am i afraid of you now [Vulgaris] - Printable Version

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am i afraid of you now [Vulgaris] - Pond - 07-11-2018

everybody seems so far away from me now
Pond had been enjoying her quiet life in Ischia. The stallions left her alone, for she was much too young for their attentions, although she occasionally enjoyed the company of Belgaer when he would come to check on her well-being. No doubt he wanted to make sure that she was being well-treated and that she was finding her way around the jungle-like island on her own. She had grown to become an independent yearling, leggy and strong-necked with wise gray eyes that spoke of her out-of-time age.

Her mind wandered, though, as she wandered too. She wondered about things like life and death, immortality and the fragility of life itself. She knows that she has been given something of a second chance - that she was never destined to live forever and yet here she is so many years after the life she’d been born into still youthful and alive. The world around her is magical and she has begun to shake off her sadness and sense of loss in exchange for a more accepting and awe-imbued sense of wonder.

When she had first met Vulgaris, she had been amazed and wondrous, touching her muzzle to his scaly skin and calling him beautiful. For indeed, to her, he was. He was different, like her, and somehow that seemed to her as if they were somehow bonded. Neither of them quite belonged in this world of beautiful creatures that could fly and vanish and breathe underwater and vanish in the shadows. So she seeks him out again. He may have been older than her, but she felt as though they were kindred spirits.

They were lost together.

But when she finds him, there in the forest after, she finds him standing near a poor mangled corpse. Its eyes are blank, its throat is torn, its limbs are askew. She trots jauntily around the elder stallion’s side before she registers the scene and then she gasps and stops with a jolt of her limbs digging into the gentle forest floor. It was one of the foals they had played with before, his little bronzed copper coat gleaming now with a coat of blood. The scent of death, of iron, of the sad loss of life overwhelms her. Her ears fall sadly and her eyes droop as she looks over the scene and turns abruptly to bury her face into Vulgaris’s scaly shoulder to hide her tears.

“What happened?” she sobs, hoping that her friend could explain it to her. She doesn’t notice the shadowy wings on her shoulders becoming somewhat more tangible - she had led the killer to his prey. She takes another glance at the body and heaves a sob at his bare ribs and bony jaw shining in the early light of dawn. “What happened…” she gasps, again burying her face in his shoulder. “I don’t understand.”

everybody just wants to be free

RE: am i afraid of you now [Vulgaris] - vulgaris - 07-11-2018

"love breaks my bones and i laugh."

He does not know why he chooses the victims he does or if there is any sort of pattern to them at all. Perhaps it is because they are trusting and they readily throw themselves within his reach, or maybe they’re just cases of wrong place, wrong time. There’s probably something profound and significant to be discovered if he were to take the time to analyze his past but he has no interest in self-discovery. Instead, he just accepts that Pond is an eager plaything for him to bend and break as he pleases. She always comes circling back to him like the lost girl she is.

Vulgaris had already washed himself clean of the boy’s blood and waited for her like a patient spider. The sound of her sucking in her breath makes his heart jump a little and the corners of his lips curl upward. She’s warm as she presses to his shoulder for comfort and he relishes in the sound of her little cries as she processes what she sees. All the questions come pouring out then and he plucks himself from her side to get a good look at her – he wants to see every second of this.

Oh Pond, you don’t understand?” he coos as he nudges her chin up with his nose so he can stare into her eyes. She’s so small and fragile beneath his gaze and he wonders if he could eat her wings. Would they snap right off like a dry twig or would he just get a mouth full of smog? “He’s dead because of you.

His dark head tilts while his flat green eyes watch every second of her, searching for some way to read her innermost thoughts so he can drink her dread. Vulgaris touches his lips to her forehead like some doting father comforting his weeping child as he sighs. He is disappointed, really, that he cannot rush this scene along. Mourning and loss bores him.

If you hadn’t lead him around here in your little game, he’d be napping with his mother and father right about now.” He feigns a pout and steps away from her again to regard the little carcass once more. Vulgaris looks over the exposed bones, the little notches his teeth had dug out while he chewed idly. Would she scream if he ripped another bite from him now? He wonders, but he does not bring his lips back to the meat.

But I forgive you, Pond. You’re a monster, but I forgive you.

It’s all he can do not to laugh.


RE: am i afraid of you now [Vulgaris] - Pond - 07-12-2018

everybody seems so far away from me now
Sorrow and sadness are no foreign thing to the young girl who cries against her friend’s shoulder. She has lost her parents, she has lost her home - and yet, she had begun to find a place for herself here now. She had been found by a kind soul, she had been taken-in, given a new home and a sense of belonging again. She had learned to let herself be free again….until now.

Now the sight of bare bones and viscera burn in her eyes like brands and no matter the tears she sheds to try and wash it all away, no matter how much she blinks and frowns to try and blind the sight from her mind, she cannot stop seeing it. The poor mangled corpse, the foal so small and so wrought of its life, the blinding white of bone glaring in the sunlight… she cannot escape it.

Even as she buries her face in the scaly shoulder of Vulgaris and begs him to explain what has happened, she almost knows. His fake-soothing words purr at her ears and she looks up at him with wet gray eyes when he lifts her chin. The shadowy wings shift on her shoulders as if to prove their presence, but as she stares into his green gaze and as he speaks, she feels frozen.

“Because of me?” she repeats in a tremulous voice. “Me?” Her entire body quivers as she looks back at the poor dead colt and she takes a deep breath, attempting to calm herself but only sucking in more of the decay.

Vulgaris speaks of the colt’s parents, how he would be asleep with them now if not for her, and she chokes back another sob. She misses her own mother and father so dreadfully, wonders what had become of them, but now neither she or the slaughtered colt would ever know. In a sense, she feels as though she herself has been rent as horribly as the body they now observe.

Pond hardly notices when the taller stallion steps away and studies her; she is lost, reeling, and chilled to the bone. His words only reach her as though from miles away. All she can do is study the curves of the bones, the way the flesh and muscles sit so fluidly and yet so still over the body they were meant to animate.

You’re a monster, but I forgive you.

That part she does hear and she sobs out the breath she’d been holding before she looks up at Vulgaris questioningly.

“Monster?” she asks in a shaky voice. “I…” Her eyes fall and she suffers another tremor, shadowy wings flexing and folding back close to her shoulders again. “I didn’t mean to hurt him… I didn’t want this to happen… What…” She sobs and steps closer to him, closing her eyes against the sight again. “What have I done?”

The shadowy wings darken still more with her mounting guilt.

everybody just wants to be free

RE: am i afraid of you now [Vulgaris] - vulgaris - 07-16-2018

"love breaks my bones and i laugh."

Her inner turmoil reminds him of his first hunt and how he had let terror engulf him so easily at the sight of so much blood. He had cursed the world that had allowed him to become such a monster when he had once been so perfect before. Like Pond, he was only a child then. He hadn’t even had the time for any sins worthy of such a curse and yet there he was. Yet here he is. It is a small revenge to twist and torment those who lead such happy lives before he darkens their doorway.

He nods slowly when she stumbles around the word ‘me’ and he forces something like pity onto his face. She’s shaking like the boy had when Vulgaris cornered him, towered over him just seconds before teeth met skin, and yet for entirely different reasons. The smell of her tears and the blood around them is almost too intoxicating as he watches her face shift between so many different emotions.

She curls around his lie and edges closer to him. Vulgaris steps forward so her small head can lean against his gray chest while he leans his head over her to hug her close. His bright eyes catch the sight of the wings changing and he smiles faintly to himself at his accomplishment. Pond is changing in the worst sort of way but she’s the perfect plaything, really.

Of course you meant to, Pond,” he says softly in a voice tinged with regret and pity, like a parent teaching the hard lessons of life. “You wanted this. You were jealous of everything he had and you knew you couldn’t just take it for yourself. Monsters take what they can, so you took his life.

And to some extent, he has told her the truth of himself. He has always snatched away anything he found within his reach and kept it all for himself so long as it entertained him. There was no way to mend the sorrows he plagued himself with but observing the mourning of others always helped him forget for a while. And besides, ripping someone else’s life apart is always easier than piecing your own back together. He has learned that much the hard way.

Everything is alright, Pond. If they come looking for you then I will keep you safe,” he mumbles softly near her ear. At least this time he speaks the entire truth. Vulgaris is selfish and territorial, willing to crush anything that threatens what he deems his. That had been the only bright side of having a herd of his own years ago – fighting anyone who tried to take one of his girls, taking from others so easily. “I am the only one you can truly rely on. I am the only one who understands.

She still smells like childhood and innocence but he tries to commit this moment to perfect memory. Maybe in another year, when she’s fully grown, he can look back at this moment and relish in their progress.


RE: am i afraid of you now [Vulgaris] - Pond - 08-29-2018

The scent of the colt’s demise poisons the air around them, stinging her nostrils and throat as she sniffles and sobs. She can’t bear to look at the tattered corpse so she hides her face in the stallion’s chest as she tries to refute the evidence right before them. Vulgaris steps nearer so that her shoulder eases into the groove of his taller form and he bends his head to hug her close. For a brief moment she is comforted, squinting the tears from her eyes so that no more could follow, but then he speaks again:

Of course you meant to, Pond.

Her gray eyes open in a flash and the sudden burst of color and light nearly blind her. His mouth is near enough to her that she hears him clearly - it is perhaps the first time she has heard a voice so clearly since she was a newborn, since before the adventure that had delivered her these shadowy wings and the fogginess in her ears.

These words she hears clearly as a bell.

Vulgaris continues to spill words into her ear, words she takes as terrible truths. Words like ‘jealous’ and ‘monsters’ and ‘take’ - her black-tipped ears twitch vaguely at each subtle accusation and her eyes fall closed slowly. She buries her face in Vulgaris’ chest again with another small sob; the wings darken just a slight bit more. She has hardly made the connection just yet that Vulgaris is the culprit in the colt’s death; instead, she is haunted by the shadow-colt she had encountered, the fact that she had been spared during the chaos that has reshaped Beqanna where her family has all disappeared. She believes it to be some curse that she carries.

If they come looking for you then I will keep you safe.

Pond jerks her head back to look up at the dappled stallion tearfully, frightened. “Who would look for me?” she begs, but once her thoughts begin to race she murmurs at least one answer to her question: “his parents…”

The final words Vulgaris speaks make the most sense so far. She does not want to admit it but, if the death of this colt was somehow her fault, it seemed best to have some kind of a bodyguard or at least a champion for her cause.

In some way it seemed almost romantic.

“Where...where do you live?” she asks hesitantly, still with her head against his chest, but she has now shifted her body so that she can no longer see the colt’s remains. “Could I hide with you? I was brought to Ischia… I used to live…” She sighs gently and blinks a few more tears from her eyes. “Never mind. It doesn’t matter now. I just need somewhere…to go. Until his parents stop looking for me…”

@[Jassal] I smell some Stockholm Syndrome coming on >:}

RE: am i afraid of you now [Vulgaris] - vulgaris - 09-07-2018

"  when she's coming for my heart it feels like armageddon. "

Has he ever seen someone cry before? There isn’t a moment of his memory in which he can recall seeing real tears and so he supposes this must be a first for him. How were moments like this meant to feel, for others? He watches her sobbing desperately with a detached sort of wonder and he picks apart every unique feature of the emotions pouring through her – the fear, sorrow, and remorse. People watching the moon landing didn’t know this kind of fascination. But he has to keep his smile restrained, has to keep it all bundled up inside for now, though the joy dances in his eyes with sickening ease.

Who would look for her, indeed, he thinks with wild delight. He could whisk her off to some remote cavern and convince her that only that place is safe, then return in the dead of night to torment her further. God, he could taste her blood already, but then she’s asking him a question and the spell of his starvation is broken once again. Vulgaris had never thought that she might want to come to Loess, the one place he shows his true face, but he considers the idea for a moment. He could parade her as some orphan he’s so selflessly taken in, perhaps? Certainly not the child bride she almost is. Even they would be revolted by him.

Oh, sweet Pond,” he murmurs as he touches his muzzle to her forelock. She smells tender with just the right marbling. “I live in Loess, the kingdom for hire. If you come with me, you’ll have to work. Is that the sort of life you desire?

Another lie. He knows very well that Wolfbane allows simple inhabitants but Vulgaris wants to see her obey as a mercenary. He wants to see her take life with her own strength. A shiver runs down his spine at the thought of her crushing the last breaths out of someone.

If you think you’re strong enough, then you may come with me.

And then he watches her, eyes glimmering like tired emeralds while his scales highlight the sharp curve of his jaw. It would be so easy to make her break but he wants to see her do it herself.


RE: am i afraid of you now [Vulgaris] - Pond - 09-08-2018

Tears have been known to her since she had awoken in this strange form of a second life. Belgaer had found her crying near the river, afraid and lost with no knowledge of how much time had passed or where her home was. It was Brennen in Ischia who had informed her that the world they’d once known twas gone.

And she cries now, of course, in fear and disgust and horror and sorrow at the sight before her. No… the sight before them.

It only occurs to her now how stolid Vulgaris is as he looks upon such a dreadful thing…. But then again, he is older than her. He is tall and strong, perhaps he has seen this all before. She is still new to this world and unaccustomed to death. She doesn’t want to believe in such things, she doesn’t want anything in this world to end. But she already knows that it does and that is has - Brennen had told her so, Vulgaris is telling her so...

Her parents… they might even be dead. She can only remember small flashes of her life with them now, it had been so brief. They had been so kind to her but their smiles had seemed so sad in some way. Looking back now she blinks her eyes sadly, slowly, lashes heavy on her cheekbones. Had they known what was about to come, the Reckoning? Why weren’t they with her now?

The dappled stallion’s lips touch her brow and she is roused from her troubled thoughts. He speaks of his home and then of working, of strength and giving oneself to a cause.

Her brow furrows as she considers it all. The shadowy wings on her shoulders shift a little as if they are fidgeting with her contemplation. Kingdom for hire? Work? Is that the sort of life you desire?

She gasps a sharp breath and holds it. She looks at the pitiful body in front of them again.

“I….” she clenches her jaw again, shuts her eyes. “I don’t want this to happen again,” she finally blurts. “I want to be stronger. I want to stop this!” She looks up to catch that gleam along his jaw, those scales she had admired so greatly when they had first met. To her he seemed like some sort of glimmering knight, some sort of vizier who would guide her on a path to better life that would not lead to such sights as this.

“I know I am strong enough. Tell me what to do.” A thread of her father’s strength suddenly blooms to life within her as she steps slightly back and stands solidly on her own four feet.