A Thoughtful Mind Is A Heavy Dreamer

A Thoughtful Mind Is A Heavy Dreamer

Postby Duquesne » Thu Feb 13, 2014 8:51 pm

This is the sleep of the deserving.

The mind, upon sinking, reviews a catalogue of experiences. Sense is made of events as consciousness struggles for its last breaths at the surface of this calm mental pool and then, when a grasp of the temporal is lost, the subconscious rises from its prison. A prison made by the iron of a man's chronic wakefulness.

Sleep -- so elusive. Easy with its embrace, swimmingly heavy. An dim empty canvas arrives; empty only for what seems like a moment before things change.

Instinct will describe familiarity. This is the past, perhaps -- a memory -- but not the past alone. Even before the whispering of sands makes itself recognizable, he understands that the linear concept of time is too simplistic a description for this. Time has no place here, but all places in time are present and tangible. A grand color introduces itself next, in the same way that comfort is introduced to the needy; it is like reassurance, stretching vastly in all directions. Above, below, to one side and the other. It is sun-glow on a desert he knows.

His awareness is invested not in what he sees, because he cannot yet see in the midst of these hazy introductions, but in what he feels and hears first. These two senses were his primaries -- the information they collected carried his perception each and every day in regular life. And here in this irregular space, they are met with something they do not expect. It is not the anticipated shifting of sand under boot-heels, this being a presumption his mind is quick to project based on the setting. No, this is a solid resonance because the surface beneath him is like glass -- like a field. Each time his soles make contact with this surface, vibration without a shred of noise shudders through him with a surreal impact. It confuses the senses for an eternity of walking --

-- until that eternity has passed like an eye-blink.

With that eye-blink, shadows and haze are gone as if they never were. The desert is below him, stretching on. In one direction, it runs itself into the sparkling depths of a blue ocean; in another, it loses its color to the mighty thrust of a mountain range painted in dusky shadows and white toothy peaks; in still another direction, its pale fingers reach delicately into the green of a plain where water runs; all of this is home. All of it is home and none of it is flat, but dramatically curved space. Even the cyan sky is steeply curved, with clouds seeming great and heavy overhead but thinning and stretching the farther they are from here. He is at once an infant, a young man, an old man, a dead man, the versions of himself reaching serpentine from one side of him to another. A life in pointillism, this: when he seeks to look closely upon one version or another, that self disperses like particles in a beam of light and only some vague shape remains. The phenomenon captivates him. It seems poignantly similar to attempts made to remember a childhood memory or to visualize the future -- there is only a gritty perception and the rest is seemingly immaterial, mere imagination.

When he looks down now to behold the desert below -- he finds himself walking in it. Here is the priceless sound of millions of grains of sand moving under the weight of his passage, dragging at his boots. He labors in the shadows of a dune's hulking shoulder and when he crests its sharp ridge and descends the other side, he sinks into sloped boot-heels engineered for the art of keeping a tall man steady on such changeable landscapes. A hot wind rifles dark linen against his face and his gloved hand comes up to pull shrouds low on his brow. Keenly aware that heat exists but does not punish as the real desert should, he pauses in his trek and looks up.

Glorious nothingness. Pale, this desert; hostile, beautiful and remarkably silent. The only sounds here are the whispers of linen at his ear and tiny collisions of shell, bone, glass made near his thigh: the beaded fringe of a russet sash slung beneath his belt. It means something among the tribes -- the color, the beads. Familiar, normal, and so very very realistic; all of this. He breathes it in with the air.

Except something is coming; someone else is here. Words seem like thoughts, but the man is speaking aloud regardless and -- to whom? "Look at that -- not a book in sight."
User avatar
Duquesne
Member
 
Posts: 205
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2007 6:19 pm

Re: A Thoughtful Mind Is A Heavy Dreamer

Postby Glenn » Fri Feb 14, 2014 6:47 am

Both of them would be loathe to admit it, and more than that, would have a myriad of complicated and convoluted and very, very blunt ways to deny it, but there were certain similarities between Ariane Emory and the manchild apparition that drifted, quite intentionally, nearby the architect. Had he been lodged in the dreams of someone else, he might have been lost forever, and thus, so might have been she. It was not just the sharp similarities but the sharp differences as well which provided color and contrast, a dull and vibrant path back towards the light. One drove the other who drove the first once more.

This was endlessly different. Thankfully, the Elliot Brown who hovered overdramatically a few inches above the surface that feet and legs should have rested upon, was not the same one of half a year before. "I brought her the desert." He began, a discordant reply to a perfectly reasonable greeting. That was another change born of necessity and a curtailing of conventional freedom. There was not the luxury they once had to unwind ideas and concepts. As it was, tragically enough, that old luxury had merely been an illusion.

The sand whipped around him, for at first all he had been was a presence, a feeling, something that this man with his heightened senses and years of well-found paranoia that he might claim to be anything but could easily detect, but that had no form and no visage. Now though the sand started to congeal, started to give him depth and height and length. The young man, or old teenager, or outgrown boy appeared first as dust and glint and then, increasingly, as flesh and blood, still hovering, certainly not smiling.

"It wasn't to bring her you." He held up his hand, and in it was a small globe of glass, an artfully crafted thing. Perhaps it was something a genius created, a thousand hours of tiny pieces and impossible angles. Perhaps it was a magic bauble, a crystal ball to see the future or the past. Or perhaps it was simply what it looked to be, a dream image in a dream globe, made from nothing more than imagination and memory. It really didn't matter and, of course, it mattered more than anything. Regardless, within could be seen pleasant gardens and a lovely grove, endless spring and even, despite the obvious contradiction, the scent of rows upon rows of flowers. He tapped at it, once, twice, thrice, and a crack formed. The left him, now fully formed, in a rush, and burst into the globe, overtaking it utterly.

Elliot dropped it, leaving nothing but sand and glass, which, with an unpleasant, alien sound, the opposite of that of congealing, returned once again to its original state. "I've spent time with her memories, with my own. With other things I didn't ask for and never wanted. It gave me a lot of time to think, right? It's left me with a particularly nasty thought about you. Will you let me ask it and see if it's true?"
Glenn
Co-Founder
 
Posts: 2599
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 4:00 am

Re: A Thoughtful Mind Is A Heavy Dreamer

Postby Duquesne » Fri Feb 14, 2014 7:57 am

Sand: the broken bones of the ancient and recent dead. From their atomic grit the young man, the outgrown boy is formed. He watches, this architect -- no, not an architect here, never simply that in this place. This Lanessian man, this agent, this wolf, or so a Lady Marshall had thought once -- he watches, but not with eyes.

It wasn't to bring her you. "Of course you wouldn't..." and the murmur is an acknowledgement, a concession from his mouth, here in the half-shadow of a sun-stained shroud. There was once a faceless man who had killed him; in killing the faceless man, he himself became faceless with a dead man's burden. He looks into the orb, the bauble, the dream with its peaceful features. He watches the thing crack and to him its sound is like a fissure forming in bedrock.

But the sound of the dream-orb's recreation is something else, something gripping and unnatural. A sightless gaze has fallen to watch this reform, here as the edges of the man blur and shudder against the backdrop of endless dunes. Darkish leather and linen and rough-spun silk grow gritty, as if he himself were made of sands simply bonded together by water; not water, but ink; not ink for quills and pages, but for flesh. From glove-bound fingertips, lonesome black droplets form and fall -- ink strikes the sand beside the horseman's boot and the sound is a calm sigh, a breath from something's mouth. "Nasty," he echoes with a half-smile in the damaged voice and he raises a half-shadow face toward cyan skies. The clouds are gone. The sun and moon are full and equally bright, the one trailing the other with a speed that would no doubt be terrifying were this real. "Ask away -- let's have our answers."
User avatar
Duquesne
Member
 
Posts: 205
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2007 6:19 pm

Re: A Thoughtful Mind Is A Heavy Dreamer

Postby Glenn » Fri Feb 14, 2014 8:19 am

He'd never seen a desert. He'd never known one. He was a Myrken boy, never really outside its borders, certainly never for long. He'd never seen the ocean. He'd never seen a lot of things. It hardly mattered considering the breadth of what he had seen, and increasingly, what he had done. That had been brought to an abrupt halt months before. He stopped doing anything at all. In so many ways, he simply had stopped being, was no more. Now, though, he was seeing things he had never seen before, through the lens of others' memories. He was seeing things that most people couldn't even imagine. What could the composite memories of not just one Ariane Emory but two show a growing, learning lad?

What about that of Sylvius Duquesne?

The need was direct. Time was short. Sleeping hours were fleeting and it certainly wasn't every night that Elliot was able to manifest or that he had visitors or was, in fact, a visitor himself. Moreover, all of this was so ethereal and for most, that would do horrible things to confidence. Elliot had decided otherwise. He was going to storm through and treat everything he saw as real, because if it wasn't, then very likely he had no reality at all. Syl could be just an aspect of Ariane's dream, but he had to treat him as something more. So yes, the need was direct. His way at it though?

"It's like this. You're something else, you are. Something special. I'm not an idiot. I get that. You're Sir Duck Noose, the chessboard's grey king. I spent a long time hanging around Darkenhold, planning. I heard things but with you? It's different. People talk about Emory, right? With you it's all in what people don't say. You listen between the cracks and you figure it all out. You could be Governor if you wanted, maybe more. You could bring the whole tower down or build a new one." It was easy for images to get away from you here in a place like this. With practice, Elliot had developed something of an effortless control. The only thing that had appeared was a grey crown, and it spun as if on a cheaply hidden thread, dangling over Sylvius' head. "You could have saved her. Maybe you did. It took time, though, too much time. More time than a man like you should have needed. Makes a person wonder, right?" He could have ended it there. He could have ended it with the first sentence. 'Nasty' was probably all he needed. Elliot Brown was never know for his subtly though. Therefore, he continued on. "Man like you? Likes to learn things. I believe you love her. You had a chance to witness the impossible though. Maybe you love learning more, especially impossible things. Maybe, because you love her, you loved learning more this one time."
Glenn
Co-Founder
 
Posts: 2599
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 4:00 am

Re: A Thoughtful Mind Is A Heavy Dreamer

Postby Duquesne » Fri Feb 14, 2014 10:24 am

Above him, a solemn crown lurks and its shadow is a distortion on the sands below. Words shudder in his hearing. His cowled head lowers, synchronous with the rapid setting of sun and moon. With face turned to them, a moment occurs in which their combined light, which is strangely gentle, penetrates the half-shadow under his desert shroud and his face is his own, but his eyes are more than a man's. As those celestial bodies meet the horizon provided by a dune's elegant shoulder and then fall behind it, the landscape is the motion of bleeding shadows and burning ridges. When the darkness falls, desert cold comes with it.

And the man's green irises rouse with a pale-glow, a pearlescent effect -- an animal's eyes; not an animal's, something else. He sees Elliot Brown in the moonless night. You could bring the whole tower down or build a new one.

When the sun and moon emerge on the other side of the world, they rise behind this man and they bury the night's shadows beneath his shrouds once more. Beside his boot, ink droplets have formed a dark stain against the white sands. He bleeds his ink, down beneath jacket leather, into a glove, from its fingertips down -- it should be blood; it has been blood before. As the sun and moon rise behind him, their rate slows and their rays strike a hole in his shoulder. An inch above the heart, perhaps two: the hole where a weapon pierced through. Here it is only light that pierces through, from one side of him to the other. A dead man's wound.

The pulse of heart and vein are vivid to see through fractured bone. And then the light is gone and the hole is itself a matter of shadows, a trick of the dream-blind eyes. He says nothing to oppose Elliot's statements -- listening among the cracks, a governor's seat, towers and men like him who love to learn and perhaps love to learn above all other loves. His cowled head cants and it is the subtlest, most honest move -- like a twitch of logic.

A thing grows in his own shadow, an extension of his presence -- a thing birthed by sand and his ink-blood. An animal shape rising, newborn.

It is midday, by the rapid progress of sun and moon, before he speaks. "A man like me -- what kind is he." His attention falls toward the orb with its serene dream-things caught inside -- the greens, the pleasantries which contradict the harsh beauties of this desert. There is peculiar hope buried inside that shape. His voice is soft from it. "You have not asked a question." He looks up and it is the hand that does not bleed, the right, that rises and clutches at shrouds to push them back from short-cropped hair and face; so he did have a face, after all. Elliot's question was clear -- but it was a probe, all Mind and vague, an unstable threshold on which to step. He knew better. "Ask it."
User avatar
Duquesne
Member
 
Posts: 205
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2007 6:19 pm

Re: A Thoughtful Mind Is A Heavy Dreamer

Postby Glenn » Fri Feb 14, 2014 1:31 pm

The sand stopped.

"No."

If one stopped and asked young Elliot how he did this, how he, sifting through the fibers of someone else's dream, of someone as controlled and contained and competent as Sylvius Duquesne, might be able to extend all that he was just enough to influence the environment in this way, he would plead ignorance. To be fairly, he probably wouldn't. He wasn't the pleading sort. That didn't mean he would know; he wouldn't. It came natural now, after months of such an existence. He was an entity without a body. What he had instead, was this.

The sand was frozen midair and Elliot seemed to move between it, like a man who had mastered the oft-rumored art of walking through a rainstorm without getting wet. "Don't do that. Just don't. Look, Duck Noose. Just, just why? Why would you do that? You know what I meant. It wasn't unclear. I'm not an idiot," which as frequently repeated mantras went, was not the world's best. "I know you're smarter than me," especially when followed up with that. "Everyone's like this around you, right? You make them doubt everything they say. 'Was that right? Am I going to be judged for it?' I don't know much about being in school but I know a thing or two about learning and about trying to impress a teacher. You make people feel like you're a teacher in... in life! Not now, okay?"

He moved between the granules of sand. One moment he was before Sylvius, the next beside him, then behind, but it wasn't some sort of ambush; it was agitation. "You know what I meant. Stop trying to control the conversation or whatever. I want to like you, I do. I don't want to think bad things about you. I need to know, though. I need to know for her, for her and me, because we were in it together, and for me for me." The words flowed clearly, despite how ridiculous they were. "I don't know how I'm talking to you, Duck Noose, but I need to know if you helped her best you could, because I need to know if you'd help me best you can, too, even if this is impossible and interesting, and a lot of other i words that you probably know and I don't."

There were preconceived notions about Sylvius Duquesne. Elliot had more than a few. One of them was that it was pointless to try to hide emotions from him; he would know anyway. Therefore, it would be easy to read 'troubled' and 'frustrated' in Elliot's lack-of-body language. There was something more, though, an honest search for hypocrisy: did that r'Chyr'laud language have a word for that concept? In Myrken, it might well be phrased 'Elliot Brown.'
Glenn
Co-Founder
 
Posts: 2599
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 4:00 am

Re: A Thoughtful Mind Is A Heavy Dreamer

Postby Duquesne » Fri Feb 14, 2014 4:46 pm

The sands cease their motion -- the sands and their bled-ink shadow that had begun to form, an animal-thing whose sole identity is written in the man himself. And Elliot is everywhere; his words arrive from all directions. The man cannot see him move and does not try, watches instead with that vision which does not come from sight. And, it seems, the atmosphere of the very air grows thick and heavy. It weighs down, not upon fortunate Elliot but upon this man, this agent, this flesh and blood thing; not flesh and blood --

-- and it drives him to his knees in the sand. And suddenly they are not alone, but surrounded. Hundreds of figures appear -- here next to them, there on a dune's ridge, hundreds of dream-ghosts crowding and calling and pleading with reaching hands and eyes. Help, please help, help me. Do something, do something! The air is dense with their need; their hands reach, their eyes bleed, their desperation is legitimate and endless. They are closer, nearer, a demanding sea of bodies and noise. The man braces himself in the sand, but it shifts under his hands and wants to swallow him down. Fear lurches in his throat; a claustrophobic vice is there to steal his voice and his breath along with it. And before his eyes, there in wanting sand, lies an object -- the sight of it shocks him.

His badge.

As if they had never been, the dream-ghosts are gone and the absence of their deafening noise leaves instead a deafening silence. He is standing as he had been a moment ago, listening to the shifting of Elliot in the 'scape around him. Now the silence is but silence -- the dream is quiet. But the badge remains, a gleaming shield of cool steel; official and commanding. He leans to pick it up and it is lighter than it ever felt while pinned to his chest or fixed on his belt. "The work was consuming; it had a hunger greater than any living thing's." He straightens, slow, and he looks up to hunt for Elliot's face -- when he finds it, the sight of the boy is like an anchor. "I was nothing but Hope -- and hope is nothing but a shapeless, faceless idea."

In his hand, the badge is like a promise -- its noble arms, its foreign scrawl, its militant identification, its very metal, all describe the full authority of that office he once held. Full authority, protected by Law. His hand closes in a fist over it and it disintegrates into sands, which fall through his fingers. "Did I do my best to help her? Not my best -- my utmost.

"But it contradicted all other plans. The move was bold and uncertain. Its implications terrified me -- she was terrified of me. Thus Fear reigned heavy between us and caused an ever widening gulf.

"What I could have done, what I wanted to do upon first finding her changed was -- go to the source and dismantle it." She had threatened him, the Olwak girl. She threatened him with her clever engineering and she met her death never having known the brink she teetered upon, for there were no adversaries, no devils in the world like an angry Duquesne. And he had been angry. The Lady Marshall had served him etiquette and propriety, constant cool distance and lies of another's making; he had been cruel to her at first, disdaining her at every turn. The man lowers his eyes to the sand and sees, sees, a cold dark floor strewn with pieces of delicate china and broken star-studded treats and the shattered bits of his own heart cast before the Lady Marshall's soft-slippered toes. He had been on his knees before her then, crushed -- and later awakened to a course of action which did not involve his professional agency, but something far more powerful in the end. He looks up at Elliot. "What I could have done was what men always inevitably do. Take command, stabilize, defend, conquer, and try to look humble before an ungrateful people -- but Myrken is immune to such men; she chews them and spits them out ruined. What I could have done was go to Golben for the Governor."

Shadows grow long around them, but the sun and moon remain high in the cyan blue above. Shadows, long and stretching to accommodate a weariness and sorrow in him -- these things are dire companions and not easily banished. He gazes at Elliot with earnest eyes -- there are no walls here, no shadows. And he surely is no teacher, only a prisoner still towing the chains of old vengeance. "I looked on Myrken Wood and saw a gaping wound and chaos and I was desperate to help -- know this -- but the people did not need me, a stranger to them. They needed the one person who could turn Circumstance on its head: the true Ariane Emory. There. Yes." The man seems to sway according to the merest breeze, the subtlest stir of sands near his boot-heels, and seems, for just a moment, as if he might himself become sand and blow away. As if the very confession were a relief. "If she could -- remember -- then perhaps she could remember herself." Perhaps she could remember me. The plan was risky -- it might not have worked. If it hadn't, the Lady Marshall would persist and Darkenhold's maker would have been buried in its earthy roots for good.

As with many dreams, there are moments that cling, moments that render the body clumsy, slow with gnawing paralysis. This is one such moment for the dreamer. This is weariness -- this is a nameless burden he cannot be rid of in life, for all that he tries. "I am not smarter than you, Elliot -- only more practiced with my illusions." The desert seems increasingly punishing now. "Do you know," he looks at the younger man, with some rare smile at work on his mouth, "illusions make the best and worst armor of all." A pause. As he grows calmer, the light of sun and moon together softens itself... but his smile fades and focus emerges. It seems all the world teeters on its toes for the words he speaks. "I did my utmost for her; I will do my utmost for you."
User avatar
Duquesne
Member
 
Posts: 205
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2007 6:19 pm

Re: A Thoughtful Mind Is A Heavy Dreamer

Postby Glenn » Sat Feb 15, 2014 4:15 am

He was nowhere. He was everywhere. He watched this, all of it, from beginning to end, and then he was simply there once more, before Sylvius, his feet touching the ground. In the face of that scene, those words, how could anyone, even he, have the arrogance to float?

"Hope." The word didn't have to flow off lips. It could have come from any direction. It could have come from none at all. It could have just been there, hanging in the ether. It could have been drifting sand forming letters. It could have been a giant monolithic tribute of stone and gold. It was just a word though, escaping through lips, simple lips. "You.." He began, his mind a whirl; years passed, centuries. Generations lived and died in a heartbeat. Civilizations rose and fell. The desert saw blooms and devastation once more. His mind worked through the connotation. How could he float in the face of such well-earned arrogance? Millenia simply were not enough. He did not have the words. "How do you live with that, all the time? Thinking that you could be their savior because you COULD. Having to pick and choose, to play god? Who the hell wants to play god? There's no freedom in that. You're so damn smart but you're more trapped than any of us, just by who you are, who you've trained yourself to be, who you let them think you are."

Illusions, he said, but that wasn't it at all. "Enough of this." He brought the desert to Ariane Emory. He'd bring something else here. It started with one drop. One, two, three. All the while, Elliot began to speak once more. "I'm sorry. I had to know. I had to know you cared." Apologies from Elliot were rare. This one was quick, brisk, full of other words as the rain started to fall. "I had to know you tried. All those brains get in the way of your heart. I've seen it before. In the end, maybe you cared more than anyone, because you've got so little to hold on to, yeah?" He didn't know. He didn't know a lot of things. He didn't know what Golben had to do with anything; it was just a pit. He didn't know where the Governor had ended up. Last he saw him was the night of the Fiddler. "If you couldn't manage it, maybe I shouldn't hate them for leaving me here. Not too much at least."

Still, the tears fell from the sky even as Brown looked at him stoically. They were no longer in the desert now. The location was the same. Everything else was not. The sand had massed to a pillar and they were upon it. All around them though was water, and off in the distance? A ship. Sylvus' outpouring had a cost. Elliot's outpouring was a reward in and of itself. As the ship,a four masted barque, not particularly large but certainly noticeable, approached, the wet glisten of black flags were unmistakable.
Glenn
Co-Founder
 
Posts: 2599
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 4:00 am

Re: A Thoughtful Mind Is A Heavy Dreamer

Postby Duquesne » Sat Feb 15, 2014 5:50 am

The Mind of Elliot caused a whirl; it was then no longer a whirl, but a vortex. The man is powerless in the face of its rotation -- such energy, an irresistible destruction. In one moment it defies the bonds of the matter which makes him and he comes apart in a rush of particles, a cloud of atoms -- for one fraction of a second longer, it is tinted in the color of what the dream-self wore -- before all that he was and is and will become is consumed by the rush of Elliot's eons.

Or perhaps it had never been, this destruction, for he remains near the younger man; he is intact, he is watching as the desert rises and falls with the lives and deaths of thousands, tens of thousands. A Timeless breath comes into his mouth, because for mere moments he saw green and color among the dunes before it was gone. But there was not the taste of sand in his mouth now -- it was ash. Elliot's words roll over him in waves; burning, burning holes into his flesh like the terrible fires at Aithne on a fateful day. A dream, that was; no, not a dream. His gloves are gone now and the scars on his palms are not scars at all, but newly made pools of burned flesh. As he had then, so he does now; he looks on them with weary resignation. "It was you who used the words -- " savior, god. How does one begin to dismantle the impressions of such a boy. One dream will not suffice. "The work was never about me."

He closes his eyes. A presence is behind him, beside him, whispering promise. You can avenge their deaths -- your wife, your boy. I can show you how -- I can give you what you need to do it. Say yes... say yes. Farazh. Farazh, the lord of illusions, and he did not see it until the end. He did not see the man for what he had become until it was too late... the training was imbedded, Elliot said it himself... it was too late, too late, too late. Not too late.

The rain startles him -- Elliot's apology startles him more -- one or the other of these cools the burning of his hands. He lifts his face to the droplets and tastes not rain, but tears and it is familiar. Green eyes lose their color in the midst, growing like shadows here in the absence of brilliant sands. "So little," he murmurs in echo of the boy, a confirmation of his assessment, but the man's voice is light and strange and without emotion inside its texture; it drifts in the nothingness of the dream. He looks; he sees the waters have consumed the land, but the sands remain the bedrock on which they now stand. Still he can feel the pitch of the water, knows the heaviness of its current in the deep. He sees the ship. Its flags lure an eyeless sight, but it is with eyes that he looks on Elliot now -- there is no question in his gaze; no questions of motive, what this could be, why a ship? no questions. What is here in the presence of him is resolve and - a rare willingness to trust.
User avatar
Duquesne
Member
 
Posts: 205
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2007 6:19 pm

Re: A Thoughtful Mind Is A Heavy Dreamer

Postby Glenn » Sat Feb 15, 2014 7:10 am

Of the two here, only one of them had ever traveled on the ocean. Of the two of them, only one had ever truly seen a ship such as this. It was, perhaps, from the memories of the elder man that Elliot drew the paints for his seascape, but there was more. The angles were sharper than any ship's could naturally be. It was larger, the dimensions off, all things that might drive an architect with less imagination to distraction or worse. This was a ship based in reality but released by tales, drunken stories, fantasies and fabrications that a young thief might hear.

"Come on," and there he was off the ground by inches and holding out a hand to Sylvius Duquesne. Trust. Was that what this was about?

The ship had no crew. It had nothing but promise. Freedom. This boy, chained to his own life, chained to a life he did not live, chained to a somnambulist existence chafed at the thought of Sylvius Duquesne a man with every option and with none at all. The ship had no crew because they were to be the crew. "Out there," his voice quiet, drifting on the wind, the grit of sand having been traded for the smell of salt upon the water. "there's a slaver." A further gift. Freedom from a hard decision as well. The grey king upon the board, once taken off of it, might sail against an unquestionable evil, the sort that so rarely existed in the waking world. "I mean to take it." The hand was outstretched still. "Together, you and I."
Glenn
Co-Founder
 
Posts: 2599
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 4:00 am

Re: A Thoughtful Mind Is A Heavy Dreamer

Postby Duquesne » Sat Feb 15, 2014 8:09 am

Experience-Memory existed in endless rows of consecutive panes, here in this mind.

Panes like glass. No, panes like crystal because such a mineral could store information -- or so natural philosophers proposed. Clear panes, one after the other, contain the information of moments stored. To look inside was dangerous; to travel therein, even more dangerous; it was a vault that should be under guard and was in waking life. Memories of a lifetime are here -- look in that pane, brothers fidget in their itchy, stiff school-day clothes and make faces at each other and then ruin their britches in the mud-ponds after hard rains; look in this pane, brothers fidget in portrait-clothes and the stern father's eyes have them still again, like statues for a painter's work; look again and see a boy crossed with envy, too young yet to leave the sterile, cold, terrible, precious elegance of home but watching as his brothers do, splendid in their uniforms, gallant upon their war-mounts. See a young man -- trapped, trapped in the midst of private sorrow and mountains and mountains of tedious books penned by architects and engineers, his own father's name on many -- there were enormous shoes to fill -- too enormous, impossible; shoes large enough to house the feet of the universe -- and his Name is the weight of the world and it is chains and it is friendless duty, tireless obligation. A thousand panes later -- but wait, wait -- these ones are dark, too dark, just the right sort of dark for mourning clothes -- a young woman heavy with child is dead -- wait! do not look too closely there, dreamer. There is nothing good to see.

Panes like crystal. These ones are exhilaratingly blue-blue for oceans; some dark for glorious storms and some bright for windless, beautiful, terrible hours in the middle of glittering nothingness and one would die just for the sight of clouds or a scrap of wind in still sails. This one is salty rain and water rich with promise and the great bulk of a dark ship -- but it is not as it had been in life, having been changed. This vessel has proportions that mesmerize him, that intrigue, and he stares for a century upon its unlikely design. But Elliot's quiet voice drifts and his focus is here -- quickly -- on the young man's outstretched hand as intentions are outlined in few and precious words.

On the wake of the final syllable and its sea-wind hush, he reaches out and grasps that hand. "Let's go."
User avatar
Duquesne
Member
 
Posts: 205
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2007 6:19 pm

Re: A Thoughtful Mind Is A Heavy Dreamer

Postby Glenn » Sat Feb 15, 2014 10:03 am

There was so little middle ground. No, if he had begun in this dreamscape, if he had been lost to all but this dreamer, Elliot Brown would have never reemerged. Now, though, now the two can meet on some shared footing, an understanding even if not a connection. The boythief was lost to the abyss. He was cut off from his body, from his friends, from his future, from even his present. Tethering himself to the world was the only option he had left and moments like this, the only means. If he was more conniving, he would realize that. If he was more conniving, it would never work. No, here and now, he came at this with full earnestness. His heart was on his sleeve and perhaps therefore, it had a chance of success.

They had shook before, agreeing to an apprenticeship in the art of illusion. Before, Sylvius was to bring out the illusion possible in Elliot. Now, Elliot brought the illusion to them. It was in the blink of an eye. Hands locked together and younger man and older left the ground entirely. This was not hovering. It was soaring. Had Ariane Emory explained the feeling of rising above the angered masses upon Hrimfax to her architect? Perhaps so, perhaps not, but ultimately, it would not matter. That would not be what Elliot drew upon. Dreams were ultimately concessional. Elliot could change the flow, the environment, but the person himself? No, it was not until a hand was offered that flight was offered in return. There was no previous experience necessary. This was an integral part of the imagination of every human. Who did not dream of flying?

It was over almost before it began. One blink to take flight. One blink to land, and land they did. No longer were they dressed as before, but instead, they matched their decor, clad in black, with impossibly curved blades at their side and bandanas at their necks. It was a minor miracle, perhaps, that Sylvius did not have a hook for a hand or a peg for a leg. "Come on," Elliot released his grip and ran for the nearest rigging. Of course he didn't know the first thing about sailing, but he did know quite a bit about poking at things around him until something happened. "You're not too old for hard work then, are you?"
Glenn
Co-Founder
 
Posts: 2599
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 4:00 am

Re: A Thoughtful Mind Is A Heavy Dreamer

Postby Duquesne » Sat Feb 15, 2014 2:10 pm

Hrimfax was simply a fierce horse, yes. That is what he knew and believed and there was no evidence to suggest otherwise. But they have ascended such heights in the moment, the eye-blink, that his brain still registers the flight and assigns it sensation; their eye-blink descent thrills his stomach much in the same way.

It began and was done, so quickly it is already forgotten -- for the ship has her crew now and they know their courses. And it surely does not matter that they neither of them are sailors in life, for it is a dream -- it has become their dream -- and the ship will respond as it must.

Down comes the rain still, but it is not the deluge of storms, not quite. The deck gleams with its watery finish; the vessel, she pitches slow and creaks in accordance with each swell that comes to her; her rigging is dark with wet and her sails remind him of something... something, what was it. "Old, you say," and he looks down from those towering masts to Elliot, who seems much less a boy and more a man there, black-clad and fearsome. He grins suddenly. "Old my arse. Try to keep up, kid." Another eye-blink finds him with ropes in hands and he's pulling, trimming the yards, eyes wild with exhilaration. His boy-self had dreamed of this -- perhaps this even was a part of that dream, tucked away and forgotten until now -- but to him in those younger days, nothing was more glorious or adventuresome. He stops, squinting through the rain at Elliot. "Oh, before we get far -- nice getup."
User avatar
Duquesne
Member
 
Posts: 205
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2007 6:19 pm

Re: A Thoughtful Mind Is A Heavy Dreamer

Postby Glenn » Sat Feb 15, 2014 3:51 pm

There was a crow's nest. There was a crow. It helped to be able to fly. Or was it jumping? Or climbing? Regardless, he was up there well above even as the Duck Noose did the lion's share of the work. A spyglass was in hand as Elliot Brown stared out. He'd used one of these before but never like this, never with such exhilaration and purpose. "Ship, ho! Is that what they say? I know about land, but..." And there was a sheepish look in the midst of the dream that hopefully Duquesne could not see, despite his enhanced senses. "Hell with it. Ship, ho. Let's ram it!"

That sounded like the sort of things pirates did after all. Elliot didn't know the first thing about any of this. He knew about misdirection (if not outright illusion), about distraction (the same), and about having deft hands and quick wits and reckless abandon that simply couldn't be expected. The idea of ramming fell into at least one of those.

Whether or not he saw the sheepish expression, or felt it, as dreams might allow, the ship, far off but ever closer, larger than theirs, more foreboding by far, would be apparent now. It's arrival would be heralded by Elliot's first scream and followed immediately thereafter by his laugh. "Getup, huh? So you can sound like a human being after all." The smile would be a clearer expression by far. "Let's see if you can fight like one."
Glenn
Co-Founder
 
Posts: 2599
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 4:00 am

Re: A Thoughtful Mind Is A Heavy Dreamer

Postby Duquesne » Sun Feb 16, 2014 7:26 am

"They say 'thar be a ship'," he calls over the rush of wind, but even he is not sure that is what sailors actually say. 'Ship, ho!' sounded good and, according to some, aesthetic words were already one-half truth solely by their being said. What had a friend stated years ago? Say it like you've said it for a hundred years, even if you've never said it before in your life.

Blacks sails are full on their yards and if they are not full, they ripple loudly until the ship drops her bow over a swell and the wind catches them taut with a sound like thunder. Timbers in the hull shudder as the man runs to the rails and half-climbs the ratlines, leaning out enough to see the slaver looming there beyond the sails. That ship is huge, a hulking threat -- it would be madness to take her on, but madness was the bulk of courage, and this was also a dream. And in the bizarre heart of dreams lay the boldest, most daring schemes of all. Elliot's command comes down over the creak of the shrouds and the rumble of the sails. He looks up, squinting against the rain at that figure there, high in the crow's nest above. "Like a human -- guess you caught me on a good day!" or night, because it was night somewhere in reality and in life the man's face was unceremoniously crushed into the corner of a goose-fill pillow as he slept the sleep of the dead -- and as with all such deep sleeps, there would no doubt be an embarrassing amassment of drool. All the dream-self can do is throw Elliot a wild grin -- kill like a human; fight like an animal.

He's on the quarterdeck now and in command of the wheel, with a poignant view of the sea-sloshed deck and the ship's trembling braces. Upward she pitches to crush a sea-swell and then down on the other side with a white, foamy spray over the rails. They are gaining fast, coming up a few hundred yards off the slaver's starboard side -- too fast, it seems for they soon overtake the larger vessel's position -- but there is a scheme behind all this speed. He hauls on the wheel and there in the deep-blues under the ship, the rudder carves the water, and the bow of the ship pulls to port. This course will see them into the path of that much greater ship for sure, a dangerous place to be -- she would chew them to oblivion beneath her keel.

Ordinarily, it might not be done -- ordinarily, a man would need a full crew to even make the attempt -- but this is their glorious un-reality and it is done nevertheless. The sails begin to furl themselves, leaking gallons of water down onto the deck as they roll into their yards, so that this smaller ship slows dramatically without the wind to drive it. To his left, the anchor chain rolls out with a moment's hideous noise and the anchor crashes into the water. "Get ready, crow!" he cries at Elliot, as the slaver looms to their left. And as the anchor tows hard beneath the water, their bow swings hard to port and he spins the wheel to assist the maneuver.

Still under sail, the slaver's momentum is far too great to change courses now -- she sails herself right into the bowsprit of this smaller vessel and the sound, indeed the force, of the collision is monstrous -- it is -- wonderfully, horribly gratifying. The bowsprit penetrates the slaver's starboard hull with a terrible crack before it breaks away completely. Their small ship, this swift thing without a name, grates along tearing and shredding timber, even as it is itself torn and shred. Syl's hands are off the wheel now, which has become dangerous, and the quaking and lurching of the vessel underfoot throws him down.
User avatar
Duquesne
Member
 
Posts: 205
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2007 6:19 pm

Next

Return to Myrken Wood



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest