Waking: From a Triptic in Blue

Waking: From a Triptic in Blue

Postby Tolleson » Sat Dec 01, 2018 9:40 am

Although hearty flames still merrily danced in the fireplace across the room, goose pimples and small beads of sweat covered the sleeping woman’s skin. Fever-damp sheets clung to her chilly flesh as she woke suddenly. Jolting upright, as if physically ejected from the nightmare she had escaped, she frantically surveyed the familiar landscape and let out a staccato breath. The dream broke and like a popped bubble containing smoke, the memory of it immediately began to dissipate; leaving Genny grasping at vague tendrils despite the visceral experience impressed upon her.

Minor recollections formed and she looked to her hands which were unconsciously clenched into tight, white-knuckled fists. Fingers unfurled and revealed the root Gloria had given her, thoroughly crushed, in one and on the other something akin to a bruise turned blue. Memories trickled back, an encounter in the familiar library construct and Gloria, of ballgowns and broken glass, of a shower of blood in the tavern turned upside down. Most of the impossible, imagined events, returned to her and even though they were ridiculous the reality was undeniable. But there was something more, it wasn’t a distinct memory so much as a feeling. She had trusted Elliot with, with something. Something, but what?

In a flash of frustrated anger, fists formed anew slammed into the mattress on either side of where she sat.

After a moment she closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and recalled a vision of the beast of many teeth, the older Elliot whose hands wrapped over hers and the hilt of her sword. And then… and then? Her mind reached, it pulled at the dark corners and frayed edges where half remembered things dwelled, the monsters of peripheral vision, and faces without names. Something bit her hand and in the shadows, she just barely saw the disturbed surface of the water and the fractured reflection of Elliot. Blurry, blue bokeh accompanied by dull sounds, words heard underwater, and puzzle piece images as if captured upon shattered glass that became increasingly fragmented. The rest seemed lost.

Gloria had felt something, thought something just before this, something that matched the mushy sound. “Soodsy,” she said aloud, her tone uncertain and her eyes opening to find only the empty room before her.
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Waking: A Riddle in Copper

Postby Rance » Fri Dec 07, 2018 4:57 am

—felt something.

With her face pressed against the creaking wooden wall, Gloria could smell the salt. She breathed in the warm, burning cold of the sea, of the Violet Flats as they thrashed against the side of the ship. No matter its weight, the Visciesse Elizabette leaped and swayed and rocked at the mercy of the endless water around her. Every motion sent Gloria Wynsee's stomach and inner ear into rebellion. When she was not ill, she sweat under the pressure of a nervous fever; when fever did not riddle her, a vortex of dizziness spun the tiny chamber in endless circles around her.

Some days were better than others. Those days, she found the deck, chanced her balance, and found a comfort in the sky. In how the clouds painted feathers across the blueness and welcomed the marching army of winter on the herald of bitter breezes. Other days, she twisted like a perspiring worm in her hammock, begging the swaying, spinning, rocking to end.

Some days she wrote. There were letters, some unsent, others given to the gulls.

Some days she—

—felt something.

The dream had hooked itself like a too-long fingernail into the folds of her brain. Sometimes it occurred to her as smoothly as a welcome memory — Genny Tolleson and her gleaming sword, the snapping banner of a radiant ballgown, a library full of esoteric mindwonders catalogued by well-organized spines — while other times it slithered under her skin with all bittersweetness of a nearly-forgotten trauma that, when a sea-wave with a certain shape flashed by or a particular pattern coalesced in the world, dared resurface when she least expected it: Who else would it be, came the child's voice, the Other Genny; and Thousand-Eyes was there in the corners; and Elliot was grease and oil and stretched too far out to be human—

There was a night on the sea when the water was silent and still. In only the presence of the blind woman with whom she shared her chamber, she drew up her shift enough to run her fingers along the bluish thorns embedded in the shelf of her stomach.

The blind woman, the ship's windspeaker, sat upright in her hammock.

"You ought to repent," the woman said, her cloudy eyes full of dull turbulence.

Gloria tugged down her hem. "Back to bed with you," she said.

"It is a shame," the woman said, staring off at the shadows in a corner, "to be so rueful of flaws. You ought to repent to yourself."

"I said go to bed," the once-seamstress said, an embarrassment burning her cheeks.

"It is a shame to hide so fully from who you are."

And then the windpseaker fell into sleep and the room was silent again except for the foam of the sea crackling what seemed like inches from the walls. Gloria ran the edge of her thumb against the wire of copper-red hair wrapped about her forefinger and listened, throughout the night, to the storm of her own breath.

Soodsy never once flashed to mind.
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Waking: A Lone Thorn

Postby Rance » Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:16 pm

The letter arrives from Sullibon upon carrier-pigeon. Once unraveled, the paper seems hesitant, folded not once, not twice, but three times, each at a slightly different angle until the final formation, with some minor satisfaction, was achieved.

Genny,

Please do not take my silence following our last meeting as a reflection of hesitasion; great has been my desire to write but to be tossed to the left and to the right upon a ship is not condosiv co cont appropriate for letters of pleasure and pease. Rather I have used the time between bouts of my body's disturbance to attend to some matters of writed busyness which I shall later tell you. For busyness is as greatly unpleasant as sickness and I shoult be cruel to ever count a letter to you as mere busyness.

I write this now from an inn in Sullibon where I will remain for three nights until I may travel north to Aubrey Obrey with a contingant of traders, a woman woult be a great fool to travel by herself on these roads and while I do not fear bandits (I would knock them) I find myself wonting for the company of others, and perhaps this too is why I write.

I spend much of my life's time apologising. So too must I now. I remember only fracksions of our uncorporial encounter and yet I feel so strongly that once again I have drawn you into a frey which is neither one of your desire nor your hope. I was possessed of a great concern for the boy and in dabbaling in that which I am unfamiliar (the great nothing of sleep) I fear I may have driven you to a chasm with him as well. Details are yet foggy to me but in my chest there is a great stone of regret, for I feel yet as though I have done something to disturb your pease or content. Whether it be with him. Whether it be with yourself. Whether it be with the world. If a wedge I have put between you and Elliot I do not intend it; if too a wedge I have put between you and I it was not intented either.

Do you ever wake to find yourself simply unhappy. Sometimes (I will tell this to you, I woult not admit it to those who would desire to find advantage in my volnerability) I lay awake and trace imaginary lines between the names which dance in my head, and each of these lines they represent aches I have caused or pains I have given them and I imagine these aches and pains are gone because I too am gone and I lay awake and create another Here where I am not and have not been and would you believe it, I cannot fathem a world where others are worse off for not having known me. In Razasan I saw a woman die and that too is burnt into my head.


The letter stops abruptly. It begins again on another page, with a refreshed ink and a more meticulous hand.

I supped on good soup here, I have got it because it was the most hearty meal I could hope for after two week a-sea. And with my soup I have had a thought: I am abrasive, I am foreward, and nights come where I look upon myself and say I shoult not be this way. But this is how I have been formed and while I shall apologize to many for my actions, I shall not apologise to anyone for what I am or who I am.

But this is the question I will ask of you, for I know you will be honest and gin jan Jen genuine: if I find myself so frequently at odds with the world, with once-friends, with associates, is the trouble in me, or is the trouble in them? My mind tells me it is in me, Gloria is the problem, she is stubborn-headed and thick as brick, but in my heart I feel I am right. So how do I compromise. How do I learn compromise? For rarely in my life have ever I done this; how do I learn compromise when the source of my conviction is fear for others.

A season back, you asked me this: is Msa. Burnie well. I provided no answer. You asked if I thought him well. Now I provide my answer: he is not. In fact he is poorly. But this letter shall suffer to be about him. I shoult not like to turn this to busyness. So perhaps in person we shall speak. But to Obrey if you wish to write I shall be lodged at the Volunteer & Yardman Inn.

Do you fare. Will you say?

I remember an image of you. It has got placed in the forefront of my brain. I have tried to draw it but I am no talent with the nib. You have got in the air a sword raised and it glows with great light, I think of this with frequency and it does not fade or flicker. I realize that I look upon you from below and the sword you have is there to protect me and I am very calm. You are fire and war-banners. You are bright and you are silver and you do not falter.

I have always thought myself H'zlz. But I shall like very much to capture this moment in time when I am G'leuse, for in this, I am full.

Always,

G.W.

What accompanies the letter, without explanation, is a tiny phial of brown glass. Inside, blunted from being knocked about the inside of the tube, is a single thorn.

Blue as daylight.
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Waking: And Flowers

Postby Tolleson » Tue Feb 12, 2019 4:44 pm

Dear Gloria,

I read no hesitation in your last missive, rather it was a testament to your dedication that under such circumstances and arduous travel you found means and manner to write. It has been my desire to reciprocate, though I lack a swaying ship to blame. Politics are ever the bother and I am burdened too by affairs near and far. You have my sincere apologies for leaving you deprived of what little company my letter will be, for so long.

As to our incorporeal meeting, we might both apologize to one another but be none the wiser nor the wealthier for it. Ease your mind, I recall scant measures, fragments of your handsome face and smart gown. I am sound, at least as much as I was before. I conclude it was an enlightening journey, your worry in Elliot seems warranted; I sensed a manner of trouble about him. It is far too vague a notion to conclude a course of action, but with caution I believe further investigation is warranted.

From your words you seem troubled further. You ponder happiness as if it is something to be attained and sustained. On the contrary, I think it an entirely natural and healthy state to be unhappy on occasion. And I do not need to imagine that people relive moments of horror and guilt, for I have experienced it through them. Through you. I wish it were so simple as to say, unburden yourself of these things. I know it is not. Though perhaps there is consolation in knowing that many others dwell on these things, though hardly ever regarding the the same moment or perceived mistake. Rather they judge themselves and are so preoccupied with their own reality, the truth of it seems unreal. You cannot imagine a world where others are worse off for not having known you, because you are the one imagining it. Plainly, the world is neither better nor worse without you, it exists as it is; to speculate the impact of your, or anyone’s, presence is futile. Even in death our having lived has altered lives in immeasurable ways both positive and negative, and in some we may never know.

Only from the vantage point of a field, does a plucked flower vanish from existence. You and I know it is merely carried somewhere else, perhaps presented to a lover or toyed with by a child. And even then, does it not change? Does it not form a fond memory in that lover’s mind or a cherished pastime for the child?

It delights me to hear that you are finding good meals and contentment with yourself. Though you might seek some faith in yourself as well, for you asked of me a question to which you already have a suitable and no more correct answer than I could provide. As for compromise, I am certain I have no great insight. Should you find yourself with hot words or feeling as if you are right, know that all people share in this. Two equally right and passionate people will fight for eternity. Instead, defy the urge and listen; you might find yourself with something to say before another has had their word, but this is proof you are not listening.

Your mention that Mr. Burnie is unwell is reinforced by recent correspondence, it is a letter very unlike him and why I depart shortly. Though I was hesitant to leave with the Meeting House renovation underway, I am departing for Razasan with utmost haste. I take Daryl and have entrusted Walter to oversee the grounds in my absence. I have also instructed him to welcome you with warm lodging and hot meals should you arrive whilst I am away.

If you travel still I hope my letter has found you, well and warm. I do look forward to seeing you again with open eyes. You will have to show me the image you have drawn, my recall of a sword is vague and I cannot imagine myself to be such a knight. But I will trust that I am H’zlz and bid you a fond farewell until our next meeting, my G’leuse.

- Genevieve

Post Script: It is a curious pattern, sending me strange samples - from what plant did this thorn come? The root all but crumbled, shall I venture to sleep with this as well?
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Waking: A Fond Memory

Postby Rance » Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:32 pm

The missive response comes rapidly, both out of an earnestness to write — what must be said must be said with quickness — and out of an almost palpable sense of pleasure: this was a letter written because it wants to be written, not simply because it must.

Genny,

Your letter could not come to me at a more needful time. I wallow in the cruelty of doubts and frustrations and as here I linger in Foggie Bottom, I find myself immobile: I fear a return to Myrken Wood but also yearn for it for countless reasons, and even more which I have difficultey to place Into my very clumsy words. It is fear. It is fear of seeing familiar faces. It is fear of seeing familiar faces which do not like mine. It is too a certain fear for seeing you. Not because of I dread you, quite the opposite, you are a singular joy and write so finely: I wonder, will I be to you as I was in the dream. These words are rarely said of me: handsome and smart; I value them as one does gold not because of the words themselves, but of who it is who spoke them, you see.

I write rapidly — forgive mispellings and peculearties in structure — for I hope to achieve your readership before you travel.

Firstly: Under your guidance and by your resolve I will no further delve into the mystery of Elliot with recklessness. This investigation as you call it may be done carefully and slowly and together and I would no further aggravate his comforts, or yours, or mine, by forcing them; his is not a cause to be approch't alone and without plan.

Secondly; I shall stitch this idea of happiness to the heart. Perhaps you do not wish to know this but a boldness comes to me: if I am unhappy in travel, in the company of others, and unhappy with myself, I am forgetful of this in the warmth of your company whether it be by letter or constructing a missive to you or in dreams. Consider this the odditie it may be, for I know that last meeting has been years ago, but I breathe more fully when even now I am scribing these words to you. I ponder this analojy of the field and shall do so greatly for it provides an explanation and a new understanding that my very clogged mind could not see before. I wish to be a fond memory, if anything in my life I create it is that which I hope to be. Others beg to create legacies or great works or endless influence. I would just like to be a fond memory.

Thirdly; if you go to Razasan to be with Glenn Burnie, I urge you great caution. He does not perceave the dangers he brings. We have had great and powerfully stubborn exchanges both in person and by letter. I beg you be careful of the trap of his mind: on the page it both cage and maze,


and I am afraid what it may do for a mind as fertile wonderful and vast and talented as your own. I too believe he may be under the influence of another being's mind, I do not think her intentions vile — does the snake wish to bite? — but I do believe them not aligned with safe visions. Be safe; I cannot say this in any way which will not be a beggar's plea, but do be.

Perhaps as you may already know my intentions are to further understand the workings of boreacrasy and politick in Myrken Wood, for if I must present a shield to these dangerous Endeavors of his, I shall. I believe too greatly that of all the many ways Myrken Wood may be improved, it is not by trusting too greatly in outside powers.

I trust you with these: included are the letters he has sent me, and copies of the missives I have sent him, written again by my hand. These I have not modified even if perhaps their bruskness and their impatience puts me in a light undesirable, but I will not hide from you even my lesser parts. Since my last meeting with him I have kept record (as the Inquisitory has inspired) of all inter-actions: I will not be impulsive but I will present to the Council and others my legitimate fears about his intensions and these aimless, cicle-lical, unclear, and ranting letters are but a symptom of the greater issue at hand.

Forgive me, this letter is for you and not for him. It is about you and it is about us and it is not about him.

I shall for your guidance and my trust in you attempt better to listen; I try and try and I am constantly beset by this struggle: if I must listen and yet possess no inharent respect for the speaker, am I being truer to them than I am to myself. Jernoah is an orderly place: a woman will Listen and in listening she will Obey. And sometimes Genny I hear these men and women of station speak and write and discuss the lives with which they play and for whome they dictate all things and I am driven to illness just to think that my silence will lead in such a direction.

How is it that you have so skillfully honed your gift of patience and resolve? Here is the wonder of you: you are quiet yet as powerful as a Sun, and you are gentle yet simultaneously possessive of intensitey, you do not sacrifice strength or resolve for it either. Do you wonder if it is Tolleson blood which provides you this versatility, or is it the enterprise of your own mind. Yes I bet it is that; you could put into your veins any blood I wager and you would still be possessed of the same ingenuitey and brilliance. I think it would be a fool's errand to attribute the benefits of your being to but fluid alone.

When you return there are many things of which I must speak. For I am of greater flexibility of


speech than I am of the written letter. When I have completed the tasks I must in Foggy Bottem I will return to the Inquisitory, and oversee it in no capacity but as a visitor. Are there any tasks which you must see completed, ask them of me, and I will ensure they are done to welcome your return.

Of the sample, I thought you might find it most curious: that thorn was left in my flesh after our sleeping endeavor. There are many more like it. Are you familiar with it?

Oh but these words are too much business, so I shall leave you with this: I shall hope that your eyes find me as fondly in true vision as they shall in dreams. I shall hope on this and anticipate your return. In Razasan, be safe, and at all costs, preserve yourself, for perhaps you do not see it but you are a font of happiness to at least one soul in this world, though she write poorly of it.

Here is this line, H'zlz, from the great epic, which I remember with warmth:

Time, like
a candle's light imprison't in crystal, refused to pass
and the world, radiant and magnificent, ceased
its physic turn.

Until again he came to see
what he desire't.


Yours, lowly, a flower plucked and preserved,

G'leuse
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