"She kills him because no matter how far she has come from the bitter, angry young girl she had been, she is still Starsin, and if he wants to make her world burn, she will be certain that he burns with it." --Starsin, written by Colby
10-13-2020, 11:21 PM (This post was last modified: 10-13-2020, 11:21 PM by rosemary.)
The picture of a summer night, all dark shadow and glowing stone, Rosemary often wanders now. She takes after her father, bearing the weight of some strange solitude; but the silence of being alone is not solemn like Litotes finds, for Rosemary thinks discovering the world with eyes all her own is simply magical.
And, truly, how can one be hesitant or afraid while accompanied by a cat borne from hell tasked with protecting her?
Rarely does she stray from Silver Cove at night, though. The resting hellcat at her side is miffed when she stirs. What are you doing, Rose? Calypso asks in that deep, feminine voice of hers. Going for a walk, the girl answers in her head, better to not wake the family sleeping around her. Not far off and beneath a picturesque palm, her parents curl around each other. Such a sight brings a smile to Rose's lips. It's not often she sees her father's face without a crease or her mother's eyes without a watchful, maternal worry.
Where are we going? Calypso thinks on a loud sigh. Rosemary merely smiles and glances at her friend in response. I don't know, yet, but I can't sleep. Maybe where the Cove coast meets the cliffs of Hyaline? The hellcat slowly rolls glowing red eyes up to her ward, then sighs again. Very well, but keep your eyes peeled. Predators and monsters often find their confidence at night. Rose smiles again in response, as pleased as pleased can be.
An hour of walking brought them to a rocky shoreline and a stormy sea. Dark clouds roll in overhead and a cool breeze forces Rose to shiver.
"The stars are gone, Calypso," the girl murmurs absently, venturing one hoof into the murky, lapping saltwater. "I think I smell rain."
Each day he reaches a little further into the darkness stirring around his soul. It all started so small - accidentally summoning Eight to Taiga, covering himself in armored scales. And today he gives himself gills and fins to go with the oil slick shimmering scales coating his small body. This shape is tiresome, but he wants so desperately to be more like his father. He fights the burning in his muscles as he swims along beneath the turbulent waves that grow ever higher in the building storm.
Here, beneath the surface, the world is quiet aside from the distant hush of the water crashing into itself. He can see the slope leading up to the shoreline just up ahead. Although he would like to paddle around a while longer, his body demands rest. Crowns lets the waves pull him to the cove until his small hooves feel the sand rising up enough for him to stand. Then, he sheds the finds and the gills in favor of his true self - a bay and sapphire colt with wide blue eyes. (He keeps the dragonscale, a security blanket he has come to treasure.)
He shakes the ocean water from his short mane. He treasures the taste of saltwater across his lips a while longer before idly licking it away. Then, at last, he notices the girl standing with her strange feline companion. Crowns gives himself another shake and folds the dripping water wings over his back.
“Where am I? This seems far from Tephra,” he observes with a laugh as he skitters a little closer to her. His oceanic gaze lingers on her cat. Her glowing eyes make him uneasy, if he’s being honest. They don’t reflect the way the mysterious monsters of the jungle do. Instead, their light is entirely their own. At last, he lifts his stare to meet hers.
“Oh! You’re glowing too.” He tilts his head to better observe the glimmering markings across her face. “My name is Crowns, by the way. What’s yours?”
"Mhmm," Rosemary replies on a giggle, aquamarine gaze growing wide as she studies the scaled creature before her. Moments before, Crowns had risen from the ocean as if he were Poseidon riding the waves. So comfortable and certain, lacking the hesitation of most citizens out their realm.
Rose likes the boy immediately, but Calypso is still uncertain. The hellcat tilts her head suspiciously, rising from the sitting position she was once in. She makes no move to approach Crowns, but her glowing eyes do not stray from his scales. Why does he have those scales, Rose? she muses, keeping the irritation from her voice. I don't know! Want me to ask him? the girl answers absently, still eyeing the dripping boy. Calypso sighs in exasperation, not answering but pressing herself protectively to her companion's side.
"My name's Rosemary, and the suspicious creature next to me is Calypso," the girl answers, reaching out to brush her nose against Crowns' in an excited greeting. A trill of delight sparks in her chest at the idea of feeling his scales. "You're on the border of Hyaline and Silver Cove, not Tephra," Rose adds almost as an afterthought, perhaps too distracted by this perfectly strange stranger to answer quickly.
Tephra, Rosemary thinks, glancing at Calypso. They're friendly with Hyaline, right? The hellcat merely shrugs, finally deciding Crowns is not a threat and settling back into a sit. The girl isn't as familiar with politics as her father is, often zoning out when he rambles to her about the news he listens for when visiting the Common Lands. Friend or foe, though, she hardly has a concept of war and border-relations. Everything is as abstract as the way the droplets falling from Crowns' side look like glowing prisms.
"You're from Tephra? What're you doing out here?" Rose questions, settling a sweet, inquisitive gaze on Crowns.
Crowns has never known caution or any sense of self-preservation. He has always leaped long before he ever looked and simply hoped for the best each time. And hasn’t that sort of devil may care attitude served him well so far in this life? There have been tumbles and scraped knees, certainly, but they have only taught him that pain is a fleeting, temporary thing - the memories of his adventures are forever. This is why he readily approaches the pair even when Calypso gives him reason to pause. Their bond could become some grand thing as well.
“Rosemary and Calypso, huh? Those names are pretty cool,” he says with an approving nod of his head. But the places she names off are entirely foreign to him. How long had he been swimming? Crowns lifts his chin to observe the sun’s position and judge the time of day before shrugging his shoulder. He knows very well that he can’t tell time, so why did he try?
“I have no idea what Silver Coat or High-lean are,” he finally admits as he lowers his head once more. “I don’t know if you’ve been to Tephra, but it’s a huge jungle and it’s super humid.”
The boy examines their home now as they have some internal conversation between the two of them. He doesn’t bother to question why they cast sideways glances at one another or their expressions change. Maybe these things are normal for the eastern region and he’s the strange one. Crowns tests this theory by wiggling his eyebrows as though he’s speaking on some serious matter.
“Oh, I was just swimming. My dad swims a lot and I wanna be like him,” he explains with a proud grin across his sapphire mouth. “Do you come down to the shore a lot? Maybe we should meet here regularly.”
Calypso, ever vigilant and suspicious, begins to relax as Crowns continues to demonstrate mere innocent curiosity. It also helps his case that Rosemary takes quite a liking to him and the opportunities that lie within his stories. A stranger from Tephra? A swimming stranger from Tephra? If he poses no threat, why should she pass up the chance of making a new, strange friend?
"I thought Tephra was far away from here," Rose muses, gently pushing Calypso from her skin to step closer to Crowns. It is, Calypso says with a roll of her eyes. The girl ignores her, too focused on the boy's wet scales. "I've never been to Tephra. I haven't really been farther than Sylva and Silver Cove, but it gets humid here sometimes! When it rains." She's excited to have something in common with him, so much so that it takes her a moment to comprehend his suggestion.
"I would love to!" is her grinning answer. "Or maybe I can come visit Tephra! But that would be a long trip . . ." She frowns, miffed that she can't see a jungle for the first time. Still, delighted by Crowns' interest in her and her new home she continues: "Do you change into something? And your dad, does he? My dad can change into a lion," she asks now, wondering if he has something like the lion her father used to wear when they rough-housed. The thought tears the frown from her lips to form an eager smile.
"Hyaline has lots of shifters, but I don't ever go there because I can't shift. Maybe you can."
She says Tephra is far away from here and he begins to wonder how long it will take him to get home. His mother was restless with her growing pregnancy and so she had permitted him to wander, but she probably didn’t intend to let him go this far. Maybe he could borrow Rosemary for a while and she could just come to the jungle with him? His sapphire eyes examine her for a moment as he tries to determine whether he could just teleport them all. They could get lost, if he wasn’t careful, so he decides against it.
“I don’t think I’ve ever left the jungle! Normally my mom makes me stay close to her. She doesn’t like many people,” he says with a laugh. Crowns has always thought it was fascinating to watch Sabbath bare her fangs when Grandfather or Uncle came near. She was an entirely different person toward them. But then Rosemary mentions wanting to visit Tephra and his small blue ears perk up at the idea.
“Once I practice taking people places, I can just bring you home with me! I accidentally brought my friend to some snowy place, once” he explains with a fit of laughter, not realizing his words don’t make sense. He doesn’t quite know what else to call it, though. All he’s sure of is that he can summon others to him or wish himself to some faraway place. Her question makes him tilt his head curiously.
“Oh, I think I can be a snake. I’ve never really tried to do more than give myself pointy teeth before,” he tells her as he stretches his jaws open to reveal curved viper fangs. Then, in an instant, they are gone. “My mom always has pointy teeth and scales. My dad too! But his scales are like, all cold and super tough. Neither of them change into other stuff, though.”
Crowns routinely fails to forget what Eight had told him, that he could do or be anything now. He lingers mainly on the tricks that bring him a sense of comfort.
With each passing second, it becomes clear that Crowns is not yet the lesson that will teach Rosemary caution. She nods her head to his words eagerly, face tilted, eyes gleaming with the pure curiosity of one that does not know hardship. There's hope and resilience in her easy stance, happiness and naive misguidance. Calypso remains tense, but even the hellcat bears the girl's innocence: Rosemary has an undeniable relaxing effect on others, even intimidating hellbeasts.
"Mmm," Rose nods absentmindedly when Crowns mentions his mother. While she mostly remains close to her family, she has grown old enough to wander and wander and wander. Thinking of a worried, frowning mother strikes her with guilt, and Rose is not one to dwell on negative emotions.
"Oh, you can teleport!" the girl gasps, a delighted grin lighting up her face. She doesn't know the limitless depths of the boy's magic, of how she might grow jealous over how little of her parents' magic passed down to her. "Tephra sounds lovely. What does it feel like to teleport? Does it tickle?" she chirps, but is miffed by the annoyance Calypso presses into her mind. Rude, Rose snaps back, casting her eyes briefly down to the hellcat.
Stumped by her companion, Rosemary misses half of what Crowns says next. Her face falls to a contemplative frown, ever expressive.
"I wonder what it's like to change into something . . ." she murmurs absently, eyes glazing with thought. She comes to a moment later, finding Crowns' gaze again: "When can I come to Tephra?"
Sabbath never seems to worry over him, now that his fever has subsided. She used to hover over him day and night with her brows knitted together in concern. Now, though, she simply commands him with such raw confidence in her voice that he never considers disobeying. The tone when she says his name is enough on its own to keep him from wandering off to god knows where.
Maybe later today he can learn what she looks like when she’s disappointed in him for straying away so long.
He perks up when she does, mirroring her grin as he nods. Teleport! Rosemary knows more words than him, it seems, and she has greatly risen in her value to him. Crowns thinks for a moment, but he finds he cannot remember if it felt like anything at all when he appeared in the frigid north. The sudden cold shocked that part of the memory from him, he supposes. He hums softly in thought and takes a step back. In a burst of hissing blue flame, he vanishes, reappearing a foot or so from where he was.
“It feels warm and kind of fuzzy!” he declares with a chuckle.
He follows her gaze when she daydreams of changing into something else, but he sees nothing mesmerizing on the horizon where she stares. The boy blinks softly before turning back to look at her.
“Oh, you can come whenever you want! I think we’d have to walk, though,” he says with a light pout. “If I tried to telepork you, you might end up in the volcano or the middle of the ocean. I’m not good at doing it with other people yet.”
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