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Knights! Chimera! Exaction!

 
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Bran FD
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2015 9:33 pm    Post subject: Knights! Chimera! Exaction! Reply with quote

Brandon stood on a rubber mat in the rain. He gripped the lighting rig tight to keep it upright against the wind. Thunder threatened in the distance. Lightning lent luster to the edges of layer upon layer of dark gray cloudcover. His heart beat with wild excitement. He took advantage of a lull in the wind and leaned the rig against his body. He held it firm with one hand and sluiced water from his eyes.

"Sterling" stood a few feet away, his coat fluttering and flapping. Benjamin Piers in full gear for his role toyed with his staff. His antics garnered laughs from the crew.

Brandon smiled and tasted the warm rain as it ran between his lips.

"Okay out there, Bran?" The photographer, a big guy named Tamerin, shouted to him over the rumble of thunder.

"I'm fine!" A split-second later, the rain stopped as abruptly as it started.

A bold stride carried Benjamin out onto the stone archway. He cycled through his poses aware of what the photographer wanted and they shot still after still.

Gray days, Brandon learned, proved best for such stills, it allowed control over the shadows, to make the shots exactly what they needed. Brandon shifted the rig at the photographer's command with each new pose. They needed publicity shots as well as a few motion pick ups. Tamerin changed cameras at regular intervals.

After lunch, the rain stirred up again. Wind and warm water lashed him mercilessly and he kept smiling. The gaffer got sick, but he was the only one to eat the tuna salad. He went to the boat to lie down and Brandon overheard someone say they weren't cleaning *that* up.

"I want some shots up top," the post-production director announced. "Brandon, you're a natural climber. Grab that rig and come with me. You'll be my gaffer while Eugene's down. Tamerin--"

"Can't do that without a deal memo!" The second director's secretary said and flipped through some papers. "Sign here, sir," he said to the 2D and then to Brandon when the 2D was done, "you sign here."

"Holy Cow. Tamerin, bring the ND. And call up a still of the out point. Let's go! I want to get these in the bin before the rain starts again and I don't want to come back up here."

No one moved. As one, the crew looked up.

Someone asked, "Is it safe?"

Brandon looked from face to face, uncertain as to the speaker. "Sure it is. Right Ben?"

The actor paused. He'd climbed all over the tower just days before. After a moment, he nodded. "Be careful. There is some loose masonry."

"See?" Brandon hoisted the rig. "No worries."

True to the second director's assessment, Brandon went up the tower steps with a simian's grace. Right behind the boss, he got to the top without a mis-step. Tamerin came up behind and the three of them set up the equipment. For a while, the clouds parted, the sun came through and the second director grumbled.

"This light is gonna ruin the shot."

"You don't want the rain, you don't want the sun..." Tamerin quipped. "I thought I was fussy!"

"Sir," Brandon offered for the first time, "if you don't want to come back up, why not use digital mattes and overlay Sterling? Or just take that shot at 4:29. The one right before the segue to the out point? It's fabulous."

"Everyone's an expert, kid. Don't be everyone," the second director said, but his brows tugged together right before he turned away.

"Yessir." Brandon murmured and adjusted the rig.

"Tamerin, call up 4:29. If the kid's right, we may not have to fight the wind and the rain anymore today."

Tamerin winked at Brandon and hefted the digi while the 2D barked orders to the crew below. He wanted harnesses yesterday and declared he was rethinking the entire shoot. Nobody jumped.

"Why can't they hear me down there? They aren't moving." The second director turned to Tamerin, brows raised.

Tamerin shrugged.

"Oh," Brandon said, crouched as he set the feet for the rig, "Sir. Uh, Eugene told me they had to go MOS last week because of the dead spots. We can use the digi to run Foley for the pick ups but I hink your bluetooth might not work up here. The Lavaliers didn't work so well last week either."

"Why the **** didn't someone **** tell me that?" He stomped off down the stone stairs, slipped a little and then greatly reduced his stomp as he went down.

"Ut oh. You got this kid? I better--"

"TAMERIN! GET DOWN HERE!"

"Coming!" And Tamerin scrambled over the side while the 2D shouted his displeasure over the sound of the growing wind.

Cables whipped about and Brandon tugged the roll of gaffer's tape out of his pocket to secure the wiring so that no one would trip. He set out the rubber mats over top of the wires and secured the rig and the cameras. Then, he waited. He stood near the edge of the tower and looked down. The crew moved now! He grinned, watched them run about and waved when someone looked up at him.

He tugged out his phone and sent Joy a text, peppered with little hearts.

Then everyone looked up at once and he felt the ham in him rise so he put the phone away. He felt it buzz in his pocket but struck a bodybuilder pose. Some people smiled but others shook their heads and waved their hands.

Benjamin frowned, just like Sterling. He waved, pointed and shouted, and then, urgently beckoned.

Brandon shrugged and spread his hands again. "Can't hear ya, Ben."

Benjamin pointed again, his arm action vigorous and aimed at something beyond Brandon. He started toward the tower but Tamerin and the 2D grabbed him.

Wind picked up. Gooseflesh prickled across his skin and Brandon turned to look. Above him, a vortex of angry clouds swirled. "They came up fast," he said. No glimpse of the clear sky remained. The rig snapped free from the gaffer's tape and skidded across the stone.

"Oh dear God," he lunged for it. Lightning flashed and a clap of thunder sounded at the same moment, so loud it knocked him off his feet. Dazed, he tried to get up, but a weight settled on his back. The wind moaned, low mournful and then rose in pitch and intensity until it roared so loud he pressed his hands to his ears.

Despite the wind, a voice whispered in his ear, "Fear not. I am Tomas. I have thee."

Lightning crackled across stone and skin. The strong wind lifted the loose rig into the air. Brandon, too, felt himself lifted up, though he scraped skin from his fingertips trying to maintain his hold on the stone.

The wind shifted. The rig slammed hard into him. He gasped for air as glass from the broken Redhead pelted him along with the sudden downpour. Searing pain split his skull into darkness.
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Zen Fael
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2015 3:44 pm    Post subject: Family Ties Reply with quote

Zhe paced the quiet bedroom, her footsteps and the soft in- and exhalations of her half-brother the only sound. Her father didn't even seem to breathe at all as he sat by Brandon's bedside.

Jack Scot sent Benjamin off to bed amid dismayed protests from the actor. The Coyote, King of Ghosts and Shadows, lingered only long enough after that to press a too-tender kiss to the elf's temple and inform Lirenel in a whisper that he needed to tend to Hawk and Princess.

She scowled as she paced. No one 'tended to' her. In fact, the Fae king suggested as he passed out of the room that she keep watch over her brother and father.

As if. The house was warded up the wazoo, she reminded him.

"It is not what is outside, but what is in," Jack said and vanished. Nothing fancy, no one to impress, just 'poof'.

"I can poof too," she mumbled and then turned to pacing.

After so many turns around the room that she lost count of her steps and started over thrice, Zhe paused at the corner post of Brandon's bed. Her father had such good taste and insisted on the best of everything for them. It had always been so. Money over presence. She hated that he merely sat there, a beautiful marble gargoyle with unblinking eyes fixed on the boy on the bed.

Look at me, she thought at him. LOOK at ME!

He didn't move, didn't look.

He never could hear her. Stephen and Heidi couldn't. Wyllam couldn't. No one on earth could, not even those who claimed "psychic" power. But ever since she was small, there existed a soft voice in her head. Indistinct, distant; she reasoned it should have been disturbing, but instead, it always comforted her. When her mother left her and never returned, it assured her by its existence that she was special, wanted, needed--unique. It surrounded her in a blanket of separation when her father told her at five years old that he and his husband and Brandon were leaving for Kentucky and that she was to stay in Rhydin. Alone without family in the massive estate house.

Her fingers wrapped around the carved post and she dug her nails in. "He's going to be fine," she said.

Lirenel started at the sudden sound of her voice. He shifted those unblinking eyes that glowed inhumanly in the dim light and stared at her.

"He is. He'll be fine. He's strong. Like Jack."

The name, because she meant Jack Danser, not Jack Scot, struck her father hard. She watched him as he winced and his eyes, at last, closed.

"You didn't know him."

"I've heard plenty of stories," she said, the 't' in stories spit at him. The soft voice in her head murmured in words she, even after all this time, could not discipher but took as encouragement to speak her mind. "Heidi figured you'd both come back. That 'fine master Jack' would change his bigoted mind and you'd both come home and love me like proper fathers." The anger rose in her and yet she kept the post between them. "Every year she'd say that, at Christmas as if that mattered more to me than the presents you sent."

Her words wounded the elf. He turned his head and raised a hand as if to protect himself. "Treazen, this isn't the time," he said, his voice hollow as a tomb.

"No? When then? The next time you come to campus to bail me out of trouble like a real dad? Making everyone think you care..."

"I do, Zhe. I love you."

Dead words, dead emotions. Dead. Dead. "Do you even know what that means? Stephen and Heidi love me. They were there for every skinned knee, every stupid sock puppet. You came in boxes and pretty bows. Must have cost a lot of money to wrap those packages in ribbons of silk."

"Brandon is in trouble," he said, the anger of fear rose to match her volume. "All you can think of is you? Yes. You didn't have me around but you had everything you needed. Parents who could be parents to you. A home. Anything you wanted, I made sure you got. I couldn't be there. I couldn't be with him, either. You know that. I couldn't be trusted."

"Oh, but now you can? What makes you safe now Daddy? The King and the Actor?"

"Don't."

"Why not? Am I prodding the beast within? That's it, isn't it. There's something wrong with you, like there is with everyone in this freak show of an alternate universe, isn't there? Like there is with me! That's why Jack never wanted to be my father. That's why he took Brandon away because of all of us he," and she pointed to her brother's motionless body, "was the only normal one!"

"Right," Lirenel said, and his teeth snapped on the word. "Exactly. Brandon didn't shift, didn't vanish one day only to return three years older than he should have been. He wasn't a dream, he wasn't a monster, he wasn't a Watcher or a were-thing or a fallen flooding angel. He was a baby. A beautiful little baby who had to grow in the usual way and needed our protection."

"No matter what mother did, no matter what I came back as from wherever she took me, what do you think I was, father?"

She watched him rise to his feet. His jaw worked and he opened his mouth several times, only closing it again before he answered at last, in a voice too calm, "I don't know. I didn't know then and I don't know now, though you are behaving in a cruel and heartless fashion for a well-reared child. Still, you are my child and I am responsible for you. I am sorry, deeply so, that I have not been there when you needed me as a father should be. I fully intend upon being here, with you, from now on."

"Is that why you're giving away my house to a bunch of orphans? Is that why you sent me to Kentucky, an entire Realm away from here? So you could be there for me? You've pulled the world out from under my feet."

His jaw bunched and he pointed to the door. "I can't reason with you right now. Right now I'd like very much for you to leave me alone with Bran."

She tugged her phone from her pocket and, in defiance of him, stood there, texting someone. But she glanced at him twice and sucked in air when, the second time, he stood inches from her. His eyes showed bloodshot whites around the golden brown irises and the savage turn of his bow-shaped mouth could not be mistaken for a smile. She leapt back until her rear hit the door. Then, Zhe fumbled for the knob and rushed from the room.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 1:36 pm    Post subject: ... Months ago ... Reply with quote

"My lord?"

The snap of the elf?s head was practically audible. ?Oh, Wyll. It?s you.?

Wyllam winced. The pallor of those beautiful features emphasized inhumanity but the redness of those lovely brown eyes spoke for the soul within. How long he cried each day, none of them knew, but each day he wept. Each day he called out to his son who didn?t answer.

Wyllam padded across the carpet as silent as the shut of the door the elf hadn?t heard. He rested his hand lightly on the granite shoulder of his lord, his employer, his very dear friend and said, ?My lord, even you cannot keep this up."

The elf scrubbed his face with both hands. "I know. I think we must take him to the hospital and let mages more worthy than I pluck his spirit back to us.?

?I think that?s wise. You need rest and you cannot rest if you are in this chair every moment of every day. You owe your king more than that and you owe yourself a chance to feel joy.?

Lirenel snorted. ?Have you heard from Treazen?"

"Not a word, my lord. Though messages have been sent. Heidi says Stephen texts her daily."

"Dear God. Please, ask him to stop. I know he's worried. He's been a good father to her. Better than I. Oh, Wyll," he stretched as he stood and scrubbed his face again with his right hand. "I said horrible things to her, Wyll. Jack Danser-like things."

"Not you, sir," the man insisted, plucking gently at Lirenel's fine wrought sleeve before he withdrew his touch.

"I did. I swear to you, I did. She may never come home." He looked Wyllam over. "And I've hurt you, now, as well, mentioning him."

"No--"

Lirenel surged close, gripped Wyllam's shoulders in the vice of steel-cold fingers, a half-snarl on his lips. "Do not lie to me Wyllam! We all miss him but no one speaks of him!"

"We have only thought to spare you."

"Don't," he growled, closer than personal space allowed. He blew out air and sniffed at Wyllam, nostrils flared. "Don't spare me," he whispered. "Speak of him. Remember him. He deserves it."

"As you will, my lord," Wyllam said and brought his hands up to grip Lirenel's forearms. His heart raced at the sniffing, the proximity. By the look on Lirenel?s face he could feel Wyllam?s heart as strongly as he. "I am here for whatever you need. You know that." Ice cold fingers brushed his cheek. Wyllam shivered despite the heat of his ruddy skin.

?I know it.?

"Anything, Lirenel," Wyllam whispered. He said it though the body of the man?s son lay on the bed behind them. He offered that ?anything? though his heart tripped and fear gripped his spine. His breath fluttered.

Lirenel missed no signs. ?Were you there for him,? he whispered, close to Wyllam?s ear, ?in the long nights when I was not??

Heat blossomed on Wyllam?s cheeks at the caress of breath. He hid his eyes with lowered lids and his lips parted. "No, my lord, Lirenel."

Lirenel leaned back, just a bit, "You desired him, but he would not."

"No! No, my lord," Wyllam swore, pledged it with his whole heart even as the power of that hypnotic gaze held him, compelled him. He could only speak the truth. He watched confusion narrow his master?s gaze and then watched his eyebrows rise and his mouth part in a silent, ?oh.?

"Not him," Wyllam said and squared his shoulders.

"Not him," Lirenel echoed and withdrew again to the chair beside the bed.

"He always knew," Wyllam said, restraining the pain of the withdraw to the space of his heart rather than letting it tint his words. "He encouraged me, even. Don?t you remember? The snowball fight? Jack thought perhaps if you believed you had more than just 'old Jack' to stay for, you'd--" he stopped, certain of his knowledge, but unsure of the moment.

"You never told me."

He thought he heard sorrow in that but then, there was much for Lirenel to be sorrowful over. How could he matter much in the scheme of things? "What was I to say? You were not my husband and that matters, Lirenel. Besides, you needed one another and he needed you far more than I did."

"Have you been lonely, Wyllam? Have I failed again?"

The younger man --who, he, himself knew, looked much older already, far too old, in fact-- shook his head. "I have been content, my lord."

"Yet I have failed. Jack thought he was not enough."

Gentle, the head groom moved to the bedside to turn Brandon on his side and support him with pillows. They moved him every four hours, even through the night. "When the Summerlands and their Scarecrow King could steal you away so easily? When you took up service there on a whim that kept you from us all? Honestly, Lirenel, what ought he to have thought?"

Lirenel took Brandon's fingers into his to curl them and stroke his son's skin. "That I loved him and would be back."

"Please. Think of it from his perspective. Time moves differently for you and your Crow and to a dream, time is already far too fleeting."

"Yes."

He hesitated to echo things he knew, from conversations with Steven and Heidi, that Brandon had said, but then, he plunged ahead. Lirenel needed to know what he thought, timing be damned. "You must recognize your part in his ... waning."

The elf held his son's hand tightly. "So you agree with Brandon. I withdrew my love and Jack suffered for it."

"We all did. We missed you, my lord. We miss you still. Now there is young master Benjamin." Lirenel looked up sharply and Wyllam looked steadily back. "You cannot deny that you are with him whenever time allows."

"You are but a lad, yet, Wyll."

"Well on my way to gray. Soon, Brandon too will be old, perhaps even your young thunder-bird. But you will go on."

"You cannot know what that is like. Don't be cruel, Wyllam. It doesn't suit you."

"Have you not been cruel? Time passes still," and he gestured to his charge on the bed.

Lirenel released his son's hand. "I've been in and out of the dreamscape six ways from Sunday, Wyllam. I found him there, but he is behind a wall so think even I cannot break it. I've gone through Faerie via the Summerlands with new doorways open to me." He stood and spread his hands. "What has hold of him is beyond even me. But I haven't stopped trying. I'm not leaving him there to age and die!"

Wyllam's voice remained soft as he spoke, yet the iron in it was undeniable. He rebuked his lord with kind words. "You're stronger than all of us, yet you behave as a child. You try and then you flee to seek succor in the physical--"

"You are jealous--"

"No. I am far beyond jealous. I am angry. I love you, my lord. I do. I always will. I always have since you gave me back my dignity and let me care for your horses, animals worth so much that other owners wouldn't have let a boy like me near them. You saw me and never once did you devalue me or take advantage. And this is why I will speak the truth to you. Because someone must! You haven't tried nearly hard enough. You are the most powerful creature of your kind that I have ever known, stronger than the so-called prince of this city. Certainly stronger than the one in Kentucky and you proved that."

"I could kill him if I am not careful!"

"You are careful. You take tremendous care," Wyllam said and circled the bed to take hold of the elf's arm. "But you are far too careful!"

Despite the raising of voices, Brandon continued to breathe in and out, deep and regular, in repose. His features remained relaxed, but for the occasional twitch of a brow as if he were in deep thought.

"I would destroy any obstacle to get to him, but I won't hurt him in the process."

Wyllam nodded and squeezed the golden marble flesh revealed by the rolled up sleeve of his master's arm. "You tore out five spindles of the grand staircase in the Kentucky manor to get him free when he stuck his head between them. It wouldn't have hurt him much to wiggle his stubborn skull back through, but you wouldn't take that chance. It cost you eight hundred dollars, ten years ago, in specialized labor to replace those spindles."

?So?? Lirenel tugged his arm away.

?You will pay the price, whatever it is. Don?t shy away for fear.? The man lowered his hands and inclined his head even as his master resisted him. ?If I have stepped outside my place, I?m sorry. But steps must be taken.?

?Call the hospital. We?ll take him there today.?

?As you will, my lord.? Wyllam turned to leave the room and then make the call.

?Wyll??

That soft voice stopped him. He turned back. ?My lord??

?I love you, too. I hope you know that.?

Color rose again in his cheeks and his eyes wrinkled at the corners. ?I know.?
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2016 7:06 pm    Post subject: Awakening Reply with quote

Where am I? Where have I been? The world is the same. The sun rolls across the sky as if Apollo pulls it.

The gods of men can't answer me.

The God of gods waits and says nothing.

It might destroy me, but it gives me courage.

Where am I? Where have I been?


The white sheets were folded back, the patient awake and released. He sat up, confused, unaware of the passage of time and the first thing he asked for, with a voice creaky and dry as an old abandoned gate, was his phone so he could talk to his beautiful joy of a princess.

Lirenel-- speechless, eyes damp, overjoyed-- gave it to him, of course, fingers numb with the awareness that his son was back from wherever he'd gone into the deep dreamscape.

The kindred-elf could barely stand. He leaned against the white wall.

Magic kept Brandon's body from falling away to sores as happened in other worlds, other places when patients lay abed for so long. But he drank and he ate-- water and broth only at first-- they gave him medicine and chanted spells and the good dwarf doctor that Benji knew even stopped by.

The room reflected the tastes of the father, dark wood for the bed he'd insisted be brought in, heavy curtains, elegant iron fixtures amid the modern doohickeys and gadgetry of a thriving, well funded hospital. Even so, the son soon had nurses and doctors laughing and rejoicing with him.

Lirenel looked to Wyll who stood across the room, smiling like mad. He took up his own phone to text Benjamin and then he swept in through the gathered, happy helpers to kiss his son's forehead.

"Da--" Brandon protested, then dropped his phone in his sheet-clad lap and hugged his father as hard as coma-weak arms allowed. "Missed you, Da. So much. I'm sorry."

"You didn't do anything wrong, son," Lirenel thought he said. The reality, he would later learn from Wyll, was that he sobbed incoherently.

"It's okay, Da. Everything's okay."

Is it? Where am I? Where have I been? My son laughs, breathes, comforts me. Me. I feel washed away by gladness, numb from the cold stream of life and set adrift on Ophelia-like waves of glittering sunlight.

Benjamin? Jack? Am I really here?

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Carry on, nothing equals the splendor
Now your life's no longer empty
Surely heaven waits for you..."
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2016 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He's Awake...

Just a short text and Benjamin's lazy sprawl over Star's barrel was done. He scrambled off of the horse and thumped to his ass as he texted a response. Halfway through, he was up once more. Send, then he flared fingers at the small sacred fire pit in his front yard.

A small blaze caught quickly there, and he rummaged through his shorts before realizing he was wearing shorts. He turned to the house to simply grab a packet of Jack's cigarettes. He tossed a few to the fire, along with a few sprigs of white sage.

Benjamin paused there, whispering words of a prayer of thanks, then, he was scattered back into motion. Digging through his clothes and stumbling into a shower. Poetry in motion.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2016 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

His senses were overwhelmed so much so that, as his phone buzzed with Benjamin's text, he hardly felt the Bright Star behind him.

He turned and swept the young man up in his arms. "He's awake," he whispered close to a precious ear. "Awake!"

When the spin slowed, and he lowered Benjamin to his feet, he clutched him close. He buried his face in Benji's neck and sobbed with joy and relief.
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Now your life's no longer empty
Surely heaven waits for you..."
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2016 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

His smile was incandescent, an irrepressible joy bled off of him until he'd pulled the clouds in to set off a small thunderstorm. It wouldn't last long, enough to cool the day off.

Benjamin laughed, spun into Lirenel's arms and then holding him in turn. He murmured soft nonsense with his breath, stroking golden hair.

It had been so long since Bran had fallen into the strange coma, so much time had passed, but now it was only time to be made up.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The world turned and time bent around him.

Lirenel watched his son through the summer and the fall, through the holidays celebrated in a variety of ways and into the dawning of a new year.

Brandon spent his days reading as he recovered. His body, weaker than he expected, seem to take it's time to heal, to catch up. He exercised in the mornings, as much as he could press his body to do. It responded to none of the potions, magics, or tinctures the hospital gave. When Lirenel moved him home again, he smiled gratefully and suggested that time would heal him and "You need not worry, Father. I'll be fine."

He texted his princess daily, but only once so as, he claimed, not to trouble her overmuch. Yet, every text declared his love--at least the ones his father saw over his shoulder.

Lirenel wondered when she would consent to forgive and imagined it might take an eternity. Yet, he let Brandon be as much as possible since the young man wanted nothing so much as to read or take a quiet walk in the evenings through the meandering streets. Whenever he went out, either Lirenel --across the roof tops-- or Wyllam, at a discreet distance along the sidewalks, followed. Once or twice, even Benji joined in the game of 'follow the convalescent'. Sometimes, Lirenel thought he saw Brandon stop and talk to someone. Once, he was certain he caught the lingering scent of roses...

Zhe returned home for the holidays from school. Her grades held steady, though lower than he might have liked. Before he could speak to her about it, in fact as he searched her out on the third day of Christmas (when true loves gave French hens) he found her with her brother deep in discussion about philosophy and religion. Before they even noticed him, he slipped into the shadows to listen for a while. By the time the conversation drew to a close, Zhe promised Brandon she would bring her grades up during the spring semester and she kissed her brother on the cheek and hugged him hard. Lirenel stepped into the 'scape so they would not know he'd been listening.

He sat atop the cupola of his house, twisted the rings he wore. The silver and gold talons of Crows feet from Jack and the marvelous golden lion's head from Benji spun as he considered the things he'd overheard. He still could not be certain he knew precisely what was real and what was fantasy, but everything seemed to be going well.

Nicholas kept his nose out of Lirenel's business, which, the kindred elf predicted as wise for Nicholas and pleasant for him. The quiet held firm far longer than expected.
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Now your life's no longer empty
Surely heaven waits for you..."
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:00 am    Post subject: T-t-t-time Passages Reply with quote

~Three years, is that right?~

~More. But close enough.~

~Three years.~


That's how long to return to awareness, to regain strength. He shook his head, unbelieving.

"Can't be," he said aloud, the wind tearing the words from his lips. The storms like to rage here, on the self-same tower where the desire to enter the film-making business proved nearly fatal. Still, this one was mild. At least, compared to the one that took his senses the first time.

~'Tis true,~ his other self reminded him.

"You wouldn't lie to me, I know. Our conversations have only proven you to be an honest man."

The sensation of humble thanks filled him, not his own.

The discovery that he hosted the spirit of another had come as slowly back to him as full strength. He often still experienced great weakness, especially when his other self took control. At least the black outs seemed more gray these days. And his 'possessor' in those moments took the time now to fill him in on what he'd been up to in his host's body.

Always good things. Always noble. Always in the name of the Most High.

Except that one time when the over enthusiastic knight within found out what spray paint could do and how much fun it was to use it.

~I did apologize, Master Brandon. To you and to the Almighty.~

"You did indeed. Now, let's see how well we fare diving into the water from here, eh?"

~Do you think that--~

Between one thought and the next, Brandon leapt off the tower for the water below.

~--wise?~
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Lirenel
Young Wyrm
Young Wyrm


Joined: 25 Aug 2005
Posts: 45
See this user's pet
Jobs: Tutor
Can Be Found: Waiting in the lands of Summer for the call of his Crow.
328.82 Silver Crowns

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:07 pm    Post subject: Farewell Reply with quote

"Hello, son." Lirenel met Bran as his dive took him where he had not expected to go.

"Father!" Delight lit the lad's expression and he and Lirenel met in a tight embrace. When it ended, he--perfectly dry--stepped back to look around. "Is this... the Summerlands? Faerie?"

"It is."

"Is... he here?"

"Your Papa? Yes. I found him, at long last. I didn't expect to, but... Well, the truth is, everyone is here, Bran."

"Everyone?" Bran turned around in a circle. The cold of the water faded before the eternal warmth of the Summerlands. And there, in the distance, stood Jack Danser, one-time husband to Lirenel and Bran's biological father. "Da..."

"Go, son. You two have a lot to talk about. I'll be here."

Bran rushed off to the red head's embrace. The laughter that drifted back to Lirenel was precious, enduring. Life-altering.

He smiled and breathed deep. He left them to one another. He would talk to his former love later. All would be well.

After a moment or two--or was it forever?--a shimmer of light and dark showed him that Zhe had burst into the Summerlands and tackled Jack to the ground. For the first time, Jack Danser received his daughter with belief, with love, with forgiveness. He was done disbelieving that she was his. The eyes were unmistakably identical. Deep laughter and the sound of hooves rumbled through the world.

Titan and with him, Ephras. Two steeds bound to race the deep green grass together forever.

Lirenel strolled through bluebells underfoot and looked to the jays above.

While Zhe, Bran, and his Danser were here, something was missing and he knew it as he walked. Benji would no doubt arrive later on his own and when he wished. Time hardly mattered here. But what was it he was missing? He couldn't quite put his finger on it? He strolled further.

So long he'd been here, so very long. Happy to be lost in that which was so real it would not be ignored. So real it rustled like the shift and whisper of a cat across the floor. That surprised him. Jack would never have permitted that in Faerie. Cats were not allowed before the throne of the Crow King. He stood for a few moments (minutes, hours, days, decades...) A single drop of dew falling like a crystal tear from a bluebell to his left cried for him to stop, to stay, to marvel. He did, lost in it and the green of the trees.

The air slipped through the wings of the birds above as they flittered from perch to perch.

~I could be here forever with you, my liege.~ Only, he wasn't, was he? Here with his liege. ~Jack? Jack Scot!~

Laughter in the distance, the caw of a mightily merried crow. The flap of wings blacker than the darkest night, beady eyes swallowed the sunlight that sparkled just for him in dapple, daring dances through the flowers. in his ear and so very far away. The path ahead loomed, darker green than all the rest, large-leafed hedges donned with thorns larger than a thumb and sharp as daggers began to crowd him as he moved closer to his destiny. The whispering wind changed its tune and told of a tale of a child stolen by a Knight of Ghost and Shadows. He knew the tale well.

That was the curse of Faerie. It was always too vibrant, too sensual, too much. The unwary could falter and get lost, but those that knew could find their way, with difficulty, through the traps the realm contrived. And traps they were, not just of plants and ringing bluebells. There were other things, beings, subtle amongst the thorns. Lirenel knew them well. Tiny fae with gossamer wings that looked no more than insects--and sometimes bit like them--watched him with eyes too old for their youthful faces.

He waved and moved on.

Nuthatches turned spies swung spindly legs above. Still, others followed, wearing caps red as blood and vests yellow as daffodils. One by one, crows joined together, setting his heart racing for he loved that which they became. A raucous, roiling swirl of black feathers and harsh caws of laughter, headed for a single dark point, just ahead but that always seemed a lifetime away. It wasn't.

The King of Ghost and Shadows was suddenly there. Glamourous and colorful in a coat of ribbons and denim blue jeans. If the ribbons weren't enough... ALL THE COLORS ...his eyes were black like the feathers of his crows, but within a universe of stars and galaxies.

The Ribbon Man was tall with sharp features and a bearish nose. There was some elfish resemblance but no one would describe him as beautiful or pretty. Instead, he looked upon his knight with hungry predation, which made the knight laugh and rush to meet him.

His voice growled, "Where have you been?" For he was not only a crow. The Coyote's smile wrote need in the air and his starry gaze suggested worlds awaited them.

"Here and there, doing your bidding and admiring your realm, as well you know, my liege."

Jack shrugged. The ribbons sighed. Whispered their cool silken secrets to anyone who knew their language. His breath smelled of tobacco and whiskey and sage.

Lirenel reached for him but only caught a brush of ribbons between his fingers. Cool, soft as down, and then gone. He pressed a fleeting touch to a chest solid and ethereal at the same time. The faintest of heartbeats, steady, Crow-rapid.

His king, his god, grinned while stepping back, allowing her fingers to pull at the ribbons, but none broke free of the coat. Lirenel had his ribbon, long ago, red as red could be, red as blood. And Jack wore Lirenel's ribbon ring while Lirenel wore the dual claws of his Crow. One together, forever.

"Did you come to barter, bright knight?" He sat back upon his throne of air, so much better than his throne of ice that melted away when all the sages and siblings of summer awoke. That would come soon, too soon, or would it? Would it ever come again?

"I came to offer all I have and look for nothing in return."

Jack cawed delight and spread his arms wide, black feathered wings drawing in all the light and creating an aurora Borealis round about him. His hair, too, long and knotted, freed of claims, transformed into the feathers Lirenel so loved. He shot high into the air. "Then come! Prove it! Catch me if you can and give me all." The burst of cawing went with him, up and out along the dark green path, bidding the golden knight to fly.

"Ddim mor gyflym, fy arglwydd," he called, laughing and launching into the air, his own golden wings erupting from nothing and everything at once. They carried him aloft, and the rusty call of the crow drew him away from the green, green of trees so real it hurt to fly forever in pursuit of he whose champion he was and would forever be.








--
Taken and adapted from my very last RP with Jack Scot's player.
Thank you that even though my heart is broken, I can remember the joy.
I love you.
_________________
"Carry on, you will always remember
Carry on, nothing equals the splendor
Now your life's no longer empty
Surely heaven waits for you..."
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