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Played by Offline Jeanne [PM] Posts: 70 — Threads: 17
Signos: 0
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
#1



I'LL BE YOUR SWEETEST MOUTH IF YOU LET ME - 
watch me reach down my throat, cut my teeth / on a new name. If you open wide / and swallow deep, you can even forget / the taste of all that blood.


I am looking at my corpse from ten feet away.

It might be wrong to call the bloody body in the mirror “mine.” That is my last moment as her, but now I am Nicnevin – we are not quite the same, or not even enough of the same to make me turn my head when she took her last, ragged breaths around the blade caught between her ribs. I stare at it, caught somewhere between utterly detached and strangely curious. I had nearly forgotten the look of my own face, as her; I had certainly forgotten the green of my eyes, glossy and veiled in milk-sheen as they are in death. It only hurt a moment. It doesn’t hurt anymore.

I only remember this part of the story in fragments. I know, at some point, that my body will be found. (I do not know how it will be found; I do not know who will find it. I wonder if they will collapse to their knees, sobbing, or if they will look at my body like a stranger, with no expression on their face at all.) I know that it will be skinned, at least in parts, and I know that one of the rib-bones will be taken from me. (I do not know how I will be skinned. I do not know who will commit the careful deed of scraping away my fur, then the meat that keeps them from my bones. I do not know why they chose the rib. I do not know why they cut me up, though I know – I feel – that it was an honor.) And then I know that my oldest friend will carve me, press divots like vines and blooming flowers into the white canvas of my bone. Even this I only know from my reflection in other mirrors, his form slumped over me as he worked. A sword does not know what it looks like. It only knows what it means to cut.

I have seen myself as many things, as I have walked through this maze of mirrors. But – standing in the very center of a circle of jagged, toothy outgrowths of crystal, staring my dead body in the face – I finally freeze. I am not quite perplexed. I am not quite disturbed. (I accepted her death countless years ago.) Still, I don’t want to tear my eyes away from her. I don’t need closure, and I’m not upset about that life; I don’t even miss it. As I stare at her eyes, which are cooling and becoming less like eyes and more like glass marbles with each passing moment, however, I cannot help but think that this might be like what closure would have been.

(But, of course, there is no closure for your own deaths. No one is ever granted that.)

I only see the unicorn because of her emerging reflection, which is  cast over my corpse – because of the thin red spire of her horn, which seems to catch in the light in the way that most dangerous things do. I turn in a flurry of chestnut hair to meet her, and I find that I don’t know what to say. I don’t know anything about this land; I don’t know what to say about my reflection, which is so different from Nicnevin. I don’t know what to say when I look at her eyes and find that they are red – in a different way from the one of mine. I settle for a soft, “Hello.”

My past life lingers behind me, curved like a pale, bloodied halo.




@Danaë || terribly excited to write w/ you again!!! & terribly sorry to add to your list|| aline dolinh, "unbecoming extraterrestrial" 
"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







Played by [PM] Posts: N/A — Threads:
Danaë
Guest
#2

“Phantom. Your heart must be a ghost."



There is discord in her solitary steps through the glass graveyard and the cobwebs of wishes. Each snap of her knees, each thud of her hooves, each whisper of her blade on the ground, seems like a lone alto note in a symphony. There is no elegance in the sound of her movement but that of the lost, and the wandering, and the broken hearted.

And perhaps her form, spectral and strange, is nothing but a tangle of sinew, marrow, and blood cells. Perhaps she is nothing more than the reflection of all the deaths given shape, and thought, and pulse as the risen are.

When she turns there is a star-belly with spires of jasmine rises from the black dust. Vines twist and tangle through the holes and knot themselves into organs and the roots of eyes.

Around the bend, in an echo of the twisted shadow of her horn, there is a bear with chrysalis hanging from his open air skull. His teeth are tulips and his ribs are not bone but birch bark curling like the damp pages of a tome. When he roars the dead-star mirror rattles like thunder and her unicorn bones leap like a flock of matis at the thrill of it.

She laughs and there is discord in the sound of that too.  

Her steps quicken like the heart of a risen before the second death. In the thunder of that broken canter her laughter flickers and fades as quick as all the death mirror memories curling around her. Over and over she looks for an echo of her own corpse, of her horn tangled with ivy and the rot of her heart blooming with violet lichen and sunny daffodils. Over and over again she sees only death, every death by her own.

There are stars, and lions, and wolves, and dryads, and wendigos, but no unicorns with blood eyes and sharp tails. There are--

Oh, there is a pegasus.

Danae turns to her and to the mirror image beyond her of a rib etched in vines and a corpse with perfect pearls in the grave of eyes. She sighs and the teeth peeking through her pale laps are bone-white and sickle curved like a dying moon. “They are lovely,” she says in a whisper thin as a dandelion seed.

Because they are lovely. Still are lovely. Will always be lovely.  

Her eyes when they linger on the image blink with an echo of a garden and a promise of a dream dancing across the darkness. Over and over again-- a corpse, a garden, a dream, a long legged mare running beside her with flowers instead of a liver.

And in that image there is no discord.




"I can feel it mounting; a dark wave - upon the night of my soul”"










Played by Offline Jeanne [PM] Posts: 70 — Threads: 17
Signos: 0
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
#3



I'LL BE YOUR SWEETEST MOUTH IF YOU LET ME -
watch me reach down my throat, cut my teeth / on a new name. If you open wide / and swallow deep, you can even forget / the taste of all that blood.


When the unicorn speaks, her voice comes out as a paper-thin whisper, like the frailest gust of wind. (I remember being the wind. I was in the forest, and always soft, but never gentle – and her voice is not gentle.) They are lovely, she says, and I don’t know exactly what she is talking about. Her eyes are on me, but I do not think that she is looking at me; I think that she is looking behind me, right through me. I know, too, that unless the image in the mirror has changed, what lies behind me is my corpse, a dead Green Knight.

I keep trying to remember her name. It troubles me less than that I cannot remember the name of the one I served, but I still feel a distinct sense of loss when I try to grasp for it and come up empty.

There is a significant part of me that does not want to turn my back on the twisted coil of her horn, thin and crooked though it may be, but I do, regardless – I look over my shoulder, and I meet my own eyes again, which are nearly white. (I am sure that they would not have cooled so quickly; time seems to flow faster in the mirrors, or slower, or in ways that make no sense at all.) I see the curve of vines, and small weeds growing between my legs, yellow sprigs of jewelflowers splashed in blood. I see the barest silhouette of ancient trees, and fallen leaves, and red-gold grass, though much of it is upturned or flattened from battle. I see faint trails of smoke, perhaps the prickle of embers and ashes, but those are all at the edges of the image, only a suggestion that the fighting has continued beyond the image of my – her - corpse. I think that there might be something poetic to it, nearly voyeuristic, the way that my body seems nearly arranged, but, then, there is no guarantee that the mirrors show anything properly, much as I would like to go looking for the past in their fragmented reflections.

My head turns. I look back, slowly, at the unicorn – and into the red of her eyes. My head tilts, and, when I speak, there is no condemnation to my tone, only simple curiosity. “What’s lovely?” And then, rather abruptly, I add, “The – corpse?” It is the best guess that I have, or, perhaps, the only one, but what I can’t quite understand is what of the image is lovely.

Perhaps it is because I am missing something, or perhaps it is because she isn’t referring to the reflection at all, or perhaps it is because I am the dead thing in the mirror, but I can’t quite understand.

But maybe – I look at her, and I wonder if I can.




@Danaë || <3 || aline dolinh, "unbecoming extraterrestrial" 
"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







Played by [PM] Posts: N/A — Threads:
Danaë
Guest
#4

“Phantom. Your heart must be a ghost."


Flesh, even ruined and cold, is still flesh. There is still the fodder for the roots and the worms in the hallways of sinew and the twisted maplines of blood. Flesh, no matter the rot and ruin, is still the thing upon which a forest feeds and feasts. And that, the forests full of woe-eyed does and clever-eyed foxes, is the domain of unicorns.

Danaë knows it, as well as she knows the way in which her weapon crown tangles with her sister’s, and so she wonders of the ways this graveyard of dead stars and icy glass sings so sweetly to her. Each beat of their hearts, pale echoes of the still hearts upon which they stand, echoes like a symphony of roars in her soul. She whittles the bones down with her tailblade just to hear the roars turn to sobs.

The pegasus is a still thing, a strange thing, to turn away so easily from the scars of death and the dead-seeing look of pearl eyes. Danaë cannot look away, not when the smoke spires rise like the horns of the earth towards the organs waiting in the warm belly of the sky. It is her first look of war, of things made by the wreckage of mortals and immortals born, and she cannot (will not) look away.

“If you have to ask,” she says in a whisper thin and twisted as a thorn vine around her horn, “the lovely things are not for you.” Her look, a thing learned in the rotten womb of her mother, brightens as a jugular in the air and not as a sickle moon in the darkness should. Her hooves thunder as distant and winter-weak does when she steps closer.  The melody of her heart quickens into a song of wood frogs in a vernal pool.

A star whispers to her of its dream that lay dead and cold in the glass bones of it. It whispers of fire, and darkness, and a cold so deep that it steals the breath from her lungs when she thinks of it.

Her breath is still a stuttering note in her chest, her heart that wood frog song, her tail a sob, when she reaches her nose out with the air of stars exhaling through her throat. “Who are you?” The words seem almost half formed on her tongue as the language of mortals often sounds on the lips of gods.

Her shadow, a reflection instead of darkness, waivers like a shark beneath the black sea when she touches her star-breath lips to the cheek of the girl who cannot see as a unicorn does. And beyond them the pearl eyes still do not blink as they fathom the endless universe.

Danaë blinks.

And she sighs.




"I can feel it mounting; a dark wave - upon the night of my soul”


@Nicnevin










Played by Offline Jeanne [PM] Posts: 70 — Threads: 17
Signos: 0
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
#5



I'LL BE YOUR SWEETEST MOUTH IF YOU LET ME -
watch me reach down my throat, cut my teeth / on a new name. If you open wide / and swallow deep, you can even forget / the taste of all that blood.


She is not looking at me. Even when she speaks, or I speak - she is looking past me, through me, enraptured, it seems, by the war-wake image on the glossy surface at my back, and, try as I might, I can’t figure out why.

When I saw myself dead - when I turned a corner of jagged mirror-shards reaching up, up, up like brambles from the melted stone of the ground, I did stop in place, for a while. I can’t say that the image shocked me. It didn’t even hurt; not, I think, like it should. Far worse was seeing him what must have been several hours ago, watching the look on his face as he shaved down my bone until it was a sword. When you carve something - do you make it, or do you simply bring out something that was already present? I do not think that I was a sword until he made it of me, until he pleaded me, as it were, back from some dark realm and into the present.

If you have to ask, the girl says, the lovely things are not for you.

“Oh,” I say, and I am unable to hide the disappointment in my tone, “I see.” More accurately - I can’t see, and I find it frustrating. I think that it is a consequence of my numerous past lives that I am possessed by a constant need to know; that, and my immense curiosity about this strange new world. I am always wanting to understand. This is the first time, I think, that I have been told that I fall - inherently - short.

My thoughts cut short because she moves close. So, so close. It’s strange; she is strange. She moves close, and every rampant instinct inside of me screams to run. My vision tunnels on the wicked twine of her horn, which seems so dainty at a glance but comes to such a vicious point. This close, she could, I’m sure, rip open my throat with its slender tip. I don’t move.

I don’t dare reach out to touch her, but, when she breathes out her question, she moves to touch me; her lips brush my cheek, the ghost-press of petals. She gives a sigh, and, though it is as soft as all the rest of her voice, I can feel it in my chest.

“I’m Nicnevin,” I manage, and then add, hesitantly, “and I used to be her.” Is that strange? No stranger, I think, than the rest of this place, I think - and, in spite of my reluctance to divulge too much of my past to perfect strangers, I can’t help but feel a certain sense of wrongness at the idea of disregarding her entirely.

I am not her, and she is not me. I am Nicnevin, and I can no longer remember her name. Regardless - our soul is the same, our deepest core.

My voice comes out quiet and nearly reluctant. “Who are you? Do you know what this place is?” In all the time I’ve spent here, I haven’t thought to ask - and I knew nothing when I came from the mainland. Perhaps there is some reason that it is like this.

Perhaps it is another thing that I cannot know.




@Danaë || <3 || aline dolinh, "unbecoming extraterrestrial" 
"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







Played by [PM] Posts: N/A — Threads:
Danaë
Guest
#6

“Phantom. Your heart must be a ghost."


If she finds the feel of perishable flesh beneath her lips anything but beautiful she does not give away the secret of it. Her lungs and the spaces between her teeth are too full of star-breath and star-stuff to hold anything else but this weight of memory and the sweetness of the perishable. When her eyes fall over the cheek of the living, and the pearls of the dead, she tucks not one but two memories into the marrow of her wanting, aching bones (the ones that do not know how to be full).

Her tailblade draws lines behind her as her look waivers between unicorn, mother, and spire of smoke made from ash. She hums in the echoing toll of her sigh because this, this signing and carrying of dead things, is easier than shaping her insides into language.

Another sigh. Another hum. “Who did you prefer being?” Her eyes drift again, over a wing, a horn, and settle on the smoke spires and the whittled down bones. At her back, below the sickle point of her twitching tail, a pair of lilies blooms. And this time when she inhales it’s with the flavor of dead-stars, and newborn lilies, and girl-who-died, on her tongue like cloves and anise.

Her own name is dead in the silence. She is too full of other things to remember the shapes her tongue must make to say it.

And so it is a nameless unicorn that steps forward and around the living girl and her dead memory. Shivers race electric across her shoulders when she brushes up against feathers instead of skin. Behind her pale lips her teeth, her tongue, her throat, set to aching as if she’s become a bear in the middle of winter. Lilies follow her in bundles of blooms upon the bones of a universe. They die after shadow passes.

“I know what this place is.” Dust catches in her nose as she drags her lips across a star-corpse. Images waiver in the bones-- stags, and wolves, and foxes with limp quails in their jaws. Vines drag one image to the next and wisteria wipes away the echo of it. A star flashes across the mirror like a swan falling dead from the sky (blazing white to black ash). “It is a graveyard.” Her lilies turn to poppies, bright and bloody as she is pale. And when she turns her eyes toward the mare and they blink, blink, blink as the images in the bones do, there is a certain bloodiness lingering there too.

She pauses, the nameless thing caught in the memory of bones, with one hoof paused in the air like a hunting lion. Her lungs stutter in her chest as her heart forgets (as she has forgotten her name) the way that it should thunder in a faint metronome. “But I do not know what it was.” That paused hoof falls and it is thunder in the distant reality beyond this dark, gloaming world. “Do you?” And the dark ghost that runs across her eyes suggests that what was does not matter to her as much as the dying of it does.

Another lily unfurls above a frail seedling of a crimson poppy.





"I can feel it mounting; a dark wave - upon the night of my soul”


@Nicnevin










Played by Offline Jeanne [PM] Posts: 70 — Threads: 17
Signos: 0
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
#7



I'LL BE YOUR SWEETEST MOUTH IF YOU LET ME -
watch me reach down my throat, cut my teeth / on a new name. If you open wide / and swallow deep, you can even forget / the taste of all that blood.



Her sighs are like the wind through bare branches. Her hum is like something that I think I used to know but forgot somewhere along the way. Who did you prefer being? And – at the curve of her tail –, I see flowers growing, the pale heads of lilies. I notice the flowers before I notice the sickle-curve hidden beneath long white strands of hair, before I ever think of what could be done with it.

“I don’t think that I’ve been Nicnevin for long enough to say,” I admit, “but I- like flying.” Even when I have been Nicnevin for longer, I do not think that I will be able to say that I prefer her over my first lifetime, no matter how plain; but that is only because I loved the most, in my first lifetime, and, in our endless cycles of death and rebirth, those that you love are the only thing that you cannot take with you. I do not think that I have loved the same way since. After you have learned to lose someone that you loved, I do not think that you can ever love quite the same way again.

But: I have enjoyed this life, for what it is worth. I have loved all its newness, its adventures that have previously been deprived from me – and even standing in the midst of what this strange girl tells me is a graveyard, I cannot help but celebrate it.

There are flowers behind her, in the glass. When she moves, they seem to change to reflect her – and there is this bright splash of light, too, that I find unrecognizable, but my eyes are on the flowers, the pale lilies whose petals change until they are poppies instead, a splash of bloodred in the form of her eyes.

(What I think in the place of shuddering is: even the graveyards here are so beautiful. Anything can be a graveyard if you look hard enough, deep enough into the soil – but ours at home were much plainer, all weathered and overgrown headstones, engravings halfway worn off.)
 
I tilt my head at her, and I ask, “What kind of graveyard?” I don’t know what sort of creature could possibly leave this massive, reflective shards behind as a headstone, but, when I look at them – slanted back, engraved with memories – I can’t help but think the comparison is apt.
 
Her eyes turn back on me. But I do not know what it was. Do you? I do not know if that is important, now, and I can’t tell from her voice if she cares at all; but I know, as something that has lived and died before, that it should matter, at least to me.

There is another lily, white pulse of bloom. I am not looking at it, though. I am looking at her eyes.

“I’m not sure,” My eyes turn to focus on the reflection in the glassy surface behind me. “I know that was a glade where starlings used to roost and raise their young, before it burned.” That was lifetimes ago, of course. That glade doesn’t even exist as ashes, now. The forest is unchanged between my lifetimes; it is also unspeakably different. “And this place, I don’t know, but-“ and here I stop, for a moment, to think, and then say, “maybe it was something greener.” I don’t know enough of this world to say.

I cannot imagine a forest of green. In my head, all forests are gold, gold, gold - trapped in a perpetual state of near-decay, but never quite allowed the luxury necessary to succumb. Still. I know that outsiders have green forests, at least in spring, and sometimes even in the other season, too (it all depends on the type of tree); and I wonder if this place was ever ordinary, or if it has always been so strange, the sprout-and-bloom of some incomprehensible seed.

It is rarer to see something created than killed, I think; rarer to find a newborn than a corpse.




@Danaë || <3 || aline dolinh, "unbecoming extraterrestrial" 
"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







Played by [PM] Posts: N/A — Threads:
Danaë
Guest
#8

“Phantom. Your heart must be a ghost."


She knows there is a fire in her horn, a pyre of it on which some-thing she cannot name burns. Across the sight of the golden forest, and the smoke pillars of war, and the poppies making promises she cannot see it. But she knows it is there-- she can feel it like a heart that has crawled its way free from her chest by way of vine and thorn.

She is a unicorn aflame, a pyre of her own, a graveyard full of eternal flames that burn in the dead of winter.

And she turns those bloody, inferno eyes to the graveyard and the girl. All she can see is fire, and fire, and dead-wood, and nothing else but things so frail and mortal that they can do nothing else but burn. Like a god she wonders, as she tucks her nose back onto the star bones (in a way that is almost motherly) what she might shape the world into after it’s decaying around her in gardens and black, and moss, and lichen.

It will worship her, she knows, but she wonders what it will think when the world discovers that the only sound it knows how to make is that drumming warsong of her made heart.

“Will you let me know,” she starts with an ache in her cheek when it leaves the bone mirrors, “when you discover which?” And she knows, when she blinks her eyes into the juxtaposed image of an etched upon rib, that she already knows which one she would prefer being. But unicorns have always known their own hearts, their own soul, their own grotesque hungers, and she tries not to blame the mortal for her ignorance.

Her eyes close on the image of starlings, and sparrows, and wings dripping ash like wish-fat stars as they beat like a heart. Each organ in her form trembles and flutters like a pair of wings divided. The fire in her horn spits embers and sparks in the same way her mother’s smile spits blood and furry.

When she opens her eyes, on a sigh that sounds like those same wish-fat stars falling, she smiles because she does not know anything else to do that does not have her laying her teeth against the mortal’s throat in a holy kiss. “When they burned what did your starlings become?” She steps closer. Her belly swallows the same smoldering flame living in the curls of her horn. “Did you stop to wonder at all?” And this time, when she blinks and opens her eyes again it’s not a carved rib flashing across her eyelids in strobelight.

It’s a reflection of her own form dissolving into a spire of war-smoke in a graveyard ripe with the death of wish-fat stars.




"I can feel it mounting; a dark wave - upon the night of my soul”


@Nicnevin










Played by Offline Jeanne [PM] Posts: 70 — Threads: 17
Signos: 0
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
#9



I'LL BE YOUR SWEETEST MOUTH IF YOU LET ME -
watch me reach down my throat, cut my teeth / on a new name. If you open wide / and swallow deep, you can even forget / the taste of all that blood.



If I look over my shoulder at the mirrors behind me, I can see things that shouldn’t exist. A ribcage sprouting out from the ground, growing skin; a starling with its face half-burnt off, one wing a skeleton, which flits about in the branches of some gnarled and only vaguely familiar tree. I decide to look at the girl instead. She isn’t much more natural, somehow, and there is something about her just as dark and strange, but she is decidedly prettier, with all her stark whites and bloody reds.

Will you let me know, she asks, when you discover which? It is a perfectly innocent question, and almost a childish one (and we are both children, aren’t we? But not at all in spirit, I think, not at all), but it is spoken with none of the cadence of innocence. Still, I don’t deny her; I don’t even want to, because I’d like to know the answer to her question as much as she does.

(As much as I insist that this lifetime is a renewal, and I am not the same as any of my other lifetimes, I have always struggled to let the first one go.)

I look her in the eyes, as she lifts her cheek from the mirror. “I will,” I say, softly, “if you tell me how to find you again.” She seems to me like a wisp, or some other strange forest creature that I might find in the depths of the Gold – the sort that was not quite alive in the same way that you were, the ones that might lead you astray if you let them. Still, I have never been one for caution, even before I knew that death was impermanent, and-

I’m curious about her, somehow.

Her lips curve up and into a smile that is not a smile at all; it reminds me of what I know of lightning strikes, or the ashen black burn that comes after them. She comes closer, closer again, and although I know that I should – one look at the coiled spire of her horn would tell me as much -, I do not step away from her, not even as she asks me if I ever wondered what happened to the starlings, when they burned.

Her question gives me pause, for a moment. The starlings burned; I know as much. Several centuries passed before I could give much thought to the concept, and, by then, I don’t think that anything was left of them, even their bones, or the residue of the grove that they used to inhabit.

“I don’t know,” I admit, almost reluctantly. “When the starlings died, I – died too, and then I couldn’t think about them anymore.” I’d been a sword in my second lifetime, after all, and swords did not care about starlings, or groves, or fires, or life, or death, or what came next; the only thing that a sword was good for was cutting.




@Danaë || <3 || aline dolinh, "unbecoming extraterrestrial" 
"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







Played by [PM] Posts: N/A — Threads:
Danaë
Guest
#10

“Phantom. Your heart must be a ghost."


Sometimes, and that some is more than sum, she wonders which world is dream and which is real. Each time she blinks her eyes (again, again, again, each faster than the last) there is that flash of carved upon bone and the superimposed brightness of flesh. There are flowers in the holes of each, like parasites, and they blink at her as they unfurl.

They whisper too, in the space between the inhale and the exhale, of memories her marrow knows. Her mind stumbles long legged and young over those memories as she tries to find them in the reflection of a pegasus.

And in the choke-hold of a memory, one in which her horn is screaming in the wind instead of singing, she steps closer to the girl. Later she’ll tell herself it was the agony of those dead sparrows that had her horn tilting like a blade instead of a kiss towards the girl. Later she’ll tell herself that she imagined ways to save her instead of kill her. Later she’ll tell herself that the darkness of her gaze, like iron in the tide, was nothing more than hope.

Nothing more than hope…

Danaë, who is still more unicorn than innocent (they eat the innocent after all-- once they’ve laid their heads on their fragile, mortal chests), moves to rest her horn across the pegasus’s brow. And she blinks one last time-- bone, flesh, bone-- before exhaling the last breath of every starling that burned. She can feel them, feel their frantic wings trying to shake loose the embers and the soot, in the walls of her heart.

The smoke of her breath in the cool graveyard air spirals out in stuttering plumes of mist and smoke. It rises, and rises, and rises, like all those starlings never will. They never will-- until she saves them. And her smile stumbles into darkness at the thought.

“You only need to look for your starlings to find me.” The redness of her eyes, that iron in the tide look, flutters like an ember-heavy wing beneath her forelock. She pulls away and tries, oh she tries so hard, to bury the roar of her heart-denied horn upon her brow. It bellows, and roars, and promises retribution. It aches and her tail blade echoes against the floor like a wolf’s tail against a door-- open up, open up, open up.

Let me in.

She takes another step, opening up that doorway between them upon which she knocks but hesitates still to cross. Her father’s blood still rushes through her, light to the black and life to the rot. And it’s her father’s blood that rules when she scrapes her tail down the mirror to leave a single scar down the images there.

It’s her father’s blood that blooms poppies in the bones of stars as she gallops into the darkness in search of the starlings that have been forgotten by girls who do not know which life they prefer to live. Danaë, with a bellowing cry, thinks she’ll always choose the starlings.

Always.





"I can feel it mounting; a dark wave - upon the night of my soul”


@Nicnevin










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