You have been taken by the Mists

Author Topic: Tsukumo-Doji - What Lies Beyond Shuttered Doors  (Read 1748 times)

Kayle Walker

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Tsukumo-Doji - What Lies Beyond Shuttered Doors
« on: August 05, 2019, 11:55:31 AM »
Thump, thump, thump.

The noise of a soldier's boots echoed dully from the other side of the walls. The girl looks up, after an eternity staring at the light filtering in from the cracks.

The sound of metal scratching against sand and rocks - a tray appears under the door. Bread, and water, sloshing some of its contents onto the mud. A waste.

The girl eats as the shadow outside waits. Two knocks. She slid the tray back outside.

Thump, thump, thump.

The girl lies on the ground. She stares at the light filtering in from the cracks, watches it, watches it... watches it.

Then watches it turn dark.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2019, 06:36:31 AM by Kayle Walker »

Kayle Walker

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Re: What Lies Beyond Shuttered Doors
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2019, 12:04:27 PM »
The girl watches the light filtering in from the cracks.

Sometimes it was hot, sometimes it was cold. The girl liked neither, yet the girl welcomed both.

The girl would drift as her body ached. Drifted to somewhere beyond the walls, if only for a moment.

A blue void. White things that float in it. Sometimes far, sometimes near, but always floating around her.

The girl floats in the void. She feels light, free. And the void stretches out beyond her, beyond her eyes, beyond her sense.

A long, long road.

And yet... she had time.

The girl blinked. And she stared at the cracks, now dark.

Kayle Walker

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Re: What Lies Beyond Shuttered Doors
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2019, 12:13:33 PM »
Always the same dream.

The blue void. The white things. And floating.

The girl felt safe when she floated. Like she was as she peered though the cracks.

It was not her room. A barrel. Outside, a man.

She knew not who he was. She knew not the things he spoke.

She was only told to cut. In her hands were the tool.

The girl closed her eyes. She thought of the dream. And she felt calm.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2019, 01:11:22 AM by Kayle Walker »

Kayle Walker

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Re: What Lies Beyond Shuttered Doors
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2019, 12:23:04 PM »
Dream. Eat. Cut.

Dream. Eat. Cut.

The girl knew only these. As the light that filtered in from the cracks came and gone, so too did these three.

Dream. Eat. Cut.

The girl liked to stay in the first. The void remained, and so did the white things.

But the longer she stayed, the more she saw.

Dark things. Floating in the void.

Kayle Walker

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Re: What Lies Beyond Shuttered Doors
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2019, 03:29:53 AM »
The girl felt safe whenever she thought of the dream. Yet the dark things changed it.

The dream felt distant, cut off. More so with each passing day.

She felt afraid. The void, the white things, the floating - all seemed to fade as the dark things grew.

And then the girl blinked.

A man was in front of her, lying on the ground.

And then she noticed.

The dark things stained his clothes.

The dark things stained her hands.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2019, 01:29:11 AM by Kayle Walker »

Kayle Walker

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Re: What Lies Beyond Shuttered Doors
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2019, 03:49:50 AM »
The girl watched the lights filter in from the cracks, watched it flicker and dim.

Much like the dream.

Much like the dark things that crept over it.

She watched as the light turned into dark, and she imagined the same in her dream...

'No.' The girl's thought left her lips - a statement, a defiance, a vow.

She stood up. She touched the cold wooden planks that housed her forever... and she pushed.

She had to change.

She had to leave.

Kayle Walker

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Re: What Lies Beyond Shuttered Doors
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2019, 06:23:25 AM »
A blue expanse. White things that float in it, soft like threads of breath.

The girl had this dream since she can remember, even as she found freedom in the land of mists.

She came to know the blue as "sky", the white as "clouds".

A dream of flight... of endless flight - this, she came to understand.

Yet with clarity, questions loomed.

Why was she flying?

Where was she headed?


Kayle Walker

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Re: What Lies Beyond Shuttered Doors
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2019, 07:55:42 AM »
As the girl learned more of the outside, so too did the dream change.

From floating, the dream inched forward. Inch by inch, feet by feet, until the wind howled in her ears.

The calm that she had known had since been replaced.

Trepidation.

As a child would dip her toes into water for the first time, the girl would feel the dream stretch out before her, more than ever.

"Blood of dragons." The words seemed to stir something within the girl. Something old, something fierce...

A part of her she never knew existed.


Kayle Walker

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Re: What Lies Beyond Shuttered Doors
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2019, 12:31:27 AM »
Metal upon metal. A echoing clang, seemingly reverberating forever.

The girl could hear such a sound. Muffled, as though hidden away in some distant alcove, but it was there.

"Such a strange sound," she thought. A sound she would never have thought to hear, with the wind roaring in her ears, and yet, it was there.

Clang. Clang. Clang. The sound of scraping metal. Two tiny taps, then the clanging renewed.

It was clockwork. Repetitive. Noise to most.

Yet the girl was drawn to the sound. Like clear bells on a windy summer afternoon.

As if listening to her plea, the dream slowed down. The wind calmed, and the sound grew louder. And as it did, in her heart of hearts, the girl felt a fear.

But of what?

Kayle Walker

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Re: What Lies Beyond Shuttered Doors
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2019, 06:35:25 AM »
For the first time in her life, the girl did not wake to a dream of the sky. There was no blue expanse, no clouds that floated on the wind.

She found herself in the dark, the cold touch of cobblestones under her feet, and the warm caress from the fireplace in front of her.

A smithy, she surmised. And in front of her, a figure hammered away on a piece of metal, glowing white with heat.


Spoiler: show


The girl could not make out the figure, only the hand which held the hammer. The form faded and changed with each swing: a gauntlet with one, a hand of red scales with another.

Masculine and feminine... strength and intent; the girl could feel the figure pour its soul into its work.

The metal changed shape before the girl's eyes. She was mesmerized at the sight, of will turned into reality, of dreams taking shape.

But a twinge of fear stuck to her core. In her heart of hearts, she understood. This was but a moment... a flicker; a candlelight struggling to keep alight amidst the winds of the sky.

As brief as it would be, the girl admired this little spark. This moment, this image... it felt to her as precious as jewel or gold.

As brief as it would be, the girl wanted to keep it alive. To protect it. From the bottom of her heart, the girl yearned for this impossible wish.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2019, 11:20:33 AM by Kayle Walker »

Kayle Walker

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Re: Tsukumo-Doji - What Lies Beyond Shuttered Doors
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2019, 01:27:33 AM »
As the hammer swung down, the dream stopped, as though frozen in time. The girl did not wake up. Instead, she traveled once again.

A snowy landscape, sky grey and snow white. A tranquil sight.

This was not her dream, the girl was sure of this. The scene felt distant... cut off. This was memory... something inside the girl told her.

Much as it was a picture for the eyes as it is for the heart, the memory's feelings flooded into the girl.

The memory was sad. Alone. Last of her clan. Driven by red and fire to a distant shore on the other side of the world.

In there, she hid. Hid her nature, hid her legacy. But even with her hiding, destiny found its way to her.

The girl sees a hand reaching out. Calloused, firm. A boy's? A man's?

Another accepted this hand with love. It was white as snow. And on the back of her palm, and lining her arm... white things, but glittering - silver scales.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2019, 03:58:56 PM by Kayle Walker »

Kayle Walker

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Re: Tsukumo-Doji - What Lies Beyond Shuttered Doors
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2019, 09:10:11 AM »
During the Ritual:

A frozen hell. It was the only thing that could describe the girl's agony in that moment.

Freezing, burning, they were merely different sides to an extreme facet of pain. The girl felt herself slip away... and then darkness.

The girl awoke to a land of snow, sky grey and snow white. She found herself back into the memory of another. Yet this was anything but.

A flood of images flashed through her mind. Faces, of people both present and past, known and unknown.

And with them, emotions that crested and crashed like waves. Meetings... and farewells.

The girl blinked and the images disappear. In front of her, a woman stood, garbed and veiled in white.

Her frame delicate, her face soft. The woman looked at her with a slit eye, and above her brow lined silver scales like jewels.

And then she smiled, as though meeting a daughter long lost from home. She spoke, but the girl could not hear the words. Not yet.


Spoiler: show
« Last Edit: August 17, 2019, 05:08:16 AM by Kayle Walker »

Kayle Walker

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Re: Tsukumo-Doji - What Lies Beyond Shuttered Doors
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2019, 05:02:45 AM »
"So tell me, do you wish to take upon you, the element of the dragon within you?"

The words her mentor spoke to her. It was by those words that the girl had accepted to receive the dragon's breath on her skin.

And it was by those words that the girl had resolved to take the same breath into her.

She writhed on the floor, felt her body seemingly rip itself apart from the pain.

Once more, she passed, and for a moment, felt herself teetering upon a threshold.

A threshold between life and death.



Spoiler: show



The girl woke to a land of snow once more, sky grey and snow white. A tranquil sight.

She was alone, save for the woman garbed and veiled in white.

"My child." Her voice was clear and cool, like the pattering of raindrops. Again the woman smiled at the girl, and the girl felt safe.

She felt... right. Connected. Like she belonged. The girl stood as the woman approached, step by step upon pristine snow.

An embrace... as a mother would her child. The girl, who once could only peer at the light as it went through the cracks, has found hers now. She was home.

"You've come far."

"Thank you." The girl's voice was cracked and dry.

"I'm proud of you."

"Thank you..."

The woman pulled away. Her face, gentle and soft, looked at the girl's. In her face, an expression of warmth... and sorrow.

"But you must find your own treasure. As I did."

"I don't understand..." The girl could only reply.

But that was a lie. She knew what the woman meant. But accepting it meant leaving.

Accepting it meant... goodbye.

The woman understood as well. She stroked the girl's cheek, her hand cool to the touch.

"You are my child. You are my dream. In your path, I cast my shadow."

The girl closed her eyes, as the woman pledged her vow.

"You will never lose me... so long as you never lose yourself."

The scent of rain. The girl felt the woman walk past. She opened her eyes and looked back, countless questions still burning in her mind.

The woman was looking at her, her figure already distant and fading in the snow. And behind her, the form of her past... and of her future.


Spoiler: show



The girl wakes back to the living. Wakes back to her mentors, her friends.

She had reached the end of her dream, the girl understood. No more will she see the sky, the snow, the woman in white.

The girl is now the dream in waking.

The girl is now ready to take flight.