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Bright Lights

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301 Re: Bright Lights on Tue Jan 31, 2017 2:07 am

There's a comfortable silence in the room as we eat, my utensils abandoned as I pinch off the bits of chicken with my fingers and set them aside. I can only recall his fussing at me for the same behavior, and I offer him a cheeky grin as I hold up a piece of chicken between my fingers. 

"It's good," I grin, popping it and the tips of my fingers in my mouth.

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302 Re: Bright Lights on Tue Jan 31, 2017 2:12 am

I narrow my eyes at her as she eats with her fingers, my nose wrinkling with disapproval. "You know, you have no excuse for that anymore," I retort as I poke her knee with the handle of my fork.

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303 Re: Bright Lights on Tue Jan 31, 2017 2:14 am

"I know." I answer, food still in my mouth as I grin.

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304 Re: Bright Lights on Tue Jan 31, 2017 2:19 am

"Ugh, you're the worst," I complain as I turn my gaze to my food to ignore her.

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305 Re: Bright Lights on Tue Jan 31, 2017 2:26 am

"Nope," I retort Content with my shredded chicken, I wipe my hands on my napkin and pick up my fork, stabbing of bit of vegetable and chicken together before dipping it in the gravy. "Shredded chicken has an entirely different texture," I argue vaguely, "Holds more gravy, too."

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306 Re: Bright Lights on Tue Jan 31, 2017 2:35 am

"You can shred chicken with a fork," I argue as I narrow my eyes at her. "I think you're just trying to be cute."

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307 Re: Bright Lights on Tue Jan 31, 2017 2:37 am

"Nope," I shake my head again as I look down at my plate pointedly. "Just lazy, any cuteness is consequential."

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308 Re: Bright Lights on Tue Jan 31, 2017 2:50 am

"You could use magic, too," I say with a shrug. "You can do that again, you know. Though, shredding chicken probably isn't the best use of it..."

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309 Re: Bright Lights on Tue Jan 31, 2017 2:56 am

"I was never that good at the physical magic," I confess, "I could stir a drink or the one repel spell I know, but I tended to focus more on weaving or charms."

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310 Re: Bright Lights on Tue Jan 31, 2017 3:20 am

"I could show you," I offer, raising an eyebrow at her before I take my plate and set it aside before doing the same with hers. "Let's start with something we don't want to eat, though," I say as I gesture toward the set of drawers by the door, the top drawer opening before a book floats out and toward us.

Grabbing it out of the air, I lay the bible down between us before turning to face her, gesturing for her to place her hands over the book. "Feel it," I instruct. "Not just the book itself, but all of it. Everything it is, everything it represents. Get a sense of its existence in our world and how it came to be - the leather that created its binding, the plants that create its pages. The faith and intentions it took to motivate someone to write the words on those pages."

My fingers trace along her arms as she focuses, my touch as intimate as it is purposeful as I tap into the magic humming underneath her skin. "Do you feel it?" I ask quietly after a moment.

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311 Re: Bright Lights on Tue Jan 31, 2017 4:03 pm

Sighing slightly, I let my eyes close as I drop my head to focus on the book, but I get nothing from it. Just the feel of dingy worn leather under my hands. 

"I don't," I say after a long moment, though I keep my head down as I press my hand more firmly against the cover, as though it would help. "You have to stop touching me," I say a bit harshly, wincing at my tone as I shake my head, "I just keep getting glimpses of your apartment."

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312 Re: Bright Lights on Tue Jan 31, 2017 7:10 pm

"Ugh, you weavers and your... magic, " I complain as I pull my hands away with a sigh. "Okay, try now."

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313 Re: Bright Lights on Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:55 pm

I glance up at him with a vaguely apologetic frown as he withdraws, my touch on the book becoming more intent as I try to focus. Nothing. This was exactly why I'd always hated physical magic, because unless it was another living thing the connections were so hard to make. Think of it like a person, my teacher would say. Think of it like a person, as though that took effort for me to manage. With people, it comes naturally. But objects? Less so. 

The headache that's budding behind my temples isn't helping, either. Instead, it's just teasing me closer to irritable as withdrawal makes itself a bit more obvious. 

"How do you know you've understood the book?" I ask finally, sighing slightly as my shoulders sag.

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314 Re: Bright Lights on Tue Jan 31, 2017 9:17 pm

"Sometimes," I frown slightly, trying to find how best to explain it as I pick the book up to flip through the pages. "It's less about understanding the book, and more about understanding yourself. Figure out what the book is supposed to represent - don't necessarily feel it yet, just... think about what it means to other people.

"Now ask yourself, what do I believe?" I ask, running my fingers down the pages of the book thoughtfully. "What do I have faith in? What brings me comfort in times of doubt? For me, it's an easy answer. Just looking at this book reminds me of Sister Magdela, of her warmth and the safety I felt with her.

"That's the funny thing about magic," I say softly as I frown at the book. "People have this misconception that you're born with this amazing talent, and great witches are just born, but they're not. And it's not a fairy tale, either. Magic doesn't come from love or sunshine and glitter farts. It comes from pain. The more you've suffered, the more you feel. The deeper you cherish those feelings of faith and comfort that things like this can provide, and deep down underneath that, you have more rage and fear than anyone because you know better than anyone what it's like to have those things ripped away," my voice grows rougher as I speak until finally, I clench my fist over the book and its torn apart - shredded into tiny bits of dust and threads of gold and brown before my hand relaxes, coaxing all those pieces back together until the book is whole once more.

"Find your comfort," I say evenly as I hand her the book again. "And then think of how it felt to have it destroyed."

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315 Re: Bright Lights on Tue Jan 31, 2017 10:23 pm

I watch him intently, trying to make sense of every word as his magic works flawlessly. Of course, it does. I'd be impressed if I weren't so aggravated at having been put on the spot so abruptly as he hands the book back to me. 

"So, just... Think of something good then something awful..." I say blandly, pointedly oversimplifying as I hold the bible in my hands and turn it over. Think of the animals in the leather, the plants in the pages. He sounds like Marnin, noting every little detail of something in a way only he could. The hitch of breath in a singer's voice, the smell of foreign lands in a plant's soil. My mind wanders before I can catch it, and I can feel my eyes watering as I clutch them closed, wondering. How many times could he hear the lie in my voice, the scent of Lavellan clinging to my skin. How long had he been aware before he happened into my hallway to hear us? And just what had he heard that drove him to-


I don't notice the tears as the book practically explodes into a burst of ripped pages and dust, my hands withdrawing instinctively as I'm pulled from my reverie to stare at Lavellan.

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316 Re: Bright Lights on Tue Jan 31, 2017 10:47 pm

"The real challenge now?" I say, smiling softly, sadly. "Is trying to put them back together, and knowing that you never really can."

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317 Re: Bright Lights on Tue Jan 31, 2017 10:59 pm

His words drift past me as I look at the mess of book dust littering the bed and our skin, frowning slightly at the bits that have drifted into our food. 

"Wait, so what now..?"

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318 Re: Bright Lights on Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:18 pm

"Put it back together," I nod at the dust, my hands still resting in my lap. "Not just the book. The memory, the feeling, whatever it was - put it back together. Fix what you broke. And know that it doesn't matter. It can never be fixed, but fix it anyway."

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319 Re: Bright Lights on Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:31 pm

My fingers tremble as I reach down to touch the bits of dust on my leg, entirely at a loss. How can you fix what's irreparable? I don't even know how I destroyed the book, let alone the memory. 

"I can't," I say weakly after a moment, my fingers curling against my palms as I withdraw from the dust.

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320 Re: Bright Lights on Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:42 pm

Picking up my the knife beside my plate, a quick spell transfigures it into a small glass jar with gilded edges. Another gesture of my hand brings all the dust floating into the air and funneling into the jar before I cap it tightly and hand it to her.

"You can, and you will," I say with confidence as I pull my plate back toward me. "Give it time, don't force it. It's like a part of grieving - eventually, acceptance will come. And after acceptance, you'll be able to look back on those things that were so hard to accept, and fix your memory of them - even if its just for a minute - but when you do, you'll be able to fix the book."

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321 Re: Bright Lights on Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:59 pm

I take the jar hesitantly, looking up at Lavellan tiredly as it shakes in my hand anxiously. 

"I don't want this," I say thickly, unable to look at him as I shake my head, "I'm not going to carry this with me as another token! I-" I stop, dropping the jar between us as I rub my hand across my thigh to get any evidence of it off. 

Before he can interject, I twist to crawl off of the bed, shaking my hands at my sides to distract from the bundle of emotion building in my chest.

"What made you think that was a good idea!?" I yelp as I turn to face him, pacing through the room as I tremble, "I broke him! I broke him, Lavellan! That man is dead because of what I did to him, and you-" I point at the bed as I shake, swallowing past the oncoming tears before turning to pull the sweater off the dresser, looking for ways to lessen my vulnerability as I begin to heave. 

"You hand me a fucking metaphor!? Fix what!? He's fucking dead, Marnin is dead, he's not a catalyst for magic or some figment I can just conjure up when it's convenient! And I can't fix him!" I struggle to get the words out, finally stopping to inhale deeply as I tug the edges of the sweater down over my hips. "Sorry he couldn't be better," I choke the words, my gaze falling on Lavellan helplessly. "Like it was him who couldn't be good enough for me."

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322 Re: Bright Lights on Wed Feb 01, 2017 12:13 am

"People die, Ljuba," I say flatly, frowning at her as I continue to cut up my chicken. "Your daughter is going to die, your husband... Everyone you've ever met or ever will meet. And some of their deaths are going to be your fault, others won't be, but you'll still blame yourself.

"If you can't use those feelings, then what good are they?" I ask. "You can make their deaths mean something. You can use the way they made you feel to make you stronger, meaner, so in the future, maybe someone won't have to die - because you'll be there to stop it. Every time you use their grasp over you to create or destroy or fix or ruin or whatever, you can honor them.

"Or," I shrug, looking down at my food as I take a bite. "You can sit and cry about it in the back of some van, like crying might actually do something. Maybe it's just me... but I think it would be much more honorable to him if you could use what he left you with to, say, stand for what he stood for... fight for what he fought for. Dream drops won't do that."

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323 Re: Bright Lights on Wed Feb 01, 2017 12:43 am

There's a calm that comes over me as he speaks, but it's not one of understanding. It's one of anger

"Are you incapable of empathy?" I ask hoarsely, shaking my head lightly as I do. My voice is calm, though, as I continue. "Or do you just get off on invalidating someone's emotions? Does it get exhausting?

"I'm going to mourn him, just like I mourned leaving my family, just like I mourned leaving my life before. I can appreciate what you're trying to do, Lavellan, but you won't use my child to make a point again." I say firmly, "And you don't get to decide how I deal with this."

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324 Re: Bright Lights on Wed Feb 01, 2017 12:54 am

"Fine," I say as I shove the food aside and get to my feet. One quick gesture and our food, both mine and hers, is obliterated - much like the book she absolutely will not be carrying to practice on.

"Figure shit out for yourself, princess," I say sharply as I pull on a pair of pants and a shirt, my hateful gaze never faltering as I glare at her. "There's another skank downstairs that looked like more fun anyway."

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325 Re: Bright Lights on Wed Feb 01, 2017 1:15 am

The back of my neck grows hot as I watch him dress, my body stilling as I try not to react to his bating. Still, I can't help the sting of the hate behind his words.

"Don't forget your lotion," I say lowly, eyes locked with his. "Hate for her to get the shit end of that stick."

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