Jump to content
elixir

Somnolent Nova

Recommended Posts

lUROSRZ.jpg

Somnolent Nova
@vielle

Andromeda.

Her name echoed within the cosmos’ immensity – it thundered at first before drowning into minuscule whispers. She was drifting, nude and seemingly vulnerable whilst the swell of galaxies carried her with ease. Even though the stars melodically voiced her name, there was something different amongst them. They were weak, starved from the essence that only Bolmjir could provide and with that sudden realization, the stars were not calling out to her out of recognition but of torment. Her stars cried out in agony, the name which she bore laced with distress amidst their broken symphonies. 

Andromeda had betrayed them, crossed them with her own personal vendetta. A consequence that she should have known right from the start. Being the embodiment of the cosmos herself, it was not long before she, too, felt the anguish it carried. Her chest ached and flooded with grief as she allowed the infinity to carry her, listening with a broken heart of the weeps ringing within her soul. Stars reached out to her with pleading gravities, trying their best to grasp onto any light she may hold; yet, even her own illumination grew dimmer with each and passing second. Andromeda could not move nor speak any apologies, and though her eyes were wide open, all she saw was nothing as she was soon consumed by a black hole.

There was silence.

How long had she been drifting? To mortals secured on their planet, it may have been simply months, probably a few years. However, for her where time was presently nonexistent, it felt like an eternity and perhaps it was – a punishment fit for a traitor of the heavens. Andromeda had been transported into the outer system beyond her will, plucked swiftly from the embrace of one she loved. Does he remember her after all this time? Or, has she been erased from history forever, only to be another tragedy written in Evalise’s grand tome? What of her proclaimed father and sister in Mageside? Was everything she had done and felt for naught? It would certainly appear that way.

“Look at this pathetic nymph, brothers,” A female voice resonated in the gravitational field after a long moment. “Seems to me as though heaven Herself has turned its back on this one if it has led this traitor to our midst.” The Ultima.

“Bolmjir’s eldest daughter. The one who brought shame and humility to us all,” A male’s voice this time, wails of the dead entwined with each syllable uttered. “What did you hope to achieve, little one? Your hands are stained with disloyalty and for what? To avenge that wretch’s death? You sicken me.”

Andromeda knew that she should have felt fear but there was nothing. Not even a tear.

“It’s a pity that we cannot crush you into the stardust you merely are, Phaerl,” Another male’s voice, gruff and evidently older. “Yet, unlike you, we will always remain loyal to Bolmjir and honour his dying wish. Your expiration has not come but we shall make sure that every moment of your life is filled with throes.”

The voices agreed in unison.

“She is weak, Enir. Let her be with the rest of the weaklings on that planet she has come to care for so much. We’ll be watching you, nymph.”

In an abrupt moment, Andromeda was thrust out of the black hole with great force that caused her to faint instantaneously. And, whilst she accelerated back through the universes’ cries and woes, she began to cry as well in her unconscious state. She no longer drifted. Now, she was falling.

--


Lush grass tickled the side of her face, kissing lightly at the tear stains that left trails down her almost translucent skin. Andromeda, still nude and vulnerable, laid in the middle of green grasslands, away from any means of nearby civilizations. She stirred, her eyes opening narrowly as she slowly came to her senses and slowly brought herself up. Well, she nearly brought herself up but with little prevail as exhaustion coursed throughout her body. Her limbs trembled, violet hair cascading over her face whilst she tried to take a gander at her surroundings; only to fall back onto the bed of grass with a tired exhale.

Normally, it would have been easier for Andromeda to teleport somewhere else, somewhere safe. However, with the incredible exhaustion came with the price that whatever power she once had was now stripped away. Alone, powerless, cold – this was her predicament, presently. Channelling her sisters for aid would fail, asking the cosmoses for energy even more so. What’s worse was that she could not recall this area, the memory of it hazy as if it was all new and foreign. Was she anywhere or nowhere at all?

After a long while of laying down, trying to piece together everything that had transpired with little to no victory, Andromeda tried to sit up again with irritated breaths until she finally stood. One thing that she could remember vividly was Mageside: Aignéis’ face and her father’s smile. That is where she had to go, that is where she was meant to be. Covering her nudity with delicate hands, she stumbled almost absentmindedly towards the direction where she felt home was.

Edited by elixir

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is something about loss that renders one down to the basest of emotions, the simplest state of mind.

Kestrel moves across the grasslands, a silent figure stalking her way through the greenery, and refuses to acknowledge the small voice at the back of her head worrying that she might just be lost. It’s been a few hours now, since she’s begun her journey from Umbra, sore and aching but entirely determined to figure out how to get to Mageside immediately.

Her home is no more, and so she will have to find one here now, away from her lost city of Antigua, where she has never been before. She has heard that Mageside houses numerous spellcasters, more so than another other city on the continent; perhaps she can find her own way there.

The sun shines bright and fierce in the sky, but all that is left of that brilliant spark in her veins is left cold and weakened, burdened by the sorrows of a girl wrenched away from the life that had been all she had ever known. She feels a bit chilly, but then it also feels altogether wrong to use her powers, to pluck on the sunstrings and bring herself warmth, when she had failed to use them to protect others, to save the lives now forever lost to death’s cold embrace.

She dares not think of her parents, wherever they might be now. What good will it bring?

Taking a brief moment near a tree to stop and stretch her legs, Kestrel closes her eyes, turns her face to that glorious light in the sky like a sunflower, breathes in deep and breathes out slow. There is nothing else to it but to move forward.

Shaking herself free from the ever-searching grasp of grief along the periphery of her mind, Kestrel opens her eyes to see—

—a naked woman wandering in the wilderness. It is almost a mirage, a figment of her imagination, if not for the way the fragile sunrays envelop her pale figure, and even from this distance, Kestrel can feel the faint sense of heaviness bearing down on the woman in the tingling of her fingers so attuned to the sun, that unmistakable form that bends the light just so, in a way that feels real.

She’s real.

Slowly, Kestrel takes off the coat wrapped across her shoulders—a warm lavender thing, all soft fabrics and ornate designs borne from the hands of the old woman who had gifted it to her on the Golden Arrow—and approaches the nude stranger with hands outstretched and presenting the coat, making sure to let her meek body language show the woman her intentions to clothe her and nothing further, nothing that might be untoward. “Hello there, um, friend,” she says, the once-bright spark of mischief and gaiety in her voice dulled to a fading ember. “Here’s my coat; please take it to cover yourself.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Andromeda had never felt the bitterness cold before and it was not a pleasant feeling as she trudged through the sea of grass. Sunlight dazzled brilliantly down upon her and the encompassing land, its touches not properly reaching her to bestow warmth as it ordinarily did. She glanced at the sun with apologetic eyes and wished that it could be cradled against her bosom once more whilst they exchanged words of tranquillity. Wishful thinking at its finest.

Her awareness perked at the feeling of another being in proximity, tensing up instinctively even though she knew not much could be done without her powers should the means of protecting herself arose. Violet eyes sparked underneath the light whilst they homed in on the approaching stranger – a female with cautiously extended hands along with a displaying coat. All movements slowed and her hands covered more naked areas not meant to be seen from prying eyes, not in the mood to be tricked into something indecent.

However, the other’s gesture was a kind one, this much Andromeda realised. The stranger could have been merely a hallucination caused by the Ultima’s feats but as the woman grew closer, she was not imaginary by any means. In actuality, Andromeda could see the magic radiating from her. A mage. It was a comforting sight, to say the least, accompanied by the beauty emitted from the newcomer which presented itself beneath the light rays.

Hello there, um, friend. A frown shaped her lips. How many others on this forsaken planet regarded her as a friend? Not much, and she was in a resentful mood to those who inhabited these lands: all who could not compare to her deceased beloved – yet; even then, she was a fool to turn her back on the cosmoses for the sake of a mortal. Andromeda’s eyes flickered sadly. Guilt was a heavy burden to bear. She hated it.

We are not…” She trailed off and looked at the offered coat, ready to cover her unclad figure. We are not friends is what she wanted to say but as she studied the female more closely, there was a nature of sorrow that could not be left unnoticed. Andromeda bit her inner cheek and sighed. “Thank you.

The coat was shrugged on promptly, gathered fabric hugging her skin warmly as she silently nodded another gratitude. “I did not think to meet another in these lonely parts,” Andromeda whispered dully, her knees buckling somewhat. Now that the pair was close to one another, she saw how young and seemingly petite the mage was, forcing her to peer down a bit given their height difference. “You are far away from home, stranger. What brings you to the wilderness?

Edited by elixir
my dyslexia was showing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The woman had seemed ready to protest at the implication that the word friend brings, as if something about the word brings grief, another weighted burden to carry on her shoulders. Kestrel simply looks on, watching and waiting without complaint; she has no right to judge, not when she feels the exact same way. Eventually, the woman thanks her, takes the coat hanging from her fingers, and then she turns her gaze away in respect as the stranger shucks it on herself, covering her nudity away under warm fabric.

In hindsight, perhaps she should’ve done so a little bit earlier.

“I did not think to meet another in these lonely parts.”

Kestrel stays silent, as if intruding on the low whisper is a sacrilegious act, and holds out her hands in case the woman’s teetering frame requires support. As the other straightens her spine, peering down from higher up, the blonde girl rather feels dwarfed.

“You are far away from home, stranger. What brings you to the wilderness?”

The query brings a sad tinge to her lips, all glass shards and spilled blood, but she answers nonetheless; the least she can do is explain herself. “I’m traveling to Mageside,” Kestrel murmurs, gaze flickering to the horizon beyond, in the direction where she thinks the city lies. “I—I think I might've gotten lost somewhere along the way.” A faint smile tugs at the corners of her mouth as she stares up into that steel-grey eyes. “I, uh, don’t mean to pry, but what brings you to the wilderness in such a—an unusual state?”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps, the heavens were still looking out for her, after all. It had to be more than a coincidence that both of them was here collectively, at the same place and were headed to Mageside altogether. Hopeful strings were twanged as Andromeda vaguely smiled, overlooking the horizon as well. Currently, all that mattered was returning home to ensure everyone was safe and sound before the Ultima carried out with their plan and knowing them, they would smite her when she least expected it. A plan was needed, and despite how disgruntled she was feeling, Andromeda knew that she was desperate of any kind of help – such as possibly travelling with this woman in front of her.

With the mention of being lost, Andromeda faced the stranger once more. She could moderately relate since recalling this expanse was a bit of a struggle for the moment, but her head tilted in puzzlement, nonetheless. Andromeda hummed in acknowledgement and brought more of the coat together against her form. “Majestic as these lands may be, they will always cause difficulty even to the most skilled adventurer,” she noted monotonously. At least, that was something she could vividly recall with ease: witnessing the creation of this planet, how wondrous mountains and valleys formed and how those who came before fought to be accustomed to unknown terrains.

She tucked a few violet strands behind her ear. “I am lost, too,” – sort of a lie – “However, I am trying to make my way to Mageside as well. Perhaps we can travel with each other until we arrive; safety in numbers, I believe is the phrase.” Andromeda said and turned to begin walking until the person inquired about her state. She could not blame the girl for being curious – it was rather irregular to see an anyone naked in the wilderness this day in age – but she was not about to tell her the truth about what had happened. It was not for her to know, not when it was a complex situation, and they did not even know each other’s names.

Hence, she dodged the inquisitive question. “Up until recently, humans roamed the planet nude in the wilderness and laid bare in the grass just as I. Truly, it is not that unusual, is it?” Her so-called answer was meant to be a jest, but with the everlasting dullness in her tone, it may have been taken the wrong way. Andromeda shook her head, serious. “Please, do not pry. I do not wish to talk about it.

Her hair whisked in the wind and grey eyes fixated on the person. “My name is Andromeda, should you wish to use it,” she offered, pausing briefly. “I could equally inquire impertinently and further ask why a student of magical arts should even be lost, yet the sadness you are trying to hide forces me to be silent.

Andromeda stares, mayhap a little too long and turns her attention back to the horizon, back towards the sun. “I can feel that the sun influences your magic. A decorous source – if you know how to respect the star’s gift itself.” 

Edited by elixir

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The woman follows her gaze out into the vast expanse beyond, lips curling just so as her gaze turns unfocused for a second until she begins to speak again.

“Majestic as these lands may be, they will always cause difficulty even to the most skilled adventurer.”

With that, Kestrel deduces that the stranger is a native, or at least somewhat familiar with the landscapes around them, altogether alien to her own eyes. The woman continues to explain: she is also lost, also travelling to Mageside, and what exactly do they say about coincidence? She tilts her head, studying the woman's monotone delivery with consideration.

“Up until recently, humans roamed the planet nude in the wilderness and laid bare in the grass just as I. Truly, it is not that unusual, is it? Please, do not pry. I do not wish to talk about it.”

Ah. Kestrel takes a step back, a knowing expression washing over her facade. Despite the peculiar statement—up until recently, humans roamed the planet nude?—that hangs in the air, she rather knows a thing or two about not wanting to talk about something. She’s doing the exact same thing right now, isn’t she?

“My name is Andromeda, should you wish to use it. I could equally inquire impertinently and further ask why a student of magical arts should even be lost, yet the sadness you are trying to hide forces me to be silent.”

At the mention of her mantle of sorrow, apparent even to a stranger such as this woman, Kestrel wrenches her gaze away and looks down at her feet for a moment, caught off-guard. A few deep breaths later, she lifts her head and plasters a sunny grin on her face with no small amount of effort. “Well, nice to meet you, Andromeda. I’m Kestrel.” The stare that pins her down ultimately unravels far longer than is necessary, but the other woman eventually pivots, eyes now fixed on the brilliant glow in the sky above.

“I can feel that the sun influences your magic. A decorous source – if you know how to respect the star’s gift itself.”

In the midst of a sudden maelstrom of confusion and suspicion, the reply that had been ready to fly from Kestrel’s lips withers into nothingness. Who exactly is this woman, that she had determined her magical affinity with casual ease, even as the embers within her core continue to sputter and fade in the face of overwhelming grief?

“Yes,” is all she can answer, all that her throat is allowed to disclose for now. Kestrel shrugs, in the end, and begins to walk in the direction the woman had turned towards earlier. “Shall we get moving, then?”

Edited by vielle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If there is anything that Andromeda has learned from carefully observing people, it is that they were careless about displaying their emotions. Even when tried to make it unnoticeable, that’s when it was the most evident for almost everyone had quirks to when they were honest or in a fabrication. It made it easier to tell when Aignéis was troubled or if something weighed heavily on Paris’ mind. Therefore, the other’s averted gaze and breaths were heeded after a moment of silence whilst a grin bloomed in addition – a means to conceal what was truly the matter. 

Kestrel was the stranger’s name. Andromeda had remained silent during the introduction but was disappointed in the answer given towards her statements. Her dissatisfaction was left unsaid, however, and she further studied Kestrel as she began to walk in the surmise direction. There was no swift answer: the nymph looking down at her toes, cradled by the grass – trying to hear anything from nature, the universe, itself—; before one foot was placed before the other and she began to saunter.

It was faint, but it was there; the cosmos’ sighs and groans from the planet. She was still connected and felt relieved upon knowing so, her attention returned back to Kestrel. “Forgive me,” Andromeda finally voices after a while. “I have been told by many others that my… conversing abilities are rather flawed.” She recalled when her celestial sisters berated her forthright usages and jibed at lifelessness of her tone (her husband just had been murdered). 

Commenting brazenly on your emotions is not my right to say, as is your relationship with magic,” she explained. “Such things are seen clearly in my eyes. I tend to forget that others do not share my vision.” 

Andromeda gathered more of the coat around herself and smoothed a forefinger over her cheek. “Our journey mustn’t be awkward,” she paused. “We should find shelter, however. Night comes soon and my energy grows weak. It would seem that you need rest as well.

Edited by elixir

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For a brief moment, when the sound of trailing footsteps does not come from behind her, Kestrel wonders if the woman had taken her apparent lack of a proper response the wrong way. She is about to turn back, shapeless words forming in her mouth, when the rustle of grass bending and giving way to feet makes itself known: Andromeda is following her.

The rush of relief slithering down her spine is almost startling, out of place after being buried in the solitary throes of grief for so long.

“Forgive me. I have been told by many others that my… conversing abilities are rather flawed.”

Her throat closes up at that; Kestrel slows down her pace to eventually match with Andromeda’s stride, as if in acceptance of the apology she is not even sure the other woman should be making at all. Out of the two of them, she had been the one out and about in the wilderness for who-knows-how-long, naked and alone and empty-handed. “It’s alright,” she murmurs, low in her chest, and she isn’t quite sure that Andromeda had heard it when the woman forges on.

“Commenting brazenly on your emotions is not my right to say, as is your relationship with magic. Such things are seen clearly in my eyes. I tend to forget that others do not share my vision.” 

Kestrel does not know how else to reply to that beyond repeating her previous words. “It’s—it’s alright, really,” she says, louder so that the woman can hear this answer clearly now. “You don’t have to explain yourself. It’s fine.” She manages a firm nod in Andromeda’s direction, and then the conversation peeters off into silence for a while. Watching the woman pull the fabric tighter around her shoulders is concerning; is she still feeling cold? She is about to ask when Andromeda begins to speak again.

“Our journey mustn’t be awkward.”

Unbidden, a smile comes to Kestrel’s lips, a shadow of its brighter, playful counterpart from before the fall of Antigua. In the pause between Andromeda’s words, she sneaks in a tiny chuckle, shallow but there all the same.

“We should find shelter, however. Night comes soon and my energy grows weak. It would seem that you need rest as well.”

At that statement, Kestrel is reminded of her days-long travel, long walks across the wildlands punctuated by restless sleep in tall clumps of grass or in the branches of an odd tree or two. The exhaustion that had been pointedly ignored for the duration of her journey for the day comes in full force, and her body bows for a moment, as if weighed down by an indiscernible burden. “That’s a good idea, yes,” she confirms, looking out at the expanse of grassland visible to the eye with a thoughtful expression. “I’ve been sleeping anywhere I could, since I left civilization; grass, trees, the sort. Some proper shelter would be appreciated, but,” Kestrel gives Andromeda a weary glance, “well, I know not where we can find one.” Perhaps the other woman, being more knowledgeable around this parts, could provide a solution to their dilemma? However, she does not dare voice that out, opting instead to continue walking forward in the small hope of finding something in the immediate environment that could acceptably pass for shelter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With the tired movement from Kestrel, Andromeda knew that finding a suitable environment was even more of a pressing issue; validated by the stated fact that the other had been sleeping anywhere these lands could provide. Truth be told, slumbering amongst nature would have been Andromeda’s initial solution if she had not encountered another person. It was quite amusing when she heard that other people had a difficult time resting with wildlife – comical and unfortunate.  

She had seen those of yore be at peace with the natural world because they respected what it offered, what life it was able to bear and nurture. Yet, as more time fleeted by, that compassion dissolved; leaving this planet fragile and moribund. If the planet was to be disrespected in such a way, why should it respect those who inhabited it? A question for another time.

Andromeda mused over the peculiar bit Kestrel had said: since I left civilization. Ever curious, it brought up the urge to ask what had made her leave or what exactly happened while she was gone. The desire was erased completely, at least for the moment, because she did not wish to breach any means of uncomfortableness like earlier. There were a time and place for everything; preferably once they were somewhere more suitable.

Look around you, Kestrel,” Andromeda started. “Flora thrives and forests embrace this region. While it is not an area fit for a town or city, it is well enough to construct cabins. A small traveller’s cottage, perhaps, to fend the brutal winter.” She stopped in mid-stroll, looking to her left prior to the lush ground. Andromeda squatted, her grey hues fixated on the ground and placed a hand upon the soil – listening, feeling, as much as her connection would allow.

The sensation was exiguous and what she could hear might as well been whispers, but she knew when a body of water was near: it gave a slight tremble within the earth from its endless movements and sounded harmonious with its terra counterpart. Paris had once told her that it was more common to find habitation near water for essential needs and it was rather evident that most civilizations erected around or near them. For the sake of Kestrel, Andromeda hoped that his wisdom still carried out after all this time.

There is water nearby. A river or stream, I believe,” she stated, standing up to peer at her travelling companion. “If we go west, our chances of finding somewhere to rest should be greater. It might be a ruined establishment, but at least we’ll be safe.

Andromeda nodded at the sun, her favourite star rapidly setting as the moon readied itself to shine during evening hours. “I would recommend that a decision should be made before we lose any more light.

Edited by elixir

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

“Look around you, Kestrel. Flora thrives and forests embrace this region. While it is not an area fit for a town or city, it is well enough to construct cabins. A small traveller’s cottage, perhaps, to fend the brutal winter.”

Andromeda halts in her stride, all of a sudden, and she watches with no small measure of curiosity as the other woman lowers herself to the ground, fingers reaching into the dirt, attention focused as if listening, searching for something beyond visible comprehension. With the way the woman had determined her magical ability with ease, it only follows that Andromeda is magical herself, and so Kestrel does not try to distract her from her task, opting instead to watch and wait in silence, listening to the sound of the wind rustling through the stalks of grass. After a few moments, the other woman stands and shares what she has learned.

“There is water nearby. A river or stream, I believe. If we go west, our chances of finding somewhere to rest should be greater. It might be a ruined establishment, but at least we’ll be safe.”

She considers this information; it is altogether a reasonable idea. Andromeda looks up at the sky, and Kestrel follows her gaze towards the sinking sun over the horizon, the faint glimmer of stars already visible against that aerial blanket of warm colors.

“I would recommend that a decision should be made before we lose any more light.”

“Well,” she shrugs, giving Andromeda a lopsided smile, “I am definitely out of other ideas, so I suppose we can go west and follow, uh, wherever your senses lead us?” Kestrel taps her temple to punctuate her words, then gestures for the other woman to lead the way westward.

After a brief period of silence, energy focused on putting one foot in front of the other, the two women eventually reach a dense thicket, trickling streams of water flowing through as they bend snakelike around the trees. Moving along the length of the small rivers, they soon come across the looming ruins of a cabin—well, what were the odds?—in the distance, nestled between felled tree trunks and overgrown debris, and Kestrel cannot resist squinting up at Andromeda with a mock-suspicious glance. “Are you quite sure your energy is growing weak? It seems like you’ve acquired a hint of precognition, or has that always been one of your powers?” Despite the easy, teasing grin on her features, she is rather startled at how spot-on the woman’s guess had been. Nevertheless, the emotion churning in her gut is ultimately a weary sense of relief; a ruined shelter is better than any sort of tree or rock to sleep on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Andromeda had led the way subsequent to admiring the ‘tapping’ gesture Kestrel presented and whilst they walked; she, too, tapped her temple in a curious manner. She supposed that her perceptions could be misconstrued as a mental attribute but due to what she personified, it was more than dealing with the mind. Her so-called senses were intimately felt within her core for as long as the planets breathed, she was intact with them – knowing what scars they bore, the natural elements they created, the terrains painted on their canvases.

The pair trudged through the woodland for quite some time, reaching the body of water Andromeda foretold with a disrepair cabin settled afar. Solace washed over her inwards, pleased that Paris’ words remained true after all these years. It was not long before she felt Kestrel’s glimpse and furrowed her brows at the wary questions, even if they were a bit of a quip. 

I believe I would know when my energy is indisposed,” Andromeda retorted, not particularly appreciating the grin she spotted in her peripheral. “Alas, I have spent the last of it for now.” With a lowered head, her pale skin began to appear more pellucid and no longer congenitally illuminated. She was in dire need to repose and required time to convene – to ask forgiveness – with the surrounding celestial bodies if she were to be whole again.

Releasing a trembling breath, Andromeda tottered forward. “If you wish to know more about me and my powers, as you say,” she called out, not waiting for Kestrel to follow. “I must insist that your nettlesome interrogation waits until the morrow.” A harsh remark was not her intention, but could you truly blame someone who was utterly burnout? She would just have to apologize again later, seeing how asking for a pardon would be frequent in her days to come.

The cabin was small and wholly damaged from years of being exposed to the elements. Rotten, cracked wood barely held the establishment together whilst nature seemingly reclaimed the space: vines and moss crept up the broken walls, patches of grass shyly peeking out of the floorboards. Windows were frosted with grime and dust coated what was left of any furniture – furnishings that had been used as nesting grounds for various fauna. There was a distinct smell, decaying and familiar, that would have made someone uneasy, but Andromeda did not mind. In fact, she welcomed it.

Placing a hand on the ruined doorframe to steady herself, Andromeda took one last glance around the cottage and nodded towards the aged bed in the corner. “You should take it.” she merely whispered to Kestrel, stress hinted in her voice. Once completely inside, she leant against the wall before gradually sliding down onto the floor; her legs outstretched, and head tilted upwards.

Pale hues remained fixated on the other woman as her breathing slowed and mentally began to communicate with the empyrean, infinitesimal orbs of light beginning to surround her. “I have heard your name before from the sun, Kestrel,” Andromeda breathed out and closed her eyes, a few of her memories returning. “It spoke highly of you so never believe that you are alone. Not when a magnificent star is looking after you.

Andromeda dropped her head and shivered. “I just… I just thought you should know.” 

Edited by elixir

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kestrel tilts her head in mild concern at the sudden harsh remark thrown in her direction. Normally, she would have chewed Andromeda out by now, but she is not the same person as she had been before, the rambunctious wildchild who had only ever cared about what had been best for herself and what she considered her own. Her gaze flickers over the woman’s rapidly paling skin, ears attuned to the shaky puffs of air escaping her mouth, and so Kestrel holds her tongue, opts to say nothing in response.

Andromeda pushes forward into the cabin, and the sun girl waits for a brief moment before following behind the other woman. Kestrel wrinkles her nose at the humid smell of mildew wafting into her nostrils, glancing about the decaying ruins with resignation; it does not look like much to look at, but it is still a shelter. Her hand trails over whatever is left of the wooden walls, entangling her fingers in the vines creeping up the Her gaze wanders over to the bed in the corner—

“You should take it.”

She had been prepared to offer it to Andromeda instead. “Are you sure?” Really, the other woman looks dead on her feet by now. Kestrel hovers in indecision before Andromeda finally makes a move, choosing to sink against the wall and onto the floor.

“I have heard your name before from the sun, Kestrel. It spoke highly of you so never believe that you are alone. Not when a magnificent star is looking after you.”

Kestrel watches wordlessly as the other woman bows her head, her limbs shaking minutely. Where is this knowledge coming from, she wonders, stepping forward to sit cross-legged on the wooden floor opposite Andromeda, ignoring the dirt that clings to her pants, her arms.

“I just… I just thought you should know.”

She remains silent for a moment, before offering a fragile smile in Andromeda’s direction. “Thank you,” Kestrel murmurs, low and subdued, “that’s good to hear.” She does not ask her how she knows such things; that is a question for another day. She waves a hand towards the corner, a faintly pleading expression on her face. “Please, take the bed, I insist. You’ll need your strength in the journey to come. And don’t worry about me; I’m hardy as a weed.” Kestrel tilts her head, a determined curl to her mouth. “I must insist you take the bed, or we’ll both be sitting here until daybreak.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There was that idiosyncrasy again.

Andromeda clicked her tongue quietly as her eyes remained closed, head still has fallen. “Hardy as a weed,” the nymph echoed. She mused over this statement. Mayhap having someone who could withstand fatigue was an appreciable companion to have during this predicament. It was still white lie, nonetheless. “Yet, you are still fragile as a carnation. If you are done lying to me, then stop lying to yourself.

Her head rolled upwards and rested it against the wall. It was not the first time Andromeda had been in this condition; the only other time being when her Father was still enamoured with the act of spawning his own children, of turning a thought into reality. During that instance, her male compeers – the satyrs – had been produced shortly after a plethora of her sisters were born. Whilst the Firmament is extensive and durable, it can only handle so much, especially when it is young and still developing.

Having given birth to a surplus of nymphs and then an excess of satyrs, who require more essence, took its toll on the heavens for a time. And, being the manifestation of the empyrean, Andromeda suffered the prostration in full force which lasted nearly four decades. However, that instance was a natural one. This time, it was retribution; and it was all the more reason why she needed atone quickly as possible.

Her eyes did not dare to open and violet tresses covered a majority of her face. Kestrel already received the extent of energy Andromeda could have kept and, truth be told, it was rather annoying that the other woman was not properly complying. Shelter and water were found because of the nymph with Kestrel’s welfare in mind. Andromeda did not need all of this and thus insisting that she should take the bed was like telling a hypervelocity star it should slow down.

I do not mind sitting here until daybreak, Kestrel since I do not need the bed.” Andromeda sighed and waved a hand dismissively. She was aware of her appearance: a seemingly youthful corpse with semi-opaque skin that, if touched, your own hands would be able to go through it. A temporary ghost. Her beauty would return soon enough.

She continued. “What I need is to feel these patches of grass against my skin and to let the wind that seeps through the cracks merge with my own breath. I need to feel the tremble of the ground we sit on, but above all else, I need the universe to embrace me once more,” the nymph tried to elucidate. “I wish it was as simple as resting my head on a bed. It would make everything much easier.

A pregnant pause. “I am different from you. Do you understand? I am sure you have realised it by now. Our needs are unalike so if you do not want to be a liability on the journey…” She trailed off because there was that impolite manner again. Andromeda shook her head. The soft spot she had for these beings is what got her into this plight in the first place.

I am sorry.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

“Hardy as a weed. Yet, you are still fragile as a carnation. If you are done lying to me, then stop lying to yourself.”

Even in her exhaustion, there is just enough of a part deep within her that rankles at the statement. Without the woman’s piercing gaze to hinder any deep observation, Kestrel takes the time to examine Andromeda’s appearance, a cool and ghostly veneer, almost like a timeless relic impervious to the touch.

She still does not understand why the other woman won’t just take the bed she is mostly definitely offering towards her.

“I do not mind sitting here until daybreak, Kestrel, since I do not need the bed. What I need is to feel these patches of grass against my skin and to let the wind that seeps through the cracks merge with my own breath. I need to feel the tremble of the ground we sit on, but above all else, I need the universe to embrace me once more. I wish it was as simple as resting my head on a bed. It would make everything much easier.”

“I see,” Kestrel replies, even as she truly cannot. From what she has explained, it rather seems beyond her own perception, that kind of power Andromeda is longing for even now with sleep encroaching on them. She sinks down onto the rickety remnants of the bed, aged wood creaking under her fingertips.

“I am different from you. Do you understand? I am sure you have realised it by now. Our needs are unalike so if you do not want to be a liability on the journey…”

Andromeda shakes her head; whether in dismay or resignation, she does not know. There is only so much Kestrel can take in a day, and perhaps it has finally come to the drawn line in the sand.

“I am sorry.

“It’s alright,” she says, quiet and spent, and does not respond any further, choosing to lie down and close her eyes. Kestrel’s descent into slumber is quick and painless, without the promise of nightmares at the peripheries of her mind.

 

The early morning light peeks through the shattered remains of the cabin’s windows, and despite her cooled relationship with the bright flame in the sky, Kestrel continues to rise with the sun. It is peaceful, silent in the early waking hours, and she allows herself a moment to breathe in sync with the murmur of the bubbling stream outside the cabin, the ebb and flow of life as the woods awaken around them.

Kestrel stands, dusts off her clothes, slowly gets to work hunting around the cabin for a few wildfowl.

If she is to travel with a relative stranger, then she might as well make the effort to feed the other woman. She will be damned before she is called anything less than an efficient ally in this journey.

Returning to the relative shelter of the cabin with her prizes, Kestrel calmly plucks feathers out from the birds, constructs a makeshift roasting pit, and very pointedly uses two stones to spark a flame onto the firepit; it becomes all too evident, her temporary loss of powers. It won’t even take half a breath before she would have the wood stoked and the fire blazing bright.

With the meat already roasting over the flames, she goes and sits cross-legged by the fire, waiting for Andromeda to awaken.

Edited by vielle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many years ago, Andromeda was asked if deities slept. Did they lay their heads on downy pillows and eased burdens from their shoulders, such as humans do? It is rare for them to do so, she had answered, because they are preoccupied with their watchful eyes. Then, she was questioned whether or not if deities could dream, if she could dream.

Andromeda replied that the gods cannot dream because they can effortlessly convert fantasy into reality. She fails to have that luxury as she is not a deity. Therefore, one can say that she does dream but it is not dreaming by any means. No, they are visions – moments that transpired in the past which the Firmament witnessed. She is a nymph: the child of the heavens who is the cosmoses itself and dreams Her memories, observing and experiencing.

Andromeda’s consciousness drifted after she spoke those last three words. Although she was in an inert state, her mind was not easily conquered as she dreamt for the first time in a century and outlived another memory. It was, however, not in her Mother’s voice.

On the twelfth day after the Expansion, I summoned the leagues to Infinitas. Gathered, in our province, are the Architects, the Keepers and the Ante. Through my eye, I have seen the extinction of them all; their handsome faces painted with blood and gore, indistinguishable. As I looked out to them, I saw the enervation in their eyes and the aeons etched into their skin. We are immortal… but what is being eternal but a wolf in sheep’s clothing? Our annihilation shall be merciful.

This is what I told them:

“I, Boljimir, the first of His name, shall conceive children in the forthcoming years. While they will not be gods, they will be treated as such. They are the rightful heirs to sovereignty, and I have no doubt that they will lead everything I have created to greatness until the end. Among them will be my first born and I have seen the chapters in her story. She will love and be broken. Her hands will be dipped in blood and when the time comes, she will obliterate us with the hatred cemented in her heart. To our end will usher in a new beginning – a beginning that we should all welcome.”

Aralim bore his sly grin, naturally, and Sofiel’s disappointing gaze was more acetic than wonted. Siblings as they are, I know they seek to control what I have built. Though their dead-end path has been laid bare, they will go against it, but it will be useless. Even their own children cannot save them.

To you, I apologize on behalf of the tides of fate. I believe that this is your destiny. Once you have seen this from your Mother’s perception, my death has already been achieved. Yet, for right now, as I am still alive – ra'a'nn ra'm ho hooam, a' maghh faau smoaaghh. LOOK FOR THE HEART, NOT RIGHT BUT STRAIGHT.

Andromeda awoke with a jolt. She lurched forward whilst a hand pressed against her chest, gasping for air as if she had been submerged. The crackles of fire echoes in the cabin, accompanied by a welcoming scent of roasted meat and it is enough to calm the nymph for a moment. Her eyes reverted back to their natural hues, opening soon after and gandered around the room, making sure that she was not still dreaming. Luckily, that was the case.

An initial attempt to call Kestrel failed, her words morphing into horrid retches and she quickly moved onto her hands and knees. Andromeda heaved numerous times. Each time she did, still and all, her strength returned. Skin illuminated brightly once again, no longer vitreous but youthfully pale and plump all the same. Her violet mane cascaded over her face whilst she shivered in absolute excitement that she could hear the universe – this planet – anew. Andromeda smiled. She had missed their endless talks.

Perhaps now she could ask the heavens what that memory was.

Beneath her was a medium pile of dust, decayed matter, and Andromeda frowned. She sat up on her knees, fixing the coat and swiped a finger over her lips. That is when she realized something. The Ultima was already trying to execute her from the inside; a silent assassination attempt that began from the second she entered the black hole.

Andromeda looked away. She gazed at Kestrel for a long moment (searching, or maybe trying to tell her something) before sighing. “It appears I was at death’s door this whole time.” she chuckled sadly. 

Edited by elixir
no clue what i'm writing anymore but lets go with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...