|Karin Shepherd | Tiamat (sheltering_sky) wrote in paxletalelogs,|
@ 2011-10-31 07:11:00
and when that day comes, I'll become the sea, I'll become the sky
Where: The island.
When: 30 October, 9:27 p.m. to around midnight.
Karin left the party at CASKET alone, blinking wide-eyed into the streetlights as she stepped outside. The moment the club’s light faded she felt her memories of it begin to wane, a tangible darkness enveloping her all the more with every pace she put between them. One step, and she could not remember what had brought here there; two, and she could not recall the faces she had seen in the crowd. In her heart she knew that had merely been the catalyst, the beginning of something far greater, the very reason for her being. So she carried on, one bare foot in front of the other, oblivious to the filth and debris littering the street. Cars blared their horns, taxis slowed as if to stop, and still her eyes would not leave the horizon. The smell of sulphur surrounding her was as strong as it had ever been, but it did not frighten her now. Only one thought remained in her mind, one drive she could not help but obey.
When at last she reached the shore, her feet were covered in angry welts and vicious-looking cuts. She felt them, distantly, assessing their severity with a nurse’s cool aplomb. The grains of sand working their way into her wounds did nothing to bring her body’s pain to the fore; the moment the breakers came into view, even the objective observation of her injuries ceased. Her hands reached up, crossing the swell of her breasts, sharp nails digging into her flesh as her fingers circled high around her arms. The chill wind cut her to the bone, its touch familiar and intimate, beckoning her toward a cold that would run still deeper. She followed it, hearing in its low tones a call she had ignored for far, far too long.
Karin smiled when she reached the place where she had once tried, too soon, to cross over. Shae had held her back, then, dragging her from the waves with a force the belied his wiry frame. Karin had thanked him, but it was Tiamat who had truly understood. The vessel had not been ready. The timing had not been right. Now, everything was different.
She went into the water. Her eyes fell closed as she felt the ocean embrace her, lapping at her calves, her thighs, the curve of her hips. She slipped beneath the surface, waterlogged cloth fitting to the swell of her breasts as she moved into a slow, lithe side stroke. Miles passed; her body grew weaker, though she did not feel tired. There was a brief period of rest as a Coast Guard cruiser ambled by, its searchlight trained on the water. The moment it was gone she was back at her work, drawing ever closer to that unknown shore. It was strange, how unattainable a goal this had seemed only a night before. She had never ceased to dream of it, had never put the thought of it entirely aside. But now that it was here, and she could feel its rock-strewn sand between her toes, could see the treeline a few short paces beyond, it seemed somehow fated, as if it had always been meant to come to this. This, and nowhere else, was truly where she belonged. This, then, was where it would begin, and she would be the one to bear them all.
Dreamlike, the landscape wavered before her. She walked toward it, into it, the pain in her limbs wholly gone. She crossed the wide shoreline, sand clinging to her feet and calves as she strode into the verdant green beyond. How long she lingered there she could not have said, but it seemed to her an eternity. There was more there than she in her safety at Pax Letale could ever have guessed; things she had never hoped to know. She walked through crumbling ruins and abandoned cottages, their rooftops open to the skies above; touched faded, tattered clothing left draped over rotting furniture; felt books she could not read fall to dust beneath her hands. This was a place out of time, forgotten out of the necessity of survival. She was overcome.
Then, in the center of it all, she found a door. It seemed a door like any other, save that it opened onto and issued from nothing: Its frame and paneled surface merely stood firmly in place, the center of a clearing in an unpeopled wood, its tarnished bronze knob clearly untouched for countless years. Her heart beat harder, the hair on her arms lifting from her flesh. Her steps were sure as she walked up to it, circling it like an animal scenting predator or prey - which it was, precisely, neither soul present understood. All around its frame images were worked, a complex and clearly coherent set of inlaid triangles and fantastic, wild impressions. Upon closer inspection the knob resembled nothing so much as a cylinder seal, wrought in bronze and green-limned with age. Karin stood before it, studying it with two sets of eyes, feeling it out with the insight of two very distinct souls. Together they reached one conclusion, inexorable, irrevocable. The door must be opened.
Her hand wrapped around the knob. For all its age it turned with surprising ease, giving way beneath the softest touch of her hand. It swung open with a merry creaking of its hinges. As she took her first glimpse through, her lips parted on a gust of breath, the expression on her face neither smile nor frown. The pieces fell into place, understanding coming to her in a single, crushing press.
And then the presence came, and with it all the pain whose inception she had so prolonged. Karin fell to her knees, dimly hearing a scream so harsh, so feral, she knew she herself could not have made it, though the answering burn in her throat spoke otherwise. Her nails clawed into the ground as her body pitched forward. It seemed, then, that she knelt in a puddle; thick mud caked her bare knees, worked its way between her curled fingers. But she looked down and saw it to be blood - thick, viscous gouts, pouring from a wound slashing wide across her stomach, tearing her open from hip to hip. She tried to speak, but no words would come. Still she watched the doorway, Tiamat’s own confusion reflected in her human eyes, their terror commingling as one sharp bolt of pain shot through her shoulder, another low and deep in her gut. Her grip on the earth buckled, pushing her down to its surface. A weight pressed down upon her from above, solid but pocked with holes, like heavy netting cast over her back. With sharp nails she dug at the dirt, crawling toward the door, desperate for any chance at escape. Waves of nausea washed over her as she felt her wounds dragged through leaves and grass. The taste of salt water lingered at the back of her throat, and for the first time she wished she had simply drowned.
Her hand reached through the doorway. Her eyes snapped wide, but there was no turning back. She felt a foot at the small of her back, grinding her down into the dirt, the point of a spear pressing hard against her spine. She felt a hand raised, saw the shadow it and the massive club cast over them, though the shadow could not reach within the door. The end had come at last.
“Fee,” she said, choking on the name as blood fell from her lips. Tiamat heard, and understood. And then the last blow came, and together they went into the dark.