Feathers

Re: Feathers

Postby Glenn » Fri Mar 12, 2021 5:13 am

In truth, his experimentation as of late had provided him conflicting results. There were old letters and other objects that still held her glamourie and while he did feel the bottom drop out upon him to a degree, it was not at all like before. This was not a huge surprise. He had taken measures, scant measures, and while they had begun to show some signs of being effective in the most minor ways, he knew by now the effect an experience like that day in the Wood, with her power, with Catch's, with whatever else might have been at play, could have upon one. It was better, but the downside to that was that he couldn't tell as easily if this apparent lack of a glamourie was a glamourie itself, that is, whether Catch had healed her but she either wanted or needed to present herself otherwise. He imagined, though there was no true way to document this given the resources he had, that one's inner thoughts and feelings could easily affect one's glamourie, especially if one let their guard down along those lines. He just didn't know, but he knew it would feel real to him one way or the other, so there was no point in hesitating, no point in doing anything but take her hand.

His own did not show signs of such recent work. If the removed nails were part of a ploy, it was not one from the last day. Her hand in his, he led her across the nail-less, rug-covered floor into a room. In the corner of the room (though still a good foot away from the wall) was a cushioned chair, one that was fabric and wool and little else. The room itself, once he saw to lighting it, had color: a light green rug with darker greens painted upon the walls, a yellow that mimicked the sun for a ceiling. Not actual plants though. That would be a bit much. The floors creaked with the "Sit down. You'll sink a bit but I'll help you up later if you need it. I'll get you something so you can dry off. If you want tea, that'll have to wait. I'm not going to offer you three different drinks or anything like that. Not for lack of consideration or effort on my part. Don't think that. We just don't have the luxury currently. If there's something you want to drink that I can get you quickly, just tell me. If I have it, it's yours."
Glenn
Co-Founder
 
Posts: 2985
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 4:00 am

Re: Feathers

Postby Niabh » Fri Mar 12, 2021 5:35 am

It was not glamourie that caused the room to seem stiller and chillier than it normally might have done, nor was there anything magical about the way her simply standing perfectly still in the doorway, watching Glenn reel off his speech, seemed to suck all other sound all out of the room, until it seemed the only noise was his talking. While he spoke, she remained where she stood, regarding him with a look of skepticism tinged ever so faintly by disgust.

Only after he was finished speaking—and with a brief secondary pause, which gave the impression she was making certain he hadn’t anything more to add—did she step into the room, maneuvering neatly around the chair to the hearth. Balancing on one foot, and with an extremely dry, pointed look at Glenn, she flicked open the fire-screen’s hook with the toe of her boot, then used the same foot to fold back the metal doors. Turning her back to him, she crouched on the hearthstone to lay a few split lengths on the grate, then leaned forward to blow a long steady breath upon the wood. The fibers crackled and a small flower of flame blossomed and caught hold.

Only then did she settle, knees folded tight and arms crossed over her breasts, upon the hearthstone’s edge, waiting. Her dripping hair quickly tattooed a darker green half-circle on the rug around her feet.
Anything can be magic if you're gullible enough.
User avatar
Niabh
Member
 
Posts: 674
Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2015 4:40 pm

Re: Feathers

Postby Glenn » Fri Mar 12, 2021 6:13 am

He was silent as she worked. Previously, wherever Glenn Burnie had resided, wherever Benedict or so rarely, Fionnuala herself, had found him, was no home. It was lived in, full of supplies and a modicum of comfort, but outside of Myrken as it was, there was no true sense of ownership. Here, he offered her things that carried upon them more a sense of belonging. Very shortly after the fire was stoked, he returned with blankets, the sort one would expect Glenn Burnie to have, well-made, functional, and completely dull in shade and design. They immediately clashed with the room, as he clashed with it. Of the two, at least one provided warmth. Functional things were meant to be used and not hoarded or hidden away. He expressed no concern or restraint in the blankets ending up wet as he placed them beside her.

"You're probably irritated with me for spending time on this instead of that," he started, before deciding it needed more. "This room instead of the people outside of it. Time is a luxury I have lately. I been working on both, but only now see any success in the this and still none in the that."
Glenn
Co-Founder
 
Posts: 2985
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 4:00 am

Re: Feathers

Postby Niabh » Fri Mar 12, 2021 7:10 am

Fionn raised her hands to receive the blankets, then set them both aside on the hearthstone beside her hip, before she promptly bent forward and stripped her sopping shirt over her head. No grace, no self-consciousness, no air of seduction. She turned aside briefly to hang her shirt over the edge of the fire-screen; it was much too wet to be in danger of anything more than steaming, and she carefully plucked at the folds to spread the cloth evenly while scowling in concentration at avoiding the metal. Firelight gleamed off the furrowed web of scars down her back.

Turning back, she used the corner of one blanket to scrub her face, then her shoulders, down both arms, and her chest. Long experience taught her it was useless trying to dry any more than that when her hair was wet. The other blanket she wrapped around herself like an oversized shawl, lifting her hair from underneath and shaking her fingers through it to spread it evenly, so that it would dry faster.

Still she shivered, huddled tight under the blanket. There was something of the raven in her expression: attentive by virtue of her ear flicking forward when he spoke, and by her head turning to follow him as he moved, but otherwise incurious. Glenn seemed to be providing his own commentary, and since the one point where she was included—why she might be irritated with him, or that he presumed her irritated at all—was wrong, she saw no point in responding.
Anything can be magic if you're gullible enough.
User avatar
Niabh
Member
 
Posts: 674
Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2015 4:40 pm

Re: Feathers

Postby Glenn » Mon Mar 15, 2021 1:19 am

It had been a decision, one that he would have been happy to explain as it caused her some level of discomfort (which, in turn, caused Burnie some rare discomfit, the sort he only truly felt when an honest effort was unquestionably flawed). It had been driven, as much as anything else, by the conflagration of the woods. He had thought about bricking it over, about painting over that, but better real fire than glammed fire and real fire without at least some metal for protection would have been a tremendous mistake. Removing nails were one thing. This was something else and she almost seemed to welcome the extra effort; she was certainly used to it. It had its own symbolic meaning anyway: nothing could truly be unconditional between the two of them. Instead of being a tragedy, that just made the efforts that they went to all the more meaningful.

He didn't explain. Maybe he didn't have to or maybe it just wouldn't matter right now one way or the other. Maybe it never would have. He didn't smile at her, though there was an exhale through his nose, a pointed thing (the exhale, not the nose), though not quite a scoff and not hardly exasperation. It was resigned and followed, a moment later, by a soft nod, and a silent enough (as any silence at all is enough with him) Glenn Burnie who navigated around wet fabrics and a wet rug to sit by her.
Glenn
Co-Founder
 
Posts: 2985
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 4:00 am

Re: Feathers

Postby Niabh » Mon Mar 15, 2021 2:34 am

Out of the wind, her teeth finally stopped chattering. One last deep inhale, and her breathing smoothed. Her fingers still felt numb and thick. She tucked them under her arms, still hanging onto the blanket and a little surprised he even offered to sit beside her, given his streak of prudery. Then again, she thought, in this state, she was more apt to inspire pity than passion. Lost dog taken in from the rain.

She shuffled to make room for him on the hearthstone. A board shifted underfoot, raising a wrinkle in the middle of the carpet. Just as she had with the fire screen, she gave him a wry look, then pressed down the board a few more times—creak, thump. creak, thump—and raised an eyebrow, both a question and an amusement.

Then she rested her temple against the point of his shoulder, only long enough to let him feel the weight of her gratitude before she moved away again. She rubbed her throat, cleared it. Her voice was low and rusty. “Ha—have you any coffee?”
Anything can be magic if you're gullible enough.
User avatar
Niabh
Member
 
Posts: 674
Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2015 4:40 pm

Re: Feathers

Postby Glenn » Mon Mar 15, 2021 7:17 am

"I'm no carpenter and if you're a musician, my floor is not your ideal instrument," the stories of her people and music were contradictory, to say the least. Panpipes and the sort could draw someone off the path, but they were constantly going after bards and the sort. That word meant something different to her people than his, though there were some shared qualities: it'd be likening a carriage driver and a breeder. Both had something to do with horses, bard and bard both had something to do with stories. It went to figure then, that whatever they defined the tultharian bards to be, it wasn't with that word. He'd ask about it at some point except for that he didn't really care. Yes, you could learn much from culture, and he did, but when it came to song and dance she seemed far more hedonistic than appraising. Still, best not to offended. Therefore, a definite approach for him and a conditional one for her.

He'd just gotten down when she asked for something he wouldn't have readily available. She'd anticipated this eventuality by moving away from him already. His current state of dress was loose, as was his usual state of dress, but there was perhaps surprising power in his legs as he vaulted himself up.

Though he was no cook, there was a part of the rowhouse meant for food preparation (for it predated his arrival and did not care whether or not he was a cook), and she might hear rustling and noises coming from there. After a minute or two, he popped his head back in. He hadn't changed his clothing. He hadn't brought her any other supplies. "It'll be ready soon. Do you need anything else?"
Glenn
Co-Founder
 
Posts: 2985
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 4:00 am

Re: Feathers

Postby Niabh » Mon Mar 15, 2021 8:46 am

Her gaze followed him out the door and remained there. Idly she wondered where he’d vanished to, and felt a touch smug to have made him jump up and down at a whim. Not exactly a whim. She was still chilled through and she hadn’t had coffee for ages. Served him right, anyway. She’d hopped up and down enough fetching dinner when he came to her in the Woods and he hadn’t acted the least grateful. Now it was his turn. Now—

Now she found herself staring in blank confusion at an empty doorway in an unfamiliar room, waiting for someone and unable to remember who.

Glenn. Glenn. She was waiting for Glenn. Except she couldn’t be; he had come to see her, at the camp. She had seen him in Razasan. She was sure of it. She had knocked on the door in Razasan and Glenn answered.

There it was. She was waiting for Glenn. She closed her eyes and exhaled in relief, her shoulders slowly uncoiling. At least she’d sorted it out before he got back.

And then he was back, and he could not miss her audibly sucking in her breath and jerking up straight. “It isn’t Razasan, though,” she said, nearly demanding it of him. “That was the time before.”
Anything can be magic if you're gullible enough.
User avatar
Niabh
Member
 
Posts: 674
Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2015 4:40 pm

Re: Feathers

Postby Glenn » Tue Mar 16, 2021 1:16 am

What was normalcy to Glenn Burnie anyway? How long had it been? Trace it back: the time since his arrival, more of a pariah than not, less willing than ever to fix that notion; his time in Razasan, a stranger in a land he did not make writing more in his journal and in his letters than anything more substantial, making no friends there; the decline and withering in Myrken after Rhaena's death and Golben; the years of being detached from himself as Governor, a pointed blade at the throat of all around him with no introspection and no time for pleasantries that did not serve a purpose; the sundering, then. How many years ago now? Too many. At some point, that demarcation became more than half of what mattered. He'd not done enough since the beginning of whatever poor excuse for restoration one might categorize this stage of his life as.

Still, he was more used to statements such as these than anything that went for normalcy to the general population of this province or any other. He responded without hesitation. "We're in Myrken. I just arrived back from Razasan. I met you. I met Catch. I was taken. The forest burned. You saved it, at a cost. You've been with Catch since. You sent me three letters. I sent you one back. Now you're here." Short sentences, a simple progression to a string of events that remained full of logical gaps and unanswered questions. Then, with the tiniest bit of amusement upon his brow, tugging at his cheeks, he lifted his head back and shut his eyes for the time it took to utter one word. "Hello." Then he was looking at her again.
Glenn
Co-Founder
 
Posts: 2985
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 4:00 am

Re: Feathers

Postby Niabh » Tue Mar 16, 2021 3:17 am

Her brow creased, both stern and discomfited, and she shifted uneasily at his explanation. There had been such a lot of letters, though. Far more than three and many more than one, a whole fat packet of letters; she couldn’t be mistaken about that, since she’d just looked at them yesterday. Some days ago. Some time that wasn’t now. He must have already written them, since she certainly had them. She wished she had them now, so she could pull them out and prove to him she was right, save that being right about anything was no more than a fleeting impulse, too much effort to bother with. Beneath it, she was glad she had not brought them, in case he proved her wrong and left her stranded again.

But he remembered Razasan, and that was an independently confirmed landmark. If he remembered, then it had already happened. She nodded, relieved, and quietly stuck a pin through the verification: this was Myrken.

She did manage a smile and a tiny, silent huff of a chuckle at the end. Whatever time it was, she knew as fact that they were already much too far along for helloes; helloes came at the beginning, and as far as she could tell, she and Glenn had been in the middle of something for as long as they’d known each other. One great long muddled middle. They’d skipped the introductions. Whenever possible, Glenn even skipped the goodbyes.

One hand raised shyly, and she waggled her fingers at him. Hello.

The hand fell to her lap, and her gaze leveled on him. “You knew I would come if you needed me. I always do.” She did not sound particularly happy at the fact.

Her eyes strayed away, traveling across the room and floor under his feet. A corner of her mouth twisted. “I cannot but think that somewhere nearby must be a cask of nails. Will you put them all back again when I go?”
Anything can be magic if you're gullible enough.
User avatar
Niabh
Member
 
Posts: 674
Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2015 4:40 pm

Re: Feathers

Postby Glenn » Tue Mar 16, 2021 7:01 am

They were both lacking the proper information for baselines. Her lack fed into his lack, but it wasn't entirely the same problem, only mostly. He had made an assumption, a false assumption, but he had no real way of knowing it. Still, it was the guess of least resistance, but one that only told him what he did not know, not what there was to know.

It was hard not to smile a little at her waggling fingers. This was a meeting full of vulnerabilities. He had shown one to get her to come. She showed a new one every few seconds, it seemed. Even the floor was uniquely vulnerable relative to all other floors in Myrken Wood.

There were vulnerabilities and there was a gaping wound before him, and it was all that he could do not to go charging into that hole to try to mend it. In fact, it meant so much more vulnerability for him not to do that. It meant carrying a burden far more openly for far longer a period. It meant holding himself open, not to match that wound, for then they would both be lost, but instead to show her the one that he truthfully had so that she could feel her arrival necessary and her current state to be a safe one. "Thank you for coming, regardless."

Still, the little smiles helped and he returned them as if her lips tugged on his and his on hers. "I knew for a while that this would be a room meant for you. There's a cask of nails, yes. Maybe someday, if you return to your people with every intention of being queen of queens and none of returning back here, I'll put the nails back so I don't trip all over myself. For now, this is a room meant for you, maybe the only room like it." His word choice was careful; of course it was. Nothing was given, nothing gifted, nothing ask, but everything intended.
Glenn
Co-Founder
 
Posts: 2985
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 4:00 am

Re: Feathers

Postby Niabh » Tue Mar 16, 2021 7:31 am

After her silence, she cut him off nearly before his final word was out: “I mean after I go this night. What ploy will you use to summon me next? Will you put on that ring of hers at last? Use my charm while looking in the glass? Or will you slit your wrists?” She stared at him without blinking, a tremor in her voice. “Or mayhap you do not intend me to leave.”
Anything can be magic if you're gullible enough.
User avatar
Niabh
Member
 
Posts: 674
Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2015 4:40 pm

Re: Feathers

Postby Glenn » Tue Mar 16, 2021 7:47 am

Those words would have likely hurt someone, many people, perhaps, most people, but he wasn't any of them. Maybe that was the problem. Those words would have brought into this world (or at least revealed) a glorious defensiveness in others: a stomping, screaming, demand that she admit that she had a clear path back out of that room and all the way to the door. Not him though. She stared without blinking and he met her stare. To his credit, he didn't smile more, but the tug didn't go anywhere. Of course it didn't. "I answered your question clearly, Finn. It is the only answer."

He broke the stare for a moment to glance at the doorway, mentally timing just how long they had before he had to dash back out to see to the coffee. He was not at all chastised when he looked back to her. "Every word was true. It is a truth that blesses you three times and curses you but once. My greatest hope in my return was having you in my life more directly, at least for a time. I am disappointed at best and more accurately rather heartbroken," there the smile faded as he opened himself back up to this before to make sure each word was, in fact truth, "that I do not see you regularly. Moreover, I am far worse off than I was in not being able to correspond with you; I was better off in Razasan than this. Blessing. Blessing. Blessing, though that last one is bittersweet, I suppose. You'll take some joy from it but only in private." That left the with the curse, and she knew it well. "I'd only admit any of that, would only let myself feel it, and in turn, the true enjoyment of actually being with you, if there was something I saw as a greater need. The easiest, most freeing, most worthwhile thing in the world for you is both difficult for me and something that I only allow of myself to accomplish some greater purpose. A curse, though one with a silver lining as I find you to be worthy of such a thing. So two truths then, the first that drew you back and the second that's more than obvious now. Even to me. Despite myself. If a thing can be both wretched and beautiful, then nothing is that more than my need."
Glenn
Co-Founder
 
Posts: 2985
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 4:00 am

Re: Feathers

Postby Niabh » Tue Mar 16, 2021 11:23 am

Halfway through his speech, she closed her eyes. So many overlapping words made her dizzy; she was no longer used to them. She might have been listening to him or to the rain.

He’s doing it again. The thought clanged hollow. A bell without a clapper, no context to strike against. Only familiarity. He’s doing it again.

She rubbed the bridge of her nose to ease the strain. Echoing the tone she heard in her head, she murmured, “He’s doing it again.” If she could pinpoint where she had the thought before, it wouldn't nag her so.

Then she opened her eyes, and saw she was still in the same place she was before. Still in Myrken.

“You knew I would come,” she repeated, with a hoarse burr in the back of her throat. “I told you I do not come when I am expected, yet you expected me and here I am. I knew why you wanted me here, and still I came. Your need is not the blessing you suppose it to be.”

Lowering her head, she added in a vicious mutter, “Part of me thinks you would do it, if it were the only thing to be done. Part of me thinks you value yourself too highly to risk it, even for a victory. Mayhap I should not tell you it would work.”

She looked up from her lap only when he glanced toward the door and the cookery beyond. Her ear twisted forward, focusing. “Something’s boiling. I’ll still be here when you get back.”
Anything can be magic if you're gullible enough.
User avatar
Niabh
Member
 
Posts: 674
Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2015 4:40 pm

Re: Feathers

Postby Glenn » Tue Mar 16, 2021 11:57 am

Was it? He wasn't sure. He hadn't thought so. Not quite yet, but maybe. Probably. "Okay." Without another word, and likely there were still words left within him (there were always words left within him. She knew it from the letters, but it was something else entirely in person), he left. He would return shortly with two cups on two saucers, both full. His gait was meaningful, swift, his hands steady. The liquid was hot. He had no hesitation. Only when he got a few feet away from her did he slow, did he start to dip so that he could hand her one. "Strong and hot. Be careful."

This fit better into the mood of before, where she was jumping in and out of the now. It felt like there was no going back to where they were before, but went back he did. "I was thinking, out there. It's a bit like a glamourie in reverse. You'd think it'd be worth questioning. If someone has to put on his own truths like a veil, are they truths at all? They are though. I'm not sure where selfish begins and strategic ends anymore."

He'd sit then, beside her, like before, and he'd take too long a sip of his coffee. It was hot. He didn't seem to care. "I expected you because I came back to Myrken for you." When he laughed a moment later, it was more bitter than the drink. Still, he found a pale smile after it. "You're right, of course. My truth isn't worthy of this moment."
Glenn
Co-Founder
 
Posts: 2985
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 4:00 am

PreviousNext

Return to Myrken Wood



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests