Wednesday, August 29, 2007

fine laurel, fine floral, you've proved all unkind


The voices eat at her, the shrill calls, the wails, the murmurs, the growls. The need eats at her too, until she can't breathe with it, and all she can do is clutch the empty vial around her neck. She flees to the shore, breathing in the sharp salt air, shuddering on the sand.

Something must change. Something
needs to change. She lifts a hand, staring at it in horror, her attention lengthening the fingers.

She must change. She must have a form that doesn't feel the bite of this need, the pain of this hunger.

She must grow in a new place.

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Dimly, she remembers meeting a dryad in the woods. Birch maiden, she thinks it was, and when she tried to imitate what she remembered, she somehow switched trees, and grew maple leaves instead. It was an unsuccessful attempt, and she abandoned the fibrous life of trees.

Now, she has better impetus behind her to succeed. And there's a wider world of life out there than just birches and maples.

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She breathes in this form, the voices still there, but acceptable, the greening of her skin making her turn her new petals to the light that dimly filters through the smog of industry. She walks slowly from the shore to the city, and flinches away, choking. Her mind reaches for her lost Lumindor, and in a flash, she finds herself kneeling on the cool grass, panting, and voices from the gentle gardens ahead.

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She cannot help but creep forward, listening, and of course the sunflower of her presence attracts attention. Within moments, she's surrounded, and she must concentrate to make the words she hears make sense. But it's good, she's willing to listen, she's willing to be least until the voices she hears lead her within a small building, and hand her a glass of something that is nearly enough for her hunger.

She looks down at the crimson fluid in the glass and sighs. She'll need flesh again for this. And then the hunger returns in force.

But she will remember. She will remember the way of plant and frond, fiber and petal. She will stave this hunger off. She will leave it behind and walk strongly on the streets, be they cobbled or tarred. She
will do this. She will leave herself no other choice...

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