[identity profile] lord-icelus.livejournal.com
Some time, in a place that was and is the abbey, that is in this world and in Dream

She is coming.

I can feel her, that nasty bitch, like a tooth ache or a splinter. She nearly killed me, and I still suffer for it. Partly it was my own fault, for not remembering that silly service gods like her love to throw themselves on their own swords to look after their people. As if we should be in service to them!

I want her to get here. I want to kill her slowly, and lick her bones clean, and then I want to dance as the new king of this little town. A nasty pisspot of a place, it is, but it's better than oblivion, yes. They may not worship me, here, but they'd fear me: and for a god of nightmare, that's really good enough.

She's bringing friends, though. I disliked that last time. And so I conjure up a labyrinth, turning the stone of this abbey into twisting pathways of dead ends and trap doors. She'll lose some along the way. And then I will tear out her heart.

[OPEN]
[identity profile] managementchild.livejournal.com
Wednesday, 20th August; afternoon

One week - one week and one thousand thousand thousand days since I
since I
I, I, I
opened one great
eye
and am
when before there was only we (in the darkwomb belly of Creation, we).

I AM
ἐγώ εἰμι
(and there was a great cry in this my new Egypt.)

I have been to my Father's house, and touched his cock and cunt to receive my blessing, for she will not deny me that, even if I am unlike any other child of his seed that was or ever will be. For only I am this. And I bathed in the blood of her baptism between her legs, and made myself a body and face that honours my Father, for what child does not want a heritage? I will wear this, for a while, and when I need it not I will put it in a box like an old suit, for I am of my Mothers too and we can have a hundred faces.

In this body, come out of Egypt, I go into the town. It is my first place and my last place and I will love it until it is gone to dust. Will that be between my teeth? Perhaps. Perhaps.

I choose a building of a pleasing shape to enter. It is a tavern. I ask to see the different colours of the drink and I choose one that is pale gold and amber. I do not drink it, but I hold the glass close to my face so I can smell it. I smell the scent of decaying crops and sunlight. It is a fine drink.

[OPEN]

[identity profile] syl-thorn.livejournal.com
[Just past midnight, Thursday, August 14, day 445]
[The woods]


(Continued from here)

I still really ain't sure where we are. We been walkin' ferrat least a couple hours now, but th'clouds've covered th'moon, an'I can't judge what time't might be. Long 'nough fer th'wound'n m'should t'clot over an' m'arm t'go stiff's old leather. Ain't much else I c'n say beyond'at.

Glass'n me ain't spoken much, partly cuz we's both burnt out, partly 'cuz we wanna stay's quiet's possible. I ain't seen neither'a th'bitches since I left'em trapped'n screamin', but I ain't gonna count us 's anywhere near safe 'til we's outta th'woods 'n safe in our beds.

Pause's we cross into a clearin'. "Any idea how much further we got t'go?" I says inna whisper.


[OPEN to those from the previous scene, and others should they choose]
[identity profile] goddessnanshe.livejournal.com
Mid-afternoon of Tuesday, 29th June
The Abbey


It's a bright warm day, and the church, my church, rings with the sound of a community in song. Every pew is filled, and there are even people standing at the back of the church and spilling onto the porch, leaning into the doorway to hear Ash's words, and singing out familiar hymns of summer and farmwork through the stone of the church and out into the bright air. Some of our farmers - I know them all by name, John Hale, Jasper Thornton, Lucille Cliff, Alex Brown, their dreams familiar to me as neighbours - bring a bale of new hay to the altar in offering, and my throat is tight.

Please, I pray. Please let their prayers be granted. May I still be able to do some good.

It's strange, to be able to feel such joy and such grief at once. I have such pride in my people, and such helpless frustration at what I have become.

The service ends, and everyone goes into the fresh air. Tonight they will dance together at the new hall, kick up tired heels and shake out aching muscles into new, pleasanter aches of dancing and socialising and celebrating after hard labour. For now, our community here has moved tables out from the dining hall into the yard, and the congregation has brought pies and cider to share. Children run giggling between the tables, hay in their hair, and I laugh looking at them, and feel a terrible tender pain in my heart, wanting them to be as safe as this always.

[open]
[identity profile] goddessnanshe.livejournal.com
Mid-afternoon of Tuesday, 29th June
The Abbey


It's a bright warm day, and the church, my church, rings with the sound of a community in song. Every pew is filled, and there are even people standing at the back of the church and spilling onto the porch, leaning into the doorway to hear Ash's words, and singing out familiar hymns of summer and farmwork through the stone of the church and out into the bright air. Some of our farmers - I know them all by name, John Hale, Jasper Thornton, Lucille Cliff, Alex Brown, their dreams familiar to me as neighbours - bring a bale of new hay to the altar in offering, and my throat is tight.

Please, I pray. Please let their prayers be granted. May I still be able to do some good.

It's strange, to be able to feel such joy and such grief at once. I have such pride in my people, and such helpless frustration at what I have become.

The service ends, and everyone goes into the fresh air. Tonight they will dance together at the new hall, kick up tired heels and shake out aching muscles into new, pleasanter aches of dancing and socialising and celebrating after hard labour. For now, our community here has moved tables out from the dining hall into the yard, and the congregation has brought pies and cider to share. Children run giggling between the tables, hay in their hair, and I laugh looking at them, and feel a terrible tender pain in my heart, wanting them to be as safe as this always.

[open]
[identity profile] kira-galliard.livejournal.com
{Early Evening- Tuesday, 29th June ~ Day 394}
{Crossroads DanceHall}


Tonight I'm gonna have myself a real good time
I feel alive
And the world turning inside out, yeah
And floating around in ecstasy, so
Don't stop me now
Don't stop me
'Cuz I'm having a good time, having a good time


It is finally time to open the doors.
The lights are on- thanks to a couple folks from the fair who came out to help me with 'em. And the musics' done warming up now- sounds of instruments tuning and and the player's psyching each other up have given over to songs playing and feet stomping along.
A few brave souls have opened the dancing and there are mostly smiles all around.

So far so good.

A lot of the younger set know me by now from hiring them for the clean-up, and I put up some signs around town, so hopefully we'll have a good turn out.
And now that the greater part of the haying is done, people are in a good mood. People like to dance and come out and see each other when they're happy. Even in a strange town like this that holds true.

Smooth my skirt as I circle the floor towards the drink stand. I'll probably take a few turns of my own tonight, but mostly my job is to meet people who don't know me yet and get them to like me enough to come back. If the night continues like this, I do think it'll turn out fine.

The band starts another song, and I find my smile is genuine.

(The DanceHall is open to all! Come on in and have fun!)
[identity profile] goddessnanshe.livejournal.com
Morning of 21st June

It's still raining, though not as heavily as earlier, but I couldn't wait any longer to come out here and see what has happened. I was wakened in the early hours of Sunday by a strange feeling of pressure and brilliant light, but my cell was completely dark. I walked through the abbey, and all was still and shadowed. Anyone else would say I had just had a dream - but I know there is no just to dreams.

In the afternoon, one of the novices came back from gathering in the woods to say that there was the strangest sight: a charred circle, as if lightning had struck and destroyed a neat section of the forest. Something about this oddity set my teeth on edge, and I was resolved to see it; but I had duties at the abbey in the evening, and I would not shirk them.

Today I woke to a downpour, but I have borrowed a raincoat from Sister Dove - she is slighter than me, and so it is a little tight, but it will do - and wrapped up my hair with a scarf to help shield it from the rain, since carrying an umbrella into the woods seems foolish - and I start walking the couple of miles to where Novice Diana said she saw the circle.

[OPEN][closed]
[identity profile] goddessnanshe.livejournal.com
Morning of 21st June

It's still raining, though not as heavily as earlier, but I couldn't wait any longer to come out here and see what has happened. I was wakened in the early hours of Sunday by a strange feeling of pressure and brilliant light, but my cell was completely dark. I walked through the abbey, and all was still and shadowed. Anyone else would say I had just had a dream - but I know there is no just to dreams.

In the afternoon, one of the novices came back from gathering in the woods to say that there was the strangest sight: a charred circle, as if lightning had struck and destroyed a neat section of the forest. Something about this oddity set my teeth on edge, and I was resolved to see it; but I had duties at the abbey in the evening, and I would not shirk them.

Today I woke to a downpour, but I have borrowed a raincoat from Sister Dove - she is slighter than me, and so it is a little tight, but it will do - and wrapped up my hair with a scarf to help shield it from the rain, since carrying an umbrella into the woods seems foolish - and I start walking the couple of miles to where Novice Diana said she saw the circle.

[OPEN][closed]
[identity profile] valmont-vicomte.livejournal.com
Saturday, May 15th, about 5pm
Valmont and Hermia's apartment and garden


I've never thrown a party for a teenage girl before, but hopefully this will do. Alice doesn't exactly have many friends, and there aren't that many teenagers in town I'd trust to be kind to her and not make fun of her, but she wants a party with people her own age, which makes sense. She doesn't seem very grown up to me, but I know how important it is that she feels grown up, despite everything that's happened to her. So I invited Johnny, Damien and Ri, because they're good kids, and Micah may be a little strange but he's a decent boy, I'm sure of it, and like Alice he could do with some friends. But I wanted Fiona to be able to come too, because she was Alice's first friend who wasn't an adult, so I've started the party in the late afternoon so she can be here for a little while at least. As for the rest of the guest list, they are mine and Hermia's friends, but I trust them to wish Alice many happy returns and to make the party seem busy. Besides, it's a celebration of our family too, I think, not just of Alice's birthday, and so it's right that we have our family friends here too. The thought makes me smile.

It's a dry afternoon, thank goodness, though I've laid out drinks and food on our dining table inside in case of rain. Hermia and I put up bunting and laid out candles along the path in the garden, and it all looks lovely.

[open to party guests]
[identity profile] valmont-vicomte.livejournal.com
Saturday, May 15th, about 5pm
Valmont and Hermia's apartment and garden


I've never thrown a party for a teenage girl before, but hopefully this will do. Alice doesn't exactly have many friends, and there aren't that many teenagers in town I'd trust to be kind to her and not make fun of her, but she wants a party with people her own age, which makes sense. She doesn't seem very grown up to me, but I know how important it is that she feels grown up, despite everything that's happened to her. So I invited Johnny, Damien and Ri, because they're good kids, and Micah may be a little strange but he's a decent boy, I'm sure of it, and like Alice he could do with some friends. But I wanted Fiona to be able to come too, because she was Alice's first friend who wasn't an adult, so I've started the party in the late afternoon so she can be here for a little while at least. As for the rest of the guest list, they are mine and Hermia's friends, but I trust them to wish Alice many happy returns and to make the party seem busy. Besides, it's a celebration of our family too, I think, not just of Alice's birthday, and so it's right that we have our family friends here too. The thought makes me smile.

It's a dry afternoon, thank goodness, though I've laid out drinks and food on our dining table inside in case of rain. Hermia and I put up bunting and laid out candles along the path in the garden, and it all looks lovely.

[open to party guests]
[identity profile] tezcatl-ipoca.livejournal.com
10th May, Midmorning
The Whitechapel

I have hardly rested, with the ache of that pull inwards in these bones. It has eased within the town but still tugs me eastward; I refuse to answer it. I have walked on through the town on these injured feet and out the other side. I have no desire to be here: no desire to be conscious as I am, to be. I was hardly given a choice, though.

I have passed a tall white tower, and when I passed I thought: I could rest there. Lie down on the ground, let the sun warm me and the rain wash me, let the grass grow up to tangle my hair, and not move again. I don't know why it spoke to me of that, why I felt I should wait there. But I passed by.

I know what these things are: town, tower, road. I have words for them, and meanings. I can't remember seeing them before. So there's a forgetting in me, another unexplained thing. That itself is a small piece of knowledge of myself.

My thoughts are growing clearer, too, emerging from shadow and night wind and knife's edge. I am aware of that, as the tower grows smaller behind me.

And then I am walking past it again, back towards the south. I do not fool myself that I have been mistaken: I have been turned back upon my path.

It makes me angry, lips peeling back from teeth. I will not go east, I will not answer it, not until I choose. But I do return to town, and find a drinking place (and there is something else I recognise and understand). Perhaps tomorrow I will answer that eastwards call.

Open
[identity profile] tezcatl-ipoca.livejournal.com
10th May, Midmorning
The Whitechapel

I have hardly rested, with the ache of that pull inwards in these bones. It has eased within the town but still tugs me eastward; I refuse to answer it. I have walked on through the town on these injured feet and out the other side. I have no desire to be here: no desire to be conscious as I am, to be. I was hardly given a choice, though.

I have passed a tall white tower, and when I passed I thought: I could rest there. Lie down on the ground, let the sun warm me and the rain wash me, let the grass grow up to tangle my hair, and not move again. I don't know why it spoke to me of that, why I felt I should wait there. But I passed by.

I know what these things are: town, tower, road. I have words for them, and meanings. I can't remember seeing them before. So there's a forgetting in me, another unexplained thing. That itself is a small piece of knowledge of myself.

My thoughts are growing clearer, too, emerging from shadow and night wind and knife's edge. I am aware of that, as the tower grows smaller behind me.

And then I am walking past it again, back towards the south. I do not fool myself that I have been mistaken: I have been turned back upon my path.

It makes me angry, lips peeling back from teeth. I will not go east, I will not answer it, not until I choose. But I do return to town, and find a drinking place (and there is something else I recognise and understand). Perhaps tomorrow I will answer that eastwards call.

Open
[identity profile] hermia-sophia.livejournal.com
Sunday, April 4
The garden behind the Whitechapel Inn

We awoke in each other's arms, both terrified. Valmont, because he feared that I was being attacked; I because I felt something wrong in the world, something beyond the long sleep and painful thirst and weakness. Some ripple of Power that was twisted and wrong. But under it all I could sense Nanshe's presence helping to set the dream-world right again. And Valmont and I had each other, and we were safe, and despite everything, that makes the waking world right.

And neither of us wanted to postpone the ceremony. We wanted - no, needed to continue. Needed to make some new beginning, needed to make life go on as it was supposed to.

And so, still shaky, we went to the abbey this morning at dawn.

Valmont said that I was the one guiding this part of our wedding solemnities, for I was the one closer to the gods. So I arranged the offerings for us to burn on Nanshe's altar: two little bundles, both the same. Not hair. Not incense. Not anything that would be in an Athenian wedding offering to the gods. We are making our own way, here.

So there are herbs from the garden that I planted and he cooks from. The first lilacs that Valmont gave me, and the lilies I gave him, both now dried into fragrant shadows of themselves. Splinters of wood from an empty keg for his profession; scraps of paper from an old book for mine. (Lydia offered me a book that was falling apart anyway; I would never have taken a page from a book otherwise! She gave us a gift, too: a lovely leather-bound and gilt-edged volume of Yeats.) And cotton candy - even though it made everything terribly sticky and I feared it would melt, I had to put cotton candy in there, for the memory of that first night that we soared above Excolo on the ferris wheel and felt as if we were flying. And because it made both of us laugh when I put it in, and we should begin our life together with laughter.

We smile as we light our offerings, and as we smell the fragrance as it floats up to the heavens.

Now, back in the garden behind the inn, I smile again as I wait to take my place next to Valmont and in front of Mab. I've found more lilacs for the bouquet, white and purple both, standing out against the shimmering deep blue fabric of my gown.

I have no parents to bring me to the altar, and neither does Valmont. We just have ourselves, and are giving ourselves to each other.

There they all are. Our friends - all of the people who have grown dear to us in the last year. Our Alice, looking lovely and more grown-up than ever. Mab, tall and serious. And Valmont, who looks so magnificent that my heart leaps at the sight.

I feel a nervous thrill run through me as I step out. Dear gods, I'm getting married! For an instant, I'm terrified, as I stare down that long aisle. But then I realize, why should I be afraid? At the end of the aisle is Valmont. I have nothing to fear as long as he is there.

At the end of my long journey, he was here waiting for me.

So I take a deep breath and step forward, towards my new life.

[Open to wedding guests!]
[identity profile] hermia-sophia.livejournal.com
Sunday, April 4
The garden behind the Whitechapel Inn

We awoke in each other's arms, both terrified. Valmont, because he feared that I was being attacked; I because I felt something wrong in the world, something beyond the long sleep and painful thirst and weakness. Some ripple of Power that was twisted and wrong. But under it all I could sense Nanshe's presence helping to set the dream-world right again. And Valmont and I had each other, and we were safe, and despite everything, that makes the waking world right.

And neither of us wanted to postpone the ceremony. We wanted - no, needed to continue. Needed to make some new beginning, needed to make life go on as it was supposed to.

And so, still shaky, we went to the abbey this morning at dawn.

Valmont said that I was the one guiding this part of our wedding solemnities, for I was the one closer to the gods. So I arranged the offerings for us to burn on Nanshe's altar: two little bundles, both the same. Not hair. Not incense. Not anything that would be in an Athenian wedding offering to the gods. We are making our own way, here.

So there are herbs from the garden that I planted and he cooks from. The first lilacs that Valmont gave me, and the lilies I gave him, both now dried into fragrant shadows of themselves. Splinters of wood from an empty keg for his profession; scraps of paper from an old book for mine. (Lydia offered me a book that was falling apart anyway; I would never have taken a page from a book otherwise! She gave us a gift, too: a lovely leather-bound and gilt-edged volume of Yeats.) And cotton candy - even though it made everything terribly sticky and I feared it would melt, I had to put cotton candy in there, for the memory of that first night that we soared above Excolo on the ferris wheel and felt as if we were flying. And because it made both of us laugh when I put it in, and we should begin our life together with laughter.

We smile as we light our offerings, and as we smell the fragrance as it floats up to the heavens.

Now, back in the garden behind the inn, I smile again as I wait to take my place next to Valmont and in front of Mab. I've found more lilacs for the bouquet, white and purple both, standing out against the shimmering deep blue fabric of my gown.

I have no parents to bring me to the altar, and neither does Valmont. We just have ourselves, and are giving ourselves to each other.

There they all are. Our friends - all of the people who have grown dear to us in the last year. Our Alice, looking lovely and more grown-up than ever. Mab, tall and serious. And Valmont, who looks so magnificent that my heart leaps at the sight.

I feel a nervous thrill run through me as I step out. Dear gods, I'm getting married! For an instant, I'm terrified, as I stare down that long aisle. But then I realize, why should I be afraid? At the end of the aisle is Valmont. I have nothing to fear as long as he is there.

At the end of my long journey, he was here waiting for me.

So I take a deep breath and step forward, towards my new life.

[Open to wedding guests!]
[identity profile] goddessnanshe.livejournal.com
Wednesday, sometime, somewhere in Dream

Once upon time there was a beautiful princess. Her hair was the colour of jet and her skin was the colour of nutmeg, and each of her teeth were like pearls. Flowers grew where she walked, so that the fields around the tower that was her home was carpeted in blooms as white as snow. The princess was very happy, all save for one thing: her fear that one day the thorn of one of the flowers would prick her. Her servants combed the field for thorns every day, trimming the stems so that it would be safe for her to walk. But still the princess was afraid, and she neglected to notice that each month the forest encroached closer on her home, until one day, standing in her field of flowers, she looked up to see the trees looming around her, undergrowth thick with thorns. Frightened, she fled inside, and as she ran she began her first bleeding, and the blood that trickled down her thigh fell to the earth and stained the roses around the tower a deep and brilliant red.

Inside the tower the princess was afraid that she was dying, for her father had always insisted that royal blood was the most precious of all things and must never be spilled. Weeping, she showed the blood to her old nurse, who laughed and kissed her cheek and told her this was the secret gift of women, and now she was blessed. So the princess wiped her eyes, and was no longer afraid of bleeding. But the thorns of the forest came for her all the same.
[identity profile] goddessnanshe.livejournal.com
Wednesday, sometime, somewhere in Dream

Once upon time there was a beautiful princess. Her hair was the colour of jet and her skin was the colour of nutmeg, and each of her teeth were like pearls. Flowers grew where she walked, so that the fields around the tower that was her home was carpeted in blooms as white as snow. The princess was very happy, all save for one thing: her fear that one day the thorn of one of the flowers would prick her. Her servants combed the field for thorns every day, trimming the stems so that it would be safe for her to walk. But still the princess was afraid, and she neglected to notice that each month the forest encroached closer on her home, until one day, standing in her field of flowers, she looked up to see the trees looming around her, undergrowth thick with thorns. Frightened, she fled inside, and as she ran she began her first bleeding, and the blood that trickled down her thigh fell to the earth and stained the roses around the tower a deep and brilliant red.

Inside the tower the princess was afraid that she was dying, for her father had always insisted that royal blood was the most precious of all things and must never be spilled. Weeping, she showed the blood to her old nurse, who laughed and kissed her cheek and told her this was the secret gift of women, and now she was blessed. So the princess wiped her eyes, and was no longer afraid of bleeding. But the thorns of the forest came for her all the same.
[identity profile] npc-excolo.livejournal.com
Dream.

There is a great sea. The sky is grey, the water green, and the seafoam is the flecked white of milk on the turn. The shore is stone and shingle, and the cliffs are bone-shades. Will you wake on the little fishing boat that rides the waves, wary of great beasts that lurk beneath the surface, or on the cold and stony shore? Or perhaps as some watery thing yourself, breathing in water as cold as ice and with a salt-iron taste like blood?

[OPEN TO ALL]
[identity profile] npc-excolo.livejournal.com
Dream.

There is a great sea. The sky is grey, the water green, and the seafoam is the flecked white of milk on the turn. The shore is stone and shingle, and the cliffs are bone-shades. Will you wake on the little fishing boat that rides the waves, wary of great beasts that lurk beneath the surface, or on the cold and stony shore? Or perhaps as some watery thing yourself, breathing in water as cold as ice and with a salt-iron taste like blood?

[OPEN TO ALL]
[identity profile] npc-excolo.livejournal.com
Time has little meaning here, though your body back home may disagree.

Dream.

A forest.


A forest of the oldest sort, thick with brambles, trees snarled with centuries of life. It stretches for miles, many of them very dark, because the trees grow so close that it is hard to see. From a high vantage point, on one of the hills of the forest, one may glimpse a tower at the heart of the forest, a great graceful column of grey stone. Here and there there are clearings, bright with sunlight, and streams running with clear water. But mostly there is dark.

In the distance, the howl of a wolf.


[OPEN TO ALL]
[identity profile] npc-excolo.livejournal.com
Time has little meaning here, though your body back home may disagree.

Dream.

A forest.


A forest of the oldest sort, thick with brambles, trees snarled with centuries of life. It stretches for miles, many of them very dark, because the trees grow so close that it is hard to see. From a high vantage point, on one of the hills of the forest, one may glimpse a tower at the heart of the forest, a great graceful column of grey stone. Here and there there are clearings, bright with sunlight, and streams running with clear water. But mostly there is dark.

In the distance, the howl of a wolf.


[OPEN TO ALL]

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