[identity profile] hopenotfaith.livejournal.com
Two years later
At The Dormouse


Bin a busy day 'ere. Sunshiney sort o'day, so we put out tables an' chairs on the street. Really drew people in, so we'll prob'ly keep doin' it.

"Might need a permit," grumbled Faith, an' I smiled.

"Good thing'm married to the mayor, then," I said.

Still enjoyin' runnin' the tea shop. Feels like ours, now, not Miss Wanda's. Got a letter from 'er a while back. 'Ad a postcard of the new place she's livin'. Card took ages to get 'ere, think she sent it months ago. Ain't like there's a regular system. But it reached us, an' Faith 'eld my 'and so I could see it. The coast. Stroke a picture of the wave with my finger an' smile. Glad she's 'appy an' safe. Wonder what our Genny's up to, an' all the rest. 'Ear from them from time to time, but don't reckon the carnival'll ever be back 'ere, an' I don't blame 'em. 'Ope Nu's growin' up strong. So strange to think she was born jus' six months before my little girl.

Joy's such a good little thing. Toddles about in the shop, but 'ardly ever cries or frets. She is a joy to all of us, an' with me an' Faith's names, seemed good to 'ave another virtue. 'Cept to me she feels more like a blessin'.

Gettin' ready to close up now. Faith clears up, then kisses me goodbye cos she's off on a date. Been on a few dates with the same person. Might even be serious. I'd like that for 'er, though I don't dare bring it up. Use my cane to tap my way over to the door, then feel for the sign an' turn it over t'CLOSED. Sit down at a table to drink a cup o'tea before 'eadin' 'ome. Joy clambers up into my lap an' starts describin' 'er cookie t'me. Learned early that she's got to tell me 'ow things look, an' she's already talkin' a lot. Kiss the top of 'er 'ead an' smile. 'S good to feel at 'ome. Edmund should be leavin' the office soon to walk me back, an' I've got some news for 'im.

[Open to Edmund]
[identity profile] hermia-sophia.livejournal.com
We knew it would come.

For four years, ever since the dream of the red city and the blue, we knew it would come. For three months, ever since the dream of Nanshe telling me what we must do.

And yet we always thought we would have more time before we had to be ready.

We very nearly were ready, that night that the earth shook.

I gathered up everything that I had been crafting and collecting, and went to find my family. I hugged Marie and Luc very tightly, and told them that I loved them. And then I told Valmont, and held him for as long as I could. We were both so full of fear and hope and love that we could barely find words, but we did not need to speak to know how the other was feeling. "I love you," I said once more, and kissed all of my family.

I dared not think of what might happen if I did not come back, what might happen if I failed. I could not think of that.

And then I ran.

Down to the river I speed, between the crashes of thunder and tremors of the earth. 'It is already raining,' I think, with a giddy, hysterical gasp of laughter. Do the Adversaries know that they have done some of the work for us? Do they care?

I know that I do not need to send word to Syl or Chester or any of the others who have been working on this great spell. Our magic has been twined so closely together over the last few months that I can sense them all, if I listen hard enough, and I know that they are all coming.

One by one we arrive at the banks of the river, just as we have planned to do for so many months. A little thrill still runs through me when I see everyone gathered. There are so many! So many who have come together for this cause, who never might have even spoken to each other were it not for their love of Excolo, and desire to keep it safe. Even if we are not all friends with each other - for Syl and I still are not, even though our respect for each other has grown as we worked together - we all love Excolo, and that is enough.

I have brought silver and mistletoe for protection - the same things that Chester taught me about in my very first lessons with him! I spread them in a wide circle around us to shield us from as much harm as possible while we work.

Our magic winds together, and we start to draw Nanshe's essence out of the earth, out of the water…

The instant that my magic touches the river, I can tell that there is something different. Not just Nanshe's essence that we have been concentrating in the water - there is something else. More divinity, more power. Something new and fresh, something that feels like spring and growth and fertility. I do not know its source, but I know at once that it is good. The new power flows into our spell, filling it with new life.

I am so deep into the spell that I do not even notice the thunder anymore. I see nothing but our threads of Power; I feel nothing except the growing magic and the rising tide of Nanshe's essence, each of us adding our own strand to the spell. Water and earth and fire and air and divinity, all coming together as one.

Air is mine - as we draw Nanshe's essence into the sky, I send out more and more threads of my own Power. We bind our Power together to make a bridge between the earth and the heavens, between the water and the sky.

The bridge is Nanshe, and the rain is Nanshe, and the earth is Nanshe. And now we are Nanshe too, as her divinity washes over us in the rain. I smile as the rain touches my skin, for now I know that we will succeed.

We have helped Nanshe give the gift that she wished to give to the people of Excolo: herself.

Est deus in nobis.

[Open to anyone working to stop the apocalypse]
[identity profile] mistresswanda.livejournal.com
Monday, the 11th of June
The Dormouse, afternoon


I have found, quite curiously, now that I am no longer surrounded by tea I want a cup almost every day. It might be because it is no longer work; but I would bet that it has more to do with the way Hope blends them. It's like she has a sixth sense about what will taste good together.

It's raining and blah and I have no interest in being 'Mayor von SacherMosch' today. I just want to sit and have tea and sweets and not be in charge of anything. So much so I forgo all the pretty dresses in my closet and opt to wear a pair of old, comfortable jeans and a t-shirt I found at the flea market. I have no idea why anyone would want a shirt advertising hardware, but the 'Pretty Hate Machine' part amused me greatly.

With my hair up in a pony tail and a walk that clearly states "I'm off the clock!" I head over to The Dormouse for lunch. I silently pray it's not too busy as I shake raindrops from my hair and push open the door.

(open)
[identity profile] hopenotfaith.livejournal.com
Wednesday, 24th September, afternoon
Hope, Faith and Edmund's home

Edmund and me, we've bin engaged fer over a month, just about. Not really done any thinkin' about the wedding itself, cos, well, there was the new 'ouse to sort out, an' town's done its usual thing o'bein' strange again. But. I bin thinkin' about the future in general, an' a few days ago, before we got the key fer the house, Faith an' me went to see Management.

Dreaded goin' to them, after the last time. But I can't stay with the carnival if'm married to Edmund, an' Faith - Faith an' me, we can't live apart. So we went to tender our resignation, as Management put it. They tried t'persuade us to stay, but we was firm. So in the end we paid, an' were released.

'S strange, 'ow much of a burden it feels like's been lifted. Never realised I felt trapped by the Carnival, before. Or maybe it was, before everything that 'appened 'ere, that bein' in a prison felt safe.

They didn't ask fer as much as I expected. I gave 'em the colour of my eyes - no use to me now, really, cos when'm out I wear my tinted glasses cos Faith says 'aving blind eyes pointed at you feels unnervin', an' Faith gave them 'er 'air colour. Gave me a fright when I took 'er 'and after we left an' I saw 'er look in the mirror, 'air as white as snow. She says she can always dye it, but maybe she'll keep it fer now. Doesn't seem to 'ave stopped local lads bein' interested in 'er at any rate.

So. That's done. But we went to the carnie wake fer Doc Constantine. Went to the tavern too, o'course. 'E belonged to both places, sort of 'ow we did. Remember when we used t'be scared of 'im, back when 'e 'ad that demon inside 'im. Not bin scared of 'im fer a long time. An' we'll never forget the salve 'e gave us. Saved us some pain, this winter past. 'Ope 'e rests easy.

[closed]
[identity profile] edmund-white.livejournal.com
[Thursday Afternoon, August 21 (day 452)]
(Bake Shop of Cockagne Bakery)

I've been keeping my eye on that house for a while now.


I've always liked it- liked the look of it, and the yard. Living above the Bakery for years, I've missed a yard. In fact, I can see it from the spit of grass outside the Bakery's back door.
And my apartment's been feeling too small for, well, forever. Kept turning over in my head how nice it'd be to have an office upstairs. It's so hard to get any paperwork done- even if it's related to the Bakery- when I'm at my desk in the back. And now that I have more staff, I don't feel like I need to always be there.

Part of me felt a bit ghoulish to keep watching it even when I found out that the couple who owned it were older, but it was just too perfect. And then two weeks ago I heard that they were moving in with their daughter's family. I couldn't help myself from jumping on it.
It feels like it's happened at just the perfect time.


I can't wait until Hope comes by today.


{Open to Hope}
[identity profile] hopenotfaith.livejournal.com
Thursday, 24th June, early evening
Edmund's apartment, above the bakery


In two days it'll be two months since I walked to the bakery an' showed Edmund 'ow I am now, an' we went on our first real date. An' it was lovely. It's bin lovely this whole time. An' now I'm sittin' in 'is apartment at 'is kitchen table, listenin' to 'im putter about an' put some dinner together, an' I'm really content. Feel like I'm becomin' part of 'is life now. Even met 'is parents, an' they've bin real nice to me.

But. I - want to be really part of 'is life, the way you are if you're - a couple. Lord, I'm blushin' even thinkin' about talkin' it over. He always kisses me 'ello an' goodbye, an' 'olds my 'and, but... I ain't a kid, an' there's so many things I never got to do when I was a teenager, an' I thought I might never 'ave cos of the way I was. So. Want to talk to 'im about it. Tell 'im that it's ok, 'e don't 'ave to worry, that 'e can stop treating me like I'm made o' fine glass or somethin'. I won't break.

"That smells nice," I say. Edmund's dinners always do.

[open to Edmund]
[closed]
[identity profile] hopenotfaith.livejournal.com
Thursday, 24th June, early evening
Edmund's apartment, above the bakery


In two days it'll be two months since I walked to the bakery an' showed Edmund 'ow I am now, an' we went on our first real date. An' it was lovely. It's bin lovely this whole time. An' now I'm sittin' in 'is apartment at 'is kitchen table, listenin' to 'im putter about an' put some dinner together, an' I'm really content. Feel like I'm becomin' part of 'is life now. Even met 'is parents, an' they've bin real nice to me.

But. I - want to be really part of 'is life, the way you are if you're - a couple. Lord, I'm blushin' even thinkin' about talkin' it over. He always kisses me 'ello an' goodbye, an' 'olds my 'and, but... I ain't a kid, an' there's so many things I never got to do when I was a teenager, an' I thought I might never 'ave cos of the way I was. So. Want to talk to 'im about it. Tell 'im that it's ok, 'e don't 'ave to worry, that 'e can stop treating me like I'm made o' fine glass or somethin'. I won't break.

"That smells nice," I say. Edmund's dinners always do.

[open to Edmund]
[closed]
[identity profile] faithnothope.livejournal.com
Thursday evening, Hope and Faith's trailer

Bin a steady few weeks, case o'snow aside. More or less used to 'ow things work wi' me an' Hope now, an' yeah, sometimes it's tough, cos I ain't used ter not bein' able t'speak when I want to. Pain in the arse that when I can finally go somewhere on me own I can't talk about it, eh? But there's things as make up fer it. Shaggin' Peter Granger as is barman at the Whitechapel 'elps - 'e ain't much of a talker anyway, an' t'be 'onest when 'e does talk I find 'im pretty boring, but lord does 'e 'ave a nice cock. 'E broke up with that Maya girl 'e was seein' a few weeks back, an' since I remembered 'ow nice it was when we shagged at that 'Alloween party I cheered 'im up. 'E don't want a girlfriend but I don't rightly care about that.

Also pretty 'appy that Hope an' Edmund're doin' so well, bless 'em. That bloke'd bore me to tears an' 'e's got all the sex appeal of a puppy, but Hope's pretty crazy about 'im which is what matters. Wonder if they'll end up gettin' 'itched. My sister marryin' a councillor, that'd be something! Dunno what I'd do then, though. Can't imagine not livin' with 'er.

Done one readin' this evenin', but it's bin a bit quiet otherwise. 'Oping we might get a couple more customers in t'night.

[closed]
[identity profile] hopenotfaith.livejournal.com
7th June, early afternoon

Woke up in the caravan feelin' a bit chilly this mornin', an' when I opened the door there was snow everywhere. Faith swore fer about five minutes over that, but once we'd got over the shock a bit we was right excited. Only problem was that we ain't got a lot of warm clothes fer us as we are now, but I reckoned we could make do with our old sweaters an' just pin 'em up a bit, but when I opened the clothes chest I found a red jumper an' a green one. Faith takes the red, o'course, an' we go off onto the Lot. Glad we've got boots, though the snow don't seem slippy at all.

At the cook tent's everyone's chatterin' away, drinkin' 'ot chocolate.

"Best get ready for the day," says Ivy, who runs the dock pond. "Think we'll have lots of customers today."

Don't reckon people'll be too worried about 'aving their fortunes told, though, so Faith an' I decide jus' to stroll round the Midway. It's all lit up with the Christmas lights, an' I dunno 'ow the rousties got 'em up again so fast. Whole place smells of sugar and spices from the food stalls, an' the girls from the Grind'ouse are runnin' about dressed as sexy fairies. 'Ope they don't catch cold. An' once we get to lunchtime, loads of people from town start showin' up. Ain't been this many people 'ere in weeks. 'S nice, an' I sit on a bench near the Carousel - so glad Zann's more or less 'erself again - an' drink a cup of hot cider.

[OPEN]
[identity profile] hopenotfaith.livejournal.com
7th June, early afternoon

Woke up in the caravan feelin' a bit chilly this mornin', an' when I opened the door there was snow everywhere. Faith swore fer about five minutes over that, but once we'd got over the shock a bit we was right excited. Only problem was that we ain't got a lot of warm clothes fer us as we are now, but I reckoned we could make do with our old sweaters an' just pin 'em up a bit, but when I opened the clothes chest I found a red jumper an' a green one. Faith takes the red, o'course, an' we go off onto the Lot. Glad we've got boots, though the snow don't seem slippy at all.

At the cook tent's everyone's chatterin' away, drinkin' 'ot chocolate.

"Best get ready for the day," says Ivy, who runs the dock pond. "Think we'll have lots of customers today."

Don't reckon people'll be too worried about 'aving their fortunes told, though, so Faith an' I decide jus' to stroll round the Midway. It's all lit up with the Christmas lights, an' I dunno 'ow the rousties got 'em up again so fast. Whole place smells of sugar and spices from the food stalls, an' the girls from the Grind'ouse are runnin' about dressed as sexy fairies. 'Ope they don't catch cold. An' once we get to lunchtime, loads of people from town start showin' up. Ain't been this many people 'ere in weeks. 'S nice, an' I sit on a bench near the Carousel - so glad Zann's more or less 'erself again - an' drink a cup of hot cider.

[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] hopenotfaith.livejournal.com
Monday, 26 April, morning

It's a bright day, I can see that, even if I can't see much else. Warm an' all. Faith insisted I wear a dress - "show 'im exactly 'ow yer different now," - so I got a floral dress from the market. Faith thought it was boring, but I ain't goin' to show up there in somethin' skimpy. This is difficult enough.

Bin two months since I've bin like this. Six months since 'e kissed me. An' we've only 'ad one conversation in all that time, but I still think about 'im. An' it's clear 'e ain't ever going to come back an' see me, so I'll go to 'im.

Faith walks me to the bakery.

"Just 'is boy in there, luvvie," she says, and we step in.

"Is Mr White 'ere?" I ask, an' 'is assistant says 'e'll get 'im. Faith kisses me cheek.

"I'll see you later, luvvie," she says, all gentle-like. Feel a bit panicked when she's gone, cos I can't see nothin' without 'er 'and in mine, an' anyway - I'm nervous about seein' 'im.

[closed]
[identity profile] hopenotfaith.livejournal.com
Monday, 26 April, morning

It's a bright day, I can see that, even if I can't see much else. Warm an' all. Faith insisted I wear a dress - "show 'im exactly 'ow yer different now," - so I got a floral dress from the market. Faith thought it was boring, but I ain't goin' to show up there in somethin' skimpy. This is difficult enough.

Bin two months since I've bin like this. Six months since 'e kissed me. An' we've only 'ad one conversation in all that time, but I still think about 'im. An' it's clear 'e ain't ever going to come back an' see me, so I'll go to 'im.

Faith walks me to the bakery.

"Just 'is boy in there, luvvie," she says, and we step in.

"Is Mr White 'ere?" I ask, an' 'is assistant says 'e'll get 'im. Faith kisses me cheek.

"I'll see you later, luvvie," she says, all gentle-like. Feel a bit panicked when she's gone, cos I can't see nothin' without 'er 'and in mine, an' anyway - I'm nervous about seein' 'im.

[closed]
[identity profile] hopenotfaith.livejournal.com
Thursday, April 8th, afternoon
Genny's trailer


'Ardly dare to 'ope that it's true, that Genny's alright again, but that's what people're sayin'. Want to - well, not like I can see for myself, but I can talk to 'er, an' if I go with Faith she can see for me.

Still feel strange after that long dream we all 'ad. Edmund an' me, we was right together, it felt like. I wish I knew what 'e thought when 'e woke up.

Feel Faith thread her fingers through mine, an' then I can 'ear 'er again. "C'mon, luvvie, day's awastin'" she says, not unkindly, an' we go off to Genny's trailer 'and in 'and. 'Ear Faith walk up the steps an' knock on the door. 'Ope we don't shock 'er too much.

[Open to Genny]
[identity profile] hopenotfaith.livejournal.com
Thursday, April 8th, afternoon
Genny's trailer


'Ardly dare to 'ope that it's true, that Genny's alright again, but that's what people're sayin'. Want to - well, not like I can see for myself, but I can talk to 'er, an' if I go with Faith she can see for me.

Still feel strange after that long dream we all 'ad. Edmund an' me, we was right together, it felt like. I wish I knew what 'e thought when 'e woke up.

Feel Faith thread her fingers through mine, an' then I can 'ear 'er again. "C'mon, luvvie, day's awastin'" she says, not unkindly, an' we go off to Genny's trailer 'and in 'and. 'Ear Faith walk up the steps an' knock on the door. 'Ope we don't shock 'er too much.

[Open to Genny]
[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
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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