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  • Beqanna

    version 22: awakening

    COTY

    GHAUL -- Year 209

    QOTY

    "(souls are not meant to live more than once — death was not meant to be temporary, and she is so sure that every time her heart starts to beat again that irreversible damage is further inflicted)" -- Anonya, written by Colby


    [private]  save me from the nothing I've become - carnage
    #1
    “I know when you go
    down all your darkest roads
    I would have followed all the way
    to the graveyard.”
    She used to hate herself for missing him. Missing him used to feel like chaos trying to take a physical form inside of her chest, like bottling up a storm that she knew she’d never be able to control and would shatter her if she tried. She used to get hung up on how it must be wrong – something inherently wrong with her, a flaw in her design, if you could even pin it down to just one thing – to miss someone like him. She has loved the darkness all her life, but this was different. It was a want that has turned into a need, a fascination that morphed into an addiction.

    Her days are spent chasing a high she knows she is never going to find, because no one seems to be able to break her apart the way he can. Their teeth are sharp, but she can heal their wounds as quickly as they can inflict them. They touch her and they take her, and she lets herself think that she is theirs or they are hers, but it would be a lie to pretend he does not constantly haunt the back of her mind.

    Some of the thrill is lost in knowing they cannot scar her, could not even actually touch her anymore if she decided she didn’t want to allow it.

    She knows she is not meant to be an angel because she nearly resents the power it has given her, but she knows, with him, that he could take it all away.

    Having resigned herself to the idea that she will miss him whether it is wrong or right or immoral or completely absurd, she doesn’t dwell on it anymore. Missing him now is a strange feeling of emptiness clinging to her like an invisible cloak, like the storm in her chest has finally worn itself out and left a reluctant kind of peace and acceptance in its wake.

    And when she stands alone in this far corner of the meadow, soft and glowing in the twilight as it fades into dark, she remembers how quickly she grows tired of tranquility.
    ryatah



    please appreciate the Evanescence subject line.

    Carnage
    Reply
    #2

    lord, I fashion dark gods too;


    He isn’t sure what drives him to her, this time. But before he knows it he is there, hidden in the shadows, and for a moment he watches her. She is lovely, in this twilight, but that is easy – there are many lovely creatures in Beqanna, they come a dime a dozen. No, she is something more, that strange and indefinable thing that keeps him returning to her, that keeps him finding new ways to test her.
    (And oh, he has a test biding its time, a thing that is tethered and quiet in the shadows.)
    He emerges – the thing that was beside him does not – and he walks to her side.

    It is infinitely more gentle than their last greeting (where he had torn her throat out, jealous, insulted), as he brushes his muzzle against her. He savors the feel of her skin, the way her ribs move in their breath. He recalls how still they’d been, her corpse unresponsive to his magic, how, for a moment, he had felt something like helplessness. It had been such a disquieting feeling, unfamiliar, for he is a man – a god – used to the world bending to his wills. When she had not listened (not her fault, of course; it had been Gail, whose powers unnerve him in a way he does not entirely admit) he had, for the first time in a very long time, not known what to do.
    And perhaps that feeling should have kept him away from her, lest things go awry again. Yet he is here, touching her.
    He lingers on her throat, now unscarred. As if the whole thing hadn’t happened at all.
    Perhaps he should have left a scar there. A reminder to her. To both of them.
    Ah well. He removes his muzzle from the unblemished flesh, looks at her, instead. Speaks, finally. 
    “Hello again, Ryatah,” he says, “how have you been?”
    As if everything was normal. And perhaps, for them, it was.


    c a r n a g e



    Ryatah
    Reply
    #3
    “I know when you go
    down all your darkest roads
    I would have followed all the way
    to the graveyard.”
    She feels him in the moments before he reveals himself; an inexplicable quickening of her pulse, an almost electric shock that races up her spine. A feeling that she’s being watched, and instead of being afraid there is an ember of hope threatening to spark in her chest – she is afraid of it being him, but more afraid that it might not be. She is afraid that it will never be him again, that the last time really was the last time, and knows it would be impossible to find a god that doesn’t want to be found.

    It’s this feeling that causes her to turn, to catch those familiar wine-red eyes when the shadows fall away from him, and what a foolish girl she must be that her instinct is to smile rather than to run.

    “Carnage,” his name is nearly a whisper in the twilight, spoken in the same soft way of hers despite their last meeting; she doesn’t seem to remember that he had slain her on the mountain top, instead only remembering that he had eventually brought her back. Her memory had a way of doing that to her, and maybe that is why now he makes her heart race for reasons other than fear.

    She can feel her pulse buzzing in reaction to his touch, the way he traces a path across everything he already knows. When he pauses against her throat there is a moment where her heart seems to stop and her breath goes still, and she remembers choking on blood, and Gail, and reawakening at his feet. But then he withdraws, and she lowers her haloed head to touch her mouth to his dappled shoulder, because she misses the feel of galaxies and magic and him beneath her lips. “I’ve missed you,” she says quietly in response to his question, and maybe it’s a strange thing to confess to the man that has blinded her once and killed her twice, but she supposes it’s a useless endeavor to think she can hide it.

    But then she too pulls away, gold-tipped wings tight to her sides when she looks up at him with the faintest hint of trepidation finally edging its way into the dark of her eyes and the questioning lilt of her voice, “But I assume you aren’t here just because you missed me, too.” 
    ryatah
    Reply
    #4

    lord, I fashion dark gods too;


    Is missing her the right word?
    His emotions are strange things, refined and redefined over centuries until they are no longer recognizable, no longer things able to be fit in categories. If they ever were. He has known so much, a multitude of pleasures and pains. The former, mostly, but there have been stumbles along the way, his own multitude of deaths - some planned, some not.
    He knows that her presence causes something inside him, a spark. Desire, yes, but desire is common, for him. Something deeper, carved in his veins, for he keeps making these pilgrimages to her.
    “I did miss you,” he says. Not quite arguing her point, but affirming that there is affection there, although his manifestation of affection is a strange thing indeed.

    “You’re so dedicated, Ryatah,” he says, unprompted. It is praise, but it’s a bit of a test, too. A primer. What would you do?
    He enjoys the warmth of her touch, though. Enjoys her pale skin beneath his muzzle, the faint hint of her pulse, her speeding heart. There is still room in this god to enjoy such banal things, even if for a moment.
    But a moment is all it is, and then he withdraws, fixes her with his gaze. In the distance, something rustles, shifts – his charge, impatient. He quiets it, does not want it to make itself known. Not quite yet. She must be primed. Readied.
    “Is there anything you wouldn’t do for me?”
    He is curious to know her answer. Is more curious still to discover the actual truth of her answer.


    c a r n a g e

    Reply
    #5
    “I know when you go
    down all your darkest roads
    I would have followed all the way
    to the graveyard.”
    There is, maybe, a faint fluttering of delight at his admission, even if she knows coming from him it deviates from the conventional meaning. Missing her could mean anything; missing the way she looked dripping in sea water or set alight with stars, missing how bright blood looks against her porcelain skin. How fitting, though, since they were anything but conventional. She doesn’t think she could put what they are into words, and maybe that is why being with him does something to settle her –  because she knows she doesn’t have to try. A dark god and a twisted angel, with their own peculiar idea of romance that only they seem to be able to follow.

    Something beneath her skin trembles at his praise, appeasing that toxic part of her that craves –  needs – approval. But there is a disquiet, too, because she has not, recently to her knowledge, done anything worthy of it. She remains quiet when he withdraws, dark eyes watching his, uselessly trying to decipher where she thinks this is going (something she should have given up on long ago, trying to figure out the way his mind works).

    He asks her what she would do for him, and the answer that wants to jump reflexively to her tongue is anything. She knows him well enough to never say that, though, knows that offering him anything meant exactly that. If she offered him anything, he would take everything.

    Instead her words are carefully weighed, but truthful. “Almost anything,” she begins, trying to think of a situation when she might be asked to do anything for him. She knows there are few things that she wouldn’t do; she already knows her morals grow clouded and complex when it comes to him, even more so than they already are. She is almost afraid, actually, at knowing how quickly he could sway her, if needed. But she knows she has limits, she just isn’t sure what they might be. “I suppose it would depend on what, and why, I was being asked to do it.”
    ryatah


    Carnage
    Reply
    #6

    lord, I fashion dark gods too;


    Missing her means a hundred things. Some are almost normal – the feel of her skin beneath his lips, the scent of her, the dark want as her gaze settles on her. But of course, he misses other things – how she is takes whatever he gives and keeps returning, keeps shuddering under his touch. How she will bleed, drown, burn for him.
    (Not that this in itself is special, countless have died for him. It’s that she does this, and she still returns, still with want in her eyes.)
    But for all the tenderness – and the not-so-tenderness – of their reunion, the dark god is also a thing that grows bored easily. He has drunk his fill of her body – for now – and his mind has turned to other things, the darker side of his desires.

    He listens to her response. She weighs her answer, which he appreciates – not overeager – but his lips tighten at the modifier, that she suggests limits.
    (He needs limits, of course. Or, the idea of them. Otherwise, what is there to push against? Even a god needs some friction.)
    “I’ve always found you willing,” he says, “even when tested.”
    Unfair tests, of course. Was it worth fighting, when the rise of the water was inevitable?

    And yet, he brings forth another unfair test. From the woods is a rustle, a snap of branches. A trill, high and almost birdlike. On Carnage’s unspoken cue, the alien emerges, armored and strange. The dark god smiles, and brings it forth, so that she can properly look at it. It is a strange thing, equine but distinctly not.
    “Ryatah,” he says, “this is Cthulhu. It’s a stupid, dangerous alien. It feels little emotion.”
    The alien trills again. It has words – ill-formed and slow – but Carnage keeps its grasp of language silent. As if this would make it easier.
    “I would like you to kill it. I’m asking you to. I want you to. In fact, in this moment, nothing would make me happier.”
    He smiles. It is a terrible smile.
    Beside him, the creature has gone quiet, as if it, too, awaits her answer.


    c a r n a g e



    Ryatah
    Reply
    #7
    “I know when you go
    down all your darkest roads
    I would have followed all the way
    to the graveyard.”
    She had known that he would not ask such a question for no reason. Carnage had never been one for hypothetical games, or at least, not with her. She had known that when he asked her what would you do for me? that he had every intention of finding out. Although she still, after all these years, would never claim to entirely know him, it could be argued that she knew him better than most. But he was still unpredictable in ways few could ever imagine.

    She expects him to hurt her, the way he has before.
    She expects the lair, she expects him to make her beg, she expects another sea to drown her, and mentally she is prepared for that.

    She does not expect the alien-like creature that comes from the brush, and a flicker of recognition flashes plainly across her face. Ripley. Only, it isn’t Ripley. They are strikingly similar, and it is clear, even without her having to ask, that it is some relation to her daughter — and to her. It makes her heart twist inside of her chest.

    Carnage shakes her from her strange thoughts, and she feels her blood run cold at his request. “Kill it?” She repeats, as if she may have misheard him, even though she knows she did not. She can feel her heartbeat quicken, she can feel anxiety begin to take hold — because she knows she is about to disobey him. Every part of her is warring with itself — the part of her that endlessly wanted to please was now at odds with the part of her that was too good to needlessly murder. 

    He knows exactly how to phrase his command to make her mind spin, to make her desperately search for a solution because she would do almost anything to keep him from being angry at her (she is not sure when that part changed — when she went from just trying to stay alive, to where she is now, where she is more afraid of disappointing him than she is of being hurt).

    Almost anything.

    “I can’t,” she says softly, shrinking away from him, and from the creature. “You know that I can’t – that I wouldn’t  kill anyone.” Her dark eyes tear away from the alien creature, to look at him, a useless kind of plea that she still cannot help but to make, “Don’t ask me to be someone I’m not.”
    ryatah


    Carnage
    Reply
    #8

    lord, I fashion dark gods too;


    He has come to know her body so well, over these meetings. Not just in the way he usually knows their bodies – but the added intimacy of how she looks in death, or in space, or in some land he’s conjured from nothing.
    He knows her mind, too. He’s been within it, rifled through her thoughts when he finds it beneficial – though he often stays out of her mind, preferring instead the surprise of her actions, her words.
    He had not been sure, how she would answer. He had not wanted to cheat this time, he wanted to hear her assent or denial from her own lips, fresh.

    She repeats the question, and he sighs.
    “Did I stutter? Yes, kill it.”
    To drive home the point, he pushes the alien to its knees. It shrieks in surprise – an unpleasant sound, raking the ears – but he shuts the noise off mid-cry. He is trying to make it easier, for her. A gateway drug of this alien thing, made prone before her.
    But she does not move, does not partake in this offering. Instead, she speaks, says I can’t. And looks at him, as if he might change his mind.
    He is no longer smiling. His head shakes, just slightly.
    “I suspected as much,” he says, “I just thought you might bend. For me. After all, it’s not like you wanted to die, either.”
    Not that she was given much of a choice, in those occurrences. Not that he’d listened to any drowning pleas.

    With another motion, he lays the creature out flat. It does not move, though its eyes twitch rapidly in their sockets, looking between the two. He doesn’t know how much the alien comprehends about the scene before it, but nor does he care. It could be dead soon, anyway.
    He compels her body forward, moves her like a doll. Poses her, with one hoof just above the alien’s skull. He meets her gaze, holds her there, in this precipice.
    “It’s freeing, you know,” he says, “to kill. No feeling can match it.”
    Ironic, perhaps, to speak of freedom as he holds her in this position, on the edge of unmaking her.
    “Last chance,” he says, and release his hold on her, leaving her to decide if she will bring her hoof down on the alien’s skull, or withdraw and risk whatever happens next.

    c a r n a g e



    Ryatah
    Reply
    #9
    “I know when you go
    down all your darkest roads
    I would have followed all the way
    to the graveyard.”
    She has only openly defied him once — only one time where she knows she was consciously telling him no, refusing to do something he had asked. That was a different time, in what felt like an entirely different world, but she had bore the scarred sockets of her punishment across several lifetimes.

    And she knows, with every fiber of her being, with every rapid beat of her heart and every rush of blood in her veins, that she is treading back into those same dangerous waters.

    It is worse to defy him now, she thinks. It is worse to take all their intricate history and more or less decide that it is nothing, to tell him the valley and the stars and all the things in between weren’t enough to earn her loyalty in its entirety. That with all of that he still cannot ask her to do something and have her obey without question.

    She is not defiant by nature.
    It is not like her to so adamantly refuse to do something he, of everyone, is asking, demanding. She is a fool, but she is a fool that knows him well enough to know she is not leaving here alive, or at least not unscathed.

    But this one last piece of morality — this piece that won’t kill, that would never intentionally cause harm — is all she has left.

    She flinches inwardly when he sends it to the ground, and though she wants to look away, she affords him that much, in that she doesn’t. Her eyes remain on the silent, still creature, and only lift from it when she answers him, “Dying myself is different than taking life from someone else.” Her jaw tightens, wishing she could learn when it was better to not say anything.

    She has no choice when he forces her forward, when he forces her leg to lift. She can feel when he releases her, and there is a moment — a half of a heartbeat, a single inhale of breath — where her resolve wavers. She could do it; she could do it, and maybe it would make him happy, maybe it would be some imaginary test that she has passed. But then her hoof finds the ground again, and she shakes her head. “No,” the word is not strong, it leaves her tongue on a whisper, a meek kind of defeat as she steps backwards again. “I would do almost anything for you, Carnage, but not this.” She looks back at him, and though her regret reflects back in her eyes, she knows he will not care. She does not beg for the mercy she knows she will not receive.

    “I would rather you punish me than make me do this,” and her skin flushes hot in anticipation, in fear, knowing that their strange undercurrent of twisted romance didn’t exist right now. He has killed her for lesser things, and she does not see herself getting out of this one.
    ryatah


    Carnage

    Alexa, play "I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)"
    Reply
    #10

    lord, I fashion dark gods too;


    It is as if time slows, in that moment.
    He watches with curiosity what she will do, with the alien laid beneath her hoof, an easy target. He knows what she would have done once, but that was decades or centuries ago, and she’s changed – as has he – and this is a different situation entirely. He has shaped her, in his own way, but he has not entirely remade her.
    The hoof trembles, for a moment, and then it is back on the ground. There is no dull thud of the alien’s skull cracking, only the sound of birdsong, of her breath; and the weight of her choice, heavy and hanging between them.
    “I see,” he says, and his voice is dangerously soft. He waits a moment more, as if this would be the thing to change her mind, tip the scales, but she steps back further, offering an explanation that means nothing to him.

    He steps forward, closing the distance she had made, skirting around the alien. He looses its hold on it and it scrambles to its feet, its bothersome shrieks twisting the air, and for a moment the dark god considers snapping its neck himself just for the damned silence, but a corpse – at least, one of his making – would ruin the atmosphere. So he lets it go, lets it disappear into the woods beyond.
    Almost,” he says, “I’ve never liked that word.”
    It suggests failure. A puzzle unable to be finished. A mountain, unconquered.
    He wants to kill her again. The desire is there, hot and heavy. But the memory of last time – of how she had stayed dead, how his magic had not been enough --
    (almost)
    keeps him from this. He will not risk it in such a way again, not yet. Besides, there are plenty of ways to punish, death is simply of the easier.

    He touches her. It is tender, because although she has failed him, this wasn’t unexpected. They all fail him, in time. He is not done with her, not yet.
    “Do you remember,” he says softly, almost sweetly, “what happened last time you defied me?”
    His lips on her cheek. She’s so warm, so sweet.
    “I remember how you tasted.”
    Her blood in his mouth, her eyes spat in the dirt. He barely remembers the reason for it, but he remembers the blood on his tongue. The thrill of such savagery as the kingdom watched their queen fall.
    A flutter of eyelashes. He remembers when they happened upon one another, how he had restored her eyes.
    The lord giveth, and the lord taketh away.
    His teeth sink, and, in his mercy, he sharpens them, makes excision more precise, less ragged than the bluntness from equine teeth. The first drops of blood hit his tongue, and he moves quickly – from desire and practicality both – and takes one eye, then the other. He looks at her then, the blood on her face, the sockets made empty again.
    “There,” he says, “a punishment fit for a queen.”

    c a r n a g e



    Ryatah
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