[identity profile] al-shairan.livejournal.com
From here. Iblis freed Micah!Tez from his bond to Management, and then gave him an unexpected gift.
*
"You had a riding crop once. I remember."

I drop my head forward again, and I look at him through my lashes. I remember looking at him like before.

"I don't remember that. But I would like to, I think." I eat my pie, tart berry and sweet pastry. "Eat your pie," I say, smiling, "and then find somewhere you can remind me of lots of things like that."

[ac: sex, some blood, as you might expect. Schmoop warning! ;)]
[closed]
[identity profile] kent-whitman.livejournal.com
Though my soul may set in darkness, It will rise in perfect light. I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.

Saturday Night, June 2nd
The Mayor's office, then elsewhere


The day started out fine enough; a bright, sunny day filled with promise and no real obligations. Wanda wanted to wake early enough to go to the market to talk to the vendors, Rose was babbling something about strawberries, and since I had no pre-set plans I was more than happy to tag along with my two beautiful girls.

And for a hour or so, it was just as I imagined it would be. Rose's dress and fingers stained red, Wanda chatting and animated... then the first person trotted up to talk to her in worried tones. Then the second. Before long the whole market was abuzz with the news; the Carnival Diabolique had returned. I had no real memory of it, but it seemed that everyone else did, and those memories were not of the kind variety. With a false smile and a tightness around the eyes, Wanda abandoned the market to head to her office and assess the problem...

that was roughly twelve hours ago. Now it's my turn to do damage control. Tommi was happy to come over and watch her favourite 'Niece', and after a story and a goodnight kiss, I grab a bottle of meade and head over to fetch my wife.

The front of the building and main room is dark as I let myself in, but I see a light from the private office in the back. I shake my head and push her door open.

"Madame Mayor, I believe quitting time was several hours ago. Racking up the overtime on the tax payers dime, are we?" I ask with a mock stern look as I lean in the doorway.

Closed
[identity profile] dorian-excolo.livejournal.com
[http://estdeus-innobis.livejournal.com/445951.html]

Looking for a pick-me-up after the wish debacle, Jane stops by the Sacred Whore for a new dress which, along with the customary snark, Dorian is happy to provide.  There's some back and forth, as part of the dress-making process apparently involves insults and pie-puns.  Jane then decides that the best way to forget about this Jamie business is a little dressing room sexy time, which just so happens to be one of the services provided at the Sacred Whore.  Dorian starts to have misgivings, though, when Jane becomes unsure of where to go next, and the two of them retire to the back bedroom.

I've annoyed her again, I can tell, and I'm wondering if she has it in her to walk out now when she starts to undress.  "You made me feel wonderful,"​ she says, a rather obvious statement, before kicking off her shoes.  I can see the hesitation, at the end, as she contemplates how far to take it, and I just leave her to it, leaning against the headboard.  That seems to be the best policy, today; stand back and see what happens.  
Jane comes to the bed, in just her underthings, and sits down beside me.  "I'd like to return the favor, too."  She touches my face, not so unsure about that at least.  "I will need some advice about the best way to do that, though."  Oh, well this will be fun.

I turn into her hand, kissing its palm, before pulling away to grab my glass and the ashtray.  "I'm notoriously hard to please, I'm afraid," I say, looking at her and then taking a long drag from my cigarette.  "But that's not really why you're asking, is it?"  My mind goes, again, to what she said in the dressing room.  Ex-husbands and looking to impress someone...  We'll get there, eventually.  But for now- "How many lovers have you had?"

[Open to Jane]
[CLOSED]

[Sexy Time... Round Two!]
[identity profile] dorian-excolo.livejournal.com
[http://estdeus-innobis.livejournal.com/445951.html]

Looking for a pick-me-up after the wish debacle, Jane stops by the Sacred Whore for a new dress which, along with the customary snark, Dorian is happy to provide.  There's some back and forth, as part of the dress-making process apparently involves insults and pie-puns.  Jane then decides that the best way to forget about this Jamie business is a little dressing room sexy time, which just so happens to be one of the services provided at the Sacred Whore.  Dorian starts to have misgivings, though, when Jane becomes unsure of where to go next, and the two of them retire to the back bedroom.

I've annoyed her again, I can tell, and I'm wondering if she has it in her to walk out now when she starts to undress.  "You made me feel wonderful,"​ she says, a rather obvious statement, before kicking off her shoes.  I can see the hesitation, at the end, as she contemplates how far to take it, and I just leave her to it, leaning against the headboard.  That seems to be the best policy, today; stand back and see what happens.  
Jane comes to the bed, in just her underthings, and sits down beside me.  "I'd like to return the favor, too."  She touches my face, not so unsure about that at least.  "I will need some advice about the best way to do that, though."  Oh, well this will be fun.

I turn into her hand, kissing its palm, before pulling away to grab my glass and the ashtray.  "I'm notoriously hard to please, I'm afraid," I say, looking at her and then taking a long drag from my cigarette.  "But that's not really why you're asking, is it?"  My mind goes, again, to what she said in the dressing room.  Ex-husbands and looking to impress someone...  We'll get there, eventually.  But for now- "How many lovers have you had?"

[Open to Jane]
[CLOSED]

[Sexy Time... Round Two!]
[identity profile] dorian-excolo.livejournal.com
[Sunday, June 13th (Day 378)]
[Noon, The Sacred Whore]

Ah, boredom.  My old friend.

It's slow, even for a Sunday, and by the time I've finished with all the little tasks that must be done - sweeping, dusting, reordering the clothing racks, and tidying the displays - only a few hours have passed.  And there's nothing left to do.  It's times like these that having the two assistants is more a burden than a boon, and I actually toss Winnie a look when she moves past.  

I throw some money at them and send them away.  Buy something, go take a nap, I don't care, just go.

I'm minded to flip the sign to closed after that, as everyone else has the good sense not to be open on a Sunday, but I don't.  Anything could happen, anyone could show, anyone at all...  I keep the bedroom door open, to listen for the bell, as I move back to change.  It's humid today and I'm not dressed for it, I've suddenly realized.  And my other shirt was a little dirty, from the cleaning.  Yes.

In a moment, though, I'm back to sitting on the counter, glancing around the shop and near-to-tears with nothing to do.  It's ridiculous I know, but with three of us here all the time, and two so hard-pressed to be busy little worker bees, there doesn't seem enough activity to go around.  That's it, that's the rub - they are just bothersome, underfoot and annoying.    If a customer came in they'd both be sure to just run over, before I even had the chance to give a go.  Start a conversation.  Maybe have some lunch.  Socialize. 

Hmph.

And you think they could have left me a bit of alteration to do in the meantime, something, to break up all this waiting.  All this god-awful wanting (nagging) to go do something foolish.  Like I even need any more supplies.  

Though I wonder if the General Store is even open on Sundays.

[Open to Jane]
[Continued http://estdeus-innobis.livejournal.com/446918.html]
[And there is sexy time...]
[identity profile] dorian-excolo.livejournal.com
[Sunday, June 13th (Day 378)]
[Noon, The Sacred Whore]

Ah, boredom.  My old friend.

It's slow, even for a Sunday, and by the time I've finished with all the little tasks that must be done - sweeping, dusting, reordering the clothing racks, and tidying the displays - only a few hours have passed.  And there's nothing left to do.  It's times like these that having the two assistants is more a burden than a boon, and I actually toss Winnie a look when she moves past.  

I throw some money at them and send them away.  Buy something, go take a nap, I don't care, just go.

I'm minded to flip the sign to closed after that, as everyone else has the good sense not to be open on a Sunday, but I don't.  Anything could happen, anyone could show, anyone at all...  I keep the bedroom door open, to listen for the bell, as I move back to change.  It's humid today and I'm not dressed for it, I've suddenly realized.  And my other shirt was a little dirty, from the cleaning.  Yes.

In a moment, though, I'm back to sitting on the counter, glancing around the shop and near-to-tears with nothing to do.  It's ridiculous I know, but with three of us here all the time, and two so hard-pressed to be busy little worker bees, there doesn't seem enough activity to go around.  That's it, that's the rub - they are just bothersome, underfoot and annoying.    If a customer came in they'd both be sure to just run over, before I even had the chance to give a go.  Start a conversation.  Maybe have some lunch.  Socialize. 

Hmph.

And you think they could have left me a bit of alteration to do in the meantime, something, to break up all this waiting.  All this god-awful wanting (nagging) to go do something foolish.  Like I even need any more supplies.  

Though I wonder if the General Store is even open on Sundays.

[Open to Jane]
[Continued http://estdeus-innobis.livejournal.com/446918.html]
[And there is sexy time...]
[identity profile] mistresswanda.livejournal.com

Wednesday, late morning, June 9
The garden of The Dormouse


I should not be awake.  I should still be in bed sleeping, like Rose is.  Romana is here, I could go back to bed.  I may give into that urge.  After all, I spent half the night sitting on this very bench, singing to the snow and stars.

Rose went to bed easily last night, and I should have followed... but I could only stare out the window at the snow, glinting in my yard from the soft glow of the lamp.  Before I could think better of it, I was outside.  Wrapped in my comforter, I sat for hours under my willow, staring up at the crystal clear sky.  I also turned on the faerie lights, glad to see they still worked.  There I sat, the stars and the lights glimmering above me, the world's noise muted by a blanket of snow.  And then I sang... quietly at first.  Letting my voice merge with the quiet tones, Gabriel's Message, White Christmas, I'll be home for Christmas, lovely and low songs.  As the music swelled, so did my voice.  I sang Silent Night; first in English, then switching to the Gaelic my Grandmother taught me.  My soul swelling with joy, I continued to O Holy Night, my voice spiralling to the stars and next to God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. 

O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy,
O tidings of comfort and joy!

O, star of wonder, star of night,
Star with royal beauty bright
,----

With that, my voice locked in my throat.  Star, my star, my fallen...
The stars shone that night too, as the snow lay on the grown, pure and crisp and even.  The faerie lights glimmered in the trees, and my heart swelled, and then stopped. 

With a suddenly heavy heart and my voice fled, I went back inside and curled up in my bed; alone and suddenly cold.  I fell asleep curled in that bloodstained ruin of a comforter.

And woke too early to sunshine, birds singing and warm air.  Rose woke up, and seemed just as confused as I.  She fed, I ate, we spent some time together, then she went down for her first nap.  Again, I ventured outside.  The roses seem none the worse for wear, the blooms opening to red and pink and white and peach.  No more black, save one small bush near the back of the property.  I will probably never have the black ones again save that one shoot.  The grass is damp, and the air feels humid.  It feels like it should, like early June.  With a sigh, I drop back on to the bench under my tree, and draw my knees up to my chest.  The melancholy I went to bed with hasn't left yet, and it slips past my lips as only it can sometimes.

Long ago, in someone else's lifetime
Someone with my name, who looked a lot like me
Came to know A man and made a promise
He only had to say,  and that's where she would be.
Lately although the feelings run just as deep
The vows that she made has grown so difficult to keep
And yet I wish it wasn't so
Will he miss me if I go?


I doubt that very highly. 

So why do I feel like I am failing him for feeling this way?

(Open to Iblis and Tez, hell; anyone else at this point)

[identity profile] jaeresteade.livejournal.com
Late Monday afternoon
7th June, Day 372
Tavern of Hell, Verdandi’s apt.



Woke up this morning to snow, of all things, and after I finished swearing and putting on all my winter clothes, I went down to the kitchen. Of course everyone else at the ‘Boy thought the snow was very strange, but for Excolo, strange is pretty usual, I’m coming to realize. And there are worse things than snow, certainly, especially when you have somewhere warm to stay.

The best thing I can think of to do when it’s cold outside is find a kitchen and something hot to eat and not go anywhere, but thinking about Verdi got to bothering me again and it came to me that I should go see how Verite’s doing by herself in the cold. Felt like I shouldn’t go see either of them without bringing something, though, and so I asked Mrs. Danvers would she let me use her kitchen if I brought in my own things and cleaned up afterwards. After she sat me down and made me tell her what exactly I planned to do in her kitchen, she said I could bake as many pies as I wanted to, provided I left some for the people at the ‘Boy, which of course I was going to do anyway.

I learned to bake from a man who knew his business, though I wouldn’t try to compete with the bakery here or the girl who sells pies at the Saturday market. The half dozen apple pies turned out pretty well, I think, so I wrapped up three of them, put on my coat, and went out into the snow and falling light feeling better than I have in a long time.

The first pie I leave with Alice at the Inn, with instructions to save some for Valmont and Hermia and not to give any at all to Micah. The second I take over to the Salon and leave with Ri, promising that I’ll come over tomorrow to help her make dinner for her family. And with the third pie still steaming in my hands I turn toward the Tavern, scared and happy and relieved all together.

Nod to Thomas as I go in and straight up the stairs. It’s been more than a month, I realize, and I have missed her so badly. To hell with Iago Beddau and his stories. You can’t murder someone who’s bringing you apple pie.




[OPEN to Verdi]
[CLOSED]
[identity profile] al-shairan.livejournal.com
[From here.]

I hear his ribs crack as he hits the wall, and I think he may have dislocated his shoulder. He crouches on the floor, and his nose has started bleeding again.

"You're welcome."

Insolent. You were always insolent, Tepeyollotl. I cross the room, faster than a boy could move, and I lift him up with one hand and pin him against the stone wall.

"What is wrong with you?" I say, exasperated. I am holding him above my head, and blood from his nose drips onto Brant's white shirt. And then I start laughing, because this is ludicrous, and I drop him onto the floor. "Of course you always have had a death wish."

[Open to Tez]
[closed]
[identity profile] al-shairan.livejournal.com
[From here.]

I hear his ribs crack as he hits the wall, and I think he may have dislocated his shoulder. He crouches on the floor, and his nose has started bleeding again.

"You're welcome."

Insolent. You were always insolent, Tepeyollotl. I cross the room, faster than a boy could move, and I lift him up with one hand and pin him against the stone wall.

"What is wrong with you?" I say, exasperated. I am holding him above my head, and blood from his nose drips onto Brant's white shirt. And then I start laughing, because this is ludicrous, and I drop him onto the floor. "Of course you always have had a death wish."

[Open to Tez]
[closed]
[identity profile] marbasthefallen.livejournal.com


Outside the Doctor's Office
Late afternoon, Monday May 3rd

It is one of those beautiful Spring days that poets write about, that make children look out schoolroom windows longingly, and have people out enjoying the sunshine in droves.

It is most inconvienent.

It's been increasingly harder to find Lucien alone.  That night of him railing and moaning by the fire was the closest I've come, but that damn bartender came along as I started to move in.   And now he's got the dark haired girl back in his bed and apartment.  Complication after complication.  It's not that I shy away from bloodshed, not at all.  And if the truth be told, I am getting to the point where I will kill half the town if I bloody well have to...

but now knowing exactly how long it will take to be restore to my self after Lucien breathes his last.  Well, I don;t want to be caught in human form by a lynch mob before I find out.  It would amuse Iblis, I am sure, if I were to kill the man and then find myself dangling from the hangman's noose before I revert back. 

I take a sip of coffee and shift myself to a more comfortable position under a tree.  To everyone else, I am just the mild mannered school teacher relaxing in the sun.  But not for much longer if I can help it.

(Open to Lilith)


[identity profile] marbasthefallen.livejournal.com


Outside the Doctor's Office
Late afternoon, Monday May 3rd

It is one of those beautiful Spring days that poets write about, that make children look out schoolroom windows longingly, and have people out enjoying the sunshine in droves.

It is most inconvienent.

It's been increasingly harder to find Lucien alone.  That night of him railing and moaning by the fire was the closest I've come, but that damn bartender came along as I started to move in.   And now he's got the dark haired girl back in his bed and apartment.  Complication after complication.  It's not that I shy away from bloodshed, not at all.  And if the truth be told, I am getting to the point where I will kill half the town if I bloody well have to...

but now knowing exactly how long it will take to be restore to my self after Lucien breathes his last.  Well, I don;t want to be caught in human form by a lynch mob before I find out.  It would amuse Iblis, I am sure, if I were to kill the man and then find myself dangling from the hangman's noose before I revert back. 

I take a sip of coffee and shift myself to a more comfortable position under a tree.  To everyone else, I am just the mild mannered school teacher relaxing in the sun.  But not for much longer if I can help it.

(Open to Lilith)


[identity profile] jaeresteade.livejournal.com
[Monday, 26 April, early evening]
[Day 330]
[Tavern of Hell, Verdi’s apartment]


Forgot Sunday was the day Ri took off, or I’d have made more plans to be scarce yesterday. As it was we sort of danced around each other. I cooked, and she went out to shop but didn’t come back with anything,and it was just awkward as hell. Ended up going over to the ‘Boy early and fiddling the alarm system and the hinges and anything else I could find until Miao made me sit down and have some tea with her. Didn’t exactly tell her what was wrong, but I think she guessed something was up.

Woke up this morning dreading my own night off, which I don’t think has ever happened before. Managed to doze on the couch until noon, and then Verite decided that she needed to do things in her room. Couldn’t think of anything left to cook, either, and though the day’s nice enough I’m sick of taking walks. For once I found myself wishing for some work to do outside, splitting rails or hauling brush. Something hard. Because anything’s easier than being in a space with someone just barely tolerating you.

Get thinking on hard things, then, and Arkady, and Iago, and Verdi. One I’ve not seen lately and one wouldn’t have me and one…one is lovely and lithe and strong enough to move me where she wants and hold me there, and smile all while she’s doing it. There’s a twist of something in me that eases when I think of that, and I gather up my courage and go ask Ri if she’d mind.

She says no, why would she, and I think she means it, so I make myself ask she minds if I spend the night at the Tavern, if Verdi wants me. She says I can stay if I want to, and then she goes out in the shop, though I know she’s nothing to do out there. So I have my shower, scalding hot and short, and find my nice jeans and a clean shirt and walk down to the Tavern with my hair still a bit wet.

Thomas is at the bar when I go in, and he pours me a shot of brandy for my nerves, and we flirt a little, quietly, though I think he’s doing it more for the game of it than anything else. He doesn’t seem surprised when I ask after Verdi, and tells me she’s in her apartment and I should go on up. I don’t want the man, but I do like him, and so I tip him and climb the stairs, my hands shaking a little because the liquor hasn’t quite kicked in. I steady myself to knock, and then I lean against the wall just outside, wishing I’d let her know I was coming, or brought something for a gift.

[OPEN to Verdandi]
CLOSED
[identity profile] jaeresteade.livejournal.com
[Monday, 26 April, early evening]
[Day 330]
[Tavern of Hell, Verdi’s apartment]


Forgot Sunday was the day Ri took off, or I’d have made more plans to be scarce yesterday. As it was we sort of danced around each other. I cooked, and she went out to shop but didn’t come back with anything,and it was just awkward as hell. Ended up going over to the ‘Boy early and fiddling the alarm system and the hinges and anything else I could find until Miao made me sit down and have some tea with her. Didn’t exactly tell her what was wrong, but I think she guessed something was up.

Woke up this morning dreading my own night off, which I don’t think has ever happened before. Managed to doze on the couch until noon, and then Verite decided that she needed to do things in her room. Couldn’t think of anything left to cook, either, and though the day’s nice enough I’m sick of taking walks. For once I found myself wishing for some work to do outside, splitting rails or hauling brush. Something hard. Because anything’s easier than being in a space with someone just barely tolerating you.

Get thinking on hard things, then, and Arkady, and Iago, and Verdi. One I’ve not seen lately and one wouldn’t have me and one…one is lovely and lithe and strong enough to move me where she wants and hold me there, and smile all while she’s doing it. There’s a twist of something in me that eases when I think of that, and I gather up my courage and go ask Ri if she’d mind.

She says no, why would she, and I think she means it, so I make myself ask she minds if I spend the night at the Tavern, if Verdi wants me. She says I can stay if I want to, and then she goes out in the shop, though I know she’s nothing to do out there. So I have my shower, scalding hot and short, and find my nice jeans and a clean shirt and walk down to the Tavern with my hair still a bit wet.

Thomas is at the bar when I go in, and he pours me a shot of brandy for my nerves, and we flirt a little, quietly, though I think he’s doing it more for the game of it than anything else. He doesn’t seem surprised when I ask after Verdi, and tells me she’s in her apartment and I should go on up. I don’t want the man, but I do like him, and so I tip him and climb the stairs, my hands shaking a little because the liquor hasn’t quite kicked in. I steady myself to knock, and then I lean against the wall just outside, wishing I’d let her know I was coming, or brought something for a gift.

[OPEN to Verdandi]
CLOSED
[identity profile] norn-verdandi.livejournal.com
[Thursday evening, April 8 (Day 312)]
[Verdandi's apartment - Tavern of Hell]



I've been looking forward to this more than anything and it's a nice change feeling upbeat.  I cleaned the whole apartment, laid a pretty tablecloth on the dining table and changed my sheets to the softest ones I have.  Cookie's food is in the oven, staying warm and a tasty dessert from the bakery is waiting in the icebox.

Two crates of bottles were brought up from the basement, filled with everything from my old favorites to the new beers that Cookie and I sampled a while ago.  I spin around, light on my feet as my dress caresses my thighs and I raise my hands when I spin around a second time.  I have a good feeling about tonight and if I have my way, they will too.

I remember one last thing and place a pretty bowl on the table, filled with oranges, apples and a peach or two from downstairs.  Everything looks ready for company and I smile brightly in my excitement.  Now all I need are my guests and as if they knew my thoughts, there's a knock at the door.  I check my dress and hair one more time and smile sweetly as I open the front door and say, "Hi!  Come in.  I'm so glad you could make it."


[Open to Jarmyn and Verite]
[Warning - Sexual and violent content (S&M themes)]
[identity profile] norn-verdandi.livejournal.com
[Thursday evening, April 8 (Day 312)]
[Verdandi's apartment - Tavern of Hell]



I've been looking forward to this more than anything and it's a nice change feeling upbeat.  I cleaned the whole apartment, laid a pretty tablecloth on the dining table and changed my sheets to the softest ones I have.  Cookie's food is in the oven, staying warm and a tasty dessert from the bakery is waiting in the icebox.

Two crates of bottles were brought up from the basement, filled with everything from my old favorites to the new beers that Cookie and I sampled a while ago.  I spin around, light on my feet as my dress caresses my thighs and I raise my hands when I spin around a second time.  I have a good feeling about tonight and if I have my way, they will too.

I remember one last thing and place a pretty bowl on the table, filled with oranges, apples and a peach or two from downstairs.  Everything looks ready for company and I smile brightly in my excitement.  Now all I need are my guests and as if they knew my thoughts, there's a knock at the door.  I check my dress and hair one more time and smile sweetly as I open the front door and say, "Hi!  Come in.  I'm so glad you could make it."


[Open to Jarmyn and Verite]
[Warning - Sexual and violent content (S&M themes)]
[identity profile] syl-thorn.livejournal.com
February 18th, evening

[continued from here.]

Iblis, dressed in a new body, goes to the tavern to drown his sorrows. There he encounters Syl, there for the same reason. After some commiseration about their remarkably similar personal lives, the two of them retire to Syl's wagon back on the Carnival Lot.

Cut for adult content. )
[identity profile] syl-thorn.livejournal.com
February 18th, evening

[continued from here.]

Iblis, dressed in a new body, goes to the tavern to drown his sorrows. There he encounters Syl, there for the same reason. After some commiseration about their remarkably similar personal lives, the two of them retire to Syl's wagon back on the Carnival Lot.

Cut for adult content. )
[identity profile] al-shairan.livejournal.com
February 18th, evening
She had been a gloomy boy, in love with death, ... as boys are; and then she had been amorous and florid; and then she had been sprightly and satirical; and sometimes she had tried prose and sometimes she had tried drama. Yet through all these changes she had remained, she reflected, fundamentally the same.
Virginia Woolf, Orlando


After I burned Tezcatlipoca's note, I put off the Brant body and I let myself be as air. But as I unfolded, so did my sorrow; I burned as ozone, sharp tang through me on and on like lightning before it becomes lightning, the possibility of storm. There was no relief from it, and as I rippled out ever further I thought perhaps I would circle the earth and then drown it in one great storm, drown and burn it. But even if I could do it, I found the thought gave me no satisfaction, no relief from this void. There is nothing inside me but this howl, and there is no relief in screaming it. I have remembered everything all too well since I regained what I am, and that last conversation with Tezcatlipoca only confirmed it. I would I could be truly nothing, like the empty body I made, the child Esther, a hollow vessel. I put her on, but it does not soothe me. And so I make a new body, one with no memories, no past, nothing etched into its flesh to make it respond to this or that. No love for pain that I gave the fibres of Kent's body, no sweet corruption curled into the bones like Danika. Tabula rasa, this body is as much as I can make it. Androgynous, but in this case a woman, if such things matter. Tall for a woman but not tall for a man, a body that passes for either in the mannish clothes I give it. This body I will let feel my griefs as it can. Sorrow is better contained in the narrow margins of human flesh, and it will help me bear it. I will get it drunk, and I will let as much of me fall into nothing as I can.

I go to the bar of the tavern and order a glass of whisky, then ask for a tab to be opened. "What name, sir?" says Thomas, then glances at me again and blushes, not sure whether he has made a mistake. I look back at him, half-smiling.

"Caldwell," I say. "My name is Caldwell. Leave the bottle." And I remember another night that started like this, wearing the roadweary bones of Kent and drinking, and Tezcatlipoca's jealousy and mine, and Lilith's face pressed up against me with laughter and malice. I swallow down half the glass, and the warmth of the alcohol blooms brightly in my chest.

It is a start.

[OPEN]
[identity profile] al-shairan.livejournal.com
February 18th, evening
She had been a gloomy boy, in love with death, ... as boys are; and then she had been amorous and florid; and then she had been sprightly and satirical; and sometimes she had tried prose and sometimes she had tried drama. Yet through all these changes she had remained, she reflected, fundamentally the same.
Virginia Woolf, Orlando


After I burned Tezcatlipoca's note, I put off the Brant body and I let myself be as air. But as I unfolded, so did my sorrow; I burned as ozone, sharp tang through me on and on like lightning before it becomes lightning, the possibility of storm. There was no relief from it, and as I rippled out ever further I thought perhaps I would circle the earth and then drown it in one great storm, drown and burn it. But even if I could do it, I found the thought gave me no satisfaction, no relief from this void. There is nothing inside me but this howl, and there is no relief in screaming it. I have remembered everything all too well since I regained what I am, and that last conversation with Tezcatlipoca only confirmed it. I would I could be truly nothing, like the empty body I made, the child Esther, a hollow vessel. I put her on, but it does not soothe me. And so I make a new body, one with no memories, no past, nothing etched into its flesh to make it respond to this or that. No love for pain that I gave the fibres of Kent's body, no sweet corruption curled into the bones like Danika. Tabula rasa, this body is as much as I can make it. Androgynous, but in this case a woman, if such things matter. Tall for a woman but not tall for a man, a body that passes for either in the mannish clothes I give it. This body I will let feel my griefs as it can. Sorrow is better contained in the narrow margins of human flesh, and it will help me bear it. I will get it drunk, and I will let as much of me fall into nothing as I can.

I go to the bar of the tavern and order a glass of whisky, then ask for a tab to be opened. "What name, sir?" says Thomas, then glances at me again and blushes, not sure whether he has made a mistake. I look back at him, half-smiling.

"Caldwell," I say. "My name is Caldwell. Leave the bottle." And I remember another night that started like this, wearing the roadweary bones of Kent and drinking, and Tezcatlipoca's jealousy and mine, and Lilith's face pressed up against me with laughter and malice. I swallow down half the glass, and the warmth of the alcohol blooms brightly in my chest.

It is a start.

[OPEN]

January 2014

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