Almost Drabbles


Hugo sighed as he spotted the young heir in the sitting room, staring daggers at Hugo over his book as if he wouldn’t notice.
Iolas had been sulking like that all week. That brat.
“Amusing, is it not?”
Hugo glanced at Delano guiltily.
Delano’s smile was sharp at the corners. “Oh, don’t be droll, Hugo, I’ve noticed your little rivalry with my brother. I poached you from his service, after all, simply to see him vexed.”
Hugo blinked, ducking his head, as he leaned over to refill Delano’s cup with more wine. The Ralovyre family politics at play were none of his business.
“What do you think?”
“About what, sir?” Hugo asked politely.
Delano was lounged comfortably back on the sofa, body perfectly relaxed, like a jungle cat lounging in the sun. He smiled up at Hugo, dangerous, comfortable, a predator at ease in his home watching its prey in amusement. He gestured his glass towards Iolas. “Between me and him, who’s more fit to be heir?”
It was always about the heir business, with these two, as if nothing else ran through their heads.
“I’m not sure I’m qualified enough to say, sir.” Hugo said, keeping his eyes lowered. “Besides, I don’t want any trouble.”
“Oh, it’s no trouble, Hugo. I was the one asking for your opinion,” Delano said, voice all smooth-like. Smooth like the curve of a blade at his neck, perhaps. Delano turned back to his phone, golden rings glinting at his fingers, “The servants tell me you’re a bit of a recluse. You keep to yourself most of the time, have little to say.”
Hugo frowned. These days, he could tell Delano’s interests were turning towards him, now. He liked following Delano around, truly, he respected him. But the people who caught Delano’s interests usually ended up in hot fire, cooked alive and watching themselves burn.
“Always watching your words— and when you open your mouth at all, always on the verge of saying too much.” Delano chuckled. “I often find that people like you have the most going on up here.” He tapped a finger at his temple. “What have you got cooking up there, Hugo? You can trust me. I can keep my secrets.”
Hugo dared to look over, dared to study Delano’s profile. Delano wasn’t even watching him, as if the both of them didn’t know exactly the type of secrets Delano kept. Hugo still had a stab wound from the one he’d buried just last night. Delano kept many, many secrets. Delano’s gaze flicked over, his hazel eyes meeting Hugo’s own dark orbs. Hugo attempted not to break out in cold sweat.
Delano laughed, and the moment was broken as he patted Hugo’s shoulder energetically. “I’m only jesting, friend. Don’t look so serious.” Delano grinned.
Hugo disliked whenever Delano got like this. All of these twisting words and politics. Hugo could barely keep up, and most of it went over his head anyway. Why couldn’t anyone in this house just speak plainly and come out and say what they wanted to say? Was this what all rich people were like?
Iolas was gone, now, he noticed, and Hugo sighed a half-breath of relief.

lovely blue


forever is a lonesome word
I swore I’d never save your soul

I stare into the lovely blue
the scattered cries of heaven’s tomb
a people living messy days
I walked and could not lift my gaze
as tales of a thousand years
slowly entered people’s ears
a monster risen from the grave
whose birth began before the days

there are no tales of simpler times
only existing in my mind
a world before the end began
an ending that erased your name
I move on through people’s song
fickle crowds that cheer or boo
I stumble on through countless years.

I can create.
you’re mine to make.
but your will I cannot hold in hand,
erased by time, a wedding band
yet time cannot erase your mind in mine

Next: joke prophecy

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went over like a freight train
wrecked by my own ways
woke up in a new place
with my violence, be honest
was sure you’d come to kill me

but you’re killing me with kindness
I’m not sure what to do with this
you told me I can help out
that you don’t mind another mouth
and the baker brought me cookies
he wasn’t even glaring
the prophetess comedian
said I wasn’t leaving
said I’d stay and try it your way
but it’s not a joke to me
I’m not inclined to disagree

Next: serious business


Theo was just getting bored of Remus’s attempts at flirtation— as heavy handed and blunt as they were. It was really honestly painful, watching the man they’d once admired reduced to this.
“Tell me, stranger,” Remus said again, in his black leather jacket as he leaned against the coffeeshop wall, voice smooth as honey. “If you’re so uninterested, why stick around?” He gestured to the weather outside, dark, grey, gloomy. The city went on, despite the both of them now soaked-through with rain, chilled to the bone by the coffeeshop AC after Theo had broken Remus out of another holding cell. Again. For the nth time. Theo’s half-mask, white as bone, covered their eyes, as they rubbed their temples in irritation. “Why keep putting up with me, keep risking your skin to save mine? Your little obsession with me is becoming quite the serious business.”
Theo ignored him this time. There was no need to feed his ego— which needed a good knocking down before he could become somewhat of a half-decent person again. They wished they could shake him or punch him, knock some sense into that thick skull of his. He was bruised up as it was already, looking entirely unapologetic despite the purpling on his cheek and the swelling on his lip, chilled raindrops still clinging to his lashes.
“Order 73!” An employee called cheerfully.
Theo got up wordlessly, hopping off the tall chair to go grab their order. Some hot drinks would help. Absolutely. Anything to keep the chill out and distract from Remus’s conversation.
The movement invited cold air to slither through their soaked clothes, their shoes squelching on the shop tiles, and they shivered, hugging their arms. Whoops. Someone would have to clean up after them. Theo wondered if the employees wanted to kick them out— they looked a mess, dripping wet, and Theo wore a mask. Nothing about them screamed ‘normal.’
The coffeeshop employee was dressed in a green-and-white striped apron, a pin reading ‘Betty,’ pinned to her uniform. She flashed them a warm smile as Theo reached for the coffee and tea. At the sight of such a normal, human, gesture, after being stuck in this messy world of fae and curses and death for so long, Theo almost wanted to break down sobbing. Leave an SOS with her maybe, ask her to call the cops and turn the both of them in for all the crimes they’d undoubtably committed.
Theo flashed Betty a warm smile back. “Thank you.”
The words were delivered with particular emphasis, a genuine ‘oh my god you’re the first human I’ve had a normal interaction with in forever, thank you so much for this, I needed this.’
Betty nodded, not at all understanding all the emotion behind Theo’s words as Theo headed back to Remus with their drinks.
Remus was humming now, some generic pop song or other under his breath as he watched the city outside, seemingly lost in thought. Theo checked their orders, and slid Remus’s across the table to him.
He glanced at them distractedly, flashed them what he probably figured was a devilishly impish grin— Theo was so salty they’re pretty sure any and every gesture of Remus’s was bound to get on their nerves and irritate them like nothing else.
They slid into their chair, their clothes stretching across their skin unpleasantly cold and wet as they sat down, and pried off the coffeecup lid to blow at their drink. And paused.
Ginger-lemon tea should probably not be a faint glowing purple, swirling with stars. Gentle warm vapor rose off the liquid in faint clouds, brushing their face and misting their senses. Theo’s mind, already exhausted beyond reason, slipped and tripped over itself to understand, their eyes glazing over as they stared at the way all the deep purples ran together like oil and water, iridescent, lovely, absolutely mesmerizing.
Their breath hitched at the scent of home that filled their senses. Of the spice and lime of their grandmother’s black-salt-lemonade-concoction, a drink she had every morning and every night before bed. Of humid breezes and fresh-cut grass and laundry detergent, of woodsmoke and trees. Warm droplets bubbled at their eyes, cupping their cheeks as the tears trickled down their skin and plopped onto the table, just like the rainwater in their hair.
They take a sip, almost by compulsion. Faintly, some part of their brain screamed, ‘NO.’ This wasn’t normal. This wasn’t the lemon-ginger tea they’d ordered just moments ago. Who put glowing purple liquid into their system voluntarily? Well, Remus might, but Remus was an idiot with no self-preservation instincts.
The drink was hot as it slid down their throat, and it calmed their nerves. It filled their chest with a weird sense of peace, of a sense of fullness and safety they hadn’t felt in so, so long. Their thoughts, always whirring, stopped. It tasted like sun-warmed spring water, clear and fresh.
They became aware of themselves, sitting there gripping the edge of the coffeeshop counter tightly with one hand, perched on the edge of their seat, back ramrod straight. Their mask was heavy on their nose, pressed to their face. Their blond curls were tied back into a ponytail, curled around the base of their neck, some stray strands clinging to their wet skin. Their clothes, in suddenly too-warm layers as they felt their skin heating, over-heating, as if from the inside. Only their toes of their shoes reached the floor, pressed to the tiles, curled in painfully. Their other hand wrapped protectively around the coffeecup, greedy for its warmth, greedy to tip over all its contents down their throat.
They slammed the cup down on the counter to stop themselves, despite their desperation to do the opposite, to give in. Remus flinched, as purple liquid dribbled down their chin and they stared down at their drink.
“Uh, darling, you got a little something on your face there,” Remus trailed off.
His eyes fell on their drink. He wrinkled his nose, and pried open his own cup to look into a similarly-swirling purple, and he made a small ‘ah,’ sound of realization.
Warm tears readily dripped down Theo’s face as Remus set down his cup and stood up, grabbing their arm too-tight.
“Time to skedaddle,” he yanked them as he crossed the shop to the door, not looking back. Theo yelped in protest, panic clawing their throat, as they pulled against his unrelenting grip. They needed another sip. Just one more. One more couldn’t hurt, they’d had half the cup already.
Their eyes fell on Betty, who was standing stock-still behind the counter, still warmly smiling at them. She raised a hand.
“Hope you liked your drinks. Come again soon!” She waved.
Theo sobbed.


leading lady


I don’t know why she would give me her name and demand my respect while treating me like a poisonous flower.

next: wilted

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She was wilting, losing all the pieces of herself as her petals, dried and withered from years of trying too hard to keep it all together, came falling apart, slipping through her fingers and snatched up by stray, uncaring winds. What was it all for? All those years, what had they all been for? Had any of it meant anything at all, in the end, bore her any fruit for all her hoping and dreaming? Or was she doomed to try all the wrong things, working tirelessly away only to watch it all fall apart a little bit more in front of her eyes?

lucky silver

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Silver got to go back in time. Lucky Silver! He could influence the past, he could douse the flames that ravaged the empty cities, he could bring back to life the countless people who lived in those cities.
And if time truly worked in such a way that he wasn’t there to see it, that was fine. He was just one mobian who had lived completely alone in what could be a flourishing world. It was enough that he got to see the world of the past, that he got to dream about what it would be like for the future world once he fixed it.

I do not remember a whole lot about sonic 06 XD

Next: earthshattering

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I don’t think I’ll ever meet myself in my dreams
and if I do it will be fleeting
I think it would be earthshattering
to have another me in these scenes

I try to hold the world in my hand
take stock of vibrant dreams
I always try to understand
what stray ideas mean

entire worlds I freely love
exist inside my mind
I’m always floating far above
shaping what is mine

I wish that I could meet myself
without the effort such things take
without the focus required to touch
the thoughts that I create

I think it would be earthshattering
would change my whole fate

Next: sickness

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“But are you sure, doctor?” She asks earnestly in her hospital gown, swinging her legs as she sat on the patient bed. “What about the fever? The chills? The way I wake up in the middle of the night for no reason at all?”
“Mrs. Del, I assure you, all your vitals are normal,” he said, matter-of-fact as he shook his head, consulting his notepad. “You have no fever, but I can refer you to an insomnia speacialist if you wish. Though, I’m not sure it’s insomnia that you have… two days of restless sleep is too early to tell.”
“What about my coughing? The air always feels too dry, it stings my nose to breathe, and sometimes I cough for no reason.”
“I recommend trying out a humidifier at home, some cough drops, or warm herbal teas. I can give you a list, if you’d like.”
“But I feel sad sometimes, like I’m about to go insane. It must be depression, at least.
“You reported feelings of frustration, and anxiety, feelings of isolation, yes,” he nods his head. “Those symptoms must persist consistently over a week or more, Mrs. Del, before I can give you any diagnosis. You are medically fine.” He gives her a considering look.
“My god, man!” She hopped off the bed and stomped over, barefoot on the tiles, to come grip his shoulders and shake him, startling the doctor. “Is it that difficult to tell me I’m sick? I feel sick! That must count for something. It’s a disease of some kind, I’m sure, some ailment, some sickness.”
The doctor stiffened as he considered her desperate gaze. “…There’s nothing that can be diasgnosed, I’m afraid,” he sighed finally, easing her hands off him. And, gentler. “You’re going to be alright. You’re going to last through whatever you’re feeling, and these feelings, most likely, will pass. Perhaps what you need is a break. Some fresh air, something to care for, something to do. Spend time with people you love, indulge in your hobbies or something else that brings you joy. I understand how you feel, but there’s little else I can do.”
“You’re useless!” She exclaimed, exasperated, looking up at him. “You’re the equivalent of the ‘live, laugh, love,’ sign up on my kitchen wall!”


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Crow gestures for Theo to sit down on the bed, which will put Crow between him and the door.
Not seeing another choice, Theo sits down, trying to keep himself from shaking.
Crow sits on the bed, essentially blocking his escape.
“Who are you, really?” Crow asks.
“What kind of question is that?” Theo raises an eyebrow as if affronted.
“I used to be a spy for the king. Got real good at reading people’s body language. You’re not a dad looking to send his son here.”
“Who do you think I am, then?”
“Don’t play games with me,” Crow pulls a knife out of his pocket and flips it open.
Theo raises an arm to intercept the knife in case it comes toward him, but by the time Crow tries to stab him he’s covered in scales that deflect the metal.
Theo, now completely covered in scales and built like a wall, shoves Crow the the ground and leaves the room, accidently pulling the door off its hinges and crumpling the doorknob in the process.
He becomes a black dragon with blunt talons big enough to pick up a human.
The students are nowhere to be seen, until he spots activity in the window of the food building and realizes they’re all in there.
It might drop beams and kill someone if he takes off the roof. He’s not about to risk harming Leon.
He’s already given up on subtlety, so he puts his face outside the window and roars to get their attention.
For all the training of the young men in the camp, they scream in a raw way people in Castellia didn’t tend to, even with a larger dragon. Perhaps frequently seeing dragons carrying their groceries to and from the market blunts the effect, or perhaps it’s simply what people do when a dragon roars at them.
They scramble away from him, staring blankly until they hit the far wall or each other. Leon’s mouth opens and closes.
Theo reaches a claw around to the other side of the building and taps it against the glass, prompting more screams.
“Give me Leon,” Theo requests politely with a rabid grin for added intimidation.
“I- no! Why do you, me, why, I-”
Leon’s classmates regain their wits halfway through his scrambled sentence and grab the struggling, screaming guy, bodily hauling him to the door and into Theo’s waiting talon.
Theo grins wider, letting them see all his wickedly pointed teeth.
“Thank you,” he lets the words go like individual raindrops and is happy to see someone faint.
Leon is screaming his head off.
“Relax,” Theo whispers, but it’s still as loud as a human yell and doesn’t seem to help.
“I’m not tasty! I eat poison for fun to become immune and am poisonous to eat even for a dragon!” Leon yelps.
Theo frowns as he flaps his wings and takes to the air.
“That’s irresponsible. Is that true? That sounds like the sort of thing you’d do.”
“Wait, how do you know about me? How did you know my name?” Leon asks.
“There you go,” Theo very gently ruffles his brother’s hair with a single digit of his other hand, and Leon sputters.

Next: deeper

deeper the dreamer
you might be cold by now, you can find your meaning
it’s not so hard, energies seeming
to shift over time, kind of feelings
become your mind
arranged within time
pieces of dreams that you feel mend

Next: spiral

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Helpless tears pricked Dilna’s eyes, Noon’s grip on her shoulders firm.
“Dil, come on,” the spirit’s voice was quiet as she tried to meet Dilna’s eyes. “Breathe. It’s okay. It’s just a bit of broken—”
I broke it! I threw it!”
Glittering shards of broken glass littered Dilna’s carpet, her chair lodged very firmly into her once-beautifully-crafted balcony doors. Noon’s fingers on her face were gentle, though the spirit glanced at the balcony doors with the kind of reservation in her expression that sent Dilna right over the edge. She knew it. Noon thought she was crazy, too. The thought became suddenly unbearable.
“I know—” Noon began.
Dilna was already shaking her head, her breathing unsteady as she gripped Noon’s wrists, nails pressing into her skin, “You don’t understand, Noon. I’m losing my mind. I’m scared to be by myself, I don’t know what—” Dilna drew a breath, faint tremors wracking her body. “I’m beginning to lose sight of what lengths I can and can’t go to.” She swallowed, licked her lips, cracked and bleeding as they were because it was always so cold near Noon, and Dilna couldn’t stand the cold on a good day but she was already sick.
“Hey,” Noon said, fingers light as she brushed Dilna’s hair back from her face, her voice the kind of soft tone you use when you’re trying to hold yourself together but another person is breaking right in front of you and you don’t know what to say. Dilna wished Noon had the answers. Noon usually had all the answers, always some piece of holier-than-thou wisdom that often grated on Dilna’s nerves. But not today. Not today. No, Dilna had no idea what she was doing, and if anyone knew what she should be doing, she was wholly willing to listen. She pressed Noon’s palms over her ears, though the spirit’s frigid touch burned her skin. Dilna was aware of Noon stiffening at the motion, though the spirit tried to hide it. This was much too close for both of them, probably closer than they’d ever been, and the sprit probably found the proximity just as unbearable— where Noon was burning cold to the touch for Dilna, Dilna would be running much too scorching for Noon.
“I feel like I’m going insane, you don’t understand,” Dilna whispered, scrunching her eyes closed so Noon wouldn’t take the grimace on her face as a reason to move away. “Like, like my mind’s all— my thoughts are all— like firecrackers. Like flints. Like static. Hot, and fiery, and dangerous, and chaotic, lines stretched too thin and too many. It all feels impossibly big, and I don’t know how it’s possible I can’t be crumbling into a million pieces of broken glass, because that’s what it feels like I’m doing. And I’m just so exhausted and I want them all to stop and go away. I just want to black out, I want to drown it all out, but it’s all spiraling.”
“Dilna,” Noon said, in a less overwhelmed tone, and more of a firm one, as the spirit pressed her to her chest. Dilna startled, the ghost of Noon’s touch as icy and firm as a winter breeze, before Noon flinched away. “Skies— skies! No hugs. Got it. Incredibly painful. Painful is an understatement.”
Noon looked at her, as if expecting her to laugh, until the spirit’s smile died on her lips.
“Right,” Noon whispered. She floated a little off the ground, dispersing into the air, as the winds propelled Dilna a step forward, then another step, towards the fireplace. Noon’s voice sounded light, ungrounded around her, “Let’s get you warmed up first, sweetheart. And get some nice warm food in you. You’re shaking like a leaf. And we can talk all you want. I’ll listen to all of it. I won’t tell your mom, I promise.”
Dilna’s laugh was brittle, as she murmured, “Right. Of course you’re not. You’re not gonna tell Cora her daughter is batshit insane and you’re gonna come up with a reason for why there’s a chair in my door.”
“Sounds like a promise,” Noon said, as Dilna found herself laughing, though it hurt her sore throat.
“I think sometimes…” Dilna collapsed into the armchair she was nudged into, as Noon’s form solidified by the fireplace, stoking a flame into existence in the hearth. “That I deserve all this. The pain, I mean.” She watched Noon, feeling a little hollow, her own teeth shattering as shivers wracked through her. She reached out a hand towards the spirit, and Noon glanced over at her distractedly. The spirit considered her a moment, and Dilna stared back, at Noon’s slender face, her almond-shaped eyes. Noon appeared by her side, leaning on the arm of the chair. Dilna immediately reached for the spirit’s palm and pressed it to her cheek. She could feel her skin numbing to the cold. “It’s at least the least I deserve, for all the ways I’ve failed her.”
Noon’s brows scrunched up as she snatched her hand back, patting Dilna’s other cheek uneasily, as if to console her. “You’re not usually this touchy… on multiple levels.”
Dilna cracked out another laugh, and began coughing. “I need…” She trailed off. “I need a hug.”
“Ah. I’ll go fetch, er, Sophie, I think her name was?”
“No!” Dilna’s eyes widened. Sophie couldn’t see her like this. She could imagine her friend’s face already. It was nothing good.
Noon raised a brow, “You see, I’m trying very hard to understand how humans work here. I was hoping you came equipped with all the same self-preservation instincts as… maybe all the rest of us. Unfortunately, the more I get to know you, the more I find you’re distinctly lacking in that department.”
“I didn’t mean a hug from you,” Dilna muttered, finding that description of her a little irksome.
“So, your brother? Your dad?”
Dilna rolled her eyes, with a sigh, sinking back into her chair. “Forget it.”
The spirit lingered a moment, then was gone. Dilna would’ve hurt at the loss of company, but she could hear the bath running— Noon must be preparing one for her. Dilna bit her lip and closed her eyes, curling into her knees and feeling the warmth of her breath rolling back into her. She’s not sure how she got here. Cora’s renown and only daughter, set to inherit the vast city and all its problems in her mother’s footsteps. Dilna was confident, she was sure of herself, she was kind. She couldn’t recognize those qualities she thought were hers anymore, not in the pathetic state she was currently in. Suddenly, Dilna felt very far from the girl who so many of their people idolized, the girl her mother wanted her to be. The girl Dilna was supposed to be, but wasn’t.
To her surprise, the spirit nudged her over and squeezed into the armchair beside her. Dilna could feel Noon’s hair tickling her cheek as the spirit leaned her head on Dilna’s shoulder, slipping her arm through hers. Dilna’s breaths were shallow from the cold again, though she leaned into the spirit.
“I thought you couldn’t handle me,” Dilna giggled, another shudder.
“Oh, I can’t, darling. I promised you I can’t.” Noon said, face scrunching up, pained. “But you look… like you could use a shoulder to cry on.”
“And you’ve graciously chosen to offer me your own?”
Noon gestured in a grand sort of way.
Dilna giggled again, the sound high-pitched as she turned to bury her face into Noon’s shoulder. “I keep wondering when you’ll tell me how much you hate me.”
“Ha!” Noon winced. “Don’t get it twisted. I’m your spirit, after all. I always maintain a very professional concern over the well-being of my charges. Even if they want a death-hug.”
“Death feels very cozy to me.”
Dilna laughed. “I am! I’m a pretty good liar these days. And I’m turning you into one, too. Aren’t I just terrible?”
“The worst, really.”
Dilna frowned, poking Noon’s side, and the spirit almost jumped. “You’re supposed to contradict me.”
“Sorry, sorry. You’re god’s gift to humanity.”
“—So much better,” Dilna laughed. “Was that so hard?”
“It was terribly difficult, your highness, thank you for asking,” Noon’s answer was snarky, and quick. “Now, should we get you warmed up again? Please say yes. You know how it feels like when you’re cooking and hot oil splatters onto your skin? That’s what my entire side feels like, sitting here.”
Dilna wrapped her arms around the spirit.
Noon blinked out of thin air to appear behind her chair. “…what was that for? What did I ever do to you?” The spirit’s voice was plaintive.
“I told you I wanted a hug,” Dilna laughed, standing up. She used the chair for support, a little shaky on her feet as the ground swayed beneath her. “And was that a rhetorical question? I could go on and make a long, extensive list of the reasons you deserved that hug.”
Noon wrinkled her nose. “Reasons, I’m sure, we don’t see eye-to-eye on.”


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Kanin could tell Wfynn was just as hungry and regretted having to share the rabbit, but the demon did it anyway. They even used their own Magic to cook it, since they tended to use every chance to practice the Light Magic Kanin had taught them.
The sky wasn’t dark, but Kanin could already tell the night was going to be a cold one.
Kanin lay down on the hard and prickly ground anyway, debating taking the energy to construct a warming spell.
He missed blankets, he missed Emery, and as much as he loved the endlessly complicated Ground he missed the familiar simplicity of the Cloud.
A crowd of avians in the trees above them sang goodbye to the day. They would be migrating across a Dimensional Boundary for winter. Wfynn had told him that if they wanted to find a warmer Dimension, all they had to do was follow the birds.
Kanin glanced at his friend. Wfynn was staring up at the leaves above, listening to the soft swish of wind through them, breathing deep the smell of growing things. Kanin realized the wind was heavy and damp, a combination he had grown to associate with rain. He would have to construct a barrier at least, he did not fancy getting wet in these temperatures.
“I will work on a barrier,” Kanin said.
“You’re learning,” Wfynn said.
The barrier was done as raindrops started to spatter down, quickly turning into a wild gush accompanied by wind and rumbling thunder.
“We should move away from the trees,” Wfynn said, their growly voice raised into a roar that still stirred ancient fear in Kanin’s gut, despite knowing Wfynn was on his side.
“Someone might see the barrier,” Kanin said.
The Light barrier glowed gently in the growing darkness. There was a way to make it invisible, Kanin was sure, but the barrier he’d been taught was based on a reshaped Light Magic orb. It wasn’t intended for stealth.
Wfynn hesitated.
“Can your barrier deflect lightening?” They asked.
“No way!” Kanin had heard lightening at greater distances than it was currently sounding, seen it arcing distantly across the sky.
Having been isolated from nature his whole life didn’t mean he was stupid enough not to respect it when it screamed across the sky and lit the whole night in eerie green.
Wfynn chuckled as they followed Kanin away from the trees. Their laugh was a low sound that never seemed to get less haunted no matter how far the two got from the Cloud.

Next: piano

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has violent imagery

Someone plays the piano in the moonlight. He knows he can’t approach, or she’ll be gone. The melody is short and repeats, over and over, like a drill making its way into his skull.
The moonlight is too bright, he wants to shut the window but it would mean making his way past her too-white form.
He walks away instead, into the darkness.

Next: remember

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She often remembered Kanin in her dreams. This one was a little different with the presence of the demon, but she knew that reflected her impossible wishes as well.
Emery would never be able to know a demon who had grown up underground. It was impossible with who she was. And she wasn’t even in the same Dimension as Kanin, if he was even still alive, if she hadn’t killed him.
She took steadying breaths and made note of the winter sun shining through the window, the wooden walls, her breath making clouds in the air in the cold air.
They always controlled the temperature on the Cloud- it was never this cold. Emery warmed herself with Dark Lifeforce for a moment, then let it go and sighed, putting on a long green dress Carla had gotten from a neighbor who had grown out of it.
It would be warmer in the main room and she couldn’t very well spend all day in her room, even if Carla’s prying questions and perceptive comments always made her uneasy. Maybe Emery could go outside today, see what Squirrel was up to or continue her journey through the library’s books.

Next: crumbs

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The light falling through the curtains of her bedroom windows were blue. They painted Safa’s features in gentle strokes, the delicate curves of her face, the rise and fall of her side, her arm at Dilna’s waist. They’d talked well into the night, until they’d both drifted off to sleep.
Dilna reached over and flicked away some hair tangled at Safa’s neck. At 3am, far past the hour Dilna was supposed to be asleep, she’d found herself lying awake, had found herself short of breath. After a few minutes of trying, and failing, to calm down the sudden panic attack, she’d forced open her eyes and found herself looking at the face of her best friend. Safa had always been there with her, had been a witness to every major point in her life. She’d seen Dilna at her ugliest, she’d seen Dilna at her best. Maybe it should be reassuring, that a record of Dilna’s existence was stored away somewhere, in someone. Some kind of proof Dilna breathed, Dilna existed.
Tears pricked her eyes as Dilna counted her breaths, trying to bring her mind out of whatever had woken her.
Safa’s scent was as familiar to her as home, at this point. Dilna had the urge to wriggle closer and wrap her arms around Safa, but that’d be too much body heat, and Safa hated waking up in sweat. As a matter of fact, so did Dilna.
As she felt unnamed panic rising in her again, she decided to refocus her thoughts on Safa.
How yesterday, Dilna had stood waiting at the train station for her dad to come pick her up, like she was a kid in high school again who needed to be picked up when her after-school club ended. She’d hated the car ride home from the train station. Her dad had asked her too many questions. It had been seven long months, after all, where Dilna had been away in her dorm, until she’d finally come home for spring break.
She and Safa had lost touch over the months. Or, well, more accurately, Dilna had lost touch with Safa. She wasn’t so good about keeping up with people unless they showed up in her room uninvited, like Safa had, just an hour after Dilna had crossed her own front door. They’d had so much to catch up about that they’d lost track of the time.
Dilna felt herself beginning to smile faintly. Safa’s mere presence was a good distraction, a reminiscing of her childhood and a version of Dilna that Dilna herself had forgotten. She’d forgotten how easy it could be to laugh, she’d forgotten how easy it could be to be heard, understood, seen, to not constantly explain herself. Crumbs of her personality, returned to her. It was like Dilna had restarted at some older checkpoint in her life when Safa had shown up leaning against her doorway, with her half-grin, and dragged her out of her room for a forced joyride around the city.
She’d found that car-ride far more enjoyable.

Dilna rubbed at her eyes as she felt her face crumpling and she threw off her sheets. She eased off Safa’s hand, and her steps were quick and light across her carpet to her balcony doors.
She scrabbled at the locks of the sliding door, feeling panic welling up inside her again, feeling trapped. When she finally pried the door open and stepped outside, she slid it shut carefully behind her again. And then she took a breath. And another. And she sobbed a little.
She rubbed at her eyes, as the chilly night air nipped at her hair, her pajamas.
A sigh rattled through her as Dilna walked over to drape herself over the balcony railing, looking at the city view below. Millions of rectangular panes of glass along glass skyscrapers, streams of white dots streaming across traffic below.
She’d forgotten so much about Safa.
How Safa needed people.
It was stupid! Yes, it was stupid. Safa needed company so badly, she’d spent the whole day yesterday bragging about the idiot Roake, of all people. Roake, who’d hated Dilna since they were kids for no particular reason, Roake, who’d apparently run into Safa at a party three months ago and they’d ended up making out and they were going out now. Despite being the walking embodiment of a warning sign rolled up in a red flag, a boy who’d grown up too spoiled, too unchecked.
How Safa needed to be right.
No, Dilna couldn’t tell her that drinking and driving was stupid. That it was literally against the law, and could get them killed. And since Dilna hadn’t gotten her driving license yet, and because Dilna was a coward afraid of ticking off the only real friend she’d ever had, she’d gotten in the car and Safa had driven them back from the party Dilna had repeatedly told her she didn’t want to go to. Dilna had clutched her seatbelt, white-knuckled, all the way home as she and Safa sung along to generic pop song after generic pop song.
How Safa assumed she knew everything about Dilna.
And honestly? Most of the time, she was right. But did it allow Safa to dismiss Dilna when she’d been trying to tell her how miserable she was at her university? “You’re blowing things up, again, Dil, you need to calm down and get out more. Make some friends.” Maybe Safa was right. Maybe that was exactly it. Maybe Safa should keep her damn mouth shut when she didn’t know how it felt like to feel invisible for seven months straight desperately fishing for solid ground beneath her feet.
Dilna sobbed, leaning her head in her arms, as strands of her hair carried in the winds. She knew exactly what Safa would do if she saw her like this. Safa would hug her close, she’d stroke her hair, and tell her she was being overdramatic and to get her head out of her ass.
Dilna buried her face in her arms.
Safa was right.
She was being overdramatic.
And so what if she was?
Maybe Dilna was just an overdramatic person.
Maybe her emotions were just too loud, buzzing all her nerves and wracking her entire body, she could barely pin down a coherent thought. Her breath was shallow, gasping like a fish out of water, her heart thumping a mile a minute. Her entire frame shuddered, teeth chattering, as dizziness spun her mind and the world swayed unsteadily around her. She gripped the cold metal railing with both her hands, leaning her head against it. She felt the press of its metal at her forehead, could feel the sweat on her brow.
And so what of it?
Dilna would let herself feel.
Feel all of it.

yellow light

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The breeze was wet with humidity as it rustled through the grasses, and Theo had a knife in hand.
Janus’s smile was sharp, and Theo just knew he was going to say something he thought was going to be awfully clever. “I’m just wondering if the knife’s entirely necessary. I would’ve thought we’d dispensed with the need for weaponry somewhere along our third conversation.”
Theo looked over at his cane pointedly, which was leaning against the picnic table. The shadows were uncertain as they fell across Janus’s features, yellow light falling through the forest canopy.
Janus waved a dismissive hand, “I’m not reaching for it now, am I?” He gave them a hugely disapproving stare. “Would you have me chuck it away? Will that make scared lil defenseless Theo feel a little bit better?” His tone was mocking, as he propped his chin in his hands.
“Would you be so kind?” Theo asked, smiling at him sweetly.
Janus blinked, brows raising. “So I chuck my cane away, and let you approach with your knife.”
Janus scoffed, then considered them. He reached over and took his cane, tossing it away. His gaze on Theo held a challenge, a dare.
Theo grinned, twirling their knife as they came to sit on the table. “See, was that so difficult?”
Janus sighed, turning to watch the way the trees rustled to the breeze. “To what do I owe the immense pleasure?”
Theo stabbed the knife on the table between them, and Janus looked at it, before looking up at Theo, with a raised brow.
“I’m just saying you should be careful,” Theo said mildly. “Before we begin.”
Janus looked about at the end of his patience, as he raised his brows and flashed them a smile. “What does it say about your impression of me, I wonder, if you don’t feel safe around me even with a blade in hand?” He looked at the knife mildly. “Did you come here planning on using it?”
“Of course,” Theo said, pulling the knife out to twirl in their fingers again. “…to threaten you with.”
“Ah, so there are no immediate plans of stabbing me with it? No plans of premeditated murder?” Janus’s tone was tending towards mocking again. He really wasn’t afraid, and Theo wondered why.
No, no.
Janus has always been good at pretending.
He’d just love to pretend he had the upper hand even if Theo stabbed him through his hand right now. He’d grin, tut disappointingly, make a snarky comment, all while being terrified for his life.
Theo’s silence lasted a few seconds. “I’m not gonna stab you, Jannie Jan Jan,” they grin at him. “Where’d be the fun in that? Then we can’t have these wonderfully illuminating conversations of ours whenever my heart desires. Isn’t that right?”
Janus sighed, “I’m wondering what makes you think you’re obliged to my company at all.”
“Aw, but you’re doing me such a huge favor.” Theo grinned.

swirling waters

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I was born from the swirling waters in her belly.
As I grew, the waters dried and she shrank.
Her loving embrace when I was born was filled with joy, yet as I grew from her blood the smiles became disturbed and an edge of hatred grew between her brows, narrowing her eyes and clenching her rows and rows of time-blunted teeth.
When I was small, I couldn’t find it in myself to care. But as I drink her blood every day and grow bigger, I grow more and more capacity for guilt as well.
She hates me, but her blood is a part of me now, she is small and weak, and I have to finish growing.
I am sorry, Mother.

Next: mother

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what an intense note to end on and the next prompt is mother


There was me.
And then there is this me.

There was me, and I would tie bedsheets to my windowsill and scale down the side, cackling when my parents caught me.

And then there is this me.
I see her fall, and my heart near-right stops, panic skitters up my arms, and I’m running forward. She only tripped over the pavement, she’s even getting back up again and dusting herself off as if everything is fine. But I take her palms, check them for scratches, I pull up the legs of her pants to her knees— and feel my heart near-right stutter in breathlessness when I see the shallow scars. How much does it hurt? How much pain is she in? I can’t tell, I can’t inherit her pain to know, even if I wanted to. I hug her close to my chest even as she tells me she’s fine and she wants to go to the park now.

There was me, and I would eat a bar of chocolate for breakfast and be done with it.

Then there is this me.
She skipped her breakfast. She went to school. She must be hungry. I knew I should’ve woken her up earlier, I knew I should’ve made her eat a few more mouthfuls of her rice before she had to run to her bus. It was 9:30 now. She must be hungry sitting in her classes, and then how is she to concentrate? It’s not like there’s any scarcity of food in the house, so how dare I let my daughter walk out hungry, when I could’ve helped it? The thought haunts my every spare moment for the next three hours, and I can hear myself nagging her when she comes back home at 4:30.

There was me, and I was free, and I was wild, and I was the center of my universe, once. When was that?
It doesn’t matter anymore.

Then there is this me.
She exists like my second heartbeat, an entity so precious it knocks the breath from my lungs and fills me with wonder that she lives and breathes and I wonder how the world ever existed before her. I stand helpless in witnessing myself change, almost like it is too easy, almost like it was always meant to be. She’s a gift, a blessing, a curse, and I would ache without the love I’ve gotten used to pouring into her, like a steady flood of an ocean so vast it is bottomless. I didn’t know I could love this much, I didn’t know I could love so wholly, I didn’t know the person it would make me become, this person all worn with softened edges and feelings too vast and earth-shattering to name. As long as I have her, I want to wrap her up in all the love I can possibly wring from my being, I want to draw love like magical groundwater from a well, and wrap it carefully around her to keep her safe, like the blankets the doctors had her swaddled in when she was a weightless, disjointed, fragile thing in my arms. I want my love to soften the ground when she needs to fall, I want my love to harden to a shield to protect her from harm. I want so fully for this little being to be happy, to be safe.

haunted melody

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Noon had been relaxing on the roof tiles, watching the skies above. White clouds skittered across the deep blues. The city sprawled in geometric pinpoints around her. She hummed a haunted melody, a piece she’d heard Kyte playing the other day. The man clearly had issues, some deep melancholy under all that prim-and-proper pretentiousness. Noon was just waiting for Kyte to break one day, to snap like a thing that had gone brittle from sheer stress and pressure over too many years. Then again, Noon might just be biased because that’s how she’d found Dilna. Insufferably ram-rod-strict-as-a-ruler-types, going on about duty and birthrights and carrying around an inherent mantle of responsibility owed to the world around them. Cora was a tough mother, and both her children showed it.
And then Dilna had broken.
Noon couldn’t much blame her, the air in this house was suffocating.
She was wondering about things such as these, her thoughts chasing tail one after the other around in her head, and then again to looking back at the sky, when she heard the balcony door sliding open. Noon physically held in a sigh as she heard footsteps.
Dilna was leaning against the railing below her, and Noon dared not move lest she get found out and dragged into another argument. What had become of being a guardian spirit these days? Usually, the kids Noon was assigned would need a little whipping into shape and some help developing their personalities, yes. They were young little things after all, and Noon was an ancient entity. She could help them out no problem, dispense all the wisdom accumulated throughout the centuries she’s been alive. A few of them were more difficult that others, a few had been entirely lost causes (ugh, there had never been any saving of Jared, he’d been such a self-absorbed prick who’d wholly deserved the uprising that had gotten him killed. As his guardian spirit, had Noon miserably failed at her job, and then gotten duly punished for it by the Council? Yes. Did she regret even a single moment of it? Only every moment she’d listened to him drone on about things she found entirely irrelevant to her existence, but she’d put up with only to feed into his insufferable ego. But even Jared had been a breeze compared to Dilna).
Noon had never, in all her years, been assigned to someone as needy and dependent on her as Dilna was.
Or, no, that was saying too much about Dilna. To be clear, Noon had existed for a long while, but she’s only had maybe fifteen charges to her name— those were the ones that had lasted. The last time the Council had found her efforts lacking, they’d punished her with an entire 341 years of banishment from the human world after all. She was a bit rusty.
Noon slid back to lie down on the roof. There was the other little girl all those years back, the one that had been a newborn and back when it had been tradition that guardian spirits be assigned at birth. Noon had practically raised the kid and watched over her well into old age. Then Parnavan, little precocious thing that had needed her getting much too involved in his day-to-days. Maybe this is just how charges always were, always had been, and Noon had simply tired of it after getting back into it after all this time.
Noon’s not sure who caused all of this first, who was exactly responsible for the entirely ridiculous notion of a guardian spirit bickering over frivolous matters with her human— it was unprofessional, it was honestly just sad. Had Noon gone soft? Forgotten where the boundaries lay?— but here they were, in petty squabbles like a bunch of schoolchildren.
When Dilna turned her head to look up at her, Noon almost jumped and hit Dilna with a hex.
Dilna’s brows furrowed, as the human frowned. Noon turned away to study the sky, and a few moments later, she heard the balcony door slam shut.
Such a child.

blistering blue

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