"“Content to admire you from afar.” Well that’s just bullshit. She wasn’t *content* to be admired from afar. She would rather not see him at all then be tortured by a buffered distance." --Mazikeen, written by Squirt
04-19-2021, 11:32 AM (This post was last modified: 04-19-2021, 11:33 AM by Sabra.)
"We're your parents particularly unhappy at your birth? You give you such a name... Tsk."I shook my head, eyes sad and sympathetic as we go. Obscene. He is, I think, a self fulfilling prophecy in that regard. There's a buzz of nearly tangible dissatisfaction about him. The rage of directionless youth. He deserves better, certainly.
My tongue slicks my teeth, looking as the trees that dot the landscape grow more twisted and forbidding as we travel. There is something about Sylva that attracts the dark. While the woods have yet to recover from the time of deprivation, this is all the more clear. Sickly, is the word. Or perhaps wan. The normally vivid vegetation is washed out where it still clings patchy to the limbs, murky brown where it rots beneath our feet.
Not pretty. Not nice. But home, regardless.
"Now tell me," I began, sweet as honey. "What is it you're looking for. Really looking for. Anarchy, violence, control, I can offer you these things. Commit your acts in my name and I will see to it that you are protected. But-" I paused my gait, turning the flat glass of my gaze on him. "This is only so long as you can be loyal, and do not harm others under my protection without good reason." I have no qualms when it comes to disciplining my own.
The merest hint of suggestion coats my tongue. I want his honesty. How else can I offer what he wants?
There’s still a buzzing in his ears, a fog in his head. The sounds around them are starting to become clearer but her voice still remains the center of focus. He snorts in mock amusement at her first question as he responds thickly, wondering why his tongue feels too big for his mouth. “The opposite actually. They just weren’t around much growing up.” His words are honest and he wonders why he’s being so candid. It’s not something he openly admits or talks about. Shaking his head to clear his mind, to make him feel more in control of himself.
The fog is fading into a mist by the time they reach Sylva. Enough that he feels off-kilter but realizes that he’s far from the Meadow. Far from home. He wonders if his fae friends have noticed his absence, if they were worried. Probably not is the conclusion he comes to. They probably thought he was face-planted in the dirt somewhere blitzed out of his mind. Just him being his usual mess. As his red eyes scan the dark trees and washed out landscape, he can’t help but let the corner of his lip curl in disdain. This place looked diseased. He can’t remember that he had been to Sylva before because he had still been growing in the womb of his mother. Existing but not present. The woods had been more vibrant then but still infected with the type of people that call this place home. His mother had been a captive at the time, a captive to the depraved whims of her half brother who humiliated her and tortured her for his own amusement. Offspring had rescued her at the last, burning part of this forest in the process to remove her. Remove them. He had probably felt her fear, anguish, and relief back then but he can’t recall it now. It had been a long time ago when all that had happened. When he had felt his parents love.
Picking up his hooves to step around the worst of the muck, her voice calls to him again. Glancing out of the corner of his eye, he regards her warily. Obviously she had done something to make him come here. He can’t even remember the journey, can’t really remember agreeing to go anywhere. She speaks of loyalty but he’s more thinking about what he wants. She seems very determined to get to the heart of him, to figure out his greatest desire. It only makes him balk at the idea, makes him harden more. That she had lured him here already proves that she is dangerous and being a normal mortal… This could go very badly for him. So for now, he plays it safe.
“What kind of acts exactly are we talking about?” Succeeding at pulling his usual indifferent mask back over himself, making sure not to look at her directly. He’s not sure how she had enthralled him but this seemed to be the safest option so far to avoid it happening again. “All I know is how to be cruel.” It’s not a complete deception but it’s also not the whole truth, something he had picked up from the fae who could not directly lie. While he could lie and do it well, something his mortal self takes for granted, he finds avoidance to be the best tactic now. Plus, cruel can mean many things.
I tsk again, a sad sound to fit the sad words. It feels right on my tongue. Sharp and clean and correct. A good sound. "Time is-" I proclaim with utmost certainty, "the best gift a mother can give her child." Yes. The best. Until other things get in the way. Life, love, trauma and disaster. Any number of things.
My trees are drab, it's true, but I am confident that their fiery plumage will return. We will destroy the decaying, the dying, in favor of the new. It will make us stronger, in the end.
"You're a handsome thing, you know. It would be a pity to waste such a face on the emptiness of the meadow. It's so much easier to make others listen when you're beautiful," I muse aloud, my thoughts threatening an ungrounded tangent. I want to touch his face, his neck, to feel the hot blood rushing beneath his skin. However, I refrain. My own skin is perpetually cold, a side effect of long term blood loss. It is unpleasant to me, I can't imagine it would do anything for anyone else, either.
My smile returns at his question, giddy as a girl in spring when he delves into my prompting. "Oh darling, I assure you I don't care. Rape, pillage, do something heroic: it's all the same in the end. All I ask is that you don't be boring." A pause weighs on my tongue as I seek out his burning eyes once more."Boredom is something I simply don't abide with." There's no latent magic lying in wait this time. Only the gleam of danger others would perhaps describe to him later.
Making my own entertainment tends to be a messy business. My face twitches at his declaring one talent. Cruelty, what a perverse thing to claim! One delicate brow raises intrigued, lips pursed and contemplative. "We'll see how true that is." I promise, anticipation rising in my chest.
He can’t remember the last time he had been mothered and Sabra does so in a weird twisted way. Maybe it’s the lingering effects from her magic but he finds himself nodding slightly as she speaks, finds himself agreeing with her. He was a handsome thing, mortal and ordinary in every other way, but at least he had his looks. That was a waste wasn’t it? He should at least be appreciated for the little worth he had.
As they walk beneath the dreary trees and amongst the shadows, she delves deeper into her meanings. The way she talks about him, the way she looks at him with such promise. It stirs something around the heart of stone that weighs heavily in his broad chest, It’s a perverse emotion, strange even, that he feels a need to please Sabra as much as he’s put off by her. He can’t tell if this is part of her magic but he has a feeling it has more to do with himself. He doesn’t like any of this but the smug smirk spreads instinctively as he glances at her from the corner of a dark red eye.
“A dull life is a fate worse than death.” It’s why he drowns himself in nectar and earthly pleasures, at least that’s what he tells himself. That it’s the avoidance of boredom that drives him to drink and be reckless. He doesn’t even realize just how much of himself he’s revealed in such a short amount of time, weaknesses exposed that she’s latched onto with precision.
The tone of anticipation isn’t missed, seeming to be pleased with his one skill. Even as a ribbon of dread weaves itself into his system, he curls the corner of his lip suggestively. “As if I need to prove it to you?” He sneers, raising a brow at her. “I'm curious...Has anyone ever wanted you, with that thing sticking out of your chest?” It’s only a small taste of the venom he’s built inside himself, one that he curls into for protection as he tries his best to navigate the game he’s suddenly in.
The branches clatter like bones overhead, casting their lacy shadows on our backs as we go. The path underfoot is an old one, here long before me, and I'm certain it will be here long after I've moved on. It survived the neglect of the dark. Only slightly overgrown, it still marked a broad swath through the trees, the safest way to travel in my woods.
For all its dark history, it is the safest place I've ever known. The closest thing to home I've made for myself, when the longing gets intense. Not the parched desert of my earliest youth, or the topical island I occupied for a time, no it was these haunted trees that had captured me. For now, anyway. Some day I'm sure I'll grow sick of them.
I nod in pleasant agreement with his statement, eyes hooded. "And what would you know about death?" I ask, question mild on the surface. Beneath it hangs brittle resentment. Oh yes, it's easy to make comparisons when you have never died. Have never been ripped back from the beyond and had your soul clumsily reattached to a body tired of holding it. So very many things are worse than death.
My smile has gone wintry, but it remains in place. Practiced pleasantness that stutters on his next words. Only for a delighted crow to fly from my lips. "Vicious boy! As a matter of fact, yes. I have a daughter younger than this old splinter, though her father did end up ghosting on me." I giggle at the private joke, eyes rolling.
"And what about you?" I prod with a conspiratorial tone, hip swinging into his playfully. "Young and handsome, I'm sure you have your share of lovers in the wings. Or have you driven them all off with that charming demeanor of yours?" My smile is darkly amused by now, and my mind thoroughly engrossed in the tale of Obscene.
He had never died. But he would. There’s no magic to tether him here, nothing to keep him alive forever. He would be bleached bones and rotting flesh, worms in his skull and carrion for vultures. That was his mortal destiny. That was all he had to look forward to. “Don’t all mortals think of death? I can’t escape my mortality and my life will be short compared to most in this world. That’s all I need to know.” He gives a small shrug although the muscles in his jaw seem to tighten. Since when did he have such a loose tongue?
It was a gamble, to show how he used words like a knife, and he finds he’s holding his breath as her expression seems to wither. Exhaling slowly the moment her laughter breaks the dangerous silence, loud enough to send a scattering of birds to flight in the trees above them. He can’t help the grin that he gives, filled with a mixture of relief and uncertainty. At least she seems pleased, joking with him as they continue on. “Does your daughter have the same.. ailment?” He asks, honestly curious for a change. He wants to ask exactly how one ends up with a javelin in their chest but thinks better of it.
“And what about you?” Yes, what about him indeed. He doesn’t want to think of Cheri, how she stood in the rain as lightning cracked around her. Of her stupid wings and the annoying way she had jutted her chin at him, staring at him defiantly. He doesn’t want to think of her at all. Instead the smug grin just settles deeper on his dark mouth as he gives a noncommittal toss of his head. “More like they’ve all been boring and predictable. I’ve yet to find anyone exciting.” He gives a snort of disgust and pushes the emerald and onyx mare far from his mind.
Disclaimer: All images used in this site are copyrighted to their original owner. No copyright infringement is intended. If you are the copyrighted owner of any material on this site and wish for it to be removed, please let us know.