless as a creature carved from wood. 

She always knows when the island changes. She can feel it in her blood, or smell it on the wind, or hear it from the voices of the birds. And Aster does not always remember what it is that draws her back, but she always answers.

This time the change is blinding. 

The morning sun shines like starfire, so brightly it is difficult to land. Aster tucks her wings in tight and hurtles downward, a falling star herself, and the wind howls in her ears and it is luck alone that she does not dash herself to pieces on the jagged teeth of crystals. 

She stands alone among them, her breath fogging the surface of the nearest. There, distorted, her reflection observes her, and they are the only two living things in the world. 




@Leonidas | <3










Played by Offline Obsidian [PM] Posts: 123 — Threads: 14
Signos: 110
Inactive Character
#2

some memories never leave your bones.
like the salt in the sea; they become a part of you
- you carry them.


The boy has always come here. This is the place of his birth, of his greatest loss. He hears the whispers of the Island in his most fitful sleeping. He feels as if the magic of the island is twisted into the tapestry of his being. It is so deeply intertwined with the threads that bind him together. 


It is with fear and love that he walks the island in her new strange identity. He taps his golden tines upon the diamonds and hears the voice of the island singing. Leonidas listens, he does not look. So, he does not see when the mirrors reflect a strange world back at him, or when they show him his death, maybe soon, maybe far away. It is difficult to know. Immortality winds her way through his bones and sinew and makes him eternal. It lets him age, for now. But he feels her creeping magic whispering to his body, slower, slower. Soon he will stop ageing, but he hopes he might become a man before then.


The chimes of the mirrors reverberates into his ears. He wanders alone, as he always has - until so very recently. There are no leaves here, no verdant grasses to make his bed upon. The Island does not wish to be claimed by him, he can feel it in the way she always changes, insistent, never held down to one form for long. Ah, this changeling land. He feels her fire, her spirit in the way its fae-song sings out from his tines. An eerie song, full of peril. Leonidas listens like a bird. He has no answering call, excent the thrumming of his heart, beating out that ancient magic.


Sharpened glass bites at his knees, a warning, a move to grab his attention. The wild boy stops and, as if he is metal drawn to a magnet, he turns his head towards a girl. She stands within a mirror, as if she is in another world. He gazes at her and feels the strange twist of fate turning over in his belly.  He reaches forward and breathes upon the glass. She smudges away, lost beneath the silver of his breath. 


But when it clears, she is still there. He taps a tine upon the glass and it sings a different tune, one of old promises and old belongings, of dust gathered memories. The girl in the mirror is not looking at him, so he takes his time to look at her, Gold where he is gold, light where he is dark, her antlers a gilded crown to match his atop her head. 


Never does a boy think that the mirror might be weaving no magic, but simply showing him a girl as a lake shows him his reflection. He sighs and thinks that the girl should be called Aster. He does not stop to think why, but turns, and feels how a dark and long, empty part of him, suddenly feels alive. It blooms as gently to life as a heartbeat within a womb.


@Aster 
“Speaking.”
credits










Played by [PM] Posts: N/A — Threads:
Aster
Guest
#3




I met a lady in the meads,
      Full beautiful—a faery’s child,
Her hair was long, her foot was light,
      And her eyes were wild.




There are memories here among these shards of cratered stars, but they stubborn things.

Here is a slab of crystal-glass that reaches like a stalagmite and looks like a waterfall frozen in time. Around it are smaller bits of fine white gems like froth flung wide, sparkling bright among the snow. Aster stares at it for a moment, her ears twitching like a doe’s; and like a deer she drops her head, snorts, and turns away with a toss of fine branching antlers.

But there is another memory. It might have been a tree, once, an embracing beech with branches like cradling arms; now it is only a broken trunk of ice with twin crystals huddled beneath.

This time there is no birdsong here, no small animals chattering. There is only the sparse clouds making shadows overhead and her own reflection, sometimes reaching long, sometimes shrunken, sometimes wildly distorted. Aster knows better than to trust any of it as she moves through this foreign world.

Yet then, beyond her golden eyes, she spies another watcher. Aster falls still for a moment, hardly breathing, then steps up to the surface of the crystal. There is a boy there, a boy she knows, a boy who looks like her. They have the same gold beneath their wings like a secret, and in the ends of their hair like a god dipped it in a river of molten riches. She touches her nose to the boy’s curving shoulder and it is smooth and cold as a mirror.

When the boy turns away, Aster turns too.

Her breath escapes her in a soft sigh when she sees him. There is a complicated mixture of emotions that tighten her throat, constrict her heart, sting the place behind her eyes; she doesn’t like it. But there is another feeling, too, a weightless, ecstatic kind of joy, a righting of something she had forgotten was wrong. A wholeness.

There is no indecision in her steps when she picks her way to him, ignoring the false-brothers that watch her from her peripheral vision, a thousand boys stretching away to eternity and none that she can touch. She is not so easily fooled, half-fae daughter of a god she is, and in moments she is standing before his true self.

She moves to touch her forehead to his, a gesture as natural as taking a breath. “Leonidas,” she says, softly as a lamb, gently as a shepherd.




@Leonidas | <3










Played by Offline Obsidian [PM] Posts: 123 — Threads: 14
Signos: 110
Inactive Character
#4

some memories never leave your bones.
like the salt in the sea; they become a part of you
- you carry them.


He has a thousand sisters and each stretch on for an eternity, held behind glass, entombed by magic. Yet none are like his sister of flesh and blood and beating heart. 


They turn from the mirrors, their movement in unison, for time is neither fast, nor slow, nor uneven when they are close. He sees her and this sister is not made of glass nor deceptive magic. She is not a creature made of dreams and hopes. Her body is not woven from the vestiges of memories that try to paint themselves in a more vivid hue in the hopes he might still remember her a little longer. 


No. His sister is brighter than the snow. She moves and the island responds. It sings as her small feet tap upon the glass, the wind blows and her hair stirs with its touch. He hears her breath, full of more sound than his imagination could make for her. 


Oh, Leonidas stares and thinks of how she is nothing like his memories. It was easier to see that strange girl within those stranger mirrors. In those he could explain away her height and the way childhood seems like a ghost upon her now. He remembers a baby, but the sister that comes to him now is an adolescent girl.


This new sister of his moves until her brow presses upon his. The orphan boy’s eyes close as light and dark and endless gold meet and remember and reforge themselves in a moment. Leonidas leans into her, through the wall of emotions that gather around him. Joy, as bright and commanding as hers, shatters his emotions. It rules over everything in this reunion. There is time for pain and hurt and anger later. There is always later for these twins who can stop time with the smallest twist of desire.


“Aster.” The boy breathes his sister’s name and smells the strange magic, the feral herbs that cling to her skin. Then, then, sudden as lightning, he pulls himself from her, putting space between them. He looks back, wary as a stag and as ready as one to protect himself. “You are a ghost.” He says, sharply, dismissively. Leonidas knows that she is flesh and blood and oh so real. But every part of her within his life has been turned to little more than haunting memories when she stepped from his life as easy as if she stepped into death.



@Aster 
“Speaking.”
credits










Played by [PM] Posts: N/A — Threads:
Aster
Guest
#5




I met a lady in the meads,
      Full beautiful—a faery’s child,
Her hair was long, her foot was light,
      And her eyes were wild.




He accuses her of being a ghost and at first she only smiles. She looks a little like a ghost, then, or maybe a china doll, smooth-cheeked and guileless; and hasn’t she felt a little like a ghost, these past months-into-years? Hasn’t she been nothing more than a phantom in the forest, pale as the fog and gold as the last crease of sunlight before darkness?

But perhaps Aster is tired of being a ghost. She meets his wary eyes and doesn’t look away as she kicks out viciously with one hind hoof. A reflection of the pair of them shatters with the sound of a star crumbling. Within her magic whispers, and the bits of glass and star-stuff drift slowly as feathers to the ground.

“Am I a ghost, Leonidas?” she says, half-taunting, and her heart beats faster in her breast. Don’t forget me, it begs, don’t forget me, but there is no fear or concern in her expression - only interest, a little disdain to match his own dismissiveness.

The pieces hung suspended like diamond dust drop at once when she advances on him. Aster presses her cheek against one of his budding tines hard enough to dimple the skin. “Do you want to cut me and make sure I bleed?”


@Leonidas | <3










Played by Offline Obsidian [PM] Posts: 123 — Threads: 14
Signos: 110
Inactive Character
#6

some memories never leave your bones.
like the salt in the sea; they become a part of you
- you carry them.


You are a ghost.


He knows she is not, even as he says it. Still his brow remembers her skin. It still feels the heat of her against him. It reminds his body how it was tangled with hers in the womb. They are one, made together at the beginning of everything. He knows it. The wild-wood boy knows this belonging and so why does his loneliness protest? Why does it cry out and yawn, as open and deep as a vast chasm?


His heart beats slower. Slower than Leonidas knows it should. It is her, he can almost feel how her magic reaches into his chest and demands it slow down. It slows, liek the glass that falls quiet and graceful as snow from her foot. But the sound remains, high pitched and sudden. He startles, a wild boy, not used to the sounds of handmade things. His twin smiles and it is a phantom grin. The boy longs to reach for his sibling again and press his nose into the slim curve of her neck, breath in the strangeness of her, the way she is him and her and years of separation. 


But he does not. He lets his eyes trickle along her smile aloof as a cat, as a phantom. The gold of her is as leaves turning in the fall. The white of her, snarls of mist melting in the midday sun. Her brother wonders if he blinks, will she be gone again?


Then she advances upon him, stalking like a panther bleached to bone-white. She lifts her cheek to a tine and presses until he feels the weight of her question against his crown. His ears fall and he twists away, his brace of antlers arcing like the limbs of a tree caught in a gust. He does not care if she is cut with his move, but he looks back, to see if a crimson line lies upon her porcelain cheek. He still wishes to know, to his shame, if she is real. Leonidas knows it, as readily as he knew when he climbed the island today it was to find her, only her. Of course she is real!


The boy presses his golden gaze upon his twin and it might as well be a dagger of blistering sunlight. Sharply, sharply he regards her. No, the boy thinks. You are no ghost.


She is a wild thing like him. But a different one, one made of darker forces, stranger things that weave her together from Time and dust and ancient magic. He feels slow beside her, slow as he always has. The world groans in its slowness, it feels as if it almost stands still. The glass about her limbs surely does. 


“Why did you go?” A brother asks his twin. “What took you so long to come to me again?” Leonidas asks like a greedy child. Was he not content to rot in his woodland, tying his antlers up in the vines of loneliness. He grows like a solitary wild flower.


And he thinks with jealousy of all the unicorn twins and how they would all die for each other. But none of them had a brother, and maybe that was why.


@Aster 
“Speaking.”
credits










Played by [PM] Posts: N/A — Threads:
Aster
Guest
#7




I met a lady in the meads,
      Full beautiful—a faery’s child,
Her hair was long, her foot was light,
      And her eyes were wild.




Leonidas twists away, and his antler does not pierce her skin. But it does leave a smear of golden dust on her cheek, like a trail of dust from a butterfly’s wing, or a kiss of pollen from a daylily.

“Don’t you remember? There was a storm. There was a wind, I blew away with it. It knocked down so many of the trees…” Is it true? Is it a lie, a test, a memory? Certainly she can see the way the tops of the trees were tossed that day when they were not quite yearlings, can hear the groaning of the limbs and the roar of the wind and smell the sharp ozone on the air.

But there have been many storms since their parting.

When she looks at him, Aster imagines that her blood is running a little faster in her veins. Her breaths, certainly, come a little quicker now, eager things like waves lapping a shoreline. His magic touches her the same way hers does in return; their magics reach for one another deep within them like trembling vines and roots, desperate to tangle back together.

“I looked for you. But it is a big world, brother.” There is no apology in her tone, but there is something soft and malleable in the gold of her eyes as she ponders the gold in his. Aster doesn’t know the shape of the word sorry, but her soul knows the shape of his, and has missed it.

“I won’t lose you now,” she says, and her expression is as beatific as a girl-saint in a relic.

Oh, Aster would die for him (would kill for him, too). He would only need to ask.



@Leonidas | <3










Played by Offline Obsidian [PM] Posts: 123 — Threads: 14
Signos: 110
Inactive Character
#8

some memories never leave your bones.
like the salt in the sea; they become a part of you
- you carry them.



His blood wants to run, his heart wants to fall into a staccato beat, but her magic is in his blood, it commands his body to slow, slow, slow. Her soul is knitting itself back into his. It eases over the scars of his heart, it twines like sinking roots of a great oak.


Slowly her brother realises that his sister was never gone. Aster’s roots have always been there within him. They were planted seeds at their conception and they have grown like tangling roots and twining limbs. They interlock like the strings of time, endless and eternal. She never left him, he merely forgot her.


Aster turns her face to him like a lily toward the sun and about them the world slows beneath the shadow hand of their magic. It skips like music from a scratched disc. Horses start and stop as time grows unsettled and changes with the reunion of these twins. 


She tells him of a storm at their parting. Her words are a gale in his ears, her voice howling. The memory steals the breath from his lungs with a gust. A wind blew her away, like a shaving of wood, a petal, a flower. His sibling was always destined to drift, like him. But she has roamed better places than he. She has always been braver, wilder than him. Was that not the nature of the women in their family? He does not know it yet, but he has always seen it in her. Leonidas will learn his place within their family, the role of the men with their wide, lonely and wanting eyes and the women who will not rest. 


He frowns a the thought of a storm. He does not remember, he does not wish to. Leonidas turns his leonine eyes upon her and holds his sister in the claws and the teeth of that look. But she is untouchable to him - or so she feels (though his magic nulls hers as hers nulls his). 


His sister makes her vow standing bold and bright as porcelain. If he touched her, would she shatter? Would her promise break into sharp shards that will cut him for eternity. Still the wildling has not answered his strangeling sister. His look is enough to stop everything around them. “That is something mother would say,” her lonely brother says at last. Each word is quiet, dripping with distrust. “But it did not stop her leaving either.”


And with a final look he leaves his sister like the storm that stole her. The beating of his wings cracks the air like lightning. The air stirs like a gust beneath his gilded feathers. His leaving is ripping the place where her soul reunited with his - no, where he was reminded her soul had always been, just forgotten, choked by weeds and forgotten things and a smothering darkness of hurt and solitude. 


He flees her, having become so very good at fleeing girls. Loneliness reigns, his unrelenting illness and pain and yet the refuge into which he turns, only to become more sick more agonised with its love.


@Aster 
“Speaking.”
credits











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