06-13-2020, 07:34 PM
(This post was last modified: 06-13-2020, 07:35 PM by aletta.)
There aren’t many things to complain about in summer.
A lull sweetens the air. It becomes thick with humidity (as a daughter of the mountains she doesn’t particularly care for the heat) and the soft melodies of insects crescendos as sunset slowly paints the landscape. A bright, blazing red sun warns that the day is ending and Aletta is looking to the East, paying no mind to the West.
Let the day end, she impatiently thinks.
The silver mare is waiting. To the absent-minded horse that passes by the gray woman, it looks as if she is waiting for someone. Aletta has stopped grazing and her back is to the sun as it illuminates everything behind her. The day is dying in various shades of pastels; the innocent blues, the lovely lilac that deepens to violet as the sun finally disappears beneath the treeline and eventually the horizon.
Day fades to night and what Aletta has been waiting for appears.
There is only one and then twinkles two. Silently, a third comes into view and then a fourth. Suddenly, there is a sky full of stars and Aletta isn’t alone. There is a whole galaxy to keep her company. The pale woman smiles and lifts her petite head higher to better appreciate them. She knows what she appears by daylight; older, tired, aloof. By night? By night, she transforms and basks under their shimmering attention. She becomes young again - awake, attentive.
"There you are,” she admonishes them. Aletta isn’t a star-talker but they have heard her before. (She has met the messenger to prove it.)
"Took you all day,” the wanderer teases, feeling at home beneath their shining.
Radar its short but throw whoever at her
06-15-2020, 09:08 PM
(This post was last modified: 06-18-2020, 01:43 PM by aletta.)
Underneath this same sky - from Paraiso’s deep valleys to the imperial heights of Craignair, the flats of Murmuring Rivers and even Beqanna - she has done this. The wanderer of her youth (and in the years that came after, it seems) fed the traveling spirit of her soul by aspiring to the stars. They have seen her at all the phases of her life; maiden, mare and now?
Who is she now?
Aletta knows she is not a star-talker. She has no way of discerning their twinkling wishes or shimmering secrets. What they have seen, what they know, what they will come to know (or do they already know it? Does something as timeless as the cosmos already know the beginning and the end of everything? Or is that as they are - something infinite?) remains enveloped in the dark silence of the night sky above her and the pale woman has come to learn to be grateful for the knowledge of their company (though that is a patience that has taken years).
There are others who would look at up and see something less.
They could look up at those galaxies and not realize what vast, eternal company they keep. (And maybe for the Immortals that is different; maybe so much time passes that they no longer have the capacity to remember who had been at the beginning with them, who will be with them if the end ever comes. Maybe they simply no longer want to remember after lifetimes of it.)
The pale feathers of Warden’s wings limn in this silver light and it distracts her. Turning her refined head, the approaching stallion is half-shadowed. She can see the stark white of his face - almost matching those mighty wings - as he comes closer and that's where she lets her dark gaze settle. Aletta can’t see the thin line of his mouth as he presses his doubts into it. His incredulity, though, she hears. It makes her own ears flick back. Is he of Beqanna? And if he is, are the natives of this land so arrogant and conceited in their magical abilities that they no longer rely on its origins?
"They have before,” states the wanderer. Raising her head, she studies the proud curve of his dark antlers and tilts her head. "Though I suppose it helps having a mountain or two to raise the words.” A forgotten daughter from a kingdom in the clouds, that was how she had gotten through her girlhood. As close to the heavens as a horse could get (and then later - in the Pass), surely those heights meant something.
Her white tail flicks - the only outward sign at his ambiguity - and the grey mare asks with an upward motion of her head, as if the stars were privy to this conversation: "What have you asked them?”
06-17-2020, 12:25 PM
(This post was last modified: 06-17-2020, 12:25 PM by Warden.)
he's a grump i apologize
he's a likeable guy i promise
06-18-2020, 06:48 PM
(This post was last modified: 06-18-2020, 06:59 PM by aletta.)
His eyes are roving the stars like a submersible searches the murky depths of the ocean. Warden is searching through the silence and the stillness for an answer. Looking for answers to questions that they are both pondering in the quiet that subdues between them. Aletta has turned her head to regard him, briefly, and watches as the angles of his face harden into a deep scowl. aletta
She’d done the same thing, once.
"The future always comes,” she clips back at him, looking back up to the vast sky too sharply. His words are echoing a memory that cuts through the acute edge of her own, remembering that she had so often wished the same thing. That the future wouldn’t come, that present she stood in wouldn’t exist at all. It’s stifling in her throat and Aletta finds it easier to not answer him at all than to tell him that he might be asking the wrong questions.
Warden’s voice softens and for a moment, she is reminded of Malachi. There is a stirring against his bay sides as those pale feathers catch the corner of her dark gaze again. Like the pegasus can’t quite settle beneath their celestial company. He reminds her of Malachi - her eldest boy - and she wonders if there is a colt underneath the stallion, a stargazer still lingering beneath the skin of a skeptic.
"What if they can only see?” Aletta asks. She has never doubted that they have been up there since the beginning of everything and that they will be the last things hanging, when it at all comes crashing down. The wanderer has always assumed that they knew the whole story: from the bright beginning to the dark end and had some gravity in the telling. It’s never occurred to her - not until now, anyways - that they might only be the narrators.
The revelation gives a new perspective to her own. They had heard. It didn’t mean they had altered or intervened.
"I cursed them,” Aletta says with a humorless laugh. She remembers the raw rage, the way it had burned through her, straight up to them. "I lost everything so I accused them of being jealous.” Her eyes - a rich mahogany - flash to a depthless (mirthless), angry black that might be imperceptible in the depth of evening. She knows the picture that her golden lover had imagined, that her children adopted; a serene, silver mare praying beneath the stars, hoping that if she was devout enough beneath that twinkling altar, her offerings might be enough to bring Valerio home.
What none of them ever speak of (or care to remember) is the tired, furious Regent with the responsibilities of a herd on her slim shoulders and four sets of young eyes looking to her for guidance. None of them ever seem to recall that Aletta had damned those shining stars long before she ever praised them.
The answers wouldn’t come until much, much later.
"I never asked,” she says, lingering between the memory and the sham.
"Change seems to be their favorite heralding.” Aletta looks up again, remembering those two messages that the stars had sent. 'The stars have heard you,’ said the startalker’s daughter before Valerio had come home, haunted and haggard from war. And then the Oracle herself - Keav - had proclaimed years later, when it had just been Aletta: 'Go Beyond.’ As if the stars knew about the dreams. Malachi and the wildflower bower. Lilliana and the shadowed forest. Jay and the burning beach. "They tend to be somewhat cryptic," she adds dryly.
"They told me to go Beyond my mountains, so here I am.” It could be a trick of light but the moonglow softens her face as she glances sideways at Warden, trying to assess the stoic stallion again. "So,” she quips, "what would you tell them?”
If futures can’t be changed and curses can’t be solved, what would Warden say? Aletta has learned to find their presence a comfort but that has come from years of travel, of learning, of living. Where was Warden on this journey? Did he curse or did he pray?
we turned our back on ordinary from the start
show me the sky falling down
photo credit to charlie---x