Tapestry: A Bower Scene

Re: Tapestry: A Bower Scene

Postby catch » Sun Jun 23, 2019 2:58 pm

He didn't know that he had been holding his breath. He didn't know if he needed to breathe. It was one of those things, those childish things, that he often thought of as he lay awake at night - in bed - because that is what one was supposed to do, though it wasn't that often that he did it. Sometimes he would try it out, and hold his breath, and wonder what it would feel like. He still didn't know. He thought maybe his attention wandered. Or maybe it just grew too unpleasant to continue. Maybe that was it. Not breathing felt unpleasant, so he would continue doing it -

He didn't know what he could say, or should say. After her story, there is silence. After her request, there is silence, long and unbroken. Not from the world. Just from him. The crows still croaked, the finches still darted and beeped, a foolish frog let out occasional, lazy croaks.

He realized that he felt very unpleasant, now, and he let out such a blast of air that it even fluttered the grass in front of him.

"Wh-what is th-that?" he asks, still as shaky as a newborn fawn.
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Re: Tapestry: A Bower Scene

Postby Niabh » Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:46 pm

The silence went on long enough to wonder if perhaps she had said nothing at all—sitting there like a stone with the speech composed in her head and not a word spoken aloud. Long enough to realize she had trying to hold her breath along with him so as not to break the quiet. The fluttery panic in her chest could have been her lungs straining for air or pure anxiousness as she waited, waited.

But he broke it first. She, too, let out a softer sigh, eyelids lowering in relief.

Still she kept watch on him, peeking through her feathered lashes. It did not do to take one’s eye off Catch.

“Oh, godmothers are lovely. They give her blessings to protect her, and take her on secret outings, and fill her up with too many sweets, and show her how to ride, and find her the best tutors to teach her her law and her letters. When she’s a little older, a godmother makes sure she has beautiful clothes and jewels, and helps find her a good match.”

When her eyes lifted at last, they fixed on his mismatched ones with unfathomable intensity. Her own greed caught in her mouth, mixed with the taste of almonds, and she swallowed back saliva. The ganconner’s gaze. The one that emptied the rest of the world and put the two of them in the very center of a turning wheel that need not concern them. The heat of the day dissipated, and the finch’s song became faint.

“I am Queen, Catch. If I were her godmother, she’d have me and every person sworn to me, all my ladies and their armies. And we live so much longer than any human that for the rest of her life, whenever she had need, she could call on us. She would never be alone. And when—” if “—I have a daughter of my own, they’d be like sisters.”

Finally she blinked, as if waking from a dream. The world slowly gathered around them once more. Her bright head bowed, and she clutched her hands together in her lap.

“And because I want to do something for you, too, mo leannan. She is yours. No one will ever treat her as you’ve been treated. Not if I have anything to say about it.”

Put that way, it seemed such an innocent thing that for a moment, she even believed her own intentions. A child who could be given every advantage Fionn could command. A child who would be safe from tultharian eyes that would see only strangeness and danger. A little girl upon whom she could lavish all the affection Fionn could never give him.
Anything can be magic if you're gullible enough.
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Re: Tapestry: A Bower Scene

Postby catch » Fri Jul 12, 2019 2:34 pm

If he could remember, then this would sound so very familiar to him. And maybe it would hurt it to hear that. Even so, she could see it. There is hooded withdrawal in his eyes as she speaks, the subtle and physical withdrawal as he shifts on his curled legs - leaning away from the assault on her words. And he could not explain why.

Pillows and perfume. Candies and cottons. Dresses and dowries. Gold and chains.

Despite the warmth, he trembles. Like a serpent held a flute's captive, he sways with the cadence of her words.

"Th-that all sounds very grand." This was Fionnuala, Tuatha. Never would it hurt. Never would vague misgivings give rise to concrete ones, no matter what Glenn Burnie had ever done.

"I suppose - I suppose it's all right. To b-b-be a Godmother."

God. And there was that word. A Magic and a Curse.
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Re: Tapestry: A Bower Scene

Postby Niabh » Fri Jul 12, 2019 4:11 pm

As he withdrew, she intruded. The more he stiffened, the more liquid she became, oozing her shoulders forward until her weight rested on one palm, like a cat poised midstep. Her upturned, sweetly pleading face raise to look at his, and if there was fear there, her black eyes were blind to it. They were empty of anything save want and pure adoration. The empty space in her chest sealed closed. Now there was only the throb of her heart, a virulent pustule that might split open and flood her with its feverish, poisonous love. The ganconner's blood hummed in her temples. She was deliriously happy.

"You have to say it," she told him softly. "You have to say I am her godmother."
Anything can be magic if you're gullible enough.
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Re: Tapestry: A Bower Scene

Postby catch » Sat Jul 13, 2019 4:07 am

Her breath was sweet and rotten with almonds. Her eyes consumed him. They were black, black pits, black petals floating in thick, black milk.

His face is a nothing. His mind is a nothing, his lips trembling, parroting empty words because Fionnuala wants them so. The words are so low, but they are there, stuttered so badly that they are nearly unintelligible.

"Yo-ou m-m-m-may b-b-b-be her, her g-g-g-g-god-mu,m-m-moth-ther."
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Re: Tapestry: A Bower Scene

Postby Niabh » Sat Jul 13, 2019 4:55 am

At once the greedy intensity blew away, so many rotten dead leaves yielding before a breeze. She perked up straight, even her ears tips quivering, and let out a tiny squirrel-like chirp of excitement, a mere glottal squeeze of the throat. Her eyes shone with relief. In her mind she had done nothing more sinister than ask, and her happiness at being granted favor was utterly, heartbreakingly genuine. "Ah, Catch!"

If he had been anyone else in the world, she might have sprung forward and kissed him. Even now, blind as she was to any trace of fear or coercion, her own rule held strong: you do not touch Catch, and you certainly did not kiss Catch, as much as you wanted to and as much as he deserved it. Instead she squeezed both fists to her breastbone and leaned forward, subtle as a reed, until her brow rested on the grass before him and her wild hair splashed onto his feet. "Good neighbor. This will be good. You'll see. I promise."
Anything can be magic if you're gullible enough.
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