• Logout
  • Beqanna


    Assailant -- Year 226


    "But the dream, the echo, slips from him as quickly as he had found it and as consciousness comes to him (a slap and not the gentle waves of oceanic tides), it dissolves entirely. His muscles relax as the cold claims him again, as the numbness sets in, and when his grey eyes open, there’s nothing but the faint after burn of a dream often trod and never remembered." --Brigade, written by Laura

    [open]  cross your thoughtless heart - any

    Baltia had lost something, that much was clear, but it was still very much home. It called to Fazia in a way the forests and fields of Beqanna did not. She was drawn to the water, and luckily for her it can be found in so many places around this continent. The coastline is neverending, looping around on itself as it transitions from the strange, shadowy shores to the west to the easy, beckoning slopes of the east.

    She had spent some time navigating all of these waters, charting the places previously unknown to her. Learning and avoiding all at once.

    Now she returns to land, or close to it anyway. The chill of the water does not bother her as she stands in the river under a clear night sky, the multi-coloured glow she casts flickering on the surface of the water. Behind her is where it opens into the neverending sea - and before her stretches the strange world of Beqanna. She had never known a world other than this one, despite the stories told to her by her parents that weave images of what had been left behind.

    She knows more of the world she’ll never see than this one.

    Which is why she has made up her mind to explore the land, despite how it does not beckon to her heart the way the sea does. The time is passing where Fazia can blame her youth for her lack of knowledge - despite how long-lived Baltians are, and how young she is relative to her parents, she feels grown up. Or, at least, feels like it’s about time to consider growing up. She frowns as she gazes upon what lies beyond the bank of the river - what little she can see in the moon and starlight. There’s an entire world obscured by the darkness - a whole host of unknowns lying beyond what she can see of the bank.

    She’s made up her mind to do this, and does not disappear back under the water, but neither does she move from this spot.

    Maybe she didn't need to grow up right this very second.

    Here the dark has a heartbeat all its own.

    And sometimes Bael thinks he must not have one at all with how impossibly quiet it can get, how supernaturally still he can be. It had even unnerved his mother when he’d emerged, shaking, from her cold, cold womb and then gone so horribly still as soon as he’d hit the ice. (And the ice had crackled around him, stretching its terrible fingers to curl first around the ankles and then the knees and his mother had almost thought to let it take him because he was an ugly thing, Bael, and perhaps he’d be better off in whatever hell had spit him out.)

    But she had touched him, perhaps to warm him. Alas, a winter-thing is not meant to warm and so the child had been cold from his conception and it showed in the cracked, brittle skin. She touched him and both of them froze.

    He wanders now, Bael, and he understands that he is a dark thing. He’d known it in the way his mother had turned away from him, how she’d bound him in place with fingers of ice so that he could not follow her, clacking that terrible beak that drew blood each time he’d tried to drink. She’d left him to suffer. But you cannot blame a cold thing for being cold. A winter-thing is not meant to warm.

    He wanders now, Bael, and he understands that he is a wrong thing. 

    He is young still, certainly, but he has lost the lankiness of youth. He is no longer awkward, coltish, stumbling. He is strong, has always been strong, his mother had known it, too. (Had she feared him? Had she known when she birthed him that he was a dark thing. Yes, she must have known.) Freakish, perhaps, Bael.

    He is not the only strange thing. (By Beqanna’s standards, he’s hardly strange at all.) He happens upon her by accident, there by the river. And for a moment he merely watches as she throws her own light through the darkness. He tilts his horned head, clacks that awful beak, edges closer and stops. They are both still.

    “Are you real?” he asks, though the words comes out strange with the way the beak mangles them, stilts them, makes them hard-edged and demanding. 

    ( they won’t fix ya, they ain’t with ya )
    ( they won’t muzzle the mouth that just bit ya )

    Fazia appreciates the break in her attention, the chance to pull herself out of her thoughts and focus on someone else. Her eyes widen a little at what her pinkish glow reveals - this creature who breaks apart from the shadows and joins her in her stillness - but there is no white to show her surprise, just more inky black surrounding those slit silver pupils.

    Her eyes drink in his features but she feels no fear or repulsion, only fascination. She has seen birds, of course, and some squids and creatures in the water sport beaks like the one that mangles his voice. It is not so strange to her though she does think he’d look better without it. To her it seems something unnatural - like a rabbit born with sharp teeth and masquerading as a carnivore.

    His sharp question coaxes a sly smirk from her, a fractured piece of her father’s humour surviving past her infancy where it had once flourished. “Are any of us?” She asks in return, exaggerating her ambivalence and letting her eyes drift away momentarily as though in deep thought over the matter.

    But the starry skies cannot hold her attention for long and her gaze snaps back to him when she speaks again - in a more natural voice, blunt and easy. “You certainly don’t seem real.”

    What a shame that he cannot smirk in turn.
    How devilish the smirk would be!

    Instead, he merely clacks that beak. Had he any feathers he might have preened them with the way she looks at him, though he clocks no admiration in her gaze. (And what would he have done with it if he had? What would it have meant?) He clacks that beak while she considers that he’d look better without it and had he been privy to her thoughts, he could have told her that he’d ached so desperately for a mouth once that the wish alone had nearly cannibalized him. 

    He might have asked her if she knew what it was like to starve.

    But she asks if any of them are real and he exhales sharply. (A laugh, perhaps. If he’d known what it meant to laugh. If he’d known that it was meant to be a thing of joy and not whatever dark shape it takes in his chest.) 

    (What a concept! To think that maybe they are all living in a dream. No, if it were a dream, he would not have known what it meant to be ravaged by hunger. The pain of it would not have made a permanent home out of the valleys between his ribs.) She looks away from him then, as if she might find the answer in the sky. Or perhaps she has simply grown bored with the question already.

    He watches, intrigued. Intrigued to think that she might wear her disdain so plainly. (If, in fact, it is disdain.)

    And then she returns her gaze to him and if only he could have smiled! But it is likely his inability and its cause that give him the appearance of something not-quite-real. If he’d had a mouth the same way she has a mouth, she might not have said so.

    “Real as you,” he tells her. “I can see your bones.” As if she is unaware. 

    ( they won’t fix ya, they ain’t with ya )
    ( they won’t muzzle the mouth that just bit ya )

    Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)