From Whence We Came

Re: From Whence We Came

Postby Glenn » Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:53 pm

"I am no longer sure I wish to be me." That was an oversimplification. It might have even been completely wrong, but she was unrelenting. She threw at him so many absolutes. Arrows would be easier to dodge. There was no ease, no relief to be found in her, in this conversation. She pushed without restraint or remorse against a tree with a rotted root. Could she not hear the creaks? For all of her lofty declarations of responsibility and need, couldn't it be that she simply wanted to tarnish one more thing more beautiful than herself.

He took a step away from her, two steps, then three. She wanted him to run? He was considering running. Away from her. "I understand need. I understand purpose. I understand calling. I do not understand I." His lip quivered ever so slightly. He understood puns too, though not well enough to know for sure if he had made an unintentional one there. Was it in bad taste? Being in bad taste still made him sick to his stomach, generally without him realizing it until it was already done and he'd corrected his behavior. There was no behavior correct or incorrect enough for Gloria Wynsee though. No behavior was enough for she would always want more.

He had so little to give. "It's as if you'd put a sword in my hand to ensure that I not use it. That's madness. It's a leap that makes no sense, Miss Wynsee." Still, he was a young man of discipline, and he forced himself into a false calm as he stared her down, though not before he took one last step back. "If I am to believe you, all of you, instead of every memory I have, then I am to believe that everything I am was created, fake." It was an impossible premise to start from. It meant wiping the slate clean. Or it meant doing as she said, but could she not see the flaws there? He did, certainly. "You'd have me embrace that falsehood! Why? Because there's a need for more lying? Because it's easier? When do lies do anyone good?"

He was a knight, yes, something out of fables and storybooks, something made to accent and accessorize a Myrken that never was, that only existed in a madwoman's fantasies. That knight was crafted of false memories, of course. Those false memories were crafted, however, out of the real memories of Elliot Brown, before the point of deviation and even after. At the root of Gahald was the stubborn and animalistically canny Brown. That had always been the crack in the facade. An artist was only as good as her materials. The hair on his neck, fair and fine as it had somehow grown to become, still stood slightly as he stared at her with his one good eye, the discarded chrysalis of a boy's accusations shining upon her. "Gloria Wynsee, is this about me? Is it about Myrken Wood and what it needs? Or is it all really about you in the end?"
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Re: From Whence We Came

Postby Rance » Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:23 am

"Of course you don't understand you. Nobody does, Gahald. Don't you see," she chimed, with a morsel of budding impatience, "how real it is, to be unsure? To be afraid, or walk paths that are unfamiliar or frightening?

"If you understood yourself, I'd call you a god."

In the Sunlight, her brown flesh gleamed like damp soil. As rusty as the blade she held.

"If you understood yourself, I'd beg you to teach me the methods."

But this did not work. One did not pick up a stone and scream at it, You are a stone! and expect it to understand. What became more and more clear to her was how much of a child this one-eyed Elliot Gahald still was: that inside, once all the façades of his existence had been stripped away, peeled off him like dead skin burnt by an unrelenting Sun, he had nothing. No mass, no constituents, no agents of being. Just a desperate want for direction, but an absolute fear of taking such a risk — for what if it was false, or untrue, or misguided? When he met her with that lone eye, it met hers, those steely, stone-colored, dull things. Their unresponsiveness to light — for the pupils neither swelled nor diminished at the insistence of radiance or shadow, broken as they were by the Jernoan daylight — provided them an almost alien emptiness. The kind that pierced.

Gloria Wynsee, is this about me?

"Yes," she breathed—

Is it about Myrken Wood and what it needs?

"Yes," she said—

Or is it all really about you in the end?

"Yes," she told him—

—and none of those responses came with hesitation. Here, he struggled with this clash of purpose and creation, like a child in a great spider's cocoon, thrashing in silk that ever-tightened, ever-stifled. Gods, she could bombard him with more and more ideals, with this battery of conviction that made its barracks inside her chest. But that would not help him; it would only interfere, to be the hammer that struck too many times at the molten blade.

So this time, she stuck the sword into the ground, then reached out to touch him again. Not in intimacy, nor misguided affection, but in gentleness. Softness. If he did not draw away, his hand would be hers, lofted in her own with the airy softness of a seamstress' touch.

A reminder that he was here.

Don't run, the touch could have said, if only he listened. Don't flee.

"I want you to have the opportunity to build for yourself and — and your life what it is you desire most. To have open to you the avenues of profession and passion and belonging. That's all," Gloria said to him. "That's all."
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Re: From Whence We Came

Postby Glenn » Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:27 am

What he had, even as he had nothing, was poise. Who in Myrken Wood had poise, an artificiality in the face of everything this accursed place threw at them? Teahouse Girls and Elliot Gahald. No one else. Very few stones in this world were made for symbolic purpose, for appearances. He was a gilded sword, not sharp but blunt. In the right hands, however, he could bruise and batter, could kill. A sword could not wield itself, however.

She did not have poise, but nor did she have hesitation. She lived and breathed her answers, even as he was detached and almost theatrical, a player on a stage carrying a script adorned in beautiful calligraphy but that was chewed up by a rabid pack of wolves, squinting with one eye shut for his next line and struggling to work out his motivation. Despite that, when he was not thinking about it, his performance was impeccable. He was best suited not to be a player at all but instead a painted wooden stand-up of a bush. Myrken could find none finer.

If only he wasn't trying so blasted hard to think his way through the scene.

She touched him and he did not flee. At least she was no longer tearing apart the set or adding another wolf's toothmark to his script. The words came easily, too easily, but he meant them as he always did. "I am glad you have found your kindness, Miss Wynsee. When you are able to do so, it is a testament to you. You are not ugly, but you are the most not ugly when you speak kind words that you believe."

He saw what he wanted to saw, or perhaps, he saw only what he was capable of seeing. Still, that was a choice made, even if it may not have been his own. "I do wish to serve Myrken Wood. I think I did it harm, even though I never intended to do so. Moreover, if what was told to me is true, I did a great deal of harm that I cannot remember, unlawful acts and wanton burglary. I would begin with small tasks, however. Tasks of the body." There was strength in his hand, obvious strength that she would be able to recognize even though he did not squeeze. "Starting with Snowstill. I ask that you do not stop expecting more from me, however, if that burden is not too much for you to carry."
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Re: From Whence We Came

Postby Rance » Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:13 pm

"I am not averse to burdens."

For she'd great shoulders, fit for the labor of sweat and muscle. And under the weight of this new load, she seemed to strengthen, even unfurl. Like a serpent of ribbon.

"You did do Myrken Wood harm." Gloria Wynsee did not shy away from the truth; often, like a burning Sun, she scorched with it, and all too frequently burned herself in the process. Her left eye twitched as the edge of her lips tried to draw up into a comforting, even commiserating smile. "But so I have I, and likely more. But a good town ought not go without bearing marks and scars from its tenants, else it would be but a house and not a home.

"What will be remembered more fondly, when we're gone, will be the goodness we strive to do. Of that, there is a lot left in you. That was not Created in you. It flowered," she reasoned, "of its own accord." She gripped his hand for but a few moments more before she released it, stepped back twice, three times, four times, as if locked in a stern, courtly choreography. "If expectation is what you wish for me to have, then I promise you this: it will be crude and clumsy expectation; it will be loud, as I am wont to be, and — and red-faced; it will see to you weekly, and demand to lend its one hand to a few hours of Snowstill's healing.

"So if you cannot stomach this—" and the finger, brandished before her, could have been a crone's, or a mother's, "—tell me now to abandon this task, before you exhaust of it."

They both knew, didn't they, that even if he said to her now No, on second thought, Gloria Wynsee would not heed it. Gahald, in this unspoken truce, had requested a favor of her. It would be done. In this, she found her inner warhammer. How Gloria Wynsee, in her Jerno birth, had ever managed to awaken and find herself a seamstress was a mystery for the ages.

Afternoon crested the sky. The morning fog had burnt away. The hot wind of a new day blasted across them. It dragged strands of her black-and-ash hair out of her bonnet, freed them, made them snap and crack like flags in the breeze. Did he see, and did she see, as she impaled her twilight and let it bleed out into the grass?

Half-turned, she asked him, "Why Snowstill? Why there," while picking at a pill of fabric on the rib of her dress. She could have walked away. Could have ended it with their agreement, like business. Like Myrkeners.

But sometimes it was nice just to talk.
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