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    version 22: awakening

    COTY

    LILLIANA -- Year 206

    QOTY

    "There is still something of himself - something of the Wolfbane who would always love her - that rallies against the slime. It says, 'lie in the bed you’ve made'. So he gathers the covers and tucks himself in." -- Wolfbane, written by Calcifer


    time makes you bolder; olver
    #1
    You always had the best wishes and dreams, I miss hearing about them.”

    Her cousin’s words are still with her a few days after their last meeting. As the day has gone on, Lilli’s thoughts keep coming back to that sentence. For Elaina, Lilli had created a dream. She had crafted one out of the places in between a sunset, a place where night never comes. The air always smelled of like the first blossoms of springs and the symphony of cricket song lingered. Lilli doesn’t know where the imagery or the idea came from but for Elaina, the least she can do is create a dream. 

    What had her last dream been? What had she last wished for? Hoped for? 

    For the last two years, her dreams have been shadowed things that were riddled with regrets. They had been filled with Broch’s whispers and her accusations. Every time that she could feel herself starting to wish or hope again, a reminder would come as to why she shouldn’t, why she didn’t deserve too. It’s still a long road yet but Lilliana is entering the sixth year of her life. She is coming to understand those senseless tragedies happen. There is no rhyme or reason to them. They happen to the best and most horrible of souls without any explanation at all.

    There will always be an ache there. There should be. A life cut short, a shining star dimmed too soon should always be mourned. But the anguish doesn’t run as hot as it once had. It doesn’t rob the world of color anymore and where Lilliana once struggled to find a way forward, a path is slowly being revealed. 

    She can’t bring Broch back. Lilli has long accepted that fact. She can’t travel in time and find him, can’t whisper the words he had longed (and deserved) to hear or offer any kind of physical comfort the night before he goes to the Summit. There is no turning back the clock to give him something to cling to as he faces Rougaru. The crimson girl has learned that no matter how many times she revisits this particular memory, the outcome never changes. No matter how many times she might try to utter the words he wants, how many times she tries to find the courage to rise from the grasses bathed in moonlight, she always stays there. Her eyes remained shut, her mouth schooled to stay in a relaxed line to mimic slumber. She lays in that grass like a sacrificial lamb, ready for the blade to be placed at her throat. 

    Lilliana isn’t so arrogant to think that if she had said something, that if she might have offered him something, the outcome would have been different. Whatever her feelings had been, they were small and inconsequential in the grand scheme of fate. But she has so often twisted her heart on the thought that he had left this life angry with her, disappointed, wanting. 

    All because Lilli had believed that he had deserved someone better – someone with more courage, braver, something more than she was. Because she was a coward. Give something a word, a name and it can be taken from you. An old law of magic – give something a name and it can take on a whole new shape, a new meaning. 

    Maybe Tir had seen Lilli’s wanting, had known how much she sought retribution for how she had failed Brochturach. 

    And she has gotten it. In the late part of the day when the winter shadows are cast long, the crimson girl concentrates hard. Her brow is furrowed, her attention focused on the bundle of fur that tries to balance its weight on three limbs. One is held up pitifully and the little fox kit has his pointed ears flicked back while his jaw is spread wide in a toothy snarl. She feels the ancient stirring in her body, something primal that bonds her to the land and its magical pulse as she summons what strings she can. 

    They are stands of light and though the power is still untrained, is still unfamiliar and rages light magic in her veins, she is able to direct it to the darkness in the kit’s front paw. A fracture? A splintering of bone? Somehow the light wields it back together, fuses and knits back together what was torn. The light flashes and leaves her momentarily blinded. When the world comes back into focus, the kit is gone. 

    The shadows are almost gone and night beckons as the first stars emerge, a velvet spread of blue and black above. The winter wood, an already hushed and silent place, is even more still. Her blue eyes fix on the paw prints left in the snow and looming darkness. The young mare smiles, shakes her head at the impossibility of it all. ”Fey or fox?” Lilli teases the silence, her voice warm despite the frigidness of the air around her. ”Or have I lost my wits entirely?”

    LILLIANA
    i left home on account of snow
    (buried all the things i know)


    Olver
    Reply
    #2
    The dreams that had infiltrated Olver’s mind over the slow, passing years were made of silver and gold, dandelions and soft things. They were full of all the finest things carried by chivalrous hands. The scent of soft lavender and rose are the smells that wrapped their sweet fingers to his soft cheeks. He was a boy that in a sense was forgotten, he had been loved once upon a time by a doting mother and a harsh father who had been weathered down by his mother's love. But one always grows tired of the quite, when you ask and receive no answer in return, when all you want to do is fight and all you get is an empty face.

    He moved on with his life, or where they the ones that had moved on? It did little good resting on such things, but when you can’t talk all that's left to do is think. Olver in all his dulled fire hide and abandoned green eyes had spent many nights tucked away on his own with absolutely no one. He had never experienced a very finalized loss like death, sweeping in and claiming those you hold dear, but is it not worse to lose those you love because they chose to leave you?

    The snow fell silently into his red shaggy coat and his steps left behind a ghost of who he once was as the winter's sun began to hide behind the horizons protection once again. There, a woman traced in sun’s last breath stood face to face with a damaged creature - the pain evident in the way it held itself and tried to defend itself in the most pathetic of ways, no running only it’s voice left to say what its paws could no longer do. Olver’s eyes watch in tender curiosity as he watched the familiar mare close her eyes and pull to a place deep within. A perfect smile dances across his lips as the white light begins to dance from her to the creature in the most romantic of ways, soft and magical. The light reflected off her face and all that was near, it was as if this perfect crimson woman had been outlined in the angels light itself. The light became so blindingly white that Olver had to shut his eyes, a permanent picture of the perfect moment tattooed on the back side of his eyelids.

    When he finally opened his eyes the light was gone and all that remained was an ordinary woman whose light was gently fading into the cold winter's night. He stepped forward from the canopy of low hanging trees into the darkness of the world, towards that perfect moment that was still engraved into the very front of his thoughts, towards Lilliana. His green eyes blazed with awe and appreciation for what she could do. That was beautiful, what you just did his voice came out deep, and gravely. It held the sound of a man who appreciated all the finer things in life and lived in every perfect moment he could find.   

    lilliana
    BQolver
    Reply
    #3
    She has been trying to move forward.

    Lilliana has been learning that grief, that moving on, isn’t one battle of moving upward. It is a war filled with many battles. Some days are better than others. Some days she learns to live with her mistakes and some days she condemns herself for them. Grief, she is learning, is a tide that can come in with full force and leave behind something new – something new to discover or find.

    It can weather a soul but what Lilli is learning is the withstanding of it, of learning to let things come and go.

    The proof of that is evident in the way her smile reaches her eyes, the way that it transforms the expression on her face. The fatigue that she feels when using this gift is replaced. The tiredness that crinkles around her eyes, that seems to settle in her bones and make her feel so tired is replaced with her ever-persistent teasing. Lilli still feels tired but the gratitude, the sense of purpose she gets from this chases away the exhaustion that wants to claim its due.

    The irony isn’t lost on her that of all creatures she heals that the first is a fox. There is a touch of fate in the moment and Lilliana can’t help but wonder if this is her sign, if this is the smoke signal she has been searching for. But in the last dying rays of daylight and as the sun finally nestles herself below the horizon, she protests the darkness in a fiery hue that tries to linger amidst the midnight blue that comes rolling in. Had she not been so tired, she might have noticed Olver’s approach or at least become aware of the scent of the dun stallion as he drew closer.

    Instead, it only when she hears the sound of snow crushing beneath the weight of hooves does she turn her head to find the familiar form of her former classmate standing there. Her relief exhales in puffs of air from her nostrils and her face warms with recognition, happy to see him again. ”Olver,” she beams.

    But then he speaks.

    Her eyes widen and then the smile follows suit. Olver has a voice, comes the stunned thought. She had wondered what he would sound like when the pair had traveled to meet Persea so Olver could participate in Tir's first assignment. ”That was.. I was repaying a favor to an old friend.” The soft smile becomes lopsided then and she peers up at him. Lilliana is still eager to smile (she can hardly contain it) and when their eyes finally meet, she grins.

    ”Olver,” comes her enthusiastic reply, laughter carrying on the last notes of the word. ”Your voice is beautiful. How does it feel? Is it everything you were wanting?” Her questions come breathless in rapid succession. Realizing this, Lilli steadies her tongue and she sends the stallion an apologetic smile, ”Sorry.. but you’re speaking. It’s wonderful Olver, truly.”

    LILLIANA
    i left home on account of snow
    (buried all the things i know)


    Olver
    Reply
    #4
    O l v e r
    He followed her laughter with some of his own, the first time he had ever laughed. It was an odd but delightful sensation and he could help but to let it fall from his mouth as his eyes squinted shut slightly. His laughter turned into a full belly laugh as she continued to talk, her happiness fueled his own. Never in my life did I imagine this is what it would be like. he said breathlessly. So many thoughts have rolled through my mind over the years and now.... now I have no idea what to say. he said his eyes widening in pure joy as his muzzle drifted closer to hers, slowly, and unintentionally.

    I would officially like to say thank you for all your help. he watched her with large deep green eyes. He had not known her long but her gift of healing light that she had received seemed to fit her perfectly. His eyes drifted to the night sky. The sun had set leaving its faded hues on one horizon while the moon, bright and white rose on the other. Isn't it beautiful. he said softly as his eyes drifted effortlessly back to her silenced face, she was beautiful.
    a fool is known by his speech;
    a wise man by his silence

    lilliana
    BQolver
    Reply
    #5
    It should occur to her that this is the first time that Olver has ever laughter. But the sound is jovial, so heartfelt and uplifting that it feels like has been laughing his entire life. It feels like she has known his laughter and there have been moments before this one where they have shared it.

    His eyes shut and Lilliana inclines her head to the side, appreciating and reveling in the moment with him. It's contagious and the chestnut can feel his joy radiating off him in waves, a golden sun against the mysterious night.  The laughter melts away to a  smile, something that comes easily and beaming in the darkness around them. It goes from cheek to cheek, ear to ear if it could and the crimson girl is genuinely happy for Olver.

    A whole lifetime without ever being able to share a word and now here he stands, faced with the impossibility with wanting to share all of them. The smile tugs into a lopsided grin, eager to pull him into a banter. "Say the first thing that comes to your mind," she dares. "Say anything you want too. I promise I won't tell," Lilliana teases like the two of them might be crafting a conspiracy.

    She smiles her appreciation at his thanks but something about it leaves her shy, unsure what do with his appreciation. But her part had been minimal at best, nothing at all so she repays him with a compliment in return:  "You were the composer. It was your magic behind the words."

    And how wonderful it was he got to share those words now, she thinks.

    The dun stallion looks up to the night sky with open appreciation and Lilliana tilts her own head up to reflect upon it. "Always," she marvels, her turn now to become breathless with the awe of it all. All those stars, all those dreams and secrets hanging above them. They glow silver and shining, a constant no matter where a horse might find themselves. "The darker the night, the brighter the stars." She contemplates this for a moment, wondering what brighter stars mean for her and what that might mean for Olver. Pulling her attention away from them and back to her former classmate, she finds herself whimsical with wonder and curious about her companion. "Do you ever make wishes on them?"

    Those bright stars, one of the few aspects of winter she enjoys, have a plethora of her wishes above. They have heard plenty of pleas and prayers and musings from her on many nights such as this one, when she has been wrapped up in the darkness with only their silent company. But tonight, she is not alone and she simply enjoys his instead. 
    LILLIANA
    i left home on account of snow
    (buried all the things i know)


    Olver
    Reply
    #6
    O l v e r
    Wishes?

    Only every other night, but not what anyone would expect. Anyone would expect that Olver would wish to be able to talk on every shooting star he ever saw, but it was quite the opposite. Out of all of the wishes he ever made, they were never for himself. He would more or so think of them as prayers more than anything. He would pray that the trees would always turn green after a harsh winter, or that the sun would forever wake when morning came. He would send a prayer for individuals he'd pass that they would find happiness or that their pain would be replaced by better days.

    A gentle smile replaced the joyful one as he looked from Lilliana to the stars once more. What are stars for but to hold all of our hopes and dreams? he said in a deep, quiet whisper. I wish, and pray that your abilities impact all you meet in the best possible ways he said to the stars. It was no coincidence, he thinks, that as the words leave his lips a particularly bright star races across the sky towards the west horizon to fade into day where ever it was going.

    The night sounds cascade his ears in sensual, beautiful sounds as they stand there in this place for a moments time. I know that this gift wont last through sunrise. he says matter of factly, so, why don't we make the best of it. Will you go on a walk with me? his dark green eyes catch her gaze , Tell me your wishes, and I'll tell you mine.

    Despite the winters frosty grip Olver could not help but to feel refreshed, warm, and delighted with tonight's company.
    a fool is known by his speech;
    a wise man by his silence

    lilliana
    BQolver
    Reply
    #7
    The smile lingers as she watches him. Someone as wonderful as Olver must have as equally wonderful wishes.

    He stares up at the stars again and Lilli senses a kindred spirit in him, someone who finds magic in the wild and wonderful, who appreciates the simplicity of a sunset or the reverence of the night sky. Things that can be so easily missed amidst the commotion of life - they so easily become the backdrop for scenes of love, ambitions, passions, secrets. They can be so easily forgotten when they stand as the witnesses to so much.

    The words he speaks are her own silent sentiments. She remains quiet but those blue eyes hold the stars above them speaks volume of her regard and her admiration for them. When Olver wishes out loud, it breaks her train of thought and her gaze bashfully looks up at him. The veneration on her face becomes something shy because Lilliana never knows what to do at moments like these. But she hopes and wishes the same thing - if she can, she'd like to do a measure of good in this. Lilli knows firsthand the pain and the sorrow that comes with living. It's the price paid for sweet and lovely moments like this one.

    A lone star streaks gloriously across the sky and Lilliana's eyes light up with it. They follow the trail until it eventually fades against the midnight black and silver fire above. Despite nearing her sixth year, she inhales sharply and closes her eyes. The wish causes the edges of her mouth to curve upward and when she opens them again, Lilli keeps it safe within her beating heart.

    He speaks again and when he tells her that the spell will be broken with the dawn, she feels a pang of disappointment. She knows everything has a price - where something is given that something else must be taken. But for Olver and his beautiful laughter, for the miracle that is his voice, she wishes he could have it always. It's a wish to save for the next falling star.

    The stallion's gaze meets her own and Lilliana smiles her agreement. "Only if you promise to keep them a secret," she teases as takes one step and then a second forward. "And I'll promise the same."
    LILLIANA
    i left home on account of snow
    (buried all the things i know)


    Olver
    Reply
    #8
    O l v e r
    He dipped his head with a chivalrous smile as she began to walk away talking lightly to him over her shoulder. Who would I tell anyways? he chuckled adding humor to his situation. His mossy green eyes watched her as she continued to walk. He trailed behind her for just a moment, appreciating this night in solidarity for a slow, peaceful moment. As he took his spot beside her once more, his shoulder touching hers briefly in a tender moment. I pray that the leaves return every spring. he said stepping softly into the winter's blanket beneath them.

    He remembered a winter long ago that had seemed to last for ages. The air was bitter and the ground was hard and frozen beneath their feet. Many had fallen victim to the winter that year, the cold sinking deep into their bones, the earth claiming back what was theirs... eventually. He remembered the mothers who paced anxiously across the borders to warmer lands so that they could give birth and their young would survive, but not all. For the winter's cold fingers did not let even the warm lands go untouched. He himself had had a close call with winters greedy hands that year. He was someplace much like this, with large open skies. It had been a crystal clear night following the heaviest snowfall yet, that he stood in that field, body weak and trembling hoping on a prayer that the leaves would come back and the sun would be forgiving.

    He passed out in that field that night, but when he awoke his heart nearly melted into the soft snowy cushion around him. For the first time in what had felt like forever - though he was just a colt so time moved differently - the sun pushed through the chill of winter, its golden fingers brushing through his forelock pulling him from the cold black abyss he had fallen, welcoming him to the tender touch of spring. Leaves would once again find their place among the trees.

    How many spring have you been able to enjoy here in Beqanna? he asked curiously. Lilliana had always smelled of more than one place since the moment he had met her, but he would hate to be rude to assume that she had been here all her life and was simply a nomad for her entirety, like himself.
    a fool is known by his speech;
    a wise man by his silence

    lilliana
    BQolver
    Reply
    #9
    He laughs again and Lilliana's expression warms as she looks back to him.

    She gives a slow shake of her head with the laughter still lingering her blue gaze and then slows her pace as to not get so far ahead. Olver comes alongside her and she feels the warm touch of his shoulder. She has needed a friend and finds herself welcoming his closeness. The night around them is still cold despite the coming spring and she appreciates the way his body heats hers. It feels good to be close to someone again, to not feel so alone.

    An attentive ear remains in his direction as Lilliana looks to the stars again. They always put her in mind of Orani and she can't help but wonder about her friend and her son, Jacob. Where are they? What happened to them after they left Beyond? But the stars have always been good to their dreamweaver, to the girl made of stardust and Lilliana keeps faith that they still are. Above everything, there must always be the faith that things will turn out okay.

    To Olver's baritones that rumble out beneath the starlight, Lilli echoes his wish - "So do I."

    She becomes quiet, lost in her memories before she finally decides upon a secret. The corners of her mouth curves in a small smile, "When I was young, I wished I could fly. I wished it so often that my mother called me 'Lillibird.'" Its easy to remember her silver mother, her dark eyes warm with love and the lilt of laughter in her voice as she said it. It was so easy to remember Aletta in those moments and Lilli finds herself wishing that she could be more like her, wanting more and more to be a credit to the woman who had raised her.

    Lilli peers up to Olver from underneath her forelock, studying his expression in the darkness. "If you tell anyone," she teases, "I  will find you." And then she grins at him, full of girlish glee and mirth.

    "This coming spring will be my second," she admits to the dun stallion. "I arrived here not long after my fourth summer." Had she really spent almost two years in Beqanna? Has time passed so quietly? The revelation leaves her remembering all her experiences here so far, amazed that time has moved so swiftly. And then it is her turn to curiously eye Olver, "And what about you? Are you Beqanna born and bred?"
    LILLIANA
    i left home on account of snow
    (buried all the things i know)


    Olver
    Reply
    #10
    O l v e r
    Olver had spent many nights lost beneath the stars, their light being his only source of friendship. He appreciates the way their untold tales talk whispers to his heart. The world around him and the changing of the seasons had been the only constant in his life, aside from his inability to talk.

    His mossy gaze landed softly upon Lilli holding onto the curves of her gentle face. The red of her coat reminding him of the moment the leaves begin to change before they fall gently to the ground in preparation for winter. A gentle reminder that they would be back. He watches her intently, in a genuine way as she begins to tell him her secret. The corners of her velvet lips pull up gentle as the pure and innocent memory of childhood creeps into her mind. His own lips can not hold back from mimicking her joy, pulling up gently.

    She tells him that she used to dream, wish, pray or whatever have you that she could fly. Her soft tones floating to his ears as  her mothers nickname for her settled in his memory, Lillibird. He could sense the love she held for her mother as the memory seemed to float between them. Even though Olver never experienced it he felt as if he had known Lilli ever since she was a small foal whispering soft requests to the stars that she may be able to fly to them one day and meet them.

    Her blue eyes, stricking against the soft moonlight and ghostly snow, found him once again turning deeper in jokes and seriousness as she threatened him in playful tones if he ever told anyone. Of course he would never breath a word to anyone, but his eyes wrinkled at their aged corners as his youthfulness found roots in his eyes and unapologetic smile as he laughed, I promise on the stars I wont tell a soul. he says between echoing laughter. He found his composure, his voice becoming serious even when the moon finds it's rightful place amongst the stars each night. the finality in his promise a heated moment between the two as his green gaze deepens beneath her brilliant blue eyes.

    His gaze unwillingly pulled from hers as he looked to the sky, the moon had found it's way back to the horizon getting ready to let the sun reign the day once more.  Soon all will go back to what it once was. Quiet encounters of fleeting looks and thoughts only guessed. You're mom must have been a brilliant woman though, because I think Lillibird fits you perfectly. As they continued to walk towards morning Olver's smile began to falter. The pleasures of tonight's time spent in Lilli's company pulling his chest tight at the thought of her going on her way, back to reality and him... here.. there.. but alone once again. I think the stars heard you in the best way they could. They might not have been able to let you fly to them but the gift they gave you might be able to help someone else fly closer.

    Soon, very soon his voice would leave him and right now he was anything but prepared. He eyed her softly the crinkles of a smile returning once more. You know I might just tell one soul, then you will have to come find me again after tonight. and with that the moon gave up his crown and the sun began to take her seat
    a fool is known by his speech;
    a wise man by his silence

    lilliana
    BQolver
    Reply




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