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    Jamie -- Year 213


    “"I don’t know how to do this,” she says. What she actually means is I’m sorry, but she doesn’t know how to apologize either." --Titanya, written by Mirage

    [private]  I know it goes from bad to worse

    A few days have passed but Mazikeen isn’t quite used to the natural cycle of day and night again. Dusk brings a soft flutter of anxiety to her heart as she wonders whether this night will stretch on for years or if the sun will return again as it has for the last few mornings. She hopes this feeling will go away soon - she certainly does not need anything else contributing to her anxiety lately.

    Today, the afternoon is growing late and everything is washed in golden light as Mazikeen finds her way to a boulder. She’s wearing one of her newest favourite shapes - a smilodon. She keeps her white colouring with black paws and the elongated canine that is chipped in half. In this form, she’s about the same size as a lion - just undeniably more muscular.

    It pleases her to know that the shape might deter strangers but anyone who knows her will recognize the colouring.

    The rock she finds rises just above the tips of the long grass and Mazikeen lowers herself into a sphynx position upon its warm surface, smiling a little as she flexes her front paws before relaxing. It’s a small pleasure, enjoying the sun rays again, and one she happily indulges in when she can. It’s easier to keep the storm of her thoughts away while basking, easier to let her mind empty and give her some peace (even if it’s never for long).

    Instinct doesn’t allow her to close her eyes, though. She both doesn’t want to give anyone the chance to sneak up on her and (though it’s a little silly) wants to take in the world in colour as much as possible before the sun sets again. So those burning orange eyes remain open, unfocused on the glint of sunlight on the leaves of the nearby forest. 



    that day even the sun was afraid of you and the weight you carried

    Firion prefers the night these days—if only because everything in his bones now sings for it. A cruel trick, he thinks, to make him crave the thing that nearly killed him. But the sun gives him a headache that does not fully abate and he finds his skin crawls when it reaches its peak, setting his teeth on edge. Even his new powers do little to dull the sense of dread, the wrongness that settles in his bones, and he wonders if the world enjoys giving him gifts to rip it away. Replacing his curse with magic that draws him back to the time of his nightmares. Forcing him to live in the hours that once housed the very worse of him.

    Today, he fights it, staying awake during the day and finding relief when the sun began its descent.

    The twilight that is promised in the later afternoon is welcome, and as he walks amongst the crowds who have gathered to cherish the returned sun, he sighs deeply. It’s only when he sees the familiar coloring that he pauses at all, peering through the shadows to study the extinct animal sunning itself. His magic reaches out without thought, responding to his curiosity more than anything, touching the barest edges of her mind as though to confirm that it is indeed Mazikeen before him—that he wasn’t seeing things.

    When he feels that confirmation, he isn’t sure whether it draws him forward or sends him back.

    So, instead, he remains stone still, his golden face falling into harsh lines—guilt bleeding into rage, dissolving into a desperate need to flee. The muddled confusion of it burns like coals in his gut but, despite his better judgment, he begins to walk toward her. Without thinking, he turns incorporeal, his edges becoming translucent and as immaterial as heat waves rising up on a summer day. His shadow follows doggedly behind him as he floats forward, eyes as sharp as ever, even in this form. Once he is several yards away, he stops, magic roiling in his gut and coming off him in thunderous waves.

    “You’ll understand why I wanted to make sure you could not touch me this time.”

    A half-joke that loses its humor on the sharpened edge of his voice.

    Then, just a dip of his head, before he acknowledges her fully,


    so you saluted every ghost you've ever prayed to and then buried it where bones are buried


    Mazikeen had looked for Firion after their last encounter, though she would never willingly admit it. For the most part, it had only been to the guilt that had plagued her after her anger had subsided. Her memory of her attack was hazy and while she thought she had seen him begin to heal after pushing her away she could not say for sure. She just wanted a glimpse of gold to let her know he wasn’t dead. That she hadn’t killed him. The glimpse hadn’t come, and then the sun broke and a million other things distracted her from her search.

    So there’s a brief moment now, when she first sees Firion, where her only reaction is relief. It shines there long enough for a smile, true and soft, to appear in her eyes before the rest of her emotions collapse in on her and it fades away.

    She’s a little surprised when he comes closer. Mazikeen’s instinct is to rise to her feet, to ready herself, but she checks herself instead - forcing her body to lower back down to the rock after she’s only risen an inch or so. She isn’t sure why - perhaps just as a false peace offering. A way to pretend she’s not a threat this time or maybe she just needs the hard surface of the rock to ground her.

    It feels like every muscle in her body has turned into stone she’s so tense - though she does her best to keep up the appearance of being relaxed as she nods back to his greeting. “Hi Firion.” As though they’re old friends.

    There’s an apology ghosting around in her mind but she isn’t sure how to say it. Isn’t sure she’s going to want to say it in a moment if their history has taught her anything. Instead, she says something else that’s true, a ghost of a smile tugging at the corner of her feline mouth. “I’m glad you’re alive.” Her eyes narrow a little bit then, taking in his incorporeal form fully. Although she had heard his initial words she had been too distracted by the fact that he was willingly approaching her to really let them sink in, but they do now. “You’re doing this? Are you alive?” Or is he a ghost, here to haunt her? She'd certainly deserve it and it would fit the theme with how things have been going lately.



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