[Shorts] Coverups are a bad idea

“Or a good one, depending on whom you ask,” I muttered to myself, pulling the hood across my face to cover my lips.

Keeping my head down and the basket of figs close, I walked through the market. By the time I had reached it’s end i I knew there were at least two guards eyeing me suspiciously. That was fine. My main purpose was to distract them, after all. To distract them from their duties so no one would keep too close an eye on the Temple walls. Pretty soon, I knew, I would hear a scream. The longer the guards kept their eyes on me, the better.

Someone bumped roughly into my shoulder, causing me to drop my figs. With a curse, I bent down to pick them up, letting the hood fall from my head. From the corner of my eye, I couldn’t see if that had attracted the guards. Instead, the man who had rammed into me blocked my view. My hands moved quickly to gather the figs and some urchins stole my food, which I batted away half-heartedly.

“Move your feet, you’re standing on my skirt,” I said angrily, without looking up.

“Perhaps you should be more careful of whom you speak to, Child,” a bone-chillingly familiar voice replied.

I did not falter. Instead, I continued picking up the figs. The scream came, but was abruptly cut off. “Damn, there goes another,” I thought silently.

“I did not realise that you have so many lives to waste, Alin’sa. Or is that the reason why your women get pregnant so easily?”

My hands stopped moving. I turned to look at him, slowly, knowing what I would find. The sun shone behind him, so I had to squint, but the tell-tale wings were there. As were the bronzed skin. Skin I had kissed just two nights ago.

“Tis not your concern,” I stood up, taking my basket with me. He moved his feet off the hem of my skirt.

“It is when you’re talking about my child!” his hand reached out to grab me roughly. It was only then that I realised we had been speaking in the priestly language, for it had been his actions that drew everyone’s stares and not his words.

“Your child?” I hissed in his face. “What makes you think it is yours?” even as I said the words, I wish I would take them back. The look on his face was one I would carry forever.

“Whore!” he pushed me away from him, but our palms brushed as I fell and I caught the paper he passed to me. He walked away.

I picked up my basket and hurried back to my rooms. Opening my hand, I looked at the single note. It was not a note, but a crude envelope. Within was a simple rose petal.

I fell to the floor and cried.

Dreamers of Despair

She stood at the edge of the cliff, watching the scene before her. Far away, towards the horizons, her siblings were in a tiny ship, sailing towards her. They were coming home after several months at sea. She could see them coming towards her, see the white sails on their ship approaching her. With a sigh, she raised her hands, and the wind rose at her command. The winds moved towards the sea from the large plains behind her, bringing the hot air of the land to meet the cool of the sea.

The immediate result was a typhoon that appeared out of nowhere that slammed into the ship, upending it. She could hear their screams as the ship capsized, along with the screams of a hundred wives and children as their men’s ships descended into the darkness. Their screams would follow her till the end of her days, which mercifully, would not last long.

Before she ended it though, she needed to be sure. With a sigh, she closed her eyes and sent her soul out of her body, towards the harbour where the women were wailing. There, she sought a face, a young boy with clear brown eyes and a high forehead, with an elegant nose and royal bearing. She found him where she knew he would be; at the balcony of a house overlooking the harbour, waiting for his father anxiously. He was biting his lip, seeing his father’s ship go down yet refusing to cry out like the others had.

“Good boy,” she whispered, knowing that her voice would be lost in the wind.

Yet, he turned to look at her, his eyes wide and penetrating. The soul looked back at the young man gravely, but it became apparent to her very quickly that he wasn’t looking THROUGH her, but AT her. His voice resonated through her mind, a young boy’s voice but already heavy with the passing of years.

“Do not think Death will put you out of my hands, Mignon, nor my father’s Hand to stay my anger. This has not ended,” his voice was as cold as she remembered, sending shivers down her back.

Turning, she sought to head out to the sea, to complete her work, but instead found herself being pulled back to her body at high speed. As she landed dizzily, she realised that small hands were pushing her towards the cliff, forcing a stiff human body forward past the edge. She could not regain control of her body fast enough; the only thing that registered was that she had stepped off the cliff. Looking upwards as she flailed, she saw the one who had pushed her down; brilliant green eyes looked at her emotionlessly as deep red hair whipped across the face of the child that had pushed her.

“Annwn…” was the only thought she had as she hit the sea.,

Chapter 2: Awakening

735 words.

She awoke from her sleep with the cool breeze carressing her face. Opening her eyes, she sat up. The wind was coming in from the open window next to her. Turning, she lifted her face to the sky, letting it wash over her face. Opening her eyes, the first thing she saw was the full bright moon. She smiled at the moon, and then turned her attention to the beach. The full moon lighted up the night sky brilliantly, throwing many things into sharp focus, almost as though it was day. She did not even need to light a candle inside her room; it was that bright.

Her eyes roamed the horizons of the sea, trying to see if there were any ships passing by. Ships often passed this way, since they lived so close to Harbour. Tonight though, there were no ships out. It was too close to the rainy season, and although the sky was clear, most ships would have started to take shelter in the town and close trading for the season. Merchants were generally a pragmatic and practical lot; it was those who had nobles as backers that tended to take unnecessary risk. To make a really rich profit though, one had to sometimes take a calculated risk.

Or rather, throw everything you had into a venture that would make or break you.

She sighed. Stretching, she threw the thin blanket off her legs and put her feet into a pair of flat slippers. She deliberately chose not to wear night rove; the wind was deliciously cool after the heat of the day. Standing up, she reached for the small joss stick by the side of the bed. Going to a corner of the room, she laid the joss stick aside as she pulled out an incense burner and a small container. She reached into the jar to pull out a sealed pouch which she opened. Holding the pouch on the palm of her hand, she picked up the joss stick and poked at the dying embers of charcoal in the incense burner. As they flared, she reached into the pouch and extracted two tiny lumps of incense and dropped it on the red embers. The scent of myrrh immediately permeated the room, even as the wind snatched it away through the open window. Putting everything back, she used the ember to light the joss stick, then used the joss stick to light an oil lamp.

The soft, yellow light seemed woefully inadequate compared to the white moonlight, but the interior of the house was rarely touched by the sun, much less the moon. She carefully killed the joss stick and then left the room. The hallway was dark, and the weak light was better than nothing. Although she had memorised the layout of the house and it was relatively simple to navigate, she did not want to get used to this place. Her home was not here.

She made for the inner garden, the small oasis where the herbs grew and rare flowers would bloom this full moon’s night. She extinguished the light as she came down the stairs, being able to see where the moonlight shone into the house. Stepping outside into the garden, she was immediately assaulted by many different scents, the underlying base being the sea breeze that had awoken her. She put the lamp down and her slippers next to it, stepping barefoot into the garden to walk on the smooth earth. Carefully, she looked among the herbs for a certain plant, and almost missed its small white flowers as it bloomed between rosemary and thyme. She knelt carefully, clapped her hands twice and bowed her head in supplication, saying a silent prayer. Then she carefully plucked two flowers and put them in her hair.

Looking up to the sky, she spread her hands wide and began singing. The wind whipped more strongly around her, carrying her voice away. Flower bloomed and petals flew, dancing around her in joy. She merely stood there, singing wordlessly. The wind seem entranced by her song, picking up speed and dropping flower petals onto her as though to bathe her in adoration. For the young woman, deeper still was the trance she pulled herself into as she sang.

Her song ended abruptly with a sharp note. When that note ended, the wind died and she collapsed, crumpled into a heap.

Dreamers, Chapter 1


“They have moved in, Maiden. The shrine will be sighted three minutes from now. No signs of the guards.”

“The old shrines do not have human guards. Tell the girls to be careful,” the Maiden stood behind the woman at the console, who relayed her orders dutifully. Despite all expectations, the Maiden expected the mission to fail miserably. She would count it a success if anyone in the field made it out alive at all.
Read More »Dreamers, Chapter 1

Dreamers Prologue: Walking in Darkness

Same characters, different take on the same story and path. Yes, I’m rewriting it again. Take this as a sort of AU fic till I can figure out where to slot it. Blame Naoko and Sukina. Don’t look at me like that, ladies. You threw this on me. Also, I apologise for the long sentences. 1081 words.

Kamiya was running.

As she did, her senses picked up people who were disturbed by her passing, much the same as a ripple on a calm pond as a pebble skipped across it. She smiled to herself at the analogy. Like the pebble, she would have to sink sooner or later, but unlike the pebble she could choose where to sink. If she remembered the place right, the person she was looking for would be up by now. That person would also be quite annoyed, but Kamiya was certain that the news she brought was worth the pain of listening to a lecture.

Read More »Dreamers Prologue: Walking in Darkness