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    Gale -- Year 215


    "To be a woman is to face monsters" --Brunhilde, written by Phae

    [private]  my eyelids are heavy, my spirit is numb

    for so long had my teeth held my tongue from a venomous voice
    but the poison has passed from my lips to my hands, an incendiary point

    She flies hard and fast, cutting through the Hyaline sky like a bullet.

    There’s a strangled noise in her throat when she sees the shadows moving beneath her, like an ocean in the middle of a storm—turbulent, churning, alive. She hadn’t thought to come check here. She hadn’t thought that they would care. That they would ever put their attention toward something clearly not alive.

    Not fully, at least.

    But as she dives, she knows that was a foolish thought. It was foolish to think that these monsters would have any kind of compassion. Any kind of decency. Because when the area around her begins to illuminate slowly with her crackling glow, she can see that the monsters are stalking toward her mother’s body. The place where Breach had so carefully laid her, where Sochi was slowly healing—the sheen of her iridescent blaze picking up the stray light. Breach cries out, furious, as she shifts again.

    It’s exhausting and she can feel the wound transfer with the shift, her back leg bleeding. She leaps forward as a tiger into the fray of thrashing bodies, snarling as she grabs at one and throws it back. She hears a grunt but before she can pull another one off, two more are on her back. She pulls back, swiping her claws, feeling a sizzle of electricity along her back as one yips and another screeches in pain.

    But it’s not enough.

    More come.

    She can feel tears on her cheeks. This knowledge that she would fail her mother in death, just as she had in life. Her body trembles as more claws dig into her skin, as she splits apart in new places. She does not heal this time. She can only feel each new wound, blood blossoming against her fur, and know—

    Know that she’s failing.

    When one more monster rushes forward, jaw opening at her mother, she cries out.


    And the space around her shatters. The sound is like a thunderclap and the air explodes outward from her, knocking the monsters back, rattling the branches, throwing dirt into the air.

    The monsters, finally, retreat.

    And Breach stumbles forward before falling, her head thrown out next to Sochi’s.

    The life gone from her.

    though ritual pyre sending smoke to the sky as the building continues to burn
    though rapt in the ruin, the pain in the grave, is lies you leave tied to the earth


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