Saturday, March 31, 2007

half accidental, half pain, full instrumental

((RP MODE))

I can't be in my tree today. I've tried, several times, and my eyes fall to the rug where I couldn't fight hard enough to stop him. The Queen has an edict seeking his harm, but it doesn't change the fact that it happened. And it falls to me to wonder...I am not powerless, I am not without my own skills, why did it happen at all?

He will haunt me until I erase whatever it is in me that calls me to him. But at least I've proven one thing...he was wrong, in his statement that any touch of us, flesh to flesh, would commit us to touch until we expired from it...


To say it was not what I willed...is a grand and inglorious understatement.

half underwater
i'm half my mother's daughter
a fraction's left up to dispute


Last night the pallid imitator of the incubus I once knew returned, saving me yet again from the strange temple in the mountains. I had discovered the tomb some few days before, but I'd gone back, climbing painfully up the crags, half-falling, half-sliding down the other side, to the base of the rocks and the temple on the stone plain. This time I'd come with wings, in case the place resisted my changing yet again.

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This I'd discovered those few days before, but now, I examined it closely, seeing if there were any clues to be had. And there was--a small indented panel near the base, that, when pressed, swung the entire tomb aside, revealing a passage underneath.

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I stepped down into a tunnel of dark stone and nearly impenetrable darkness. I summoned some slight glow, but was afraid for more, lest I disturb...whatever might live in these spaces.

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I walked for what felt like miles, remembering my turns, and could make no sense of it. My steps echoing on the stones were the only sounds I heard, and finally I turned back, made my way back to the stairs, only to find my way closed.

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I called out mentally again, for help, and yet again was intercepted by the monk, who apparently had restored from death yet again. As he arrived, I heard a horrid sound, as of masonry collapsing, and began to beat my fists against the base of the tomb. I heard movement above, but he said it was not him, and when he arrived, the sounds of rock falling had stopped. Between us, we discovered the way to open the tomb once more, and I walked out into sky, not temple roof and stones. All that I'd seen before...had vanished, replaced only by rubble and empty air.

To say I was unnerved is to lessen the impact of the experience. That is my only explanation for the events following.

My rescuer and oft tormentor walked me out from the ruins of the temple plain. We stood at Gallows Hill for some little time, as I caught my breath back, and he complained that my second rescue had irritated that portion of his neck still not healed, from when the demon tore it out. I should have shrugged, but instead, I offered to heal him further. Why, to this moment, I know not.

I brought him back to the nearest place I knew for privacy, and for the run of it, he did behave, and I suppose I abandoned all need to guard against him. It took me a bit to learn a way to heal him, without re-injuring him, and that was a massive improvement on previous attempts. It took some time, but I realigned him, repaired the damage to his spine, restructured him according to what his body remembered.

And then, when I had finished, and was pulling away, he turned, and pinned me to the floor.

half accidental
half pain full instrumental
I have a lot to think about
you think they're joking?
you have to go provoke him...
I guess it's high time you found out


I struggled, flailing against him, but he kissed me, forcing his tongue past my lips before I could clench my jaw shut, and unspooling what felt like sixteen feet of tongue down my throat. He could not pin both wrists and unfasten his garments, so I slashed at his arms and throat, face and chest, doing him grave damage. Still he came on.

I struggled still, screaming into his mind to stop, making him flinch, but he did not stop. I lashed at him with my nascent power; he shuddered, and continued on. In sheer desperation, I sank my fangs into the base of his tongue, drawing at killing speed, too much to swallow, nearly too much to breathe through--his dark blood flowing from the sides of my mouth, down my chin, across my pale fur. Soon I was liberally coated, from lips to navel, in his fluids, dark and gleaming in the half-light.

He began to slow, but not enough. He kicked my legs open, nearly dislocating them from their sockets, and pressed down, pressing in. I screamed that my vow to my demon would not allow this, screamed with force that would have shredded the mind of any human, and he only groaned, and continued.

two halves are equal
a cross between two evils
it's not an enviable lot


Then my succubus rose, when I was staggering on the breach of despair and unconsciousness. Power unfurled, tendrils thick as ropes, now, not delicate ribboned threads, wrapping intangibly around his arms, his legs, the muscles moving under his skin. They penetrated him as easily as I had been, and began to draw in all of him--power, desire, consciousness, life. They drew until he collapsed and went limp, in more than one sense, and laboriously, I crawled from underneath him, pulling off of everything he'd pierced me with, taking long minutes to cough out his tongue from my depths as he lay as one dead.

I confess, I did not stop to check or to ensure he was. I ran from my home. Bloodied, bruised, hurting, I limped from there, falling off my balcony rather than gently bubbling down, limping, running into trees, blinded, my vision still dusted silver from the succubus' rise. I reached the sithen, the door opening for me as I stumbled to it, and collapsed into a shaking ball, mewling, the grass cool against my skin.

and when I let him in I feel my stitches getting sicker
I try to wash him out but like she said: the blood is thicker
I see my mother in my face
but only when I travel
I run as fast as I can run
but
Jack comes tumbling after....


The first of my demon's warriors found me, shaking on the green. She helped me up, supported me from the sithen, half-carried me through the wilds to the bathing pool, and eased me in, helping me wash the monk's blood from my skin and easing me, with words and understanding. When she left, I was breathing again, I could think again, but that meant I had to think it all through.

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For most of last night, and much of today, I have spent sitting on the floor of the sithen, doing just that. I have concluded several things.

First, why I did not simply transform into a spider, and poison him, and scuttle away, will mystify my brain for days to come. Second, though yes, we did touch flesh to flesh, as my vow forbade, it was not by my will. Moreover, my vow did not stop there--it was a choice, a choice between the monk, and my demon, and I chose then, I choose now, my warrior, my half-Drow Raven, my demon. I cannot do other.

Third, I have been unbearably reckless with one I love, and it is only now occuring to me. I cannot continue in this manner. I must be more accepting that mine is not the only heart that can be harmed in this. Else...I will lose him, in truth, and be unable to fault him in any wise should he leave. My own actions will drive him far from my touch, and I will have only myself to blame.

I cannot lose him. I pray it not be too late, pray to all the Gods I know. If it is, it will be fault through my own actions, and inactions. I must take more care.

And I must stop trusting demons. Mayhap even mine. I must view all of them with a level of suspicion, if only to keep myself safe.

I'm halfway home now
half hoping
for a showdown
cause I'm not big enough to house this crowd
it might destroy me
but I'd sacrifice my body
if it meant I'd get the Jack part OUT


And the Queen has proposed an exorcism. Of the succubus within. I am not proud enough to admit, I would miss some of the abilities, but mayhap she is right, they do me more harm than good, and they are getting stronger. And I am reckless with them. Mayhap there needs to be a removal...I only pray I am strong enough to survive.

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I am trying to be a better person, a better woman, a better Sidhe. It is hard, these things, but harder still to be a better love. But I am trying. I am trying.

(lyrics from Dresden Dolls' "Half Jack")

I run as fast as I can run but Jack comes tumbling after

((RP MODE))

Some few days ago, resting in my home, I was suddenly pulled into a vortex of black spinning space, and when vision cleared, I stood in front of a temple, enclosed by high, rising crags of earth and stone. I could find no way free, and circled the temple, looking behind the pillars to the odd inlaid circle of patterned stones, walking around and around until...I noticed a doorway, cut low in the back side of the rock the temple was formed of.

It led me to a dark enclosure, with a raised tomb at the center, and there I was stymied. No way free, and no way out, and where was this temple, at any rate? To whom was it dedicated? No way to know, no markings, just raised design work...no images, the walls were smooth....and the rising fangs of rock surrounding would make hard work of leaving.

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Something about the space resisted my abilities to transform, too, so it would have to be hard climbing to the peak, and then....Just to know, for sure, I climbed one of the lower peaks, panting when I reached the fork in the stone, and saw the land of Lumindor, with trees possessing leaves of silver, dark green, magenta and gold, spread out below.

It would be a long fall, I thought. It might even kill one with my recuperative abilities. I did not look forward to such.

I called out, mentally, hoping for aid from one in the Court, and instead called the shade of the monk, who drifted close. He had enough power to lift me and deposit me on the far side of the enclosure, where I saw the entrance to the Great Red Dragon's mountain hall.

How odd, that the temple existed above her dwelling. Odder still, that the monk chose to help at all...

Thursday, March 29, 2007

nunc et in hora mortis

This is just a short tip.

It might have been confusing, since I'm writing about my life, here, and suddenly, I'm writing about a character I play in Lumindor. It's confusing to me, too--full-immersion theatre is new.

So I'm instituting a new policy--if the bulk of the post is about Lumindor, not those outside it--I'm putting a small ((RP MODE)) at the top of those entries.

Hopefully that will help ease some confusion.

I'm haunted by the promises I've made and others I have broken

That I would be good even if I did nothing
That I would be good even if I got the thumbs down


He cares for me. He cares for me in spite of everything. He supports me when my heart breaks, and when it sings. He's careful, and precise, and holds back, but he cares. There's nothing I've found I can't tell him.

That I would be good if I got and stayed sick
That I would be good even if I gained ten pounds


He cares for me. He cares for me best on my knees, but he's understanding that I don't always want to be there. He's rarely taken me farther than I want to go, and he says I'm a great challenge. He understands I have my own life and my own interests, and even when he gets frustrated with me, he still understands.

That I would be fine even even if I went bankrupt
That I would be good if I lost my hair and my youth


He cares for me. He's fascinated by how I think, why I think those things, and he's never not been in the mood to listen to my thoughts. He thinks I'm screwed up, but he also thinks I'm wonderful, and while he'd love it if I'd settle and stop fluttering, he's willing to wait, and see what happens in the meantime. He supports me.

That I would be great if I was no longer queen
That I would be grand if I was not all knowing


He cares for me. He thinks I'm fun and sexy and the hottest thing on two legs, and he makes me melt with his wickedly perverse wit, and the golden depths of his heart. There aren't many times I wouldn't drop most of what I'm doing and go see him.

That I would be loved even when I numb myself
That I would be good even when I am overwhelmed


He cares for me. He asked to marry me once, and was willing to offer any concession he could think of, all so that I wouldn't say no. He was willing to undergo any challenge I asked of him. Once, when I was upset with someone else, he let me beat him to a very nearly abusive point.

It was wonderful.

That I would be loved even when I was fuming
That I would be good even if I was clingy


He cares for me. He says I'm his beloved and his whole world and he's my fierce defender. He's the only one I've been willing to risk self-injury for, which is better than it sounds, because I do heal when I shift shapes, for the most part. He makes me shudder at the merest touch of his fingertip; it's an overwhelming feeling.

That I would be good even if I lost sanity
That I would be good
Whether with or without you


And there are times, you know, when I wish these were all the same fellow...*sighs*

(lyrics from Alanis Morissette, "That I Would Be Good")

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

walk like an Egyptian

Friend of mine really, really wanted a dragon. To the point where, when all we could do, with all our efforts, to secure one for her, seemed to have failed....she fell into pits of despair that nearly put her out of our reach for comfort.

However, two days ago, she heard word from the Council of Wyrms. She was chosen to receive a dragon, based on her treatment of the wyrmling in her care.

She is very nearly thrilled beyond repair.

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The new Egyptian dragon, making her island look small, and her hoard of coins, ankhs and amphorae look smaller.

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The new dragon staring at her puppy.

Yes, for any who don't know, friend Midnight is now a Bast dragon. That's her very own Fluffy looking at her in somewhat unease. For any who know her, or have seen the ship's dog of the Mare Angelus, she is a standard breed, not a toy. The Bast dragon is very large.

I still best her on multiplicity of forms, and shifting ability. But my sole dragon-form is wee and weak, and may never grow larger, I know this. She has advanced beyond me in the ways of draconic magics. I'm very impressed.

Monday, March 26, 2007

now come the heartaches that the morning brings

((RP MODE))

The half-demon was training me, our swords clashing together, yelling at me to come at him, again and again. He tells me I am weak, he tells me I am hopeless, I tell him I agree and he snarls, asking me to come at him again. We spar until my muscles are shaking, until I can barely see straight from fatigue.

He says this is only the beginning, that I will get better, that I will be stronger....that he will make me capable of my own defense, if he has to drag me kicking and screaming to the arena and have me fight all challengers.

I'm not looking forward to this, but he does have a point. I've relied for too long on ducking, hiding, and my wits--it might be more than time to learn the blade.

After he departed for the evening, an old friend contacted me out of the blue. He was in town--he meant Rivula--and would I be amenable to seeing him?

Was there ever a time when that answer would have been no?

He also surprised me--he said, I have this sum of Lindens, what do you want? I queried him, but he seemed serious. All, right, I said, there is a certain skin I've been lusting for--two, actually--over at See No Evil. Can I show them to you?

And he said yes.

And then he bought me the Shiuchin.

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She's quite the lovely look. Especially with my Lycan eyes. I'm going to have oodles of fun in her...

Odd little detail. For some reason, she has vévés on her feet:

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Those ones, in fact, match very simple sketch vévés I've seen for Papa Legba, or Ghede, keepers of the crossroads, keepers of the burial places, Baron Cimétiere...

...which is rather interesting, considering the zombie connection to me.

Wouldn't you think?

In other news...I mislike this, I mislike this severely, and it might well change who I think I am, in this place...but I might need to be crueler. I might need to become the sort of woman, at least briefly, who can crush hearts without qualm, rather than treating them with care and kindness.

My dilemma is...if I become such a woman...can I unbecome her, later? And would it then be worth it if I cannot?

Sunday, March 25, 2007

pipes and chains and swingin' hands

This won't happen often. But I went to the Gangster Night dance at the Grand Hotel ballroom, in Steelhead...real names are somewhat appropriate.

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I arrived late to the dance, due to a variety of strange factors, but I did make it. Appropriate or not, I wore the Victorian white pinstripe tuxedo I'd gotten from the menswear department at Itan Kishii and met up with my saint of patience, Ryce.

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Darien Mason was hosting, in a very nice red pinstripe number, and spent much of the evening dancing with the lovely Miss Kirawill Collingwood.

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Closer shot of Miss Collingwood and Darien. Note the oddly radioactive gun. Miss Collingwood won the costume contest, by the way.

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Sadly, I didn't snap pictures of everyone--I had to leave before the dance was over, and when I came back, I didn't think to snap pictures of the new folks, and....well.

Anyway. This is Miss Addison Barrymore in a scandalously fetching skirt, holding a Gatling gun (you can just see the butt of it to the left), and her husband, Finnian Fitzgerald in a pinstripe zoot suit.

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There's a better picture of the gun. And, err, Addison.

In the background, in the lovely blue-swirl dress, is Steelhead's owner, Miss Kattrynn Severine.

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This is one of the sim managers, Tensai Hilra. I swear, she's not about to stab someone. That's the look she always has in her eyes. And that's a cigarette holder, not a dagger.

Trust me. She's a very nice woman.

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The always-beautiful Christine McAllister looking especially fetching. This is truly a lovely 1920's beaded gown.

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Another look, especially at the beaded flapper necklace.

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Miss Darkling Elytis, who had the most amazing dances, very tribal, very ritualistic. She's an artist of some renown, very talented, and apparently used to manage Le Jardin once upon a time.

In the background can be seen Darien and Miss Collingwood.

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It was, all in all, a lovely evening.

To update all and sundry on another situation....the Hunter lad has been (partially) uncursed.

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I know the King's alchemist, in Lumindor, from elsewhere, so I carefully explained the situation to him, and he agreed to meet the lad and I at the neko camp, where he's been given temporary shelter. Apparently neko males are rare and quite prized, and humans are known to steal them.

The alchemist, like the First Claw, could not stop laughing when we related the dilemma. But he attempted a delay of the curse, while he researches.

And he's going to be looking up information on succubi...*sighs*...for me.

How do I get myself into these situations...

I hear the voice of rage and ruin

((RP MODE))

Never save an incubus, man. Pour all that energy and life and drive into them, and when they heal, they come right after you. Why am I even surprised at this?

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Met with the monk in Lumindor. My demoness had gotten somewhat irked with him, and had partially torn out his spine. It was the sheerest act of will he was able to leave the sithen at all, and it took him hours to drag himself the few scant yards to my tree.

But he did, and collapsed, and when I returned to Lumindor early this morning, there he lay. Broken. Helpless. Half-alive.

Well. I could not leave him so, could I? Bite your tongue, of course I couldn't.

So I...bit him. Now, now, don't be that way--I had to. To heal him. Hurt him terribly, nearly beyond all bearing, but...it had to be done. It was that or chop off his head, and...I don't think I could have done that.

For all the First Claw would have been overjoyed to have her trophy.

At any rate, the morning advanced, me pouring in all the energy I had, all the energy I knew how, into healing the incubus. It took a very long time. Drained me nearly completely. But at the end, he stood, stretched, reached for me...and locked his hands around my throat, squeezing.

Ungrateful wretch. See if I save *his* life again...

Something brought him back from the killing rage, who knows what, and he carried me up to the tree, where I just *knew* something terrible was going to happen.

But he tucked me in, and carded through my hair, and bid me to sleep well...for the most part, it was innocent.

Well.

As innocent as an incubus and a new succubus can be, really.

Which...well, isn't very.

But he left--ran screaming, actually--into the predawn air, and I, myself, chose to collapse on the bed.

What else was I supposed to do with a nearly-crushed throat and still-leaking wounds? Please. I'm not even *nigh*-invulnerable. And by all the gods, I'm too tired to shift...

Goodnight. Maybe a day's rest will make it easier to breathe.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

to struggle with my instinct in the pale moon light

((RP MODE))

And he was on the floor and changing and all I could think was, I have become this unknown thing, and all I could feel was that I wished for more--

Wait. I think I need to back up again.

The days when the half-demon are gone from Lumindor, and I am in it, I admit, I get bored. I wander the woods, looking for capable diversions. Yesterday, I spent some merry hours wandering a nearly empty woodlands, practicing slashes with my sword. I think I'm getting quite good, but I haven't pitted myself in combat with anyone as of yet. And I met a very tall, very somber wandering elf, and guided him about, showing him beauties and dangers. My one mistake was taking him into the sithen--my Queen felt him enter, and came to her throne room to...talk.

But an accord was reached; as a wandering fey, he is welcome any time; and should he choose the Winter Court over the forest elves' arboreal dwellings, we will be glad of him indeed. And I guided him out of the sithen once more.

As I took him out, I met the young Hunter in the woods again. So young, I thought, so inexperienced....he might be a handy diversion indeed. His leathers were still damp from jumping in the bathing pool yesterday, trying to save a fellow resident of the wilds. I invited him back to my tree, and set about to entice the lad.

It wasn't difficult, though he was nervous. I was sincere in my offer of aid--I helped him lay his leathers out over my gargantuan chair, and enspelled them with small magics to dry a bit quicker than they would otherwise. It raised the temperature in my tree by a few degrees, and without much more effort, I had him down on pillows, curled against him and purring, my then-red fur sharp contrast to his darkly tanned skin.

All was going well until the monk bespoke me, mentally. He wished to come by and greet me, and perhaps...talk. I told him I was occupied, and he approached my tree, the echo of laughter in my head. He breathed out, and suddenly, my nerves were alight, my breath was catching, I was pushing the lad to the bed and--

I asked him what he'd done. He said, a small breath of incubi essence, nothing more, sent to me. I told him I'd never heard of such a thing before, and he sent me another..."gift", he said, before departing. The second offering swirled his scent and hints of his arousal around me, making me shudder against the human lad, moaning of a sudden, writhing on the Hunter and...growing so...hungry.

This was my error, I think. Trusting another incubus.

I did not think on it at the time, simply...falling on the human and near-devouring his mouth. It did not ease me, and I trailed kisses down his neck, across his chest, up his neck again. I narrowed in where the pulse beat strongest, licking, nipping, and...all thought went sideways.

I tilted my head back, my little fangs sliding into place as always, the tiniest traces of the vampiric spell that went awry. My little hunger, manageable, always, had mysteriously flared, and even knowing I held a Hunter of the fanged in my arms, I still bit. And I drew. And it was glorious, the taste, lovely, only...

I'd bitten him. He yelped, and pulled away from me, staggering from the bed. I licked my lips, turning, wanting to bring him down again, into my arms, onto my fangs, and I felt the first stirrings of internal shock. It was hard to think through the riptide of desire, but...and then I watched him fall. And change.

Where before had been a human lad of some few years, there now lay a black-striped neko, silver-tipped black hair cascading past his shoulders, tail curled around one leg. I'd never seen anything like it. I brought my hand to my lips, touching my fangs, and drew them back with some odd, clear fluid coating them--fluid I'd pumped into the boy, as a full vampire would, fluid from still-pulsing glands at the base of my fangs.

By seven kings and seven holy oaks...what had I done?!?

I am not too proud to say I lost my mind entirely. Throwing clothes on in abandon, I screamed for the First Claw of the neko tribe, and she came. A mage-apprentice overheard the call and followed. I explained that I'd turned a human neko, and the First Claw would not stop laughing. I was going into shock, and still so hungry, and my mind could not deal. The mage-apprentice asked to come up, and I allowed it, telling her how, and opened the door to reveal a great spider, filling half the room when she came in, and all three of us seeing her shrieked.

This did not help my mood, nor my composure. I sank to the floor, shaking, just as my half-demon walked in.

It was merry chaos sorting everything out. The human--now neko--wished to be human again; the King's alchemist, the chief mage of the land, could help, but he was traveling far lands; and the half-demon wondered why the human wished to change back at all.

Then he asked me why this had happened, and I mentioned the monk. And his expression darkened--a feat of skill, considering his skin is near midnight-toned anyway. He turned his one eye remaining to me and...such anger, such hate, as I'd never felt, poured from him--pointed at me. He spun on his heel and left, and I could not stop crying.

Eventually, the mage left to seek out research on the topic; the now-neko boy wandered off to greet the neko tribe; and the poor First Claw, exhausted from laughing so hard, curled up and fell asleep on my great chair.

I wandered out to speak words with the half-demon.

I found him in his chambers, the scent of blood on the air, making me shudder anew. I asked for entry, and got it, and walked in to disarray as I'd never seen it. His bed overturned, blood on his blades, furniture cracked and broken, crockery shattered...and in the midst of all, my demon lover, sitting in the one chair remaining, composed, calm, at rest...still very, very angry.

He spoke me words of choices. He said, if I had truly fallen under the control of the incubus monk, then I had violated our agreement to love only each other. I did not precisely agree, but if I had fallen under his control, I wished my control back. He said...I must choose. I must choose him, and my life now, or the incubus, and my regrets. He said...he would turn his face from me, never speak to me again, never hold me again, if I chose the monk.

I shuddered, hearing the echo of similar words, spoken from another source. This had all happened before. This had all happened before and I was here at the crossroads again. Asked to choose. Asked to say no.

What could I do? I am a creature of pattern. I said no.

And then the demon changed the game. He called to the fledgling within me, in that language I'd never understood from him, only now he asked and I answered--with as little comprehension as I'd had before. For it was not me answering. It was the fledgling demoness within, that the incubus had somehow tapped.

And he would not speak to me, though I stood right there, in his view. He would only speak to her. And when she stopped answering, he stopped speaking to me at all.

I could do no else, I fled his room. I fled to the wilds and the trees I knew. In distress, I wrapped my arms around one and changed to the first form that felt appropriate--pale, so very pale, so cold...spider-branch wings draped in cobwebs...melted pink eyes.

Fangs.

And the hunger began to bite holes in my soul.

I fled back to my tree, shuddering as I remembered the First Claw slept there, trusting me. I turned, and turned, in my room, seeking a way out, and there was none. My demon would not feed me; I did not trust myself to feed from the neko warrior in my chair. I had no other recourse.

I slashed my own arms to the bone, clenching them, watching my life bleed from me, and when my heart began to falter, I dropped to the floor and slept.

It was all I could do.

On the morrow, when I awoke, the First Claw was gone, and I was alone. My arms were healed. I spent some few very directed hours cleansing blood from my rug, and avoiding all other contact.

I do not know what else to do.

I still...do not.

Friday, March 23, 2007

one mistake's all it takes and your life has come undone

((RP MODE))

Now that's it's a proven fact that the demon's daughter has an alternate...wandering around with ill intent...I've been slightly more open about talking about her plans.

But...something came up today. Something shattering. It's ill news, indeed.

Something the demon's daughter said, to me...she mentioned she'd found writings of her future self...and questioned the meaning of a certain phrase. I began telling her that that phrase was first heard in the 1920's, and that's why she'd used it, because she was, at least partially, and in one timeline, from the 1920's...

...and the penny dropped.

While this daughter was afflicted with a machine virus, and in quarantine in Toxia, she was still involved with the Winter Court in Lumindor. For the opening of the kingdom's gates, many residents, free and enslaved, were put up in auction to support the expense of the opening day celebrations. At that point, I was undercover in the human village, playing a human slave in the House of Doves, so when I went up on the block, I was branded and collared, in flowing rose silks.

This much I remember--the daughter I thought of as the steam android I knew, standing next to a fellow spy in the House of Doves. Her father and I, at that point, were having problems, and I spoke with her privately, asking that she not share my appearance at the auction with her father. I was sold, and the evening went as it went, and I had a few additional chances to speak private words to this new incarnation.

Earlier, I had sent a missive to the demon, changing my tone entirely, my way of pleading for our survival, and I was feeling fairly confident that the new tactic might just save us. To this day I do not know what this new incarnate daughter told her father. All I saw was the fallout.

The demon was enraged. The demon was hurt. This was the woman he loved, this slave on her knees? This is what I wanted, to be some Gorean warlord's toy? This would not be borne. This would not endure. We could not continue, he told me, loudly and at length...

...save, I'd never said that. I'd never done that. In fact, I'd told the demon that I had this opportunity in the kingdom, and what, and he hadn't seemed to mind then...

I can only surmise, the new incarnate daughter said whatever she had to, to sever her father and I. The poison started that far back...

...and we were both taken in.

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Is there any wonder I've been spending more time in the wilds in Lumindor, than in Steelhead of late? Such insidious speech...and here we are, no going back.

It's profoundly unsettling.

you say you understand, but you don't understand

Under your spell again.
I can't say no to you.
Crave my heart and it's bleeding in your hand.
I can't say no to you.


But I can, I can, I have been. Was it unexpected? I never said it to be cruel, not even when I was curled up and wounded, and wanted to wound in return. I said no. I held to it. I said it again when you asked. I say it again now.

No. My will, my strength, my shield, and those shielding me. No. Some nights, it's all I have, but...no.

Shouldn't have let you torture me so sweetly.
Now I can't let go of this dream.
I can't breathe but I feel...


The new incubus I know tells me, there is a side effect of incubi...fluids. That they make human women faint from bliss, they overcome the will, they insinuate, they seduce by chemicals, not emotions...they enslave.

One drop creates quivering; more creates addiction.

But I've never been precisely human...

Drink up sweet decadence.
I can't say no to you,
And I've completely lost myself, and I don't mind.
I can't say no to you.


I remember feeling this swept away. I remember wanting nothing more than your lips on my skin. I remember shuddering at your touch, eyes lambent pools, flaring with every deep breath, all of me one sensitized ache bearing your name.

Perhaps there's something to what the new incubus says...but even if true, the space for addiction has long since passed. The longing, well, that may always be there, but as my neko lad tells me, I've not gotten over the vampire princeling, either. And I may not.

In your case...the longing I may simply have to live with. It won't stop me. And it won't stop me from saying no in future.

Shouldn't let you conquer me completely.
Now I can't let go of this dream.
Can't believe that I feel...

Good enough,
I feel good enough.
It's been such a long time coming, but I feel good.


The thing is...I do feel good now. It's been difficult, it's still difficult, I'm battling issues I never thought would be raised, but...I feel like it's all, slowly, cohesing. I feel the life is coming together, that my choices are beginning to make sense, that I'm beginning to understand myself, my life, those I choose to love.

And I wouldn't have done the work, the hard, looking-at-my-life work, had you not said goodbye. For that, if nothing else, I must thank you.

More than that, though, I have to thank you for caring at all. As toxic as we were together, especially towards the end, I never doubted that--when your eyes remembered, and turned back my way--you cared. That was a constant. It was a good constant to have.

And I'm still waiting for the rain to fall.
Pour real life down on me.
'Cause I can't hold on to anything this good enough.
Am I good enough for you to love me too?


I guess the question was never, am I good enough for you to love me, too? The question was, are you good enough to love me in return? To see that love enriches, more than it should damage; delights more than destroys; lights us, warms us, not consumes us.

Some part of me, you know, waits for you to meet someone that you can't get enough of; one who addicts you the way you addict others. What would you do in that situation? How would you act? What would you do to get her back after she left? How long would you fight?

I learned the answers to these questions, and all the others that your leaving raised. And yes, I still dream of you, some nights. It will happen. I let it go. They're just dreams.

So take care what you ask of me,
'cause I can't say no...


And dreams can't change my mind, dreams won't erase the no on my lips. And never to be cruel, never to hurt, never to harm...but no. Now and before, now and mayhap forever, no. No. No.

(lyrics from "Good Enough" by Evanescence)

Thursday, March 22, 2007

why smilest thou, lord dragon, sir, asked our hero in armor laden

((RP MODE))

There's a trick to corrupting monks.

It all comes down to persistence. And presence, yes, let's not forget that, but mainly...persistence. Pressing without seeming to press. Gentle seduction, mostly the curve of my lips, the look in my eyes, the hipswung look over the shoulder. Small things. Details, that mean so much.

Corruption. Seduction. Felling of strong vows.

On occasion, I'm a very bad girl.

::giggles and dances off::

Current build: occupied with designing clothes. They're very simple, but all this week, I've mostly been wearing outfits I've designed. Yay me!

The one thing that always tore us apart is the one thing I won’t touch again

and I'm sitting in the green skin
in the black lace skirt I made
feeling a relationship
crawl back out of the grave
he won't leave it alone, he won't
hear me when I say
there's no hope of redemption and
past beauty he can't save

and I'm wondering when the next plot,
the next angle will be seen
is he seeking absolution?
or just looking for the key
I curl up, verdant plaid
against the skin so pallid-green
I sigh, exasperated,
because again, he just wants me

and my mind won't seem to shut off
it keeps turning on its gears
replaying segments of my past
tumbled and stripped bare
weary now, I stumble
facing all my hopes and fears
be wary now, I tell myself
beware, beware, beware

now every new face haunts me, I
think is it now him disguised?
I still don't know why I'm the goal
I'm the less than perfect prize
and static cries reach me from
a future filled with spies
and his daughter just laughs harder
out of green and maddened eyes

the game's afoot but I have yet
to say I want to play
I think it through and think it through
and I don't think I see
mostly I just want him
to give up and go away
because I can't see the benefit
of him and I to me

but his daughter is a friend and thus
I'm toying with a scene
and if I can get through it
without denying who I am
we'll get her back, restore her
to the lands she knows, serene
...but then it's him and I again
and for that, I'd say I'm damned...

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

who I am hates who I've been

I watched the proverbial sunrise
Coming up over the Pacific and
You might think I'm losing my mind,
But I will shy away from the specifics...


Tonight the demon who, I was sure, was on a plan to upset all of my applecarts, was friendly, jovial, polite, generous...and I'd love to say, I'd love to say, I breathed a sigh of relief, because the war I thought was starting is over.

But tonight felt so...off. I don't think it is.

'cause I don't want you to know where I am
'cause then you'll see my heart
In the saddest state it's ever been.

This is no place to try and live my life.


Maybe it's me, maybe I'm just paranoid, maybe I'm untrusting, but...I can't think any other way around it. You don't go up to someone who's very dear to the neko you're trying to bring back into your life, and do everything you can to sway that person away from her...unless you're trying to sway that person away from her.

I mean, is it just paranoia? That's what he did. He says no, but of course he'd say no! How else should I see it?

Stop right there. That's exactly where I lost it.
See that line. Well I never should have crossed it.
Stop right there. Well I never should have said
That it's the very moment that
I wish that I could take back.


And at this point, I am so over the rounds of apologies and accusations. Yes, he should not have sent the letter. Yes, he should not have said goodbye. Yes, I'm being a bitch and insisting that goodbye means goodbye once said. Yes, I could relent, but I'm stupidly prideful.

But push all that aside. He should let it go. He should let me go. And that he can't means this isn't over. That he can't means as soon as he thinks up the next trick, I'm going to be hit with that

I'm sorry for the person I became.
I'm sorry that it took so long for me to change.
I'm ready to be sure I never become that way again
'cause who I am hates who I've been.
Who I am hates who I've been.


And hit again, and hit again, and hit again...always another angle, always another game. It wearies me so. And I never know, now, how much he really hears and how much he's just saving up to evaluate later, to examine my structure for potential weak spots.

He knows I have them. He even knows where most of them are. Guess I should be happy he's only thought about using a few...

I talk to absolutely no one.
Couldn't keep to myself enough.
And the things bottled inside have finally begun
To create so much pressure that I'll soon blow up.


Tonight, at the town meeting. If I'd had a way to come as a bundle of sticks, I would have. But I didn't know how. So I came as the bunny, because the irony suited me. Prey animal, big blinking eyes, all furred paws and furred legs. I left hair off because I wanted the pointed collar. I was just hoping I'd get through the evening intact.

I heard the reverberating footsteps
Synching up to the beating of my heart,
And I was positive that unless I got myself together,
I would watch me fall apart.


Well, I did get through the meeting intact, I guess. More or less. Watching with wary eyes nearly every move the incubus made, waiting for the hammer to fall. That it didn't shredded my nerves no less, because I was living in dread anticipation.

Then I went outside and walked into the street by accident and got crushed by a wandering steam-powered elephant. Only in Steelhead.

And I can't let that happen again
'cause then you'll see my heart
In the saddest state it's ever been.

This is no place to try and live my life.


The darkened moon and the Knight in Shining were true to their words, though--when they arrived, they watched over me, even though the incubus tried nothing in specific.

Still, it was nice to know they cared. It was nice to know they were there.

Who I am hates who I've been
And who I am will take the second chance you gave me.
Who I am hates who I've been
'cause who I've been only ever made me...


I guess it all comes down to, is there anyway to convince a demon who's been set in his ways since before my great-grandmother was alive, to grow up and move on? Can demons evolve? Can they change?

But then, some would ask, can they love, and I no longer know the sure answer to that question...

So sorry for the person I became.
So sorry that it took so long for me to change.
I'm ready to be sure I never become that way again
'cause who I am hates who I've been.
Who I am hates who I've been.


And now we're back to the waiting game. He tells me I can have my furniture back, after I've taken it. He tells me I am no longer a part of his life, but he keeps me in his family group--as a family member. He tells me he wasn't trying to get me back, but mentions a life together later.

He tells me one thing, shows me another, then says something entirely different.

It's dizzying. It's wearying. I hate being on my guard this way. I just want peace, not strife. I don't want to be the one unique thing in his universe any more.

But maybe that was always too much to ask...

(lyrics "Who I Am Hates Who I've Been", Reliant K)

Monday, March 19, 2007

I've seen enough now to know the beautiful things don't always stay

Too much to hope for, the life turning around. Train-wreck love life, especially. It's my bane and my curse but it's mine and it's claimed--and it's not letting me go yet, apparently.

Tricky things about demons. You can't reason with them. They're worse than lawyers for clinging to the fine-point details of any and all agreements. It's long past making me angry, now I'm just...resigned.



Bah. It's essentially useless saying it's unfair, even...what is fair where demons are concerned?

I want to touch the light, the heat I see in your eyes

I remember giggling a great deal the night before, I remember the taste of the rum and the sweetness of the pineapple and the falling off occasional chairs. I remember slightly slurring my speech as I talked to people around and about, I remember ending up in the tree in Lumindor talking to a monk long into the morning.

I remember a space of unconsciousness, and then the next morning, I woke up curled into a ball on the couch in my tree. My body felt leaden, my mind was wrapped in cotton fluff. Taste of the strange monk's bitter brew was still in my mouth, but it was so hard to think...more had gone on, I was sure. I was fighting my lack of recall.

Suddenly I gasped,sitting bolt upright, hands clenching on empty air. I'd told him. He'd asked and I'd told him. Drunk enough for honesty, the night before, drunk enough for truth to leave my lips, without my usual gloss of gentle misdirection.

He'd asked how I felt about him. Face raised to the darkened moon, weaving on my feet, I'd answered. I'd said I loved him. I'd said I loved him.

The one thing I told myself I was never going to do, I'd done. Because at one point he'd not wished it. Yet he'd asked, and I'd answered. Truly--at least for me--in vino veritas.

I touched my door open and staggered out onto my balcony. I breathed deeply of chill Lumindoran morning air. I set my thoughts to thinking inward, and waited.

Panic, anger, fear, worry...I looked at the trees surrounding mine and thought. I found myself surprised that these emotions weren't there. No panic. No fear. No hurt. No pain.

What was there...clearly there...was...peace. Which was vaguely unnerving in itself, really. I'm profoundly ill-used to feeling at peace. My shifter self knows chaos, not contentment. My faceted soul understands angst, not accord. Was I hung over, or intoxicated still?

I took a step from my balcony, out into air, dropping nearly weightlessly to the ground, kneeling on the cold grass. I stood, inhaling. No, I thought. I still need to talk to him, but...I think it will be okay. I think...we...will be okay.

A smile touched my lips as I moved into the brightening morning light. Today, I thought...it might be a very good day.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

can you hear it, a cry to be free

should have known
should have known should have known
it's like the universe bearing down on me
telling me no
I risk contacting the demon
and I'm in limbo again

I hate this place
I tell myself it will resolve
it's just a side effect
learn how to move between
the age of magic
and the age of reason
with stopovers in the age of steam
as I said to the demon's daughter
there are bound to be glitches along the way

but I hate this place
more because I did reach out
I did choose to speak
we did talk about everything
we've long stopped talking about
and it reawakened everything

there is no moon in this place
only grey
still and featureless and unending
and perhaps I don't deserve one
my heart still torn
between pale and pallor
between healing and consumption
while the pallid shadow
of what the demon is
callis me to converse

floating in this place
this hated place
nonexistence
wanting to find a surface
to scratch through
but there is no surface
wanting to scream out loud
so someone will come to my aid
but no sound carries
through the grey

this hated place
this limbo
am I here because I considered
even for a moment
if the demon was right?
if we had given up too easily?
I did think on it
I did consider it
and my answer was
we were damaged before he left me
we were tottering before the fall
we were hurting each other
and how was that good
for either one of us?

I hate this place
this limbo place
I hate being here
when I could be walking my world
I hate being trapped in the featureless
I rail against the injustice

but perhaps tonight's expulsion
is retaliation
for thinking of going backwards
even for a moment

Thursday, March 15, 2007

flowers on the razor wire, I know you're here (part II)

((RP MODE))

Once the wandering lad awoke, he apologized, and I told him it was no matter. He said it was, that he came in to talk, and then I discovered why. I curled my legs on the green sofa I'd been sitting upon, he curled up in the middle of my gold pentagram rug, and began to ask me things. At first, it was wandering talk, talk of his life, talk of mine...talk of my first memory, which was of fire, and fear, and he told me I would be drawn to these things lifelong, that they would, eventually, spell my doom.

I didn't entirely disagree.

Our conversation turned less subtle, began narrowing in on a certain goal, and we talked of things, of perceptions, that humans plainly do not have.

I called him to account on this, and he told me he was a succubus. I derided him, saying, I knew of an incubus, and of their chosen prey, and that succubi, being female, chose the opposite in turn. His eyes lit up, and we were off and discussing my incubus.

Without thinking it through clearly, I told him much. Of love, and loss, and confusion...of my attraction for the incubus from the first...I said he had hair the color of spring roses, and the lad only nodded, saying most incubi--at least those he'd known--had red hair.

But later the conversation turned. More came out about his past, about his life, about a wife he'd loved and lost. On his wedding day, he said. He said...the incubus was responsible for ruining his lady wife. I told him he'd like as not been, depending, though there were other demons who may have done the deed....and then I described the incubus in question. And he went pale with fury.

He said, before he turned the conversation, he wished to slay him, and I fear I've played into his hands in this. If aught harm befalls the incubus...I will have a hand in his downfall, and I fear that. I do.

And then the morning spun out, pale blue light becoming gold, pale gold light becoming sun-soaked blue, mist burning off from the hills behind my tree. He asked me to join him on the bed. And bit by bit, what sounded like a very dangerous idea, with what he'd said of his nature...began to seem like something I could have, and walk away safely from after.

This may have been a mistake.

We spoke of his nature. I do not know his race, other than human-seeming, but he spoke of his eternal hunger for female flesh. Somewhat akin to that incubus, and I told him so. He regretted it in himself, this desire to consume, and yet his thoughts turned to me. He asked...for contact. I thought about it. I acceded, and joined him on the bed.

Just contact, he said. I came clothed and shod, curling behind him, and he sighed, beginning to relax. It was...very nearly innocent, for a span of time, and then...he turned, in my arms. He held me fast, and began to strip the clothes from me, biting me, drawing blood here and there. He held me bruisingly, I could feel the pads of his fingers sinking into my flesh, and I began to pant from the pain of it.

His mouth moved over me, across my skin, licking, sipping at me from small nips, drinking me in. I couldn't think, my thoughts growing hazy, as if I was sinking into honeyed darkness, his mouth sparking sensations of utmost intensity. And then the game changed again.

He rose behind me, voice growing deep. He said, "Resist me," and bit at my shoulder, teeth sinking deep. And I began to struggle in truth, sprouting curving dagger-claws, raking down his flesh, snarling, hissing, as the cat within rose to the surface, fighting to escape.

There was none. He pressed within me, hands seemingly everywhere at once, and I cried out in as much pain as desire. His mouth moved over my skin, mobile, heated, seeking, biting bits of me away from spine and sides. I writhed in his grasp, desire rising even as I fought to free myself from his clenching grasp. I wondered anew at his nature...and knew he had never been the innocent he claimed.

It was battle, as much as lovemaking. It was the desire to escape, and the desire to give in. I fought him, I fought to hold him. Such conflict. So many wounds...

...but at the end, he pulled away. Unfulfilled, he pulled from me. He said he had to leave. While I was still marshalling my thoughts, curling around him, reckoning the damage he'd inflicted....he pushed himself from my bed and left.

Half of me wants intensely to seek him out again.

The other half? Wants to run from the kingdom and never hear his name spoken another time.

He scares me.

flowers on the razor wire, I know you're here (part I)

((RP MODE))

"Resist me," he said, his voice low, pulling my hair harshly back. His teeth sank into me, spilling my blood, and not for the first time. And not for the first time, the panicked thought thrilled through me--I am in over my head.

The evening started innocuously enough--met the young lad again, who'd been so naively wandering the wilds the day before. He'd had adventures then aplenty--been chased from the village by screaming youths throwing stones, for (or so he said) asking too many questions, then came wandering blithely down the darkened paths, falling handy prey to the rapacious thing with all the tentacles that lurked in the shallow forest pool outside my door.

One of the guardians from the keep rescued him; I admit, I was taunting him for falling prey to the thing. Granted, I've been grabbed myself once, but that was early on, and I was smug, knowing its ways. It never reaches far from the pool; being content to wait for the unwary.

I am wary now.

"Help," his young voice cried. I remember this well. "I am an innocent!"

"Not for long," I said, watching the beast plunge into him, making him weep. But then the guardian came along, handily wounding the beast, making it withdraw, freeing the boy.

I admit, I was bored enough to test his stamina, but oddly, he would have none of it that night. He wished to return to the village, for all they treated him harshly there. I bargained with the guardian to return him safely, but the lad wandered away, pleading no further debt on his behalf. The guardian and I shrugged, and went about our ways.

This evening, though, I'd spent much of it with the half-demon, in snappish mood because his demonic side, red of claw and long of fang, had taken over again. I know this about my shifting flesh--it can throw off most wounds, with little directed thought, but the wounds demons give in their full power are lasting, even though I change and change. And I was snappish because I missed my half-demon, my body missed him, and I was less than gracious when he transformed.

He bade me wait in the space he meditates, where he strives for control over the demonic within. He promised me when he changed back of a morning, he would satisfy my need for him. I said he would be tired, after a long night awake. He agreed, but said he'd do it anyway, because such vows, such needs, on both sides, prove out love.

He knows less of love than I do. He knows it is a human value, that neither he as a demon, nor I as the shifting fey creature the Queen's brought into court, have experienced much of it before. There are things about me he does not know, that only the Queen and her chosen Consort know...but I let him think this. It's pleasing some part of me, on occasion, to play inconstant and unaffected.

At the end of the vigil, he bade me summon the Queen to him, our Queen of Air and Darkness whom we both serve. Apparently, some while back, he gave his soul into her keeping, and now, he gets little shreds of it back, on rare occasion, along with the power of her blood. She gave him such this evening, and bade him to go and rest, and he said he had a vow to keep before he sought his bed.

Which was my cue to bring him to seek mine.

He has a frightening capacity, that one, for seeking out that line between pleasure beyond imagining, and pain that tears and shreds. We never left that line, that morning, and I shed tears from agony as well as bliss. It was my choice to make, as much as his, but the stripling lad wandered close to the base of my tree, I discovered later, and heard us at play.

After we finished, as I lay trembling in his arms, he slept. I held him for some time, until my breathing was easier, and then I was summoned away for some hours. I did not return to Lumindor until morning was well advanced.

And there I discovered the footloose lad, wandering next to the Drow enclosure. He said he'd come to seek me out, for some converse, and certain intimacies. Again, I was intrigued, and played what I thought was an obvious hand--and again, he turned me aside, through naivete or deliberation, stating he sought mental, perhaps emotional, intimacy, not physical.

I shrugged, inviting him back to the tree, knowing at this point the half-demon would have awoken and wandered away. He was nearly in tears at the thought of such comfort, and I let the lad sleep some few hours, watching him, breathing carefully. I had not yet taken the time to bathe in the mineral springs, restore some of the function I'd lost when the half-demon had taken me, and I had not yet changed my form.

And there, once he awoke, the conversation took a darker turn....(to be continued)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

when I woke up this morning, you were on my mind

And he tells me, as I lay there, reclining on his ornately carved couch...he tells me were I not involved with...so very many others...and he'd met me before he was so involved...he might have proposed.

And now my brain is overanalyzing the question. The question that, to be fair, was never precisely asked.

I've told myself, over and over, were I ever to accept anyone's proposal, it would be the neko lad. If for reasons of endurance, if nothing else, and that being his--putting up with me for so long. But, lying in the lap of this gentleman, feeling his hands stroking my hair, it did make me wonder.

Compatibility, yes. Love, affection, friendship, perfectly fine. Sense of humor, wit, charm, these things are valued. For me, liking how someone argues is very nearly essential--because I'm enough of a volatile personality, I will argue, and if I don't like how my partner retorts, there's no chance, no hope.

Past all these, for all that I'm a frighteningly visual person, comes liking the physical appearance. It's true that the eyes of love paint the person more perfectly, but more than that, intelligence, wit, sense of humor--these things are more important to me than what they look like. What they look like is changeable--I know what I look like is changeable--so how can I expect to fall in love with pretty eyes and quirking lips?

Though good hips. Good gods. Good hips are very nearly essential. Is that shallow?

But anyway...the point is...is it worthy of me to accept someone's proposal simply because they've been there? If I don't want to accept, I mean. Seems sort of...door-prize-ish. "You've been here the longest, you get to take me home."

Leaving aside the fact it would be to my home. Were it the neko lad, anyway.

Maybe it's just me, you know. Maybe I'm not meant to marry here. I do have so very many conditions I'm placing on such a state. I mean, said marriage partner must be willing to accept what I do for a living, which many cannot; accept other loves being in my life, which many cannot; accept that at times, I come with full fur and prominent canines, or twitching whiskers and perking ears, or eight legs, or drained-bloodless pale skin and glowing eyes....and very many can't accept that...plus, I've already picked out my wedding dress.

Just in case.

And it's black.

Which seems to be the final nail in the bridal coffin, frankly.

It made me think, is all. Now? I'm tired of thinking.

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Now if the Consort to the Queen would just stop poking me...

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

the wild night is calling

Last night, the lovely Victorian fellow asked if I wished to see Caledon Tanglewood. I told him, being fresh out of the wilds of Lumindor, that I wasn't dressed in an appropriate fashion, and he laughed, saying, it's Tanglewood, it's a forest, what's appropriate?

So I showed up in purple fur draped in a scarcity of ornate elven armor, and it must be said, I doubt he minded.

But he asked where we should begin the exploration of the great woods, and my wandering eye caught a manically spinning set of silks, and...my neko nature, for the first time, nearly took over. I wanted to leap and bound over to the silks and POUNCE upon them, batting at them until they were completely conquered. My brain was screaming CAT TOY CAT TOY CAT TOY and it was all I could do not to start clawing and twitching.

Rarely have I had so intense a reaction. Either Lumindor's getting to me, or...the pookah who turned out to own the spinning silks enchanted them against kittens. Very surprising.

At some point, the conversation turned to how fast said pookah could run, and he invited us to view the inside of his home, a hollowed-out trunk of a giant birch. I felt gargantuan in his abode, and immediately sought a smaller form myself. Nothing like the pookah's foot-tall white rabbit...but the closest I could come.

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My fae clocks in at exactly three feet tall, from her low-booted feet to brilliant scarlet hair. I still towered over the small Tanglewoodland mammal, but I felt more at ease.

Tanglewood, I think, needs additional viewings. The homes seen there are sweeping arborial structures, elegant and precise, rounded platforms and struts affixed to gargantuan trees. The air is quiet, without being still; fireflies and insects flutter on colorful wings.

The pookah I mentioned...a certain EllisDee Welindor, if I recall correctly. Very amusing fellow and a collage artist of some surpassing skill, and something of a wordsmith. We wandered around his hollow while I was endeavoring not to pounce on his silks, and spoke for some small time about tricksters, the woods, shapeshifting and art.

He gave me one of his pieces, and an accompanying poem. I'm completely whelmed. Though my tree in Lumindor has no flat places for art--being a tree--I leaned it against a column, and I'm thinking of leaving it there.

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I think it looks very nice in my tree. I must find a way to thank him for the gift.

Friday, March 9, 2007

and you will be my ain true love

Three ayem, and up again, circling in grey drenched with shadow. I could live without being up. The dream shouldn't have so much of an impact, as simple as it was.

It was just...standing on the windswept plain. Tall grasses moving, creating their own sussurance of whispered sound. And all around me, standing beside me, a loose circle of everyone I've loved here.

Everyone.

There were a lot of people there.

It must be admitted, I love a lot of people. There were those standing there who've known I loved them, who always knew. There were those standing there who to this day don't know. There were those who've touched me, held me, skin to skin, in the laughing dark, and those who've never even held me close, clothed or otherwise.

And the unspoken question moving sluggishly through the twilight air was..."Who is your one true love?"

And not having an answer woke me up, heart in my throat.

Thing is, I used to have one. I think that's part of the problem. While I always loved many, from the moment I was in this world longer than a few days, there was one who had as much of my attention as I could spare. There was one who got every evening I could give.

Past a certain point, it was a known fact--I'd be found with the vampire princeling. No one else had claim. My days were my own, and only occasionally spent with him, but my evenings were his. Whether we stayed in, whether we went out, my time was his.

He was the first to ask me to live with him, in this place. I'm learning that never goes well. But for a while, I was happily domestic, decorating the little Duchamp house we shared, draping it in sheer burgundy gauze, and strewing multicolored Kurdish rugs on the stone floors, finding a carved fireplace I liked. I asked a friend to help edit the animations in a cuddle bed I owned, so that--if nothing else--my vampire could hold me and I'd be in the proper places, instead of my insane lack of height throwing them off.

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And then he died, and...I went a little mad over it, and...he returned, called back to this life by his clan, and...he cast me aside. Though it wasn't that simple. I bear my own responsibility for his leaving, because...when he returned, I was so angry with him, so...I had done everything I could to take back my life, to recreate myself without him, to be my own creature, no longer his...I honestly never expected his clan to reanimate him, return him to the world.

And I was angry that they did, not overjoyed. I was hurt that he returned, not blissful. That part was my fault. I bear part of the responsibility for driving him away.

Don't mistake me. I blame him plenty for casting me aside. But I am not blameless, either.

After that, I think...I haven't really trusted anyone who loves me. Oh, to a point, to a certain level, but...I'm waiting for it now, the leaving. And everyone bears the brunt of that mistrust.

The demon, now, the one who reminded me so much of the lost princeling. He never really had a chance, and I mourn over that. He became my client, and then my pet, and then--over my objections--my fiance, and would have become husband had he not disappeared from all contact points I had. I gave him a month, gone from my side, and then...I felt I had no choice but to sever the agreement. To tell him, in all ways that I could, that I would not be marrying him, because I could not marry someone who was as scarce as snow in summer.

Of course, three days after that decision, he returned, and apologized, and wanted everything back...but I'd once more come to that place of leaving, and...hurt or pride or willfulness, I could not go back on what I'd said to him.

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Somewhen between the princeling and the demon in scarlet, comes the neko lad, who to this day has the bulk of my trust. But there have been problems even with him. When I accepted the demon's proposal, he was a close part of my life, and he...he went mad, for a bit, too. And I didn't know until much later that he'd lost his mind to that extent because he had wished to propose.

In fact, while I was still deciding on the demon's fate, still bound by my agreement to him, to marry...my neko proposed, for the first time.

It should be a joyous event when someone proposes to you. It should fill your soul with light, fill your heart with song, create no word other than yes...if it's the right proposal, from the right one...the one true love, let us say. When the neko lad proposed, my heart sunk into shadow, my soul stopped its song, and my bones were laced with strychnine objections.

Of course, part of that intense response was that I still felt bound by the demon's asking, and I could not accept the neko until I'd decided what to do about the demon. The neko, for his part, was mortified--somehow, he'd gotten the idea that I'd already turned the demon down...

...and to this day, it still surprises the hell out of me that he asked at all. And apparently, I'm the only one who was surprised--my best friends, my chosen God, staff of the club, even the princeling--no one else was surprised at all. They'd been waiting for him to ask me.

Wish they'd let me know...

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At this point, I'm weary of being left. I'm soulsick with seeing it coming. The lady talent who never fully committed, because I wouldn't stop seeing men. The playboy who very nearly told me goodbye...and was turned down in his own right, by the one he wished to marry. The great black cat who wished to be boyfriend, not client, and when I told him no, he never returned again. The brokenhearted lad who loved me until his first love returned to him; then he married her.

And the incubus...It's so difficult to tell with him. I think he loved me, as much as he was able to. But he was my quicksand. I lost so much of my integrity, my will, my nature, in loving him in return...I felt emotions I never thought I was capable of feeling...went willingly to places I never thought I'd visit...and for all the joy he gave me, there was also confusion and pain. And even with all the ground lost, I was still in tears when he bade me go. It was made worse a day later when he wanted to take back his words of leaving.

I'd be lying to myself if I said I was no longer attracted to him. I've struggled with this, told myself I'm over, I'm beyond, I'm far from him, and moving forward with my life...and I've been lying. The fact that he was standing next to me, in the dream, staring down with those burning eyes at my shoulder, tells me something in me still holds him close.

No one ever said you couldn't lie to yourself. Just wish I'd seen it sooner.

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But past a certain point, it's about the damage, not the delight. And for all that he discarded me for the wrong reasons, I have to bear my own responsibility there, too--because I grew acquisitive, I grew selfish, I wanted more than he wanted to give, and that is not me, that is not my nature. Yet again, I ended it as much as he did, stunted the growth of joy, strangled it stillborn until his walking away seemed the best thing for both of us.

In the dream, the pressure of all their variegated gazes on me, the question circling through the air, brings me to my knees, gasping. Who is my one true love? And I kneel and shake my head, and shake my head, and shake my head. I can't say one name. The dream wants me to. And I can't, I just...can't.

Spite or fear or willful denial or...even brighter, more egalitarian philosophies I hold dear...I can't say one name into the twilight air. Oh, the pressure of a name...but I can't.

It's what keeps me from fully committing to a marriage. It's what keeps me from fully committing to one single soul in the world. It's what holds me back, has always held me back. I cannot accede to this.

But with all their eyes on me, my only recourse is to bow my head and stay silent. Because anything I say in that moment, in the dream...would be the wrong answer.

Because no answer in that moment would be right.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

the same old dream appears

I wake, heart clenched in my chest, into grey waiting. Late or early, eyes unseeing, it doesn't seem to matter. I've had that dream again. I resent my brain anew for having it. It drives me from sleep and into stark staring head-shaking denial, into controlled and exercised breathing, telling myself, it was a dream. It was just a dream.

and when October goes
the snow begins to fly
above the smoky roofs
I watch the planes go by


In it, I've returned to my life and my ways, and I'm standing in the place I call home, still, wondering who to inform first. And my strong neko lad--beloved, adored, the man I've named primary to all I am and all I do in this place--comes by. I hold him, and, as a matter of course, flip up his profile. It's more ingrained than habit at this point, it's become my second nature, pure driving instinct.

And in the dream, there's a name in his partner field. And it's not mine.

the children running home
beneath a twilight sky
oh, for the fun of them
when I was one of them...


Partner, I think. Partner. He's gotten married. While I was trapped in the grey spaces, pinned into ether by forces I could not control.

I cannot do other than ask; and I cannot do other than listen, when he says yes, he married. During the week I was gone.

Because that's the other part of the pain in this dream, that my life is spinning out without me, that things are changing, that I can't be a part of the world I love. I know how fast the world moves when I'm there. This week, I have not been able to be there.

and when October goes
the same old dream appears
and you are in my arms
to share the happy years


I feel...breathless. I feel my heart thudding, leaden, in my chest. I stare at him and ask--it must be asked--what that means, to him, for us.

He looks away.

He begins to explain, haltingly, that he was asked, and he would have told me, but for that I was gone...and he knew I'd return, but he had to be honest, about us, about what we meant to each other, and about what this other, this name in his profile, meant to him.

I understand all of it. It makes nothing easier, in this dream.

I turn my head away
to hide the helpless tears
oh, how I hate to see October go


And now I'm the one looking down, and I begin to slowly explain...I am who I am, I have never pretended to be other than I am, but...marriage. It is the reason I've refused him twice, when he's asked me previously to pair with him. Were he to share my view on marriage, it might be an entirely different thing, but...he does not, and I would not ask to change that, because...I've watched him alter so much for me. It would...injure something in me, I think, were he to try to alter to that extent. I'm fairly sure it would injure something in him.

Marriage? To me, even with my interpretations, it's vital, it's necessary, it must be preserved. With one exception, when someone I know, when someone I care for, has gotten married, I've stood aside. I've tried my best not to interfere, not to violate the marriage bond.

In some cases it's been a thing of great difficulty for me, and even now, I struggle with it. If you are paired with me, so goes my thinking...and you choose to marry someone else...I cannot then choose to remain with you. It is unfair to your choice, unfair to your marriage, profoundly unfair to your partner. I cannot be that person, for the most part. It...hurts too much, most of the time.

and when October goes
the same old dream appears
and you are in my arms
to share the happy years


And I ask again. What this means for us. Whether this means there is an us. And I listen as he explains, that he will always care for me, he will remain my guardian and defender, he will always be my friend...I don't have the heart, the air to carry the words, to say to him, stop. Stop. I have heard this before.

It's what I know he would say anyway.

I have to ask again, my own questions, answers known before I speak, but...in the dream, I have to. I have to have these things said.

"Primary," I whisper. I look up, my eyes brimming with tears I'm fighting not to shed. "So now, I should...change that? Because you...won't be, any more?"

"Ayy, grrl," he whispers, and draws me close again, and I fight my body to wakefulness, preferring grey nothing to continuation, to hearing him say goodbye.

It's what happened the first time I had this dream. I let it play out, so I know where it would go. It bothers me that my brain saw the need to have it twice.

I turn my head away
to hide the helpless tears
oh, how I hate to see October go...


And what does it mean to the larger sense of who I am, of what I do? Some of my otherloves, they hold similar views. Were I to get married, were I to accept the third proposal from my neko--that part of me is convinced is coming--I will lose them. As utterly, as completely, as this dream tells me I'd lose him, had he actually chosen another to wed.

And I am left on the far shore, gasping in the space between, needing to think all these issues through again, remake my choices, consider every angle. Is keeping him worth losing the others? Is accepting his wedding proposal the death knell for my chosen occupation? Could I conform to his idea of marriage, which is one man, one woman, pairbonded and allowing no others?

He says no, he says it would not be this way, but...he also says yes, that this is his concept of marriage, and...could I be that wife to his husband? Could I hold to the monogamist's view of fidelity? Or would I be doomed from the start?

I should be over it now, I know
it doesn't matter much how old I grow...


In a perfect society, all the forms of polyamory--polysexuality, polyfidelity, triad or quatrad monogamy, all the rest--would be accepted and understood. We do not have a perfect society.

But more, part of the problem is that I keep falling for, becoming involved with, monogamists. I proposed the questionnaire, and did write the card, even though I haven't handed it out. Something in me twitches at the thought--it seems so rude to ask. Yet...if I don't ask, I find myself here again, with someone else--torn in that gulf of perception between the concept of loving the other, and of loving many others. It doesn't seem to be something I can ask someone else to consider, until it looks as if I am growing serious. And if I'm growing serious, it becomes difficult, if not outright impossible, to pull away at that point, deny anything further.

As my brain says, it will be if he asks again. As my brain tells me, it will be if he marries another.

And worse, I'm left with the truly damning bit--when he asks again, and my brain tells me, over and again, it is a when, not an if--and I say no...will I lose him anyway? Three times said, three times denied, it has the air of charm about it, ritual, defined spellcraft made flesh and bone by word. Three times denied...would that be too much for him, then? Three times no, would that say to him I didn't want him, that I've been playing all along?

I don't play, in this sense. But part of me cannot, will not, say yes, as long as I'm sure our views on marriage differ, so extremely. Which means my brain is partially convinced I will lose him anyway, when this day comes.

I consider sleeping again, but it may be no use. I may be up and forced to drift in the grey spaces awake. I long to return to my place in the world, but the waiting has never been harder, with the dream behind my eyes.

I hate to see October go...


(lyrics are Barry Manilow's, from "When October Goes".)

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

sleight of hand and twist of fate

In my last moments before leaving, my hand still reaching out for the half-Tiefling, new in my wake...in the last moments of experience before vanishing into the limbo of in-between again, gone from my world and my ways...he speaks to me.

"Stop feeling this way," he says. Not the Tiefling. The other in my orbit. "Stop feeling this way." It rings within me as I sink into the grey spaces, gone for another few days of non-reality. The thing is, I think he means it. And all my gods stand as witnesses to this--I don't know how to stop. And I don't know what to think.

"Stop feeling this way." This way...this particular way...which way? The message was unclear. And I couldn't spare the time to explore it, not then. Stop feeling? Is that what he meant? Is that where I need to halt, not move forward, not feel anything else? Un-experience. Un-feel. Un-do any damage I've done...if I've done any...and how do I do this?

I float in grey limbo, waiting, always waiting. This whole long week, waiting in the chamber of ennui. Giving me far too much time to think.

"Stop feeling this way." Stop feeling? But as much as I'm a creature of logic, flawed as mine is at times, I'm a creature of emotion, passion, directed feeling. I can't not feel this way in this place. I can't not feel. All my choices have led me to the place where the risk of feeling outweighs the need for protection. I won't easily change...because I forced the change in the beginning of this, feeling it necessary. As much heartbreak as it's brought me, it's brought me greater joy, and right now, I need that. Joy and pain, laughter and sighs, anger and confusion, all the rich pageantry of emotion I've fought so hard to experience...I need that. I need it.

But what does he want of me? Does he want me not to care for him? I do. I think I started to care for him the first night we seriously talked, as I watched the building go up around us, plank by plank, beam by beam, nearly watched the nails go in...I can't not, at this point. Does he want me not to feel for him? I do. I think that also started to happen from that first night. Does he want me not to love him?

Love, ah, well...I've been doing my level best not to love him. Mayhap that's part of the problem. I see no difficulty in love that cannot, will not, be returned. Mayhap it's too much effort on my part not to love. Mayhap it's what gets me in the end, love and loss, heartbreak and separation, train wrecks and all.

And even with that, I feel--I feel--I take nothing from him, by what I feel, by how I care, by what I choose. My feelings are my own. I demand little. I would not dream of taking him from his life, his love, his choices. It's his life--I'm interfering only to the extent he allows. The minute he says no--the minute any of them say no--though it tears new holes in me, I'm away, I'm gone, I'm not a part of him, of them, longer.

Save in the shadows of my own heart, where all those who've left me, leave a little behind. Think...portraits, mayhap, if it helps to make sense of it. Strung out in uneven procession, hidden away in a gallery where the windows are draped in heavy dark cloth.

Some of those faces now are so hung with shadows I can no longer make out distinct features. Some are still brightly lit. Some are fading day by day, even the frames their portraits are in evaporating into shadowglow, their vibrancy dimming, their relevance escaping me.

I try not to visit often.

I am used to privation, deprivation, long soul's suffering, abandonment and pain. These are my guideposts in all the landscapes I walk. These are the signs I trust. I get nervous when things go well, when there aren't complications, when everything is smooth and joyous. I look for the thorn on the rose. I look for the acid in the sweet.

Mayhap we've reached one of my signposts, then. "Stop feeling this way." Stop feeling this way for him? Or stop feeling at all?

And all I can say is...I'll try. I think I'll fail. But I'll try still. Because he's asked me. I will always, ever, do everything I can to give the ones I care for what they want.

Even if what they want isn't me.

"Stop feeling this way"...I wish the request had translated better. Mayhap, the first thing I need to do, is verify what he meant at all, before I try to accede to those wishes.

It wouldn't be the first time impulsive action on my part sped the downfall of a relationship. And I misdoubt it will be the last.

And stop, stop feeling, stop caring, stop...everything? Brings us to detachment. Which has never been my strong suit. And if it's being asked of me now...it will be hard, so hard. Mayhap...too hard.

Mayhap I need to detach anyway.

"Stop feeling this way."

I'll try.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

goodnight, sweetheart, well, it's time to go

((RP MODE))

"If you name me lover, then, what would you fear I would do with such a title?"

I admit, I was curious as to his answer.

He said, "Use it against me, as many others tend to do with that title."

Ah. So we would both come into this wary and cautious--he, because he has never loved before, and me, because I've loved before, and lost.

Demons, in fact. Three of them. And I think I've learned the lesson intended--don't fall in love with demons.

Does it matter that he's only half-demonic in nature? Does that make it better, or worse?

I don't know.

Does his arrival bode ill for me? Or mayhap, I learnt the lesson wrong, the first time out. Mayhap it was never, do not love demons. Maybe it was always, be careful with the ones you choose to love...

It's early yet, anyway. To love this particular demon. I'm still playing. Predominantly, I think, so is he.

But...it does make me wonder.

And worry, slightly.