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    version 22: awakening


    SOCHI -- Year 207


    "He will inevitably decide that it all fell apart because he had orchestrated it and he will carry the blame like a stone in his chest, too. He will add it to the pile and perhaps, someday when there are enough stones to weigh him down, he will walk into the sea and let them drown him" -- Kensley, written by Savage

    [private]  Life is a garden. Dig it.

    life is a garden. Dig it.

    Arquus is as light-hearted as he is he is heavy footed, and judging by his leg being wedged through ice… He is very heavy footed. Annoyingly, he tugs at his right leg, his greyish-black forelock hanging loosely around his face as he peers down at the problem. He, as usual, had pushed the boundaries past what the river was willing to offer, and as a result his foot is bathing in icy cold, rushing water.

    A dilemma, sure.

    Carefully, he pulls his leg from the icy water and watcheshes a small stream of blood drip down to his hoof. A cosmetic scratch; it’ll hardly scar.

    He retreats from the bank of the frozen river, seeing small holes of imperfections where the ice couldn’t quite freeze over. It reminds him of his mother, full of holes and imperfections yet still able to hold the weight of family on her back. An important thing sure, if it hadn’t left her a dried up bank in the end.

    He shakes his head at the memory, as if it be a sin to put family first. And in all honesty, part of him genuinely feels that way. Feels like family isn’t what it is cracked up to be. For years mothers bend their backs, morals, will, and whatever else they have to offer for children. They raise them well, or do their best, and all for what? For their child to grow up and leave, and to be left alone again?

    Until you have another one?

    He had never made sense of it. Why put so much thought and effort into something that really only stayed in your life for a year or two? And then it becomes casual greetings and diplomatic meetings before you see your child again. Why not put that effort into something that at least sticks around?

    A significant other, a job, something.

    Though he hasn’t really put much effort into anything, so who is he to judge?

    By the time he leaves his mind of thought, he realizes he has entered the naked trees of the forest where fallen pine needles and dead limbs lie scattered on the floor. A morbid scene, if you were part plant.

    He smells it first; the scent of a female. Our Bachelor is well versed in the realm of women, though this scent is different. His blue eyes carefully search the shadows cast by low light and tall trunks, seeing if maybe he could make out the source of the aroma.


    Brunhilde has never known kindness. Even with how much her parents love her, and how they were mostly happy, she has never known kindness in its purest form. Those first kisses from her mother and father, affections of the purest love, have long left her memory.

    In fact, she can hardly remember anything. She can barely recall where she awoke this morning.

    Beelzebub has been gone for awhile now, and while there is a small amount of relief, Hildy feels an ache in her chest like nothing she has felt before. A small part of her—perhaps a part of her she will find one day—knows that she deserves a better ending. One where she spits on his dead body. One where she releases herself, and he does not grow tired of her. One where she is liberated by the power of her own hand.

    But he loves her (doesn’t he?). Brunhilde tells herself he loves her, and that is why he must go. Because he loves her so much he cannot hurt her any longer. Still, even within her delusion that Bub is noble, Brun aches to have him back. She aches just as the bare tree trunks ache to have their coverage back; she is just as naked and stripped as they are, cold and defeated.

    Perhaps even dead.

    “Oh,” Brun gasps, backpedalling as her foggy gaze sharpens to study the handsome man a few feet before her. The crack and crunch of frost and ice was loud enough to mask his breathing from her distracted mind; so Hildy lifts her head proudly in an attempt to eradicate any thought that she may be surprised.

    “Sorry,” Hildy eventually barks out, casting nervous gemstone eyes to the scenery beyond Arquus.

    Normally, the glowing woman would mutter a goodbye and head on her way; but it has been so long since she has seen Bub, and she finds the warmth in Arquus’ eyes undeniably handsome. “What are . . . you doing?” she asks, pausing in such a way that indicates she hardly carries conversation.

    life is a garden. Dig it.


    He sways to face her, his cotton-patch glimmering in the soft afternoon rays that peak through the meek treed-barrier. She is eye catching in her soft tangerine and lemon silhouette, the softness of rose peaking in points across her—inexcusably well-sculpted—feminine frame.

    Her voice is lacking softness, despite what he assumed she would hum. Though, he cannot help but muse over the fact she is very obviously startled, which would excuse the harshness in her first impression.

    “You act as if you didn’t come to one of the most common lands to meet someone,” His voice is butter, softening with every syllable in a low-tone strum. His expression however is less soft, with a crispness of enthusiasm and offer of warmth and safety.

    He sees it, whether she tries to hide it or not he isn’t sure. The space between her and nothing as if something used to be there, the habit of leaning in one direction too long as if used to the heat and comfort of someone else. And even if deep down he always has the intention of a daily dose of affection, he can see in her she might genuinely want his company.

    Not perhaps in the way he originally planned, but in a way he is willing to accommodate to.

    She just doesn’t strike him as the outgoing type.

    “So?” He continues, glancing to her with an jovial tune despite the curiosity that lingers behind his throat; bashfully buried in the pits of his chest, “did you come to find someone?”



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