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  • Beqanna

    version 22: awakening

    COTY

    GHAUL -- Year 209

    QOTY

    "(souls are not meant to live more than once — death was not meant to be temporary, and she is so sure that every time her heart starts to beat again that irreversible damage is further inflicted)" -- Anonya, written by Colby


    everything kept moving,
    #1

    I never cared for anyone so much. I was born with a bomb inside my gut.

    He had touched her.
    And maybe he hadn’t meant to.
    But her skin burns with the memory of it – even now.

    Even now, weeks later. Foolish girl, haunted by the sound of the ice that had cracked beneath her and the barbed edge of his voice. She has imagined his throat lined with rust, like hers. Poor, lonely girl, fixated on something that meant nothing at all simply because it had awakened something long-dormant at the center of her. The thrill of being seen.

    She does not fit in here, necessarily, but it’s easy to make herself invisible. It’s easy to tuck herself behind those colossal boulders so that she can watch things unfold from a safe distance. Because she does not know how to smile or make herself approachable. Because it’s easier to watch than it is to participate.

    She does not know exactly what it is that drives her out of dense forest and into the rain. Nearing the end of winter, the rain still has a bitter sting. It cuts through her and the cold sinks into the marrow of her bones and chatters her teeth. The muscles spasm and shiver but she turns her face up to the sky.

    Maybe it is the fact that she has not felt alive in weeks. Maybe it is because the cold jump-starts her pulse, hitches her breath. Because it’s better to feel pain than nothing at all. Because she shivers until the muscles ache and her clenched jaw pulses in time with her stutter-step heart. And there’s all that rust in her throat and maybe someday it’ll suffocate her.

    lilian

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    #2

    Why had he touched her?

    Why had he invited her here?

    Why had he thought that it was a good idea to bring her back into this pit of vipers with only him and Starsin to keep him company. To be honest, he wasn’t clear why he was even still here. Why he hadn’t just cut his losses and left Sylva in search of another home. Another place. Although, part of him knows that if he left now that he would never stop moving. Never stop looking for something that he knows he won’t find. He could spend the rest of his life hunting for a home and it would never come.

    So he stays in Sylva.

    And he keeps an eye on her—even if it’s from afar.

    Except today she is rushing into the freezing rain. He has managed to find some shelter underneath some of the thicker branches of the trees and his wings are particularly large today, the material some sort of glossy, waterproof feather on top and thick down below. It manages to keep him warm, keep the bite of winter from cutting straight through his bones, but it does nothing to shield him from the rush of fear and frustration and anger when he sees her rush into the water. It does nothing to stop the headache that forms.

    He should just let her freeze to death, he thinks.

    He should just let her.

    But even as the thought forms, he cuts it off with a groan as steps forward, as he moves from the protection of the trees and feels the rain fall down—heavy and unrelenting. His mane becomes instantly drenched, plastered against the deep red of his neck and forelock and his light grey eyes burn with his irritation. He moves forward until he nears her with her head turned upward and lifts one of his strange grey wings over her back. “You’re just determined to kill yourself, aren’t you.”

    BRIGADE

    when I was a man I thought it ended when I knew love's perfect ache
    but my peace has always depended on all the ashes in my wake

    Reply
    #3

    I never cared for anyone so much. I was born with a bomb inside my gut.

    She does not hear his approach.
    But then, she hadn’t been listening.

    Her eyes are closed against the stinging rain and she is acutely aware of the frantic beating of her heart as it struggles to warm her from the inside. As it reorients the flow of her blood from the limbs to the chest. And she’s gritting her teeth so fiercely that it’s a wonder they don’t shatter in her mouth. Pool blood and bone on her tongue. Because she was strong once and maybe one day she can be again.

    And again, it happens all at once. The same way it had at the edge of the river when she’d scurried away from the reach of the breaking ice and their bodies had collided and then immediately separated – repelled as if by some unseen force so quickly that she sometimes wonders if she hadn’t imagined it. The rain stops and the sound of his voice disrupts whatever pattern her thoughts had managed to arrange themselves into.

    It hitches her breath, rakes the air across the rust in her windpipe and she forces her eyes open. The heart adopts a newer, perhaps more frantic pulse and she shifts her focus from the sky to his face. Closer now than it had been at the edge of the river, even as he’d shouted at her, reduced her to nothing at all. She blinks at him, acutely aware of the heat that pools in her cheeks as she swallows.

    Is she? Is that what she’s after? She thinks about the aching in her chest and the rust in her throat and thinks maybe he’s right. She does not want to look away. She does not want him to think her weak. But she cannot help it because she cannot stand the heat in her cheeks or the way something in her swells with their proximity and the fact that he has lifted a wing over her back to protect her from the rain.

    Would it be so bad?” she asks then, quiet, contemplative. “Do you think?” her voice catches and she loathes the plaintive sound of it. “Do you think dying would be worse than this?

    lilian

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