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Played by Offline Jeanne [PM] Posts: 398 — Threads: 80
Signos: 250
Day Court Outcast
Female [She/Her/Hers] // Immortal [Year 498 Spring] // 16 hh // Hth: 37 — Atk: 43 — Exp: 72 // Active Magic: Greater Telekinesis // Secondary Magic: // Bonded: Ereshkigal (Demonic Vulture)
#1

IF I WENT TO HELL WOULD I
care, would it really be different from heaven? No / I don't know what I'm saying, these aren't my answers. / I don't care about being alive -





For what it is worth: she has to take her life in small victories, lately.

For what it is worth: she has not fallen apart entirely, yet, no matter how desperately she has longed to. (That is not an option, and she knows it.)

For what it is worth: she resents this situation. (She hopes that she does not resent the children growing inside of her.) Sometimes – most of the time – she resents the sun god for it. Sometimes she manages to settle her thoughts for long enough to remind herself that the divine is not always explicable, but the excuse feels less defensible every time she tries to force it down her own throat.

For what it is worth: she does not want to resent Solis. He is her longest and oldest companion, the only one who has always lingered at her side, however apathetic. But maybe that is delusion, too. She is sure that her prayers have meant nothing to him, that her begging has more often than not fallen upon deaf ears. And now – this. Sometimes, she wishes that he would appear before her, so she could plunge Alshamtueur into the gilded curve of his chest. (He would kill her for the transgression.) Sometimes, she only wants to beg for answers. Sometimes she wants to collapse to the ground before his statue and ask him why, why, why, to plead for him to give some greater meaning or name to her suffering.

She used to hope that there was a point to rampant cruelty, to thoughtless violence, to every lingering horror that she had experienced; she used to console herself by telling herself that there would be some end to it, that, eventually, she would wake up one morning and realize that all of her suffering had been in service of some higher purpose. It was naïve or arrogant or narcissistic or desperate, and she feels like a fool for ever having believed it now. There is only a greater purpose when it is given; only in songs, or in poems, or in fables.

She is simply unlucky; or inadequate. Not a victim entire, or the catalyst of her own destruction.

She lingers in the shallows, feeling comedic. Her stomach is swollen, and simply looking at the reflection of it in the water makes her want to shatter the clear surface like a mirror. (Sometimes she loathes herself less, and sometimes she can nearly accept it, though she can never understand it. She tells herself that she must keep that in mind; that she can’t go on breaking things, whether she means to or not.) Alshamtueur hangs at her side, omnipresent, sizzling lowly with urges that she wouldn’t dare put a name to; she has long grown incapable of fitting her armor, but it doesn’t matter. She is more than capable of protecting herself without it.

She is more than capable of protecting herself without moving a muscle, without ever raising her sword – though it is the most overtly violent part of her.

(More than usual, lately, Seraphina finds herself longing to have been something else. She longs to have lived a life as a scholar or a doctor instead of a soldier, a lifetime where she was allowed to hold a pen in the place of a flaming sword. She wishes that she had never been a queen; she wishes that she had never even been an emissary, no matter what it might have cost her. She wishes that she could remember her mother, that she had parents in the place of a violent warden, perhaps even that she had siblings. She wishes that she had been kinder, that she had realized that she was lonely years ago, that she had dodged the swing of that bear claw, like she had dodged a hundred thousand strikes before-

She used to think that her cold demeanor and apathy were useful.

Most of all, she longs to turn herself into a woman who would have been happy with this blessing; perhaps a woman who chose to have children, not a woman who was subject to the whims of a fickle god.

All of it is futile. She knows better than to entertain the thought.)

Ereshkigal has left her to her longing, though she can sense that she is not far, and, in the back of her head, she can hear a faint, terrible crunching. She must have gone back for that rotting gazelle they’d passed earlier; the thought is nearly nauseating, but she doesn’t flinch.

Instead – she pulls herself from the perfect blue of the water and onto the bank, the wet, metallic gleam of her coat like the glint of cold steel in the sun.







@syndicate || for whomstever || alice notley, "fill out questionnaire for good"
Sera || Eresh





@







I'M IN A ROOM MADE OUT OF MIRRORS
and there's no way to escape the violence of a girl against herself.


please tag Sera! contact is encouraged, short of violence




Reply




Played by Offline Syndicate [PM] Posts: 150 — Threads: 25
Signos: 120
Night Court Entertainer
Female [She/her/hers] // 10 [Year 495 Winter] // 16.2 hh // Hth: 17 — Atk: 23 — Exp: 28 // Active Magic: Amorphous Transformation // Secondary Magic: // Bonded: N/A
#2

boudika

« you are not supposed to love icarus. ignore how pretty his wings look, how darling he is when he preens them. refuse to notice how gracefully he beats them to seek out the sky, how raw and wonderous. look for the salt, the clouds, the ships. love the beauty of them, instead. the story of icarus will end in only one way, and it will not be in your arms. »


A
n osprey does not belong in the desert. It does not belong where it cannot see the water of the sea, or lake, or river which it haunts, specter-like and eternal. It does not belong where sand stretches away, and away, and away and becomes an ocean in and of itself. An osprey does not belong bathed in golden desert light, or with the arid heat drying those black-and-white feathers. 

And so, when an osprey does visit the desert, it means flying forward into what may as well be a mirage. It means flying into a vast, empty nothing.

Perhaps this is what strikes Boudika from her reprieve; this strange, haphazard wandering. She has been an osprey so long she does not remember being a girl; she does not think as a woman would at all, and the sudden give-way from forest to plains to desert is enough to strike her as both predator and woman as odd. She is past the mountains; she is past Denocte, far from it, and the hot air is different beneath the contours of her wings. 

For all Boudika knows, she has been flying like this for years. Hunting, diving, fighting--and in the back of her mind there is a sudden, ticking uncertainty. Why had she come to the desert? There is no prey beneath her, no shelter or foliage in which to hide. Why am I here? Her brain works as if through many layers of fog; her thoughts arrive disjointed, sometimes wordless, and when the effort becomes too much she simply decides not to think at all.

There, in the distance, is a spot of greenery. It is a stark contrast to the desert’s lolling sands. In a strange irony, the foliage looks like a scar. Boudika continues toward it and begins to descend when she sees the bright flash of water below. She might have hunted, she supposes, if there were not a bulging mare exiting the water. 

This, too, evokes a strange kind of feeling in Boudika. But as an osprey she cannot name it. She lands on a branch overhead, starkly out of place, and eyes the woman rather than the water. 

There is an unnatural quality to her crimson eyes, set back in her avain face. After a long moment, and with an effort like dusting cobwebs, Boudika descends to the earth by the oasis and transforms into a woman.

Boudika does not expect to feel so heavy. 

She does not expect the way all her suppressed emotions return, furious and defeated. You do not deserve to look at me, she had said. Would that be the last thing she ever said to him? Would he become another dusty figment of her past, a person there-then-gone, as they all seemed to become? Boudika knows now why she had flown to Solterra, and the desert, and the oasis. She knows now why she had returned to her Novusian origin: it is because Orestes is there, somewhere, and she wonders--

Is this what he had felt like, alone? She is staring at a woman she does not recognise, swollen with pregnancy, and--

Do you remember wanting that, a small, girlish voice asks. It was something you had always wanted, in the academy--it is something you had always, always wanted but could never have, because of your father, because of the rules. You were a boy. How could you ever have a child?

Boudika thinks now, of course, that such a thing is not intended in her fate, in her life, in her destiny. Her legs feel strange after so many days--or had it been weeks?--of flight. Her face feels strange, as well; too soft, too vulnerable. Boudika says nothing. She only dips her head to drink from the oasis, surprised as the rotten pit of jealousy forming in her breast. No, Boudika thinks. She does not belong here at all. The urge to transform again nearly overtakes her--it is unbearable to be in this shape, with this mind, as a woman, woman, woman. Boudika would rather be anything else.  


@Seraphina
« r »





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Played by Offline Jeanne [PM] Posts: 398 — Threads: 80
Signos: 250
Day Court Outcast
Female [She/Her/Hers] // Immortal [Year 498 Spring] // 16 hh // Hth: 37 — Atk: 43 — Exp: 72 // Active Magic: Greater Telekinesis // Secondary Magic: // Bonded: Ereshkigal (Demonic Vulture)
#3

IF I WENT TO HELL WOULD I
care, would it really be different from heaven? No / I don't know what I'm saying, these aren't my answers. / I don't care about being alive -





When she hears the beat of wings, at first she thinks that Ereshkigal has returned. She lingers, and she does not turn her head, anticipating the scent of blood and gore and the sound of teeth on bone. It never comes.

She raises her head, slick white hair dribbling down the curve of her neck. There is an osprey perched in the branches, brown-and-white feathers all salt and sea; even from a distance, she can see its blood-red eyes, like two rubies inlaid in its brow. It reminds her of Ereshkigal, somewhat, though the character of its stare is different.

She does not know much of the sea or its creatures. Still, she knows that an osprey is a sea-bird - not one that you should find in the desert. She wonders, at first, if it is a bonded companion, if she is not so alone as she expected-

The bird descends from the trees with a beat of its powerful wings, and, before it touches the ground, turns into a woman; long wings become limbs, a beak a mouth, feathers fur and red, red hair. Her stomach knots, at first. She has not encountered a shapeshifter since - him, and there is something about the twisting of limbs and shift in texture that makes her stomach roil. At first, all she can see is a bear claw, centimeters from her eye, and all she can feel is a burning in her cheek, a slash and crushing of bone. She is lucky that her face is not concave from the incident, lucky that the scarring was not worse. She is not lucky to have survived. Should she be grateful? Sometimes she wonders. She is always carrying the dead on her shoulders like lead weights; she always sees their marble eyes at night, watching her from the fever-dark and burning edges of her dreams. Should she feel guilty? She doesn’t know - she never asked if they wanted to be alive. She only knows that she didn’t save them, and that she should have. Is this an obligation borne out of duty or empathy? She doesn’t know, she never has-

The woman scarcely looks at her. She does not speak to her, either; she barely even looks her way, those blood-red eyes trained on the cerulean waters of the oasis. She is grateful, almost. She does not want to be seen in this state. (Everything about it is nearly reprehensible. A hair's-breadth short, or too long.) She does not want to be spoken to by anyone. She is horribly lonely, but she does not want a reprieve from her loneliness; she only wishes that she could crush it to sand and send it away.

There is something familiar to the woman’s warlike stature. To her red hair, to the dark coils of her horns. She might have seen her before. She has seen so many people; she is sure that she used to be better at remembering faces, but nowadays they slip away from her as easily as each rise and fall of the sun. But she must do better. Not for her own sake. It is too late for that by far, but the children-

She does not want to speak to her, exactly. She still feels that she should. Perhaps it is because there is something to the way the woman moves - something to the ruby-red gleam of the osprey’s eyes - that suggests a longing compatible to her own, the sort with teeth enough to bite. There is nothing hospitable about her. (There is nothing hospitable about her.) Still, she cannot help but train her mismatched eyes on the woman’s back and speak.

Perhaps - it is just a craving for noise. Anything to fill the silence. Anything to fill.

“You’re a long way from the sea,” she observes, her voice the whisper of winds across the sloped backs of the dunes.





@Boudika || <3 || alice notley, "fill out questionnaire for good"
Sera || Eresh





@







I'M IN A ROOM MADE OUT OF MIRRORS
and there's no way to escape the violence of a girl against herself.


please tag Sera! contact is encouraged, short of violence




Reply




Played by Offline Syndicate [PM] Posts: 150 — Threads: 25
Signos: 120
Night Court Entertainer
Female [She/her/hers] // 10 [Year 495 Winter] // 16.2 hh // Hth: 17 — Atk: 23 — Exp: 28 // Active Magic: Amorphous Transformation // Secondary Magic: // Bonded: N/A
#4

boudika

« you are not supposed to love icarus. ignore how pretty his wings look, how darling he is when he preens them. refuse to notice how gracefully he beats them to seek out the sky, how raw and wonderous. look for the salt, the clouds, the ships. love the beauty of them, instead. the story of icarus will end in only one way, and it will not be in your arms. »


F
rom appearances alone, they are opposites. The woman is the color of the sky reflected in a sword; silver-blue and, if not for the swollen nature of her pregnancy, she might have been whetted like a blade. Boudika eyes her sideways, not out of abashedness, but in the way of a wild thing. How often does a dog glance with wide eyes, sideways, before lashing out?

But Boudika is not lashing out. Not when she can hardly remember how to speak. Where she is red, this other woman is silver-blue. Where she is striped only on her haunches, the other mare is striped at the legs and neck. 

Even not staring at her directly, Boudika can feel the pressure of her presence. The water is cool down her parched throat; it soothes wounds that are not external but within

You’re a long way from the sea, the stranger states. 

“I am a long way from anything.” Boudika corrects. Her voice, even to herself, sounds grating; it scratches; sand blow up by the wind. She clears her throat, but knows the gesture will not bring back any sense of soft melody.

Her voice has always been too deep, she thinks. It comes from wasting half her life away on a lie as someone she could never be. The thought empties whatever is left of her: it exhausts her to the point that she steps forward into the oasis and lays down into the water. It laps up all around her; briefly, she submerges her head too.

Beneath the surface, there is no sound. There is no voice. There is nothing but pressure, the comforting sort, the embracing sort. When she rises her head above the surface, she shakes the water from her eyes and turns at last to appraise the woman fully, over her shoulder. 

Boudika says, in that same misused voice, “You look like me.” She has lost the patience for meaningless interactions. It is the only reason she landed here and changed shape, when she had condemned herself to an osprey’s form since, since

Well, since him

It is clear from her tone that she does not mean in appearance. There is something underlying that, an essence of unease that suggests a more profound depth. With brutal, hostile honesty Boudika states aloud: “This is the first time I have been a woman in weeks.” 

This is the first time I’ve felt like a woman since I was born.

And reborn, by sea. 

And reborn, by storm.

And reborn, by love.

And reborn, by betrayal.

Boudika wishes she wasn’t. 


@Seraphina
« r »





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Played by Offline Jeanne [PM] Posts: 398 — Threads: 80
Signos: 250
Day Court Outcast
Female [She/Her/Hers] // Immortal [Year 498 Spring] // 16 hh // Hth: 37 — Atk: 43 — Exp: 72 // Active Magic: Greater Telekinesis // Secondary Magic: // Bonded: Ereshkigal (Demonic Vulture)
#5

IF I WENT TO HELL WOULD I
care, would it really be different from heaven? No / I don't know what I'm saying, these aren't my answers. / I don't care about being alive -





I am a long way from anything.

Most of the time, Seraphina resents herself.

She has always been an envious creature, deeper down than she would like to admit, but, lately, her envy has felt like something ravenous, eating a hole in her chest. She cannot look at her own face without thinking of dying. She cannot look at her tight braids without thinking of Viceroy, her blade-silver skin without thinking of the war she was thrown into as a child, the soft scarring around her throat without thinking of a collar, the sword at her hip without death, the swell of her sides without the god that abandoned her over and over again-

She has spent her entire life longing to be something else. Anything else, perhaps. Most of the time, she finds herself longing to be something softer, quieter, kinder; more beautiful, even, or at least sympathetic. There is nothing especially beautiful about the way that she has fallen apart entirely, self-destructed like a dead sun – only sharp edges and gnarls, a tangle of thorns. She doesn’t want to be pitied, but she wants to be pitiable. She doesn’t want anyone to see her, but she longs for someone to save her, but-

She always finds herself here, twitching like a fly in a spiderweb. Sometimes she wishes that she could be destructive, or angry, or, at the very least, that she could ache and ache and ache in a way that is useful, shed her skin and become something stronger from it – but she never does. Each quiet failure only brings her a bit lower, drags her further into the quagmire of her own stagnation.

There had been moments, when she’d thought-

(the flash of one set of pale eyes or another, the cadence of a soft voice, her form in the library, her lips formed into the shape of a laugh that she know longer remembers how to create, simple peace, a throne room that wasn’t in ashes, her hooves like charcoal half-moons as she step-step-steps up to the battlefield, catches sight of a form that is like quicksilver, like a blade, like her-)

but she knows better than to think that they matter, because they didn’t stay. Nothing stays; it only lingers like a hungry dog, and she is left to drag it about.

(She watches the woman, quietly envious, as she submerges herself in the Oasis. Hadn’t she promised herself years ago, after she’d nearly drowned in that labyrinthian maze, that she’d learn to swim? Another longing that she’d never managed to follow through; she would still drown. What had she ever hoped for? The desert would always bind her like a shackle and tie her down on solid ground. She would never, even for a moment, be free of it.)

She has never been good at this – at any of this -, but, when she looks at the other woman, she recognizes her own agony like a tangible thing. You look like me, she says, in a voice that sounds as though it has forgotten to speak. It is unkind, but not in the way that cruelty is; it is unkind mostly by omission, by the absence of warmth, and impatient. This is the first time I have been a woman in weeks.

And oh, Seraphina knows what it means to be- not yourself. Not woman. Not anything at all.

(She has not felt like a living thing in years. Most mornings she wakes up choking on her own breath, sure that she is bleeding out again, that this time, finally-)

“What were you,” she says, in a voice as quiet and throaty as the grave, “instead?”






@Boudika || <3 || alice notley, "fill out questionnaire for good"
Sera || Eresh





@







I'M IN A ROOM MADE OUT OF MIRRORS
and there's no way to escape the violence of a girl against herself.


please tag Sera! contact is encouraged, short of violence




Reply





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