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Played by Offline Jeanne [PM] Posts: 399 — Threads: 81
Signos: 100
Day Court Outcast
Female [She/Her/Hers]  |  Immortal [Year 498 Spring]  |  16 hh  |  Hth: 47 — Atk: 53 — Exp: 93  |    Active Magic: Greater Telekinesis & N/A  |    Bonded: Ereshkigal (Demonic Vulture)
#1

LIFE IS SHORT, though I keep this from my children. / Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine / in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways, / a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways / I’ll keep from my children. / The world is at least / fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative / estimate, though I keep this from my children. / For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird. / For every loved child, a child broken, bagged, / sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world / is at least half terrible, and for every kind / stranger, there is one who would break you, / though I keep this from my children. I am trying / to sell them the world. Any decent realtor, / walking you through a real shithole, chirps on / about good bones: This place could be beautiful, / right? You could make this place beautiful.




When her children are born, Seraphina is alone – even Ereshkigal is gone. She has no company but her own sobs and the sun and the walls of the Elatus and the midday heat. When her children are born, Seraphina finds herself crying for the first time in recent memory, in months or maybe years – she sobs and she sobs and she sobs, and she isn’t sure if it is because it hurts or if it is because she’s overwhelmed, because she doesn’t know what to do. Seraphina is alone, and then Seraphina is not alone in any way that matters; there are two of them, just as Ereshkigal had said there would be, and they are terrifyingly real. The girl is born first, and, at first, she is horrified – she might have screamed. She doesn’t remember. It wasn’t a scream of fright, but it was closer to a scream of agony, or a scream of grief, because the child looked like a statue, and she was so sure that she was dead before she saw the gentle rise and fall of her chest, before she opened the soft curve of her mouth and let out a mewling whine.

At least the boy is normal. At least the boy is normal.

She snaps at scavengers, ushers the two children in at her sides. That is how she makes it through the night. She barely remembers it. (She should probably remember every moment of it, but the image blurs in her mind, instead, unsteady with panic.) She only remembers that, at some point, she stared up at the awful, taunting, bone-white specter of the moon, gritted her jaw through the itching mass of tears that she’d shed for the entire evening (enough to make her mouth dry and her eyes hurt), and- she forced herself back together. Or back into a box. Back into those tight-woven white braids, back into some emulation of the collar that carved scars around her throat, back into the quiet confines of herself. She swallowed her own screams and her own sobs whole, and she swiped her tears from her eyes with the golden fabric of her scarf. It did not matter if she wanted to or not. It did not matter if it hurt; it did not matter if she wanted to wail that it wasn’t fair, or if she wanted help, or if she wanted a comforting word, or a touch, or anything, anything at all that would tell her that she was not all alone.

Here is the ugly truth of the matter: she was alone. She is alone. And it didn’t matter how she begged for some sort of salvation, like something out of a song - it would not come. She already knew that. When had her life ever worked out like a song, or a poem, or like any of those Solterran stories that she had memorized as a child-?

(When she tells them to her children by the fireside, she does not believe a word. She hopes that they do, though. She wants to believe that they can be different, even when she looks at her daughter’s marble-hewn skin and gilded veins, and she thinks that she has almost certainly been blessed with a terrible burden.)

She was alone. She was alone, and the two figures asleep at her side only had her to rely on - so she devoured her every ache and her every longing, every salt-water tear and taste of blood, and she told herself that she would not let them out again. She did not have that luxury. Not anymore - likely never again. There were other things to live for, and she had her back pressed to the wall.

She gritted her jaw, and she stared at the moon that had watched her lie bleeding out, and, when the scars on her cheek felt like they were burning, she thrust them aside and told them to stop begging for attention.

She had been saying the same thing to every itching ache and gaping longing since; and she had learned to turn them away at her door, like stray dogs wailing for food.


--

Ereshkigal is at the entryway of the cavern, which tells her that her wayward children have come home.

First there is the intrusion of a slender, black-and-white snout, which protrudes out of the dark cautiously, as though she thinks that this will be the time that she has snuck out unnoticed. This is followed by a long face with two eyes too big for her face, two ears like butterfly wings – and long, half-braided hair, mostly fallen from the careful constraints that she’d pulled it into this morning. (The girl had complained the entire time; she didn’t like the brush and insisted that it hurt. She told her that it would hurt less if she brushed her hair more often, especially while it was wet, and Diana simply stuck out her tongue.)

She steps in lightly, tossing a triumphant look over her shoulder at who Seraphina can only assume is Ambrose; it is quickly wiped off her face when, with a murmur of Alshamtueur, the cavern lights up, and she reveals herself, eyeing them from the opposite side of the makeshift room with displeasure written across her face. She lights one of the torches on the wall with the broad edge of the sword, then another, then another, never breaking eye contact with Diana – and then Ambrose, when he appears sheepishly from behind his sister.

She narrows her eyes at Diana’s forelegs – they’re skinned. (Almost absentmindedly, bandages begin to unravel from the shelf behind her, then unlabeled salves.) “What have I told you two,” she says, in a voice that isn’t quite cold and isn’t quite neutral, “about sneaking off?” Diana blinks at her, wide-eyed and doelike, and she lets a pitiful grin settle across her lips, looking over her shoulder at her twin.

“Uhm,” the girl chirps out. “Not to do it? But Mamma-“ (She always calls her that, when she wants to get her way, because it’s more childlike than Mother.) “-it was a nice day, and the flowers are starting to bloom at the Oasis. We only went out to play.” A look of perfect innocence settles on her statuesque features. It doesn’t suit her face at all, and she can’t help but think that it is quietly heartbreaking.

She sighs, still unwinding the bandages, and gestures them both forward with a nod of her head, laying down in the back edge of the room, among blankets and cushions. Diana skips over to her side as though she is walking on air, grinning broadly, and promptly collapses at her side, laying her chin on Seraphina’s hip. “You should tell us a story,” she informs her, in a tone that tells her that she is insisting upon it, or else she’ll have to hunt her down in the middle of the night again. “A new one. I’m tired of Solterran history.” She makes a face, her nose scrunching up unhappily, and snuggles pointedly into her coat. (One wing protrudes at her side, stretching up and out in something like a suggested embrace – an implication, Seraphina supposes, that Ambrose should join her. She has always been a bit too good at getting her twin on her side, and she hasn’t, so far, been much good at being properly stern with both of them at once.)

She presses ointment onto the girl’s scraped skin, ignoring the way that she grimaces and whines and twitches against her legs, and she glances over at her son, checking his slender, smaller frame for any matching wounds. “What sort of story would you like to hear, Ambrose?”

He worries her sometimes. They both do – in different ways. He has always been quieter, and softer, and liable to be eaten alive by the likes of his twin. So she watches her younger child, giving a tilt of her muzzle to suggest that he should come closer and lay at her side with his sister, still wrapping bandages around her – small, superficial (but she’d prefer that she never had any at all) – wounds.






@Ambrose @Diana || <3 || the entirety of "good bones" by maggie smith; title is from "polar bear express," keith ekiss
Speech || Ereshkigal





@







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




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Played by Offline Katherine [PM] Posts: 9 — Threads: 2
Signos: 270
Day Court Youth
Male [He/Him/His]  |  Immortal [Year 506 Spring]  |  15.2 hh  |  Hth: 12 — Atk: 8 — Exp: 16  |    Active Magic: Literary Animation & N/A  |    Bonded: Dandelion (Sky Lion)
#2


Somewhere in you there's a power with no name
It can rise to meet the moment and burn like a flame


I
t is safe to assume that my sister does not remember our birth much, if at all. It is safe to assume that I should not, either, but I do. Against all odds, I do. And these are the things that I remember:

It is hot, and and bright, bright, bright outside the safety of our mother’s womb. The world is alive, and harsh, and eager to dig its claws into us. Even as we breathe for the first time with empty lungs, stand for the first time on unsteady legs. I am the second born, so to be sure, everything before me is lost to blackness, and the faint suggestion of sound through liquid.

But that first breath, and that first wobbling rise to my hooves were not as terrifying as I will come to know the world. Because beside me is my sister, who has been beside me all along. And now we are with our mother. We are not alone. I am not alone.

But our mother—she is crying. I am too young to understand what it means, or why. Maybe it’s from being a part of her, from understanding her stress, and her pain for so long, but from a different way. I don’t think she knows it, but when she ushers us closer to her and I lean in a little closer, I think some part of me wants to comfort her.

I don’t know if it works, to be honest. But I want her to feel, in the way that I feel it, that she is not alone. We have been there, and we will be there, my sister and I.

• • •

I would go anywhere with Diana, and she knows it. She knows that—despite my reservations and cautions—I could never let her go anywhere alone. The thought of anything happening to her, well, that always made up my mind. Somebody needs to be her voice of reason, after all.

I know that mother is going to be waiting for us when we get home, and I tell Diana that but she has a look in her eye like this time will be different. She always has a look in her eye like that. I was as she noses her way through the entrance to the cavern, and when she looks back at me I almost think that perhaps she might be right this time.

Until I see the light. It comes suddenly, outlining what I can see of my sister, and I know it is our mother’s sword. It is the only explanation. When I step in behind Diana, she is there waiting for us just as I thought she would be. She does not look happy. But Diana does all the talking, as usual, and steals most of the attention.

I stand back as mom lays down at the back of the room, and Diana skips over to join her, snuggling up with ease while she pays mind to my sister’s scraped shins. I feel like I’m intruding on something, even though I know I shouldn’t. I feel out of place, or maybe out of time. And maybe part of me is still waiting to get into trouble, too.

And then Diana stretches out a wing, and mother asks what sort of story I want to hear tonight. A weight lifts off my chest, like I can breathe a little easier, and I make my way over until I’m laying against my sister’s side, my double set of wings cushioning between us. “I like Solterran history,” my voice is quiet as I rest my head against mom, golden eyes contemplative. I know that I would like any story, but Diana would probably prefer something more exciting. “Will you tell us about the gods?”

I say it like I want to know about them all, and not about one in particular. I say it as though I don't feel like I'm missing pieces of myself that will make me whole.



{ @Diana @Seraphina "speaks" notes: <3 }
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[Image: 27092483_OXKc9V3WJVpPTMw.png]
we start with stars in our eyes
we start believing that we belong

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