[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] hermia-sophia.livejournal.com
[The morning after the dream of Nanshe]

Dear Ms. Thorn,

I apologize for the suddenness of this letter, and hope that you will understand that I would not write so abruptly if it were not a very urgent matter.

I need your help - or, rather, I know that we need to work together - on something vitally important. It is related to what we did together three years ago, at the water's edge. The need is even greater now than it is then.

Please meet me at your earliest convenience in the garden behind the Whitechapel on Silk Road. I will be there working.

Yours,

Hermia Stephanides


--
The letter was the fourth thing that I did after I awoke, with the taste of seafoam on my lips. The first was to curl myself close to Valmont, embracing him so tightly that he awoke too. I told him everything as I held him close, listening to the steady beat of his heart and feeling his warm presence next to me.

The second was to hug the children. (It is still a marvel, to think 'children' and not 'child.') For once, Luc stayed asleep - he murmured and squirmed in his dreams, his little mind working hard even in slumber, but he did not wake.

The third was to send a message to Chester, a tiny flare of magic sent into the ether. I know he will answer when he can, and I hope that it is soon, for I will need his help. I will need everyone's help.

The fourth was the letter, sent off with Adam as he finished the night's cleaning to head home. He was startled to see me awake, and even more so to see me sending a note to the Carnival, but he agreed to do what I asked.

And the fifth was to get to work.

I stay in the garden all morning, Marie sleeping beside me as the pale-purple stillness of dawn brightens into full day. Sorting herbs and sketching diagrams, plucking at the threads of Power to see what shapes I can weave them into, trying to find the sparks of divinity that Nanshe left behind.

Working and waiting.

[Open to Syl]
[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] goddessnanshe.livejournal.com
Early morning, Wednesday

My arms and legs are bleeding, my ceremonial dress ripped and stained. It has taken me hours to get free of the abbey and stumble onto Main Street. My hair smells of soot. I can manipulate dream, but now there is another here who can, too, and the dreams he has sent for me are full of fire and thorns. And he does not tire, as I do. His body is not mortal.

I stumble up to the sheriff's office and knock hard on the door.

[Open to JACK, and then to others who might be nearby]
[At sheriff's office; moving to the LIBRARY]
[identity profile] genny-duvall.livejournal.com
Thursday, September 4
The Carnival Living Lot


Them crow feathers want me to paint with 'em. They really do. I stuck 'em in my bag, and then I could still feel 'em so I stuck the bag under a pile of clothes, and then I still knew they was there.

I done all kinds of other things while I tried not to think about 'em. Visited Syl when she wasn't feelin' good enough to go out, talked to Zann, drew pictures for the little kids, messed 'round with pencils and pastels and all kindsa new drawin' stuff. I done pictures of the river and the carousel and even the wagons, and I done autumn leaves for the front gate of the Carnival 'cause it'll be time for that soon. It was cold last night! The leaves looked real good, too, but dang, why're we still here if it's almost fall! We should be movin' on! We should be goin' south where we don't gotta worry 'bout keepin' the animals warm. Leastways the twins won't have it so bad this winter, but it just ain't right.

We gotta get goin'.

The feathers still want me to paint, but I don't let 'em tell me what to do. It's hard, but I leave 'em behind and go over to see Syl.

[open to Syl and Zann]
[identity profile] genny-duvall.livejournal.com
[Tuesday, August 19]
[The doctor's office]

I been havin' the worst dreams ever. All full of dead stuff. Dead birds 'n dead fish in rivers 'n dead plants. And Tez was in 'em, too, and I ain't dreamed 'bout him for ages.

I felt all kindsa sick when I woke up, and my head hurt worse'n it's done for weeks. Didn't think it was bad enough for Momma to be as scared as she was, but then she said that I'd been sleepin' for four days, just like last spring when everyone was dreamin'. The dead birds really happened, she said, and that was bad enough even without nothin' else, but there was more. She didn't wanna say it, but I can always tell when she's tryin' not to say somethin'. Her eyes sorta crinkle out at the corners.

Syl got shot, is what she didn't wanna tell me.

Some of them nasty townies shot her. Yeah, the sheriff got the people who done it and she arrested 'em, but they shot her! Some folks say it was 'cause they knew she does magic and some folks say it was just 'cause she's from the carnival and some folks say it's 'cause the abbey don't want nobody in town who ain't from the abbey. Everybody's been scared for days.

Momma didn't want to let me go see her 'cause she was scared I might get shot too, 'cause if they'd shoot Syl then maybe they'd shoot everyone from the carnival, but I gotta go see her. I gotta.

Cept I ain't eaten in four days, and I got all wobbly when I tried to stand up, so I guess I ain't goin' nowhere. But as soon as I was feelin' better I told Momma I was goin'.

I got my sketchbook and I got some flowers. She don't like pretty fluffy flowers, but you're s'posed to bring flowers when somebody's sick, and I 'member the ones that Syl says are good for when you're sick if you make 'em into tea, so maybe she'll like those.

I go all the way into town, and I don't talk to nobody on the way in. Don't see many folks on the way in, but I don't look at 'em or talk to 'em. Maybe folks in town don't like carnival folks no more?

Syl's at the doc's office, and I know where that is. Doc ain't there, but I go inside anyway, and I know which door goes to the room where sick folks stay when they gotta stay overnight. That's gotta be where Syl is.

I knock on the door, and wait.

[Open to Syl]
[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] syl-thorn.livejournal.com
[Early evening, Wednesday, August 13th, day 444]
[The woods outside town]


Woke up'is mornin' when the sky wuz th'deep blue'a th'sea bottom, m'breath stranglin'n m'throat, and a pain'n m'head't threatened t'push m'eyes from'eir sockets. I sat up, chokin' 'n clawin't m'throat, wond'rin' dully if'n m'head wuz gonna burst 'fore I strangled, an'en't wuz done. Th'air'n m'lungs pushed out hard, there wuzza flash 'fore m'eyes, an'en th'pain wuz gone. But not b'fore I heard somethin', a weird screamin' noise somewhere deep'n th'mist. Closest thin' t'it've ever heard s'when I came 'pon a mama vixen'n th'woods, she stood up from'er cubs'n fuckin' screamed at me. This sound wuz like'at...but wit'n edge, like th'bone squeal'a teeth grindin'n pain. Dunno what't wuz, but't made me feel sick'n pale'n sweaty, an' I didn't sleep no more after'at.

Seems mosta th'others'n th'Carnival felt somethin' th'same. Lotta folk woke up'n th'night, 'r member a chokin' spell...nobody else mentioned the scream, though. I don't mention it neither, but think mebbe I oughta go talk t'Nanshe soon's I can. Whatever't wuz, don't think't meant anythin' good.

Fer t'day, though, there's work t'be done. Can't b'lieve th'summer's near t'ended. We's headed fer our second winter innis town, an'I think mosta us're resigned t'it. Somma th'folks'a been lettin'eir wagons go, lettin' th'wheels sink inta th'ground, 'r settin'em on blocks. Some folks've built shacks 're rented places in town. Some've taken jobs, too, part time 'r full. Can't blame'em, really, since'ere ain't allat much money comin' in fer the rides 'r games no more. There's a feelin' on th'Lot now't we might never leave, annit makes m'skin itch.

Me, I still keep m'wagon ready t'move, an'm makin' 'nough cash sellin' potions'n charms, so'm doin' okay. Smokey's gettin' fat, though, 'e's spendin' so much time'n pasture. I ain't never learned t'ride'r nothin', so'ere really ain't nothin' for'im t'do. Guess I could rent'im out t'folks in town, but I dunno. In some ways't makes me feel like'm puttin' down roots m'self, an'at jes' makes me twitch.

At least I still got work t'do. Shoulder m'satchel 'n head out inta th'woods. Rain's gone, but'ere's a cool breeze, so I throw on m'jacket, 'n pull boots on 'gainst th'mud 'n wet grass. Th'woods 'n th'river here've been good t'me, at least in terms've finding materials. Roots 'n herbs, moss 'n bone. Miss somma th'stuff I c'n get 'n th'south (Christ, I miss olive oil), but gotta say, gathered a lotta stuff last winter't I can't normally get, annit came in right handy over th'past few months.

...Lord, guess I better start thinkin' 'bout getting th'heaters set back up inna few weeks. Jesus wept.

[OPEN to Reed and Catherine primarily, but others too]
[identity profile] syl-thorn.livejournal.com
[Mid-morning, Thursday, August 4 (day 431)]
(The Carnival Lot)


Summer's us'ally our boom time, and we're sure's hell doin' better now'n we were'n th'winter time. But th'money ain't rollin' in way't us'ally does, an'ere's a lotta grumblin' d'spite Management's promises. More'n more folk're startin' t'wander inta town, takin' jobs 'ere. Store clerk 'ere, a farmhand 'ere, handyman 'ere. Most ovvem swear's jes' temporary, s'jes' 'til we c'n leave'ere, an'en 'ey'll be right back wittus. Some don't bother.

Draw hard on m'cig'n blow smoke out m'nostrils. I can't blame anyone't leaves. S'a scary time, fer allovus, an' I wouldn't trust Management neither, if'n I hadda fam'ly t'feed. Azzit is, 'm onna th'few folks't 're still doin' a reg'lar bizness. Still can't sell nonna th'strong stuff, but charms, poultices, li'l wards...there's always a market ferrat stuff. I ain't rakin't in like I us'ally do, bu's 'nough t'keep me fed, 'n t'set aside some fer'ose 't need't.

But m'skin itches. S'th'longest've been'n one place since I joined up...annat's near t'thirty years back. S'a long time t'be seein' th'same town, same trees, same river. Same fuckin' tower. Oh, yeah, le's not forget'at. Le's not forget th'fuckin' Psycho Monster hangin' like a sword onna string over our heads. Le's not forget Tez, neither, who fer some godawful reason fell in love wittim. Le's not forget th'tree burned inta m'back, th'knife't's tasted m'best friend's blood.

We's been here over a year, but I feel like've aged 'bout twenty.

[OPEN]
[identity profile] silence-excolo.livejournal.com
Thursday, July 8th [Day 403]
Early morning
Carnivale lot


Rain. It rained. Yesterday. Good. My bucket should be full of water.

Can't seem to get the energy to trek to the showers today. The little leak in my roof drips into that bucket. I can use that, try to wash up some. Should be clean enough.

Can't remember the last time I was this sick. Skipped out on work, but no one came by to complain. Probably not much to work on, then. Should try to go today, since the sun's out. I pull myself up to sitting on my bed, but my head's already complaining & I have to pause a bit. Been sweating & chilling so much my t shirt's soaked. Try to strip it off & the air makes me shiver so I pull it back down.

Dammit. Look over towards the bucket. Seems so far away, but I know it's just a few feet.

Maybe I'll just close my eyes a bit longer, make the spinning go away.

[Open to Zann & Syl]
[identity profile] silence-excolo.livejournal.com
Thursday, July 8th [Day 403]
Early morning
Carnivale lot


Rain. It rained. Yesterday. Good. My bucket should be full of water.

Can't seem to get the energy to trek to the showers today. The little leak in my roof drips into that bucket. I can use that, try to wash up some. Should be clean enough.

Can't remember the last time I was this sick. Skipped out on work, but no one came by to complain. Probably not much to work on, then. Should try to go today, since the sun's out. I pull myself up to sitting on my bed, but my head's already complaining & I have to pause a bit. Been sweating & chilling so much my t shirt's soaked. Try to strip it off & the air makes me shiver so I pull it back down.

Dammit. Look over towards the bucket. Seems so far away, but I know it's just a few feet.

Maybe I'll just close my eyes a bit longer, make the spinning go away.

[Open to Zann & Syl]
[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] 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] syl-thorn.livejournal.com
[Early afternoon, Thursday, May 27, day 361]
[Near the Abbey]



Figured 'd let th' chaos from th'whole wishes thin' died down, an' even'en, I wuzn't right sure've anythin'. Wuzn't 'til I talked t'Kate't I knew't I had t'do somethin'. An' by'en I wuz right tired out from workin' on Glass' hex. T'day's th'first day I felt real human again. So t'day I got m'self bloody dressed an' outta th'fuckin' wagon, an'I head out t'th'Abbey.

I know't somma th'folks'ere know who Nanshe is, but I dunno 'bout all ovvem. So't th'gates, I ask fer Noma. Girl says she's in th'gardens, an' sends me right in. Th'gardens're startin' t'sprout now, flowers'n veg'tables'n herbs. World's come back t'life since th'winter. Fuckin' weird t'think't'll be summer soon. Christ, come t'think ovvit, we'll've been'ere a year now. Jesus fucking wept.

There she is, near th'herb garden. "Noma," I call, wand'rin' over. "How ya been?"


[OPEN to Nanshe and anyone else at the Abbey]
[identity profile] syl-thorn.livejournal.com
[Early afternoon, Thursday, May 27, day 361]
[Near the Abbey]



Figured 'd let th' chaos from th'whole wishes thin' died down, an' even'en, I wuzn't right sure've anythin'. Wuzn't 'til I talked t'Kate't I knew't I had t'do somethin'. An' by'en I wuz right tired out from workin' on Glass' hex. T'day's th'first day I felt real human again. So t'day I got m'self bloody dressed an' outta th'fuckin' wagon, an'I head out t'th'Abbey.

I know't somma th'folks'ere know who Nanshe is, but I dunno 'bout all ovvem. So't th'gates, I ask fer Noma. Girl says she's in th'gardens, an' sends me right in. Th'gardens're startin' t'sprout now, flowers'n veg'tables'n herbs. World's come back t'life since th'winter. Fuckin' weird t'think't'll be summer soon. Christ, come t'think ovvit, we'll've been'ere a year now. Jesus fucking wept.

There she is, near th'herb garden. "Noma," I call, wand'rin' over. "How ya been?"


[OPEN to Nanshe and anyone else at the Abbey]
[identity profile] glass-beddau.livejournal.com
[Afternoon of Friday, May 21 (day 355)]
[Out at the Carnivale]


I'm so damn tired. Keep thinking of the time Dorian cracked my skull when I was dosed and then Lucien mended me, and I came back to a clear head and no bruise or wound and none of it seemed real. Knew it happened, sure, but couldn't lay hand to aught that proved it.

Wondering... well, not what'd've happened if I'd been wanting something else, know that well enough. Daydreaming, I suppose. Not that it'd make much difference, with everything that was and wasn't coming around in pieces. Stop and think and I can make out well enough the truth of things, but otherwise...

Marie seemed sensible. And'm damn well going to be asking Maryk if he got a name off that man afore playing Shuck with him.

Mind, neither of it'll be making any difference to me in a fortnight if something can't be done. Oh, sure, grant that Lucien could probably have my arm off, but way things are going of the moment I'm not thinking that'd do aught but chase infection closer to the heart. Shrug closer into my coat and keep walking, careful and slow and wishin I had anything to say. The rain's a thin fine shower of grey in the cool air, wet as any spring, and my hand feels like old embers under its bandage, cracking with sullen heat.

[Open to Syl and Kate]
[Closed]
[identity profile] glass-beddau.livejournal.com
[Afternoon of Friday, May 21 (day 355)]
[Out at the Carnivale]


I'm so damn tired. Keep thinking of the time Dorian cracked my skull when I was dosed and then Lucien mended me, and I came back to a clear head and no bruise or wound and none of it seemed real. Knew it happened, sure, but couldn't lay hand to aught that proved it.

Wondering... well, not what'd've happened if I'd been wanting something else, know that well enough. Daydreaming, I suppose. Not that it'd make much difference, with everything that was and wasn't coming around in pieces. Stop and think and I can make out well enough the truth of things, but otherwise...

Marie seemed sensible. And'm damn well going to be asking Maryk if he got a name off that man afore playing Shuck with him.

Mind, neither of it'll be making any difference to me in a fortnight if something can't be done. Oh, sure, grant that Lucien could probably have my arm off, but way things are going of the moment I'm not thinking that'd do aught but chase infection closer to the heart. Shrug closer into my coat and keep walking, careful and slow and wishin I had anything to say. The rain's a thin fine shower of grey in the cool air, wet as any spring, and my hand feels like old embers under its bandage, cracking with sullen heat.

[Open to Syl and Kate]
[Closed]
[identity profile] syl-thorn.livejournal.com
[Early morning, Wednesday, May 19. Day 353]
[The carnival side of the Pontarlier, outside both town and the Lot]



S'lookin't th'water't duzzit fer me. Seein' th'flow, th'curd'a th'foam, smellin' th'river on th'wind...lacks th'salt, th'sound'a th'tides, but th'water 'tself still hazza presence. Still echoes'n m'brain. Still pounds'n m'blood. Smells've damp sand, weed, th'cold blood've fish. Smells'f need. Smells'f home.

S'near t'summer, but't's still cold attis time'a th'mornin'. I shuck m'clothes, stash'em quick 'neath a rotten log. Th'water laps 'round m'ankles cool an' sweet, graspin' 'n strokin' like a million tiny hands. I tilt back m'head, breathe deep'a th'river air, an'en I start t'change.

Dunno why't ain't th'same, goin' from human t'not, but't ain't. M'skin peels free like'at ovvan orange, an'I jes' gotta pause t'swallow't. Ev'ry strip goes down m'throat, tastin'a salt 'n metal 'n fat. Notta single piece gets left b'hind. I know damned well what could be done wit' even th'smallest piece'a m'hide, an'I ain't 'bout t'give nobody th'opportun'ty.

Th'last piece'a flesh passes down m'throat, an'I heave m'self inta th'water. Ain't near so deep's'd prefer, but it'll do. Oh, it'll do. Down I plunge, deep inta th'mud 'n weed choked depths. Snap a trout inta m'jaws, feel th'bones crunch, taste th'copper tang've blood, swallow sweet shreds've meat. Oh, it ain't th'sea, but it'll do fer now.

[OPEN]

January 2014

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