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    version 22: awakening


    OCEANE -- Year 208


    "Because if she had not met him, she knew she would have been searching her whole life for the piece that he filled her heart with." -- Eva, written by Shelbi

    Eyes as bright as stars shift to glance sideways at his sister. Simultaneously, she meets his gaze. Smiles of innocence blossom across their faces as together they leave the comfort of mother’s side to explore a place she has once mentioned.
    Laughter bubbles from deep in their chests, adoration and sincerity rising as high as the trees as they gallop, jump, and weave through orchards and creeks. ”Crius!” Rhaenyss shouts for her brother as he leaps over a fallen log, abandoning her to clumsily scale it while nearly slipping on a rock. Taking pause, the boy turns to glance over his shoulder with a charming grin, but he doesn’t help her. ”Come on, Rhaenyss,” he playfully returns while shuffling his wings against his sides, ”Stop being a slowpoke!” It’s enough of fuel to ignite her. With a laborious grunt, she makes it over the log and barrels toward her brother. With a flick of her mind, she hurls a pinecone at him. Smacked on his cheek, Crius stares dumbfoundedly as Rhaenyss hurtles past him. ”One… Two… Three…” He grants her a few seconds before rejoining the chase.
    They pull up together when their eyes settle across the open meadow. Flowers bloom along the hills and voices rise to meet the songbirds. ”I guess this is it?” Rhaenyss blinks with uncertainty, but warmth still glistens in her eyes at the prospect before glancing to her twin, searching his face for answers. ”I think so,” he notices other foals scattered about, but there’s not a great mass of them as he anticipated. Although there are some, it doesn’t bustle with activity as he led himself to believe. ”The Playground,” his small shoulders roll in a shrug, deciding this is where they will remain for now.
    With a coy grin, Crius turns and playfully nips his sister, resuming their games until a nearby noise breaks their chase.

    [no html yet buuuut the twins are out to play]


    Even during the day she wears stars on her shoulders, spilling over her haunches as if she were the night sky itself, and the small white flowers that twine through the black curls of her mane and tail shift like galaxies, now flashing bright white, now hidden by shadow. Like the night sky, she is silent and watchful, resting quietly atop a large boulder, legs tucked neatly beneath her in a bed of moss and twigs. Her grey eyes shine in a dark face like a pair of moons looking down over the scattered groups of foals that play and romp through the meadow. Something in her heart flutters, curious, but shy. She has been too much in the company of adults, too much in her own company, and finds the prospect of joining the other foals terrifying.

    She sees the twins almost immediately, their complementary colors draw her attention, even above the other children who shine bright as butterflies in the golden sun. Perhaps it is only because they tumble out of the orchards so near to where she has come to rest, perhaps it is the easy way that they bicker and come together, perhaps it is the sight of a pinecone hurled at the boy without anybody touching it. They pause and convene closely, unaware that she is close enough to hear them, and then they dart away, her eyes following them, curious. They shove and chase like puppies and Shipka wonders if this is normal, if this is how one initiates play. She looks back to the pinecone left forgotten on the ground and tries to lift it without touching, the way the other girl did so simply, as if it was nothing. With the afternoon sun hanging over them, she manages to do little more than make the air around it shine and glitter with a vague, ephemeral light. The pinecone rises no more than an inch from the ground, lifting weakly, shuddering, then dropping noisily onto the side of the small hill they've run down so that it rolls noisily to the children below. They stop, peering back at it, back in her direction.

    The filly freezes in silence for a moment and then, sheepishly, stands up from her place above the rocks.


    She speaks, then holds her breath.

    Photo by guille pozzi on Unsplash

    Rhaenyss is far more timid, pressing herself gently against her sibling when a noise disrupts their play. Very few noises – or any distractions, really – have interrupted them since they began their play, so why is this time different? Her small muzzle leans against the soft curve of Crius’ shoulder as her eyes dart back and forth after having followed the pinecone’s rustling.


    The greeting comes as a shock, and Rhaenyss hops in surprise. Crius, on the other hand, peels away from his sibling with eyes brightened with curiosity as they find the young girl on her perch. Starlight glistens across her shoulders, almost painted on. ”Hello,” he is bolder than his sibling, walking toward this new companion – what else could she possibly be than a friend? – with a smile gradually broadening across his lips. ”You’re a star,” he notes with fascination as he observes the twinkling dots across her skin, ”Stunning.” His voice, despite his adolescence, is smooth and matches the ethereal touch that the girl extends to her immediate area. With a huff of air, Rhaenyss finally moves forward, ungluing her small hooves to trek closer, setting aside her hesitance. Crius will protect her, she quietly reassures herself, but the starlit girl hardly seems dangerous.

    Unless capturing her brother’s full attention is a precarious matter. That remains to be decided.

    The twins beautifully compliment each other, but it is Crius that stands out with his glimmering aura. There’s a rarity about him, an attractiveness that sets him apart from Rhaenyss when they stand side-by-side in front of the girl and her rocky perch. ”Hello,” Rhaenyss finally says when she draws to a smooth halt and lifts her eyes with matching fascination to her brother. Alas, she says nothing more as she finds solace in his touch again, enabling him to lead as is their norm. ”I’m Crius,” he offers with radiating warmth, ”and this is Rhaenyss.” He indicates his twin with a sideways tilt of his head, his gentle eyes hardly straying from the girl. ”And what’s your name, pretty star?” His wings flutter at his sides, a betrayal of his excitement to speak with someone other than his twin.



    She holds her breath for what feels like an eternity. It is, in reality, barely more than a few seconds, but in slow motion she sees the other girl freeze, then draw closer to the security of her brother. She sees him look at her and approach her, smiling. He is bold, and she is glad she is standing up on the rocks looking down because the boy comes straight for her with his reluctant sister in tow. He glows, like Islas, but it's different, somehow, not that pulsating glow, but something gentler. He glows but he calls her a star, and the girl scoffs, her small ears angling back.

    "Don't be silly!" She is not any of the things he says, of course, her color is perfectly natural - never mind she is actually blue, it's dark enough to pass for black, most days - but she half jumps, half stumbles down to their level, eyes searching the pair eagerly. She never met anyone her age before.

    "I met a real star and she was beautiful." Her small head lifts high, as if having met a star somehow transfers that magnificence onto her, "I don't look anything like her."

    But she is like the sky at night, when no clouds drift across it, and she is like the night, too, when the stars are hidden away and the snow falls in flurries, dusting the world with wonder.

    "Crius, Rhaenyss," Islas. "I'm Shipka." She commits names to memory, repeating them softly, finding a pattern to their sound that her own name fails to fit and wonders what that might mean. There is a feeling of otherness that brushes lightly against her heart, but the filly lets it drop nearly as soon as she picks it up, forgetting it in a new discovery. The dove-grey girl has scales and they grab her interest, pulling her attention away from Crius. "Rhaenyss?" Her voice drops back to that shy whisper, "Can I touch your scales?"

    Photo by guille pozzi on Unsplash


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