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Put Another Candle...

 
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Desdenova VonTombs
Young Wyrm
Young Wyrm


Joined: 10 Apr 2012
Posts: 67
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:38 am    Post subject: Put Another Candle... Reply with quote

It was his birthday, again. And the party was a lavish, over the top affair, celebrating not only his birth, but those passed on. Welcoming them back for an evening's fete.

This year, a kooky cabaret band played for the party, and the cake was a rainbow of color and flavor hidden under mirror glazed icing colored like a galaxy, complete with gum balls planets. Several silly games were in progress, from a scavenger hunt to pinning the tail on a headless zombie.

A buffet of barbecue meats, salads, and breads was spread out, as was another of candy and deserts. Quiet spaces for the departed to visit with the living were all through the house just as much as space for the chicken dance.

A little after dark, Desdenova hitched Daisy up to one of the smaller hearses, leading a band of trick-or-treaters through the neighborhood. Much easier than walking! It was a nice area, and the boodle was impressive. Full sized candy bars, snack bags of soda, Pop Tarts, and single serving sized breakfast cereal – what wasn't to like?

The trick-or-treaters returned to the house about when Uncle Bill, for whatever his reasons, removed his own head and marched to the duck pond. The indignant squawks and quacking proved he was bowling for the ducks.

"I'll see you guys," Desdenova smiled to his friends. Then he changed out of his costume and walked to the attic to wait for his parents. It was time.
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Desdenova VonTombs
Young Wyrm
Young Wyrm


Joined: 10 Apr 2012
Posts: 67
See this user's pet
Jobs: Apprentice Apothecary
Can Be Found: Never more than a few steps from his guardians and family
5206.64 Silver Crowns

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Texarkana"
(R.E.M)


20,000 miles to an oasis
20,000 years will I burn
20,000 chances I've wasted
Waiting for the moment to turn

I would give my life to find it
I would give it all
Catch me if I fall

Walking through the woods, I have faced it
Looking for something to learn
30,000 thoughts have been wasted
Never in my time to return

I would give my life to find it
I would give it all
Catch me if I fall

All my life
Waiting to find

40,000 stars in the evening
Look at them fall from the sky
40,000 reasons for living
40,000 tears in your eyes

I would give my life to find it
I would give it all
Catch me if I fall
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Desdenova VonTombs
Young Wyrm
Young Wyrm


Joined: 10 Apr 2012
Posts: 67
See this user's pet
Jobs: Apprentice Apothecary
Can Be Found: Never more than a few steps from his guardians and family
5206.64 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Silence.

It always started there. All things started there.

His father smiled down to the boy, caressing his cheek, leaning to kiss his brow.

It doesn't matter, nothing matters, I'm proud of you, I love you.

The words had been spoken so many times, he no longer needed to say them. They were curved in the smile on his lips, glittered warmly in the glassine flicker of green eyes.

Silence.

He turned to his mother.

Her confidence was always curdled with fear. She had nearly lost him. That wasn't something easily overcome, not for her. Sometimes, he wondered if his father's Stoic faith in him was to somehow shore up his mother's fear, to make up for that primal sense of child-preservation.

She took his hand and led him into the shattered reality of Silence, resonating soundlessly from a single brackish pool set in a madness of yellow sky shivered through with blackness.

Lately, he saw tints of green algae and moss and wondered if it was healing.


There was a doorway. Basalt and uneven, cool against the bizarre nightscape. It opened, the stone melting into sky. A vast sky. He looked back once to his mother, so calm and cool seeming, a strange creature, an alien thing, a leftover broken tine of evolution.

The glamor which clad him fell away. The darkness which protected his eyes, the pale tan which concealed the blue skin. He was as he was.

Monsters. Beautiful, but monsters.

He stepped through, his gaze lifting in wonderment. A spilled jewel box upon an iridescence of ebon velvet. He could reach out and touch a newly borned star, he could scarce even remember where he had entered this vast expanse of sky.

There was a ground beneath his feet, phosphorescence waning and waxing, flaring green, gold, vermillion, indigo. He waited, his heart pounding a thundering beat in his ears, a fine bass line for the song of the stars, an ethereal symphony which sounded in twining melodies and themes from the sparkle and gleam of stars, a sonorous rhythm in the spaces between them.

His pupils constricted to pinpoints as he stood before this majesty, body shuddering faintly with each beat of his pulse, the immenseness of it all turning to fear and longing alike. He could be part of that eternal pageant already, except, except..

He rubbed at the back of his head slowly, dark hair riffling through his fingers. He could feel the scar there, smooth, bald. Except.

Do you regret?

For the first time, he simply shook his head. There wasn't anything left to think over. It was all gone, all past. He didn't regret life, not anymore. He couldn't even wonder why he had, or that he had. It was as natural as breathing, that small denial.

Fingers creaked, lifting from the passing shimmer of light at his feet. Vast, slow, moving with a rasp, something so large that it must take ludicrous care to keep from harming the tiny mote of light upon its skin.

Faces, masks, formed in the panoply around him. Ancient and unmoving, empty of eyes and bodies alike. Primitive. They hovered around him in querulous postures.

Crafted of bark, a ruff of dry reeds, stained in chalky pigments, Lion snuffed at him. Sleek in gold and lapis, Beetle stared, immobile. Coyote, a long dried hide with grinning jaws tilted back and forth. Rabbit. Spider. Jackal. Crow. Fox. Vulture. He stood beneath the Masks, slowly shrinking down to his knees.

Voids rested within the holes in the Masks, curiously limpid and alive. Intelligences within a dull seeming. He could only bear to look within them for an instant, though he wasn't always sure what drove his gaze from the empty eyeholes.

Slowly, the Masks drew upwards and away, giving the boy space. The way before him opened, as it had on only thirteen times out of thirty five. He stared at it, his throat closing, a starburst of fear lighting off in his heart.

Thirteen times before, he had run, exhilarated, vindicated, for that path. He had dashed wildly through that year given, filled with joy and a reckless delight.

He had grown, physically, mentally, emotionally. He had grown his hair back. Become a bit taller. Learned. But now, there was fear. Fear for that future. Fear to be older. A tear slipped from his eye.

The swelling music of the galaxy dimmed, and he could hear the rusty whispers of the Spirits Who Never Sleep as they consulted between themselves. The strange long fingered paw of the Coyote wrapped around his slight frame, gripping him possessively. Yet those fingers loosened for the cool smooth of Spider's claw at his hair.

Too long, perhaps, he had been this too long.

To push him from this nest or see if he leaps?

Desdenova stared at the words writing themselves in fire and water before him, utterly still.

A creation of wicker, Bull leaned in closer, looming over him. Beaten copper Jaguar extended a claw, touching over the boy's wildly pounding heart.

It was relief. He slowly sagged, his eyes falling shut.

Null.

The masks bobbed, nodding, many reaching to touch at the unconscious child.

Wisdom.

The masks turned to wooden Crow as it leaned closer, its beak brushing at the boy's hand. The perpetually laughing jaws of Coyote flexed.

To not run from childhood. Wisdom. Thus, no longer a child.

Null.

The word echoed soundlessly once more.

Boney Horse with its intricate inlays of blue stone moved closer, taking form as a humanoid under ragged black draperies made up of a million and more midnights and dreamless sleeps. It lifted the child in powerful arms of granite and gold, carrying him back to the doorway.

"Null."

The boy tumbled into a heap in his mother's arms. She pulled him close and kissed his brow.

Relieved. She was relieved.

But she would only have one more year to keep him so close.

Less. If he realized what Null was.


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Desdenova VonTombs
Young Wyrm
Young Wyrm


Joined: 10 Apr 2012
Posts: 67
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Jobs: Apprentice Apothecary
Can Be Found: Never more than a few steps from his guardians and family
5206.64 Silver Crowns

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nile texted Desdenova by morning. For the longest time, he just stared at it, stared at his phone. Finally, he exhaled, and reached out to respond. That was always the hardest part. Except Nile didn't ask the usual hard questions. Just wanted to make sure he was okay.

Desdenova smiled a little. That made it easier.

"What is null?" he asked himself, over and over. He finally climbed out of his bed and snatched up his dog. Bea lazily draped over his arms while he paced his room. She gave no answers, though she certainly wasn't just a dog. At the moment, she was all fluffy warm love.

Finally, Desdenova set the dog loose and opened a few of his presents. He soon had the BB9 Nile had given him out and running. Idly reprogramming it to chase after his sisters, he sent it off on its way.

Why null? He wondered, leaning back on his bed. He played the dulcimer, softly picking notes out without melody or rhythm. Disjointed motes of sound.

When the question really was why had he been so frightened. He knew that, and pushed it away in discontent.

From around the corner, and his phone, the Imperial March sounded. He smiled serenely as Jackie squawked and then yelled about the damn rolly horror thing in the bathroom. A few moments later, Alice went giggling down the hallway with the BB9 on her heels.

Much better than thinking, tormenting his sisters.
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Desdenova VonTombs
Young Wyrm
Young Wyrm


Joined: 10 Apr 2012
Posts: 67
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Jobs: Apprentice Apothecary
Can Be Found: Never more than a few steps from his guardians and family
5206.64 Silver Crowns

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"You can't plant those here, sweetness," Pharlen announced abruptly, catching Desdenova just as he went tramping through the kitchen, heading for the mud room and out into the yard. He stopped and stared at her as if she'd lost her geraniums.

"I know, I'm sorry, and here, here's a few more seeds... but you can't plant them here," she went on, handing him a small baggie with a note folded up within it. And a few small seeds.

"...Mom..." Desdenova faltered, flapping his arms a few times. It was physically uncomfortable, and growing worse, to be given seeds and not be able to plant them.

They lived as any mythical being in that end of reality on earth. They had to always appear as humans, and they had various taboos to keep them honest. More or less. Desdenova was fated to always have to plant and garden when seeds were put into his hands.

It was a geis that kept the local food banks flush with fresh fruits and vegetables. Desdenova had become quite a good gardener.

"They're not native," Pharlen explained, ruffling his hair. That did alleviate some of the burden, but it remained. He stared at her.

"Just … You know, your friend Nile has a garden, or the fish pond, I think she said? And Thorn has acres of land..." she offered, lamely. Desdenova was an independent soul, to begin with, and Nile's parents were at least as paranoid as Pharlen and Jack.

"I'll find something," he sighed, put upon.
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Desdenova VonTombs
Young Wyrm
Young Wyrm


Joined: 10 Apr 2012
Posts: 67
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Jobs: Apprentice Apothecary
Can Be Found: Never more than a few steps from his guardians and family
5206.64 Silver Crowns

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sard didn't have any scent to speak of, and that was interesting. The man was a biggish, sort of shaggy being who had the manner of an old forester drawn back to the fringes of civilization for some annoying reason or another.

But he traded an inoculated plug of some plant for a few apples. He explained carefully how to plant each of the strange seeds that Desdenova had acquired, patient, with a voice that sounded rasped from a grinder.

Desdeova had those cool seeds, and couldn't plant them at home. That left Rhydin. He gathered himself up and headed out, bringing Maggie along. Mainly because he'd decided to scout out the little cemeteries that his sister Jackie worked on, and Maggie was curious to meet the ghosts.

Dozens if not more cemeteries remained salted through the city and out lying areas. Some no larger than a single casket, others sprawling through city blocks. Many were neglected, abandoned, nothing more than meeting places for cults and death metal bands.

Jackie would identify them, register them once more, and begin work to restore them. Return dignity to the last remains of once earthly souls. It also gave her places to bury those who hadn't the means to give their loved ones a decent funeral.

There were always other reasons, of course. Small things. Experiments. Pre-dug holes. They weren't altruists, after all.

It was perfect little piece of land, typical for the era when it was most populous. About a city block's worth of dark, rampant woodland planted with graves. A ramshackle iron fence surrounded it, a winter threadbare complement of boxwood hedges flush to the fence. Here and there skeletons of climbing roses and clematis clung to the iron.

A single road, little better than half a car length wide, made a loop through the property. A shallow and currently choking reflection pond was in the center, a thickly gurgling artesian well still pushing water into it. It'd swamped itself.

That was about all Maggie and Desdenova could see from the street. It was in the midst of faded laborer neighborhoods, rows upon rows of what today would be called tiny houses, a few large boarding houses, and a few modern type apartment buildings. It wasn't thickly populated. The little dog cart Daisy pulled wasn't out of place.

“Uhm. Well this is wrong. Someone must have …” Broken in? The wrought iron gates to the drive were askew.

"Or out," Maggie suggested, though it looked more as if they'd been wrenched side to side.

Daisy grunted as she reached the gates, eying them, and beyond, keenly. She stretched out her elegant Arab's head and sniffed, her tail switching. Then she turned to look at the two.

“Fubar”, the nightmare announced in a little girl voice, “You can go in but only thirty feet.”

Desdenova nodded, and looked to Maggie, brows up.

“Want a look inside? Probably have to get Jackie and maybe even some holy people to fix this.” While he wasn’t double dog daring, from the mischief in his smile, he was more than willing to get as much of a look as he could before having to retreat.

"Sure, maybe there's something we can do. Figure out who wanted in or out." She was down from the cart and was peeking in the gate. Desdenova shoved half of the gate enough for them to squirm through. He paced down the graveled walk, alert, hands flexed open.

Maggie immediately sensed anger and irritation. There were fairly fresh blade scooter tracks in the gravel. No animal sounds, just the breeze. A vivid splattering of red paint over a small headstone by the drive.

Maggie's eyes narrowed at the sight of the small headstone having been desecrated.

"I'm gonna knock somebody's brain light around in their head." Maggie, normally of a kindly nature, was riled up. "Little stones usually mean babies or kids are under them."

Desdenova nodded, though his gaze was over the rest of the cemetery. It was exactly what he was looking for, and this! “Do you know any cleansing spells?” he asked, “Cleaning, really, but cleansing would be good, too.”
"I can quiet the spirits some," She offered instead. "If anyone is trying to get in or out of the place, I can ask one of my relatives to ring a bell or something." One dark brow lowered as Maggie considered something. "I get visit them soon."

“Do you know magic or do you just see and hear ghosts?” Desdenova wondered, watching and wary, “And spirits? Spirits aren’t human, and aren’t always dead. Sometimes from trees or rocks or … you know. Stuff.” Then he paused, tilting his head. “Visit your relatives… who have passed on?”

"I know magic, some. Mama says it will take time for me to understand how it all works." Maggie glanced down at the charms on her bracelet. She closed her right hand over the bracelet on her left wrist. "Aunt 'Thena has other ideas."

The charm of a bell was now in Maggie's right hand. She looked at Daisy, "Hmm..." Her attention went to Des again. "I need something to hang this on the gate. My cousin is the one that talks to trees and plants. Her Dad was an elf."

“Magic is fun,” he laughed softly, and rummaged into his hoody pocket. He produced a paper clip and unbent it for her. “Aunt Thena? Is she a mage?” He paused, hearing a rushing of whispers and rattling through the cemetery, head tilting. He bit at his lower lip as he tried to sort out the energies. It was largely confused and sullen alike.

"THanks!" Maggie smiled brightly as she took the paper clip and fashioned it into an S shape. "She's the goddess of wisdom, among other things." She closed one part of the paper clip around a loop in the top of the bell. The other end was looped over a horizontal bar near the top of the gate. "My family is eclectic. You know, all mixed up." She giggled softly. She heard the whispers, too, but kept on with her work.

“Oh, Athena,” Desdenova copped on with a laugh. “Yeah. We have Uncle Jareth. He’s pretty kooky.”

He watched her with the bell, then indicated the defaced grave, “Here, I’ll show you the spell for cleaning small things. It’s pretty easy, because things want to be the way they’re supposed to be. So, you’re pretty much just asking for the thing to be cleaned to push off the dirt, and you focus your energy with your hands or a wand like this…” He crouched near the grave, and cast the spell slowly.

Unfortunately, they now resembled the kids who had dumped the paint and knocked the gates askew. An angry ghast began to come at them, straight down the path.

Maggie spotted that angry creature and straightened up. "Lovely," it came out peppered with sarcasm, "We've got cranky company." She narrowed her eyes and was quietly call her staff from the mists. Her fingers seemed to be curling around thin air, but something long and made of oak was beginning to appear.

“It wasn’t us,” Desdenova offered with a quick glance aside. Which meant, he worked a lot faster on cleaning that headstone. The ghast roiled up on itself, a stream of fog, chill though it seemed to be boiling. It loomed over the pair, hissing and taking more solidity to its form.

Daisy? Yeah, she’s eating some grass, ears quirking. A few teenagers wandered down the road, a few on blades, a few on skateboards. The nightmare eyed them as she cropped the dry weeds.

"No, it wasn't us. Please let my friend go on with fixing what he can. We aren't here to be trouble." The staff in her hand glowed a bit as Maggie gripped it. She couldn't slow that ghast down, but she could use the staff to create a barrier between it and them.

The ghast hissed, looming over the pair. Desdenova kept an eye on the being, and slowly moved back to show the little stone was now clean. He shuffled through his pockets and came up with sticks of white sage. He lit them and set them to smolder on the stone.

That seemed to meet the ghast’s approval. It turned to peer at Maggie, moving closer, but Desdenova quickly stood and held out his hands. He backed up beside her. However, it seemed the ghast was just examining the bell. It stopped several feet from the pair and peered at it.

The teenagers came closer. The ghast snarled and swirled in place, agitation turning to fury.

"Cover your ears," Maggie murmured to Desdenova. The bell had been silent, save for a gentle tinkling sound if touched or swayed by the wind. That is, the hooligans that had caused the mess in what should have been a peaceful place approached the outer side of the gate. Desdenova quirked a brow, but quickly covered his ears.

The bell rang, gaining in power until it sounded like angry band if demons growling. Worse, that band of demons seemed to be taking form and were ready to chase off the miscreants. The teens started screaming, scrambling wildly to turn tail and run.

Desdenova jumped at the cacophony, wide eyed. His head tilted, watching the shadowy demons, only to start laughing. A moment later, a flick of fingers and spoken work sent a dust devil whooshing after the squawking teenagers.

The ghast rumbled to itself and slowly vanished. Daisy… kept eating grass, though it was clear she was watching. Desdenova finally shook his head, laughing.

“Oh man. I guess I’ve got my work cut out if I want to start a garden here.”

"Well, at least we appeased the cranky native!" She laughed heartily. "That thing will go off when anyone up to mischief pops up."

"Hopefully, once this place is properly sanctified again, they’ll just go about their business and let me do mine,” he replied, amused, shaking his head. “Thank you. Though I’m not telling Jackie, she can find out on her own any sleepers you’ve left.” Because sibling love! “Come on, we should get back. I don’t know about your mom, but mine gets pretty weird if I’m not where I’m supposed to be.” Making a face as he stepped back around the gates.

"You're welcome! Maybe we can look at the others soon." Maggie had a thoughtful look on her face. "I'm staying at the Cardinal Inn for now. And Gran is on Maggie duty this week. Just about time for food."

“Okay. We’ll drive you there,” he nodded, easy, and smacked at Daisy’s wither before climbing to the buggy. “Thanks for the all powerful nightmare help, Daisy."

Daisy just cackled.

(Written with Maggie!)
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