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In an empty field, twilight
A fortnight later


I sat there and started at the space that once held a dilapidated water tower for a very long time. It seems almost inconceivable that it's gone...

almost as inconceivable as what befell Iblis.

Oh, I will admit I felt a moment of prideful satisfaction; let us see how you enjoy being trapped in a flesh suit!, but no... what those creatures did to him was much more than that. More fulsome. The did not trap him, they remade him.

And then the horror replaced the amusement.

Not him. Never him. He should not be so reduced; diminished. The brightest, the most beloved...
And I wept.

And then... the world stopped. Time stopped. And I was no longer alone.

لدي اقتراح بالنسبة لك، معالج ....

And I wept at the sound of his voice, for I had not heard it since before recorded time began.

*************************************

It may have been centuries we talked, or a fraction of a second. I could never gauge time within The Presence of Ahura Mazda.

And I have been called upon to serve man once again; but as a necessary evil. To fill a void that Iblis left.

تفهم الحاجة إلى كل من الظلام والضوء، وكنت أفهم أنه أفضل من جميع أولادي.

I pinch the bridge of my nose and take a deep breath.

"Lilith..." I breathe into the air. We have much to discuss.

(Open to Lilith)

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We knew it would come.

For four years, ever since the dream of the red city and the blue, we knew it would come. For three months, ever since the dream of Nanshe telling me what we must do.

And yet we always thought we would have more time before we had to be ready.

We very nearly were ready, that night that the earth shook.

I gathered up everything that I had been crafting and collecting, and went to find my family. I hugged Marie and Luc very tightly, and told them that I loved them. And then I told Valmont, and held him for as long as I could. We were both so full of fear and hope and love that we could barely find words, but we did not need to speak to know how the other was feeling. "I love you," I said once more, and kissed all of my family.

I dared not think of what might happen if I did not come back, what might happen if I failed. I could not think of that.

And then I ran.

Down to the river I speed, between the crashes of thunder and tremors of the earth. 'It is already raining,' I think, with a giddy, hysterical gasp of laughter. Do the Adversaries know that they have done some of the work for us? Do they care?

I know that I do not need to send word to Syl or Chester or any of the others who have been working on this great spell. Our magic has been twined so closely together over the last few months that I can sense them all, if I listen hard enough, and I know that they are all coming.

One by one we arrive at the banks of the river, just as we have planned to do for so many months. A little thrill still runs through me when I see everyone gathered. There are so many! So many who have come together for this cause, who never might have even spoken to each other were it not for their love of Excolo, and desire to keep it safe. Even if we are not all friends with each other - for Syl and I still are not, even though our respect for each other has grown as we worked together - we all love Excolo, and that is enough.

I have brought silver and mistletoe for protection - the same things that Chester taught me about in my very first lessons with him! I spread them in a wide circle around us to shield us from as much harm as possible while we work.

Our magic winds together, and we start to draw Nanshe's essence out of the earth, out of the water…

The instant that my magic touches the river, I can tell that there is something different. Not just Nanshe's essence that we have been concentrating in the water - there is something else. More divinity, more power. Something new and fresh, something that feels like spring and growth and fertility. I do not know its source, but I know at once that it is good. The new power flows into our spell, filling it with new life.

I am so deep into the spell that I do not even notice the thunder anymore. I see nothing but our threads of Power; I feel nothing except the growing magic and the rising tide of Nanshe's essence, each of us adding our own strand to the spell. Water and earth and fire and air and divinity, all coming together as one.

Air is mine - as we draw Nanshe's essence into the sky, I send out more and more threads of my own Power. We bind our Power together to make a bridge between the earth and the heavens, between the water and the sky.

The bridge is Nanshe, and the rain is Nanshe, and the earth is Nanshe. And now we are Nanshe too, as her divinity washes over us in the rain. I smile as the rain touches my skin, for now I know that we will succeed.

We have helped Nanshe give the gift that she wished to give to the people of Excolo: herself.

Est deus in nobis.

[Open to anyone working to stop the apocalypse]
Evening of Tuesday, 12 June; The Tavern of Hell

It is these pauses that are our undoing. It is then that sedition enters the fortress and our troops rise in insurrection. Once before he had paused, and love with its horrid rout, its shawms, its cymbals, and its heads with gory locks torn from the shoulders had burst in....

I wore this body here once. It was a wet night; I remember how this body stumbled, a knee going down into the dirt. The witch's mouth on mine, tasting of cigarettes. I was grieving for the Night Wind then; I am always grieving for him, it seems. Or myself. It is a fine line.

That grief was for how he had betrayed me, what he had made me feel. This grief... If I did not know better, I would say it has a taste of regret to it. That is a different savour than other sorrows; a bilious feeling, a sick pain under the ribs.  (Bodies are so useful for these articulations.) Something that feels regret can feel remorse, and that can lead to reconciliation; and those are things I will never have.

I thought I had known sorrow; but these feelings are - different enough in a way that is... unbearable. I have endured for so long. But not for much longer. I have decided to move matters on apace, faster than I planned. I had thought to wait until Rose was ready for her first blood; the symbolism appealed. But though I think she would reach that in three years, I am impatient now, as I have not been in a long time.

Come, reap.

I pick up my glass and drain it.

[Open]

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Wednesday, September 24th
Late enough that it is way too early
The backyard of The Dormouse


Lilith chided me to no end; calling me a sentimental fool and overly attached to the talking monkey.

And she was not wrong, not in the slightest. I was... I could not call Lucien Constantine a friend, but I had a great deal of respect for the man. Perhaps, many eons ago, before... we might have even liked one another.

In the form of smoke on the air, I slipped into the Tavern. For the obvious reasons, I could not attend in human form, but I felt the need to be there. To hear the stories, the taste the tears, to smile at the laughs and ridiculous stories. There were many of those. And there were many stories of how he helped, how we saved, how he cared. In the end... Lucien was a good man, respected and loved. It sat well with me, and it was odd that I felt it needed to.

Perhaps I am still too much of what I once was, and could never truly be again.

Dawn is coming, and My Lady waits on me for us to depart this accursed town, but I have one thing left to do. For him. I settle into my human form, and wait under her tree.

Open to Wanda

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Thursday, August 21st
Late afternoon, The Woods


Much to my annoyance, I have found we are just as bound to this wretched town now as the humans and petty gods are. Which is problematic, because now my human form as been labeled a murderer and I can no longer walk freely in my human form in town.

Not that I have not been busy. I can stalk the nights in my true form, and roam about the farthest reaches of the town lines and about the darker cor sprawl ners of the carnival. And Lilith has keep me very busy indeed. Between My Lilith and My Tiger Lily, I barely pay any attention to life outside our garden of delights.

But today the breeze was sweet and full of the life in the woods, and the urge to roam and stalk was too great. I slipped away in my animal form, and now I am quite sated after tracking and bringing down a large and rather mean cougar.

After I washed the blood off, I managed to find a clearing where the sun beats down on soft grass, and what is a lion but a giant housecat? With a satisfying stretch and a yawn, I sprawl out in a sunbeam and let myself doze, watching the pollen motes dance in the breeze through slitted eyes.

(Open to Alice)

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July 3rd, Friday night
Stumbling homewards along the bank of the river


I am not sure who is helping who to walk; Iago helping me or me helping Iago. Maybe it wasn't the best idea to grab him and take him over to La Fee Verte ... but he was mopey and it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Admittedly, I don't have the best track record with good ideas. We got drunk on absinthe. Then I thought it would cheer him up ever more, so we went to see the show at The Grindhouse. Then Daiyu happened. Before I could say 'boo', we were back in her trailer, chasing the dragon. What happened next is still rather fuzzy. I am pretty sure we didn't have sex, with either her or each other, but I am pretty sure we got a private viewing of her contortion act.

But now my head just hurts, and Iago's giggling madly and stumbling over his own feet, and I may just need to sleep this off.  Maybe I just want to get back inside....

Shake my head to make that crawling feeling go away.  I'm being silly, it's not like I am out alone, after all.  Iago is babbling something about his cousins, and I can't follow any of it.  "You are an absolute mess, do you know that?" I say, half sighing, half laughing. "Granted, I am an absolute mess too." We both stumble and barely keep each other from going down face first into the river.

"We are never telling Glass about this, right?"

(open to Iago and Marbas and Kaeli)

I can do it you gently
I can do it with an animal's grace
I can do it with precision
I can do it with gormet taste

But either way
Either (way), either way
I wanna kill you
I wanna blow you...
Away



July 2nd
Later at night, the banks of the Pontalier


I am far off enough that no one can see me from the buildings.  I am doubtful anyone would even notice me if they walked right below the tree I am perched in.  After an eternity of existance, one can learn to be still for quite a long time, even when trapped in human form.

I am about two hours into my vigil when the prey I am stalking comes into view.  From across the river, I can see Lucien step out onto the porch and light a cigarette.  Even from  here, my keen sight registers  the way his eyes dart about.  He finishes the cigarette... no, he abandons it and retreats back inside.  I can hear the 'click' of the lock, even from here.

He knows.

The growl starts low in my throat and escalates into a growl that echoes in the dark around me.

Witnesses be damned.  The eleventh hour has come. 

(closed)

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Mar. 17th, 2012

{Early Evening- Tuesday, 29th June ~ Day 394}
{Crossroads DanceHall}


Tonight I'm gonna have myself a real good time
I feel alive
And the world turning inside out, yeah
And floating around in ecstasy, so
Don't stop me now
Don't stop me
'Cuz I'm having a good time, having a good time


It is finally time to open the doors.
The lights are on- thanks to a couple folks from the fair who came out to help me with 'em. And the musics' done warming up now- sounds of instruments tuning and and the player's psyching each other up have given over to songs playing and feet stomping along.
A few brave souls have opened the dancing and there are mostly smiles all around.

So far so good.

A lot of the younger set know me by now from hiring them for the clean-up, and I put up some signs around town, so hopefully we'll have a good turn out.
And now that the greater part of the haying is done, people are in a good mood. People like to dance and come out and see each other when they're happy. Even in a strange town like this that holds true.

Smooth my skirt as I circle the floor towards the drink stand. I'll probably take a few turns of my own tonight, but mostly my job is to meet people who don't know me yet and get them to like me enough to come back. If the night continues like this, I do think it'll turn out fine.

The band starts another song, and I find my smile is genuine.

(The DanceHall is open to all! Come on in and have fun!)

I love mankind; it's people I can't stand.

Wednesday, June 19th
The Bridge of the Pontalier, early evening


It is such a frustrating thing, to be bound in this form.  It is both uncomfortable, and far too familiar for my tastes.  Lilith has grown impatient with me, and my reluctance to kill Lucien Constantine.  She mocks me for my fondness for the doctor, and my human sensibilities.  I have offered up the excuse that our CeCe could benefit from having a human parent has she develops...

but that is exactly what it is; an excuse.

Perhaps My Lady is correct.  Perhaps I have become too soft hearted, from being both trapped inside Lucien and within this human shell for as long as I have been.

These are the melancholy thoughts that occupy my mind as I wander through town, towards the fairgrounds.  It is a rather humid night, and the clouds are crowding out the stars and the sky.  There's a breeze that has the promise of a rain storm on it, but it's pleasing in it's way.  I stop on the bridge, and tilt my face upwards, inhaling deep.  I still have retained my keen sense of smell, and of sight and hearing.  I can hear the carnival games in the distance, and the lights sway and bob, dancing in the breeze.  The scent of hay, sugar confections and baked dough are pleasant, but moreso is the far off storm and electricity in the air.

With a rather contented... or resigned sigh, I hoist myself up to sit on the wall of the bridge.  People come and go from the Carnival, and to and from the businesses on Silk.  It is a curiously relaxing thing, to just sit and do nothing.

Yes.  Far too human for my tastes.

(open)

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Do you see what I see?

Late Morning, June 7th,
Day 372
The Abbey


When I woke this morning, my first thought was that I was still dreaming. It had been summer when I bedded down, and now I look out to see the Abbey's gardens blanketed in snow. The training yard and the lawns and the trees, all coated in white. I dressed rapidly and rushed out....it was no illusion. Snow, covering the ground. In June.

My first thought as I walked to the stables was that this must be some trick of the Devil's. The snow is lovely, soft and shining and white, but the Devil's tricks can be hidden under a guise of beauty. Perhaps he plans to destroy the town's crops, or ruin the growing season, or blight the farms, or...

But a loud whinny distracts me from my thoughts. Devil trickery or no, Hirondelle still needs to be fed.

The stables are still warm, at least, and Hirondelle is prancing at the door of her stall, stretching her neck towards me. She, at least, doesn't seem disconcerted by the weather. In fact, as I fill her grain bucket and water, she looks longingly towards the door. Boaz is already out in the paddock, and Hirondelle obviously wants to join him...well, why not. I need time to think of how to approach this, anyway. I let Hirondelle finish her breakfast, and then lead her out to the paddock.

God gave man stewardship over the animals, but that does not mean that animals have nothing to teach us. For it is Hirondelle who shows me how foolish I am being. As soon as I remove her halter, Hirondelle whirls and charges through the snow, sending great clouds of it shining through the air. She rears, prances like a filly, then drops to roll, kicking her legs in glee. I can't help laughing as I watch her, my great and dignified warmare, as she cavorts and kicks up her heels like a new foal. And it is watching her that makes me realize...whatever this is, it is no Devil's trick. It is a gift from God, meant to bring us joy.

I turn my face up to the sky, and I smile, and I give thanks, and my mare leaps with joy.


[OPEN]

Murder is terribly exhausting.


Outside the Doctor's Office
Late afternoon, Monday May 3rd

It is one of those beautiful Spring days that poets write about, that make children look out schoolroom windows longingly, and have people out enjoying the sunshine in droves.

It is most inconvienent.

It's been increasingly harder to find Lucien alone.  That night of him railing and moaning by the fire was the closest I've come, but that damn bartender came along as I started to move in.   And now he's got the dark haired girl back in his bed and apartment.  Complication after complication.  It's not that I shy away from bloodshed, not at all.  And if the truth be told, I am getting to the point where I will kill half the town if I bloody well have to...

but now knowing exactly how long it will take to be restore to my self after Lucien breathes his last.  Well, I don;t want to be caught in human form by a lynch mob before I find out.  It would amuse Iblis, I am sure, if I were to kill the man and then find myself dangling from the hangman's noose before I revert back. 

I take a sip of coffee and shift myself to a more comfortable position under a tree.  To everyone else, I am just the mild mannered school teacher relaxing in the sun.  But not for much longer if I can help it.

(Open to Lilith)


Wednesday, sometime, somewhere in Dream

Once upon time there was a beautiful princess. Her hair was the colour of jet and her skin was the colour of nutmeg, and each of her teeth were like pearls. Flowers grew where she walked, so that the fields around the tower that was her home was carpeted in blooms as white as snow. The princess was very happy, all save for one thing: her fear that one day the thorn of one of the flowers would prick her. Her servants combed the field for thorns every day, trimming the stems so that it would be safe for her to walk. But still the princess was afraid, and she neglected to notice that each month the forest encroached closer on her home, until one day, standing in her field of flowers, she looked up to see the trees looming around her, undergrowth thick with thorns. Frightened, she fled inside, and as she ran she began her first bleeding, and the blood that trickled down her thigh fell to the earth and stained the roses around the tower a deep and brilliant red.

Inside the tower the princess was afraid that she was dying, for her father had always insisted that royal blood was the most precious of all things and must never be spilled. Weeping, she showed the blood to her old nurse, who laughed and kissed her cheek and told her this was the secret gift of women, and now she was blessed. So the princess wiped her eyes, and was no longer afraid of bleeding. But the thorns of the forest came for her all the same.
Dream.

There is a great sea. The sky is grey, the water green, and the seafoam is the flecked white of milk on the turn. The shore is stone and shingle, and the cliffs are bone-shades. Will you wake on the little fishing boat that rides the waves, wary of great beasts that lurk beneath the surface, or on the cold and stony shore? Or perhaps as some watery thing yourself, breathing in water as cold as ice and with a salt-iron taste like blood?

[OPEN TO ALL]

Love is in the air

Sunday, February 14th
Valentine's Day


I sit on my bed with my legs crossed, writing real careful in my notebook. MRS CLARA GRANGER I write, all tidy, then underneath I practice my signature. Clara Granger. That nice man at the market swore it wouldn't take too long for him to propose after he drank the potion. After I practice my signature a few times I write our names together. PETER AND CLARA, and I put them inside a nice big heart.

I hear Momma shouting for me and I sigh. I know she won't approve when Peter and I get together, cos he is a bunch older than me and she says seventeen is way too young to settle down. But I know she married Pop at nineteen, so she's just a hypocrite. And Peter's a real good catch - got his own job, his own place. There's that Maya of course to worry about, I think, and I push my pencil a bit too hard into the page and the point breaks. But once Peter's had the potion he won't remember that he likes her. I just need to work out how to get it to him.

Momma shouts again.

"Coming!" I shout. I know she wants me to go to that dumb Valentine's market and help her sell quilts. Ugh. But Peter might be around town, so I check my hair is nice before I go down.

***


This punch just don't look too appetising. I sigh and shout for Clara again. What is that girl doing? Probably dreaming about that barman. She thinks I don't know she's moony about him. I'm just glad he's got a sweetheart, or else he might go for my Clara - she's real pretty and men like adoring girls. He's much too old for her. I taste the punch and it's real nice, course it is, made from our fruits, but the colour just don't pop. Feeling a bit guilty, I get out some food colourant and drop it in, and it goes a nice reddish colour. That's about right for Valentine's, ain't it? I stopper up the barrel. Clara comes down.

"Get those quilts in the cart, will you?" I say, hustling her out and then getting the punch on the wagon. Roads are clear, so we get set up easy. Just a few stalls for this - jewellery, flowers, all kinds of novelties. I put out the prettiest quilts - maybe some guy'll think one'd make a nice present for his wife, and more practical than earbobs - and set up the punch.

"Free punch, sir?" I say, holding out a cup. After a bit of prodding I get Clara dishing up punch too. Hopefully it'll be a good day.

[OPEN]
[Closed]
Saturday, January 23rd
On Silk Road, late evening.


I walk along, in no particular hurry to be anywhere, whistling to myself.  The chaos of the previous week has seemed to pass, for the most part.  One thing about the good citizens of Excolo; many of them are damn good at ignoring the unusual and just 'forging ahead', as it were.  Iblis is not around that I can tell.  Even in my diminished capacity, I can still feel him and Lilith withing my blood and bones.  And Lilith...

she returned to the Garden soon after the lightning storm.  CeCe was thrilled to see mommy again.  Hellfire, I was thrilled to see mommy again.  Sans bunny slippers.  I decided to let the whole 'domestic goddess" thing go...  if she wants to talk about it, I shall let her bring it up. 
I rather like breathing. 

The moon peeks out from behind a cloud and I look up and smile at it's pale glow before it is obscured again. It is late, and CeCe should be asleep now.  It has been quite some time since my Lady and I have been out and together.  I think of her, her fire, her passion, her fury... I know it will call to her.  If she wishes to join me for a drink, I know my desire for her will sing out to her.  She always knows when I am thinking of her.

Feeling cheerful, I stuff my hands in my pockets, and my whistling lends itself to song.

There's a moon over Bourbon Street tonight
I see faces as they pass beneath the pale lamplight
I've no choice but to follow that call
The bright lights, the people, and the moon and all
I pray everyday to be strong
For I know what I do must be wrong
Oh you'll never see my shade or hear the sound of my feet
While there's a moon over Bourbon Street


I smile to myself and head to the Tavern of Hell.  Sometimes, I do so enjoy this godforsaken little town.

(Closed)

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[Mid-morning, Saturday, January 16th, day 230]
[Back on the streets...]



I didn't want to leave my new food-friend, but my newer friend said to come and food-friend said to go on, so I went, but new friend wasn't very much fun. We sat down and she stared at me and then pulled on my ears and then kept staring at me so I went away. And then I was sad because I had no friend and no food, but then I saw a squirrel and then I forget.

I slept under a porch. It's scary at night. I feel strange at night, like my skin's too tight and weird thoughts run through my head and my ears hum and I start shaking and drooling and so I just go to sleep until it's light again because that's easy. When it's light I don't feel strange at all anymore, and I wriggle out and roll in the snow and tear open a bag of garbage because it smells like food and once I'm full I start trotting down the street. Maybe I'll meet more new friends.


[OPEN]

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Joy to the World!

The church; early evening of the Feast of the Nuptials of the Year

Been a long day today - up all night waiting for dawn, singing in the day with candles and evergreen, using the high holy tongue to praise our Lady on her wedding day. Nanse nin per ta pa an-se ga-la-am... We were on our knees from midnight in the church, and it was bloody freezing, our breath steaming in front of us. Fucking painful, kneeling like that. First it's uncomfortable, then it's numb, then it starts hurting again, low dull hot ache that lights into a screaming burn, and then it goes back down into an ache and an annoyance and finally, sweet-fucking-finally, numbness again. Still, we got the braziers lit as the light starting rising, and the herbs we were burning got us all high enough that the aching didn't matter so much. Still nearly fell on my face when I tried to get up. A few of the novices did topple over, poor bastards. And we greeted the first light of day by blessing the altar with water and oil, and then we broke bread all together over the altar, mopping up the oil with the slices, smell of incense and herbs in the air, and we ate for love of each other and for our goddess. Fucking ace.

Day's been busy getting the feast ready for tonight. Novices were allowed to take a nap this afternoon, but I've had too much to do to think about lying down. Still, though I haven't slept in nearly two days, I'm feeling pretty alright.

Brother Ash leads the service tonight, and I'm glad he does. Think we're all coming to terms with the fact that Oya's not coming back, and we're going to need a new abbot or abbess. I'd pick Ash, myself. Some people have said I could do it, but I don't think that'd be right. I've got a long journey yet to go before I should be in charge of a community.

Greet the congregation at the door. Get a nice turn out despite the snow. People come in carrying gifts for Nanshe and our community, filling baskets by the door with dried fruit and bolts of cloth and handfuls of silver, and as the service starts novices heft the baskets up onto their shoulders and take them up the aisle to the altar while the rest of us sing with one voice
The lady of the good utterance whose purpose cannot be taken away;
Nanshe, may she be praised in the countries!


When the service is over, each member of the congregation is handed a candle. We extinguish the lights of the church, and light instead the candles of our members, row by row. Light ripples outward in the winter dark, and the doors of the church are thrown open.

"Go in peace," says Ash. "The darkness falls in the face of our love."

I watch them go out, light spreading across the pitch black courtyard. Never get tired of this moment, not even after twenty years. Think it'll always be one of my favourite moments of the year.

Some people head home, out of the gates, but most head toward the refectory where we'll have our feast. My stomach rumbles. I'm fucking starving. But for now I stay by the door, greeting our people as they go by.


[Open to all!]
(Tuesday, December 1st, late afternoon)
(The residence of Arik Underwood)


Whistling, I've made the trek back to the small house outside town proper and unlock the door, letting myself in. Granted, I have no reason to actually use the house, for I spend my nights with Lilith and Celeste in the Garden, but I am playing the part of respectable teacher and it looks good to travel to a real home every night instead of the woods. After all, you never know who may be watching.

I set the paper I have to quickly scan down on the table along with the apple cookies I bought for Celeste. I could put off the grading, but truly, it will only take a few moments. I sit down and start leafing though the stack, making checks and notes here and there. Who knew the town council would be so glad to have a second teacher in residence? Apparently, with the town growing, there are more children, and with two teacher, more attention can be paid individually. I thought Lilith was going to sever my head after I told her about my employ, but it has it's uses. Children speak so easily about what is upsetting them. "Mommy drinks too much." and "Daddy spends a lot of nights in town." All little things I pass on to my Lady to do with as she will.

I have just reached and essay from a thirteen year old about War of the Roses. "The liked red better than white and only wanted to plant..."
With a groan, I get up and find my whiskey. It's going to be along afternoon if they are all like that.

(Open to Lilith)

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Sunday November 22nd
Day 175
Afternoon



Seeing him busy talking to someone in the congregation, I wave to Laurence, and leave the church. His sermon today was nice, leaning more towards the teachings of Jesus, loving and caring for each other instead of the ones with fire and brimstone and smiting. I can't say I much enjoy the ones about smiting. Even though the church reminds me of the last time I saw Lúgh, I still try to come every couple of weeks to learn and show him my support. I go to the Abbey the other two weeks of the month.

Wanda told me what happened that night Lúgh died, and at first I was angry, not at her, but at him. He knew what might happen and because he lied. But then when the anger passed, all I could do was cry. Even in class, I'd hear or see something that reminded me of him and I'd smile. Then I'd have to excuse myself and leave the room, feeling my eyes burn with tears. I know what he did was out of love and to do good, but why does it have to result in death? I saw Lucien before it happened, I saw the sadness and the horrible state he was in. I haven't been able to bring myself to see him since. Its not that I blame him, but I'm scared that seeing him might be more of a reminder than I can take.

I haven't used my powers since Lúgh died, I don't want to. Two that I loved gone in less than a month. and me with this power, I couldn't do a single thing except feel them go and feel the emptiness that's left in their place. Whats the use? When I get to the school house I don't feel much like company so instead of sitting out front, I go around back to the playground and sit in the swing. Though the air is cool, the sun is out and I don't mind. Even the sun does little for the chill inside me that took hold the night Lúgh died. Except for that one night not long ago when I woke up crying and feverish after dreaming of a beautiful, bright, warm, light, nothing has much of an affect. I can't even drink whiskey without it reminding me of him. As I swing, I'm relieved as my thoughts shift to a safer topic, the upcoming school tests. Not fun, but with all of the new students, its a good way to check progress and see where everyone is at. Leaning my head against the rope, I think of the test and what questions I'll ask.

[OPEN TO MARBAS] [CLOSED]

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Sunday, November 15th.
Day 168
Night


After leaving the two to sort out their little fight, I returned to my garden. Sick and heavy from the poison growing within my form. I knew what it was, what he had done. But never like that, something had gone wrong. As the only female of my kind, I was gifted with the ability to bring new life, but never at the price of my own. He is no better than the first or the rest, using me to serve his own needs. I expelled that poison into my garden and watched as among a thick patch of tiger lilies, a small human-like creature appeared, an infant. My own human form came back as I lay on the grass, next to the lilies and newborn.

Just one. Not one-hundred but one, just a small single one, made of flesh, blood and bone. I knew what he did when I felt it stir and move inside me, but how is it possible that this little creature is his and mine? We have been many things, him and I, but among them, human was never one. Oh My Marbas, what have you done?. Then a small pathetic meww issues from her mouth and when I draw her to my breast, she purrs, like him. Tiny hands knead at my breast as needle sharp teeth bite down, mixing blood with milk and flame, and even in my anger, I smile, she's mine.

I know Iblis didn't end my Marbas, we would have felt it, her and I. I have see neither him nor Iblis since that night, nor do I wish to. Long ago, I turned my back on all that I loved rather than become a slave, and once again, I am done. But I find that even now I wait, wait for them to come like they used to, come and take her away, to join with the rest of the little lights that once, when I was young, held me enthralled. Not one-hundred this time,not even two, just this tiny, single, one.

We have not moved from our bed of grass and lilies, her curled content in my arms as I stare down at her, wondering at her human body and what went wrong. Of course she's perfect, skin as soft as petals, hair red, and eyes as blue as flame, but the human body is not a guise or a shell, she has no other form, yet she is not harmed by my flame. She seems to like it as a matter of fact. Perhaps its because it is warm or from which she was born. Regardless, none of mine have ever turned out like this,small, weak or frail. Maybe that is why they have not come to take her away like the rest, their light is part of her too. Nobody else will bother us here,Here she is safe, the garden is hidden and will protect her as it does me, she is a part of it now. I feel her drifting off and feeling her fatigue as if it were my own, I too drift off to sleep with her still purring and suckling, wrapped tightly in my arms.

[OPEN TO MARBAS]          [CLOSED]

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