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Played by Offline sid [PM] Posts: 32 — Threads: 8
Signos: 285
Dawn Court Citizen
Female [she/her/hers] // Immortal [Year 505 Winter] // 16 hh // Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 19 // Active Magic: Necrobotany // Secondary Magic: // Bonded: N/A
#1






isolt.
I hate the city — I tell myself I hate the city. I hate that it always smells of piss and perfume, the tight walls barricading me in, how every step on the cobblestone roads echoes in my bones. I hate the people, and their worries that mean nothing to a god, their prayers that fall on empty ears.

But all those people, packed together like sheep to the slaughter —

they call to me.

And the magic in my blood calls them to come home, come home, come home to die.


A single tower pierces the sky like a spear, a statue of a rearing horse serving as the spearhead.

Even from here, Isolt can see Vespera’s colors, can see the way her head is tucked back against her shoulder. And the horses wandering the streets just below her watchful eye, going about their day without ever knowing of the danger that lurks just outside their city walls.

She tries, oh how she tries to see the beauty in it. And some part of her, the part that is not a monster trapped in a unicorn’s body, the part that remembers what it feels like to be born — that part of Isolt can see it. The way the light fractures into all their colors across her brow, the way the sunset is captured in swirls across her stony skin, the tender look of a mother looking over her flock of children that make up the city. Something in Vespera’s eyes makes her own soften, turn from blood-red to rubies frosted in the winter chill.

But the rest of her sees only the violence, and the tears dripping like blood down the goddess’ cheeks from all the prayers she could not answer.

And it makes her want to run, run, run straight to the citadel and tear the statue apart rib by rib. She wonders now, if destroying a god — or even the likeness of a god — would be the same as destroying their creations. If it would fill the aching inside of her, if sinking her teeth into stone and glass would soothe her hunger in a way the grass never has. Oh, the wondering alone gnaws at her now like a wolf, and every bit of her magic is coming alive inside of her and howling at the statue that has become her moon.

Her heart aches with every beat.

Her teeth ache when she clenches her jaw together like she’s chewing out the marrow of a femur.

Her magic aches when she does not move any closer to the city.

Everything in her is screaming and sobbing and singing at once, begs her to take, take, take and devour the court until only its bones are left gleaming as a reminder in the fading light. Her monster, her terrible, lovely monster sleeping in the pit of her stomach is twitching with dreams of the hunt.

And around her hooves, the first few blades of glass turn black and brittle. Her magic whispers home. This ring of death creeping out around her is home.

Isolt blinks slow and long and dreamlike. And when she opens her eyes their is a mare, winged and autumnal and marked like something belonging to the forest. And before she can begin to wonder why, Isolt is stepping forward to meet her, close enough to see each serrated edge of the leaf on her brow.



§

i wonder what i look like
in your eyes


« r » | @Nicnevin





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Played by Offline Jeanne [PM] Posts: 57 — Threads: 12
Signos: 200
Dusk Court Soldier
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 2 [Year 503 Fall] // 17 hh // Hth: 8 — Atk: 12 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: N/A // Secondary Magic: // Bonded: N/A
#2



WHAT IS DEAD AND WHAT WILL LIVE SHARE THE SAME BED.
tomb-cradle: another definition of Stigma.


I am, slowly, becoming acquainted with the concept of winter.

The cold still bothers me, in a way, and the listlessness; it is strange to walk through a forest in the morning and find it leafless, or look into a pond and find it still, or to see snow. I can still scarcely wrap my head around the concept. The frost that grows like flowers on the windows in the morning during the coldest parts of autumn was shocking enough. Discovering what water was like when it froze over – that something could freeze at all - was a different experience entirely.

I was mystified by the ice and snow, at first. I still am.

I find the cold far less mystifying. At first, it was sharp and wonderful; every biting wind was something to be cherished. I am already tiring of it, however, and I am not sure I should take pride in the adjustment or that it should horrify me. (I have already made up my mind to cherish every bit of this world, while I am still in it – every bit of spellbinding beauty, and every ugly tangle.)

I can barely see the citadel, from where I am standing in the fields. When I am within it, I still find myself staring up, and I do now, too, towards the furthest and highest reaches of the great, stone structure. I wonder when it will become uninteresting. The thought that it might is alarming.

The grass was dense, when I arrived. Winter has killed it, or else put it to sleep - it has yellowed and browned in equal measures. The result is somber; a landscape of dull, sickly shades impressed against a cloudy grey sky. I wonder if it will snow again soon.

The faded colors make it all the easier to see her, when I do.

There is a girl – maybe – approaching me. I think that she is younger than me, though I do not think that she is younger by much. (It is hard to tell; something in the way she carries herself.) I am not sure if she is the red of a rose-bloom or blood. Perhaps there is no distinction; I have been the blade plunged into the chest of some careless enemy, and I have seen with my unseeing eyes the way that it can spread out like the petals of a newborn flower.

I decide to split the difference. She is red in the way that a holly-berry is red, and the splash of white across her coat is like patches of snow.

(She carries winter about her in more than simple coloration. As she steps closer, I notice the way that the grass grows black and brittle beneath her hooves; what she touches seems to die.)

She comes closer and closer, her stare halfway between vacant and terribly alert. When she finally stops, I would barely have to move to touch her; the corkscrew spire of her horn is precariously close to my face.

“Hello,” I say, softly. “Who are you?”





@Isolt || I adore her. | preface of Stigmata, Cixous

"Speech!" 




@







EVERYTHING IS RISK, SHE WHISPERED.
if you doubt, it becomes sand trickling through skeletal fingers.


please tag Nic! contact is encouraged, short of violence



Reply




Played by Offline sid [PM] Posts: 32 — Threads: 8
Signos: 285
Dawn Court Citizen
Female [she/her/hers] // Immortal [Year 505 Winter] // 16 hh // Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 19 // Active Magic: Necrobotany // Secondary Magic: // Bonded: N/A
#3






isolt.
I wonder if she knows — if any of them know. When they look at me, do they see only a unicorn? Or do they see too the monster hiding beneath my skin, the one sharpening its claws on my heart?

I am not sure why I find the thought unsettling. I know I am a monster, a thing-which-should-not-exist. I know it as surely as I know the sound of my sister’s heart beating next to my own.

So why, then, do I hope others do not see it, too?


There is not a moment that goes by that Isolt does not find herself searching for something. She looks for it now in the pulse thrumming just at the corner of the other girl’s jaw, in every jagged edge of the leaf marking her brow. When she tilts her head back she counts every invisible vertebrae lining her back and the ribs that wrap like a mother’s arms around her chest, protecting the one organ that seemed always determined to run away, away, away.

It takes effort to not let herself be the one carving it free.

Her horn quivers upon her brow, ready to make the first cut. Isolt knows she could do it, knows all she needs to do is lower her head to the space between the first and second rib, knows all it would take is one quick thrust, a slash, a twist (she does not know how she knows — a part of her is afraid to ask.) The bloodlust rises like a wave inside of her, sudden and forceful, bearing down with all the weight of a god upon her spine.

She closes her eyes against it, and sees her own hunger and ache spiderwebbed across the backs of her eyelids in red. It’s beautiful, she thinks, in the way that lightning is beautiful: in its promise of violence, blooming in arcane patterns that rend the world in two.

When she opens her eyes again — slowly, slower than a living thing should, counting only the heartbeats fluttering beneath their skins and not the seconds that tick by — she wants to trace her horn down the girl’s brow and ask her why she is marked like a forest. She wants to know which world loved her so because she knows it was not this one, it was not her forest, and because she wants to travel to that other world and unmake it. She wants to carve lines of rot into every forest not her own, until every tree collapses beneath her hooves and an army of dead things claw their way atop them.

But instead she pulls away from her, and begs all the wolves howling inside of her to be still.

“Hello.” The greeting makes her feel almost-normal, even when it hangs stale and broken from her teeth. And yet when she offers her name, she thinks it would have been better had the girl asked what she was instead of who. “I am Isolt.”

All the wolves inside of her are still yipping and snarling and rushing against her throat. Isolt swallows them down, all of them, and feels them turn their teeth and their fangs upon her heart instead. It hurts, oh, it hurts to not close the distance between them with a flash of her blood-red horn, to not pluck the question from this foreign girl’s skin like a violinist plucking chords from the strings of his instrument. She wants to make music of her bones, and art of her blood. She wants it more than death.

But she can still see Vespera watching her, watching over her flock — and she knows she is the wolf the goddess is there to protect her sheep from.

Can the other girl see it, too? Does the lamb feel fear before the slaughter, or do they not even see it coming?

She swallows again, and asks, “who are you?” But the wind whistling through the spindle of bone on her brow sounds like it is asking a question of its own.



§

i wonder what i look like
in your eyes


« r » | @Nicnevin





Reply




Played by Offline Jeanne [PM] Posts: 57 — Threads: 12
Signos: 200
Dusk Court Soldier
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 2 [Year 503 Fall] // 17 hh // Hth: 8 — Atk: 12 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: N/A // Secondary Magic: // Bonded: N/A
#4



WHAT IS DEAD AND WHAT WILL LIVE SHARE THE SAME BED.
tomb-cradle: another definition of Stigma.


Her blood-eyed stare is unnerving.

I can’t say for sure what it feels like to watch her watching me, to trace her stare down the curve of my throat. The sensation of her stare is not something that I can compare to anything else – not a strangling vine or a prowling cat, though it is somehow similar to both. There is a way that it makes my skin crawl, though I do not quiver away from her, even when the tip of her horn dances close to my skin and my nerves burn with the urge to run. It is a violent point, and she is so close, and there are haze-heavy memories that linger like a sharp edge in the back of my mind. I only remember bits and pieces of that lifetime, but I think that the thing I remember most viscerally, maybe even as viscerally as I remember him -

is the way that I died. I could point out the place on this newborn body where the sword would have to enter to mimic it. In my second lifetime, I was always a bit jumpier around sharp objects; even when I clenched my own sword, even though I had been a sword, there was something about the point of the blade that filled my mouth with copper. I wasn’t afraid of it, exactly. (How could you possibly be afraid of something you had been, however terrible?) The easiest way to explain it is by saying: she still lingers inside of me, somewhere, nameless and raveling, and she remembers it. But I am not her, or her; I am Nicnevin, and there is a unicorn with her horn too-close to the soft canvas of my skin. Those red, red eyes flicker closed. That is nearly worse, because, without the sight of them, I cannot understand what she is thinking at all.

She pulls away like a cobweb ripped from branches; slow and lingering, white spindles in her wake.

Hello, she says, in kind, her voice and her greeting so nearly-normal that I can almost forget the twining spire of her horn, I am Isolt. I repeat the name inside of my head. (I am sure that I have heard a story with an Isolt before, but that was lifetimes ago. I am sure that she was a different kind of Isolt, too.) Who are you?

The question makes me feel – strange. If you were to ask me why, I couldn’t tell you; I’ve never felt wrong about it before. I think that it must be something in the cadence of my voice. “I am…” and my voice seems to taper off, as though for a moment I have forgotten my own name, “Nicnevin.”

I know better than to think that I am still myself – or the self that I used to be. I don’t know why the sound of my name nearly feels wrong on my tongue. Perhaps, I think, it is because of the unicorn. Perhaps it is because of the way that she came too close, closer than any stranger should, with her jewel-red eyes and horn. Perhaps it is because of the way that she looked at me.

Surely, it should have been frightening. Surely, she shouldn't be frightening at all. She is smaller than me. More delicate. Not delicate at all. And - something about the way she carries herself seems to beg parts of me that have long been buried, shroud or sword, to the surface. I think that is it.

I don’t know why she came to me; surely it isn’t normal to come up to a stranger like that and linger so, so close. (It might be some symptom of youth – this body of mine is always pressing me to actions that never seem fully compatible with my state of mind. How many times have I started at some small, unthreatening creature or stumbled over the shape of my own hooves? Surely all girls are the same, as they grow into themselves.) “Did you…” I trail off again, and bite my tongue back so that I don’t lick my lips, “…want something, Isolt?”

Perhaps there is something that I am missing. 



@Isolt || <3 <3 <3 | preface of Stigmata, Cixous

"Speech!" 




@







EVERYTHING IS RISK, SHE WHISPERED.
if you doubt, it becomes sand trickling through skeletal fingers.


please tag Nic! contact is encouraged, short of violence



Reply




Played by Offline sid [PM] Posts: 32 — Threads: 8
Signos: 285
Dawn Court Citizen
Female [she/her/hers] // Immortal [Year 505 Winter] // 16 hh // Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 19 // Active Magic: Necrobotany // Secondary Magic: // Bonded: N/A
#5






isolt.
What is a monster who does not wish to be a monster?

I ask myself this sometimes, when I look at my sister and a flower both wilts and blooms against her lip, when she tries to be more life than death. I know it hurts, this magic of our’s that is killing her as surely as it is giving me life. I know it the same way I know this winter we were born into can not last forever, even when I have known nothing else.

Maybe I have become the more terrible monster, to save her from it instead.


She pauses.

Isolt counts the seconds like she counts heartbeats, and bones, and pulses fluttering in the curves of mortals’ throats. All the world seems shrunken down to this, to this fragile space separating them, to the thread hanging invisibly between them that feels all the while as though it is pulling her in, pulling her closer, as if she could reach out and drag the words from her throat.

She pauses, and Isolt feels as though she is hanging onto the end of the silence, waiting on every word.


And she is not sure why.

Nicnevin.

She sighs, her lungs fluttering like a pair of autumn leaves caught in the wind. It is the sound of a thing dying, she thinks, of winter and hunger settling into all the places where other unicorns have only light, and laughter, and a magic that spreads like moonlight instead of darkness. And yet there is a moment when she opens her eyes and looks at the leaf spread across her brow, that she wishes —

She almost wishes that she were spring instead of winter. That the smell of the other girl’s skin, the sweet way magic and memories cling to her and make Isolt’s heart settle into a war-drum beat. But she recognizes the silence, the way her voice tapers as if she is trying to decide if iwho she is matches what she is. Her horn aches for music, the kind it would make when it rends the air in two and waters the snow with blood, and still, still, she raises it instead of lowers it. Magic is running wild in her veins and there is nothing for it to reach for, nothing but the skin of a girl marked by another world’s forest, and for once, Isolt wishes for a flower to make rot instead.

Somewhere below the snow, roots are turning black and brittle. Someday when the spring comes, there will be a patch of grass that does not grow, where the wildflowers dare not send their roots.

And it is not enough. It is not nearly enough for the magic that trembles like something coming alive inside of a body that has only ever been dying before. It will never be enough to satisfy the wolves that claw at the back of her throat like beasts of winter half-starved, half-dead.

When she swallows again, Isolt tastes the bright tang of copper coating the back of her tongue.

She holds Nicnevin’s question there between her teeth, chewing over the words like someone who has forgotten how to speak her own. “Is there —“ Oh, if only she knew all the things Isolt wanted that dance like an executioner with a sword in her dreams.

“Is there something I should want from you?”

Other than each beat of her heart, and every drop of her blood, and all the notes of her almost-musical soul that fill the space between them. She hears it, and her magic hears it, too, and the blade of her tail starts to tap against the snow along to its rhythm.



§

i wonder what i look like
in your eyes


« r » | @Nicnevin





Reply




Played by Offline Jeanne [PM] Posts: 57 — Threads: 12
Signos: 200
Dusk Court Soldier
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 2 [Year 503 Fall] // 17 hh // Hth: 8 — Atk: 12 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: N/A // Secondary Magic: // Bonded: N/A
#6



WHAT IS DEAD AND WHAT WILL LIVE SHARE THE SAME BED.
tomb-cradle: another definition of Stigma.


I am left wondering, in the silence between my question and an answer: am I frightened? Should I be? I feel – I don’t feel like the shudder of branches when the wind runs through them. I do not feel like the mouse in a fox’s paws. I don’t feel like I am standing on a crumbling bridge, either, and falling with the buckling wood into the rapids below. If I had to describe it as anything, I would say that I feel like the moment before any of those things happen. I feel a bit like brittle branches, clinging desperately to their few, frail leaves. I feel like the mouse who suddenly shudders and looks over her shoulder, her black eyes growing by a fraction or two. Most of all, I feel like I am standing on a bridge, and I hear a creak that sounds unnatural.

I don’t know what she wants from me. (I don’t know what I want from her, but I am starting to think that I, in some barely-remembered way-)

Is there- she says, and stumbles over it in a way that, somehow, does not suit her; I do not feel like she should be an uncertain creature. (But maybe that makes her a bit more charming, a bit easier to grasp, a bit more less like some thing or force and a bit more like a girl who just happens to possess a blade between two red, red eyes.) I wonder why she is hesitating. I wonder more when she asks, Is there something I should want from you?

Two things come to mind immediately, when she says it: I’m not sure, and, more innately, more certainly, with a voice that is not Nicnevin’s but instead comes from someone else (perhaps the blade, though I do not think that it ever learned to speak but for the way it sung when it was swung, when it carved through bone), yes. I am not sure which one of the two is true, or right, but I do know which one is easier to get out of my mouth.

“I-“ My tongue catches over the words, and I am forced to admit, “I don’t know.” I don’t. I haven’t been able to guess at her intentions; she is somehow alien, a collection of familiar parts pieced together in unfamiliar ways. I am not quite sure what I make of that, yet. I am used to finding outsiders strange, but she is not quite strange in any way that I think an outsider should be. I am curious in ways that I am not sure that I should be, curious in ways that I am sure that the priestesses would scold me over. It is one thing to stumble into something by accident. It is quite another to look too deeply at something you shouldn’t, to apply pressure to a blackening bruise.

I find myself continuing, regardless. “When I saw you approach me – I thought that there was.”

Maybe it was the way that she was moving. The shift of her form, like a drip of blood, in the snow; the way she is like a wound, carving and carving, spreading and spreading. Maybe it was simply how close she came to me, the proximity of my skin to the tip of her horn, or maybe it was the red gleam of her eyes, which remind me, somehow, of what it felt like to decompose. Maybe it was the blade that I could not see at the time, but finally noticed, because it is tapping some halfway-familiar melody against the snow. (Maybe it has been singing all along, and I just didn’t recognize it.)

All I can say is that I saw her, and I thought-





@Isolt || <3 <3 <3 | preface of Stigmata, Cixous

"Speech!" 




@







EVERYTHING IS RISK, SHE WHISPERED.
if you doubt, it becomes sand trickling through skeletal fingers.


please tag Nic! contact is encouraged, short of violence



Reply




Played by Offline sid [PM] Posts: 32 — Threads: 8
Signos: 285
Dawn Court Citizen
Female [she/her/hers] // Immortal [Year 505 Winter] // 16 hh // Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 19 // Active Magic: Necrobotany // Secondary Magic: // Bonded: N/A
#7






isolt.
I cannot stop watching her pulse drum against the corner of her jaw.

There is a hollow there that I know well, too well. A soft spot just behind the mandible, an artery tucked in neatly against her throat. I can hear her blood singing from it. And in it I can hear all the things I want from her.


Her blood is whispering to her of a thousand ways to make a garden out of her bones, and a thousand means by which to unmake her. It’s all there in every drop of her magic, every terrible hum of violence that crawls up her spine and lingers there at the base of it. It’s all sharp edges and bone-bright flashes. There are wolves howling in her bones and something feral blinking back with her eyes. Each monster, every wicked thing that sleeps in the darkness of her forest and hunts in the moonlight while her father sleeps in a castle, they all are coming awake inside of her.

And that rage that was there at her birth — the first thing she remembers when she opened her eyes and looked upon a world that she would never belong in — oh how it grows, and grows, and grows. And it burns.

Isolt is swallowing down the floodwaters of it and still it continues to rise.

And the higher it creeps up the back of her throat, the more she begins to wonder why she doesn’t let it consume her. Because her magic is still singing back to the pegasus’ blood, still crying come home, come home, come home with all the warning sounds of a starving wolf leading the sled dogs to the slaughter. And even with Vespera watching her in the distance, the only beauty she sees is in the way Nicnevin lingers long enough that their shadows begin to blend into one (nothing that wants to live stands so close to a unicorn’s horn without flinching.)

This was the thing her magic, her body, the furious beating of her heart was made for. And for the first time she wonders how her twin can smile without snapping her teeth, or laugh without watching for the way others bare their throats as they join her. And as the tempo of her hunger reaches a fever-pitch that sounds to her like a monster begging to be released, she is listening. And she is leaning into it bit by fragile bit.

“There is something I want.” There is no gentleness to be found in her voice. And if her eyes are whispering I understand beneath her blood-red horn then it is the blade itself whispering I am death. And death always wants.

It is wanting as her blood begs for more. Her wrath begs for the soft curl of her throat to press against so that she might begin to unmake her, and paint a new story with the pieces left behind when the brightness leaves her eyes.

But she blinks, and takes another step back. She can barely hear the way the snow crunches beneath her hooves over all her fury singing tomes of hunger and destruction to her. And she tries not to notice the way the screaming of her heart turns to sobs when she spins on one heel and runs, runs from the pegasus with her bloody eyes and the hunger that only she can see wrapped like a noose around the fragile curl of her neck.

She runs.

And she does not stop until she can no longer see Vespera watching her from the distance.



§

i wonder what i look like
in your eyes


« r » | @Nicnevin





Reply




Played by Offline Jeanne [PM] Posts: 57 — Threads: 12
Signos: 200
Dusk Court Soldier
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 2 [Year 503 Fall] // 17 hh // Hth: 8 — Atk: 12 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: N/A // Secondary Magic: // Bonded: N/A
#8



WHAT IS DEAD AND WHAT WILL LIVE SHARE THE SAME BED.
tomb-cradle: another definition of Stigma.


Maybe this is all residual memory.

Most nights, in my dreams, I am not myself – that is to say, I am not Nicnevin, not this girl, not my newest incarnation. I am Nicnevin. (I am more than Nicnevin.) You are always the life that you are born into, the skin and the face and the form, and you are never quite any of your other selves again. Most of the time, they don’t remain with a clarity that is in any way pure, and trying to remember them is like grasping for something in dirty water; the more you stir it, the more dark and silty it becomes.

It is easiest in dreams, though I don’t remember most of mine. The priestesses say that it is because your body cannot reject your old souls as easily when you are unconscious, and you are less inclined to fight against them. Sometimes I remember them like flickers of light through a canopy. Sometimes, I don’t remember anything at all.

If you ask me what it feels like to die: I would tell you that it is like walking through a door. You are on one side, and then you are on the other; you step over one threshold and into another.

If you ask me what it is like to be dead, or death: I would tell you that the closest I have ever come to either is the form of a blade, and that blood-drinking thing was not quite the same at all.

If you ask me what the girl is like: I would look at the red of her eyes and the wicked point of her horn, which is closer to me than I know that any sharp thing should ever be, and I would say, I don’t know, but she is familiar.

(Maybe, if I knew better, I would say that she is like a doorway, or a threshold, or-)

There is something I want, she says, and the sound of her voice runs a shiver up my spine. I don’t know if it is fear or anticipation, and, more than that, I don’t know why I’m standing still. She hasn’t done anything, but there is something in my stare that tells me, even more than the coil of her horn, that I am in danger. I stand before her, regardless, and something in me wants desperately to know, and I can hear my breath in my mouth and my heart in my ears-

But then she runs.

Her red form strikes through the snow like the opening of a wound, and I almost call her name – and ask her to stay, ask her what she wanted -, but instead my hooves are trained to the ground and frozen, as it were, as the grass beneath.

(I wonder if she knows all the ways that the winter wind, as she leaves, sings with teeth like the blade on the tip of her tail.)

I do not leave until I can no longer see her, and, even when I turn and begin my slow walk back to the court, I cannot quite shake the memory of her eyes from my mind.




@Isolt || <3 <3 <3 | preface of Stigmata, Cixous

"Speech!" 




@







EVERYTHING IS RISK, SHE WHISPERED.
if you doubt, it becomes sand trickling through skeletal fingers.


please tag Nic! contact is encouraged, short of violence



Reply





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